Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Salty Climb Up Capitol Hill

Taking a midday break to run while in Salt Lake City on business, I laced up my new Altra Samsons and headed toward the Utah state capitol building, conveniently about a mile and a half from from my hotel.

Before heading out, Mrs. Viper reminded me that I was running at a higher elevation than I'm used to, so it might be harder. SLC is 4,226 feet above sea level, while Akron is at 1,004 feet. Little did I realize that when they say "Capitol Hill," here, they mean the hill part.

About a half-mile from the capitol building, I had an Inception moment, where the street suddenly went vertical. I looked to my right, and I could tell the mountains were still a bit off in the distance and not suddenly underfoot.

My lungs, still icky from being sick, burned with effort. And then, there were the stairs. For some reason, capitol buildings tend to feature lots and lots of stairs. I continued the climb, as I wanted to circumnavigate the building and see the various monuments surrounding it before heading back to my hotel.

The route I took back traveled through the heart of what must be the Mormon Super Complex, with a mammoth Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a convention center with stepped levels and patches of pine trees, a historical library, Joseph Smith memorial hall, and more interesting sights in the Temple Square.

The only downside was the amount of street lights that slowed me down. Between that and the probably effect of running at altitude, my final pace was in the high 11s.

Thanks to Ian for suggesting Liberty Park as a running venue, but it turned out to be about as far away as I wanted to run total.

I ran without the insole this time, and found the BareSole footbed comfortable enough. However, after the long downhill from the capitol building, I started to feel a hot spot under my left big toe. But overall, a good run. And on the way, I found the BeerHive Pub, where I stopped for a bite and beer (Wasatch Polygamy Porter) before getting back to work. Cheers!


Carolina John said...

That sounds fantastic and tough all at the same time! I've always wanted to see SLC like that. Since, in Raleigh, I can run from my house around the capital building and back in 10 miles seeing other states capitol buildings is very intriguing. Great call.

Nitmos said...

You know what would have prevented that left big toe hot spot?

misszippy said...

Altitude is a bear! Sounds like a fun place to run, however--best way to see a city, if you ask me.

Spike said...

It seems I only remember that there are lots of hills at places of high altitude after I start running at high altitude. Always avoid the below the knee hot spots.