I'd been looking at Jumbo forever, so I decided (now that it finally opened!) to do a few out and backs. The section by the summit is now one of my favorite spots in Missoula, open, rolling, high above town--just so damn good. Heading down to the saddle, though, my outing soured a bit when I saw that someone had etched into the pine needles, "Fuck The Elk". I erased the message, but it served as a distasteful reminder to me that some Missoulians can still be grumpy, immature, and have a pretty solid anthropocentric view point.
Tuesday, 4/15--University Mt.
Up to University via Pengelly, then down University's north ridge for a ways to see how the trail was (intermittent snow). Windy, a little cold, with a constant threat of rain.
Wednesday, 4/16--South Sentinel x 2
Up the direct route and down Pengelly each time--I slowed by a couple minutes on the second lap, but that's okay. I was just out for a couple laps, not aiming to hit splits--just trying to get my legs used to moving when they're already tired.
Thursday, 4/17--Jumbo/Lincoln Hills Loop w/Jimmy
Up Jumbo via the south slopes, down to the saddle, and a bit of running around in the Northside neighborhoods. Eventually I'll understand the network of trails in the Northside, but right now I'm still getting the hang of it. Missoula certainly has no dearth of trails to explore (and more will open up in two weeks!).
Saturday, 4/19--Missoula Quadfecta (University + Jumbo + Waterworks Hill + South Sentinel)
This was pretty tough on me, but I'm glad I finally got something over 4 hours in. I wasn't able to get out running until the afternoon, and underestimated how much water I'd need, so I got pretty dehydrated (I should have known the water fountains at Sentinel would still be shut off!). But I feel as though I still ran well, considering I haven't done anything this big for about seven months. The loop started and ended at my apartment, and was almost entirely dirt except for maybe 2 miles in the Northside neighborhood, and only covered a few small sections twice (out and back to University, the "M" switchbacks, Pengelly). I'm guessing the mileage might work out to a marathon, maybe a little less. I definitely want to run this route again, but in the morning or on a cloudy day. Going up the hills in the sun without any shade just about killed me.
Sunday, 4/20--South Sentinel + Sentinel + a bit of Smokejumper
5,000' (dead on), 2:17
An early morning run to avoid the heat, with a lot of steep at a gradual pace. I checked out the top 500' of Smokejumper to find that, yes, it's still snowy, but far more traveled and a good bit more runnable than it was 10 days ago. There's only one section that's pretty bad, but it's only 30 or 40 feet.
A big week with a lot of slow, hilly miles. I've been skipping out on interval workouts because I'm not sure how much I'm benefiting from them if I run them on already sore legs. I think my best bet would be to incorporate some interval work on trail runs, rather than have double workout Tuesdays. I'm feeling good, but I'm also feeling the volume.
On Waterworks, looking back at Sentinel (right) and Jumbo (left)
The voice of the anthropocentric
Jumbo! It's open!
North Ridge of University and the Sapphire Mts.
American Tunes in Paris: