Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The trail conditions page has seen some activity head on over and see if one of your trails has been added. Thanks for the input to those that have added to it, much appreciated. The more I look at it the more I think I really need to incorporate a google map into the project, something that could quickly show where there are reports. I'll see what I can come up with.
If you missed the reasoning behind the Emergency Playlist please see the first installment for an explanation.
*Note: If you're using a feed reader to view this then you will not be able to see the music player embedded in each post.
Dead Weather - I Cut Like a Buffalo
Sonic Youth - Kool Thing
Wolfmother - Woman
Beck - Hell Yes
Eve (feat. Stephen and Damian Marley) - No No No
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
As soon as the temperature starts to rise and the hills begin turning green I want to hit the higher elevations. I usually end up trying to go somewhere like Mt. Aire or Bear Ass Pass only to be turned around by too much snow. I know that others have attempted the same path because I can see their footprints or post holes. Now we can share what we learn and figure out the best options for what we have planned. Interested? Then read on.
Based on the feedback from the last post regarding a trail conditions page, I got something setup. It's not the most glamorous thing in the world but it should work. I struggled with the idea of doing a forum or something similar like a google group but I don't have the time to set it up and moderate it.
The original intent was to keep track of snow levels and when the higher elevations are runnable. But after further thought I incorporated some other factors in as well such as mud, water x-ings, downed trees and overgrowth. The last two could be used to target certain areas for trail work in the future. Are you tired of always having to climb over that one tree? If so then document it.
This is set up so anyone can record a trail condition without logging in and have it automatically populate a table. I left some room in there to add hyperlinks to pictures that reside on a public site like Flickr or Picasa and a link to a map if available (not necessary though). I also included space in the bottom of the form for a name (could be a link to you personal blog or such) and State and County for some of our friends residing outside of Utah.
If you have any questions or suggestions send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Which also gets me thinking about the Wasatch high country and how accessible it is. It's always a question this time of year and sometimes I'm not willing to take the gamble and find out. Mostly for fear of not getting in as much running as I want and I usually have a limited amount of time. This led me to an idea about having a trail conditions page, similar to the one The Utah Nordic Alliance maintains during the winter months. Any interest? I could set up a page where we list the snow conditions of trails located in the Wasatch. Leave a comment if you think this would be useful.
Also, check back soon for a Bighorn 100 race report from Erik.
Now on to the playlist. If you missed the reasoning behind the Emergency Playlist check out the first installment for an explanation. Make a guess on who's playlist it is or just enjoy the tunes.
AC/DC - Thunderstruck
Beck - Qué Onda Guero
G. Love and Special Sauce - Willow Tree
Jack Johnson - Holes to Heaven
Dave Matthews Band - Proudest Monkey
Sunday, June 20, 2010
(All photos Marge Norrander)
I had the honor of pacing Erik the last 52 miles of the Bighorn 100 this weekend. Erik finished 6th place overall in a time of 22:18. Mike Wolfe took first place and also set a new course record of 18:43. The course had a little snow but lots of mud and plenty of loose rocks to make sure you kept your eyes on the trail in front of you, which was hard with all the amazing scenery the Bighorn course had to offer.
This was a tough 100 for Erik, a very large blister had developed on his left heel 4 miles into the race which made climbing very painfull and the wet and muddy sections only added insult to injury. He was also dealing with very sore knees and hips even at the halfway mark. We didn't talk much after the first couple of hours and I didn't try to push him to much just kept him moving through aid stations and helping him anywhere I could. I could tell Erik was fighting internal thoughts of doubt that all 100 mile racers go through at one time or another. You know the questions, why do these races, what's the point, these 100s hurt to dam much. Not to be to dramatic or overly sentimental but I think we will find the answers to those questions as time passes and we remember the great moments overwhelmed at the time by the pain and struggle. For me those moments during this race was stopping for a minute and turning off the lights and looking at the brilliant Wyoming night sky, or running a amazing single track trail along the fast moving Tongue river with a good friend feeling terrible but loving every second of it.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Bob Marley and Peter Tosh - Small Axe
Led Zeppelin - Ramble On
Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil
Jane's Addiction - Strays
Gomez - We Don't Know Where We're Going
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Sunday morning I ran with Jay, Greg and Matt Hart from just below Big Mountain over to Lamb's Canyon on the Wasatch 100 course. We had a great time cruising along Alexander Ridge amidst the lush spring foliage. Quite a contrast to the scene in early September...
