Today was a new adventure. There is no better way to get excited about running than to go some place new. I scoped Google maps the day before and decided that if I ran on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail from This is the Place Heritage Park to Memory Grove Park that it would be about ten miles. Perfect for an out and back for a total of 20 miles! Lindsay was looking to do about ten miles, so she agreed to meet me at Memory Grove and run the second half with me.
I arrived just before 6am and headed up onto BST where Katherine and I had run in the freezing cold in January. I didn't know all of the trail, because I have only run a couple sections of BST on this end of the valley, but I did my best to navigate the trails and only made a wrong turn once. The morning was pretty warm, 75 degrees to start and I knew it was going to be a scorcher later on. There isn't a lot of cover on most of the trail. There are also some strange bits of the trail up by Red Butte Gardens and the University where you cross roads and parking lots. However, I would be more than happy about a certain section of this trail later on.
I was thrilled to make it to the section Lindsay, Katherine and I ran in April for the BOSHO marathon. That is a really beautiful section of trail. Then heading, once again, into unfamiliar territory I was a little confused, but luckily ran into a few other runners and hikers who knew the way. Once, I ended up in a cul-de-sac and was quite befuddled before figuring out that the trail began again on the other side of the road. After finally making it to City Creek Canyon I had no idea where Memory Grove was and/or where to meet Lindsay. After a couple of phone calls and a conversation with a lovely woman who pointed me in the right direction Lindsay and I found one another. Only bum thing, I was at mile 10.88. I was going to be in for a long run.
We headed up on a different section of trail (I had run on an asphalt trail in Memory Grove, not knowing where I was) right next the creek. It was small single track with some more than precarious footing. At one point I'm pretty sure Lindsay told me I was, in fact, going to fall in the creek. I managed not to, but it was uncertain there for a moment. We also had some of those "hold on to that tree" and "crawl on hands and feet" moments that are only experienced in the most fun trail runs.
The climb back up out of City Creek Canyon seemed to take forever, and the uphill didn't quite end there. It was like an oven out by now, and often the breeze felt like a hair drier to the face. By mile 16 I was completely out of water, but had a bit of EFS sports drink left. Lindsay was my life saver and shared some of her ice water with me. Water had never tasted so good. It more than tasted good, it powered me on. At this point it hurt a lot more to walk than run, so I really tried to power through. Plus, I knew that if we could make it to the University I could find a place to fill my water.
However, we did make it to the University and every damn door we tried was locked. We decided to keep on keeping on and make it to the Natural History Museum, which we knew to be open on Sundays. That was a pretty hard bit of the run. I was hot, tired, my legs were killing me and I was so thirsty! As we came up to Red Butte Gardens at about mile 18 I spotted it. That thing on the asphalt path I was happy about. "Is that a drinking fountain!?" I yelled and picked up my pace to a sprint. It was! The big question was, would it work? It did, and I tell you I literally jumped for joy. I drank and laid my head in the fountain and then drank some more. We both filled our packs and I took off my shirt and soaked it and put it back on. I was a new woman!
I then decided it was time to listen to my newly purchased mp3, Ways to Go by Grouplove. I was so happy. I ran faster. I was renewed! I had been running for over four and a half hours and I felt good. I played the song again. I ran uphill. We were nearly done. I finished strong and feeling fantastic! What an awesome adventure with an awesome friend.
Lights of the city.
Hey there, Salt Lake City!
The creek I nearly took a swim in.
On our water quest.