I don't know when the subject first came up, probably a few years ago, but sometime after we were married Jordan and I began talking about running the Grand Canyon. By that I mean Jordan began talking about it while I sat and listened thinking "oh God this does NOT sound fun, I hope he'll move on to another idea." I know the thought came back around for last summer and I said "maybe next year" (again hoping he'd forget about it?? He didn't...) Once again, he brought it up last fall and had even done some research on logistics. Once again I thought "normal people go and look at the canyon... or maybe hike from one rim to the other over 1-2 days, why can't we just do that??" Nope! Jordan wanted to RUN rim to rim to rim, a round trip total of roughly 46 miles, and he wanted me to do it with him...
Fast forward to December...I'm sitting in my annual coaching meeting discussing the upcoming triathlon season and finally mention "By the way, we are going to the Grand Canyon in May and Jordan wants to run it. I'm not wanting to really train specifically for it so I'm counting on you to have me prepared to survive it. Thanks!" Keep in mind that I had never seen the Grand Canyon before, I'd barely seen pictures of it, so I really had NO idea what I was getting into. I just knew it meant a lot to Jordan and if not now, then when?
“Marriage is about compromise; it's about doing something for the other person, even when you don't want to.”
- Nicholas Sparks, The Wedding
Running the Grand Canyon is NOT something I've ever had the ambition to do, but I guess that's part of the beauty of it. Jordan has a way of pulling me outside my comfort zone and admittedly part of me was very much intrigued by the challenge, the unknown, and the uniqueness of the adventure. In preparing for this trip/run, I was constantly thinking back to the vows I shared on our wedding day (we wrote our own), and particularly the part that I stated "I vow to spend the rest of my life with you, laughing, sharing, building memories, and thoroughly enjoying the many adventures that will come our way." With those words in mind, I committed to doing the run with Jordan as a 5th year anniversary celebration of sorts, and we set May 17th on the calendar (2 days after the North Rim opened for the season) as our run date.
Kristen Chang is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and endurance athlete residing in southwest Virginia alongside her husband and dog. Through this blog she aims to share favorite fueling recipes, general wellness and sport nutrition tips and stories from her athletic endeavors.
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