Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Summits in 2012

We are 9 weeks into 2012 and I have climbed 19 peaks so far. Last year I finished the year with 78 peaks, which is a personal best for me. This year I set a goal to summit at least 75 peaks, but I am on track to go over 100 for the year, which I would have thought wasn't possible a few years ago. I'm sure that some people think that I am obsessed with climbing peaks and they are probably right. I have been a summit junkie ever since I reached the summit of my first mountain of any significance (Lone Peak) back in 1993. While I love to explore new places and climb new peaks, right now I primarily find myself running/hiking up the same summits over and over again. This is not optimal, but practical and necessary if I want to get elevation on my legs while staying relatively close to home and work.

The 4 peaks that I climb the most are View Benchmark, Mt. Wire, Grandeur Peak and Lake Mountain. These are all close to my home or work and I can be up and down all of them within two hours, which allows me to hit the peaks early in the morning and make it into work on time. I know some people would get sick of climbing the same peaks again and again, but to me I prefer it to running on a treadmill day after day. I enjoy climbing the peaks alone and with friends and I have been trying to get up at least two peaks per week so far this year. Don't get me wrong I would definitely prefer to have more of a variety, but for now I'll keep hitting these 4 peaks and mixing in others as time will allow. When the snow melts it will be a lot easier for me to add several other peaks as well. I will try and Add Timpanogos and the Pfeifferhorn into the regular rotation, with others mixed in.

Matt Williams just below the summit

So far this year I have climbed View Benchmark 8 times and it is becoming one of my favorite runs. I typically start at Ann's trail in Draper and it gives me almost 8 miles with over 1600 feet of vert and the best part is I can run almost the whole thing. It is a really good workout and I am sure I will do it just about every week for the rest of the year.

Me running on the View Benchmark trail

The Wedge at the Little Grand Canyon in the San Rafael Swell

Awesome photo of Craig lloyd

With Craig Lloyd, Matt Williams and Matt Van Horn 2/20/12:

This was my first time down to the Swell and it did not disappoint. We met at the American Fork park n ride at 5:00 am and it took about 3 hours to get down to the Wedge where there is a sweet lookout into the Little Grand Canyon. We would be running on a rim trail that goes around the rim of the canyon for just over 15 miles and then back. It was 20 degrees when we got out of the car, but the sun was shining, with no wind and it looked almost perfect for running. After a few pics and a little goofing off we hit the trail. The first 5 miles were a lot of fun running in the mid 8's, talking and laughing a lot. We also stopped at most of the lookouts to take pictures.

My hamstring was really tight and sore after my run up Lake Mountain on Saturday and I was worried about it, but hoped it would loosen up. It didn't bother me at all early on, but was tight. At about mile 5 I noticed that my stomach was unsettled and by mile 7 it hit hard and the guys had to wait for me for a few minutes. From about mile 10 to the half way point I was running by myself and had to stop a few more times to deal with my stomach. Damn tamales. They were good though.

I passed Craig on his way back and he told me I was about .5 from the turnaround. I also passed MattW and then MattVH and I convinced MattV to hang back with me because I was worried about my hamstring which was now really tight and hurting. We took about a 10 minute break at the turnaround taking in the views and I put some glide on a hot spot on my toe and had some GU chomps.

The next 5 miles were by far the most difficult of the day for me. My hammy was really hurting and I had to stop again because of my stomach. Matt was a good sport to hang with me. I popped 800 mg of Ibuprofen about mile 19. I hate taking it when I run, but it was almost a necessity. We had a pathetic pace back to where we had cached some food just after mile 22. I had run out of water and the Coke I had stashed was fantastic. I also refilled my water and ate about 500 calories. The Ibuprofen also started to kick in and I couldn't believe the difference.I felt like running again.

The next 4 miles we tried to pick up the pace and just chatted away. I was having fun again and enjoying the views that we would stop to take in at the lookouts. It was tough getting into a fast pace on this trail because it winds a lot and there are a lot of rocks to deal with, but I really enjoyed it. About mile 26 we stopped so Matt could retrieve some clothes he had stashed and I told Matt to just catch up and I would run slow, but I got two great songs in a row on the ipod and all of the sudden my legs were feeling incredible and my energy was up so I picked up the pace and ran it in pretty well the last 4.5 miles.

The last mile on the road I was feeling really good and I actually saw the 7's for the first time in a long time. I was having fun and felt great when I saw Craig and MattW driving toward me about a quarter of a mile from the finish. I ran it in hard and jumped on a rock and yelled out a primal scream. Awesome. MattVH came in a few minutes after, but he also had an extra mile since he ran back with me and I am sure I slowed him down on the way back as well. I really enjoyed this run, even though I went through a lot of issues out there. The views and the company were as good as it gets and I was happy that I finished strong. I can't wait for the next adventure.

Total time including all breaks: 6:11. I think the total moving time was closer to 5:20ish. Total miles 31.3.To see some pictures check out my album:http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3176299573953.147315.1459523495&type=3&l=dfc4543a63

Canals loop marathon

Salt Lake County canal loop with Craig Lloyd:

This is a run originally done by Davy Crockett and it is 25+ miles of running on dirt trails/roads that run next to canals that run right through the Salt Lake Valley. We started out at a park near Camp Williams at 4:00 am. Just after we started we had to crawl under a fence and then within the first mile I was already heating up. I was expecting it to be colder out there. We had an absolute blast laughing and joking and just chatting at a comfortable pace and the miles flew by. We had to cross a few roads and go over a few fences, but nothing serious. The trail winds through a lot of rural property, neighborhoods and for quite a long way runs in the back yards of several houses. We had a lot of dogs barking at us and set off a lot of motion lights and I'm sure we woke up a handful of people. At mile 8 I took a gel and almost barfed it up. Sick!

At 90th South we got off of the canal road and ran east for about a half mile until we reached a different canal trail that we would follow all the way back. We took a small break to dump some rocks out of our shoes and have a gel and I noticed right away that there was a bit of a headwind on the way back and it lasted almost all the way back to the car. The run back had a little more adventure as we had to jump more fences and cross Bangerter highway. The fence before Bangerter had some barbed wire and I just about sliced my bits and pieces while Craig laughed and threw trash at me. haha. At about mile 19 I noticed that my left hamstring was really tight and it slowed me down the rest of the way. We did stop a few times so I could stretch it out, but it seemed to get a little worse with each passing mile. The last 3 miles are much more rural than the rest of the run and it was really cool to see that part of the valley. Eventually we came to a paved road that took us up a hill and right back to our cars. It was an awesome run and I will definitely do it again. About 95% of it was on dirt trails/roads which is amazing considering we ran so far into the city. All of this before work. 4:16 total time including all breaks.