Monday, February 18, 2013

The Wedge - Rocky Mountain Wranglers 2013

Saturday morning I got up ridiculously early. 4:00 in the morning so I could hop in a van with my brother at 4:15 to meet up with a bunch of other crazy guys at 5:00 at the Park'n'Ride in American Fork.

We then drove for just over 2 hours down through Price to the middle of nowhere Utah... Where interestingly I had REALLY good cellphone coverage - including data! - the entire time.

We drove to a spot where we would be able to stop along the trail to grab refills for water, a soda, some food, whatever we might need - and realized there was a lot more snow on the ground than expected!

That means the trail was going to be covered in many spots, and might make things just a LITTLE interesting!

Everybody piled back into the van and drove a couple more minutes to the 'start' where the Little Grand Canyon made it's first appearance. You go from driving around with nothing but scrub pines to WHOA! Where'd THAT come from?!

Very cool!

The plan was to recreate the journey made last year by Craig, Matt, Scott, and MattVH (MattVH didn't come this year) and stick to the rim on the Good Water Rim Trail for 15ish miles, then turn around and head back to the start.

We got started and headed out to a very cool overlook of the canyon where we took some cool pictures

and headed back dodging rock plates and dead trees and trying not to fall off the cliffs... which really wasn't THAT hard. Did I mention it was really cool views yet?

After slogging through some rough snow along the rim for a couple of miles we unfortunately decided enough was enough, and we headed towards the road that circles the canyon and continued our run on the dirt road for a while.

Forget this stuff! (it would have taken us FOREVER!)

Runnin the road!
We ran right past our cache, but somehow I hadn't realized this and thought we were still heading towards it for about 5 miles! I was definitely a little disappointed because I was kind of looking forward to a little break and some refreshment at about 8 miles!

At mile 9 we were where the original 15 was supposed to end - so we decided to stick to the Rim again, as on the East side the rim was more like we expected - not covered in snow! It was fun to run along and jump over gaps and for some more daring people to climb DOWN the cliff to play around.

We ran along the cliff to another overlook and then decided to climb DOWN lower.

The overlook
Brothers! This is above.

I'm not sure what he's doing either.
This is down below! That point up there is where the earlier pics are.
In the video below you will see Craig and I climbing up that face pretty quickly. Well I'm pretty quick, Craig is just plain fast!

We turned back and followed the canyon for a bit longer then turned back for the road and FINALLY to 'lunch' or the break at the Stash - just after mile 16 - and my upper calves were NOT happy. I think it was from switching from rocks to snow to a dirt road (the biggest culprit!) and back again, but my legs were beat. We stopped at the cache and downed some soda, bananas, whatever we brought...
Scott brought a slice of pizza, a doughnut, and a couple of other funny items AND he took one of my Mt. Dew Throwbacks (which was fine that's why I put a few extra there!) Fun group of guys for sure.

Break time!

We headed back on the road back to the start, arriving at the start (just after mile 19) where I shed my running tights and jacket, and we ran West along the rim for a while

Over 19 miles - officially the longest at that point!

The cliffs.... of INSANITY!!!
I got a bit behind...

When we turned back at the lookout and got back to the start we were at just over 21 miles. I was hurting a bit, but didn't feel horrible and wanted to get at LEAST farther than a marathon, so we headed back out down the road for a few miles, with the plan that the fellas who were going for the full 31 would continue down the road, we'd turn back and Craig and I would set up the slackline while Matt went to pick everybody up - oh and Davy just ran around wherever racking up the miles. That guy is awesome.

So I ran out to just over 24 miles, VERY slowly, turned around and got back to the start again at about 25.8 miles!

Not there yet?! So tired!
Ha! Just kidding!
So I shed more stuff, and ran up to the point where we took some cool pictures at the beginning, and back to what I can't call the START anymore because now (finally) It's the FINISH!! 27.3 miles!

Hooray! Record Distance, Duration, Month, all sorts of stuff. AND we weren't even done yet.

But here's the map of where I did run!

Orange thing is Start/Finish!
Time for my first experience SLACK LINING!

Setting up the safety rope underneath
We used my long 82' Slack line I got for Christmas - attaching it across a break in the cliff to two scraggly but tough (we thought!) trees hanging out on the edge. We looked for better spots along the run but the best place was right there near the starting/finishing parking lot!

