Thursday, August 2, 2007
So many trails, so little time.....
I thought it would be hard to top Mt. Timpenogos but the last two days have been just as lovely. Yesterday (Wed.) we did a loop from the Canyons Ski Resort over to the Wasatch Crest Trail and back down to Park City Ski Resort. This particular run was about 18 miles long and connected a ton of familiar trails but I would have never known. Beast drove me to the trail head right out of a Park City neighborhood, the trail we started on was called Rob's Trail which connected to the Mid Mountain Trail, then the Wasatch Crest Trail, then Spiro Trail. It was hard to believe we would feed into the Wasatch 100M course at about mile 73 right out of Upper Big Water Canyon near Desolation Lake. I knew the course was near Park City and Bill has tried to connect them in the past but to no avail. The wildflowers were awesome and the views take your breath away, it reminded me why Wasatch 100M is one of my favorite courses. After Beast dropped me off to meet Deborah Askew and her friend Lori he went back to Park City Ski Resort and headed the opposite direction to meet us near the high point on the Wasatch Crest Trail. The pace was vigorous on the climbs but not bad, my breathing is getting a little better each day. It nice and humbling to hear yourself breath so hard and not be anywhere near zone 3B. The forced walking has been good recovery for me. Beast ran into another ultra runner on the Wasatch Crest Trail and it was another reminder of how small our world is as he knew people Beast knows and visa versa. Deborah and I chatted non stop the entire run and since she is a great ultra runner with some crazy fast times on Leadville and Wasatch I was happy to take any and all advice she gave to help me in my upcoming adventures. She has posted times near 24 hours on Wasatch 100M and right at 23 hours on Leadville and she shared her experiences on both courses with me, I took a lot away from our conversations and plan to implement some of her good advice. Right as Deborah and I were coming off the Wasatch Crest Trail which tops out at 9,940 feet and began heading down to Spiro I hear and weird rooster call and since I am in the middle of no where in the mountains who else but the Beast would be attempting rooster call (he needs work on his rooster call)......only the Beast. We found him on top of a peak just above the Spiro trail so we hiked back up to find out where he had been all day. He was lucky enough to have come across a mama moose and last years baby. The mama moose was apparently not very happy to be disturbed by the beast and his flashing camera and actually turned toward him and stomped her foot. Beast took that as a message to get out of dodge! After that story Deborah and I were off in hopes we would see the moose but no luck.
Wednesday afternoon Bill arrived after his drive from Portland hauling the trailer, it was a long hard trip so he was beat. Liz and Kamm arrived in late afternoon and we all made plans for today's run. We met Deborah at the Big Mountain aid station (mile 39.5 on Wasatch 100M) and headed backwards on the course to the Sessions. It was going to be short day for me, about 2.5 hours. It was overcast and lightly misting, a big contrast to the previous days where temperatures in the high country were mid 80's. The scent of mint was abundant in this area and the rain just enhanced it. This part of the course travels along the ridge just above and on the other side of the big Canyons near Salt Lake City, beautiful countryside with awesome views of the mountains. What I am finding is the more time I am active at alitude the more I am understanding how to manage my pace and breathing whereas if I hadn't had this opportunity I would be fighting the lack of air, gasping and forcing breaths. Instead I am trying to honor the altitude and it's affects on my abilties to move faster. Tomorrow is a tempo run on flat terrain as I begin getting my leg speed back for Leadville. I am interested to see how this feels at altitude and what effect it has on my pace.
Yesteday 8/1 was Alex's 11th birthday so we celebrated by going out to dinner at the resturant of his choice. He got two Russian Tortoises for his present and they are very interesting and pretty active for turtles. Bill transported this surprise all the way from Portland in the car and they will be nicely acclimated as they will be with us in CO.