Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Grabbing Hands

Depeche Mode has a classic tune Everything Counts that contains the line "the grabbing hands, grab all they can. Everything counts in large amounts". With a challenging schedule last week I feel like that line had particular emphasis on my running.

On Monday I had to take my car in for new breaks. What better way to get to work than run? While I don't particularly enjoy running on the road if I don't have to there is something about running commute that just sounds cool. Sucking exhaust fumes most of the way isn't nearly as awesome however.

Tuesday was our weekly night run. While it was a short 8.5 miler in Utah Valley, it had nearly 4000 ft of vert and some killer full-moon views. I can't wait to head back on a morning run and try it again so I can see better and truly enjoy just how beautiful it obviously is.

Holidays are often open time for people to get out and enjoy the day and the outdoors. For me it usually means bouncing back and forth between different families, finding myself at the end of the day completely exhausted. While that was the case for the 4th of July for me and my family I was able to get in a quick 5 miler by participating in the Freedom Run 5k/10k. The Altramaniacs were there and there was a lot of filming going on, so they didn't run the full 10k. We cut it short so I could get home and drive up north to family for a late breakfast. That is a fun race though.

Thursday it rained for the first time in over a month. Me, Brent, and Scott had to take advantage by getting soaked running in the gully. It was only 8 miles, but it felt so good.

Friday, being the end of a post-holiday week, was empty in my office, so I took advantage by doing a little longer run during work. I got it in my head to try and put in a solid effort on the Pfeifferhorn. I knew that last year Matt VH went to the top in 1:35:00, 20 minutes faster than what I did a week later. I wanted to try and hit his time to gauge what the effort would be like. Also like him I've had a goal to try and run every step up to Red Pine Lake.

I set off at a good clip, passing several hikers along the way. As the trail gets steeper and more technical my breathing got more labored and my legs heavier. I was mindful as I passed the Maybird turn-off that I had now run farther than ever before, but my pace was so slow I doubt it would have mattered. Within another two tenths of a mile I finally gave up and hiked. I've now realized that while running it would be cool, it's just not efficient enough to warrant it. I doubt I'll really try again unless I back off considerably early on. Either would result in about the same time.

When I got on top of the headwall there was a large group of people, about 10 coming down and four going up. One of the ladies saw me in my tiny shorts and no shirt and let out a 'mercy!'. I'm gonna go ahead and take that as she thought I was sexy and not disgusting. I passed a few more people on the technical ridge, which I crossed in under 4 minutes. I then had the summit push and the top to myself. I chose a different way up, this time scrambling straight through the cliff section. I knew that if I could engage my hands, while more exposed and dangerous, I could move faster. I was totally at my limit as I hit the top in 1:28:30, a 23 minute PR. I now know what MVH's effort was like . . . . crazy! And even my time isn't close to the Fastest Known Time to the top - 1:07:00. Yowza!

I took the normal route down, completely out of control. I just love running that crazy technical terrain, especially the boulder fields. I feel like I'm floating. I hit the sign near the parking lot in 2:19:14 and literally collapsed. I was finished. I limped back down to the river and just plopped myself in. What an amazing adventure. I love that mountain. It was so great to PR by 23 minutes to the top and nearly 40 minutes overall.

A view from the summit.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

And I was thinking I just want to climb Phieff... if I kick you in the shins when we meet up for the first time, don't take it personally.