Wednesday, April 4, 2012

46 Miles for 46 Years

(warning-long post and lots of photos) 
Saturday March 31st was my 46th birthday and I arose early at 5:00 am to start this crazy journey I concocted in my head about a week earlier.  I had mapped out a course to run/walk from Orem to the Salt Lake City temple which is about 40 miles. In order to get the rest of the miles to reach my 46 total I decided I would get on the boring treadmill to get the first few miles out of the way.  It was still dark outside that early in the morning and I'm a bit of a chicken to run in the dark so the treadmill had to suffice.  I was able to get in 5 miles and was super sweaty when I was finished so I hurried and jumped in the shower and got on a fresh pair of workout clothes.
My ever so awesome friend, Annaleesa, jumped right at the opportunity to help me out by riding her bike alongside me for a few hours of my journey.  She was coming to meet me at my house at 6:45 am and when she got here I was raring and excited to head out the door!  I had packed the backpack (that she wore) with all sorts of necessary items but when we got a little ways down the road I remembered I had forgotten my lunch still in the fridge so we went back to get it.  That added an additional .40 to my mileage on the garmin which was a good thing because I knew I needed to get in some additional mileage at some point.
I wanted to be able to keep track of my mileage running versus mileage walking and so in my little fanny back I wore I had a pencil and paper and would update every 5 miles what I had accomplished.  I also decided that I would just take random pictures along the course of whatever seemed interesting.  My first stop was at Wal-Mart in Lindon and after coming out we saw this strange thing way down the road coming towards us.  Annaleesa said "Hey that's my new house"  Could somebody please help Annaleesa find a better looking house than this to buy?
Stop #2 was at the Macey's in Pleasant Grove.  Nothing much exciting happened there except some of the employees were staring and pointing at me.  I'm guessing it's because of these pretty rad shoes I was wearing.  I got a lot of thumbs up and comments from other people on the road because of these cool shoes.  Annaleesa gave them to me for my birthday and I am really loving them. Yes, they are huge and yes I inherited the big foot gene.  I think I learned somewhere that it means I have a larger under'standing'-ha ha!  
Somewhere along the way between Pleasant Grove and American Fork my cute friend Jody called me and we chatted for a bit.  I'm really grateful that my friends understand my desire for crazy adventures and support me too.  She was helping her daughter move and would possibly catch up and say hi to me later.
Stop #3 was at a little convenience store in American Fork.  Nothing exciting to report about that except I was just in the greatest mood and loving this whole adventure.  I told Annaleesa I felt like I could just do this all day.  I was loving the early morning fresh air, the birds singing, and just the awesome weather.  As I ran/walked on into Lehi and passed Best Buy where my son, Jordan, works as an installer in the car audio install bay I was just a tad bit sad that he wasn't at work yet.  He was going in at 10:00 am and me and Annaleesa had made it by there around 9:00 am.  So I texted my son and said hello to him back at home.  He sent back super kind words of encouragement and a big "Happy Birthday" mama! 

