Monday, July 30, 2007

And I thought I was doing hill training....

Every run that I go out on lately, I try to add some hills. Lately, I've been trying to find some that have more of a downhill at the end, to practice my turnover for the St. George Marathon....

I thought Iwas doing pretty darn good.

Until I did THIS...

1644ft of climbing.... with the majority of the descents in the last 2 miles.

A good friend Mike invited several of us that have been running together for years now up to his new home in Cottonwood, AZ. Him & his wife Susan have building this home for the past couple of years. Cottonwood is a small little town NorthWest of Phoenix.

Mike wanted to take us on a new run route and enjoy some slightly cooler temps. So, Stacey, Sara & I headed up there on Saturday evening to join them.

When we arrived (after several wrong turns do to the directions linked from the EVITE) we shared some wine and started chatting. There was another couple already there, Angie & Michael. They actually came up on Friday to join Mike for both a Saturday AND Sunday run.

I thought this was quite adventurous, 2 long runs back to back. But, then as I learned more about these two, I didn't seem so surprised. They, Angie in particular were so fascinating. What a worldly, generous amazing woman.

She is in her early 30's, although she looks maybe 25. This tiny little thing that was all smiles. Very modest about everything... like the fact that she did Ironman Arizona the first two years barely missing qualifying for Kona.

Or, like the fact that can she can run a 3:15marathon....

Or, like the fact that when she was 25 years old, she legally adopted 2 Russian TEENAGERS and brought them to America so that she could help them have the opportunities in life that they otherwise would never have.

Yup, that's right. She was 25 years old and doing some missionary volunteer work in a Russian School where she met the 2 young ladies (12 & 13 at the time, I think). She claims that she was very 'immature' when she made the decision to try to adopt the two. She wasn't thinking of the lifelong responsibility of raising the two girls, or being a mom. She figured it would be a 5-6 year commitment and that she could help get them through high-school and into college.

That's why she describes the decision as immature, and is thankful that she didn't not think it through, because she might not have gone through it.

So, she did. She was awarded custody of these two young women and raised them as her own..... all on a teachers salary.

The two young ladies now live in their own condo and are attending a local community college. Angie says they are wonderful. One is very strong & independent and like most families... the other child needs a little more, shall we say, encouragement!

All I could say while listening to her and her adventures was "WOW!" I certainly had nothing so worldly, and courageous to share!

It was a nice evening with friends, good food & some wine. We finally went to bed around 11, maybe falling asleep a little after midnight. People started waking up shortly after 4 am, so not much sleep to prepare for this "slightly hilly ~12 mile run" that we were about to go on.

I decided to wear Shane's Garmin since I had never been on this route & I wanted to see how I was doing pace wise with the hills. Unfortunately the HR monitor strap was not working, so things didn't start off so great.

I'm so dependent on my HR training now. I know my limits & I know the benefits of training in my zone 2. I was a little frustrated I was going to have to depend on my "perceived effort" during this run. Especially when it was:

100% humidity (no joke!)
trail (we all know what a klutz I am)
new terrain
FAST people running in front of me!

Stacey & I had already made a pact that we would stick together & go SLOW. When push comes to shove we can both run much faster than we do, but I am committed to my low HR training & Stacey hasn't been doing long runs much lately. Like, 9miles has been her longest run in a year...

So, as we started we were actually doing pretty good. Stacey was struggling a little with the humidity and elevation, but I was feeling ok.

We stayed right behind the others, but I could tell we wouldn't be able to keep up the pace as they got warmed up and pulled ahead of us. SO, I just told Mike we wanted to slow down and that as long as we could see them ahead to know where to turn, not to worry about us. We didn't want them waiting for us.

Well, I spoke a little too soon! Stacey & I walked up a hill or slowed down or something and lost them about 40mins into the run. Of course we couldn't make up our mind which way to go... and finally chose the wrong way... Which entailed a hill climb that was oh, I don't know 25% grade....

We were starting to worry, not about getting lost, but because we knew they would be worried about us, and we didn't want to ruin their run. We finally headed back to where we thought we turned off the wrong way, and thankfully ran into them.

Mike gave us directions for the rest of the run, and we assured him we would be fine. I think he felt bad and didn't want to leave us, so he ended up staying with us the rest of the run. Sara & Angie were just a little ahead of us, but in our sights the whole time. I think the hills might have gotten to them as well, because they were started to move quite a bit slower as well.

The run took us through some hilly hilly neighborhoods, then through some trail up close to the mountains. It was beautiful. I'm kicking myself for not bringing a camera to share with you all.

The hills were relentless. There really was not a flat place in the route. It was AWESOME! Hard, but such a good, hard feeling of accomplishment as we were getting closer to home.

All in all it was 13.2miles (with the added .25mile from our little wrong turn escapade), 1644ft of climbing. Basically 2.5 hours. (yes, I know slow!)....

It was a great weekend. Great company, great food, great run....

I slept like a baby last night. 9-6. Solid. I woke up feeling MUCH better than expected. No muscle soreness like I expected. Just my feet & ankles a little tender from the trail running I'm not used to. Even thought that run hurt so bad, I must have been able to stay aerobic for the most part, otherwise I'd be sore! I'm very happy about that!

Thanks Mike and Susan for a fantastic Saturday/Sunday!


momo said...

oooh, so jealous, i wish i'd been there!!

Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...

not only a nice run breakdown but what a nice story about an amazing woman with the courage to do what she felt was the right thing to do. Thank you for the story.