Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Song and Dance

It's that time of year again and I'm ready to set some new goals.  I decided to take a look at the goals I set for myself last year at about this time and was surprised to see how few (ha!) I actually accomplished.  Here are last year's goals:
  1. Run a 5k in less than 24 minutes. Current PR is 25:47.  (FAIL! But did manage to get a new PR of 25:27! I'll be trying this one again this year.)
  2. Start running longer distances (5+ miles) at least once a week. (Check!)
  3. Play in a local mixed doubles tennis tournament with Will. (FAIL! This one is the one I'm most afraid of! I'm just so scared to lose that I won't even try. I'm sure this has something to do with my terrible high school tennis team experience, or lack thereof.  I'm still adding this one to this year's goals. I really need to get over it already.)
  4. Learn how to swim, like really swim- backstroke, breaststroke, etc. (FAIL! I thought I might want to do a triathlon but I'm not even remotely interested anymore. I'll leave the swimming to the fish...and the old people at the gym.)
  5. Save at least $500/month. (FAIL! Not even close. Ha!)
  6. Lose 10 lbs (or more) and keep it off! (I lost it but didn't keep it off. This one's a wash.)
  7. Refinish the 2 old dressers that are collecting dust in the garage. (Is it possible it's been over a year since I got those old dressers?! Geesh! Well, didn't refinish them but I did clean them up and they are being used so this one's a wash, too.)
  8. Reorganize and redecorate the loft upstairs. (Um, fail.)
  9. Spend more time working with Coleman on reading and helping Cooper with his speech. (Check! At least I have my priorities in line.)
  10. Read more books. Not to the boys. I read plenty of those. I mean actual grown-up best-seller list books. Then maybe I won't feel like I'm getting dumber with each passing year. (Check! In fact, I've read 3 books in the last 3 weeks!)
So, that's like 3 out of 10. Not very good. Heck, half of these goals I forgot I had even set!  I'm going to have to print out a copy of this year's goals and put them where I'll see them.  Will says he doesn't set goals at the beginning of the year. He just sets goals throughout the year as things come up that he wants to work on.  Not a bad idea. Then you never come back to a list like this and think, "What was I thinking?!" But me being me, I like to wax introspective at least once a year and come up with some things that seem goal-worthy. So, without further adieu-

My Goals for 2010
  • Running goals: first marathon (1/9/10!), 5k in less than 24 min, 10k in less than 50 min, and a half-marathon in less than 1hr55min.  All will require some work but all are totally attainable.
  • Be at church on time at least 90% of the time. This one will be difficult since church starts at 9:00am this year and I made it to church on time, oh, about 5% of the time when church started at 1:00pm.  Now's a great time to figure out a new Sunday morning regimen that will help us to be more prompt.
  •  Read my scriptures everyday. My reading has been inconsistent and I need to make sure that I read, even if just a little, everyday.
  •  Do something nice for someone everyday. Make cookies, write a letter, pay a compliment- be creative and be personal.  Surprise people with a nice gesture. Love this one and I'm thinking I'll get the whole family involved.
  • Play in a mixed doubles tennis tournament with hubster.  This year, I'm not letting this one beat me. There is a local tournament every year in June and this year I'll be the first to sign up!
  • Lastly, I wasn't even sure that I'd add this one this year, but I do need to lose a few pounds. To be totally honest, marathon training has led me down a path of, well, over-carbing and I'd like to be back to feeling like myself by spring. So, my last goal is to lose, hmm, let's say 10 pounds and get back to weight-training and feeling light and spry again.   
I'm liking this year's list! Makes me happy to have some goals written out.  Funny how last year I made absolutely no mention of running a marathon. It wasn't even on my radar back then.  Just goes to show that sometimes we just have to go where life seems to be pushing us. I'm certainly all for adjusting my goals as I see fit throughout the year. Heck, by the time 6 months go by, I may need to adjust my goal to getting to church on time to 50%. (Nards! Giving up before I even start trying!)

