Sunday, July 13, 2008

Conquering the Canyon!

Check out this picture. Is that beautiful or what? That is the Palo Duro Canyon located just south of Claude. On Saturday I set out to run the entire canyon, 9.33 miles. To really understand how big a deal that is...check out the picture and watch the road wind all the way across this magnificent landscape. (click on it to really see it) This picture was taken from the finish line. We began where you can see the top of the canyon on the horizon.

My friend Jason Horton talked me into this race. When I started really running in March I had never considered anything other than 5k's. Jason assured me that I could make it. So I sent my money in to run this race so I couldn't back out. 9 miles is a long ways.....what the heck were we thinking?

So Jason picks me up about 6:00 am and we head for Claude. We were both jittery like little girls. When we got the canyon it was even worse. I could hardly pin on my race number I was so nervous. When we finally got started I didn't really know what pace to set to go for 9 miles. The furthest I had ever ran to that point was 7. So I was just guessing on a pace that I could keep up over the entire run.

As we dropped off the Canyon I think that we were both blown away. I had driven that road many times...but never really got to look at how amazing the sight was. Jason said it best, "spiritual." Miles 1 through 6 were pretty uneventful. We kept a great pace and really didn't get tired. Of course we were running down hill most of the way...then comes mile 6. We had to run back up this monster.

The best way to explain like this....people were dropping like flies. Most were walking...some flat out stopping...others were getting picked up because they were too tired to finish. I was determined when I started this race that I would not walk. Something inside my head just kept telling me to keep going. And keep going I did.....all the way to the top. I finished in an 1:42.00. The feeling at the top was wonderful. Thanks to all of my friends and family who called to check on me after the race. Your encouragement was awesome. Here are some pictures from the celebration at the top.
Jason and I at the top.
Steph and the kids. It is always so great to see them after a race!
The Tucker's and the Horton's. Pretty good looking families.

So I will end the blog today like this. If you have the ability to do something...whatever it is....go do it. I am so glad that I got my rear off of the couch a few months ago. By getting in the gym and on the road I feel that I have changed my life. Have a great day and keep it positive.


Marci said...

That is so awesome!! I know I couldn't run that huge thing! I hope you guys had a great weekend!

Amy said...

You guys did awesome! It WAS an amazing view from the top! I'm just glad Steph and I and the kids DROVE to the top instead of ran...HEHE!! I am proud of you both. I'm going to steel those pictures!!

Sharon said...

Impressive! Maybe someday Chris and I will be at the finish line with you guys. Congrats on your accomplishment!


Toby - the Palo Dura 9 mile run is one of my favorites. I've done it numberous times. Everytime I've done it I remembered how tough a run it is. They call it 9 miles, but with the hills it runs like 11 or 12.

Nothing feels better than accomplishing a run like this. Congrats and keep it up. I hope to run it with you someday (just not that fast :) ).

PS - remind me to tell you a great story about an indian that ran the race with us once. It's too good!

Russell Graves said...

Awesome! You and Jason are my heroes.

Having traveled that canyon that many times I know that south slope is a booger!

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you and Jason...I do remember someone saying "I'm not doing more than a 5k"...
THAT IS SO AWESOME! I knew you could do it!
Sounds to me like Boston is calling you!

Piper family said...

I'm amazed at your dedication to the running thing...even back in my "glory days"...I can't say I loved running...maybe someday. Congratulations on the run and completing your goal.