Thursday, March 4, 2010

Run, Run, Run, Run - Four Times More

Thursday, March 4, 2010
There was some light rain overnight, but it ended early in the day leaving just a cloudy and somewhat cool (but above normal temperature) running day. The trucks continue to run their way up and down my major running route. So, I decided to just run the short block or so on Batavia and headed up the Boorman Road hill. I've walked the route before (not as far as I ran today) and even walking, the hill is a pretty good challenge. (I'll need to take my Brunton elevation recorder next time to plot the elevation change, but, even without it, you can take my word that it's a good hill workout!)

I managed to run until about the mile-and-a-half point and decided to walk the rest of the way up the hill. Since I hadn't gone all of the way up "Spring Mountain" before, I wasn't sure how long the uphill route would be. I wanted to do at least a 4-mile outing and as it turned out, the "Boorman Loop" turnaround was at the 1.8 mile mark. There were some great views from the 'top of the mountain' and the downhill made the return a lot easier than the uphill run/walk had been.

There is a branch in the uphill road just where the "Spring Hill" subdivision begins and I decided to get the needed extra quarter mile or so by taking the second road branch and see where that would go (or at least to do the distance I wanted to do for today). I turned around just after an 'old wagon' display along the road. This really turned out to be an interesting running route! My GPS mileage showed I'd get my running target so I turned around for the second time while on this run and headed back down the hill again. The downhill took me past the EMU Farm and back down the road to the ranch. During the return run, the clouds were beginning to break and making for a sunny afternoon at the ranch!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Today was a cloudy cool, in fact, almost cold kind of day. But, it was a scheduled day to do a run. The trucks continue to run up and down the main road. Because of that I decided to do my run after walking up the snow route to Dawson Trail. The trail is the normal daily dog-walk / snowshoe trek up the west hill and then continuing on a woods trail until another uphill section that leads to a gate in the upper southwest corner of the ranch property. I put stablicers™ on my running shoes to keep from slipping on the packed ice. Both the trail, and the top section of the road after leaving the trail, are packed ice yet. So, I wore the 'icers'™ for the first three-fourths of a mile or so. After the icy section, the road has a fairly sharp turn and steep downhill section. Great for the outward bound run ... not so easy on the return jog (or walk, like I did today).
I ran down the gravel roads (Dawson Trail becomes Danielson Road near the top of the hill) and went right when I got to Managhan Road. This blacktop road is slightly rolling and spans the mile plus distance between Batavia Lane and Highway 2. Today, I chose to cross Highway 2 when I got there and ran on the bike trail to complete the distance I wanted before the turnaround point.
I ran a bit of extra distance on the trail since I already had it in my mind to begin walking at the bottom of the hill on my return. (I'll save the leg burning hill climb 'runs' for a bit later during my training program!) Today, as I returned to the 'ice road' I put the stablicers back on. But, instead of going to the original trail gate, I decided to go back into the ranch property through the southeast corner instead. This goes through a section of woods that actually seemed somewhat foreign to me today. Even through I have walked that trail into the ranch a number of times in the past. It's been a couple of years and the fallen trees and various brush piles had modified the appearance of the area since my last hike through. I returned the rest of the way to the ranch along the upper trail outside of pasture four. Like the road and the other hiking trail, this section was packed ice and not suitable for running at this time. It was a good outing, but I felt more tired than usual (maybe due to the hill climbs and icy conditions).

Sunday, February 28, 2010

It was bright and sunny today, so, I decided to repeat the run down Batavia to Kienas Road. Both Blacktail Mountain ski area (to the south) and the peaks of Glacier National Park (to the northeast) were clearly visible today. There was just a bit of haze in the air, but otherwise clear blue sky was the order of the day. I only went to the same turnaround point that I used a couple of days ago for the 4-miler training run. The only walking section I did today was when a dog's owner (Katie ... owner of Red) came out to the road to fetch the dog. Another runner had just passed me while doing the downhill return run down Kienas. He said the dog at that farm was a 'back-biter'. I decided to hang back after he ran by (blew my socks off, anyway) when I saw someone coming out from the farm.
After some quick greetings, I continued my run back to Batavia and up the road to the ranch. It was a good four mile outing. Since I thought this was the starting 'Sunday' of my training plan, I actually did back to back runs since I had done another 4-miler yesterday.

Saturday, February 27, 2010
Today was a cloudy and cool day that had some clouds hanging around the edges of the hills. No trucks were running up and down Batavia, so, I decided to make that my running route. Two choices exist, running downhill at the start and finishing with an uphill run, or, as would be expected, running uphill at the beginning of the run, doing a turnaround, and returning with all downhill running. Today, I chose to do the uphill first!
It was a relatively quiet day on the road. Just some local traffic pulling snowmobiles going up the mountain (or big hill) to Ashley Lake (about 1000' higher than the ranch, so still some good snow trails there). There were also some folks coming down the hill. Probably to do the weekly shopping trip or run some errands in town. I didn't quite make it to the cloud layer, that would have added another mile out and back to my run. The six milers will start soon enough and so today I settled for the turnaround at the two mile point and enjoyed the comparatively fast run down the hill back home.

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