Let’s Play in the Mud!!!

Ohhh the fun and games my friends and I have on our trail runs!!! Today was no exception when I went with my buddy, Michelle. It was dark out when we first started and the darkness gave way bit by bit to the light as we made our way into the hills. About two miles in, I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye and turned to see five deer gracefully running through the tall grass just about thirty feet from us. Michelle and I just stopped and watched, smiling at being in such a magical place so early in the morning.

Around mile 4, we encountered an older gentleman and his two big dogs out for a morning walk. Unfortunately, one of the dogs decided I was the devil in disguise and went for me, barking and snarling at me like it had gone crazy! It wasn’t on a leash, so I thought it was going to bite me. Yikes!!!!! Thankfully, the owner called it back and it obeyed, but I was a little shaken for a bit.

It snowed yesterday and rained during the night, so the trails were a bit sloppy in places. Towards the end we found the messiest one of all!!! It was crazy, muddy and slippery and even had long stretches of ice! Sections of it were uphill, which made the journey even that much more of a challenge. Michelle was ahead of me, grasping at the weeds on the sides of the trail as she was slipping and sliding along. I was right behind her, clinging to the bushes for dear life, pretty sure that our luck couldn’t last! And, just like that – our luck ran out and Michelle slipped and landed on her bum! We both burst out giggling! She was having to much fun playing in the mud, I thought she was going to suggest we wrestle or make mud pies! 🙂 She (like her independent husband) wouldn’t let me help her up and before long we were back at the car, laughing about today’s great adventure!

672 feet of elevation gain today. Average HR: 110.

I have only one concern right now — the muddy trails!!!!! 🙁 It’s supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow and Friday. My big, epic, way-cool-way-to-end the year run is planned for Friday and if the trails are as sloppy as they were today, it could be a total mess. I will cross my fingers that they dry out enough so I can do what I need to do…..


Snow Run!!!

What a blast! On the drive to the trail head today, I noticed the first snowflakes of December. By the time I arrived a half an hour later, the flakes were coming down nice and soft and steady in my headlights! I couldn’t stop smiling! It was a little late for Christmas, but today is my Mom’s 57th birthday, so I figured it was just a nice, little way for the heaven’s to wish her a happy one!
I arrived at the trail head first (woo hoo!!!) which meant I had the chance to take a quick potty break before the others arrived, which is always a bonus! When Ryan A. and Mike showed up, we headed out into the Boise Foothills for our morning snow run! I was pumped to be testing out two new pieces of gear I got for Christmas — a Black Diamond Storm headlamp (which totally rocked, by the way with it’s mighty brightness) and a new Nathan Quickdraw handheld, which fit like a glove and holds 22 oz, vs the 12 oz one I’ve been using.
It was fun being the first to make tracks in the freshly fallen snow. It was quiet and lovely and still. Just the sound of three pairs of running shoes crunch crunching our way up the mountain side, with the hazy pinkish black of a snowy sky above our heads before the sun rose.
I enjoyed running with Mike again! We’re a very similar pace match and we hadn’t ran together in a couple months, so this was a nice chance to catch up. Ryan was as entertaining as always and kept me giggling with his silly stand up comedy routines about midgets he seems to have memorized!!! It was a lot of fun! I tried to catch snowflakes on my tongue and just enjoyed the moments that I stood and watched the snowflakes gently falling from the sky in the light of my headlamp. I felt at peace, happy to be in the moment with good friends before the new day had fully come….
Can’t wait to get the kids up now and show them the SNOW!!!!!
Stats: 8.17 miles. 1:36 total time. 11:48 average pace. Average HR: 154 Max HR: 218 Elevation Gain: 1,429 feet. Felt: REALLY HAPPY!!!!


Merry Christmas!


I wanted to take a moment to wish you all a very happy holiday season! I hope you were warm enough, had good food and were surrounded by those who love you most! May your season be merry and bright and may the new year bring good things to you and those you hold most dear to your heart!!!!!


