Monday, April 23, 2012

Week of April 8th

Sunday - Didn't do squat.  Had plans to run a few but ended up getting a mess load of yard work done now that spring is here.  Felt good to get that stuff done.

Monday - Double day for me.  Did some intervals at lunch, 4 x .5, plus a little extra, then went out for a few miles going north from Rainbow.  I was kind of surprised there weren't more people out, especially mtb'rs.  It was a pretty nice day.  Miles - 10.5

Tuesday - Another double day.  Went out for an easy 5 at lunch.  Nice warm day, little breezy though.  Did another 4.2 with Karen after work.  Went to Pilates again.  Miles - 9.2

Wednesday thru Friday - Didn't do squat except drive to the Grand Canyon on Friday.

Saturday - Ran the Grand Canyon for the 5th time.  This time things were a little different.  Usually there is gorgeous weather for the run.  All week the weather forecast had been pretty ominous, snow, rain, cold.  We drove the truck down since my car really sucks on icy snowy roads.  Turns out we didn't need to.  The roads were fine going down an coming back.  Still, when everyone met in our room at 5am before starting down, it was snowing, the wind was blowing and the temp was about 28 degrees.  There was about 2 inches of the white stuff ont he ground.  Nothing like a little winter run in April.  I knew that once we started down, the wind would ease up and the snow would go away, but I figured it would turn to rain.  I figured that the snow level was around 6000' and once we got below that, the trails would be clear.  Well, they were pretty much clear, but muddy.  By the time we got to Indian Garden, the snow and rain had stopped.  The temp was about 38 and we were doing just fine.  At the river, the weather was actually not too bad.  Probably in the upper 40's and cloudy.  The further we headed up the North Kiabab trail, the more we could see that the north rim was completely socked in.  As we climbed up from the caretaker house, the wind picked up and the snow started again.  Several of us who had been to the north rim before elected to turn around at the bridge that's about 3 miles from the top.  There was about 4 inches on the ground and it was cold, plus we figured that there weren't going to be any good views that day.  The kind of cool thing about this year's run was that there were very few others doing a R2R2R.  We counted six others and that was it.  Needless to say, the trails were kind of empty.  Anyway, we got back to the ranch, took a short break and headed back up the south rim.  I had plans to see how fast I could go up Bright Angel tral to the top.  Last year I did it in about 3:15, so that was the time to beat.  It did rain on us pretty good for about 20 minutes as we came up thru devil's corkscrew, but after that, the weather was fine until near the top.  I did well on the climb to Indian Garden.  Felt good and going strong, actually running portions of it.  Then I hit the steeper part after Indian Garden and that's when the wheels kind of came off.  I slowed way down, but still wasn't doing too bad.  We could see that teh south rim was still socked in with bad weather, and sure enough, about 2 miles from the top we were in snow again.  One of the highlights was a herd of mule deer right on the trail that styed just in front of us.  We could get within 30-40 feet and they would walk on down the trail.  Very cool.  As I got within about 1/2 mile from the top, the wind picked up.  By the time I got to the top, it was blowing hard and snowing hard.  Good thing our room was only about 100 yards from the trail head.  I did manage to go from the ranch to the top in about 3:30, so not too bad.  I did kind of bonk for the last three miles.
The next day was gorgeous, sunny, cool.  We should have done the run that day.  Oh well, we all had a great time.  Several people that had never made the run managed to make it to the north rim (shin deep snow).  I managed to get in 41.5 miles.  So not a bad day or weekend.  Time to go into a taper for Salt Flats.

Total for the week - 61.2  Total vert was probably around 17,000'

Restraunt review time - So while at the Grand Canyon, we obviously ate at the restraunts there.  Friday dinner and Sunday breakfast were at the Bright Angel cafe.  The food wasn't too bad.  I don't remember what I had for dinner, but for breakfast I had one of their skillets.  Couple of eggs on top of hash browns, bacon.  Just the thing to have after an epic run the day before.  Saturday dinner was at the Maswick Lodge cafeteria for pizza and beer.  Pizza didn't really sound appealing to me, so I pretty much drank my dinner, OJ, chocolate milk, beer.  I was good with that. Sunday dinner was at the Arizona Room.  Karen and I had the rib eye steaks and I've had better.  For a rib eye, there was way too much fat on this hunk of meat.  It was cooked properly (medium rare) but the steak was still tougher than it should have been.  Karen's was much the same.  Others had good luck with thier steaks.  Still, for the price I should have gone with the filet.

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