I love Liberty Park. When the snow finally melts (sidebar: I jinxed myself by, on Tuesday wearing shorts for the very first time in Utah on a run. It proceeded to dump like 6 inches on us here on Wednesday. Sorry about that, SLC)I am going to love it even more.
But like I mentioned before, I know I have to venture out. I need to explore the running routes as much as possible. Especially since I have put together my work, travel and speaking schedule (tentatively) during he past few days and it shows me going from one corner of this country to the other. Literally. I go from Washington state to New England to Florida to Texas. I might just sublet my apartment. ( I am kidding).
So after a nice evening by myself Friday where I went and checked out the Gallery Stroll I called it a night early.
(While I would have preferred to do this with a friend, I don't know when or if I will be here on the third Friday of the month again and I like to carpe noctem; one of my rules is to not count on tomorrow. When I moved to DC, I wanted to see all the sights. While I missed many of them mostly b/c there is so much to see and I technically lived in Arlington making it a little more of a pain to do so, I did see much. I made it a point to go see something new every weekend. And good thing too since before I knew it, I was running FIDDY2 then 2007 came and now I am in Utah. I never want to be one of those people who live somewhere and never see the wonders of their own backyard.)
I was woken in the middle of the night by a banging on my door. I thought it was my neighbors door at first (they are about 2.5 feet apart) and that hopefully soon someone would answer. Mostly I wished for this because my neighbor has a barking dog that has one of those very annoying barks. And it barks a great deal. I don't blame the dog, mind you. I blame the owner. Something is going to have to be done about that. But I digress.
More banging and now I realize it was my doors. Searching for clothing in the dark, I make it to the door. I realize I do not have a peephole. Oh well. I open the door and police are standing there.
"Did you dial 911?"
"Well we received a 911 hangup and the last time that number had an address it was here."
"You are welcome to look around" They come in and do a quick perusal of my place. All I can think about is I am going to end up on COPS! : SLC solely because I am shirtless. That seems to be the rule. Don't wear a shirt; Get on COPS!
After the realize I am truthful they let me be. Unfortunately, the dog barks often during the night. So much for a restful sleep. Damn it. I was planning a long run.
Which leads me to this morning. Well, almost. The other night I was doing some loops at Liberty Park. A chap pulled up next to me. I was a little pissed. Rarely am I caught from behind. But the fella, Dean was his name, was just looking for a lap partner and had spent the past loop trying to catch me. As we both had 3 more loops to go, we both made a new friend. A recent transplant to SLC himself, Dean is originally from Nashville and at one time had ran a 32:xx 10k PR. Asking him why the hell he was running with my slow ass, he said it had been 20 years ago (give or take).
We chatted and he suggested I hit Sugarhouse Park soon. Well, I had been planning on it since I got here but this cinched it. Saturday I would run Sugarhouse Park's Loop. Now, Liberty Park's Loop is just a hair under 1.5 miles (I run on the outside of the loop so I am saying it is an even 1.5) but very flat. Heck if there is even as much elevation chance as this picture shows below I will be surprised.
While I was putting the final touches on my planned run for the day, I got a call from my great friend, Katie. The diminutive red-head was running the Myrtle Beach Marathon (which hired the same marketing people to do their website as the guy who created the No Headphones logo...ha!) this morning and I told her to call me when she had finished.
Prior to last October, Katie had consistently run very good marathon times but could not get over the hump to PR again. Well, at the Ridge to Bridge Marathon, she not only set a new PR but did so by 4 minutes, knocking her time down to 3:17. A huge accomplishment. Of course, being she is so damn humble (all my friends and and it is maddening! But then I get to write about them here and it makes me happy) she did not mention she WON the friggin race for the women.
Well, Katie did not do as well as she hoped (a 3:15 is what she was hoping for) but another nearly 2 more minutes felt to the wayside as she ran a 3:16:05. YAY Katie!
So with newfound enthusiasm, I prepared for my run. It was cold (24 degrees with a "feels like" of 15) but no matter. Time to put on my OH-So flattering tights (men should really not wear these) and get out the doors. Route in mind, I took off.
Ironically, in my run to the Salt Lake Running Company (who sent me a nice card congratulating me on my recent PR; which makes me assume they are reading this too. Hi guys!) I passed within two blocks of the park. But I took a different way this time to see some different streets and saw some very cute houses.
As I entered Sugarhouse Park, I could see it was much more rolling than Liberty Park. The elevation profile on this does not seem to show it but I can assuredly attest , while far from "hard" it is indeed hardER than Liberty Park. Ironically, the loops of each park are probably only 1/100th of a mile in difference. Good planning SLC Park Loop Planning Committee!
After that, it was just a matter of heading home, climbing a sizeable hill, and then screaming down the other side of it (look at miles 7.5 to 9; I will probably NOT run this course in reverse!) hitting the watch and calling it a day. Another run done and another tour of SLC in the books.
Distance: 9.75 miles