Monday, March 23, 2015

A 25K Around Antelope Island

Just one of the many beautiful views around the island of the Great Salt Lake.
    Sometimes Joshua and I have some really great ideas. To others, our ideas are plain nutty (a half marathon where you climb 2500 feet for the first 6.5 miles), stupid (a Denny's breakfast after a 16 mile run), or epic (a marathon together). I would put the race we did last weekend in the last category even if my dear husband would put it in the first two.
   Joshua and I started kicking around the idea of doing the Antelope Island Buffalo Run back in November when we did The Burn and gained a love of hill running. We thought about doing the 50 miler, but quickly decided that was nuts, even for us. So then we thought about the 50k and at some point decided even 32 miles was too ambitious for us right now and moved quickly to the 25k (16ish miles). To train we started doing lots of stairs and worked on hill runs. This was a great plan and all was going well (I was even shaving time off my pace!) until my husband was promoted and transferred to Orem and we were put into the position of selling our home and  buying a new one, all while Mark commuted the almost 80 miles each way to work. We were assured that our house would take 30-45 days to sell, but it sold in 24 hours and we have been playing catch-up since. We are now moving this coming weekend, an awesome place to be when you are planning on a 16+ mile race. Oh, and did I mention I got a cold that lasted almost 3 weeks that got my lungs? That was fun. Needless to say, I hadn't ran but twice in the month leading up to the race. But I felt calm about the race and knew I had 9.5 hours to finish, so I knew I would be okay.
Joshua and I at the start. Naive, but completely excited to go.
   Armed with no trail running experience and not enough training, Joshua and I set off on the trails with 500 of our closest 25k friends. Several of our friends were running the 50k and 50 miler, so our goal was to keep our eyes open to see them as we looped around the island. Not long into the race I ran into a good friend, Mitch, who was running his first 50 miler. After a quick hug and chat we continued up a climb as he charged down the mountain ahead of his pace. The trail for us climbed for the first couple of miles before flattening out. We ran into Jason, Janet, and Heather during this time and made sure they were surviving their first 50k before we headed up a wicked climb that took us to the aid station just over 5.5 miles into the race. I think this climb by the lone tree was the worst of the whole race. It didn't looked that bad, but the climb was beyond grueling. It did end with an aid station, so it was worth the effort.
Running into Janet is always a thrill.
 What a sweet spirit.
   A word about trail race aid stations, they are heaven. I can't imagine a better place anywhere. They have salty potato chips, potatoes to roll in salt, ginger snaps, Nutella tortilla roll ups, pb&j sandwiches, M&M's, soda, water, and the happiest volunteers on the planet. If nothing else appeals to you in trail running, let me assure you that the aid stations alone are worth the run.
   After eating all the calories we just burned, Joshua and I headed out on the 5 mile loop that would bring us back to the aid station.  Some people didn't like the flat part of this loop, but Joshua and I were so happy to see it. After refueling, we were able to make a great pace and actually were plotting doing crazy things like 50k's and 50 milers. But soon the flat ended and we started up the famed switchbacks we were warned about. I didn't feel they were that bad of a climb. More boring than hard. However, it was hard to be too grumpy because each turn allowed us to see more and more of the Great Salt Lake, which is AMAZING!
I feel bad Joshua and I couldn't help him more.
I am glad he recovered okay.
   Soon after the climb we ran into a racer who was sick and we tried to help as much as we could until the rescue people showed up. After we were sure he was in good hands we continued around the trail. It was shortly after this we could see the aid station again, but there were many more loops to complete before we finished our journey back to heaven (aka the aid station). I was starting to get a little sick from the crazy heat and long climbing, getting some stomach cramps, so I had to really focus on just making it back to the aid station. We also saw the sick racer again during this time who made a full recovery after throwing up. I love how the human body recovers, just like that.
Some people are so fast. I plan to be
like that someday. 
   After completing the 5-ish mile loop we stopped at the aid station again to get Sprite, more chips and Nutella roll-ups, refill our water, and gain all the mental strength we could muster before heading the just over 5.5 miles back to the finish-line. It was during this time I got the text Mark was back, reminding me that my goal finish time came and went. But, honestly, I was feeling great about where we were considering how non-existent my training had been for the past 30 days.
