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2017 - Week in Review - 20 March - 26 March

The Crimson Trail - Logan Canyon - Utah Photo Credit - Mr. Matthew Shoemaker

Weekly Reflections and Focus

A bit early to compensate for last week.  Enjoy!

It's been a solid week.  Training and other things.  I have a head cold or a changing of the seasons bug.  Not letting it keep me down.  I didn't get in a bike ride, but I focused on solid runs and solid swims.  The swims were a bit rough b/c of the head cold, but it hasn't migrated south to my chest.  Let's hope it doesn't.  I am trying to not put myself in a state of compromise.  I have been monitoring the Elite HRV findings and readings.  I am finding they are at least 90 - 95 % matches to me.

One day I was blah, and the reading was 10, so I just kept going and finally I ran into the good state about 2 miles in.  Then, today, while on the Crimson Trail, I felt the 7 manifest on the elevation uptick in the first mile.

My runs and breathing and cadence have come a long way.  I really slowed down this week b/c of the cold, but it was so weird to run what was fast for me last year and prior.  It felt so easy.  I remember it feeling like I was going to die!  'Feel' has been a topic in my social running forums and circles.  I am glad to say that I understand and know my 'feel'.  But, would I be able to describe it?  No.  It would suffice to say that it is a place where you are almost surreal, ambivalent to the technology or measurements of anything but the rhythms I find in my strides, my heart rate, and my breathing.  This culminates in being present but not hyper-focused.  Being at ease but nimble enough to push ahead with minimal effort and maintain the next level without risk of burn out or peaking.  It's near euphoric, but not at all at the same time b/c you just 'feel' right.

The run with the NERC's in Smithfield was good too.  Got Liz out.  Juniper came along and rode in her Bob.  We all got to connect with a few folks.  I felt bad b/c I started behind folks, getting juniper into her "bob" and pumping a tire.  I had to pump it one more time before catching up, and once after passing most folks.  Everyone seems to love the run and focuses on 'their' run.  That is what is so awesome about the journey.

Folks, in a lot of ways in running, and endurance sports, multisport tend to under sale themselves.  Most of the folks I know are common and humble.  I feel I am a mere mortal among these great examples.   I learn a lot from their demeanor and the way they interact and carry themselves.

I swam my fastest ever, albeit it a short session.  I am concentrating and focusing on fundamentals.  Breathing I have down solid:  bi-directional on a 3 or 5 stroke count, single sided doing 4 or 6 strokes or even doing 3-6-3.  I am hoping this comes in handy in the Open Water Swim (OWS).  this should allow me to adapt to conditions I cannot control while swimming.  All that is left is adapting to cold water and nailing a 1:48 or less per 100 yards.

The Crimson Trail (First time experience)
Logan Canyon in Utah is renowned for this trail hike above the great China Wall - known in climbing circles.  That being said.  A local running acquaintance wanted to run it once the storm broke and I was looking for something after my 2000-yard event check swim.  So, after an adventure with a friend’s dog and duck - let’s just say the duck was on the receiving end of a hungry dog, but the duck was still alive, I made it up to the rally point at 3:30 PM on Saturday.  UPDATE – Unfortunately, the duck didn’t make it through the night.  Matthew called me out by name and was just as friendly as many other folks have said he is.  A great man, a better runner, and a gracious trail host.  After a quick locking of the car and a walk up from the parking lot, we got up to the bridge for some quick stretches and away we went.   This trail was fun.  It was a bit 'Squirrelly' in the wet conditions, but overall good conditions for this time of year.  There was some snow on the backside and I agree with Matthew, it was better to deal with those on the downhill not the uphill.  Ok, a brief impression of Matthew for some context.  He's wiser, more mature, and a better runner than me, but you wouldn't know any of that unless you met him.  He led the way and we were off.  We passed a couple of folks who were just in awe that we were running it, not just hiking.  The first mile is up.  About 5110 ft. above sea level to 5881 ft.  I went from a jog/run to a power hike within the first half mile.  This was the workout I needed for my brick without putting in the long miles.  The trail is narrow but solid.  the switch backs were fun with some of the washouts and loose rock and wet conditions (damp and a bit loose underfoot here and there.  I looked up for Matthew and he was hounding up and out of sight.  No problem used to it on trails and rendezvous -ing at different points to keep folks on trail. Once we peaked out, in the first section, it became instantly clear why this trail is so revered.

