1st Trail Run in 3 Weeks!

Getting there!!! I was hoping to run the Cobb and Homestead trails on Lucky Peak this morning, but it rained last night, so I knew the trail conditions would be no beuno! So, instead I did the most obvious next best thing and ran from my front door right out onto the sandy trails near my house which are always runnable no matter how wet it is (which is awesome and convenient!) They are also fairly flat, so I knew that would be a smart place to further test the recovering calf strain and tight IT band.

The sky was gray and full of clouds. Some would say it was gloomy. I would describe it as perfectly peaceful.. still…. calm and beautiful. I really enjoyed myself as I ran through the rain-soaked sagebrush and enjoyed the fragrance of wet earth. I saw Canadian geese (made me think of you,Canada Steve ) flying overhead in a v formation as I crossed a red bridge over an empty canal and smiled thinking how lucky I was to be outside enjoying the day. I ran to Barber Park and crossed the bridge and noticed three swans, their heads tucked into their feathers, taking a little siesta as the shallow water rushed by.

I had walked the first 3/4 of a mile to warm up the legs, then ran every step until I hit the steep hill in our neighborhood (that I can’t run up on my best day.) Then I ran again right until I hit 8 miles and was at my front door. I turned back onto the little greenbelt near my house and walked another 1/2 mile to stretch the legs out nicely for a cool down. I felt totally pain-free during the run but did feel some stiffness in the IT band once I started walking. By the end of the half mile walk it felt smoother.

I have an appointment on Tuesday to see my massage gal and I’ll have her work over the IT band, hamstrings and calves. I think that should help. And, I’ll keep stretching each day and spending quality time with my foam roller who I’ve started to refer to as “Arnold” (said in my best Schwarzenegger voice!)

Elevation Gain: 306 feet. Ave HR: 158. Max HR: 185. 43 degrees. 87% humidity.

P.S. 31 miles for the week is almost in the land of “normal” again. Getting there….


6 Mile Test Run

I am learning

I am learning

I’d been planning for weeks to join in with a bunch of my trail friends for a nice, long (22 mile) trail run. This morning that run happened without me since I’m still slowly rebuilding after this calf injury (and the subsequent IT band problems I’ve had.) I felt kind of proud of myself for showing some restraint about that since I often suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out!!)

Fear of Missing Out is a real, medical condition! Who knew! ;)

Fear of Missing Out is a real, medical condition! Who knew! 😉

The sun was shining, the sky was baby blue, I saw the first sign of springtime buds on the trees and the birdies were tweeting – you know ACTUAL tweeting, not that silly “typing a message that all your “followers” will see” goofball human kind!

tweeting birds

Since this week’s recovery workouts went pretty well with adding short walks (2-3 miles) again, the short test run a couple days ago caused no issues and then having the spin class not cause a setback yesterday it was time to add another step forward – so today my plan was to run my usual neighborhood 6 mile out and back. And, that’s just what I did! I was very tempted to do the 6 on trails, since I miss them so much, but I know that the uneven footing, rocks and such may still be too much for my calf, so I decided to save it for the next step in my slow build up back to normal land, so I ran on the asphalt this time.

I walked the first half mile to warm up the calf and IT band, then started lightly jogging. I ran until the first mile was up, then walked a bit again (making sure not to overwhelm the recovering leg.) It seemed to be a good balance. I ended up walking about 2/10 after each mile beep so probably ran 75% of today’s “run” which is definitely progress!

I felt absolutely ZERO problems with the calf that had the strain, which was awesome! My IT band, on the same side, which has been showing more irritation since I hurt the calf 3 weeks ago did start speaking to me at about mile 4.5. I just slowed it down, walked a bit more and tried to stretch it out, but was fine to complete the workout.

I will see my massage therapist this week for a deep tissue massage and have her work over my IT band and calf to keep me on the road to recovery. I’ll definitely see my chiropractor next week for more Graston on the IT band if that doesn’t resolve it, too. He’s been able to keep my IT band happy for about a year and a half so I think this is something we can manage just fine since it’s just “tweaking” and not entirely locked up like it was a couple years ago in what I now like to refer to as “the world’s longest 50 mile run” at Wild Idaho that took me roughly 22:47 (that’s hours and minutes people and to put in perspective just how slow I was once I was hurt.. I had done the first 23 miles in about 5 hours and 20 minutes.. so that was a llloooonnng second half of limping once the IT band seized up and I was too stubborn to stop!!) That injury took months to fully resolve!

When I got back, I took about 30 minutes in my front yard, stretching, doing clamshells, Myrtle hip exercises, calf and hamstring stretches, butt firming work (my issues with the hip area/IT band stuff are partly because of weak glutes, so I am going to keep trying to add in stuff like this after each run!), then did 50 crunches and 50 girly push ups on the grass, while the birdies tweeted overhead. It was a lovely day!

Ave HR: 153. Max HR: 180. Elevation Gain: 119 feet. Felt: One step closer to normal, but still a long ways from confidently saying I can do that 100 in three weeks without causing injury issues to reflare up and set me back (now my focus is on the IT band more than the calf.)

3 weeks is still a long ways away in runner world, though, so it’s too far out to say for sure what I’ll decide about the race just yet. I can bump down in distance (to either 25k, 50k or 50 miles) until the Wed. before the race. I am also signed up for a 24 hour, flat-as-a-pancake loop course race the week after, so I am also having to decide how I want to handle that. It may be smarter to go easy at the first race (doing the 25k or 50k for instance) and then push more at the second race (where I get a point in a local trail series for every single mile I complete in this particular race which is much more generous than the other races in the series so it might be nice to take advantage of that.)

If I was feeling pretty confident and strong another fun idea would be to do the 50 miler option at Antelope Island Buffalo Run instead and try to do it under 11 hours (this one is a qualifier for Western States and I ran that first loop in about 12 hours last year during my 100 and felt like I was holding back, so if I felt strong, that might be the way to go.)

I have time to figure it all out…… All in all, things are going well, I am happy with the progress I am making and looking forward to an exciting racing (and directing) year ahead! The next race our little company, Final Kick is putting on is only two weeks away! The Shamrock Shuffle at Ste Chapelle winery in Caldwell, Idaho should be a really fun time and I’m looking forward to cheering on our runners and walkers as they celebrate St Patty’s day with 5k and 10k races through wine country, the sounds of a live bagpiper and green local brewery beer at the finish!!


One Day at a Time

Baby steps.. I took another short 2 and a 1/2 mile walk yesterday and things went well. I even went up and down a flight of stairs (something I have read is a good sign that the calf is on the mend) so this morning I went for another walk and as soon as I’d left my street and was on the main road through my neighborhood, I felt like jogging – just a little — so I did. This was the first time I’d ran at all in about 3 weeks. It felt strange and unfamiliar and cumbersome and familiar and wonderful and glorious all at the same time. Anyone who’s been injured understands the conflicting experience of testing out your legs after time off well!

I gently jogged about 3/10 of a mile, then walked again. I continued this Gallowayish method for the entire 3 miles. The IT band was a bit tighter today, so I’ll spend some more quality time with the foam roller and stretching it out today. The calf felt about 80% fine -just a little sore when I massage it.

The most enjoyable sightings on my walk/run: A cute, little boy about age 10 dressed in a red M & M costume walking to school, a little girl about age 7 wearing a huge red and white striped Dr Seuss hat and another little girl, about age 9 wearing a cool crocheted hat that was made to look just like a birthday cake complete with several colorful 4 inch candles popping out of the top of her head!!!

hall monitor

Another fun thing was having the kids who serve as crossing guards hold up the stop signs and stop traffic for me as I crossed the street near the elementary school. Reminded me of my days as a 6th grade hall monitor, wearing my neon orange safety vest, walking around looking bossy with my notepad and pencil – I guess those days were good practice for being a bossy mom of 5! 😉

Ave HR: 125. Max HR: 157. Drops of sweat produced: A few! Progress – slow but sure…

P.S. I wore the new Drymax socks and Moving Comfort Fiona Sports bra – both get my approval for awesome workout gear that does the job!


