Lucy freaks out

Yesterday, I was minding my own business in the Family Room (watching TV), when all of a sudden, I heard a scream.  This was the type of scream that is typically reserved for nuclear war, tax increases, and at those who cruise at 10 mph below the speed limit.  But through the miracle of…genes, I recognized these vocal emissions as those from a daughter (I didn’t know which one, just that I was somehow, unfortunately related to this scream.)

In high school, I couldn’t run faster than a 15 minutes per mile pace, or than 50 yards (our front door, to the school bus).  But yesterday the shame was that there was no witness to see me fly down the backyard stairs and out into the lawn, where Lucy stood, petrified, tears- still screaming.

“Lucy!”, I yelled, trying my best to overcome her voice, “What is wrong!!!?”

“A bug!”, she exclaimed.  She raised her arm to show me, just as the mysterious insect flew away.  I examined her arm, to see where she had been attacked.  For such a small bug, whatever pain it had inflicted upon her, I knew that I had only minutes to perform first aid, before whatever poison this thing possessed, took over her five year old body.

But there was nothing.  At all.  She calmed down and I could see that she was perfectly unharmed.  Just scared.

On the other hand, I sustained an arm, leg and foot injury as I had barely objected to gravity, pretty much falling down the stairs, with a manner that one would barely called “controlled.”

Kicking over the hornets nest

Sometimes as a forty year old, I feel that I’m not in enough pain. Which is why I just (JUST NOW) signed up for my first ultra marathon. The Pony Express 50/100 are two races, which run over relatively flat ground. The 50 seemed like a good introductory race to the ultra category, so here we go.

This is gonna hurt.

I wonder if this will quash my dreams of a 100 miler, or if it’ll finally calm me down a bit. Maybe I’ll even go back to 10ks and just call it good. This will definitely help to determine my racing future.

This great run I did…

Miles: 1.4, 4.6
Time:  6:20 am
Pace:  0:9:00
Temp:  30º
Weather: Overcast, light snow
People I saw: Ran with Ryan
Pain/injuries: None.  Same ham stuff, really.

Notes: I ran 1.4, looking for streets that Strava hadn’t picked up on the heatmap, yet. Picked up Ryan and we ran another 4.6.  Wasn’t comfortable. Walked a bit, because I just wasn’t feeling it.

Hail, snow, mud at Lambert Park

Location:  Lambert’s Park
Miles:  5
Time:  12:32 pm
Pace:  12:47
Temp:  50º
Weather:  Cloudy, snowy, hail
People I saw:  Just me
Pain/injuries:  Left knee weakness

Notes:  In the middle of my niece, Kaitlyn’s mission homecoming weekend, I took some time off to get a run in.  I try to bring my running bag wherever I go, just in case I can slip in a run.  So I asked my brother in law, Lynn, to drop me off at a trail he’d recommend, near Alpine, Utah.

He started talking about Lambert Park, which is sort of up against the mountain, east of Alpine.  He dropped me off and I let him know I’d give him a call when I wanted a pick up (I would have run back to his house, but was up against time constraints).  I started off at a slow pace, knowing that climbing the switchback I’d identified from the truck, would require a steady, slow pace for me.

As I climbed, snow fell.  Not a lot, but enough to be beautiful and interesting.


Attacked by my imagination on the Provo River Trail (also I try 3:2 breathing)

Location:  Provo River Trail
Miles:  5
Time:  6:13 am
Pace:  0:8:12
Temp:  45 degrees F
Weather:  Sprinkling, some rain
People I saw:  Just a couple of walkers
Pain/injuries:  Left ham

When I run, it’s usually right before, or right after weather.  I suppose that this is ideal for most runners, but I really get a kick out of a change in conditions.  It’s fun to get myself out in different weather, because it almost feels like running in a new place.

In regard to the post’s title, at around the two mile section of trail, a sudden rustling in the leaves by my feel startled me (and, if I’m honest, sent me into a slightly faster pace.)

Almost as soon as I got home, it started to really rain.  Dang it.

Running the icy, muddy and dirty Shoreline with friends

Location:  Bonneville Shoreline Trail, starting at Squaw Peak Road
Miles:  5
Time:  1:02:55
Pace:  0:11:32
Temp:  40 degrees F (approx)
Weather:  Slightly overcast
People I saw:  Just my running companions
Pain/injuries:  Left hamstring was a little sore, but held together over some rough and fast terrain

I picked up Ryan and Barry at 8:30 am, yesterday.  We drove up, as far as we could toward Squaw Peak Road, but there was a gate that forced us to park.  We then started jogging, slowly up a pretty steep asphalt road, until we finally came upon the BST and headed east along a dirty, muddy, icy trail.  It was quite fun.

Our shoes were laden by a lot of mud, which we all seemed to notice and comment on.  It’s not too often your shoes go through weight fluctuations on a run.  But I suppose this is the life of trailrunners.  You take it, you deal with it.

At one point, the three of us tried to decide whether or not to cross a pipe and continue on (I know, I know).  Barry advised against it, then promptly crossed it.  Ryan and I toyed with the idea, but eventually gave in to thoughts of medical premiums and backed off.

There was probably a miscommunication as to how far we were going, because at some point, I was running by myself.  At 2.5 miles, I stopped and waited for the rest of my group, but they never arrived, so I turned around and went back to find them.

Once we were back together, we headed back through the mud and ice, slogging along the way.  At the asphalt road, we picked up the pace.  At some point, I thought it would be fun to see what a 0:4:00 minute pace felt like (downhill, of course), so I gave it everything I had, just to come up short at a 0:4:30 pace.  But it was probably the first time I’d ever run that fast.  I held it for about a minute or so.  It was…liberating?  Is this was it would have felt like, had I gotten into running as a kid?

Who knows.

In a way, though, every time I run on the Shoreline, I feel like a kid, again.  It really is a blast.  Much, much more fun that the streets, or paved trails.


I'm being stalked! Wait, no. Yes?

Location:  Lakeshore, Center Street
Miles:  4.4
Time:  6:16 am
Pace:  0:8:43
Temp:  30 degrees F
Weather:  Foggy, cloudy, beautiful
People I saw:  One person before crossed Lakeshore bridge
Pain/injuries:  Left hamstring was painful until about a mile in…settled down.

Sometimes it’s hard to know when you’re being followed, about to be attacked from behind.  But today it almost happened.

It was a little chilly, but beautiful and foggy.  Before I left 2770 West, I could already see two lights at the airport, flashing, lighting against the fog.  For a while I thought that one was at the airport and one was down by the lake.  It’s a pretty big airport by my standards.

But as I was running down Lakeshore, toward the lake, I kept hearing footsteps behind me and, occasionally, breathing.  I’d look back to see if anyone was there, but it was so dark that it was just hard to tell.  So I’d keep running.  This happened about three separate times.  Really weird.  At one point I even thought I saw somebody behind me.  Once I went by the lake and started up Center, I couldn’t hear or see anything, anymore.

This is the excitement of running in the foggy dark.

The bummer about this run is that because I sort of did a larger loop, I had the sense that I’d run around 5.5 miles.  But when I stopped my Suunto and looked, when I got home, I realized that I was more than an hour off.  I’m not very good at “feeling” distance, apparently.

This pic is from about 45 minutes after I finished my run, but it was so pretty that it deserves honorable mention. One of these days I’m going to coincide my run with the sunrise.