Mon – Blister Hill + BST (1:31 – 2700' – 7.5miles)
I've been waking up a 5:30am for the past month now, however, I've not been taking advantage of setting out for a run at first light. I normally brew some coffee in the french press and head to the computer to tackle emails and do some bits of design work for an hour or two, but this morning I was highly motivated to run. So I left the house at the first inkling of light and went straight towards Olympus.
On the previous Saturday (3/21), I put in one of my first "long runs" 22.5mi X 4300' @ 4hr05). After having food poisoning/stomach-bug during the first half of the week I was uncertain how this effort would feel on my stomach. I felt good throughout the first 2/3rd's of the run, but I neglected to take my normal nutrition along, nothing more than a few dried figs, apricots, salt pills and a vest full of water. I felt quite lethargic during the last 6 miles and then never fully recovered overnight before hiking/jogging Sunday on Mt Wire (Mt. Beacon). So I was a little apprehensive when I left to run this morning. I wasn't sure how long I could run for, or how my stomach would feel after a bit of vert, and descending.
Parking at the TH it was quite the session of spring squalls that were settling into the Wasatch front. Windy and raining. The legs felt pretty snappy going up the initial steep bit at the bottom and I was able to set into a nice cadence on the climb to the 1st creek. I felt good. I reached the top of Blister Hill (only 2 minutes off my PR). Then, the gates above opened up and dropped a substantial flow of rain and snow. Decided here to turn back down and head out the BST for a few bonus miles. I ended up with a PR on the return trail (even with a quick pit stop). A reassuring outing after the food blunders last week and the slog over the weekend.
Tues – Little & Big Beacon (1:34 - 3000' - 7miles)
Temps dropped a bit overnight. Brisk, even for a late-morning start (36º @ 10am). Setting off from the TH at the Zoo, I followed the lower BST trail that heads into Emigration Canyon above the road. Temperatures dropped even more through here and the winds kicked right up. Nearly too uncomfortable in shorts. I really have a hard time staying motivated when winds pick up with no threatening storm immediately on the horizon -- Gotta get tough somehow! I continued up the gulch and went out to Little Beacon before heading back to the main ridge trail up to Big Beacon (Mt Wire). Heading up the ridge was a reassuring notice of increased fitness. I was able to hold a jogging pace on the top half of the ridge to the summit, which I'd never done before. Usually hiking is peppered in, but today I felt comfortable jogging it, though I'm praising the cooler temps for that.
Wed – Beacon (1:10 - 2500' - 6miles)
Pretty similar to the previous days route, minus the pop to Little Beacon. Managed another PR on the ridge to the summit! (Diet maybe?) I can't credit sleep since I haven't been getting too much of it lately, but happy to report a bump in fitness.
Thurs - Beacon + Van Cott (1:56 - 3500' - 9miles)
Really nice day along the Front. Temps jumped back up a bit. I followed the standard route to the summit and descended out Red Butte Ridge, then dropped down the "goat/deer" path into Red Butte canyon. Crossed the bridges and headed up the Van Cott trail. I had never been up this route and was a little apprehensive to run so much of the climb at first, but I managed to hang onto a jogging cadence nearly to the summit. Coming down the west side of VC I rolled my foot over a rock, thus jarring and tweaking my right knee a bit. Shocking me at first, but nothing feeling too out of the ordinary after I chilled out. There was definitely a twinge coming from within the guts of the knee, though. This pain is a little nagging bite that I'd get from time to time when I rode BMX, so I wasn't too worried. I decreased the pace back to the TH and stayed quite mellow for the rest of the day.
Fri – Dog Walk + Shooting photos (0:35 - 2miles)
I woke up with a pretty tight right hip (weird?), but the right knee felt "ok". Managed a 2 mile dog walk around noon. Only one tiny twinge with the knee when the larger of the 3 dogs pulled the leash across my body in the opposite direction of our motion. No idea why she did that, but it twisted my entire lower half and hyperextended my right knee. Just a quick scare. No other issues with it for the rest of the day while shooting images for Surface Brands Summer Goods.
Sat – Beacon + Van Cott + Avenue Twins (3:16 - 5200' - 15.5miles)
Woke up with hips and knees feeling rather decent today. I felt even better as I finished up some work in the garden. I figured to head out around noon and to use my standard running nutrition [Gels + PowerBars + hand-held bottles] as opposed to dried fruit, s-caps and a hydro-vest, which I had been trying out for my last 4 weeks of longer runs …and that wasn't working for me. – Leaving at noon limited me to a four hour timeframe. So I hustled to the Zoo TH and used the standard route up Beacon and followed the Red Butte Ridge down/across the canyon, went up and over Van Cott, then catching the BST trail. I followed BST up Dry Creek/Gulch in a easy pace and followed - what I think - is a small part of the BoSho Marathon course (?). Happy to have maintained a jogging cadence for about 85% of the climb, which I believe that the better nutrition headed up to that point was in my favor here. My legs still felt quite fresh coming around the Avenues Twins and reconnecting with the BST. I maintained a fast-for-me-pace all the way back to the Zoo TH. All the PR's I put in were done in the last 4 & 5 miles of the run. I've not felt that strong at the tail end of a effort like that in quite a while, if ever.
Ø - Garden and yard work.
My wife had the day off so I chilled with her. Damn, it was nice to lounge around the yard and have nothing on our agenda's. I can't remember the last time we put in a full day of nothing?
• I posted a fun interview with Matt Trappe on the Merit Endurance blog this week.
• Replaced the glass on my iPhone so I can take pics that don't require 5 filters to clear up the haziness from 2 years of condensation and scratches.