Saturday, September 29, 2012


I'm so glad that Michele watches Channel 7 news every night.  If she didn't, we may not have found out about this race!

But since she DID watch the news, we knew about it right away!  It was for a great cause (to raise money for the small town of Horseshoe Bend's schools).   We signed up and started training for another Robie style run.  Uphill to a summit, then down to a finish line!
Click here to find out more about the race!

Michele had of course just returned from a vacation and had not run in several days and Kris had a terrible head cold!  What a pair those two were.  I was in the mood to really race this one!  I needed to redeem myself after the cursed Robie Creek run.  Kris said she would stay with Michele.  Here is how our conversation went:

Kris, "If I wasn't a true friend I would beat your heiny to the finish line!"
Me, "Are you blaming the fact that you won't beat me on the fact that you're a good friend? Ha Ha."
Kris, "Friendship comes before fame."
Me,"Apparently blood doesn't come before fame."
Kris, "I guess not, what a shame."

We met at the Home Depot parking lot and then drove in to Horseshoe Bend.  Between Michele complaining how out of shape she was and Kris complaining that she couldn't breathe out her nose I felt like I was in a doctor's office.  These two were hilarious!  The race start was chilling but luckily stocked with LOTS of porta Johns!
Sleepy but ready!

Putting our timing chips on!

Ready to Run!

Then Michele says, "STOP WITH THE PICTURES!"


SO, since Michele and Kris were running this race for "fun", that would leave one to ask, what was Jodi running it for? TO RACE!!
I have recently had a friend start training me for the nest year's Great Potato Marathon.  We set a goal to run it under 4 hours (that may be a foolish goal).  So, after working with him the week of this race I was PUMPED to run!  I was grateful that Michele and Kris had each other so I could really push it!!
So, when the race started I did just that, I pushed!  This blog will include 2 versions of the Half- Marathon; mine and the dynamic duos.
Jodi's Experience:
I took off fast but tried to reign it in a little.  I have been burned many times taking off too quickly!  The weather was perfect!  It was a chilly start, which I like.  I tried to not look at my watch for what pace I was going and to instead just run what felt good.  After about the first mile the road turned and we started the incline.  From here it was 6 miles at a steady climb.  I felt okay, well actually I felt GOOD!  I even had a guy compliment me on my socks!
After climbing for about 3.5 miles, I started to get tired.  I started to question whether or not I could keep up this pace I had set for myself.  This is when the training I had received a few days prior helped.  Kyle (my trainer) had me run the fastest mile that I could on the track.  He ran it with me and when I started to feel like quitting he talked to me about things to do.  One of those was to forget about everything but my stride.  "Just focus on your stride."  So I did that, when I began to feel like walking, I simply focused on my stride.  And it worked!
After another mile of running a great thing happened.  It turned out that two of my friends were running a water station.  How wonderful to round the bend and hear people cheering your name!  It was a great shot in the arm to keep my going and a wonderful surprise! 
 This picture was taken by Kris.  The Yellow banner is the turn around point.  Reaching the summit was so rewarding! Because I now knew it was all downhill and I am a good downhill racer!  So I took off and really started to open it up!  I knew eventually I would get a chance to see Michele and Kris as they were going up and I did!

 As I passed Michele, she did exactly what she had promised NOT to do!  "Jodi, you are the 11th female Now GO!"  She has done this to me before, but last time she MIS-counted!  Today she was spot on.  How do I know.  Truth be told I had counted too!

So, since I love to run downhill and I cold see three ladies in front of me, I decided to go get 'em!  I ended up averaging a 7:25 minute mile pace on the remainder of the race and passed those 3 ladies.  Unfortunately there were no more ladies to be seen.

At the end of the race (which ended up being 13.7 miles!!!)  we had to cross a bridge.  This bridge was about  15 yards long.  Not a big deal EXCEPT.....THE ENTIRE BRIDGE WAS A CATTLE GUARD!  As I approached the bridge a guy standing there yelled, "Fast Quick feet!  Don't slow down."  So, I assumed he was talking to me so I did just that.  I made it across without really slowing down!  I even passed a guy on it!