Really looking forward to twenty-ten!  Good luck to all you goal-setting fools and Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What I got for Christmas

I must be a runner because it's apparently the first thing people think of when trying to come up with a gift idea. Yay for me! My dad bought me Under Armour ColdGear Liner Gloves and these Thorlo socks. I tried them out on my 10 mile run today and I love them both. The gloves kept my hands nice and warm and there is even fleece on the index finger and thumb. You'll never guess why!  Okay, maybe you will but I didn't know that gloves had built-in nose wipes. Gross but necessary, I guess. Especially when the weather is SO cold. But just for the record- I did NOT use this feature but was completely fascinated by it.  The socks were like little pillows for my feet.  Part of me worried that socks that thick couldn't possibly be moisture-wicking even though they claimed to be but they did a great job keeping my feet warm, dry and happy!

My husband bought me 2 running books (The Runner's Rule Book and Running with Angels) and renewed my subscription to Runner's World.  The Runner's Rule Book was one that I had asked for.  It looked entertaining and it has proven to be just that. Funny, quirky and informative.  And definitely a book that only a runner could appreciate. I'm already about halfway through that one.  It's a super easy read.  The 2nd book hubby found while poking around in a running store. It was written by a local woman who ran off over 100 lbs and it talks of her journey.  I'm really excited to read it because I just love those kind of inspirational stories. It seems like every runner has a story to tell. The cover of this book is really cool, too.  It shows a woman running by a lake and then, in the lake, you see her reflection plus the reflection of two children chasing behind her.  The cover just moves me because part of the reason I started running (and continue to run) is for my kids- to be a good example and to live a long and happy life with them at the center of it. I know all the mothers and mothers-to-be can really relate to that sentiment. If a cover of a book can move me this much than I better have some tissues handy when I actually start reading it. Anyway, some thoughtful gifts from the hubster.  (I've been kickin' around the idea of making up a blog name for him. Hmmm, I'll have to think about that one.)

So, happy running Christmas for me.  Oh, and I ran about 5 miles on Christmas day and 10 miles today (the day after) so I'm feeling pretty good.  2 weeks to marathon!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thank you, Dorothy!

Just a quick post to thank Dorothy (of Mile Posts fame) for the fun swag she sent me from the "Why You Run Contest" giveaway.  Look at all this fun stuff!  I never win anything so this is super exciting for me. ;)
A Brooks bag, Brooks visor, a cute, peachy tank (that fits!), 2 accel gels, sports beans, a moving comfort toiletry case and even a pack of Brooks pens! Now even when I'm just writing out my grocery list I can feel like a runner. Love it!!

Sorry about the headless pic.  I was just trying to keep the camera out of the picture and it ended up looking kinda creepy. Ha ha! Oh, and try and ignore the messy shelves behind me. 

So thank you, thank you, thank you, Dorothy! You just made my day!  If you haven't checked out her blog go look!  I just love it. I'm telling you- this girl knows everything about running! And she's super fast so you know she knows what she's talking about.  And she's a mom- so she's so easy to relate to.

Have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Pinnacle!

This past Saturday was our 20 mile run- the longest run in our training schedule.  It's funny to think back to 2 months ago when I was like "OMGosh, that 20 mile run is going to be a killer! I must be crazy!" But now that I've done it, I don't feel crazy- just crazy good!!  What an accomplishment! This time last year, I hadn't even run a 10k nor did I really have a desire to run further than 3-5 miles.  Just goes to show you how quickly things can change.

As for the run itself.  I felt pretty good. My wind was good, my legs were strong, and I was in good spirits the whole run.  The only issue that started to creep up was a bit of a pull in the arch of my right foot and a small pain in my left ankle but nothing that was begging me to walk.  I told the hubster that I wanted to finish the run strong so our last mile was our fastest by 24 seconds.  Now that felt good!

Here's the stats from the Garmin:
distance- 20 miles
time- 3:20:13
pace- 10:00 min/mile pace dead on
total ascent and descent- 1987 ft. (out and back course)

We've been purposely running a bit of a hilly course because our marathon will be hilly.  We wanted to be prepared for everything. The true test to me on how a run goes it how you feel after you've stopped running and surprisingly, I felt less sore after this run than 14, 16, or 18.  I even decided to skip the ice bath this time because I was cold enough as it was.  (Did I mention this run was in below freezing temps?) The marathon should be warmer, probably in the high 40s, low 50s.  That will feel like summer compared to how cold it's been here lately.

