Saturday, March 25, 2017

This Week in Running 3/19 - 3/25

Rainy day on a long run

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday6Easy run along the cliffs of Lake Mead. 3 in the morning, 3 in the evening
Thursday75K at half marathon pace. 1 mile at 5K pace, rest easy.
Saturday17Long run Saturday.
Total miles for the week: 45; YTD: 480.5

Rainy conditions for Saturday's long run

Week's Summary

Can I just say I was really tired -- pretty much all week?  The half marathon that I did last Saturday and the subsequent hike in the afternoon pretty much wiped me out all week.  I was sore for the better part of the week and just sort of run down feeling.  I wound up taking the majority of my runs this week fairly easy.

I did have a fairly good speed workout on Thursday.  I was finally feeling pretty good and I decided to go for about 4 - 5 miles at half marathon pace.  I started out pretty well and I felt like I was pushing the pace, but not killing myself.

At my turn around, I took a 1 minute break and then proceeded to make my way back, figuring another 2 - 3 miles at tempo pace should do it.

After a mile or so I came across a group standing in the middle of the bike trail.  They certainly weren't there on my way out.  I also so a good deal of police cars.  Was something going on?

I started to make my way around the crowd when all of the sudden one of the police officers shouted "Go!" All of the sudden the group took off running in the direction I was going.

It didn't look like an official race or anything and most of the guys there (I think there was one woman) were half my age.  And they were pretty fast.

I tried keeping up with them and I felt pretty slow as the lead back disappeared from view.

After about a quarter mile though I started reeling in some of the slower members of the group.  It seemed some clearly weren't runners.  I saw people gasping for breath, holding their sides and looking like they were going to puke.

As I passed one of them, I asked if it was some sort of 5K.  I got an unintelligible answer back and I tried another straggler... .with the same result.

It turns out it was roughly a 1 mile run... They had a turn around point about .5 of a mile from the start and from what I could gather, it seemed like a police cadet / recruit training run.

I went through their turn around area and ran about another quarter mile.  I was gassed.  It was nice training to force myself to turn it up a notch late in the game of a tempo run.  Just wish I had been wearing my Garmin so I could've known what sort of pace I had been running.

Saturday's long run was kind of "blah".  I knew almost from the get go that it was going to be a tough one.  My legs were just tired, stiff and non-responsive.  I had visions of going 20 miles but I decided after a few miles that I'd "just" do 17.  I am glad I decided to call it short.  I was really fading fast near the end and with the constant rain I was finding myself getting cold.  Some long runs are like that...

Weight Loss

Well, I checked in at 183 on Friday morning.  I am not doing the sugar free diet, but I have definitely corrected a lot of the flaws in my diet.  I no longer keep a box of cookies in my drawer at work and I've quit buying chips.  That alone has saved me a few hundred calories every day.

Upcoming Races

04/01: Emigration Half Marathon (Park City, UT, Confirmed)
04/08: Winter Striders Race Circuit Half Marathon - Huntsville, UT (Confirmed)
04/22: Salt Lake City Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed) (2017)
04/29: Winter Striders Race Circuit 30K - Huntsville, UT (Confirmed)
06/24: Utah Midnight Half Marathon - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
07/07: Utah Midnight (Legacy) Half Marathon - Farmington, UT (Confirmed)
11/12: Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Boulder City Nevada Road Trip Recap


As I usually like to do after a road is recap what I experienced.  This is more or less for me, as an online diary of my adventures.  It really doesn't have a whole lot to do about running, but it does capture some of the experiences I had -- big and small.

I like to go back, from time to time, and read my previous adventures and remember what I've done.  Often times, the small details of trips fade and without this record, I'd likely forget about them.  So bare with me in this short indulgence.


Me at the Casablanca Hotel and Casino in Mesquite, NV

The plan was to get home as early as possible from work, throw my stuff in the car and head out before too much Friday traffic delayed me.  I had about a 6 hour drive to Boulder City, Nevada and I was fortunate we had company meetings that ended just before 2 PM.  Shari got home at 2:30-ish and I was itching to go.  

Unfortunately, our 20 year-old cat had other ideas.  She hasn't been doing too well and Friday evening she was sick.  So after some hemming and hawing, it was decided I'd have to go solo (shucks (/wink)).

I beat most of the traffic and made excellent time.  We were having unseasonably warm March weather and by the time I got to the southern part of the state, I was filling up my car in 80+ degree weather.

Another half hour later and I pulled into the Casablanca Hotel and Casino in Mesquite, NV.  Mesquite is the first Nevada town you come to when going to Vegas.  I had a coupon for money off at the buffet, so I helped myself to some cheap carbs..... and it was a bargain too!  I held back on the precracked crab legs (it's never good to eat too much seafood before a race)

I gambled some and actually left up a few dollars.

