September 30, 2013

Recovery and Rehabilitation from Athletic Pubalgia (Sports Hernia) Surgery - Part 1: Weeks 1-6

I am now 4 months out from athletic pubalgia surgery and feeling much, much better. I decided to summarize the progression for those that may have questions about the post-op of this surgery. Keep in mind that the healing time varies significantly depending on how long you have had the injury and how significant the injury was. I had problems for 8 months leading up to the surgery (and could not even walk without significant pain) and therefore my recovery has been pretty slow. In contrast, my friend Bret only had the injury for about a month and was running 4 miles without pain a mere 15 days after surgery (August 27, 2013). Jerk! :) I would bet that most people are somewhere in between Bret's recovery and mine. My surgeon said that my injury was the worst of this type he's ever seen in a female, and he's been doing these procedures for three decades.

Although there have been a few setbacks, I am making overall progress week to week. I'm not going to lie, the past few months have been very hard. BUT I do (finally) have confidence that there is an end to this injury!

I have been posting every day about my recovery on my Fast Running Blog if you want to see the daily ups and downs. On this site, I am breaking up the recovery into 3 blogs - First 6 weeks, 6 weeks - 12 weeks, and 3 months - 4 months.

Week 1: HARD. I had a difficult time just sitting up by myself because of the pain from the surgery. (Note: do not schedule a flight home the day after surgery). I began "walking" the day after surgery, starting with only 20 ft and progressing to about a half mile by the end of the week. There was a lot of hunching over and A LOT of laying around. I had discomfort with every movement and occasionally shooting pains from my groin to my back. I was only able to sleep for a couple hours at a time and with tons of pillows under my knees and ice packs.
Rock bottom - riding the scooter at the grocery store.

Week 2: Still in a lot of pain. I went off narcotics after a week, although I never felt like the drugs helped much. After moving around for a couple hours at a time, I had to lay down for several hours to recover. Overall pelvic pain dominated the week and ice was my savior. I walked every day and got up to a distance of 1 mile. I was only waking up 1-2 times a night needing a new ice pack.

Week 3: Definitely doing better. I was able to keep the pain in check after activity by laying for 30 minutes and letting the injury site relax. We traveled to Oregon for our friends' wedding and I was able to do some short walks to waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge. The pool seemed to help with range of motion and loosening up muscles. Sleeping through the night now.

Week 4: Back to feeling pretty normal with daily living with just a general achy-ness. We got a cute, old foster dog for healing powers and a friend to walk with. I started walking for several miles every day and felt about the same as pre-surgery - groin discomfort, TFL and glute pain. Although I felt a little better, overall I couldn't tell if the surgery did anything yet. I started physical therapy with these exercises: 

- 5 min, 10s holds of light pelvic tilt 
- 3 x 15 glute activation - make sure glute fires first (
- 3 x 15 oblique cable exercisee 
- 1 x 10 core stability hip rotation (
- 1 x 10 straight leg raise 
- Pelvic adjustment

Week 5: Lots more walking. I was still struggling with compensation patterns but am able to walk several miles a day. I tried running for a couple minutes and it caused my adductor and groin to be sore the following day. Continued the routine of physical therapy and made some progress. Increased the number of sets on other PT exercises and added these exercises as well:

- 90 second hold of strain-counterstrain position of iliopsoas
- 1 x 10s psoas inhibition exercise (patient lies supine in hook lying and is instructed to dorsiflex at the ankle and push through their quadriceps as if to gently slide up the mat. The challenge is to contract the quadriceps without activating the hamstrings. If done correctly, the tibialis anterior and quadriceps are activated, while the hamstrings and psoas are inhibited)

Week 6: I incorporated a tiny bit of running into my walks. I could only run for a minute or two before my right leg ran out of power or my groin started to hurt. I am still very diligent about the PT exercises every day.

September 23, 2013

Summer 2013 Training Recap and Change in Philosophy for the Fall

I guess I could call it my "Ron Clarke / Bill Rodgers" summer - lots of races! I raced twice in June (Utah Valley 1/2 and USA 1/2 Champs), then 15 more races (if you count all three stages of Tour de Run, which I will - it was hard!) from that point until the Top of Utah Marathon.

My daily workouts are all posted on Fast Running Blog: June - July - August - September.

