Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dallas Proposes a Trail Run

With no TTR scheduled this weekend, Dallas and I decided to run close to home and do Bear Canyon Loop, and add on an out and back on Sycamore Reservoir trail.

Total distance: 24.5 miles
AEG: 5,535 feet! (And this is accurate - I'm now adjusting my Garmin stats on the Garmin Connect website)
Total time: 6:49. It took us a while, but we stopped a lot along the way. More on that in a second.

Bear Canyon Loop was beautiful as always.

The out and back on Sycamore Reservoir trail was part of the 50 mile TTR run that Dallas finished 2 weeks ago. It was new for me. What a tough trail! It heads up to a ridge and down into Prison Camp, which is about 7 miles up Catalina Highway going up Mt. Lemmon. We took a break and then headed back.
Wearing the latest fashion from 'Ink n Burn'

Not long after we started back, a dog bit Dallas! This nice looking couple was out walking their dog (a Weimaraner, I think?) without a leash and the dog came running up to Dallas - it looked like it was playing. Then, 'chomp'! Dallas told the people their dog bit him, but kept running, with me running behind him yelling, "Are you okay?" About a half a mile down the way, we assessed the damage on his wrist through the copious amounts of blood. It was a pretty deep bite, but nothing that would require stitches. He wrapped his arm up with some paper towels he had and we kept going!

I know, what was I thinking? No picture of it.

After getting back to the junction, we descended on East Fork trail to Sabino Basin.

Dallas was a little ahead of me, and when I arrived at the basin, he was waiting for me there. He had already reassembled 'the heart'...

He pulled a beautifully wrapped purple box out of his hydration pack and put it in the middle of the heart.

He then said...(I think he said this, anyway, it all is a blur!!)
"I met you on the trail, I fell in love with you on the trail, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to ask you to change your name one last time. Will you marry me?"
He barely got through it without starting to get choked up. By the time I said 'Yes!!!' I was choked up, too. I opened the box, and the rings were there. We had looked at rings before today and decided to get matching bands - hammered finish, white gold, no diamonds or gemstones of any kind (but we got really fancy bands). However, he sure caught me off guard today! I didn't know he had bought the rings and I didn't know how Dallas would ask me, but the way he did it was awesome.

So, he put the band on my finger and we hugged and kissed and told each other how much we love each other. Isn't life grand? Dallas will wear his after we get married. There will be no exchange of rings at the ceremony - I'm just not that big into the 'big diamond ring' thing. One simple, but beautiful ring will do.
That's how I would describe the love between me and Dallas - simple, but beautiful.
I'm still not sure how we got back to the parking lot after that proposal. Over 7 miles of trail (we returned on Phoneline trail) and it was hard to keep my mind on the trail! I was so excited.

I love you Dallas, and I always will.
Happy tears today!!!
'Promise me
You'll always be
Happy by my side
I promise to
Sing to you
When all the music dies
And marry me..."
~ Train

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Redington 50k

Or, the Lost Souls 50k (yeah, I got lost with a few others for a bit).

Or, the Solstice 50/50, because there was also a 50 mile option (of which Dallas was the only finisher!!)

Total distance: 30.94 miles (alternate route)
Total time: 7:32
AEG: about 6,000 ft. (6,114 according to Wayne Coates' stats, so my Garmin was fairly accurate on this one)
Elevation range: 3,864 to 4,918 ft.

This is an up and down course - lots of rollers.

I was fairly confident I could finish this one, since the BCL last week went well. All of the muscle rolling with the duct-taped tennis balls is paying off!

I led a good portion of the group out of Prison Camp at 7am. I felt great!! When we reached Molino Basin, a lot of people passed me, but it felt good to hold my own for a bit on those hills. I could tell it would be a good day.

I made it up and over 'the ridge' pretty well and was greeted with a beautiful sunrise. Last year, we were dealing with very cold temps and snow/sleet/hail for this run - much warmer weather this year (and the run was even scheduled a month later than last year).

Around 6 miles in, I missed a turn that I was supposed to make. I was behind Alli and Glenn, and just wasn't paying attention. So, we all ended up running through Bellota Ranch (there was no sign noting that, but we did go through a gate that none of us thought looked familiar).