I've noticed that I'm beginning to develop some long run day habits. I always eat the same thing pre-run- a waffle with PB- and I'm getting kind of superstitious about my eating out on the run.  I've got to have my GU Brew (blueberry pomegranate), this flavor has 2X the sodium which is important for me since I'm a very salty sweater.  And I'm also partial to the Key Lime Accel Gel and the Strawberry Clif Shot Bloks because they are about all I can stomach when I'm digging deep in the later miles.  I used to like the Raspberry Hammer Gel but for some reason they make me cringe now. Not sure what happened.  I never take anything with caffeine, mostly because my cardiologist told me not to (low BP issues) and maybe 5% because I feel like it's a little bit like cheating.  I want to know what my body can do without any "performance enhancers," you know?  To each his own, though. I certainly don't judge. Anyway, I guess I better make sure that I pack up all my sure things and take them with me for the race. Guess my "superstitions" aren't really too out there. When I start talking to my shoes before a race and not washing my favorite shirt for months- then I've got problems! :)

Less than 3 weeks to the big day!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

Yesterday was my birthday and since I don't really have any running stuff to talk about I thought I'd just post a link to my birthday blog! It was a great day!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

4 Weeks to Marathon!

Crazy long run last Saturday. We ran in sub-freezing temps with the wind in our face over half the time.  Our original plan was to stay on the river trail the whole time but we ended up on the trail only 2/3 of the time because the wind was so strong. We were literally pushing through the strong winds and I couldn't help but think, "As if 18 miles isn't going to be hard enough! Geesh!"  So, we went 6 miles out and 6 miles back (the wind at our backs was heavenly) and then went a 6 mile loop that circles our house.  That was my brilliant idea. It wasn't until mile 15 that we figured that the last 3 miles were going to be incredibly windy.  The river trail funnels wind in a terrible way but this was even worse!  We probably would've been better off on the trail the whole way but by the end of this run we were just glad to be done. No coulda', shoulda', woulda'.  We did 18 miles! It was ugly but it was done!

As much as I love running outside, I am beginning to have a new appreciation for the treadmill. You don't have to wear 4 layers of clothing. No running with water in hand or hydration belt flopping along with you. No chapped lips or frozen face. (I seriously couldn't feel my face after that run. I talked like I had just had dental surgery for the first 10 min. after I got home.)  No checking my pace.  A TV perched right up on the wall to keep my brain occupied. Sometimes a treadmill can be a girl's best friend! We do need to get ours fixed, though. I can run on it fine but it slips when I'm walking. Or if you're my husband, all 215 manly pounds of him, you slip every time you get on. It just can't handle him anymore.  Poor, tired treadmill. You really need a tune-up.

Anyway, this week is an easy one. Just 3 runs. Yesterday, I ran 6 miles-moderate pace. Tomorrow, I'll do my tempo run and then a long (8-mile) run on Saturday. I've pretty much nixed my cross-training lately because of all the holiday stuff I'm trying to get caught up on.  Why is it that shopping when you "have to" instead of when you "want to" just sucks all the fun out of it?!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Human Race 5k

"Run with an attitude of gratitude" is the quote that graces the t-shirt I received at this morning's run.  I felt it was fitting that all the proceeds of this Thanksgiving Day race are going straight to the Utah Food Bank. I love knowing that my money is going towards a good cause.  I definitely felt gratitude in my heart as my hubby and I lined up along with 3400 other runners at the starting line.  I usually don't like large races but this one felt just right.

Will and I were lucky enough that our training schedule actually called for a short, tempo pace run this morning.  A great excuse to get out and run a 5k! (It's funny how a 5k seems short to me now. Sure didn't feel that way 3-4 yrs ago.)

The weather was frigid but I knew I'd be okay once we started running.  I never heard the gun shot to start the race so I just moved with the crowd to the starting line and then continued to weave in and out of traffic for a good mile and a half. (So many people!)  My goals were to PR and get under 25 minutes. I did PR with a finish time of 25:27 (!) but I sadly didn't beat 25 minutes.  My previous record was 25:47 so I can't be disappointed.  In fact, I feel confident that I would've beat 25 minutes had I not spent so much time weaving through people the first mile. Just take a look at my splits from the Garmin-

Mile 1- 8:56
Mile 2- 7:52
Mile 3- 7:43

Mile 1 really held me back!  No worries, though. I feel certain I'll get it next time.

