Sunday, September 24, 2017

This Week in Running 9/17 - 9/23

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday6Desert Run in West Wendover NV
Monday52 Miles in 15:40, rest easy
Tuesday4Easy, a little bit of speed at the end
Wednesday10Roughly marathon pace for 8 miles.
ThursdayOffRest Day needed
Friday52 Miles in 16:10, rest fairly easy
Saturday17Long run (9:30 pace throughout)
Total miles for the week: 47; YTD: 1309

Week's Summary

Definitely a very productive week.  I got in 4 quality workouts.  A long run at 9:30, 2 days at 5K pace and then a just above tempo run for 10 miles.  I am really trying to regain some of my speed after my lay off from my injury.

It seems to be working.  I am building up some 5K speed and getting used to running fast again.  It's been a while since I've been forced to keep up the pace.  Part of running fast is knowing and dealing with the pain of running hard.

My long run on Saturday went really well.  I usually just sort of run and go by feel.  If I have a good day, great, if not, I just dial it back.  But I was very surprised that I was able to hold 9:30 pace.  Normally, I can hold that for about 8 to 10 miles (in a non-race situation) but somehow I managed to hold on to for pretty much the entire run.  Overall, this was a huge confidence builder for me.

Knee Injury

I wish my knee would make up it's mind.  I am not feeling any pain with it and my gait is good, but I'll be honest, it is creaking / popping and doing funny things.  Usually at the start of my run I can feel it and then it mellows out.  In the morning too, it seems to settle in (right after waking).  After that, though, I am fine...  I am still doing my exercises.  So this week I am going to be sort of careful with it.

Also I am feeling a little bit of a hot spot on my left Achilles tendon.  Hopefully this isn't the start of Achilles tendinitis.

I've been icing both spots and being proactive about it.  Last thing I want is to miss the 9th edition of the Vegas marathon in November.

Desert Run

On Sunday, I had the chance to explore Wendover again, just across the Utah border.  I wasn't planning on going very far, but as usual, the run took me and I wound up exploring a new trail (to me).

I found a family's burial plot, which wasn't too hidden.  They have a beautiful view and it looks like the place is visited and kept up.

I also took a tour of the area around the golf course (without trespassing).

It was just a delicious morning for a run:

Upcoming Races

I need to fill up my "dance card" again. It is fall and I am itching for a race.

11/12: Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/21: Salt Lake City Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed (2018))

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

This Week in Running 9/10 - 9/16

Glad I can run and enjoy views like this

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
SundayOff3 Miles of Hiking
Monday5Had heart burn. Hard to run.
Tuesday82 Miles at 16:15, rest medium to easy
Wednesday5.25Medium with 1 mile of strides
Thursday7Wanted to go hard but body wasn't on board
Friday52 Miles at 5K Pace -- rest fairly easy
Saturday16Long run
Total miles for the week: 46.25; YTD: 1262

Week's Summary

This week was very productive.  I managed to get into the mid 40's in terms of mileage.  My long run seemed a lot harder than it should've been.  My knee injury has certainly derailed a lot of my training.  On the plus side, it did go okay and I managed to get the mileage in that I needed to.  My focus right now is on the Las Vegas Marathon and building up my marathon level endurance.

Also, on Tuesday I set out to run a 5K.  Just a mock race.  You know what? It was hard... After 2 miles I thought my lungs were going to explode.  I could've grunted it out -- no worries on that but it was the first time I had done any sort of speed work in a very long time.  I was certainly not used to the mental strength that I needed to endure to hold on to my pace.

So I stopped at 2 miles.

And right now that has been my speed work out.  Go hard for 2 miles.  It gives me a bit of speed and endurance.  Hopefully doing this once or twice a week will start firing my long neglected speed muscles.

Knee Injury

I graduated this past week from physical therapy.  I will continue to do my exercises and am scheduled to check in early in October.  

My knee is definitely better.  Most days I am at 100%, but occasionally I still feel it.  I am never sure whether to train through it or take some more time off.  I am definitely WAY WAY better than where I was in mid July.

Upcoming Races

I need to fill up my "dance card" again. It is fall and I am itching for a race.

11/12: Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/21: Salt Lake City Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed (2018))

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Smith Lake Hike - Wells, NV

Smith Lake


After spending the night in Elko and after having spent the previous day hiking and running, I needed something to keep the trip entertaining on the way back.  I had last hiked to Smith Lake from Angel Lake in 2015 and found it entirely enjoyable.

The action starts at the top of the Angel Lake exit off of the west exit on I-80 in Wells, Nevada.  When the road is serviceable (basically summer through fall), you take it about 11 miles up and park near at the non-pay / non-camping section of Angel Lake (the first right hand parking lot).  In the back of the lot is a trail that you take, open a gate and travel about 1.25 miles to get to the lake.

The trail is very easy to follow.  However, it is a bit of workout, as it involves about 750 feet of climbing over the course of a mile.  The views of the Wells valley are incredible.

The lake itself was tranquil and appeared like a miniature version of Angel Lake.  It was quiet there and I only ran into two sets of people on the trail (and they were coming back).  It seems popular with people who want to fish there and I saw plenty of fingerling fish breaking the top of the water.

Smith Lake is an ideal place for a quiet picnic and there were plenty of spots to sit back and relax.

The trail does end at the lake, but you can poke around around the lake or do a bit of trailblazing further to the west.

I should also point out that the smell was just intoxicating as well, particularly near the lake.  I got the familiar "Juicy Fruit Gum" smell that I just love, despite there not being any wildflowers in bloom (this trail is awesome in July when the flowers are abundant).

Enjoy the photos:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Powerhouse Trail - Lamoille Canyon, Lamoille NV


After finishing 13 miles uphill thanks to the Race to the Angel Half Marathon I needed to kill some time before I could check in the hotel and actually relax for a bit.

So that left with me some time to do some exploration.  I had done a little bit of research and tried to find an "easy" hike.  There were a few in the area but they didn't sound too interesting.  I remember hearing, though, of another hike that was in one of my favorite canyons: Lamoille Canyon.

Lamoille Canyon is about 25 minutes south of Elko and after eating at Red Lion and getting a heavy-duty dose of caffeine, I headed out.  

This trail is located practically at the entrance of the canyon.  You basically go in about 2 miles from the road and at the first pull-over section you'll see this sign:

There is plenty of parking here.  The trail head is across the street (you'll see the trail sign from the first picture of this post).

The trail is easy to follow (don't take the jeep trail when you first start) and very well maintained.  In fact, I found it be a highly runnable or bikeable trail.  

I found some posts that said that the trail is about 3.5 miles long.  I believe the forestry department has been expanding it.  I went 4 miles -- one way -- and I suspect the end was yet another half mile or so.  

Initially the trail does a lot of switch backing and that is where the initial elevation appears to come from.  However, it was very manageable and I never felt like I was really going hard.  You can see the route I took and the elevation gain by looking at my Garmin Dump

After about a mile, the trail starts to hug the northern edge of the Ruby Mountains.  There are some stunning views of rock formations and the Lamoille / Spring Creek valley below.

There isn't a lot of shade on the trail, so this is best done early in the day or in the spring or fall months.  There isn't any water sources either, so be sure to carry plenty of hydration.  I had cell reception the entire way.

There were two other couples on the trail -- both with dogs.  So it is a family and pet friendly trail.

The trail wasn't super spectacular but it was just what the doctor ordered for me.  I did the entire 8 miles in about 2 and a half hours.  I was pushing the pace, however, so your time requirements may vary.

Enjoy the photos: