Sunday: I had planned on doing an evening run when I returned from our camping trip, but I ended up slipping in some water that had dripped on our hardwood, falling and hitting my head hard on the wall. My first concussion. I spent the night resting and confused.
Monday: I felt better this morning so went for my morning run down by the river. Happy I did, as always.
Tuesday: Getting a little sad to be leaving Boise–it is such a nice place to run and explore, but also excited for our ever changing life. I always like to spend time on these trails before we ship out.
Wednesday: Running against the wind. It added to the challenge.
Thursday: A run down by the Boise River had my heart aching with the thought of leaving. No doubt I am excited to run down by the river in Sarajevo though. I felt strong and happy to move my legs before a long, long 24 hour flight back home.
Friday: We woke up super early to catch our flight, so I couldn’t run. 😦
Saturday: The flight took 23 hours so was forced to take another day off. On the bright side, we made it back to Sarajevo
With our little tribe, we did our annual camping trip with my dad and his wife. It is a highlight of our summer each year. We loaded up our Trail Blazer with all the gear and made the three hour drive to the middle of Idaho. McCall, Idaho is a good meeting point for us because it is half way for both sides. My sister and her family also live there, so they usually join us for a little bit.
After unloading and setting up camp, we fatted out most of the day. In the morning, we were ready to find some places to hike. My dad knows Idaho like the back of his hand, spending every waking moment seemingly hiking all over the state. Side note–he has been to over 400 alpine lakes in Idaho…since he started counting 15 years ago. Along with all that knowledge of the land, comes maps for every area. He busted out his trusty dusty map and found around 10 options or so for our day hike. Looking at the map, it was a little unclear the distances to each lake, but we chose Deep Lake after some discussion about elevation gain vs. distance and availability of road and trail access. Keep in mind we have littles in tow—a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old.
We headed to the trail head of Deep Lake and were prepared for what we thought would be a 3 mile hike in.
It was a fairly steep ascent into Deep Lake, but ended up being much shorter than we anticipated. It was about 1.5 miles into the lake. I am fairly certain my husband just considered it good luck and that would be that.
My dad busted out his trusty dusty map again and we found some back up lakes. We looked a few to try and find, but had not settled on anything solid. After spending a little time running around the lake, we started our hike back to the trailhead.
Lady H hiked 1.5 miles back with a little help from her brother. Watch below.
Lady H is already a little trail runner. When she wasn’t climbing over logs and rocks, she was bombing those little legs down the dirt.
After stopping and talking to some people we met on the trail and getting some sound advice, we decided to try to find Lake Rock Lake.
Yes, that is the name.
We drove down some more dirt roads and landed back on the main road. We pulled off the side where we thought the trail might start. We started hiking and realized it would be a solid amount of bushwhacking and crossing creeks, sans trail. We turned around and kept driving…about 50 feet down the road. Nailed it. We found the trailhead and started some serious elevation gain.
It was this little lady’s nap time–she needs to be going at a certain pace to get into the groove of Manduca sleeping. This meant I had to head straight up hill and a fair pace, leaving behind the group.
She did get a solid nap in, even if it did fall a little short of her normal time frame.
Once Lady H had fallen asleep, I picked some huckleberries and waited for the rest of the crew. Not being in constant motion did end up waking her up, but she was happy enough as long as I made goofy selfie faces.
After carrying 32 pounds of toddler up 1,600 feet of elevation gain in 2 miles, I was pretty stoked to see water.
Not a bad view, and as my son said, “This was totally worth it!”
And just like that, back out.
Going down was much easier. I also made my husband wear the 2-year-old.
After we got back to camp, we sat around and drank some cold much-earned beers. Few things taste as good as a cold beer after hiking all day.
The next day, we soaked in the hot springs at Burgdorf. So good.
The same week as my race, my mother and mother-in-law had surprised me with a spa day so I could get a deep tissue massage to work out some of the knots that have been hanging around for too long. My massage lady nailed those knots, but it left me seriously wondering if I would be able to run again, much less race on Saturday. It seemed like she had brought back my plantar fasciitis full force and added a knee issue to boot that was nonexistent prior to the massage. I did some self-medicating, I went to the doctor, foam-rolled, iced, rested, and elevated. I had all but written off showing up to the race. I almost didn’t even get the race packet, but the runner in me wouldn’t cave. By Saturday, all of that pain was gone and I was in better shape than when I went in, so all’s well that ends well.
To add insult to injury, I spent the night before the race at a concert, carb-loading via red wine where I had one drink too many. I did not reap the benefits.
I did manage to make it to the race, where I had the usual and awesome support of my family. See below my pom-pomed son.
So, once I got myself there, I drank the coffee and ate the bananas they had set out for us. This was rough on the stomach, but ultimately I had consume calories and caffeine or I wouldn’t be racing.
After I got my bib, I looked around and realized it was going to be a pretty tiny race. Most people had signed up for the half marathon or the 5k. I had decided to do the 10k to try to get a specific time, which I knew between the injury prone week leading up to it and the wine carbs, I was going to fall short of my goal. I figured getting myself there and doing the race at this point was sufficient.
They did a countdown, and we were off. I pretty much stayed at a 5:10 (per kilometer) pace. I felt much better once I started running, but I certainly was not running at peak performance. There were two or three times I had to check to make sure I was on the right course, but it was pretty well marked. The greenbelt system in Boise just has a lot of path and the course did have quite places to turn around, so at times that made it a little confusing. I carried the map with me and worked it out. That didn’t help my time though.
I came across the finish line about 5-10 minutes behind what I had planned months ago, but that is okay. 10k is not my racing distance. I may look for another one to test out how or if I can improve, but I am still focused on the half and full marathons. I did manage to come in first woman overall, and second runner overall, but again, it was a small race.
