Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

April 29, 2015

SIV Training

With a few days left before we head over to Europe, the weather finally got warm enough to do an SIV with Brad Gunnuscio of SIVclinic.com.   An SIV (which is an unpronounceable French term) is basically a chance to do emergency maneuvers with my paraglider, while over water.  This makes it safer to try things because there is a softer, safer landing zone if something does go wrong.   

With a new location for towing at Utah Lake, it was a quick drive for us to get down there, plus we got the wonderful view of Mount Timpanogos in the background!   I got a couple of tows in, allowing me to practice some basic collapses and frontals, with and without speed bar.    Then I tried a full stall, which I had never done before and was a little nervous about.  But I was able to do two of them successfully, with only a little cravat to deal with.  

So I stayed dry, but a guy who got towed up just before me managed to get a little tangled up doing a full stall, and threw his reserve.  He landed fine, and once he dragged his dripping gear onto the boat, he pronounced the water as "refreshing"!  

Brad Gunnuscio explaining how to clear a cravat

April 20, 2015

Zone 4 Sprint Intervals

In between big workouts, I'm back on the treadmill doing shorter intervals.  Very short in fact!   Today's sprint workout was a warmup followed by 15 sets of 1 minute sprints.  After each sprint I walked for 2 minutes to get my heart rate back down.  While my effort level was definitely Zone 4, it takes a while for the heart to ramp up to a really fast beat, so my data shows that I would just touch Zone 4 by the end of the sprint.    I was running at 9.4 mph, which is about my fastest mile pace.  (Told you I wasn't a fast runner).   Next time I have to hold that pace for 2 minutes...bet my heart rate will get a bit higher in the zone then!  

April 7, 2015

Jordan River Trail Marathon, Part 3

Training is ramping up for the Red Bull X-Alps 2015, and this weekend I am doing a double workout...two grueling days of walking long distances with my paragliding pack on my back.

For the first day I stuck to the flats, finishing up my traverse of the Jordan River Trail with a walking marathon.   I cruised at steady 17 1/2 minute miles along the river with a chilly south wind at my back.

After 11 miles, the Jordan River Trail ended with little fanfare.  Luckily the trail continued on under a different name, the Legacy Parkway Trail.  Unfortunately, the river ended too...eventually meandering over to the Great Salt Lake I'm sure, not that I saw that part.

So the Legacy Parkway Trail wasn't nearly as scenic, pretty much following the Legacy Parkway (Interstate) heading north to Idaho.   This section of the trail seemed great for bikers and rollarblades...it was smooth, flat, and straight, just what you want to get a nice breeze in your face as you pedal along.

On foot, smooth, flat, and straight turned into hot and boring.  The next bend in the trail was sometimes miles ahead, and the afternoon sun was beating down on me.   I'm sure the Great Salt Lake was our there somewhere, but the flat low valley meant I could never get much of a glimpse of it.  The biggest hill all day was the stairway build over the train tracks!

Luckily, the trail ended after almost exactly 26 miles of walking for me, and it ended at a FrontRunner trail station.  These trains run along the Wasatch "Front" (get it?), and after finding a smoothie near the station, I was able to hop on and end up within a mile or so of my house.   Considering I had taken the TRAX near the house to get to the start of my route, public transportation served me pretty well today!

The trail actually continues even further, changing into the 18 mile Denver and Rio Grande Western Rail Trail, ending up in Roy, Utah.  I'll be checking that out soon to see if the trail lives up to it's LONG name!

Today's walk took about 7 1/2 hours.  I wasn't too sore afterward and had only a minor blister from some different shoes I was trying out.   Tomorrow I'll be heading up into Corner Canyon for about 16 hilly miles, for a total of 42 miles on this double.   This will help build me up for some even longer stuff later in the month :)

Here's Part 1 of the Jordan River Trail

And Part 2 of the Jordan River Trail

The Legacy Parkway Trail map (confusing but the best I could find)

Spring is here!

The International Peace Park along the Jordan River Trail

Utah TRAX Station
The biggest hill around
Soaking up the late afternoon heat
My ride home!

April 1, 2015

Counting Arches at....Arches NP (+ Hell's Revenge Trail)

This was Jim's first visit to Arches National Park, so we hit the highlights, a little of everything.   There's a reason National Parks are popular...the scenery is usually amazing.  Arches NP seems to be the epitome of that, with jaw-dropping views along every road in the park.

Landscape Arch is looking pretty narrow....
We started counting arches as soon as we saw one, and finished the day with a count of 28 arches, ranging from the largest arch, 308 foot Landscape Arch (see it now before it collapses) to small ones no more than a few feet across.  Unbelievably, the Arches NP brochure claims there are over 2,000 arches in the park.  I guess we've got a few thousand more to go find someday!

At any rate, there is a lot more to explore in Arches, not to mention the rest of the Moab area...arches are hiding everywhere :)

We also rented a RZR (pronounced Razor) with a couple of friends, and took it above Moab to a jeep trail called Hell's Revenge.   These diminutive little vehicles can crawl and climb over almost anything and make it look easy.  With a low center of gravity and large shocks, they make jeeps look slow and awkward.   We motored around the trail in about half the time it would take a full-sized vehicle to get around the steep climbs and descents.  The best part was watching other people try the really hard stuff along the route, with sometimes spectacular results.   (See photos below, thanks Sherrie for taking some great ones!)

Friends Clark and Sherrie join us for the RZR ride
A jeep tips over trying to spin out of the "Hot Tub" obstacle, spilling a bunch of gear!
This one almost, but not quite, makes it...and comes close to flipping in the process.
The trails of rubber are easy to follow across the slick rock