Flat, but powdery and hard to trudge through.
   Again refueled and recharged we headed home. The fall down the lone tree hill was much better than the ruthless climb up and we started making some great time. It was short lived. The powdery flat after the fall down the mountain was difficult for me to slug through and soon we were reduced to mall walking again. About this time all the pain of doing 13 miles started to set in and I found myself going to my pain cave. I also had to warn Joshua to, for the love of everything holy, quit talking about food and future races. I hated everything about being out there. It was hot. I was unprepared. Why do I do this? I started saying things to Joshua and getting frustrated he didn't respond, only to realize I was having full conversations with him IN MY HEAD! The flat turned to climbing again and we soon lost sight of the aid station far behind us and the finish-line way ahead of us. We saw less runners and felt alone, but the clouds and the lake breeze soon made the heat more bearable. I was still pretty shot by then and started wondering if this was an elaborate trick from everyone we knew to lure Joshua and I out to the island and leave us for dead. I think I even mentioned this to Joshua, who thought I was just kidding. I wasn't.
At some point in the race I almost fell
 off the side of the trail and all I could think was "I need a porta-potty!
The headlines will read 'Jogger Killed In Fall, Pees Pants.'"
   Finally we came around the mountain enough to see the finish tent far in the distance and see all the runners on the bottom of the mountain. Joshua and I had a great length of running at this point and I was starting to cheer up with the thoughts of warm greeting from my family and a soda at the finish-line. We had to run around a fence to enter the last 1/4 mile to the finish-line and the last little hill jarred my neck just enough to cause a crazy migraine. The kind where your eyes don't work and I couldn't see ahead of me without the Earth bouncing in 2 different directions. I ended up walking the last bit to keep from dying. Addison saw us coming in and ran to me yelling  "Mommy! You did it! You did it!" She grabbed my hand and helped me run the last few feet in. My emotions, balled up and tangled in my pain cave, soon came to the surface and I was a mix of anger about my headache and pure joyful relief we weren't going to die! Then I saw my good friend Camille, days away from having a baby, at the finish-line with my husband welcoming me home. How can you not be elated to see that happy sight? It just instilled in me, yet again, how amazing the running community will always be. Everyone, stranger and friend alike, willing to stand out in the dirt and heat, cheering on people who have just had a life-changing experience. I cry when I think about how wonderful it is every single time.
Addison coming to get me.
Addison dragging my
sorry self.
   I was pretty out of it by the finish and didn't even mind they ran out of finisher's mugs (I will get one, no worries). Someone gave me a chocolate milk which I soon had guzzled and Mark lead me into the tent where an ice cold Coke and stew awaited me. A nice massage therapist got my name on the list and after a short wait my legs got the love they needed. My head was, however, getting worse and I was soon begging Mark to please GET ME OUT OF THERE. I was on the verge of throwing up and I know from past experience that if that happens, I better go get medical help.
  I was able to take some medication and take a small nap on the ride home and came back to life in the stress relieving aromatherapy bath/shower (a shower where you sit in the plugged tub. It's the healing soak of a bath with the soothing effect of a shower. Win/win I say!). I started feeling much better after all of that and even started thinking about all the food I wanted to eat, which was all the food in the world!
My good friend Camille welcoming me home.
   I am sad I didn't perform better and that I got sick, however, I know that this is now my baseline race. The race actually measure around 18 miles and we finished in 6:13, with a total climb of 2579 feet. I know I will be so much more prepared next time. I just had no idea what to expect and every first race is a learning experience. However, I had a completely spiritual experience out on the trails. It was life changing for me. Running makes me realize how much strength there is from being so completely physically low and beaten. It teaches us what we are made of when we keep trudging forward when we want to quit. There is a life lesson there. Just keep going. It will always be worth it.      

