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Exploring Bryce Canyon and Zion Park

It’s taken me a little longer to catch up on blog posts about our vacation.  Between assimilating back into real life NJ, being sick, and preparation for the Philadelphia marathon weekend, it’s been busy.

Anyway, one of the best days my husband and I had was at Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.

We knew we wanted to go to both but timing wise, it wasn’t going to work out to spend a lot of time at both. We decided to drive through Bryce Canyon and look out and then spend a little more time in Zion National Park.   They aren’t too far apart, so you are able to do both.

Personally, we could both spend a lot of time in either.  They are two gorgeous parks!  Hopefully, sometime in the future, we will be able to go back and explore.

Bryce Canyon: 

While visiting Bryce Canyon, we went out to Rainbow point and walked around.  There is a 10-mile hike you can do and look over the Hoodoo Ampethetiar.  If we had more time, we would have done it!

The park itself is easily driveable.  It’s about an 18-mile drive to the tip of Rainbow Point, and there are several spots and opportunities for photos.

Zion National Park:

Like Bryce Canyon, we could spend days in Zion National Park.  Before arriving, we planned to do a longer hike but quickly realized timing would not allow us too.

We still wanted to get back to Colorado and spend a few days there too!  When we arrived at the park, it was crowded and it was hard to even find parking.  By the time we were able to park and get out of the car, it was nearly 1 pm.

We could have begun the hike but it was a lengthy one and I didn’t want to be hiking at dark.  You had to take a bus to a certain location, then start, then take the bus back.  It was just a lot and if you’ve ever seen me hiking hangry…well…my husband would have left me there. Hiking in Zion National Park

So we just decided to explore and climb up to our own rock.  We didn’t have an exact trail or route but it was more fun that way.  We pulled over at a random spot and just hiked.  Even with hundreds of people inside the park, we didn’t run into anyone.

Hiking in Zion National Park

Sitting in a rock seat

Hiking away from everyone was much better for us anyway.  If you ever go to Zion National Park, don’t be afraid to just stop and explore. Hiking in Zion National Park

You don’t need a trail or destination.  And yes, we actually made it up an entire rock.  You can see the main road in the background.

To be honest, both Bryce and Zion were two of my favorite spots.  Eventually, my husband and I plan to go back.  You could spend days, weeks, and even months just exploring.

road trip through colorado

Posts from Vacation:
Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)

Questions for you:

Where is your favorite place to hike?

Have you ever been to Zion or Bryce Canyon? 

 

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Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)

Last week, I ran the Haunted Half Marathon 5k in Provo, Utah.  Janae, Hungry Runners Girl, recommended we drive out to Utah and run.  Since we had zero plans, but had a rental car and had never been to Utah, we thought it sounded fun.  So we progressed over and were there for the Saturday race.

The race itself was massive.  There was a half marathon that was a point to point.  While yes, I could have gutted out a half marathon a few things prevented me from wanting to do that.

  • I don’t run at altitude and we were at 4500 feet.
  • I had run a half the week before, and while I’ve done back to back half marathon weekends, I’m not in that fitness right now. I would probably injure myself.
  • I didn’t want to be sore the entire vacation.
  • I like the 5k.

We picked up the packets at the mall and on Saturday quickly made it to the start.  There was a big parking lot which made it easy.  The race went off right at 9 am.

During the first mile, my legs felt heavy.  I didn’t feel good.  Between traveling, not eating the best (well, the best for my soul…not for training), and still recovering from the half, it wasn’t surprising.

The first mile was the easiest, and I ran a 6:20.  I had positioned myself as the second woman, and third was shortly behind me.

During the second mile, we ran down a small hill and made a hairpin turn at the bottom.  The turn was sharp, and I wasn’t expecting it and nearly barreled into a volunteer holding water at the bottom.  Luckily I didn’t.  As we turned around, we ran straight through a tunnel which Janae more accurately recapped.  I hit several of the streamers.  After popping out in front of a barricade, I thought I had gone the wrong way, but another racer said we were going the right way.  We hit the second mile in 6:12.

haunted half 5k provo ut me running

No, seriously it was painful

During the third mile, I felt the altitude hit me.  I felt as though I was breathing through a straw and winded.  We also ran up a giant hill, and I wheezed the entire way.  I made it my goal to break 20 minutes.  I felt like I couldn’t breath (not in a dangerous way) just in working tough way.

Around 2.7, we hit a long straight away, and I could hear the third place woman catching me.  I am making it a point to work hard on my finishing kick.  I had too many races last training cycle that I was passed in the final strides.

haunted half 5k provo ut me running

I crossed the third mile in 6:30 and finished in 19:40 as second woman.  In all, I’m pleased with my time.  It was a fun race, and it was a whole different experience running at altitude.

haunted half 5k provo ut me running

Afterwards, I got to hang with Janae for a while, which was a lot of fun.

haunted half 5k provo ut me running

My husband got fourth overall with a time of 18:05

It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.   I had no idea Provo was as big as it is!

Questions for you:

Have you met another blogger before?

Do you run at altitude or sea level?

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