Saturday, February 28, 2015

This week in running Feb 22 - Feb 28

Day Mileage / Workout Comments
Sunday 16.5Long run but at 9:20 min / mile pace. Rockin!
Monday 4 Easy
Tuesday off Resting my sore foot - walked quite a bit today
Wednesday off Resting my sore foot - walked quite a bit today
Thursday 7 Medium Pace - Metatarsal problems
Friday 5 Medium Pace - Metatarsal problems 
Saturday 9.5 Salt Lake Track Club 15K Race in Magna Utah
Total miles for the week: 42 - YTD: 389.75

Week's Summary

I was really hoping to put in a high mileage week this week.  Unfortunately my right foot had other ideas.

Regular readers know that I have been battling either Morton's Neuroma or some sort of painful metatarsal pain.  Basically right behind the toes and in the ball of the foot, it hurts -- a lot.  I went for a walk at lunch time early in the week and it hurt from the get go.  So running was pretty much out of the question.

I wound up icing it down regularly and hitting the NSAID routine.  That helped a lot.  Also, on Friday I went to Wasatch Running Center and bought a metatarsal pad.  The jury is still out on whether it is helping (or not) but for $6 I figured it was worth the money.  From all that I've read, it seems rest, ice, and anti-inflamatories are the best course of treatment.  Serious cases, however, could require cortisone-like shots or even surgery.

This week's mileage, again if my toes cooperate, will hopefully see a boost in mileage.

Money Woes

Well that trip to the emergency room continues to haunt me.  A few weeks ago I got a bill from the hospital for about $1600 -- the amount that my insurance didn't cover.  To add insult to injury, I got a bill the other day for about $350 from the fire department.  So right now, some of my spring destination races are in jeopardy.

Luckily the hospital has set up a monthly payment plan, but still, this is a pretty good chunk of change.

Update on my Cat Friend

Readers of last week's write-up may recall that I met a cat on my run, who I thought was homeless.  Each day I was bringing it cat food and it would gobble it up like it was starving.  I hadn't seen the cat for a few days and was worried about it.  I happened to ask a guy walking a dog if he had seen it.  Turns out it was HIS cat and he hadn't seen it.  I've seen the guy before and I know he lives close to the trail.  Apparently, Snowball, is let out and likes to sit on the trail and greet passerby's.

So sadly, there are Missing Cat signs near where I used to see him.  Hopefully he is in good hands.

Upcoming Races

If the weather (and my foot holds) I am looking at doing the Striders Winter Race Circuit - 10 Mile race up in Ogden.  It will likely be a rinse-and-repeat race of the 10K I did last week. I am so looking forward to the hot springs as well.

Salt Lake Track Club 37th Annual Winter 15K - Race Recap - Salt Lake City - Utah

After the race. Antelope Island behind me.

Official Time: 1:17:05
Placement: 64th out of 148 men, 10th out 22 in the 45 - 49 age division
Results: Here (overall results are based upon the series).
Race Website:Here
Weather: Mid 30's, 5 - 10 mph wind from the NE.

Mile Time Comments
1 7:50 Fairly mellow start for me. About where I wanted to run.
27:53Steeling feeling comfortable
37:58Hanging in there, but starting to feel the mounting pace. Crossed the 5K at about 24:20
48:00Can't wait for the turn around. Sort of bored with the course
58:08Some tail wind, but didn't feel like it.
68:23Crossed the 10K portion at about 50:30. Pace is really starting to slow. Have to focus
78:27Just trying to stay as low as I can to 8:00 min / mile -- and failing.
88:34Good just a few miles left. Can see the finish line in the distance. Where's the tailwind?
98:30Push hard at this point
9.373:09Legs felt heavy. Finish line in view.
Total Miles: 9.37


Well in my quest to get faster, I found another race to do: the Salt Lake City Track Club's 15K Winter Race, held in Magna, Utah, about 10 miles west of the airport.

