Monday, November 4, 2013

Moab Trail Half Marathon

This weekend was my second half marathon and my first TRAIL half. It was an amazing experience and I loved and hated every minute of it. I had the full range of emotions while out there. Excitement at the start. Frustration at the first four miles of intense inclines. (I really need to become better friends with those!)  Relief when I finally reached the top and saw some downhills. I found a new appreciation for even flat spots at that point. At one point I swore to myself I would never do another race and then a while later thought, "next year I'll be able to run this whole hill." I had to fight back tears a when my daughter's favorite song came on and I realized I wouldn't see her or the rest of my family at the finish line.  
There were times when I was too tired to run. Times when I couldn't run because I  had to climb up or down giant rocks. Times when I flew down hills and others when I wanted to, but could sneak past the person in front of me on the single track. 
At about mile ten my feet began to really hurt. And that's when the water came. Due to busy beavers, what is usually a small drainage creek was a decent sized, knees deep river. Almost a mile dredging through the ice cold water numbed my feet just enough to make the final couple miles completely doable. 
Just after the mile 12 marker I could hear the crowd at the finish line and upped my effort. Then we had to take a small quater mile jaunt back into the water, climb up an almost vertical dirt hill and there it was. The finish line!
I had a hard time not being emotional as I crossed. Compared to The Big Cottonwood half (which felt like a piece of cake compared to this half) I really felt like I earned every bit of this finish. I didn't just switch onto auto pilot and cruise to the end. I fought tooth and nail to get there. (And in all honesty, there were times in the race I didn think I'd make the cut off.) 
Amazing day. I still surprise myself sometimes...

Lindsay and me at the start line waiting for wave 5 to start. 
Shadows off the side of the ledge. Down at the bottom is where we had to climb up from to get to the finish line. 

Lindsay flying down a hill. 
The scenery wasn't half bad! ;)

Some of the single track climbing. 

And then the single track down. 
We had to run about a mile uphill on a road. This was my view of a beautiful meadow I really wished I was running through instead!
And the ice bath water. 
Earned this one!

Mileage: 13.1
Time: 3:39
Pace: 16:45

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My walk of shame

The plan: run down from the top of Emigration Canyon, hop on the trail by the zoo and head north on Shorline Trail to City Creek Canyon. Seven miles down the canyon and then ten across. A great fun way to up my mileage, right!?!
Tehra and I concocted this plan a while back. It was one of those, "you know you're a runner when..." moments when we both got SO excited about the possobility of this run!
We have our first TRAIL half next weekend so we figured what a great last training run before "taper week." (Taper, shmaper!)
What actually happened: I'm a lover of downhill, so when by mile 4 of the canyon I just still wasn't feeling it, I knew something was off. Running down Emigration Canyon is one of my favorite runs. I usually do it on cruise control, but this morning it just wasn't clicking. 
By the time we got to the trailhead I was about to tell Tehra I was calling it. But decided to buck up and keep going. There's a bit of a climb up to the trail, and my legs felt like they'd already done 7 miles incline instead of decline. I knew that after this initial hike up, I'd still have another good two miles up after we got to Dry Creek Canyon. My will was disappearing, but I pushed on. 
Then I noticed my hands... So swollen my ring was actually hurting a bit. And that's when I called it. I still had a good, hearty ten miles left and my brain just couldn't wrap itself around how it was going to make my body do it. 
I'm not sure what if anything is going on with my body... Probably nothing, but  I'm glad I have a running buddy who's totally cool with me screwing our amazing run. 
We hiked back down to the trail head and then down to Tehra's house. Now that I'm home I still just feel off. Slightly dizzy and more fatigued than when I ran my half. As much as I wanted to tuff it out, I guess my body had other plans. Lesson learned or did I just start a bad habit?