Stop #4 was probably going to be my last opportunity for a bathroom and refilling my water bottle before a long stretch of road around the point of the mountain and so it was here I changed my shoes and got some orange wedges out to nibble on.
Annaleesa was such a supportive companion.  I could ask her for anything along the way and she would stop and get it out for me then catch up to me and hand it to me.   She also would just laugh at me when I would sing at the top of my lungs.
My mother called me somewhere around the outskirts of Lehi and wished me a happy birthday.  My dad was probably worrying like crazy about me and still wonders about some of my crazy ambitions.  I know he loves me though.♥
The next part of the journey took us under the freeway and over to the East side on the frontage road where we passed Cabela's and then headed on around the mountain.  My other super awesome friend, Laurie, was at a soccer game with her daughter in Salt Lake early this morning and said she would pick Annaleesa and her bike up at which time my husband would drive out in the car and shadow me until I was feeling safe getting around the point of the mountain and up onto State Street.  The wind at this point was so crazy.  It had been blowing earlier and was helpful in pushing me along.  It was at my back the whole morning.  But at the point of the mountain it was wild.  The cement trucks were driving back and forth and kicking up dirt.  But the wind was still in my favor and I was so grateful! 
The exchange went well.  Laurie found us and got out of her car and walked about a quarter of a mile and chatted with me while Annaleesa handed off the back pack to Mark and loaded up her bike in Laurie's car.  I thanked her profusely and should have given her a big hug but she hates that so she got a sideways hug! :)  They went on their way and my super supportive husband became my companion.  He would drive ahead a mile or more and park the car and I would just wave and smile as I ran by and he would do the same thing again.  He had some reading materials and conference to listen to as well to keep him busy. 
Stop #5 was not at any establishment but to sit down in the car and get relief.  It was somewhere near this billboard along 1-15 and about mile 20ish.  I could feel some major chaffing going on under my arms and had brought some large band-aids to put on.  Mark was ever so nice to help me out with that.  It definitely wasn't something Annaleesa would have wanted to do.  I also changed my sports bra since the first one was pretty much soaked from sweat.  I also decided to try a fresh pair of shoes with some Dean Karnazes insoles that Annaleesa also gave me. Which turned out to be a super nice decision.  I also got a peanut butter sandwich and enjoyed that along my way.  It was around this area that I enjoyed a nice long texting conversation with my sister, Kareena. 

Stop #6 was not too much further down the road at the Harmon's in Draper which was the first time for a bathroom stop since Lehi.  Mark bought some more band-aids just in case I would need more and I continued on up the road while he shopped.  He found me a couple miles down the road and took this photo along a road in Draper. Yes, that wind is still at my back and giving me some great relief from the heat. But a major mistake I made from the very beginning was not putting sunscreen on my legs.  I kept my arms covered and sunscreened my face but for some reason totally forgot about my legs. BAD MISTAKE!!!
Aren't these trees such a pretty sight to enjoy while walking?     
Stop #7 was at a Holiday convenience store on 12300 South.  Nothing exciting to report except I filled my water bottle with ice cold water out of the machine and continued on. Interesting to me how ice cold water can be such a refreshing pick-me-up.

I then finally made it to State Street in the very South end of the valley and knew I would be good from there on out.  Mark was kind enough to stick with me until he needed to get home to get ready for Priesthood session of conference.  He had tickets for him and the two boys at the Conference Center and wanted to allow plenty of time to get up there.  He continued to stay with me only going a mile or two ahead at a time or staying behind me for awhile.  Somewhere around 11800 South I got a text from Jody asking me where I was so I told her.  About a half hour later I see a lady on the side of the road walking towards me with her camera.  I was a little baffled since I didn't recognize her and then I realized it was Jody.  That was so fun!  Her husband dropped her off on the side of the road and drove ahead to let her walk a little ways with me.  That was super fun!  She couldn't stay long with me because they were still helping their daughter get moved.  In fact they still had the trailer with them and some cozy couches were in plain sight.  I offered to climb in and jump on the couches.  Yes, they thought I was nuts!  As I got into the Sandy area and got to the South Towne Expo Center around 9000 South, I started seeing a whole bunch of pink cars in the parking lot.  I actually counted 12 just from my view and knew there had to be more.  There was definitely a Mary Kay convention going on inside. I do love me some Mary Kay make-up!
Stop #8 At the other end of the parking lot at the South Towne Expo Center Mark took a couple of photos before I got to the car for my final stop with him.  I climbed in the car and changed my shoes again to my bright flashy orange ones.  I also changed my shirt and drank some Powerade and loaded up my little fanny pack with whatever I thought I might need.  I was so grateful for Mark and his patience with me.  He's already a patient person but you have to be extra patient to deal with some of my big ideas and dreams.  At this point I was just a tiny bit nervous to be heading out on my own with no more support.  Mark's sister lives up North and told me I could call her if I felt unsafe and needed her to shadow me at any point, so that helped  knowing I still had some back up if needed.

