DEVA April 3rd, 2010

Last night I decided to take a day trip over to Death Valley for a little trail running and some sightseeing. I’ve been through DEVA a few times and hiked Telescope Peak once, but not much besides that. I figured this would be a nice getaway without spending much money and better than sticking around home all day. Upon entering the park I pulled into Zabriskie Point. I grabbed the camera and did a short 3 mile loop.

This strange contraption ended up being for a music video shoot

Typical view to the south of Zabriskie Point

View across Badwater to the Panamint Mtns. Telescope and Wildrose Peaks in Background

Salt deposits embedded in mudstone.

After Zabriskie Point I went to the Furnace Creek Visitors Center and walked around a little bit before heading North to Titus Canyon. I was unsure of travelling the 3 mile gravel road leading up to the mouth of the canyon so I just ran it. I decided against running up the slot canyon because it is a popular 4×4 road. There was a hiking path headed along the escarpment so I took that instead and found some pretty flowers and rock formations.

Mouth of Titus Canyon

I couldn’t believe this dead ass looking plant was still blooming

Small but pretty purple flowers growing out of the gravel

Cool Caves

Natural Throne

I just liked this rock and plant

Lizard

I thought this plant growing right out of the crack was pretty cool too.

After travelling a little over a mile my stomach started to growl so I ran the 4+ miles back to the car and headed up to Beatty. There is a pretty good Mexican joint in Beatty and I was craving their fajitas. Additionally, there is this wicked hot Romanian girl that was working there last summer so I was hoping she would be there as an extra treat. On the way out of DEVA I passed a bunch of bicyclists on both sides of the road. Apparently there was a 100 mile bike race, Hell’s Gate Hundred, going on today. There were a lot of…well relatively large for spandex cyclists riding the race. There were quite of few people on those low rider recliner bikes too. Just before getting to Beatty I saw one of those eliptical bikes with no other than Dean Karnazes riding it. I have to say I was actually embarrassed for Dean. I’m all for someone whoring a product to make money, but it was sad to see. Luckily the hot Romanian was working that day so the fajitas tasted all the better. After packing down enough shrimp, chicken, and steak for two I had an ice cream just so I could look at her a little longer. All in all, not a bad day.

2010 Update

Things have been going pretty well lately. I haven’t updated this site in quite some time because, frankly, I was bored with it. I have preferred to microblog on Twitter and Facebook which is quicker and easier. Having said that, microblogging has its limitations. In particular, one can’t really say much in 140 characters and this doesn’t go very far in describing an experience. So I’m going to try to do a better job at keeping this site up to date.

So here is a quick update on what’s been going on lately. In the beginning of January I ran the Red Rock Fat Ass 50k. This year only six people entered the RRFA although all finished the race. Unfortunately, this is quite different from years passed when turn out was high and the race attracted elite runners like Josh Brimhall and Ian Torrence. Fortunately for me, no elite runners showed up so I ended up winning the race. More importantly, I bested my time from last year by 20 minutes.

In February I ran the Pemberton 50k for the second consecutive year. I ran faster than last year; however, I was a bit dissapointed in this performance. At the time I was still dealing with some plantar fasciitis issues which slowed me down, but I couldn’t help be feel a bit unsatisfied. A couple weeks before this race I started working with Ian Torrence as a running coach. Not coming from a running background I didn’t really feel I had a good training plan and usually decided on my daily run about 10 minutes before I started.  Ian has run over 150 ultramarathons, 49 wins, and is extremely well regarded in the community. So far this has been going great. It’s nice to have a plan in place and the varying workouts have been paying off.

Last week I ran a local 50k in Bootleg Canyon which is about 15 minutes outside of Las Vegas. I was a bit apprehensive about paying to run where I run every weekend, but it was also difficult to pass up a race where I didn’t have to travel. At least I didn’t have to worry about getting lost. This race ended up being my first DNF, did not finish. Everything was going pretty well. I had completed two 12.5 mile loops and only had another 6 mile loop to go. I was actually feeling pretty good and was making decent time, 4h 25min for 25 miles, but I just didn’t feel like running any more that day. I didn’t see any moral victory in covering the same ground for the third time that day and I was bored. For me, this race was more of a training run in getting ready for a 50 mile race, Zane Grey, later this month so it wasn’t any big loss anyway.

Besides that there isn’t too much to report. I think I’ll be taking a day trip to either Zion or Death Valley pretty soon so I’m going to force myself to keep my promise to updating more regularly.