Thursday, March 31, 2011

Moab For Wimps

There are certain moments in a lifetime that leave a mark.  Our 3 day trip mountain biking in Moab was one of them, even though mountain biking isn't exactly my forte; I tend to get a little freakish over things which can potentially land me on top of my head causing a spinal cord injury and leaving me paralyzed for life.  But maybe this heel injury for the past year made me step out of my box, my comfort zone, a little.  Runners are doers by nature and some days I feel like I have sat back and let life happen passively.  Despite my children yelling, "Mom, stop riding the brakes" constantly as we rode the infamously difficult Slickrock trails, despite my heel screaming in total agony, and despite driving home in a freak mountain snowstorm which left me over the top tense - I had a great time and learned I'm actually a little tougher than I thought - I might even now be a real mountain biker!?!?

I took about 4 million pictures of the incredible geological features found in this area of Utah - and our adventure exploring all we could cram in for our days there - but I'll just include a few of my favorites, in caption style.  Enjoy!!!:

Fisher Towers; on the scenic byway into the town of Moab

First of several dorky posed pic.  This whole landscape was
formed by that one tiny river, The Colorado River.  Amazing!

Hard to concentrate on driving with views like this surrounding you

My daredevil children

Dead Horse State Park - simply gorgeous!

Yep, it's THAT big!

I'm not sure why, but I just love this picture.  Brendan said,
"I feel so small...."

The infamous Slickrock bike trail, 11 miles of mountain
biking torture on fossilized sandstone rock.

Brave girl, that's me!  You can't get lost, exactly, as long
as you don't venture off the dashed lines.  Or fall into a crevasse,
or off the ledge into the canyon.

That's Brendan smack in the middle there.  Don't let that picture
fool you, this is a very tough ride!

Up and down and up and down up down up up up down down....

I DID IT!!  I'm alive AND I have no broken bones!

Canyonlands N.P.; Ryan and I rode our bikes from this spot
to the very bottom.  5 miles, 1500' down. 

Here we go!!

Ryan, about half way down.

This picture shows how miserable the trail was; VERY rocky and very
steep.  There is no way to navigate around the rocks so you just
go over them and your arms shake so bad.  Poor Ryan really
struggled with his arms hurting from all the rocks.  That thin line
in the background is the trail below us.

At the bottom - YAY! 

It felt so good to be off the 1500' cliff road where the protruding
rocks were aggravating my heel. 

Coming back up was challenging, to say the least.  The
park ranger at the bottom of the canyon told us it'd take us
2-3 times longer to go back up than it did to get down.  It took
us 1-hour on the dot to get down so I was hoping we could get up in
2-hours.  We had to walk a LOT because it was just SO incredibly
steep and this was causing my heel so so so much pain, but we
got to the top in 1:40!  Take THAT Mr. Park Ranger, we ROCKED IT!

Our last day we went to Arches N.P.  By this day, my heel
was absolutely killing me and my disposition was totally in
suckville.  But it was pretty, despite I could barely walk!
My running shoes badly wanted to run in this red dirt,
but alas, they could not :(
Arches N.P.

Bye, Moab - until next time!

Since my return home, I have been on a whirlwind going to appointments, and just catching up with life.  I may, or may not, have had a small melt-down with my physical therapist on Tuesday over how badly my heel behaved in Moab, and upon it's return - but I'm happy to report that it's now back to about a pain level 3 (on a 1-5 scale...about where it was when I left).  I will admit, there are many days where my disposition is just in the toilet with this whole fiasco and I wonder if I will ever run again...but I'm not giving up, I know I'll get there eventually....

....and if not, I can always go mountain biking!!!  :)

I am so behind in blogs and I apologize for that, but I will catch up - promise!

I can't close without mentioning quickly (and will touch more on this later) that my coaching website is now DONE!!  A HUGE thank you to my friend, Dave, for doing this for me.  It's been a project in thought for well over a year so it's awesome for me to see it come to life.  Please check it out and let me know what you think....I'd love the input (click on the icon/link on my sidebar).

Run strong!!


juanitagf said...

What a beautiful place! I am sure your boys were very proud of ou. They will have some great memories of the trip!

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

nice pix and great fam getaway. love arches! been awhile since i have been there. your pix have me ready to go back again.

Raina said...

Oh Jill! I just can't get over how BEAUTIFUL it is there.
The new photo in your blog header caught me right away, but the rest were stunning too.

To go on that adventure with your boys, I bet you will treasure that for a lifetime. I would DIE in the up/down hilly, arm-rattling stuff. They only way I ever survived 50 miles on a trainer bike was because it was recumbent and the seat is not a normal saddle. You must be tough!

I can imagine how badly you wanted to run in that red dirt; I hope it is SOON. Praying for you!

Caroline said...

wow....those are beautiful pictures, love love the new header you have! I hope I get to do things like that with my boys when they are a bit older. I hope yours sons appreciate how cool their mom is!

Scott McMurtrey said...

awesome images. such a beautiful place.

XLMIC said...

Really incredible photos! Those parks are on my road trip list, for sure. But I think maybe not with a bike :P I am a biking wienie. Hope you can get that pain level down to a ZERO! Thank you for sharing this incredible trip :)

Kate Geisen said...

Oh, Jill, your pictures were amazing!! YOU are amazing. I want so much to be a mountain biker, but that riding would've had me curled up in a fetal position. You guys ROCKED it coming back up!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Awesome pictures. I so wish I had been able to make it out there when I was working in Utah.

Jennifer said...

Wow! I am breathless. I need to go there. My new mountain bike is begging me. Wait... I can hear it calling me now... It looks like you had a great time with your boys and thanks for the super pictures!

Jenn said...

Love the photos! Absolutely beautiful! Totally reminds me that God forgot about the people in Northern Minnesota when he made the earth-ha! Looks like such a wonderful trip with your boys!

Continuing to pray for the heel:)

I'm off to click on your sidebar NOW!! Excited about this!! Have a great weekend Jill!

Kandi said...

Wow! Those photos are fabulous! Thanks for sharing them with us. I've never been out west (other than flying into LA for a cruise). Looks like a really fun adventure. Glad you didn't die.

Anne said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos! What a wonderful totally rocked the mountain bike! Sorry your heel acted up :( will get better, you will.

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

My husband and I have had Moab on our mountain biking to do list. Love the pictures and how lucky are you to be so close? Very cool!

Going to go check out your website now ...

Questionably Texan said...

That place looks like heaven for someone with a geology degree! I like your new header photo too (at least I think it's new, don't remember seeing it before).

Running and living said...

Love the website and loved what I read over there:)
In am impressed that your boys are still taking trips with you. How rare is that? I truly hope mine will at least not hide from me when he is all grown up. That place is so beautiful! Gosh, I really need to travel more, this country is so beautiful! Glad you got a chance to recharge your batteries

DRog said...

what a great trip and fantastic photos
I always wanted to go mtn bike there when I was in FtCollins then also when I lived in Denver

now I feel even more remorseful:)


Christi said...

Great pix! I will be emailing you shortly!

A Prelude To... said...

I'm constantly WOWED by the beauty surrounding us. Those pictures are amazing! LOVE the new header!

HappyTrails said...

What an adventure! And such gorgeous pics! What trail/road was that in Canyonlands? Looks like you had a great few days with the boys. I am bummed for you, though, in regard to the heel. I understand about the discouragement and melt-down scenario. It has bee too long for you. I REALLY, REALLY hope the PT can help. We need to get together soon! Have an awesome weekend! :-)

Molly said...

the photos are absolutely gorgeous, I love your new header.

I'm the same way about getting out of my comfort zone. I won't go skiing because I'm convinced I'll crash into a tree and that will be the end of me.

your kids crack me up, so glad you had a great time!!!

off to check out your new site, Happy Weekend : )

Big Daddy Diesel said...

That looks like sooooo much fun (real shocking, especially from me), I am adding that trail to my bucket list. MTB'ing is a whole other animal, its fun and intense at the same time, defiently harder then road biking

Johann said...

