I’m back! My trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and Salt Lake City was so amazing and wonderful. I loved it so much and think it’s one of my favorite vacations of all time! My heart and soul are already aching to go back. I can’t wait to share what I did with you, but it’s going to take me a while to go through all our pictures. For now I’ll do a quick recap of my training while I was away. The last training recap I did was Monday through Friday, so I’ll tack on the Sunday run from that week into this recap.
I did pretty good. I ran six days but not as much mileage as I’d planned. I hadn’t even considered the higher elevation, which definitely made running feel harder, nor had I planned on being so exhausted from running in the morning and hiking in the afternoon. I’ve said that our vacations aren’t for relaxing, and that was very true of this trip. I was so exhausted every night that I would fall asleep like five minutes after I ate dinner (leaving my poor husband with nothing to do except to watch one of the two TV channels we got for the rest of the night, which I felt bad about). So while I didn’t get as many miles in as I wanted, I definitely still had the cumulative fatigue thing going on all week.
As for weekly mileage, I ran 30.3 miles and I hiked 36.02 miles.
Sunday, September 20
Easy run: 8 miles, 1:45, 13:07 pace
After traveling all of Saturday, I couldn’t wait to get out and run on Sunday. It was the coldest morning of the week at 32 degrees, so I was pretty excited. I’d forgotten how to dress for 32 degrees, though, and before I’d gone a mile had to go back to my cabin to shed layers. 32 degrees is actually not very cold, especially when it’s so sunny.
I was staying in the small town of Island Park, Idaho, which has an elevation of 6,293 feet. I wasn’t sure where I’d run, but I discovered that there was a national forest with trails right around the corner from our cabin and also tons of snowmobile trails all around. I’d seen warnings that this area was a high bear activity area, and when I got there saw posters everywhere warning about bears. I didn’t have bear spray (it’s a huge can and costs $50), so my strategy was just to make a lot of noise and stick close to roads. Some of the snowmobile trails were alongside the main road, and some went off into the forest. Only a few times did I take the trails into the forest or go on back roads off the main road, and I was very loud when I did.
On this day I kept stopping my Garmin to take pictures and forgetting to start it again, but I know I was running for 1:45 and estimate that I was just over or under 8 miles. This was a hard run, and I struggled. At the time I thought it was harder because I was running on trails with small, frequent hills, but now I realize it was the elevation that made it so hard.
|One of the snowmobile trails where I ran.|
Hiking: 3 miles
Easy run: 6 miles, 1:17, 12:50 pace
It was 35 for this run, and the morning temps the rest of the week were between 35-37. I thought it would feel cooler than it did. Damn that sun! It is sooo sunny there and was unseasonably warm during the days. I wished I’d brought more warm-weather clothes to run in since I got warm pretty fast in my winter gear.
|Running in the national forest where my cabin was.|
Hiking: 7.6 miles
Easy run: 4 miles, 51:20, 12:50 pace
Hiking: 5.2 miles
Fartleks: 5.2 miles, 1:04, 12:30
I threw in one minute of fast running (8:50-9:30 pace) with two minutes of recovery for one mile of this run. It wasn’t a lot, but I figured it was better than nothing, and I was really struggling with the fast running.
|Another view of the snowmobile trail close to the road where
I ran. You can see there are woods all around.
Hiking: 3.72 miles
Easy run: 3.1 miles, 40:04, 12:56 pace
We wanted to get an earlier start, so I did a shorter run and…I almost ran into a moose! The cabin where I stayed was in a wooded subdivision, so I would start my run with a loop through the gravel roads of the subdivision before heading onto the trails. Because there were houses and cabins around, I wasn’t expecting to encounter wildlife. As I rounded a corner, I almost ran right into a huge moose with huge antlers. I took one glance and immediately backed up the way I came, checking to see if he was going to follow me. He wasn’t, but I could make out that he was watching after me, I guess to make sure I didn’t come back. I briefly considered trying to go back to get a picture, but I was scared so I ran like hell to get away from him. Later, when we left to drive to Yellowstone, we saw a much smaller female moose, and when we came back from Yellowstone in the evening, the pair were together. I guess their home is in the woods right by the subdivision.
|I was breaking a lot of rules when I went running: being
by myself, not carrying bear spray, and running!
Hiking: 7.27 miles
Rest day. We left our cabin and drove all day, taking meandering scenic byways down to Salt Lake City. We didn’t get in until 8:30 p.m., and my head was aching from being so tired and hungry. We went out for a late dinner and then couldn’t help walking around downtown Salt Lake City a little before returning to our condo, so it was a pretty long day, and I was beat.
Rest day. I didn’t set my alarm and woke up pretty late and was very dismayed to see that it was already 65 degrees and very sunny. Where did my 30-degree weather go??? I had planned on doing 10 miles, but the thought of doing it just filled me with dread. Plus, I’d packed all winter running gear. After dilly-dallying, I put on my full-length tights and a tank and headed out. I figured I’d go for a quick walk to see how bad it was. Well, when they say dry heat isn’t as bad as humid heat, they’re right! It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. But…the sun. Ugh, the sun. Have I mentioned that my skin actually hurts and my stomach feels like it’s boiling in the sun? Maybe I’m part vampire. Apparently in Yellowstone country and Salt Lake City, it’s pretty much always sunny, and the higher elevation makes it more intense. Even just walking, I felt my legs start to boil in my tights. There was no way I was running. For the record, this is the second long run I skipped. I’m not too upset or guilty about it, though, because Hansons puts much less emphasis on the long run and much more on overall mileage.
We did, though, spend the entire day and night walking around Salt Lake City. I had my Garmin on for the day but didn’t at night, so between the Garmin and our maps I know we walked at least 9.23 miles–probably closer to 10.
Sunday, September 27
Easy run: 4 miles, 51:06, 12:47 pace
I hadn’t planned on running Sunday since we were flying back, but because I skipped Saturday’s run I woke early to get some miles in before we headed to the airport. I was early enough that the sun wasn’t in full force, and though it was 71 degrees, it wasn’t too bad. I actually did bring one pair of just-in-case shorts that I thought I wouldn’t wear that I wore for this run. I’ve never worn them on very long runs, which is why I didn’t try to wear them the day before. I ran through the residential streets close to the condo where we were staying downtown. It turns out that I could have run a lot longer, because our flight was delayed by two hours. We didn’t get in until 1 a.m. Sunday night!
So now it’s Monday, and after an awesome but exhausting trip, I now have to run my peak week for mileage in the plan. But I’m ready for it and am looking forward to get back into my routine again.
Happy running and working out this week!