Queen of Trades; Travel and Photography- Category [Running Thoughts/Ideas/Lessons]

Currently, I am working on a half marathon in September. In September I will be running the Smokey Mountain half marathon as well as the 5k the night before. So in total, we are looking to have run 16 - 17 miles in two days. I'm not sure what to think about that but I am staying positive as I move along. so far running a 10k hasn't been an issue and I've been able to run 6.2 in under an hour (right around 58 minutes total) which is great. I'm hoping that for this race I may be able to push to being sub 2 but its unclear how it will feel out on the route. 

The good news about that is the route is not too far from where we live. I can swing by there once a month to run the route with Lylah and get a feel for the ups and downs in the path and where to push and where to slow down. The other halves I have done I didn't have the access to it (except the one in Florida) so I'm sure this will make a huge difference in my training. Im excited and happy that I'm feeling so good while running these longer distances because not too long ago I was dying with the longer runs. Im hopeful and pushing as much as I can for this one. 


Are you working towards any running goals? Any races planned?

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Were back from the snowboarding trip 

Now that we are back I am back in the full swing of my half marathon training. I took roughly a week and a half off from running for a few reasons. One was because my foot has been hurting a bit since I got back from the Grand Canyon trail that we did back in September/October with my Dad. It was an on-and-off pain since then but it progressed due to a pair of shoes that I had been wearing running in. I learned over time in running in them that I was heel striking and I think it caused a bruised bone to form. Which is the worst because you can't do anything about it and you have to take it easy for it to heal. So this time I took off has helped a lot. I didn't do much, just walked, snowboarded, and took the time from running to take off the pressure from the heel. Along with taking the time off I also switched back to five-finger shoes which I had used for a very long time before trying other brands and my posture, running form, and overall feel changed immediately. The pressure was no longer there and it helped a lot to stop using the shoes that were causing problems. 

Now that we're back and im rested I did my first 4-mile run and it wasn't great, felt off, but I managed to do the 4 miles without stopping which I think is a good sign, along with my foot no longer hurting/feeling numb from time to time. Im hoping to get into the full swing and push more and more for this half marathon training. I would love to get into the swing of doing a 10 k with a 9-minute average pace and push myself hard from there to try and see if I can get sub 2. Of course, I have no idea if that will happen but it has been a goal for a long while. 

We shall see if I can make that happen this year. I think that would be a big accomplishment for me to finally have that ticked off on my list of things to accomplish as a runner. 

If you are a runner here is a question for you. What kind of shoes do you wear? Is there a brand you absolutely love or hate? Let me know. 

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Well, here it is. The verdict you have been waiting for. Let me first say that the profile for the Tetons Half Marathon from Vacation Races will be almost 100% correct. Give or take a few things it was pretty damn close to being exactly what we were expecting. The distance (as you know) Is a half marathon, so a total of 13.2 miles, and as always those races, no matter the location can be ball busters just from the idea of having to run the 13 miles alone, and I never ever recommend running that distance cold. 

So with that being said the Tetons half marathon was probably one of my favorite half marathons I've done. The race itself had a small section that was gradual with the rise in elevation and it was mostly a flat paved road. They do say that there is a section that's gravel but it's only the last two and a half miles and really it doesn't affect the running much if at all. Really what affects the running is the fact that you are running at 6000 - 6500 feet of elevation and if you are dehydrated or have the runs or something then that could impact the run itself which I, unfortunately, had the effects of dehydration against me. 

See before every race I drink a lot of coffee and this morning was no exception. With getting up at 3 a.m and having to walk lylah around to let her do her business and also be race-ready I was definitely in need of a pick me up. I slept really well by going to bed around 5-6 p.m just to make sure I didn't get dicked with the sleeping situation at hand. Now the race itself doesn't start until 6:30 but the problem is that they close the parking lot (where the race line starts) and 5 a.m and if you are not there then you have to go to Teton village which is pretty far away to just park the car. Once you start the race you are going to the finish 13 miles away and will then be shuttled back to the parking lot or parking area you ended up at. It's quite the spectacle and we wanted it to be as easy as possible. The solution? Be up at 3 a.m to have the first pot of coffee and then make a second pot (to go) in the truck with us and we sit in the parking lot until 20 before. 


At this time we're waiting we are drinking coffee but guess what I forgot to drink a bottle of as well? Water. good old-fashioned water and with that decision being made I dicked myself. When the race started it was not only beautiful but the perfect area to push myself. Sadly that was not the case. with any long-distance run, I always pull back a lot. the first half of it I try to stay in the 9- 10 range just to get a feeling for my body and to know what I'm up against. Staying in that time zone is also staying in the orange threshold on my watch (which means I'm pushing but not overexerting myself) but when the 2nd mile went off with a time of 9:40 and in the red zone and max heart rate I knew I had to pull back immediately. I was surprised by this realization of how slow I would have to be but I also knew that it was necessary. 2 miles in and already maxing out is not ideal and you would not make it far if you kept that up. 

So pulling back I kept onward slowly but surely. The time range predicted for me was between 2 hours and 2 hours and 15 minutes with the wave I was in and it was not far off in the end. With the fact that I was running slower than normal (due to dehydration) and the fact that by the last leg I had a stitch that was making it painful to run and breathe at mile 12 I still managed to run a pace good enough to get my time at 2 hours and 16 minutes. I placed 61 out of over 200 women in my age group and I loved the views every second of the run. Not only that but I got to experience it with my father. I know that it's not easy to run halves and I know that he did one with me last year but I'm glad he did another one with me. Making memories and running together means a lot and I got to experience such a beautiful course with him. we even ran into each other on the course a few times (he had a few poop experiences, hehehe)  and I was glad to see him (for the most part) enjoying the course. 

All in all, if you plan to do a half marathon for the first time I recommend this course. It's flat, it's beautiful and it is just an experience so rewarding to cross that finish line in such a miraculous place. 

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Tomorrow morning is the day. The race will begin and we will be finally done with our long-awaited adventure. When we signed up for this race there were many unknowns and many thought about how bad this may be. Nonetheless, we decided to sign up for it anyway. The reason? I mean if you have ever laid your eyes on the Tetons you can't help but want to go back. This is my third time in the Tetons and I can't get enough. The way that they draw you in, the peaks calling out to the adventurer inside. I just want to stare at them all day and never leave. Of course, I also want to climb them. I can imagine being up there and just climbing away at this unimaginable height but with feelings of contempt and of course fear. Because what is an adventure like that without some fear inside. 

Our day tomorrow begins at 3 a.m and will end somewhere between 8 to 10 depending on speed. The race itself doesn't start till 6 but I am ready to face the course. We heard from another person that the race is actually pretty nice and not too difficult. Of course, this was from a racer who was told this by her friend, and of course, said friend is not here. So we don't know about how fit she is, or if she likes the harder races in general. We have no idea but we are taking her word for it. 


I'm hopeful and I feel as ready as I can be. I don't know how fast I will be in the end but who knows. I may surprise myself in the end and if I do well I will take it. After all, I did what I could to get ready and I definitely pushed myself to be mentally ready to go forward and take on the challenge. Physically I don't know. I gave up alcohol for three whole weeks and for two months I've been keeping the carbs as low as possible to not only manage my body but my weight as well. I even managed to lose a few pounds which sounds weird to point out but not only was it necessary to do but it was comforting to know that my hard work was paying off and gave me a little extra confidence boost. 

Once the race is over I do plan to consume alcohol and get my drink on. After all, doing thirteen miles can do that to you. Make you realize that you are an amazing human being and that you are capable of pushing your limits but it's also a reminder that you can have fun once you have done the hard work. Wish us luck on this adventure and hope that nobody (in our group anyway) has any **** stories occur...even if would be funny to tell later on. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow's update on the course. 

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I don't know if anybody on here does any kind of trail running but I recently did a trial run for the first time in years. The last time I attempted to do any kind of trail running I almost landed flat on my face due to not paying attention to what was going on around me (this doesn't include Yellowstone which we all know how that went from my post about it) and after a mile, I gave up and have stuck to concrete roads ever since. 

The downside to that is that of course it's more impact on my knees and I'm sure in another ten years or less I will have side effects of some kind from it. How bad will it be? Who knows but I signed up for it so here we are. 

In any case, I decided to switch things up and attempt to go to a state park that Lylah and I have been to a few times. It's technically a bird island state park but it's quite beautiful and it's quiet which is perfect for running with your pup. For Lylah it was a little confusing since we go there for her to run around all wild and freestyle and she couldn't do that while we were running so she was looking around and at me all confused while we ran and I have to say I think we both enjoyed the change. Not only was I a little slower due to the terrain but it was nice to be on the ground that wasn't so rough. In this particular park, I didn't find the trail running to be too terrible since they seem to maintain the park well enough that you can see the roots before you get to them which is helpful and we cruised through the park just enjoying the weather and passing people we saw with little to no problem. We even saw a park ranger and he nodded to us and didn't seem bothered by what we were doing.

But what I didn't think about was the route I took. We came to the state park in September and there is a part of the trail by the parking lot where you go uphill for quite a ways and then it levels out and can add on about a mile and a half to your trail. It's nice because it's all grasslands up there and it seems a lot of people avoid that part of the trails so it's secluded and Lylah loves romping around up there. Here's what I forgot about that part of the trail. 

I forgot that to get down to the main trail you have to take this little dirt path that has super exposed roots sticking up and it's slick. So good ol me forgot about this and turned to go up to the grasslands trying to add on the extra mileage to try to get somewhere between 4 to 5 miles in total since that was the plan. 

So we turn and were going up and Lylahs pumped up, ready to go and instantly I realize I made an error but I was slowly running up it and trying to push through and I almost died in the first 30 seconds of that decision. It was not only covered in exposed roots but slick from the fallen leaves. I decided, sadly, to walk up the little path and it killed my time. Absolutely destroyed it and once I hit the four-mile marker at the parking lot I stopped. I couldn't believe I forgot about that part. The trail run was enjoyable and I see why most people prefer it but the man did I question myself for that last mile. I do plan to go back there just to change things up and pick different routes to run on so we can explore and change it from the normal runs we do since it not only helps my recovery but is good for lylah and distractions. 

How do you guys feel about trail running? Do you hate it or prefer it? Let me know. 

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