Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

I like to Run Insanely Long & Crazy Distances                                                                                                             Pony Express Trail 100
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Browsing Posts published in December, 2015

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To close out 2015, I again ran in Across the Years (ATY), a fixed-time race held in Glendale, Arizona at Camelback Ranch, the spring training facility for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. Last year, after completing a 24-hour race there, I noticed that I was just 132.24 miles short of earning my 1,000 mile ATY jacket. I groaned, knowing that if I wanted it in one more year that I would need to enter the 48-hour race this year.  Running for that long has been tough on me and I’ve come away injured after piling up miles before. But after an injury-free year, and solid training, I decided to go ahead and enter the 48-hour race.

At ATY, there are four different races, running concurrently, 24-hours, 48-hours, and 72-hours and an incredible six-day race.  The objective is to run as many miles as you can during your time period.  You can rest all you want, but the clock is always ticking.  Many ultrarunner friends turn their noses up to these fixed-time races, running in circles for hours and hours.  But to do well in these type of races requires mental strength and solid training, that for me transfers over to doing well in mountain 100-mile races.

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“Why drive if you can run?”

I am currently training for Across the Years, a fixed-time race on Dec 28th where you try to run as many miles as you can during a fixed period of time.  I entered the 48-hour race again this year.  For me, effective training leading into the race involves high mileage on mostly flat terrain.  Treadmill miles also helps, increasing foot speed.

So, my challenge is to keep motivation up and boredom down doing this training. I recently bought a good incline treadmill which is more convenient that using our neighborhood rec center with poor treadmills that seem to always break down often.  I’ve also grown weary of reactions as people come in, seeing me on “their treadmill.”

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As weather gets poor another option I’ve used recently is to run at the Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah.  That is the site of the 2002 Olympics speed skating events. There is a 442 meter running track around it. One day recently I ran 140 laps for nearly 39 miles in about seven hours. It was cool watching the USA teams train, including speed skating (with gold medalist Shani Davis) and short track teams. Some China team members also were training there. I mostly had the entire track to myself during that time.

This weekend, we had our annual extended family Christmas Party at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday in Midway, Utah (near Park City).   Wanting to still have a long run to finish off the week, my son-in-law joked that I should just run to the party.  To me, it wasn’t a crazy suggestion.  I looked at the route options and discovered it would be about 41 miles along familiar roads and trails.  It didn’t take long for me to decide I would do it. continue reading…

lake

Utah Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Utah.  Many rivers, streams, and creeks flow into it and there is only one outlet near my home, the Jordan River.   It is 12 miles across at its widest point and about 21 miles long, with an additional seven miles of soggy farm land near its inlet.  Archaeology finds indicate that there have been settlements near the lake and river as far back as 3,000 years.  Mormon settlers established the first modern settlement in 1849. In the 1800s the fish in the lake was overharvested and restocked with non-native species.  Pollution has been a problem over the years as raw sewage was dumped into the lake as late as 1967.  Some pollution problems still remain.  The lake is very shallow with the maximum depth about 14 feet with the average about 10 feet deep.

Each year hundreds of cyclists ride all the way around Utah Lake using a 100-mile route for a “century” ride.  There is no established trail that runs near the shores of the lake, so roads are used.  Most of the route around the lake is rural farm land with the exception of about ten miles on the east side through the Provo-Orem metropolitan area.

In 2013 I got the idea of running all the way around Utah Lake in a day and was the first to accomplish that on November 15, 2013, using a route of about 82 miles. See video of that adventure.

This year I was anxious to repeat the long adventure.  I had recently signed up for Across the Years 48-hour run (Dec 28th) and needed some good, long, flat training.  I chose December 5th to run around the lake again.  I knew it would be colder.  In 2013 I cut out a couple miles by running on railroad tracks in certain sections, but I knew I shouldn’t do that, so this time I chose a route that would be about 84 miles.  The west side of the lake is pretty straight-forward with only one road to take you south, but on the east side with all the roads and towns, you can choose various routes.  This time I let Google Maps decide much of it but still included a mile of trail that hugs the lake at its widest point to avoid a bunch of urban roads and stay on the lake side of I-15. continue reading…