Cursed Realm of the Faceless Ghost

BYU Homecoming Cougar Run 5K

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Member Since:

Apr 07, 2010



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

5K - 17:11 (Cougar Run)

10K - 34:35 (Deseret News)

15K - 57:33 (Utah Running Club)

1/2 - 1:22:26 (Mountain View Trail)

50K - 4:22:31 (Sapper Joe)

Short-Term Running Goals:

Sub-2:45 at Saint George Marathon

Win the Antelope Island half marathon

Long-Term Running Goals:

I'd like to run the Angeles Crest 100 at some point. And I'd still like to go sub-4 at a trail 50k. Other than that, I'm open to suggestions.


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I was a competitive cyclist for years. In 2009, after racing in the Tour of Utah, I decided I had plateaued as a cyclist--I could continue to improve, but I wouldn't break through to a new level. So, I started looking for a new challenge.

I thought that challenge would be mountain biking, but I'm a terrible bike handler. I married Catherine in January 2010 and a couple of weeks later I entered the SLTC Winter Training Series with her. A couple of weeks after that I decided I'd like to run ultras, so I signed up for a couple of 50Ks to get started.

Those first races came and went, with varying results. I was looking forward to running more and possibly pushing into the longer distances, but I injured my knee in June 2010 and I've never been consistently healthy since.

I started law school in August 2010, which meant less time for training. In June 2011, Baby Elliott was born, which meant even less time for training. But she's worth it. 

Baby Nora joined us in October 2013, with the same effect on training as Elliott (who, incidentally, is no longer a baby). 

I (finally) finished school in April 2014 and now I'm an evil corporate lawyer in Salt Lake. I have no illusions that I'll ever get back into the shape that I once was, but I'm perfectly at peace with that. I still have many goals to accomplish and many years in which to do it. 

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Total Distance
Brooks Cascadia 4 Miles: 54.50New Balance MT100 Miles: 76.80Nike Lunarlite Racer Miles: 25.40Brooks Launch Miles: 71.00Adidas Kanadia TR Miles: 16.50Adidas Adizero XT Miles: 25.90
Weight: 162.09
Total Distance

I ran the Y Mountain-Slate Canyon loop from last Friday, but I ran it the opposite direction today. The climb up Slate Canyon seems slightly less severe than the climb up Y Mountain, and the view of Utah Valley is incredible on the descent out of Slide Canyon. No matter which way you run it, it's a fantastic loop.

There are wild turkeys up there. If I had a gun maybe I could shoot one for Thanksgiving.


Brooks Cascadia 4 Miles: 12.10
Weight: 161.60
Total Distance

After last week's failed attempt to find the Squaw Peak 50 course, I thought I should bring help. So I recruited Jun. And we failed. But we did hump the buffalo.

We didn't get where we wanted to, but we did run some nice trails. And we eventually found the right trail, although by that point all we could do was follow it back to the car. At least we'll know where to go next time.

New Balance MT100 Miles: 15.80
Weight: 0.00
Total Distance

Weight: 161.00
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Total Distance

Squaw Peak 50 recon, take three. For those who are keeping score, it's now Squaw Peak 2, Eric 1.

Catherine dropped me off at Nunn's Park on her way to run with a group in Orem. I covered the short portion on the BST quickly. I overestimated how cold it would be and had to stop after a mile to shed some layers, and the light of my headlamp was making me dizzy, but I made it to the first turnoff with no problem. And thanks to the cairn Jun and I made on Saturday, I actually found the trail without any drama.

The trail from the BST to Hope Campground is a nice one once you're on it, and it should be completely runnable, but I was a little off this morning so I ended up hiking some of the steep and loose sections.

I knew exactly where to find the trail out of Hope Campground, but after less than half a mile I realized I was in a creek bed instead of on the trail. I backtracked, sidetracked, and generally wandered around for quite a while before conceding that I had lost the trail. (I also nearly had a heart attack when I came around a tree and found myself staring right into two glowing eyes--fortunately, it was just a deer). I wasn't surprised, given the difficulty of finding an overgrown trail in the dark, but I was disappointed. I decided to backtrack to the camp site and then run up the road until I found the trail again. But almost immediately after turning around I realized where I had gone wrong, and I was back on course.

