Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Les Bois 10K Training

So since we have decided to run the Les Bois 10K again this year, it was inevitable that we had to train for it.  Did I mention how much I hate this race?  Well, It's more of a LOVE Hate relationship. 

I HATE the pavement portion of this run.  From the gun it starts an uphill incline IMMEDIATELY!  Then when you feel like you are warmed up and doing OK, BAM! Instant incline increase!  The uphill to the turn around point is gruelling!  To make it worse there was a GIGANTIC yellow smiley face looming at the top of the foothills.  It was mocking us!

Today my goal was to just run it without stopping.  Reminding myself that it is possible.  At the turn around I stopped.  My calves were screaming on fire!  Michele was almost limping, her legs were blazing!!  It is a really tough run to do at a quick pace.  The Mountain Cove Trail  wasn't too wet, but was very rutted in spots.  We had to be careful to watch our footing. 

The run down is actually enjoyable.  On race day we will blast down it, but today was leisure pace down.  I think  mentioned at least three times how much I hated this run!  But we did have some funny memories of our experience when we ran the race last year.....

Michele had the unfortunate luck to be paced by a screamer.  Ever come across one of those?  She would yell "WooHoo" as loud as she could periodically and be otherwise very vocal.  Michele was going close to bonkers when finally, the downhill came and Michele was able to say "see ya"!

On my way down I came upon a man with very long hair, running in cut off jeans and a white tank top.  He decided to not let me pass him and instead joined my pace.  We ran together for a while.  I was really pushing the pace because I HATE this race and wanted it to be over.  He was chatting away about everything and anything.  I was dieing and could not respond in kind to any of his random thoughts with any thing more than a "uh huh" or "ya".  I subconsciously was increasing my pace, trying to shake him (okay maybe I was consciously doing it).  Finally, I looked down at my watch and saw we were clipping along at a  7:20 minute mile. I gasped out loud and said "I can't keep up this pace."  My legs were jelly.  But then , my new hippie friend became my cheerleader and encouraged me.  A few seconds later I smiled and said "see ya!"

So we reminisced as we ran back down to the Fort Boise Parking lot.  A short trail run today, but a very tough one.  Here comes the LOVE part of the run.  We LOVE to trail run, we LOVE the feeling a few minutes after the tough run is over.  The endorphins kick in and as we walk to the car I kept saying "That was a GREAT run!"  This from the same girl who was secretly cursing her sister for doing this race every year.

One last note.  We never did pass the smiley face.  It wasn't until we were driving home that we realized that.  Michele in her great wisdom said, "Well, I know it was up there somewhere, because we BOTH saw it."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In search of the BOSSY BANDIT!

Have you seen this runner??  Last year the "Bossy Bandit" trained and ran several races with us.  Since then she has not been seen!  We believe she may be training "secretly".  Don't let this smile fool you, she is no joke.  The "bossy Bandit" has been known to:

*   Mock you as you run up a large hill
*   Run into posts along the green belt
*  Remind you that you are stupid
*  Flash race volunteers
*  Trip spontaneously during races
*  Make you stop running at odd times to take a picture
*  Come up with terrible ideas then laugh at you when you do it
*  Make fun of all of your "aha" moments, like realizing the downhill always goes by faster
*  Use sports legs and patches like they are free!!

We know she's out there.  She is either training in secret so as to beat us in the next race...or we have driven her insane and she no longer dares run (running with us can do that to you).  Whatever the case may be...be on the look out for the BOSSY BANDIT and let us know if you spot her out there on the trails!
And beware....I was not joking when I said she flashes people!!


Yet another trail run cancelled because of the rain!!  It is so depressing!  I guess we were getting quite spoiled being able to even do trail runs in December and January!  While every one keeps praying for moisture, I may selfishly be praying for dry and sunny!

Michele has gotten us geared up for Robie and the Potato marathon!

These are our good luck anklets.  To be removed ONLY after completing the corresponding races!  The black and blue one is for Robie (black and blue to represents bruises) and the spring colored one is for the Potato Marathon.  Looking good eh?

Here is to hoping we have a trail run next week!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Well....because of the tremendous amount of snow yesterday, and the never ending rain today, our trail run did not happen this week!  I love those trail runs so much, I feel cheated that there isn't one this week!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Changes in Race Dates Change my New Year's Goals!

