Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Smell of Trail Running

Running Wild Mountain leg of Pocatello 50 Course-Photo Jared Cambell

Spring is finally here and with it comes dirt, sweet, glorious, wonderful dirt. After a winter full of running on roads/ice/snow it has been very refreshing the last couple of weeks to get out and run on dirt fire roads and single track. Things are starting to get green and it smells like trail running. The very familiar smell of sweat, dirt, trees, all in a wonderful potpourri of smells always makes me think of trail running... so it is the smell of trail running. I have had a really good build up in mileage and have been seeing steady progress in most aspects of training. My legs feel pretty healthy and all in all things are going as good as I can hope for.

This weekend is my first trail race of the year- The Menan Butte Challenge, this is a great race fairly close to home.
The Finish of last year's Menan Race

It takes a very steep trail to the top of Menan Butte, a cinder cone in the desert, takes a couple of loops around the top then back down. This year they added a ten mile category so I think the whole thing will be run twice. To get ready I have been training on lots of hills to get my uphill/downhill strength up to speed with my flat turnover. I particularly enjoy running China Peak in Pocatello via the camelback trail, it climbs over 2000' in around 4 miles and is very steep. I have been able to PR on it the last two weekends in a row, which involved running the whole thing w/o having to powerhike. I followed Saturday's climb up the peak with following the skyline to blackrock, back on the Kat's trail to home rounding off around 24 miles, almost all on dirt. I know that my fitness is better than last year and I am hoping to keep it going through the races I have planned for this summer, especially the Pocatello 50 on May 23.

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