This race is part of a series of races put on by the track club.  Initially it starts out with a 5K, then a few weeks later, a 10K and finally the series wraps up with a 15K.  I was out of town for the 5K and for some reason didn't do the 10K but for $33 I got into the 15K.  Also, the 15K is also a USATF state championship race so to say there were some fast runners there is an understatement.

The race is held at the Salt Air Pavilion and it runs east for about 4.5 miles and then you turn around and come back. The race is run along side the I-80 freeway on a frontage road. This is the second time I've raced on this course and despite the views of the mountains, the city and Great Salt Lake, it is probably my least favorite place to run.  It is just one seemingly endless road that just doesn't offer much variation.

For some additional pictures of the surrounding area check out more shoreline run and my race recap of the Salt Air Half Marathon.

The Race

Stansbury Island in the distance

Antelope Island

Looking east from the parking lot

Looking west from the parking lot - Copper Mine in the distance

The race is a bit of a later starter.  Normally the weather is pretty cool here this time of year, but this winter has been mild and with a 10AM start I rolled in around 9AM.  I got my shirt and my bib and wound up sitting in the car listening to music and taking the occasional picture of the morning skyline.  I used the facilities a time or two (thankfully the race headquarters was at the pavilion so there were flush toilets.

I wound up warming up for a bit with some drills and leg swings and chatting with the occasional person I knew.

This course, unlike my last race, is pancake flat.  While I am running at about 4300 feet, the variation in the terrain is pretty much a flat frontage road.  Less than a 100 yards away whizzing trucks and cars fly by at 75mph -- cheering us on with the occasional air horn.

My goal was to try and hold on to 8 minutes per mile and hopefully finish around 75 minutes.

I started out a little quicker than I wanted to, but at about 10 seconds per mile faster I felt I was "close enough" and I tend to always start out fast.  The initial 3 - 4 miles met with a bit of head wind.  While not terrible it was mentally taxing.  Also there really isn't much to look at except other runners and to really enjoy the views, you really need to look north.  Being that I was running east for the majority of the race it was hard to appreciate them.

I've been battling some Morton's Neuroma / metatarsal pain the past week and initially I felt like my sock was bunched up under my toes, which is a fairly common symptom.  I was tempted to stop and try and "fix" it, but I knew that it was mostly a false feeling.  I suffered through it, and it was a forgotten issue after about a mile.

I was pretty happy once I came to the half way point, although it looks like I had run about .05 miles out of the most "optimal" path.  The mile markers were spot on and since this course is used by a lot of different races, there were plenty of spray painted markings on the ground.

I really had to focus in the last 3 miles.  The tailwind I had hoped to gain the benefit of never materialized and in fact it seemed like I was running into the breeze again.  Also I found myself drifting into the 9 min / mile pace that I am comfortable with.  Whenever I saw this on my Garmin I mentally cursed myself and forced myself into a higher gear.

I did manage to lock into an 8:30 min / mile pace in the final 4 miles or so.  I still felt pretty good at the end and if I was running a half marathon my time likely would've been in the low 1:50's.

After the Race

I wound up chatting with a few people after the race and making small talk.  Being that this was a fairly large race as well as a pretty elite group I knew I was out of the running for any sort of age group award.  

It was sort of chilly and I wound up drinking WAY too much coffee -- something I rarely do.  To say I was wired would be an understatement.  I also grabbed a few bananas and actually was one of the last people to leave on account I was just chatting with random people (and I hung around for the raffle, which I didn't win at).

Cotton T-shirt

Official finisher's card

I'd run this race again.  For $33 I had a good experience (although if you sign up for all 3 of their races it is only $45 or so).  There wasn't a finisher's medal for this race, but apparently if you complete their 5K and 10K you get a wooden medal, which looked pretty cool.  The t-shirt was well designed, but it is cotton, so it will likely be relegated to the non-running days bin.

