Monday, August 13, 2012

Adventures in Trail Running

I feel like this has been the summer of trail adventures for me.  Which has been a wonderful change from my typical routine.  I haven't been obsessed with times and races.  I've really just been enjoying myself and some beautiful new places to run.  Never mind that I have my toughest marathon challenge in about two weeks.  I'm choosing fun on the trails over everything else right now.  I'm running the Grand Teton Marathon on September 1st.

 I got the privilege of running on some of the trails that I'll be running on during the marathon a couple of weeks ago.  It was gorgeous to say the least.  It's in Idaho and the temperature is at least 20 degrees cooler than here which was a breath of fresh air.  It got me really excited and made me feel less anxious about the run.  I decided that no matter how long it takes me, I will be on new trails, in a gorgeous part of the world.  That sounds really good to me.

One of the "fun" parts of running in this part of Idaho is that you really shouldn't run alone.  There are bears.  Lots of them.  I bought bear spray after talking with my brother who lives there and reading a scary news article and talking with the local guy at the running store.  He had seen a bear the day before on his run.  I guess it's just part of your arsenal when you run there.  I'm hoping that the marathon will have enough people to scare away any bears.

We also got to run the Snake River with my family while we were there and had an absolute blast!  The views were fantastic!

This is the view from my brother's back porch. It is a perfect view of the Tetons.  We all felt like he was so lucky.  He said it's just part of the background now.  Sad.  

We camped a few days in Montana and I got to run with my brother and my dad one morning.  More beautiful trails there.

yes, my dad is running in jeans.  sigh.

After we got back I tackled the hardest and longest trail run to date.  My brother and I ran up to the top of Ben Lomond Peak and back.  We ran a mile towards Willard Peak and back once we were at the top to make it 18 miles.  It was beautiful and hard and a great day.  I was surprised at how good I felt even at the end.  

Mel and her husband Carl ran with us for an hour to show us the way.  We started bright and early at 5:30 at the trailhead.

My brother, Tom

The views were incredible!

We saw 3 large herds of mountain goats.

At the top!  There were some boy scouts up there that took our picture for us.

I did get frustrated towards the end of the run with all the rocks.  It just got old avoiding them and trying not to trip and fall.  It was a really great day and a run I'd like to do again.  Just not any time soon!

My favorite picture of the day that my brother took.  We less than two miles from being down but it looked like we were still really high up there.


Alma said...

STUNNING! I hope you take photos from the marathon, too. Looks like a bit of paradise to me.

Coy Martinez said...

JEN!! Look at those pictures! They all look like something right out of a calendar! My mom lives up near Glacier Park in Montana and I loved hiking and running up there back in June! The weather was in the 60's every day so it was easy to love :) I can't wait till your marathon. You've inspired me today!

Yo Momma Runs said...

So gorgeous!

Julia said...

AMAZING JEN! is it crazy that i look at these and just want to cry because they are so absolutely amazing and stunning!?! how lucky are we that we get to experience this incredible nature around us!?! i cant wait for your race. wow. it looks amazing. that single track makes me smile BIG.

Cory Reese said...

No. Way.

I don't know what to say. Those pictures are so incredible. After running in places like that, it makes it hard to go back to running on the road.

Bring on the 26.2!

Doran & Jody said...

How fun!
So glad you had a good time and didn't have to out run a bear.
I love it up there and would love to do some trails too but I am afeared we would get lost. We have no one to be our guide.

Good luck on your Marathon!!!

Audrey said...

Wonderful! How fun for you! I can see why you enjoy trail running so much.

Penny said...

I can see why you run trail. My goodness it's gorgeous. Running those trail would totally take my mind of how far to run, there is so much to look at. Love all the awesome pic.

susette said...

I loved reading this and seeing the fabulous photos. I gotta get me some bear spray pronto!! I know I would feel a little more safe out there in nature.

Good luck on your marathon. It sounds like a fun adventure for sure!

Susan DeBruin said...

So beautiful! Thanks for sharing your pictures :) Enjoy the marathon!

Rachelle Wardle said...

Oh my goodness Jenn I am at a total loss for words...which never happens! Stunning! Simply amazing and I am so incredibly jealous right now of all of your amazing adventures.

The marathon will absolutely be memorable and I cannot wait to hear all about it.

Nelly said...

As usual your pictures are amazing. Those sounded like great trails in Idaho and Montana! And where you run in Utah is awesome as well.

Mommy Run Fast said...

I wish I had trails like that nearby! So gorgeous. I can't believe you ran your 18 there- that's like 30 road miles. :) Impressive! Hope you don't see any bears, but I'm excited for you and your next marathon!

Cotter Crunch said...

stunning!! maybe we need to move to UTah for training.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

That's beautiful! I love that your dad wore jeans! At least he got out there and did it!

Michael said...

You, my friend, ar the luckiest person to have such amazing trails. I am in awe of the beauty. Run well, stay true, be happy. Mike

Anonymous said...

Great pictures!! Thank you so much for sharing! I think it's great that you were just able to run and not stress out about races and such. ;)

Missy said...

Hey Jen! I tagged you in my blogpost today!