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Monday, September 12, 2011

Team All Over the Pace- Ragnar Relay- Wasatch Back- 2011



Just had our Ragnar Relay wrap-up party and I made this video to share with the team. Such fun memories!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ragnar- Wasatch Back + unclaimed prizes!

Life is finally starting to slow down a bit after Ragnar this past weekend.  No time to sit at the computer, though, because my in-laws are visiting from South Carolina and I'm spending every waking moment either entertaining them or proving what a great person I am by baking bread and cookies, cleaning the house thoroughly, and anticipating their every need.  Let me tell you- I'm exhausted!  I really wish I were more of the perfect housewife type but it's too hard! Or I'm too lazy.  Oh well.  I've got a couple of hours to myself while they are at the dinosaur museum with Thai Guy and the boys so time for a quick update post!

1. Ragnar was a blast! Absolutely a different experience from last year but great nonetheless.  I hope to have a full recap "relatively" soon. (Get it? Because my relatives are here. I crack myself up.)  Here's a pic of my pal, Dianna, and I at the finish line.  We were delirious and had pretty much no sleep at all for about 40 hours at this point.  Want to know how tired I was?  As I was driving our van in the middle of the night, I hit myself in the face, not once but TWICE with the window as I tried rolling it up.  It's a special kind of sleep depravity that makes you forget to move your head out of the way when rolling the window up.  Ragnar- a race for special people like me. ;)
We had some sweet polka dotted compression socks on, too. Got lots of compliments on our ensembles. :)
2. Just want to quickly tell the world what an amazing husband I have.  The past two weekends, he has sacrificed BIG in order to support me at my races.  First, running the aid station at the Utah Valley Marathon and then getting up in the middle of the night to come and volunteer at Ragnar. 
Thai Guy and I after UVM and during his shift at Exchange 30 at Ragnar.  (That hat is seriously too low, Alicia.)

He never hesitates to help out. I love that he always supports me and all my crazy goals. Also, I am super excited to announce that we will be running the next marathon TOGETHER!  I thought that he never wanted to run another marathon after our first was less than ideal for him but he has told me to sign him up. We are going to kill the next one! We will be running the SoJo Marathon on Oct. 15th. Can't wait to get training!

3. My Virtual Race for Autism was a HUGE success and wanted to say "Thank you!" again to everyone who participated.  I announced the raffle winners last week and have heard from most of you but I just wanted to mention that there are a couple of unclaimed prizes-
  • MaxsMom- please contact me with your address so that I can send you your RoadID gift cards AND
  • Christine and Giraffy- you guys won Runnerd stickers and I'd love to send them to you!
You can email me at aliciaruns @ hotmail.com with your addresses. Everybody else- I got your emails and will be sending your prizes out this week! Thanks again!

  Hoping to post all the ridiculousness of Ragnar soon!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Utah Valley Marathon '11

2:35 am
My alarm went of at the insane time of 2:35 am. I have seen 2:35 in the morning before but never on this side of it.  Who wakes up at 2:35 for anything?! Well, I do. At least this day I did.  All I can say is it's a good thing I had everything already laid out because I think I would have put my skirt on backwards if the bib hadn't been pinned on already. Obligatory race morning pic-
Oh, and don't expect a smile this early, either. I actually tried to smile in another pic and I just looked cracked. :)

3:20 am
I grabbed my usual prerace breakfast (waffle w. PB) and a z-bar to eat on the bus and I was out the door.  I felt pretty sleepy relaxed so no real nerves to speak of. I was just focused on getting to the bus on time.  I got to Provo in plenty of time and even snagged a great parking spot in a garage right next to where the finish was going to be.  I was on the bus and on my way up the canyon by 4:00.

4:30 am
Made it to the start and jumped in line at the porta-potty. The lines were short but people seemed to be taking their time. Totally not what you want when you are the next in line. (ew!) Anyhow, I survived the porta-potty and then just walked around a bit, partly to look for people I knew and partly just to keep warm. It was pretty chilly so I was really glad that I had a blanket to snuggle up in until last call for bag drop. I ran into Sam (of Operation Jack/Train4Autism) while I was wondering around. He was pacing the 3:40 group that day. Easy-peasy for him, a real stretch of the imagination for me. He knew my goal was to get under 4:30 so he told me to go for even 10:00 splits which would get me a finish of 4:22.  I told him I'd try and then left as he was getting surrounded by his 3:40 groupies.

6:00 am
Start time!  I lined up at the back of the pack and was thrilled to spot Julia right before the gun went off.  (She would end up playing a big role in my race that day.)  I quickly introduced myself and said that we should run together since we had the same goal. She was just as cute and nice as I expected her to be and I spent the 1st mile chatting away with her and her friend, Jen, as the crowd of runners moved forward.


Miles 1-5 (10:29, 9:09, 9:12, 9:23, 9:28)
Just getting going. Some weaving and getting out of the way for that first mile.  When my Garmin beeped and told me the first mile was only a 10:29 pace, though, I figured I had better speed up. I might have gone a little too fast the next couple of miles but I felt good so I went with it. I left Julia and Jen figuring I would see them again. These miles were through the small town of Wallsburg and the weather and scenery was beautiful! There were even some sweet residents that woke up early to enjoy watching and cheering the runners going by.  This is a real event for their sleepy farming town.


Miles 6-10 (9:26, 9:18, 11:17, 10:17, 9:38)
Miles 6 and 7, we were still in Wallsburg but we were about to be kicked out onto the main canyon road.  I stopped for a few seconds at a porta-potty line at mile 7 but quickly realized the line wasn't really moving and hopped back out onto the course. I might have stood there for about 30 seconds but it felt like forever as I watched the pace on my Garmin go up.  I just couldn't stand it! (Wearing my Garmin for this race sure did help keep me motivated!)  Julia must have passed by while I was in line because right before we came into the canyon, I saw her ahead of me and decided to catch up to her so that we could run the hill together. That first hill was a doozy so I'm so glad I caught her!  We chatted like old friends and it took the focus off of the hill and onto the conversation. Loved that!  Can I just say that for a downhill course there were a lot more hills than I expected! Those little blips on the elevation chart look harmless but there were some tough ones! Thankfully, we had the downhill to more than make up for it.

