Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Race Report: Holiday Heros 5K

I ran another race (almost a month ago).  Aren't you impressed? 

I came in 3rd in my age group and finished in 25:36.  An average pace of 8:14 per mile. Which is pretty darn good for me, especially when I my last run was two weeks prior.

I got a medal.  I got a hug from Santa.  I got a free chocolate milk.

And now, I plan to take the month of December off.  I'm sure I might get out for a run once or twice - but there won't be any pressure to go.  I need a break.  I'm ready for a break.  And I'll pick it up again in January.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

That One Time When I Went to Disneyland

Let me tell you a story.  Through pictures. 

We went to Disneyland for my daughter's second birthday.  And it was awesome.

It was all about the characters for us, and my little Katie loved every second of it. We can't wait to go back!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Race Report: Just Cuz 7 Half Marathon

Look, it's been almost a month since my last post - so I guess that means that I ran another race.

Yes, yes I did.  This was my third time running the "Just Cuz" in my small hometown of Pocatello, Idaho.  Every year that I run it I do better, but this time - I got under 2 hours!  WAHOO!

I love running in this race.  It's 8.5 miles of fast downhill.  It has a different theme every year (this year was Zombie Apocalypse).  And I get to see my family that still lives in Idaho that I don't see much as much as I should. 
This is my second under 2 finish - and this comes after a month of running only once a week, and skipping the long runs in the two weeks leading up to the race. (We were in Disneyland, and who wants to be bothered with running 12 miles when you are in Disneyland?)

Finish time: 1:59:07.  Yay for me!
I look like a zombie, right?

Next spring is looking to be fast - if I can keep up running through the winter.

But I have to be honest, I am SO ready for a break.  I've been running weekly since January and I'm tired.  Or burned out.

Anyway, I ran a race. It's my second best finish time ever and I'm so excited about it.

I don't have the time to do this race report justice, but I don't want to keep putting it off.

Maybe I'll come back when I have more time...

Or maybe I'll just post pictures from Disneyland.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Race Report: Dash After Dark 5 Mile

My first 5 mile race is over.  It was cold, windy and started raining with 1.5 miles to go.  When the gun went off, I was the front girl... at least I thought I was.

The first half mile was in a neighborhood and then we jumped on a paved trail.  Once on the trail, I had an EXCELLENT tailwind helping to keep my pace around an 8 min/mile.  Which is pretty darn fast for me.  It was an out and back course, so just before the turnaround, I saw everyone in front of me... and in maybe 5th place was a chick that I didn't see at the starting line.  WHAT?

Looking behind me, I saw that the next female participant was RIGHT behind me and I knew that should would pass me soon after the turnaround... since we were running straight into the wind and it was getting darker and starting to rain (stayed at about a drizzle for the race).  I was working a LOT harder to keep up an 8:30 pace, and at times got down to 9 min/mile.  With about a mile to go, the lady behind me passed me.  And as she came around, I got right on her tail and experienced my very first draft.

HOLY CRAP!  No wonder it's illegal in most racing!  That made such a huge difference!  I kept on her until my Garmin beeped the mileage and it scared her and she jumped out of the way.  When she saw it was me, she picked up her pace and I couldn't match it.

The last half mile I came up on a 14 year old boy that was obviously a cross-country runner, and I told him that he couldn't let me beat him.  He smiled and stayed right with me until we saw the finish line.  He took off sprinting - I tried to match it... and then decided to go slower so that I didn't throw up.

Waiting at the finish line was my best running partner (who should have been in that race with me - and probably beating me - but she was sidelined during the week with a kidney infection). So I got a great big hug in the wind and drizzle.

To cut this short (I hate writing long race reports).  I finished in 41:36 with an 8:19 min/mile pace.  I won my age group and was the second female finisher.  The lady that I saw before the turnaround had cut the beginning of the course in the neighborhood and they made her go back out.

I got some bling and a major award.  The fun thing about the 2nd place award is that it can now be used as part of my Halloween decor! 

I took a nice long, HOT shower when I finally made it home.  And I took the day off the next morning from my long run.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bullet Point Thoughts

  • It seems like the only time I have a new blog post is after a race.  This "blog" has turned into a record of my races and how I felt.  I guess that's OK - I have a family blog that keeps up to date with what is going on in my life (or rather, my daughter's life).  And I have a new website and blog for my new business dream.

