Friday, December 30, 2011


That Aloha comes from Michele...not me.  That is the reason there is no trail run this week.  The older and wiser sister decided she needed to spend a week in Hawaii to recover and gear up for the new year of running!  So that leaves me, suffering from a terrible head cold, sitting home with rainy weather and going insane due to lack of running!

Some exciting news to brag about!  I achieved a major running milestone for the year.  I set the goal to log in 1,000 miles on my Garmin this year.  I can proudly say that after today's rainy, stuffy head, coughing miserable run I have the grand total of...........1004.5 miles for the year 2011.

Michele suggested that next years goal should be to run 2012 miles.  Is she kidding.  Does anyone else who reads this question the fact that she is really wiser?  After I guffawed at that we thought perhaps 1,212 miles would be a good goal.  That would be fitting for the year 2012.  So folks, the New Year running goals are set!

1. Run and PR in Les Bois 10K
2. Run and survive Robie Creek Half
3. Run two marathons; Great Potato and Mesa Falls
4. Run all 152 trails in ridge to rivers trail system
5. Log in 1,212 miles for the year
6. Run High Speed Pursuit Half Marathon in under  1:54:00

Wish me luck and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Oh...Michele's goals?  I guess we will have to wait until Her wiseness gets back from Hawaii! 


Friday, December 23, 2011

The Ho-Ho-Ho Half Marathon!

Todays trail run was meant to be an enjoyable pre-Christmas eve run....about 10.9 to be exact.....was the plan.  It was a repeat of the trail we ran on black friday. As I was driving to Michele's house my car thermometer read 8 degrees.  I wondered if I had dressed warm enough...sure.

At Michele's I met our new running partner who has decided to run Robie Creek with us.  His name is Zach (no he is NOT the professor).
Zach's training for today was to drink a cup of coffee while we headed out the door. Then he stood on the front walk way as we drove off.  Oh yeah, he's gonna be ready. NOT!

We were so cold at the start of today's run!  I couldn't feel my fingers or move my face!  We passed two run/walkers and I suddenly realized what we needed! "We need to grow beards!" I yelled back to Michele.  Yes that would keep my chin from freezing stiff.  Michele agreed, but then after a few strides we realized our husbands would not like it so much.

We had to make a quick stop at the bathrooms (Michele's needs).  It seems like whenever we run together my Garmin is always behind hers.  It really annoys me!  Nothing is worse than when she shouts out her mileage and I am behind....especially when I am running in the front!  So, because it was cold and I wanted to keep moving, but mostly because I was sick of having my watch behind, I started running laps around the bathroom.  Michele heard me and yelled "Stop IT!"  So, I stopped my watch, but kept moving to stay warm.  (This part of our trail run is funny later on. Trust me.)

Another notable mention here. THE FLASH HAS ARRIVED ON THE TRAILS!
That's right. My "flashy" new running tights had their first run in the hills today. (Although this pose looks unnatural)

This run today involved the "sidewinder" trail, which is TERRIBLE.  But once again the amazing running sisters conquered it.  However at one point Michele began talking, no yelling to Santa Claus.  We had been running uphill steadily for at least  5 miles (and not easy uphills).  So from behind me I hear... "Oh Santa, All I want for Christmas is a downhill.  Just put it in a box, wrap it with a bow.  All I want is one downhill PLEASE!"  Of course she lied.  That wasn't all that she wanted.  When we hit "love" rock she wished Steve was there with a big lunch for us.  Alas he was not.

Eventually we hit some downhills.  It was so wonderful!  Michele commented that she felt she had super powers!  At a water stop I noticed how dirty and gross her shoes were.  "Do you drag your feet when you run?"  I asked.  She said it was because she had to run behind me and I kicked up a ton of dust.  Then as I resumed our run she called out "Pick up your feet high stepper!"

We ended up climbing to 4,000 feet today. It was a beautiful view! This is a shot after we had gone down a ways.  We were actually up by the power pole!