The Winter Solstice Group Run at Corrals

I dashed out of the house tonight and headed to the gas station. My husband had drained the last bit of gas on his last outing and I was right on empty! I got to the gas pumps and every pump was taken and many had others lined up waiting for a turn. I found a spot and waited. And waited. And waited. Apparently, the dude I pulled behind got his gas, headed in, then meandered leisurely through the convenience store until he’d taken a freaking 20 minutes to come back to his vehicle with his arms loaded down with Coronas! Grrrrr!!! I finally got the gas, and headed to the freeway, knowing I was horribly late, but determined to still go, even if I had to do tonight’s run alone at the back of the group.

As I was riding, and feeling rather Grinchy, Oh Holy Night came on the radio. It softened me. As I finally pulled into the parking lot, several minutes late, I saw something beautiful that I wasn’t able to see last year when I was part of the big group — several lovely headlamp lights just twinkling in the dark, bobbing up the hillside like a string of white Christmas lights. It made me smile.

I got out and started plowing up the first steep climb on the Corrals trail with an elevation gain of 370 feet. I was happy to feel stronger than I ever had on that climb (I’ve done this trail multiple times over the last 2 years.) That first mile was a 13:23, which is pretty great for me on that! Mile 2 has a mere 102 of gain and I did that in 11:16 and caught up to four runners. When I wished them a Merry Christmas as I passed, I heard someone say, “Christie????” Turns out it was a few of my friends! We hugged and chatted a bit, then I headed on up the hillside. Mile 3 is a gut buster with 448 feet of elevation gain and I did that in 13:42. I kept a pretty careful eye on my heart rate throughout the climbs and hiked when it would head above 155 or so, since that is the goal heart rate I’m tuning into as I prepare for my 100 miler. I thought it was a great chance to practice reigning myself in so that my endurance isn’t hampered by going too hard early on.

I caught up with two more friends at about mile 2 1/2 and didn’t recognize them until again, someone said, “Christie?” This time it was my friend Mike and I gave him a big hug hello! He called me “Speedy” and that, of course, just made me run by faster and smile! Since the truth is, HE is Mr Speedy, he passed me before we crested the steepest section of mile 3. I could see our friends up at the top, gathered around the giant rock pile in the dark, the city lights making them a series of silhouettes. We both kicked it up a notch as we neared our destination.

There were many hugs and hellos and “Merry Christmases” after we arrived. It’s always fun to try and pick out your friends in the dark, when everyone’s blinding one another with their headlamps. hehe. My friend, Seth is so cool! He’d carried up a battery pack and a string of Christmas lights and I arrived just before he plugged them in and we all went “Ooooohhhhhhh” with proper respect and admiration at his handiwork. We cuddled together near the festive rock pile for a few photos, said our goodbyes and gave each other hugs before heading back down the mountain.

I had a blast running downhill, as usual, though I ran somewhat conservatively, since I am still new to running trails with a headlamp. I can’t wait until Christmas since I have a much brighter headlamp waiting under the tree to make my dark running days FASTER since I’ll be able to see where I’m going much better! I ran with Otto , his dog, Molly and my buddy, April. We were a good threesome on the way down, keeping a great, consistent pace that seemed to suit each of us well. We ran mile 4 in 8:43. Mile 5 in 8:32 and mile 6 in 9:28.

After arriving back at the parking lot, we turned off our headlamps and enjoyed the views of the stars up above, twinkling brightly so far away from the city lights. A few of the guys started pointing out constellations that they knew. It was a very magical, fun evening!!!

Average HR: 163. 973 feet of elevation gain. Felt: STRONG!


The Barbed Wire Tried to Attack Us!

It’s a series of small miracles that I’m sitting here, right now, able to type this epic story up. Between the insane, freezing 30 mph winds that made me want to curl up in a ball and become a human popsicle, the steep, rocky reservoir bed that nearly tripped me (oh wait – I DID fall today!) and the barbed wire fences that tried to rip my clothing to shreds, I’m surprised I even made it out alive!!!!!!!

Ok, I’m exaggerating a teensy weensy bit. Just a smidge! My friend, Michelle and I headed out to Turner Gulch boat launch at Lucky Peak Reservoir this crisp, blustery morning for a little running adventure. My first thrill of the day was spotting a bathroom in the parking lot, THEN finding a magazine near the throne to help me relax while I peed. So thoughtful of the last person! Too bad it was a hunting magazine and I hate guns! No matter. It was a thoughtful gesture nonetheless!

The first part of the trail is awesome – firm, not very technical – a total pleasure cruise surrounded by majestic mountains, blue skies and breathtaking views of sagebrush covered hillsides. That part lasts for about a quarter of a mile. Then, the crazy stuff starts!!!!

Michelle and I tried to climb OVER a fence standing between our path and the path on the other side, but that didn’t quite work. It was barbed wire and I’m a total midget, so it just wasn’t happening without some serious physical damage I wasn’t going to inflict on my nether regions! So, we walked up the fenceline and I tried to recall how my pals and I’d gotten to the other side on Sunday. It’s still a mystery! We tried separating the lines of barbed wire and crawling through, but that didn’t quite go as planned either. We both have some awesome snags on our jackets and pants to show for it, though! Hardcore, baby!!!!

After that, we decided to venture out on our own and explore a little on some game trails and along the graded layers of the reservoir that are now exposed since the water level is so low! It’s so beautiful down there and there are so many lost treasures!!!! I found a cute bikini bottom!!!!!! I’ll bet SOMEONE was missing that a few months ago when it floated to the bottom of the lake! hehe. We also found rusty plyers, a pair of flip flops, a torn inner tube, you get the idea — LOST TREASURE GALORE!

Exploring the game trails was pretty fun, too! Michelle was like Lewis or Clark leading me onward on these itty bitty, trails made by the deer that live in this area. It was steep and narrow, but really fun and COLD! We made our way through plenty of sagebrush and every time we’d go through, I’d catch a wiff of that wonderful, outdoorsy scent I love so much!

Great conversation! Great company! Good fun! We nearly died when we saw after all that hard work and freezing our fingers and faces off that we’d only gone 3 miles! It was such a crazy route we both swore it felt more like 10 miles!!!!!!!

Elevation gain: 209 feet. Average HR: 113. Max HR: 184 (when I tried to run to warm up my frozen body!!!)


HR Training + Oregon Trail

The Heart Rate Training book I’ve been reading suggested a simple track test to get a general idea of maximum heart rate. Warm up for a mile or more, run as hard as you can for one lap on the track, recover for 2 min, repeat 3 times. This morning, Ryan A. and I hit the middle school track near my home before 6 am in the dark, wearing headlamps to give it a try.

I knew my legs were fatigued going in, so I’m certain my paces aren’t as good as they’d be if I did the test on bouncier legs, but since the point was max heart rate, I’m not sure it really made much of a difference. The track was very loose, fine-grained sandy stuff that made for a difficult push off. It was also kind of uneven. I think I’d have ran faster on the asphalt. Here’s how the test went:

Warm up: 1.33 mile – 10:38 pace. Ave HR: 161 Max HR: 189
.25 speed lap – 6:46 pace. Ave HR: 157 Max HR: 177
2 min recovery: 11:09 pace. Ave HR: 175 Max HR: 185
.25 speed lap – 7:14 pace. Ave HR: 180 Max HR: 198
2 min recovery: 16:05 pace. Ave HR: 163 Max HR: 185
.25 speed lap – 6:56 pace. Ave HR: 172 Max HR: 191
2 mi recovery: 17:04 pace. Ave HR: 164 Max HR: 188

I figured my max would show around 200 – 215, so it’s not far off. I did notice that when I recovered better (and walked the whole thing) the next interval went better than the one where I tried to jog part of it, since my HR stayed high and I had less steam for the speed lap.

After the track session, Ryan and I headed over to the Oregon Trail for some trail miles in the dark. I wiped out pretty good today. My legs were just not lifting the way they normally do, so when one of the zillions of volcanic rocks poked it’s head up, I went down. Lots of dirt on my clothes and scratches on my right knee, but no blood today.

We got 7.42 trail miles before heading back to the house. It was fun. We talked about an ultra book we’ve both read and about the recent viewing of the Western States 100 movie, Unbreakable. Good fun!

