Thursday, March 28, 2013


March Rock hoppin' with sole!!

This is the theme I came up with for this months group themed trail run.  When I texted it to Michele and Kris a few days before the scheduled run, they both admitted they were perplexed and not sure what was going on in my head.  But after today's run was over they understood completely!! 

So the first part of the theme is obvious once you get a look at us....

Yes, I got us all matching running shirts. It is important that you note in this picture that we are wearing long sleeved shirts underneath, that is important later on.

The next part of my theme has several meanings.  "Be the bunny."  First it refers to my and Kris' duel on the trails last November.  You can read about it here.  Secondly, it is obviously because Easter is in a few days!    And the third reason comes up at the very end of the run, therefore the very end of this blog entry.

The last part of the theme is pretty clever I think!  I chose our trail run to be in a system of trails at Table ROCK.  The trails that we ran all had the word Rock in them; Table ROCK loop, ROCK garden trail, ROCK island trail, Table ROCK quarry trail.  We were "Hoppin" on the rocks because every mile we switched who was leading.  Michele and Kris took my theme a bit too literal. 

That just gives you a small glimpse of what some of our crazy trail runs can be like!!

So we started on Tram Trail which is a beastly uphill climb for quite a while!  It was me, then Michele, then Kris.  Michele was telling Kris to pretend she was riding a bicycle in high gear!  That meant take smaller steps and work your arms!  I kept thinking this is a good prep work for the bruneau beast 20K which is coming up in a couple weekends!  We walked a lot. It's a killer to start your runs with an immediate steep hill slapping you in the face!   We have a sign for walking.  You hold up both hands making a "W" with your fingers.  That's a walk for sure!!

After awhile we started to get really warm. We stopped to get a drink and Kris said she was going to run out of water!  It's March 28th, 40 degrees and we are roasting!  We are those crazy girls who ran an 11 mile race that started at 1 degree below zero and LOVED it!  ( see the race report here)  Well what should we do?  There was complete consensus, those long sleeves had to come OFF!  And come off they did, right there on the trail. Hope no one is watching!!!

I was nice enough to take "G" rated photos of this strip show! 

WOW! We felt much better!  It was so wonderful!  First mile done, time to HOP!  I went to the rear and Michele took the lead.  This was a new experience for me because I usually run in front.  I thought it would be fun for us to rotate around.  Well, I did a lot of walking during this mile.  Kris is probably yelling at her computer screen as she reads this too!  But I did.  Face it, I am younger and a tad faster.  But hey,it was uphill and the walk wasn't a terrible idea.  

When it finally leveled out a bit we picked up the pace. HOORAY!!  I started to run again.  I had only gone a few steps when Kris started to yell at me, "Quit running so close behind me! If I fall you are going to land on top of me!"  This is funny for many reasons.  #1 Kris does fall, a lot.  #2 I was NOT that close behind her.  I was the same distance as she was from Michele. We started to banter back and forth about it.  "I can hear you right behind me!" "I'm not that close I'm just a loud breather!"  Finally, Michele had to stop because she was laughing so hard she couldn't breathe!  She said we argue like an old married couple!

Well, that adds spice to the run. She knows we love each other!! And to prove it on the final ascent I pushed Kris from behind to make it easier! Haha!

As we headed deeper into the ROCK trails, we passed some large cliffs that had been vandalized with spray paint.  Michele commented, "Hey too bad we don't have some paint we could write our names.  But, that's almost Vandalism."
ALMOST?  I asked, It IS vandalism.  Yes, proof that sometimes on a trail run our brain cells and common sense get left behind.

The rocks and trail we ran on was so interesting and picturesque. It is the first time I had run Table Rock Quarry Trail in it's entirety.  I LOVED it.  We stopped for a bunch of photos!
Headed down into the "QUARRY"

Chillin' on the ROCK stairs

Queen of the ROCKS!

I love this huge ROCK that Kris is holding up with one hand!!!

YES! We actually saw a bunny ON THE TRAILS!!!
We got ready to take trail 16B.  There were some bikers starting on the same trail.  Michele asked, "Are they going to let us pass?"  Because according to Michele we are now FASTER than people on bikes.  And if you wondered, NO they did not let us pass and they were long gone in a hurry.  

It was now Kris' turn to lead.  She was mad because Michele got the only downhill and it was climbing up again!  Whenever she would walk I would hold up my "walking sign" with my fingers and dance.  This was mostly because Michele was now behind me so I had an audience so to speak.  Then I would just stop and let Kris get ahead of me.  I would do a countdown from 5 to 1 and then start running.  After doing this three or four times Michele shoved me in the back and yelled, JUST GO!  But hey, I didn't want to walk.

This was a great day and an even GREATER run!  The 4.75 miles took us WAY longer than anyone would guess but we had so much fun doing it.  It is so nice to get out for a run without worrying about a pace or a training goal or an upcoming race.  We ran because it was fun.
I have recently found the blog of a runner named Cory.  He always has these amazing jumping pictures.  I decided to try my own "fast Cory" leap.Not as good as his but I will work on it!! (Check out his blog photos here.)

