Browsed by
Month: January 2016

Annual Winter Injuries

Annual Winter Injuries

As is my custom, in the winter I start running lots of flat pavement in the name of convenience and trying to rest recurrent IT band problems (vert makes that worse). With some IT issues stemming from my New Years Revolution Run, I decided to hit the pavement. In previous years that is what CAUSED my IT band pain and also what caused stress fractures on my ankles. This time, it let to hip bursitis (I think). Woot woot! So… that means resting and not running as much + stretching and strength training.

I am considering dropping my yearly mileage goals and focusing on strength training more so I can run injury free. I sometimes feel like the push for weekly miles leads me to run when I have a free hour rather than hitting the gym. With little free time, I think “I can’t waste this hour at the gym, I need to get in my miles!” I wonder if more gym time (especially during the winter when getting time on the trails, which don’t seem to cause these injuries, is harder anyways). Plus, I don’t have to run in the inversion smog in the gym. Hmmm.

Its a bummer too, because I have increasingly been enjoying evening runs on the pavement. It is also so convenient to just pop out my front door and run for an hour with minimal gearing-up or driving to/from a trailhead. I am also getting hooked on the exhilaration of running flat and “fast.” Fast for me, at least. However, I looked back at when I started running in 2013 and my average pavement pace actually IS a lot faster than it used to be. Progress! Now I just need to learn how to prep my body to be able to do it injury-free.

Some fun (and freezing) road runs.

Some trails, which didn’t seem to aggravate the hip!

I was stranded in Springville for 2 hours while a kid was at a birthday party, so I hit the BST. It reminded me of the BST above Farmington and Fruits Heights.

1
Springville BST was crawling with deer and carpeting in SO MUCH of their droppings. Also, a lost comrade.

Having seen some recent pictures of Grove Creek Canyon in the snow, I just had to hit it. Before work I trudged up to the bridge before work. Gorgeous.

Grove Creek morning snow run (2)
Gotta get above that inversion smog!
Grove Creek morning snow run (7)
Cliff-cicles
Grove Creek morning snow run (8)
The morning light bouncing off of North Timpanogos was breathtaking, but the pictures couldn’t capture it very well. So, black and white.
Finding Christmas Gifts

Finding Christmas Gifts

Last year and this year I organized a secret Santa type gift exchange for my trail-running club, the Wasatch Mountain Wranglers. People signed up, I assigned them a person to hide for, people then hid gifts up in the mountains, and I then relayed the instructions/clues to the people they hid for. Last year it was fun and this year people enjoyed it again. Since I didn’t assign anyone to myself (that would be weird) a few very kind Wranglers hid gifts for me. Awesome people. I had fun finding them in Battle Creek Canyon, up the Church Fork in Millcreek Canyon (Grandeur Peak Trail), and Bells Canyon. Thank you Ben, Rebecca, and the mystery secret wrangler. You guys were very generous to hide some treats for me. I am seriously grateful.

SO FUN!

finding gift in Battle Creek (5)
I was standing right in front of it for a minute before I saw it in the tree.
finding gift in Battle Creek (2)
Frozen falls up Battle Creek

Finding gift on church fork (2)
I had to dig a bit for this one.
Finding gift on church fork (4)
Trail conditions on Church Fork were perfect. I bombed down at unsafe speeds, loving the soft footfalls in the snow.

  

Bells Canyon gift retrieval (1)
A moment of sun peaking through on Bells Canyon and the foothills south
Bells Canyon gift retrieval (2)
There were a bunch of surprisingly bright orange trees.
Bells Canyon gift retrieval (4)
Wind or animals or people had knocked the ornaments off the tree and they were buried in the snow. I just picked a tree beside the trail, started digging and got lucky – spotting the shiny red.
Bells Canyon gift retrieval (5)
With some warm temps recently, the snow was getting SLOPPY! I didn’t notice it as much on my way up, but coming down fast, the added downward force of my downhill feet really made them sink in. Slippery slop!
2015 in Review + 2016 Goals

2015 in Review + 2016 Goals

2015 was my 2nd full year trying to be a “runner” and it was full of a lot of “mile”stones. (see what I did there? Eh?! Eh?!) It really was big though. By the measures of some of my running friends, not so much. But for me, the guy who hates running, this has been quite a wild ride. I still can’t believe it.

Who have I become?!

I don’t even know who I am anymore!

Let’s review how I did with my goals. (here’s last year’s write-up)

Mileage:

  • Goal: 500 miles
  • Actual: 627.8 miles! I was very excited and surprised to get this much more without significant overuse injury. And, this WAS with a few weeks out of commission after a back problem. Otherwise, I bet it would have been around 700.

Vert:

  • Goal: 100,000 ft. elevation gain
  • Actual: 111,490 ft. elevation gain. I’m not a peak  bagger, but am pleased with this.

