Adventures In Running

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fourth of July trail adventure

With nothing to do on July 4th other than work, I decided to take some time to check out new trails.

Early on July 4, I drove up towards Park City to Lambs Canyon. My plan was to hike up Lambs Canyon, run down to Millcreek Canyon and then reverse my course. All this would be on trails I had never been on before.

About 1 mile up the canyon, I decided I was not in uphill shape and needed to do a lot more work on that. The uphills were really kicking my butt. For the most part I was able to keep going without having to take breaks, but my heart was working overtime.

Remembered I had not told anyone where I was going, so I left a message for my daughter when I had cell service at the top. I had a beautiful run down into Millcreek Canyon. I was feeling ambitious (silly me) and decided I would throw in the climb up Mt. Aire for even more vertical. About 1/2 mile up Mt. Aire - I decided that I had enough fun and headed back down.

The climb up Millcreek Canyon towards Lambs Canyon was really killing me this time. To make it worse, my new Garmin was not recording time, so I had no idea how much farther I had to go. It felt like I stopped every 100 steps or so (sometimes less) to rest and catch my breath.

It was sure nice to get to the top and start the run back down to my Jeep. Lots more people to visit with on the trails the second time and the run down was beautiful.

The next two days I became even more aware of how little uphill and downhill I had done. My quads and calves were toast and I could hardly walk for the next two days. Small price to pay for a fun run though.

Utah Valley Marathon

June 9, 2012 was the Utah Valley Marathon.

This was my second time to run this marathon. I ran it three years earlier helping pace/sherpa for my friend Marion McLellan running her first marathon. The course had changed quite a lot - so it was going to be interesting to see the differences.

The night before I picked up my race packet at the Marriott in downtown Provo. Very well organized compared to the nightmare of a few years prior. Met my dad, nephew (running the half marathon), niece and great niece for dinner at Brick Oven Restaurant. Jon and I were both spending the night at my dad's house to avoid the long drive in the morning.

Marathon mornings are equivalent to early mornings and we had to get up early. My bus pickup was by the Marriott, so got on the bus to head up the canyon. We were dropped off in Wellsville and I was concerned because I was not cold when I got off the bus - leading me to suspect it was going to be very warm out. I ended up huddled against a barn wall visiting with other runners. They introduced me to the Gym Boss - one of my favorite new running toys.

Headed up near the starting line to cheer on Kelli Stephenson and Walter Brown at the front of the race. Joined the throngs near the back and we were off. For the first seven miles we rambled through Wellsville and its surroundings. It was definitely going to be a warm day, but the early morning was cool and pleasant.

At mile 7 we turned into Provo Canyon and then the "real fun" began. The race is billed as a downhill race and I knew there was a couple of uphills, but there were more than a couple of uphills and they were long ones. To make it even more fun - once we were in the canyon we ran into headwinds. And not just easy and occasional headwinds - they were annoying and constant. The canyon was beautiful and tough, but I was looking forward to University Avenue - seeing my sister, and getting this over with. The heat and wind were taking their toll on me.

Marcia was waiting with cowbells and treats at the mouth of the canyon. Food was not sounding good to me but I got some ensure and later some powerade in me. She would swing ahead of me and cheer me on every mile or so.

My goal was to break 6 hours and I knew at that point I could do it. I was not really motivated - but was really drained and kept plugging away. I was glad to see the finish line up ahead. Finished in 5 hours, 47 minutes and 12 seconds. My 18th official marathon was in the books.

Expensive Faceplant

On May 5th, I went running on the Pipeline Trail with Leslie Peterson. The plan for the day was to do the first 9.4 miles together after which Leslie was going to head home and I was going to do the second 9.4 miles alone.

It started out as a great day. We were having fun running together and visiting. It was a bit cool at the start and we both hung our jackets up on trees about 2.5 miles in on the trail. People do this all the time on an out and back. It is accepted behavior.

We reached the overlook in good time and headed back. We passed the point where I thought I had left my jacket and I started to suspect my new running top had been taken by someone. When we found Leslie's older jacket on its tree - my suspicions were verified. This really ticked me off - I hate that I can't trust other runners, bikers and hikers because usually they are a very trustworthy lot.

As we approached the end of the first out and back, I was feeling strong and moving along well. With probably only 100 yards left, I suddenly found myself face down on the trail and thinking how bad my chest hurt. I don't know if I caught a rock, a root, or just a toe, but did a nasty faceplant. Dug myself out of the dirt and brushed off what I could. My upper left thigh, left upper chest and left hand hurt a lot. Looked down and the face of my Garmin was shattered.

Hobbled to my Jeep and had Leslie clean the blood off my hand and I pulled off the loose skin and we bandaged it up. I was determined to get in my next loop because I was hoping to do a race in less than two weeks and needed to see where I was at. I assured Les I was fine (silly me) and set off on round two while she headed home.

I did a lot more run/walk breaks on the next trip back to the overlook. I remember thinking that I probably bruised my pectoral muscle in the fall because it was bothering me some. Hit the overlook and turned back for the last stretch. About 200 yards after the overlook, I suddenly felt awful. I started walking and realized that I had probably been in shock and was going into more shock. Running made my upper leg and chest hurt really badly, so I knew I had to walk out.

I was a bit concerned in case I went into serious shock, so called my daughter in Georgia to let her know I was hurt and walking out and if she didn't hear from me in about 2 hours, to call for help. I must not have looked too bad because I passed all sorts of people who cheerfully talked to me. The last mile and a half were pretty bad, but I managed to finish.

As I drove home, I knew I was going downhill, but I called Jenn to let her know I was out of the canyon. Stopped to get a couple of meals in case I couldn't make it out for a few days.

I remember dragging myself into my kitchen and realizing I couldn't get off my compression socks or running bra because I couldn't lift my arm. Finally ended up calling a neighbor who came over and helped me. She wanted to take me to the hospital but I refused and told her I hadn't hit my head. After cleaning up and laying down for a while, I knew I needed to get some more help, so drove myself to Instacare. There was a very deep contusion over most of my upper thigh, hand just needed some disinfecting and taping. Xrays showed the ribs were not broken, but just bruised. They put me in a sling to keep me from hunching over and to protect the ribs.

So much for a race in a few weeks. Plus, between the stolen jacket, broken Garmin, xrays, medical bills and prescription - this turned into a very expensive run.