I ran the Bonneville Shoreline Trail starting at the zoo this morning. My plan was to run the BST all the way to City Creek Canyon and back and then hopefully tack on a few extra miles at the end to try and get a marathon in today. From the time I left the car I just didn't feel right. My legs weren't tired, but my body in general was; I don't know why. After about 20 minutes of running I came to the fork where you can turn up the canyon to get to Red Butte and Wire peaks. Standing at the crossroads were four people; two boys and two girls. The girl closest to me was the first to see me and apparently was terrified by my headlamp and speed at which I was approaching because she screamed, grabbed her boyfriend, and used him as a human shield while she continued to scream. I yelled a loud "Good Morning" to them all as I flew by. After a few miles the trail turns up into Red Butte Canyon. I like this part of the trail because the hills are tough, but runnable. However, not today. I just wasn't feeling the uphills, it was weird. The conditions changed during this part of the trail too, it got insanely muddy. In fact, there were about 8 miles today that could only be classified as 'mud wrestling'.
By the time I got to Dry Canyon/Dry Creek (I don't know which it is named) I was feeling pretty tired and I was only 5.5 miles in or so. But I pushed through. The mud out of Dry Creek was equally as bad as Red Butte Canyon and there were a couple of times when unrepeatable expletives were yelled from my mouth. I contemplated turning back a couple of times, but that just isn't me, so I kept going. By the time I hit the trails below the Avenue Twins I was feeling better and moving quickly down to City Creek. It was at the point to that I began to see other runners. There were plenty out today braving the poor trail conditions and inclement weather. I got to the restrooms at City Creek at 1:58:00, 11.66 miles; slow but respectable. Unlike other long runs I kept the clock going on my watch the entire time. My potty and refuling stop at City Creek was only 4 minutes. However, I was pretty dang tired. I haven't had any gels for my last two long runs, but for some reason I keep coming into posession of those 5 Hour Energy things. What I've done to compensate is mix a half a bottle of that stuff with a water bottle of Gatorade. It works surprisingly well.
I expected to move slower on my way back and was validated threw the first few miles of uphill. But once I got below the Avenue Twins again I saw two runners up in front of me and that gave me motivation to keep up my pace and try to catch them. I caught them within about half a mile and they happily let me pass. I had my trail legs under me by now and was moving at a great clip, about 8 - 8:30 min/miles. At the top of Dry Creek I stopped to stretch and grab some water and then blazed down to the bottom. Unfortunately, once at the bottom I was super tired and the steep little climb in front of me was brutal. Once back on the BST behind the hospitals I was finding it tough to even run. Call it a bonk or whatever you want, but I just couldn't muster anything, no matter what I ate or drank (and I was pounding food and my gatorade mix). On another short climb before Red Butte I actually had to stop and put my hands on my knees as I was scared I was going to pass out. I ate one of the breaded Australian treats my mom brought over and that seemed to help. The climb out of Red Butte was absolutely horrible and I could do no more than a casual walk. Once on top I found a little energy and was able to push the downhill, expecting at any minute to slip and fall in the mud. My shoes now officially weighed about 5 lbs more. It was horrible.
And then there was the last mile. I was walking everything resembling an uphill and had to stop once to get out some home made trail mix. At this point I was just staving off severe tunnel vision and passing out. I had been eating, drinking, and taking salt, but nothing was helping. I was so happy to be back at the car and sitting down. I stopped on the way home to get an extremely large Pepsi. I feel a lot better now and may even try and get out this afternoon to finish off a marathon day. Lessons learned from today:
1. Eat more, no matter what. 2. Inov-8 makes the greatest shoe on the planet. I thought I liked my new La Sportivas, but once I put my Inov-8s back on I realized that they don't even compare. 3. I enjoy living up to my motto; no matter the weather, trail conditions, or personal issues, I Refuse To Quit. That makes me happy. Now, an afternoon with the kiddos.
Ave Pace - 11:02
(7:45pm) 4.10 miles, 34:14 - Common on, you all knew that if I got that close to a marathon day that I'd have to finish it at some point. Hehe. I felt great going out again. My legs felt just fine and it was as though I hadn't even run this morning. I could have easily done several more miles and would have if it wasn't so late and I didn't need to be home to help my wife.
Ave Pace - 8:21