Julia and I after the race.
 Miles 11-15 (9:34, 10:07, 11:01, 8:58, 8:56)
Around here somewhere I noticed that the average pace on my Garmin had been consistently a 9:44 pace.  I felt really good about it because I didn't feel I was pushing too hard. We were going up and down hills and the average pace was sticking right around the same place.  I knew I had it in me to finish under a 10:00 average pace even after those dreaded final miles. I hit the half-marathon mark at 2:10:18. (And finally stopped to use the bathroom!)  I told Julia that maybe I'd catch back up to her and she ran ahead.

Miles 16-20 (10:05, 9:37, 9:29, 9:09, 9:57)
I was thankful to catch Julia right before the mile 16 hill which was another tough one.  We really didn't say a word to each other on this hill but we powered up it like nobody's business. I know just having her running there next to me was keeping me going and I felt super strong.  We totally owned it and were rewarded with some downhill miles. Whew! Miles 19 and 20, I was pushed along by the fact that my husband and all of my Train4Autism crew would be there at the mile #21 aid station.  I even got teary-eyed as I thought about the time and effort they were putting into making this day a success, not only for me, but for our T4A chapter.  I sucked it up because I realized that I can't cry and run at the same time. It totally messes up my breathing. ;)

Miles 21-25 (9:33, 10:34, 9:58, 10:55, 10:49)
Our T4A aid station crew (minus hubby, who's taking the pic). Can't even tell you how grateful I am for their hard work that day.
Mile 21, I finally see the T4A crew and my husband! That was a great moment for me.  They were doing a fantastic job and cheered me on as a ran through. Just what I needed at that moment.  The next 4 miles were slow but I remember thinking to myself that I could run 12 min/miles the rest of the way and still finish in under 4:30, so I was feeling pretty happy.  I even thought that I'd meet my new goal of 4:22.  Sweet!  My hamstrings were getting pretty tight and I made 2 quick stops to stretch them out but other than that it was just running through the pain.  Julia and I met back up around mile 24.  She had a sweet friend from school with her that came to run her in.  I relished the opportunity to run with someone with fresh legs.  She was friendly and motivating and kept us on task. When she mentioned that we had 30 minutes to run less than 2 miles, I thought that I just might go under 4:20.  What?!  I hadn't even thought that was really possible!

Somewhere around Mile 21-ish. Julia and I were never far from each other. Check it. In this photo, we are even on the same stride! Haha. Love it!  By the way, could I wear that hat any lower?!
Mile 26 and the last .37 (10:04, 3:14)
Somewhere in this last mile, Sam ran back out to find me and run me in.  He said, "Do you wanna go under 4:20? Am I going to have to make you do this??" "Yes!" He told me to stick with him and he'd get me to the finish under 4:20. I ran as fast as my legs would take me and ran that last 1/2 mile or so at an 8:40 pace! I didn't know that I had it in me but I was really happy that Sam pulled it out of me. What a fantastic finish to an unforgettable race!
Sam and I after the race. I really owe him for my strong finish. Thanks, Sam!

 Chip time 4:19:44
(a 34 second negative split!)
Gun time 4:19:51


Overall Place 925/1635


Age Group 106/174

An extra special "Thank You!" to Candice for sticking around to meet me at the finish. I LOVE this gal! She PRed in the half that day.  Love our PR smiles!


Congrats to all those that ran that day! I read all the recaps and, while some had better days than others, we all finished and that deserves some MAJOR pats on the back!  Can't wait for this race next year!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a Virtual Race for Autism 5k- Winners Announced!!!

I am nearly finished with my race recap from Saturday's marathon but my pictures are on another computer (doh!) so it looks I won't be posting the full recap until Wednesday.  Until then I am kicking my feet up in Park City on a mini vacation (ie. husband's work trip). I always love this trip because he gets to bring the whole family and I am especially loving it this year.  Such a nice time to be within a few steps of the nearest hot tub, sauna, or steam room. It sure is helping my recovery!  Three days post marathon and I'm feeling like I may try to run today. Maybe just a couple miles to shake everything out.  I don't want to overdo it with Ragnar coming in 4 DAYS! (Wahoo!)

Here's a quick review of Saturday's race: I got up really early, ran pretty steady, a couple of hills but no big issues and a PR!  Amazing how I turned all that into such a long post earlier.

I figured the least I could do while I'm hangin' here by the pool is post the winners from my virtual 5k.  Thirty-eight of you participated and helped me get about $400 closer to my goal! Wow! Thank you guys so much!  I can't even begin to tell you how much it means to me.  I loved hearing about your personal connections to autism.  I was also so touched by those who participated just as a chance to support me and my goals.  Amazing!  I have been so overwhelmed with emotion and have had a hard time really expressing what this experience has meant to me. I was nearly in tears as I spoke with Candice about it after the race on Saturday. I hope that each of you get the chance to train and raise money for a cause that is dear to you. Truly an incredible experience.

Ok. I've got my random number generator all set to go so let's start with a list of all the participants.

First through the finish line-
Rachelle @RunningforTrevor coming in at 20:54!  
Congrats, Rachelle! I've got something fun coming your way for being our fastest 5k-er and you are absolutely still in the running for the raffle prizes!   

Click HERE to see the rest of the crew!  Good job guys! I heard from more than a few of you that running this virtual 5k helped put a little OOMPH in your workout.  Feels SO good to leave it all out there on the pavement, right?!  (Look for more virtual 5k pics in coming posts.)

Now for the prizes! I've really been looking forward to this!

The Winner of the Allied Medal Hanger is #2- Erin!

The 3 Winners that will each win a Bondi Band are #4, #11 and #36- Amy C., Melissa, and Blaine (your wife or daughter will love it!)

The Winner of a BIG box of Blueberry Crisp Clif Bars is #23- Anne Marie!

The 2 Winners of the the GU Electrolyte Tablets are #6 and #18- Christy and Rochelle!

The 2 Winners of the Nathan Trail Mix Hydration Packs are #10 and #3- Jennifer F. and Sarah @RunningIsALife!

The Winner of the Pink Series 10k entry is #9- Kim! (Kim- if you can't make it to this race, let me know and I'll get you another prize.) The 2 Winners of the Pink Series shirts are #34 and #7- Mom and Margaret!

The 2 Winners of a RazzyRoo Headband are #14 and #28- Candice and Ros!

The 6 winners that will each get a $15 gift certificate to RoadID are #32, #5, #19, #21, #16 and #37- Stephanie C., Brandy, Kara G., KayeLynne, Stacie, and MaxsMom.