Since we were so high,  the descent, at times was drastic.  One hill was so dangerously steep we nicknamed it Suicide Hill.  Rule number one in trail running; you are not allowed to talk or laugh or make any noises while cruising down Suicide Hill!  Michele was yelling, screaming, and making all kinds of noises.  It was making me laugh and I thought for sure I was going to lose my footing and eat rocks.  I had to jump off the trail into a sage brush to stop because she had me laughing so hard.  Michele, you must follow rule number one!
Now we come to a crucial moment in the run.  A fork in the road.  To the right will take us on our pre-arranged course making our Christmas Eve Eve run a nice 10.9 miles.  Mostly downhill as well. To the left....well let's just say not mostly downhill.  Michele, still feeling like a super hero suggests, "Let's go left up this hill and loop back around.  Shouldn't be too much further."  And of course I was in.  I'm ALWAYS in remember?

Thus began the absolute longest run of my LIFE!  Not only was it all uphill another bazillion miles,  but my legs had decided they did not want to function normally any more.  And then it appeared that nothing else could be wrong, I had to use the bathroom, BADLY.  I knew there was one coming so I focused and just ran.  At this point rocks began to rise up from the trail as I ran.  They would suddenly pop up and try to trip me.  I kicked one and yelled and stumbled and was oh so close to falling.  Michele, laughing, began to realize that my watch was ahead of hers, .15 miles to be exact.  When we arrived at the bathroom (Hallelujah) she mentioned this.  I told her to run laps around the parking lot.  To my utter and complete amazement, she did it!!!!  Now if you knew her, you would realize how remarkable this was! So finally, our watches matched.

Stopping at the bathroom was a BAD idea.  Our legs were DONE.  They did not want to run anymore.  It felt like I was running in place or on a moving sidewalk the wrong direction.  Michele put it best. "I feel like a sumo wrestler, with a big belt on, pulling a semi."  Yes, I'm sure other runners out there know exactly what we experienced.

But, we made it.  An unplanned half marathon on Christmas Eve Eve.  I learned a few more things today like I do on every run with my sister. I learned what hypothermia feels like including the urge to crawl under sagebrush and just sleep.  I learned that my sister is secretly competitive.  I learned that Santa Claus is real and answers wishes, we got our downhills after all.  And I learned that always being "IN" when my sister suggests something, might just kill me after all.


p.s. on the drive home Michele said she thought she might have pneumonia! Hahaha

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Merry Christmas

Tis the season for remembering those you love and care about.  Often times this is done with a gift, a token of what they mean to you.  I have been thinking about this today (SINCE MY RUN HAD TO BE CANCELLED!)

A friend will bring over some goodies, candy or cookies, and sometimes even carol.  A good friend may go out to lunch with you and spent an afternoon laughing with you.  A spouse or boyfriend may give you jewelry or a nice sweater. Your kids or grandkids will shower you with adorable home made gifts that you will treasure.

But a RUNNING FRIEND knows exactly what you want.......


What is Worse Than Having to Cancel a Trail Run?

NOTHING! Nothing is worse than having to cancel a trail run!  I tried, I really did.  My youngest daughter is sick.  I was going to leave her at Nana's house, and she was willing to do it.  But as we were getting ready I could tell she wasn't feeling like leaving the house...AT ALL!  So sadly today's adventures are postponed until next week when we will run our next new tradition....The day before Christmas Eve Trail Run.  And so help me, rain, wind, hail, snow, mud, bears.....nothing will cancel this run.  NOTHING!

Friday, December 9, 2011

The cold can make you crazy!

So it is 7:30 in the morning and my car thermometer says it's 14 degrees outside.  I am headed to Michele's for our weekly trail run.  At the stop light I quickly text her the temperature.  Her reply is simply one word....BALMY.   I laugh and drive on knowing we are either crazy or idiots. We would probably still be running if the temp said 4 degrees!

