May 29, 2011

Smile Center Memorial Day 10K

Andrea bringing it home for the win and new course record. She doesn't look quite as happy as she did after the half-marathon a few weeks ago! ;-) But, she's still undefeated on the roads this year!

We ran the Smile Center Memorial Day 10K down in Orem this morning. The plan was to get in a hard effort that would make the pace at Utah Valley in 2 weeks feel a lot easier.

In the ladies race, Andrea had some great competition in the race against Emily Jameson, and pulled ahead in the last mile to run 37:10 for the win, and broke the previous course record by 22 seconds. If you read her recap below, you'll see that we woke up to some bad news. Gathering the energy and focus to race isn't easy when you are dealing with a personal loss, so I am really proud of her.

In the dudes race, Teren Jameson (who beat me in the half 3 weeks ago) and Jon Kotter (who ran run 14:00 for 5K and 28:43 for 10K on the track for BYU) jumped out quick and gapped me in the first mile... I never really made a strong enough effort to close the gap, but still ran 31:55 (3rd place). That's probably worth low-31 at sea level, so a PR type effort.


I've cross-posted our race reports from Fast Run Blog... here they are, and then a few more pics...

Andrea's Recap (Click for the report on FBR)
I woke up this morning and found out that my uncle Stacy passed away. He had been battling cancer for about a year and a half. He was a great guy, and I loved him very much. Every time I talked to Stacy, he told me to have more fun and enjoy life more. And I feel like I have really done that since I graduated college. I’m really going to miss him, but I’m relieved that he’s not suffering anymore.

That being said, I wasn’t really feeling pumped up about the race this morning. I know that Stacy would think I was chickening out by not doing it, so I decided to just do the best that I could today. Running has always been my way to gain some perspective anyway.

I have never run a 10k before. After this race I have to say - it is a hard distance. I’m definitely not used to running so fast for that long. My goal was to run 5:54/mile with very even splits (that is what McMillan calculator said I could run based on the Provo Half). I came in the first mile at 6:00 and then hit a headwind and uphill for mile 2. My watch said 6:25, and I really got discouraged. Mile 3 was nice with a little downhill, but when the watch said 5:10 I realized that the mile markers were completely off. Quick rant – this is a major issue for me. Mile markers need to be a top priority for race directors and misplaced ones can really make or break participants. If they aren’t going to be correct, there is no point in even putting them out on the course! Anyway, miles 4 and 5 were pretty uneventful – I was trying to stick with Emily and was definitely feeling the pace at this point. She seemed to slow a bit at mile 5 so I took over and just tried to push through. The last 1.2 seemed LONG. I finished in 37:10, so I was a little disappointed with my time. I know that I ran hard and did the best that I could today. I honestly thought there was a girl ahead of me for the entire race. I was surprised and excited to find out that I had won!

Now I’m heading to Tennessee to see my family for the next few days. Although it is only at 1000 ft or so, the temperature is going to be in the mid-90s and humid! That will definitely be a shock for running. But I’m excited to see everyone back home.
Jake's Recap (Click for the report on FRB)
Teren took off quick from the start, shadowed by a BYU guy who I don't know... I hung back, but really wish I had just gone out a touch faster and put myself in the mix, because we turned east and ran into the wind for the second mile, and it would have been nice to be latched onto somebody for that part. According the the mile markers, I was 5:15 at Mile 1, and then 5:33 for Mile 2, and 4:19 for Mile 3! Haha I don't think so! I don't know why its so difficult to get mile markers in the correct spots! Anyways, at that point Teren and BYU guy were pretty far ahead, and I had no confidence in any of the splits, so I resigned to just run steadily hard the rest of the way. Not by any means an amazing performance, but I did what I set out to do, and felt recovered almost immediately afterwards. I'm definitely in much better shape for longer races than shorter races right now.
The national anthem singers had some problems.... maybe it was the speakers?!?! But you can tell how it sounded by the look on my face!

And we're off...

Finish line... most of the hard work for the marathon is done now...

Our plan from this point forward is one more longish run, one more tempo run, and then a little 5K race in SLC next weekend to get the nerves out. Then Utah Valley on June 11th... can't believe its so close.

May 26, 2011

Fast Run Blogs

At the suggestion of several folks, Andrea and I have started posting on the Fast Running Blog. Its essentially a Utah-based running/training/racing log. Lots of local runners, from beginners to elites, share their training and race reports on the FRB. I think its a great resource and good way to connect with other people in the Utah running community. I've put the links to our blogs in the sidebar, but here they are again:

Andrea's Fast Run Blog

Jake's Fast Run Blog

May 25, 2011

Sand Hollow

Sand Hollow Reservoir

After yesterday's adventure, we all wanted an easier, relaxing day. Once we re-fueled at a breakfast buffet, we headed over to Sand Hollow State Park, which was super close to where we were staying in Hurricane. Since it was a Monday, the park was pretty much empty, and we had the beach to ourselves. Andrea and I took a run around the reservoir, and it was nice to chill out in the warm weather.