Feeling Sexy

Me in my other TStarRunning Skirt! It's easy to run when you feel so sassy!

When I run solo, I like to have a few specific goals for my runs. Today my goals were: Run easy, keep the heart rate steady at about 75% of max and run for two hours. So, I pulled on my adorable purple and black new sexy skirt made my Biddi that I’ve been dying to take on a run, added a few matching articles of clothing (including my jazzy purple and white zebra striped Mizuno Wave Elixer 7 shoes) and headed out into the fog for a morning run! It was a cozy 28 degrees and my legs were so happy to be set free again today instead of trapped behind a pair of winter running tights!

I settled into a comfortable jog and relaxed and breathed. I love running in the fog. A little bit of hail must have happened in the night because I was running on these tiny pebbles of it for the first two miles which made my footing kind of funny, but I didn’t mind. I realized how happy I was to NOT be focused on pace for the day. I’m glad I’m training for a 100 right now and not another fast marathon. I do love running fast, but I also like to slow down and enjoy the moments, savor the morning while I run – and that’s harder to do when you’re focused on going fast! Today was good for the soul and the body — gentle, easy, light-footed and steady.

I got it in my head that I was hoping to make it down to the Train Depot, which is this really cool looking clock tower building in downtown Boise. I wasn’t exactly sure how far it was from my house, but I was hoping that running for an hour would let me at least glimpse it before turning back and it turned out I was exactly right!!!

I came in sight of it (as much of it as I could make out in the fog) right at 1 hour into the run. I saw my HR was at a 158 average which is right on target! I switched my Garmin screen to only show HR so I wouldn’t “cheat” and try to race myself back home. I wanted to practice staying in control and NOT pushing too hard the whole way.

Now, on the way out, I had a nice, gradual downhill of about 256 feet of loss, so that meant I was running uphill gradually on the way back, so I expected to find that it took longer to get home than it did to come (especially since I was watching the HR and my heart always goes berserk on uphills if I push at ALL!) I was trying to guess how much longer it would take with those factors and I guestimated it would be about an hour and 5 min for me.

As I was running along, I noticed a cop car pulled over a little ways ahead. I ran tall, smiled devilishly and thought, “Ohhhh, I hope I get a ticket for being too SEXY in this skirt!!!!” but I did not. Darn! Maybe next time! 😉

Just about two miles from my house, I noticed a small SUV with dark tinted windows pass me by and then slow down and stop. I crossed the road approaching the car and when I reached the driver’s side door and saw a very handsome, beared man, I leaned in and gave him a kiss that left him breathless!!! Good thing for me it was my husband, huh?! 😉 We chatted and then I ran the final two miles back home.

It took one hour to reach 6.58 miles at the turnaround today. I hit my front door in an hour and 3 min and 22 seconds. My ave HR was still 158! WIN!!!!!! It must have been the SEXY skirt, Biddi!!! That’s what I’m thinking…..


12 Miles on 12/12/12 with my 12 Year Old

My son, Wayne Jr has a budding passion for running! I’ve seen it in him for several years now and I’m always looking for ways to fan the flame of this new love in the hopes that he will grow up to be as crazy in love with the sport as I am!  When I woke up on 12/12/12 I didn’t have any concrete running plans, but felt I should do something to commemorate the day.  As I was making my morning cappuccino, I mentioned to Jr, who’s 12, that I was thinking of going for a run and I wanted to know if he’d like to join me. A huge smile spread across his face and he excitedly asked, “How far, Mom?”  That’s when it hit me: He’s 12!!! It’s 12/12/12 and I was planning on running 12 miles – a distance he’d never done in his life.   I said, “I’m going 12. Want to do the whole thing with me?!” He leaped up from the chair, did a fist pump in the air and yelled out, “WOO HOO!”  😀 Talk about enthusiastic running partner!