Of course, no sooner was I back on course than the course disappeared. As Jun mentioned on Saturday, there's been a little tractor-induced mayhem in the mountains this summer. I wandered through the fallen trees and chewed up earth, but it was hopeless--the trail was gone. (And I'm not sure why--if there's a reason for what they've been doing up there, it's not obvious to a city slicker like me). I just walked up the hill, trusting that I'd eventually hit the road, and I did. From there, I had to decide whether I was above the place where the trail meets the road or below it. I guessed I was above it, and for perhaps the first time in my trail running career, I was right. Result!

The trail is pretty clear from this point, and it was light enough for me to turn off my headlamp, so I cruised on up to the Squaw Peak overlook and down to the road at Rock Canyon Pass. I descended the trail through a meadow surrounded by changing leaves and big mountains (I apologize for not bringing a camera), and after a little more than half a mile I was back at the road, right on schedule. It then occurred to me that I had no idea whether I was supposed to find another trail or stay on the road (after getting lost two times before, I hadn't actually reviewed the course directions after the pass). I decided to stay on the road, which quickly deposited me at Rock Canyon Campground. From there it was a quick descent through the canyon, past the temple, and past campus. 

Just as I hit Center Street, Catherine drove by on her way home from the gym, so I hopped in the car with her instead of running the final mile home. Good morning.


New Balance MT100 Miles: 13.00
Weight: 0.00
Total Distance

I got out for another run on the Slate Canyon to Y Mountain loop, because it looks like the weather may shut it down soon. Rather than pushing myself to run as much of the four-mile, 3400-foot climb as possible, as I did on Friday, I decided to keep my effort steady, walking several of the steepest portions. Even so, I hit the pass several minutes faster than I did on Friday. Let that be a lesson to me about pacing, I guess.

Because of the rain last night, the descent was slippery and wet, and my feet were soaked within half a mile. When I got to the bottom of Y Mountain, I took the BST back over to Slate Canyon, because I had stashed my hat and my gloves there on my way up. The little change in the route added only one mile to the route overall while adding two miles of trail. Not a bad deal.


Brooks Cascadia 4 Miles: 13.40
Weight: 0.00
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Total Distance

Catherine gets back tomorrow, which means her trip is really almost over. Awesome.

While she's been gone, I've spent most of my time in the law library, but I've also put in some good miles on the trails. I decided to try something new today, and after browsing the trails on, I settled on Little Baldy. Basically, I was supposed to run to a ridge, then double back, then take a side trail that would loop back to the car. As I neared what should have been the top I came to a fork and decided to follow the better-travelled branch. That must have been the wrong choice, because I was supposed to come to the ridge at 5.1 miles, but by 5.6 it was nowhere in sight. So, I doubled back, because it was starting to rain and I had no idea where the trail I was on would take me (although I'd like to go back and find out sometime). It began raining hard on the descent, so I skipped the loop and simply retraced my steps back to the car.

It looks like I've put in 37 miles and more than 9,000 feet of vertical over the last three days, which should be exactly what I needed to run a fast 5K on Saturday. Or not. At least I had a good time.


New Balance MT100 Miles: 11.10
Weight: 162.00
Total Distance

AM: Five easy miles on the road before going to pick Catherine up. 



PM: Catherine is back home, so I went to the gym with her and ran another 6.5 miles (3.5 easy, with three 1 miles repeats at 6:30). We were going to run the BST, but the rain put an end to that, so instead I watched Mama Mia in the Cardio Cinema. To paraphrase Melody, I got my estrogen fix for the day.

Nike Lunarlite Racer Miles: 6.50Brooks Launch Miles: 5.00
Weight: 161.80
Total Distance

Five easy miles at the gym this morning. My next run is the BYU Homecoming 5K. Hopefully my legs will have recovered enough by then to go sub-17.

Brooks Launch Miles: 5.00
Weight: 161.60
Race: BYU Homecoming Cougar Run 5K (3.1 Miles) 00:17:11, Place overall: 4, Place in age division: 1
Total Distance

AM: I wanted to run a 5K before the Mountain View trail half marathon next week, so Catherine and I ran the BYU Homecoming 5K this morning. The course was harder than the two other 5Ks I've run. The first half mile was up a hill past the stadium and onto 9th East. From there we bombed down 9th East and around the south end of campus before finishing on a circuit through the grass and around the track.

I felt okay at the start, and I felt okay on my way down 9th East, too, but by 1.8 miles I was off. I felt a little sick to the stomach, and I just didn't have the heart to push through. I slowed up more than I should have, and it didn't help my motivation that the guy behind me was losing ground while I was gaining on the guy in front of me (if they weren't going to push, why should I?).

