Posts Tagged ‘my dog’

Park City Trail Series 10K

Date: July 8, 2017

GarminConnect_20170709-182235Distance: 10K (6.2 miles)

Time: 1:15:33

What a great race! I loved this second race of the four-race Park City Trail Series and already can’t wait for the 15K next month.

The weather was perfect, I got to run with my daughter and one of our dogs, and we had a really great time.

I don’t do a lot of trail running, but I am really enjoying it. It feels more “fun” than a road race even though I have to really watch my footing (or perhaps because of that). The course included two main elevation gains and drops, and the last mile-and-a-half was the fastest part of the course–which I loved. I was also reminded of the increased technical skills needed–I saw two people fall during the course and a woman had to visit the medical tent at the end of the race due to a huge gash on her forehead. Yikes.

I must also give a shout out to The North Face. They are a sponsor of the series and have IMG_20170709_183820-1been very generous with their give-aways. After the 5K race, I was lucky enough to win a drawing for one of their backpacks. This race, they were giving out free dog collars to all of the dogs who ran the race. Awesome.

The aid stations were very dog-friendly as well–with bowls of water for the pups who were running.

Thank you to Salt Lake Running Company for always putting on such great events. I’m grateful to live in such a great place for outdoor activities and people who encourage others to get outside and be active in our beautiful state. There are lots of ways here to #havemorefun





Park City Trail Series 5K

Date: June 10, 2017

Distance: 5K (3.1 miles)

Time: 34:50GarminConnect

My daughter asked me awhile back about doing this race series and of course I agreed. She thought it would be fun because it’s dog friendly; I thought it would be fun because it means I get to hang out with her.

Today was a beautiful day for a race. The race announcer said there were over 500 participants, and we also saw lots of dogs. As far as I’m concerned, this was a perfect way to start a day: sunshine, mountains, running, and getting to hang out with one of my kids and one of my dogs. Loved it.

I also wore my “Stop the Clot” gear for the first time. Recently, I ordered a shirt and a hat from a fellow runner and blood clot survivor. He is doing such good work to spread awareness of clots and I’m gaining a whole new network of supporters. There are lots of us who have survived DVTs or PEs and it’s pretty inspiring. Not everyone is so lucky.

Next month: the 10K!!




Colorado is done and three reasons why I hate the Denver airport

Date: July 27, 2013

Distance: 13.1 (13.23 actual)

Time: 2:14:44

In what turned out to be one of the quickest trips on record, state #23 is done. Dog days

I left Salt Lake City on an 8:30 Friday morning flight and was back home by 2:30 p.m. the next day. The race was great, but events leading up to and following the race were a series of inconveniences. Luckily, those inconveniences did not have anything to do with missed flights or an inability to fly non-rev. For that, I was thankful.

The race was a small, local race in the Westminster, Colorado City Park–about half an hour from the Denver Airport. I needed to get Colorado done because my other 50-states running buddy, Denise, has already run a race in Colorado and I needed to catch up with her. The race appealed to me because of the timing but also because it was a fundraiser for Colorado Canine Rescue–a great cause. Plus, since I work for Westminster College, I couldn’t resist the idea of earning a race shirt that not only had a cool picture of a dog with sunglasses, but also said, “Westminster” on it.

I caught the first flight out–a general rule when flying standby–so when I arrived at the Denver airport, I had some time to kill before picking up the rental car. (I was trying to keep my rental to a 24-hour time frame so as to save money). To burn some time, I decided to catch breakfast at one of the restaurants at the airport.

Inconvenience #1: The server (or the cooks, according to the server) lost my order and I wasn’t informed of this until after I had waited about 45-minutes for my Eggs Benedict. When the server had realized that no one was cooking my breakfast, the menu had switched over to lunch. No eggs for me–I ordered a Chicken Caesar salad instead. No huge deal. I wasn’t in a rush and I had lots of extra time anyway. Besides, the manager graciously comped my meal, which I thought was nice.

After finishing my salad, I headed down to meet the car rental shuttle. (Reason #1 why I hate the Denver airport–the car rentals are miles away from the airport). Reason #2 why I hate the Denver airport–the airport is miles away from ANYTHING.

I arrived at the car rental place only to see the longest rental line I have ever seen–four rows of people in those cattle-type mazes like they make you go through at airport security. Airport security is reason #3 why I hate the Denver airport, but I’ll tell you more about that later.

