Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Humble Stumble

We are so close to completing our goal of running all the trails in the Boise Ridge to Rivers Trail system.  Today's run was to mark Bob's Trail off of our list.  The thing about Bob's is that it is difficult to find a pleasant way to make it a loop.  I say pleasant because I don't particularly want to run 8th street extension if I can help it.

We drove up the 8th street connection and parked at the winter gate.  The gate happened to be open, but it isn't supposed to be at this time o the year.  We opted to park there because we both felt that knowing our luck, if we drove further, when we came back we would be locked in!

We only had to run a tiny bit before we turned onto the Corrals Trailhead # 31.  This part of Corrals is one that I really do love. It is a perfect surface with no real steep ups or downs.  We weren't on it very long when it was time to turn onto Bob's #30.

I LOVED this trail.  We were cruising along loving every minute of it!  I stopped to show Michele some really cool neon green moss on a rock.  Then I exclaimed, "I am going to pay more attention to things when we trail run!"  Right when I finished the sentence I tripped and almost ate dirt!  Perhaps I should pay attention to where my feet are hitting the ground and not just the mossy rocks.  Something Michele so kindly pointed out!

There were really cool rock formations to go over and lots of character on this trial.  Michele called them "Whoop-dee-dos."  Hmm?

Suddenly over the hill we heard barking and saw 2 dogs running towards us.  DOGS!  That is something I have great disdain for when I am running!  Michele is starting to see things my way finally (now that she got bit n the bum on a trail run!)  We did see the owners with the dogs BUT that sometimes doesn't matter.   When we got near the 2 ladies and the FOUR dogs I had my pepper spray cocked and ready in my hand. One of the dogs was circling me and sniffing my feet.  "He's really nice."  The owner squeaked.  I looked at her, holding up my pepper spray and replied coolly, "Even nice dogs bite."  Then we ran on.  We did take a brief break for a very important phone call that Michele HAD to take.  It was her Granddaughter!  :0)

We came out as the trail veered left and found ourselves at the 8th street connection.  "I am NOT running up that back to the car."  Michele declared.  I completely agreed.  So today was going to be an out and back.  Something we don't do very often.  But we were both feeling so great and thought that this trail was soooo easy!  And now comes the humbling.

The way back was tough!  It was uphill the ENTIRE way!  AND then a intense head wind!  Where did that come from?  And where did all of these hills come from? Neither of us could remember having run any down hill.  We were just enjoying the run and feeling like awesome runners!  Now we were being humbled with a tough uphill run.  At one point we approached a hill and Michel yelled, "This hill has 'W' all over it."  It took a second for me to register that she meant 'W' as in 'WALK'. So we did.  We were definitely not trying to prove anything to anyone.  Not even ourselves.

When Michele's watch hit 5 miles, she was done and walked the rest of the way to the car.  I just wanted to be done so badly that I kept running and picked up my pace. Just...To...Finish...As... Soon...As...Possible!

We discussed a few names for this run.  Haha a few were not exactly appropriate.  But we settled on a good one.  One that described how we felt by the end of this run....Humbled.

Friday, November 23, 2012


So... the second annual Black Friday run is back!!  While most people are out there fighting crowds and traffic and spending money.... we are enjoying the trails!

It was a beautiful, quiet and COLD morning after Thanksgiving.   There were NO other cars in the parking lot and NO other people to be seen!  Those crazy people were out doing stressful things!  We were the smart one!  We debated when we started as to whether or not we would run with headlamps.  Those are so annoying that we decided it was close enough to sunrise.

 In honor of it being BLACK FRIDAY we all wore our blackest running clothes!  Kris took extra time to curl her hair all nice and bouncy for the run also!

Michele said this was going to be a DEATH MARCH run!  This was because we were going to do a much longer and more intense run.  However after all of us being sick and vacationing (ahem...Michele), our death marched was shortened and was less of a Death March and more of an easy, freezing jaunt.  But I still had to wear the socks.  I had saved them specifically for THIS RUN!
Mr. Tortoise decided to join us on his bike this time.  Michele made Kris and I "pinkie-promise" that we wouldn't run stupid.  This was supposed to be an enjoyable run and NOT A RACE!  She forgot to tell Mr. Tortoise that because at one point in the run we saw him and he called out, "I'm Winning!" But we later informed him that he did NOT win because he didn't "ding" each post.
We ran up Crestline until we hit Sidewinder.  I haven't done Sidewinder all year and had forgotten how steep it was!  But it was a good steep and not too tough!  We stopped to enjoy the view and pose for pictures and a bit of silliness.

