Sunday, July 15, 2012

Week of July 8

Sunday - Well, I didn't do squat running wise, but Karen and I went for a horsey ride around the Sardine loop.  That was an interesting ride to say the least.  Going along the face of Sardine peak on the trail, we stopped to let some mountain bikes go by.  As we were stopped, the edge of the trail suddenly gave way under my horse's back feet.  We immediately started going down the mountainside.  It's pretty steep, rocky and brushy here and the potential to get hurt really bad was there.  Somehow, Dustin managed to stay on his feet, and somehow I managed to stay on his back.  After sliding about 20 feet down, we came to a stop.  At that point I hopped off and managed to get him turned around and we scrambled back up the trail.  Neither one of us had a scratch.  Needless to say, things could have been a lot worse.  If he had lost his footing, gone down and over on top of me, that would have hurt.  It was a scary few seconds.

Monday - I managed to get up and go out early for a little road run thru the nieghborhood.  Ugh!  Not a fan of that, but it beat going out at lunch in the scorching heat.  After work I went up to Wheeler, met Alicia and we got in a bunch of miles running up to Green Pond.  We met Karen at the end of that run and went out again with her for another few miles.  All told, it was a pretty big mileage day for something other than the weekend.  Miles - 19.1

Tuesday - I finally met the breakfast club at 22nd street to go up Malan's.  There were eight of us that showed.  We had a good time chatting and climbing.  It was pretty breezy but the air was close to 80 already and it didn't cool off at the top of Malan's.  Lots of people out that early trying to beat the heat.  After work I went up to Snowbasin and ran the Sardine loop.  I wanted to get a look at where Dustin and I went off the trail.  Miles - 13.4

Wednesday - Holy crap it was hot today.  My car's thermometer flashed 106 on the way home.  Went for a run at lunch because I knew I wouldn't get a chance after work.  Wasn't quite that hot then.  I didn't think it was too bad at all.  I had a meeting after work to figure out who's going to be on the HUMR Ultra Team.  Not me, I'm already on a team, but the decision's been made and I'll let someone else make the announcement.  I think it'll be a pretty cool team.  Not the fastest ultrarunners, but some pretty neat people that will support the sport big time.  Miles - 5.8

Thursday - Well, I finally got my trailwork for Wasatch done.  Went out with Alicia and Christy to a trail in the Ogden Valley.  It was pretty overgrown in places and our job was to clear it.  Job done.  I was a mess when we got done.  Some sort of vegetation really gave me hives on my arms.  I was all sorts of broken out, swollen and itchy.  Not good.  Anyway, I went home after that, took a shower to wash off what ever was bothering me then drove back up to Snowbasin for a run.  Ended up running the Needles trail up to the lodge, then taking the service road back down.  Saw quite a few marmots and heard all sorts of hummingbirds flying around.  Not a bad run at all.  Miles - 11.6

Friday - Went out for the usual lunchtime run.  I really didn't want to, but got out anyway.  Ended up not being too bad.  I usually try to push the pace on these runs since they're flat.  After work I managed to get a few in on the trail north of Rainbow.  It wasn't too hot and actually cooled down a little on the way back as a storm was rolling in.  Miles - 11.9

Saturday - Went out for some easy miles with Karen.  She had 10 on her schedule so that's what we did.  Started at 22nd street, ran to Beus Canyon and back.  Little warm and humid.  Glad there were some clouds to keep the sun at bay, otherwise it would have been very warm.  Miles - 10.0

Total miles for the week - 71.8  It's been a tiring week.  This is my 6th week in a row above 55 miles. The legs are feeling kind of heavy at times.  On the other hand, I do feel stronger on the uphills.  I've been trying to maintain 10,000' of vert a week just to prep for Speedgoat and Wasatch.  We'll see how next week goes as we'll be on vacation back in Illinois.

Restaurant review - Karen and I tried a sushi restaurant that we've been wanting to try.  Ohana Sushi is in a strip mall area so we thought it would be of similar quality.  Well, this place was pretty nice actually.  Very tiny inside, maybe a dozen tables total.  The menu had all sorts of different dishes, but we wanted sushi.  For being in a so-so location, their prices are kind of high.  We ended up with no drinks, and ordered four sushi rolls and a vegetable tempura appetizer.  The sushi was very good.  The presentation was nice and where a lot of places will pile on the rice and skimp on the innards, this place cuts back on the rice and gives you more of what's inside.  Good stuff, but we like sushi.  Service was average.  Not sure we would go there again as we like to hit the all you can eat sushi place in Layton.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Week of July 1

