Adventures In Running

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Little + Big + Ouch x 2

Needed to burn off some stress, so headed over and did the Little Cottonwood Canyon Trail last night after work. My Garmin kept losing satellite reception for some reason, so just turned it off after a half mile and ran free. The mind and legs did better on the downhill and I am getting back to being able to pick my way down rockier sections again.

My right ankle has been hurting me a lot for the last week or so and I think it started after my run on this same trail a week or so ago. Maybe the uphill sections and downhill sections were aggravating my tendon injury from the previous year. I considered bagging a scheduled run the next morning, but decided I wanted to do it too badly and would go to a doctor afterwards, if needed.

Early this morning I met Leslie and Harold Peterson and some of their family (some who had never run trails before) and we went up to run the Wasatch Crest in Big Cottonwood Canyon. We ran from Guardsman Pass to the spine, then down to Desolation Lake and over to Mill D. A great 9.3 mile run. My ankle hurt each time I started a new uphill section, but then would quit bugging me.

After dropping Leslie off at her car, I then headed over to Brighton Ski Resort and did another 1.3 miles around Silver Lake and a little towards Twin Lakes, but the ankle was bothering me – so I decided I had better quit before I did something seriously wrong to it.

As I neared the bottom of Big Cottonwood Canyon I came around a corner just a few seconds after a bike crash had occurred. I used my Jeep to block the lane since the bicyclist that was seriously injured was laying half on the road and half on the gravel shoulder. Several people stopped to help until the ambulance arrived. I had blankets in the back of the Jeep that we used to pad her where the gravel was digging into her. Her name was Jennifer and she had done a double flip on the bike and had smacked her head, had road rash all over (probably the worst case I had seen) and was worried that she had broken her hip when it impacted the pavement at about 40 mph or faster. She wasn't bleeding seriously, so we tried to keep her talking and assess her condition before the Fire Department arrived. By the time they came we had a physician who was riding his bike up the canyon and a nurse who had been passing by also assisting. Poor woman – she was going to be hurting something awful. Her fiancĂ©e had wiped out trying to not crash into her, but he was walking around, although I had scraped off most of one butt cheek when he crashed. They are getting married next Saturday and she kept telling him she was sorry she had hurt him and that she would be injured for their wedding. We were all just glad she had a helmet on and had survived the crash.

Later this afternoon I got up to walk around the house and my ankle was hurting a lot – especially on stairs – so went by the After Hours clinic. They recommended I get an appointment with a podiatrist and put me back in my boot for at least a week. Probable tendon injury. Bummer.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Draper in the Dark

I decided to do my long run tonight instead of tomorrow because of some plans I have for the day, so waited until a little after 7 and drove to Draper to run the Draper Canal Trail (paved) out to Point of the Mountain and back. It took a while to get there because of major holes in the road from road destruction and backtracking. I started late enough that it was cooling down and only the first hour was ridiculously hot. It got dark just as I reached the turnaround point. I had underestimated the lighting on the trail (none) and did not bring a light of any kind, so decided to do an out and back instead of a loop onto the remaining portion of the Porter Rockwell Trail because I had seen where all the horse and dog droppings were and that there weren't any major cracks or limbs on the path I ran out and did not want to risk injury. It was so nice and quiet and peaceful. I really enjoyed running in the dark. It is a good thing I am a slow runner because a couple of times I almost missed the bars that prevent vehicles from getting on the trail and that would have been painful to slam into them at waist height.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Little Cottonwood Trail

I was in the mood to run trails today since Leslie Peterson and I had planned a long run before she decided to go to the 'Beach House'. I was not sure how well I would do since I had a hard time falling asleep last night and was functioning on only 4 hours of sleep time.

After work I changed and headed up to the Little Cottonwood Trail at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon (what a coincidence). I have not done much hill running this year, so this was a good way to jump in. The trail is 3.25 miles each way and climbs about 1200 feet in that distance. Last year when I tried to run this trail I found a lot of it washed out from spring floods and actually went past the closed signs and had to balance over washed out bridges.

This year the trail and bridges have been repaired. The trail is in great shape and they have done a lot of work digging diversion ditches and placing 'speed bumps' on the trail to ensure it won't get washed out in the next few years.

Since it has been relatively hot and humid this year, I decided to run 100 steps/walk 100 steps on the way up. This year I have had so many runs where I am almost blinded from the sting of sweat in my eyes and it occurred again today. I reached the top in 58:02 and sat on a rock for a few minutes to get my heart and breathing under control. The ground under me was soaked with sweat after just a few minutes. Plenty hot out! Ran the entire 3.25 miles down to the Jeep in 45:01. I want to track this every few weeks to see if I can improve both the uphill and downhill times. I could tell my 'route sensing' abilities are not where they used to be – so need to spend more times on trails to improve that. If you run trails enough – you get a sense of where to pick a path that has the least chance of providing you with catching a toe or face plant opportunities.

I can tell tonight that I need to do lots more hills. After sitting here working on documentation for a Kindle app for 2 hours, I stood up to go downstairs and was so stiff I could hardly walk. Ah – the joys of getting in shape.

One sign of progress – my son, Kevin, told me tonight that my legs are looking fit. He's a good critic – so I accept his kind judgment.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Increasing Mileage

I have several ambitious plans bouncing around in the back of my head for 2012. A lot of them depend on getting in shape, losing weight and increasing my mileage again. So – as of today I increase my race plans for the remainder of 2011 from one race to three races.

September – Dirty Dash – a 10K at Soldier Hollow involving running, wallowing, obstacle courses, and lots of fun.

October – Mountain View Trail Half Marathon – I've volunteered at this race on Antelope Island – this year I will run it. And maybe I'll turn around and run it back to the start when I am done. I would just have to figure out logistics for having fluids and gu available. Maybe just carry it all on my back?

November – more fun on Antelope Island. Jim Skaggs started a 100K last year and this year added a 50K option. This includes trails I have not yet run on the island. With a 12 hour cutoff – I could walk the course and finish in time.