I loaded up the Nathan with lots of snacks: peanut butter sandwiches, salty chips, Shot Bloks, mint chocolate GUs and we each carried a hand bottle with Gatorade. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and full of fluffy clouds and we enjoyed one another’s company as we took off.  I let him set the pace, but encouraged him to walk as much as he needed since his longest run in the last 11 months was only 3 miles!

Jr learned one little lesson: If your running partner is also your homeschool Mom, she may spring spelling pop quizzes on you to distract you from the miles. She will also cheer enthusiastically when you get the words correct! 🙂  I’d brought along a little notepad and a pen and we made a game of writing down every single street name that we passed in our neighborhood. There were 27 that we passed, most of them named after uncommon plants, shrubs and flowers like Quamash, Nasturtium and Firethorn (Jr’s favorite!) I promised him that he could google them all when we got back home so he could know what each one meant.

As we were running downhill together, he said to me, “Mom, in Mine Sweeper you run faster if you LEAP run!” So, of course, we both started leap running down the hill, laughing and having a wonderful time.  When we’d pass street signs next to the sidewalk, he would grab them and twirl around them.  When we’d run under crab apple trees, he’d say, “Duck, Mom! Those are enemy bombs and they’re about to fall!”  It made me laugh. He made me smile – happy to enjoy those 12 miles with my son who one day soon may not think it’s cool to be seen in public with his Mom. 🙂  For now, he’s still a playful boy, full of life and energy and determination! I will enjoy every moment!

He finished up the 12.12 miles with his fists pumped in the air and a big grin on his face! It was the perfect way to celebrate such a unique date!


40 Miles for 40 Years – My “Over the HillS!” Birthday Run

On November 2nd, I turned the big four -O!! 40 years YOUNG! I can’t believe it! 40 is a pretty special number for me since it was the age my Mom was the year she ran her marathon. Four and a half years ago, when I took those first steps to becoming a healthier Mommy, my ultimate goal was to run a marathon the year I turned 40 years old just like my Mom had done.  So, here I am!! Finally 40!

Since I’d ran that first marathon a few years back (and gone on to do other ultra marathons including my 100 miler this past March) I needed a special way to commemorate the day.  So, I invited a bunch of my crazy running buddies to join me as I ran 40 miles to celebrate 40 years of a good life!

It couldn’t have been more perfect to begin my special day, in the dark, at 5:30 am with a headlamp meeting up with Ryan at the base of Lucky Peak. That alone was kind of sentimental for me. A year ago I moved to Boise. The night before my birthday, I was feeling a little down since I was still unpacking and didn’t have any official plans to run with anyone the next day for my birthday. It was late when the phone rang. It was my friend, Ryan, inviting me on my first-ever midweek trail run by  headlamp!!! Just one of the “cool, new things” that changed for me when I moved to Boise! The next morning, I awoke at 4:30 am (a time that seemed ungodly, but would over time become my new normal on running days.) It was freezing cold, windy, my hands were numb and I could hardly hear Ryan when he spoke because the wind was blowing so fiercely! But, we ran the Homestead Trail up towards Lucky Peak, stopping once we’d reached a great spot to view the city lights below. It took my breath away and almost made me cry! I felt like the luckiest person in the world — standing on the top of a mountain as a new year of my life began in a new city!

So, beginning this run in the same way was pretty special. To make it even better, my friend Andrea was joining us and my amazing friends Bobby and Calvin, who had driven all the way from Baker City, Oregon to join in were along the for celebration too! I was dressed in my new purple birthday tutu and I was feeling rather festive and full of appreciation for my good friends, my loving husband and five children, the gorgeous trails I run on and my good health! We ran under the bright moon and the twinkling stars and chatted as we made our way up.

At the top, we paused, taking in the views below of the city lights – twinkling like diamonds beneath us against a black sky. Though I’ve seen this view many times since last November, it still causes me to catch my breath and my heart wells up with awe at the sight and wonder of it all. Me, way up on a mountain on the morn of my birthday.

