After taking tests for 6.5 hours straight and having my brain destroyed, I met Paul to do a trail run. It was a nice day and I need to release all the built up stress and tightness from the rest of the day. It was just me and Paul which was kind of fun. I think that the two of us have only run by ourself together once before. I am going to copy half of what Paul wrote because I wasn't sure where we were at times and he is the map and trail master, besides he cracks me up!
We met at first dam and headed up Logan Canyon to the Right Hand Fork trailhead. From there we did a big 16+ mile loop: started up the Willow Creek Trail, then turned onto Steel Hollow and took it to its terminus at FR 056. We turned north onto FR 056 (Long Hollow) and paid homage to Old Ephraim by visiting his grave memorial. Old Ephraim was a legendary 9'11" grizzly bear that terrorized sheep during the 1920s, until a brave rancher repeatedly shot him to death with his gun. Pity. Now there are no more grizzlies in our area, but we seem to be overrun with livestock, most of which trample and poop all over my trails. Anyway, after stopping at the Ephraim memorial, we continued on Long Hollow, and then turned west onto FR 007 and headed toward Mud Flat. We then took Mud Flat all the way around to Cottonwood Spring and then Little Cottonwood Creek. And then we were back at the car. It's a great loop, and I've never done that particular variation of it (I usually come down Willow Creek instead of Mud Flat). The views are splendid on this run, particularly the second half, and everything is very very green right now.
According to the Garmin, our average pace was 9:07/mile. Total time 2:29:10. Fastest mile was 7:40, slowest was 10:31. Also according to the Garmin, total ascent/decent was ~4250 ft, which maybe why we ran so slow.
It took me a while to get loosened up because I was so tight is my shoulder area. I have a very hard time putting todays miles in the "Easy" category because I don't remember anything easy about it. We did a ton of climbing and it was tough. The run took us a long time and we never went very fast but we weren't just moseying along. If you don't believe me think about this: a 2:26 marathoner like Paul doesn't just normally train at a 9 minute mile pace and say that it kicked his butt. The reason why it took so long was that we climbed the whole darn mountain three times! And eventhough it killed me I loved almost every minute of it. It was one the the prettiest runs that I have ever done. It was just added to my list of favorites and might spend a long time there. It was nice to be up in those mountains and just shoot the breeze with Paul, it felt like we were truly in God's country. We made a few stops along the way to take in the sites and the beauty of our run, and to catch our breath and suck down every last drop of liquid that we had with us. That run was just what I needed today, and I will sleep very well tonight now because of it.