So, the year is half done and what have I accomplished.  Well, here's a short little synopsis of the year's running activities to date.
Total miles since January 1- 1373.44
Total miles for the month of June - 266.17 or 62.11 miles/week or 8.87 miles/day on average
Total vert for the month of June - 44,351' of up, or 10,348'/week or 1478.4'/day
Total racing miles - 171.2
Races so far - Striders Winter Training Series 5K, Moab Red Hot 55K, Salt Flats 100 mile, Timp Trail Marathon, Logan Peak Trail Run
This is my highest mileage year of running so far.  I'm about 300 miles ahead of last year at this time.  I wish I had had this kind of mileage last year prepping for the Slam.  The mileage is paying off I think.  In every race I've run this year, my times have been faster than ever. Hmmm, maybe there is something to this training thing.

Sunday - Went with Karen for a few miles in the morning.  Started at 22nd street and ended up going up to Waterfall Canyon.  Made for a nice little run.  The legs were a little tired from the race, but no soreness at all.  Miles - 5.05

Monday - Went out for a lunch time run.  Thank goodness there was a breeze.  It did get kind of warm.  I stuck to the paved bike path since it seems to be a little cooler and not quite as exposed.  Went out again in the evening with Karen.  She had 4 miles on her schedule wo we went up to Wheeler and ran to Art Nord and back.  I wasn't feeling it going up or coming back down.  She smoked me on the downhill.  Still, it was a nice evening to be out running in the woods.  Miles - 9.24

Tuesday - Actually went out for a morning run.  Karen goes to Pilates on Tuesday mornings, so this gave me a chance to go out then instead of at lunch.  Ugh!  It was hard to get moving that early.  Only had time for around four miles on the road through the BDO.  After work I went up to Wheeler and ran up to Art Nord and back down Ice Box Canyon.  That's about all I had time for.  Miles - 8.8

Wednesday - 4th of July!  Went with Aric, Shawn, Ryan, and John for a little trail jaunt at Snowbasin.  We ran the Needles trail to Needles Lodge, then Ryan and I headed for the top of Mt. Ogden while the rest headed down.  Perfect day for a run, nice breeze, awesome company, beautiful scenery.  When Ryan and I finally got back to the parking lot, Shawn had a couple of cold ones waiting.  Nothing like a cold beer after a run like that.  So what if it was 10am.  Definitely a good time.  Miles - 16.75

Thursday - It rained a good chunk of the day and since I'm a weather weenie, I didn't go run.  However, I did go to Pilates and since I didn't run and the rain was over by then, I rode my bike there and back.  Makes for a nice little 12 mile ride.  Miles - 0 (I figure the bike ride was equivalent to about 5 miles of running).

Friday - Went for the usual noon run of around five miles.  Had big plans to go out after work while on the island.  Went out there to help out with the annual moonlight bike ride.  Every year on the Friday closest to the full moon in July, there's a moonlight bike ride on Antelope Island.  This year there were 1700 riders.  Parking all of those cars can be something of a pain, but the 22 mile bike ride was pretty fun.  Just moseyed down the road making sure other bikers were ok.  Didn't get home and in bed until after 3am, but that's usually the case with this event.  Miles - 5.0

Saturday - Well, after about three hours of sleep I got up and headed up to Snowbasin to go for a little run with some friends.  Karen came up later so she could get her nine miles in.  Ended up with a little under 16 total.  The post run festivities in the parking lot were just as fun as the run.  Miles - 15.9

Weekly total - 60.74 (not including the bike miles)

Restaurant review - So this week we went to one of our favorite Mexican Restaurants, The Red Iguana down in Salt Lake City.  This place is awesome.  The food is always good.  I had some sort of tortilla like things with cheese in them, covered in mole sauce, rice and beans.  Very tasty.  They are known for their many different types of mole sauce.  Can't remember what Karen had, but she liked it.  Dessert was chocolate flan for Karen and a true fried ice cream for me.  Good stuff.  The service was exceptional as well.  We love going there.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Week of June 24th-Logan Peak Race Report and Soul and Bones review

Sunday - Needed a somewhat long run so I shot for 20 and ended up a little short.  Went up to Wheeler Canyon and ran around up there.  Didn't get started until 10am and it got warm.  Ran up to the Green Pond trailhead, then back down the middle fork trail to the junciton to go up to Sardine.  Went up and around Sardine, came back down through Ice Box canyon.  Thank goodness for Wheeler Creek.  I drank from it twice when I was getting close to running out of water in the hydration pack.  The going got a little slower as I was coming back down due to the heat.  Usually heat doesn't bother me too much, but it was 95 at the trailhead when I finished.  So, yeah, it was a little warm.  Saw lots of horses, mountain bikes and a few hikers.  Only one other runner.  Overall not too bad a run.  I felt pretty good the entire time other than getting a little warm.  Stopped by the grocery store on the way home and bought a half gallon of chocolate milk.  I had most of it polished off by the time I got home, and that was only a 15 minute drive.  Here's the link to the run.
Miles - 18.7 with 3200' of gain

