Fit After Little Bits

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Last Few Weeks and Hells Canyon Adventure Run

on March 20, 2023

Well, I guess it is officially Spring?! That sounds really funny as it has been absolutely hammering snow all day…but, alas, that is what you get for living in the mountains I guess. Could really go for a beach and 75 degrees right now πŸ˜‰

The last few weeks have been filled with snow running, so many treadmill miles, Nordic miles and DIRT miles!! What!?! 25 glorious (and slightly terrifying miles) on dirt and rock-but more on that in a minute.

At what point do you just give up on trying to look attractive while running in the snow? Even after years of doing it, I still end up in whatever layers I can find that seem like they will do the best job. Very much a function over fashion runner over here πŸ˜‰ This was the look from my hill repeats a few weeks ago. It was COLD and snowing. This Nike Trail jacket is great because it basically unzips completely up the sides so I could let in cool air when working hard and zip it back up for the recovery/descent portion.

We have been hit continuously by some good storms-great for downhill skiing and summer water supply…not as great for Nordic. Plus it has been warmish. A soft, interesting texture on skate skis.

As the miles per week start to creep up, I notice that I am CONSTANTLY finding myself opening the door to the pantry. Doesn’t matter if I have already refueled well. Just all about the snacks. Ha. Sooo, in order to continue to fit into my clothes I have added in some foods that will help me feel as full as the calories I am consuming. In all fairness, I really wished this was a hamburger the whole time. Even though it was actually pretty delicious.

Speaking of downhill skiing…got out with Brooke and enjoyed some delightful powder!

Another fun side effect of the longer/tougher workouts has been the sweet little notes from my Garmin. 71 hours of recovery. That was cute. Considering I had 10 miles to complete the next day. Thanks for the advice!

A highlight from a week ago was Brooke deciding she wanted to do the last Nordic race of the season! It was totally her choice and it was adorable. She did so good and worked so hard. It was great seeing her out there suffering…um, I mean working hard doing something fun! πŸ˜‰ Ken also did the race and took 2nd place in the sprint course. It was awesome.

We have been lucky to have a few bluebird days πŸ™‚

This past weekend, I did something that I haven’t done in months! I packed my hydration pack full of food and went on a nice long run on dirt. I only ended up going through about half of the food I had packed (I tend to overpack because if for some reason I end up out there longer than I think-or overnight, I want all the foods!).

We drove down to Riggins on Friday afternoon so that Ken could do some work before we headed to our hotel. Since it was our first time and we were not super familiar with the area, we chose to stay closer with a shorter drive in the morning.

On Saturday, we were up really early and loaded into the car to head down to Pittsburg landing. It turned out that we were really early because the jet boats we were taking were running on Pacific time instead of Mountain Standard….so we had an extra hour to hang while I decided on final outfit choices and food items.

At 7 am, a group of us loaded onto a jet boat (there was also the option to do a shorter run of about 15-16 miles) and headed about 25 miles up the river. The ride was so much fun. It is amazing what those boats can do in rapids. No wonder they are so popular for summer adventures.

The driver of the boat pulled over at a point on the shore and we all unloaded. After a few minutes of getting things together, I set off jogging. I call it that, but it was really like 10 of us trying to figure out where the actual trail was! This run is unsupported, so you carry everything you might need and probably one of the most technical trails that I have done.

The first 2.5 miles were a bit hectic, but eventually we could make out the trail. Since we are coming out of winter with less use on the trails, they were quite covered with grass and brush. Luckily, I only went off course 3 or 4 more times. The trail is also not marked at all. You just follow it and hope it turns up. One thing I did was find the trip on Strava from a previous year and downloaded the GPX file and put it on my watch. I used the navigation function and it would tell me if I went the wrong way. Thankful for that!

While I knew that parts of the trail were very exposed and really, basically on the edge of cliffs, I wasn’t completely mentally prepared for how much we encountered. It was probably a good thing I didn’t know or I might have chickened out. There was a LOT and you can believe I never looked down in those sections πŸ˜‰ I am pretty terrified of heights and falling. It was a day of conquering fears for sure. But never did I feel like it was unsafe, just that there were areas I needed to walk because my rate of tripping and falling is much higher when I am running.

The views were absolutely amazing! Quite an experience being out there. I went back and forth with some other awesome women throughout the day. It was nice having other humans around. Once we got closer in, I passed a bunch of people that had done the short option as a hike. They were all so encouraging as I ran by (maybe waddled by that point!).

All in all, it was an amazing day. Very thankful for the opportunity to do it and for Ken hanging out with Brooke for the day. It was amazing coming across them with about a half a mile to go! Brooke had hiked out in her BOGS no big deal πŸ˜‰

This event is not a race, just an awesome day out…but I am not going to lie, it is hard not to be a little competitive. πŸ˜‰ It was also fun to test the fitness a bit. It was also my first day ever using poles. I really enjoyed having them, but definitely need some practice with them to be more efficient. Every long run at this point is practice for August, so I worked really hard on nutrition and hydration. I was pretty happy with both. I started eating basically 2 miles into the run. It ended up taking me about 5.5 hours with 10 minutes of non-moving time. Let’s just say I wanted to keep things moving forward! Most of that downtime was taking off clothes, etc.

Definitely recommend the experience, but be prepared for some ruggedness. They dont call it Hells Canyon because it is rainbows and butterflies!

Now back to my regularly scheduled snow activities…Happy Spring!

Week of 3/13
T: 8 mile easy run, treadmill
W: 7 miles, treadmill with 7×5 min efforts
H: Skate ski 5.25 miles
F: 4 miles easy, treadmill
S: 25 miles with 4k+ elevation. Rugged. Hells Canyon Adventure Run
S:16 miles (1 hour) bike trainer easy (pretty sore quads!)

Week of 3/6
T: 4 mile easy run, treadmill. 4.4 mile skate ski
W: 7 miles, treadmill with 7×5 min efforts
H: 3 mile easy run, treadmill. 5.5 miles skate ski
F: 10 miles easy treadmill
S: 13 mile skate ski. 7 mile run, treadmill
S: 7.3 miles skate ski. 7.7 miles easy, treadmill

Week of 2/27
M: 5 mile easy run, treadmill
T: Pyramid workout on treadmill (7.5 miles). 6.5 mile easy skate ski
W: 5 mile easy run, treadmill
H: Hill workout in the snow. 2×3 mile power hike, 3×5 mile run efforts, 5×30 second uphill sprints (recoveries for all)=7.1 miles + 6.3 mile easy skate ski
F: 6.3 mile easy skate ski
S: 10 mile treadmill run. 10 mile skate ski
S: 7.7 mile skate ski. 2.3 mile treadmill run

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