This week has been a recovery week, although my wakeup HR was 52 this morning. Last Saturday I did 15 and ran out of energy towards the last part of the run. Today was different! I left earlier to avoid the heat, but as it turned out, there wasn't any heat to avoid. We're having a cold-front come through this weekend, and this morning during my run the temperature was in the high 40s (F), with a brisk 10 mph wind. It was a wonderful day for running. I still drank my 40 oz of liquid and ate a banana before I left, an apple around mile 4, and an energy bar around mile 7. I felt fine during the first 10 or so miles. During the next five miles I felt a bit tired, but nothing like last Saturday! My problem today was that my legs started to stiffen up. I ran the whole distance, though, only walking during my breaks after each mile. During my last mile, I felt a few sprinkles of rain, but the rain stayed away until I was home. During the last five miles I had a 10 mph head-wind that drained some energy from me, but my body still felt fine while I finished the run. The stiffening of my legs today was nothing like I experienced last November when I first went past 10 miles to 11 and then to 12.
Before I left home this morning, I decided to drive to the point where I've been turning around on my 15-milers, and run 7.5 miles from there to a new turn-around point. However, after I had run a little over a mile, the canal road disappeared. I was hoping it would continue into Utah County and down to Utah Lake, but, alas, that hope has been dashed. So, I ran back to the car and drove home and left the car. I then ran east to the next canal and followed that canal road to the south. There were two places where the land owners (the canal company only has a right-of-way through the land) have gates across the canal road, but I was able to backtrack a bit and find detours around the gates.
The new canal is about twice as wide as the canal I've been following, and, this year at least, it received its water about two weeks earlier than the other canal. This canal is also more scenic than the other canal, having larger bushes along the bank. This greenery made the canal look like a river in the eastern US. Beautiful to see and to enjoy as I ran this morning. There were lots of ducks and ducklings, and I saw some geese and a gosling. I also saw a seagull scavenging the canal bank. For those who aren't familiar with Utah history, I'll mention that we have lots of gulls living near the Great Salt Lake. In fact, they are part of recent Utah history. When the Mormon pioneers settled the Salt Lake Valley, they planted crops but were devastated when plagues of crickets devoured their crops. The sky darkened when hundreds (thousands?) of seagulls came. At first the pioneers thought the gulls would finish off their crops, but they were surprised, and grateful, to see the gulls eating the crickets. Because of that experience, the seagull is Utah's state bird.
I think that next week I'll drive to my stopping point this morning and then explore the new canal to see how far south it goes. I feel like Lewis and Clark. They dreamed of reaching the Pacific Ocean, and I dream of reaching Utah Lake. According to the Google satellite maps, there is a dam across the Jordan river near the point where lake water enters the river. That dam controls the level in the river, and I'm curious to see where the canal companies take their water out of the river or lake.
Later: I used mapmyrun.com to follow the new canal down to it's source at a pumping station in the Jordan Narrows south of Camp Williams. In fact I drove very close to there this morning. After the other canal road disappeared, I drove around the area to see if there were any good ways to get to the Jordan River. I drove past Camp Williams and turned off on the Jordan Narrows road and drove around. I saw a road to a pumping station (the road is on the west side of the river), but I didn't go there. Now, I know that that pumping station is the final destination of the canal road for the new canal. It looks like, from the satellite map, that the canal road goes all the way to the pumping station, reaching the station via the east side of the river, but I won't know for sure if the road does go to the station until I run it.
I've been hoping I could find a way to run to Thanksgiving Point and have my wife meet me there for lunch and then drive us home. I would run point-to-point for 15+ miles rather than out for 7.5 miles and back. Thanksgiving Point, on the east side of the river, is only a mile or so south of the Jordan Narrows, so it might be feasible. The satellite map shows a road going from the pumping station through some gravel operations and up to the I15 access road that leads to Thanksgiving Point. Since I'm running not driving, I don't need a very good road to follow.