So for reasons I cannot understand the High Speed Pursuit Half Marathon has been changed from October to April.  This means I cannot PR on that course!!  Major Bummer!  So my plans have been altered.  I will replace that race with the Zeitgeist Half Marathon in November instead.  I heard it's a tough one too!  If anyone is planning to run the High Speed in April it is a great run, not crowded and pretty easy course (except for the HILL at mile 12)!  I guess if we don't get in to Robie we can always still do the High Speed, but I REALLY wanna run Robie!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

First Training Run of Robie!

As we were driving to hit the Mountain Cove trail this morning, Michele said "Maybe we better start our Robie Training today."  And if you are following this blog you will know that I was "in", I'm always in.  This was our lucky Friday the 13th Run!!!

The Race to Robie Creek, advertised as the toughest race in the Northwest.
It will be Michele's 6th time running Robie and my first.  We have been running trails so much that I am really excited for this race.  We drove up to the top of Shaw Mtn Road, right where it starts to go downhill.  Luckily there was a porta potty there because I had drank waayyyyy to much water that morning.

At run start it was about 17 degrees.  Freezing cold!  This run is almost entirely in the shade too!  We saw exactly zero other runners. It was agreed that our INSANITY IS ESCALATING!!

I tied a bandanna over my face because it was so cold!  I dubbed myself the pink bandit!  It helped and when Michele complained that her face was so cold I could laugh and say "Mine's not!"  The trail was great!  A little snow, maybe a quarter of an inch but no ice or slick spots.  We ran it in our trail shoes just fine!

This is a view of the road near the Orchard Gulch Trailhead #7

Reaching the summit was cool.  It wasn't what I had expected it to look like but we did it!  We did walk the last .5 to the top.  Michele said my goal for the race should be to run it.  Don't you love how she is always determining what MY goals should be!  This time I was NOT "in".  I do not think that is a goal I am ready to set!  Here is a view of the summit

The pink bandit.....
Pink Bandit unmasked!
I only ran the first 3 miles with the bandanna on.  I'm not that big of a wimp!

So how HARD was this run to the summit?  Well, not as bad as I have been told by others.  In fact I have run a lot of trails that are MUCH harder!  What made this one tough was that it was one constant uphill.  Even though the incline is more gradual, it is still a constant up.  That does make it tough.  But it wasn't any harder than three bears trail , dry creek half  or the high desert half.  So I am excited for this race!

On the run down our fingers got sooo cold.  I realized that it was because they were not being moved.  I started to open and close them as I ran.  Michele was running with hers still in fists.  Finally she yelled, "This is the worst pain I have ever felt.  What's that disease you get when your fingers fall off?"  I replied, "Frostbite?  That's not a disease Michele."

I then told her to also open and close her hands while she ran.  Finally we both had warm hands again.  On our entire run it never reached over 18 degrees and we only felt the sun once or twice for a very brief moment.

Interesting sights on the way back down Rocky Canyon road; a huge cave that Michele thinks is being used, a few cars but no people, and the most interesting of the day was  a house that looked like it was from the 1800s and had slid half way down the hillside then stopped.  We spent several minutes decided if it started to fall if we would back track away from it or try to out run it.  We decided to back up. Wish I had taken a picture, but I was enjoying the downhill so much I didn't want to stop.

We ended our run at the cattle guard just below Shaw Mtn Road.  A 12.2 mile out and back.  Our time was 2:16:35.  Not too bad for training.

After this first run up to Robie I now need to decide what my goals for this race will be.  Any ideas?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

First Official 2012 Trail Run

Well it is now time to get serious.  The whole point of this blog is to document all of the trails in Ridge to Rivers system so here we go......
I'm a day late blogging...we ran this on January 6, 2012

For our first official run we decided to do the most well known trail. This one is in the Camel's Back Park area.  Start in the Camel's Back parking lot.  We have to make the "last chance" bathroom stop here.  When I opened the door to step inside I heard a MAN's Voice!  That was unexpected!  A few moments later when the maintenance worker came out we got the pleasure of a clean, nice smelly bathroom stop before our run!

We started our run at 8:30 AM.  The trail starts on Red Fox #36.

This is a nice easy trail.  When it is warm you do have to run briefly through or around deep sand.  But since it was so cold, we had nice hard packed sand to run on.  You can continue on this trail all the way to the Lower Hulls Gulch Trail.  But it gets very very B.O.R.I.N.G.  It is a wide gravel road that Michele and I both HATE.   So we take a side trail called Chickadee Ridge Trail #36A.

