Coming Up For Air

On December 6, 2008, in Lifestyle, Running, Work, by Meghan

How long can one successfully tread water in the middle of a vast, unending sea before one’s legs and arms grow weary of the constant labor? Since my head is still bobbing above water, I haven’t yet answered my own question.

Last week marked my two-month Yosemite National Park anniversary. Those two months were insane! I started my new job and jumped on the exponentially climbing and ridiculously fun learning curve (Did you know that Yosemite is roughly the size of Rhode Island? There is a lot to learn!). I moved not once, but twice (This is an entertaining story.). I have been training for the Marathon des Sables and otherwise exploring Yosemite on foot (I cannot ask for better training grounds, really.). I was graced with three visits from out-of-town visitors (Please come back, I adore you three! Please visit, the rest of you!). I spent a week traveling for work (Portland rocks!).

I suppose I should talk about my running, since this is a running blog. Just yesterday, I finally set a new personal Four Mile Trail Time Trial record. On my first climb up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point in early October, I arrived in 1:09:??. On my ninth climb of the trail yesterday morning, I reset the record to 1:07:54. I found my initial record to be difficult to beat!

Admittedly, I’ve not climbed the trail with the goal of resetting the record every time. Sometimes, I used the trail as a jumping off point for longer runs. Other times, I was just playing up there with friends. On one climb several weeks ago, I went out hard, too hard, with the intention of beating my record and blew up, arriving to the top a floundering mess.

Yesterday morning, I began the climb moderately hard and told myself that I would go for it if I was feeling strong at about the forty minute mark, or the point above the steepest, rockiest switchbacks. With about five minutes to go on the climb, the trail passes across an insane cliff. I looked at my watch there and it read 1:03, the same numbers it read on that first personal record-setting climb. I was already hurting at this point, but I made myself push just a little more. Only a few Sierra Chickarees were at Glacier Point to welcome my arrival. I celebrated by sucking down a Powergel while looking off Glacier Point into Yosemite Valley with not a single tourist around.

After 17 solid miles yesterday (including this new record), I set out for today’s long run a little tired. I have no idea where I summoned the energy to run the entire climb from Yosemite Valley to the brink of Yosemite Falls (3.4 miles, 2600 feet of climb), but it was way too easy. I spent the day on the north rim of Yosemite Valley, riding the unending contours of the monster ridgeline for 25 miles. I’ve just now arrived back to the valley a tired, but happy puppy.

In other words, my running is going really well! I’m including several pictures of Yosemite running. I’m not the best picture-taker whilst running, so I am freely sharing photos taken by running companions (Hope y’all don’t mind!). Please enjoy!

Looking down the face of Half Dome to see that, indeed, there's just half a dome.

Approaching North Dome on Yosemite Valley's north rim

The face of Half Dome on a gloomy fall day

The backside of Half Dome on the left and Liberty Cap on the right serve as high country sentinels. Beyond here, there's lots more granite!

Meghan on a play day in the Ten Lakes area.

15 Responses to “Coming Up For Air”

  1. Trail Goat says:

    I can’t wait to see me a Sierra Chickaree!

  2. Backofpack says:

    Oh, I bet you are enjoying the fine sunshine, rather than the snows of Yellowstone! Glad to hear from you – and great job on all your runs!

  3. Bob from says:

    what up Mizz happy puppy 🙂

    Glad ur trainings are going well, way to tackle those those climbs and it does look friggin’ amazing out there…

    Let’s catch up before 2010′ -lol

  4. holly says:

    Meghan, you look awesome. Sounds like I might get to meet you in April? YAY!

  5. olga says:

    Beautiful grounds. MdS? From Yosemite? That/s a jump:)

  6. JeffO says:

    Nice photos. Is the rock really that white? Or is it just over-exposed?

    When is Marathon de Sables?

    Glad your running is going well. I don’t know how you keep going without injury. Great job.

  7. Rick Gaston says:

    Perfect place for more mountain running training.

  8. Danni says:

    It must be insane feeling to be running in shorts and a tank top in December!!! Sounds like you’re in a groove with your running. Excellent!

  9. Beth says:

    Congrats on your new PR and great to hear things are going so well! As always the pictures are breathtaking Meghan!

  10. gosonja says:

    Wow, those runs sound amazing. I grew up going to Yosemite in all different season and winter is always my favorite! What a beautiful location to train, I bet it doesn’t even feel like “training”.

  11. Journey to a Centum says:

    I read yesterday that Yosemite is getting “our” Mt. Rainier Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga to fill the post left behind by Mike Tollefson’s retirement. He was a bean counter for 10 years in the General Accounting office before spending the last 24 years at Mt. Rainier. Apparently this is a temporary position for him until you get the job!

    Good to have you back!

  12. saschasdad says:

    So, you set a p.r. up your 4 mile time trial hill (congratulations), then the very next day, run “3.4 miles, 2600 feet of climb, but it was way too easy”. Hm, if you were feeling that springy and fresh the day after your p.r., that means your 4 mile time trial p.r. is SOFT! You should be breaking the 60 minute mark, Miss Hicks. Didn’t you say something about doing that when you first ran it 2 months ago. Come on Meghan, we, your adoring fans, are going to keep hounding, and cheering for, you until you run it in 59 minutes. We know you can do it.

    Here’s a little cheer to keep you motivated:
    Give me an M…M
    Give me an E…E
    Give me a G…G
    Give me an H…H
    Give me an A…A
    Give me an N…N
    What’s that spell?
    What’s that spell?
    What’s that spell?
    Wooo, Yay, Yahoo…!!!

  13. Sunshine Girl says:

    Whoa. I’m having images of Meissner wearing a short plaid cheerleading skirt and knee highs flashing before my very eyes!!


    Oh, and see my blog for the “anti” bra top and shorts look.

  14. Jen Segger-Gigg says:

    Training grounds are looking super sweet and glad you are having fun exploring! Keep up the great work! Coach!

  15. Jess says:


    You rock girl! You are beautiful!

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