Almost as if on cue, the weather cooled and a storm rolled into SLC on Aug 31st to mark the departure of the blazing hot months of June, July, and August. It seems the mercury has not only dipped, but plowed heavily into the mid-90’s and beyond during nearly every day of the last three months. There were a few exceptions, like that time or two that it rained, but otherwise, it’s been nothing but stiflingly hot. Rattlesnakes Continue reading ‘Goodbye, August. And July, and June.’
Tag Archive for 'mountain running'
“Life lived amidst tension and busyness needs leisure. Leisure that recreates and renews. Leisure should be a time to think new thoughts, not ponder old ills.” –C. Neil Strait
Here’s what I’ve been up to over the past few days in trying to do my part:
Friday found me on Baldy with J-Bo; our first time on that summit together without skis.
We stood above Main Chute and talked about dropping in, naturally. This, despite the absence of enough snow to craft a snowball with in the chute. A brief pause for sadness over winter’s absence…
(pause represented by space…)
Saturday was the Speedgoat 50K, which I watched by running around to various vantage points on and around Hidden and Baldy Peaks. Ran into a couple people I knew who were also spectating, and watched 8 or 10 people I know follow some very fast fellas around a tough course.
Sunday it was on to Sugarloaf with Todd and Joel from Minus33. After some lunch at the Porcupine, we headed up Emigration Canyon and got in some more mileage before calling it a day.
Monday turned into a pretty solid rest day as lift serviced downhill mountain biking at Deer Valley was on the docket, again with the Minus33 crew.
Joel was game to give the Pfeifferhorn a shot on Tuesday despite weather that threatened lightning and rain. Aside from a few drops, it turned out perfectly.
The ankle is holding up on downhills, although it’s still swollen. Mildly painful, but I haven’t rolled it substantially since my mishap three weeks ago. With any luck – and more stretching – it’ll heal up okay and retain flexibility..
After a short PR style effort on Monday in Lamb’s Canyon – including the first downhill running I’d done in almost two weeks – the injured ankle held up well enough that I figured I could try to satiate my itch for something a bit longer. I headed to Box Elder, uncertain what I would find after a forest fire struck in the area a few weeks ago. Turns out the main trail is unaffected, while a spur that heads closer to the burn zone is marked as closed.
Don’t know if it was the previous day’s effort or the smoldering temperature, but I felt trashed right out of the trailhead. I spent nearly the Continue reading ‘Box Elder and the Burn’
100k, as in 100,000 vertical feet, not 60-odd miles.
Lately, I’ve been doing some reading of books by mountain oriented folks, absorbing the concepts, and doing plenty of thinking about them. In a word, I’d say this has been inspiring. Mountain fitness is a frequent topic, regardless of the author’s particular discipline. It’s hard to go big in the mountains without being in shape. This is part of why getting into the mountains regularly is important – maintaining fitness is a lot easier than building it up. One has to re-build their fitness if they stay away from the mountains for any decent length of time.
Clearly, exercise is something one does to maintain or even increase their physical conditioning. After some of the concepts read, I’ve had a simple realization. Although I get mountain exercise pretty regularly, I rarely set concrete metrics to hit. It’s often been enough for me to leave it a bit nebulous, something like – I’m working on getting stronger. And, according to Continue reading ‘Project 100k’
Did a loop around Grandeur Peak this afternoon. There are several trail variations. I headed up the familiar west slope trail, reached the summit, and ran off the backside. Missed the turnoff onto the Pipeline trail. No great loss, but it would have kept more of my day on mountain trails. As it was, I spilled out onto the Mill Creek road at the Church Falls trailhead, then ran the road down and around, back to the car. I haven’t been doing much road running lately, so maybe it was easier than usual to justify enjoying the smoothness beneath my feet.
The cars in that canyon are something else though – they didn’t offer up a whole lot of room to this runner. With narrow shoulders and plenty of windy twists to the road, I suppose it’s harder than usual to give much extra space without threatening a head-on collision. (Put that in the mental notes for next time)
Anyway, this route is 10 miles, and gaining the summit offers up about 3,300 vertical. This route is mostly down from there, so that’s about the sum total of the vert.
Didn’t see anyone on the ascent, but the descent revealed plenty of folks hiking up from the Church Falls trailhead. Maybe this approach is more popular because it’s shaded. Or because it’s almost a thousand vertical less, since one drives upwards a good distance to the trailhead. Either way, it was a strange juxtaposition of busy/unbusy routes to the same place.
The colors are bright and vivid right now. Pretty spectacular Fall hues – hope they stick around for a while. They always seem to disappear too fast!
Lopped twenty minutes off my previous fastest trailhead to summit to trailhead time on the Pfeifferhorn today, set only three weeks ago. Still getting faster, still not fast. Fortunately, when one is as slow as I am, there’s plenty of room to trim time from personal records. Still, the effort had me huffing and puffing up and down the mountain – no surprise there.
But during the extended, labored breathing session, I thought some about what it takes to set a speed record – personal, or for a peak (or for a peak enchainment, as has become the far more common standard). Of course, personal records are different than THE speed record, as recent Continue reading ‘What’s Behind a Speed Record?’