Training– short runs

I’ve been asked lately what I’m doing to train for our upcoming running adventures, so here it is.

In June, some close family and friends of ours are embarking with us on a Grand Canyon trip to remember. We’re hiking it rim to rim in one day. That’s roughly 25 miles. It’s 7000 feet down and 6000 feet back up the other side. It’s crazy. My family (parents and siblings) has done this 3 other times in the last 10 years. Nate and I have only done this once before (I was pregnant all the other times), 10 years ago on the first ever attempt with my parents when we were dating. Well, kind of dating, we’d actually broken up for a couple weeks, but since the trip was planned we went together anyway. It was just the 2 of us with my parents, a romantic little trip for four, in which Nate had to share a bed with my father on the North Rim. Hilarious. It was also the trip we came to our senses on the trail, and got back together at the scenic Ribbon Falls. But I digress.

This time we have a bigger group going, and we’ve been planning and training for months. Nate and I decided that since we’d not have much hiking time to train because we’re going so early in the summer, we’d better train all fall and winter with running. This consists of short runs to build up endurance, and long runs to test it.

My short runs are almost exclusively done in the Gulley near my house. Here is what it looks like:

 There are quite a few different trails down there, the one below is the bottom trail that travels the length of the bottom of the ravine (hence the original and obvious name) and runs from 200 or so East near the trax station clear up to 2300 East near Granite Park. It’s a shady quiet and thin footpath, great for thinking, or worrying about serial killers if you’re alone. I don’t recommend going that one alone.

The others I like to take are the Mountain view trail (Pops and I call it the middle trail), The Sego Lily trail (Pops named it the “sisters” trail because of 3 hills he calls the ‘sisters’), and the Top trail (I don’t know it’s official name).

Each run is either a 5, 6, or 7 mile loop just to keep my heart, lungs, and legs in good shape. It’s the maintenance work, you might say, to keep my body running optimally. I do this 3 times a week, unless I’m working in a long run, then I only do it twice. It’s gorgeous and challenging and I live for it. The long runs are a different story, but I’ll post about our first one later. Care to join me? Just say the word.


Curried Anything Cures All

So, a word about curry here. I LOVE IT. Sorry if you don’t, because I’m going to go under the assumption here that curry was an inspired thing, meant for the good of all mankind. I’d eat curried anything any day. This particular day I was trying to use up some produce I had, as well as cure the mid-spring-rainy-day-blues. This soup totally worked for me.

Warning: This recipe was made up on the fly, so I guarantee nothing. I loved it. Pops, one of my favorite running partners loved it, but the rest of my family not so much. I think if you like the curry flavor, it’s for you.

Sorry about the picture, it’s a little dark. In my defense, I never said I had any photography skills, so don’t judge me.

Curried Cauliflower and Butternut soup

2 cups butternut squash puree
1 head cauliflower cut into florets
1/2 t. ginger (or 1 t. fresh grated)
1 clove garlic
1/4 C. chopped onion
2 1/2 C. broth (I used chicken) or bouillon
 2 chopped carrots
4 ribs celery chopped
1/2 t. curry powder (or individual herbs and spices that are contained therein)
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream, whole milk, or half and half

Here’s how it went:
Place cauliflower florets, ginger, garlic, onion, carrots, celery and broth in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, boil for 5-8 minutes or until tender and fragrant. Place in Blender with  Butternut puree and blend until smooth. (VITAMIX! Man, I love that thing.) pour back into sauce pan and add cream and curry. Serve warm with Butter Naan or other bread of choice.

Note: You can prepare it without the curry, but since it adds no heat and does only good  for the soul, I say keep it in. However, if you really do not care for the flavor, just don’t add it, it’s good without as well.

Runner’s Little Helpers

Every trail runner knows how important it is to have a good partner, especially if that trail runner is female. I’d love to go into a big old discussion here about the injustice of it all. How unfair it is that men  may run when and where they please with little to fear besides a side ache, whilst us poor females, for safety’s sake, must be at the mercy of things like daylight and running partners….sigh. But I’m not going to go into all that right here and now, that’s a post for another time.

Today I’d simply like to pay homage to those that make my runs possible! Because for me, as a girl and a mother, I need more than one person to make each run happen. I need both babysitters and partners. I’m so happy to have them. I’ve dragged people out of their homes at ridiculous hours of the morning, or the hot random hours of the afternoon. I’ve asked family, friends, and neighbors to babysit to support my habit at such awkward times as the lunch or dinner hour. At times even dropping off a grumpy or drowsy toddler who’s nap time is being postponed so I can get in a run. And other times I’ve left my husband to handle the kid’s morning routine alone ( of which task he’s more than capable), so I could go before the day starts. It’s never a regularly scheduled thing, it’s always flying by the seat of all our proverbial pants, and I am so grateful!

Since I rarely remember to snap pictures mid-trail, I have hardly any pictures to post as monuments to these unselfish and unsung heroes. Especially not the sitters. I do have a couple, though, of one of my favorite partners, my neighbor’s dog, Artemis.

I chose Artemis as a partner because of her looks, which is not always politically correct, I realize, but I needed the ‘intimidation factor’, and she has it. Wouldn’t you agree? No one’s messin’ with me on those trails with Artemis around! Turns out, though, besides her looks she is also a champ of a partner. She pushes my pace at times, or trots along behind in her good-natured way, though she prefers the shady side of the trail to running when I’ve foolishly dragged her out in the middle of the late spring afternoon. 80 and above and that girl protests. With good reason, though, I mean look at her! She heats up in a hurry.

So here’s to you, people (and animals) who help people run. You know who you are. It’s an important job, and no one HAS to do it, it’s all volunteer based. My love and my adrenaline pumped thanks go out to you.

Mayday Mayday; Wait, I’m fine now

In case anyone was wondering, I was on hiatus recently. I’m sure you gathered from my last post that things were not going so well in my hormonally challenged life. Well, things are better now.

Firstly, I ditched the doc. That’s right, I just flat out said ‘enough is enough’ and I’m not going back. After my results from the metabolic test things went downhill in a hurry. I have no energy to elaborate. Suffice it to say that I followed what turned out to be the worst advice from a medical professional I’ve ever received and I suffered for it. I let them have it after that, and you know what they said? We need some more tests. So I quit. As soon as I made that decision everything went better. I’m now managing my condition completely doc free and feeling great about it. I still have challenges, but not insanity.

Secondly, it’s finally May now. Can I get an AMEN??? AMEN! I’ll cheerfully get more recipes, etc. on here, and feel free to comment or leave some of your own. If you’d like to email me some to post, I’m happy to do that. I’m happy to do just about anything at this point, because I’m finally happy again 🙂 Yay for May.

Also, I have a great big grand canyon running trip coming up next month, and I can’t wait to share my training for it with you runners out there. Runners: what big running plans do you have for the summer?