Saturday, June 14, 2014

Family Fun with Daddy

 So this happened yesterday.  During a trip to the post office I thought I scraped my foot on the door but then my sandal started filling up with blood.  It wasn't a terrible deep cut and it didn't even hurt super bad, but because you're always putting pressure on your toes it wouldn't stop bleeding.  All day yesterday and through the night I bled through layers of liquid bandage and other wraps. So this morning as I was getting ready for my race, I put as much liquid bandage on it as I could stand and wrapped it as tightly as you can wrap a pinky toe and hoped for the best.  Even putting a running shoe on hurt and made it start throbbing, but I figured that's why we have advil right? 
 So the Teton Dam half marathon was a transformative race for me this year.  For starters it was my first half marathon in over a year (the last one was May 18, 2013 with Cami in Red River, NM.)  I took a year off from long distance races, other than relays, not so much because I wanted to, but rather because my school schedule and my internship were not allowing me to properly train or prepare for most races.  So my half marathon PR was set during the Hobbler Half (a downhill race) on July 7, 2012, almost two years ago.  That PR was 2:07.42.  My goal for this year is to break 2 hours in the half marathon and I feel that I will this summer at some point, but I wasn't counting on that during this race.  I was realistic going into this race, knowing that the course has more uphill than down, looking at the weather and realizing we'd be facing some stiff head winds for most of it, I told myself I'd be happy just to set a new PR, even if I didn't break two hours this time. I was kind of amazed at how easy this race was for me.  I found my comfortable pace within the first couple of miles and just cruised.  Literally the race just flew by.  I never felt tired or worn out, I never felt that I was pushing myself too much.  My toe throbbed some, but mostly it was just an easy run.  I realized why around the six mile mark when I ran past a girl who could have been me three years ago, the last time I ran this race.  She was probably 40 pounds overweight, shoulders hunched over, looking at the ground, huffing and panting up a hill, determined, it seemed, not to walk, even though her pace was barely faster than a walk.  I saw myself in her.  I saw where I was three years ago as fit runners of all shapes and sizes zipped by me.  I saw the determination not to quit.  I saw the frustration with her own slow pace and yet she kept moving.  I cheered her on, as I passed, realizing that somewhere along the line there's been a paradigm shift.  Suddenly I'm one of the "fit" runners, hardly seeming to be working as I cover the miles with my shoulders back and my long strides. In the end it was a PR by more than 4 minutes.  I crossed the line in a final time of 2:03.39.  And the best part about it, was that I felt good and comfortable, and like I could easily have gone on for a few more miles.
 My sweet family was frantically looking for a parking place as I crossed the finish line, so I met up with them after having made my way through the runner's corral.  Because I'm the best mom ever, I had packed us a picnic lunch early this morning and so we could go find an adventure.

 I changed quickly in a gas station bathroom (surprisingly my toe only bled a little and didn't completely ruin my socks or shoes) and we headed up to Mesa Falls for a little hike and picnic.

 The Nature walk from Upper Mesa Falls is a one mile trail that dead ends on a cliff above lower Mesa Falls.  So it's a 2 mile round trip, very easy hike that our kids did with no trouble at all.  In fact they enjoyed daddy telling them all about the different plants and animals along the way.

 (Sidebar: Parker was so cute, she insisted on wearing my race medal all afternoon.)

 Once we got back from the nature walk, we took the boardwalk path down to view Upper Mesa Falls.

 After all of that, we were definitely ready for our picnic.  We enjoyed our sandwiches in the sunshine before loading up in the truck and heading for Cave Falls.
 We'd seen the signs for Cave Falls before, but neither Travis, nor myself had ever been there, so we decided to take a little detour on the way home and check it out.  Really it's only 20 mile off the main road, but what we didn't know was that it was all on very rough, unpaved road.  Still it was a beautiful drive up there.  I know these aren't bluebonnets, but the ways these fields looked, made me homesick for Texas. 

 We were surprised as we got closer to Cave Falls, to realize that we were inside Yellowstone.  LOL.  I guess that was something we should have expected, but we didn't.  Anyway, Cave Falls is an area of Yellowstone that has 7 or 8 different waterfalls, all within walking distance of each other, so we decided after driving around and seeing a couple of them that we really need to do a trip up there one day to hike the trails and see all the falls.  As a bonus there's a Cave Falls Campground in Grand Targhee National Forest, right outside the border of Yellowstone, just a couple of miles from the trail head for the falls that is one of the prettiest and most secluded campgrounds I've ever seen.  Gideon was ready to get a space and stay the night but we had to remind him, we hadn't brought any camping gear, so that would have to be next time.

Anyway, it was a very fun day and we made it home at around 5pm with two very exhausted (and very filthy) children.  We all had a blast though, so we can't wait for daddy's next trip home so we can have more fun adventures together.

1 comment:

Darryl and Cindy Cunningham said...

Parker looked like she was stomping ants in a couple of those pics. Glad you had such a great race and especially glad you had a whole fun day to spend with Travis! The Larkspurs in the field kind of remind me of Texas Bluebonnets too.. except for the huge mountains all around. Haha!