Midvale Golden Corral - where successful 15K runners go to eat

After driving about 25 minutes back home, I showered and decided that the Midvale Golden Corral was a good idea so I wound up eating there.

Overall my race finish was about what I expected.  Being that my 10K time is about 49 minutes, finishing a 15K time in about 27 minutes more isn't too unexpected.  I really faded at the end and given that this week's total mileage was a bit less because of my foot injury, I really didn't feel "on". I never race well on a week I've taken NSAIDs.  I wasn't entirely disappointed but felt that 1:15 was definitely doable.

However, I should be able to get a bit of redemption, as next weekend I'll return to the hilly east Ogden course for a 10 mile race!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

This week in Running Feb 15 - Feb 21

Day Mileage / Workout Comments
Sunday 8 AM
9 PM
8 in the morning on the shore of the Great Salt Lake
Had a kick-ass run in the evening
Monday 7 Easy
Tuesday 7 6 x .5M repeats (with about 60 - 90 sec break: 3:43,3:37,3:42,3:34,3:58 (hills), 3:39. yeah for speedwork
Wednesday 11 Easy at the start, picked up the pace at the end
Thursday 7 Easy mostly with a mile of strides
Friday 4 Easy with strides to wrap things up. 
Saturday 7.25 Winter Striders 10K Race in Ogden Utah.
Total miles for the week: 60.25 - YTD: 347.75

Week's Summary

Another high mileage week in the books for me.  I think sitting in the hot springs after the 5K on Saturday did me a world of good, as I was obviously itching to run on Sunday.  It has been a while since I've done a daily double and I felt even better during my evening run than my morning run.  Sometimes the running gods just smile upon me for strange reasons.

I also managed to get in a solid speed work and some strides, plus another 10K race.  Overall I am really pleased with what I am doing.

Upcoming Races

Right now, I am looking at doing a 15K race up where I ran at the Great Salt Lake next weekend.  It is flat and seems to be the only thing going on in town.  If the weather holds and I am feeling up to it, I'll jump in.  I don't think I've ever raced a 15K before, so this will be an instant PR.

I also officially signed up for the Riverton Half Marathon ($40), which is in mid to late March.  I ran that one last year and it was challenging course, but certainly worth doing.

I haven't inked any marathon races into my calendar yet, but I am keeping an eye out for one.

Weird Injury?

I am still suffering from some right toe numbness.  In fact, early this week it was pretty painful.  I still think there is a bit of a neuroma going on.  For a while, it was in the left toe, but that has completely gone.  Now it is simply in the right and while it doesn't seem to be getting worse, it isn't getting better.  It makes it hard to push off and I sort of sense myself coming down with a slightly different landing to compensate.  I felt it a little during today's 10K race.  I am dabbling with a few anti-inflamatories, but I am simply hoping it goes away.  It is aggravating though.

New Friend?

One of the joys of running on the bike trail is meeting new people.  During many of my runs it isn't uncommon for me to see a familiar face and get either a nod of hello or on easy days a quick chat.

However, I noticed "Casper" about a week ago.  He appears to be a stray white cat that lives on the bike trail.  He always came running out to greet me and say hello.  

Once in a while, I bring a little bag of cat food and drop it for the strays if I see them, but Casper is always in the same spot.  He now recognizes me and I give him a big hello.  He'll follow me too if I am not careful, but I've been bringing him some food and he devours it each time.  He also isn't afraid to be pet and will rub himself against my legs.  Either way it does give me something to look forward to on my runs and I suspect eventually I'll have to take him to an animal shelter.  I don't really want / need another cat right now but now I've got an even bigger reason to run every day:

Striders Winter Race Circuit 10K - Ogden, Utah Race Recap

Official Time: 50:58
Placement: 13th out of 35 (45 - 49 age group), 91 out of 313 gender, 111 out of 750 overall
Results: Here
Race Website:Here
Weather: Upper 30's, no wind, some snow at start.

