Adventures In Running

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pipeline Trail again

I had plans to run the Pipeline Trail weekly this summer until I started hearing tales of rattlesnakes being seen on single track. Since I am slow and usually run alone – it worries me that I might run into one and get bit – so have stayed on either roads, paved trails, or wider trails.

A bit cooler and overcast this morning – so I headed back up to run the Pipeline Trail. I just love it up there (once you get past all the cars doing to the cub scout camps). Lots of runners, hikers and bikers on the trail. Most of them were pretty gracious. I did get frustrated with one group of 5 mountain bikers that had one rider who either had lousy gears or was lousy at gearing and they would stop and wait for her to catch up – about the time I caught up and passed them and then had to give way for them to pass me again. It was getting annoying, but I think she dropped down at Church Fork since the other four passed me before then and I never saw her again.

A great day for running. Overcast and even slightly drizzly until 6 miles were down. After that the sun came out and things started heating up.

I moved up to 3 minutes running/1 minute walking for my long run today. I'll increase it to 4/1 in September. I am in no rush – just want my endurance to get back to where it was. I can feel the legs and the lungs slowly coming back. It wasn't a struggle today like it was when I ran the trail in June. And the last couple of miles I even put some speed on during the downhills. Nice to see a bit of progress.

As I was finishing up, I starting thinking of a song that expresses my love for my mountains and trails. I don't have a ton of happy memories from vacations as a child, but there was one song my mother taught us that we sang on trips that puts my sentiments out there:

I love the mountains,

I love the rolling hills,

I love the fountains,

I love the daffodils,

I love the firesides,

When the lights are low,

Boom di ada, boom di ada, boom di ada, boom di yay,

Boom. Boom. Boom.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jeremy Ranch Road

I had lots of good thoughts about running Jeremy Ranch Road up in Park City this winter. Every time I wanted to attempt it – we got snow. And I knew that it would not be packed enough to run.

I finally had a chance to run it yesterday – gave me some time to think of my daughter on her 24th birthday.

This road is a nice way to get some trail running in without actually being on trails. The road is either hardpacked dirt or gravel. Lots of uphills and downhills to challenge the legs. Lots of nature and not too many cars.

I think I might try to run this every 4 weeks or so during decent weather. I am a little chicken this year after hearing about all the rattlesnakes people are seeing on trails and worry about them because I almost always run alone.

During my run, I remembered (or thought of) the following:

  • Nature heals me. I need the mental refreshment it brings.
  • Pushing my limits is worth it. I get tired of sitting so much and love the challenge of pushing my muscles and lungs and heart. The aches and pains afterwards (and sometimes during) are so worth the outcome.
  • I really need to appreciate more the fact that I can move and run and walk with very little pain. I don't know where I would be without this physical release – but am really grateful I can experience it first hand.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Endurance builds slowly and star-gazing during the day

One of the hardest things about coming back to running is gaining endurance. It is very frustrating to see how far I had 'fallen' when I think of running a marathon of 26.2 miles and an ultramarathon of 50 miles in a 13 day period in October and then a half marathon and a marathon in two days in early January. Now, to struggle to run 5 miles and know that I have to take walking breaks just makes me feel pathetic and out of shape.

However, two weeks ago I was able to run 5 miles non-stop on the treadmill (granted at about 4-4.5 mph) and have done that a couple of times since then. Last Saturday I did my first long-run in several months and made it to 8 miles, but was pretty tired after that. Today, I set out to run 10 miles and was feeling pretty good, so ended up doing a total of 13 miles. I am currently running 2 minutes and then walking 1 minute on my long runs, but the fact that I am in double digits for the first time since the first week of March and have done long runs two weekends in a row makes me feel like the endurance is coming back and that I am making progress.

I had a really neat experience on my run this morning. I ran down to the Jordan River Parkway and then ran north on it to my turnaround point (5 miles based on the planned 10 mile run). Right where I turned around there were a bunch of telescopes being set up. I had to admit it was pretty unusual to see telescopes out in the daytime (it was a little after nine on a bright, sunny morning) so I wandered over and asked what they were doing. The owners were thrilled to show me. One said he was star-gazing. Of course, then it clicked on me that the sun is indeed a bright star. With the filters they had on you could see solar flares and all sorts of awesome features. I think I will try to run that way more often on Saturdays to see it again (they say they are out there about once a month).