Friday, August 12, 2011

Shoulder Season

I have had a funny stretch of running since WS this year. While I feel fully recovered and am getting excited about the upcoming fall season (I'm running UROC, Grindstone and Masochist) I have been a bit slow to bounce back.

Maybe it's a combination of age, a new job, and the oppressive July humidity in Virginia but I have found it quite easy to bail out on runs and just go with the flow. Probably good, in the long run, but still a bit curious given the fact that running is, aside from my family, the most important thing in my life.

And, it is in that context that I am really excited about the next 24 hours. You see, circumstances have impelled me to return to the Mountain West this weekend (I am actually on the plane now) and while the visit will be quite short (I return on a redeye flight out of Salt Lake on Saturday night) I am fortunate enough to have two great runs with friends to look forward to.

As I know I have written about here before, most of my running is done solo and I like it that way. In fact, I like to say that running brings out my "inner introvert" (if there is such a thing). Ironically enough, it is in the world of my running that I also have some of my best friends in the world. And, over the next 18 hours I'll be hitting the trails with a few of them.

First, this evening I am meeting up with my good friend and editor-in-chief of Bryon Powell for a run on the Wasatch Front 100 Course. Bryon and I love running the trails with one another and I can assure you if there is anyone else out on the trail this evening they'll be sure to know we're there as we'll be chattering away like schoolgirls at a sleepover from start to finish.

After that run I am going to drive up to Sun Valley and tomorrow morning meet up with my friends and long-time training buddies Brad Mitchell (, Hank Dart ( and possibly Mike Stevens and Travis Vandenberg as well. We are heading out to the mountains north of Ketchum for a "Three Lakes Loop" that takes in Prairie, Miner and Norton Lakes while traversing 18 miles all between 7000 and 10,000 feet. That has the added bonus of being the location of many school backpack trips back at my old school in Sun Valley and is quite simply one of the prettiest sections of mountain singletrack in the area.

So, I am guessing that these two runs will jump start my fall running season and connect me back to what I love most, sharing beautiful mountain trails with good friends. I'll follow-up with a report from the weekend early next week.



Olga said...

I had never taken a season (or any time) off until I moved to Texas. Yes, that heat and humidity combination do things to you you didn't know you could - like bailing out, or simply not wanting to go, or considering other sports (at least for a few moments)...Enjoy some West air!

Hank Dart said...

Great to have you back and glad you made time for the run. As fun as always!

Sophie Speidel said...

Yeah, it is a fact of life here in the summer...humidity and bailing go hand-in-hand. Good news: the weather yesterday was cool, breezy and the trails on the Grindstone course are in excellent shape thanks to all the work done by the Shenandoah Mountain biking group! Glad you had a good run out there.

Rod Bien said...

You know, I find I recover very badly from States. My last two years I had a really hard time getting going again despite not having amazing races at Western. This year, after San Diego 100 (which as a course, was tougher), I was running again the following Wednesday and got right back into training. I'm not sure what it is about that course-- the heat, the runnable downhills, racing too early, or what, but it definitely always beats me up pretty well. I think you did the right thing by taking some time off, recovering, and now getting back to it. Smart training.

Eric said...

Smart move, listening to your body for rest.

And just an FYI, neither of the provided links work.


jenifer said...

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