Monday, September 16, 2013

Well, That Was Really Awkward

This past week featured some seriously stunning scenery, 15,600 feet of climbing over the last eight days if you include Saturday's Mid Mountain Marathon, and one of the stranger experiences I've had while running.

Monday, September 9th 2013: 6.5 miles @ 18:48 minutes per mile
Tuesday, September 10th 2013: 9 miles @ 14:27 minutes per mile
Wednesday, September 11th 2013: 4 miles @ 13:30 minutes per mile
Thursday, September 12th 2013: 4 miles @ 13:10 minutes per mile
Friday, September 13th 2013: Nada
Saturday, September 14th 2013: 4.5 miles hiking at Yant Flat (I'll show you those pictures soon)

During the first part of the week I was at a work conference near Snowbird, Utah. That was a very difficult work conference because for the entire day I could see the trails of the Rocky Mountains beckoning me from outside the window. Those trails were begging me to come and hang out.

When the conference ended on the first night I ran to my room, did a Superman style quick change of clothing, and drove over to the Red Pines Trail. I've only been here one other time and I was anxious to get back.

Did you see that 18:48 minute pace for this 6 mile run? Well, let me explain why. First of all, I stopped to take a bunch of pictures. Second, that is a challenging, technical, boulder-hopping trail climbing 3,742 feet. And third, the Rocky Mountains went all Candid Camera on me and removed every ounce of oxygen from the air. I was running at nearly 10,000 feet as opposed to my home of around 4,500 feet. I was wheezing like a walrus with emphysema.

I made it to Red Pines Lake in the crisp evening stillness and spent some time trying to coax air into my lungs enjoying the scenery.

The views up there were just spectacular. If God were a trail runner, this is where he would be getting his miles in.

Eventually that emphysema feeling went away and it felt a little less like breathing through a straw.

My next task became getting down the mountain as quick as possible before the sun went down. I had my head light but didn't really want to use it on such a technical trail. Here is a little tidbit of completely useless information: on really technical trails, I'm usually slower going down than going up. I'm not in the mood for a sprained ankle. I made it down in the midst of a sweet sunset.

The conference continued the next day also. As with the first day, I did a quick change and headed for the hills in the evening after the conference. This time I went to the White Pines Trail for the first time.

The trail was a little less technical with a little less climbing (I climbed 3,425 feet over nine miles). It was equally beautiful.

The leaves are already changing up there. Pretty soon that trail is going to be covered with golden leaves.

I decided to turn around before getting to White Pines Lake. There was a big storm rolling in that I didn't want to tussle with. I had another ulterior motive. One of the few restaurants at Snowbird, a pizza joint, closed at 8pm. I didn't make it back in time the night before and preferred to not have another dinner of Ramen Cup of Noodles.

On my way back down the mountain I came over this ridge overlooking the Salt Lake valley being lit up by the setting sun. It was just incredible to watch. I stood there for a few minutes enjoying the view and was so thankful that I turned back early otherwise I would have missed this.

I believe the goosebumps I got were from the amazing views, not the cold air that was making my fingers numb.

Finally I went speeding down the trail. My brain yelled "Cory - don't miss the pizza again!" I hadn't seen a solitary soul the whole time. Until suddenly I saw someone standing in the middle of the trail down below. Then I got closer and saw it was two people snuggled up very closely making out. They didn't budge as I ran right past them. That......was really awkward.

The Happily Ever After ending to the story was that I made it back to the pizza place with 5 minutes to spare! Pizza tasted much better than Ramen noodles.


  1. All of my runs are motivated by food at the end. The closing of the delicious pizza joint is no joke! I'm glad you took it seriously!

    Those views are incredible! But why didn't you say hi when you saw me? ;)

  2. I'm glad to see you're getting in some high altitude training for Leadville next year :).

    Those type of adventures, when you're far away from the norm, are always so precious. I'm sure the pizza made up for the little awkward incident! Ha.

  3. Trail run in a new location, spectacular scenery, gorgeous sunsets AND pizza. You really know how to live!

  4. Beautiful photos! I had plans to hit the trails on both days this weekend, but alas, the floods threw a wrench in that plan :(

  5. Yea pizza!! I feel for you on not wanting Ramen a second night. I've been crushed more than once when my running or riding fantasies of hot cheesy pizza are thwarted.

    And your pictures are stunning.

  6. AWESOME pics, Cory. AWESOME. Especially the one with sunsetting in that 2nd to last shot. WOW.

  7. As always, Cory, loved your blog and the amazing pictures!! It was nice seeing you at Mid Mountain Marathon and look forward to seeing you soon!! OH...and this is me, too: "I was wheezing like a walrus with emphysema." :~)

  8. As always, fantastic photos! I just did Red Pine for the first time recently. LOVE it! Glad you made it in time for your pizza. Ramen sounds gross :P

  9. Really beautiful! That is a great way to end a conference day. Good thing they didn't budge or it could have really been very awkward.

  10. Awesome pics! You need to come do BEAR!

  11. Awesome pics as usual! Some great scenery. lol on seeing 2 people making out in the woods.

    Yankee Stadium was indeed awesome to see, so much history there - especially seeing Monument Park. Wish I could have seen Old Yannkee Stadium too, since the prices would be cheaper and all the history that is there too. But Yankee Stadium and Mets Stadium are among my top 5 stadiums that I've been to. I still put Fenway in the #1 spot, and SF Giants #2.