Friday, February 24, 2012

Wisdom and Sprite

Today's run was not as eventful and hilarious as they sometimes can be.  Because Michele and I both got in to Robie (applause) we decided to run it to train today.  We started at the Fort Boise Parking lot.  We of course had a head wind.  A pretty substantial head wind.  Running uphill, with a headwind is tiring.  I could tell as much when we both turned up our music and didn't converse as much as usual.

The great thing was we actually saw other runners today!  8 was our exact count!This was a first for us!  Michele said it was because now that registration has taken place people will start seriously training.  I think it is because no one else is stupid dedicated enough to run Robie year round like we do, just to do it.

Coming up was tough and Michele and I were both thinking we could use a walk break.  But then a pair of runners started coming towards us.  "Well we can't walk NOW," I said, "we'd look dumb."  Then after they were gone before we could agree it was time to walk, along came another pair.  Haha, no walk break for you!

At mile 5 our wisdom start to emerge and we both became so wise it is almost nauseating,  We agreed that since we were going to be running 17 miles in 4 days, it wouldn't be the smartest thing to run 16 today.  So we turned and headed back.  For the next few minutes we shared why we thought it was such a good idea!  I think we were rationalizing it so we didn't feel like we wimped out!

Happily our head wind was now a tail wind.  Too many times we seem to get a head wind both directions. I don't know how it happens, but it does!  Our run was so enjoyable today!  We did the descent at a nice 9:30 pace.  We were enjoying ourselves so much that the wisdom and answers just started flowing out of us!  We figured out teenage and young adult stress.  We mastered the ability to be a good wife and mother and still do things for yourself.  We were really in the groove.  But when Michele started to delve into NEXT year's New Year's Resolution I had to stop her, that was TOO much.  Our wisdom and knowledge does have it's limits.

It was the 10 that felt like 5 or 6!  That's always a great day!

Afterwards we had a mini chilled sprite waiting for us (something we indulge in after long hard runs).  A few sips in Michele said, I don't feel like I earned this today.  I had to remind her that we earned it on the 5 mile head wind climb.  Then she took another drink!

Monday, February 20, 2012


After an intense few minutes of my computer freezing, kicking me off and then timing out... I still got registered for the Race To Robie Creek!  So did Michele!!  WooHoo!  The Trail Madness sisters will be there truckin up the hill with the rest of ya!

Must go now... need to get my Samurai Sword sharpened!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day "Heartbreaker" Trail Run...aka the Heart walk-a-thon!

It's Valentine's Day!  A perfect day to spend with those you love; your trail shoes, the trails and your running partner!  Haha!
Michele told me I got to choose our trail for today.  This is quite an honor since she had recently forbade me from choosing any more trails since my choices always end up being back breakers!  So after consulting my trail maps and reading some facebook comments from other local trail runners I picked out what I thought looked like a good 6 mile loop.
We headed up the 8th street extension, intending to park at the parking lot by the Hull's Interpretive trail #0. This was the first time either of us had ventured up this way.  On the drive up we passed by what looked like the remains of a lawnmower that had been hit by a nuclear bomb.  Not exactly a good omen.
We came up to a locked gate.  We could not drive all the way up to the parking lot.  Apparently it is locked until mid-may.Therefore, we could only get within a tenth of a mile or so from the parking lot.  Good enough!  We parked there by the gate and started walking.  We have learned that on our trails, we need a short warm up walk anyway. (especially when the road is still uphill).

 This is a view of the gate.  This is NOT Michele's car.  It is an old man's car who was walking two GIGANTIC white poodles. No joke these things were the size of ponies!

We quickly found our trail head for Corral's #31 and off we go!

 This trail was wonderful! So welcoming.  A nice surface, slightly downhill, good running trail.  We were both so excited by my trail choice.  But then we realized it was a trap.  Like a predator that entices you near its den with good smells and a promise of fun.  Then when it is too late to turn back SNAP! Its got you!  That is exactly what happened to us.
We were enjoying the trail so much, when suddenly!  We came to a fork in the road.  We were now going to switch trails and continue on Scott's Trail #32.  That way we could make a loop (I strongly dislike out and backs).
This is when out of no where we were blind sided out of our stupor of lulling downhill enjoyment.
The land of uphills attacked and attacked and attacked!  It was crazy.  Then to make it even more interesting, the trail became narrow with a terrible runoff trench down the center.  The trails were frozen, no mud, but the ruts and incline made it so challenging to run!  Just walking was making us both breathe like we were in labor!  That is when we decided that had now become a walk-a-thon.  Since we were doing so much walking!

 We did a new stride as we ran.  Michele called it the cowboy Scott!  You can imagine what this looked like since you had to basically straddle the trail at some points while trying to run.  We also have come to realize that we loose our common sense brain cells while running hard trails.  I also lose the ability to do any math of any kind which is pretty bad since my degree is in Mathematics.  Michele loses the ability to read.  So we make quite the pair!  It also begins difficult to form words into coherent thoughts.  I would yell back things to Michele as we trudged up hills.  She confessed that she only processes about half of what I say and the just make a sound in response.

We would be walking a hill and I would then decide to run.  I'd call out "Let's do it!  Come on!" Then I'd start running (more like fast shuffling).  I'd hear a reply behind me of "NO!"  But Michele would end up running anyway!

We saw a lot of things today.  Beautiful views! (This is a view of Boise)
 The snow line!
A very close look of Bogus, but I forgot to take a picture.

