Sunday, August 28, 2016

This Week in Running 8/21 - 8/27

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday57K Race at La Caille Restaurant
Monday1110 Miles at a very good pace. Surprised by this run
Tuesday7Just an plain old run.
Wednesday8Meant to go for a short run, but actually ran strong and further
Thursday7All easy. Just burning some calories. Kind of tired.
Friday4Just a 4 mile easy run.
Saturday20.5Long run. Went pretty well. 
Total miles for the week: 62.5 YTD: 1513.5

Week's Summary

Section of the Jordan River Bike trail where I do all my runs

I finally did it!  I hit 60 miles for the week with a long run.  And, most importantly, I felt prettygood all week.

After the previous week's races I felt like I wasn't going to be able to accomplish too much.  With the days getting shorter, it means that at night time, it is a little cooler and enables me to get a little further -- and faster.

The week's goal, however, was to get at least 60 miles in.  I have found that if I can have an "overload" week or two a month or so before a marathon of 60+ miles, I have better success at the marathon.  While massive miles don't make you faster, per say, but they do improve endurance and give you the confidence and muscle memory when you cross the 20 mile barrier.

Section of the Jordan River Bike trail where I do all my runs
I haven't decided if I am racing Labor Day weekend, so we shall see what the week holds.  I'd still like one more "overload" week before the Lake Tahoe Marathon.  Hopefully everything comes together.

Upcoming Races

09/10: Race to the Angel Half Marathon - Wells, NV (Probable but leaning towards doubtful)
09/17: Take it to the Lake Half Marathon -  Ely, NV (Probable but leaning to very probable)
10/09: Lake Tahoe Marathon Lake Tahoe CA / NV (Confirmed)
11/13: Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/15: Salt Lake City Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed) (2017)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Clayton Peak Hike - Brighton Utah


If you have been a regular reader for a while, you know I've done most of the trails in the Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons.  However, one trail I have not yet done is Clayton Peak.  I had tried to do Clayton Peak before, but had missed (or misunderstood) where the trail was located.  This past weekend, I finally got my bearings sorted out and had it pretty well figured out where to go.

The Hike

Clayton Peak is located on the Sunset Peak Trail.  You basically arrive in Brighton at the ski lodge and then head east.  The first .9 of a mile is a strenuous, but not impossible ascent.   But you'll definitely be huffing and puffing.

Eventually you'll come to a fork in the trail for Dog Lake.  Take trail and not soon afterwards, you'll see another sign for Clayton Peak Trailhead.  You can make a quick stop into Dog Lake and return back to the main trail.  While at Dog Lake, I spotted a pair of moose.

Clayton Peak is a gentle climb for about 2 miles.  I didn't find the trail difficult at all and actually it was highly runnable.  I saw a good number of runners taking in the trails.

After leaving Dog Lake, the trail goes into deep pine punctuated by dirt roads.  Stay on the thin trail throughout.  When the trail ends, you'll be near a ridge, where if you scramble over it, you'll be able to see Heber Valley and Midway.

Proceed north for 5 - 10 minutes.  You'll see another small trail to your right that scrambles along the base of a peak.  Take that trail and after an arduous climb, you'll reach the top of Clayton Peak.  The signs say it was 2 miles, but I would hazard it was a bit longer.

I did get hung up briefly on the trail to Clayton Peak.  It does seem to fork at one point, and I took the wrong way.  If you are working too hard trying to find the trail, you are going the wrong way.  Luckily I was able to correct myself, but I felt like a fool for having missed the fork to the right.

The views are outstanding and it was enjoyable to see Heber and Midway from a different perspective (it is roughly the same view as Sunset Peak).  There are other places to explore out there if you are willing to trail blaze a bit as well.

Enjoy the pictures!

Can you spot a moose in this picture?

Can you spot a moose in this picture? - hint to the right of the rock

Monday, August 22, 2016

This Week in Running 8/14 - 8/20

Sunset along the Jordan River

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday7Recovery Run -- all easy
Tuesday8Medium with fast finish at the end
Wednesday7Medium with strides
ThursdayOffRest for tomorrow night's 5K
Friday5Sandy City Midnight 5K 
SaturdayOffOff - Prepping for tomorrow's 7K
Total miles for the week: 32 YTD: 1451

Week's Summary

I had two races at the end of the week -- so this meant that I had to do the bulk of my miles at the start -- and no long run on the weekend.  Also, the previous Saturday, I had done a long run, so my legs were pretty gassed on Sunday.

Either way, I was able to get in a nice speed work session on Friday night and for the most part, I felt fresh for both races.

I do need to get some more miles in.  With the marathon season right around the corner, I have always felt that the more weekly miles you can log, generally the better your chances of having a good marathon are.  While there are a ton of races coming up, it is still early to run a "long" race and I feel like my training has been a little underwhelming.  So I am hoping to get some more miles in -- as the weather starts to get a little cooler.

Soreness in the Morning

I still have a LOT of soreness in the morning.  It isn't muscle soreness, but just general aches and pains.  From achilles soreness, to a pending calf strain, to plantar fascitiis.  You could say I have it all.  For a non-contact sport, running can be tough, especially as we get older.  I do try to stretch and foam roll, but that often times isn't enough.  I often wonder when it will catch up with me.  I love to run, compete and see new sites, but there is definitely a price to be paid.