On to the playlist. If you missed the reasoning behind the Emergency Playlist check out the first installment for an explanation. Make a guess on who's playlist it is or just enjoy the tunes.
*Note: if you're using a feed reader to view this you will not be able to see the music player in each post.
Van Morrison - Rough God Goes Riding
Speech Debelle - Spinnin'
Radiohead - National Anthem
Modest Mouse - Float On
Spoon - The Underdog
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Each of the MRC submitted 5 songs that should work better than a defibrillator for those times when each of us just can't get going. Over the course of the next week or so I'll post a new playlist from each of us, but I won't tell you which playlist goes with which one us. Leave a comment with your guess or just have a listen to something you may not have heard. Valid guesses would be: Christian, Erik, Greg, Jay, Peter and Rich.
*Note: if your using a feed reader to view this you will not be able to see the music player in each post.
Nanci Griffith - Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness
Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
The Direction - Patchwork Me
Mary Chapin Carpenter - Shut Up and Kiss Me
Lila Downs - Tirineni Tsitski
Monday, June 7, 2010
This winter I decided I would like to like to make the claim that I have cycled across ALL 50 states. Fast-forward to this past weekend, where I had plans to ride across Tennessee. Several months ago I was invited to speak at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. As soon as I received the invitation, I knew this was the opportunity to extend the trip into a long weekend and scratch Tennessee off the list.
I had what I considered to be a most spectacular plan. Fly into Memphis and take Amtrak to Fulton, Kentucky. Day 1 - Ride to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. Day 2 - Trail run. Day 3 - Ride south across the state returning to Memphis. However, sometimes the best-laid plans can go awry.
Two weeks ago I took a spill climbing in Zion. While my daughter described my fall as “ninja-like,” it did leave me with a hurt shoulder. To add insult to the injury, the following week I took a nice digger at the Pocatello 50 that resulted in a hard impact to the shoulder and bruised ribs. Desirous to be able to rollover in bed, wipe my ass, and be able to shift gears in my car again, I went to see my doctor.
Diagnosis – torn rotator cuff. Remedy – a cortisone shot and hopefully no surgery. And, absolutely no bike riding for 4 weeks… So, with just a couple of days before my departure to Memphis, I needed a new scheme. “Plan B” quickly took form – running the North/South trail through Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
Click here for map of the north trail.
Click here for map of the south trail.
The trail seemed perfect. Fifty-eight miles of point-to-point trail traversing ridge tops, bottomlands, and the shores of Kentucky Lake. This was going to be fun!
I popped up early on the day of my adventure and was at the south trailhead at 6:00am sharp. I had aspirations of maintaining a moderately quick pace and completing the run in less than 11 hours. Yet, almost immediately my head became fixated on little irritations that prevented me from releasing my mind and getting into a rhythm; the endless cobwebs across the trail, the annoying tug of my shirt as sweat adhered it to my arms and shoulders, the buzz of mosquitoes in my ears, the drip of perspiration into my glasses, the weight of my waist pack due to the kit required for an 11 hour run, the Pop Tarts I regretted eating for breakfast (hey – this is KY – the options were limited). When I reached mile 14 after 2:45 minutes of plodding through a mental malaise, I knew I would be hard pressed to cover the entire trail that day in pleasurable form. By mile 20 I had decided that the heat, humidity, mosquitoes and ticks could prevail, and I would be content calling it a day at 28 miles where the trail crosses the main road. This was much less fun than I had anticipated.
