Monday, December 21, 2009

Red Burn day

It's a "red burn" day in the city of salt, so Carol and I decided to climb the stairs here at work. We did 25 flights of 37 stairs for a total of 925 in 22 1/2 minutes. That's 42 stairs/minute. I'm looking at doing the Tackle the Tower at the end of February. That's only 598 stairs. If I went at my pace from today, I would finish in 14 minutes. We weren't hurrying today. Now that I have something to reference, I'm going to see if I can really push the pace in preparation for February. I'll be doing stairs at least 1x/week between now and then.

Friday, December 18, 2009

How to prepare for "Grazing Day?" An extra lap

I was tired, but Carol and I decided to do Liberty x2 again today because it is our department monster holiday pot luck meal day. So, that means eating yummy homemade treats all day long. The extra lap just seemed like a good idea although I'm not naieve enough to think that it will offset the calories that I'm about to consume.... So, 5.85 miles @ 11:31mpm pace. Yeah! Taking tomorrow off because my left ITB and knee are a little unhappy. A recovery day will be good for them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

possible 2010 goals?

Carol and I ran to Liberty and did two loops. We started out really slow because of our "blistering" pace yesterday, but made up for it with a very nice negative split. 5.85 miles @ 11:32mpm pace. Not bad. Running in the morning is so much easier than the afternoons. The traffic is SO much lighter! The sky was beginning to get a bit lighter on the way back to work and with the clouds, it was lovely.... sort of a dark blue-gray with lighter gray clouds. Well, that telling leaves something to be desired, but it was nice...

We also talked about 2010 goals. How about 2010 miles? That's an average of 5.5 miles every single day...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

unintented "speed work"

Wow - both Carol and I felt sluggish and tired until we realized that we were actually running pretty fast. We did 4.5 miles at a 10:51mpm pace. We had intended to do two laps (Liberty), but Carol wasn't feeling super, so we'll do that tomorrow or Friday. Overall, we're both glad that we ran, but looking forward to a morning run tomorrow. I don't like these afternoon runs as well.

took a break

Hadn't run for over a week, but Carol and I got out at lunch to do Liberty. Turned out fine even though I felt like I was struggling. We ran 4.5 miles at 11:21mpm.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tight, sluggish, miserable, and good pace (!?!?)

Carol and I ran from work to Liberty and back with one lap added in PLUS we had to run down State to Discount Tire so that I could pay for our new wheels. So, our total distance was 5.3 miles instead of our normal 4.5. It was HARD. Hard, hard, hard! My legs felt like lead and the backs of my legs (top and bottom) were tight for about two miles. May have had something to do with last night's beer.... It wasn't as cold as we originally thought, so I spent most of the run with my fleece tied around my waist. I felt like I was really struggling the entire time, but it turns out that our average pace was 11:03mpm!!! Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

problem? pizza

Ran to Sugarhouse with Carol this morning. We managed to keep a 11:25mpm pace for 5.5 miles. Not bad. I couldn't figure out exactly what I wanted to wear. I had my skull cap on and off and on, fleece on and off, left my pants at work and ran only in tights. Just couldn't find the right temperature. Had pizza last night. I don't think it was a good idea, and certainly not the kind of carb loading that Runners World advocates. It's no wonder that I've gained weight. Stupid choices all around.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

getting bigger all the time

I ran with Carol on the work/Liberty/work loop again today. It's been a week since I've run, so I felt sluggish. I felt like I was holding her up, but we ran 4.5 miles @ 11:16 mpm! That's pretty good for a week off. Unfortunately, I've really gained some weight. I'm pissed off at myself, big time. I've been doing some serious emotional eating lately as things aren't going well at home....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

slogging it out, the icicle version

Oh. My. God! Carol and I ran up to the capitol today. It was cold. It was long. It was hard. I'm happy to be done, but my butt is still frozen! We didn't do State the whole way. We did 300 East and 400 East and North Temple and South Temple and B Street. Basically, we were all over the place which actually helped us get 8 miles total. Shockingly, we ran at 11:40mpm pace. Both of us are pleased with that pace considering the hills and the temperature (25*, brrrrr!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tired and tough

Tough run today! Carol and I went to Sugarhouse from work and back. We both struggled, but I'm not sure why. More walk breaks than we would have liked, but still managed 11:22mpm for 5.5 miles.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

low iron

After having such a good run around Liberty last week, I had no gas in my tank today. We took three walk breaks, and just generally felt tight and tired. I think that I know the culprits, though. I forgot to drink much water yesterday, and when I went to give blood my iron was so low that they turned me away. I'm eating all of the things that I should be eating, and it's not that time of the month, so there is something going on with my body. I need to remember to take a daily vitamin (which will have iron) and see if that helps. Otherwise, I'll have to start an iron supplement. Oh, by the way, it was stinking COLD today! 25*! But, there were eight other runners at the park. Carol and I were both surprised.

Friday, November 13, 2009

longer stride?

No walk breaks at all! I just ran 4.5 miles with no walk breaks for the first time in my life. I think my longest walk-free distance was 4 miles. Yeah! I also experimented with lengthening my stride a bit. I figure if I take longer strides I won't have to take as many steps and I'll be less tired overall. I had to constantly remember to do it which made it kind of hard. However, I'm very pleased with my average speed: 10:56mpm. It didn't seem unduly difficult. So, that's two runs this week at a pace less than 11mpm. Yeah!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fartleks - real, honest to gooness fartleks

I ran from work to Sugarhouse (one lap) and back to work this morning. I only stopped once (@7thE) on the way up to wait for the light. I took a little walk break (@13E) after re-tying my shoe. I ran one lap in the park and took another walk break at the end after re-tying my other shoe. About half way through the park, I decided to try some speedwork, which I very rarely do. This consisted of running faster from one light pole to the next and then slowing to my normal pace. I continued this all the way back to work. It got harder and harder, but I knew that I could do it. I also didn't walk at all on the return trip. My groin muscles are tired, and I'll need to stretch some more, but it paid off. 5.5 miles @ 10:52mpm! I don't think that I've ever run that far at that low of a pace with two short hills and one lengthy incline! Yeah!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Brrrrr.....

I ran with Carol to Liberty. 4.5 miles @ 11:19mpm. Felt sluggish, but that was because of the six-pack that I drank yesterday during football. I did NOT want to run, but since I'm on the stuff-your-face diet, I figured that I probably should. I've been participating in NaNoWriMo this month, and I've been writing in the mornings, lunchtime, late at night - whenever I can - so I only ran 2x last week. Carol being on vacation made it much easier to skip out on runs, so I'm gald that she is back.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

shorts in mid-November

From work to Sugarhouse with one lap and back to work. 11:02mpm pace for 5.5 miles. This run was not as hard as I though that it would be. I only had two walk breaks; I ran every hill. I had enough in my tank for another lap, but not enough time away from work - had to get back. Great pace, though. Happy with this run. By the way - I ran in shorts in mid-November. It's been great weather this week!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Capitol run

Carol is on vacation this week, so I must get myself moving - which I hate!
I ran from work to the Capitol building and back. 6.52 miles at 11:12mpm. Not bad - especially considering that it is all uphill from 200 S. to the Capitol with the last couple of blocks being pretty steep. It was a good run, though. A bit creepy by myself from 1700 S to 900 S, but I had my phone and my pepper spray, and I tried to run that section a little faster than normal.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

minor crash

I ran again with Carol. We chose a new route from work to 3900 South and back to work by way of 300 East and Main. It was boring which made it miserable. Oh, and it was COLD! But, we got the miles in, and we're now done. I managed to trip on a crack in the sidewalk again, but only scuffed the palms of my hands this time. (Am I just getting clumsier or what?) 6.2 miles @ 11:26mpm.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

RAGNAR VEGAS - LEG 3 – LEGS OF CEMENT

At the major exchange, I handed off to Andrew from van #1. After getting some hot chocolate, we hopped back into the van and headed for the next major exchange hoping to get some sleep and happy that our strippers would be back to help us finish up the race. We already determined that they would be running the two hardest sections, they just didn’t know it yet!

We made it to the exchange where I changed my clothes again and we tried (again in vain) to sleep. I’ve decided that sleep is just a suggestion – not something that actually happens during a Ragnar relay.

Our boys made it back right on time as Carol left the exchange point. I had the next leg, and they were tired, so they went on ahead to try and catch some sleep while we ran. Carol did an awesome job (as always) but was happy to finally be done.

After she handed off to me, I ran about 20 steps before deciding that I just wanted to give it up. UG! My legs felt like they weighed 200 pounds each! But, it was no time for whiners. This section was thankfully classified as moderate, and had the illusion of more downhill than the elevation chart indicated. My pit crew continued to be fantastic, however, and Chelsea kept me laughing every time she passed me the water bottle. We had a great laugh over the fact that Carol told me I was almost done when I really had 3.5 of 4 miles left to go, and that a friggin’ limping race-walker passed me. Chelsea and I had particular fun with that one as we imitated him for a few steps (which was all I could handle).

This leg ended in a nice little town on the edge of the red rock canyon. It was really beautiful. I handed off to Justin who was running a double leg. We had joked during Carol’s leg that he would pretend to hand off to someone else when he really would hand off to himself at the exchange. The look on Carol’s face when he “handed off” to himself was priceless as she thought he was going to give the wrist strap to her. Unfortunately, he kind of twinged his knee during the turn around, and it irritated him for the next three miles.

Yeah – three miles. Well, that was the plan. However, the porta-potty company delivered the johns to the wrong location, so Justin’s journey was a mile longer than planned. Ever the trooper, he just sucked it up and did it.

To the great joy of all women who run, Justin handed off to Sterling, so the male beauty just continued. Add that to the landscape, and for straight women everywhere, it was a scenic day. For our part, we drove to the next exchange point so that Brady could pick up the last leg. We were excited for the end of the race because that always means a shower!

Brady took the wrist strap from Sterling and took off like a shot (as we’ve come to know by now as typical Brady). He raced another kid who looked to be the same age for the entire leg. He never needed anything from us, so we finally went ahead to the host hotel . Unfortunately, we weren’t fast enough and Brady and the rest of the team had to wait for us to run across the finish line. Well, actually, they chose to wait. Honestly, they should have just gone ahead without our stinking asses!