It took me almost a full hour to get to the front of the line at Dollar Rental. After declining all of the suggested upgrades and insisting that I wanted an “economy” car despite the agent’s persistence in trying to convince me that I needed something with a V-6 for my drive “all the way over to Westminster,” I was finally released to go find my car. “Select anything from the E row,” I was told. I trekked all the way to the last row only to discover that there were no cars in the E row. Not only that, there were no cars in the C (compact) row, either. The agent’s hard-sell approach was apparent–I was going to get a mid-size car anyway–but at the “economy” price. Vindicated. Never fall for the up-sell. Half the time you end up getting a bigger, better car anyway.

The drive to the hotel was uneventful, thankfully, but as I entered the hotel lobby, I was met with the longest hotel check in line I’ve ever seen. Inconvenience #2. Evidently, all the swing dancers there for a weekend convention all decided to check in at the exact same time. This line, too, took almost an hour. But, again, there was nowhere I had to be, so it was no big deal for me to wait. Plus, I ended up getting a really great room with a good view, so all was good.

View from Westminster Westin

View from Westminster Westin

I’ll call the fact that I was alone and bored “inconvenience #3.” One of the best parts about knocking out this 50-states goal is that I’m usually running the race with other people. Most of these weekend races trips allow me to spend time with friends or family and play tourist a bit. Not this time. Instead, the highlight of my day was walking across the street to get take out Thai food that I took to my room and ate in bed while I watched the local news. I couldn’t even get my race packet–as is the custom the day before the race. Instead, this race only offered two race packet pick up times–Thursday evening or Saturday before the race–I call THAT “inconvenience #4.” That meant having to get up even earlier for the race. Oh, well. Again, not a huge deal.

Now here’s where things go well. The race itself was great. Normally, I hate out-and-back courses, but this one was nice and very well-organized. We went 1.5 miles out and back, then went just over 5 miles out and back the opposite direction. Here’s what that allowed for:

  • lots of aid stations–at almost every mile
  • a great running surface the whole way–either paved or fine gravel running trail that was wide and well maintained, with nice views
  • close proximity to my hotel for the start and the finish

Additionally, the swag bags were nice–they even included dog treats for my dog. I liked the finisher medals, post-race grub was plentiful and good, and the event, overall, was very well-organized. To top it all off, the weather was great and the people were all very friendly. Plus, it was, of course, dog friendly! Dogs lined the course and some were even brave enough to run one of the three race events (5K, 10K, or Half). I’m really going to give my running-challenged dog a hard time–he can barely get through three miles and I saw one Yellow Lab run the entire half marathon. I was impressed.

I had a decent finish time, even with the higher elevation and rolling hills, and I felt good the whole way. Very enjoyable race.

Inconvenience #5: I was unable to stay to find out if I was the winner of any of the $5000 worth of donated stuff (had to be present to win), nor could I simply hang out a bit to enjoy the post-race happenings because I had to rush back to the hotel to shower, check out, and return the rental car before my 1:00 flight.

The car rental return went well (thank you, check in lady) but I can’t say the shuttle driver was all that helpful. He neglected to include “Delta” in his announcement that the first stop was for Southwest and Jet Blue flights, so I remained on the shuttle for an extra stop longer than I should have. That was the reason for inconvenience #6–I had to walk quite a bit further than I should have on my achy, tired feet. Instead of saying I put in 13.23 miles–it was more like 16 after I added up the hotel and airport treks. Still, I was happy that I was still okay on time at that point.

from Google images

from Google images

Here’s where I get to reason #3 why I hate the Denver airport. AIRPORT SECURITY!!!!

I travel a lot. I know all the TSA rules about liquids, shoes, laptops, nothing in back pockets, etc. etc. etc. Getting through TSA at any other airport has been pretty much a non-event for me. I do what I’m supposed to, I get through the line rather expeditiously, and life goes on. Not at DEN. Today’s experience was typical of what I’ve previously enjoyed at the Denver airport and the encounter with the TSA Nazi guy actually put me in such a state of frustration that I actually shed a couple of tears as I hurried to make it to the airport shuttle–tears that were most likely brought on by a serious lack of sleep from the night before, the exhaustion from having just run a half marathon, and the stressful state of being in such a rush immediately following the race. But, in all honesty, the way I was treated by the TSA agent was ridiculous and, alone,  justified my response.

My carry-on innocently ambled along the conveyor belt, just as it had going through security in SLC. This time, though, I was informed that an agent had to look through my luggage in more depth. The Blue-Shirt noted, “there’s something sharp in your bag.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “I have a pair of scissors in there, but I’m certain they meet the length requirements.” He opened my suitcase, saw the 3-inch blade scissors that I use for cutting my PT tape and he agreed with my assessment. Seemingly unsatisfied with not being able to bust me for anything, he proceeded to rummage through everything else in my bag too. I hope he enjoyed pawing through my sweaty running gear.

He then pulled out my bag of toiletries–which included the normal items–deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, etc. He suddenly seemed puzzled when he got to more unfamiliar, running-specific liquids–my off brand lube stick, Gu packets, a 5-hour type energy drink that was part of the race swag, and my beloved “Rock Sauce.”

Never heard of Rock Sauce? Think of a more liquefied form of Ben-Gay muscle rub, and you’ve got it.  I’m guessing the menacing skull logo initially caught his attention, but what he really focused on was the “4 oz.” size of the bottle.

Everyone knows that TSA rules only allow liquids up to 3 oz. max. Duh. So, in order to needlessly delay me further, which seemed to be his goal, he informed me that he had to x-ray all of my liquids AGAIN and he would then return. I sat there for several minutes waiting and watching the clock as my flight’s departure time was nearing.

When he returned, he almost gleefully told me he needed to take my Rock Sauce because it exceeded the 3 oz. limit.

He quickly disappeared and I asked another nearby TSA Agent, “What if the amount of liquid in the bottle is less than 3 ounces?” He asked if I was sure, and I responded, “Most definitely.” He faltered, and said I could choose to press the issue with a supervisor, but at that point I was more concerned about being to my gate on time and chose not to argue. I am well-aware of the potential for TSA encounters to go very wrong very fast. That was not a battle I felt like starting.

I thanked the agent for taking the most expensive liquid I had in my bag for no good reason. HUGE INCONVENIENCE because I have to order it online.

So, friends, that is my Colorado race report and I know you are now all feeling much safer in your travels, because I was prevented from bringing home my fancy Ben Gay.


My favorite TSA spoof? Check out the classic 2006 SNL skit about the ban on liquids and gels. Click here. It’s awesome. “Three ounces of liquid can’t blow up an airplane, but four ounces can.”

Last long run before Colorado race

Date: July 14, 2013

Distance: 12.22 miles

Time: 2:07:08

Drop off spot with Rocco.

Drop off spot with Rocco.

Today, I was able to have Orlando drive me 12 miles up Emigration Canyon–the furthest I’ve run on this route. In fact, it was even about 3/4 of a mile past the summit, so the first portion was uphill before I was rewarded with the downhill, scenic trek. Dog got a bit of exercise too, because I took him with me for the first mile or so. Luckily, Orlando parked only 1.16 miles from where he dropped me off and waited for us because even that short distance tired out the dog. My dog is the biggest couch potato! You would think with his lean build, and long legs, he would be built for distance running. Nope.

After I got rid of the lazy dog, I enjoyed the winding, downhill road and beautiful, sunny weather. I didn’t care about my time today–just wanted to enjoy the run and get my mileage in before my Colorado race (two weeks out). I took in the views, stopped to take photos, listened to my iPod, and simply enjoyed the run.

The last three miles were tough because that’s where the course flattens out, and even brings a few uphill portions as I near home. Plus, at that point, I was tired and hot.

By the time I hit mile 9, my mixture of half coconut water/half drinking water was warm. Not enjoyable. Also, I was using a free sample of Shot Bloks–strawberry flavor. Not going to ever purchase that flavor, that’s for sure. I much prefer the lemon lime or black cherry flavors. When I got home I was happy to drink a full  glass of COLD water.

Feel ready for the Denver race, now. It’s a bummer I have to run it alone. No running buddies are joining me so I’m just going to knock this one out myself. Posting pictures of Emigration Canyon since I write about it so much.

Road down Emigration.

Road down Emigration.

Little Dell at top of Emigration Canyon

Little Dell at top of Emigration Canyon

It’s Groundhog Day and I have a bad case of spring fever

Last weekend I made it up Millcreek Canyon for a hike with friends and our dogs. Millcreek is convenient because it’s so close to my house and on Regret runodd-numbered days, dogs are allowed. The downside? Sometimes it is super crowded. Which it was–even with the snowy conditions. Also, I can’t exactly call our walk up and down the main road a hike. I’ll have to save the real hikes for later in the season when the trails aren’t covered in snow and ice.

Anyway, Millcreek is a good outdoor option every-once-in-awhile and my dog loved it.

Today I jumped at the chance to be able to complete my long run outside. The sun is out, the temperatures are hovering around 32-degrees (downright balmy compared to recent conditions), and one of last week’s hiking buddies offered to join me. How could I pass that up?

Afterwards I felt great and I couldn’t stop thinking of the quote I’ve often heard repeated, “I really regret that run–said no one. Ever.”

The quote popped into my head because I have been having such a hard time making time to work out and motivating myself when I do have time. The weather has been so cold, snowy, and icy. That, combined with the limited daylight, has resulted in very inconsistent workouts over the past three weeks.

I needed today. I was reminded how great I feel when I force myself to lace up my running shoes and get out the door, and I was also reminded that spring truly is just around the corner. (And so is my Nashville race)! That, alone, should provide the motivation I need.

Adams Canyon hike

heading up the canyon

Date: April 4, 2012

Distance: 3 miles

Time: almost 2 hours

Our first hike of the season caught me a bit off guard.

The other day I was looking for local hikes and stumbled upon a description of the Adams Canyon hike. The post and other reader comments indicated “fun for the whole family,” “dog-friendly,” and “easily accessible” with a beautiful, forty-foot waterfall at the end. The summary indicates that the hike is “moderate” in difficulty with trail in good condition with only “a few difficult spots.”  The trail head is about half an hour from our house and the website made it sound like the perfect spring break hike for our family of teenagers and our dog.

about a mile in

The entrance to the trail was easy to find and the two dozen other cars in the parking lot indicated that lots of other people had the same idea we did. We had perfect, mid-60-degree weather and a windless, clear sky. The first half mile of the trail was wide, covered with sand, and clearly marked. We were off to a great start and were treated to beautiful views right from the beginning.

After the first portion, the trail became much more wooded and we followed a stream the rest of the way up the canyon. There were several places where multiple trails branched out and it wasn’t always clear which trail to follow. We managed to figure it out, however, and hikers coming back down the trail every few minutes served to assure us we were still on the right track. Earthy pine smells and the sound of the running water provided the ideal hiking experience. Dog was happy, kids were happy, husband was happy. We were looking forward to the promised forty-foot waterfall as we made good progress.

along the creek

Here’s where it gets hairy.

Just over a mile in, the “trail” became almost non-existent, muddy, and very rocky. The sound and quantity of the water increased and even our dog was starting to have a difficult time deciding which route to pursue. The steepening route forced us to grab onto random tree branches to keep our footing and be especially careful about our foot placement on the unstable rocks. We continued our way up the canyon this way until our dog slipped on a large rock slab and fell backwards and down a couple of feet. Not a big deal, but it could have been. The trail was becoming increasingly treacherous and outright dangerous, as far as I was concerned. “How were these people hiking with small children?” I thought repeatedly. I couldn’t believe the number of little kids–some as young as three our four–who were on this hike.

I would not have called this hike “family friendly”. I could easily imagine small kids getting easily hurt at several points along the trail. I was even worried about my teenagers in some places.

heading back--Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island in the distance

About a mile-and-a-half in, as we reached a portion of the route where the deafening, rushing creek was to our left, about ten feet down from a steep drop off and all possible routes ahead of us would require literal rock climbing, we made the decision to turn around and head back.

Even though we did not reach the falls, we enjoyed the hike and still put in about three miles of hard-core cross-training. My quads, glutes, and hamstrings will probably feel quite sore in the morning. That’s a good thing.

Burgers, Anyone?

We rewarded ourselves with a trip to the Burger Bar in Roy, Utah–just ten miles away from our hiking spot. This family owned diner, open since 1954, was featured in an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and we had it on our “must check out” list for the past few months. The boys ordered the standard “Big Ben” burgers and I tried the elk burger. We were not disappointed. The homemade buns and ample fry sauce really made the burgers great and were a great repast following our harrowing hike.

All-in-all, a fun way to spend a day of spring break. Now I’m off to give our dog a much-needed bath.

Spring break run

Date: April 2, 2012

Distance: 9.1 miles

Time: 2:20:54

The best part about today’s training run? My dog and my husband both joined me. Yay.

We are all off from school and work this week enjoying spring break to the best of our abilities despite the fact that our plans to go to Hawaii fell through. Let’s just say airline flight benefits are not what they are cracked up to be. Sure, you can enjoy free airfare as an airline employee, but that’s only if you are lucky enough to get seats. Planning a Hawaii trip during spring break? Likely not going to happen–especially when five seats are needed.

So here we are, at home in Utah, enjoying spring weather. In Utah that means 80-degrees one day and snow the next.

Since Orlando and I are planning to run the Nashville half at the end of the month we decided to get a long run in today. Our dog joined us at the beginning and we were smart enough to plan our route to allow for a stop at home to drop him off after about mile three. Even though, to look at him–all 90 pounds of him with long, lean legs, you would think he was built for distance–he is not. Three to five miles is his limit.

After dropping the dog off at home, we continued the rest of our run. The wind was a bit chilly, but we enjoyed sun and clear skies. We ran/walked the route, talked about all sorts of things, and didn’t have to worry about the time or where we needed to be.

Sleeping in every day and running whenever I feel like it? Not such a bad vacation after all.