I know, Ross said DON'T GO LEFT OR YOU'LL GO TO BELLOTA RANCH. Unfortunately, there was no sign on the ranch, so through it we went, not knowing we were still off course.

We went a few miles on some hilly jeep road, all the while thinking, no this doesn't seem right, but onward we 3 went. We then hit a gate that said 'Bellota Ranch'. We knew then that we had gone the wrong way for sure. So, we turned around, not knowing we were IN Bellota Ranch! About a mile or so down the road, we ran into Doug, who was coming back from Chimney Rock (he started with us, but was not doing the same route as the group). He informed us that we were indeed in Bellota Ranch, and that we needed to turn around again and head back the way we had just come from. We went throught the gate with Doug, and he was going to help us to the AZ trail turnoff, which would lead to our out point, Redington Rd. 

He was heading back to the start (right), but we were going to be heading left. I saw an AZ trail sign on the right, but I recall Doug saying, no, that's not it. We kept going another mile before Doug realized his mistake. We had missed our left, which came before the right-hand turnoff Doug needed to take. Whoops. So, another couple of miles off course. We said goodbye to Doug and off we went, finally on the right trail! We were thankful to Doug for getting us on the right trail, even though he had led us off course a bit, too.

I was worried that somehow, I had missed seeing Dallas. He had started at Sabino Canyon at 4:30am with Tom, intent on completing a 50 mile course today. Dallas was on his way back when I finally saw him (that's Alli and Glenn on the right). He was worried about my mental state with getting lost and I told him I was fine! Just seeing him made my day. I needed that.
Grrr!! What a tough cookie.
I arrived a little behind Alli and Glenn at the Redington Rd trailhead with 17.5 miles. Since it was only 13.5 miles back, I concluded that I didn't need to do the additional 2 miles out and back to make a 50k. Getting lost had added enough!
Happy to be arriving at the aid station
Ross was asking me, "I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't given you the directions..." Very funny.
I barely ate anything (nothing sounded good), chatted with Ross and Pete (thanks for the aid!) and headed back behind everyone (I was still last).

I may not have been eating much, but trust me, I'm always talking...
I was feeling tired at this point, but realized I wasn't eating enough. After upping my food consumption, I caught up to Alli, Glenn and Mari.

For the most part, we all traveled together the rest of the run, which was great. I am usually alone on these runs, so it was good to have company.

Before getting to the ridge, I fell. Darn it! I tore up my right knee, hands and right elbow pretty good. Blood! Ugh.
I took this pic the next day. Hurt when I showered. Ouch.
I got right up and we headed on up the ridge. My injuries hurt quite a bit, but I knew I needed to keep moving. Alli was leading us up at this point, but was going pretty slow. She is a very strong runner normally.
I found out after topping out that she was out of water and couldn't eat! No wonder; I felt bad for her! It was getting pretty hot out there today - high around 70 or so - and we were all drinking more water than usual.

After getting to Molino Basin, her and Glenn got some water from a Forest Service ranger. I felt strong at this point, leading Mari, Alli and Glenn back to Prison Camp. It was nice not to come in last for once! It was Mari's first 50k and she did awesome!!! It was good to be done.

I yakked with everyone a bit and ate a bunch.
Yep, that's Tom laying on the ground over on the right...
Steve and I headed back to Sabino Canyon to wait for Dallas and Ken. Apparently, Tom had bombed out at 36 miles (migraine), leaving Dallas to face finishing the 50 miles by himself. Luckily, Ken from our group had run up from Sabino and was going to pace Dallas back down the mountain! What a fortunate set of circumstances! Dallas said that God sent Ken to him this day! An angel in the wilderness. I guess Ken just talked his head off the rest of the way, which kept Dallas occupied and focused on finishing.

About an hour or so later, we spotted them on the tram road.
Woohoo! And, he is smiling. Wow.
Dallas finished his 50 miles in 12:24. He had waited for Tom about 30 minutes at one point, so he could have finished in under 12 hours (his goal) if it weren't for that. But, you have to know Dallas. He doesn't leave people behind. His first 50 miler! I'm very proud of him.

