nervous. the emotion that accompanied me at the beginning of this run. I had yet to break the 13.1 barrier, and while it was only a mile more I didn't know how it would turn out.
the night before we had an efy reunion at Kjersti's house in Springville. I slipped away to drive the canyon and figure out the route we would run in the morning. It seemed like a lifetime as I kept driving- it seemed like I checked the odometer every 30 seconds expecting it suddenly to jump from 5 miles to 14.
The morning came early, however, I was wide awake. I was so excited for this run, despite my nerves. I had a new pair of shoes, a new running tank top, a hydration belt full of water bottles and gu. Life was good.
We made the trek down to Springville, parked Mary's car at the library, and started up the canyon. It was dark and cold, but by the time we made it to our starting point light was starting to peak over the mountains. We got out of the car, made sure we were all set, and took off towards Mary's awaiting car. The first mile was steep, but after that it leveled out and was just a very gradual downhill. We talked about our week, life, and anything else we could think to talk about. Eventually we pulled out the iPod and blasted music while we ran. n'sync "bye bye bye" came on and for some reason it put us at a perfect pace. I felt like I could run forever.
We stopped and gu'ed every 45 minutes, and it was amazing to see the difference it made in our run. Where I felt like I was running on empty at our half, I felt perfect (well as close to perfect as you can when running 14 miles). Mary loved the Montana Huckleberry (Hammer Gel) because it reminded her of jam. I had quite a different sentiment, considering I dont often eat jam straight- but with a little bit of water before and after I got it down without a problem.
The canyon was absolutely beautiful. It was perfect being awake early, feeling the fresh air on your skin, and the smell of the trees. I didn't want the run to end, I didn't want training to end. I wished we had another month to train for the race, simply so we had a reason keep doing these long runs. I felt like I was on top of the world.
The run was exciting, and there was always something new around each bend. Whether it was a dead animal (gross, but we saw surprising a lot), a herd of cattle we had to run through, or the scariest porta potty in the world- it kept us entertained.
We eventually made it out of the canyon, and it was amazing how instantly it became a mental battle. No longer did I have the beauty of the world around me to distract me from what I was doing. We made our way down the seemingly never-ending road. We stopped by Kjersti's, said hi, used the bathroom, and then continued on our way. WORST DECISION EVER. somehow in the three minutes we stopped our bodies learned to hate us. As we started to run again, we hurt. only 2 more miles to go. they seemed like an eternity.
we eventually made it back to her car, and nothing has ever looked so lovely. we hopped in, and made our way back up the canyon to pick up Charlie. The drive after might be my favorite part, especially in contrast with the drive at the start. Rather than the sinking feeling of "oh shoot, what are we doing, I have to run this" it was replaced with "holy hannah, we RAN this!" We made it back to the start, I jumped out, and blissful drove back down the canyon while listening to Keith Urban "wanna love sombody like you." Perfection.
Things that are good about running Hobble Creek Canyon:
- not a lot of traffic up Right Fork, and there is a path for part of the way
- not too steep
- it is beautiful
- there are only about 10 miles in the canyon that aren't steep and paved. If you want a longer run in the canyon you can brave the hills and dirt roads, or spend more time on city streets