I said my good-byes to Mark and headed on up the road.  The next numerous amount of photos are just random proof that I continued my journey North.  At this point I had run more than I ever had with about 19 miles run and all the rest walked (about 13 at this point) and I decided to just enjoy the rest of the day and walk, only running if I got the desire, which I did only for a little bit more later on near the finish.
Rio Tinto Stadium
Weird skinny bear? Albino tiger? Dog with pig ears? I couldn't figure it out!
Crossing over the 2-15 freeway at about mile 35
And still hanging in there!

Stop #9 was at a 7-eleven.  I wasn't much in the mood for food but sort of wondered if I should be fueling my body. I filled my water bottle and used the restroom and wandered around the store deciding.  They had bananas for .79 and I almost bought one but it just wasn't sounding good. 
Double Decker bus in Murray around mile 38
"Hi there chief!"

Stop #10 I found a McDonald's.  Janae from the blog Hungry Runner Girl constantly talks about the need for ice cream in refueling.  At this point in my walk I was loving that idea and decided to indulge myself.  It felt so cold and refreshing after being in the heat for many hours.  The only problem was it wasn't big enough. I could have eaten a 2nd or 3rd one.
As I continued North on State Street and watched the blocks getting smaller I would get so thrilled as I got to a new number, i.e. 8000 South, 7000 South, 6000 South, 5000 South etc.  Also along this part of the journey Annaleesa was back at home and keeping me company with occasional texts of support and encouragment.  I also enjoyed a few texts from my daughter, Kali.  She wanted to bring little Miles and come pick me up and go to dinner but I just didn't see how that would even be fun when all I was going to be wanting was a cozy bed or couch to lounge on. I was also a little worried about her getting stuck in conference traffic. 
One of the running blogs I read is fast Cory and he talks often about Hostess products and ultra marathons (which I hope to someday try).  He even hosted a half marathon in Southern Utah where you had to eat a hostess item at each of the aid stations.  Trust me, I was tempted to sign up.  I saw these on the ground and instantly knew I needed to take a photo.  I didn't eat them though! Cory probably would have, he loves them that much. 
This photo is obvious since I have a son named Cooper.
I saw this ad and instantly was wishing I was enjoying some pampering at that moment.

Ummmmm..............That is just super weird!  I had to do a double take and even walk back after passing it to make sure I was really seeing what I saw.  Why would someone plant fake trees outside of their place of  business?? There were 2 of them!

Somewhere around 3300 South my good friend Laurie called and we chatted for awhile.  This was certainly a nice aversion to the heat and wind and pain.  My mother also called me again right after talking to Laurie and I enjoyed my visit with her as well.  My dad in the background was still not hardly believing what I was out here doing, but was glad I was safe.  It was sometime during the last couple of hours that my watch was telling me the battery was getting low.  This was part of the journey where I started running again.  I was so worried I had come all this way to not be able to have a true record on my watch of the actual outcome at the end and so I decided to try to pick up the pace.
Finally arriving into Downtown Salt Lake City!
The Scott Matheson Courthouse

Some protest was going on on the other side of the street.  People with signs were chanting angry things about a guy in Florida.  I was glad I was on this side of the street.  The policemen in yellow and black seemed to be keeping the crowd under control.
I was so happy to get to this point in my journey because I had been walking North for almost the entire route.  It also meant I was almost to my destination.  At this corner I got to make a left hand turn and head on over to Temple Square.
The Lion House
Beautiful flowers on Temple Square
The mist coming off of this fountain felt so refreshing!
The temple finally in view.
I made it to Temple Square!!
My husband and boys were in this building as I walked by.  "Hi guys, can't wait to see you." 
I only had another block to walk to get to Mark's sister's house to rest and relax and wait for Priesthood to get over with so that I would have a ride home.
Mark's sister took this final picture of me being finished!  I got in her bathtub and took an ice bath for a good 25 minutes or more and then Mark's mother massaged my legs.  They were certainly tender.  I sat cuddled up in a blanket and watched tv and ate ice cream while waiting for my boys.  When they got here Mark's sister had a beautiful birthday dinner for all of us of ham, potato salad, peanut jello, and rolls.  Dessert was coffee cake.  Thanks so much sis and mom!!  We appreciate so much your goodness to us.  This was a good place to land after a long journey.