As I came onto the track, I realized I could break 17 if I could run 300 yards in about 50 seconds. Didn't happen. I crossed the line in 17:11, which, surprisingly, was good enough for fourth overall. I was disappointed not to break 17, but I think I could have on flatter course or with a better mental game. At least now I have an updated PR.

A couple of hours later, Catherine and I went for a run on the BST from Bridal Veil Falls. We were both pretty tired after the race at the end of the week, so the trail run was short and mellow.

Nike Lunarlite Racer Miles: 3.10New Balance MT100 Miles: 3.40
Weight: 162.00
Total Distance

I went back to north Orem to run the Little Baldy trail again this morning, but not surprisingly I lost my way while trying to run an unfamiliar trail in the dark, and before I knew it I didn't know anything about where I was other than that it wasn't where I wanted to be. I ended up running an out and back to some arbitrary point with a few detours thrown in on the return trip, resulting in less vertical and fewer miles than I had anticipated. That isn't to say I had a bad run--far from it. It just wasn't the run I was expecting.


Brooks Cascadia 4 Miles: 10.50
Weight: 164.00
Total Distance

Catherine ran with the group in Orem again this morning, so on her way up she dropped me off at the mouth of Provo Canyon. From there, I ran a ways on the Provo River Trail, then on Canyon Drive (?), then on Timpview, then up past the temple to Rock Canyon. From there I took the BST down to Slate Canyon and then ran home on the roads.



PM: Catherine wanted to go pump her guns at the gym, so I went along and put in a couple of barefoot miles on the treadmill. Strengthen my feet and pad my mileage--what's not to like?

Adidas Kanadia TR Miles: 10.50
Weight: 162.40
Total Distance

AM: Four miles nice and easy, no watch.

Catherine suggested that I might want to invest in an extra base layer now that it's getting colder. She's probably right--after three days of running, my undershirt is downright putrid.


PM: Catherine and I went for a run on the BST. We had to cut it short again, but this time because Catherine needed to get home for an online conference. After her conference, we snuck out for a quick 1.5 to pad the mileage.

New Balance MT100 Miles: 3.50Brooks Launch Miles: 5.50
Weight: 161.20
Total Distance

AM: Easy treadmill miles at the Cardio Cinema with Catherine. We saw the first 30 minutes of Serenity. Now I kind of want to see the rest of the movie.

Brooks Launch Miles: 4.30
Weight: 162.40
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Total Distance

Short run at the gym with Catherine, and then I ran home. We're racing tomorrow. I wonder how many fast people I'll have to chase.

Brooks Launch Miles: 4.00
Weight: 159.80
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Race: Mountain View Trail Half Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:22:26, Place overall: 2
Total Distance

For the most part, I'm very pleased with how this race turned out. Of course, my friend points out that according to the ultrasignup rankings, I should have won, so take that for what it's worth.

Anyways, Catherine and I have been looking forward to this race for a while. She ran it last year while we were dating, and I drove the support car, so it was fun that we could both run together this year.

The day was almost ruined when we realized Buffalo Jim wasn't wearing his buffalo hat. We expressed our disappointment. Fortunately, he had a valid excuse.  

I lined up on the front row, and I took off at what seemed like a conservative pace, but the adrenaline (and maybe a slight downhill) must have messed with my perception, because after a half mile I saw that we were running at almost 5:30. By the end of the first mile, I was alone with the eventual winner. We must have said something to each other, because I remember him saying something about this being his first trail race and that he decided to run it because it wasn't technical at all.

He pulled away from me a little on a small hill in the third mile, and I decided to let him go. I didn't know if he was faster than me or just going too hard, but I thought I would be foolish to chase him either way. Interestingly, I pulled him back almost immediately on the quick, but moderately technical, singletrack descent to the Mountain View Trail. Right--not a trail runner.

Once we were on the Mountain View Trail, he slowly pulled away from me again, and I quickly realized he probably wasn't coming back, although I never actually lost sight of him. Unfortunately, I couldn't see the runner behind me, which meant I was stuck in an ever-expanding no man's land, which isn't great for the motivation.

The trail itself was harder than I expected. It wasn't technical at all, but there was a gentle headwind and it seemed like we were always running gradually uphill. The result was that I always felt like I was pushing against something and never just cruising along.

For the most part, my effort could best be described as a gradual fade. And when, at about ten miles, I realized that I wasn't going to catch anybody and nobody was going to catch me, I stopped thinking about what I could do and started thinking about what I could get away with. Fortunately, I didn't slow down as much as I thought I did.

I think the winner finished in 1:21:xx. I finished in 1:22:26 and picked up a little cash for it. I guess that makes our times the fastest in the long and illustrious two year history of the race. The third runner (and first woman) finished in 1:27:xx.

It's always humbling to get beat so handily, especially when you don't feel like you could have done much more. And I don't think I could have gone much faster, at least not this year, other than maybe saving a few seconds with some better mental tactics near the end. Next year I'd like to go under 1:20.

This was the first half marathon I've ever run, and the pacing is tricky. I know how hard to go out for something shorter like a 5K, and I know how easy to go out for something longer like a 50K, but 13.1 is a whole different beast. I'll get the hang of it.














6:44 (0.1)

New Balance MT100 Miles: 13.10
Weight: 0.00
Total Distance

AM: I ran at the gym with Catherine after sleeping in for about 20 minutes.I figure I deserved it, since I was up late finishing a paper last night. Anyways, I ran a little faster than I normally do for these runs. It felt good but not great.



PM: I went out for a short run after dinner. A little too soon after dinner, if you know what I mean.


Nike Lunarlite Racer Miles: 3.20Brooks Launch Miles: 6.30
Weight: 162.80
Total Distance

AM: Early lap on the Slate Canyon (road) loop. I was pretty cold for the first half mile or so, but the weather turned out to be perfect for running.



PM: I went to the gym with Catherine and put in four miles on the treadmill. I held a steady 7.8 mph pace and threw in two half miles and one quarter mile at a ten percent grade.

Brooks Launch Miles: 10.50
Weight: 0.00
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Total Distance

AM: Four miles, no watch.My calves are sore, and they have been since last week.

PM: Six more miles on the treadmill, steady pace. I would have thrown in a faster mile, but the machine was old and couldn't keep up. Weird.

Brooks Launch Miles: 10.00
Weight: 162.00
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Total Distance

Finally, success!

Catherine and I went for an easy run on the BST this evening, and things actually went according to plan this time. The only bummer was that it gets dark so soon these days, but there's not much we can do about that. 

Also, my brother, who is not a runner, ran with us. I'd say he did very well, although he'll be sore tomorrow.

Adidas Kanadia TR Miles: 6.00
Weight: 0.00
Total Distance

After dropping Catherine off at the bus stop, I drove up to the Y Mountain trailhead and ran the Slate Canyon to Y Mountain loop. I thought about running it in reverse today, but I decided not to because the run out of Slide Canyon is about as good as it gets.

The run up Slate Canyon is tough, but it's the final stretch from the fire pit to the saddle that always cleans my clock. I took a separate lap today to see if the problem was me or the trail. I came up with 924 feet over 0.86 miles, so I think it's the trail.

Total vertical for the run was 3200 feet.


New Balance MT100 Miles: 8.60
Weight: 162.40
Total Distance

I had hoped to try one more time to run from Provo Canyon to Hobble Creek Canyon today, but after checking the weather reports yesterday I decided there was too much risk of being caught in a snowstorm in the mountains. It looks like I might have gotten away with it if I had tried, but that's neither here nor there. 

Instead, I went up to Provo Canyon with Catherine. She was running with Allie, MelodyJ and MichelleL, so I ran with them up the River Trail to Nunn's Park. From there, they continued up the trail while I hopped onto the BST and headed back down the canyon.

I followed the Squaw 50 course, which I've finally deciphered, up to the overlook above Rock Canyon Pass, then I ran down the canyon and picked up the BST, which I took over to Slate Canyon before running a couple of miles on the road to get home.

It wasn't my best run ever. I was pretty trashed on the climb to the overlook, although I think I know why. It turns out that the climb from the BST to Hope Campground is brutally steep. It's pretty obvious when I'm reviewing my GPS report, but not so obvious when I'm actually on the trail. The result is that when I start hurting, I think the problem is me, not the trail, so I push harder and dig myself a deeper hole, and then end up walking more than I need to later on. It's good to figure these things out in training so I don't make the same mistakes while racing.

Other than that, there's not too much to report. I saw some people in the woods with guns, which freaked me out and made me grateful for my orange shorts. It makes sense that a hunter might mistake me for a deer because I'm so fast. I also got rained on for the last mile or two, but that felt good.


Also, my Cascadias are now past 600 miles. Can somebody tell me what a dead shoe looks like? The cushioning is gone but I don't mind too much, and otherwise the shoes are holding up pretty well. They even have some tread left. I'd like to get new shoes, but at the same time I just can't bring myself to throw away a pair of shoes that are technically still runnable. If I keep going, will I eventually hit a point where they fall apart and I have to toss them? Or am I stuck with them until I get the nerve to move on?

Brooks Cascadia 4 Miles: 18.50
Weight: 162.40
Total Distance

AM: A bit of a mixed workout this morning. I ran to the gym as a warm up and then did a little easy running on the treadmill to even out the miles. Then I ran 20 minutes (two miles) at a ten percent grade, took a quick water and bathroom break, and then ran 20 more minutes on the ten percent grade. I ran the first ten minutes of the second set at 10:00, and picked up the pace slowly over the next ten minutes to finish at 9:00. After that I ran an easy mile before throwing in a 6:00 mile and then cooling down. 

PM: Catherine wanted to run again, so I went to the gym with her for a couple of easy miles in the Cardio Cinema. Twenty minutes of the Incredible Hulk and we didn't even see the Hulk, let alone any smashy-smashy. What a rip off.

Nike Lunarlite Racer Miles: 2.60Brooks Launch Miles: 9.80
Weight: 163.20
Total Distance

I ran to the gym this morning, rounded out my ten miles on the treadmill, then drove home with Catherine. I threw in about four 6-minute miles along the way (I wanted to do my repeats faster, but the old treadmill in the Cardio Cinema wouldn't go any faster). Anyways, I'm now past 2,000 miles for the year, which is at least 1,950 miles more than I ran last year. 

PM:  I went with Catherine to the gym tonight and ran a little more. I also hopped off the treadmill for a second but forgot to turn it off. It was very surprising when I tried to get back on. Now I have an owie on my shin.

Nike Lunarlite Racer Miles: 10.00Brooks Launch Miles: 3.60
Weight: 0.00
Total Distance

It seems like lately all of my runs have been on the trail or on the treadmill, so it was a nice change of pace to get out on the road this evening. I ran my Slate Canyon loop, and I ran it a bit more quickly than usual. I wasn't pushing, I just felt fast--probably because I've been doing most of my running on the trail and on the treadmill.


Brooks Launch Miles: 7.00
Weight: 0.00
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Total Distance

Catherine left for Baltimore this morning, so I skipped the morning run so I could be around to see her off. I got out for a good trail run after class this afternoon instead. Little Baldy to Dry Canyon and then back on the BST. It was muddy and sloppy near the top, but the route was great: more than 3,000 feet of climbing, runnable every step of the way; a steep and treacherous descent at the top followed by a fast and scenic descent at the bottom; and a nice rolling singletrack return to the parking lot. Just about perfect.


Adidas Adizero XT Miles: 10.00
Weight: 163.60
Total Distance

AM: Easy out and back on the BST. It was pretty cold, even though I got a later start.

New Balance MT100 Miles: 8.30
Weight: 161.20
Total Distance

When Jun and I ran Squaw Peak a few weeks ago, he said something about how he wasn't interested in the west side of Timp because to him, Timp meant the run to the summit. So I'd like to start this by saying Jun, don't limit yourself. Those hills are full of all kinds of awesome.

This morning I started at the same trailhead in Orem I've been using to access Little Baldy. From there I ran north on the BST into Pleasant Grove and then climbed up the Grove Creek trail, which was absolutely amazing. From the top of the canyon, I traversed a mountain meadow and then ran a gradual descent towards Battle Creek. I started climbing again up to Big Baldy Pass, and then descended Dry Canyon back to the BST, which took me back to the car.

I don't think the weather will allow access to the trails east of Orem for much longer, but I can't wait to explore more of them next year.

My Garmin said just under 16 miles, but according to the website I found the route on it should have been close to 18. I guess that means that either the website was wrong, or I once again stopped my watch and forgot to restart it. I guess I won't find out which until I find my dock and upload the report.

Now, off to the law library.


Adidas Adizero XT Miles: 15.90
Weight: 162.40
Total Distance
Brooks Cascadia 4 Miles: 54.50New Balance MT100 Miles: 76.80Nike Lunarlite Racer Miles: 25.40Brooks Launch Miles: 71.00Adidas Kanadia TR Miles: 16.50Adidas Adizero XT Miles: 25.90
Weight: 162.09
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