I'm actually glad my first experience was on a higher slackline. My legs were tired enough, and I am inexperienced in the type of balance required for slacklining, that I was unable to stand on the slackline for more than a few seconds. I did get off the ground, but it didn't last. BUT - I did hook in, and scoot out to the middle of the rope just to get a feel for it - and then drop under it and play around.

I did pull ups, and a bunch of other stuff playing around on the line - to the awe of an old couple that stopped to watch us - they were pretty funny. We had run past them sitting out at the overlook as I was ALMOST finished, and they were on their way out when they saw we were setting up the slackline so they stopped and pretended like they were looking at the signs before they asked us what the heck we were doing, and if it was all right for them to watch. They were funny but definitely impressed.

I wish I'd set up my little video camera with Tripod I specifically brought for this purpose!! But I forgot. Dang!

Otherwise Craig did all the real slacklining, until we almost ripped one of the trees, and a bunch of rock on top of the cliff off! Cool to see him make it across like he did.

Definitely makes me excited to get good at it so I can do some tricks and even just walk across it!

Oh for safety we had a safety line attached underneath the slackline, with a safety line connected by multiple carribeaners to climbing harnesses. I felt completely safe, just like I do while climbing with a rope or belaying device.

ACK I wish I had a canyon in my back yard!

Okidokee finally - here is Craig's Video!! It's awesome!

Also you can read a few more reviews at the following, or you can just enjoy the awesome blogs:
Orange Trail Monkeys
Refuse2Quit will have a current one soon I'm sure
Davy Crockett's Blog might have one too!

Fantastic experience and a good preparation for the Buffalo Run 50k!
I'm happy that I did NOT have any debilitating soreness the next day or today. That means my training has paid off! That's not to say I'm not sore at all - but really I'm very happy with the way I feel.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pain in My Spine

That's what happens when you aren't quite used to the rigors of BJJ, but you do 4 days of training anyway!

Needless to say - it was still awesome!

Monday was a normal Yoga and stretching day, with a few parallel grip L-sit pullups - which come into play for treating the spine as well actually... ANYWAY beyond that, nothing too amazing that day workout-wise.

Tuesday morning I got up early and did the 5 miles up and 5 miles back down the canyon with the Davis County Crew for a nice 10 miles.

Later Tuesday was my first BJJ for the week -we talked about Takedowns and unfortunately I'm going to need to review those because I definitely don't remember enough!

Wednesday morning I got up early (again!) and went in to work for BJJ. We worked on how to take your opponents back while they are in your guard. Good techniques, and I took pretty good notes so I can review them. Definitely helps me remember better! Like I've mentioned before - eventually I'll get those notes on here again. For now they are in a nice big draft on my dashboard.

Thursday morning I debated getting up to run with the Davis County Crew again, but I was starting to feel the lack of sleep and my back was beginning to hurt so I decided to sleep in. That was nice! In BJJ we had a female show up. Now we wouldn't really have a problem grappling with a girl, and really I think a girl is going to benefit from learning how to defend herself from some jerk on the street if  she gets to practice the techniques on a guy - BUT because we do BJJ at a corporate workplace, they have decided that if a girl wants to learn jujitsu she needs to have a female partner to practice with. SO, since there wasn't another girl there, we went over basic self defense moves instead of grappling stuff until she had to leave. We might have found some other girls, so hopefully we can get some to show up so that there isn't awkwardness.

'Progress' post BJJ 02-07-13
Friday morning I got up for Yoga, it definitely helped with some of my spinal issues, and then I took some time on the climbing wall. Before climbing I went over to a pullup bar and tried to do Muscle ups, since I haven't practiced those for a while. I was able to get 5 done, but DANG it was a lot harder than it used to be. I need to practice those more! I don't think my back situation helped much either. Friday lunchtime we were planning on going to Fusion again to grapple with the same guys as last week, but the main contact with the 'in' at the gym was unable to break away from work, so we just had a normal style class at work. I was able to successfully defend against quite a few submissions from Mark AND Micah, but eventually lost every time. Still we stopped throughout and went over a few of my shortcomings, so that was really helpful. I have a lot of shortcomings!

Saturday morning we had planned our normal run - but there were some other scheduling occurrences that made the plans a bit goofy. Kakes got up and ran early with Alicia, then Matt and Craig and I met up at the base of the canyon and we showed Craig the "Winter Outdoor Treadmill" which we've been doing a lot of running on. We went up the 5 and back down - putting that 10 miles at close to the fastest (which very well could have been Tuesday's run) I've done that 10.
The rest of that day I tried hard to REST and stretch out - my back was hurting!

