I’m baaaack from my Yellowstone family vacation!!!!!!!!!! I am so proud of myself! On the two vacations our family took last year I brought along my running shoes and swore I’d get some runs in — but then didn’t. I was so determined to break through the usual chaotic vacation schedule and find time for ME – for my runs!!! And I did! It was only two (but I confess when I figured out how many miles I intended to run this month, I expected to only squeeze in 10 miles while in Montana – and I did 10.2! )

Montana is really a beautiful place! It reminded me of Idaho in many ways — but those mountains are SO tall that they made my home state mountains pale in comparison! Yellowstone was nice! I got lots of pictures! I took Rebecca horseback riding for her birthday. I still cannot believe I’m the mother of a ten year old!!! 

We hiked a lot while we were gone. I also played on the trampoline that was at our vacation cabin (this was such a fun thing for me since I grew up with one in my backyard and really wasn’t sure I could still do any of my old “tricks”. I even did a few flips for Wayne!!) ha ha! I brought along a lot of my usual foods, fruit, veggies and snacks and that helped so much! The scale this morning said 129 – and that’s pretty good considering my AF is due any minute now!!!!  Maybe I’ll see that evasive 127 again in this lifetime after all!

Here’s the rundown on my runs (bwhahaha – nice pun, eh?)

On Thursday, I got in 6.2 miles. It was SO pretty there! The elevation didn’t seem to bother me as much as I thought it would and I found myself running the first three miles in the 10’s. BUT…..as I mentioned, the mountains in Montana are no small fries! Plenty of that first half was downhill (the peak of the tallest hill I ran was a 30% grade! It was like FLYING down that thing!!!! For 3/10 of a mile I was seeing between 5 and 6 mi/p/hr!) The real fun came when I turned around at the bottom of that puppy and had to run back UP it!  It was a KILLER!!!!!! I won’t even disclose how slow I was going back up to the cabin – but it was indeed one amazing workout!!!!! I will admit to getting lost on the run, though and not knowing how to get back to my family. Thankfully, my Garmin as some features I hadn’t tried and this was the perfect opportunity to give them a spin. I fiddled around with the buttons until I saw the menu choice that said “Back to start” and sure enough – a little map came up and I was able to let my GPS watch lead me back home!!!! I think I’ll name it Lassie now! Good girl, Lassie! You saved me from the grizzlies and from wandering for 40 years in the dessert! 

On the day we left, I aggrevated my sweet husband by sneaking on my running stuff and taking off while he loaded up the van to leave (did I mention it took us 12 hours to get there?!!!) I told him that if he wanted his wife to be on her best behavior as the co-pilot it was really essential that I get out and breath in some fresh mountain air and pound the pavement a bit! (I also didn’t mention that Savannah caught the cold going around amongst the cousins the night before and woke us up about 25 times during the night. We were both tired, haggard and grumpy when we woke up — AND my cappuccino mix was out — so really — I was one needy creature without a lot of hope –but I knew it was nothing a little run couldn’t cure!) And I was right!!!! Wayne bargained “Ok , but ONLY 2 miles!!! We have to get going” to which I countered, “Oh, honey, can’t I please do 3?! – knowing full well I intended to meet my 4 mile goal and would just try to pick up the pace and see if he noticed. (I did – he didn’t -hee hee.) 

I have to tell you I found the neatest souvenier while on that 4 mile run, too! I took a different path, feeling confident that my Garmin would get me home no matter where I went and ended up in this desserted area with a lot of overgrown fields — and that’s when I spotted it!!!! A sun-dried, weathered old deer jaw bone. It was kind of in the shape of a gun, so it made it easy to hold onto the smooth part of it and look menacing at anyone who came near me with the toothy part!!!! I swear I never felt safer than I did running with that crazy thing! I did see a few locals steered their cars WAY around me when they passed me – since, seriously — would YOU mess with a lady carrying a jaw bone?!!!!! ha ha. All 10 kids (my five and their five cousins) thought I had found the Holy Grail when I brought it in. I was pretty popular the rest of the morning, I must admit as they passed it back and forth and oohed and ahhed over my big find. 

We got in around 11 pm last night. I’m working out my week’s running schedule with my buddy. We’re debating doing a 19 mile week (an easy week on the schedule) or the 27 mile week (which includes my first ever 18 miler!) I’m leaning towards the second option and I think she is too! I’ll update again after my next run!

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