This morning started with a headache and a stomach that was half a bubble off. Not a great way to start your long run day. Especially when you're supposed to run 18 miles. I popped a couple of aspirin and a caffeine pill and headed to Corner Canyon. Until I arrived at the trailhead this morning, I didn't have a set route in mind. I created a bit of an aide station for myself in my van. I brought a cooler with ice water, sports drink, cantaloupe and plantain chips. I figured I could go out on a couple loops and break up the long day.
Once I hit the trail I decided to find out about those mountains you can see beyond the top of Clark's trail. See them in the distance, there? I headed that way. This brilliant idea was brought on by watching this series of videos last night about Anton Krupicka climbing what's known as Nolan's 14.
Upon the arrival at the top of Clark's I spied these beautiful blue flowers. I was feeling better by now and was running along at a good pace for an uphill.
The climb continued and I was getting closer to said mountains. I was still feeling good and excited about my adventure.
See that little trail with a building on it? I ended up in that parking lot after a couple of miles.
That peak was still very far off, but now I was staring at it from near it's height.
Utah lake is out there in the distance.
Once at the top I was thrilled that I had made it so high, but knew that it was really going to slow me down.
I wasn't entirely sure this was the best plan of action for starting a successful 18 mile training run. But, what the hell? It was fun!
See the white building down there? That's where I started!
When I came to this, I wasn't exactly what you'd call thrilled. It was pretty rough going the entire way down. There was a section of running right on a ridge, some steep downhills and lots of loose rocks and gravel. Lots of fun, right?
Remember that parking lot I told you I'd get to? I made it! I was at about mile 4.5. Now the easy part begins, down Canyon Hollow back to my "aide station."
Look Ma! New trail! That was exciting. This trail was a lot less downhill than the other way down, but it was fun and led me directly to the Coyote Hollow trailhead.
By the time I made it to the van I was at about 7.5 miles. I wasn't as near the halfway point as I'd hoped when I returned to the van to refill, but I took advantage of it anyway. I sat for a moment and ate my cantaloupe and refilled my water and electrolyte drink.
After heading out again, I decided to try another new section of trail. Instead of heading to Potato Hill, I continued on the Bonneville Shoreline trail. I passed what Katherine and I like to call Hogwarts. Hot damn! This house is HUGE!
I ended up at this piece of land that was going to be, I assume, turned into a house. I had to make my own way through to the trail on the other side, which soon ended at a major road. Seeing Ann's trail just across the road with no way to reach it was rather frustrating. But there was nothing else I could do, so I headed back the way I came.
The other side of Potato Hill. The sun was really pounding down on me now and I was getting very hot. As I poured lots of water on my head and down my shirt I was thankful I had refilled my hydration bladder.
I was feeling pretty grumpy at this point, but for whatever reason seeing this flower made me very happy.
I decided my next best course of action would be to head out Potato Hill to Ann's and just go out and back the few miles I had left. However, I was beat! It was getting very hot and my legs and spirit were starting to get very worn. By mile 12 I couldn't fathom how I was going to make it six more miles.
At about 12.3 miles I decided to just take a break. I contemplated continuing on, but decided to head back to the car. That would give me about 14.5 miles. Not anywhere near my goal, but I didn't care. I was beat!
Then the silliest thing happened that helped me continue. My friend Meghan texted me to say that she had just had a miserable three mile run. Don't ask me why, but her telling me that renewed me. I wasn't the only one having a crappy run. I could make it a bit farther. Itexted her back and told her where I was and how I was dying. It felt good to get it out and tell someone that I felt like crap. I decided that I would make it to at least 16 miles. I ran back toward the van and headed up Clark's, once again. It was slow going, but I pushed on up. I finished at a mile and a half short of my goal and the entire run was one huge roller coaster. I felt good, I felt bad, I felt horrible. Mentally I was in and out of the run. One moment enjoying the adventure, the next completely down in the dumps. I will say one thing though, I smiled the entire drive home.
14:36 average pace
The beautiful, treacherous details.