Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer adventures

So much to do and not enough time to blog. Here's a recap of some of the fun things.

A week ago, I went to this performance. It was primarily to support our friend Kelly who dedicated herself all year to attending weekly hula classes despite a very busy work schedule. She was beautiful on stage - and we were very proud of her! I wish I had some pictures from the evening, because the costumes were great as was the music, performances, the whole experience. Nice to see something of a cultural event in MT. Emily cooked a couple of us another tasty dinner beforehand, and I got the joy of dancing with her son Oliver throughout part of the performance. Fun times.

The next week was busy with running and helping Danni prepare for the Herron Hustle. I took Friday off from work, and did a 20 miler starting at 10 am to see how I'd handle the heat. I've committed ? (that might be too strong of a word since I have yet to send in the registration) to doing the HURL 50k in August. I've heard it's a tough course especially due to the exposed trails and heat. Other than some sunburned areas, my body seemed to hold up ok. I used Heed, Hammer gels and S-caps during the run with no stomach issues or cramping.

That night, Danni and I marked the 5.5 mile course. She was a smart race director and had attached ribbons to clothespins, making it easier to mark and then clean up later. We loaded up the cars with water, tables, race goodies, etc. and planned to meet at 6 am the next morning to set up for registration. Danni did a great job organizing this debut race and it was a total success. Over 70 people competed and most were very pleased with the course, exposure to new trails and the gorgeous view. I got to be the sweep, which was an awesome experience despite traveling on very tired legs. It was fun to see the speedsters cruising by on the way to finish, but even more exciting to see first time runners and/or hikers really pushing themselves to meet personal goals. One woman was very happy to have hiked a personal best in distance. Her enthusiasm and attitude was so infectious that I just had to give her a hug!

After the race, available members of our running group had a small send-off for Danni (on her way this week to the Western States 100). I had "Danni beer" as opposed to "Leanne beer" on ice for a toast. Drinking beer from Hammer Nutrition cups at 10:30 am was a nice touch. The combination of 31 miles in 24 hours, sun exposure, and beer had me almost falling asleep in my burrito lunch, and I completely crashed for a couple hours that afternoon. Ask my husband, I rarely take naps, so it was quite an event. Sunday, Steve and I used our Glacier park pass to get in a little hiking. We drove to Avalanche Campground, but I was annoyed by the absolutely crazy amount of tourists in less than 5 minutes, so we turned around to Deb's "secret place" for some quiet trails. Yes, mom and grandma, I take the bear spray as you can see in the picture above! Perfect weather, few people and a quick hello from the tiniest Bambi I've ever seen, perhaps with the craziest eyes as well (at least in the picture.)

A couple of extras:

Chris - I felt the same way about HEED for the longest time. Eventually, I decided I was going to force myself to like it since it is absolutely the only thing sold around these parts (Hammer is an area company.) Then, a crazy thing happened - I gradually got used to the taste and because of the low sugar, it NEVER makes a mess of my stomach unlike Gatorade and other brands. I do supplement with S-caps on longer runs which have completely solved my cramping issues. Do whatever works for you, but maybe it's just an acquired taste?

Danni - have an absolute blast at Western States! You have done a great job preparing for this event, so go out and kick some trail butt!

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