Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Little Adventures


I feel like it's been forever and a day since I last wrote....end of the school year activities have left me a little manic. The end of may is like some whirlwind time-warp, I lay down each night and wonder how the heck we crammed it all in: senior graduation, band concerts, choir concerts, college daughter moving back home (ok, granted she is only 20 minutes away...still, it's time consuming), job hunting, running, wt training....

Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting Katheen and Steve from Happy Trails, for a little quasi-trail running in Waterton Canyon - yay!! I say "quasi" because it's not really a trail, as in a single-trek-roots-and-rocks-poking-everywhere-so-you-can-trip-over-them-and-twist-an-ankle trail, this was just a hard-pack wide dirt trail with some pea-gravel thrown on there for safe measure. Still, better than hard asphalt pavement. But the scenery is absolutely stunning!!
I don't venture up this trail much in the summer as the angle of the sun hits this canyon so there isn't much shade (unlike now where you do get a little reprieve ... but not much). There are plenty of restrooms, thankfully, but there is no drinkable water and 12 miles in the heat of the summer up this thing is pretty miserable. You can go further past the usual 12 I run, on part of the Colorado Trail, where the section is actually more real "trail"; but it's steep and I'm whiney so I just top Waterton running at 12 miles usually.


Kathleen and I ran the majority of the 12 together - look how totally in unison our placement of arms, legs and even feet are!!! Perfectly synchronized!! I don't think we could replicate that again if we practiced it for a year! Here's a full shot of us running the canyon so you can drool a little....


And a close-up so you can really tell we ARE two peas in a pod! I promise, we did not pose for that shot at all!

Steve wasn't able to run with us due to a little injury so he mt. biked the canyon and went a little further up the single-trek trail. He got a picture of the notorious big horns that fill the canyon:

Though the view was amazing and the company awesome, I was dying running - I was struggling for air. I was really getting frustrated with this whole lack of ability to run, which has been the case for months now. But to back up a couple days, I woke up Thursday with a headache that'd been brewing for a few days to where my head was about to explode. Come Friday, I couldn't breathe and I threw in the towel and headed to the doctor for some drugs, certain I had yet another sinus infection. Nope. He told me that allergy season is just over-the-top intense right now, worse than Colorado's ever seen, and what I needed was an oral steroid to get rid of the crud sitting in my sinuses causing all the inflammation. ACK!! I was afraid; I heard a lot of whacked-out side effects. But I was desperate so I dove in and by Friday night, I was seriously nauseous and light-headed. I consumed almost an entire box of Cheerios to combat the feeling, which sightly helped, and added some unwanted poundage. UGH. Just what I DIDN'T need! Saturday I woke up feeling slightly better and decided I'd go to Athletic Training class (you know, the one that NDS teaches, the one that almost deprives me of my existence me each week). Thankfully, class wasn't as much cardio as it was muscular strength. Don't get me wrong, class was still a killer (60 30M sprints with about 2 seconds in between each. And that's no joke!! Along with major core stuff, inch worms, pushups, and drills) but I wasn't using my inflammed lungs as much as my muscles. With the crazy steroid now in my blood system, I was really struggling by the end - my stomach was doing somersaults. When Sunday came to run the canyon, I felt a little better but going up the first 6 miles was just not making my body happy and once we turned to come back down the canyon, I was really light-headed again. My friend, Dennis, had come out to run the canyon, too, and the speedster he is, he was done well ahead of us (me! I was totally holding Kathleen back!). He started running back up the canyon to find me and ran the last mile I had left with me and helped drag my sorry butt back to the car. It was really nice talking to him again and catching up some, it's been a long time.