Finally the finish line was in sight.  I was right behind a guy and this teenage boy yells out, "Hey lady pass him!"  So, I did.  I sprinted in and passed him!  I was surprised by my time!  My official time was 1:59:35! And that's for LONGER than an actual half-marathon.  At 13.1 miles my time was 1:51:43!  I was truly proud of myself and felt great!  My overall stats:

OVERALL: 35th place

Not bad for a run in Horseshoe Bend!

The Dynamic Duos Experience:

Michele and Kris took off laughing, sore and unable to breathe through their nose.  Their main focus was to just get up the mountain (and be able to breathe while doing it).  Although the race start was chilly, Kris reminded Michele that it would get hot soon.  Michele didn't catch the joke and started to comment about the sun rising an it is a good thing they are almost to the top.  It wasn't until Kris laughed and reminded Michele about our training run on the road that Michele realized what Kris meant. Ha ha!

If you do not understand the reference here, you need to look back at previous blog posts.


They stopped on the way up to see the donkeys (something I NEVER saw).  The fence was down and Michele said, "Why don't they come out?"  Kris replied,"Because they can't figure out why a bunch of dumb people are running up hill when they don't have too. They are dumbfounded."

Michele and Kris also came upon the water station being run by ourfFriends Holly and Brian.  They stopped and chatted for a couple of minutes with them.  She asked if they had seen me and really took their time.  They began to run again and Kris said she felt like they were finally getting their momentum she HAD to stop to take a picture of some "elite" runner who came barreling down the hill.  Isn't she nice?  I am so grateful for the pictures too!  Otherwise Kris would have had a faster time had she not stopped.

This race was also another case of Kris to the rescue of the distressed and dehydrated!  A pregnant lady was passing out.  They stopped and Kris gave the lady her last goo.  What a girl scout!

Near the finish line I took the camera and ran ahead so we could have some nice pictures of the Dynamic Duo finishing in all their glory!

I am not allowed to post their finish time.  So, I will instead say, they did great and they had fun!

It was perfect weather for the race and a nice course to boot. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'll run with you...IF I can find you in this CEMETERY!

Today's run consisted of two different trail systems.  The idea was to park at the Veteran's Trail Head (by the Veteran's Cemetery off Hill Road).  I was parked on the canal access road, because I couldn't see the trail head parking.  I thought it weird that I had beaten Michele there.  So I called her.
 "Where are you?" 
"I am at the Cemetery."
"What part?"
"The part off Horseshoe Bend."
"That's the wrong part."
"Where are you?"
"At the bottom."
"I haven't seen any trail heads."
"Are you driving in the cemetery now?"
"Do you think the trail head is IN the cemetery?"
"I don't know I'm looking."
"Okay, here I come too."
So, I started my car and headed in to the cemetery, looking for the trail head AND my sister.  We are still on the phone.
"Okay," I said, "I am looking for you."
"I don't see you yet."
"There is no way we are running through a cemetery today."
"This is weird."
"Oh there you are!  Do you see me?"
"Yes!  Why are you driving on the wrong side of the road?"
"I didn't know that cemeteries had a right side of the road."
"Okay let's get out of here."

As we headed back to the canal road where I had parked we saw a sign that read Veteran's Trail!  Hooray.  Little did we know THEN that we could have driven down that road and that is where the trail head parking was.  Oh well.  The canal bank served us just fine.

It was consensus that we both had to use the bathroom.  I was getting my water out of my car and turned around to find Michele gone.  The canal was noisy and I couldn't hear her when I yelled, "Where are you?"  No answer.  "Michele?  Where did you go?"  Still no answer.  I stepped away from the canal a bit and tried one more time, "MICHELE???"  I heard her frustrated reply, "I'm in the weeds!"

Oh haha, bathroom break!  Silly me.

From here we ran along the old Hill road to avoid traffic.  We then turned left on Seaman's Gulch Road to the trail head that's on the right side of the road. In this system there is a loop of trails that you can do several directions.

So the way we went was the following:
Start to the right of the water tower and then turn left at the tower which is part of  #110 Seaman's Gulch Trail.  This trail was very steep and quite the climb!  On the trail post someone had placed an inhaler.   Next we went Left onto #112 Wild Phlox.  This looped us back to the water tower.  This time we headed straight at the water tower on the other section of #110.  When we reached the trail markers we went right on #111 Valley View.  This looped us back to #110.  We went left and headed back down to where we had just been.  Not shown on the map is a Public Access trail.  We headed left on this instead of going back to the water tower.  This allowed us to run all the way back to old Hill road without having to run on Seaman's Gulch Road again.  This was a happy accident that we found this public trail because running on the road was a bit unnerving! Some people can be rude on the road and not give you any space at all!