Just so beautiful! One of the places I hope to see one day. Have a super weekend Jill!

Kristin Bradfield said...

Those pictures are stunning! What a great experience.

Black Knight said...

What a beautiful place, thanks for sharing the pictures.
I like the new header too.
Have a wonderful week end.

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

These picturs are amazing Jill!!! This had to be such a rewarding vacay with your family. Love the header! :)

I'm thinking of you and praying that your heel "heals" and causes you less pain each day.

Laura said...

Holy...that looks amazing. What great pics and trip!
Stupid heel...

Andrew Opala said...

Awesome pics Jill!

And the website is cool. I need to put something in the training tips about getting relatives drunk so that they can buy you a Garmin 405!

The heel pain sucks.

Anonymous said...

stunning pictures! "it's not that hard to get lost...unless you fall into a crevice" hahahah....that's why i won't do this ;)

Velma said...

AMAZING!! Can I come next time :)

I have a question about pikes peak. Do you think a 9 year old could climb it. My son wants to climb it over Memorial Day :)

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

So envious! I just finished watching 127 Hours (great survivor story) but the best part of the movie was the amazing locations it was shot it. That clay red rock is so beautiful!

Love all the photos!!!

Irene said...

Ahhhhhh-mazing pictures!

ajh said...

Beautiful pics. Looks like a wonderful time with your children.You are one tough biker. Don't not call yourself a biker. Love the new header. Feel so so so badly to read about your heel pain. Your frustration must be beyond imaginable. Wish I could do something to help.

Chris K said...

Killer pics! But of course I'm still gonna support my peeps. See, I am reading your Blog and commenting. If you would get on twitter, I would also send you snarky tweets.

Unknown said...

How fun, Jill! It looks like you guys had a great time and your pictures say it all!!
Sorry your heel was a pain during the trip, that thing is so obstinate!!
Still thinking about you during this training, I'll miss you this year but you'll be on my mind and in my heart!!
I'm off to check out your new site!

Haley @ Climb Run Lift Mom said...

I love Moab :) Looks like you had a great trip!!

Char said...

You are now ;my hero for biking there. I would never, in a million years, attempt that. What incredible views and amazing rock formations. That place must be a geologist's heaven.

Teamarcia said...

What an awesome trip! Sorry the heel didn't like it though. You are so much stronger than you'll probably ever know. Woot for the coaching website!

Lindsay said...

why would think red dirt could be so beautiful. slightly sarcastic, but those are some gorgeous views.

as for mountain biking - i don't think i could get into that. biking up hill SUCKS (or, i suck at biking up hill) and then going down i would be a scaredy cat (or, crapping my pants).

Terri said...

Gorgeous! I would have wanted to run, too, but I'm very impressed that all of you biked it!

Bubble Boy said...

You amaze me. 1500 ft down, then back up, YIKES. I think I will take the elevator! Never listen to a Park Ranger, they are always stressed from chasing Yogi and Boo Boo and protecting Picinic Baskets.

OSOM pictures and I hope your heel heals soon. Love your coaches site. I will send a check this week with an early Mothers Day/ late St.Patty's Day card.

The Green Girl said...

You are a real trooper, Jill.

Moab looks absolutely beautiful and serene but definitely dry.

I'm glad you had a good time biking.

Emz said...

came to
visit???! ;)

Awesome photos.

Tara said...

These are beautiful. I love Moab, it's such an awesome place!

I had to chuckle at the photo of you saying that the canyons were "THAT big". Crack me up.

I ride the breaks too and mine squeak, so you can hear me coming a mile away. Glad you had fun girl!

Glenn Jones said...

That was an area of the country I never really appreciated until I visited it for myself.

Mikey B said...

All that scenery is a geologist's paradise! I loved all the rock formation pictures and scenery. Sure beats the cornfields of Illinois.

Mikey B

Anne said...

What a great place to take a family vacation. And you got to ride a bike, to boot. Speaking of which ... are you done with the boot?!

Keri said...

Wow, seriously beautiful!