  • This running blog has mostly fallen by the wayside - and I'm pretty sure all of my "followers" have stopped following.  And that's OK - I wouldn't stay around either.  I've turned into a pretty boring writer.

  • I've also turned into a pretty boring runner.  A weekend warrior is more like it.  Long runs on Saturday mornings and MAYBE one other run during the week.  For the last month, it's basically been Saturday runs. 

  • I have a 5 mile race this Friday night and then a half marathon on November 3rd.  But between the two, I'll be spending my baby-that-isn't-a-baby's birthday in Disneyland.  And we'll be doing the travelling on the two Saturdays before my last half of the year.  Uh, I don't know how those long runs are going to work - but whatever. 

  • I'm ready for the racing season to be over.  I'm ready to sleep in on Saturday mornings, and not feel pressure for 10 and 12 mile runs.  Although, last week's 12 miler absolutely rocked!  I felt great and had a short walk around mile 7 to get some water and GU.  It's runs like that that keep me going on these training schedules (even if I don't stick to them).

  • I like ice cream.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Race Report: Rivalry Run 10K

This was the first Saturday all summer that I was able to "sleep in".  And it was GLORIOUS!!!

The race started at 10am, which meant it was hot.  Oh, and we were almost late getting there because I always take forever to get ready.  I also forgot my bib and we had to go back to get it.  So we had about 60 seconds before the race started when we got out of the car.

The course was challenging, with plenty of uphill and downhill stretches.  The sun was high and made it feel hotter than it really was (that's what happens when you are used to running at 6am, before the sun is even up).  So I wasn't as fast as I wanted (again).

But it was a small race, so my 8:55 min/mile pace was good enough for first place in my age group and I have a new 10K PR of 55:28!

I know that I can run a faster 10K, so I'll just keep trying.  One of these days conditions will be perfect.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Other Hobby

Besides running and Zumba, I have a new hobby/business that I'm trying to develop.


So I'm here with a shameless plug.  Like me on Facebook!  Check out my website!  If you are close to the Salt Lake Valley, use me for your next family pictures!  Tell your friends!

Shameless plug over.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Extra (Half) Mile

If you read my race report from Saturday, you may notice a discrepancy when I told you that I was running 8:20's as my average down the canyon versus my finish time of 1:55:48, which is just under an 8:50 min/mile average.  I would like to clarify that.  And do a little grumbling.

First: I lost about 90 seconds waiting/using the Honey Bucket.  That adds 10 seconds to my average pace making it the 8:30 that my Garmin has recorded.

Second: My Garmin says that I went 13.7 miles.  And I believe it to be pretty darn accurate.

This course was certified for the distance, and that means they had to measure based on the tangents.  When you are running down a canyon, there are a LOT of curves in the road, making for a longer run, if you are hugging the center and side lines (like everyone was doing  because the road was open to traffic and we were told to stay to the right).  I'm pretty sure everyone went well over the 13.1 miles that we should have been running.

I found myself taking the "longer" route more than a few times in the race when I wasn't focused on the course ahead of me and was just following the lines.  And the one time when I didn't stay to the right and ran the tangent, I got weird looks from the people behind me (and in front of me that I passed because I got ahead of him on the curve).  I wanted to tell them that I wasn't cheating!  I was running the shortest legal distance that I could. 

I wish that the entire road would have been open to this.  I probably could have shaved another minute off of my time.

Do you run tangents in races?  Ever had someone give you the stink-eye for "passing" them on a corner?

All posts are better with pictures.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Race Report: Vigor 13.1 Half Marathon

When I picked up my packet on Friday afternoon, I found this lovely surprise waiting for me on my bib: 4:00am bus.

My alarm went off at 3:18am and up I got to get ready.  I made it on my bus, even though I was almost 15 minutes late (they decided to close my on ramp to the freeway, so I got to drive, cursing, up to the next one).  I was dressed in shorts and a tank top and when the bus got to the top of the canyon a half an hour later it was 37º.

Luckily, we were all let inside one of the buildinga and we had access to a full bathroom of 12 flushing toilets.  I tell you - it was a luxury that I won't find again at another half marathon start line soon.

