Monday, October 22, 2012

Moab Race Pacing & Rocky....

First things first

Let me introduce…


 :) More to come on him

I had my first experience being a pacer this weekend at the
 Moab Other Half Marathon.

First let me say…
I am very introverted
Very shy
A little awkward around others

SO that being said…. Not only was I nervous to pace the correct time at this race; but, I had to step out of my comfort zone and interact with people I didn’t know (Tragic :D)

I learned pacing is hard, no matter what the pace.  I was running the 1:50 group, an ‘easy’ pace for me, and still found it difficult.  When you are lining up for the race, people come up to you and share their pre-race nerves and PR goals; seeming to pass some of that goal responsibility off to you. LOVED this. Loved being able to encourage them and share in that excitement.   

From the start until about mile 5, I had a large group with me.  I probably checked my Garmin 587.893 million times to make sure I wasn’t running too fast or too slow.  We were given pace bands that took into account all the hills, which was super helpful.  The first half of the race is rolling/down hill and spirits were high.  Then everyone seemed to disappear, except for 5 people - 4 who made it with me from start to finish, and 1 we picked up along the way.  This is where the awesome headwinds and fun hills showed up. 

Every time we would approach a hill I would tell them we are going to OWN this hill and up we went. It made me nervous to hearing their breath start to get heavier and heavier. I would say each of their names and tell them how strong and awesome they looked. Towards the end I would run ahead when I saw an aid station and grab water’s and get the GU’s I had stored in my shirt!  I had never run this course before, and they kept asking is this the last hill…. Um YES (last hill for now anyways ;)) POWER UP it. One guy started complaining about the head wind – CHARGE THROUGH IT MAN, you so got this.  

The top of last hill is at mile 11 and you can see all the way down to the finishing area. So funny how the attitudes changed - no more complaining about hills or wind! The last mile I told them to go ahead of me and kill it. I literally screamed at them to push it until they couldn’t hear me anymore. 
1:49:46, 14sec. too fast.
That feeling from a PR is hard to surpass. It was amazing to be able to share this feeling with these finishers. After the race I loved getting hugs from them and sharing in the excitement of exceeding their original 1:50 goal.  ALL 5 of them came in ahead of time.

Sitting in the finishing area, waiting for the other pacers I realized I really needed this race…

***Sometimes I need to force myself out of my comfort zone to experience times like these.  Most people don’t ‘get’ it, but it is HARD for an introverted person to engage in social settings.  Solitude is what feels ‘right.’  Forcing myself to step away from that, I met some awesome new friends and glad to have done so.
***Race settings always remind me why I decided to change my life around and STAY healthy.  After the past couple of weeks, this was defiantly a needed reminder to freaking –  

If you ever get a chance to pace a race I highly suggest you do so. 
Incredible experience.   
I hope to continue. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mt. Nebo Triple Summit Report

Mt. Nebo
'Triple Crown Peaks'

Pointing to the Top
Mt. Nebo is the highest peak in Utah County/Wasatch Range, hitting an elevation of 11,928. 

September 30th 2012 my father and I decided hike the Nebo Triple Summit.  We drove to Nephi the night before so we could get an early start. 

Our plan was to traverse the triple crown peaks from South to North.

We started about a quarter of a mile before Andrew's Ridge Trailhead at 10 to 7am, elevation 6,471.  The morning was a perfect 47 degrees.  The trail leading up to the south peak is well defined and very steep.  The scenery in this area is absolutely stunning. 

We ascended through several switch-backs until we hit the top of Andrews Ridge.  Greeted with a sign directing us to take right.   

Once you get to the ridge line all three peaks are in clear view.  The trail to the South Peak was the easiest - not technical what-so-ever; but the elevation starts to get to you after passing 10,000 feet.  The temperature once on the ridgeline was changing from hot to freezing!

On South Peak looking to the next two to summit
Summited South Peak and time to move to the middle peak.  We traveled along the west side of the ridgeline... This is where I started to get a little nervous :) There were not many large rocks to scramble around, but from the south summit to the north summit, there were steep scree-covered slopes to ascend/descend.

(Moving your way to the top of #2, look for a cairn which marks the safest way to reach the top) 

 From the top of middle peak we again headed west of the ridgeline to make our final assent to North peak

On top of Middle Peak - looking at North Peak

Finally made it to the top of #3.  Saw some other hikers.  Had a little break for fuel, pictures, and to write in the log book.  Views were amazing.  

The decent from North Peak down to Wolf Pass again was not very technical, but steep and more of the sharp slate rocks.  At this point the sharp rocks were being felt by the bottoms of my feet.

Worked our way down to the North Peak Trailhead (Monument Trailhead). 

At this point we walked on the actual road for about .25 of a mile, then dropped down into Salt Creek Trail to make our final descending loop back to the car.

Salt Creek Trail is very well defined and gorgeous.  Full tree coverage, so it is not hot and there is sounds coming from the creek which you follow all the way down the trail.  I was very tired during this section so I didn't appreciate this section as much as I should have.   

Final Stats:
Miles: 19.58
Total Elevation Gain: 8150
Total Time: 12 Hr 10 min (includes lunch/breaks/etc)

** Suggestions:
- If you are attempting all 3, definitely start at South peak and work your way to North
- Start at the actual trail head (Andrews Ridge Trailhead)
- End your day with a full moon and drive through Payson Canyon - STUNNING in the fall