About a mile in, breathless 
I swear, I really am here

A view of the highway and the misty clouds and drizzle.

Rocky crags, a place not to slip, but its distracting b/c it's so enchanting...
The trail was just slowly coming to life.  I run into Matthew at this point and we grab a few more photos and catch up about conditions of the trail, what to anticipate and concur that we are both a bit run down from the week, but we hit this at a great time.

A view of 3rd dam high above not he overlooks

A glimpse around at some of the distractions

Shane and Matt, high above third dam - Crimson Trail

Matt on the ledge grabbing an image and a quick pause.

Enamored but the trail... Trail runners caught 

Off we went and the trail just kept getting better.  For me, I still have a problem with narrow single track.  Given that it was my first go and the ridge line we were on, I play cautious.   I kept a decent pace for not being as acclimated to elevation with all my recent time in San Francisco and New York City.  it was great.  The next half mile was a meandering trail with a few puddles, a few technical blips like scaling Mount Baldy before the bouldering patch at discrete peak series (Alta).  The real glory of the trail comes in over the next half mile from 5831 ft. above sea level to 6000 ft.  It wasn't horribly difficult, other than all the distractions.  So many opportunities to just get lost in the moment, in the grandeur, and slip and fall and slide for like a lot!  Anyway, back on path.  Matthew alerts me to a great place to grab some photos, and well, boy dandy did I get rewarded.

I was merely a guest and i was captured in a fleeting moment...

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ~~ John Muir
These two photos by Matthew captured me in stride and lost in the moment. Captured by an apple phone 5 that he recently switched to from an old-school LG flip phone. I was the benefactor of his captures. These are epic. These are on par with the recent captures from 2016 70.3 IM St. George. They are amazing.

Now to the decent, if you look at the strava, it's an awesome descent.  Again, I erred on being too cautious and I rendezvoused with Matt where he captured this trail guide worthy shot.

Does the confluence of this trail make me look fat?

I can only imagine what he could do with a 'real' camera. These images to me are some of the more epic ones captured of me. This one makes me look engaged, present and killing it.  Truthfully, I was monitoring my less than nimble footwork down a damp descent. I'm still squeamish about hitting trees. Stories for other times.

The remainder of the trail was along the river trail just below Guinivah-Malibu down to the parking lot.  I will remember this run for some time b/c of the great epic photos and the kind camaraderie offered from Matthew.  A solid gentleman and a very nimble and able runner.

Can you believe this is my backyard?  Outstanding.

Activities - Strava Logs (Shane's Strava link)

(Look for rollover links if you are Strava stalking me :) )

Activity 1 - SWIM
Activity 2 - RUN 1, RUN 2
Activity 1 - RUN
Activity 1 - SWIM
Activity 1 - RUN
Activity 1 - Unanticipated Rest Day
Activity 1 - SWIM
Activity 2 - RUN


Monday morning weigh in 197.4

Targeted Activity and Focus Points


Swim through headcold.  Just forget about pushing hard and concentrate on the fundamentals.


With the weather and work commitments, sneak one in tis week if I can.


Typical - biomechnics and feel.


Do better.

Weekly Pics

The river trail adjacent to Icon fitness - Where Altra's originate from 

Goofy iron dad


this head cold sucks


selfie on a ledge - Crimson Trail - Shane and Matt

Shane and Matt....selfie

i own you le tour eiffel

I'm in awe of this capture

watching my footing...biomechanics are in tact

stilll in awe of the captures...

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