I made the rest of the way to Boulder City in just under 2 hours.  Traffic was a little tough near Vegas, but by the time I was passing through, it was well after rush hour.

The hotel was nice.  I had visited before and I thought it was very classy.  It isn't like the strip at all... very subdued and quiet.  The casino didn't have a lot of my favorite machines, which was good.  It stopped me from gambling too much (although I did play).  I wound up giving back some of my winnings that I had won in Mesquite but I wanted to go to sleep, so I called it a night fairly early.


I slept horribly.  I am not sure why but I think I was nervous about the race and I was bug-eyed from driving.  If I was lucky, I got about 2 hours of sleep and it was fitful at best.

View from my room

In the morning, I wound up running the St Patrick's Day / 6 Tunnels Half Marathon, which you can read here.  

After the race I tried to use the pool at the hotel, but it was out of order -- the entire bleeding weekend.  Argh.  So I wound up eating lunch at the hotel (Rancho Heuvos) which wasn't too bad and it certainly was filling. I also sucked down a ton of Arnold Palmers.  I was completely dehydrated and I wound up drinking a lot throughout the day.

After eating I was kind of depressed with my time at the race, so I headed upstairs to lay down in the room and find something to watch on the 20-channel TV (that had a line of static running through it).  I was starting to fall asleep -- in my over caffeinated state -- and there was a knock on the door.  Housekeeping....

So I had to find something to do.  I suppose I could've hung out in the room, but I didn't want to just hang around, so I wound up filling a water bottle up and walking to the Hoover Dam along the Lake Mead Train Hike, which you can see here.

I had a strange occurrence as I was coming back to the hotel.  I was walking through the parking lot and a big burly Harley Davidson riding motorcycle guy pulled up next to me and asked me, "Hey... what kind of car do you drive?"

I was like, "uh?"

He was obviously pissed off and asked his question again.

I explained to him that I had just finished a hike and I hadn't driven my car in several hours. 

He looked me up and down and gave me a dirty look and sped off.  I figured he was looking to kick someone's butt after a road altercation (and it would've been no contest versus me).

He sped off north and not more than a few minutes later paramedics came flying down the road from the opposite direction.  I tried to find something in the paper but to no avail.  I suspect he had witnessed a hit and run and was looking for the culprit.  Just glad it wasn't me.

I cleaned up and gambled some more at the hotel and I wasn't having any luck.  Luckily, I wasn't too into gambling and decided I needed to find some place to eat for dinner.

I Googled around for a cheap buffet.  I was thinking of trying the Railroad Pass Buffet up the road but decided I wanted to go the Fiesta Hotel and Casino.  Usually the Station Casinos do a good job and I know they'll have a decent casino.  I just hoped that the line wouldn't be too bad.

I got there and it wasn't too busy.  I wound up blowing some money on Fu Dao Le and my minimal losses turned into a slightly larger one.  Luckily I knew when to quit and found the buffet.  It wasn't too bad for $10.  They pretty much had the same food as the other Station casino buffets, but the upkeep wasn't as good and there weren't any premiums (other than the Mongolian grill).

I made my way back to the Hoover Dam Lodge and played a bit more there but once again Lady Luck wasn't with me and I called it quits after about 15 minutes.


In the morning, I woke up early and went for a quick run.  I was still sore as anything from the day before, so it was more or less a shuffle for about 3 miles.  I wound up taking a few pictures as well.  There were a few other runners out and it was a really nice and peaceful run.

After cleaning up, I checked out and went and visited my aunt and uncle in Summerlin at the Rampart Hotel.  I haven't seen my uncle since -- well, when I had a full head of hair.  Probably since the early 90's.  We caught up over breakfast and I wound up winning about $10.  

Originally I had planned on taking Monday off and staying the night in Mesquite (I'd get it for free) but I wasn't terribly in the mood for gambling and I didn't really want to blow a day off.  So I wound up driving from Summerlin back to Salt Lake City.

Traffic going north is starting to resemble what I experienced going from Las Vegas to California on a Sunday evening.  Utah's speed limits aren't for the faint of heart and people were driving like maniacs.  I don't think I'll ever do that again.

I did make it home safely -- and 4 days after running the half marathon, I am still fatigued and even a little sore from it.