Upcoming Races

09/10: Race to the Angel Half Marathon - Wells, NV (Probable but leaning towards doubtful)
09/17: Take it to the Lake Half Marathon -  Ely, NV (Probable but leaning to very probable)
10/09: Lake Tahoe Marathon Lake Tahoe CA / NV (Confirmed)
11/13: Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/15: Salt Lake City Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed) (2017)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Gateway to La Caille 7K Race Recap - Granite, UT

Official Time: 36:48
Placement: 2nd in age group, 24th overall
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: 70 at start, no wind
Garmin Dump: Here

Mile  Time Comments
1 8:21 Mild incline here. Holding back a bit.
2 9:26 Here is where the hills start
3 8:15 Reach the summit, and get some downhill
4 7:21 Pretty much all downhill from here.
4.33 3:23 Up the driveway of the restaurant.  Heart break hill here that stops you dead in your tracks
Total Miles: 4.33 - 36:49


In 2014, I did the Gateway to La Caille 7K. It was their inaugural year and they did a good job.  When the race returned in 2015, I was out of town and missed out on it.  However, this year they held it on a Sunday, which is very rare to have happen in Utah.  Apparently the venue was booked for weddings and this was the only time to hold it.  Surprisingly, people showed up....

This race starts and finishes at the French Restaurant La Caille, which is on the pricey side.  I've only been there for the races and while I do like good food (believe it or not), I am not a huge fan of French food (it seems to be low on quantity for a big eater like myself).

Looking for something to do Sunday morning, I figured why not run the race and get some speed work in.

The Race

I rolled in at 6 AM and picked up my bib.  I was one of the first ones there.  I managed to use the rest room and the time flew by pretty quickly.  I didn't get a shirt and saved $5 off registering.  I am glad I didn't get one -- they were white and looked fairly boring.

Predawn start line

The race started at 7 AM and almost immediately you start a gentle climb.  I remembered the course from the last time I did it and I started off fairly conservatively, as I knew there were more hills to climb.

Looking at the first mile
I felt pretty good and I was pacing myself off of a friend of mine (DK) who was at Friday night's Midnight Moon 5K.  I was able to tail him for a bit but I couldn't hang in there.  By the half way point, I knew I wasn't going to catch him.

The climb to the mouth of Little Cottonwood canyon is a decent ascent. A few people who were keeping pace with me died off here.  It was hard to enjoy the scenery, which was awesome:  million dollar mansions below me and the looming mountains of the canyon above me (sorry no pictures, I was racing).

At the half way point, the course finally gets "fun".  They had a water station, which I greedily grabbed a cup of water (my mouth was so dry) and rinsed my mouth  out.  I braced myself for the downhill section.

At first the downhill is fairly mild, but as the race proceeds the hills become more pronounced.  By the time you can see the entrance to La Caille, you are coming down a massive hill.  I tried to push it here as much as I could, but I am not a super fast downhill runner and I know there is a price to be paid in regards to your knees and general running health.  It was exhilarating to knock out low 7 minute miles here with the aid of gravity.

You can see the downhill nature of the course -- you come down this road.

The final .35 miles is painful, but stunning.  You are basically running up the main driveway to the restaurant.  The road is cobblestone with a French flair to detail.  It starts off innocently enough -- just a little bit of an incline and certainly manageable.

The arch to the finish

However, just after the 4 mile marker, the "fun" begins.  There is a 100 yard hill (or so -- it feels like a quarter mile) and your downhill fatigued legs need to respond to the hill.  I hit it as hard as I could, but I could barely manage a shuffle.

I had a guy on my heels, who I thought might be in my age group (he was quite a bit younger) and we duked it out on the hill.  I figured he had me beat, but the hill hit him just as hard as it hit me.  Luckily, I recovered faster and sprinted to the finish line (which is about 200 yards from the top of the hill).


The best part of this race is the finish.  Your race entry gets you into the breakfast buffet which featured oranges, bananas, coffee, juice, fried potatoes, pastries, meat, and eggs.  You are allowed one pass through the line (/cry).  Good stuff.

I spent a good amount of time socializing with DK and some "new" friends.  The environment was totally relaxing and fun.  

I managed to (luckily) place in my age group.  I snagged a very nice, glass medal.  It was like the 2014 edition and it is a high-quality piece of work.  While my time was quite a bit slower than 2014's race (about 90 seconds I think), I was happy to finish in "the money".  Each finisher also got a pin to commemorate the occasion.

After eating and collecting my award, I wandered the grounds.  If you haven't been to La Caille before, the landscaping is just astonishingly well kept and beautiful.  So many photo opportunities of the sun rising over the canyon.  A totally pleasurable experience.

I really enjoyed this race.  It is a bit pricey, $35 + service fee for no t-shirt option, but you get what you pay for:  a solid race, with some beautiful scenery and a yummy party at the end.  I left with a pleasant memory and one I will want to repeat next year.