This last weekend I was able to fly up to Seattle to spend some time with Matt Hart in search of some dirt (albeit a bit "liquidy"). The weekend was "full-on" from the midnight drive to SLC to catch my flight until I arrived home on Sunday. Our first run was a "10" mile loop at Cougar Mountain. I was incredibly fired up to be on dirt again. We blazed through the loop in 1:14, crediting our fast time to my excitement and the incredibly thick oxygen at sea level. In the end we decided that we had inadvertently taken a shortcut. After our first run we threw down some awesome sushi and were off to a spin class that Matt teaches, followed by a windy night run at Discovery Park.
Day 2: Our a.m. run was 10 miles at the Bridle Trails at a comfortable pace-dodging horse "biscuits" and puddles the entire time. All the running was really stoking my metabolism. We threw down some sandwiches at the Nooner and headed out for some more trail time. We hiked/ran Tiger Mountain with Matt's buddy Cory. The rain pummeled us at the trail head, soaking us as it turned to snow above 1500 ft. Despite the cold we slogged out another ten miles to give us twenty for the day.
Day 3: Our original plan was to sleep in, run 30 miles and then catch dinner with the Copson's. We had the opportunity however to run with the big dogs a little earlier so we were up in the dark to do some serious vert with Justin, Scott, Keith, and Tom. It took me until the second climb of the day to find my climbing legs. We formed a train and steamed to the top of the hill. At one point we passed some other locals and I heard them saying (since I was the trains caboose at that point, "Hey wasn't that Justin Angle, Scott Jurek, Matt Hart, and.......yeah, go NUUN guy! Ahhh, the fame and fortune of ultrarunning:) Justin was kind enough to let me sign the register at the top of wilderness peak (and coined the name for this post), which between my cold hands and dripping rain and sweat was fairly illegible. We ran 22 together and then Matt and I added the ten-mile loop we screwed up on the first day.
I was able to meet some great people and run some nice new territory-undoubtedly two of the biggest reasons I keep competing. Special thanks to Matt, who put up with my 9 o'clock narcolepsy and generally ferried and entertained me for the weekend.