As we winded back down towards the trail head we found this little rock tower left by someone.  Michele called it a "Hoo Doo" stack that Rainbow Indians used to make.  It is quite possible that at this point she may have been dehydrated and hallucinating.  But regardless of what it was, we each added a small stone to the stack.

My current marathon training has gotten so intense the past few weeks that I have forgotten how FUN running was.  I am so grateful that I have these two crazy ladies around to help remind me!

And as promised the final reason that this was called....Be the Bunny.  A special peanut butter treat waiting at the car.


Last thought here:  Kris says she is not mean, that is just her normal.  You don't want to see her be mean!

Friday, March 22, 2013

No sleeping in for these girls!!

Well it is SPRING BREAK!! That means I do not have to wake up at 5:45 AM to get my kids up and moving for school.  It's a week of sleeping in!  So why am I up.....

I happily will get up at any time in the wee hours of the morning if a trail run is my reward!  
I had been cooped up indoors all week with a sick daughter! Her health was such that I could not leave the house for any purpose unless my husband was home. Because of that,  I had to suffer some dreaded treadmill workouts!  My body just does not respond well to be run like a hamster on a wheel!  And my brain goes nuts!!   My feet were just itchy to hit some real ground and get a movin!

So I was so excited that she was feeling better and I could sneak out for some real running!  I would have gotten up earlier but I don't like to run in the dark!

It was windy and pretty cold.  We were surprised by a skiff of snow on the ground!  But it was hardly any, so no worries!  At least that meant the trail would be frozen with no mud!  We stared out at the last parking lot on Mtn Cove road and headed up to Buck tail.  

It was quite cold once we got moving.  It made me wish for a beard.  Michele laughed when I told her.  We have many times on the trails wished for beards to protect our faces from the cold wind.  Luckily we have never acted on those wishes.  We are still beard free!

As we climbed up Shane's my calves were on fire!!  In my mind I was re-writing "This Girl is on Fire" by Alicia Keys.  My version was:
MY CALVES ARE ON FIRE!!!!!! (repeated over and over and over)
I blame it on the fact that I was forced to tread mill it a few times. Finally we crested Shane's and began our descent.  My calves were super happy!

From there we headed down Ridge Crest and Toll Road.  Normally I FLY down these hills really fast,  Michele keeps telling me that one day I will fall, but I haven't yet!  Anyways, I decided to take it easier down today.  We even made up our own little mantra for the hill..


I feel that this was important for me to do today because I could feel the start of a cold coming on and pushing it may not have been the wisest ideas.  So we eased up and enjoyed the run down.  When we came out to Mtn Cove we ran the trail and took one more turn.  This time up Elephant loop.  We have done this one before and really liked it.  Adding this in would put us closer to 8 miles.  Though after completing it, we both agree that going counterclockwise would be cooler.  Must remember that for next time!

It was a good trail run today.  It happened to be my son's 15th birthday and yes, he was still asleep when I got home.  Being a mother of four ages 17 - 9 does have it's joys and also it's stresses.  It's nice to have  running as an outlet.  Running with my sister has made it even better.  So many of my problems are solved out while I run!  For each mile logged, I've grown. I always tell people that running is my therapy, it keeps me sane!

I keep wanting to try new runs and new challenges.  I am setting some pretty lofty goals for the next year.  I am hoping for a lot of encouragement and support from those around me, especially my sister who happily endures them with me!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Why is the first mile always so tough??

It's always a great day when the weather is cooperating and you can hit the trails!  Today was such a day. I pulled up to Michele's house in a great mood!  I chose to wear my BRIGHT neon yellow jacket that is sunny and cheerful.    I jumped out of the car and Michele is already outside yelling...."why do we always match? Is it in our DNA?"  Funny, she is wearing the EXACT same color.  Hey it's her house, she can change.  But she doesn't.  Secretly she wants to be like me! Matchey Matchey!

We headed out to Camel's Back today for an easy 5.5 miler.  We parked at the lower parking lot and headed up towards the nature center.  Both of our legs were burning and we felt so tired.  I looked down, only half a mile!?!?!  Why is the first mile always so hard on the trails???  Finally at 1.5 miles I stop feeling like I'm breathing like a 500 pound biggest loser contestant on day one.  Man it always seems this way!!  Of course we usually do start with an uphill, so....

The trails were in great condition!  As we headed down Redcliffs we praised ourselves for running smart.  "No sense rolling an ankle!"  We also agreed that Kris would be running this dumb if she were with us... no wonder she falls so much!

At the end the trail, the red cliffs were very bright! And in fact, Michele and I were actually glowing. Michele felt like it was some weird nuclear reaction.  We were seriously glowing!!  Of course it didn't register to me that I should take a picture...duh!

Headed up chickadee we passed two guy runners.  As they passed one said, "Nice colors! hey you should have called us."  My first thought was "weirdo, I'm not going to call you to run with us!"  But then it registered to me he meant since we were dressed alike.  I can never come up with witty response on the fly when I'm running.  My brain cells deplete when I'm out there.  A few minutes later I came up with a ton of come backs, but alas, they were long gone.

