Monday, December 30, 2013

Waxing Lyrical


Caution: Gratuitous Use of Personal Pronouns Ahead

So let's get the stats out of the way first:

In 2013 I covered 2500 miles on foot and accumulated over a half million feet of vertical ascent. In the narrow world of "People Who Do This Kind of Stuff" - meh, that's sort of middling. And I am a middle-aged guy so that is appropriate. But for me, if I define myself, in part, as a distance runner, it translates to a pretty good year. I ran faster and farther than I ever had. I even won some races.

Other significant accomplishments:

I slugged back a lot of endurance gel. Like, gallons.
I pooped a lot in the out-of-doors.
I did much of my own laundry.
I made new friends ( I hope).
I strengthened existing friendships (I hope).


All of it.

OK that is a lame answer. Choosing the best, I include:

Antelope Island Buffalo Run 100 Mile. Early in the year it was this finish that confirmed to me what I could do. I would build on it.

Grandeur Fun Run. Storheim's local little ten mile, 4,000 foot uphill party. Raining, muddy, tons of fun - as advertized.

 Millwood 100. The exquisitely painful and joyful (See Alma the Younger) hundred mile monster lurking in the heart of the Wasatch. I did it. I love being able to say that. I did it. Stuff like this is a gateway drug to the hard stuff: Barkley and Nolans. Wait, what?

Lone Peak to Pfeifferhon Traverse Loop, starting and ending in Draper. It was a 25 mile solo adventure involving a climb to Lone Peak via Big Willow Cirque. After the summit I traversed the ridge to South Thunder Mountain, then followed Lightning Ridge to Chipman Peak, then traversed to the summit of Pfeifferhorn. I exited to Red Pine/White Pine trail to LCC, then ran the road back to Draper. This was significant for me because the Beatout route over the same terrain was my first major hike in the Wasatch, several years ago when I was a fat hiker. That first time, the terrain terrified me. As a runner, I experienced one of those Rocky Mountain highs John Denver sang of when I tap-danced over granite boulders and trod grassy in-betweens.

Pony Express 100 Mile Endurance Run. Meltzer says: "Winning never gets old". For me, it was an entirely new thing. Will it get old? Stay tuned.

Frary Peak Hill Climb. A tiny little uphill battle race out on Antelope Island. I won it, barely. So far, Meltzer is right.

Antelope Island to Fremont Island. With Jim Skaggs and a group of die hards, I ran across the Great Salt Lake to privately-owned Fremont Island. We ran in a snow/rain storm over the flattest of flat exposed sandbar. Rumors of wild boar on the island kept us on our toes (we didn't see any) and we laughed the entire way out and back.

I cannot wait to start the new year. I am excited to see what friends do, and to offer my support and encouragement. I prefer not to tell people what they cannot do. I don't ask why they would want to run a hundred  miles or climb over the mountains. I know why. It's the how, where, and when that interests me.


Matt said...

Well said, my friend. What a fantastic year 2013 has been. Here's to another great year coming up!

jun said...

Awesome quick and insightful write-up. I can't wait to see what you do in 2014.
And great finishing shot of the Grudge Coulior by the way.

Jen said...

If you can tie Alma 36 into your running history, then it must be colorful! Seriously, Matt, you have been an inspiration. It's been fun seeing how you've discovered your abilities and then capitalized on them. Like jun says, 2014 will be a (wait for iiittt) revelation!

D Ward said...

I like this write-up. A lot.

Scott Wesemann said...

You had an incredible yeat Kemosabe. I was very inspired watching you push yourself to do your best in everything you did. I'm psyched for more adventure with you in 2014.