Saturday, September 5, 2015

Kickoff to summer and Wasatch Training

Wasatch in 6 days!  It felt so far away at the start of training and the summer and that was good and bad. Good because I wanted lots of time to devote to specific training for it, wanted to take my time with it and enjoy the buildup that comes with waiting and preparing for a race, and hopefully recover from all my spring racing - Bandera 100k, Black Canyon 100k, Buffalo 100, Ogden Marathon. The only reason it was hard to have it so far away was because I was excited and ready to go play!

Kicked off the spring snowmelt in May with a couple of my first 'mountain runs' of the year. Little Baldy in one of my favorite areas was definitely fresh from winter. 
Loved being up in the fog
Then a little bike run bike action up to one of my favorite trailheads, Timpanooke. Only had time for a few miles up the trail on foot but it's always fun to do something self supported once in a while, getting myself to the trailhead without a car and carrying my shoes 
Then it was on to probably my first peak of the year, Little Black to prepare for Wasatch Steeplechase. It involves some scrambling and I do not profess to be good or comfortable with that, so up with good friends we go!  Only way to get more comfortable and get better is to gain more experience. 

My second time on this mountain and I was still pretty nervous. Thankfully the actual race went much better!  It's a steep climb up to the peak, a lot rougher this I thought going down to the entrance to smugglers gap, just really steep and narrow and not really a trail, but smugglers gap was so awesome!  Wide, treed in, soft pineneedle trail, switchbacks. I pushed the last 7 miles of trail and road hard and passed almost all that passed me on the way down and snuck under 3:00 like I wanted to. Great morning!

School finished up for my first year of nursing school (halfway done!) and for 4 my babies. I love having them home in the summer!

I don't know why I wanted to do it then, but I wanted to do a big mountain run here called GrandAire, probably to have something to test my fitness against again before Wasatch. And because it felt like someone tried to scare me away from it online. Challenge accepted :)
3 peaks, 8000 ft of climbing, 22 miles. The first climb up to Grandeur is a beast!  So steep and not particularly scenic. Then you wander down into the valley of Millcreek Canyon to pipeline trail and head over to Mt Aire. Also steep in places and took longer than I expected. Then back the way you came up churchfork to the top of Grandeur again and down the nasty west side of the mountain. I couldn't believe how long those last 2 miles all downhill took. Steep, rocky, loose with tiny pebbles, not the easier scree surfing. Ugh. Pretty much hated it. Finished in 6 hours 53 minutes. Quite tired but not wasted. I would however suffer some IT band annoyances for the next month thanks to this. 

The next week I had the chance to fill my triathlon background itch with my 4th Daybreak Triathlon. Came into it sport sprecifically undertrained (swim and bike) but having done this 15 years that base goes a long way. The swim hurt more than usual, my lack of pool time hurt. My bike was stuck in the little chainring the whole time which is good for the long climb up, not as great for the long down back. Did a lot more coasting than I'd like. Came into T2 in 2nd place being hollered at by my husband that I could catch her. I gave that 5k my 100% and definitely  made time up on her, getting as close as 10 seconds back (she always looked back for me so I eventually just started waving) but with 1/4 mile to go I threw up 3 times from the effort level I guess and finished second. That's ok though (my first time not winning that race when I've done it), it was great to be out getting that fix again and saying hello to old friends. 
My babies running to cheer for mama

My boy got to do his first triathlon the next week too!  I was so proud of his determination and smile through this. The swim kicked his butt but he did it, he seemed to love the bike and ran way more of the run than I expected him too. Way to go little man!

Alright this post is turning very long now, so I'll try to summarize the rest of June. Visited my favorite Dog Deso loop still covered in snow in places, ran along the Scott's Hill to Guardsman portion of Wasatch, through what felt like a jungle on a Timp loop, and just enjoyed the warmth of summer now. 

Wild flowers!  So happy to see them

Timp loop
Mountain goats!
Like manna from heaven on this long not day
Me height foliage for miles, in Utah, crazy!
Ah sweet summer trail running! I live in an awesome place!
Lots of playing in May and June. Our epic 3.5 week July road trip to come in a post next week. 

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