Off Sidewinder we did a really dumb thing!  This is where the previously planned Death March was altered.  We went left and ran down a portion of Trail #4 which is a motorcycle trail.  This was a terrible trail.  Steep, rutted, uneven, curving, just gross.  It was not runner friendly AT ALL!  In fact as we descended an old familiar pain in my right ankle returned.  It got sharper and hotter and more painful and hurt almost to the point where it was when I rolled it in the Mesa Falls Marathon.  YUCK!  I could do without EVER running any inch f trail #4 EVER AGAIN!
This portion of #4 comes out onto Crestline where we could run back towards the parking lot.  But Michele had mentioned that we had to run to The Lunch Box to gather our thoughts.  Those were her EXACT words, "gather our thoughts."  The Lunch Box is a big bridge and area where the trail map is posted that joins lower hulls with crestline.  Here is the bridge:
And here are Kris and Michele gathering their thoughts.  I had no thoughts to gather.

It is always a great day when you can get out on the trails.  Remember a bad day on the trails is still better than a good day on the roads!
Happy Thanksgiving... here's to many more trails to run!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A day on the Trail FINALLY!

I have been sick for a couple weeks and my running came to a screeching halt because of it.  Michele mentioned that my body could probably use a bit of time off since I have been training so hard.  My goal is to run a sub 4 hour marathon in May and I have a friend who put me on a very intense training schedule.  But, sick is sick.  So, 2 weeks off happened.

This week I finally felt like myself again.  I have desperately missed running the trails, mostly because I enjoy running with my sister and Kris so much.  We scheduled a trail run for Monday morning.

Wouldn't you know it, my daughter got the stomach flu Sunday night!  Before I am a runner, I am a mom.  So I didn't get a chance to join them.  No worries, we will run again Wednesday, Michele decided.  Michele and Kris still did go trail running Monday though.  I heard about it afterwards from Michele.

"Wow, Kris is in peak running form.  She was like a machine going up those hills.  She kept chanting, Where's Jod?  Did she chicken out and was afraid to run with me?" 

"Really, I said.  Well bring it on!"  And so a healthy trash talking, mud slinging, war via texting began.  "This is War!" I texted to Kris.  "Bring it on!" She replied.

The day of our run Michele said her husband gave us 6:1 odds, but wouldn't say who it favored.   I knew, and I planned on making Steve a pocket full of money.  We headed off to run the Seaman's Gulch Trail loops since Kris had never been there

Interesting FACT about this trail system.  I know someone who ran this loop alone one day because her sister was sick and her neighbor was working.  She got bit in the butt by a dog!  True story.

Anyway back to the trails.  Kris was like a race horse waiting for the bell.  She was rearing to go.  Michele yelled "Go!"  Kris took off, but I didn't.  Why?  Because Michele had me in a death hold and wouldn't let go.  Sabotage!  But funny! 

The run was competitive but fun!  I would hit a trail marker post each time I passed it and yell out "DING!" because I hit it first.  Kris would play red light green light with me, although I didn't know she was doing it at the time.  Every time I would turn around to check on her she would start running.  When I turned back and looked ahead at the trail she would resume walking.

After 2.7 miles I declared myself the winner!  A told Kris she needed to concede.  Se yelled, "I will not concede to the CONCEITED!"

As we headed into the last mile, I just let Kris run on ahead.  My wisdom had kicked in while hers had failed.  I knew I was faster, I knew I had won.  I was ready to now to enjoy some time with my sister. Up ahead Kris came to a fork in the trail.  "Which way?" she screamed.  Michele and I laughed and we didn't answer.  "Which way?" she screamed again.  And I mean she was literally screaming!  Michele and I laughed again and still didn't answer.  After a third scream at us she finally headed right.  The funny thing is, you could go either way.

That is when my competitive streak kicked back in.  BOOM. I took off.  I tore down the trail.  Slowly I watched her come into view.  I could tell I was gaining on her.  A quick glance at my watch, 6:50 pace, I can maintain this I told myself.  I was getting closer then on the next turn, BAM there she was!  As I came up behind I called out in a man voice, "On your left"  She stepped aside and I did  a wicked victory laugh as I blazed by.  She held up her hands and called out "I'm out." Victory was mine as I knew it would be.

Kris' Boo-Boos!
So, it turns out that she didn't say, "I'm Out."  She had said, "I fell."  Ooops!  I would've stopped if my hearing worked.  But apparently when running that is another malfunciton that occurs, inability to hear others clearly.  Luckily she was okay.  And she did finally concede my victory!

It was a good day on the trails considering I struggled identifying my left versus my right.  Michele's neck was grinding like sand paper every time she turned her head. And Kris, Kris was her usual wonderful self!

The Tortoise and the Hare... a trail runners version

There are many theories as to what causes the start of a war.  These can include the need for land, resources, racism, global domination.  People spend their lives studying past wars and conflicts, attempting to answer this question and thus prevent future wars from occuring.

Well, I am here to save them all that time and trouble.  I know what starts a war....

