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Month: November 2013

Twin Peaks in the Dark

Twin Peaks in the Dark

Following on the smashing success of last weeks pre-dawn run up City Creek Canyon to Ensign Peak, I thought I’d go for a repeat.  This time I took the trail on the SE side of the canyon, following it to the East and up to both of the Avenue Twin Peaks.  Aside from a dog who brushed against my leg and freaked me out, the run up was uneventful.  On the way back, I followed the north ridgeline (which looks down into City Creek Canyon on the backside) as far as I could.  I reached the end of the ridge at a knoll and the trail kind of just stopped.  I thought I might be able to descend and find something down on the City Creek Canyon side.  Mistake.  I ended up bushwacking back SW until I hit a small gulch which I followed back up to the main trail system.

7.5 miles @ 14.01 min/mile and 2,148 ft. elevation

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In the gulch I did find these though.  There are apparently quite a few spots up there with wrecked cars.

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I was another fun run, but the last AM one I was able to do before winter set in.

SLC from the Avenues Twin Peaks

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Protein for Recovery

Protein for Recovery

So, I was wondering how I could reduce my DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.  You know, how on the 2nd day after a big workout or run you are crippled with stiff sore muscles.  Well, if I wasn’t such an idiot, or had just done a little reading, I would have learned that you should ingest certain things to RECOVER from strenuous activity.  Namely, protein. So, right after the morning run two days ago I chugged a protein shake.  And guess what, I wasn’t sore yesterday and am not very sore today at all.  Hooray!  I wish someone would have told me about this sooner.  It would have seriously helped some rough sore periods a few months ago.

First Early Morning Run, City Creek to Ensign Peak

First Early Morning Run, City Creek to Ensign Peak

Fitting in a good trail run is tough when you have a family that A. Demands your time; and B. With whom you really want to spend quality time.  The most obvious solution is to run at times when I would otherwise not be spending with family.  Or, when I would otherwise be sleeping.  I decided to try out waking up early and hitting a trail with a headlamp.  I am 100% an evening workout type of guy.  Waking up early to work out sounds miserable, and any time I have tried to institute such a policy, it usually doesn’t even make it to day 1.  The alarm goes off and I balk. But, I thought that going on a trail run might just be FUN enough to get me out of bed.

I was right.

I awoke early, and rather than running a local trail, coming home to shower, and then driving down to work in bad rush-hour traffic, I decided to drive down to City Creek Canyon, near where I work, doing a run in the pre-dawn morning and then showering at work.  I borrowed a headlamp from my neighbor, and hit the trail at 6:00 AM.  I went up the trail on the NW side of City Creek Canyon, looped it West and eventually around to Ensign Peak and back.

7.2 miles @ 13:01 min/mile with 1,584 ft. elevation.
It was one of the funnest runs I have done.

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I’ll have to say it was smashing success!  I was showered and in my office by about 8:15 or so, feeling awake and energized.

Pre-Dawn Light over SLC

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Awake!

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Ensign Peak

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Exploring Steed Creek with Aaron

Exploring Steed Creek with Aaron

So far, as most of my runs had been solo – I was sticking to the Davis Creek Canyon drainage – just because that is where I had gone before.  This Saturday morning I hooked up with a guy I met online (sounds bad, right?) on a FB page of other local trail runners.  He showed me up the canyon just north of Davis Creek – the much bigger Steed Creek Canyon.  The trail was much better traveled, and the view from the top of the cliffs was great.  If you follow it past the cliffs, which I will have to do next time, you can supposed hook up to Bountiful Peak and some other trails that lead back down other canyons.  SUPPOSEDLY.  I hear the tops of all the trails are overgrown.

4.2 miles @ 20:18 min/mile and 2,177 ft. elevation

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9 November 2013 Steed Creek to Cliffs

A Steep Bushwhack Up Triumph Trail

A Steep Bushwhack Up Triumph Trail

Apparently never content with running trails I have already explored, I set off on this Saturday morning to explore another new route.  I had previously failed in following Triumph Trail up the north side of Davis Creek Canyon, but had since believed to have spotted where I took a wrong turn.  So, with a new set of running tights to protect against some chilly morning air, I set off.

The first part of the trail I already knew, and had even taken my kids up it to the lower waterfall.  Previously I had veered north on one of the BST firebreak roads too early, and attempted an ascent up the open face north of the canyon, when it turns out that the turnoff to the Triump Trail is just right before another trail breaks right, down to the waterfall.  I followed Triumph up to the left (north) and quickly found the trail was well established and easy to follow…for a while.

The trail was steep, and the higher I went, the harder it became to follow the trail.  Soon, it was lost amidst rock faces and hillsides of impenetrable scrub oak.  Thankfully, someone had recently tied pink ribbons along the trail, so with some surveying ahead – even though it took a while sometimes – I kept finding a ribbon ahead and moving towards it.

By the time I reached the “top” where a the trail hit a prominent outcropping of a ridge, I had climbed about 2,200 ft. in about 1.8 miles of trail.  Pretty steep.  My legs were sore, but worse, the trail was completely lost.  I kept on see an occasional pink ribbon and older pop can bottom nailed to trees – but the terrain between them was overgrown with no trail.  I fought my way higher up the ridge for a bit, hoping to find a better stretch of trail, but to no avail.  The time I had available to run was also about up – my wife needed me back at the house.

That’s when I panicked a bit.

I did NOT want to pick my way back down the steep, rocky, overgrown and poorly marked trail I had just crawled up.  So, I decided to just cut straight down the drainage to my right, which I knew eventually funneled to the Old North Trail and Hell Hole – from which point I knew the trails and could quickly get back to my car.  The descent through the pines was a bit scratchy and my legs got covered in burrs (see below) but as I reached the bottom of the drainage – where I assume a creek sometimes runs – a trail popped up on my left.  What a blessed sight.  I jumped on it. started running at full stride.  I came over a small ridge and immediately recognized I was at the point on Old North where I had previously once ascended to.  Hallelujah.  I bombed down to the car and made it home just in time.

Only 3.7 miles @ 19:32 per mile, but a full 2,229 ft of elevation!

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It did take me a good hour to pick all of these off though:

2 November 2013 Triumph to Old North 2

Part way up Triumph, looking down Davis Creek Canyon

2 November 2013 Triumph to Old North