I was impressed with the race organization. I knew it was going to be a bit of a mom and pop show, but they had a great swag bag, cool tech shirt, coffee and scones for pre-race goods. The race used timing chips, they had plenty of volunteers, music to start us off. The awards were also pretty sweet-better than most races, really.
Being just far enough away from our home to not warrant turning around into our already long road trip to northern Idaho, I realized I had accidentally went all purist and forgot my headphones and armband at home. I ended up doing this marathon sans music. I always leave the music at home for trail runs, but road running is a different kind of beast so I was a little nervous–pushing myself and going all out just short of four hours without music. It worked out– I enjoyed being in my head without any annoyances, fumbling around with technology. I have two young kids and a husband. Quiet time is golden.
Road tripping to the in-laws and then on to my hometown in northern Idaho was a trip in more than one sense. We traveled around northern Idaho for the week prior to my marathon, seeing loads of people, stirring up old memories and making new ones. The kids took horse riding lessons from their grandma, we hiked around some beautiful places, and I got to see my 96-year-old grandmother. I even got to see some old university buddies. It was pretty awesome. Traveling before the race did lead to some challenges–not the greatest eating, falling a little behind on rest, and generally being slightly less prepared than I knew I could have been for the marathon. Let’s just call it a few days of carb-loading and a solid rest day on Friday–it took 8.5 hours to drive from my hometown to Idaho Falls.
Road tripping while listening to Johnny Cash.
After an extensive amount of time spent in the car, it was good to arrive in Idaho Falls, pick up my packet and swag bag, and figure out a few important locations of the race.
We got to see friends from our Kazakhstan days, too. They have a house in Idaho Falls, so we stayed with them, spending the evening catching up.
For the morning of the race, I set my alarm for 4 am.
I drank some coffee, grabbed a banana, and my husband took to me to the buses. This course required us to be bused out to Bone, Idaho for our start at 5:30 am. I sat next to this cool lady–this was her 48th state that she had run a marathon in. She was 60 years old. I want to be like her.
It ended up being a 15 minutes late start, but no one complained. We ran alongside windmills, a sunrise, fields of wheat, cows, and in some pretty comfortable temperatures. There were also lots of rolling hills. More than I expected. I had set my goal thinking those hills were smaller. For whatever reason, the last few years hills and I have struggled to find a symbiotic relationship. It is more of a parasitic relationship. That elevation gain in the beginning messed with me both physically and mentally. I had moments of doubting myself and my ability.
Thankfully for my goal time, the hills only lasted for around 11 or 12 miles. Then it was a steep downhill for about 5 miles (8 kilometers). This is where I made up some of my lost time. I regained my third place on the descent, which was a little touch-and-go, but ultimately I was able to hold that position.
After the downhill portion, it leveled out and remained flat for the rest of the race. As the course wound through residential areas, I started to feel like I was running a marathon, in the sense of feeling its difficulty. When there was roughly a quarter of the race left, I was up and down with my energy levels. I made sure to take at least two cups of water and a Gatorade at each station, about two miles apart. I had also brought along five energy gels and two electrolyte tablets, making me semi-nauseated for a majority of the race, but a necessary evil. Even with these precautions, I was feeling the push.
I managed to miss one of the arrow stickers, ending up going down a wrong street for a quarter mile. A man more conscious of his surroundings than I at that moment, waved me back onto course. After this, the half marathon runners merged with the full, resulting in plenty of people to follow on the weaving course.
The whole time I was running, I was mentally calculating possible finishing times, readjusting for the times I felt depleted and for the times I was feeling strong. Somewhere in the last 3 miles I knew that if I ran just a little bit tired, I wouldn’t make a sub-4. If I dropped down to a comfortable pace, I wouldn’t make my goal. Testing my mental strength and ability is, in part, why I do this. I went with all I had.
I was really grateful to have my family and friends there at the finish. Mr. G ran with me at the end so he could get pictures of me finishing. Super sweet.
I was beyond stoked to get a 3:54:28 as my finishing time. I did have a better time in mind, but those hills. I need to find a completely flat marathon someday. Still. I was really happy. It was 9 minutes faster than my last PR.
Idaho Falls Marathon was a well-organized race, with lots of support and volunteers. They had a fun theme–Christmas in July. This was a little bit of a selling point for me, if I am being honest.
After the race I waited around for the awards ceremony and had a recovery beer. A hazelnut brown ale. I failed to get a picture of this, but trust me. It was good.
Then we played tourist and went to check out the actual waterfalls of Idaho Falls.
I was feeling pretty dead this week. So, I listened to my body and went slower.
Sunday: My legs were hella tired today. Two half marathons in one week, both sub 1:45 half’s, had my legs asking for a recovery run–slow n’ easy.
Monday: Shortie run. Had to get out of town and needed to hit the road early. Running can be time consuming. Good fun nonetheless.
Tuesday: Went for a beautiful trail run. I stopped and talked to quite a few day hikers and backpackers. After talking with them decided to take the family to Alpine Lake later that day. Ended up doing over 24 kilometers (I started my Garmin late on the hike). Wonderful day but certainly earned some beers by the end.
Wednesday: After 24 kilometers yesterday, I decided to take a day off this week.
Thursday: Feeling a bit sluggish but got out there and feel better for it.
Finally got around to listening to Ear Hustle. A very well done podcast that will be making the routine circulation in my audio experiences.
Friday: Felt pretty wiped out this week. Not running at peak performance but also feel okay with that. Sometimes your body just needs to take it easier.
Saturday: I decided to go to the trails today. The Oregon Trail. It was hot and dusty. Still feel like taking it slow, so am listening to my body.