Finally, the 6 winners of a Runnerd sticker are #26, #31, #8, #27, #13, and #25 - Haley, Maria, Julia, Emily G., Christine and Giraffy!

(You may notice a couple of missing prizes. Sadly, 2 companies that had offered prizes originally have ignored my subsequent emails. Really disappointing. BUT to make up for those missing prizes, I will be sending a surprise goodies to #33, #29 and #17 - Kelly, Sarah @RunningOnWords and Nancy!  I am absolutely happy to do it!)

You guys rock for supporting me and this really special autism classroom! If you won a prize, please send me an email to aliciaruns @ hotmail.com. Include your name and address and the prize that you won and I will get it out to you ASAP!

Utah Valley Marathon race recap coming tomorrow!

*I really hope to make this an annual event so hopefully you guys will give me some feedback about things I can do better next year. Comments, suggestions??

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Under 4:30?

P'shaw! Try under 4:20!


 The laptop is out of order (blogging from my phone is cool but not easy), so this is all for now. So much more to come + virtual race winners!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Last minute thoughts...

  1. Tomorrow is the day! June 11th. Marathon #4. Wow. For the amount of focus that I've been putting on this one date, it sure did sneak up on me! Ha!
  2. I checked Utah Valley's website this morning. My official number is 5210. I like it!
  3. After checking 4 stores, I was finally able to track down my Hammer Gel of choice- Montana Huckleberry. It's the only one I wanted even if it meant driving (okay, having the husband drive) a couple towns over to get it.
  4. I'm super excited that my husband (and all of our awesome Train4Autism volunteers) are going to be at the aid station at mile #21 tomorrow. It will be so great to see them right when I need that extra boost to finish.
  5. I totally forgot to mention that tomorrow's marathon actually qualifies me to be a Marathon Maniac. Cool, right?  It will be really great to meet that personal goal but it seriously has been in the background of my BIG goal...
  6. ...which is to raise money for the amazing autism classroom my son attended a couple of years ago.  I am right now $95 to my goal of $1500 and I couldn't be more thrilled! Thanks to everybody that donated. You rock!
  7. The virtual 5k has been an amazing success.  I have been super excited to see all of the race times coming in and reading all of the recaps.  (I promise you, I've read them all! Keep 'em comin'!) You guys sure had fun with it. I'll be posting more pics and recaps and prizes (!) this weekend. (By the way, it's not too late to enter. You have until midnight tonight to get your times into me and, of course, I'm being super flexible here. Just join us! I'd love to have you. Click HERE to see how.) 
  8. I leave you with one of my personal favorite virtual 5k pics...
My Mom did the 3.1 on her treadmill, 2000 miles away from here in West Virginia, wore the bib #509 (for her 5 kids, and 9 grandchildren) and walked in support of her first grandchild, my son, who was diagnosed with autism in 2005.  This is a woman who was just in the hospital for nearly a month! Wow! Thanks, Mom! Now go take a nap! Haha. XOXO

 Good luck to everyone else racing this weekend! PR wishes to you all! ;)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

a Virtual Race for Autism Update + Join the Fun!

Uh. I'm running a marathon on Saturday!  There has been so much stuff going on that I nearly forgot!  Here's what I've been up to since my last post...

I watched Little Red graduate from PreK. That kid is such a goof!
I've been playing with my boys as much as possible.

I turned this mess...

...into this graduation cake for a super sweet high school graduate.

And this morning, I made this yummy oatmeal pancake and topped it with PB, dried cranberries, coconut, buckwheat groats, and a little syrup. Recipe from Kath Eats Real Food.
(Like my attempt at taking a pretty food picture?)


Oh, and I also went to pump class. And ran a mile afterwards since class ended a few minutes early.

That's not to mention all the craziness that goes into making sure Train4Autism's aid station at the Utah Valley Marathon is the best!  And still doing last minute prep for Ragnar next weekend. And filling in our playground with pea gravel. And doing all the mom stuff like laundry, cooking, cleaning...you know the drill. I'm exhausted!

Enough about me, here's what you guys have been up to-

You've been running!  And I've got pics to prove it!  I am loving all these results coming in for my virtual 5k.  Don't wait to join in!  Click HERE to find out how to participate. You've got until Friday at midnight to get in your results to me. Good luck!!
Sarah @ RunningIsALife ran for 2 causes at once by running my virtual 5k as part of a local 5k.  Great idea, Sarah!  I loved reading her recap.  Written just as a competitive runner thinks.
Julia @ PainPridePerseverance sent this treadmill shot after running a speedy 5k for autism.  Julia is a psychologist in training and has worked with families affected by autism.  She listed lots a great reasons to support my cause along with her race recap. Thanks, Julia!

This Garmin picture is courtesy of Rochelle @ BabesOnAMission. She pushed herself and ran faster with each mile. Congrats, Rochelle!
Maria @ TheSplendiferousLife ran the 5k with her buddy Alissa and her sweet Julia.  I can tell from her recap that they really had fun with it. Maria's cute yellow button earrings I think say it all about this girl's fun personality.


Here's the list of participants I have so far. If you are not on this list and should be let me know!  If you are not on this list and really want to be click HERE to find out how to participate and win some really cool prizes all in the name of charity! Gotta love it!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The excitement builds.

I celebrated National Running Day by running 4 miles uphill on my treadmill this morning.  I was SUPER sweaty when I was done so you know I started the day a happy girl!  I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon at my son's school Field Day and then running errands.  When I finally arrived home, I felt ready for a nap until...I found 2 boxes on my front step! 

The first one was unexpected.  I had written Clif Bar to see if they would contribute to my virtual race but hadn't heard back so I was thrilled to see that they had sent a whole box of yummy Blueberry Crisp Clif Bars! Sweet!

The second box I had been waiting for.  I knew Nathan Sports was sending something but I wasn't sure what.  I saw this on the outside of the box and knew it was the one I had been waiting for.
I opened it to find-
Two Nathan Trail Mix hydration packs! Wow, oh, wow! I have one of these myself and I love it, so you guys are seriously getting lucky here. Amazing!  You can see me with my Trail Mix pack on during my 2nd Ragnar leg last year up in my blog header.  Oh, and here I am with my pack at the Salt Lake City Marathon. 
Ok, I guess you really can't see it too well here but I promise you it carried everything I needed that day and more AND it stayed right in place down lower on my hips without jostling around. Great product!  Whomever wins these will be tickled pink!

National Running Day is the perfect day to sign up for a race, so "race" over HERE to find out how to enter my Virtual Race for Autism 5k.  Just take a look at what you could win just for participating!