My final watch time showed I traveled 41.25 miles in 10 1/2 hours.  Add that to the 5 miles on my treadmill at 5:00 am this morning for a total of 46.25 miles in 11 1/2 hours.  Of those 46.25 miles traveled I documented 20.5 of them as running miles and the remainder 25.75 as walking miles.  Not too shabby considering I have yet to embark on a marathon journey. will happen.

*Questions asked of me afterwards

1-Would I ever try a long distance again?  Most definitely!  I just need a little while to recuperate please.
2-Did I ever want to quit while out there?  No, I actually enjoyed this whole experience, and didn't start feeling foot pain until about the last 5 miles. What started as a tiny blister on the bottom of my foot and feeling like a little rock stuck in my shoe turned into a big blister by the end of my walk and I was grateful to finally be finished. 

3--Am I sore?  Most definitely!  This blasted sunburn on my legs is hurting worse than my sore muscles though.  Actually now that it's four days later my muscles feel good.  I can go up and down the stairs now without holding on for dear life but the burn is still hanging on.  Also, I think I'm going to lose a toenail on my right big toe.  It's pretty black and blue and tender.  Oh boy!

4-Will I do this again next year on my 47th birthday? It's a possibility.  What would make it even more appealing though would be having companions joining me for the entire journey. 


Unknown said...

I am so stinkin' proud of you. That may be the most memorable birthday ever. I don't think I could have done it! Great job! And Happy Birthday!

heather said...

You are just so cool!! Happy Birthday!! And thanks for taking pictures along the way for all of us.

wendy said...

OK...seriously I BOW TO YOU.
I can't even begin to imagine tacking such a quest.
The wind itself would have defeated me. I HATE WIND.
I still can hardly believe you did that whole walk....
I just walked 4 miles the other day , and had a blister on my heel.....I am sure I'd be a foot full of blisters. NOT FUN.
YOU...are awesome.

Nikki said...

WOW!! You are Incredibly Amazing!!! That was quite the adventure and I think it is so awesome that you do things like this. You are VERY Inspiring!! Congratulations for that cool accomplishment. I hope you are stocked up on Aloe Vera. Sunburn pain is the worst!!

Heatherlyn said...

Wow!!!! I am stuck somewhere in between being in awe: what a cool, creative idea ... and holy cow 46 miles that's crazy! Somewhere between fun and thinking "ouch!" You are amazing! Happy Happy Birthday!

Cynthia said...

You. Amaze. Me. How awesome are you? So much of that route is familiar to me! You even passed by my old condo in PG where Greg and I lived as newlyweds (by the Circle K). I helped with the construction of much of what you passed going through Sandy back 'in the day' too. I know every inch of road that you walked- you're incredible! I can't imagine doing it but it's been fun to live vicariously through you!

Kathy said...

You are amazing!!! Hope your day was great.

Arica said...

That is so awesome. You are totally ready for a marathon. I still want to run sometime but my long runs and schedule has been crazy. Hopefully and seriously what an amazing accomplishment!!

Momma Twitch said...

You did awesome!! I'll have to try that one day. I love all the pictures along the way. :)

Happy late birthday!

Doran & Jody said...

I am SO proud of you!

I would SO like to do this with you next year...maybe. But we will have to walk YOUR miles not mine.

Your accomplishments gets ME giddy!
High five!!!

Love your guts!

You have such a GREAT support team!

Doran & Jody said...

I am SO proud of you!

I would SO like to do this with you next year...maybe. But we will have to walk YOUR miles not mine.

Your accomplishments gets ME giddy!
High five!!!

Love your guts!

You have such a GREAT support team!

Cory Reese said...

You. Are. Incredible!!!!

Honestly. I don't know what to say. I have to admit, I am surprised that anyone could pass up Zingers. How is that possible?

This is such a "Who would do that?" event, and "Who would do that? things are always impressive.

I'm proud of you. What an awesome accomplishment!

LL said...

i am in AWE. You're amazing!!!