Mile Time Comments
1 7:48 Uphill start, but about where I wanted to be.
27:07Cruising downhill!
37:49Mostly flats here. Got back to where I wanted to be in terms of overall pace.
48:18Some rolling hills here. Glad I banked some time
59:30Payback time for the hills. About 200 feet of climbing
69:07Once I crested the massive hill, I kicked it into high gear. About 180 feet of climbing.
6.171:15Crushed it at the end.
Total Miles: 6.17


Well, another winter day and nothing to do -- except race.  With the Ogden Marathon coming up in May, the organizers sponsors a series of races to get you fit and ready to race.  They start with a 5K then graduate to the 10K, 10M, half and finally a 30K, roughly one race every 2 - 3 weeks.  I've done the 30K before, which is a gorgeous run, but I've never done any of their other races (except the Ogden Marathon of course: recap here)

So with me itching do a race (any race for that matter), I made a go of the Winter Striders 10K located on the east end of Ogden.

The Race

First off, I've never really been to the east end of Ogden, so this was all new territory for me.  The race was held at the Dee Event Center which is a part of Weber University (pronounced Weeber). I rolled in just shy of 7:15AM (for an 8AM start) and grabbed my shirt and bib.  I got a really nice shirt and the bib pickup area was warm and had flush toilets.  

After grabbing my swag and using the toilet, I went back outside and took some snaps of the Dee Event Center grounds.

Mountains to the east

Dee Event Center

Wildcats Mascot

I sat in the car and listened to music for a bit and psyched myself up for a run.  Around 7:30 I decided to warm up and found the course start and ran about half a mile out (and back) and wrapped up with some leg swings.  I had assumed the course was flat, after all we were on the bench of the mountains, but I couldn't have been more wrong.  This course was a BEAST.  If you study the elevation profile on my Garmin capture, you'll see that the race starts at 4831 feet and drops down to 4508 before climbing back up to just under 4900.

During my warm-up I was like, crap, what have I gotten myself into?  It was only a quarter mile in and I was already laboring.  During the warm-up I managed to take a few pictures of the Ogden Valley and it should give you a little bit of an idea of the height we were at:

The finish / start line, pre race

Looking out over the Ogden Valley. Antelope Island in the distance

The high point of the course. All down from there.

I was one of the few to dress in shorts and a regular short-sleeved t-shirt (and gloves). Most folks went with heavier winter gear.  I am glad I went lighter, as I was perfectly fine throughout the race.  

The race started promptly at 8 and after talking with a bunch of people, my goal was to try and run in the low 50's.  If this was a flat course, I would've tried for sub 48, but I knew this was anything but a flat course.

The course was primarily in middle class housing.  The road was majorly tilted so I certainly would hate to run there on a daily basis.  I could see it aggravating a runner's hips due to one leg being higher than the other.  Also the course sported some really nice views of the Wasatch Mountains.

I ran just about right on target for the first mile.  Despite a solid uphill I felt pretty good.  Mile 2 was pretty much downhill -- hard downhill and I was trying to mentally save up energy knowing I'd have to make that beast of a climb back up.  I hit the 5K mark at roughly the time I finished last week's Valentine's Day Race.  I knew it was a little fast, but I also knew that I had been aided by the downhill.

Mile 4 really tested my mental toughness.  I was moving along pretty well, but at this point I was starting to hurt.  It also didn't help that it was a gradual uphill and while it wasn't a terrible uphill, I knew the worst miles were yet to come.  

Mile 5, of course, was the toughest.  I saw a good deal of runners walking up the hill, but I kept on going and didn't get passed and managed to pick off a few people.  I think the thought of the finish line getting closer kept me motivated.  The course was 100% accurate with my Garmin, so I knew I was getting close.  I also knew that once I got to the top of the hill, it was roughly a fast finish, with a good downhill to the end.

What my car looks like on race day


I was really surprised with my finish.  I felt good throughout the race and while this is one of the slowest 10Ks (in terms of time), this is also been one of hardest!  Again, I feel confident in saying my race skills are improving -- and thriving with the higher mileage!