RAGNAR VEGAS - LEG 2B – DISAPPOINTMENT

After his rockin’ run, Brady handed off to me again to finish up a 2.1 mile sprint to the next exchange point. I was determined to kick ass on this section, but again, my time doesn’t show it. He handed off to me at the Albertson’s at 4:35am, and I took off. Unfortunately, five minutes before I started running, another runner was struck and killed by a drunk driver.
I felt like I was running my ass off, but my overall pace was 10:58mpm. I found out later that one section of the race had to be diverted and was a bit longer than planned so that emergency vehicles could attend to him. Maybe that’s why my pace seemed so slow, but probably not (c’mon – I AM a realist). I did have one kill on this section – a gal who was NOT in a good mood…

(This really was 2.1 miles even though the website says 3.4.)

RAGNAR VEGAS - LEG 2 – I AM A KILLING MACHINE

We arrived at the next major exchange point to get some sleep. I changed my clothes and washed up as well as I could before trying to fall asleep. In retrospect, we should have gone to the next exchange point since van #1 was covering our leg 19. We would have gotten more sleep, for sure. Oh well – based on my Wasatch Back experience, I didn’t really expect to get any sleep. I wasn’t disappointed. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Goose egg. We eventually left for the next exchange and missed the turn so we had to back track and hoped that we would get there in time.

We did get there in time and watched a lot of runners come in. What we (and they) didn’t know at the time was that they were coming in from the wrong direction! Apparently, there was some confusion on the trail with the signs, and soon runners were coming into the exchange from two different directions. Van #1 met up with us and we waited longer than expected for Greg to arrive. Although he was fast, he was already on his 3rd leg, and I think that all of them had been classified as hard or very hard. Mindy indicated that he was struggling and limping the last time that they checked with him. He had done a great job of taking on more than he had bargained for, and he was in for a well deserved break. He finally arrived at the exchange point – from the wrong direction – and I was off again.

This leg was classified as hard but only 3.9 miles. It was a dual canal/trail which I thought was very interesting. When it’s dry, it serves as a nice pathway for walkers, runners, bladers, and bicyclists. When it’s raining, it serves as a flood run off canal. I was a bit unnerved when I entered under the first bridge and water started running down the path. I knew that it couldn’t be a flash flood because it hadn’t been raining, but I was just tired enough (1:45am) to wonder for a split second. Turns out it was just sprinklers….

I had my first kill on this leg about half way through. I had officially surpassed my kill rate from Wasatch! Yeah! This was a girl who was a bit slower than me (yes, it’s possible),but she was very steady and consistent. Then, an older man almost scared the poop out of me as he climbed up out of the canal. He had missed a sign, and was running on a part of the path that had been closed! So, he had to climb up to the trail which happened to be right in front of me. He stayed ahead of me for a bit, but I finally managed to pass him. Then, I managed to pass Mr. Scruffy Beaded Shuffle Man who had gone by me two miles before.

As I crested a little hill in a residential area, I passed a guy who was taking a walk break. He overtook me a couple of minutes later like I knew that he would, but I managed to keep my eye on him for the rest of this leg. He was my target, and I was determined to try and catch him again. We entered into a business district, and I noticed that this guy’s pace had slowed a bit (because MY pace couldn’t have improved, I was tired!). I just started gaining and gaining on him. I think that I was at an advantage at this point because when we missed our turn for the exchange, we actually drove this portion of the course, so I knew how far it was until the next exchange point. He was also wearing an iPod and couldn’t hear my heavy feet slapping the pavement behind him, so I managed to get pretty close as we rounded the corner to the exchange point. So, I turned it on, and managed to pass him again right at the chutes!

I handed off to Carol, and proceeded to gasp for air! My pace for this 3.9 mile leg was 11:15mpm. I am happy for my 3 ½ kills and the fact that I only walked once. (I can’t consider it four kills because the last guy passed me at one point. I’m counting his kill as only ½.)

Since our strippers were working both their regular jobs and a private party, we decided to cover their night time legs for them. So, Carol was running both legs 15 and 16. Almost this entire run was on a paved trail, and the support vehicles couldn’t really be there for the runners. We drove to the exchange (where Carol would basically exchange with herself) to see if she needed anything. She was doing a great job, so we headed to the next exchange point. Since Carol and I were both running two legs, we gave Brady the hardest portion although it was not the longest. It’s a good thing that he’s just 19 years old; he could handle it, and his fast pace never really flagged at all.

RAGNAR VEGAS - LEG #1 – WILL RUN FOR CRACK

Since we were missing a person, van #1 covered our first leg (#7). My first run was on leg #8 which was 8.6 miles with a classification of very hard. Here is the distance and elevation chart:

It was 85*, and a very dry wind was blowing. After my wonderful pit crew gave me my first water break at mile 2, I opted for water every mile, and I definitely needed it! I did relatively well for the first four miles, but I quickly ran out of steam after that. I was taking more and more walk breaks. I started playing tricks with my mind, but they only lasted a short while. Finally, I decided that I would run across twenty cracks in the road before walking again. I managed to occupy myself by creating an elaborate bunch of rules in my head: the crack must extend across my entire lane of traffic (no little cracks allowed), two cracks couldn’t be too close together (in other words, if I were to lay down between them and my head/feet would reach the cracks, they would be too close), etc. If the cracks didn’t meet all of the criteria, then I couldn’t count it. So, I would run past 20 of these cracks before allowing myself to walk. Then, on my next run segment, I would run past 21 of these cracks, and so on. It was silly, but it kept me running. I may or may not have been running farther, but I was at least counting higher. Whatever it takes, right?

During this time, I passed some of Lake Mead. I didn’t even realize it because I was just trying so hard to run. What I did see looked pretty and cold and I wished like crazy that I was swimming in it. I did manage to have one road kill (which officially tied my entire experience at Wasatch Back) during the last uphill portion. It was during this time that I realized that it was so stinking hot and dry that I could no longer make spit.

As with most runs, there were words of encouragement back and forth between runners. One guy walked with me for a few feet, and we talked about the heat, the hill, the difficulty. When he jogged away, I noticed that he was wearing an ultra’s bib. Additionally, he wasn’t even winded. I think that he just stopped to be nice because he surely wasn’t tired or exerting himself like the rest of us were! Nice…

Finally, the exchange point appeared around a bend in the road. Hallelujah! I managed to run in (because I couldn’t let everyone see me walk on my FIRST leg) and exchange with Justin. I immediately wanted to barf, but it passed fairly quickly. Carol met me to walk me back to the van, so after almost catching my breath, we headed on our way. While running, I couldn’t wait to just cool down, so I got my towel out of my bag, dunked it in the cooler, and draped it across my shoulders. It was icy cold (which I normally hate), and it worked marvelously! I kept it on for about an hour!

Before leaving the exchange point, we ran into two coworkers, Jack and Chels, and talked about the race and other chit chat. They were very jealous of us due to our hottie-hot-hot teammates (they had just watched Justin run away, along with almost every other woman at the exchange point), and “HELL YEAH” was the response when I asked if they would like tickets to the show!

My over all pace was pretty slow at 12:34mpm. Carol keeps trying to make me feel better about it given the circumstances, but I’m disappointed.

After Justin’s leg (which he refused water for the entire time and ran like a machine), Sterling took over. I finally talked Justin into a few sips after the exchange because he looked white and dehydrated. Sterling spent his leg admiring the women on the course and professed to have fallen in love with one of them (and I must agree, she had very nice legs). Then, Carol took over on a long and difficult downhill – which she totally rocked. Night was falling and we were treated to views of a nice sunset. Carol exchanged with Brady who was a little speed demon (and quite an accomplished runner having already finished 12 marathons before his 19th birthday!)

All the while, we had Chelsea – a high school basketball player and daughter of a van #1 teammate – with us. She proved to be a great pit crew and a fun girl to be around. We sat around in the dark and waited for Brady to see if he needed anything while talking about the future and family and school. While we were talking, poor Brady passed right by us!

Brady’s exchange happened at a major exchange point where van #2 passes off again to van #1. This took place at a big park/picnic area on the shores of Lake Mead. I was a bit unimpressed with the parking signage and the fact that a volunteer directed us right down the boat ramp. Had I been any more tired, we would have driven right into the water!

Here, we were surprised with several pizza’s and burgers courtesy of Greg and his friend. Unfortunately, they were delivered just minutes before Greg started running again, so he didn’t get to partake for six-ish miles (which were ALL uphill). We talked with van #1 folks for a while before moving on to find someplace to sleep.

Ragnar Vegas Pre-Run

Our plan was to drive with our team organizer to Mesquite the day before the race since we were in van #1 and needed to be on the start line at 8:30am. So, I took the day off from work to spend time with the boys. At 1pm, we all piled into the car and headed to SLC to meet our driver. Yes, meet. We had never met him before. In fact, Carol and I had never met ANY of our teammates before but we did know their brother, Brian. We figured that he is a very nice and decent guy, so his family must be the same. Luckily, we were 100% correct.

After meeting up with Dave, the organizer of two different teams (including rental cars, hotels, and food/drinks), we hopped in the car for the five hour drive to Mesquite. He had been up since 1am, and I’m sure he was very tired, but the conversation carried us all the way there. It was fun getting to know him and hear of some of his running exploits. He is an ultra runner who seems to never spend a weekend at home. (In fact, the week before Ragnar Vegas, he ran the St. George marathon. The week before that, he and his sister ran 75 miles in Oregon. He’s a big crazy!) He managed to work out a few kinks with the hotel, and then we were in our room and getting ready to sleep.

We knew that we would be sharing the room with other people, and since we were last minute tag-alongs, Carol and I found a couple of cozy spots on the floor and drifted off to sleep. I remember waking once during the night when people arrived, but not for long as they were quiet and I was tired. Carol and I were the first up the next morning so we tried to quickly and quietly get in and out of the bathroom before the others needed to use it. As we packed our gear, we were greeted by the morning sounds of men.