At the top of Emigration with the sun just peaking over the mountain. 
I know it's probably pollution, but the pretty pinks and blues make me happy. 
At the turn around. Aka. The start of the walk of shame. 
I can usually slide my ring off and on VERY easily. Here it looks like a fat lady in a corset.  
At least the scenery down was good. 
Mileage: 9.97 (that .03 will haunt me forever!)
Time: 2:49
Pace: 16'57"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Conjure One kind of run

I didn't have much time today, but it's the only time I have to run a trail this week. So a quick jaunt up Dry Creek Canyon it was. I was craving some trail time and, really, it was my soul that needed a good run through the forest more than my legs. 
Ran two miles up, sat on a rock on top of a hill for a bit, then practiced my "flying" down the hill. Really though, just one little tip from Lindsay (lean forward) has changed my relationship with downhills forever. They are seriously amazingly fun now! 

My good ol' trail
I love being so close to mountains. Lucky girl!
A blurry pic of my hitch hiker ladybug friend. He was orange and black. A Halloween ladybug!
My rock!  Thanks for the seat, bud!
Mileage: 3.84
Time: 56.53
Pace: 14'48"

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Is this the trail?

It's pathetic really. This coming month marks the anniversary of my first trail run. I've definitely found my place in the trails and the majority of my run are in the hills. Yet, with as much time as a spend up there I'd never been to the "living room." A very common and well know hike in Salt Lake. And it wasn't for lack of trying. There's been countless times I've headed out in the area, thinking I'd for sure stumble upon it and never have. 
So on Tuesday, Tehra and were determined. We headed up from the museum. Tehra had been there once, YEARS ago, so I followed her lead. But really, we had no idea where we were going. 
We found a trail we were certain headed up to...wherever we were going. "Is this the trail?" We happened to pass a hiker and decided we'd make sure we were on the right path. Nope!  We needed to back track and head straight up the side of the mountain. 
And Holy Hell!  What a hike!!  It's a steep up hill hike with no ebb and flow... Just up. It even made my mountain goat of a hiking partner complain a bit!
But we made it, sat for a bit, took some pics and then discussed our plan for the way down. We knew there was more than one way up to the living room. Why not explore another way down. 
We'd gotten to the living room from the back, so we left out the front. As we left a woman and her dog came running past. Props to her for running such a technical incline. Clearly, if she was running up, hiking down would be a breeze. 
We walked straight out on the trail... until there literally was no trail. Just a cliff an slab of rock, "is this the trail?" Back tracked again, and headed down a narrow grassy trail. 
It may have been the bushy, low lying scrub oak that scratched up my calves or the very, VERY lose sand that we ended up tracking through, but something kept making us ask, "is this the trail?" 
Eventually, we joined up to the skyline trail and back to our car. I'd love to go back to the living room one day... I just can't say for sure I won't be asking, "is this the trail?" 

Pretty fall leaves
Part of the hill. At least these trees were cool to look at!
The view when we finally found the living room!

Ok, the view totally makes it worth the hunt. 

Did I mention there was LOTS of moss?  Did I mention I have a freakish obsession with moss?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sick of it!

This was my view a lot of this week. 
(My legs up on the couch under a blanket!)

I woke up Monday morning with that painful lump in the back of my throat. I'd already planned to run that morning and the voices saying, "it's above the neck, run through it!" kept playing in my head. 

I decided to give my throat a bit of a break and just did a quick 3 on the treadmill since it was cold outside and I had to co-op at my girly's school that afternoon. 

Ran 3, no problem... But by the end of the night I was feeling the problem. I'm all for running through pain when it's smart, but I think what my body was crying for was REST and when I didn't give it that, it flipped the freak out... (Don't mind the momma cuss words!)

So after attempting to "slow down" on Tuesday.... Failed... I officially took two sick days. (It helped that my little guy had a fever and was all about snuggling!) 

And now I'm aching for a run... 

Did I mention these were delivered Tuesday... Just in time to taunt me!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

It's about time!