I also had the chance to try out Ryan’s two handheld bottles. I’d just purchased two Nathan ones this week for Christmas gifts for Wayne and I and Ryan suggested I try his older Nathan one and the other one was Ultimate Direction, that he prefers, just to see how the fit varied between the two brands and to compare the valves on the top which are different. I was really thankful to try them both out side-by-side before I took off the packaging on our new ones. I think I’ll be returning mine for sure and getting the easier bite valve model. I liked the fit too. Thanks for sharing, Ryan! That was helpful!

While on the trail, I also tried to keep my heart rate at 155 or under. Turns out, that means I have to walk like a snail on the uphills, but then felt pretty awesome on the flatter sections. My ave HR overall today was 155 and I finished with a final kick, feeling awesome. I really think that’s the range I need to stay in as I continue training for my 100. Hopefully with some of these ideas, I’ll be training smarter and therefore, hopefully racing smarter too in March!

I plugged my numbers into this cool online calculator to find my zones.


From the data gathered in the past week it would look like this:

Easy: 111-128 (brisking walking) (up to 52% of Max)
Aerobic: 146-163 (jogging) (52% – 64 % of Max)
Anaerobic Threshold 163-180 (going hard) (76% – 88% of Max)
VO2 Max: 180-198 (all out)

After looking back at some of my past races or harder efforts yesterday, these zones do seem pretty close to what I was expecting. I think the biggest lesson for me, is that I need to not let my HR get anywhere near 180 or I tend to have a much harder time and often bonk. For the 100 miler I’m doing, keeping the range even tighter at 155 is likely a very smart strategy to keep me going and going (so long as I’m up on my hydration, fuel, etc. as well.) This will be fun to test out over the next few weeks and see if it yields better overall results and less bonking on really long ones!

Stats: 9.92 miles. 1:51:25 time. 11:14 average pace. 236 feet elevation gain. Best pace: 5:07. Ave HR: 157. Max HR: 198


World’s Most Adventurous Trail Run

I’m holding a jaw bone. Well, alright, I can’t actually type and hold a jaw bone, but it’s right here on my desk and I can’t wait to show the kids! That was fast! The 6 year old just came in and spotted the awesome find and ran off to show the others what Mama found on her run this morning! I’m a nice Mom. I try to bring home souvenirs from time to time for the children. hehe.

Today was an adventure unlike any I’ve had yet in my trail running life! Randy never disappoints when he sets up a run somewhere new! He was the first to show me Lucky Peak (and just happened to plan that first run on a day that the bird observering scientists were at the top releasing small birds back into the wild after studying them for awhile. I and several other runners that day were all able to hold these beautiful little birds and then release them into the air! It was magical!) Randy also first brought me to the Dry Creek trail, which is still one of my favorite spots for practicing my water crossings repeatedly, while feeling lost in the Boise Foothills. Today was, perhaps the crowning achievement in Randy‘s trail sharing adventures! It was EPIC!

9 of us (and one super star Golden Retriever) met up early this morning at Lucky Peak Reservoir at the Turner Gulch boat launch area and embarked on an adventure like no other. It was hard from the start! There was LOTS of climbing and lots of scrambling up the sides of mountains, through brush, past scratchy brambles, across frozen streams, past the most beautiful frozen waterfall, down into Lucky Peak Reservoir, where the water is so low, we were walking along the graded edges normally only the fish would see. It was amazing!!!!! So many times I said, “I wish I’d brought my camera!” We saw hawks, many deer bounding up and down the hillsides, we climbed so high, we were looking down on the reservoir we’d been in. It was beautiful in the early morning light! The sun was bold and bright early in our journey. It warmed us beautifully, even as we ran on the snow covered game trails (or made our own cross country!) We had to duck down and scoot under barbed wire fences!!!!! My friends, Mark, Tom, April and I went cross country and ended up way high above it all, with a few deer just 30 feet away and then climbed to this amazing huge rock pile at the tallest peak! It made me wonder who put it there – what it represented ….or who’s dead body was UNDER it! It was all part of the fun and games!

I had a blast! It was hard! I had awesome conversations with Otto (who I will also mention was a shining example of chivalry to the ladies when he stopped at the top of one of the hardest uphill scrambles and helped us gals get up the final steep section – thank you, Otto!), Mark, April, Jenny, Sparkle, Tom, Billie and Randy. It was a wonderful group!!! We moved fast (despite what our final pace seems like) and it was a great workout for the body, soul and mind! I can’t wait to go back!

