Desert Vibes

Desert Vibes
Photo: Ben Clark

Monday, March 31, 2014

Week in Review: March 24-30—In Search of Singletrack



Monday, March 24th
AM—16 Miles—3:31—2,900’—Hidden Valley, Moab Rim, and Pipedream Trails (Moab, UT)
Within 30 minutes of arriving in Moab I had my shoes laced, shirt off, and was ready to hit the trails. My legs were full of energy on the short, steep climb up to Hidden Valley. So, I proceeded to cruise right on up it. The flat 1.5 mile stretch in the valley reminded my legs that they had just endured a three hour drive and weren’t quite loosened up yet. I took the Moab Rim trail easy since it has a decent amount of sand on it. I wasn’t auditioning for Baywatch so I figured it served no purpose to try to run it fast. On the way back I added some extra distance and vert in order to get some sweet views of Moab and the La Sals. I even got into some easy scrambling for 30-45 minutes. When I reached the valley I was starting to get insanely thirsty. So, I ran this 1.5-mile stretch pretty quick to get back to the Taco and guzzle some water. After my water break I started down Pipedream for about three miles before turning back. This trail is a true rollercoaster. Never flat, always fun. 

PM—9 Miles—2:06—1,400’—Negro Bill Canyon and Porcupine Rim (Moab, UT)
A nice, easy run on tired legs. I used Negro Bill Canyon as an opportunity to do some scrambling on mainly 4th Class routes up to the mesa top; have to get those scrambling skills back before summer. When I got back to the Taco I guzzled some water and headed up Porcupine Rim. I eventually passed a couple out on a leisurely hike: a fairly fit girl and a fairly fat guy. When I passed them the first thing she said was, “If you would do what he’s doing then you would have a body like him.” He didn’t seem too pleased with this so I booked it before he decided to kick my ass. Ended the run with a little creek bath action at the mouth of Negro Bill Canyon. 

Tuesday, March 25th
AM—8 Miles—2:06—1,250’—Devil’s Garden Loop (Arches National Park)
My legs weren’t feeling the greatest this morning. So, I ran an easy loop in Arches NP and spent a fair amount of time scrambling around to see what stuff I could get on top of. At one point I ended up having to negotiate a ~50 feet slab downclimb with a little side traverse action because I somehow ended up way above the trail and didn’t feel like taking the roundabout way to get back on it. This was pretty fun in my 110’s that have 600+ miles of wear and essentially no tread remaining. Although short, this loop packs in a bunch of amazing sights. 

PM—8 Miles—1:24—500’—Bar M Trails (Moab, UT)
Some easy miles on flat, non-technical mountain bike trails. Great views all around. 

Wednesday, March 26th
AM—5 Miles—0:50—300’—Two Mile Road (Near La Sal, UT)
Legs felt like crap. I stopped just outside of La Sal to sneak in a shakeout run along Two Mile Road with the intent of doing another run once I got back to Telluride. When I got back to Telluride it was snowing and motivation was nowhere to be found. So I didn’t run. A couple of days in Moab made me realize just how much I dislike Telluride—maybe it’s just my frustration with the lack of runnable terrain in the winter?

Thursday, March 27th
PM—12 Miles—1:55—1,200’—Illium Road
Pretty blah run. Legs felt OK, but not great. The weather was a bit strange today. It was snowing, but at the same time warm enough that I got by in shorts and a t-shirt. 

Friday, March 28th  
AM—17 Miles—3:03—2,450’—Last Dollar Road
Crappy run on legs that felt like crap. .Was glad to be done with this one…

Saturday, March 29th
AM—20 Miles—2:56—2,450’—Sunshine Mesa and Illium Road
The initial five mile ascent to the end of Sunshine Ranch Road didn’t seem too promising. My legs felt better than the previous few days, but I was still struggling to run sub-10 minute miles when I’m usually running sub-8 on this stretch. The descent went a little better than anticipated as I hovered around 7:30 pace most of the way down. Still not anywhere close to what I usually run here. After a water break at the Taco I headed up Illium Road and everything just came together. My legs finally felt good and I started knocking out some 7-8 minute miles on this five-mile ascent. I cruised the downhill back to the Taco. 

Sunday, March 30th
AM—10 Miles—1:48—850’—River Trail and Mill Creek Road
Easy shakeout/recovery run. I walked most of the way up Mill Creek Road. Legs didn’t have much energy today.


Weekly Totals
Miles—105
Time— 19 hours 41 minutes
Elevation Gain— 13,200 feet

March Monthly Totals
Miles—400
Time— 72 hours 00 minutes
Elevation Gain— 53,000 feet
Runs—36

Year-to-Date Totals
Miles—884
Time—186 hours 51 minutes
Elevation Gain—167,000 feet
Runs—96
Days Off—7
Last Day Off—February 5th


It felt great to get out to Moab for a few days of trail running versus road running or snow slogging!

Well, that makes two 100+ mile weeks in a row—a first for me. That also makes my second ever 400 mile month. The last one was over two years ago. I guess it’s hard to get in a lot of miles when you’re averaging well over 350 vertical feet of ascent per mile, which is what I did for most of last year.

I’d like to get in another 100+ miles this week (and maybe the next week?), but some little aches and pains are starting to pop up here and there. I’ve been trying to prevent them from becoming too noticeable through foam rolling and acupressure, but those only help so much. I’m looking forward to getting in to see Allison for some trigger point sessions during the Telluride off-season.  

During the next few weeks I’m hoping to get in one or two more speed’ish sessions as well as one or two hard efforts on runs in the 30-40 mile range. Ideally, these will give me an idea of what sort of pace I should plan on running at the Free State 100km on April 19th. We’ll see…

Arch Vision. It's kind of like 3D...

Happy 150th, El Taco Blanco! Oh, don't worry about your engine...

Looking up at the climb to Hidden Valley

Hidden Valley Trail. When life gives you shitty lighting for pictures you simply go black and white.

Getting ready to run along the Moab Rim Trail for a bit

Pipedream and one of the many sweet views of the La Sal Mountains

Arches National Park

More of Arches NP

More of Arches NP
Sun rising over the La Sals as I head back to Telluride
This looks like a great place to take a bath!

Sometimes you run until the wheels fall off...




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