To summarize, I basically just decided that I was going to take a break from consistent high mileage and marathon-style training (ie. long runs and long tempos), and get more comfortable with running un-comfortably hard over the summer. Pretty much all of my workouts were geared towards 5K-10K-HM paces. Despite the lack of long (20 mile) runs, I did quite a few 14-16 milers (a lot of times twice a week) with the Alta High School XC team. Once a week, we'd do a run of ~15 miles up at Alta ski area (9000+ feet elevation).

In some ways, I was squeezing in a lot - races, my own workouts, running with the high school kids, but it was worth it. I had a lot of fun. Despite lots of racing, my overall mileage was a lot lower than it has been in the past, and that has probably contributed to the fact that my hamstring(s) finally appear to be healed. That took a full year - I originally tweaked my right hammy in the 2012 TOU Marathon.

Now I'm going to shift gears a bit, and the philosophy is going to change. I've been thinking about this all summer, but I knew I was going to wait until after the TOU Marathon to implement the new plan. The main goal going forward is to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon. That will require running under 1:05 for the HM, or under 2:18 for the marathon (FYI - that's only the "B" standard!). I feel like I've been on the right track this summer, but what I really need to incorporate is more REST. So rather than squeeze 3 (sometimes 4) quality runs into a week, I'm planning to scale it back to 2 quality workouts per week: a midweek lactate threshold session, and a weekend long run with some tempo / marathon-pace component incorporated into it. These workouts will be a lot more challenging, but I'll get ~3 easier days between each session. Some weeks I'll probably jump in some local 5Ks - so in those cases I'll run a short race on Saturday and then do my long run on Sunday.

I'm planning to run the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon on November 2nd as my next big race. If I'm in shape to give it a serious shot, I'll go after the OTQ time. Beyond that, I'm tentatively planning on running the California International Marathon on December 8th. Same goal - OTQ (ie. 2:17).

Recap of the summer below. I think blocking things off into this type of calendar format is a great way to see the big picture...

September 21, 2013

2013 Top of Utah Marathon

Finish line shots of Scott and I at the 2013 Top of Utah Marathon. 1-2 Saucony sweep!

Today was the Top of Utah Marathon. I went back and forth on running this year (after winning it last year). I wasn't sure how it would fit into my fall racing plans, but ultimately decided to run and I'm glad I did. My friend and teammate Scott Wietecha were able to go 1-2, I ran 2:23:33 (2nd place) without feeling like I pushed myself too hard, and our friend Allie won the women's race in a stunning 2:44. 

Below is my race recap, followed by some quotes from the newspaper article. Andrea's photos are scattered throughout. As always, she was my support team along the course and helps me out SO MUCH in the marathon.

Pre-race thoughts / strategy / goals in my Fast Running blog post the day before the race. In summary, Scott and I wanted to go 1-2 while taking it somewhat "easy" if possible and saving our legs a bit. I was planning to run in the 2:28-2:30 range.

The strategy, as expected, went out the window immediately when Seth Pilkington shot off the line into the lead, and he was closely shadowed by another guy I didn't know (Jesse Dunn). Scott gave chase a little, and I positioned myself about 10 meters behind him - determined not to get "caught up" in the early racing. After a couple comfortable miles (5:26, 5:31), the pace increased a bit (5:19, 5:16), Seth/Scott pulled away, and I made the decision to not chase them. Jesse fell back after 6 miles, and I just tried to maintain a steady effort. I didn't want to press too hard, but I also wanted to keep Seth/Scott in sight, just in case they started to come back to me. Next 7 miles were 5:24, 5:29, 5:27, 5:24, 5:23, 5:28, 5:28. They had a big gap on me through 10 miles, and then somewhere around that point I noticed that Scott was pulling away from Seth, so I picked it up a bit and reeled Seth back relatively quickly over the next two miles (5:21, 5:21). Split at the half was around 1:11:00 - two minutes slower than last year, but it felt even easier than that.

Tailwind was strong coming out of the canyon, so mile 14 was the fastest of the race (5:14). Then on Hollow Road I really locked into a consistent groove - 5:24, 5:24, 5:24, 5:24. According to Mr. Timex, these 4 miles were all within two-tenths of a second of each other. 