I wound up meeting one of the higher-ups for the Ogden Marathon and I think she sort of pushed into doing the Ogden Marathon again.  While I haven't plunked down the money, the thought is definitely tickling my brain.  So don't be too surprised if you see me there.

I paid $30 for the race -- about 3 days before the race start.  I was really happy with what I got for the money: a high quality shirt, course support, and police blocking the roads.  Despite the toughness of the course, it was really a pretty course that offered a decent change of scenery. Post race food consisted of sports drink, donuts, oranges / bananas, coffee / hot chocolate and other mini snacks.

They have a 10 mile race coming up in two weeks that roughly follows the same course (and I am told the other 4 miles is even tougher) that I am looking forward in tackling. 

Racing shirt - I love the color / design.

After the Race

I didn't really know anyone at the race and I did make some small talk with people.  Once I realized I was way out of range for an award, I took off.  About 30 minutes up the road I once again hit up the Crystal Hot Springs in Honeyville (just shy of the Idaho border).

The weather was a bit more rough -- with some sprinkling of snow.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the springs mostly empty.  However, a group of boy scouts were there and of course they raised a ruckus.  I managed to sit in the 102F pool for a good 90 minutes and I felt like a brand new man.  It is amazing how good I feel after sitting in the hot, salty water.  All for $7 too.

I jumped back on the 15 and headed south and of course inhaled WAY too much food at the Layton Golden Corral.  The snow was just starting to come down too and I was glad to take a break from freeway driving.  Sadly, the folks at the Layton GC now recognize me as a "regular",,  sigh, and that GC is 45 minutes away from my house.

Oh well, another good, fun-filled day and I raced well too.  Stay tuned for more races!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Great Salt Lake Shoreline Run

Man-made formation of some sort just off the shore


With Shari's mom heading back to Washington, I had to drive both of them to the airport this morning.  Since Shari accompanied her mom until she boarded the airplane, it gave me the opportunity to find a new place to go running since I had a good hour and a half to kill.

Unlike most cities, the Salt Lake Airport is very casual and for the most part easy in and easy out.  This is doubly true for Sundays.

I thought about going back to the bike trail, but I opted instead to drive about 10 miles west and run along the frontage road to the I-80.  Fans of mine may recall that I ran the Salt Aire Half Marathon along that route this past November.  It isn't the most scenic run ever, but it does have its natural beauty.  

I wanted to run along the frontage road for a bit and snap some "on course" photos. 

I was the only runner out there, but there were a handful of site seers and cyclists.  The weather was in the mid 40's and sunny with a stiff breeze.

Rough estimation of what I ran. I suspect I went further into the lake.

The Run

The frontage is well marked with mile markers from all sorts of races they have there.  So even without a Garmin, I knew how far I had run.  At around the 2.5 mile mark, I found a dirt road that was gated off.  I saw some "tourist" signs and managed to find the pedestrian area to access it.

After quickly grabbing some pictures of the signs, I saw that the trail continued towards the lake, which has receded a great deal because there hasn't really been much rain or snow this winter.

I wound up running all the way to the lake's shore.  I basically hugged some markers that led the way.  Portions of the silt / sand were sort of gummy to run in, but for the most part it was smooth and soft landing for the majority of the run.

Overall it was a really interesting run...

