Note: For daily boring updates of my training, see: http://crockett.fastrunningblog.com/
After winning a small neighborhood 5K, I capped off a 100-mile training week with a wonderful afternoon 18-mile run. I ran on dirt roads and trails that I usually do in the dark, running from my home, winding through hills and ridges, out into Cedar Valley (Eagle Mountain), and then running up to Unity Pass, and then home through the dirt roads and motorcycle trails. As I ran, I listened to the SEC football championship, Florida vs. Alabama. Rather than wasting time in front of the TV, why not be out on the trail!
After all the boring flat miles this week, I was thrilled to be back on the trails. I just cannot understand how the road runners tolerate all the miles on roads and tracks. They have a level of mental toughness that I just can’t comprehend. I felt so much enjoyment as I bounded on the rolling roads and trails, taking in all the eye candy along the way: Expansive farm fields, hills and trees, occassional shooters (who I avoided), and wonderful snow capped mountains.
As I hit a single-track section, my legs seemed like they were shouting with excitement to me as I pushed them to a crazy wreckless pace, weaving through the trees and bouncing up and down on the trail. I was pleased to see a couple pair of footprints that were not mine. This month I have seen a few on these trails that seem to be my secret running playground. I’m glad some trail runners from Eagle Mountain are discovering these hidden motorcycle trails. Still, there are long sections that I have never seen any other foot prints.
My pace was easy, about 10-minute miles, but the run would not be “easy” for a road runner. The surface is uneaven, and there were some nice short steep climbs along the way. From Unity Pass, for the last six miles, I really kicked it into gear and turned 7-8 minute miles, even in some very technical sections. I wanted to whoop with joy as I cruised down with speed through the most technical decent down a rocky ridge. I was pleased the the ankle that I rolled earlier in the week was no problem to me.
As I neared my home, descending heading east down from the foothills, I noticed an amazing effect that I had never noticed before. The shadow of the sunset was extending across Utah Lake toward the Wasatch Mountains to the east. As the angle of light became very low, the sun reflected off windows of homes over ten miles away in Cedar Hills, Pleasant Grove, Lindon, Orem and Provo. These bright reflections caused wonderful streaks of light to reflect off of the expansive Utah Lake (in the shadow of Lake Mountain), extending for miles across the lake. It was amazing. I never had noticed this wonder before. The effect only last for a few minutes and the angles have to be precise to see it.
My 18-mile run was completed in less than three hours. I ended the run excited and energized. My running batteries had been recharged by getting off the roads. This was the first time I had ever done a 100-mile training week. I’ve run 100 miles or more in a week when I run a race, but I’ve never trained this much in a week. It was an interesting experiment. I came out of it great. No injury, no soreness, no stiffness, nothing. About 65 of these miles were before sunrise, while my family was still asleep.
I look forward to another good running week, next week. I never train on Sundays, so I look forward to a nice rest tomorrow.