Death Valley Training Weekend

On March 5, 2009, in Friends, Running, by Meghan

(Bless me bloggers, for it’s been way too long since I’ve posted! But now I’m back!)

Jeff conjured a weekend of play for a group of California trail runners (plus one mountain biker and one Border Collie) in Death Valley National Park last weekend. This was loads of fun and perfect Marathon des Sables (MdS) training (So perfect that I’m trying to weasel my way back for one last training weekend. We’ll see how that pans out.). Enjoy our tramping through these photos, and thank you to you SoCal runners who welcomed me so warmly into your herd! Check out Jeff’s blog for the full scoop and eventually some more photos.

Jeff runs on the sand dunes near Stovepipe Wells. The late afternoon sun created some of the finest scenery Death Valley has to offer, I think.

I couldn't have asked for better MdS training! By the way, can you tell that I cut off 14 inches of hair?

Jeff powers up the last steep bit of a dune. It's late afternoon and still warm!

The giant's eyes are watching you.

Yeah, that's freaking beautiful, isn't it? I hope you have to pick up your jaw like I did.

I wasn't wearing gaiters, and Jeff was. Look at all the sand that came out of my shoes!

Jeff and Lambert doing the "Raven Dance" in the pre-dawn hours of Day 2. Really, 2 bold ravens tried to steal Junebug the Border Collie's breakfast, and these boys chased them away.

How many people, cars, and gear does it take to screw in a light bulb? Our pre-run preparations attracted the attention of some elderly folks at a nearby campsite who came over for a chat about what we were up to.

Day 2's run began in Death Valley's high country, and were greeted with a gorgeous, multi-colored rock display!

Black and white on red, Junebug takes a mid-run break.

Jeff and Lambert descending into Titus Canyon.

Todd, the group's mountain biker, practices his climbing skills in Titus Canyon.

Things get a little tight in the lower part of Titus Canyon with its water-carved rocks.

The end of Titus Canyon and our Death Valley adventure

Our finish prompted the cheers of a group of jeep drivers with whom we’d played leap frog all day. It was a sweet gesture and a nice way to end the journey. This weekend left me feeling really good about MdS because I wasn’t tired from the efforts. Just veryvery hungry!

13 Responses to “Death Valley Training Weekend”

  1. olga says:

    Peaceful. Yet fun adventure. Have a great time in your last week.

  2. Bob - says:

    LOL Black and white on red 🙂 that is a funny!

    awww I miss DV, the Dunes are amazing huh… keep up the good work and glad you had a blast in DV!!

    Love the pics, your looking strong !

  3. JeffO says:

    I’m experiencing some serious envy. I especially love the dunes. To me, it’s not worth trying to keep the sand out. It’ll get in no matter what. Better to have quick-lace Salomons and empty them when necessary (like all the time).
    The wind keeps tourist footprints blown away. the views really do a number on your soul, don’t they?

  4. Backofpack says:

    I love the picture of you – footprints in front, clean-blown sand behind. Going where no one has gone…

    14 inches of hair??? That must feel good and really light!

  5. Beth says:

    Awesome Meghan – your race is so soon! I love the pictures – thanks for sharing. You are soooo ready! 🙂

  6. Danni says:

    How incredibly cool!!!

  7. saschasdad says:

    Frickin’ rad, Miss Hicks!

    And your hair – it’s almost as short as mine now. But you wear yours much better.

  8. A says:

    Meghan! I’ve been thinking of you! I love that your recent blog posts have been: Snowshoeing in frigid Yellowstone, and Running in Death Valley. Life is nothing but variety! 🙂 Hope all’s going well!

  9. Bryon Powell says:

    It doesn’t get any prettier than this!

  10. Chippewa says:

    Hey Meghan! looks like you and Bryon have your training zoned in for your bodacious adventure on the sand dunes. Although have you prepared for fighting off Jawas, and sand droids, or tremors? Han Solo and Kevin Bacon won’t be there to save you on those fronts. Ha!

    enjoy your “lawrence of arabia-esque adventure and look forward to hearing all about it!


  11. JeffO says:

    Six more days, young lady!

    Chippewa is right. Better pack dynamite and IED’s.

    Good luck in these last days of prep, travel, paperwork, and official check-ins.

  12. […] I was invited and attended that 2009 weekend, and you can find my blog recap of our good fun right here. Last winter, he made some more epic plans, but I couldn’t get the right weekend off from […]

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