Yes, men. I have lived in an all-woman household for 20 years. Granted, I grew up with brothers, but I had forgotten how noisy they can be. (I guess it’s something that I need to remember in 10-ish years as the boys become teenagers!) The guys were nice and very polite, but the symphonic range of their snorting, coughing, and hocking up phlegm was amazing. I must say, however, that none of them snored, and I swear that I only counted one toot during the night. Dave introduced us to Beau, Joe, and Levi – all members of the fast team – and then we took our leave for a cup of coffee.

We then met the members of our team (the slow team) in the parking lot where we learned of several changes in plan.

First change: we would be the drivers of van #2 which, by the way, is a cargo van containing only a driver and passenger seat. The other team members would be illegally sprawled out in the back with no seats or restraints. “Just don’t get pulled over.” Hmmmm… OK.

Second change: we were in van #2! We had planned all along to be in van #1 with relatively easy legs (since we were last minute teammates). So, I spent a good deal of time commiserating with another co-worker about how hot and difficult his runs were going to be since he was a van #2 person. I suddenly knew full well how difficult our experience would be, and I’m not sure that I was ready to mentally accept it!

Third change: our team captain says something along the lines of “We’re missing a runner, so we only have 11. We (van #1) will try to make up those missing legs, but we’ll just have to be flexible.” Uh, yeah. So far, flexibility is the name of the game!

Fourth change: we meet more substitute runners, one of whom is finishing up a cigarette.

Fifth change: team captain unloads another little bit of information on us by asking “Did you know that two of your van mates are male strippers in Vegas?” At this point, Carol and I could do nothing but laugh. Who would have thought two weeks ago when we agreed to this craziness that it would get even crazier? But, it turns out that the dancers didn’t actually ride in the van with us because they had to keep going back and forth to Vegas to work. They drove the course in a separate car usually going far ahead of us and parking in order to get some sleep. It’s tough to dance all night and then run all day!

Finally, we were off to the races, and none too soon. We arrived at the start line with barely enough time for our first runner to get his bib on, smoke one last cigarette, and take off. (And in all fairness, Greg-the-smoker was VERY fast, limited lung capacity and all!) We misread our van directions, so we followed the runners for a little while before getting our bearings. We then drove past the first major checkpoint and waited for van #1 to arrive.

after a crummy weekend

Carol and I ran from work to Liberty (1 lap) and back at 11:22mpm pace. It was a good run even though I had been quite a slug all weekend. I didn't run at all in spite of the fact that it was perfect running weather. What was I thinking? Well, it wasn't a great weekend.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Run that made me sad

Carol and I went from work to Liberty (1 lap) and back to work. 4.5 miles @ 11:26mpm pace. It was sad, though, because it is garbage collection day in that neighborhood and on the way there and back we passed a guy rummaging through all of the recycling bins to find any aluminum and metal that he could take for profit. He was a nice guy (good morning, how are you today, nice to see you again type) who didn't look completely "down and out" and one would expect him to. He actually looked like a normal, non-homeless guy trying to makes ends meet. That made me very sad.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I think I'll be able to see my breath on every run until March!

This was a good run. I only took one walk break and probably could have done without it. I ran by myself this morning as Carol was taking a rest day. Route was from work --> Liberty one lap --> work. It was chilly, but I had sufficiently warmed up by the park. 11:11mpm pace - not bad.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Egads! Mommy might pass out!

Holy cats! It's been a very long time since I ran with the boys in the jog stroller, and I thought that I might actually just lay down in the middle of the street and die today. "First, stop shoving each other. There is no room, and your brother isn't going anywhere because he, too, is strapped in. Second, if you insist on bringing your blanket, please keep it out from under the stroller wheels. Third, no - mommy is not having fun and if you gain another ounce.... Fourth, why on earth would I pick Grimm's Gate? Who really needs to run a steady 1.5 mile incline?"

After we FINALLY made it to the top, we turned around and went through the new construction area so that the boys could get out and see the excavators up close. That also means throwing lots of rocks and picking up a lot of dirt. And, oh joy of joys, a porta potty. Neither of them ever need to pee-pee-potty at home, but the second we see a "facility" that a bunch of construction workers have used, then it's "Mommy! Pee-pee-potty!" And, I can't really say no, right? Not if I actually want them to someday potty train. Oh, and just sitting and peeing isn't enough. We really must touch every freaking thing in, on, and around the porta potty. That hand sanitizer can't possibly be enough - and I used a LOT of it. It's just so very YUCK!

Anyway, we finally got home with a pathetic pace of 14:05mpm for 3.3 miles.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

keee-RASH!

I ran with Carol from work to Sugarhouse (1 lap) and back to work. Going up was a bit tough and tiresome, but we managed. We ran both of the hills in the park. Coming back down was great, and we were flying UNTIL I tripped on a MINISCULE crack in the sidewalk and hit hard. Not only did I hit, but apparently, I slid a good four feet, too. I've scuffed up my right shoulder, right knee (but didn't rip any clothes, whew!), left palm and really jammed two of the fingers on my right hand. I'm sure that I'll live, and sadly, I can still type and write. Damn! No excuse to go home!

Also ran 4.5 miles yesterday at 11:35 mpm pace - with Carol - Liberty and back to work.

Ragnar Vegas race reports coming soon.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Should WE still be in our warm beds?

Work --> Libertyx2 --> work with Carol. We unintentionally pushed it a bit since Thursday will be a break/travel day for the Vegas relay. It was cold again today and even fewer people than yesterday.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Brrrrr.... All of the people are still snuggled in bed!

Good run with Carol - work/Libertyx1/work + one lap around the campus at work. Average pace for 5.3 miles was 11:26mpm. It was cold (35*), and there were very few people out. We saw maybe two other runners at the park and three people walking their dogs. Brrrrr! Talked and thought a lot about the relay in Vegas this weekend. Looking forward to it, but it will be strange to suddenly be running in 85* weather!

Friday, October 2, 2009

cold 10-miler

Good run with Coworker Carol. We ran from work to Liberty and completed a lap there. Then, we ran on 7th to 17th and headed up to 13th (those last two blocks were tough). From 17th, we proceeded to 21st and did a lap at Sugarhouse (tough hills). In order to get our whole 10 miles in, we wound around the side streets as we headed back to State. It was cold (37*), and it was my longest run since the August marathon, but we managed to do a smidge over 10 miles at 11:42mpm average pace! Yeah!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

practically a speed demon

Short Liberty loop from work with Carol. 4.5 miles in much cooler temperatures. Add that to our rest day yesterday, and our average pace was 11:03mpm! Great run.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

legs of lead

Work --> Liberty --> work with Carol. Both of us had legs of lead. We were both very tired, and it was quite warm this morning (73*). Absolutely shocking is that our pace was 11:20mpm ?!?!?!?
That makes me VERY happy. Being DONE with the run makes me equally happy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bad slug! Bad, bad!

After being a slug for 4 days, Carol and I got out for an almost 6-miler today @ 11:34 mpm. We ran to Liberty, 2 laps, and back to work. Vegas relay is in less than two weeks! Yikes! No more yutzing around!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

another Sugarhouse

run with Co-worker Carol to Sugarhouse, one lap and back to work - we took a lot of walk breaks because we were both tired, but our pace was better than our flat run yesterday - odd because today we had hills and a longer distance!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

just a run

another good run with co-worker Carol - she is fun to run with and really pushes me to not be so lazy - we took four 15-20 second walk breaks when I normally would have taken at least three full minute breaks - it's a good thing.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I suck at "plans"

Another run with Co-worker Carol. I did NOT do my afternoon run yesterday (to approximate the relay conditions), but she did. So we only ran a 4.5 @ 11:33 mpm pace (work to Liberty one lap and back to work). I'll run a 5 this afternoon to make up for my missed workout. It won't be quite the same as race conditions, but it will still be 15 miles in 32 hours, so it's close.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Vegas Relay plan

5.5 mile run with co-worker Carol at 11:41 mpm pace. We went to from work to Sugarhouse Park and back with one lap in the park. We're both going to run again tonight and again tomorrow morning to better approximate the relay experience as we agree that it was the three runs in two days that really wiped us out during the Wasatch. We're both going to do this every Thursday/Friday for the next three weeks. Then, it's Vegas! Yikes! We still don't know what legs of the race we will be running, but sure to find out soon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

and by "getting back into it" I mean, I'll run once in a week...

NICE pace today especially considering that I haven't run for about a week. 11:08 mpm for 4.5 miles (work --> Liberty --> work). Felt like I needed to push it because 1) I just committed to the Vegas Ragnar Relay. 2) I haven't run for a week. 3) I was about two minutes into the run and there was a huge lightening bolt and an extremely loud clap of thunder (yes, I should have turned around, but I'm still alive, and I ran faster because of it).

Not related - The Biggest Loser starts tonight! I'm excited. I love this show.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

getting back into it after a lazy long weekend

work --> Sugarhouse x2 -->work - It was chilly for the first mile - yeah! The uphill from 11th to 13th was hard (since I've been lazy for five days), and the 2nd lap of the park was rather unpleasant. I really tried to push my pace on the last 1.5 miles, and it seems to have worked a bit (average 11:29mpm).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

picture - post 'thon

Here's a shot of me after the marathon in Mesa Falls. Getting up from this position was really quite awful. I could have sat there all day, but I was stinking myself out!

6 miler

Nice run with coworker Carol. Good, consistent pace. She doesn't take one-minute walk breaks - hers are shorter - so it's good for me! We ran from work, to Liberty, two laps there, and back to work. A nice 6er @ 11:54mpm.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

no, it's just sweat

Route was work --> Sugarhouse with one lap --> work. I tried to speed up the pace, but wasn't really successful (11:46mpm???) Spent a lot of times coughing up gunk from my throat and vocal cords since I've had a bad sore throat and head cold for four days. When I returned to work and started getting ready in the restroom, a lady asked me if I had been swimming. Nope, lady, it's just a LOT of sweat. Eeeewww!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Spooked

still slow - 4.5 miles @ 12mpm pace - maybe I need a couple more recovery days? Had a nervous moment, though. I was just starting my run and went past a guy who asked if I could help him. Me: woman, no jog partner, no dog, no pepper spray, no cell phone. Him: bit bigger than me, open car, open trunk, stranger. Circumstances: dark, 5:45 am, South Salt Lake, no other people around. My gut said: tell him no and keep running. I stayed on very busy (and exhaust filled) streets after that. But, he was probably just a normal, nice guy. I feel bad that I didn't stop, but I know that it was the smart thing to do.

first run, post 'thon

work --> Sugarhouse Park x2 --> work. Slower pace than normal, but my legs were sluggish and heavy. Going up was work, and the first lap was not terribly enjoyable. I was tempted to just do one lap because, after all, I just ran a marathon. But, then I decided that I need to stop being a boob, suck it up, and do the work because, after all, I'm not going to get better if I keep doing the same lame ass runs and using the same pathetic excuses. In the end, I'm glad that I got the miles in even though they were slow.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mesa Falls Marathon - Post Race

I immediately headed to the recovery table for some very, very cold water. It was wonderful. I then hobbled over to where Little Bro sat in the grass. He was surprised to see me since he had been looking for me at the finish. I explained that I didn’t have the energy to get his attention, so the race ended without any fanfare. I asked where everyone was, and he replied with an irritated “I don’t know.” Turns out that his wife got the keys to his truck from their hiding place and took off with them after the 5k. The phone was in the truck, and he had no cash to make a phone call. So, he had been sitting there at the park for three hours watching people cross the finish line that he had worked so hard to reach. Talk about getting kicked while down! And, there’s just something about getting beaten by your slow, fat, older sister…..

After a few minutes of resting with him, his wife, daughter, and the Brit approached us. Everyone was shocked that we would already be done even though I had clearly spelled out our finish time for them as between 1-1:30pm. A call to Bub telling her to stay at the cabin was in vain because she, the boys and dad were practically at the park anyway. Little Bro and his family couldn’t get out of there fast enough, so they were quickly on their way, him gingerly hobbling down the road to his truck. The boys wanted to play at the park (something that I thought they would have already been doing for a couple of hours), but I just wanted to get back to the cabin and get into that ice bath, so we just left. However, after about two minutes of listening to them cry, we stopped at the elementary school to play. Some things are just more important than an ice bath.

When we finally did make it back to the cabin, I sat in a cool bath (forget the ice – at this point I had come to my senses) and then took a shower. I followed that up with a couple of pain relievers and a couple of beers. But, I was TIRED! I just couldn’t stay awake. So, I quickly napped and then we had some dinner. I still couldn’t wake up, so I had another nap and then just gave in and went to bed early. I figured out the problem a couple of days later, though: PM pain relievers! I rarely take anything more than a vitamin, so ibuprofen is a stretch. Qnd I’m not sure that I’ve EVER taken a PM pill of any sort. Well, I’m here to attest that they work!

I was sore the next day, but nothing that I couldn’t tolerate. Stiff and sore hips, mostly. We went to Yellowstone that morning and drove around part of it. Yellowstone is an amazing place unless you’re two years old. We’ll go back someday when the boys are old enough to sit still and look for certain things. Right now, it’s just too hard. Imagine being strapped into a seat and riding around while essentially looking at the back of your mom’s head. Not thrilling. And the getting in and out and in and out is not fun when fighting over a car seat. So, we saw a couple of buffaloes and some elk and that was about it. It was disappointing not to see more especially when we found out later that everyone else saw a buffalo herd numbering somewhere around 200. Two of the buffalo were fighting and another swam across a river – like almost totally submerged swimming – like only it’s nose and mouth were above water – like I never thought a buffalo could do that. (Does it make me sound younger than 39 if I use “like” incessantly?) It was a great sight – if you were lucky enough to see it. We just drove back to the cabin and napped while the rain came down. Then we colored. Then we jumped on the bed. Then we ate our burgers. It rained all night long, and we loved it because we love those little boys – car seat tantrums and all….

The next day consisted of fishing at Island Park Dam (where Bub got skunked but I saw a cool bird that I haven’t identified yet), the boys perfected the art of casting their lines into the water – quite a feat for a toddler – and we threw many rocks into the water just to watch Lizzy try to catch them before they sank. Then, as Bub moved locations, I popped out the jog stroller and the boys and I walked the mile for a change of scenery. It was quiet and beautiful and I was a bit freaked out by the fact that a moose or bear could walk out at any second and trample/eat us alive. I really have no idea what to do, so I walked fast and talked loudly. Did I need to be overly concerned? Probably not. There were a decent number of cars passing, and it’s right off the highway. However, at the end of the walk, I DID see some moose tracks. Am I sure that it was a moose? Hell yes. I’ve never, ever, ever seen a deer or elk that could make at track that big. Pretty impressive, big, and unnerving.

After being skunked again, it was lunch and nap time, so we headed back to the cabin. The rest of the family went to a bear/wolf rehab place in West Yellowstone, so we had the cabin to ourselves. Bub even took a little nap with the boys while I started this report. Then, she went off to fish in Henry’s Fork Outlet. The boys woke about 30 seconds before the family returned, and we spent the rest of the afternoon playing and relaxing and doing things that toddlers love (like going down the slide, swinging, and throwing balls for the dogs).

When Bub hadn’t returned in a couple of hours, I started to worry. She’s not much of a hiker, and has been known to fall down, trip, slip, and biff it on a regular basis. So, when she finally arrived in soaking wet pants and shoes, I could only imagine the trouble that she had gotten herself into. As it happens, she was fishing (without a bunch of luck) from the shore. Well, all of the other fishermen were IN the water, so clearly, the fishing was better there. The trouble is that she didn’t bring her waders or even boots, and that water was DANG cold. She managed to catch a couple. She threw most of them back (we’ll call those the “big” ones). She couldn’t throw one back because the hook was too far down. She brought it back with her, and we razzed her about it all night long. It was pretty puny. But, none of us had the guts to wade out into frigid water for our supper (as if that little trout could even feed ONE of us)….. We finished off this fun day with ‘smores around the fire pit. The Meatball loved them. Peanut was more concerned with cleaning all of us up than with eating any smooshy marshmallows. He wandered around with a damp hand towel and wiped our faces, our hands, the picnic tables, and even an RV parked nearby.

Tuesday dawned with the possibility of more fishing and a long trip home. We got the cabin all cleaned up and everything packed away. Why is it so much harder to get everything and everyone re-packed? We took off to Big Springs as my co-worker had recommended seeing it and the fish in it. It was pretty cool. This is the starting point of the entire Henry’s Fork River. The crystal clear water comes bubbling up from the ground and supplies the whole river. And, it’s not just some little gurgling puddle – it’s the size of one of the Potter’s ponds, and it just comes up and makes a river. It’s pretty cool. There is no fishing there for various reasons, but it has paid off for a few of the fish. Everything we saw (and you can see everything through the water) was at least a foot long. There were 10-12 of them swimming below the bridge. The biggest was definitely two feet long if not more – probably more – and had to be at least 18 pounds. It was enormous. It’s quite rude, actually, to make fishermen look but not cast.

We stopped at a few other fishing spots, but everything was river fishing and Bub wasn’t into it, so we headed home. The drive to Island Park took six hours. The drive home took 700. Everyone was OVER it – especially when we hit a traffic jam in Ogden. Aye, aye, aye! But, we finally made it safe and sound. The boys were happy to get clean diapers and NO clothes. They ran around for hours.

In all, it was a good trip. Several disappointments, but some fun times anyway. I may try to sneak us away in January to do Yellowstone by snowmobile. It would be an interesting trip as we have never purposely vacationed IN the snow. But, it was so beautiful, and I would love to have a better visit to see the animals in the park, the many waterfalls among the snow, and just good to get away together (although I would hate to leave the boys, it would be too cold and they’re too young to snowmobile….).

Mesa Falls Marathon - Race Report

I hit the porta-potty line immediately upon exiting the bus – like always. There were only four toilets which some people were complaining about, but I thought that it was just fine. After all, if everyone would have gotten on the buses earlier, then they would have had plenty of time to potty. Add to that the fact that there was a potty every two miles without fail, and I think that there were plenty of opportunities to privately tinkle… Oh – and a note to those in the line: If you’re not about to poop your pants, then you’re not ready for the line. Do NOT get IN the potty and read a magazine while you wait for your body to kick in. UG!

Anyway, after exiting the potty, I put my jacket back on the bus and waited for the start of the race. Little Bro and I hung towards the back knowing that we would be starting very slowly. I scoped out the slow competition to determine exactly who I would make it my goal to beat. Basically, it was Leopard Lady (a woman in her early 60s) and Pajama-Pants-Man (a man in his 50s who was hobbling like he had just been struck by a car and happened to be running in what appeared to be basketball print PJ bottoms). We said hi to Bill (co-worker) and his son, and then waited for the race director to give some final words (which we couldn’t hear) and then he shouted “GO!” and we were off.

We shuffled along leap-frogging Leopard Lady for a bit. We took my normal walk breaks at 13 minutes, 26 minutes, and 39 minutes. At 39 minutes, Little Bro was happy to walk and actually winced as we slowed. At 3.5 miles, he was already in pain. As we started this walk minute, he said “Well, now I guess we’ll see how tough I really am.” UG! After being a Marine and a Guardsman with an extended tour of Iraq, I replied with “Man, we already know how tough you are. That will never be a question for me or anyone you know.” We jogged our next 12 minutes, and he was in greater pain at the next walk break. We took an extended walk, and a shorter jog. The walks continued to get longer and the jogs shorter. We finally decided to try a 1/1 strategy. That lasted for about five intervals. Then, he just couldn’t take it anymore. We decided to just do whatever his knees would allow him to do which wasn’t much.

It was the left knee that was the initial problem, but after compensating for it, the right began to trouble him too. At mile five-ish, he couldn’t decide which leg to limp on. All along, my heart was breaking for him because his training had actually gone very well until just a few weeks ago. He’s just built for running, and he has really enjoyed it since starting up again eight months ago. We ran for the last time sometime in mile seven. It was about 30-seconds long, but basically, we walked almost all of miles five through ten. I tried really hard to distract both of us by talking, gossiping, and even giving movie reviews. He kept telling me to go ahead, but I reminded him that my training sucked, and I was only there to finish a marathon in a new state. (Yes, I would like to get faster. Yes, I would like to PR. But, this wasn’t the race for that to happen, so I wasn’t out anything by walking.)

