Saturday, December 3, 2016

This Week in Running 11/27 - 12/3




Scene from my 17 mile run - cold, wet and snowy now



DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday13Half marathon paced run.
Monday5Snowy run at medium pace
Tuesday7Another medium paced run with a few miles at tempo pace
Wednesday5All Easy
Thursday7Nice effort for a chilly night
Friday4Easy on a cold night.
Saturday17Saturday long run.
Total miles for the week: 58; YTD: 2069.5


Week's Summary


Well, this week was a high mileage week -- sort of by accident.  I didn't run much on Saturday and on Sunday it was my birthday and I needed to log a few miles to burn off my buffet calories.  Also, this Saturday I felt it was time to get in a long run.  With chilly, but still ideal running weather, I managed to do a very nice long run.  Anything about 25F is short's weather for me (mind the wind however).

It is amazing how much less water I go through now that the temperatures are very mild. I think that scares some people, as I've noticed a lot less people on the bike trail.  It also is likely that people are taking some time off since the race scene here in Salt Lake is a bit on a hiatus.


Turning 47


Enjoying my free meal at Denny's on my Birthday

Last Sunday (the 27th) was my 47th birthday . I don't get too depressed over birthdays.  I use them as milestones (isn't everything a milestone when you are a runner) to ascertain what I am doing is making myself happy.

I like to ask myself what I have accomplished in the past year?  What are my goals?  What goals have I abandoned?  What is going to make myself happy? And what can I do t better my life and those in it?

For the most part I am happy.  I am gainfully employed and more days than not, I enjoy going to work.  That is important -- at least to me.  I've been in situations where I am not happy at work and it tends to permeate the rest of one's life (this is especially true for men).

I like where I live and I am very fortunate to live near an awesome bike trail.  I had worried a bit that running on the same route, day after day, would get old.  I have heard from other people who find the bike trail to be dull.  But I love it.  One thing I do know about myself is that I like a routine.

Could I be happier?  Could I be doing more?  Most definitely.  The plan is to identify areas that I need improvement in and execute a plan -- just like running.  You figure out what you need to do to prepare to get yourself from Point A to Point B.  It wasn't over night that I was able to run 5, 8 or even 13 miles.  It took time, effort and patience.  

Life is like that too.  The key is though to not let it go to waste or to realize too late what truly makes one happy.

Sorry for philosophizing but hopefully my ramblings help someone. 

Weight Loss 


Sheepishly, I just jumped on the scale.  All I can say is -- oops.  The Thanksgiving / birthday week killed any progress I made.  I usually count my weigh-in first thing in the morning, but as of this writing (in the middle of the afternoon) I am checking in at 185 (fully clothed).  Nearly 5 pounds of gain since last week.  

I suspect, though, as the holiday meals thin out, I'll get back on track.

Upcoming Races


I do have a bit of PTO (personal time off) from work I need to use by a certain deadline.  It is either a use it or lose it scenario.  So I am definitely shopping for a January or February marathon.  Hopefully, I'll have something to report soon.  I am trying to knock off another state.


01/14: St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/11: Winter Striders Race Circuit 5K - Ogden UT (Confirmed)
02/25: Winter Striders Race Circuit 10K - Ogden UT (Confirmed)
03/04: Legacy Half Marathon - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/18: Winter Striders Race Circuit 10 Mile - Ogden UT (Confirmed)
04/08: Winter Striders Race Circuit Half Marathon - Huntsville, UT (Confirmed)
04/15: Salt Lake City Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed) (2017)
04/29: Winter Striders Race Circuit 30K - Huntsville, UT (Confirmed)
06/24: Utah Midnight Half Marathon - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
07/07: Utah Midnight (Legacy) Half Marathon - Farmington, UT (Confirmed)
11/12: Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

This Week in Running 11/19 - 11/26 - Plus Desert Running





Happy Thanksgiving!




DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday10Marathon Pace / easy long run
MondayOffOff
Tuesday7Solid effort throughout
Wednesday7All Easy
Thursday4Thanksgiving Turkey Trot
Friday5Desert Run along I-93
Saturday6Run through the ATV Trails in Elko, NV
Total miles for the week: 29; YTD: 2011.5


Week's Summary


This week was primarily an easy week.  Early on, I was still feeling the after effects of the Vegas marathon.  So even on Sunday, my long run felt extremely sluggish.  It wasn't until Tuesday that I started to feel better.

By then, though, I was starting to save my energy for Thursday's annual tradition of the Bountiful Turkey Trot.

So all in all, it was a recovery week.

On the plus side, we are receiving the benefits of an extended warm fall here in Salt Lake, so it is still shorts weather.

Also this week I cracked 2000 miles for the year.  This is the second year in a row I've done that.  I don't think all the extra mileage is helping me, but I certainly enjoy logging them.


Friday Run


Over the weekend I went to Wendover and I woke up on Saturday with some sort of plan to drive out to some place new, park the car and just see how far I could go.  Then I discovered there was a race on Saturday morning in Elko, so I decided just to go easy -- just in case I decided I wanted to run the race in Elko.  I wound up just taking a stroll down I-93, south of West Wendover.  I only went a few miles and I am sure I got a few WTFs, because I-93 doesn't take you to another town for at least a 100 miles.  Really nice running though:






Saturday's Run


On Saturday, I realized the Elko 5K wasn't going to fit into our plans.  So despite it being 28 degrees out (it actually felt quite a bit warmer) I decided to go exploring.  

I've run most of the roads around the Red Lion hotel, but this time, after studying a map, I found a road I hadn't run down yet.  

As I made my way south of town I missed the road I wanted to turn on.  So instead of back tracking, I kept going on the shoulder of the highway.  I was studying my map on my phone and figured I'd catch the next street up.  

Of course, I stumbled upon a trail and I remembered a person telling me that the trail system (unofficial from what I could tell) was a good place to run.  It basically consists of several miles of ATV trails.  So I decided to go exploring and I was really surprised at what I found.  Highly runnable trails.

I only scratched the surface there and I suspect I could go a lot further, but it was nice to get out and snap some pictures, as well as see a bird's eye view of Elko.
















Weight Loss Progress


My weight loss is coming along nicely.  Nothing drastic, but I know I definitely blew it over Thanksgiving.  I was in Nevada over the long weekend and that meant scoring free / discounted buffets and I definitely indulged.  So you'll have to stay tuned... I need a week of eating clean again to get back on progress.

Upcoming Races



01/14: St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (probably - weather pending)
02/11: Winter Striders Race Circuit 5K - Ogden UT (Confirmed)
02/25: Winter Striders Race Circuit 10K - Ogden UT (Confirmed)
03/04: Legacy Half Marathon - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/18: Winter Striders Race Circuit 10 Mile - Ogden UT (Confirmed)
04/08: Winter Striders Race Circuit Half Marathon - Huntsville, UT (Confirmed)
04/15: Salt Lake City Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed) (2017)
04/29: Winter Striders Race Circuit 30K - Huntsville, UT (Confirmed)
11/12: Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

2016 South Davis Recreation Center 5K Race Recap - Bountiful Utah







Official Time: 24:56
Placement: 2nd in age group
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Upper 30's, no wind
Garmin Dump: Here

Mile  Time Comments
1 7:47 Gentle downhill here. Hemmed in at the start
2 8:08 A bit of climbing
3 8:31 A grind up a slow hill. End can't come fast enough.
3.07 0:29 Sprint to the finish
Total Miles: 3.07 -  24:56



Introduction


One of my annual traditions, each Thanksgiving is to do the South Davis Recreation Center's 5K, located in Bountiful.  They continue to put on a good race that is high on payoffs and low on price.  For $20 you basically get a finisher's medal, an accurate course with professional timing, a t-shirt and usually a bunch of stuff in your swag bag.  They also have your typical post race refreshments.

The biggest treat for me is that the 5K tends to be not super competitive (most runners do the 10K) and I can easily snag a Thanksgiving pie.


