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Monday, September 24, 2012

17 miles up a creek...

 Mink Creek, that is. :)

Still soaking in the motivation that came after spending Sunday watching about 100 people, including my husband, run a marathon in scenic Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I decided to do my own awe-inspiring long run this morning.

I started at my house and took a route that followed roads up to a national forest area.  It took me the first 8 or so miles to get through town (a rural area, but still "town") and start the main portion of my climb.  I used a 5:1 run/walk ratio from the beginning.  I wasn't sure quite how far I would go, but I knew I was going to try to go at least 15-17 miles, maybe more, depending on how I was feeling.  My husband was home from work all day recovering from his marathon, and the kids were at school, so I told my husband I would call him when I was done running and he could just come and get me wherever I ended up.

My legs were already starting to feel tired by mile 10, but it was so peaceful and so beautiful out there on those empty roads, that I didn't want my time out there to end.  I pushed through the mild cramping and pulling I was feeling in my calves and hamstrings, trying to get as far up the canyon as I could before turning around for a couple of miles of downhill and then calling it good.  I made it to mile 15, then turned around and "cruised" down for a couple of fun miles.  I saw my husband's vehicle approaching about the time I was almost at 17 miles and I motioned for him to take a few photos of me before I ended my run.  So, thanks to my personal photographer, I have all of these lovely photos to share with you! :)

In the end, my total elevation gain was around 1900 feet.  No wonder my legs were killing me when I was done!  I also tried out my camel-back for the first time on a run.  I've used it many times for hikes, but not for running.  While I definitely love that it allows me to carry much more water (and anything else I might need) for a long run than my hydration belt, it was also much heavier.  Once I was used to it, I actually didn't mind it much, but I do think it contributed to my slower than normal pace.  I'm planning to start doing more long runs and also trail runs so I thought it would be a good idea to practice using it more often.


  1. That second-to-last photo is amazing! You should blow that one up big and hang it on a wall. It's art! :)

    GREAT run! I can't even imagine tackling those mountains. I bet after running at that altitude you'd just FLY down here @ sea level.

    1. Thanks, Jan! I actually wonder sometimes what it would feel like to run at sea level... ;)


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