Chickadee has a great east climb.  It was at this point on our run that Michele started bragging again about her new Garmin 610 watch.  It vibrates to indicate a mile instead of beep (like my Garmin 405).  I had missed my "beep" because I don't hear it sometimes.  Well according to Michele she can "Hear her watch vibrate!"  Sonic hearing I guess.

Chickadee Ridge brings you back down to where Red Fox ends at the dirt road version of 8th Street.  We never look when we run across this.  I have never seen a vehicle of any kind!  There is a bathroom in this area if you find yourself in "need".  It's always good to know those kind of things.

Here we jump onto Lower Hulls Gulch Trail #29 (which is to the left).

This is a very rocky, pretty technical, uphill climb.  It seems like we always see people coming down this trail (wimps) while we are climbing up it.  Today was no different.  Two people coming down.  This led to a conversion about why we hadn't seen anymore runners than 2?  It was at least 25 degrees which is warm considering how it has been before.  I thought it was because we are just more dedicated.  Michele said there is a fine line between dedication  and stupidity. I wonder which side of the line we are on?

At the 3 mile mark (if you start at the Red Fox Trail Head) there is the coolest rock formation.  Michele has nicknamed it Little Zion.

We climb up and over this to continue on the trail.  Michele was suffering from a head cold and so I reached "Little Zion" before she did.  Side note: I always reach "little zion" before she does.  So does that mean she always have a head cold?  Anyway, I climbed up and waited for her and was able to get a shot of the trail.
It really is a great climb!  When Michele caught up to me she said that Mama Elephant was sitting on her chest.  Oh, so the head cold thing was legit.

It's only about a half mile more to the trail map station.  I like to stop here to see where we are and all the other trail options.
This map that Michele is looking at is the Ridge to Rivers Trail System Map.  I bought a copy at Shu's Idaho Running Company in Boise for $5.00.  But you can look at it online at www.ridgetorivers.org.  Here we cross the bridge, which was really slippery,

and then we ran for just a bit on #4 8th Street Motorcycle Trail (or aka Hulls Ridge Trail). But not long enough for it to count.  This puts us onto Crestline #28.  This is Michele's FAVORITE trail and I must admit mine too.

It is a wonderful gentle sloping brief uphill followed by a easy long downhill.  It is a great reward after busting your tail up Lower Hull's Gulch Trail. This trail run was not as entertaining as usual because Michele was sick and it is a rather easy run (considering what we usually do).  Our next turn is onto Kestrel #39A.  This is at mile 5.5.  If you don't turn right onto Kestrel it takes you to the Military Reserve connection (which will be another day).

Kestral is a fun downhill.  You can really let lose and burn rubber down this baby.  But today was "easy" day so no rubber burning for me.  We followed Kestral until it turns to Owls Roost #37 where we turned left.
On one run last year I saw two owls in a tree on the Owls Roost Trail.  Hand in the air I swear it is true.  Coolest thing EVER!  Owls Roost gives you the option of veering to the right and running on the Grove Trail #38 for awhile which I really like.  It's wide and there are lots of trees.  It is somewhat peaceful really.  That is if idiotic walkers with 50 dogs aren't there and one of their dogs is mean and needs a shock collar and comes after to you! Your sister yells and you kick at it and she  yells "Don't worry he has a shock collar."  If you dog needs a shock collar....KEEP IT OFF THE TRAILS!  OK I am done venting.  But those of you who know me well know I have serious issues with dogs!

The Grove joins back to Owl's Roost which then we turn onto Gold Finch #35,  and NO I have not yet seen a gold finch on this trail in a tree.

So, if yo u are keeping track... that is 8 trails so far!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Michele speaks....

Back from Hawaii!!! Refreshed...almost to the point of lazy  :)
  Goals this year are a bit smarter than my younger sister.

1.  Run and survive Les Bois 10K (I hate that hill!)
2.  Run and watch Jodi "die" on Robie Creek while Kris and I laugh.
3.  Yes run 2 marathons.
4.  Run all the Ridge to River trails - how could I miss that!!
5.  Watch Jodi try to squeeze all her needed 1212 miles into the last week of the year.
6.  Take an enjoyable run and eat Mexican food while Jodi tries not to puke at the end of the High Speed Pursuit (ha ha)
Once again....older and wiser