Monday - Went and did my usual lunchtime run.  It was a warm day out on the road, but there was a breeze to help a little bit.  Managed to go my usual route, but didn't really push it too much.  After work the temps were around 100.  I had plans to go up to Wheeler after work where I knew it would be a little cooler, and it was.  Instead of 100 degrees, it was 92 when I started.  I wasn't sure how far I'd get given that I had a massage appointment later in the evening, but I thought I could get at least six miles in.  I ended up feeling pretty good and managed to do the entire Wheeler/Green Pond/Middle Fork route.  Ran most of the uphill to Green Pond and really tried to push it back on the downhill.  Actually felt pretty good.  There were a few mountain bikes out, but other than that it was pretty quiet.  I think the extra calories and iron supplement that I've been taking have really helped with my energy levels.  Even though I ran 19 on Sunday, the additional 13 today never was a chore.  Miles - 13.9

Tuesday - Had big plans to go out at lunch, and I did, just not running.  Karen, my lovely wife called and wanted to go to lunch.  Hmmm, run or lunch with my wife.  Pretty much a no-brainer there.  I did go for a few miles after work, but it wasn't anything to write home about.  Went to Pilates class after my run.  We really hit the triceps tonight and thy are sore.  Miles - 4.2

Wednesday - Did my usual lunch time route.  It wasn't too hot.  Averaged about an 8:50 pace.  After work I went up to Wheeler.  I had big plans to run the Green Pond/Middle Fork route, but ended up going out for about 3.3 and turning around.  Just enjoyed the run.  Stopped a few times just to listen to the quiet, birds, flowing water.  It was nice.  Miles - 11.8

Thursday - It was too damn hot to run at lunch, well into the 90's.  I would have baked and I usually don't mind running in the heat.  I do have my limits.  Had plans to bolt from work and go to Wheeler around 4pm, but didn't get my run started until after 5pm.  Since I had a pilates class at 6:30, that left me enough time to get in about 4.5 miles.  I was kind of disappointed with that, but oh well.  Miles - 4.5

Friday - Went up to Wheeler again.  That's the place to go when the temps hit 100.  Did a variation on the Wheeler/Green Pond route and ended up with about an extra mile.  Would have gone further except I told Karen that I would be home by a certain time and that time was fast approaching.  Miles - 9.6

Saturday - Race report time.  Today I ran the Logan Peak Trail Run for the fourth time.  This is a nifty little race, about 26-27 miles, that starts near Dry Canyon in Logan, goes UP Dry Canyon, then turns south and goes around Logan Peak. Once on the east side of the peak, we get to run up to the top of Logan Peak, admire the views, run back down, keep going around the north side of the peak and back down Dry Canyon.  It's a very scenic and tough run. 
This year I had no real expectations except I wanted to finally go under six hours.  My three previous attempts have resulted in a 6:15 twice, and a 6:08 two years ago.  Since I had a lot more mileage in this year, I thought I might have a chance this time.

Some pre race instructions

So I got the the park about 5:45am, just enough time to get checked in and get ready for the race.  Bruce had some minor glitches that resulted in us not getting started until about 6:15am.  No big deal except that those 15 minutes meant the temps went up just a bit.  This year was by far the warmest start and the warmest race.  Anyway, I intentionally started towards the back of the pack.  Knowing that there's a 3000 foot climb in the first 4.5 miles means that I didn't want to bolt out of the gate. 
So as we went up the canyon I did manage to steadily pass a number of people and move up in the pack.  Once I hit the first aid station at the top of the canyon, I managed to get in and out and pass a couple more. 

Looking back down from the top of Dry Canyon

At the aid station, we turn right and traverse along the side of the canyon until we get to the west sied, then we turn south and head around the south end of the mountain.  At this point we were treated to some stunning views of the Cache Valley and Providence Canyon some 3000 feet below.  We could also see the Wellsville mountains as well as a bunch of other peaks. 

Looking west over the Cache Valley
The air was still cool at this point and since we now had a slight downhill, I turned up the pace some.  I knew that we would drop about 500 feet over the next few miles and I managed to pick off a few more runners.  We eventually hit a 4 x 4 road and the climbing started again.  Most of it wasn't too bad, short somewhat steep stretches followed by some easy rollers.  The road along here is pretty washed out and you end up running really off canter.  Kind of hard on the ankles.  After a few miles of this, the road got noticably better and started to swing towards the north. 

