Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Remembering and Reflecting-Memorial Day

It was a special day full of many things I want to remember.  The morning started out with a 10K run in American Fork called the "Remembrance Run" to benefit people who have served our country.  I was honored to get to participate.
 I have been reading the Hungry Runner Girls blog for about a year now and I was so thrilled to finally get to meet Janae in person at the race.  She is just as cute and peppy in real life as she is on her blog.  It was also great to see Julia again.  I just really love going to a race and being able to see a face or two I know. 
Then I saw this family I knew, the Buker's, who actually live in my ward.  Marshall and Kirsten were running the 10K and the kids were running the 1 mile fun run.  I love this gal next to me.  She is in my Sunday School class and is one smart little cookie. 
 Amy ran her 1 mile in 8:15 and Scott ran his in about 9:00 minutes.  I'm pretty impressed they would actually get out of bed on a morning they could have slept in.
 The race started at 8:00 pm and it was beautiful weather for a run.  After having run 15 miles on Saturday on the Draper canyon trails I had no idea what I was going to feel like running 6.2 but I was mentally up for the challenge.  I started pretty close to the back of the crowd and pretty much stayed there the whole way.  I wasn't in any hurry but just wanted to keep a steady pace.  Around mile 5 we got to run through the cemetery and it was so beautiful to see the flowers all over the graves and the flags blowing in the breeze.  I also thought about my Porter as I ran here.
 It was pretty awesome to see this helicopter from way up the road landing here in the middle of the street.  I had to stop and take a photo of that.
 I finished with a time of 1:10:17.  Not my best time but also not my worst so I was happy with it,
 all things considered.
The end-of-race-treats, which I have made known before, is my favorite part of a race, were bananas, oranges, watermelon and fresh bread.  Pretty decent.
 After cleaning up and doing a little grocery shopping we gathered together as a family and had a bbq and visited and laughed and just enjoyed a fabulous late afternoon lunch. 
 Dessert was cookies, candy, and ice cream bars that my dad called "Fat Man's"
It's pretty rare to get this little guy to actually sit at the table with all of us and eat his dinner.  I was impressed at how long he lasted and how much he ate.  He must like grandma's cooking.  Or I just picked out a pretty delicious watermelon.
 Miles has perfected the art of saying cheese.
We were missing Jordan who ended up working today so I have no picture of him, sadly.
 After we had stuffed ourselves and could hardly move we headed on up the road to the cemetery to visit Porter.  We were so surprised and touched to see additional flowers at his grave besides the ones we had left on Saturday.  It's so sweet and tender to me that after more than two years people still are thinking about him too.
Miles is always so content and happy at the cemetery.  He has so much room to just run his little heart out.  He has fun discovering trinkets on other people's graves but of course they are returned promptly.  We continue to tell him about his "Uncle Porter" and even try to get him to say it.  He calls Cooper "Uncle Koo-Koo" and Jordan he calls "Uncle Jo-Jo" and he can say "Uncle Porter" pretty clearly.  I just want him to know that this uncle of his that isn't here, loved him so much and that he's continually watching over him.  Someday he will get it and understand and truly know.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Heaven on Earth-Draper Trails 15 Mile Run

I just have to start this write-up with saying I felt like I had died and gone to heaven running this race. This was by far the most beautiful run I have ever been on and I want to move to Draper so that these trails can be right in my back yard! I came home and told that to Mark and he said he would live in Draper but it's too expensive. Boo:(
Josh, me, Jenn, Julia (I'm the oddball because my name didn't start with J)

All three of these cute people I have met through the blogging, running world.  I'm old enough to be Josh's and Julia's mom and Jenn's big sister, and it was such a blast to spend my day with all of them.  
I was so excited to run this race but I went into it again not knowing much about the course, only that we would be running 15 miles on a trail in the Draper hills, but that's fine with me because I have fallen in love with trail running recently.

I slept super good last night, in fact the best night's rest I've ever had before a race.  I think it's because I wasn't worried about trying to run a fast race and I was just going to get to be out in the mountains, and I would be with people I knew.  Going to races alone is seriously no fun.

Julia and I rode together and headed out about 7:10am.  We got to Draper pretty quick and had about 45 minutes to meander and visit and warm-up.  We got to know Josh for the first time and chatted a lot with him. Since he was running the 15 mile loop we encouraged him to hang with us.