Unfortunately, in the afternoon we had to part ways, but not before a stop at Dairy Queen! Andrea and I headed back north to SLC (where the temperature dropped 30 degrees in our first 90 minutes of driving), and my parents headed east towards Lake Powell, as they were spending another night there before driving back to Phoenix.

Zion National Park - West Rim Trail

Zion's West Rim

As with all Krong family vacations, there is always a "hard day"! After enjoying a leisurely day at Snow Canyon, we put the pedal to the metal...

On Sunday we did a point-to-point hike across Zion National Park, starting at the Wildcat trailhead on the Kolob Terrace Road, hiking the Wildcat Trail to the West Rim Trail, and finishing down in Zion Canyon at the Angel's Landing trailhead.

To accomplish this, we needed a car shuttle, so Andrea and I left early, parked a car in Springdale, then ran 13 miles back along SR-9 to the tiny little town of Virgin, where we met my parents and headed up to the trailhead. The hike itself ended up being a little longer and more difficult than I anticipated... my GPS had it at ~21.5 miles. And despite it being billed as a gradually downhill route, we still had well over 2000 feet of climbing.

That being said, the route was spectacular and unlike anything you would typically see in Zion. Most of the hike was on high plateaus in more of an alpine environment. It wasn't until the last quarter of the hike, when we came down into the main canyon, that it really had that desert feel to it. And the sheer walls of Zion Canyon are awe-inspiring everytime you seen them.

By the end of the day we were all pretty tired and happy to be off our feet. When we got to Springdale, we immediately went for pizza. In less than ten minutes after getting our food, the four of us took down 2 pizzas! (Andrea clocked it at 8 minutes). Even after a round of Frostys from the Wendys in Hurricane a little while later, we were still hungry!

The hike started right next to Pine Valley Peak

Not your typical Zion landscape

Taking a break on the Wildcat Canyon trail

We had one stream crossing. No one got wet!

The views started to open up

Spooky trees in Potato Hollow

About 2/3 of the way into the hike, you get up on a high plateau and this is your view for several miles

Unfortunately the sun wasn't shining much when we were up on the rim, so the pictures don't quite have the colors I was hoping for. Still, the cooler weather made the hike more pleasant!

It started to rain a bit, and only 2 of us were smart enough to pack a shell, so my Dad and I opted for the emergency blanket poncho/cape!

Sky islands

Descending into the main canyon w/ sheer drops off the trail

The skies cleared back up... Zion is so cool

My parents get MVP awards for this hike!

Almost to Angel's Landing

Angel's Landing

The Virgin River and Zion Canyon

Profile of the hike

The while/black line was our route, going left to right...

... and here's what it looks like on Google Earth (red line)

More pictures from the hike can be seen by CLICKING HERE. I changed some of them to Black & White, which looks pretty cool.

We were all in the mood for something easier on the next and final day of the trip, so a relaxing day at Sand Hollow State Park was just what the doctor ordered.

May 24, 2011

Snow Canyon

Snow Canyon has an incredible contrast of colors

A long weekend in Southern Utah was just the break we needed from the endless winter that is STILL ongoing up in SLC.

So on Friday the 20th Andrea and I headed down I-15 to St. George and met up with my parents, who had driven up from Phoenix. We ate some uber-delicious burgers, walked around town, and genuinely enjoyed the fact that we were walking around outside without jackets!

After a nice trail run the next morning, we all headed just up the road to Snow Canyon State Park. The national parks of southern Utah get all the attention (and rightfully so because they are amazing), but Snow Canyon is right up there with any of the cooler places we've visited. We hiked through pretty much all of the trails in a half-day, and snapped some beautiful photos of the scenery.

My full gallery from Snow Canyon can be seen by CLICKING HERE, and some of the shots are below...

Mom & Dad on the dunes

The trails were easy but had some fun parts like these

I couldn't get enough of the color contrast in this area

Cactus blooming

This is southern Utah!

A pair of baby falcons

We realized that while we have 100s of pictures that we took of each other during ski season, we don't have many recent pictures of us together!

Petrified Sand Dunes

White Rocks - the last area that we explored

Snow-capped peaks in the background... not a common sight for this late in the year

Looking down into the main section of the park

Krongs (minus Jenna and the dogs)

Parents and Andrea

Walking back through the amphitheatre

My dad on the way back to the car