  • an Allied Medal Display
  • one of 3 Bondi Bands
  • a box of Blueberry Crisp Clif Bars
  • one of 2 pieces of jewelry from Endure Shop
  • a running product from Get Fit Athletic Wear
  • one of 2 GU Brew Electrolyte Tablets
  • one of 2 Nathan Sports Trail Mix Hydration Packs
  • an entry in to the Pink Series 10k
  • one of 2 Pink Series shirts
  • one of 2 RazzyRoo Headbands
  • one of 6 RoadID $15 gift cards
  • or one of 6 Runnerd stickers
Click HERE to see the full descriptions and links for each prize.

That's 30 raffle prizes, y'all!  And only $5 to participate that goes directly to an autism classroom that I've been feverishly trying to raise money for. So for $5, you get- a fun run (or walk), a chance to donate to an autism charity and a chance at some amazing prizes! What's not to love about that?!  You have until June 10th so there is still plenty of time to get your run in. Go, go, GO!

*Bloggy buddies, friends, family and neighbors!  Please post about this race on your blog, facebook page, or twitter!  I could really use the help getting the word out. If you've already posted it- THANK YOU!! You've done your good deed for the week. ;)



Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Virtual Race for Autism 5k- list of prizes!


So, I thought I would make a list of the prizes that are available to those participating in my 1st ever Virtual Race for Autism 5k.  Wanna know what you could win??
  1. Allied Medal Displays- Joel from Allied Medal Displays has donated any one medal hanger. These are really great for hanging up all those race medals you've got in a box somewhere. Winner gets to choose from the online catalog. A great prize! Personally, I love the one that says ALWAYS EARNED, NEVER GIVEN.  It's on my wishlist.
  2. Bondi bands- Anyone who knows me knows that I love these wide bands. They are super cute and keep all of those annoying little wisps of hair away from your face.  I wore my favorite at the SLC Marathon last month.  Bondi bands has donated 3 of these fun headbands for me to give away.
  3. Clif Bar and Co. contributed a box of  yummy Blueberry Crisp Bars.  Who doesn't love Clif bars?! So good!
  4. Endure Shop has amazing jewelry and has generously offered a couple pieces to a couple of very lucky runners.  Take a look at their shop. Beautiful stuff! I love the roadrunner necklace. So unique!
  5. Get Fit Athletic Wear is a local running store that I love to shop at. They have all the newest and cutest styles in running wear and shoes. Robyn and Brian (the owners) are incredibly knowledgeable and super friendly. Absolutely a runner's favorite kind of store.  They have agreed to donate but we are still working out the details. I will update as soon as I know more.
  6. GU Energy- Yep, that GU, the one and only!  They have graciously offered up a couple of tubes of their new GU Brew Electrolyte Tablets.  Providing ultimate hydration. Oh, yeah!
  7. NATHAN Sports- NATHAN sent me 2 Trail Mix Hydration Packs!  I have the Trail Mix Hydration Pack myself and really love it.  It has carried everything I've needed in many, many races. Check out my header to see me running with my pack on during last year's Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay.  These are really great prizes! It really doesn't get much better for a runner.
  8. The Pink Series races is donating an entry to their Pink Series 10k for me to give away. Their races are the best and these ladies are passionate about raising money for a good cause.  I'm so lucky to have their support!  They are also offering 2 Pink Series shirts for me to give away. The winners of these shirts will be able to pick their size. Great!
  9. RazzyRoo Headbands- Cheryl at RazzyRoo Headbands sent me 2 super cute headbands to give away.  The tag says, "...for the sassy, sporty gal." I love it! They are absolutely sassy and functional. You will love these bands.
  10. RoadID- RoadID has donated (6) $15 gift certificates!  I never leave home without my RoadID and I feel really strongly that EVERY runner should have one. Stay safe out there, guys!
  11. Last but certainly not least, my buddy Candice from I Have Run, has donated 6 super cool and runnerd-y stickers from her Runnerd Store. You had better believe that I'm rocking one of these on the back window of my truck. :) Say it loud! I'm a Runnerd and I'm proud!
 So, that's 1+3+1+2+2+2+2+3+2+6+6= 30 prizes! Oh my goodness! That's a lot of prizes!

Are you signed up yet? Want to know more?  CLICK HERE and enter. You have until June 10th to run your 5k so plenty of time but with that being said- What are you waiting for?! ;)

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Virtual Race for Autism 5k update! Plus more prizes!

I know, I know. Two posts on one day? What has gotten into me?! I can't help it, I saw this post today on Karien's blog and couldn't help getting excited!  She ran my virtual race at the Rooifontein game farm in South Africa (international runner, y'all!), even seeing a herd of springbok antelope along her path. Cool, right?!  Thanks, Karien, for participating and supporting my cause. You rock!
Karien holding up her bib. Love the socks!
I also got an email from Brandy this morning letting me know that she and her Pink Series race director team are graciously adding to our prize pot by offering up an entry to the PINK SERIES 10k in Logan on August 6th!  Those of you who read my blog regularly will remember that I ran the Pink Series 5k last month and LOVED it!  The all-female races that they put on are so fun and super catered to girls. I am over the moon about this contribution!  Not only that but they are also offering 2 super cute Pink Series shirts. Thank you, Brandy and the Pink Series!!
And thanks to all those that have signed up so far!  This is shaping up to be a truly fun and unique event and all because of all of you out there who are signing up and having fun with it.  I'm so excited to see the race reports come pouring in!
Click the pic to learn how to enter!

What runners do on a long weekend

Memorial Day weekend has proved to be a busy running weekend for me. And you know me, this is just the type of busy that I like to be.

I started the weekend with a 10 miler on Friday night, my last double digit run before Utah Valley Marathon.  Let me just say- it did not start out well.  Right before I headed out, I realized my Garmin was dead, so I stuck it on the charger and jumped on the treadmill while it charged.  Every few minutes my boys would walk in the room and need something.  I ended up doing 3.5 on the treadmill, with multiple interruptions from my boys, before I hopped off, strapped on the Garmin and headed out to finish up.  Once outside, it ended up being a pretty good run. Nice. And. Quiet. With no kids asking me to fix the Wii remote. Or get them a drink. Or telling on their brother for saying butt. Apparently, even with Dad right downstairs, they'd rather talk to a breathless Mom. Go figure. I did another 6.5, out and back, before I felt sane enough to come back to the craziness at home. There's something symbolic about running away from it all and turning around to run home. ;)

Lehi 13th 5k
That run behind me, I set my sights on the neighborhood 5k the next morning. I was determined to have the boys run it so that we could do it as a family. Firstborn and Little Red weren't really all that excited when I woke them up early the next morning. I was trying my best to pump them up on the way to the park. "You guys are going to run a race with Mommy!" "You are awesome runners!"  "I'm so excited for you!" "Are you excited?!" "Get excited!"  Um, yeah, not really that excited, Mom. Oh well. I tried.

