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 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??

Posted via Blogaway