A weird Christmas Shrine of sorts.
Then as I posed by it I realized that I hoped there was not something or someone buried here. Some crazy runner perhaps?

But the most glorious thing we saw was this......

 The fence that marked the END of Scott's Trail!  Hallelujah!!  I have never been so glad to exit a trail before!! Michele informed me at this point that she would NEVER run Scott's trail EVER again.

We then were running down the 8th street connection.  It was nice and wide and downhill (mostly) but still a crazy run.  That road is full of crevices, ruts, inclines and sand pits!  It also has very large and deep puddles of water that were partly frozen.  When we came upon the first one Michele said, "I dare you to run across that and see if you can do it without falling in. Come on let's see if you can walk on water."  Now you know how I say I am "always in" when Michele suggests something.  Well, while that may be true, I am not stupid.  So , no I did not try to run across that half frozen pond nor did I try to run over every other one that we encountered that she wanted me to try out.

Michele began to get the "Loopys" as I am going to call them.  On flat ground this usually occurs around mile 17 or 18.  Your thinking gets foggy and you get a little giddy.  Small thinks can set you to laughing, you get puppet legs and sometimes even begin to hear things that aren't there like

But, we did it! 6.6 miles to an elevation of 4,805 feet. Out actual elevation climb was 1,380 feet in 3.4 miles.  It was a harder run than the 16 miler we did on the greenbelt last week and also more fun!  Trail running always is more of an adventure than any other run. So Happy Valentine's day!  We had a great Heartbreaker run!  Though we both agreed it was also a lung-breaker, ankle-breaker, back-breaker, and leg-breaker!

Side note!  We saw the Poop Count sign on our way today.  You will be pleased to know that piles of poop is down from last years count of 81 to 40.  Way to go dog owners!  All of us runners thank you (as do our shoes!)

Another thought.  Why is Scott's Trail thusly named?  I am curious who this Scott guy is. He must be quite insane!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

The 15 Miler that felt like 20!!

We had already gotten a trail run in this week and on our marathon training schedule, today was supposed to be 15.  "Let's do our 15 in the trails!"  Michele the wise suggested.  Yep, you guessed it, I was in!  I looked at the map and came up with a genius idea!  (Side bar, non of my genius ideas ever come out like I say they will)

I decided we should run from the Fort Boise parking lot, up Shaw Mtn Road, then up Rocky Canyon as far as the conditions allowed.  Then, we could pop onto Orchard Gulch trail where it meets with 5 Mile Gulch Trail.  This would then come out part ways down Rocky Canyon and we could run the road out.  "It may end up closer to 17 or so, but who cares!"  I said with enthusiasm.  I always feel invincible when I plan runs at home in my sweats!

So, we are off!!

Aside from the fact that people tend to give you a dirty look and don't like to get out of the way, the run from the parking lot up Shaw Mtn road was pretty uneventful.  We ran pretty good up Rocky Canyon.  I am feeling prepared and really excited for Robie!

We did not make it to the Summit today.  We did hit some snow and ice, but nothing impassable.  At the point a half mile from the summit when it gets really steep, it was too icy.

This is a view from where we stopped.

Jodi running on the snow and ice.  We wore only trail shoes, yak trax weren't needed.

Here is where we should have turned around and just done the road down and called it good.  But NO! I wanted to try a new trail today!  So we ran back down the road to the Orchard Gulch Trail head #7.

Here is how the trail looked at the head.
And the Insanity Sisters (which is what I think we should be called) declare, "Looks great! Let's do it!"  Running UPHILL  in the SNOW is a different experience.  You step differently, you run differently, you use different muscles.  Thus, you get tired faster, feel the burn sooner and harder, and (haha) walk more!
It kept climbing and climbing.  The snow slowly getting deeper.  It was tough.  I finally declared that I was going to imagine we were in a plane crash and our only hopes of survival was to RUN our way out.  I needed some motivation, all be it imaginary, to run in this snow! 

One mile and four deer later, we stopped.  The trail ahead was still climbing and staying quite snowy.  This loop could possibly be a total of 5 miles!  We agreed it was wiser to go back down.  This trail would be reserved for another day, a dryer day, a non snowy day.  But the view was INCREDIBLE up there!

So down we go and ARGH! It is harder to run down a snowy trail than it is to run UP!  Who would have guessed!  WATCH YOUR STEP!!
We came back out at the trail head, EXHAUSTED!  Our madness is escalating to the point of certifiable insanity!  Now we were going to just run Rocky Canyon Road back to the car, at the Fort Boise parking lot.  Those of you who have run this....we will confess we did walk up the hill to Shaw Mtn Road.  (I think we earned that right!)

This was to be the 15 miler that felt like 20!  I could feel tightness in every part of my legs.  It felt like someone hit my calves with two by fours!  "Worst run ever!" I said.  But then Michele reminded me that when the endorphins kick in later I will be saying "Best run ever!"  She was right of course!

We wore our new bracelets (thank you Michele) that declare our true running spirit.  It is hard to read in the picture but they say "TRAIL MADNESS" and they are never taken off. (ahem Michele)

So 15.5 long miles later we are at the car, stretching and laughing about how stupid we are but at the same time how much fun we had.  I am happy to say that some ice cold dark chocolate milk and a Jimmy Johns sub later, I felt like a million bucks!

One last thing.  I am a pretty competitive person.  I learned today the Michele burns more calories than me when we run.  That doesn't seem right since I run just as hard!  I guess the only solution is to put in ten pounds so I can burn more calories and beat her at that!!!