But I have a lot of good memories about this trip.  It was nice to get out on my own and really tear up the hiking trails.  I've wanted to hike the Lake Mead trail for a very long time -- and I even got a chance to run it.  Maybe next year I'll repeat this trip...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

This Week in Running 3/12 - 3/18

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday19Long run Sunday
Wednesday7Half Marathon paced run
ThursdayOffWork late / tired
FridayOffTravel Day
Saturday136 Tunnels / St Patrick's Day Half Marathon
Total miles for the week: 43; YTD: 435.5

Decker Lake, South Salt Lake City

Week's Summary

Well, I didn't run a lot this week.  The tail end of the week was filled with work related meetings that started early and ended late.  Nothing kills your ambition to running then LONG meetings.  I tried to get up early on Wednesday and I successful got a solid 7 miles in, but I was dead the rest of the day.  While I can appreciate morning runs in that I am fresher and feel a little more energetic, but it seems a little short-lived.  I haven't had any sugar in my system, I have bathroom issues, and it tends to sap my strength for the rest of the day.

I totally failed to run on Thursday as a result (the meetings really killed me), but I did get a walk in.

Sunday's long run went well.  My Garmin said I ran 18 miles, but I suspect I ran quite a bit longer.  I traced it out on MapMyRun and it was close to 19.5.  I think my GPS lost signal and couldn't resync itself after pausing it and using the restroom on the way out.  All things considered, the long run was good, but I suspect it sabotaged my weekend race.

I wish I had better things to report about the half marathon I did but it was going to be tough day. I rarely run well after a weekend long run and it was hot and hilly.  It just wasn't in the cards and it wound up being another sufferfest.  

On the flip side, though, I had a fantastic weekend and managed to knock off an item on my ever growing bucket list.

Me at the Hoover Dam

Weight Loss

I didn't do the sugar free diet like I did last week.  I was mindful of what I ate (except when I was in Vegas).  I didn't weigh in at all so I can't report anything too exciting, other than I am conscious about what I am sticking in my pie hole.  Also, with the company meetings there was a bountiful selection of junk food, so I probably didn't do myself too many favors.  Hopefully I'll have good news this coming weekend.

Upcoming Races

No races this weekend ... at least that's the plan.

I did, however, goof on some previous posts as to the date of the SLC Marathon (I had it listed as 4/15).  Looks like I have an extra week of training, hence this coming weekend I should be able to get in a solid long run.  This will be my first marathon of 2017.  I am crossing my fingers for good weather and springy legs.

04/01: Emigration Half Marathon (Park City, UT, Maybe)
04/08: Winter Striders Race Circuit Half Marathon - Huntsville, UT (Confirmed)
04/22: Salt Lake City Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed) (2017)
04/29: Winter Striders Race Circuit 30K - Huntsville, UT (Confirmed)
06/24: Utah Midnight Half Marathon - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
07/07: Utah Midnight (Legacy) Half Marathon - Farmington, UT (Confirmed)
11/12: Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

Lake Mead Train Trail Hike - Boulder City, NV

View of Lake Mead from the Train Trail Hike


After running the St Patrick's Day Half Marathon I knew I had to get some pictures (and video) of the second half of the race.  There were just so many fantastic views and unique rock formations and to capture all of them would've really slowed me down.

So I made a note to myself that I would take a run in the morning and capture all the beauty.

However, after eating and crashing on my bed in my hotel room I began tossing and turning.  The pool was closed, I couldn't sleep in my over-caffeinated state and I really wasn't sure what I felt like doing.  I was just exhausted and dehydrated.

Then just as I was falling into a semi-fitful sleep I got a knock on the door.  It was house keeping.  So rather than watch them work, I filled a Gatorade bottle up with water, put it in a tote bag and headed out.

Staying at the Hoover Dam Lodge, I was fortunate enough to have direct access to the Train Trail.  The Train Trail was constructed at the time that the Hoover Dam was being built.  Trains filled with supplies came via this route to supply the workers.  Once the dam was completed, the tracks were removed and now a well groomed running, walking and biking trail exists -- along with some stunning views.

Best of all, the hike is absolutely free and if you are able to, allows you stress-free access to the Hoover Dam (i.e. no traffic or parking woes)

The Hike

From the parking lot of the Hoover Dam Lodge, it probably took me just under 2 hours to make it to the Hoover Dam.  I was taking video and photos along the way and while the temperature was about 88 and sunny, it wasn't too bad.  

There are two drinking fountains (mostly close to the dam) and one restroom (other than at the dam).   Along the way there are also 5 tunnels.  Each are less than a hundred yards (or so) and on the Saturday afternoon I was hiking there was no shortage of other people out.

There are some information signs as well telling you about what you are seeing and I even stumbled upon some elusive Big Horned Sheep.  They weren't shy at all and I was very surprised to see them.  I've hiked a lot of Nevada but have never come across them.

In short, these is an easy hike but best to do it in the early morning or in non-summer months.

Enjoy the photos:

View from the Hoover Dam Lodge

Desert flowers

Big Horn Sheep

Big Horn Sheep

Big Horn Sheep

Big Horn Sheep