Well, it only took us a year or so but we finally did it!  
Back in the day Lindsay and I were pretty much inseperable. But give us two grown up lives with grown up responsibilities and we're lucky to see each other once a month now a days. 
Lindsay was a BIG part in why I started running. I wanted to be able to explore and enjoy the beautiful trails like she did. So after running for a year, we finally made it up to a trail together!  And it was such a good time. 
Tehra and I met up with her at a trail head she picked called East Mountain Wilderness Park. It's one of Lindsay's old stand by's but it was a new one for me. It was GORGEOUS!  (Shhh... Don't tell Dry Creek, but it migh be my new favorite!) 
We were actually on Bonneville Shorline Trail for a bit but it's a different feeling part. It's much further away from the city line and felt, oh so peaceful.
I was AMAZED the first time I watched Lindsay fly, literally FLY down a hill!  She told me to make sure I was leaning forward. Holy Hell!! What a difference!  I may not be flying like her yet, but I've definitely found my wings now. What a blast!
We had a random little snow flurry that was fun and there were tons of cacti! Which I never remembered to snap a pic of!!! Ugh!
Oh well, next time!

No mile tracking today. I was too excited to finally run with Lindsay Lou to remember to start my counter... But here's a good guess...

Miles: 3
Time: an hour maybe?
Pace: about that fast...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Electric Run

It occurred to me today that I never reported on The Electric Run... So here goes. 

Over all, it was a fun 5k. Kids 8&under are free so I brought along my cute girly and let her bring a friend. I volunteered for packet pick up the day before so I got free admission as well. Nice, huh! 

It was actually a pretty long and slightly frustrating night. They held the race at Thanksgiving Point which is a HUGE venue. My biggest complaint was there were NO signs saying where to park, so we literally parked as far away from the start/finish line as possible. (And we totally thought we had rock star parking when we parked!) They were also filming for the new Bachelor there that night which meant LOTS of barricades and people yelling, "you can't go that way!" while we were searching for the starting line. Thirty minutes later we finally found the massive line of people waiting to start and waited...  

The race itself was pretty cool. The girls enjoyed it besides the fact that it'd taken us so long to start that it was now 9 pm and they were both starving... Those darn kids and their need to be fed...

The finish "celebration" would have been really fun if I were about 10 years younger and didn't have two 8 year olds in tow. We pretty much by-passed it and made the loooooooooong trek back to the car. 

In the end, I'm really glad this was a free gig for me. I'd be a tad annoyed if I'd shelled out almost $70 for it. I'll put it on the list for next year if the kids want to do it again... as long as I sign up early and get the good rates!

The massive hoard waiting to start

Its hard to see but I LOVE Indy's face in this one. So full of wonder...
The girls running to the finish line... Probably the fastest I saw them go. They had fun, but were ready to be done. I'd promises them snacks from 7/11!

Why Not? (Emigration to home)

I haven't done a long run since my half. So when it worked out with everyone's schedule for me to sneak one in this morning at 6 am, I took it.
Tehra picked me up at 5:45am. We met up with a new running buddy, Renee at The Shoreline trailhead at This is the Place. It's a crazy coincidence that I even know Renee, but I'm glad I do. 
We took off running towards City Creek in the dark. It's ridiculous, I know, but I was super excited to get to run with my head lamp... And FYI, my headlamp sucks and is super dim.  Noted...

We got to Dry Creek just as the sun was coming up and it looked amazing. My picture doesn't do it justice. 

I felt really sluggish today and couldn't pick up my pace. I've played the mental "you suck" games before and they've almost made me quit running, so I try my hardest to stay in my own zen and only worry about MY best, in the right here right now kind of way. So I kept chugging along, knowing that the only option I had was to finish my run (I was planning to run home from the trail.) or double up my miles and go back with the others. (They were doing an out and back.) Time to suck it up, buttercup!

I got to City Creek and said bye to the other ladies... And apparently "hello" to a large group of people congregated around a guy giving a speech... Don't mind the sweaty, red faced, heavy breather running through your speech....

The last three miles down Capitol Hill weren't bad, but they were WAY steeper than I'd thought they'd  be. I was actually relieved when things leveled off a bit. 
I almost got to my house and realized if I ran straight there, I'd finish at 12.5...  That wasn't happening. So I rounded out my 13 with a lap around the block. 

My OCD is happy now. 

This patch of sunflowers came at about 9.5 miles. I needed some happy sunflowers right then!

See that road... That's where I was headed. 

The Capitol

Miles: 13.0
Time: 3:03:09
Pace: 14'04"