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.

1 comment:

  1. I can not imagine running that far! You are truly gifted!