Coming out of the canyon at mile 14
A little past 18 miles Andrea gave me the update - Scott was a minute or so ahead, and Seth was about two minutes back. So it was time to decide whether to hammer the last portion or go into steady-hard-cruise control. I chose the latter and took it pretty easy up the Milleville hill (5:50, 5:42... although I overshot a turn by about 40 feet before realizing it - nearly a disaster!). Then it was really just about relaxing and keeping the effort under control for the last six miles - 5:33, 5:46, 5:46, 5:22 (oops, too fast!), 5:38, 5:36. I finished second in 2:23:33. Scott ran 2:22:34 to take first. Seth ended up dropping out near 20 miles, and Jesse finished 3rd in 2:32.

On the streets of Logan around mile 20
I couldn't believe how I felt at the end. No "wrecked" feeling like usual after 26.2. Not even a "semi-wrecked but don't really want to admit it" feeling. No pains or aches, just a little (expected) fatigue. Despite running about 5-7 minutes faster than I was planning to, I wasn't in the beat up state that I thought 2:23 would leave me in. We'll see how I feel in a week, but I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll come out of this OK and this won't derail progress towards my fall goals. This definitely felt the easiest of the six marathons I've run (which was the idea).

It was great that Scott and I could go 1-2, but the best part of the day came shortly after our finish... Our friend Allie Moore won her 4th TOU Marathon, but more impressive - ran 2:44!!! What a huge, well-deserved breakthrough. The Top of Utah Marathon is not an easy course. The canyon is downhill but not ridiculously so, and the last 8 miles are challenging and can really expose you when you're chasing a fast time. That part of the course ate me up last year. I think Allie's time is really, really, really impressive. I couldn't be happier for her.

One of the things I did differently today was actually eat gels during the race. Not just open them, pretend to bring it up to my lips, then throw it on the ground like I've done in the past. I actually squeezed the gooey contents into my mouth and injested it. I took 4 whole gels (right before the start and at 7, 14, 20). This is a big deal for me because I've never gotten down more than one before. Obviously it made a big difference in how I felt, and I'll be replicating this strategy in future marathons.

Herald-Journal article: Historic day for Moore at TOU Marathon, Wietecha beats friend for men's title. Jason Turner always does a great job covering local running.

Some quotes from the article:
Wietecha crossed the finish line in 2:22:34, while Krong clocked in 59 seconds later. Wietecha and Krong are friends and compete together on the Saucony Hurricane team.
The Hendersonville, Tenn., resident — who won his first marathon this past spring in Nashville, Tenn. — is currently training for December’s California International Marathon in Sacramento, Calif. Krong, who was also second at this year’s TOU Half, will also compete at that race. 
“Scott motivates me,” Krong said. “The improvement curve that he’s been on, I’m kind of a little bit behind him, but I’m just trying to follow in his footsteps and hopefully have the same kind of breakthrough this fall as he’s had. ... But I’m thrilled for him.”
Wietecha is hoping to finish that race in 2:15, which would meet the A qualifying standard for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, while Krong is aiming to eclipse the B standard of 2:18.
Hendersonville’s elevation is only 482 feet above sea level, so Wietecha said he was feeling the effects of the TOU’s much higher elevation about 18 miles into the race. Wietecha, who completed a marathon in 2:18:52 earlier this year, was hurting on the downhill at mile marker 23, but fought through the pain.
“I was hoping Jake wouldn’t come after me because I was hurting, but I was able to close strong and finish up the race, luckily,” said Wietecha, who finished with a 5:26.5 per mile clip.
As for Krong, he had his sights set on defending his title, but was pleased with how we executed his race strategy. The 29-year-old Salt Lake City resident put together a controlled race and only finished 81 seconds off his time from last year.
“I didn’t run all out, I didn’t feel like that was an all-out effort today, so I was very pleased that with a 90-percent effort I was able to run 2:23,” the affable Krong said. “... I’m going to try to run 2:17 this fall, so I’m very confident that I’m going to be able to do it.”
Not only was Krong happy for Wietecha, he was ecstatic with the performance of the 26-year-old Moore, who is a close friend. Krong praised Moore’s work ethic this summer, and it paid off in a big way Saturday.
“I definitely changed my training a lot,” said Moore, who earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from USU. “... Yeah, it was a lot of hard work, but it feels great to see it come together. It was a lot of fun.”
Devra, Me, Scott, and Allie after the awards ceremony
Top 5 Men
Taking recovery seriously

Poster for 2014
Put this race on your calendar!

