I love running outside! While running outside, my thoughts are so positive: Thank you God for giving me the ability to run. Thank you God for letting me live in the beautiful Ozarks. I love the trees, the creeks, the rocks. Now, running on the treadmill is a different story. While on the treadmill my thoughts are anything but positive: Is this thing broken? The minutes are flying by, but the miles are stuck...seriously they are not moving! Is it over yet! This is sooo boring.
So when our IRC (Idiot's Running Club) president David Murphy organized a trail run in the Mark Twain National Forest for Saturday morning, I was ready for the adventure. My goal was to do 12 miles because that is what my marathon training plan had scheduled. David warned me that I would be spending a lot more time on my feet than usual because you have to go a lot slower than you would on the road, because of the difficult terrain. I was really hoping I could get in the 12 miles even if I had to walk quite a bit. I woke up Saturday morning and it was cold, but the perfect weather for a run outside. Mom and Dad picked me up and the three of us headed to the trail to meet some other IRC members. When I arrived I decided to try to liven up the group with this awesome mustache hat my husband let me borrow. I was trying to look like Jon Wilson. Can you tell us apart?
The run started off great. We were going at a pretty easy pace and we all had time to visit with each other. I had a chance to ask Jared Smith, who lives in Ava, about all of his previous races. He has ran some half and full marathons so I was quizzing him left and right. Well, I guess we got caught up in conversation because we lost the group. I wasn't too worried because I have heard it is pretty normal to get lost when out running trails. Luckily we ran into everyone and got back on the right path. This was such a fun adventure – way better than running on the highway praying not to get ran over.
After about five miles it started getting harder though. I kept tripping over my feet, almost face-planting into gravel. I kept telling myself to be careful and pick up those lazy feet! I guess my legs didn't listen because the top of my right foot caught on a rock and I went flying elbow-first into the rocky trail. As many times as I had stumbled and tripped that day, I was not shocked at all by this crash. I just laughed and jogged it off. I could tell my elbow hurt and it tore a hole in my brand new Nike jacket. Someone later told me that rule number one is to not wear clothes you care about on trails. My knee also hurt a little where I fell on it, but I was just so happy that I didn't roll, sprain, or break an ankle!
Around mile seven there was a huge mountain to climb. (Seasoned runners would probably call it a hill, but to me it was a mountain). I huffed, puffed, and walked up the hill. David, who in a couple weeks will be running 100 miles in a trail race in Texas, zipped by me, and said "You're walking up the best part!" I couldn't help but giggle as I thought, "That dude is crazy! But, one day I would love to zip up that mountain."
Around mile 10 I was honestly thinking, "Oh Lord, are we almost done?" I had been out of Gatorade for the last few miles and I was getting really hungry. I am not gonna lie – it was hard and I walked quite a bit, but I enjoyed every bit of it. Next time I think I will either carry two Gatorades or leave one somewhere along the trail.
Once we got back to the car I took my jacket off to check out my elbow. As I pulled it off, a chunk of skin tore off with it..OUCH! Here is a picture of the damage.
So that is my update for my marathon training. I also got an update from Heather, Cara's mom, who said Cara has just started taking a new steroid, a common form of treatment for leukemia. Her body is really sensitive to it and it is making her very emotional. She has to be on it once or twice a month for the duration of the treatment. Please keep Cara and her family in your thoughts and prayers. I still have some bracelets for sale - they are $5 each. Or you can donate by clicking the donate button on my blog :).
My cousin, Nick Prososki and his wife, Serena, are training to run the marathon with us! They live in Omaha, Neb., and are having to brave some cold to get their runs in. I'm really excited that they're part of our little group running for Cara!