Just heading out and looking at where I ran. The copper mine can be seen

Stansbury Island out in the distance

Antelope Island
Typical stretch of frontage road

Stagnant water along the frontage road

I ran from the copper mine in the far distance

Almost to the lake

Antelope Island

Saturday, February 14, 2015

This week in running Feb 8 - Feb 14

Day Mileage / Workout Comments
Sunday 9 Trail run at Mueller Park, Bountiful Utah. Walked another 7 later.
Monday 5 Easy
Tuesday Off Needed a rest day. Walked about 4 miles.
Wednesday 9 Decent run, but had heartburn. Ugh.
Thursday 11 Solid paced run. Loving the weather.
Friday 3 Easy with strides to wrap things up. Getting some snap in my legs.
Saturday 4 South Davis Recreation Center 5K in 23:46
Total miles for the week: 41 - YTD: 287.5

Week's Summary

I am still in recovery mode.  I can still feel a bit of lingering tiredness, especially in my quads on my longer runs.  These are just residual effects of the marathon, just about two weeks ago.  I know, you basically aren't supposed to run after putting in a full marathon for nearly a month, but with this weather and despite my soreness, I have been putting in some decent training.  It was also half the reason why I went to the hot springs today.

I am a little bummed I didn't get in a quality speed workout session, but I was sort of saving that for my 5K race.

If I included all the miles I walked, I would've easily eclipsed 60 miles for the week.

Upcoming Races

Next weekend I am hoping to do a 10K up in Ogden.  I am also going to sign up for the Riverton Half Marathon.  I got a flyer from them stating that they are capping the size of their race.  That race isn't until next month and I ran it last year.

I am also finding it hard to believe that in about 2 months, I might be doing another full marathon.  I've got the Sand Hollow Marathon down in Southern Utah on the radar as well as Reno.  The Sand Hollow one is probably the biggest probable at this point.  Looks like I am going to have to start to ramp up the miles a bit.

Weird Injury?

I've had some pretty rough plantar fasciitis in the morning.  Not good.  I've dug out my orthotics and I am hoping they will help.  They aren't the most comfortable things, hence why I don't wear them very often.  But more often then not, they do stop plantar fasciitis.

Also around mid week I found that on the ball of my foot, just below my toe, on each foot, my toe area would just ache.  It wasn't a sharp pain, but it just felt numb and achy.  I am wondering if running on the trail in Bountiful last weekend had something to do with it.  It is mildly better today but still it is something to put on the radar.

Keep running!

South Davis Sweethearts 5K Race Recap - Bountiful, Utah

Official Time: 23;46
Placement: 47 place overall, 5th in the 45 - 49 age group.
Results: Here
Race Website:Here
Weather: Lower to mid 40's, no wind.

Mile Time Comments
1 7:15 I wanted to run 7:30 but the downhill kept me moving. Felt good though
27:42Slowly climbing at this point. 
38:03This mile is always the toughest on this course. Just a steady grind up.
3.10:35Booked to the finish
Total Miles: 3.07

Bountiful Sweethearts 5K Race with elevation profile.


I've run the South Davis Recreation Center's Sweethearts 5K now three times.  In a way, it has become a Valentine's Day tradition for me.  You can read my previous recaps here:  2013 and 2014

Located about 25 minutes north of my house, this race is a no brainer.  It is about $20 to register (which I did at the Thanksgiving Day Race) and they always put on a good race.  You have clean bathrooms, a decent finisher's medal and plenty of food and some really nice awards -- if you are lucky enough to finish in your age group.

Full parking lot at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful, UT

The Event

It's been a while since I've raced a 5K.  All my training has been marathon paced.  I am not a big believer that racking up miles is a good way to do well in a 5K.  For a marathon, yes, 5K? Not really.  When I wrapped up the Thanksgiving Day races, I was just a hair over 24 minutes.  I was starting to worry that this was the beginning of the end in terms of 5K racing.  Would I hit 25 minutes?

I am happy to report that I did run a 23:46 which is a good 30 seconds faster than what I did on Thanksgiving.  At least this is yet another race where I am heading in the right direction.

The race started at 9AM and I rolled in at 8, collected my swag bag and then wandered around the workout facility and listened to music.  Around 8:30 I did a shakeout run and some drills.  I cycled through the bathrooms a few times as well.