Summits:

  • Goal: Timpanogos, Box Elder, Olympus and Lone Peak
  • Actual: Timpanogos and Box Elder. I just never made it up to SLC county. 🙁

Race and Adventure Runs

  • Goals:
  • Actual:
    • I did NOT complete any of the Farmington 50 Mile or Marathon Challenges. If I hadn’t moved 50 miles south in May, I think I would have.
    • I DID run my first 50k (Bryce) and my second 50k (Antelope Island). Boosh! Someone noted that if I only ran one, than I could only say “I ran An ultramarathon, whereas if I did it again I could say, “I run ultramarathons.” I like the sound of that!
    • In addition, I did a bunch of fun adventure runs, including a few in the 20+ mile range. See a list of adventure run and race reports here.

 

My 2015 Monthly Mileage

Untitled picture

My 2015 Monthly Elevation Gain

Untitled picture2

Now, my 2016 Goals

Mileage:

  • Goal: 600 miles
    • Only 100 more than last year and 27 less that I did this year? Yup. I really want to focus this year on smart mileage. Getting in a good steady base of easy miles so I don’t get another dumb overuse injury. I don’t want the stress of hitting higher mileage goals to push me more than I should, get me injured and ruin my race season.

Vert:

  • Goal: 100,000 ft. elevation gain
    • Same as last year. Seems like a good round number

Summits:

  • Goal:
    • Timpanogos (again, but from the Aspen Grove side. Hopefully lots of summits)
    • North Timpanogos or South Timpanogos or Bomber Peak or Robert’s Horn. Basically, something new on the Timpanogos massif
    • Lone Peak
    • Mt. Olympus
    • Big Baldy
    • Mt. Mahogany

Race and Adventure Runs

  • Goal:
    • Races:
      • Monument Valley 50k
      • Zion 50k (or 50 mile?!)
      • Bryce 50k (or 50 mile?!)
      • Capitol Reef 1/2 Marathon
      • A local race. Maybe the Antelope Island 50k again. Maybe Timp Trail Marathon, maybe Elk Run 50k.
    • Adventure Runs:
      • President’s Day Good Water Rim / Wedge run. At least 21 mile route like last year, but maybe the full 50k
      • Do another pavement 1/2 marathon. Maybe try to drop closer to 2 hours.
      • A pavement full marathon? We’ll see how much I hate myself and feel like I need punishment.

 

 

 

 

Ultra Adventures Ambassador for 2016!

Ultra Adventures Ambassador for 2016!

Friends! I am excited to announce that I have joined the Ultra Adventures team for 2016 as an ambassador.

UAlogos

This means I will help set up some races, run a few races, and try to convince all of you to come join! I don’t get kick-backs if you register off a referral, I just want as many people to come join the fun (and suffering) as possible. If you have been one of the many that comments on how beautiful the trails are in my pictures and posts, what are you waiting for?!

If I (the anti-runner) can slog through a 50k, ANYONE can train for a ½ marathon. Seriously. Get off the pavement and come join for a beautiful trail race in some of the most beautiful places in the country. You can read about my experience at Bryce last year – it was really amazing. Friends, both serious ultra-marathon athletes and casual runners, have all reported similar experiences at the UA events. If you have been toying with doing a race – at any distance – do it someplace beautiful.

In addition to hosting races in beautiful places, Ultra Adventures also promotes people getting out and seeing more through their Trifecta challenges. For each race, there are a series of additional hikes you can do in the area. If you complete them all, you can get a discount off your next race registration. I love that UA is willing to offer people discounts for going out and experiencing the places they are all passionate about. UA also promotes itself as zero-waste. Very cool stuff.

I’ll be at Monument Valley, Zion, Bryce, and Capitol Reef, but there are also events at Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, Tushars, and Moab. If you have questions, message me about potential registration discounts I can offer.

New Year’s Revolution Run

New Year’s Revolution Run

As explained HERE, I did some fundraising for the Syrian refugee crisis by running a track race and having people pledge $ per lap. It was painful, but great. We raised a little of $1,200.

Held at the Olympic Oval, the track goes around the speed-skating track. It was fun watching Olympic medal winners zoom around as we labored slowly around the 344 meter track. This was the longest I have ever run flat. I was on pace to hit my 100 lap goal by the 2.5 hour halfway point, but then slowed considerably. Muscle fatigue, cramps by lap 70, IT band pain by lap 80. I made it 24.2 miles – 88 laps.

It was fun chatting with some fellow Wasatch Mountain Wranglers along the way. A good way to start out the year.

2016 Revolution Run Race (1)
Walking in
2016 Revolution Run Race (2)
My own little aid station. It was nice not having to carry anything as this was only 2-3 minutes away at any given point.
2016 Revolution Run Race (3)
Skates would have made my 100 laps a lot faster.
2016 Revolution Run Race (4)
Around we go!