Anyway, only 3 runs for me this week. I did 6 miles on Tuesday, 3 miles today and I have 8 miles on Saturday.  Easy week of training before another long week next week.  I'm actually loving the break. Those long runs are killer!

That's all for today. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

16 miles with my Sweetheart.

Will and I have decided to do our longer runs together starting with the 16 miler this past Friday.  We had to get a sitter to watch the boys. What? Seems like a waste of a perfectly good sitter, huh?  Usually getting a sitter means we are headed to eat sushi and hit the town. Not this time!  Will left work a little early so that we could get as much running in as we could before it got dark.  We got on the road at about 3:20 pm.  Can I just say that it is not easy to wait all day to go on a run this long!  I was anxious before this run because of my bad experience on the 14 mile run 2 weeks ago.  So, the whole day I was downing water, stretching, and tying and re-tying my shoes.  I was doing everything I could to make all the stars align so it would be a perfect run day.

Miles 1-8 were pretty fun. We had a lot to talk about so that kept us distracted.  Our pace was steady and the weather was cool and cloudy.  Everything felt like it was falling into place. My legs felt fresh.  A good start! Nothing spectacular happened. Oh, except for the fact that I peed outside for the first time since I was, like, 5.  That was weird!  We were absolutely the only people out on the trail but I still had a REALLY hard time scoping out the right spot to go. But from what I hear, I earned some major "real runner" cred from that little caper. Sweet!

At about mile 8, I remembered that I had my blackberry with me and I could play some tunes for the both of us to listen to while we ran. It felt like we had a boom box following us around. I think a bit of music was just what I needed. My pace was definitely faster the second half of the run.  Ran a negative split by, like, 4 minutes.  We ran the last 3 miles in pretty much complete darkness. Not fun! Although, that probably really helped my pace, too, because I just wanted to get home!

Final Stats:
16 miles
9:46 min/mile pace

Not bad!  I am noticing that my longer runs are getting a bit slower but I'm really not worried about it.  My only real goal is to finish this marathon without walking.

Oh, before I forget- after this run I took a quick dip in ice and then quickly got ready to go to a wedding reception (heels and all!) but Will was really not doing too well. He looked downright ill!  By the time we got to the reception, he was spent. He ended up throwing up twice before we left there!  Poor guy! He said he really struggled the last couple of miles of the run. We suspect it was a bit of dehydration and not enough food eaten earlier in the day.  Needless to say, we left the reception after our brief appearance and went home to nurse him back to health. A couple Gatorades and some McNuggets and he was good as golden.  Ha ha! I think he'll be better prepared before the next long run.

Only 7 more weeks 'til the marathon!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Last night, I went to the local urgent care because I had been having some dull chest pains for a couple of days.  Since I've had circulatory issues in the past (low BP problems and a heart murmur since birth), I decided to play it safe and go get things checked out.  The good news is that I'm A-Okay.  It's just pain in my chest wall, muscle pain not heart pain. But the even better news is- my resting heart rate is 57 beats per minute!! That means that I'm in such excellent cardiovascular shape that my heart pumps more blood per beat than a normal heart.  Which, in turn, means it can pump just as much blood in 57 beats as a normal person does in 70-80 bpm.  My heart is loving me for all this running! 

My low resting heart rate puts me at "athlete" level on the RHR charts.  Funny, how I never felt like an athlete until I saw that chart. Now, I feel like I've got medical proof! LoL!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Coleman (my 7 yr. old)- "Mom, why are you and Dad so obsessed with running?"

I told him that we are training for a marathon and once it's over with we won't be as "obsessed."  It's funny because I don't feel obsessed but now that I look at it from his perspective I can totally see why he'd say that. We do talk about our training schedules a lot because we are always trying to work around each others daily schedules to fit it all in.  Coleman is a boy who loves routines so he definitely notices when things change, even if only slightly.  And lately, he's noticed a bit more running. :)

First of all, Will is definitely not obsessed. My sweet husband is only doing this marathon to support me and check it off of his "bucket list." I asked him the other day if he likes running, even a little, and he said, "No." It's just a means to an end for him.