What I learned about how to race from my 9 yr old:
  1. Start so fast that not even elite runners could possibly keep up.  
  2. 100 yards later- walk, try to not throw up and complain about your knees and back hurting.
  3. Repeat for another 3.05 miles.
I have NEVER seen so much wasted energy in a 5k. Holy Toledo! I was trying to teach him about pacing but he just told me that I wasn't letting him run. Then, every time we ran he would shake his head from side to side. (What are you doing, child?) I tried it, too, but it made me dizzy. And you can forget about running in a straight line! He was all over the place. Haha. Gonna have to work on that focus.  After 3.1 miles of race ADD, we finished in 51:50.  He was really proud of himself and got lots of high-fives at the finish line. I really hope he'll want to do another one.  As a mommy runner, that was so fun for me!  And I'm already having dreams of us finishing a marathon together someday. Well, without all the crazy head shaking.

Run for Remembrance 10k
This morning, I ran my 3rd 10k. Yep, I've run more races than you could shake a stick at, but only my 3rd 10k.  Not sure why, but 10ks just aren't my favorite.  (Anyone else?)  Anyway, I got a facebook invite to a free 10k on Memorial Day so I thought "Why not? I've got a tempo run to do that day so might as well."  Also, you can't beat a free race!  It was super cold (in the 30s) and rainy when I arrived at the start line.  I nearly turned right around and went home.  I ran into a few friends, though, and soon the rain was letting up.   My last-minute goal for this last-minute race was to run at an 8:30 pace.  After 2 uphill miles, I thought that maybe that was a bit aggressive of a goal but we evened out and the rest of the race was flat or downhill besides one big hill through the cemetery at about mile 5.  I finished in 51:34 on a slightly short course and averaged a pace of exactly 8:30! Nice!
At the start. See the umbrellas and cold weather wear. Icky weather!  By the way, total fail on taking pics this weekend. Geesh! What kind of blogger am I?
Love that I PRed but do you want to know why I'm most excited about today's run? I HIT 100 MILES IN A MONTH FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!  I've officially run 103.7 miles in the month of May! Holla'!

What did you do this weekend??

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A "Virtual" Race for Autism 5k Announced!

I have to say that I love raising money for charity! And I am lucky enough to have some really fantastic supporters who have donated a total of $981.20 both through the Train4Autism site and in cash donations. (Yay!) But I am still about $500 short of my goal so I had an idea! What if I hosted a "virtual" 5k and collected all kinds of great prizes from all kinds of great companies to have an amazing raffle-like giveaway for all the participants?!  Would that get people excited? Well, I sure hope so because I'm hosting my very first-


That's right! A "virtual" race! I love the concept.  Here's what you need to know.

TO PARTICIPATE:
  1. Go to my Train4Autism donation site HERE and donate $5 (or you can email me to send me cash or check donations. Face to face donations work well, too.) If you have already donated, just tell me so.
  2. Come back here, tell me you donated and print out your very own bib for the race. (Totally optional, but fun. Bibs are at the bottom of this post.)
  3. Run or walk 3.1 miles on your treadmill, outside, on a track, by yourself, with your friends, whilst dribbling a basketball, juggling or whatever way you want to do it. Just do it!
  4. Tell me about it! Report back and let me what your finish time was. If you feel so inclined, send me a picture of you before/after your run, a pic or your Garmin or treadmill reading and/or just tell me how it went. I would love to hear! (Just as a warning- any pics may end up on my blog.) ;) Just let me know that you did it! You can report back here as a comment on this post or send me an email to aliciaruns @ hotmail.com.
  5. Await the results! I will post everyone's 5k results on my blog on June 11th (my BIG race day!) and will also be raffling off fantastic prizes from these fine companies.  You can see a full list of prizes HERE.
Amazing, right?? We're talking about Gu products, a Pink Series 10k entry, jewelry, an Allied Medal Display (what, what!), headbands, RoadID gift certificates and more! Very cool!

 (I'm up to 30 prizes already! So, really your chances of winning something are great. All these companies are amazing, by the way.  Wonderful people that deserve all the success they get in life. Truly, truly.)
Also, everyone who participates has an equal chance at winning so no worries about being the fastest Speedy McLeggy. Although, the fastest may get a little something from me personally plus major bragging rights.

So, get to it already! You can run/walk your 3.1 anytime between now and June 10th. (All finish times need to be in to me by June 10th at midnight.)  Good luck! And thank you in advance for helping me meet my goal.
 
GET YOUR RACE BIB, just click and print! Be sure to give yourself your favorite number. :)

*Bloggy buddies can help me out by posting about this virtual race on your blog. I'd greatly appreciate it! :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Evolution of a Runner(d)

This is a post from my family blog (before the running blog existed). Here's where I was as a runner 5 years ago, May 8th, 2006-


I did it!
I ran my very first 5k on Saturday! I was really nervous when we were on our way there. I knew that I could run 3 miles because I run 3 miles/3 times a week but I always run on the treadmill so I didn't know what to expect running on asphalt. Come to find out, it's really a lot of fun. In fact, I ran the 3.1 miles in under 3o minutes outside (29:21 to be exact). I think it usually takes me about 35 minutes at the pace I run on the treadmill. Anyway, it was a great day out for the 4 of us. I made Will push the jogging stroller with the boys in it. So, he had to run pushing 60 lbs. of boy and 30 lbs. of stroller! I really felt bad when we were going up that first hill. After the 1st couple of minutes it became clear that Will would be running slower than my regular pace so I ran on ahead. He was such a trooper. Even pushing nearly 100 lbs., he never stopped and finished the race soon after me. And he's still psyched to do another 5k next Saturday! I guess that's our new thing- running as a family. I couldn't think of a healthier way to spend a Saturday morning. And we also get a chance to donate money to different causes so it's good all around. 