Oh! And, the jaw bone! I think Randy found that wolf ? jaw bone somewhere around mile 4 and offered it to me! Of course, I took it and grinned, thinking how happy my kids would be to check it out when I got back home!

I can’t wait to go back (and bring a camera!)

Ok, now for some geek stuff to really show you what today’s run was like! Notice the elevation gain and loss AND my heart rate to give you an idea of what today was like!!!!

Mile 1: 18:07 pace. 454 ft gain. Ave HR: 171 Max HR: 244 (1st mile is always wonky with HR!)
Mile 2: 21:18 pace. 555 ft gain. Ave HR: 166 Max HR: 181
Mile 3: 16:01 pace. 112 ft gain. Ave HR: 160 Max HR: 211 Elevation Loss: 496 ft
Mile 4: 18:36 pace. 0 ft gain. Ave HR: 147 Max HR: 211 Elevation Loss: 645 ft
Mile 5: 29:16 pace. 341 ft gain. Ave HR: 145 Max HR: 173
Mile 6: 29:52 pace. 863 ft gain. Ave HR: 161 Max HR: 176
Mile 7: 11:16 pace. 0 ft gain. Ave HR: 170 Max HR: 206 Elevation Loss: 316 ft
Mile 8: 23:20 pace. 0 ft gain. Ave HR: 147 Max HR: 188 Elevation Loss: 558 ft
Last .40 mile – 10:19 pace. 0 ft gain. Ave HR: 137. Max HR: 171. Elevation Loss: 342.

Overall elevation gain: 2,372 feet Best pace: 5:54. Max Elevation Reached: 4,258 feet. Average moving pace: 17:18 pace. Wore my new, spiked, Inov-8 Mudroc shoes and thought they did awesome on the rugged terrain, the ice, the snow, the sandy, steep, rocky, trails, etc.! Good shoes!

Average HR for the entire run: 156 – Right where I hoped it would land. Happy with that.


YMCA Christmas Race

It was a chilly morning and I was surrounded by many friends dressed as elves, Santas, trees, etc. I even spotted two teen boys wearing nothing but present boxes over their nether regions. Brrrrrrr!!!!!! Santa was there, Wayne and my five children were there to cheer us on! It was festive, there were carolers serenading the runners and holiday music being piped at the start. It was great fun!

My buddy, Dennis and I bumped into each other at the start and got into a great discussion about heart rate training and I barely heard the “Ho HO HO Merry Christmas!” that starts the race. It was slow going the first mile with 1,600 racers on a narrow path, with friends and family members lining the sides. It was hard to get any kind of pace going for the first 2/10 of a mile and that’s where the first nasty hill started. This race is all up, up, up for the first 3 miles. My Garmin showed a fairly flat first mile, followed by a steep 127 gain in mile 2, then a total kick in the teeth of 270 in mile 3 (I walked a LOT of that mile though I had willed myself to stay strong and try to run the whole thing. It was just too difficult for me at this point, so I power hiked it instead.) My buddy, Dennis is much, much faster than me and I tried to send him on his way to run his own pace, but he was a great sport and said, “Nah. I’m here for fun! I’ll hang with you!” He complimented me on my power hike, which was a nice gesture since I felt a bit embarrassed to be walking at all with him watching! He and I were carrying on such an interesting conversation the first few miles, he didn’t see a little 2 year old boy just STANDING in the middle of the road and nearly mowed him right over (oops!) before the Mom came rushing from her driveway saying, “OH dearrrrrr…” I shook my head, thinking, “Seriously, lady! Pay attention to your kid! He doesn’t belong in the middle of a crowded race course!”

We finally crested the steepest hill and I saw Ryan A. and Michelle, but I felt like dying and didn’t say hi, since I was very focused on the next section — the downhill on the other side. This was also the only water stop in the race and though I was thirsty, I chose to forgo it and just focus on hitting the part of the course where I could make up some time.

