Jul 26, 2011

A little R & R

Last weekend I had an interesting experience. In the past I have commented about how therapeutic running is. In fact, I have gone on to say that I feel so great after runs that I feel like my reset button was pushed. While much of these claims are true, I recently had an experience that was not so uplifting.
Saturday morning came around and I was up early to head out on a trail run as usual. I felt good and had planned out a route.
I was prepared with the usual snacks, water, etc. When I got started I had to take it slow at first (side note: I have been recovering from a dislocated pinky toe that a dork at the grocery store gladly granted me with his grocery cart.), but got off to a good start.
Towards the end of my run I just did not feel well. I felt unusually thirsty and when I drank some cold water I then felt like throwing up. The last time I felt that way was my run up in Seattle with my brother, who was the unfortunate witness to my dry heaving after I took in too much cold water too soon. (I am still researching the physiological signs of why my body cannot take in too much cold water when I am running in warmer weather. That will be for a different post.)
I noticed that I felt like I was over heating and could not get the water to be absorbed by my body. My stomach was not happy with my activity and by the end of the run I was exhausted! I kept thinking to myself how miserable this run went and how I am just not meant for running. When I got home I showered up and tried to rest but felt like I was without energy. That night I felt incredibly thirsty despite also feeling like I was just throwing water into an already full bucket.
Well I woke up in the middle of the night and the fun just got started. I was very sick for the next 4 days. I could barely eat or drink anything after day 2, and after day 4 felt completely malnourished. It wasn’t until the next Saturday that I started to feel like myself again. However I did not make it out all week to get any exercise because I just felt like my body needed the rest.
During this rest it was nice to just relax and not feel like I had to meet any goals and push myself in the heat. I was able to be around my kids a little more and talk to my wife. I felt like I was able to reconnect with my most supportive crowd when it comes to running. In the midst of all this I was able to push an overall reset button that hardly gets pushed. Now that I am feeling better, I can say that I am excited to get back out. I am even excited to run on the roads again! While recovering I was able to reflect on why exercise is so good in the first place, so I can be a better husband and father!

Jul 15, 2011

Trails revisited

What does it take for a person to enjoy exercise? For me I have recently found a new zest for running on trails. Some of you already know that I like to go up into the mountains and run on the trails. However it is not always possible to make it to them because of time. This last Saturday I had a chance to head up to a trail that I used to hike up all the time while I was growing up.

The initial start is 2 miles of an uphill climb that goes from an elevation of 4600 to about 6400. I used to think that this was a huge climb until I started doing it more often and got into better shape. After the first 2 miles I came to a campground that I used to sometimes stay at overnight. It brought back a lot of fun memories looking at it.
It is than on to what is now the summer part of the trail because snow is usually on the rest of the trail through winter and spring. This part has a few steep parts but goes on for another 3 miles. This part has some unique areas and views that make the trail pretty exciting.
When you get to the top of the trail you are met by a dirt road known as skyline drive. If you head a couple miles north you will hit Bountiful peak. A few weeks ago I decided to head over to the peak and ended up being trapped in a lightning storm. The thunder was so loud that I had to plug my ears and the ground would shake. It wouldn’t have seemed so bad but I had to tread through deep snow while wearing shorts and moving quickly to escape was not an option.
However on this particular run I took in the view for a minute while on the top of the trail. I was alone and it brought to me a certain peace of mind. I took to the dirt road for a few miles and went back to the top of this trail. I looked around again and thought about the many times I would hike up here alone as a teenager to get some quiet time to myself. During those times I was able to think about life and try and figure things out.
As I headed down the mountain I couldn’t help but to become excited to come back this trail again. Although this is not what many would consider their favorite trail, there is something to it that keeps me coming back. Maybe it is the small number of people that are rarely seen on it, or maybe it is just the scenery. I think it is the connection and history that I have with it.
Even though I am not able to make it out to the trails as often as I would like, I will still take to running on roads. Even though I cannot stand running on the road at times, I keep in mind that it will help me be in better shape so that I can enjoy the trails. Not being in good shape would limit the joys of going farther distances on the trails, and would cause me to eliminate the better spots. For me this is what has brought a new spring in my step when it comes to staying in shape, and taking better care of my health. I suggest you find your motivation soon, you never know what you are missing out on now.