There were three different lengths of races to run:  4, 7, 10, and 15 miles.  Me, Julia, and Josh were going for the 15 and Jenn was doing the 7.
The orange line is the 15 mile course.
We started right on time and started climbing into the hills.  I couldn't find elevation charts anywhere but thanks to Julia she provided one after the race.  It's seriously insane.  We climbed about 2300 feet through the whole run and descended about the same.

The trails were absolutely gorgeous!! So feet friendly with so much lush vegetation everywhere. I could have run here forever. (well, almost)
About two miles into the run we took a little side trail that the race director told us about to go see the "Ghost Falls".  It was a nice little rest break and the falls were pretty.
While climbing one of the many hills we would take walk breaks and at this particular time we noticed the valley for the first time.  We were in awe at how far we had come already.
Yes, we runners do take a lot of self-photos. 
Continuing on our journey a little while later we could see the Draper temple for the first time in plain sight.  Magnificent!! In the middle on the right side you can see the trail we came from.
Further down the trail and around a mountain we see the temple again.
This is a zoomed in shot of it.  I didn't run down this close to it.
I love this photo because once again as we were admiring the scenery we stopped and observed where we had run and was looking at all the trails down in the canyon.  I turned and looked up the hill and noticed the peaks of Mount Timpanogos over in Utah county.  That is my favorite mountain in the whole world. 
A zoomed in view of Mount Timpanogos.  On the left of the photo you can also see one of the water stations we had just come from.
In the middle of this photo it shows the ONE and ONLY bathroom on the whole 15 mile run.  I will say it's a good thing there were so many trees when nature was calling.  The shortage of bathrooms was the one and only negative thing I experienced on this whole great adventure. But getting honey buckets in the mountains would have been tricky I'm sure.

Jenn just ran the Ogden Marathon last Saturday and has had some injury set backs last year.  I'm glad to see she's doing so well now.  She decided not to push it too much and ran the 7 mile loop.  It was at this point that our paths parted and we were definitely sad to see her go.  She is a good runner and I am very inspired by her strength.
Here we all are waving good-bye to Jenn. 

Julia is a strong runner too and as we continued our journey I could tell I was going to have difficulty keeping up.  I told Julia that she needed to just run her own race and do her thing.  She will be doing a 50 mile ultra trail run in September this year and wanted to run this race as a training run. So we then told her good-bye and to be safe and keep an eye out for the yellow flags.  She was a little bit worried about getting lost. (Yellow flags were what marked the course for us). One great thing about this run was the trail marking were superb!  I never worried about being lost because the race director did such a good job marking the way for us.
There's no question we were going the right way.  I'm not quite sure how I got my face so close to that sign with tender quads.
This sign was in the most random spot on the trail. It was around mile 11 so we knew we were making progress.  We knew it was coming up and so when we got there we took a quick photo and turned around.  Josh felt like we needed to have a special thought and devotional at that precise moment. All he could come up with was the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost.  I remembered when I was a sophomore in high school I had to memorize that poem.  Too bad I couldn't recall it anymore except the last three lines.  It seemed somewhat fitting for the occasion.
Pretty awesome tunnel we got to run through, maybe around mile 12?
Not as cheery of a smile for this one.  We were definitely getting tired.
See the temple waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over there?  We still needed to get beyond that to get to the finish line.  We were seriously all over this mountain.
Still loving this trail.  Oh and the weather was absolutely gorgeous! It was cool and cloudy the whole time.  I think we saw the sun peek out once the whole day for about 30 seconds. We started getting rain and a little bit of wind in the final few miles but I didn't mind.  A lot of the final miles we were running under the trees.
Out of all the people that signed up for this race, maybe about 200 or less, there were only 15 people who ran the 15 mile course.  By the time Josh and I came in the party was over.  The race people were packed up and sitting in their cars waiting for us to finish.  I'm so glad Julia was there to tell them to wait for us.  She finished so strong with a time of 3:22:00.  I felt bad she had to wait so long for us because she was freezing out in the rain and my car was locked.  The race people were nice and let her sit in their car.

What an absolutely perfect day and I honestly can't wait to get back up on that mountain and tackle it again. Thanks so much Julia, Jenn, and Josh for running with me and providing great company.
My cool green race shirt
My official ticket they printed out for me at the end