Saturday, October 24, 2009


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I was thinking of doing a scramble across the LCC ridge this morning, but called it off because it snowed. So I ran up to the Sundial. Running 3 miles downhill is about all I can take. Any trailrunners out there? Luke? Do you like running downhill? Does it hurt?

I've been doing a bit of unconventional (for me) training lately because I got sick again. I've been trying to prevent a sinus infection, so for the last 10 days or so that I've tried to avoid hard aerobic activity. Hence the climbing emphasis.

That said, the recent climbs and runs I've done in the mountains have been really refreshing. They've allowed me to see the mountains in a different way in a different season. Climbing crags on Olympus, Big Cottonwood, and Little Cottonwood, I've been able to move through the mountains in yet another form. Climbing the slabby granite of Lisa Falls the other day gave me a new appreciation for that same, but quite different Lisa Falls I skiied a few months ago. The cirque surrounded by Dromedary, Superior and the Sundial was just as surreal without snow as it is with snow.  I'm not quite certain what underlies my obsession (I admit it) with moving in the mountains. Of course, the mountains are beautiful. But it's more than that. For me, there's something very fulfilling about being able to move deep in the mountains elegantly -- speedliy, yet safely, under your own power. I suppose part of the attraction is the challenge. Whether it's on skis, on two wheels, in running shoes, or in a harness, elements of skill are required. It's fun to develop those skills to a point where they facilitate elegant movement. Another aspect of the challenge is the element of uncertainty. The faster and higher and deeper you go, the margin for error becomes smaller and smaller.  It's a challenge to know where you draw the line.


Luke said...

I felt the same for a very long time about downhill running. I love running, climbing, skinning uphill, but other than skiing never really loved the downs. Given that I didn't like it, it was a major weakness in my trail races, I spent a lot of time researching downhill technique and forcing myself to train on lots of downhills. After all was said and done I still love going up more, but have learned to flow on the downhills to the point that they have become enjoyable. The biggest tips I picked up are: short fast strides, don't lengthen out super long, and soft knees- I tell myself over and over soft knees to keep the turn over fast enough so that my feet and knees aren't pounding all the way down. It helped out a lot and made them tons faster. Let me know if you I might be able to give you any more beta. Think Snow!!

Jared said...

Good advice. Thanks. I'm planning on doing a 26 mile run across the Grand Canyon in a few days--waay out of my league. I'll be thinking "soft knees."

Luke said...

Jared- would you be up for a dawn patrol tomorrow or Thursday? If so give me a call 208-705-3508