As we passed the ten-mile mark, we saw the next aid station about .3 miles away. Little Bro finally let logic and pain prevail. He finally threw in the towel. As he was making his decision, I glanced over and – don’t tell anyone, but – I swear that I saw him choke down a couple of tears. I said “A marathon is a test of endurance, not a test of stupidity.” He replied with “Yeah, but you know that I don’t admit defeat easily.” I tried to lighten the moment as much as possible with “It’s not de-feet, it’s de-knees!” but it wasn’t enough to even get him to crack a smile….

The folks at the aid station were very kind and willing to take in “a stray” as Little Bro put it. They offered some pain relievers and a seat in their van while they waited for the OK to leave their post. We were sure that we were the last runners, but they had to get confirmation. I finally had a chocolate GU and some water. I gave Little Bro knuckles as I ran on without him.

I was pretty rested after walking for five miles, but my hip flexors were sore and tired. I haven’t walked that far that fast for a long time, but the rest of my body felt fine. I probably started out too quickly, but it was just nice to get my feet moving. The race course veered off of the main road long enough to visit the Lower Mesa Falls overlook. They were beautiful. It’s no wonder that the race organizers have chosen to show these falls as their logo. I then re-accessed the main road and continued my solitary jog.

Soon enough, I reached the half-way point of the race and the place where the ½ ‘thon began. Search & Rescue were there and shouted a few words of encouragement as I passed. I asked if I was the tail end, and they indicated that there was still one person behind me. Wow! They must be travelling with cement shoes to be slower than me! So, I whooped and hollered a bit to the chuckles of the S&R guys. Then, the course took a significant elevation drop. It was good that Little Bro didn’t hold out longer as this would have been a real beating on his knees.

The first nine-ish miles had all been on gravel roads through thousands and thousands of pine trees. It was very pretty, and that minty-lemony smell was prevalent the whole way. The course then followed the highway only for about four miles before turning off onto trails again. The trail that we followed for the next three miles was double track but closed to ATVs and cars. It is open only to foot, bike, and horse traffic. I was a bit worried about the bears since the trail was approaching Bear Gulch, but I came upon more runners fairly quickly (whew!).

This trail part of the course followed Warm River. Sometimes we were high above it. Sometimes we were right next to it. Someday when the boys are bigger, we will return to float down this river. It was anywhere between knee and waist deep and very calm. It takes a couple of hours to float. That would have just been too long to try and entertain two 2-year olds.

It was during this portion that I caught and passed the three power walkers, the 50-staterX2, and a couple of marathon maniacs. They all commented on Little Bro’s disappearance and were very sad to hear that he had dropped due to injury. At the bottom of this trail descent, I passed Leopard Lady for the final time. (I was really happy about that because there is just something about being beaten by someone twice your age…..) Knowing that the rest of the course was on paved roads, I stopped at the aid station to get the teeny rocks and gravel out of my shoes. The power walkers caught me, but I left the aid station before them. (There’s just something about being beaten by people who aren’t even running…..)

It wasn’t long before the course turned upwards. Since mile ten, I had been maintaining 12/1 intervals, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do that on the big three mile climb. I opted for 1/1 intervals for a ways. It was on this climb that I finally passed Pajama-Pants-Man who was still hobbling along like he had just stepped out of a car crash. Determined, that man was…… The power walking trio passed me again, and while I joked with them, I was secretly seething and determined to overtake them eventually. The local EMT crew was really wonderful along this section driving up and down the hill on ATVs and asking us slow pokes if we were doing ok.

The race’s website indicates that this uphill section lasts for three miles (from 17-20), but I swear to all of the gods in heaven that it was at least 80 miles long. I kept my sights on a gal in front of me wearing a Camelback. I just wanted to pass her. While she wasn’t terribly fast, she was consistent. I managed to gain ground on her as we came out of the trees and into the wheat fields right after the aid station at mile 20 (which was staffed by a nice group of women – one of whom was getting really irritated with the traffic that continued to speed by completely disregarding her “slow” sign that she waved enthusiastically). Camelback woman and I were sticking really close together until mile 22 where she became Ornery-Orange-Slice-Woman after she threw a bit of a fit over the fact that the aid station volunteers didn’t have any oranges sliced up. She refused to wait the 15 seconds that it would have taken for them to slice one up insisting that she would get some at the next station (and they were out, by the way – serves her right for being snotty to people who give up their entire day to sit around and wait for us slow pokes!).

I was still doing fairly well to mile 22. My run intervals had become shorter and the walks longer, but I was still able to plod along. However, at mile 22 the whole day caught up with me. I was already at five hours and at my longest distance in three years. Oh – AND it was 80*. The heat really started to zap my energy, and I ran less and less and less. At mile 24, I decided that I couldn’t be bothered to lift my 900 pound arm to look at my watch so I chose to count my foot strikes and not run less than 200 at a time. This was a good strategy for a while as it kept my mind from how friggin’ tired I really was. The course wound through a residential section of Ashton for about a mile before turning down a long straightaway. It was here that I really hit the wall. I had been flirting with the wall since mile 22, but this was it, for sure. And, the wall hates me.

This seemed to be the longest piece of road that I had ever run in my entire life – even longer than Van Winkle in the SLC marathon. Miserable. I was able to pass one more person, and we chatted for the six years that it seemed to take me to actually get past her. She was from Texas and very nice. Her hubby had entered the ½ and was waiting for her so that they could finish together. I managed to change my run/walk strategy to going from light pole to light pole. This worked for about three minutes. That was the last time I ran. At this point, I was ready to lodge a formal complaint with the race director because it’s just mean to allow people who have already finished the race to walk back long the course with their finisher’s medals dangling tantalizingly from their necks. Oh, I was in a fine state, to be sure.

The orange cones directing us to the turn to the city park stretched for miles and miles and it was here that both Pajama-Pants-Car-Wreck-Man and Camelback-Ornery-Orange-Slice-Woman overcame me once again. Rat bastards! And, I didn’t have it in me to even curse them aloud. I gave it up and looked forward to just crossing the finish line and sitting in a vat of ice. This represents some serious hurt because I can’t even sit in lukewarm water without practically going hypothermic. I just wanted the ice. Ice. Ice! ICE, dammit!!!!

I approached the finish line looking for my cheering section, but none were to be found. I did notice Little Bro sitting under the shade of a tree looking pretty bummed. He was glancing down as I passed, and I didn’t even have the energy to get his attention. I just walked across the finish line with less than a smile on my face. My chip time was 6:09:58. A PW, but a finish.

Mesa Falls Marathon, Pre Race

We intended to head out to Idaho by 8am on Friday morning. Of course, that didn’t happen as I still had to water all of the plants, and we had to empty the diaper pail. However, we were only a couple of minutes behind schedule. Then, we got to dad’s house, and everyone there was still packing up Little Bro’s truck. It wasn’t long until everything was in and we were ready to go. So, we headed north!

Unfortunately, Bub and I argued for most of the drive. Lots of reasons – none of them great. Having never been this far north into Idaho (that I can remember), I was surprised by the initial flatness of the land. We all stopped in Pocatello for lunch. We were the only ones who packed a lunch, so we had to drive through the city to find someplace for everyone to eat at. It was HOT (90*+), so we didn’t have many choices since there were three dogs in the Brit’s car. Eventually, we stopped at a softball field. We stayed with the boys, the dogs, and the peanut butter sandwiches while everyone else went to get burgers. The dogs got a good drink of water, and the boys blew off a lot of steam. It was fun even if it was pretty darn warm.

Eventually, we were back on the road. Bub and I stopped in Rexburg to pick up last minute groceries, and then we were off again. We drove through Ashton on our way to Island Park and our cabin. Even though it’s on the main street in Island Park, finding our cabin wasn’t actually easy! Island Park has the longest main street in America. And, it’s loooooooooooooooooooooong. Like miles and miles and miles long. And, it’s all pine trees. There are some businesses on the main street, but generally, it’s pine trees and pine trees and pine trees with the town tucked behind them. Finally, we arrived at the Lazy Trout Lodge, before entering our cabin I noticed an interesting smell in the air. It didn’t seem to bother anyone else, and I guess that it didn’t actually bother me – bother is not the right word – but I could smell it constantly. It was sort of a lemony mint plant that was so strong that I could even taste it. Interesting. The cabin was a perfect size – for four people. We had nine. Oh, yeah – NINE and three dogs! But, it wasn’t too bad. It was a nice little cabin – next in line for the upgrade – with side beams that we all keep whacking our heads on – but it was cozy and clean and inexpensive when split it between three couples.

After settling in, little bro, sis-in-law, Bub and I all headed back for the pasta dinner in Ashton. It was being held at the local elementary school. We grabbed our race packets – put together in potato sacks, cute! – and headed for the pasta line. The spaghetti wasn’t Bub’s, but it was much better than some that I’ve had at other marathons. It was prepared by a local organization – I forget who – but it was tasty enough for me! The other runners seemed satisfied, too. In my opinion, it was better than those catered by chain spaghetti restaurants. Unfortunately for the servers in the lunch room, the baking sun was streaming in through the windows. Added to the steam from the cooking pasta, the hot spaghetti sauce, and the hundreds of baked potatoes, they were sweating up a storm but I never saw anything but smiles on their faces!

As we sat down to our dinner on the little cafeteria tables, I saw Carol Co-worker and her hubby. So, I said hi and we chatted for a few minutes. I was happy to see that they had arrived safely. She informed me that a lady next to us was about to complete the 50-state challenge for the second time! She’ll achieve this milestone next month! Pretty darn impressive. I was also eyeing a gal at the next table because she looked a lot like the pictures of Laura from Absolut(ly) Fit. She was wearing a Humpey’s ‘thon shirt, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch since the blogger in question had finished that ‘thon just last weekend.

After we finished our dinner, I just had to know if it was her or not. I know, I know. It sounds so very blog-stalker, but I enjoy her race reports, and I admire anyone who has a goal to be the youngest 50-stater ever. She’s only 24, and she already has 26 ‘thons under her belt. A grand accomplishment, to be sure! So, I approached her and introduced myself. I know, I know. YES – I approached a stranger and talked like a semi-intelligent person. Yup – me. Stranger danger be damned. It turned out to be Laura, and although she was a bit surprised at first, she was gracious and kind and willing to chat to another marathoner. I wished her luck for the next day, and as she pursues her goal. She’s more than ½ way there!