The race started slightly after 9AM and 500+ runners and I hit the first mile in good stride.  The 1st mile is largely downhill and once you hit 1.25 miles, the fun begins.  You round a corner and then you see a slow incline.  Luckily that stretch of road is only about a quarter mile long and then once you turn the corner, you see that the last half of the race is entirely uphill.  Imagine turning on a treadmill to 2% - 3% incline and you have what this race is like.

I was really pushing the last mile and I was getting upset with myself when I saw my pace was 8:45-ish at times.  I was like "Come on, I ran faster than this at mile 14 in my most recent marathon!"  I honestly gave it all I got and I was happy with my finish and my time.  Once again, this is another race where I improved on a time, so something "might" be working for me.

Post Race

This race gives our premium finisher's medals.  I grabbed a protein drink and eye balled the prizes.  Unfortunately my runner card said I finished in 5th, so no swag for me.  Last year I got ripped off.  My card said I was in 4th but when I saw the official listing, I was in 3rd.  I never did get a prize from last year.

Check out the prizes from this year:

After socializing a bit with a cool doctor that happens to work at the hospital I went to I wound up taking off and headed north to the Crystal Hot Springs in Honeyville Utah.  I've been itching to go up there for a LONG time.  Faithful readers may recall that I ran the Lucky 13 Half Marathon there last year.  

The springs are located about 40 minutes past Bountiful and I made the trek up there.  I spent a good 90 minutes soaking and relaxing.  By the time I made it up there, it was pushing 50 degrees and the water and air temperature was perfect.  I felt like a new man:

After cleaning up and sucking down an entire bottle of Gatorade (the salty springs will dehydrate you pretty quickly), I wound up driving south to Layton and hit up my favorite Golden Corral.  For Valentine's Day, it was a zoo, but I managed to eat a healthy meal and not get too carried away.


I really lived it up today and I had a blast.  I ran a pretty good race -- although a very far cry from my fastest 5Ks.  I got to go to the Hot Springs and just relax (although relax might be too strong of a word -- there are a TON of kids there) and polished it off with a nice meal at the Corral.  

I am hoping to run a few more shorter races to really dial in my speed again.  

The Recreation center certainly delivers on a good race and they kept the price very reasonable.  Especially with all the goodies they hand out: protein drinks, fruit, bagels, sports drink and even a finisher's medal.  I'll definitely continue to run their races, although I am not a big fan of the 5K course.  It isn't an easy one, but it certainly is honest.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Mueller Park 9 Mile Run to Elephant Rock and Beyond


Those in the Utah area know that we've been having some unseasonably warm weather this early February.  Instead of the normal 30-something degrees (with snow) we've had weather routinely in the 50's and even the 60's.

It makes it really tough to stay inside and after spending most of yesterday itching to get outside, I decided I would pay a visit to Mueller Park.  I had been to the park once before on a run to Elephant Rock but opted to not bring my camera on account that rain was threatening.

I had no such risks today so it was a great opportunity to take some photos.

The Run 

Mueller Park is about 25 minutes (or miles) from my house.  Normally this trail, this time of year, is covered in snow, but with the warm weather it was mostly smooth sailing with the exception of the shaded parts.  

The park starts at about 5200 feet and my run would take me close to 6750 over the course of 9 miles.  I would've gone a bit further as I had brought a gel / Fuel Belt but I ran into a good deal of snow that turned my run into a shoe sucking walk through knee deep snow.  Also, other people's tracks pretty much disappeared too, so in the even I ran into some sort of problem it might not be likely that I'd run into anyone.

The whole run took about 110 minutes.  I know, not incredibly fast by any means, but given that I had to do bouts of walking, picture taking and making my way by other hikers (which there was a surprising amount of), I am happy to report a successful run that I only wiped out once on.  I also got a nifty little suntan too.

Enjoy the photos:

View of the Bountiful Valley

Looking east. I would run just below the snow bank ahead

Typical stretch of trail

Where the snow started to get rough.

Knee deep snow here. I turned around here.

You can see elephant rock in the cluster of green a few miles ahead

The top of elephant rock