Monday, December 22, 2014

Isabel's Birthday Party

   My husband, heaven help us, is well loved and valued at work. In the past 3 months he has helped open a site for his company in upstate New York, living there for 11 weeks, then was here for only 2 weeks before being sent to another site, commuting 75 miles each way. His company is also extremely busy right now, so even though he can come home every night, we hardly see him. He is also unable to take off time, like today, which is our firstborn's 5th birthday. With this in mind, Addison and I rode the train last Friday night to meet him after work and have a party and overnight stay there. Our running group had also planned a  party in the same town, so we were able to bring Joshua along to party with us. 
   Addison demanded that Isabel wanted a princess party with a cake and swimming. Mark picked up a delicious cake from The Chocolate Bakery in Orem, Utah. We HAD to have cake because Addison has been practicing singing Happy Birthday to Isabel for at least a month now. So we had a little cake and tiara party in our room and a swim in the pool. I get the feeling that Isabel would have liked our choices. Addison certainly did. And the party continued the next morning when we wore our tiaras to the hotel breakfast by demand of Addison. I couldn't think of a better way to remember Isabel.
Selfie in the hotel mirror.

Mmmm, cake from The Chocolate in Orem.

If Joshua can post a selfie of the event, the event never took place.

My second princess enjoying the cake.

Digging in.

Five Years of Grief: Celebrating A Death and A Birth

   Mark just texted me from work in Orem, Utah. Apparently, it is snowing there right now. Of course it is. Of course, the one year he didn't take off Isabel's birthday, it is going to snow and he is 75 miles away from home. It's his punishment for being too valuable to take off time during this extremely busy time at work.
   The snow falling isn't just a commute annoyance for my husband. It is a reminder that five years ago, we met and said goodbye to our first born. We knew she wasn't going to stay with us. We knew she was very sick and that she would probably pass soon after her birth, if she was even able to survive that. Which she didn't. After 37 hours of intense labor and an hour of pushing, she passed, unable to take the brutality of being born. Three hours later, my doctor physically pulled her out and onto my waiting chest, unable to admit that she had passed. The medical team NEVER admitted she passed. It was something we figured out ourselves. The realization punctuated when the largest snowfall of the year started outside.
   And now, five years have passed since that night when that sweet baby was placed on my chest, lifeless and beat up. I still remember that exact moment when Mark saw her and left my side, sobbing. I just looked at her. This was the moment I had waited for, the moment I became a mom. And here I was, looking at my first born, in utter dismay that I had failed to get her out in time. I had failed her again. She was gone, and it was all my fault.
   Isabel was diagnosed with Anencephaly at my big ultrasound at 18 weeks.  The ultrasound tech was too afraid to tell us what she was seeing, so after the appointment, we were sent to my doctor, who was pulled from surgery to tell us what they had found. A week later we made the trip to a specialist who confirmed the diagnosis. With upturned nose he informed me that I needed to "get rid of it" and that "I was a bad mom for continuing on with the pregnancy" because I "certainly could die from complications." When I asked what caused this he claimed "It is probably your fault for being overweight and not taking prenatal vitamins and eating poorly." Despite the fact that I had actually lost a little weight before getting pregnant, was eating healthy, and was taking a prenatal with 1 gram of folic acid, more than most prenatals contain. I left depressed and hating myself. I had caused this.
   Five years later, and a lot of research under my belt, it turns out that he actually knew very little about Anencephaly. Yes, a lack of folic acid can cause Anencephaly, but there are a lot of other factors that can also. In my case, the likelihood it was a folic acid deficiency  is low because I was taking almost 3 times the amount a normal woman would take. I could have the MTHFR gene mutation, which causes Anencephaly, as well as many other birth defects. I have never been tested because of the cost and our insurance wouldn't cover any of it. This could also be caused by environmental factors like pestisides and mold in our food system. I grew up on a farm, constantly exposed to all sorts of bad things. And before Isabel, Mark and I didn't take eating organic seriously. Trust me, we certainly do now!
   All of these "it could be this" and "you might have this" still comes back to me. I still, five years later, bitterly blame myself for her death. Despite having a healthy child since, I still think of my healthy daughter as a fluke and Isabel as the norm. The loss of Addison's twin only instilled in me how my body is hurting my children. And as I sit here, five years later, I still feel the terrible pain of knowing that Isabel never stood a chance. And I hate myself for that.
   Everyone tells me that grief gets easier. People are liars. It gets easier to be distracted from the pain, but the pain is still there. I like to think of my thoughts and emotions as an ocean. Isabel's loss is like an oil spill. The memories and pain permeate the water. Every aspect of my life has been touched by her. At first, all I could see was the oil floating on the top, covering everything, changing what and who was allowed to stay in the water. I have learned to let go of several things and people in my life that couldn't deal with my grief. And that is fine. Time has helped the water push the grief to the bottom, but sometimes, my pain rises to the top and I can no longer ignore that there will always be pain, grief, longing, and sadness in my ocean.
  I have been forever changed. Becoming a mother does that to you. So does grief. So does life. I wish with every fiber of my being she was here today, opening her presents and eating cake. Instead I look to the falling rain outside and think about how this is her way of being her today, just like the falling snow was her way of saying goodbye five years ago. It isn't the same thing, but it is all we have and I will take it. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Burn. Oh, My, Did It Burn.

