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...