Thanks to Steve for waiting with me! What a friend. Thanks to Ken for running the last 12 miles with Dallas! Also, thanks to Ross and Pete for aid.

A success! The Redington/Lost Souls/Solstice 50/50. An epic day, for sure. So happy to be running well again!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Me and 'D' on the 'B'

Bear Canyon Loop! This was the first time Dallas and I ran it together. There was no planned TTR run this weekend, so we decided it would be a good time to do it. Lo and behold, we show up and all sorts of TTRs are in the parking lot ready to take off!

We had a great time! I was worried after my terrible performance 2 weeks ago at the 50k (I DNFd at 18 miles). I have been rolling with a foam roller and also two tennis balls 'duct-taped' together. I have a really painful and tight spot where my hamstring meets my glute muscle, so I took 2 weeks off from any long runs and just started attacking it with the rolling.

This is my 'deep in thought Julie pose'
It worked! I felt like my old self again. I am still dealing with it, but I'm making progress.

I love running with D!!!

I'm a lucky gal!
This run definitely made me feel better - I was worried I'd never enjoy my running again. It has been one string of problems after another.

He recreated the heart again for me! Dallas has left this heart for me for a long time now at Sabino Basin where East Fork trail meets the Sabino Canyon trail. So sweet!

What a romantic guy. ;)
Total distance: 17.06 miles
Total time: 3:56. Not my fastest, but we took the Bear Canyon trail all the way out, which adds a little distance and time, instead of going out on the section of road.

Some of the guys were still there after their run, which was cool! We hung out and chatted a bit.

Thanks Dallas for a great run! I felt good the whole time. I love trail running!

“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.”
~ Richard Bach

Sunday, November 28, 2010

TTR AZ Trail 50k

This TTR event was an out and back on the Arizona trail southeast of Tucson - 15.5 miles each way, with an aid station at the 'out' point. A lot of the trails on this run are the ones we run during the Old Pueblo 50 miler. I got lost on this run 2 years ago. :(

It was Wayne's birthday and he briefed us on the course.

I've stopped blogging for a while because of this run. I just had a blogger's block. Reason: I Did Not Finish (DNF).

1. It was freezing at the start and mentally, I was not in the mood to run.
2. Even though Dallas was with me, we were quickly left in the dust by the group. We stopped to go to the bathroom and then later to strip off warmer clothes and lost everyone.
3. We missed a turn and added 3 miles onto our run.
4. My hamstring/glute pain became excruciating during this run. I had a difficult time power hiking the hills, which continued to add more time to our run.

5. At about mile 15, I fell bad. I had a big lump on my left knee which completely freaked Dallas out (a hematoma?)
No, it didn't look good at first.
I laid on the ground for a minute, unable to get up. Dallas tried to determine if I was badly hurt or not, and then he helped me up.
The decision was clear - we would stop running at the aid station. However, since we had gotten off track earlier, we had to go 3 more miles. I had a mini meltdown (I bawled) at some point, but managed to start running again a bit, mixed in with a lot of hiking.
6. Then, the wind picked up. It was cold. I was ready to be done.

Dallas agreed he would return with me. Gosh, I love this man. Thank you Dallas!!!
We saw all of our TTR friends on their return, which was great, but also made me realize how far behind everyone we were. I was really down on myself about my performance.

After 18 miles of slow hiking and even slower running (mostly hiking), we arrived at the aid station (4 hours and 17 minutes later!) Patricia was glad to see us. She drove us back to the start. Many of the runners had not returned yet from the 50k, so we went on home. Blah.

Others fell and got lost, too. One guy in our group got so lost that he did 40 miles instead of 31!!

Trail runs are a lot like life. Sometimes they can be tough. You can fall down, you can mentally and emotionally breakdown, and you can lose your way. I know that, just like life, trail running can also be awesome, so I'll keep doing it!!!