   Some races you sign up for because they seem like a fun race. Other races you sign up for because that is what everyone else is doing. I signed up for my marathon because of a lapse in judgement I was having for a couple of months (just joking, but really...). Right before my marathon, when I decided that I was insane for ever running races longer than 3.1 miles, I saw a post in one of my running groups from a race director that was starting a race so challenging it could only be called one thing, The Burn. The race was to be ran starting at the bottom of a canyon and ending at the top, 6.5 miles away. The climb, they promised, would be a gain of 3000 feet. The race was the answer to the growing question over whether us Utah road runners have gotten lazy with the growing number of downhill races.
One of our hill training runs.
   And I was exactly the runner the "Earn Your Downhill" enthusiasts were lambasting. I spent all running season training running down canyons, cursing races with any hills at all, and wondering why I wasn't growing into the runner I wanted to be. I am a great downhill runner. However, I live in Utah where every race has at least some hill portion, and I flounder. I knew the time had come for me to get better at hills. This seemed like the perfect race for me to shoot for post-marathon.
  It didn't take long to talk Joshua into the race. In fact, the conversation went like this:
      Me: Josh, did you see this race? (sharing the link)
      Joshua: I'm in!
Joshua is a little too easy to talk into races. So post marathon, both of us started training for the race. We trained together several times, running up Emigration Canyon, the hills in Bountiful, Utah, and doing the 5k 2 days before just for some last minute speed training.  I knew going in I wasn't going to be a strong, run up the whole mountain in no time, runner, but I was much stronger than I had been just 6 weeks earlier.
   Mark was home and going to take Josh and I to the race before heading for a few hours of daddy/daughter time. The race was running up Butterfield Canyon, in Herriman, Utah. We had a little later start, 9AM, giving us ample sleep and commute time. And despite the race being on November 1, we still had nice weather for the race. Joshua and I tried setting a good pace and knew we would be doing some walking, some running, some whining. The climb started out not very steep, but by mile 2, really started to get more challenging. We ended up walking and walking faster for most of the climb. We didn't care. The canyon was beautiful and we were still having a good 16 minute pace despite the lack of running. Mile 4 started getting really steep and we almost took up a crawling pace just to get to the top of each foreseeable hill. Still, we were prepared mentally and we were in great spirits.
   The race had two options once you got to the top. Option one, you get to the top and a van would bring you back down after you got a snack. Option two, you turn and run back down the canyon. Josh and I decided to run the canyon both race from the beginning so Josh would have another race to count to his 180 goal. By the time Josh and I got to mile 4/4.5 runners were already running back down and were passing us in vans. They all checked to see if we were okay. We were doing awesome, actually. Honestly. We were having a great time. Sure, the climb was no joke, but we knew it was going to be tough and we just kept saying how much stronger we were getting. Because we were.
   We finally reached the top of the canyon at 2:17. I was third from the last person, and perfectly happy about it. I knew full well that had I had done the race even 2 months prior, I would have been dead last and crying about how hard it was. Instead, I was completely overjoyed with how mentally strong I was getting and wanting to do the whole thing again the next week. The race director, being the smartest man on earth, had a plethora for snacks at the top, chocolate candy bars, pretzels, Dr. Pepper, water, granola bars, and other yummy things. One of the snacks was Butterfingers. Seeing them was my sign that Isabel was there, cheering me on. After a refuel. Josh and I headed back down the canyon, being the last runners to chose to do that.
Isabel was there!
   My legs were hurting right as we started, but soon were loose and enjoying the downhill. We found a great pace and the miles paced quickly. We only had a couple of hiccups. We saw a deer, which gave Josh a small heart attack. We made sure to make enough noise to scare off the rest of the deer population after that. Then at mile 12-ish I tripped. I caught myself, but it jarred my left leg and back a little. Despite the hiccups, we made it out of the canyon with an official time of 3:58:11. Addison and Mark happily greeted us, having spent almost an hour worrying about us. The race director, who kept coming to see if we were okay during our run down, was also relieved we made it out. There is always that worry.
   Overall, the race was awesome. It was hard. Wonderfully hard. But, I loved the challenge. Josh and I are totally doing this again.

