Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Porcupine Rim Trail - Negro Bill Canyon Link-up

This weekend was our "Spring Break" at Fort Washakie, meaning we had a four day weekend.  Hardly exciting compared to a whole week off, but we were glad to head south to warm temperatures and canyon country.  

Camping outside of Moab, UT

On Saturday, Jenny ran in the Desert Rats Trail Running Festival Marathon.  We've had this race on the radar for awhile and it was the perfect opportunity for a training "race" for Jenny before the North Fork 50 in June.  It rained almost the entire race and the clay filled dirt turned into a slippery and sticky mess.  Jenny crossed the finish line in 5:04 which was good enough for first in her age group.  Ella and I played in the mud while Jenny was out working hard.

Cruising through the mud

Porcupine Rim Trail - Negro Bill Canyon

After Jenny had her fun running on Saturday, I got to hit the trails on Easter Sunday outside of Moab, Utah.  I ran the well known 14.5 mile Porcupine Rim Trail and connected it to the very popular Negro Bill Canyon trail for a total of a little over 20 miles.  It was my first 20-some mile run of the year and I was surprised at how well it went. As to be expected, the temperature rose quickly to around 80 degrees, and with the sun beating down, it was a hot few hours on the trail.  The trail was super rocky and rugged; how anyone mountain bikes that thing is beyond me.

Hydration and fueling are always critical, but especially so in the desert.  I ate one pack of Gu Chomps, one pack of Honey Stinger Chews (inferior to the Gu Chomps, in my opinion), and drank two 17 oz. bottles of Gu Roctane, two 17 oz. bottles of First Endurance EFS, and one 17 oz. bottle of water.

Taking off on the Porcupine Rim Trail

Porcupine Rim with the La Sal Mountains

Looking out from the rim at Castle Valley

Looking across the Colorado River canyon into Arches NP

Tayo desperately trying to cool off with the Colorado River in sight

Negro Bill Canyon

Negro Bill Canyon

Sunlight below Morning Glory Arch, Negro Bill Canyon

The rest of the weekend we spent camping, hiking, playing in a creek with the Skinner family, and having an all around great time.  The mountains here are just barely starting to thaw out, so for the next couple of weeks I'm hoping to start getting some serious climbing in.  Only five weeks until Zion Traverse and 10,000+ feet of vert!

Playing in camp

"Icing" our legs

Monday, April 7, 2014

Slick Rock Season

This was the best week of training so far in 2014.  I'm starting to be able to get more miles in, and they are getting faster with less pain.  Because the mountains are still filled with a nearly record setting snowpack, I spent much of the weekend running on slick rock in Red Canyon and at The Bus Loop.  When Evan and I got out for 13 miles on Sunday the air was crisp, but the sun was hot; it was starting to feel almost summer-like.

Running some slick rock

I've also been getting some miles in after school helping a few Fort Washakie students get ready for the Mocassin Lake Challenge; an 18 miles mountain run on the Wind River Reservation at the end of May.  I think it's pretty special that there is an event like this on the rez, and it is super cool that some high school students are up for the challenge.  Some of my student work really hard to move as little as possible throughout the day, so to have some students that want to run after school is phenomenal.  I'm really proud of this group and its fun to already see them looking stronger as they run.

Manny, Tara, Sheyanne, and Isaac

Jenny and I both got after it on the track this week with some 6 minute repeats.  The Lander Running Club is doing some cool stuff and I am glad to be a part of it.  I put a picture of a Jenny up instead of me because she is much better looking than I am.

400m All-American turned ultra runner

Moose just slipping away as I whipped my camera out

On Saturday I had a fun run on the cliffs of Red Canyon.  I kind of wandered around exploring and it was a nice little adventure run.  I was very surprised to run into a couple of moose in a narrow drainage. I suppose that is their winter range, but nonetheless I was still not expecting two giant moose to appear 30 yards in front me.

The "trail"

Tayo has been a good running buddy this spring

Red Canyon

Jenny and Amber did a gnarly 18 mile run on Saturday up Fairfield Hill and at The Bus Loop.  They are both getting ready for the Zion Traverse too, as well as the North Fork 50 miler at the end of June.  Here is a picture of them looking way too happy:

All smiles at The Bus

And of course, while Evan and I were out running on Sunday, Jenny and Amber made a ridiculously delicious brunch.  Here are the blueberry-banana muffins to prove it:

Also, as requested, here is a link to the recipe:

For flour, Jenny used rice, garbanzo bean, and coconut rather an an "all-purpose" flour mix.  I just need to say it again: these muffins rocked my world.

Next, its time for a recovery week. After that we'll be heading down to Fruita for Jenny to run the Desert Rats Trail Running Festival Marathon, and then onto Moab for camping, running, hiking, and a little more slick rock fun.