Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Joys of Being Sick

So I think I have had my first run in with a small bout of food poisoning. It is definitely no bueno. Although working from home is quite nice. On the brighter side of things...

The Mid Mountain Marathon is in a week and a half. I am excited for it. On Saturday I ran the second (read more difficult) half of the course. It actually wasn't too bad, except the last 6 miles or so is downhill. It killed my knees. I went for a short run on Monday and the ligaments were very sore. I am going out again tomorrow and try to ease back into things. The hard part is I have to ease fast because I really only have a week of running before the race since I'll be taking Thursday and Friday as rest days. Over the past few runs I have come to the realization that I am a slow runner. To me it seems like the time it takes me to cover certain distances is way off. I know trail running is slower than road running, but is it by that much? I am very eager to see my time at the end of the race and compare to what my estimated road marathon time would be. I ran a half road marathon in 2 hours. Am I as slow on trails as I think I am? Or am I faster? I can't believe the time discrepancies that I have experienced on trails that are of equal grade and distance. I don't know what it is.

Ah the ramblings of someone who is trying to figure something out...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tbe Chaco is Alive!

After about 20 minutes of work and waiting overnight, the Chaco has survived and is alive and well. It was a hack job, but it is fixed and it is working for now. I am very excited because it should at least last for the rest of the year.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It was a sad day at the Miller household today

After four years of loyal, dedicated service, my Chacos finally gave up the ghost! As I was walking into work I noticed one of the straps near my ankle was riding a little high (For those of you who don't know, Chacos feature one, continuous strap thread throughout the sandal making them extremely adjustable). I didn't think much of it because I had just used them alot the previous weekend and thought perhaps I tweaked the strap. When I got to my desk, I reached down, gave the strap a slight pull, and pulled the strap right out of the sandal! It looks as though sand and dirt had gotten in the sandal (which is common) but over time it either cut the strap in half or wore the glue off (I'm not exactly sure how the straps are secured. They may be fixable (definitely a hack job) but who knows. I took a few minutes to reminisce about our time together. This particular pair of Chaco's was worn everyday spring, summer, fall, (and some winter days) for four years. They had been on many hikes, a few climbs, many roadtrips, worn exclusively on one backpacking trip (I left my boots next to the front door), and had seen at least a few hundred miles. They have been by far the best piece of footwear I have owned. The footbed is contoured to my feet. The cost to restrap and resole them would be more than buying a new pair. I don't necessarily look forward to breaking in a new pair, but I do look forward to the many adventures that will be experienced in them.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Jessi's brother James was up from Texas this past week. We drove him up to Wyoming on Friday to go and visit family. It was a good trip, filled with many fun activities. On Saturday Jess was able to go and sew part of the bumper pad for our crib. While she was doing that I went climbing with James and his friend Dale. We hit up the Wild Iris and got in a few hours worth of climbing in before a thunderstorm happened upon us. Running through a meadow and along an exposed ridge to try to stay ahead of the the thunder and lightning isn't exactly what I would call a good time (especially with about 25 pounds of gear and a rope on your back), but it was exciting. We got pounded with some rain and a little hail. After the rain stopped and everything dried out we went bouldering a little bit around the cabins on the Loop Road. We hit up some problems we had put up in previous years.

Sunday was a bit of a relaxing day. We spent a couple hours revisiting another bouldering where we had put up problems a few years ago. While we were there, we not-so-gently removed a dead tree blocking a potential problem (it consisted of us pushing it over, it getting stuck on a nearby tree, us throwing sticks and rocks to try to break the the branch it was stuck on, jumping on the tree, and then finally using huge branches to lever the stump up so we could roll it off the branch). That was definitely a good time! Jess came with us to enjoy the sunshine and she definitely got a kick out of us and the dead tree. Pictures from climbing will be coming soon.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Yesterdays run proved to be the most punishing yet. We were in Logan for my nephew's baptism and a familiy bbq. I knew I had to do a longer run and thought it would be a good opportunity to do run I have eyed ever since we lived in Logan. It starts at the mouth of Logan Canyon, follows along the Logan River on the Riverside Nature Trail until it meets up with the Crimson Trail loop, and finishes down the Nature Trail to the mouth of the canyon. The Crimson Trail is a steep loop that climbs up canyon, traverses back down canyon across the top of a band of 200 foot cliffs for about half a mile, and then descends down canyon back to the Nature Trail.

The run was only 10 miles in total. I have run 10 miles before. The punishment came with the 2400 feet of elevation gain (and subsequent loss which isn't as bad) over the course of the run. The hardest part was about 85% of the elevation gain occurring in about a mile and half (mile 3.5-5). What was running quickly turned into power-hiking and then deteriorated into just trying to make it to the top. It was rough.

I have never wanted to stopped moving as much as I did by the end of the run. I was completely haggered at the end. I also haven't ever been as dehydrated as I was. Over the course of the run I drank three litres (100 oz) of water and a 32 oz Gatorade at the end and it was over an hour before I had to go to the bathroom. I think I actually stopped sweating during the second half of the run.

Although it was the most punishing run I have ever been, there was a big feeling of accomplishment at the end. This was a run I have been wanting to do for about three or four years now, but when we lived in Logan there was no way I could have run that far. I did enjoy the run, didn't enjoy the dehydration so much ( still am trying to rehydrate), and would consider doing it again.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Nothing to write about.

Is it better to not write when you have nothing to write about or should you write a post about how you have nothing to write about? I think it may depend. If you never have anything to write about then your readers (if you have any left) will quickly get bored of you and stop reading. However, I think everyone at some time will write a post on how they have nothing to write about. It is good because it expresses to your readers that you are still committed to writing your blog, but you may be suffering from a lack of ideas.

Recent Outings

Here are some pictures from recent outings:

This is a boulder problem called "Mud" in Little Cottonwood Canyon. It was kind of crazy because you had to pull off the ground with no feet, swing your leg into a heel-hook match, and then make a big move to a sloper. Good times.

This is on the Desolation Lake trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon. This turned out to be a fairly interesting run. After a fairly punishing uphill section the trail leveled off and cut through a meadow. I was feeling stoked to be done pushing uphill so I kicked up the speed a little. As you enter the meadow there is a marshy area to the right where a stream pools and makes a shallow pond. About halfway past the marshy area I heard some wicked loud crashing in the thickets to my right. About 60 feet in front of me a huge cow moose comes flying onto the trail. To the right there is another moose charging through the thicket the other way. I skidded to a stop as the moose crossed the trail into the brush on the other side. The first thought that crossed my mind was "I hope she doesn't have a calf and I hope she doesn't see me". There really wasn't anywhere I could seek big boulders to hide behind and no trees to climb. Luckily as I started to back off the moose kept running. I walked back to the shelter of some smaller pines and took stock of the situation. I really wanted to get to Desolation Lake; I had heard the vistas were beautiful. I had just completed the most taxing part of the run and only had about1 more mile and about 500 more vert to go. As I decided to proceed I stepped gingerly back onto the trail scanning both to the left and to the right to try and spot the moose. After about a hundred feet I figured both moose kept on going and were long gone. Right as I started to run again I heard some branches snap to my left. I looked over in time to see the moose eyeball me. I immediately retreated once again to the small pines not wanting to see first hand how fast a moose could really run. I took stock of the situation once again, wussed out, and decided to head home. I knew I could probably get the past the moose on the way to the lake because I knew where they were, but I didn't want to chance surprising them on my way back through. As I ran down the trail I stopped to snap this shot of the trail and wildflowers.