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