For me, it's so much more! Running makes me feel alive!  I just feel such a sense of freedom.  The more I push myself, the more I realize that I can push myself. Or even better, the more I realize that self-imposed limits are useless. It's just such a great way to draw out those feelings of self-confidence in all other areas in your life. Maybe it seems dramatic but I love knowing that when things get hard, I'll push through.  And I get to feel that way every time I run.

The reason I started running in the first place was as a self-treatment for postpartum depression after my 2nd little boy was born.  And it worked! Who knows where I would be if I hadn't put in the work back then when things got hard.  That's not to say that would work for everyone.  I feel some people really do need the help of medication but my husband pushed me to try anything and everything before turning to pills and I'm so glad he did. I fought him a little at the time but I soon realized that he really had my best interest in mind.  And here I am healthy and happy all because I started running and taking care of my body. What a blessing!

So, obsessed-  nah.

Addicted- um, maybe.

Happy- yes, yes, YES!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Easy" long run...Ha! Not this week!

Saturday, I officially had my Worst...Run...Ever!!  I set out at about 10 am Saturday morning looking forward to my 14 miles of peace and quiet. I was uber-prepared with two gel packs, shot bloks, gu energy drink, chapstick, music and the Garmin.  It was a little cool outside but made up for it by being sunny. Seemed like the perfect day for a leisurely run.  It started out normal for a long run. About a 9:20 min/mile pace for the first couple of miles. I felt pretty good, maybe a little more tired than usual but not by a lot. About 5-6 miles into the run I knew that this run was not going to be easy to finish.  My legs started to feel heavy and my feet were scraping the ground some. Uh-oh!  I still had 9 miles left!  My pace started to really slow down.  I was running about a 10:30 pace for most of the second half of my run. I just kept thinking, "What the heck is wrong with me?!" I ran 12 miles 2 weeks ago easily clocking a 9:25 pace and here I am laboring to get my feet to keep up with a 10:30 pace. Crazy! 

By the time I hit the 12 mile mark I thought I was toast. I really wanted to walk.  I called my sweet husband to get some motivation to finish. He told me I was almost done and that I could surely do 2 more miles.  I really wanted to believe him so I kept going even though my legs were screaming at me to stop.  My legs seriously felt like lead by that point.  I have never plodded through a run before but here I was, plodding away!  Through sheer will, I finished my 14.5 miles (forgot the reset the Garmin so got to run a little more than I bargained for) and all but collapsed in my house.

"What the heck just happened?!" I've been running for 4 years and my legs have NEVER felt that way.  Will ran me a nice, refreshing ice bath (brrr!) and I soaked, trying to work through my confusion. I seriously thought, "Maybe I can't run a marathon. Maybe my legs can only take so much."  However, now that it's a few days later and I have a decent tempo run under my belt since then, I'm ready to test myself again. I need to prove to myself that it was just a fluke. An off day. A crazy, painful, defeating, demoralizing, off day.  I think I was just too sleep-deprived from the kids being sick all last week. I probably just needed more rest.  So, now I have an excuse to take a couple of naps as the next long run approaches. Works for me!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Week 7 and Week 8

Really not much to say about week 7. It was a super easy week of training. Three days of running and the long run was only 6 miles (shorter than my 60 min. moderate run 2 days later.) That 6 miles was REALLY  frigid, though.  I think it was in the 20s when I went out for my run.  My body just doesn't know what to do in cold weather! I start out with gloves and a beanie and a jacket over my running clothes. The jacket is always the first thing to go. I take it off and tie it around my waist usually about 1 or 2 miles into my run. Then my hands start to go numb, like get a little tingly so the gloves have to come off. However, a few minutes later my hands get cold and I have to put them back on. And so it goes for the rest of my run. Gloves on, gloves off. I just have such poor circulation that I can't just warm up and stay warmed up. It's a little annoying mostly because I end up holding my gloves in my hand because I have nowhere else to put them. I have to say that I much prefer running in the warmer months but it is nice to know that the weather won't stop me from getting my training in.

Right now, I'm in week 8 of training and this week is turning out to be really difficult.  Not because of the training schedule but because of the swine flu infecting my house.  Will and the boys all got sick with it this weekend and we are still waiting it out and hoping to get everyone better super quick. Will is back at work after 2 days on sick leave, Coleman is still coughing and on his 3rd day out of school and poor Cooper still has a fever. He's on his 4th day with a fever and cough and he just doesn't seem to be getting better. So, all this leaves me sleep-deprived and in no condition to run. I was able to get in my 40 minute run and form drills in Monday, but I missed yesterday's run and today's cross-training. Hoping I can pull it all together and still get my 14-miler in sometime this weekend. That is, if I don't get sick myself. Which would be a miracle in itself. Moms just don't have time to get sick...

In better news, I was able to recruit enough people for my Ragnar Relay team and we are now registered under the team name "All Over the Pace."  Still lots of work to do between now and then to pull it all together but should be worth it in the end.  Well, better get back to tending to the kids. I think they are watching, like, their 100th episode of Spongebob...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Week 6 and Ragnar Prep

12 miles felt great! After last week's tired 10 miles, I was actually a little worried going into my Thursday morning long run.  Last week, I hadn't eaten that morning (busy!) and had hardly eaten anything the night before so I was plodding a little more than usual but this week I was fueled up and felt great the entire 12 miles. Pretty sure I could have gone a few more. I also tried out the Clif Shot Bloks for the first time this week and I liked them! I had the strawberry kind and each little square basically tastes like a giant fruit snack. I tucked one into my jaw and slowly chewed on it while I ran. I'm just not really sure how often to eat them while I'm running. In that 12 miles, I had 4 of them and a bottle of Gatorade and I felt pretty good so I guess that was enough. When I have gels, I always have one after an hour and then another every 15-20 after that. Oh, and I tried Sports Beans last week and I have to pass on those. Way to hard to chew jelly beans and run. Just didn't work for me.

This week I am also in the midst of putting together a neighborhood team for the Ragnar Relay-Wasatch Back June 2010. It's a 188 mile race that you and your team run by each having 3 different legs of the course. It's challenging not only because of the mountain terrain but also because of the exhaustion of running through the night.  It may sound terrible but most people who have run it loved it! (Just more proof that runners are indeed crazy.) So far we have 6 definite team members and, like, 4 maybes. We need 12 so hopefully our maybes all come through. I'll be recruiting pretty hard for the next few days because we'd like to register our team before the end of the month.

Let's see. What else? Oh, only 4 more long runs before the marathon! 14, 16, 18, and 20.  The rest of my long-ish runs will be 6 or 8 miles, which will feel like nothing compared to the others. Anyway, when I thought of that today I couldn't help but see that light at the end of the tunnel for the first time. I am really about to realize this dream! Crazy! 77 more days!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 5

After dropping Cooper off at preschool at 9 o'clock on Tuesday morning, I jumped on the treadmill just long enough to realize that something is wrong with my treadmill (oh no!) and I then hopped off as quickly as I got on, grabbed my Garmin and headed outside for my tempo run.  I love to run outside so this was no problem. I've only been running on the treadmill a little more lately to stave off any more IT band issues. So far, it's working. The tempo run was challenging, by design, but fairly quick so I was able to squeeze it in and get a shower before having to be at Coleman's school to volunteer at 10. I definitely didn't properly warm up, cool down or stretch, though. That's how it goes some days.

On Thursday, Will had the day off, Cooper still had preschool and Coleman was invited to a friend's to play so Will and I decided to do our 10 mile run together. It was really nice to run with him but I realized during this run how obsessed I am with my Garmin. I am a true running gadget geek! You see, Will wore it on this run because I was wearing this cute, new pullover with longer sleeves and little thumb holes in the cuffs. It's designed to keep your hands warmer while you run. Anyway, the Garmin would look weird over my sleeve so I asked Will to wear it.  But I realized really quickly how much I rely on that little piece of equipment. Every couple minutes, I was asking Will what our pace was or how many miles we had gone.  I just had to know!  After the first 3-4 miles, I calmed down and trusted him to keep us on pace and that he did!  He even pushed us to beat our sought after pace by an average of 5 seconds/mile.  Maybe running with a partner ain't so bad. :) Oh, and I also learned on this run that although these Sport Beans are really tasty it is NOT fun trying to chew and run and breathe all at the same time. I'm going back to Hammer Gels.