I was frustrated at first, there's no other word for it. My running's been in a total rut since well, eternity, and this sinus stuff was exacerbating the whole situation. Kathleen was really sweet and filled with words of encouragement. She reminded me my life's stress will soon pass and I had good strong running legs (I think she used the word "shapely" legs - bless her :) ), they were just currently in a slump and their potential is lurking right behind the surface and would breathe fresh air soon. In the end, I actually saw my overall pace and it wasn't as bad as my lungs were making it out out be. I think she's right, this icky stuff will soon pass.....I GOT to spend a great morning in a great location with some great people. I have nothing to complain about!!! Sometimes the only choice to make in a moment is the choice to have a grateful heart where you can get up every day and do the thing you love the most; despite the fact you may not be feeling 100%. I feel I can now look something as daunting as a 12-mile run up a canyon while on medication that makes me nauseous straight in the eye, and thank God for the challenge. By choosing to be grateful, I can change the entire energy flow of a situation from dread to wonderful. What a great adventure!

While I was in the midst of a lung attack in Waterton Canyon, twin #2 was up in the mountains, ready to tackle Mt. Sherman (one of the 52 14,000' peaks Colorado possess. Yeah, I'm totally blessed to live here. Aside from that nasty pollen in the air!). Brendan's a little obsessed with mountain climbing and he's watched one too many documentaries and read too many books on climbing all sorts of technical mountain peaks, so his vocabulary constantly resembles something climbing related. He somehow talked his dad into camping at the base of the mountain Saturday night, where, mind you, it's still well below freezing (we're talking total tent camping here folks! That's what climbers do, you know - they camp. I've done my share of camping - from car camping to backpacking a lot of the Colorado Trail back in the day. But that was back in the day. I've done my time, thank you....hello Marriott with feather pillow-top mattresses!!!). He went to bed that night at 8:00 and got up at midnight to start climbing (did I mention he's watched too many climbing Everest documentaries???). No real purpose to the midnight thing other than that's what the climbers do in Everest and well, that's what he wanted to do: emulate as much hardship as real climbers do. And he never complains. Except later that afternoon when he was over the top tired and I told him he had to mow the lawn.

All I can say to this tent thing is um, NO thanks!!


Starting up Mt. Sherman, elevation 14, 036, at midnight.

Arrived at the top at 5:30 a.m. It's not Mt. Everest, but it is still very pretty!

btw, the picture at the top is one B took as he witnessed the sun rising.

And we've made it to the top!!! Yay, B!! Though I can't say I share his passion, I'm so proud (and very impressed) that he tackles these 14ers. He absolutely loves it....and I understand his love :). This is his adventure, and what an adventure it is!

I have finished the steroid today and I have to say, I'm actually feeling pretty good. I'm still congested in the mornings and at night, but the severe hammer pounding on the inside of my head has lessened by about half and I can breathe most of the day without my nasal spray attached to my hip. I've had two pretty awesome runs since the canyon: yesterday I ran about 5 miles of hill repeats at MP (still slow, but felt oh so much better than the last time I attempted this) and today I ran 5 miles with each mile progressively getting faster til I was at 1/2 MP. Each felt incredible. A couple good days of running, some awesome weight training/core workouts, AT class really doing some amazing things, and my eating WAY better controlled - I think this running thing is slowly coming around (even my heel is about 50% happy. Maybe that steroid helped the heel???? )

All I can say to that is - YAY!!! I hope it's around to stay. I'm ready for my next adventure!!

45 comments:

elaine said...

I love it when I'm the first post-er! Thanks for finally posting on your blog, you know I check it every day. And yes, it does look like your legs are making a comeback! Question: Who took the pictures?

Steel Springs said...

I'm glad that the steroid seems to be helping! I hope you can get back to feeling 100% soon. Your run in the canyon sounds like a struggle, but the pictures are beautiful.

Congrats to your son on the big climb. Did he get to see the sunrise on top of the mountain?

HappyTrails said...

Woo-hoo for feeling better!!! Let's keep our fingers crossed that things are on the upswing and you will get to fully enjoy the fact that summer is finally here! Just keep whispering sweet nothings to those lovely legs - they've been good to you in the past- they will behave nicely again, I am sure! :-) We will hit the Incline in a few weeks and shock them back to life! Have a great weekend!
Kathleen

Johann said...