We got back on old Hill road and ran back to where the car was. This entire portion of the run turned out to be about just over 6 miles.  From here we headed down into the Veteran's Trail head parking area (that we didn't know existed before).    We then ran the systems of trails in this area.  Veteran's Trail is very sandy, some parts quite deep. The hill climbing was tough but that could also be due to the fact that we already had over 6 miles behind us.  The loop we did was as follows:
Veteran's Trail #114, Left on #113 Big Springs Loop.  Then you come to a crossing of trails, we headed left onto #116 REI Connection.  Michele said it reminded her of the Military Reserve connector.  When we reached the top of the last hill we were at the Velodrome area.  We had to run on the ridge for .15 miles to get back into the trail systems. then we went right on Rabbit Run #115. Finally we went left on #113 until it met up again with #114.  At this point we had a pretty good view of the flag at the cemetery. This was from behind it of course.  We stayed on Veteran's rail which and it took us right back to the car.

It was a great run!  A feel good, I love the Trails type of a run.  We saw a man running with a little tiny dog.  It was more like the man was running and dragging the poor dog behind him!  There were a lot of holes on Rabbit Run.  My guess is that they were badger holes.  Not a trail you would want to run at night unless your goal is a broken ankle!

THe air quality was pretty poor today.  Michele could tell and it bothered her a bit.  I told here she should've taken a puff on that inhaler we saw.  Knowing her luck it would have probably put her in it's best that he didn't.

This is a system of rails that we LOVED and will definitely run again.  A HUGE difference from last week!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I will not run it here or there...I will not run it ANYWHERE!

So, today we are resuming our weekly trail runs.  We have the 2012 goal to run all of the trails on our Ridge to River Trail map.  So the clock is ticking and we really need to get things done!  We have 9 systems left to do!

Today we decided to run ALL of the trails in the Table Rock area.  Sometimes I wish I had an alarm that would go off very loudly whenever I am about to make a stupid decision.  Then it could warn me with enough time to alter my plans.  But since I have no such alarm, we headed off to table rock this morning.

It started off all weird.  First we headed off on the trail #16 Table Rock Loop.  After just over a half mile the trail vanished.  We had sheer rock drop offs on our sides.  We could see a trail head down below us, but could find no way down to it!  So we back tracked to the car to look at the map again.  Yep, the map said to go the way we went, but there was no trail.  Our only option was to go through the gate with a giant warning: FEDERAL PROPERTY. NO TRESPASSING!  "Feel like being arrested today?"  Apparently we did because we went on through.

We found a round about way to cut through this area and find the trail markers.  As we went along we came to a fork.  My directions that I had written on a tiny piece of paper said to head left.  The trail marker did not specify what was left though.  It looked like a trail.  Michele said, "This is not the trail."  But I said "Sure it is."  And we went LEFT.

After a quarter of a mile the trail started heading straight up with lots of rocks.  Michele stopped, "This is not the trail.  You go on ahead and I will wait.  It is not the trail."  SO I blazed on ahead and low and behold, it WAS a dead end.  From here on out we followed the signs better.

I cannot give you a detailed list of the trails that we did and the order that we did them in.  We were looping here and there, going back and forth, running everywhere.  I use the term run loosely though, we did a major amount of walking.  These trails weer narrow, rutted, rocky, hilly, and NOT FOR RUNNERS!

See the surface Michele is standing on?  That is what we ran on! There were even warning signs!

So "RIDE" at your won risk is a nice way of saying "Hey Dummy don't run this!"  But we did and we had fun despite the technical footing.

I think we stopped at least three times so I could draw what our route was supposed to be in the dirt.  I could visualize the map in my head, but was not seeming to translate that to the actual run.  It is interesting to note that we saw only ONE other runner!  We did see about 50 walkers/hikers though.  Hmmmm what does that tell you about these trails?

We ran above the Old Prison and then slowly made our way back up to the cross where we had parked.  A long day, a long run.  What can I say about it?  I can't say I really liked it.  I can't say I would recommend others to run it.  I CAN say, I will not run it again!