When I reached the road I proceeded to try and hitch a ride back to the car. My instincts were that getting a lift would be easy. I was certain that a combination of empathy for a runner, coupled with my strikingly attractive Armani shirt and cute face (at least in my opinion) made me a highly desirable catch. Yet, 30 minutes went by with nothing. Then 60 minutes. I kept repeating to myself as I slowly dehydrated and baked in the sun, “It only takes one! It only takes one!” After 90 minutes I began to lose hope and self-esteem. What was wrong with these people? My patience was wearing thin. Anger and resentment surfaced when the Calvary Baptist Church van proclaiming in large Tahoma font emblazoned across the side that “Jesus Saves” passed me by. Yeah, Jesus may ‘save’, but how come he don’t pick-up no hitchhikers??
I was discouraged and became concerned night would fall and I could be still standing on the side of the road. I decided that if at 2 hours I had not caught a ride, I would begin running along the road back to my car trying to hitch as I ran. My thinking was that worse case I could run the 21 miles back to the car, and best case I was just a few minutes away from a ride. To make a game of this, I would count the cars that refused to pick me up.
After 11 miles and 106 CARS I said “f*ck this!” My shoulder hurt from having raised my right arm to extend my thumb several hundred times that day. I was sunburned and dehydrated. Evidence suggested that I must at some point deal with my false sense of attractiveness and appeal. And, some little son-of-bitch tick had already dug its head into my skin under the edge of my sock. An emergency response was required. I downed the Red Bull I had carried this far for such a moment. I peeled off the Armani shirt that perhaps was a contributor to my misfortune. I began to run hard. Oddly, the legs felt great. I timed myself with several mile-markers to find that I was running under nine minute miles. I felt good. I felt strong. Was this the same person that at 28 miles felt they had no gas left? I contemplated the paradoxes of ultra-running. How quickly we can transition from the lows to the highs – and back again. How there is always more in us when we know where to find it. The power of the mind over the legs. Finally, after six hours I had released my mind and was in a Zen place that I had been seeking earlier in the day. Before I knew it, I was back at the car after completing a 28-mile trail run, 2-hour hitchhiking effort, and a 21-mile road run. A diverse mix to say the least.
So for those of you who can get into your Zen place or are looking for a great trail in Northern Tennessee/Southern Kentucky give the North/South trail a go. Unless you love heat and humidity, this is a trail for spring or fall. The trail is well marked with white blazes, water is available at several points (from south to north at approximately 12, 28, 43 miles). Bug juice is recommended as the ticks and mosquitoes are ferocious. The trail is in good condition and super-speedy, and is just begging for a FKT attempt. Any takers?
Thursday, June 3, 2010
2. Use a hole punch to make four holes in each corner of the Platypus. If you don't have a hole punch available try using a hammer and big size nail. The trick is, you want to create a hole without making lines like you would if you were using a razor. The lines will spread and eventually break out the sides.
3. Take your utility cord and route it through the holes. Get creative and try some different patterns. On my first Platypus I did a cross on both sides, which was a bit much. I'm going with the single cross on this new one.
Old style Platypus:
|From 2010-06-03 Platypus How To|
|From 2010-06-03 Platypus How To|
- When it is empty you can fold it up and carry it without using your hands by stuffing it in your waist pack or hydration pack.
- No sloshing. You can easily squeeze the air out as you drink and not have the incessant sloshing going on.
- If am carrying my hydration pack it is much easier to use the Platypus to fill up at mountain springs than it is to fit the bladder in a tight area.
- If you're concerned about weight it is lighter than a handheld.
- Easy to add accessories like a piece of cloth to wipe the sweat off your brow (Jay has done this with success, pictures please).
- When it's filled with water you can use it as a pillow, try that with your handheld!