Today, I had 50 minutes to run at a moderate pace. I'm already noticing that my moderate pace keeps getting faster and faster each week. That makes me really excited because that just means I'm getting in better shape which is exactly what I want right now.  Today's run pace was helped out by fellow trail runner. I don't know her name. I actually don't know her at all.  I just saw a girl running up ahead of me, maybe about a half of a mile or so.  And I thought, "I can catch up with her."  So, I started running at a pretty good pace, pushing myself a little faster than normal to catch up to her.  She was pretty fast so she stayed ahead of me for a while but about 23 minutes into my run a caught up to her and passed her just before I had to turn around and head back. Ahhh! Sweet victory!  Am I the only one who competes with other runners to push myself?! Something tells me no.  In fact, I've had other runners pass me and I'm sure they felt the same way.  Bottom line- I ran today at a pace that was 22 seconds faster per mile than last week's moderate run. That's something!

So, another good week of training. Luckily, the IT band held up all week with not even a twinge. (Yay!) And I'm feeling ready to start another week!

I leave you with a pick of the new run cap I bought this week. Love it!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week 4- How'd it go?

Well, week 4 felt good! I didn't run last Saturday so made up for it on Tuesday, which was supposed to be a rest day. The book says if you miss a day just skip it but I have a really hard time doing that. I don't want to miss I ran a little more than I was supposed to this week but I axed my cross-training day so I think it all worked itself out.

Yesterday, I ran a 10k just for fun.  I think I'll need to run one or two more races before the marathon just to keep up motivation and have a little bit of fun.  This race was challenging! It was 6.2 miles alongside Mt.Timpanogos, lots of hills on a dirt trail with loose gravel.  It's great fun to push myself so that part was perfect! But the race was so poorly organized that I don't see myself running it again.  First of all, there was a 5k, 10k, and 10k relay.  The relay teams were all confused about where they would trade off at. There was only one start time for both the 5k and 10k, even though we started 1/4 mile apart. We heard the gun go off over at the 5k start and the volunteer was like, ", go!" "What?!" See what I mean? So confusing. And to top it off, there was absolutely no water along the course. Just seemed crazy to me. The awards were only 2 deep, in 4 categories- 1st and 2nd men over/under 40 and 1st and 2nd women over/under 40. When I told Will all about it, he was like, "It's probably just their first race." But this was their 3rd year! Poorly organized races definitely make you appreciate the ones that are well organized. All that being said, at least they gave out nice t-shirts. Ha ha! (Update 10/13/09: Come to find out I actually won this race in the under 40 female division! They finally posted the results today and there I was, in first place. I didn't know it though because they actually gave my prize to someone else. Oh man...)

Here's a pic of the elevation changes in that race. Hills galore!

And a pic of the view of Mount Timpanogos temple from the finish.

On to Week 5!

Spirit of the Marathon

Just watched this movie and was moved to tears. I dare anybody to watch it and not want to run a marathon! 

I really identified with the woman (Lori, I think) who was running her first and trained on her own. I, too, love to run by myself. I just love the alone time. Just being alone with my thoughts and sorting out things in my head. I've lost miles where I hardly knew that I was running. Running is definitely my chosen form of therapy. Not sure how sane I'd be without it! ;) That being said, I'm thrilled that Will is going to be by my side on race day. If running a marathon is a metaphor for life than it wouldn't be right to do it all alone.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Week 3- finished!!

I ran the required 9 miles this morning and my 3rd week of training is now done! Feels SO good to mark a big X over the completed days of training on my training schedule.  Each run gets me one step closer to 26.2 and even though I feel like it will be an eternity before it actually gets here, breaking it up into weeks makes it more manageable. 