Along the east side of the course
 I knew that the next aid station wasn't too far off.  What I didn't know was that a new road to the peak had been graded.  The old road was washed out, often snow covered, even in June, and was a lot steeper in places.  This new road was quite runnable for most of the way to the peak.  Along the climb up I managed to pick off a couple more runners, but also had a couple pass me.  I hit the top of the peak right at the 3:30 mark in the race.  Bruce advertises the distance as 28 miles, so the top of the peak was right at the half way point.  I knew that the rest of the race was primarily downhill, so I thought I had a real chance at a sub-6 time if I kept the pace up.  After a minute at the top enjoying the view and taking a couple of pictures, I started down. 

The goal was to run nonstop all the way to the aid station.  I stopped at the aid station at the bottom of the peak road just long enough to fill my water bottles and down a gel and a couple of cokes then bolted.  My legs still felt pretty good and I knew I'd be able to run the next section pretty strong.  Sure enough, I did, picking off a couple more runners in the process.  The next several miles are mostly rolling terrain between 8300'-8800' and I was kind of surprised at how well I was able to run at that altitude.  That bodes well for Speedgoat next month.  Running north along a FS road for a mile or so brought me to some sweet single track along the north side of the mountain.  Along here you get some awesome views of Logan Canyon and the mountains to the north.

Looking north
It was along this section that I crossed the only snow patch on the trail this year.  It was a whopping 10 feet worth.  Usually there's large stretches of snow, expecially going up to the top of Logan Peak.  There was nothing along the road up this year.  Definitely a dry winter and spring. 

So after a few miles along the north side, the trail swings south again and heads for the top of Dry Canyon, and the screaming downhill to the finish. 

Along the north side

By now the temperature was warm, probably around 80, and we were in the sun.  I was running out of water but I knew there was a spring along this section of trail.  Sure enough, the spring was running great.  Nice cold clear water.  Nothing like drinking that and splashing it all over you to cool off. 

Heading back to the top of Dry Canyon
I hit the last aid station (it was also the first one) at the 5:12 mark.  That meant I had 48 minutes to go almost 5 miles in order to break 6 hours.  The trail back down Dry Canyon can be steep and very rocky in places.  Trying to go too fast would invite disaster if I fell.  Still, I ttried to go as fast as I could given the terrain.  Once I got below the switchbacks near the top, and into the trees, the trail wasn't quite as steep and rocky and I was able to open up the pace.  I did manage to catch a couple more people along this section.  By the time I got to the bottom of the canyon, I had about 8 minutes left.  I knew that the last section involved a couple of short steep ups plus some flat.  I was kind of in a panic.  I wanted to break 6, knew that I had a reasonable chance still, so I picked it up as best I could.Once I left the trail, it's about a two block run through a neighborhood and into the park.  I was sprinting by now, my watch said 5:56.  I came flying on to the grass in the park and headed for the finish.  I could see the finish line clock and it said 5:57.  Yep, I finally broke six hours.  Not by much, 5:57:10 was my final time, but I broke it.  I was spent.  My usual post race beer had to wait for about a half hour until I could get my stomach settled down and my body cooled off and hydrated.  It was a good beer though when I finally get drink it.  All in all a good day.  I really enjoy running this race.  It's very tough, very scenic and I get the chance to see and hang out with friends.  My time was good enough for 38th place out of 115.  Top third, I'll take it.  It was also good enough for third in my age group of old men.
Here's the GPS track.
Here's a nifty picture of the route.

So, it was a pretty good week.  Lots of miles, lots of vert, a race that I did reasonably well at.
Total miles for the week - 89.2
Total vert - A lot, almost 16000'
Now if I can just keep this up for the next six weeks or so.

Restaurant review - So Friday Karen and I decided to give Soul and Bones another try.  If you recall from several weeks ago.  I kind of slammed the place due to th severe lack of service.  Well, I'm pleased to report that the service this time was very good.  Our drinks were brought out quickly, our appitiser of deep fried cheese curds was quick and tasted good.  Karen had the etoufee and said it was good but didn't like it as well as the creole she had the first time.  I had the one meat and two sides, with the brisket, macaroni and cheese and collard greens.  The brisket was good, as was the mac and cheese, but collard greens without bacon is just ok.  If you want to do collard greens right, you have to throw in some diced bacon.  Gives it that added bit of flavor.  For dessert we had a slice of the peanut butter pie.  It was better than the key lime pie we had last time, but Karen wasn't real thrilled with it.  So, general consensus, we'll continue to go there.  Added bonus, they had a pretty good band playing that night as well.