It is a long story, but one worth telling.  The true version of the Tortoise and the Hare.
It all began with the Hare, intensely training for a marathon PR next year. 
 The Tortoise and he Tortoise neighbor mocked the Hare, saying things like; "Been there done that."  "You have fun with that." and "I used to think like that too, then I got smart." 
But, the Hare dd not listen, she just kept training. 
As winter set in, so did the germs and the Hare fell ill.  She could no longer train.  For two weeks she had to stay indoors and not run.  Meanwhile the Tortoise and her neighbor were running like crazy.  One day the neighbor called the Hare and said, "I ran with the Tortoise today, she is like a machine!"  That is when the scales tipped.
 A trail run was scheduled, the Hare was feeling better and ready to go.  But at the last moment one of her baby bunnies fell ill.  The Tortoise and her neighbor ran without her.  Again the neighbor called afterwords. 
"The tortoise is running so great.  She just tore up the hills.  When she reached the top she started yelling, where's that Hare now?  She chickened out and was afraid to run with me!  What a wimp!  Where's the Hare huh?"
NOW, the Hare is angry.
And thus...all because of SMACK TALK...WAR IS DECLARED!!
Over the next few days, text messages are exchanged and smack talk accelerates.  Here is a small taste of some of those...
"Vegas has the odds at 6:1. But the neighbors husband won't reveal who the odds favor."
"I ran an 8:10 pace yesterday."
"Yeah well I can do that going uphill with a headwind."
"I am going to cage the tiger."
"This is war!"
"War it is bring it on!"
You get the basic idea.  It is important to note that most of this was fueled by the Tortoise's neighbor, as it is with most wars.  An outsider fuels the fire.
The hare waits as the Tortoise dances from across the street to get into the car.  She casually mentions that through out history the Tortoise always wins because it is WISER.  Rubbish thinks the Hare. 
The drive to the trail head includes more smack talk, motivational music and a weak attempt from the back seat by the Tortoise to strangle the Hare.
"GO!" shouts the Tortoises neighbor as she holds on to the Hare.  The Tortoise runs off laughing.  Sabotaged! Thinks the Hare, but she bides her time.  Unlike the commonly told "fairy tale" of the Tortoise and the Hare, she has a secret.  See this Hare is not foolish.  She has been running with the Tortoises for years.  So she is not only fast, she is also wise.
To summarize the story, the Hare WINS! Was there any doubt?  Now, I will not reveal who is the Hare or Tortoise, but I am sure you can figure it out!
Now, what is the moral of this story?  Well, there are many.  But the main moral is this.  Wisdom alone won't win the race, neither will speed.  It is a combination of the two that brings you success.  I am very grateful to have my "Tortoise" running buddies who have taught me that principle over the hundreds of miles we have ran together.

Also...the Tortoise says to mention that the Hare only won by 3 minutes.  What the Tortoise doens't really is the Hare paced herself and made sure she won without pushing too hard.  Therefore, she would win noe matter what!

Then she ran home and tattled and lied to her Tortoise husband who sent the Hare hate-email:

Dear Hare,

I just never would of thought you would resort to such tactics. Angry smile My poor wife had thigh, knee and hand contusions from your 'push'.Crying face
She said that you just don't play fair. Winking smile So next time I might have to come and officiate.

Mr. Tortoise.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Whoever said running isn't educational???

Today we tried out a new route.  We are so close to finishing our goal of running all the trails!!  We ran in the Oregon Trail Reserve.  You can view the map of it at this link: Oregon Trail Reserve.

There were three basic trails in here to follow:

#101 Basalt Trail

1.75 miles
Basalt Trail provides loop opportunities for users of the Oregon Trail Reserve and great views of the basalt cliff the reserve is perched on.

#102 Rim Trail

The Rim Trail provides a pedestrian-only experience, overlooking the Boise River valley. Users will discover the historic Kelton Ramp located on the southeast end of the trail. Trail also features numerous interpretive signs and three interpretive overlooks.

#103 Oregon Trail

1.12 miles
Trail parallels historic Oregon Trail through the Oregon Trail Reserve. Ruts from the historic Oregon Trail are visible from the trail.
It was a short run for us but that is JUST what we both needed.  I have been sick and Michele has been vacationing, so neither of us has been putting in any quality miles lately.
The run was neat because of the history that was associated with it. 
We stopped quite a few times to read the signs and take pictures.  It is just amazing to imagine those pioneers forging the way across this terrain!

And the view on the lookout...spectacular!

You will notice that there are no pictures of us this time.  Well, we are neither spectacular to look at nor educational!  In fact I think we are dumber from this run despite it's history because f all the power lines that we had to run under.  Michele said they would cause permanent damage and shorten our life span.  We actually held our breath when we ran under the first one.  Not sure what that did to help us.  Then at one point I was asking for direction and said Left?  Michele called out,"Left. Right." 

So, I just went left.
We also got lost (ish) twice and had to do back track because we would end up leaving the trail system.  But, we had a great run. Like we usually do!