The Race 


I rolled into the race just after 7 AM and grabbed my shirt.  It was easy in and easy out -- well organized on all fronts.  I wound up sitting around for a bit, attaching my bib and using the restroom.

Around 7:30 AM I decided to do my warm up.  I felt super sluggish and I had a bit of panic: was this going to be a bad race?

Pre-race photo of mile #1


After a mile warmup I returned back to the warm confines of the recreation center and used the bathroom a final time.

The race started a little late -- as usual.  Generally, this race does start a few minutes late and I had toyed with the idea of wearing a light running jacket to keep warm, but I decided to tough it out.  I went in shorts, throw-away gloves and a long sleeved shirt.  Turns out that was a fantastic choice.

The first mile was congested -- well at least the first 1/4 of a mile.  The race starts off in the parking lot and it is fairly narrow path.  Also add in a bunch of kids and slower runners who weren't instructed to line up according to pace and you have an accident sort of waiting to happen.  However, after about a 100 yards the race opens up.

The first mile is also a gentle downhill, which helped me get what felt like a fairly easy 7:47.

After the 1st mile marker, the race goes uphill slightly and at that point it always gets hard.  The hill that is usually around 1.33 didn't seem to materialize for me and I was still running what I felt like was strong.  I was happy to see mile 2 come in at 8:10ish.

The last mile is a grind.  It is a gentle climb.  It is also at this point that you are running along a fairly busy road.  Luckily there isn't much traffic but you do have to pay attention to some of the traffic lights.

I was still holding my pace pretty well but as usual working the hill got the best of me.

I still had plenty of gas left at the end but my top speed definitely wasn't there.



Conclusion

After the race, I wound up grabbing a drink and grabbing warmer clothes from my car (it is so nice to have a low stress 5K).  I made my way back and waited (quite a while) for the awards.  They had self-serve kiosks, so I was pretty happy to see I had placed 2nd in my age group.

I grabbed some food and wound up socializing a bit with some runners I knew.  The 10K was very competitive so I am glad I opted for the 5K.  I wound up snagging a cherry pie, a ribbon and of course a pretty sweet finisher's medal.




Overall, I felt like my time should've been better.  I felt like my time was going to be slightly faster than last year's (24:30-ish), but alas it wasn't.  Time for me to focus on dropping some weight and working on my speed work again.

All in all, I had a good time and definitely worth the $20.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Big Beacon Mount Wire Hike - Salt Lake City, UT



Introduction


This past weekend, I decided I wanted to follow up on my Living Room Hike.  Previously, I had hiked the Living Room Trail only to discover that there was another trail further along the way. 

Basically, the easiest way to get to the Big Beacon Mount Wire Trail is to follow the Living Room Trail.  About 80% of the way to the Living Room the trail goes due east through some brush (it is pretty obvious).  

The trail isn't very technical and does involve a bit more altitude gain.  I know I was breathing pretty hard but the trail was certainly manageable.  Also the trail was definitely less used compared to the Living Room Trail.

About a mile into the hike you come upon a saddle.  There are several short trails that allow you to check out the various views.  You can peak down into Red Butte Gardens and get some nice views of Salt Lake City.

After poking around a bit, you want to take the trail to the south, which ascends a pretty steep hill.  The elevation climb is intense but fairly short lived.  After about half a mile, you'll see the Beacon at the top of a hill, which is your destination.

I wound up taking another route back down -- which was less inhabited and definitely more steep.  The route I followed looks sort of like this one.

Parking, for a Sunday, was busy (382 Colorow Road) but there was plenty of spots.  Expect to see lots of people on the trail -- at least on the way up to the Living Room, but after that, the foot traffic was pretty sparse.

The trail is mostly exposed so this trail is good for late spring / fall hikes.  I didn't see any evidence of wildlife, although I would guess it is a breeding ground for rattlesnakes.

The entire hike took me about 60 - 70 minutes to ascend and a bit longer to descend (I took the longer route). All told, approximately a 4 mile round trip hike.