September 17, 2013

Flat as a Pancake 5K Race Report (Andrea)

On Saturday I ran the Flat as a Pancake 5K. I have been able to run about 30 (slow) miles per week for the last 6 weeks, so it was time to test out my fitness level and get an idea as to where I should start with training again after my very long injury/surgery. In the upcoming week, I'm going to be posting a 3-part series about my recovery from the injury/surgery.

This race was a fundraiser for the West Jordan XC Team, and the kids did a great job putting it together (except for maybe promoting the event to get more people to race). The course is as flat and accurate as you could hope for with about 1 mile on the road/track and 2 miles on dirt.

I ran a short warm-up with my friends (1+ mile) then a couple strides. The race started and a large group went out fast. I tried to hang back, knowing that going out too fast would be detrimental because of my lack of speed work. The first 1/2 mile is on the road then it's an out-and-back on the dirt canal trail. No mile markers and I forgot to start my watch, so I have no idea how fast/slow I was running. I passed several of the early sprinters then was solo for the last 2 miles. My breathing was pretty out-of-control, and I just couldn't get my legs moving faster. I hit the road again at 2.5 miles and got a boost from the faster surface. The last 350 meters are around the track and I finished in 19:13.

I had absolutely no pain and felt very much like my old self...except for a slower time :) I am so thrilled with this - I ran what I thought I was capable of (my guess was 19:15) and had no discomfort! Eight weeks ago when I could barely even run 3 miles, I ran the Draper Days 5K in 21:28 so I've made a lot of progress since then. I'm really looking forward to seeing my progress in another 8 weeks. I hope to be running sub-18 by then!

Kansas City Plaza 10K

Start of the KC Plaza 10K
Quick recap: Kansas City Plaza 10K - 31:06, 2nd place [Fast Running Blog report]

Longer recap...

Somewhat random that I ended up running in Kansas City this weekend. Here's how it happened... I had a Frontier voucher that I needed to use this fall, so I started looking for places I could fly to and corresponding races. Browsing led me to this one, and I really liked that it was a big, competitive, stand-alone 10K (that wasn't a sideshow latched on to a HM/Marathon). After a few e-mails with Troy and Brad at the KC Running Company, I booked a ticket. I just had a sense that these guys were putting on a fantastic event and I wanted to be a part of it.

At that time (early August) I was leaning towards running the 1/2 at either Long Beach or Des Moines (mid-October), so the timing was great for a good 10K effort. I figured after TOU 1/2, I'd hit some speed workouts for a couple weeks and take a crack at lowering my PR (30:03). But then I ended up having the opportunity to take the trip to Colorado (anti-speed workouts!), and decided to push back my target HM to the Monumental 1/2 in early November. Still, I felt like I was capable of knocking out a good 10K race and be in contention to win the race.

Despite some airline fiascos (due to the unfortunate rain/flooding in Colorado) I arrived in KC late Friday night. On Saturday I had the chance to spend some time talking with Troy Fitzgerald, who owns the KC Running Company. I really enjoyed our conversation and his thoughts on balancing higher-level racing with mass participation and providing the "event experience". Obviously a relevant topic after CGI dropped elite running a few weeks ago. Troy feels like a good race can have it all, and he's willing to put up prize money and incentives to create competitive races at the front end... while not taking anything away from the middle/back of the pack, and providing them with a first-class experience all the way. I came away very impressed by Troy and his company. There are lots of great, local / regional races out there who are directed by people who understand all aspects of the sport. They "get it" - while participation is what drives the market, competition is also important... It's a SPORT, after all. When I first heard about Competitor's decision, it made me worried about the future of competitive road racing. After meeting Troy, I wasn't worried anymore. So I'll urge anyone listening - while there's nothing wrong with the (RnR style) mega-races, seek out and support the local races like this. The ones that provide an excellent experience across the board - from the runner finishing in first place to the runner lacing up their shoes for the first time.

Now, the race itself...

It was a little breezy in the morning and that probably made the course harder than I expected. "Flat" is a relative term in KC... it wasn't that hilly, but had a few short rhythm-breaking inclines. Weather was good, though - low 70s, and rain held off until after it was over.