After waiting for almost an hour and a half for the race to get going (and after I helped my self to some free swag for running more than 10 half marathons, and after getting my legs warmed up by a massage therapist), we all headed out in the cold about a quarter of a mile down the road to the starting line.

It was pitch black.  And cold.  And, I didn't get in my last pre-race tinkle, so I was a little keyed up.  The horn sounded and down we (me and 175 other runners) went!

It was dark, but they had several cars heading down with us, so there was a little bit of light around us.  By mile 3 it was plenty light.  Also at mile 3?  I had to stop.  To tinkle.  So I lost maybe 90 seconds.  But I got right back on the road and kept going down.

I was running solid 8:20s the whole way down and I didn't stop again until mile 9 to take two sips of water (maybe 10 seconds of walking) and I continued on my way.
(coming down from a leap that the photographer didn't catch)
Around mile 10 I could really feel the downhill working over my lower legs and knees.  But my pace was still 8:20ish and I was feeling great.  At mile 12, or what they had marked as mile 12 but what my Garmin was telling me was really mile 12.67, I talked to my husband to tell him that I was going to absolutely crush my previous personal best and he would see me in about 9 minutes.  He told me that he would see me soon and to push it hard. I was at the mouth of the canyon and was heading into the short residential part of the course.

The last mile was actually much more, but when I rounded the last turn and saw my husband and daughter waiting for me just before the finish line - well, I can tell you that I was happy.  More than happy.  I was finishing my best half marathon ever and my husband and daughter were there with smiles on their faces (and a "Go Go Mommy!"), despite the early hour and the chillier mountain-bench temperatures.

Finish time: 1:55:48.  Almost a full 6 minutes faster than my previous best set in March (2:01:41).  After 14 half marathons I have FINALLY made it below 2 hours!!

Yes, it was a downhill course (almost 3700' of elevation loss), but I was pushing to keep up that pace and not fall back to my "normal" run pace of about 9:30.  I would say that since I was already hobbling at the finish line, my legs had given what they could.

Today?  I honestly cannot walk.  I'm going down the stairs backwards and even then it's with a grimace on my face.  My lower legs are SO tight.  I was expecting that my quads would be shredded (and they are), but this lower leg stuff is surprising.  Hopefully I can get them to loosen up tomorrow morning before work.

This was the race's inaugural run.  And I was pretty impressed.  I had to provide my own GU (which wasn't a big deal, because I always bring my own to all of my races), but they had water and EFS at the aid stations.  There were 4 aid stations with water, EFS and 2 port-a-potties.  Mile 3, 6,9 and 12.  I didn't need more than that (since I only used the ones at 3 and 9). 

The course was BEAUTIFUL.  We've had a VERY dry summer and because of it the leaves in the canyon were already changing to orange and red.  Once the sun was up, the views were incredible.

It was really well organized and the volunteers at the stations were full of smiles.  The girls at mile 9 were especially great because I ran passed the EFS and grabbed water, thinking it was the EFS.  Because of the steep downhill I couldn't get my legs to stop moving forward and one of the girls "ran" me down a cup of the "good stuff" (which was NOT good tasting).

I loved this race.  Even with the early hour.  I loved how small it was, I got a great quality shirt and a medal.  The finish line had free Jimmy John's sandwiches and Creamies and fruit - what more could you ask for?

Loved it.  I'll be back next year.  And this time I'll have an empty bladder.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How I Spent My {Summer Vacation}

Hello blogging world!  It's been a month since my last post on here.  Want to see what I've been up to?

We've been riding alpine slides.

I planted some carrots and beets in a pot on my patio.

We've been swimming almost every weekend.

Katie got her first pair of Nike's.
(via Instagram)

We've been watching some great movies.

Katie had her first pony ride.

My husband turned 30, so I threw him a surprise fiesta.

And, we've been enjoying the fruits of my parent's garden.

I've also been running.  Every Saturday and then maybe one other time during the week.  For some reason (like, staying up too late), I haven't been able to get up for my morning runs.  And that means that I'm not as trained as I would like for this weekend's half marathon.  I guess it's a good thing that it's all downhill, so I don't have to try as hard. Ha!

Since Labor Day usually marks the end of summer, I'm looking ahead and planning my fall racing.  So far (not counting this weekend's race) I'm signed up for a 10K, a 5 mile race, another half marathon and a 5K.  Plus a trip to Disneyland thrown in, just for fun.

