Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week Summary (Aug 28) - New Height and Distance

Sacramento Pass OB: 7.3 mi (+1,105 ft); 11:05 pace
Emma Quarry OB: 5.6 mi (+377 ft); 8:58 pace
TRT - Echo Summit Recon: 8.2 mi (+1,381 ft); 12:47 pace
TRT - Kingsbury to Big Meadow (+Freel Peak): 25.0 mi (+5,411 ft); 14:57 pace
Emma Quarry OB: 5.6 mi (+512 ft); 10:10 pace

Weekly Totals: 51.8 mi (+8,787 ft); 11:06:32 on trail

On my way home from Leadville I grabbed a few miles at Sacramento Pass just north of Great Basin National Park at the eastern edge of Nevada.  I climbed on nice two-track roads and occasional single-track through pinyon woodlands underneath Wheeler Peak. It was a nice break from the drive across Utah and Nevada and good to keep the discipline while on the road.

I stuck to Emma Quarry for my five-mile days, but broke some new ground checking out the Echo Summit area of the Tahoe Rim Trail.  I had left the Garmin at home so I've estimated my mileage based on the some pretty good maps and I'll figure out the elevation at a later date.  This is a great break in the drive home from our office HQ in Davis, California, so I think I'll be checking out these trails again soon.  It's also part of the TRT segment from Big Meadow to Echo Lakes.

Freel Peak from Monument Pass

Motivated by our week in Leadville, I hit the trail for a long Saturday on the TRT. Rainstorms greeted the morning as I met with Marta to shuttle the Yota out to Big Meadow, south of South Lake Tahoe, California.  Marta and I left the Yota at the trailhead and she drove us around to Kingsbury (south) where we'd start our Saturday excursion. As she made her way toward Monument Pass, her longest day since her half-marathon a few years ago, I enjoyed the trail to Star Lake. Last time I was here, Darren was working his way from Big Meadow through deep snow, while also summiting Freel Peak (10,880 feet).  On this Saturday, I was retracing his steps in the opposite direction. I felt great when I reached the pass below Freel where a group of hikers commented on the sudden presence of a runner. Their kind words and encouragement made the summit trail to Freel Peak look enticing so I turned off the TRT for the two-mile side trip. I hadn't planned this at the start, but now it would be a true re-do of Darren's snowbound run. I had the distinct benefit of a summer's thaw, finally.

The summit of Freel Peak (10,800 ft), Mile 12
The summit was popular and a bit crowded, so I turned quickly back to the trail. I was soon headed for Armstrong Pass but beginning to feel the miles and elevation gain. After the pass, where you might expect a leisurely descent, I found more climbing to Freel Meadows.  It felt endless and I walked more than I anticipated.  I kept moving but I realized I'd never felt this tired in my new season of running. I looked to Darren at Leadville, thinking that this is simply 25 miles, less than a third of what he worked his way through. Although I felt sluggish, I'm happy I kept to my steady progress and was rewarded with season highs in mileage and elevation gain. It was a good experience to finally confront a bit of fatigue so far from my planned finish and work through it.

Perfect single-track of TRT
Given the steady fatigue I encountered during 25 miles, I'm looking forward to the challenge of my first ultra at Lake of the Sky, a 36-mile event on the northern portion of the TRT. I'm confident I'll meet the challenge.  I'll have a good week's taper going into the event (I approached 67 miles in my recent 7-day interval!) and slightly less elevation gain over the Lake of the Sky course. I can't wait. In the coming week I will be running the Brockway to Tahoe City segment of the TRT, this is the inbound section of Lake of the Sky and the outbound is simply the opposite direction.

My back is hurting quite a lot today (Sunday).  Felt good on Emma Quarry but I think Saturday's effort has left some hamstring tightness that translates to lower back pain. It's the same sensation I had earlier in the season and I should be able to work through it. I'll probably get in a visit with Jon at Manual Therapy for some maintenance. Maybe the time in the Yota and distances traveled without any cross-training are catching up a little. As before, running feels good so the pre-race training won't suffer.  I hope.


  1. When is the Lake of The Sky event??

  2. Lake of the Sky, 36.4 miles from Tahoe City to Brockway and back on the TRT, is Sept 10th!

  3. 67 miles in 7 days! That sounds like an Ultra runner!

  4. Thanks, but it'll sound better when it's 67 miles in 1 day! Feels damn good though.

  5. Hey! Nice post! And congrats on the mileage and elevation. My 10 miles feels like quite an accomplishment ;) And the 1/2 was only last Sept. Been also thinking about my own goals-- The broad goal being the TRT in all its sections, but a more immediate (before the snow?) one would be any 20+ section in one outing. By the way, I really enjoy the chatting in the car on the way to the TRT points, and it is also nice knowing you are out there with/ahead of me on the trail.