Monday, January 10, 2011

One Fifth of the way to Fifty

The Other Half
This fall, Kevin and I went to Moab, UT, one of our favorite places. After lots of training, I was (mostly) ready to complete my first half marathon! 'The Other Half' was probably the most well organized race of any I have done. The run was on route 128 outside of town. Running along the Colorado river on your right and the beautiful red rock formations on your left was breathtaking (or perhaps I didn't have my breath because I was running). They had aid stations every two miles, most of which I didn't stop for, but it was a great way to help pace yourself. I had some knee pain after about 10 miles, but made it though with a smile on my face!

Jingle Bell Run
Kevin accepted a position as the Associate Pastor for family and community ministry in Elkins, WV. So, at the beginning of December, we (with lots of help from friends) loaded up a moving truck, then packed up our car with our pets and our extra stuff and began a journey across the country. The truck would be arriving in Elkins after about a week, so we took our time driving, stopping for a few nights along the way. One such stop in Columbia, MO allowed me to get in another race. This time, it was just a 5K. It was cold, but not too bad. After doing a 1/2, the 5K seemed pretty short!

10 races down 40 to go!

I am looking forward to continuing my life goals here in WV stay tuned!

A Tale of Two Trail Runs

Well, if you are reading this, you have noticed that I have not been very prompt with postings on my blog. Partly, this blog is going to move a little slow since I'm talking about life goals and not daily things. Mostly, though I have not posted out of laziness, forgetfulness, and the like. I will take this opportunity in the new year to make a fresh start and catch you up on my progress toward my life goals.

50 in 50 by 50

The Bandit Run
Last spring, I ran two trail runs. The first was a self proclaimed "grueling" run in Simi Valley, CA not far from where my grandparents live in Ventura. My aunt and uncle had rented a house for the month of March in Ventura. So, Kevin and I took this opportunity to visit family and for me to check off California on my 50 in 50 goal. I trained hard, but as the time got closer for the run, I wasn't so sure I was ready. I mostly was running on dirt roads, not trails (as all the mountain trails were covered in snow). This race was also a longer race than I had done (16K) before. Starting the race, I felt pretty good, I had a good pace and it wasn't too hard...yet. Then, I was headed straight up a mountain side doing steep switch backs. Several people around me started hiking instead of running. Soon, I was just hiking too. It seemed to take forever to get to the top of the mountain. Eventually I came to a ridge with a spectacular view of the ocean, that I didn't care too much about. The remainder of the way to the turn around spot was more gentle up and down and I picked up my pace significantly. The turn around spot was the only aid station and it seemed to be glowing as I approached it. I thought I heard angels singing as I helped myself to delicious water. Normally, I am very cautious going back down hills on trails, but not this time! Finally, I made it all the way down and across the finish line, I don't think I was ever this happy to be done with a race!

Earth Fair Trail Run
The second race I ran with Caitlin while we were visiting our friend's Henry and Emily in Charlotte. It too was a trail run just past the North Carolina border into Columbia, South Carolina. This trail run was a little different. The race was smaller, shorter (8K), and didn't have much elevation change. Part of the trail was just running though meadows, part was in the woods, and we actually started the race on pavement. I slacked off on training following the Bandit run, thinking this one would be a breeze. It was a lot easier and quicker than the first trail run, but it was hot and humid, something I wasn't used to. One great thing about a small race is placing when you haven't even run that fast! 8 states completed!