Yes, it was cold. I felt as if frosty ice was forming on my nose and chin.  I had a strange sensation of no depth perception and didn't turn sharp enough on my turns, nearly falling a few times.  We raced a runner in black. I could see him a ways off behind us.  It was time to race.  He was not allowed to beat us.  He had no idea we were challenging him.  When I saw him I  said, "If that guy passes us I am going to die!"  He never did pass us (I actually think he was on a different trail all together!)So I am counting that as a WIN!

Later, we saw a cross along the trail to commemorate someone's life and death. Now you see these all of the time along the roadsides, but on a trail?  That was a first for both of us!  Michele decided it was a runner who got attacked by either a mountain lion, mad dog, or mass murderer at that very spot!.  We both agreed that we would rather face the mass murderer because we could run longer than he would care to keep up the chase.  We didn't see many other runners out today.  One biker with a dog that said there were "more" coming behind her. But nobody did.  She was hallucinating due to the cold most likely.  A really skinny, very fit, very fast chic who was sprinting up the HUGE hill we just had gone down.  She must have been gone crazy due to the COLD.  The phantom man in black who we beat in our "race".  A nice man on a bike with two dogs who pulled off to the side of the trail to let us pass.  I'm not sure if he was being polite or if he was afraid of us because moments before I was holding my hands up in the air yelling, "AREN'T YOU GLAD YOU PUT YOUR GLOVES BACK ON?"  to Michele who was behind me.  He probably thought the COLD was making me lose my mind.  But the COLD had actually been inspirational for me today. I invented the shadow challenge.  Try to run with Michele behind me so our shadows overlap perfectly.  Not as easiy as it sounds and not as delusional as it sounds.  But, sadly the Professor wasn't out today. Some of you may wonder who this professor is. I have mentioned him twice now.  Well, you'll have to wait. Maybe another day.

See how happy Michele is when we run?  She got to try out her new Garmin 610 (show off).  I use the Garmin 410 which Michele isn't quite "wise" enough to get to work right. Haha. 

Despite the COLD, we had a good run. We always do. And NOW on the trails we have special Sister power......It's in the shoes!
Hmmmmm......who copied who?  Haha!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Sister May Be Secretly Trying To Kill Me

My older (and apparently wiser) sister and I have been running together for a couple years now.  We run together once a week and do several half marathons together each year.  Over the past year we have developed a great love for trail running in the Ridge to Rivers Trail system (Boise, Idaho).  If you have ever run the trails you know what I mean.  A few days ago we ran a 12 mile trail run with nothing but hill after hill after hill (all of them uphills we never seemed to go down!)  Later that day, I was sitting at home in my sweats by the fire feeling great that we had tackled such an expert trail but equally exhausted when Michele (the older and wiser sister) called.  "Jodi, I have our New Year's Resolution all picked out for next year."  Yes, you read that right, she had picked out what my New Year's Resolution should be.  She is always coming up with crazy runs, schemes and plans and I usually go along with every single one of them.  She continued, " I've decided that we should run all 152 of the Ridge trails in the year 2012."  I didn't hesitate, "Sounds great."  Of course I was in, I was always in.

This is quite the undertaking for sure.  This is in addition to our other 2012 running plans which include a Trail 10K, Robie Creek (toughest half in the west), and two marathons.  Yes, it is official, we are insane. Since we only run together once a week we only had 52 days to include all 152 trails.  Logically she replied, "Well, we will do more than one trail at a time DUH."  An average of three trails each run to be exact.  Now these aren't rolling meadow trails either.  These are grueling hills, some so steep you feel like crawling up them would be easier than walking let alone running. 

So we then decided to blog our adventures.  If it's anything like last years running it will include severe winds, snow, sleet, cement like mud, bridges washed out, sliding down mountain sides, puppet legs, getting lost, delirium from exhaustion and much more. We are hoping it is informative to others who want to try these trails out for themselves, but if anything, it WILL be entertaining! Here's to insanity!