I’d told the kids on the ride there that Mommy was hoping to run the course in better than 50 minutes. It’s advertised as a 6.1 mile race (though every person who’s ever ran it knows it’s a short course!) I’ve only ran 2 10ks in my life. A little 10k in June that I did in 2009 and 2010. The first year I ran it in 1:02 and the next year I did it in 53 min. I figured beating 50 on this short course would show some improvement, so that was my pipe dream today.

Once I hit the dirt road on the downhill portion, I started to relax and have fun instead of feel like I wanted to keel over and die. I even started talking to Dennis again and SMILING! I passed a few people here and that felt good. Once we hit about mile 5, though the 6.1 milers ran into the 2.5 mile walkers and it was a bit of chaos. There were many families out, with small kids, some pushing strollers and most of them were going a comfy 20 min pace. It was a little crazy since there was also some traffic to deal with on the street. I faded just a bit through here and heard Dennis say, “Just relax. You’re only racing yourself.” He’s a great friend, and something of a mentor of mine, so I enjoyed having him there, encouraging me along.

Finally, when we hit the final turn, I tried to go into my final kick, but the path was a ZOO!!!! They didn’t have timing chips, so those who wanted to be timed had to head for one chute and those not wanting timed went to another chute. But, for a good 2/10 of a mile before that, you hit a bottleneck of walkers, spectators, children, most walking, crowded right in front of where you need to bust out and RUN to the finish. I started to sprint, but ended up pulling back, fearing I’d wipe out some family in the process if I went all out. That was a bit disappointing as the final kick is my favorite part of any race, but all in all, it was a good time. I forgot to stop the Garmin when I crossed the line, so I think my actual time was a few seconds better than what I have recorded here. I’ll have to adjust that when the official times come out.

I did hit my goal, by the way and that meant a lot to me (and surprised me since I did talk the first 2 1/2 miles – something I NEVER do when I race) and because I walked so much of the steepest section of the hills. I’m sure I could do it faster if I worked on my hills and speed before next year’s race. 🙂

I enjoyed seeing Calvin , Bobby H. , Randy , Andrea S. and Paul who were all on my team – the E.L. Fudge Team of elves. 🙂 I also saw Emily B. running with her son, Deiter and Sam C. and my buddy, Marci and my friend Steve. It was fun to see so many pals having fun!

My Splits:
Mile 1: 8:45 ave HR: 183 Max HR: 196 Gain: 10 feet
Mile 2: 8:35 ave HR: 186 Max HR: 203 Gain: 127 feet
Mile 3: 11:08 ave HR: 178 Max HR: 188 Gain: 270 feet (Kill me now!)
Mile 4: 7:26 ave HR: 177 Max HR: 197 Gain: 28 feet (Weeeee! Now I’m happy!)
Mile 5: 7:19 ave HR: 177 Max HR: 193 Gain: 0
Last .87 – 7:42 ave HR: 183 Max HR: 192 Gain: 0 Best pace: 5:20

I think my finish time was about 49:54 or so. (UPDATE: The official results are posted.) They make no sense, but I’ll share them here since they seem like an unbelievable Christmas Miracle (and we all like those!) I came in 10/66 in my 35-39 age group in the 6.1 mile race. My time according to them? 46:40, which would have meant a 7:39 average pace. I really wish I’d ran that fast – but let’s just pretend I did since they think so, shall we? 🙂  Merry Christmas to me!!!!

Total gain: 435 feet (It’s funny! The Lake Lowell Marathon I am the race director of has a total gain of about this and people call it a TOUGH marathon!) This was a challenging “almost” 10k!!!!!


Michelle’s Birthday Run

My friend Michelle had a couple of birthday wishes: a trail run and lunch at Olive Garden! Of course, as good buddies, Andrea S. and I had to make her dreams comes true, so we took her running in the Owyhee Mountains today on the course Michelle will race in a few weeks at the Wilson Creek Frozen 50k (there are also distances of 20 miles and 10 miles at the race.) Last year, Michelle ran this course and she’d saved the run as a course on her Garmin. Just this past Saturday, she headed out there and ran it, hoping to better her time -and did so by several minutes!!!! So, today’s goal was to better that time even more as her personal birthday goal! She was awesome, pushing hard and having fun out there amongst the wild horses (which we saw twice on the run today), jack rabbits and sagebrush! Despite, my frequent need for cute birthday, trail running pictures and her cell phone ringing with birthday wishes — she did in fact, beat her last two times on this course! Woo hoo for a new personal best for Michelle!!!!

