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Yesterday, Cameron Hargis and I drove to Mapleton, where I dropped off my truck. Then we headed south to Salem, where I had finished my first 10 mile run on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, last Friday.
We got our gear together, then started off.
The first few miles were great. Not too much to talk about. Reasonable effort. But we got warm and had to lose our hats and long sleeved hoodie (me) and jacket (him).
However, at mile 4, we lost the shelter of a ridge and all of a sudden, there was a TON of wind coming from the Spanish Fork Canyon, where the local wind farm generates its electricity. Very cold. We stopped again and put our gloves and jackets back on. Gale force (in my mind) winds pounded us as we ran for another two miles.
Outside of the wind farm, we finally settled into a decent pace and kept moving.
Miles 4 to 6 was just me trying to find out where the heck the BST picked up after crossing the railroad tracks and canal. We ran for at least 2 miles, just looking for the trail. That was a bit of a mistake on my part.
Miles 7 to 10 were just climbing. At one point, I was hanging onto a fence to keep from dropping back down to the bottom of a massive hill.
Cameron was patient with me, as we moved along this route. He ran hard and didn’t let himself get too far ahead as he waited for me.
This was a tough route and next week’s route looks to be just a brutal.
Tonight, after work, Wendy and I drove in separate vehicles, down to Payson. I dropped my truck off, 10 miles north of the beginning point of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Then I hopped in her van and the whole family headed for the start of the trail.
Wendy warned me to be careful and I hopped out after bidding my family goodbye.
Within a few seconds, I started off (it’s best not to overthink this kind of stuff.)
After I hit the one mile mark on my watch, I noticed that this was going to be hard. I also tried to remember to drink every once in a while from my Camel-bak. It was a good move, because I really didn’t feel like drinking much of the time, but when I finished, I was parched.
I have to admit, I was worried, because I have a tendency to let my mind wander to things that frighten me. For instance, I just knew that there was a mountain lion or cougar, just waiting for its appetite to heat up. I felt very vulnerable in the dark, by myself, trudging along in the snow.
My newly acquired YakTrax were a wise investment. There were many points where I know I would have slipped in only my Altras. Having the ‘Trax on them really helped me to stay on the trail and not spend extra energy slipping around.
Fortunately, I was able to find my truck at the end of this. I was grateful it was over, but it was a solid start to my quest to eventually cover all 280 miles of the BST. If only more people knew about this amazing trail.
Edit 8 Feb 2014: More thoughts from a Monday morning:
I’ve had some time to think about this run and wanted to add some detail:
-The last mile to 2 miles was in ankle-deep snow. Very difficult to run; had to hike much of it, because my YaxTrax kept slipping off of the shoe toes.
-It got dark within a few miles of this run, so I ran most of it in the dark. Fortunately the snow reflected enough city light to show the way. However, I think I’d prefer to run during the day, especially since the snow is covering much of the path.
This morning, I set off in 10 degree cold to keep my commitment that I’d run in the morning (I told Wendy that was my intent.)
I immediately looked out for Venus, which was supposed to be very bright. I located it approximately to the East.
Most of the snow from yesterday was melted, so I had to deal with some ice, some of which tried to kill me as I slowed down on the Provo River Path.
Overall, this was not a bad run and I even picked up the pace (from yesterday) to a 9:11 clip. Not too bad for getting back into things.
This morning I was sore (still) from Saturday. However, I decided to see what a 4 mile run would do to my body, so I set off.
It was pretty painful for the first mile or two. But the last two miles I didn’t feel so much pain. I spent a lot of time searching for my Altra tracks among the 5-6 other pair of tracks I saw out on the Provo River Trail.
The things we think of on a run.
On Friday, I saw a picture of one of my Facebook friends, Erika, who was happily running along a snowy ledge, up in Provo Canyon. I was inspired.
So Saturday, I drove up to Y Mountain and started off, Southward, on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. It was beautiful. Off to my right, I took in a view of my beautiful, icy Utah Lake. Just gorgeous. If you stick to running on asphalt and never venture off the road, you will never get the full implication of what it is to live here in Utah.
