Monday: 4 miles, :3x, 500' gain, easy, with Holly. A scab on one of her paws was bugging her, so she made me slow to a walk a couple times. Not a problem though, as it was suposed to be really easy. Didn't get the exact time as I had to stop my watch a couple times for Holly and forgot to restart it on time once or twice.
Tuesday: 17 miles: 1:50, on a treadmill. Alternating between 7:00 and 6:00 pace (or slightly faster) every mile. Started and ended with the 7:00 pace. Legs were not quite 100% recovered from Sunday's outing going in, which made this harder. Also, I threw in a 5:56 and a 5:52 on miles 4 and 8, plus a 5:42 for mile 10, just to bring up the effort a bit and to tire my legs faster. Mile 16 was 5:52 and it was really hard. Everything else was within a second of the goal pace (always faster if anything, never slower). Once again, this workout is based around marathon pace (6:30 would be my goal if I were to run at 4500'). Since I'll be running at lower altitude, this would correlate to about 20 seconds per mile faster, although I think the treadmill makes it about 10 seconds per mile easier as it sort of helps you along ever so slightly. Therefore, this seems to be reasonable for a goal pace of 6:20 at lower altitude. I had actually been questioning my desire to run a marathon in December, although that was more back when the hip was still acting up, so at this point, now that it hasn't given me any grief in about 10 days, I'm thinking the marathon is a good goal once again. We'll see.
Wednesday: 3 miles, :30, flat. Recovery. Sore.
Thursday: Off. Didn't plan it, but ended up not getting home until pretty late, so I just stayed in with the pooch.
Friday: 10 miles, 1:5x, 3500' gain (3100' net from lowest to highest with a little roll, especially on the ridgeline). Forgot the total time exactly, but it was a hair under 2 hours. Ran the difficult combination of trails from JCC to the log-book on Little Black in 52:24 at a relatively hard effort, but not all-out (did it once before, back in April, which felt like a harder effort, and it took me 62:07). "Unkel F...er" split was 24:58, also a PR. I had previously done 25:xx a couple weeks ago (without doing the rest of the climb up Little Black) when wearing a watch without seconds, so it seemed like I had to go under 25 to be sure it was a PR. I didn't push it much for the first half of that, so that was encouraging. After hitting the log-book, I went back along the ridgeline and over the crags, going a little ways past the true peak before turning it around. Took it easy coming down the face of Little Black, which I'm not really comfortable pushing going down, since it's a very steep descent with very loose footing, but once I got on more solid footing at the top of Unkel F, I pushed a bit harder from there. The time sounds slow for 10 miles, but this is an extremely difficult route. I actually consider this to have been my second hard effort run of the week. This actually made the hip slightly sore on the climb for the first time in about 2 weeks, but nothing too bad. Quads hurt more than anything. Guess I'm not really at full strength right now, which isn't surprising, but it's coming along nicely.
Saturday: 15 miles, 2:31, 4000' gain. Moderately easy effort. Bonneville shoreline from the south-eastern tip of NSL up to the ridgeline, trailhead by some park (don't remember the name) up via the weird spiderweb of interlinking trails, starting with a slow and very roundabout traverse up to Wildrose Loop (legs didn't feel very good at the start since the day before was hard). From there, followed some trail whose name I don't know up to the City Creek ridgeline. Followed that extremely hilly and undulating net-uphill trail all the way to the end, and then continued on a bit past, trying to bushwhack through some game trails to get to Rudy's Flat. I really just wasn't feeling it and wasn't 100% confident that I knew how to get to Rudy's Flat from there, so rather than getting lost in the middle of nowhere, I turned it around and took another trail down into North Canyon, one that I had taken when getting lost up here about 2 years ago. I wasn't 100% sure where it would pop out, but knew that it would end up in North Canyon below Rudy's Flat somewhere. After following it for awhile and being surprised at how it appeared completely unused, I found a section of the new gas pipeline installation (ie, easy to climb), so I went a bit out of my way and climbed the 500' of vertical just to get my bearings (still confused about this, as I should have been overlooking the main North Canyon dirt road or trail at this point, but didn't see it). In any case, I went back down to the trail, continued down, and eventually popped out near the old abandoned cabin near the bottom of North Canyon. I then took a roundabout road route back to my car back in North Salt Lake so I could run by and admire all of the mega-mansions in the south-Eastern area of Bountiful.
Sunday: 14 miles, 2000' gain, 1:49. Moderate effort. Start of North Canyon dirt road, just at the top of Canyon Creek Road, up to the North Canyon Trail, up to Rudy's Flat, down Mueller Park Trail, then back on the roads. The last ascent back up Canyon Creek Road wasn't very easy. Haha. Quads were screaming at me on a lot of the ups, as this was the biggest I've done in awhile (in terms of all of mileage, time spent running, and vertical gain), but it was still an exhilarating, even rhapsodic experience. Every once in a while, I have a run that is just beyond fun and today was one of those days. The beautiful foliage, all the various wildlife that I came across on the trail, the scent and chill of fall at dusk, and the music I was listening to (Rachmaninoff and Scriabin) all combined together to give me a wonderful experience. I don't know how many more times I'll get to run some of these trails before the snow comes down and I assume I will have a whole new landscape to train in shortly, but for now, runs like today's are what I run for.
Totals: 63 miles, 10,000' gain. A nice improvement, plus well over half came between Friday and Sunday. I should be able to improve on it this coming week (well, distance, probably won't seek to do more than 10k' climb) if I don't get too busy with some work stuff that could take up a lot of time this week.
Music: I listened to a lot of Scriabin tonight. The 3rd movement of his piano concerto is particularly lovely: