Trails, trails, trails: week in review

Good news: I was on or at a trail 5 days this week. Bad news: the smoke is back…and this time it’s from nearby fires, so I think we’re officially in smoke season.


Back to my usual steep hill training trail. For 2 days after a 5K, it felt surprisingly not bad. 2.9 miles. (My least favorite thing about this trail is that it isn’t an even 3 miles.)


I knew Tuesday would be my best bet for getting in a long-ish run this week, though I had a doctor’s appointment first thing and thus couldn’t start as early as I would have liked. I headed to Chestnut Mountain, a trail I haven’t been to before even though it’s a short drive from town. The roundtrip distance is 9.5 to 13 miles – depending on what source you consult – and I thought I might just have time to run the full trail if it was the shorter distance.

By the time I got to the trailhead I knew I actually only had time for 7-8 miles…and then about 5 minutes into the run I realized that I had forgotten to put on sunscreen. Fortunately it was still a bit early to be getting sunburned, plus the trail was mostly shady. I guesstimated that I could probably run for about 2 hours without getting scorched. I ended up running 7 miles in almost exactly 2 hours, and with only the slightest hint of sunburn.

I also did a strength workout that evening. While I usually wouldn’t do this on a long run day, I wanted a full rest day Wednesday.

Marmot sighting

Rest day.


Strength workout. Today’s workout ended with 8 minutes of sprints, so technically I did a small distance of running too. I managed 6 (~50 m) sprints in the 8 minutes – those things require a lot of recovery time!


I left the house a bit late (that seems to have been the theme this week), so my planned 5 miles turned into 3.5. The trail I ran on is in a canyon, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was still almost chilly down the canyon despite my late start.

Photo from several weeks ago. It’s not this bright earlier in the day.

Saturday afternoon I volunteered at the finish line of the Bridger Ridge Run. The Ridge Run is famous in the trail racing world for being one of the most technical races. My volunteer shirt helpfully illustrates the kind of elevation change runners face for 19.65 miles:

The course record for that nonsense is 3 hours flat. Can you imagine? Anyway, Saturday turned out to be the hottest day of the year. I don’t think it quite got to 100, but it was close. I was dripping sweat, and I was standing under a tent – not running above the treeline for several hours. I feel like about half the volunteer work was dealing with ice – getting ice into coolers, adding ice to the drinks, making makeshift ice packs to hand to runners, and making literal ice runs up the mountain to the aid stations. (I didn’t do this – you want someone faster than me running ice up a mountain!)

My shift was supposed to last until 4, but the final runners didn’t cross the finish line until after 6. Then I stayed to help pack everything up, because I know everyone starts leaving once an event is “over” and sometimes you end up shorthanded when you’re ready to finish everything up and go home.


The smoke had started to make itself evident Saturday evening, and it was still hanging around Sunday. I had planned on 5-6 miles, so I drove to a trail in Hyalite, hoping the smoke hadn’t migrated into the canyon yet. Alas, it had. I needed some significant walk breaks heading up a trail I would normally be able to run continuously. I called it a bit after a mile and ran back to my car for a total of 2.5 miles.


What’s the hottest race you’ve run?

Linking up with Meghan for week in review and Holly and Wendy for Weekly Wrap

18 Comment

  1. Yikes, that race looks terrifying. Lovely to read about your helping out and also staying late to pack up – been there, done that at the cross-country! My hottest run was probably a Great Birmingham Fun Run a few years ago where I thought I was going to overheat and sat down and had a cry! My first marathon was hotter than expected but that was a good learning curve for me.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      If I ever needed to stop for a cry during a run, I think the heat is what would do it!

  2. Wendy says: Reply

    Even though I live in the middle of the country, the smoke (they say it’s from Canada in our case) is giving us a very hazy sky. That large sunrise photo on my post is an example of that. Crazy, right?

    I didn’t realize it got that hot by you! Is there any relief on the trails?

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      It’s usually only this hot for a week or two. The shady and higher elevation trails are usually a bit better.

  3. Kim G says: Reply

    So sorry to hear about all the smoke from the fires 🙁
    The Ridge Run sounds absolutely terrifying! I have never run on the trails before because I’m so afraid I’m going to fall lol

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Well… You will fall at some point! I’ve never done worse than scrapes and bruises though.

  4. Yikes, I can’t imagine being that hot! Upper 90s is the hottest I’ve run in.
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    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I don’t think I’ve run in the upper 90s. I wouldn’t last long!

  5. I’ve got to say how envious I am of your trails! But I don’t think I’d like your winters.

    My 18.12 mile race is rolling hills, but the biggest one is just 100 ft. Plus it’s not at elevation. I can’t even imagine how long it would take me to do that race you volunteered at — definitely a lot more than 3 hours! Heck, it takes me that long (longer) to run that on a flat paved path!

    I don’t think I’ve really raced in anything much over 80. I did have a couple of races that were quite hot & humid — one was unseasonably so — both of those races mostly sucked, I must say.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I always wonder if the lead runners can actually run the really steep sections, or if they just power hike that fast! I think the average finish time is more like 6-7 hours.

  6. Wow your legs definitely got a workout this past week. Kudos to you on all the running and hiking, and it was so thoughtful of you to stay later and help with the race clean up.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Thank you

  7. It’s amazing how severe those fires became! Really hope all the air clears up for you

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I hope so too!

  8. this looks like fun until Sunday. I am still in shock how those fires have consumed so much. So glad you decided to turn around.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      The ones here are still pretty tiny compared to the ones over on the West Coast.

  9. With the beautiful trails you have at your disposal, I’m not sure I could stay inside and work. LOL. I’m sorry that you are having smoke from the fires though. Kudos for volunteering and staying well past your shift time. That’s a pretty cool shirt you received for doing so too. Thanks for linking!

  10. Your trails are amazing! Bless your heart for volunteering, and staying well past the time your shift “ended.” I can’t imagine running in that smoke…ugh! It’s probably a bit dangerous (?). I think my hottest race was a month ago when I did that 15K…it was upper 80F and the humidity was thick…and this was in the evening!

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