I love that I happened across this old post this morning. It is amazing to see how far I've come in 5 years. Five years later, I've run thousands of miles, including countless 5ks, a couple 10ks, a Ragnar, half a dozen half-marathons, and I'm about to run my 4th full marathon(!).  If you had told me back on May 8th, 2006 that I would go on to run all this, I would have thought you were crazy! That first 5k was tough! I remember it clearly. It will always be my favorite race ever, though, because that was the day I built the confidence to be a runner.  That day truly changed my life. It was when I finally let myself believe that I could do hard things, running or otherwise.

So, here I am. 33 yr old me telling 28 yr old me, "You did do it! You will do more than you ever thought possible. Keep it up! It just gets better and better."  :)

What's your earliest race memory? When did you become a runner?

Friday, May 20, 2011

My most recent status update...

I have been floored by the kindness of others. I don't even have the words. Incredible, amazing, wonderful, unreal.  These words come to mind but I'm still not sure it captures the warm and fuzzies that I've been privy to lately. 

I've got something super fun in the works, folks. Stay tuned!! If you like RoadID, GU, Allied Medal Hangers, Bondi Bands, Nathan Sports, RazzyRoo Headbands, Runnerds stickers (and more!), you are gonna wanna see what I've got up my sleeve! These fantastic companies are donating some awesome products for a truly unique event.

I can hardly wait!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Provo City Marathon race recap

When I saw that my training schedule called for 18 miles this weekend and noticed that there was a marathon close by, what else was I supposed to do??  I would much rather run 26 miles in a race then 18 miles by myself. Any day.  Races are fun! And motivating! You get to meet fun people and run and volunteers give you water and bananas and people cheer you on.  That's not even mentioning the port-a-potties!  Don't we all wish those were around when out on our long runs! SO much better than mapping out a course of your own and struggling through 18 lonely miles with every possible necessity strapped to your midsection like a roaming nomad, right? So, I coughed up the $65 to run the inaugural Provo City Marathon and showed up on race morning sans Garmin. I was mentally just there for a long training run.  Calling this a "training run" absolutely takes all the pressure off, by the way. I was just out for a jog. No stress.  That is the great thing about training runs.

We started the race up Provo Canyon at South Fork park.  I loved being at this park because we used to have Sunday picnics up there when Firstborn was a baby.  I don't think I'd been up there since we moved about 6 years ago so it was nice to reminisce.  The first thing I noticed when arriving via school bus to the start was that there were not very many full marathoners. (I would find out later that there were only 137 of us.) The second thing I noticed- it was really cold!  I knew it would be cold (it's always cold in the canyon in the mornings) so I came prepared with gloves, a warm headband and a blanket to keep myself warm until the last second.  I soon noticed a older woman who was not as prepared as me and gave her my blanket. I just couldn't stand watching her shiver and shake.  She and the two ladies she was standing with were shooting the breeze and waiting for the race to start. It was nice to chat with them for a few minutes. While still waiting for the race to start, I noticed a special needs adult who I'd met before. I met him (let's call him David) last year at the Utah Valley Marathon when I was manning the Train4Autism booth and have seen him since at Sonic, where he works. He is a natural runner and is super fast. Such a sweet guy.  He said that he remembered meeting me before and told me that he was hoping to run the marathon in under 3 hrs. Wow!  Talk about talent. Amazing! Every time I meet someone like David, I feel so blessed to get to show them a little kindness. My heart has always been drawn to the special needs community.  There is so much joy and innocence among special needs children and adults.  Needless to say, by the time the race started my heart was already full. I knew it would be a great day.

As the race started, I decided to take advantage of the first downhill mile and lean into it.  I don't know how fast I went but I stayed in front of the 4:00 pacer for the first couple of miles. Even after the pace group passed, I still felt like I was running at a pretty good pace. Certainly faster than my marathon pace but I felt good so I went with it. The run on the canyon trail was beautiful!  At about mile 7 (I think), we came out of the canyon and ran down University Ave., a pretty busy 4 lane road.  This road brought us right to the finish line.  Well, not quite. We got to see the finish line but we weren't even close to finishing. Yep! We ran by the finish line and watched the half-marathoners finishing as we started the second half of our run! Ha! Mentally, I just don't think it's good to see the finish line off in the distance when you are only halfway done. So not cool but I made the best of it and cheered the half-ers on as I ran the other direction.

Miles 13-20 were the worst. It was getting hot and there was no shade. I started to notice that I was covered in salt. My fingers were swollen.  There was nothing to look at. I was totally on my own and at times I was just praying that I didn't miss a turnoff.  From about mile 14 on, the closest racers were about a quarter mile in front of or behind me, with the very few exceptions when I passed a runner or was passed.  This section of the race was mentally the toughest for me.  Looking back, it may have been a good time to listen to some tunes but I didn't want to miss an opportunity to meet someone new or hear a random cheer. I like listening to music during training runs but not races and (I'm finding) especially not marathons. For me, listening to music during a marathon would take away from the true experience of it all, but I can definitely see the value of it when you hit a tough spot.

When I finally made it to mile 20, I was relieved to find that we would be running the next couples miles on the southern part of the Jordan River trail that I had never run on before. That was just the mental boost I needed.  Around that time, I noticed the time was 10:54 am.  We had started the race at 7:30 so I knew that if I could finish before noon, I'd be under 4:30.  Could I do the last 6-ish miles in 1:06?? I didn't know if I could but I decided to try. Of course, without my Garmin, I had no idea how fast I was going.  I decided to push it just a little harder and see how it felt.  To my surprise, my legs were renewed and I ran (what felt like) under a ten minute pace for a couple of miles.  Sadly, by the time I hit about mile 23 my legs were done. I was doing the finish line shuffle and probably running about an 11:30 pace.  I was okay with it, though, because I knew I was getting a PR and that was exciting enough.

The finish- after a good sized bridge at about mile 25.5, I was finally going down the other side and on my way to the finish! I could see it in the distance (again!) and this time it was actually my turn to finish!  As I ran to the finish line, I saw my boys running out to me and just felt elated! I was done!


Sorry for the poor video quality. My sweet husband forgot how to zoom the video so he just ran after us.

I love that Firstborn came out and grabbed my hand and ran beside me until he noticed Little Red taking off.  It became a real race at that point! Haha! Well, until hubby reminded them to run with me.  They are always making me laugh.
The announcer says, "Good job, Mom!"" Perfect Mother's Day moment.