So what did we learn today? It seems there is always something to learn out there on the trails.  Today I learned that Michele's fast-slow is pretty close to my slow-slow.  That makes us really good running partners! :)  I also learned that local dog owners were less responsible last year than the year prior.
I really feel sorry for the person whose job it is to keep track of this!
And finally, when Kris doesn't run with us our runs are a bit more laid back, quieter, less exciting and not as violent!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Through the Fog, things get clearer

Maybe it was the fog, maybe I was a little disoriented this morning.  I'm not sure the reason.  But something unexpected happened today on the trails!

There has been soooooo much rain lately that the trails are a muddy mess.  Or as Michele refers to it as, mooo-keee.  We wanted to get a trail run it but are options were VERY limited.  It was either Mountain Cove aka Les Boise or the Robie Road.  Now as much as I hate the Les Bois road it is NOTHING compared to my pure and utter abhorrence of Rocky Canyon Rd.  So the choice was quite simple...
Les Bois it is!

Kris had the day off so she joined us which always promises to make the run exciting and unpredictable.  And this time she didn't disappoint!  As I pulled up to Michele's house Kris was in the driveway posing while she sucked down her pre-run goo!  I tried to run her over but she is quite agile.

As we headed out it was extremely foggy and grew foggy as we drove.  The good thing about that was that the sun wouldn't be warming up the dirt road we were planning on running on and hopefully keep it mud free.  Kris pulled out her makeup bag as we traveled.  Not sure who needs THAT before a trail run! Ha Ha.

I had a personal story warning to share with my running mates.  It began with a disclaimer that it may be a bit TMI.  Because of that I only include the edited version here....

After the Wilson Creek Frozen run in January I found an energy drink mix in my race packet bag.

I had put it aside in my running bag.  Two days ago I did a really intense training run of killer hill repeats.  When I got home I remembered this recovery supplement.  So I followed the directions and mixed it up.  After the first taste I didn't really like it.  I'm not a fan of any chocolate drinks.  I tried another drink to see if it would get better and I still didn't like it.  So, I dumped it down.  Within less than 15 minutes I was sure glad I was home and not on a run!  If you need more info than that you'll have to ask.  That piece of the story will NOT be blogged about.  Michele and Kris both realized it was weird.  SO after our run we got out Michele's packet from her race bag.
See the expiration date?  That explains IT ALL! Michele threw hers away immediately. Then we wondered.....should we tell Kris?

Back to our run!  Kris started telling us that she wanted to get a Gait Analysis done so she could run more correctly and therefore further into her years.  I told her about how The Pulse Running shop has those for free once a month.  First she yelled at us for never telling her.  Then she called us wimps for not ever doing it ourselves.

Parking the car I remembered how much I hated this road and this run.  It's uphill and then some more uphill and then a little bit more uphill.  Plus my legs were so tired!  But it was way better than Robie and still a better alternative than the paved road (but just barely better).  We told Kris that when she went to do her Gait analysis she should run really wack-a-doodle on purpose to see what the guy does.  So she started to practice.  Oh man.  Michele and I were laughing so hard we couldn't breathe and had to stop!

Up the road we went.  Hmmm.... this wasn't as terrible as I remembered.  Maybe it was the fog disguisung where we were headed.  It was kind of like running into the mysterious beyond or something.
My calf really hurt and I had to stop and stretch it a couple of times so as not to ruin it!  But the hill was dare I say  a pleasant run?  I'm not sure what got in to me.  The fog?  Disoriented from my Hammer drink experience?  Who knows, but I actually liked Les Bois today.

I wasn't too bad as far as mud goes   There were a few questionable spots.  But we were careful and didn't leave any foot prints.  When we were about 5 hundredths of a mile from the top it got really muddy and Michele and I stopped while Kris trudge to the post so she could hit it first. "DING!" she yelled.  Then she did a celebratory dance....
....and yelled about how awesome she was and how un-awesome we were.  It was quite a site to behold.  But, I didn't want to tromp through the mud up there.  Let her have her glory (and super gross shoes).

And that's about how it went.  We ran up, we ran down.  No one fell. No one died.  No one had to steal anyone else's Gatorade for survival.  A nice easy going day on the trails.

Back at the car we stretched....  Michele stretches with her eyes closed.  And yes she is probably going to kill me for including this picture!

Kris used her stick and I waited so I could use it on my calves which were still burning.  I turned to get it from her and she was rolling it across her bum!  "I don't know if I want to use a stick that's been on your butt."  I said.  "Hey," she shouted, "I have to do this! This is one f the spots that hurts!"

And this is why Kris needs a Gait Analysis.

Crazy things happen out there on the trails.  You get to learn a lot about yourself and about the people you run with.  I learned that a road/trail that I hate may change with time.  But that excludes Rocky Canyon.  I learned that running without a set pace is needed at least once a week for the running to stay fun!  and while most of the time trail runs are G rated, that is never a guarantee.  There are always moments when TMI is revealed.  Out there you can be foolish and plain out dumb, and although you will be teased for no end for it, you know that you are still respected.  And most importantly,  no matter what, if you fall, we have to pause our Garmin's before we can help you up!