We headed down the hill, running hard and fast, dodging rocks, uneven washout on the road, letting gravity pull our bodies like speeding bullets down the hill, trying not to fall the way I did on my birthday the year before. This time, I can feel the familiarity in my footfalls. I run this trail in the dark all the time now and I don’t hesitate on the downhills anymore – I push myself instead – loving the riskiness of daring the rocks to trip me up, the drive welling up inside my chest as I try to chase down my faster friend! I run well, my cheeks are flushed and I am smiling. In fact, I find that I am running effortlessly — floating down the mountain, gracefully, quickly gaining on Ryan and I am not out of breath. I feel wonderful! I push a little bit harder, see the gap between us closing bit by bit. My mind is buzzing.. “Could THIS be my day? The day I finally catch my faster pal?!” My stride stretches and I get closer and closer, my breathing heavy, when I am right at his heels – JUST as we reach the gate and finish the run! I am elated! He teases, “If you hadn’t had on your headlamp you might have caught me this time!” Maybe next birthday….

We get about 8 miles in before the day starts to dawn. We say goodbye to Ryan as he heads off to work for the day and the others and I head back to my house as the sun starts to rise to meet up with a few pals who will join me for the next leg of our journey. I find my sweet friend, Martha there with her bicycle and a delicious homemade key lime pie — baked special for me! Yum!!! I hug her, and my friends Mark and Dennis also show up, giving me hugs and saying, “Happy Birthday!” My five kids wake and are enjoying all the commotion at our home at such an early hour. They love my friends and I think my friends love them too.

We head off as a group, this time running some roads and the Boise Greenbelt on our travels. We keep the pace easy, conversational. Today is about pleasure, celebration – FUN! We talk about the fall leaves – the golds, the eye-popping reds, the browns. It’s a lovely day – sunny, blue skies, comfortable. A perfect fall day for a 40 mile run! We spot a deer standing statue-still in the Boise River! I jump up and down and clap like a 5 year old! It really feels like nature just sent me the best gift of all – this moment to gaze at this powerful and graceful beast — as she walks serenely through the water, pausing, staring at us, then walking on. It’s a perfect day!

By the time we are back at my house, I and three of my companions have ran over 22 miles! The mission is half complete! My husband is adorable – wearing a pink flamingo hat, working hard to whip up grilled cheese sandwiches for all my friends and I, spreading the table with other goodies for us to munch on – yogurt covered pretzels, potato chips, M and Ms, bananas, oranges and all sorts of tasty drinks! We are nourished, we’re in good spirits and then my friend, Uli comes over! Ulrich Kamm is something of a legend in our group. He’s from Germany and he brings me a delightful little champagne fruit and nut cake covered in chocolate. Uli is over 60 years old and has completed more than 250 ultra marathons, including multiple 100 mile finishes including Leadville, Wasatch, The Bear, Big Horn and 10 at Hardrock – and he’s never ran a step of any of them! He’s a power walker unlike any I’ve ever known! His walking pace causes others to run just to keep up! He’s energetic, funny and inspirational and I am thrilled to have him at my party!

This loop on the Oregon Trails with Uli is one of my favorite! Bobby, Calvin, Mark and I laugh and enjoy the chatter of our faithful leader — as Uli keeps us all putting in a solid effort just to keep him in sight! It’s wonderful! We enjoy the rocky terrain, the views of the Lucky Peak Dam reservoir and I feel very, very alive and incredibly happy as we run (and Uli walks!)

We get back to the house, say goodbye to Uli and Bobby tells me his foot is bothering him. I feel so badly for him. He’s gone 30 miles – a huge effort and I am so proud of him! My buddy, Jon has shown up and joins in with Calvin, Mark and I for the final round. We are in good spirits and the boys are being silly – harassing me like school children, playfully kicking at me or running off with my cell phone to take funny pictures that I’ll find later!