Thanks for a lovely post and beautiful pictures. Hope you feel better and better! That looks like such an awesome run. Yeah for the climbing! I have lots of respect for him!

saundra said...

Jill, I hate to be "that runner" in the group as well. The one holding everyone back...But you were in the company of friends/family and enjoying a beautiful display of nature. I'd say you were pretty lucky that day! And your legs do look nice and shapely.
Sorry to hear you are still battling the war on sinuses but I'm glad you are feeling better. Just don't forget that you're a rock star even when the runs don't feel as good as they should! Take care.

Jennifer said...

I have had to take steroids for the head thing as well, it does help me, although I get very few side effects. Jill, keep a positive attitude, this hard time shall pass. You are such a wonderful and encouraging person and your willingness to share your compassion will come back to you ten-fold!

Suzy said...

So glad to read you are feeling better. The side effects can be a pain, but you'll be better and back to yourself (and better( soon. I love all the pictures!

C2Iowa said...

You are blessed in many many ways. Hope that you enjoy it.

Marlene said...

BOO allergies. Glad you got some help and are starting to feel better.

Wow, congrats to Brendan! Thanks for sharing the pics.

Abby said...

Even your muscles are in sync :)

Sounds like an amazing run - glad to hear you're on the mend!

And kudos to Brendan for what looks like an awesome climb!

Staci Dombroski said...

Such gorgeous pictures!!

marathonmaiden said...

glad youre feeling better. it's never fun to feel awful when you've got a full plate (like you do!) beautiful pictures too!

Christi said...

Congratulations to your son! That is an awesome! I am glad you are feeling better. I know you will be back kicking it up in no time!

ShutUpandRun said...

Oh Jill, so sorry!!! I know this is just a temporary slump that will naturally die away soon. Hope you feel better and looking forward to seeing you soon!

onelittletrigirl said...

I am ready for your next adventure too...and Yvettes!!! I really hope you are feeling better soon. I love the in-unison photo!!!

Jocelyn said...

Glad you are feeling better and damn I am jealous of where you run!!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

Seriously it's all so beautiful, that would be an amazing place to run. It's a bummer to be in a slump around all of that, but it happens to the best of us!

DRog said...

Unreal scenery! Great pictures...I'm envious! Hang in there keep pluggin away!
-D

Katie A. said...

So, your cheating on me with another runner? I'm hurt! J/K! But you're a little too "n-sync" with her!
Ugh, you can't catch a breat now with allergy season! I'm sooo sorry! I hope those steroids are doing the trick! Mmmmm, cherrios, haven't had those in a while, might have to pick some up!
And Brandon is so hardcore! I'm glad he and his dad had some time together.
Miss you! Call me!!!

Whitney said...

That canyon trail looks awesome - and big horn sheep?! TOO COOL!
Here's hoping you get feeling better FAST!

Anne said...

Glad the steroids helped...
Those are gorgeous photos and I love the sychronicity between you and Kathleen!

misszippy said...

You're right...I'm very jealous of where you get to run! Looks like the perfect trail and the perfect scenery.

I hope this medicine knocks out your crud once and for all! You need a break!

Finally, wow--your son is amazing. That would be too frightening for me to attempt!

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

okay, first you two ladies look smokin' hawt and freakin' ripped! dang.

and i love how your B is a mountain guy. it's really so cool to see..i hope my lil' dude is like that;-)

Run Jess Run said...

Good lord! Look at your calf muscles!! Totally ripped!!!

ajh said...

Beautiful pictures! It is so funny how alike you and Katherine look. I hope you feel better soon and stay that way. You are amazing to run so far when you aren't feeling well. I can't wait to see that beautiful state you live in!

lindsay said...

i'm reporting you for drug use after your next race ;)

kidding of course! glad you are starting to feel better - yuck for sinus/allergy troubles. mine have surprisingly not been as bad while i've been here in kentucky... weird. they blow up when i am home in SC though! :(

Julie said...

