Big day

Yesterday I tested the legs on a 7+ hour local jaunt.  Kim Coupanas from Golite, sponsor of our adventure racing team back in the day, generously sent me a Rush pack.  It’s received great reviews from ultra runners and was brilliant for yesterday’s training session.

I’d delayed for a day, hoping for less “spring-like” weather.  After a lean winter in Utah, we are getting snow.  Yesterday was rainier and colder than the day before.  I went anyway.  Feeling like it’s the flats and downhills that will prove my undoing, I headed up the Pipeline track.  After an initial climb of about 1000 feet, it’s mostly flat/gradual climbing until Mt Aire.  I trotted 10 miles from home to the top of Mt Aire (8620 feet) in rain and later, snow.  From the top of Mt Aire, I rang Scottie who said he’d come for a run and bring me snacks.  Heading back down the Pipeline, I came face-to-face with a moose.  Like really face-to-face.  I could smell her musty odor.  Adrenaline pumping – because moose are unpredictable – I dashed up the slippery hillside, grabbing a tree as she cantered past within touching distance.  A few minutes later, Scott came round the corner and I was back in civilization.  Spirits lifted by seeing my husband, getting some more food and the easing of the rain, I headed up Grandeur peak (8300 feet).  I made pretty good time and crested the summit in only a couple of feet of snow.  The very familiar descent was enjoyable with Salt Lake City sprawled beneath like a carpet and the setting sun casting ‘Jesus rays’ over the mountains.  Staggering a little by now, I cranked the volume on the ipod to drown out the freeway as I jogged the last two miles home.  A hike as much as a run, I figure I did about 25 miles with about 6000 feet in elevation gain and loss (ie, Just over half of that of the Grand Canyon trip).  Today my legs feel a bit worked but am really trying to focus on hydration.  Tellingly, it’s not my quads that hurt now but my hamstrings – probably from the long flats.

Although I enjoyed my day out (and the night before – a night ascent of Olympus with ultra runners, Mindy and the other Nancy), I have no desire to compete in ultra running.  In fact, I wish I’d run the Grand Canyon back in my fitter days.

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