The drawback to this kind of scenery is that the terrain takes you up an down, up, up and down. I didn’t feel the pain at the time. Mostly I just felt like I didn’t have a ton of energy. But now I realize that because I “took off” most of February (the pneumonia, remember?), I have a lot of work to do to get back to being able to run longer distances, and certainly rougher terrain.
Along the way, I ran in to a couple of ladies walking a dog, a guy with a rifle (ok?) and nothing else. It’s mostly just me on this trail. I had actually intended to run about 6-7 miles, but noticed that after a while there were no more footprints on this trail. Except for one set, quite fresh: Big Paws. Being an inexperienced naturalist with no bear spray, or what have you, I turned around and called five miles “good enough”.
I felt myself slipping on several of the hills in this run, which might account (I’ve read) for some of the pelvic pain I’ve been experiencing. I was running in my road Altras, so who knows. For sure I need to invest in some crampons, or whatever, so that I’m not all over the icy stretches of trail.
This week I had a small revelation: It’s interesting that during a run it’s a real struggle to take in the view, notice the beauty around me, appreciate that I’m making a great memory that will likely be something I mull on in my older years, when I’m no longer able to run on trails like the BST. I spend a lot of time concentrating on “getting up that hill”, or keeping a pace, making it to the finish, etc. However I then spend the rest of the day and the stretch of time leading up to my next run, romanticizing how great it is to run. Sort of funny, really.
Two days after: My right shin, both calves, left achilles, right arch, aforementioned pelvis are still sore. Took today (Monday) off. Will see about a run tomorrow.
Regrets: I took nary a picture. No bear spray.
What I liked: The trail. Man, I wish I could run this trail every day.
Thoughts: Man, I have GOT to get my kids into running, someday. This is one of the greatest parts of my life.
Yesterday I dropped by the Wasatch Running Center and picked up a pair of Gore Mythos Running Tights. I’ve been running in some black tights that I found at Costco and, to be honest, they’re not bad. But I needed something more for some super cold days we’ve been having.
Here’s how it went:
This morning I started off on a short run. The first mile wasn’t too bad, but I could feel the cold for a while. However, after the first 9 minutes (these are slow miles, these days) I really warmed up. In fact, my legs became an afterthought because my chest was freezing! Looks like I need to figure out some better clothing for the upstairs.
So the good news is that my energy is coming back. It’s nice to be back to the point where I want to run. It wasn’t easy (and, frankly, maybe it was a little harder than 3 miles), but at least my pace time is dropping (without extra exertion) and I’m starting to feel more like myself.
There was a point in the last mile where I actually felt pretty good.
Edit, later in the day: I should mention that my calves were pretty sore before I even started this run. They were sore after, as well. It’s 6:29 pm, now, and I’m considering a run in the morning…they feel better.
Yesterday I finally mustered up the energy for a two mile run. I drive down to the Provo River Parkway Trail so that I could actually enjoy what little of a run I did.
The first 1/2 mile was slow and I actually wondered if I should just cut it short and do a mile. But I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with that, so I turned around at the mile point for a two mile run. It was exhausting and when I got back to the truck, if felt like 6-7 miles. It was brutal.
However, it felt good to smell the Provo River and to be back on the trail. I coughed a bit and spit up some more bits of the pneumonia, but recovered fairly well, which I think means I can stretch it out a bit on Monday and go for three miles.
I almost forgot to mention: When I woke up today (the day after my two mile run), I was sore. It’s almost embarrassing that I can’t even run two miles without getting sore. Crazy how fast you lose it.
I just received my new Suunto Ambit 2 GPS triathlon/exploring watch, yesterday. Naturally today, I felt like taking it out for a spin. So I started my time and started a walk around OC Tanner.
By the time I finished one mile, I was exhausted. My back was a bit sore during the walk, but it feels ok. But the main issues was how much that one mile walk took out of me. It’s a little embarrassing to admit that I don’t know if I can run one mile without stopping.
The last three weeks (and now almost a month) of sickness has really messed me up. I’ve gone from PRing a marathon and 1/2 marathon time, to being utterly helpless when it comes down to a simple jog.
The good news is that I don’t think I set myself back by walking a mile. Walking might just be the thing I need to get myself back into shape. I can’t wait until I can PR again.