We finally returned to the cabin and struggled with the boys to get them to sleep. (Big shocker.) Everyone was nice enough to give us the only closed-off bedroom (probably for their own sanity), but even that didn’t help the boys sleep. And, none of the beds are bigger than a double, so there was definitely not enough room for all four of us in the bed. So, a boy and I slept on the floor. Not the most restful pre-thon idea, but not horrible. I set my phone alarm and Little Bro set his, too.

We wanted to leave at 4am, latest. Well, we got up at 4am. Oh well. We both wore our race clothes to bed, so I only had to put my contacts in and pin my number on. We jumped in the truck and headed to Ashton for the pre-race breakfast and the bus ride to the start line.

The breakfast was much more varied than I expected. There was coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice, milk, cereal, bagels, all kinds of fruit, donuts, instant oatmeal, and probably more that I didn’t even see! I don’t remember which organization does the breakfast, but there were a bunch of nice little old ladies bustling around, stocking the food, and keeping everything organized and clean. Seriously, a community must be really invested in the activity to have more than two people willing to get up at 4am to serve bagels! I hope that this ‘thon is a yearly boost to their economy.

There was, of course, a sense of anticipation in the air. Runners were applying anti-chafing stuff, blister stuff, and doing last minute checks of the route’s elevation change. The race director was encouraging people to get on one of the first three buses so that they could get moving. We got what we needed, and boarded bus #3. As luck would have it, Laura was on that same bus. We talked for a minute, and I introduced her to Little Bro, but I don’t do small talk well, and she wanted to catch a bit more sleep. (How convenient for both of us….) The race director boarded our bus (and probably all of them) for some last minute instructions. He notified us that there was recent bear activity in aptly named “bear gulch” but told us not to worry. With 500 runners and Search & Rescue on the trails, we should be fine. If nothing else, he told us that we didn’t need to outrun the bear – just the next closest runner!

During the drive to the start line, Little Bro and I talked a lot about his race “strategy” with the recent knee problems he had been experiencing. He decided to just run my pace for a while, and if he felt up to it, he would speed up and run his own race. If not, he wouldn’t. “Can he?” That question hung in the air for quite some time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

last run before thon

This run was actually on August 20. A 4.5 miler from work to Liberty and back with one loop. 52:13 total time at 11:37 mpm pace. Not bad. Wishing I had the stamina to hold that pace for the Saturday 'thon, but that's never gonna' happen. Next up: 'thon race report - my first in three years!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shaking out the gunk

Nice and easy. If I can maintain this pace for the 'thon on Saturday, then I can finish in under 5 hours. Realistic? No.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Goodbye, toenails

So, I lost right #3 a few weeks ago. Left #3 is 1/2 gone as is left #1 and right #5. I expect all of these to be history by the end of Mesa Falls. I guess it's a good thing that sandal season is winding down - these babies are UGLY!

I really have been running

I just haven't been blogging about it!

First, here is my 24th of July 5k race report - somewhere in here

Next, at some point, I started having problems with my left big toe. After cutting my nails and removing all polish, I noticed that not only was the nail tender, but it was also a bit discolored. A little jolt with a needle was all the it took, and gunky, bloody puss oozed out, but what relief! I drained it for a couple of days. It's fine now.

I've been running, and here are some of my comments:

from 7/27: A decent run - a bit slower on this route than previous runs (work to Sugarhouse, 2 laps, back to work), but I'm not surprised considering my lack of training.

from 7/28: Ran from work to Liberty, three laps on wood chip path, and back to work. Ran with CB (59 year old co-worker), so my pace was a bit slower. However, if I had not run with her, I only would have done about 4.5 miles - so it was a good decision.

from 8/5: Tough because I haven't run for a week. This pace was slow because I spent probably five minutes of my time walking and fighting on the phone with Bub. The route was from work to Sugarhouse and back with two laps at the park.

from 8/6: exhausted from yesterday's 7-miler and the heat! Ran just a bit slower than I would have liked.

from 8/8: The longest run I've completed in three years! And, it was a killer! Liz went with me for the first 7.3 miles which consisted of two laps in the cemetary (1.8) and the Bevan Coleman loop (5.5). Then, I dropped Liz off at the house and did the Bevan Coleman loop again (5.5) with an up/back to Settlement Reservoir added in (2). This up/back was actually supposed to happen at mile 17 of my run, but Kelley had a cleaning job so I had to get the boys. Yes - I had to get the boys and still had five miles to complete - UG - the jog stroller for the LAST part of my run... We ran the Bevan Coleman loop again (5.5) in reverse. I don't know if it was a good idea or not, but we stopped at the park to play on the slides for about 30 minutes. After that, I had about 1.5 miles of uphill - some of it very serious. It was really hard. I stopped at about 18.5 miles which was the intersection of Vine and Broadway. We stood there for at least 5 minutes debating whether or not we should go home or finish the whole 20. We chose the whole thing, and it was really, really hard. BUT, In the end, I DID IT! My time was a lot slower than I had hoped, but the last three miles were tough with that stroller. I was TIRED, and my legs were SORE, but by Sunday I had bounced back pretty well! Very little stiffness and soreness.

from 8/10: EASLIY THE WORST RUN OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!! Took the boys up to Grimm's gate. Sam had a complete fit on the way up and ripped one of the straps on the jog stroller. I only ran about 1 mile total. I had to carry him home on my shoulders. That is how a 3-miler lasted an hour and 15 minutes.

from 8/14: I'm surprised at my pace (11:48mpm). I haven't really run since last Saturday's long. I mean, I had the Grimm's gate earlier this week, but since 1/2 of it was walking with Sam on my shoulders, it wasn't really a run at all. And, since Bub has been excessively sick with the flu all week, I haven't even been out the door. So, this run to Liberty +1 lap and back to work was good to work the gunk out of my legs. I had a long walk break towards the end to answer a phone call, so I'm really surprised by my pace!

I haven't run since then because after Bub recovered from the flu, the Meatball got it, then the Peanut, then me. I'm still suffering from a gurgly stomach and some diahrrea.

Top it all off with the start of my period. Today.

DID I MENTION THAT I'M SUPPOSED TO BE RUNNING A MARATHON THIS WEEKEND?!!?!?!

The long run really was very hard. I'm dreading the addition of six more miles to that. I'm going to be pooped from caring for everyone with the flu, getting the flu, and finishing my period which always zaps my iron levels. I'm in DEEP.

I will be ecstatic to finish in 5:30:00. At this point in my life, I was hoping to have improved to a 4:30:00, but whatever. I never truly realized how difficult it would be to run while having a family. I'm not willing to give up hardly any of my family time, so something must suffer. If I run slow forever, then so be it. (I hate writing that, though.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

beer is bad

So is NOT running for over a week! I consumed what seems like 10x more beer last week than water, and I seriously haven't run for 10 days. Did I twist my ankle? No. Did I sever my achilles? No. Did I even stub my toe? No. I've just been lazy, lazy, lazy. NOT good for my upcoming marathon. I keep telling myself "Well, I'm not going to win it," and that seems to be a good enough excuse to sit on my arse and down another brew. But at some point, I've got to make a change. What's it going to take?
Oh, by the way, I ran 4.48 miles in 48:34 which was 10:48mpm. How did that happen? I expected 12mpm after my recent behavior!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

wimp

I was sluggish for the first two miles, so I opted to do a bit shorter run (5.75) than originally planned (7) with no hills. Now, I feel like a wimp. The route was from work to Sugarhouse and back with one perimeter lap of the park.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

tired and sore - big hills

I want to say that my mileage was actually higher than 13.44, but I have no way to prove that. So, my 12:53 pace will have to be indicative of the fact that 1) I haven't run long since forever, 2) I had a lot of hills, 3) when the sun came out it got hot, fast!

I ran the Bevan/Coleman loop with a trip up to the Settlement Canyon reservoir thrown in. Then, I ran up to the high water tank (big hill) with a little jaunt up to Grimm's gate and a lap in the cemetary for fun (?).

I'm exhausted and a bit worried about Mesa Falls.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

I didn't take my watch on this run. Lizzy and I took the boys up to Grimm's gate and back. While up there, we watched a cowboy herd some cows into a trailer. Pretty interesting sights and sounds for two toddlers. I didn't take my watch today, and it was probably a nice thing. I just ran until I got tired before I would walk.

I'm looking at things differently as I run now. After Ragnar Wasatch Back, I realize that the hills that I've been running are really just little hiccups in the road. I need to really put some effort into training smarter. Plus, I think that I like to run trails better than asphalt. I need to pay more attention to what I'm doing when on dirt or trails, so I think that the time will mentally go by faster. So, as I run, I've been trying to find some trails and roads to try out.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

To Liberty and back with two laps on the wood chip path. I lost my energy at mile 4, and it seemed HOT. (It was already 70* when I started at 6AM.) The wood chip path was really soggy and muddy in places. I stepped off of it an onto the dirt path for a bit, but it was slippery mud, and I almost biffed it. If I had been a driver going past right then, I would have completely cracked up.

Yes, I'm that person. Let's face it. If you didn't injure yourself (like broken bone or hideous gash) when tripping or falling, then it's really funny. Whether you are watching it or the person doing the falling, it's just damn funny. Arms flailing about, expression of terror on the face, the thud. It's like a cartoon, and I'll laugh every time.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

7 miles before work

Ran up to Sugarhouse and back + two laps around the park again today. Pace was 11:23mpm. Good run. I easily could have gone for another lap, but I had to get back and ready for work. I can't wait until they have showers here. Maybe next year. Until then, it's sponge baths for me.