We get a call a few miles later that two of my gal pals have shown up to run with me. Wayne drives them down to meet up with us and it’s a pleasant change of pace to run with the girls, with their fresh legs. I am struggling with needing a bathroom so we do more walking than running, but they don’t seem to mind and we laugh and talk and enjoy the rest of the day.

My friend Christena needs to head off to a family dinner, so Wayne comes to give her a ride and I hug her and thank her for joining me! Denise stays and we slowly meander up the trail back towards the house. Calvin has reached a new milestone — he’d never gone more than 33 miles before — and Jon and Mark help him run strong to the end! They are done several minutes before I come trotting up the road with Denise. I am smiling. Only Denise is there when I hit the big 40 miles goal and the low key finish seems just perfect.  She tells me “congratulations”, hugs me and I head into the house for a shower before my birthday dinner.

It was a wonderful day. About 40 people come to my dinner. My oldest daughter says, “Isn’t that perfect, Mom?!” And, yes, it really is!

I am so lucky! I feel surrounded by people I adore, people I respect and enjoy the company of! My kids and husband are there, smiling, enjoying the fellowship of our friends and I am happy. It has been a life well lived thus far!!! 🙂 Here’s to many, many more miles and years ahead…..



Dead Legs

It is incredibly rare for me to set out to do a certain distance and to end things before I’ve reached that goal. One example is this past Saturday when I showed up to a group run expecting to run 8 – 12 miles. We ended up doing 16 – and I pushed it on the downhills for several of those miles. Today was different. I set out to do an easy 6 and cut things short after 3 and a half.

I’ve been struggling with some hip problems, some IT band stuff and piriformis syndrome all on my left side. I’ve seen the chiropractor about it several times in the past few weeks. My running hasn’t been affected, thankfully, but on today’s run (which turned into a slow, sloggish walk), I was concerned that things weren’t going that well.

My calves were achy and I just felt sort of tired, despite the fact that I was going several minutes per mile slower than normal. My heart rate was fine, but I am convinced that I still need more rest and recovery before my tough, mountain 50 mile race this upcoming Saturday. I’m not totally sure that my body is fully recovered from my fast marathon from the 19th yet. I pulled way back on mileage last week, but I kept the intensity and climbing up. Maybe what I need the most right now is to do a little swimming (the pools opened up in my neighborhood this week!), biking, yoga and stretching until the race.

I do have a very real concern about the time cut offs for this upcoming race. Several people have warned me that it will be the toughest 50 miler I’ve ever done and I’m at a very real risk of being pulled at the 32 mile cut off 9 1/2 hours into the race (which sounds like a lot of time, but given the extreme climbing and technical terrain may make it a real test of my abilities at this point!) I have friends who I consider faster than me who were pulled at that cut off last year, so I really should rest up as much as possible and attack those mountains this weekend with everything I’ve got!! A finish medal at this particular race will certainly be a confidence boost if I can pull it off!!! 🙂

Elevation Gain: 111 feet. Ave HR: 121. Max HR: 194. Felt: Sore, tired, blah…. 😛


Conditioned Optimism


When I read Jared Campbell’s blog this past week about training for the Barkley Marathons, he mentioned the phrase “conditioned optimism.” He was talking about seeing the weather reporting extremes like hail, blizzards, lightening or intense heat and thinking, “Woo hoo! Another chance to go running in this to train hard for Barkley!”

That phrase has been popping into my head every since I read that. It makes me smile! It gives me a new perspective on things!  So, tonight when my husband and I were in the KFC drive-through, ordering the mashed potatoes, coleslaw, chicken and big root beer I was craving and the car suddenly died and wouldn’t start back up, I didn’t get grumpy. Not a bit! I grinned at my husband and pointed to my feet. I’d gone on an 8 mile run earlier in the mountains and hadn’t gotten around to my after-run shower yet. I was still dressed in my running clothes and had on my running shoes, too!