Absolutely a race with highs and lows but always a high to finish another marathon!  My final time- 4:38:19!  A 12 minute PR so I certainly can't complain.  So far, this has been the greatest Mother's Day weekend ever! A marathon and lots of relaxation and time with my boys. Can't get any better than that. :)

Happy Mother's Day to all the other mothers out there!  Hope yours was as good as mine!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The PINK Series 5k- Race Recap

As someone that has never done an all-female race, I really wasn't sure what to expect when I showed up at The PINK Series 5k on Saturday morning. What I did know was that there would be lots of pink and I was thrilled to break out the sassy pink compression socks.  The evening before the race I went to pick up my packet and discovered an adorable headband, a sweet PINK Series top, a coupon for a free cupcake from a local bake shop and an oven mitt! What other race could you possibly get this much girly stuff than an all-female race? I was tickled to say the least. I'm so used to getting unisex tops that are really just men's tops that are ill-fitting at best and if I'm lucky, I get enough safety pins to put my bib on. See the difference between a race planned by women for women? Best swag EVER at this race.

So, I showed up Saturday morning wearing my new headband and excited for the race but very cold. Brrrr! Suddenly my running skirt didn't seem like such a great idea. I stood around for a few minutes waiting for the bus to take us to the start, then saw a cute aerobics instructor that I knew from the gym. We chatted a couple of minutes and then got on the bus. I got a text from my husband to wish me luck and told him I was feeling a little weird running this race alone. Most girls seemed to be there with their family and friends. It is definitely a fun race that you'd want to share with your girlfriends. That being said I soon met a cute 20-something runner from Salt Lake who had her fiance waiting for her at the finish. I loved hearing about her wedding plans and career. She instantly put me in the "happy" race day mood and as we made our way to the start line, I wished her luck.  There was a short pre-race pep talk from a local celebrity, Angie Larsen, who was running her first 5k. As soon as she finished, we were off! The first 2 miles were downhill and I took advantage of it and ran 7:14 and 7:25 miles. (Sidenote: for the first .25 mile I had to keep pulling my skirt up in the back. I love that it doesn't bind around the waist but some binding is good. Sorry to any runner behind me who worried they may be watching my skirt find it's way to my ankles. Geesh! Finally, the skirt stayed up on it's own and I hoped for no more race issues. Only other issue was that my left Yurbud fell out twice. Wha? Yep, you heard right. The earbud that never falls out fell out twice. What the heck?)
I found myself in the background of another racer's photos so here's the only pic from that day.        
Anyway, mile 3 evened us out and I slowed down quite a bit to an average 8:24 pace for that last mile. As I closed in on the finish line, I slowed a little more (crazy, I know!) to make sure I didn't throw up at the finish line.  I love running hard but I was seriously a little worried that I took too much on those 1st couple of downhill miles. I ended up finishing 17th overall with a time of 24:17. Not a PR but not bad for the first 5k of the year and one week post-marathon. :) I checked out the results and realized that I would've placed in any other age group but my own. Dang those fast 30-34 yr olds!

At the finish, firemen dressed in full gear (!) gave each finisher a pink ribbon with a little pink pendant tied to it. (All the more reason to not hurl at the finish line!) We were then pointed in the direction of the post-race food and drinks. I grabbed a mini larabar and a 1/2 a banana because they were the first things I saw but I hear there were also cookies and other yummy surprises. Fantastic!

I stuck around for a moment, thanked Tanya (one of the race directors) for the great race and then headed home. All in all, such a fantastic race and I am really excited to run The PINK Series Half in October.  These ladies really know how to put on a race! Leave it to women to remember that love is in the details!

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm running the Utah Valley Marathon with Train4Autism!

 Love his face!
Hello, friends! Although it's not something I talk about all the time, a lot of you know that I have a 9 yr old son, Coleman, who has autism.  He was diagnosed at the the age of 3 and, in the past 6 years, we have worked really hard to get him into the right therapies, into the right schools and keep him progressing. We have been HUGELY blessed along the way by amazing therapists and teachers who have loved him and seen his potential.  As a parent, you spend so much time feeling scared and unsure of how to help your child and these teachers swoop in like angels to help.  Our love for these teachers, and one in particular, has inspired me to try to do something in return.

I've decided to run the Utah Valley Marathon on June 11th, 2011 in an effort to raise money for a special autism classroom that Coleman attended at Hidden Hollow Elementary School in Saratoga Springs, UT.  Coleman's teacher there, Mrs. Cameron, has an amazing love for the children she works for.  She is brilliant and creative and Will and I both were touched personally by the passion she has for her job.  What a blessing it is that the school district can provide a teacher like Mrs. Cameron to families like us. We were convinced that in order to get Coleman the help he needed that we may have to put him in an expensive private school (which we really couldn't afford) but were pleased to find a teacher like Mrs. Cameron who works her miracles at a nearby public school.  She does have to work within the confines of a state-funded budget, though, and with budget cuts being made throughout the schools, I know she could use our help. She does an amazing job with what she has (and no doubt spends her own money, too, as so many teachers do) but we are hoping to be able to raise some money for her so that she may continue working miracles for the families that have the good fortune of crossing her path.

There are a few different ways that you can help-

1. Go to my Train4Autism web page and donate! You can click on General Team Donation or on my name to make your donation. Please know that every tiny bit counts! $1, $5, $20 or whatever you can give is going to a great cause!

2. If you cannot afford to give anything but have time to volunteer, please contact me!  My Train4Autism chapter has been given the opportunity to be in charge of an aid station at the Utah Valley Marathon and we need volunteers to help pass out water to passing runners. We are excited for the exposure that this gives us. I know that volunteering your time for charity is it's own reward but, FYI, every volunteer will receive a free t-shirt, too!

3. If you are a runner or walker, join our team! The great thing about Train4Autism is that you can pick whatever race suits you. You don't have to run a marathon to make a difference. Train for and run the 5k that accompanies the Utah Valley Marathon! We'd love to have you on our team! Just go to our team page and click on Join Our Team. Once you've joined, email race director Gary at runutahvalley@gmail.com and tell him you are running with Train4Autism. He will send you a race discount code. Use that code when registering for the 5k HERE.

4. This one would be a HUGE help. Please share this post with anyone and everyone that you can think of whose lives have been touched by autism or who may be looking for a program like Train4Autism (runners, walkers, triathletes).  I am really excited to watch this program grow and the more we can get the word out there, the better.

