Saturday, September 3, 2011

Morning Glory on the Wasatch Crest

stellar morning above it all
The thing that got me up out of bed early this morning, at o'dark stupid o'clock, was thinking that this is my last early morning run before the big event next week.  I've been feeling tight all week; feeling little aches and pains in my legs and knees and trying not to let that seed of doubt sprout in my brain.  That little seed of doubt...

I get up everyday and run.  Not fast, mind you.  But quite far as most people would think of it.  I told a woman at work what I have been up to this summer, and she said to me, "Wow.  You must really like running."  I thanked her for not calling me crazy.  And she replied, "Well, that's what I was thinking, but I thought it was a lot nicer way of putting it, just saying that you must really like running."  And I thought to myself, how fortunate am I?  to be in a work environment where they don't just think i'm a crazy fool* and instead say, "that's so awesome!"
Cheryl enjoys the early morning view

So this morning, my friend Cheryl and I got up while most people chose to sleep in on this cool morning, with a hint of Fall in the air.  The only other crazy people who were up early today were probably those doing a huge mountain bike race in Park City.  Cheryl and I pulled into the Big Water parking lot at 6am, and had no trouble finding a parking place.  (When we finished, the lots were full, and people were starting to park on the road.  Thankful be the early morning trail-runner, for this reason and many others.)

It was 42 degrees as we set out on the trail, and we both commented on that fact.  That's about 10 degrees cooler than it was just one week ago when I ran from the same trailhead with Sue.  We took the "old trail" up to the junction of the Great Western, then took the little traveled "historic trail" up to the pass overlooking Big Cottonwood Canyon.  Cheryl spotted a moose up ahead, going the same direction we were, but we talked loudly and asked the moose not to bother us, and we didn't see her again.  The views from the pass were stellar.

Big Cottonwood ridgeline from the Wasatch Crest
We cruised down the trail and when we got to the parking lot, we were just shy of 10 miles.  I talked Cheryl into a short half-mile loop between the parking lots, and we finished the day with 10.5 miles in about two and a half hours.  Telling stories the entire time made the miles fly by, and took my mind off of all of the little aches and pains from the week.

We went and got breakfast bagels at the mouth of the canyon, and ran into our friend Jared.  He was babysitting a Tesla for a few weeks for a friend of his from California.  I was lucky enough to score a ride in the Tesla for a few miles (Jared took it out on the freeway) and marveled at the quiet, fast (to say the least) acceleration (the Tesla has an all electric engine and no gears, so it's just one smooth acceleration to get up to top speed and 15,000 rpms).  I think Jared backed off on the speed for me a little bit, but i'm sure we hit 100 briefly.  (Sorry, no photos of the Tesla, I had left my camera in my car.)

squinting in the early morning sun on the Wasatch Crest
What a stellar morning.  And a great way to calm the nerves with a glorious morning run, time with good friends, and a joy ride in a super sweet car!

*Although I might be a crazy fool.  That remains to be seen.  In any case, I'm a happy fool, as long as I can be out running in the mountains.

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