'This world ain't fair
It can knock you on your butt
You can just lie there or you can get back up
You gotta get back up...
There are times in life when you gotta crawl,
Lose your grip, trip and fall
When you can't lean on no one else,
That's when you find yourself...'
~ Lonestar

Friday, November 26, 2010

Me and Julie on Phoneline trail

Julie's 'deep in thought' pose
This is Dallas' picture on his desktop right now.
My friend Julie came in from CO and we did our usual 9 mile Phoneline loop trail run. It was cold in the canyon, but fun. She always gets me talking a lot on the uphills. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic 5k

First year ever doing the Turkey Trot! Dallas talked me into it, of course. I probably would have slept in otherwise... :)

Finish time: 25:32 - not my fastest, but it was a little harder running on grass and some hills...

We got to run over hay bales and water troughs, too! Lots of TTR's out today - here is my friend Joel (the one that was with me when I broke my wrist 2 years ago) with a splendid jump over the water. Wow!

I had fun! That's what really matters. The fun.

I got to see my running friends Shari, Steve x2, Tom, Chase, Joel, Sion, Chris x2, Denise, Wayne and Patricia. Cool! It is a family event, so I got to meet some of their kids, too, which was neat.
Dallas got a video of me coming into the finish (I'm in the mustard yellow top):

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A little run to Hutch's Pools

TTR had the Mt. Lemmon Ascent scheduled today, but I couldn't do it, as I had somewhere to be early in the afternoon. So, I joined up with them at the start at Sabino Canyon and just ran to Hutch's Pools and back.

My new friend Jason joined me for the out and back. Jason is a triathlete who has completed an Ironman and I met him through my blog. He loves to hike and is ready to really get into some longer trail runs. He'll fit in with TTR nicely!

Dallas hung back with us until Hutch's Pools and then did the ascent (and I might add, he ran back down from the mountain, too, for a total of 38 miles! You are an animal Dallas!) It was hard to watch him go as the skies were darkening and the weather was looking pretty ominous. He and other TTR's ended up getting into some snow and ice showers near the top, but in the end, they all said it was just a winter wonderland. Bummed I had to miss that!

Jason at the turnaround point-he was happy to be outside.
I had a little fall through the rocky section near Hutch's Pools, but just got a minor flesh wound and banged up my knee a bit.

Autumn is evident finally.
We came back via Phoneline trail for a total time of 3:41 and about 16.3 miles. Thank you Jason for running back with me!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Everyone Runs Half Marathon

Half Mary PR!!!

Total time: 1:51:17

My best finish time prior to today for a half marathon was in 2005 when I ran a 1:52:19. It was nice to know that 5 years later, I was faster! Must be all of that mountain running...

Dallas and I started out bright and early doing bib pickup. It was crazy! To all of you runners who wait until the morning of the race to pick your bibs up - don't come 5 minutes before the race!!!! Jeez!!! We still had fun and it was good to be of service. Plus, working with Dallas is awesome! We make a great team.

Ready to go!

I felt really good today, even though it was only one week since the 50k. I determined I was iron deficient again (which is why I felt so sluggish in Sedona), so I decided to start upping the iron. Usually, the running picks up within a few days. It takes about a month to really get back to feeling good, but I notice the extra oxygen almost immediately!!
Flying! Both feet off of the ground... :)
Mike and Kristi were out on the course taking pictures. So awesome to see them!
Waving to Mike and Kristi with my mitten hands (the shirt sleeve folds into a mitten!)
Steve's races are the best. Tech finisher shirt (and a long sleeve cotton one this time, too!) real breakfast, Robek's smoothies, excellent goodie bags, awesome course and volunteers.
Uh, could someone take my timing chip off of me? I can't bend over. :)
I was 4th in my age group out of 28, and missed 3rd place by 10 seconds! Not too shabby Pinkcorker - especially after running 33 miles last week! I came in 95th out of 313 overall. Dallas was 2nd in his age group with a time of 1:33 - he is fast and I am always proud of him!

What a great day. We stayed until the end, and watched my new friend Jason Adler walk/run his Mom into the finish!
I hope I'm still moving like that at 61. She's awesome.

"What matters is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog."

~ Dwight D. Eisenhower