Day 43 – Over half way through! + Moab Day One

So far I’ve completed 6 weeks of my half marathon training plan. Half way through and feeling good although the mileage should start to ramp up in the next couple of weeks. Plus I have my first race of the year this Saturday.

Our clocks went forward on Saturday night which meant that I’m back to running in the dark :(. I was just starting to get used to seeing the sunrise as I finished my morning run. Oh well. I guess I’ll need my headlamp and reflective vest for a little longer. It was pretty hard to get out of bed after a weekend full of camping and not-so healthy foods but I managed. I did a 4.61 mile recovery run and felt pretty good. I have misplaced (hopefully not lost) my connector to upload my Garmin data so I won’t be sure of my paces until it turns up again. I think it was around 9.00ish min/mile.

Back to my weekend in Moab. We drove from SLC on Friday evening (about 4 hours) and arrived to a dark and very windy campsite. We braved it for a little but headed to bed pretty early. But the next morning we woke to blue sky and sunshine (still a little chilly).

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Our campsite – on a plateau overlooking Long Canyon.

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Our first adventure of the day was to drive down through the canyon on a steep off-roady-type trail to the start of our first hike of the day.

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That’s the road in the front right heading down to Long Canyon and looking over the snow-capped La Sal mountains.

Our first hike was to Corona Arch about 2.2 mile round trip mostly over slick rock.

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Southern Utah sure is pretty.

We ate lunch by the Colorado river.

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After lunch we did hike no. 2 of the day – Fischers Towers about 4.6 mile roundtrip.

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We headed back to camp to cook up some chilli and cobbler in the Dutch ovens before hanging out by our campfire for the night.

March mileage: 39.45 miles/63.5 KM

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Day 36 – Daylight!

I was feeling pretty good after my long run yesterday – energized and ready to tackle some of the unappealing errands I’d been putting off for the last while. I’ve learned that when I’m feeling like this I need to take advantage. But after a couple of hours I was getting the itch to go outside again.

J was at work so I decided to do a little hike on the North side of Salt Lake. It was only 1.0 mile total but had awesome views over the whole valley and I managed to escape the rain again – I think it might be my new super power.

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It was exactly what I needed to clear my head – about 30 mins and 300 ft. Afterwards I rewarded myself with a ton of sushi rolls with friends.

Monday mornings are always a battle to get up and running. This is a recovery run for me so I’m usually a little sore and tired. Today was the same. Achy knee and sore butt –  not a great combo but at least I know what is going on with my body now and the PT I need to keep doing to sort it out. 4 miles at about 9.15 min/mile pace.

The great thing about this run was that as I was leaving the house I debated whether I really needed to bring my headlamp and after two miles I turned it off completely. I was actually finishing my morning run in daylight. I think spring might finally be here! (Sorry everyone in the East and Midwest). I even felt a little warm (!). I think I definitely have spring on my mind as we are seriously considering taking off on our first camping trip next weekend. I am ready for sun, shorts and chacos!

March running total: 14.6 miles/23.5 KM

Day 24 – Loving the Outdoors

I have to confess that before I moved to Utah I was very much an indoors girl. Growing up and in college I didn’t exercise a ton. And definitely didn’t venture into the great outdoors. Moving to Scotland improved this a little bit – I started running (although pretty infrequently), going to the gym and doing a regular exercise class. I even got my first pair of waterproof hiking boots and hiked up Ben Nevis – the tallest mountain in Britain.

Then I moved to Utah. Utah is full of two kinds of people – Mormons and outdoor enthusiasts. Everyone I met here did something – skiing, road biking, trail running, climbing, canyoneering, every possible outdoor activity you could think of. About a month after we moved here we got tickets to the Banff Mountain Film Festival. This hits Salt Lake in February every year and shows badass people doing crazy shit in the mountains. This is where I found myself last night watching movies about BASE jumping, climbing in Antarctica, kayaking over waterfalls in Mexico, mountain biking in Washington state and naked skiing. It was pretty fun.

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Plus they were giving out free mini-Clif bars and coffee samples!

I would recommend this film night to anyone. I spent most of the time thinking “These people are crazy” and “I could never do that” but at the same time feeling an intense longing to get out and be back in nature. These movies showcase the amazing wealth of nature that is just waiting for us to explore. Lucky for me, I live in one of the best places in the world to get out and do stuff. And I have definitely become a fully fledged outdoors girl.

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Here I am canyoneering in Capital Reef National Park.

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Backpacking with friends in southern Utah.

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My first snowshoe-yurt trip in the Uintas. 2013 was fun!

I also ran this morning. 3.52 miles at 8.39 min/mile pace. It was a slight variation of my normal route at medium pace but it felt so much harder and a little hillier. When I checked my Garmin I had gained 148 ft over my run instead of the usual 96 ft – no wonder it kicked my butt. And another plus, my knee was sore for about 2 mins and then I didin’t notice it for the rest of my run – too busy wondering why everything was so hard. I’m hoping I’ll be fully recovered by next week and I won’t have to talk about my knee any more.