Did I mention the awesome medals?

A Last Minute 5k

   For those of you that don't know, Mark has been out of town in Watertown, NY doing some work for his company since the week before we ran our first marathon in September. He actually was only there 5 days before they flew him back home to run! He flew back home the morning after our race and we were apart 7 weeks and 3 days before he was able to come home for a few days again. Mark's company was only willing to fly him home 2 times during his 3 month tour of Watertown and his marathon counted as one. We put off his second visit so he would be home for Halloween. We wanted him to be able to make holiday memories with Addison, even if it meant we would be apart 2 months. 
  Finally, October 28th rolled around and Mark was due to get in at 9:15 that night. To pass the time while Addison was at school, I was surfing Facebook when a race director posed in one of my running groups that he had a large number of medals and shirts left over from his Halloween half marathon that had taken place the previous Saturday. He was thinking about throwing a 5k that coming Thursday for $15 and the finishers would get a medal, a shirt, and a BBQ. How could I resist? After finally getting word to Mark during his layover in Philadelphia, we decided to sign up for the race. Joshua was also on board. It was a running party!
   So Thrusday evening we met at a Foxboro North Regional Park, which just happens to join the Legacy Parkway Trail. We ran an out and back race that was not timed by the race officials. We did get bibs and was told the faster we got back, the better the medal and shirt we would get. Mark pushed Addison since I had had that pleasure for two months without him, and I decided since the trail is mostly flat, I would try to get as close to a sub-30 minute finish I could get. Joshua was going to push Reese, an assisted athlete, and whose goal was just to get some good pushing experience. Having pushed Addison in the jogger for 2 months, I knew I would probably be faster than him and decided to stay ahead of him during the run. A smart person would have tried to keep up with Mark knowing that he would lead me to a sub-30 finish for sure, but I am not always a smart person.
   I started out well, maybe even a little too slow. My first mile came in at 11:35. I needed to run a 10:00 pace to get close to a 30 minute finish, so I decided to pick up the pace. However, my legs were having none of it. I ended up trying to stretch them out a couple of times and when that didn't help, I fell in step with another runner who wanted to run with me. Tine had just ran the Big Cottonwood half and was trying to get back into running regularly post race. After talking a while she realized she recognized me from my marathon finish video that was making the rounds on Facebook. She was one of several people that night that recognized me. 
   I ended up finishing the race in 37:39 and with a new friend. Mark, being a speedy speeder finished far enough ahead of me to get Addison dressed in his new race shirt and them both back to the finish to have Addison run me to the end. It was the best way to finish a race.  

Tine and I at the finish. I love meeting new running friends!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

My Favorite Fall Recipe (For right now)

Mmmmm. Even my 3-year-old loves it.
   So fall is FINALLY here. I know, it is almost November. But, it has been unseasonably warm here in Northern Utah and the leaves are just now turning in my neighborhood. Usually, they are gone by now.
Every time a leaf falls from a tree, I yell "traitor" at it and shake my fist at it. My fist is getting tired. 
 Because of the now cooling weather, I decided it was a comfort food type of day. I had seen a few pins recently on Pinterest for crock pot Chicken and Dumplings and knew they would be a hit with the 3-year-old, but almost all of them called for cans of Cream of Chicken soup. In my quest to be healthier, I have been trying to avoid the canned stuff. If it looks like that coming out of the can, then that is what you are going to look like after eating it. BUT I have finally perfected a Cream of Chicken soup recipe and decided to try my hand at making my own Chicken and Dumplings recipe. OH MAN! It is yummy! And best of all, I know it is preservative free! Win win.

 Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
2 T. butter
2 cups low sodium chicken stock/broth
1 batch cream of chicken soup (recipe below)
1 ½ T. Mrs. Dash onion and herb seasoning or dried onion (can also use ½ of an onion, small diced)
1 T. dried parsley
1 batch dumplings (recipe below)
Place chicken in crock pot and top with butter. Top with cream of chicken soup, broth, and seasonings. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low 8-9 hours or until chicken is cooked and shred-able, but NOT dry.  Shred chicken and add it back to crock pot. Gently stir in dumplings (very very gently), replace lid, and cook on high for 1 hour. Stir gently when soup is finished cooking. Enjoy it while it’s warm!

