My weekend started with my favorite Mother's Day tradition: The Montana Women's Run. This marks my 6th year running and the event's 35th Anniversary. This is the race that essentially got me in to running. There are two events: 2 mile and 5 mile and between 8,000 and 9,000 women (and a handful of men) participate each year. I always look forward to going!
It wouldn't be a race if I didn't set out "Flat Angie" the night before (and post about it on Facebook because you can't run a race without telling everyone, right?):
I really do this so I know I have everything together that is important but I admit that because I still had a couple of hours left in the evening I put my watch back on. Steps don't count if you aren't tracking them!
I'm getting better about giving a big, cheesy smile in my pictures instead of a forced, closed lip, "I hate taking pictures" smile.
This is at around mile 2. I walked less this year than ever... In fact, I hardly walked at all.
Mitch has a ritual he follows each year when I run. He takes pictures as I am starting the race (these usually aren't the best ones because it is SO crowded). Then he walks over to the 2'ish mile area to catch me on the course. Then he heads over to the finish line and waits for me. I have a good support system at all of my races and I appreciate that immensely!
Can you believe it??!! The Disney Princesses came to the finish line!! And of course they were graceful about taking a sweaty picture with me.
Best part of all: I beat my course personal best! Next year I'm hoping to take a full 5 minutes off this time as I train to qualify for Boston.
Did we get enough pictures of me? Sheesh! The necklace I am wearing in this picture is the bling we got this year. The Women's Run doesn't usually have medals or other bling. The first year I ran we received a medal because they were celebrating 30 years. The necklace is for their 35th. I will post a better picture of it some other time. The schwag for this race isn't that great. You get a long-sleeved shirt (not tech) and a virtual race bag with discounts I never use. What makes the Women's Run great is the atmosphere: thousands of women, lots of aid stations and people cheering you on everywhere.
My Mother's Day request this year was to do my long run on a cool hiking trail. I picked out a trail in the Lewis and Clark Forest just outside of Lewistown. It is a 12 mile loop with a hefty climb early on and features an ice cave.
I've been looking forward to it ever since we picked the route. But when we got there, the road was closed about 7 miles from the trail head!
That closure meant the whole plan was a bust. To walk in and get to the trail head added 14 extra miles. The time crunch alone meant that wasn't going to work. It also meant that those seven miles were on a paved road. I was there for a trail run.
Ultimately, we took the road in. We had already driven close to three hours to get there so of course we had to make the best of it. I wasn't excited about running/hiking on a road but sometimes you just do what you gotta do.
If I had to run on a road, this wasn't a bad place to do it.
We did find a trail head about 3.5 miles in, but at that point following it didn't make much sense. We tried and quickly came to a deep creek crossing. In most cases I would have crossed, but not this time. We turned back and followed the road further up.
The views were pretty amazing and I'm always bummed that my iPhone doesn't capture what I see.
Like here, where there is a beautiful little waterfall but you can barely see it in the picture. I wasn't even that far away from it!
Regardless of the messed up plan, I still got to spend a beautiful Montana afternoon with my sweetheart and that made it awesome anyway.
We turned around and headed back after about 4.5 miles. We figured there was nearly 3 miles left to the lake which was the destination we had in mind. But the higher we hiked, the more bear scat and snow patches we encountered on the road.
We discovered later when we looked at our GPS watch downloads that we were very close to the lake. Next time we'll know. Actually, next time we won't go so early in the year and we'll get up to the hiking trail and see the ice cave.
What did you do with your Sunday (Mother's Day)?
Have you ever been close to a bear in the wild?