|Be sure to stop by and visit with Tara.
Our Weekly Wrap Guest Host Series continues strong. Thanks to all of you for making it a success. This week's guest host is the lovely Tara @ Run and Live Happy. Be sure to hop over to her blog and show her some love. Please do not just drop a post. The purpose of this linkup is to support one another. Our next guest hosts will be Zenaida Arroyo on June 25th and Kim @ Running on the Fly on July 2nd.
Please contact me if you are interested in being a guest host. There are still spots available in August. This is a great way to expand your blogging circle or simply make new connections. To learn more about the Weekly Wrap or being a Guest Host please click HERE.
Wow! Stunning Provo, Utah! When I left off in Coast to Canyon, I had met fellow bloggers at the expo and we had all dined together Friday night. It was nice to meet Teresa and Zenaida and reconnect with my #holottafun sisters Marcia, Mary Beth and Judy. We made a quick stop at Starbucks for Utah travel mugs and called it an early night.
The 3:10 wake-up came too soon. I wanted to catch the 4:00 shuttle as they stopped running at 4:30. I ate my usual oatmeal but carried an extra GU to eat before the start. Staying minutes from the shuttle parking, in short order I was sitting on the front seat of a school bus for the ride up into the canyons for our point to point race. .
We had about an hour wait before the start, but chatting with the gang made the time pass quickly. It was nice to finally meet Kristy who entertained us with stories of her recent Rim to Rim Grand Canyon experience. There was energizing music playing and fires to keep us warm, but that created smoke that I didn't want to breathe. We shivered while watching a beautiful full moon set behind the mountains. It was too difficult to take pictures as my hands were completely numb from the cold.
|Can you see the road we ran on?
And we're off... My Garmin recorded 41 degrees. Both the rising sun and the breeze were at our backs. You couldn't ask for better weather. I kept an old long sleeve race T-shirt on (split up the middle for easy removal) for about a mile. The scenery was breathtaking with mountains rising on each side and the road following a rushing stream. We even ran through a small tunnel. I could definitely tell I was running at altitude [5338 feet -- I live at 300 feet]. I've done it a few times and felt that old familiar burning in my chest. My heart rate was too high and I backed off to ensure I'd have some gas at the end.
|The course passed right by Bridal Veil Falls
I had no lofty goals, except to enjoy the race. I've done nothing but struggle since returning from my latest foot injury. After slogging through our humid weather for months already, I hoped the dry air would work to my benefit. The miles felt hard (thank you, altitude) but my body felt strong. For that, I was grateful. I relished every downhill step and wished they all could have been that way.
On our trek to Bridal Veil Falls the previous afternoon, we realized there would be some uphill in our "downhill" course. I was proud of the way I navigated the hills but was floored to see my Garmin display 459 feet of elevation GAIN. [What the heck?] For a full perspective, the loss was 1193.
The up and down occurred mostly in the first 8 miles. The last 5 were out of the canyon, in warm sunshine and quite flat. I caught up to the back of the 10k racers and had to do a lot of weaving. But, I was pleased to maintain a consistent pace. At the midway point, I had calculated a 2:08 finish. After staring at the finish line arch in the distance for what seemed like an eternity...that's what I got.
|Official (and my typical toothless) finish photo! Time = 2:08:36
This scenic race did not disappoint! Sharing it with friends? Gravy on the biscuit. The race pictures were free. We received a very nice jacket instead of a T-shirt. The after party was well done with a city of vendor tents and trucks. Cinnabun, Ice Cream Pops, Strawberry Ice, Italian Bread, and Chocolate Tru Moo were a few items I tasted. I was sad the band did not start playing during the hour plus we hung around. It looked like it going to be an all day party -- but other adventures awaited. The only negative was having to stop and grab my own cups at a couple of aid stations. Perhaps they needed more volunteers?
|Mary Beth, Marcia, Me, Teresa, Zenaida (Thanks for the fun time, girls!)
I asked our middle son to accompany me to Utah since he missed our trip to Colorado. He sweetly agreed so we were on a mission to pack in as much adventure as we could (we succeeded). He was a good sport tagging along to dinner with us non-stop gabbing girls every night and happily took on the role of race photographer as well. I'm including a few pictures of some of the things we did.
|We rode two ski lifts to the summit of Robert Redford's Sundance Resort
|We zip-lined with Mary Beth, Zenaida and Marcia (photo credit Marcia and Zenaida)
|We hiked from Aspen Grove out to Stewart Falls
|We make the steep trek up to explore Timpanogos Cave
Utah, thank you for a wonderful adventure!
And that's a wrap!
Have you explored any caves? If so, where?
Would you consider a race with 459 of elevation gain to be (up) hilly?
Where is your next adventure?