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

Awesome pictures! That could be a "Rave Run" location for Runner's World.

Bit of useless information: In my world, "Moab" stands for Mother Of All Bombs.

Please get the heel feeling better!

racing dawn said...

That is some hard-core biking...

You have to come back and run the Canyonlands Half! I've ran it several times and it's gorgeous and a great course!!! Get that heel better and I'll meet you there next spring!!!

Sorry to hear that the heel didn't enjoy the trip...

Anonymous said...

Way to be all kick ass on the bike!!!!

I love the new header by the way!

trailturtle said...

Nice pics, Jill. Thanks for your comment about my smile...I was soooo happy to just finish in one piece and have the prospect of drying off (although that didn't happen for a while).
We are finishing a trip that included Zion. Limited internet access so I am late with my comments. Did a 16 mile hike a couple of days ago. We lucked out with the weather.
Now comes the serious training for PP.
Have fun and look forward to Aug meeting you :) Ann

RunToTheFinish said...

on of the few places we really haven't traveled in the us in the dessert areas and I really want to. I mean how beautiful and amazing to enjoy so much of nature on foot and bike!!

Anonymous said...

Wow Jill, how beautiful is that!! Shoes in dirt.. heck I bet those barefeet would have loved it even more. I love the feel of my feet in dirt, I know I'm weird. I hope you are healing up, feeling better physically and mentally my friend!!!!!!!! HUGS

Marlene said...

Just seeing this now - I tried to get caught up but missed out on some posts during my little Michigan adventure. :)

WOW OH WOW does that ever look like an incredible place! Good for you putting on yur big girl pants, facing your fears and tackling a new adventure! Biking scares me BIG TIME but what an experience. Thanks for sharing!

Continued good thoughts for that heel.

Ulyana said...

I'm sorry about your heel!!! Those views are so beautiful. Truly beautiful. I can't imagine what it's like to ride there!!

Beth said...

Such beautiful pictures, I have driven through Moab many times but I have never stayed. It is on the short list =)

Too bad about your heel hurting, it will get better, I have faith!

Matthew Bradford said...

Look at how many people love you so much! I realized that you awesome new blogger header doesn't come through in Google Reader.

Do you have amazing children? My guess is "Absolutely!" But I love hearing you talk about them.

Have a great night, Jilly!

Raina said...

Hope you are having a great weekend, Jill!

See.Kate.Run said...

Amazing - AMAZING pix!! It is SO beautiful there!! It looks like some tough biking!! I am sorry your heel was still acting up but glad to hear you got some good days in. :)

Cory Reese said...

Those pictures are AWESOME! That looks like so much fun.

Ewa said...

I missed this post during my bloggy sabbatical. Congrats on not breaking any bones. I know I would have.
In my book you ARE a real mountain biker and trust me, I know, I've seen many of them.
Great pics!
Hope your heel will start behaving and soon.

Keeley said...

Beautiful scenery - that pic of your daredevil children gave my stomach wobbles. Woah, scary!

Suzy said...

Jill, Thanks for the kind words about my half marathon. They meant a lot.

I love the picture of you following the white dashed line! It is awesome.

Raegun said...

Absolutely breathtaking!

Adrienne said...

I'm so sad that your heel hurt you so much when you were in Moab. You are definitely a trooper but that is just sucky. Dead Horse Point FREAKS me out bad. Along with a lot of the other sites in that area since I'm afraid of heights but it is a must see if you can make it there.

AM! said...

Hi there!
I feel like I haven't been over here for a while! Both your blog and new coaching site look so great. It's so cool to see your running/coaching site up and going. very inspiring;-)

and now with that dang heel of yours....oy!!!!


All Things Jaime said...

Oh my goodness, those pictures are beautiful!!! Sounds like a great trip.

funderson said... a Moab recharge. Sorry about your stinky heel though. I'm amazed at your biking fortitude!

ATTrio said...

I love Moab! What great photos! I just wished I lived closer and I would totally spend more time there.

Anonymous said...

you always have OSOM pics ... Jilly