On last week's New Years Eve run I was being chased by the Grim Reaper. Although I didn't know it at the time. I thought my slug-like pace was because it was early - and it felt like the Arctic tundra outside.
My goal was to get to the top of Molly's Nipple - 14 miles round trip. You can see the tip on the horizon.
Eventually I made it to the final stretch. Unfortunately I just couldn't get myself past the feeling of being a rhinoceros after being shot by a tranquilizer gun.
It was bitter cold on top with the wind stinging my cheeks. As cool as the views are from the top, I only spent a minute up there before heading back. It was so cold that I didn't dare touch my nose for fear that it would snap off.
Before the sun came up on New Years Day I realized why I had felt like a tranquilized rhino the day before. The realization came as I kneeled on the bathroom floor barfing my guts out. My sweet wife ended up in the ER with this flu, and she decided to share it with me. For the next few days I wasn't afraid of dying. I was afraid I wouldn't die.
Dear Grim Reaper: Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my number, so call me maybe.
Thankfully my prayers to die only lasted three days. By Friday I was feeling good enough to run again. Mel worked so I couldn't leave the kids home alone long enough for a kind-of-long-run so I ran for two hours on Satan's Sidewalk after they went to bed.
I'm not sure I've ever run ten miles on the dreadmill. I watched a Jazz game the whole time, and the experience was, well, not completely horrible. I think the basketball game saved the day.
On Saturday I met up with Tom and Liz Dansie and Curtis and Treasa Anderson who were interested in doing a trail run. I took them to an area near the Jem Trail where I never get sick of running.
Liz was the only one who had been out here before. It made me so happy to hear how much fun these guys were having. I love showing new trails to people.
It was 43 degrees outside which felt like a heat wave compared to the weather from the last few weeks. I loved wearing shorts and a single shirt instead of layers upon layers of clothing.
Tom commented how hard it would be to go back to road running after running miles in a place like this. I couldn't agree more. This is the exact reason why I try to run as few road miles as possible.
Tom is a very, very accomplished runner. I think his fastest marathon is around 3:01. I felt a tad sheepish sweating so much that it looked like I just got a spit bath from the dog while he didn't have so much as a bead of sweat on him. Runs like this where I push myself are good for me.
It's hard to beat views like this with Zion National Park as your backdrop.
Right before we finished, I took them to the edge of a mesa - 360 degrees of awesome while standing at the edge of a cliff. I have a hunch this won't be the last time these runners find their way back to this trail.
"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms, their energy. Your cares and tensions will drop away like the leaves of autumn." ~ John Muir