Little run down Big Cottonwood Canyon …


I know that I say this a lot. But, I absolutely … LOVE … my running group. We’ve got cheetahs, gazelles, clydesdales, rhinos … pretty much the whole gamut of the running world within our group of 120-125 runners. I love it, because size or speed doesn’t matter. We’re all running the same course and no matter what we will always cheer on those ahead or behind us. There’s an unity in the group that I haven’t really felt in other groups before and I love it.

I would like the record to show that I beat the Gabicas to our meet up location. This is a rarity and reason to boast.

So when we all get together it becomes a party. I think one thing that makes this group so awesome is that we have a cast of characters that bring a quirkiness that is inviting to all. I know I am pretty quirky (hello … cat shirts, extreme love for three-legged pets and my mild-obsession with Peeps) and runners are in general fairly (okay, maybe VERY) quirky as well. I think you kind of have to be when your idea of fun is spending Saturday mornings running down mountains for 10-15 miles.

I mean who does that and considers themselves normal?

Our group run on Saturday morning was our typical group run. It’s kind of a rare group run because there weren’t any marathons or half marathons happening that weekend. Mainly because it was Independence Day weekend and people are traveling. But, honestly, it’s a shame that there wasn’t at least ONE half marathon in the Salt Lake area over the weekend. I would have ran it. But, then again, I run anything …

Sorry, tangent.

We decided to run down Big Cottonwood Canyon. Probably my favorite canyon in the Salt Lake area. The canyon was chosen because a number of our group members will be running their first marathon down the canyon in September so they wanted to get used to terrain and surroundings. I am going to be running the marathon as well alongside Jill who is running her first marathon. I am pretty excited to do that because she is one of my favorite people and she’s gone through a lot to get here (I should expound on all of that one day, just not now).

The crazy bunch of runners we call The Run Aways …

The plan for the marathoners was to run 15 miles down the canyon to the Park n’ Ride parking lot, while others who didn’t want to do that could run 10 miles. Not a bad plan. After lingering around the Brighton parking lot for a while and taking some pictures, including that EPIC selfie within a selfie within a selfie of the group on top of the page. Then there’s that picture of Robert Merriman and I bookending the group picture the best way we know how …

Have I said how much I love this group before?

Anyways, since I am running my back-to-back half marathons this upcoming weekend I wanted to prepare myself a bit for the ware and tear not just physically but mentally as well. So the night before the group run I decided to run a good five miles on the treadmill at a fairly good clip. I just wanted to make sure that after my run I felt somewhat fatigued.

Then I also deliberating stayed up until 1:30am on Friday night with a wakeup call of 4:45am. I did this because I know that I am not going to get much sleep this upcoming Friday night. I got that affect during Ragnar a couple weeks ago, but I felt my body needed to be reminded who was boss and that what I was attempting wouldn’t be easy.

Jill and I really do take some awesome pictures together … don’t you think?

Going into the run I was planning on doing 15 miles with Jill and our run started great. The run was shaded and the scenery #totesgorgs as usual. Our conversation focused on the marathon, our journeys to this point and whatever made us laugh. It’s an usual run with Jill.

On our way down the canyon we passed a number of bikers. Being the happy runners that we are, each runner we passed we gave a huge smile and ‘good morning’ salutation. Most of these were responded with a similar greeting or some just ignored it and peddled on. I can respect that because climbing UP Big Cottonwood doesn’t sound that much fun to me.

On one stretch of road Jill and I were admittedly not running single file, but nothing where we were taking a lot of space. Anyways, we had one biker yell at us followed by another this LOVELY exchange from a biker less than a mile later (even though I was behind Jill) …

ME: Good morning!

BIKER: F— it, people!

I am not entirely sure what we did wrong, but I think we violated some kind of rule in the assumed Biker rule book for Runners? After this exchange down the mountain I thanked God for confirming that I picked the right sport. My Mama didn’t raise me to an a–hole.

I thought they said post-run yogurt. FML.

Anyways, around mile eight Jill and I started slowing down a bit more than we would have liked. The sun was fully up and the temp was RISING! I brought water along with me and was fine, but didn’t have enough fuel. I could tell because I started talking about burritos around mile four. And, Jill’s water was running out as well and she started getting the onslaught of a migraine because of it.

We stopped at mile 10 for a bit and made the decision to cut our run short. It was TOO hot to gut out another five miles in the 90+ degree temp and we needed food/water/burritos. So we hitched a ride down the canyon with Shelley. We did have Shelley drop us off about a mile or so from the Park n’ Ride so we could run in like we just ran 15 miles. In all, we ran 11 miles.

I am happy with those 11 miles. That’s still 16 miles within two days and it did help me prepare myself for this weekend’s back-to-back races. Plus, right now I just want to be in half marathon mode. Even though I am running the Big Cottonwood Marathon in September I have the base of my training done, I’ll just need to make sure to keep it up throughout the summer by running a few 15, 20+ mile runs. Just not this past Saturday.

So much Slurpee excitement going on in this picture!

One of the best parts about running Big Cottonwood Canyon is that there is a 7 Eleven right there by the Park n’ Ride. So after we all met back up we went and got Slurpees. Jill and I even came up with our Slurpee fueling plan for the marathon. We’re planning on getting a Slurpee once we exit the canyon and before we got up Wasatch Blvd. for our out and back. The course then comes back to that intersection and turns right to the finish line, so we’re planning on getting a second Slurpee which should be around mile 24ish.

This is a legit fueling plan, by the way.

Then of course we finished the run off with a much coveted Sears burrito. I tried the cow tongue burrito … which … I have to say tasted REALLY good. It tasted like very tender roast beef. It’s more expensive the usual burritos ($6 compared to $3), but totally worth the price difference.

Sometimes I don’t know how to feel about this picture?

This was also my first meat in the past three months. I kind of decided this weekend to reintroduce meat into my diet for a couple of reasons. For one, just listening to my body I need protein. I’ve tried alternatives, etc., and I feel like I need meat in my diet. I am planning on not eating it that much and I want to stick mostly to chicken and fish. I also want to know where the meat is coming from. But, this is a post for another day … so … I’ll leave it at that.

Needless to say, the tongue burrito is #totesawesome!

In all, I am happy about the run and I feel ready for next weekend’s run. I’m going to fine tune until about Wednesday and then give my body Thursday and Friday some rest for the marathon run. Should be a lot of fun!

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 439.55 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 41.7 miles
2014 Race Miles – 185.7 miles
2014 Total Miles – 666.95 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2014
January – 100.0 miles
February – 100.0 miles
March – 130.0 miles
April – 140.5 miles
May – 108.65 miles
June – 83.3 miles
July – 20.5 miles



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