My mileage for June was only 70 miles. That's about 15 miles per week. Pretty bad considering my LONG runs should be 15 miles right now. I have a marathon in just six weeks. I'm going to be hating myself at the finish line. I'm obviously NOT going to PR at this race. And, who do I have to blame? Myself, of course. (I would rather blame Bub and the margaritas/beer/chips/salsa/fries/ice cream, but I can only blame her for the ice cream - and NO, she didn't force feed it to me.)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Oops! No long run

Long run was trumped by too many margaritas. Uh-oh!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Just a quickie

Took Liz and the boys up to Grimm's gate for a quick run. Looking to do a long run (14+) tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Positive vibes today

Good run from work to Sugarhouse, 2 laps there and back to work. Total 6.9 miles with a 10:59mpm pace. I haven't run this route for quite a while. It wasn't as hard as I remember it. That means progress!
I remember during leg 1 of the relay (when I was so tired and my legs were so noodley) I thought that I was a complete moron for getting myself into that mess. Then, during leg 2 (and maybe it was sleep deprivation talking) I was thinking that I could do anything because, after all, I DID pass someone ON A HILL. (I'll only mention that about 17 more times before it loses its cool factor.)
Then, I was begging the fates and the heavens for every street marker to be the "1 mile to go" notice during leg 3 (which was flat).
Today, I was back to thinking that there is a running goddess trapped under this flabby belly. I can do this, right?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Back at it - short

First run since the Ragnar. I took the boys and Liz on an easy 3 mile. I felt sluggish, but my pace was OK. Big news: NEW SHOES! It was very nice.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ragnar: Post Race - aka Truths I've Learned

Truth #1: The “hills” that I have been running are really speed bumps. If I plan to improve, I need to incorporate more of the REAL hills into my training.

Truth #2: My food plan during the race left a little to be desired, but it wasn’t all bad. I was pressed for space, but I still managed to get a good mixture of carbs, protein, fruit and dairy in each day. I managed NOT to purchase anything but ice for the cooler.

Truth #3: My food plan leading up to the race left a LOT to be desired. If I am going to really lose weight, I need to make some significant changes in my daily behavior. So, after a weekend of pizza, chips and beer, it’s back to the basics. It’s back to healthy living. (And, I say “back to” as if I have ever really been there before….)

Truth #4: My training runs were good, but when I do another relay, I will need to sandwich more of these close runs in. They can’t be separated by entire days. They need to be done in the span of hours, instead.

Truth #5: It’s good to say thank you. The exchange for leg 5 (Lisa’s uphill attack) took place in some farmer’s pasture. Hundreds of vans and trucks matted down his field for the entire day. He and a woman (daughter?) were training a young horse while we were there. I stepped over to the corral and asked if we were on his land. When he answered yes, I proceeded to thank him for the use of his land. He was caught off guard and actually thanked me for thanking him!
Me: Sir, I just wanted to say that an event of this size must be difficult to organize, but is made easier by people like you who offer their land or time or resources. We really appreciate it.
Him: Well…. I… Um… Thank you very much, miss. I appreciate it.
Did he go the entire day with just one thank you? Were we all so busy waiting around that we couldn’t be bothered to be polite? I sure hope not.

Truth #6: This was one of the most enjoyable running experiences that I’ve ever had. It was so much different to run with a team v. the solitary running that I normally do.

Truth #7: I will do this again. Maybe as soon as October in Vegas or even Southern Utah in September. I just need a team!

Truth #8: My thighs are really, seriously, altogether far too large.

Ragnar Leg 3: No Watch

Before running again, we all needed sleep. It was 3:30 AM, and we were exhausted. Luckily, the good people of Morgan had opened up North Summit High school for showers and sleep like they do every year.

I was sweaty and shivering and just wanted to be warm. So, I decided to shower before getting some sleep. It’s been a loooooong time since I was in a girls locker room. So long that I forgot that there are no shower stalls or curtains. UG! But, I was cold and miserable, and I knew that I wouldn’t sleep in that state. So, I hit the showers and eventually bared it all for the first time in…. ??? possibly my whole life??? I re-dressed in the clothes for my next leg plus sweat pants and shirt and my fleece blanket. I then slept on the floor of a hallway for 90 minutes. It was glorious!

In the time that had passed so far, I came to find out that our driver, Diane, wasn’t the quiet and reserved person I had originally thought. She was quite an entertainer, and we were grateful for her stories and support. She honked in support of us (and many, many other runners) no matter what. She laughed the entire time, and she never complained about the lack of sleep, being crammed into our vehicle, or our sometimes foul mouths.

We headed to the next vehicle exchange pretty early because the race organizers recommended it based on last year. Like everything else, though, it was well organized and everything went smoothly. We sipped hot chocolate, got sprinkled on, and waited for van 2’s final runner. The hand-off was made, and we were off again.
It’s worth mentioning here that van 2 really struggled. One of the girls twisted her ankle in her first section. She completed it, but it was painful. The rest of that team really dedicated themselves to making up any time lost. She tried to run her second leg, but only managed half of it. Then, she was done. :( Her teammates picked up her remaining miles. They pushed themselves so hard that many of them puked… several times. Now, that’s dedication to the team!

I was looking forward to my third leg of the race because it was the only one defined as “easy.” After two “very hard” runs and being cooped up in the Tahoe, I’m not sure that I would classify walking as “easy”, but I was looking forward to having the running over with. Before I could begin, Maria completely rocked it on her up-down-up very hard leg past Jordanelle – in the rain – and wind – and cold! Then, Carrie ran her butt off on a 4-mile plummet into Heber city – in the rain – and wind – and cold. As always, Lisa ran a strong leg to finally exchange to me.

I was NOT going to mess this up. I was determined to run this as strong as I possibly could. (Which, of course, meant that I was road kill a bunch of times, but nonetheless…..) I started out a bit too fast and faded a bit. As I tired, I was about to take my normal walk break, but then I changed my mind. After all, it was only three miles! I didn’t need a walk break, and van 2 was waiting to start their killer last legs. So, I determined to run my heart out and not look at my watch until after the exchange because my watch would just remind me that I was XX minutes past my normally scheduled walk time, and it would make me feel more tired than not. This was a good tactic, but I really was tired, and I desperately wanted every road marker to be the one that said “one mile to go.” They didn’t. I had to stop at the light on Main Street in Heber, so I know that I lost about 30 seconds, but I did my best to really push it the entire time. I didn't make a PR, but I was only 2.5 minutes over my 5K PR. I exchanged with Heather from van 2 gasping for breath, but happy to have completed this adventure.

And, what a fun group of women to share the experience with! I hope that I’ve made friends to last many years. We’re a very diverse group, but share a common interest and a respect for each other.

Ragnar: Leg 2 Road kill = 1

In the time leading up to my second leg, I tried unsuccessfully to sleep. I tried unsuccessfully to stretch (very difficult considering our lack of space). At some time, one van mate picked up the nickname of “Poopy Pants” and another the nickname of “Stinky Pits.” There was much laughter, camaraderie, and sisterhood.

But, once we reached the exchange point, I just got out to spend my time with other runners and allow (hopefully) my teammates some quiet time in which to sleep. It was about 2am, after all! Carrie and Diane joined me, and as we waited for Lisa, we chatted with the volunteers.

By the way – BLESS THOSE VOLUNTEERS! An event of this size couldn’t possibly be successful without hundreds of people willing to sit through the heat of the day and the cold of the night for nothing but a thank you.

Since Lisa was so successful, I didn’t think that I would have to wait long for her to arrive. I was right. Even though she had a tough leg, she seemed to breeze through it. The exchange was smooth, and I was off – facing the section that I had feared for months.

I was nervous at the time of registration for this section because it was five miles of gradual ascent. Then, when the race organizers had to change the course in order to avoid last year’s mess at Rockport, my 5-miler because 8.1 miles – still gradual uphill. [Gulp.] Knowing that I would struggle, I entered into this as a realist.

I started this leg with approximately 7:1 intervals which (too) quickly became 3:1, 2:1, and 1:1 intervals. I hate doing run segments that are that short, but I’m not an elite athlete. Besides, I really felt rejuvenated after the walk segments. The course had rolling up and down with the overall result being up. However, most of the hills were easy to accomplish in 2:1 intervals. If I ran the down, I could also run most of the up within two minutes. Then, I would walk the remainder of the up for one minute. Then, I would reach the top and start running again.

At about mile three, I was actually approaching someone! I stalked her with my run/walk method for about a half mile. She was really struggling; her breathing was heavy; her footfalls were hard. I stayed right behind her until I was sure that I could overtake her and stay ahead even though I was walking. Finally, I made my move and got my first (and only) road kill of the race. I was so excited, but I didn’t want to celebrate too much for fear that she would get her second wind and pass me!

I stuck with my run/walk plan and plugged along. As I approached the East Canyon dam, the noise of the water was almost deafening. There must be so much water in that reservoir! But, of course, I couldn’t see it because it was so dark. So, I just continued to kick it up the hills. The whole thing wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be, but there was one point of dejection: the final hill to the exchange point. I rounded a curve in the road and there it was. Vans were crawling up it, and it appeared to be about 70 miles long (or whatever). My response: “Oh, man!” A guy waiting alongside the road for another runner responded with “Yeah, this isn’t an easy one…”

However, it, like the rest of the leg, wasn’t as bad as it looked. I did walk it a bit more than I had planned, but only because I wanted to look strong and fresh at the exchange point which was at the top of the hill (yeah!). When I arrived at the top, I cursed inwardly. This wasn’t the exchange point after all! It was the pre-exchange where a volunteer radios the team number so that their teammates would be ready. Crap! I still had 500 yards to run, and my tank was pretty empty. But, because I didn’t want to let my team down (or embarrass myself), I continued to run as fast as possible.

After the exchange, I excitedly told my team about my road kill. I think that I was much more excited than they were. Whatever. I had road kill. And a pace of 11:44mpm. Not blazing fast, but still, it was eight miles of hills!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ragnar - Leg 1 - Noodle Legs

So, after Deanna showed us all up by warming up with plank pose, striders, ab work, bench pressing a small car, and running a sub 8-minute mile, we really got into the swing of things. I was leg 6, so I did my best to cheer everyone on. Of course, I was in the back of the Tahoe, so it was hard to get my point across.

Carol rocked the big hill in her leg, but the biggest news was Lisa’s machine-like performance heading up to Avon pass. She kicked ass! She didn’t walk at all in her 8-mile climb (which was brutal). At the end when she passed off to me, she was very emotional. I was worried that she had hurt herself or something, but in reality, she just needed a release. I don’t know for sure, but I HOPE that she was so proud of herself that she just couldn’t hold all of her excitement inside.

