Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring in Northern Nevada

As I noted in my last post, my brother and I had been contemplating a run up a mountain in the East Range just east (makes sense, right?) of Lovelock.  The weather forecast didn't look all that good but how bad could it really be; a little snow and/or rain never hurt anyone! Right?

The wind was blowing pretty good when I left the house early in the morning to meet my brother in Fernley, where we'd carpool the rest of the way.  It was pretty cold and drizzly but our spirit was still good and we were looking forward to a possible summit. The drive out E. Coal Valley Rd., just east of Lovelock (off Interstate 80) was really beautiful and I'm always amazed at how green the Nevada desert can be. The range was enveloped in low clouds but there didn't appear to be any snow on the mountains...yet. After about a 45 minute drive from I-80 we arrived at our starting point near Walker Pass in a steady rain.

As we changed into appropriate gear the rain turned to snow and the wind began to pick up.  We weren't all that discouraged as it still seemed like a fun adventure so we set off up the ridge line.  We knew the climb would be substantial as we had to gain 3,000+ feet in a 4.5-5 miles.  Within minutes it was snowing pretty good and the temps were dropping.

The trail was good and the snow actually made it kind of fun, for a while.  Even over steep terrain traction was never an issue, which was good cause I told Craig that there was no need for his yak trax on this adventure. Up we went for about two miles until the point where it appeared we'd gain the true (more exposed) ridge line for the summit.  We talked it over here and decided it looked like it was going to get worse and it would be a better choice to turn back now.  Good call!  In 30 seconds to a minute after starting our descent back down the storm really kicked in.  We cussed and laughed our way down hiding behind scrub whenever the opportunity presented itself.  This video half way down sums it up pretty well.

Untitled from Darren Young on Vimeo.

Regardless of the outcome, it was a fantastic way to spend a Sunday morning and I had a blast.  Still, I felt a bit guilty for the short run in the morning so when I got back home to Reno I went for a windy run for a little over 5 miles (Evans Canyon, a staple run for me).

A pretty short week mileage wise (30 miles) but, as I mentioned in my last post, it just nice to be running. I'm a little nervous about running 50k this weekend.  The knee might be okay but I don't know if I have 50k in me right now! Heck, it's only three 10 mile runs, right?  That's easy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Back in the saddle (trail shoes) again

I was given the o.k. to start running again last Wednesday.  The MRI showed a healthy knee for the most part, just a little excess fluid built up (not sure what that means really).  Dr. just asked that I PLEASE listen to my body and back off as the pain dictates.  While that seems simple and reasonable to me, I have, on occasion, been known NOT to make the best decisions when it comes to my body and pain.

I'm using a pain grading system of 0-10; a 0 being no pain and a 10 being "just cut my leg off!" This pain scale is a good reference. For the last few days I've been running at a pain level between 2 and 3.  My runs have been between 4 and 7 miles at an easily maintained pace, although I've noticed a significant loss in my aerobic fitness. The fitness will return in time but it's probably good it doesn't exist now or else I'm sure I'd push my knee to hard.

I look forward to getting back to some real running in the next few weeks and maybe writing about cool runs in cool places (with some pictures too).  It may happen even sooner than I think, if the weather holds out this weekend. Might try to head out with my brother and run up to the high point in a mountain range east of Lovelock (Nevada). Something like 3,000 ft. of gain in 5 miles...I anticipate a bunch of walking!

I'm seriously contemplating running the 50 kilometer race at the Silver State 50/50 on the 21st (a little over a week away).  I have the opportunity to run it with one of my closest friends and don't want to miss out on that.  Not the best course of action for healing the knee but there are ample bail out points if it appears I'm hurting my recovery (Leadville is the goal of the year and I'll keep that in mind).

Stats for the last 8 days:
7 days of running
36 total miles
5hrs. 25 min.

It's nice to be running again.