|view of the Salt Lake valley from Big Mountain|
|wildflowers flanking the first big climb|
delayed onset muscle soreness (doms) was the theme of the week for my quads, and for my left Achilles and calf. so when it came down to Friday night before the PieNBeer trail marathon, i found myself wondering what i had once again gotten myself into, and that maybe i should just run a 20-miler on my own somewhere, away from the competitiveness of a bunch of other runners.
|view of the Wasatch Crest from near Swallow Rocks|
so when the event organizer said "go" and everyone took off like a rocket, my stomach did another lurch. the words of my coach echoed in my head, "start out easy and end this one strong... " and i vowed not to run 7-minute miles on the dirt road for the first 4 miles, but instead would settle into a nice 8:30-9 min-mile pace and see where the day would take me.
as it turns out, the day took me past a dozen other runners. those people who had started out fast found themselves not able to hang on once the big climbs started at mile 8 1/2. and i found myself chugging up the hill, not even feeling out of breath, easily overtaking a group of three. my legs continued to feel strong after 15 miles, along the off-camber, brushy, overgrown traverse of Lookout Peak, and i found myself easily jogging along and asking three more if they would mind stepping aside to let me through.
|Swallow Rocks section|
re-tanking with a bottle of Ultragen at the aid station at mile 20 (i carried a ziplock of powder with me), i remained optimistic about the next downhill section which proved to be hot on the East Canyon Road. before i knew it, i had passed three more people. (heat is typically a nemesis of mine ~ just ask my friends about how quickly my attitude can change when i hit the heat-box section of any given outing.)
|looking back at Big Mountain from below Lookout Peak|
and to top it off, i got to eat pie and drink beer at the finish tent with my friends. we congratulated each other on a successful day and i thought to myself how fortunate i am to be a part of such a wonderful group of people. silly me for thinking i should run alone. never underestimate the power of such an event with like-minded people.
link to the run is found here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/101173757