Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quality over Quantity

Tephra at Tarnahan

Week Summary

Ash Canyon Tracks: 10.0 mi (+1,538 ft); 11:16 pace
EF Treadmill: 4.7 mi (+0 ft); 9:31 pace
McTarnahan Hill (West): 12.0 mi (+3,036 ft); 15:20 pace

Weekly Totals: 26.6 mi (+4,574 ft); 5:40:56 on trail

It was one of those weeks, of which I've had a lucky few, when events and weather conspired to knock me off my disciplined training schedule. I managed, however, to insert some great trails into a week that I could have simply been disappointed about. The mileage and time were well below my targets, but the elevation gain and new trails were splendid.

I have happily started poaching trails from the Carson City Runners website, Slang has some kmz files and evidently has upgraded to Garmin hosting just this week. I printed out a screen shot of the kmz routes at Ash Canyon and headed over on a windy Tuesday. I was amazed at the intricate network of climbing and generally very interesting single tracks. I spent a couple hours exploring and had a wonderful time - almost all of the ten miles on well-kept single track. Easy to get into the forest of the Carson Range and feel miles away from the office, when in fact it's less than a 10-minute drive to the trailhead. 

The week rather dog-piled me after that. For my 48th birthday I spent 45 minutes on the treadmill as snow squalls and cold winds punished the eastern front. The tempo felt good, but, hey, it's a treadmill sweat machine, though better than nothing.

And then came the next round of the tiling job. Took the day off from work but worked until way after dark trying to teach myself tiling in a off-kilter bathroom. Got about half done. I was back for the other half on Saturday morning and again worked until after dark. But the tile is now installed, and it looks like a first-timer did it, though not too bad. I did manage about 150 trips up and down the stairs over the past two days, so that much count for something.  I kept thinking that when I'm out suffering on the San Diego 100, I can think of tiling the bathroom, and I'll feel immediately better no matter what the conditions are!

Sun dawned perfect, so after wrapping up our tax mailings, I grabbed another screen shot from Slang's McTarnahan Hill trails. McTarnahan is a big, pinyon-covered, rolling hill east of Mexican Dam. It's a foothill of the Pine Nut Range east of Carson City. I knew I would get mileage, but I would certainly earn some elevation over the three-hour tour.  The sandy climb was steep and seemed to take forever; it's basically a huge climbing dune fed by alluvium of the Carson River, the conveyor belt of the Sierra. 

Sandy climb above the river.
Following a little screenshot map can be a bit tough, especially when there are dozens of trails and tracks. I was thankful I had my Garmin GPS (non-watch variety) to keep track of contours and to target the McTarnahan highpoint. It's a nice little bump on top of the broad hills and the views were a nice reward. Good to be up in an area I'd never visited before. Except for the sands (kind of fun on the downhill though still tiring), it's a great area of close-in pinyon woodlands and cool outcrops. 

McTarnahan Hill (6,856 ft)
Mt. Rose northwest beyond Carson City, a view I'm not accustomed to.
Descending the sand back to Prison Hill and the Carson River.
So it's Quality over Quantity this week, maybe a healthy break from the strict schedule. Yet I function well within the regime and have never felt burdened by it, plus I'm still very sure it's working. So this week it's back at it. 

Fun fact: Between my birthdays (April 12, 2011 - April 12, 2012), I logged just over 1,800 miles. Nice.  

1 comment: