It has been a sad week. My husband lost his best friend from high school in a motorcycle accident. It was a terrible tragedy and seeing the sadness of his friends and family at his service was hard. He loved the outdoors and his family held an outdoor service in a nature preserve. I went back to the nature preserve the next day and ran on the trails. I reflected on John’s life, his friendships, the pain of his parents and sister. It was a beautiful setting for the service and a beautiful setting for a run of reflection. I will certainly be back to run those trails again and reflect on life. Also, Mr. B’s wife lost her battle with cancer yesterday. He is facing the situation with bravery, taking comfort in the fact that she is no longer in pain. I’m aching for Mr. B and their daughters. The sadness between both losses feels constructing at times. I will try to run the burden of the sadness off and send positive energy to both families as they try to figure out how to move forward.
I was dragging all day yesterday. I wasn’t even a little excited about running after dinner. I took my youngest to the gym with me and he shot baskets while I suffered through 9 laps on the indoor track. I was so glad when I was done. My son wanted me to play badminton with him but I literally had nothing left. We went home and read in bed instead. Today, however, the sun was shining and the temperature was more like spring than winter. I really wasn’t feeling motivated to go far but I really wanted to enjoy the weather. My husband and I decided to take our youngest out to the local lake to hike on the trails. They played around on some dirt jumps while I ran a quick mile that turned into 2. I was really enjoying the run way more than I had expected. Luckily, my husband and son entertained themselves by throwing rocks at the ice while I ran that extra mile. I actually had to drag them away when I was done running. It wasn’t warm enough to stay warm after sweating but it was still pretty great. Everyone enjoyed the winter reprieve.
Since I have tomorrow off from work, I wanted to take some extra time for a long run this weekend. Yesterday didn’t work out because my youngest wanted to shoot baskets while I ran so I went to the gym and ran on the indoor track. He wasn’t enjoying his time playing basketball so I only got to run 2 miles before I gave up for the sake of everyone at the gym. Tonight, another snow storm is raging so figured today was the best chance to get out and enjoy a longer run. I decided to head to a local lake with fantastic trails. I haven’t been on those trails since before we moved to the area. I actually think the last time I was there was when my sister broke her foot. It was a really unfortunate circumstance that had quite a fantastic outcome. Today, the trails were fairly quiet, a little chilly, but also quite lovely.
I ran 3 miles total and hiked 3 more. I got a little turned around and hiked farther than I expected but I really enjoyed the experience overall. I even got to enjoy a little green among the drab Illinois winter landscape.
I’m sure the trails would be even more beautiful covered in snow but I wouldn’t trust my footing enough to run out there in the snow. Frozen dirt is the best possible running surface for Illinois trails at this time of year.
This trip has been amazing. I reveled in the warmth of the sun and the beauty of the desert for 3 full days. I’m really glad we camped because that gave me the absolute most opportunity to enjoy both the warmth and the scenery. The trip was entirely too short but I’m still glad we went. On Tuesday, I ran a mile on the hotel treadmill before pushing on for our 15 hour drive. It was a long day but it was all so my daughter could see one of her friends before she left on a family vacation. They enjoyed catching up so it was worth the ridiculously long day of driving. Her friend’s mom and I were also close so we got to eat breakfast together after the girls had a sleepover. We got to Phoenix so late though that I didn’t want to set up camp. I was exhausted and it was too dark to enjoy the process. For my run on Wednesday, I ran while my kids hung out with friends at a local mall. I ran through a Marriott resort property, which was lovely but just not the open desert running experience I was looking forward to on this trip. I ran 2 miles through the Marriott property, which was much bigger than I had realized. On Thursday, I got to wake up to this when I unzipped my tent.
I went on a jog/hike where I jogged for 3 miles and hiked for 1 more mile. I’m certainly out of shape for climbing elevation, which isn’t surprising considering Illinois. Here is a pic from my first hike/jog:
I loved every minute on those mountains. On Friday, my legs were a little sore but I knew that wouldn’t stop me from going back out. I took the trail a different direction and got this as my reward:
I jogged 3 miles and hiked 1 again but then we had to head back toward home. It was hard to leave. The temps were a little on the warm side at 78 each afternoon but knowing we were going home to snow and single digit temperatures made the heat more tolerable. We did stop by Sedona before leaving AZ for a hike as a family. The drive into Sedona was a total traffic jam so we turned around and hiked on a trail at the eastern edge of the area. It was still beautiful.
I’m going to be extra sore after sitting in a car all day today but the trip was totally worthwhile. I’m already thinking about my next trip to AZ and the kids and I already have a list going of what we want to do next time. Today I will mourn the end of the trip as I run on a hotel treadmill in Albuquerque.
Tonight I got to go on a group trail run at the local lake. It was awesome! I haven’t really understood the trails out there so it was helpful that the guy leading the run was the one that created the trails. We made it almost 3 miles before a storm started kicking up the wind. It was fun to meet a few new people and explore a local trail system. Mr. B and I usually don’t stray too far off the paved path when we run at the lake. After a few more of these group runs, I’m hoping I will have them down. They have almost 10 miles in trails, which is a real gem in this small area. The local Ride and Run shop keeps them maintained really well. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to go back. I did do a slow mile this morning just so I wouldn’t feel pressure at tonight’s group run. I’ve been super tired at the end of the day with these 4am wake-ups for my daughter’s detasseling. If I decided to bail, I didn’t want to be stuck running in the heat alone. This morning’s run at sunrise was fantastic. I also had a chance to do my stretches up the wall this morning and do a silent meditation. It was a great start to the day. Yesterday, I ran my favorite 7 mile run out into the country. I hadn’t been out there in weeks. It was a lovely run. On the run, I only saw 3 cars the whole time, 7 wild turkeys, and heard one gunshot. The gunshot was a little unnerving… I hadn’t run that long in awhile and I sure felt it in the last 2 miles. My heart rate stayed in my desired range for the majority of the run though and my pace was about what I expected. Overall, a great run.
Tomorrow is my birthday. I apparently have gifts on the brain! I got to meet Mr. B at the lake this morning for a walk/jog. His wife was feeling under the weather so she couldn’t make it. She just finished her 2nd treatment for this round of chemo so it’s not surprising she wasn’t up for an early morning walk but we missed her presence. Cancer sucks. If you want to send her good vibes and strength through the universe, I’m sure she would appreciate them. Mr. B and I walked 2 miles and jogged 2 miles. We even went on the bike trail for a bit, which was a nice detour from the paved path. The weather was perfect, the scenery was beautiful, and the company was fantastic (although we missed you, Mrs. B). Happy birthday to me!
My husband and I got to go out into the desert again today for another fantastic run and hike. We ran a little over 1.5 miles and hiked another 1.5 or 2. It was really relaxing and the scenery was fantastic. I am feeling much better from my illness and hope that my travels home don’t tax my system too much. My husband is staying in AZ for work this week so I won’t be able to do my morning runs with Mr. B before school. I might have to combine the treadmill with short after school runs to keep my mileage up. Getting through the week will be the name of the game.