Around 2.5 miles into the race - Benson with a commanding lead
The race started slow (5:10) in a big pack (10 guys) then I injected some pace and got it strung out a little. Benson Chesang shot to the front and rolled off a couple 4:45s, opening up a large gap that was hard to bridge in the wind. By ~3.5 miles it was down to me and the long-haired guy (Javier Ceja) for second. Miles 2-4 were 4:51, 4:58, 4:46. So, all over the place, but felt like a consistent effort.

Short finish video that Troy sent me
The pace slowed on miles 5-6 (5:10, 5:05). Javier and I went back and forth a bit, neither one of us really wanting to commit to a long push. Just before the 6 mile mark I noticed his stride falter a little, so I threw it down and was able to outkick him, putting about 6 seconds on him over the last quarter. I'm closing races a lot better, and starting to get more confident in my ability to finish strong.

Not a very fast time, but I feel like I ran smart and competed well. Benson (2X Big 12 Champ in XC and 13:57 5K) won in 30:55. After talking to him afterwards, I realized he was fading at the end. Another half-mile and I might have gotten him. I honestly (and stupidly?) wasn't really even paying attention to him at the end - I was more focused on my race with Javier. Waited a bit too long to make a push to break the tape, but like I said - I ran the smartest race I could to ensure a high finish and not blow up. Did a cooldown run with Benson and the guys from the KC Smoke team. Nice group of guys.

This was a great all-around event / atmosphere. T-Shirts, medals, and post-race snacks were as good as I've seen at the major races I've run.

I'm glad I decided to make the trip to KC. In addition to the race, I thought the Plaza area of the city was really nice. The day before the race (and on a longer cooldown post-race) I enjoyed running along the river and through some of the parks / sculpture gardens. I'd definitely like to make another trip back there next year.

On a final note, I noticed A LOT of runners wearing Saucony shoes and racing clothes at the race. That made me happy! :-)

Saucony representation at
Gary Gribble's Running Sports

September 7, 2013

Layton Classic 5K

Approaching the last quarter mile of the Layton Classic 5K
After yesterday's XC debacle I almost didn't even bother driving up to Layton this morning. But as it got closer to 7am I think Andrea realized I was going to be a total PITA all day so she said we should just drive up and see how my feet felt once I warmed up. I got there in time to jog the course w/ our friend Kassi Harmon which was great because it took my mind off my heels and got me to stop being mad at myself. Thanks Andrea and Kassi for snapping me out of my funk this morning.

I'm really trying to re-train myself into racing more conservatively off the start. Jace Nye and Jason Holt were there, so I was content to let them set the tempo early. We went out a lot slower than I ran the first mile last year, and by halfway it was just Jace and I. We hit 2 miles in 10:08 and then I decided it was time to move. Ran the last 1.1 miles in 5:18 (~4:48 pace), so a nice negative split and felt like I had a lot more in the tank. Final time of 15:26. Heels held up OK with a solid tape job. I will admit, I'm still pretty tired from the Colorado trip. [Results]

Ken and Janae Richardson did a great job organizing and directing this race. I'd highly recommend it.

As usual, Andrea took some great photos: 2013 Layton Classic

2 miles
No further damage done. I'm glad I ran.

September 6, 2013

Utah XC Invitational

I've made a huge mistake. New (never worn) xc spikes + hot day + no socks = bye bye skin on heels. Ughhhh... you'd think I'd know what I'm doing by now.

Anyways, this was my first XC race since 2003. Essentially a tri-meet with BYU, Weber St, and Boise St, plus some unattached runners. After an awesome trip in the San Juans, my legs were a little dead, so I just wanted a good workout to shake the cobwebs out.

Plan was to start off slow and work my way up. I think I was close to last place at the 1K (Andrea said there were only 1-2 guys behind me). Stayed there for most of the next kilometer but I could feel the skin ripping off my heels. Uh oh. Thought about dropping out at 3K, but figured it couldn't be that bad so I essentially tempo-ed the rest of the way. Moved my way up to 13th place (19:37) but the faster I ran the more my heels hurt. Skin was ripped off both heels... gotta get this fixed up ASAP. 

Splits were pretty consistent. I was 16:05 at 5K so I'm guessing the last K was a bit long because 3:32 doesn't seem right. Pretty fun... hopefully I won't go another decade before my next xc race. I'm mad at myself for being an idiot with the no socks thing because considering everyone goes out too fast in XC, I probably could have done some damage in the second half of the race. 