Cream of Chicken Soup Recipe:

6 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 T. butter
1 C. low sodium chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 C. skim milk
Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. When butter is melted, add in the flour mixture and allow the flour to cook some, stirring constantly. Slowly add in chicken stock, whisking constantly. When chicken stock is mixed in, add milk slowly, whisking constantly. When everything is mixed, remove from heat and add to crock pot over chicken and butter.

Dumplings Recipe:

1 cup flour
½ tsp. sugar
½ T. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
4 T. butter, cold and cut into small chunks
¼ cup milk
Combine dry ingredients in stand mixer (or can be done by hand). Add in butter and mix until butter is pea sized and covered with flour. Add milk and mix lightly until just combined, then knead with hands until dough comes together. Pat out or roll dough into ½ inch round. Cut dough vertically into ½ inch strips, then cut horizontally into ½ inch squares. Add into crock pot the last hour of cooking and stir gently. Finish cooking soup on high for 1 hour.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Remembering some things lost, celebrating some things gained.

     The National Day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss (October 15) came again last Wednesday. We tried celebrating as a family (Mark is still in New York), so we Facetimed and participated in the Wave of Light (everyone is asked to light a candle at 7PM, in their time zone, and keep it lit for 1 hour. If everyone in every time zone did this, there would be a wave of light across the globe). So we each had a candle for Isabel and one for Poppy, Addison's twin that we lost at 8 weeks. Addison and I listened to Isabel's songs while we got our candles ready and talked about both babies. It wasn't anything fancy, but it was enough for us.
   Addison was also out of school all last week, so I had the extra challenge of trying to get all my workouts in with her home (I have grown used to working out while she is in school). Addison started her vacation off with a bout of the stomach flu, so we had 4 days of awesome to start out our vacation. Luckily, I didn't get sick. All of this working out and supplements I am taking must be paying off!
   Once I was able to have all the laundry off my workout room floor, I was able to get back in and do my BeFit in 30 Extreme challenge. I decided on Wednesday to make up the one workout I missed while Addison was sick and to do that day's workout too. Holy crap! They are only 20 minute workouts, but they are so intense I was actually shaking when I finished the second one. I am hoping that saying, "What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger" is true and I will be one muscled woman!
   Besides those workouts, I was also able to get in some running. Addison was finally feeling good enough, and no longer contagious, so we headed to the park Thursday and I pushed her in the stroller and tried to do a fast 5k. My PR set at the Salt Lake City Marathon 5k in 2013 is 34:55, so I was hoping to just get close to that. And it was a tall order. I have been struggling to run since my marathon and am averaging 15 minute miles. It is exasperating how difficult running any faster has become. I knew pushing the stroller was going to add an extra challenge, and my legs were still sore from the day before, so I decided to just push hard and see where that would get me. I was surprised that my first mile came in at 13 minutes. It was still slower than my pre-marathon mile pace, but so much faster than I have been. I ended up doing a 39 minute 5k. Which, by the way, is almost 10 minutes faster than my previous attempts over the last 4 weeks.
   That night Joshua reminded me that Emigration Canyon was going to be closed for a race Saturday, causing me to scramble about what to do about my long run that week. I had been planning to head to Salt Lake to do an 8 mile up and back in the canyon. I could head to a different canyon, but I know Emigration so well and it is the best canyon to push a stroller through. Joshua was going to be sweeping the course Saturday, which meant not a lot of running for him, so I convinced him to go running with me in the Canyon Friday night.
   We had decided to do 5 miles. Joshua would still have legs for his race the next day, and I would have a decent hill run. The run was challenging going up. Pushing the stroller feels like trying to push a wall up the canyon. I was only able to run short distances and we ended up walking a good portion. Still, any time going up is training and getting to do some miles with Joshua was amazing. I love running with Joshua. 
   It wasn't a fast run, but it was a good run. And it kind of summed up my week. The training was hard, but it was good. I am excited to see if all the extra cross-training and the change up in my running routes/speed/hill work help get me to my sub-30 5k goal. My first opportunity to test my training will be the Turkey Trot at CSI on Thanksgiving. I have 5 weeks left!