As for me, I took off too quickly for my leg. (Actually, Lisa was robbed. She did all the work to get us to one mile shy of the summit.) I got to go over the summit of Avon pass. I took off too quickly, and wanted to walk since it was a steady incline. However, my pride (?) wouldn’t let me walk until my teammates passed me. Not like my performance was so great, but it was adequate. So, as soon as they were out of sight, I took a nice walk break.

This uphill climb started something that I would become accustomed to very quickly: being road kill. But, it’s not like I was surprised. The maximum pace to choose at registration was 11mpm. So, I knew that other teams would be a LOT faster.

Summiting Avon pass was really quite beautiful. On my left was one of those “A” frame log fences. On my right were some huge boulders that looked like they had just been deposited there by some volcanic eruption. Then, I began my descent.

Wonderful! Sometimes the course was rocky. Sometimes it was muddy. Sometimes it was treacherous. I hit a couple of rocks that made my left ankle twinge. I was a bit worried, but I managed to stay on my feet and experienced no major crashes, falls, or missteps.

While other WBRers were passing me, many of them offered words of encouragement. As team vans passed, they all offered lots of dust to eat. Since the road was really only one lane with runners everywhere, I asked my van to leave my water bottle at mile four. I would carry it the other 2.9 miles.

So, on my descent, the scenery was beautiful! Absolutely beautiful. Green everywhere. Sometimes I could hear the river below. Always I could hear the target practice. Yikes! I found out later that it was an official shooting range, but until that point, I was a bit nervous. I could see the town of Eden below, and I could also see the point where the dirt road turned to pavement. Ah, nice – the exchange point! Good, because I’ve been running non-stop since the summit, and I’m getting tired.

Ten minutes later, I realized that the change from dirt to asphalt was NOT the exchange, but rather mile 4 where my water bottle was to be. Oh. My. God. Misery. I hate running. I’m so stupid to get myself into this disaster. Wait! I’m running downhill. It’s all goooood.

Until I reached mile four. Yes. My water bottle was there. Thanks, team! And, nice to get the grit out of my mouth. But, once I stopped, my legs felt like noodles. Very little strength and quite uncontrollable. I'm sure that the people passing in vans got a good laugh or two. THEN, I had to actually carry the bloody water bottle!. I will never again carry a water bottle when I run. It was too tiring, and it threw my stride off. Plus, it was warm by the time that I got to the exchange.

I hate to admit that I had to walk part of my downhill. Rotten. But, I slogged it out and managed a hand-off to van 2. Then, I felt like I was going to barf, for sure. I ate my sandwich and banana with the team, and then I called Bub and the boys. Then, I got all teary eyed and cried just a little bit. The team took some time to relax on the grass and our blankets while we listened to Maria shriek about daddy-long-legs. It was pretty unexpected (the shrieking, not the crying).

As we drove through the town of Eden, we decided as a group that THIS was the town to vote for in the “favorite host town” contest. There were lots of hoses, sprinklers, and shower heads spraying water on the runners. They had unofficial water stops. They had music (Latin music by the high school jazz band?) playing at the exchange as well as a pasta dinner.

Oh, yeah. My pace was 10:55mpm. I'm happy about that!

Ragnar - Pre Race

Until about half way through my first leg, I felt that I had prepared adequately. Not great preparation, but adequate. I ran a tight weekend that included a similar downhill, a sort of similar long run, and a day of drinking beer. OK – so, it doesn’t really approximate what I was going to do, but I was trying. I was in regular contact with our team contact. I had all of the correct gear. I even managed to find a substitute runner!

So, the morning of the race, I rode into work with Sindi – meaning that I got up at 4:30 and dressed in my race clothes and grabbed my bag. I worked for an hour with butterflies in my stomach. Carol and I were both nervous. I don’t know why – we weren’t going to WIN the race, for pete’s sake!

So, at 7-ish, our van pulled up, and we were packed in with a bunch of strangers. We spent the next half hour getting to know each other as we drove to Layton to meet our last teammate and our driver. Then, there we were. Seven mostly-strangers thrown together in a Tahoe which is only designed for seven people – NOT seven people, a cooler, seven blankets, seven duffle bags, and air to breathe.

So, here’s the first impressions:
DeAnna (runner 1) – seems nice enough for someone who has run Boston! How in the hell did we get her?!?!?
Carol (runner 2) – already know and love her. Excited to watch her in action.
Diane (driver) – quiet and reserved
Lisa (runner 5) – outgoing and cute. Generous enough to let us use her Tahoe for two days.
Carrie (runner 4 and van captain) – organized and personable. Likes to get to know fun details about others.
Marie (runner 3) – funny sense of humor and missing her 15-month daughter – Ah! A kindred spirit.

So, we finally arrive in Logan, and we’re ready to go. Too bad that we’re at the wrong park! Oh, for hell’s sake. So, after arriving at the RIGHT park, we picked up our race packet and shirts. We wandered around (used the bathroom) and checked out the goods. Then, Jody showed up! It was fun to see her. Unfortunately, my boyfriend, Zack, didn’t come. Apparently, he found a new Barbie the day before. She trumped me. But, Jody and I had a good time shooting the shit. She was a trooper since she found no interest in the event at all. But, she did take our team picture. It's good to have friends, and ex's.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

energy is back - Whew!

I'm so happy that this run went well. No stiffness in my quads, but still a twinge in my left ankle. I didn't feel zapped for energy or anything. I took it slow and easy, and still managed to keep a decent time. I feel much better about the RELAY TOMORROW! Yes - it starts tomorrow and ends Saturday evening (at least that's our team)! Nervous but not as bad as I was after that last run.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

no gas in the tank

I had NO energy for this run. My legs have been stiff and sore since my Saturday run, and I was just wiped out! It was a measley 3.5 miles, and I barely ran it faster than if I were pushing the stroller. I'm sure that the beers that I drank the night before didn't help, but am I doing something totally wrong with my diet? I'm getting two rest days per week (sometimes three or four!). Maybe it's my shoes, too. These things have over 600 miles on them. Time to really make some changes.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Slow down, human

Liz and I ran to dad's via Droubay road. It was a good run at a respectable (10:33mpm) pace. I'm a bit stiff now since I suck at stretching. Liz is getting slower at the long distances. I think that I need to just start limiting her to 5-milers. The first two miles of this run were quite BLEH, but I'm glad that I stuck it out.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another lap on that dang wood chip path

Good morning run from work to Liberty to work again. Looking forward to running with Liz this weekend. The sore on my right achilles is still bothering me and rubbed raw/bleeding during this run. I hope that it can be healed before next weekend. Maybe I can get some thin running socks - perhaps that will help? I know that doing the wood chip path is helpful for me because my times improve on it. I just still don't like it until I'm DONE with it!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rainy days and blisters always get me down

I haven't run for a week. Four of those days were because I was being lazy and the boys just do NOT want to sleep at night. Then, we spent Pride day getting drenched by the rain. Walking around in wet "cute" shoes caused blisters at my achilles (both feet) and a nasty opened blister on one of my toes. So, I didn't run for a couple of days due to that. But, enough is enough. So, I brought my clothes to work and went for a little lunch time run - in the rain. OK - it didn't rain the whole time, but enough that I was pretty wet (rain, sweat, whatever). I managed 5.6 miles with an average pace of 12:03 mpm, BUT this did include two laps on the wood chip path at Liberty AND the healing blisters on one of my achilles opened up causing me to bleed all over my shoes. I thought it was a decent pace considering the lack of running, the sores, and the weather. Still, I dream of a day when I'm running a 9mpm. No - I still don't enjoy that wood chip path, but know that I need to do it to prepare for next week's relay and the 'thon in August. Yes - the relay is next week - YIKES!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

multi tasking

Lizzy and I took the boys on an errands run. We stopped and bought a new fuel filter for the Honday (now, just need to figure out how to put it in!). Then, we stopped at the IFA for some squash, pickling cucs, sage and thyme. Then, we headed home. The return home was done in basically 2/1 segments because I hate pushing that stroller up any kind of incline. It was still a good run. The boys were happy to get home; they were getting bored. We were gone longer than 54 minutes, but I only timed our running - not the shopping breaks! Good pace, though, of 12:04.

Monday, June 1, 2009

long-ish and good pace

I got up before the boys for my run today. I combined the USU loop with one lap at the track and Grimm's Gate loop for total 8.13 miles. Happy with my 11:27 pace. Unhappy with some chafing on my thighs. As I started this run, I realized that it was just two short years ago that I was in the hospital in labor at 6am. What a wonderful day that was! We were sooooo tired but anxious to meet our little boys. I, of course, wanted to be in shape waaaay earlier than this; I never expected to take two years to be training for another 'thon. BUT, I wouldn't have traded any of my lazy, silly play time with those boys for any five mile run in the world. By the way, Lizzy had a good time, but 8-10 miles looks to be her max now as she is getting older. By the end of 8-ish miles, she is trotting more and more slowly. :(

Friday, May 29, 2009

thank goodness for helicopters

Liz and I took the boys to Grimm's gate and back. I was wiped out before I even started, but I know that I do need to increase my mileage and that after a week or so of this, I will be fine. The run up was hard. We walked several times, but never more than a minute. I did stop my watch 2x on the way up because we paused to watch a helicopter fly by twice. The boys were so excited. We also said "hi" to the moon - a lot. We stopped once on the way down, too, to talk to some nice cows along the fence line. We ran the rest of the way home. Great pace (11:52) considering my exhaustion.

Also, last weekend I tried to simulate what my relay experience would be - but to no avail. The 7-miler downhill happened on day three instead of day one. The 8-miler of steady climb on day two was really a 6.3 mile run while pushing the boys (which should be considered a 20-miler, for sure), and it happened on day one. The 3-miler for day three didn't happen at all due to rain, and by the time the rain cleared, I had already consumed two beers. Oh well. Maybe next weekend with better planning. Wait - that's Pride weekend, and then the race is the next week!

I also managed to squeeze in a USU loop with the boys where I tried the Galloway 1/1 method on Wednesday. That Jeff Galloway knows what he is talking about. I did 1/1 (or 2/1 since I kept losing track of time) on the second half of the loop but finished with a time comparable to what I would have had doing my normal splits. But, it felt like I was cheating....