10K PR on Bonneville Shoreline Trail

A long sandy, snowy and muddy trail run was to begin with a forecast of rain. I could see the clouds off to the West in the Salt Lake valley and thought to myself, “I should have brought a beanie”. And then I was off.

My run began at the mouth of Duel Creek Canyon in Centerville. My goal was to get 11k in and finish with a smile on my face. I thought it would be no big deal as I have ran 10k’s a plenty. I started out a good gentile pace covering the familiar trail which still had some snow on it from last Wednesdays big storm. Pockets of mud and ice made the run diverse and interesting. I enjoyed the view, the cool air and the feeling of solitude.

Up and down little hills I went, in and out of the mouths of small canyons, grooving to some tunes. As I ran further then I have before on the trail I saw few people. There were a couple hunters, (hunting who knows what) and one small group of scouts camping. I pushed my way up nearly every hill, with slow but steady and upright strides. I felt good, but as I got to my halfway point I could feel some weariness coming on.

As I turned back I saw the gray sky and light rain clouds had reached me. A brief rainstorm doted my face and mixed with the sweat, running down to my collar.

I reached the apex of strength, giving my last bit of effort up a difficult hill. Long, sandy, icy and muddy it took me to my inner self as I thought about the medicine ball workout video I often do and the instructor that tells me, “you got to want it, you got to dig deep because I know you have got it in you”. This and other motivating thoughts in my mind sought to drown out my other thoughts of fatigue, aches and pains. The song and the experience felt epic and like I was pushing myself to a new personal best. Whether it was the wind in my face or some crazy emotion, I felt a few tears roll down my face as I pushed myself one last time But alas this final big hill had done me in and I started walking. Phew …

As reached the top of the hill and caught my breath I looked down at my distance and saw that I was only 0.3k from the 10k mark and I was on track to be under one hour as well. With that new realization that I would beat a personal best I began to sprint that last section of the 10k. I hit another hill chuck full of slippery snow and ice and groaned as I leaped forward. At 0:58:10 I hit 10K, my best previous time being an hour solid. I was thrilled to know despite the struggle I had achieved something I had never done before. I realized that slowly and surely I am making progress, faster, better, stronger. As these thoughts crossed my mind the last kilometer was a breeze, of course the only hills left took me down and back to my truck.

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Kahtoola 2011 Bigfoot 10K Snowshoe Race

Dale, Adam and me at the end of the race

I ran my first snowshoe race last Saturday. The event was held up in Midway Utah and sponsored by Kahtoola. They had 5k, 10k, 25k, 50k and marathon options. Three of my buddies and I opted for the 10k, Adam, Dale and Anthony. Dale and I were lucky enough to reserve a pair of Kahtoola racing shoes, a requirement in my opinion, as I have tried regular all mountain shoes compared to the Atlas Race shoes and there is no comparison, for a race at least. Wearing the Atlas were like wearing regular running shoes, as far as how light they were. The Kahtoola shoes were nice, somewhere between the Tubbs Flex and the Atlas Race.

The event was well organized, they had two kinds of soup, potatoes, cookies, chips, gel and Redbull to name a few of the fuels, or refuels. The 5k, 10k and 25k racers all began at 9:00 am. My goal was to cross the finish line at one hour, or less. The start went off, there was 35-40 people who took off. Mentally I thought, “take it slow” but I couldn’t help myself and moved quicker then perhaps I should have. All went well except I did not fill my camelbak enough, I put 10oz of water and got drinks at the aid station but I still got some cramping in my abs. I drink more water then most I figure. My buddy Dale probably drank 2oz of gatorade the whole race, I could have drank 20.

The 800+ft climb was fair and steady and got me walking quick and more often then I would like to admit, but I stayed in my position for the most part, the distance between competitors was wide. I forced myself to fly on the downhill even when I started cramping a little. My trick was to grab some snow and hold it against the cramped area, in about 15-20 second the cramp would go away.

I ended up finishing at 1:05 not a bad time, I came in at 7th place overall for the 10k division. It was a great day, good weather and good company. I really enjoy the snowshoe race and hope to do more in the future.