In fact, our “moving time” today was 3:00:10, which is pretty impressive, indeed! Way to go, Michelle! Lunch at Olive Garden afterwords was just the final touch we needed to a perfect “girl day.” 🙂

Elevation gain: 1,449 feet. Especially enjoyed crossing the FROZEN streams today! So cool! Ave heart rate: 121. Max HR: 168.


Stop Shooting at Me!!!

Woke up before the sun rose to get the dishes and laundry caught up, so I could get in a run this morning. Donned the ever-loving thermal underwear and warm gloves and warm headband that keeps my ears toasty. Didn’t head out until the kids had all woken and had breakfast, then I was off onto my adventure on the Oregon Trail by myself!

I cannot say enough good things about Garmin Forerunners and their ability to allow you to download a course from a friend so you can follow a bread crumb trail on the little screen and do the exact run without getting lost! I love how the watch beeps at me if I get even a hundred feet off course, so I can correct quickly and keep running. It gives me real peace of mind when I’m out exploring in a new area like I was today.

I headed from my house to the trails close by (less than 2/10 of a mile to the first one!) I settled in and enjoyed the views of the Boise foothills, the wide, open plains, the Boise River down below, the jagged cliffs and rocks, the black canyons, the miles and miles of sagebrush. It’s lovely – like something out of an old western movie! You fully expect to see cowboys and Indians battling it out before your eyes out here in the wild, wild west!

Now, there was some shooting today, but it wasn’t in a movie! It was real and it was aimed straight at ME! The only people I encountered today on my run were hunters. I passed 3 different ones on my way to Bonneville Point. One was hunting near his white pickup, another was a wrinkled, dusty old man, driving slowly in his 4 wheel drive loaded down with hunting dogs and rifles who looked surprised to see a runner on his hunting road. The third was on foot and came up over a hill just as I was running up it. I think we surprised each other a bit. I had turned the music on my smart phone on and stuck it in the back of my Nathan pack, so I could enjoy some tunes while I ran today. The only problem with that is I am unable to quickly get to the phone or get my gloves off to activate the touch screen to actually turn the music OFF. When I was spotted the fella, George Michael was crooning at me about how he wanted my sex (yeah, the liar, liar was fooling all of us back in the 80’s when we young, pre-teen girls really did think George was singing right to us – and not the good looking football players bringing their girlfriends to the concerts – who knew?!) Anyways..I panicked and started thinking, “Please don’t be a pervert! Please don’t be a pervert!” He was over six foot tall, burly and bearded and I decided the best way to handle our socially awkward moment was to blast right up that hill past him as fast as I could and that’s just what I did. Thank heavens, he didn’t give me one of those lopsided hillbilly grins and spit tobacco juice while smoothly saying,” Mmmmm doggies!! I found me a GIRL out here today!”

The last hunter I did encounter turned out to be a heckofua lot more dangerous than the gun-toting hillbilly I’d ran past. It was at about mile 12 of my run. I was wayyyy out on the trails, far from any signs of life. I kept hearing a “pop, pop.. pause… pop.” I couldn’t figure out what it was at first. Then, I turned my head and saw a hunter way down the hill, aiming and SHOOTING right at ME! I started flailing my arms (with white gloves) for him to STOP! I had on a bright pink headband/ear warmer, but the rest of my clothes were gray and black, so I must have been a bit hard to see. The hunter looked stunned, threw his gun in his truck and took off like a rocket out of there. IDIOT! I’ll be more careful next time and wear that awesome neon yellow safety running vest my Daily Mile pal, Andrea S. gave me! I think a yellow hat might be going on the Christmas wish list too! Yeesh!!!

All in all a good run.

Stats: 16.44 miles. 3:26 total time. 12:35: average pace. 1,340 feet of elevation gain. Somewhat technical, rocky, trail today. Average heart rate: 152. Max HR: 185. Felt: Ok