I am so glad that you are feeling better Jill! I bet that it was great to meet Steve and Kathleen and run with them:) You posted tons of gorgeous pictures! I love the one of you and Kathleen running picture perfect together:)I also love the beautiful pictures of twin #2 in the mountains...jealous!!

I hope that you have an excellent weekend girl!

Rad Runner said...

Holy amazing trail run! Breathtaking!

Adam said...

Ha - You guys WERE totally in sync! Too funny.

When I lived in CO I did a few of them and they were a blast. Not sure what was more fun - the camping or the hiking

Mandy said...

The picture of you two running together is a crazy perfect matchup! Definitely cool.

Running and living said...

Man, you've had a lot! Sorry! Glad you got to enjoy such a lovely run, beautiful scenery!

Sherri said...

Whooo Hoooo to feeling better! I loved your pictures...Beautiful! The goats are amazing!

Glenn Jones said...

I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better!

Those are some tremendous photos Jill. Especially the bighorns. I've spent a lot of time in the high country here and have yet t see my first bighorn. Thanks for sharing them. My first love has always been the mountains. I know *exactly* how twin #2 feels and what motivates him. One of these days he'll have to come out to California so we can climb Mt. Whitney together!

Anne said...

Allergies can really pack a punch and interfere with everything, so don't be too down on the way it's impacting your running. And what an adventurous son you have! And, by the way, congratulations to Yvette in the last post. I'm catching up, and enjoying all of your photos.

Mikey B said...

Every time you include pictures of your running paths, I become insanely jealous. I wish I had picturesque mountains and valleys here in Illinois! And the rams...wow!!!

Hang in there with the allergies. This season has been rough on me too (and I've never had allergies until now!). I'll keep this story in my head while I run my 14 tomorrow morning... the very FLAT 14 miles through the wild, dangerous, corn fields. Ok, well, there could be a vicious rabbit lurking behind a bush, so say a prayer for me. :)

Mikey

Velma said...

Thanks for the sweet note on my blog. The climb looks amazing!!! I just noticed you have a cabin in MI - how fantastic. I will be in the state this summer - beautiful. I am hoping the steroids will help :)

Meg said...

Hey, Jill! I hope your allergies are doing better...sinus issues and running DO NOT got together. Get better quickly!
I loved the pix of your son climbing, it is so great that he can do what he loves to do. Those pictures are gorgeous!!

Petraruns said...

Now THAT'S what I call an update. Scenic envy-creating photos (check), fabulous body-shots (check) and lovely wayward children doing their own thing (wisdom from mother in law - you don't get a tame rabbit from 2 wild ones..).

You're looking great Jillie, you're hammering those NASTY allergies, you're fighting back (doing pushups!) so stick with it. your worm is turning...

Tricia said...

what a lovely place to run

Irene said...

I'm glad you've found relief! That whole sinus thing can really mess up a person. This Spring has been wrought with all kinds of allergy producing greenery.

Wonderful pictures!

Robin said...

"Sometimes the only choice to make in a moment is the choice to have a grateful heart where you can get up every day and do the thing you love the most; despite the fact you may not be feeling 100%.....By choosing to be grateful, I can change the entire energy flow of a situation from dread to wonderful. What a great adventure!"

Jill, was just watching a show that took place in Denver, and thought of YOU. :) Love this quote from you, friend. I agree ~ gratitude is a wonderful thing.

HUGS from Orlando!
r.

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

Jill you look amazing! How did you get that great photo?

What an amazing area!

Tara said...

Yep, it's me, finally catching up on blogs...AND I see that I am a week late with yours. Need to do a better job. I love your pics of you and Kathleen! Sorry you were feeling well on your run, but it sounds like your 5 miler later on in the week went very well!!

Umm..that temperature looks too cold for me to stay in a tent!!

Jesse said...

Glad you're feeling better.
Your photos are making me insanely jealous. Why did I ever move away from Colorado?

Ulyana said...

Those are some gorgeous views :)