 Short vid of Craig running up from the bridge:

On the run Craig said, "Here's a tip for you... Don't do jujitsu after Tuesday next week!!" since we'll be running 30+ miles on THIS SATURDAY!!
So I'm going to try to go to BJJ to learn technique on Tues-Thurs, but skip the rolling/grappling practice at the end, since that's where the crunching and overextending happens. Also I DEFINITELY won't be going to Fusion on Friday!!

Tomorrow morning I'm meeting up with the Davis County Crew - but we are doing the Firebreak/BST from Farmington to Bountiful and back, so it should be a nice 11 miles. Hopefully the trail isn't too crappy and I can get farther than the last time I tried that this winter!

With my back, this morning it was hurting a lot - but then after Yoga today, I did more regular pullups, which I haven't been doing as regularly. My back is feeling much better and I wonder if I just need to get back to my former amount of pullups as a therapy along with the Yoga to maintain spinal health. We'll see!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Awesome Olympus Video(s)

So I figured this deserves it's own post because it is awesome.

The video was made, and it was fantastic. Here it is:

However, it was missing some of the footage I was personally looking forward to (i.e. me! I'm way too narcissistic sometimes!) and while I was satisfied with what thePsychicSasquatch had put together, he came out with this yesterday:

The first half is the same in both videos - but I like the speed of the second half of the second. As you can see it also has 2 more minutes of stuff!

Like I mentioned before, I really want to get a nice action capturing camera so I can set up and make awesome things happen. Hopefully that'll happen!

I'm excited. My next entry will have the rest of last week and what's upcoming.

Here's a hint - I'm running thirty miles BEFORE I run the Buffalo Run! Ahhh!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mount Olympus and Rolling Out of My League!

I ended up with 61.7 miles for the month of January! Not too bad to have the first month of the year be my longest ever month of running.

However with getting over the sickness that hit us last week - I was unable to get out and do much more... until Thursday, Friday and Saturday!

Wednesday morning I did try to go to an early morning BJJ class, but because of snowfall traffic was horrible so nobody made it. I got on the treadmill instead and made it a whopping TWO MILES in fifteen minutes. Gross. I do NOT like treadmills. Oh well, at least it got me up over 60 for January!

Thursday made it back to BJJ finally and learned some good attacks and from having them in the guard. I haven't put the detailed BJJ technique breakdowns up here for a while, I'm trying to decide how to do that. I like typing them out and explaining it because it helps me figure out what to do a bit better - to think it through and get that down. But I might have a separate section for that, or a big entry with a monthly list of techniques something like that.

Friday morning Yoga and climbing was great, and THEN I went to Fusion BJJ with Micah to roll with another brown belt and a black belt Tony. Crazy! I'm like barely a white belt, so I felt a bit like a slightly resisting wrestling dummy... completely out of my league!

At least having me there meant they were constantly grappling instead of one guy having to wait it out. Tony took some video on his ipad and put them on his youtube channel - if you'd like to waste some time you can see the highlights, (That's me standing in the white gi at the beginning) with an awesome bit of me getting my trash kicked from 5:00 until about 5:30, where I finally get a rear-naked choke, because he TOLD me that he was open for it! You can also see two of the 5 minute grappling rounds here and here, but unless you know BJJ they aren't the most exciting.

Between the two days of BJJ - and as you can tell if you watched the bit where I was tied into knots and stacked on my shoulders, I did something to annoy one of my ribs, so it slowly spread pain and immobility up into the right side of my neck. Seems to happen every couple of weeks lately.

Because I was hurting I decided I would take it easy...

And I got up at 5AM Saturday morning to head up Mount Olympus again!

Had a ton of fun in that 6.7ish miles - and I'm really looking forward to the full video by ThePsychicSasquatch - here's a preview:

Dang! While I didn't do a flip - I DID jump out of that tree! But my phone wasn't being quick so we didn't get any pictures - but it should hopefully be on the video!

Craig Flipping!

MVH Jumpin!

Mayurasana again on Olympus peak!

Me in the tree! I broke that smaller vertical branch... doh!

At the trailhead after
Definitely a fun trip! And I am REALLY impatient for the full vid!

After driving back to my brother's house, we went out again to run with the wives, because my wife was hoping to get a bit more of a run in. She's awesome! It was a beautiful day and we made it about 4.8 miles - so my total for the day was 11.5! Nice!
White sandy beaches?

It was seriously nice enough - I took off my shirt for a bit!

I love my wife!
All in all the last couple days of the week made up for the sloppy beginning!