Saturday, December 29, 2007

Think Happy Thoughts

You know those stories you hear from your parents about how they had to run uphill, through the snow and ice, in the cold, and how that should make you appreciate your very un-hard, downhill, warm existance? Well, we now have one of those stories to tell our wee ones. The location of this hellish tale? Memory Grove and City Creek Canyon.

That was the location of our second group run, picked by yours truly. Two of our now-very-un-trusty meteorologists at work had told me to expect fresh snowfall for our morning run, so we all dressed accordingly with an extra layer. But, said snow never fell, and in fact the sun appeared, making it warmer than expected.
We met at the Capitol downtown, and walked down to the entrance of the trail. That's where we met one of my photographers at work, who was so kind to meet us and spend his Saturday morning off running along and snapping pictures of us. Thanks Doug!

We started with a brief walking warm-up, and then we were off-- all enthusiastic and unsuspecting of the hell awaiting us on the road ahead. But it didn't take long for reality to set in-- the trail was uphill, and snowy. Did I mention it was uphill? About two minutes into the run, Kera said "Kristi gets to pick the trails from now on-- thanks Jen!" I have to agree. My calf muscles were screaming out in anger at my making them run up the road. But, we all kept on plugging.

It was picture day at Memory Grove. Groups of families in matching sweaters were posing, and smiled as we passed. I wonder if they were thinking "look at that sorry bunch! Man, I bet they wish they were us right now!" And, part of me did. They all looked very happy, and not in pain.

The further we got on the trail, the more we crossed other runners who apparently like torture. And to add to my frustration, none of them looked winded-- they weren't even cracking a sweat! How is that possible?!?!?! We just told each other to think happy thoughts. My mind immediately went to my future hot self in my designer jeans-- you know, just the motivation I needed to make it through the pain and suffering.

We had to take a two minute walking break about 25 minutes into our 60. We were starting to run again, when we looked back and saw Tara lagging behind...... and then something miraculous happened. It's as though rainbows popped out of the sunny and rainless sky and suddenly a voice not that of Kristi or myself started to yell "Go Tara! You can do it!" To our astonishment, it was KERA! We turned and looked at her in bewilderment and she said "What's happened to me?" I don't know, but I'll tell you what, I like it!

As we reached the halfway point and started our desent, I paused my ipod momentarily and heard a little voice next to me singing "Don't Stop Believing" by journey. It was Kristi, dancing, running, and singing her way down the canyon. This is why I love this girl. She can be in pain, freezing, and exhausted, and still saying "Girls, don't stop believing! Don't you love Journey?" I love YOU, Kris.

As we reached the park again, the group of smiling matching-sweater models all started cheering and clapping, saying "Good Job! Way to Go! You made it!" We in turn started to yell "Thanks! Whooo-hoooo!" It was like an early marathon finish line! Those sweet souls gave me just the extra push I needed.

Just when we thought we were done with our 60 minutes of hell, Kristi, in true Kristi fashion, decided that was the time to really push it one last time, and run, yes, run up state street to the Capitol. Uh, have you ever driven up that hill? My little car has a hard time with it, so you can imagine what my thighs were thinking. I don't know how, but it's like Kristi turns into that cartoon road-runner at the end of our run, and speeds right on past me. I, on the other hand, feel like the jumbo puff marshmellow man at the end of our run; moving in seemingly slow motion through water despite my mind telling my muscles to kick it into high gear. Sadly, I have no high gear left. But, run uphill yet again we did, and practially collapsed on the asphault in front of our cars.

Tara did such a great job on her first group run! She's been running indoors on a treadmill, so this was a challenge, but she was awesome and we're so glad she's feeling better and can join us!

We ended our Saturday group run at Einstein's Bagels, where much chatting and eating took place. I love these girls, and I am so happy we're on this journey together. Go us!

And for my favorite tune for today, I'm dedicating "Don't Stop Believing" to dear Kristi, who I wish you could all hear and see singing, running, and dancing in the cold.

We dropped our distance a little, but we are giving ourselves a pass because it was, in case you didn't catch my complaining the first ten times, uphill. Another run down, many more to go.

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