Skipped the cooldown obviously. Hopefully I'll be able to run in Layton tomorrow. Maybe I'll have to wear Crocs!?

Great spectator course... lots of looping around so Andrea got some good shots.

The college race was just the opening act. The high school action was where it was at today. Alta XC guys (who I've been working with this summer) ran awesome - 6th place at the Murray Invite! [Results] And in round two of what is going to be a series of epic duels this fall, Kramer Morton outkicked Conner Mantz, 15:18 to 15:20. Its so cool to see two of the best runners in the country pushing each other so hard. Here's some photos from the high school XC meet. I know both of these guys... they are great kids. I run with Kramer quite a bit.

September 4, 2013

San Juans Roundup!

The San Juan mountains are probably my favorite range in Colorado. Over Labor Day weekend in 2010, Andrea and I made a four day trip down to that area, climbing six 14,000 foot peaks. We've been itching to head back to Colorado ever since, but we've been busy exploring other areas (Tetons, Sierras, etc). Finally, when deciding what kind of trip would be a great cap to Summer 2013, we decided it was time to head back to Colorado. That ended up being a great decision. Most of the trip was spent in the areas around the towns of Ouray and Silverton, two of the best places you could ever visit!

I drove down to Colorado first, five days ahead of Andrea and the rest of the crew. Here are some of the places I visited on my own...

Andrea arrived on the Friday before Labor Day weekend with our friends Amiee, Allie, and James. We stayed at the Aladdin's Lamp hut, situated at 10,500 feet on Molas Pass. Four more amazing days of hiking and running ensued...
    This slideshow has some "highlights" but I recommend you click on the individual links to see more photos of each area...

    Running in Ouray and Silverton

    Andrea running in the San Juan Mountains

    As you might expect, I did quite a bit of running in addition to all of the hiking on the San Juans trip that I've been documenting over the past week. I'm always looking for great places to run when I'm on vacation, so I'll share a few of the spots I enjoyed in Ouray and Silverton. Needless to say, there are endless trails and jeep roads that go HIGH into the mountains in this area (Hardrock!). Sometimes you are looking for something a little more mellow, though. Here's what I found...


    -County Road 17 is a dirt road that parallels the west side of the Uncompahgre River. From Ouray to Ridgway, it drops about 700 feet... then you turn around and head back up. I did a fun 20 mile run on this road.
    -The Uncompahgre River Trail is a (relatively) flat 2-mile gravel trail looping around on the north side of Ouray
    -The Ouray Perimeter Trail is tough - lots of up and down, singletrack, etc. But if you do one run in Ouray, this is what you want to do. Waterfalls, box canyons, panoramic mountain views, etc. So much fun.


    -Colorado Trail from Molas Pass. This is a high elevation run (above 11,000 feet) with quite a bit of climbing, but worth every (lung-burning) second. Andrea did a 9 mile run here, her longest in a year and by far her longest since surgery. Awesome in every way!
    -Molas Lake. There is a nice loop of ~1.5 miles around the lake, and you have the option of running a spur of the CO trail up to Molas Pass.
    -All around town... Silverton is pretty much all (but one) dirt roads. Its fun to just run around the town and explore. And since you're at (a minimum of) 9300 feet, you get a great burn no matter how slow you're moving!
    -The Silverton track! How and why does this exist? If anyone knows, please tell me... I am very curious about this. An asphalt track at 9300 feet in a town that only has 10 students at their high school. We were fascinated by this track and ended up going there two night in a row to "play track"... 400m and 1600m time trials for "fun"... what a bunch of dorks we are! :-)

    Molas Lake loop
    Silverton track
    Running marathon pace at 9300 feet feels like 5K pace
    Andrea running a 71 second quarter in sandals just for fun!
    Elevation profile of a 14 miler I did from Molas Pass

    Mt Sneffels

    On the last day of the San Juans trip we headed up to Yankee Boy Basin to climb Mt Sneffels via the SW ridge route. Andrea and I did this climb three years ago, and since Amiee had never been on the summit of a 14,000 foot peak, we thought this would be a fun debut for her.

    The SW ridge (from the low point on the left side of the above photo, through the pinnacles to the summit) has some fun scrambling. We took that route for the ascent, and then descended via the standard route (giant scree field on the right).