This 9 mile run was really my first attempt at running in cooler weather. It was in the 40s when I hopped on the trail and my fingers were frozen! (Note to self: wear gloves on next cold run.) I really thought I was going to have a hard time running outside in the cold because the last time I ran in the cold my teeth really hurt from all the cold air passing through. You see, I'm a total mouth breather. I've tried breathing through just my nose but I just can't! It makes me feel like I'm just a couple minutes away from passing out. Maybe it's a deviated septum? I don't know. I just know that I can't. Anyhow, surprisingly, no hurt teeth. No tight lungs. Everything went just fine. I am thrilled because the weather in January in NV should be pretty similar so I'm feeling confident that the temperature won't be an issue for me that day.

The rest of the week went well, too. I did miss my Monday run, though. It was just the worst day of my now subsiding cold virus. But no worries. I'm already feeling faster compared to week 1! I owe that completely to the interval training days. As much as I love the long, easy runs I think my heart is in the shorter, faster runs. I love to push myself faster and faster during those short bursts. That's when running really feels like running to me. I look forward to setting new 5k and 10k goals after the marathon is over.

Well, that's about it for this week. Pluggin' along. Oh, and I lost 2 lbs this week!. Yay! 8 more to go before race day!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


No matter who you are, when you decide to run a marathon, you have a reason. Whether it be to raise money for a charity or to mark a new chapter in your life or prove something to yourself or to lose a few pounds, everyone has a reason. My reason for training is sentimental. You see, my grandmother passed away this past May.  When I went home for her funeral, I was distraught and sad. I missed her terribly.  I decided that I wanted to do something, anything, to show just how much I loved her and just how much her life meant to me.  I'm not a lyricist so I knew I wouldn't be writing a song and I'm not a poet so no sonnets were going to be written. I wouldn't be expressing myself creatively so what would I do? Well, what do I do?  I run! Not well but I do it. And then I knew what I would do, what I had to do!  Before I left West Virginia to return home to Utah, I said out loud, "I'm going to run a marathon in memory of Maw Maw sometime in the next year." I said it and wasn't even sure if I believed it. Pretty sure that no one I said it to believed it but I said it and that was a BIG first step.

I didn't think much of it for a couple of months until the opportunity to train for the half-marathon presented itself. "Could I?" I thought. "Would this be my first step towards the big one?" While training for the half, I searched and searched for the perfect full marathon.  I wanted to find one that was on a Saturday (I don't run on Sundays) and was close by. I even prayed that I would know the right one when I found it.  Imagine my surprise when I found a little marathon called Running From an Angel Marathon in Boulder City, NV and it was on my grandmother's birthday, of all days!  I knew then that this marathon was the one. And I know that she will be the angel that will be running with me every step of the way.  I look forward to honoring her in my own way that day and all those training days up to the day of the race. I'm running a marathon because my love for my grandmother is too big to express with words. She is my inspiration.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I'm running a marathon...

...and I need somewhere to talk about it so I've started this blog!  Today marks the end of my first week of training.  It hasn't been too bad. I ran about 21 miles.  My only hiccup has been a little pain in my knee at the end of my 6 mile run on Thursday. And when I say a little, I really mean a lot. Obviously caused by my IT band. I've dealt with it before. I finished my run out of pure stubbornness and a need to not let the horses and cows see me walking. When I came home, I rolled out the leg with my fancy $30 foam roller and iced it a couple times and now I'm back to running. I'll just have to be careful to roll it out daily and keep stretching and I'm sure I'll be fine.

I have to admit that I've been on the computer for the last 1.5 hours looking up every possible bit of info on the Running from an Angel Marathon. My deductions are: it will be hilly, could very possibly be windy and probably not the perfect marathon for a first.  But that's okay to me because I love a challenge! And I really don't have an ego about how fast I can run it. I just want to finish and finish without walking. Too much to ask? I hope not. I figure if I do all the training required. I'll be just fine.

Also, looks like I'll have some company on the course. I've already managed to recruit my husband, 3 ladies from church and my sister-in-law's husband to run the marathon, too! Oh, and another guy from church says he'll come and run the half. I figure people just say to themselves, "If she can do it..." :) But whatever their reasoning, I'm just excited to have the extra support in training and on race day! Wonder if they'll support me in eating less chocolate while I'm training, too? I've run into a bit of a "I'm training for a marathon. I can eat whatever my heart desires." kind of flawed thinking. I may be the only person to ever gain 20 pounds while in training. *sigh*