Please contact me if you have any questions or want to join up or help out. Thanks so much!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

See Alicia Run

Here I am in the last mile of yesterday's marathon. I had just passed Temple Square and knew I was super close to the finish line even though I couldn't see it. I'm pretty sure those policemen weren't about to pull me over for speeding (ha!) but I was going as fast as I could. Months ago, I said I would dedicate my second marathon to me, to prove to myself that I could do it alone. Well here ya' go, Lish- PROOF!

I had every reason to sit this one out...

...but I didn't! Yep, that marathon that I kept going back and forth about? I just ran it and PRed by 15 minutes! (If you remember my first marathon recap, you'll see that wasn't really that hard to do.) As we were driving home from our week at Disneyland Friday night, I still wasn't sure that I would run yesterday morning. After all, I was exhausted from walking around the parks everyday and still having some heart palps. I was worried I wouldn't be properly hydrated and my legs wouldn't be fresh. We got home at about 11 o'clock Friday night and I finally just decided to go for it. No more excuses, I just needed to do it and take it one mile at a time. Run, walk or crawl, I knew I could finish. Plus, I know myself well enough to know that I would regret not at least trying to run, even though I was under trained. I left the Garmin at home and headed to the race at 5 am yesterday morning.

The race started out well. I decided to run without music until I really needed it, which didn't happen until around mile 20. I just listened to the sounds of the race and took my time. I was running by feel and just focused on finishing instead of a specific time goal since I knew my training didn't support it. The legs felt pretty good until about mile 14 when they just started to ache a bit. My lungs were strong. No huffing and puffing. Mentally, I felt strong and knew I would be ready to gut it out when things got tough. I was really enjoying all the people cheering along the course. There was even a "Temptation Station" where a guy was handing out beers and shots of liquor. Another of his signs read, "Anyone can run sober." Haha! I got a good laugh out of that. I declined the alcohol, though. :)

Around mile 20, my legs really started to ache. I was walking through the aid stations and trying to stretch out my quads and IT band as well as I could but they were just HURTING! Oh well, I thought, sometimes you just have to run through the pain. And run I did. Well, if you could call it running. It was more of a shuffle at the end. The last 2 miles my left knee was in serious pain and I was getting discouraged but knew I was almost done. "Ow, ow, ow." "You knew this would hurt." "Just finish!" were my final miles mantras. It was all mind over body by then.

My goal was to finish and I did! I walked a little but never crawled so that's good. :) Marathon #2 is in the books! It was ugly but it counts!

My final time- 4:50:32
Pace- 11:05

Time to get in shape for Utah Valley Marathon, only 8 weeks 'til marathon #3! I will be ready for that one. Guaranteed.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A hint (or 10) from the universe?


It is 2 am and I've just woken up from my fatigue induced coma (and a terrible nightmare) and after sitting here listening to all the creepy sounds my house makes in the middle of the night, I've realized that I'm really scared! But wait! I'm not talking about the "wanna-climb-in-my-momma's-bed" kind of scared (well, maybe just a little if I'm being completely honest) but more so it's an alarming "am-I-doing-the-right-thing" kind of scared.  You see, when I signed up for the Salt Lake City Marathon back in January, it seemed like a brilliant idea. "This marathon will be for me," I thought, "This one will prove that I can go it alone. Feed the angry beast that is marathon training and do it all by myself." I was determined that it was gut-check time I was going to have to put-up or shut-up.Well, go time is t-minus 14 days now and it has been an eventful couple of months. Let me tell you a little bit about how my training has gone...

A. I switched over from half to full marathon training at the end of January just after the St. George Half. I was feeling a bit pudgy but overall running my pace and feeling strong. I was mentally ready for marathon training.

B. I was running my butt off the first couple of weeks and it felt great! I ran an 8 mile tempo run (my longest ever) and was flying high when...dun, dun, DUUUNNNN! (<---for dramatic effect) I GOT THE FLU!  Yup, the very next morning after this fabulous tempo run. I couldn't believed it! It hit like a ton of bricks and I never saw it coming! After visiting the doctor twice, taking Tamiflu that didn't help and antibiotics that did, I had been sick for 2 weeks before I finally started to come out of it. I had never had the flu before so I was apparently paying for my good fortune in one lump sum. I have NEVER been so sick. Ever.

C. So, here I was at the end of February and I was finally starting to pull myself together. I was still fatigued and I knew I had lost considerable amounts of conditioning from being laid out for 2 weeks. And to add insult to injury (more like injury to illness) I had popped a rib while I was sick from coughing so dang much. Yep, I rarely ever get injured from running but coughing? It's got my number! Geesh! I was so frustrated at this point because I was finally able to start running again and I couldn't run without pain in my ribs that I feared wouldn't get better as long as I continued to run. Ya dig?

D. So what do I do? What any sane person would do. I found a running gait that worked! Yep. Normal people rest and recover. But not me! "Imma trainin' for a marathon!" So, I ran with my upper body as still and straight as I could get it, ran super slow (a glorified walk is more like it) and increased my foot fall ten fold so I was taking quick tiny baby steps. I'm pretty sure the people who saw me run this way wouldn't call it running. But to me, I was makin' it happen.

E. With the flu injury finally somewhat squared away and about 5 weeks left 'til marathon time, I devised a plan. Then I devised another plan that was realistic. I would run a semi-long run one weekend then a super long one the next and then taper and just cross my fingers that it was enough.

F. So, here I am 1 week post super long (but really only 18) miler and I've continued to recover. My speed is non-existent but I've been covering some good miles. I'm still feeling completely undertrained and have been planning to just run it undertrained. I know it would be a painful 26.2 but I would make it, I'm sure of that much. Well, until last night that is. You see, I started to feel some heart palpitations last night which means that I've been over doing it a little. They are not dangerous and I've dealt with them a lot but usually when they come I'm forced to slow down a little and let my body get back to some sort of homeostasis. Did I mention that they also bring along their friends, fatigue and muscle weakness. So not cool, heart palps.

So, here I am at the tail end if training, if you could even call it that, and I've dealt with illness, injury, and illness again. I have no way of picking up my packet since I'll be on vacation until the night before the marathon (no race morning pick up) and I'm feeling like the universe is trying to tell me something. Is it just me?  Have the obstacles I've encountered made me a stronger runner? I'd say ABSOLUTELY! Does that mean that I'm ready to run a marathon? Not necessarily. Do I do it anyhow?? That's the million dollar question, I guess.

What would you do??

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