Friday, July 12, 2013

Table Rock Thursday!

Wednesday night I was feeling the itch for a change in my normal workout routine, so I decided to venture over to Table Rock the next morning! Table Rock is a plateau that rises above Boise and is easily accessible from downtown. It's a popular hike for those of us that live in the area since it's so close. The trail to the top is only about 1.5 miles, but the elevation gain is about 1000 feet. To make the hike more difficult, I decided to run it. I started off doing intervals of running for two minutes and normal hiking for two minutes. This was partly due to the steep incline (umm, yeah, I would've died trying to run it the whole way!) and also due to the recommendation from my physical therapist to do run/walk intervals for now. I'm in the process of healing my right knee, which decided to randomly freak out on me a few months ago (I'll talk about this in a future post). I've just barely gotten back into running in the past couple weeks and I'm supposed to ease back into it so I don't re-damage my knee. This feels super lame when I'm just running on the flat ground through my neighborhood, and I don't really feel like I'm getting a decent calorie burn from it, but doing intervals up a mountain is a whole different story and a lot more appealing to me.


Most of the Table Rock trail climbs at a decent, manageable grade that was difficult, but mostly okay to run. The last section of the trail is much steeper and I ended up changing up my intervals so I was normal hiking for more time than I was running. Since I've just barely been able to get back into running, I wasn't super bothered by that. My goal right now is to eventually be able to keep up the two minutes off and on all the way up to the top (or really, one minute off and on, or better, would be great!).

When you get to the top of Table Rock, there's a gorgeous view of the valley. Since I was by myself and there weren't many people up there, I was able to appreciate the view a little better. I wish it hadn't been so overcast, since the morning sun would've been gorgeous to see, but at least the cloud cover made my run more comfortable. There's also a huge cross at the top that lights up at night and has become somewhat of an icon for the Boise area. Table Rock, in general, is a classic Boise location. There are always lots of people hiking it, and I think concerts are held at the top sometimes (there's a road along the back side of the mountain for people to drive up).

From the top of Table Rock, you can hike down a bit to some little caves inside the plateau. Unfortunately, this whole area has been plastered with graffiti. While I'm definitely not advocating graffiti, yesterday morning I realized that there is a bit of beauty to it, in the sense that it's some people's form of expression. The bright colors are eye-catching and the words and symbols have a slight feeling of mystery to them. Is that weird, finding a little bit of appreciation for graffiti?

Oh hey, just a tree growing out of the rock!

Wildflowers at the top

...and another tree growing out of the rock!

After snapping some photos, I headed back down the mountain at a brisk run. I stopped once to take this photo of a lonely sunflower, and another time since my knees were being slightly bothersome (but in more of an "ouch, this downhill running is slightly jarring" and not a "your knee is freaking out again" way...if that makes sense).

Overall, the view was great and it started off my day on an awesome foot, but the best part was that I was able to run it without my knee freaking out! Whoop whoop! It pretty much made my life! I was scared that the downhill was going to irritate it, since a few weeks ago I went hiking and the downhill did just that, but it was perfectly fine yesterday. That means this chica is back into running business! I've missed it a lot. My fingers are crossed that this will last! Stay tuned for more running stories!

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