The weather was a little grey and wet when we started out following the Iron Knee course in reverse direction. We ascended the Baden Powell trail and talked about running, movies, and Flight of the Conchords. I asked about strategy for the Iron Knee race in a few weeks and talked about hill running. Simon is the not only the race director for the event this year, but he is also the course record holder, so there are not many better minds to pick about how to run the course well. After coming up with a strategy that we think will work for me, we decided to climb "Powerline Hill", the monster second hill of the Iron Knee. This is a hill that I have never even attempted to fully run, often being reduced to a hike by the end of the first third of the 2k climb. Today though, we decided that if I was going to run it in the race, I had better run in training. And run it we did. The 2k took about 16:00 of quad burning effort. For those that know my running, it is definitely the downhill that is my friend. When I look at great climbers - like Adam Campbell, Jason Loutitt, and Simon - I am a big guy (I think that their combined weight is 200 pds). Running uphill takes a bit more out of me than some of the lighter guys, but for me to more competitive in trail races, I need to be able to run more hills. Today, I started that training. It was good, but man, if Simon wasn't there I wouldn't have completed it. I asked about four times "Is this the turn off?", starting half-way up. Eventually, we made it to the top and while pleased that I had completed the whole hill running for the first time, I also quietly wondered about what that would feel like mid-race.
We finished off the run in beautiful sun and passing many families out hiking the trail for Mother's Day. It was an easy descent for us and we took moments to really remind ourselves of the beauty of flowing mountain streams surrounded by green, illuminated by sun filtered through the leaves. A reinvigorating run to be sure.
In other events, Sonja and I are about 10 days into a 15 day cleanse. This is something that my friends have done since I have been out West, and while I have not done one yet, I have been interested in it for awhile. Essentially, it means that we have cut sugar, dairy, and wheat from our diet. In addition to that we take some supplements each day to help clean out our intestines. I have not noticed any of the adverse side-effects that others mention (huge cravings, having to be within 10 ft of a toilet, really low energy, etc.) which is a good thing, I think. But I have lost a little weight (a couple of pounds), but that may be to me eating healthier as much as anything else. Regardless, it has been good for our menu as we are making our food (I have made Dal and Hummus, neither of which I have made before) and we are considering what we put in our bodies and how that affects us. It has been an interesting, and at times enjoyable, experience, but I am looking forward to some Ben and Jerry's ice cream later next week.