Adventures In Running

Friday, July 31, 2009

FiveFinger Pain

Leslie Peterson and I were going to do the Little Cottonwood Trail today. We have both been struggling with motivation these past couple of months and she has been hiking for a lot of her training. She agreed that she would try and run down the trail after we walked up if I kept it slow.

I thought one way to slow down on the downhills would be to wear my Vibram FiveFingers, so I showed up for our workout with those on. FiveFingers have about 1/8 inch of rubber soles to mimic barefoot running and they take a while to get the feet to adapt to the stress on the muscles and bones and skin.

The 3.25 miles uphill was not too bad and my feet were only a little painful as I hit rocks. However, I realized on the walk up that the trail was much rockier than I remembered.(I think I just ignore most of the rocks when I am in trail shoes). My gut was starting to clench at the thought of how 'fun' the run down was going to be.

When we hit the top we took a five minute break and then started the run down.

I can't remember the studies, but I know I have read some that involve the difference in impact on the feet between walking strides and running strides. There are also numerous studies about the difference in impact on the lower body between flat, uphill and downhill running. Let me tell you - I can verify those studies are true.

Imagine 3.25 miles of the most painful running I have ever done. I felt every single rock that my feet encountered and running downhill on them was significantly more painful that walking uphill in the FiveFingers. I was very grateful that I had done a lot of training in the FiveFingers so that my feet were relatively tough at this point in the season.

Leslie was able to stay ahead of me a lot of the run. It would only be when we got to some sandy or less rocky sections that I was able to catch up to her. I could actually feel my shoulders relax and I would heave a big sigh of relief anytime I could have a break from the constant pounding.

Next time - I'm not going to handicap myself when running with Leslie!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Showing my sister the trails

My sister and I had a weekend together at my place instead of going up to the Spudman in Burley, Idaho.

This morning I wanted to show my sister one of my favorite trails, so we took Twilight and headed up Millcreek Canyon to hike the Pipeline Trail. We hiked three miles out and three miles back and Twilight gamely kept up with us.

It is so fun to be able to do 'active' activities with my sister. I'm hoping that we can do lots more fun adventures with each other out in nature.

I'm really looking forward to September. We are flying up to Portland, Oregon for five or so days in Oregon and Washington doing some hiking (and running in my case) as we explore the states and attend our nephews (Ryan Miles) wedding.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Twilight’s First Trail Run

Tonight I took Twilight up Millcreek Canyon and did the Pipeline Trail with her. It was her first big off-leash adventure and she was a bit nervous at first, but soon found it was fun to be able to move freely. The plan was to take a nice easy hike out 2.5 miles and then back. However, once she got the hang of the freedom bit, she wanted to run a lot, so we ran about half of the time. Thankfully it was a lot cooler up in the mountains than down in the valley. Tried to get her to learn how to drink from the stream, but we weren't too successful.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Red Hot Pink Chicks Half Marathon

Saturday was the first ever Red Hot Pink Chicks Half Marathon (RHPC Half). This was organized as a combination fun run/race for several of us that have become running friends on The evil genius behind the run was Marion McLellan - who I paced through her first marathon in June.

The rules for the run were that you had to wear red or pink (only one person failed to follow the rules), bring a treat to share, and bring a prize to swap (something on the red or hot or pink or chick theme).

We met at a park near the Riverwoods Shopping Center on Saturday morning at 6 a.m. Marion and Josse had set up the course and Michelle Lowry and her 9 year old son were acting as official timekeepers. After a quick overview from Josse, we shuttled over to the starting line in the mouth of Provo Canyon.

For the first 5.5 miles we ran up the canyon past Bridal Veil Falls and then turned around just short of Vivian Park. Lots of pink on the trails that day! Pinked two runners at mile 1 and another runner at mile 2 - and then did not pass anyone else in the group the rest of the race.

As I approached the turnaround, it was nice to see other runners heading back. I tried to high five everyone and encourage them on. Saw that Smooth/Suzanna was the next runner in front of me and knew I would not pass her since her slow pace is faster than my race pace.

After the turnaround I started to work on speed on the downhill portion. My speed was not where I wanted it to be - but considering I had been pretty sick for the past 6 days, I was just happy to be running and pushing myself. I never saw Marion or Leslie Peterson who were going to sweep the course, so figured they must have decided to not run the entire half marathon.

After coming out of the canyon, we followed the Provo River Trail over to Riverwoods Shopping Center and then swung over to run around the park and finish. As soon as each pink runner came in sight the other runners started cheering us in. I did not PR (I knew I would not in advance because of health issues and the course being uphill for a while) but was able to challenge myself and was pleased with my training results.

Once I finished we took a group picture with everyone except the 3 runners still out on the course. It was a great day and lots of fun. I can't wait until next year!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Running Buddy

Twilight (my 8 month old puppy) got a haircut today so that she can run trails with me without picking up every leaf or twig in her fur. Thought I would post some before and after pictures.

Twilight before the haircut

Twilight after the haircut