I got another chance to practice my new positive mental attitude right then, too. We were still sitting in the drive-through with several other cars behind us. I happily opened the car door and hopped behind and started to really put my strong legs to work by PUSHING the car (with my husband still inside since we were parked so close to the ordering speaker he could not open the door!) I thought it was hilarious! And, I felt like a beast!!! Just a few short years ago, I was overweight and out of shape. But, today, I was happy to put my muscles to good use and help my husband out (and of course all those nice people behind us in the drive through that we were keeping from their fried chicken!!!!)

We pushed the car to a parking spot and headed into the restaurant to eat our food. We laughed and joked about what a funny night it had turned into. The car – our little white Escort wagon is a clunker. It’s got about a zillion miles on it and we paid a whopping $350 for it a couple of years ago!  It’s been a good car in that time and has taken us so many places without breaking down! I’d say we got our money’s worth out of it even if we can’t justify whatever it’s going to cost to fix it back up again.

We finished our dinner then headed into Fred Meyer for the garden hose attachment we’d actually been to town to get and then started running home together with our purchase.

Though it had been a really hot day with a temperature of about 90, the sun was setting and it was cooling down to a perfect evening. The spring blossoms on the cherry and apple trees along the route smelled heavenly! The Boise Foothills looming to our left were breathtaking to see! It was fun! We had a great time, enjoyed some chitchat and each got another 4 miles done today!

I’m excited to see in what other ways I can start making lemonade out of lemons!  I encourage you to do the same! The next time things go wrong, find a way to see the positive side of it! And, I will keep working on my “conditioned optimism” too!



Trail Running With My 11 Year Old Son

This Saturday, my husband and I are directing an inaugural St Patrick’s Day 5k/10k race at a local winery called Ste Chapelle. www.runstechapelle.com We’re on track to have about 200 runners, which is very exciting! On my last run with Ryan, he mentioned that he was going to run the race with his son and wanted to know if my boy would like to join them! It was a great plan, since Jr loves to race and this would give him grownup supervision while we were occupied with race directing duties! Yay!!!

So, today, I decided it would be a good idea to take Jr on a three mile run on the Oregon Trails near our home. It was windy and overcast and really peaceful out. We stopped and read all of the Oregon Trail information plaques along the way, talked about volcanic rock, sagebrush, animal scat (unfortunately we only spotted DOG POO today, but since deer frequent our neighborhood all the time, I’m sure we’ll run into more interesting poo in the future!) and took our time at the overlooks to enjoy the view. I pointed out Table Rock (which Jr has ran up to before!), the taller buildings of Boise, which looked quite tiny from our vantage point, Lucky Peak, the Boise River and the cars weaving along the road way below us. Jr took an extra interest in locating school buses moving like yellow dots along the road furthest from us. It was a lot of fun!

When we reached the steep downhill section, that I was intending to avoid since my IT band is really acting up, he begged to run down it. I let him while I walked it. He started whooping and leaping and saying, “Woo hooo!” and I just grinned and thought, “Man, this kid is SO MUCH like ME!” 😀 He (also like his mother) huffed and puffed when he reached the bottom and had to climb back UP that sweet downhill! That’s my BOY!

I think he’s all warmed up for his race now! And, I think I need to take a few more days of rest and recovery on this cranky IT band. 🙁

Elevation Gain: 146 feet. Ave HR: 106. Felt: Super Happy to share the trails with my SON!!! He put his arm around my waist and I put mine across his shoulders and we strolled side-by-side at the end. What could be better?!


To Wayne’s Work and Back

My friend, Ryan shared this on Facebook today and it fit so well with my story, I borrowed it. Thanks, Ryan!! 

My husband, Wayne moved our family to Boise four months ago to be closer to his job. In the past few months, as he’s worked to get in shape and start running, too, it occurred to him that he could start running to work and back sometimes. He asked me if I’d mind “running him to work” a day or two a week and I thought that sounded like a fun idea. Today, he drove to work, but I decided to try the idea out, just to get a rough idea of how many miles exactly the run would be and how long it would take to do.

The weather is insanely gorgeous today!!!! 53 degrees, sunny, blue skies, breezy. I decided to run comfortably and just enjoy the day. I had no other goals. I greeted all the dog-walkers and other runners I saw with a friendly, “Good morning!” I passed an adorable, gray-haired couple who were snuggled up together, walking arm in arm, like a fine gentleman with his adoring lady and it just made me happy! The sweetest lovers of all, to me, are those who’ve lived a lifetime together and who still gaze at one another like they’re crazy in love after all those years.

After 2 miles of a mixture of trail and Greenbelt, I reached the Boise River. I just slowed down and walked for a minute, closing my eyes and listening to the rushing waters. The birds were singing their love songs so sweetly to one another. I could hear the wind as it rustled through the trees and tall, dry grasses nearby.

Spring has always been my favorite season and today all of my senses were reminded why I adore it so much! I picked up the pace again, running comfortably along the trail, enjoying the morning, taking in deep breaths of the crisp, soul-cleansing fresh air!

I had to leave the path and hop onto the sidewalk to head towards Wayne‘s job. That was not as much fun, having to stop at stoplights, have cars HONK at me when I was running on the shoulder when the sidewalk ended, dodging people on their strolls out for lunch on the sidewalk and having to listen to the whizzing of the traffic. Back, when I lived in Nampa, most of my miles were exactly like those, though, so it made me thankful that I have the option here in Boise to run on the Greenbelt or on the trails and have an entirely peaceful experience instead!

I hit the front door of Wayne‘s work just about 6 miles into the run. That’s when I realized I had no way to contact him and tell him I was there, since I had left my cell phone at home and there is a security person guarding the entrance, who requires a special badge to get in. Oh well. Next time, we’ll just come together! 🙂

I turned around and headed back (into the 10 mph winds) and decided at mile 9 that I’d like to push my pace a bit and see if I could run a BQ marathon-paced mile just for the heck of it. That would be an 8:35 or better for my age/gender. It went better than expected, since it was an 8:02. I took a little walk break after that, as I walked along the Boise River again, feeling proud of myself. I was fatigued by this point and most of the uphill climbing comes in the final 3 miles of this route (about 300 feet of gain.)

There’s a monster hill on the trail near my home that just kicks my butt! I’ve taken several friends on it and those pals will know which one I am talking about. I have NEVER made it up that hill without taking a walk break before, though I have done it several times in the last 4 months. So, I decided that no matter how SLOW my pace was, I would run Every Single Step of it today!!!!! (It’s 127 feet of climb in about 2/10 of a mile or so.) I ran on my toes. I pushed. My quads BURNED in protest!! I glanced at the Garmin and saw I was going a blazing 15:00 min pace (hehe). I kept it up. I wanted to walk, but I did not!!!! A cute, little bunny hopped across the path when I was nearly at the top, distracting me from the exertion temporarily. At the top, I just gasped out, “YES!! I did it!!!! I DID IT!!” I was so proud of myself!!! I took another little walk break at the top and then ran comfortably the rest of the way home.

It was a great run! In the end, I’d call it more of a tempo workout! It kicked my butt, but it was fun!!!

Mile 1: 8:46 pace ave HR: 190
Mile 2: 8:37 pace ave HR: 166
Mile 3: 10:00 pace ave HR: 151 (walk break)
Mile 4: 9:15 pace ave HR: 160
Mile 5: 8:50 pace ave HR: 167
Mile 6: 8:50 pace ave HR: 169
Mile 7: 9:13 pace ave HR: 171
Mile 8: 8:55 pace ave HR: 169
Mile 9: 8:02 pace ave HR: 180
Mile 10: 9:36 pace ave HR: 178 (walk break recovery)
Mile 11: 9:27 pace ave HR: 178
Mile 12: 9:34 pace ave HR: 180 (127 foot of climb – the hill of death – + walk break at top)
Last .08 – 7:02 pace ave HR: 186

Felt: Happy, pretty strong, but not as strong as I need to be yet. 🙂