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.

  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 @
  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!