Bring on the cooler weather, so that I actually enjoy running again!  Instead of sweating to death and feeling super slow.  It's time to focus on speed again.

And Zumba.  Because Zumba freaking rules.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Race Report: SYTO Virtual 5K

You know what's fun?  When your Garmin won't turn on and you have a virtual 5K to "race".

My finish time is an estimate.  I use the Nike+ app on my phone to track all of my runs along with my Garmin, but the Nike GPS is ALWAYS off.  It makes me out to be a faster runner in less distance, which is always nice.  Except for race days.

My average pace according to Nike was 9:10/mile, so I rounded up to 9:20.

Finish time: 28:59.

Hooray for the middle of the freaking summer and running in 80º+!!!


And then I ran 3 more miles home.

What an amazing, awe-inspiring race report, right??

... ... ... ... ...

Last year's Sweat Your Thorns Off included a picture of my foot.  This time you aren't so lucky.

Instead, I'll exploit the adorableness of my daughter some more.

Little miss Ketchup-Face after her dinner of french fries.

 Oh wow! Elk! In the middle of a suburban neighborhood?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's Hot in the Desert - Who Knew?

Hey Running World - I'm still alive!  Still running.  Still Zumba-ing.  Still eating way too many cookies.

The summer is hard.  I should probably live in a place where the temperature doesn't get above 82º and the morning lows are in the 50's.  Because then I would like to tell about the awesome runs that I've been doing this summer.
But since I live in the middle of a mountain desert, it's 75º before the sun even comes up and it just gets worse from there.  And as I've told you many, many, MANY times before (the previous post as an example): I am a horrible runner in the heat.

Long runs are dreaded and the average pace goal is to try to keep it below 11:00/mile (factoring all of the walking that I MUST do when it is hot).  Sometimes I make it and sometimes, like on Saturday, I don't.

I'm "training" for a half marathon on September 8th.  And out on the horizon, another half in October (this is a maybe - we're still trying to figure out vacation time to Disneyland for Katie's 2nd (!!) birthday), and another half and a 5K in November.

In other news: Katie enjoys bacon.

And stripes are NOT flattering to a muffin top.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Race Report: Riverton Country Mile 10K

In case you can't tell from the title of this post, I "raced" in a 10K on the 4th.  This was my third year running this course, and I'm happy to say that I ran my best time yet.  Not that it is anything special.  It was freaking hot.  Like everywhere else.  Because, you know, it's summer.

And like I've said many, many times before, I am horrible in the heat.  Now, if the temperature for this race would have been in the 40's, I would have rocked.  But since it was in the 80's, I did just fine.  For me.

I finished in 58:33, which means an average pace of 9:25 per mile.  And that's with walking through both water stops and getting slower and slower.  All that I wanted/expected out of this race was to get under an hour.  And not puke.  It was pretty close at the finish line, but I accomplished both.

We spent the rest of the holiday at the pool and BBQ-ing with family.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Gotta Get Down on Friday

So, my cousin Mike did it!  435 miles in 10 days.  CRAZY!  I wanted to be up with him at the finish, but wasn't able to make the 11 hour (round-trip) drive.  Maybe I'll just have to invite him down here to do something equally crazy, like the Wasatch 100.  Oh wait, he's done that before.  A few times.

In other news, I am running.  I'm not training for a half marathon - yet.  My boss at work came into my office this week and told me about a new half marathon and said that he would pay half of my entrance fee if I wanted to run it (I guess he knows one of the race directors).  So, I'm thinking about it.  I hate, hate, HATE running in the heat (and to me, that's anything about 70º), so I'll attempt training and if it goes well, then I'll do it and if not, then I'll run a half in October or November.

Not that you all really wanted to know my race plans, but whatever. 

I'm currently "training" for a 10K on the 4th of July.  I've run it twice - and even PR-ed while 20 weeks pregnant.  We'll see what happens this year.  I'm not expecting a new PR, but I would like a COURSE PR.

I'm also OBSESSED with Zumba classes.  I do them twice a week after my baby that is no longer a baby is asleep.  And it's AWESOME!  I can't do half of the dance moves, so I end up Ska dancing like a weirdo while everyone else is doing the Samba.  But I love it!

Pictures make every blog post better - so here's one of little family (uh... kind of).