Sunday, July 6, 2014

Early summer long runs

On the CDT near Lost Trail Pass.
After a long period gingerly ramping up running volume this spring, which was continuously derailed by skiing, I have been fortunate to find time for a long run almost every week since late April, which has allowed time to explore some new trails and get off the beaten path at times. I have a virtually inexhaustible list of runs I want to do, especially around Superior, so hopefully the streak will continue. To be continued…

4/29 - M trail + Sypes attempt + crash and burn running home.  I tried to run the M to Sypes, but there was too much snow.  I of course did not give in without a fight, and pushed it way up into the snow before retreating.  I ran all the way home, which involved a lot of pavement running which took me down.  Hobbled it home, arriving late and humbled.

5/2 - Sentinel long run.  Spent a fantastic spring morning running up Hellgate, over both Sentinel summits, down Pengelly and around the the fire road then up University, up North Sentinel and down the ridge.  Ran this one real slow, but the calves held in there, and this run was a great confidence boost.  It was also great to be out on a warm spring morning cruising around on the hill.

5/13? - Sentinel laps with Doug.  OK, maybe not so creative, but I had a great afternoon pounding the quads back into downhill shape by running 3 Sentinel laps plus a University lap.  All in all I was able to touch most of the major trails (Evans, Pengelly, Smokejumper steep and flat, and chopsticks or whatever the normal University trail is called).  Somewhere just south of 7k vertical and done in 4 hours.  My quads were trashed for several days.

5/21 - Three larch + Blue point + Sidewinder.  A fantastic, cool evening.  Also not terribly creative, except that the upper 1,000 vertical feet was in the snow.  Legs felt fantastic. 

5/28 - Blue Mountain + Deadman point + end of 30K course.  Ran up Blue Mountain via the recreation trail, then took the road to the summit.  Came down the Deadman trail through intermittent snow, then ran the loop out to Deadman point, which was new to me, and worth the extra time to get out there.  Ran a short extra loop back in the main Blue Mountain area to make this a proper 4 hour run.  I ran out of gas at the end, but this was another good confidence boost going into the Scout Mountain 60K.  Also, I think that the standard Deadman loop is a fantastic and under appreciated run, and the big Deadman ridge downhill is one of the best sustained downhills around for training. 20++ miles in 4 hours.

6/8 - Scout Mountain 60k.  4th place.  Had a good race, but recovery was slow, so I took a week off, and it took almost 3 weeks before I was fully recovered.

6/13 - Middle Cottonwood to Sypes. Leah and I got up early and busted this one out before helping set up for Kyle’s wedding.  We ran the car shuttle, making this a proper long run.  Once the road slog was done, the rest of the run was one of those outings where everything was perfect.  Couldn’t have asked for better weather, temps, wildflowers, interesting trail, etc.  Plus I got to run with Leah, which is always a treat. One of the best runs of the year.

6/25 - Lolo peak loop from Mill Creek.  I ran/hiked Lolo peak, ascending the Lantern ridge trail, which conveniently ended right at snow line.  From snowline, 45 minutes of ridgline scrambling had me on the summit.  An unfortunate rain squall had me butt glissading down without a proper break to enjoy the view, but I got out of the worst of the storm, and had a great time cruising around on snow back up to Carlton ridge.  I managed to get myself a little lost on the ridge, but this is kind of standard operating procedure, and I re-located the trail before dropping out of snow, so no problems.  The run down the Carlton ridge and Mill creek trails is one of my all time favorites, and this iteration was no exception.  Also, the trail has already been cleared by mountain bikers, so it is good to go. I think Matt Radlowski and crew cleared the trail this year, so thank him next time you see him around town.  Another fantastic mountain adventure with just enough running to qualify as a proper run. Aboug 6,000 vertical feet and 15+ miles in 3.55.
Starting up the Lantern ridge trail.  The adventure begins...
On Lantern ridge, closing in on Lolo.
6/28 - Stuart peak + North hills + run home.  Leah and I ran out to Stuart on a rainy Saturday.  Fortunately, the rain never got too severe, and we had a great time jogging at a comfterable pace.  I wanted this to be a legitimately long (for me) run, so I ran back to the house from the tailhead via waterworks, which added about an hour, and felt surprisingly good.  About 26 miles and a lot of hours.

7/1 – Spent a post-work evening out in Superior and ran Dry creek/Ann Arbor gulch as a loop, grinding out about 10 miles of dusty roads before cruising the beautiful Dry Creek ridge trail.  I had 30 extra minutes, so I bumped up to an unnamed peak on the ridge and enjoyed the fine evening views east to Illinois peak and the Cliff lake peaks.  The run down Ann Arbor was made more adventurous by downfall and vegetation encroaching on the trail, but it is clear enough to run, and I had a blast.  In fact, the downhill was the only time my legs felt good on an otherwise dissapointingly high gravity day.  Somewhere around 18 miles and 4,000 vertical feet in 3 hours, 10 minutes.
Coming down Ann Arbor with Illinois peak and Cliff lake in the background.
The trail is pretty faint - but it is all there if you don't mind using your imagination in a few sections.
7/4 - Borah peak with Leah.  More of a hike than a run, but we took running shoes and packs and ran quite a bit of the descent.  The scrambling high on the peak was pure fun - not too hard, but interesting and engaging. Had a great day out, and it was kind of fun to hit the highest peak in Idaho with a casual 1 pm start and still be back to Challis in time for fireworks.  Great day in the mountains.  5,500 vertical feet in 5 hours, 30 minutes.   
Leah running down from Borah peak.
7/6 - Wrapped up our mini-Idaho road trip by running for a few hours on the CDT near Lost Trail Pass. I ended up running a road/trail loop, starting and ending at the Threemile ridge trail.  It was hot and I lost the trail and ended up running game trails back to the car, but this was otherwise a surprisingly easy run after several days of peak scrambling.  Plus, the views were spectacular, and it was great to see a new chunk of country.  ~20 miles, 4,000++ vertical feet and one head over heels tumble in 3 hours, 45 minutes.
Bumped into this hottie on the CDT.
So much for a recovery run, Leah.

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