Friday, October 19, 2007

Recovery Mode

I've been taking it easy lately running when I feel like it and the weather is decent. I tried getting out for some mountain bike rides but the weather hasn't really cooperated. Last Saturday I met up with a few members of the MRC for a pre-dawn run up Mt. Wire and down George's Hollow. The morning was very dark because it was so cloudy and it felt like it would start raining any minute. The south side of Wire is quite steep, similar to the west side of Grandeur, the route follows a ridgeline for much of the ascent. After we made it to the top we hung around for a few minutes looking at the city lights, then out of the darkness a figure approached us from the same side we just came up. He wasn't wearing a headlamp but he did have a large pack on his back. Not a backpack necessarily but more like a bean bag size form on his back. Turns out he was a paraglider. We were stunned to see this guy so close on our heels, because we thought we were making good time. We all agreed that he must have taken a different way in order to save our egos.

Sunday I decided to conduct a little experiment and see how long I could run without food. Alright, it didn't exactly start that way, but I felt so good and I couldn't resist just one more summit. Three hours after I started I made it back to the car, not necessarily in a serious bonk but my stomach was making itself heard loud and clear. I really should have taken the mountain bike out but I thought the trails might be muddy with the recent precipitation we've had. Turns out the trails were in perfect riding condition.

I had another interesting development this week. As I believe I mentioned before I used to be a bike racer before I started this running thing. The last few years I was racing I started promoting a bike called Hell of the North in North Salt Lake near the airport. It's really not my type of race because it's dead flat and goes over a five mile circuit multiple times (depending on category). The one interesting part of the circuit is that it includes 1.75 miles of dirt/gravel road that racers pass over each time around. The other element to deal with is the weather since the date is usually the first or second weekend in April. The race is part of a season long points series for the Utah Cycling Association, a local governing body for cycling. At the end of each season the UCA takes suggestions from cycling clubs/riders for bylaw changes, then they are put to a vote at the November meeting, the idea being that the local cycling scene is improved upon from season to season. Now back to my original development, seems as though someone doesn't like the race I put on, as they put up a bylaw that would not allow races with dirt/gravel roads to be part of the UCA points series. There's no doubt that if the bylaw passed I would lose riders, but probably not that many. As it turns out I don't think I have anything to worry about as you can read here.
When I think about this kind of thing in relation to trail running it makes me laugh. I've heard far more complaints about ultra courses being to easy rather than complaints about their difficulty. Perhaps that is why I've come to like ultra's so much. Each runner is in a competition against the course and the clock, the harder the course the more rewarding the finish is, no matter what place you take.

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