Monday, January 31, 2011

18 week Marathon Countdown......YIKES!

So it dawned on me today that my marathon is in 18 weeks. Yup you read correctly 18 weeks, as in 130 days 1 hour and 2 seconds.........but who's counting. Anyway don't get me wrong, I knew it was coming. In fact whenever I think about the thought of 26.2 miles I am instantly choking on my own vomit. But 18 weeks away. YIKES!!!!

In all honesty I have been putting this whole marathon training thing off and leaving it on the back burner. I keep thinking but I have this Ragnar, or this 10k, or this half marathon to train for so who cares about the marathon? hmmmm well I have finally came to my senses and realized it is time to come up with a plan.

So what does a girl do when she realizes her marathon is in 18 weeks and she has absolutely no training plan? well naturally I did what any normal person would do............................I googled of course.

Thank you Google for saving my life. Seriously how did we all live before google? I think I have officially found my marathon training match. (well maybe I guess we'll see.) I have decided to go with a very common training plan designed by extreme marathoner and creepy looking old man extraordinaire Hal Higdon.

I will not be following my buddy Hal's plan exactly however, mostly I was looking for direction on building up my long runs and that is what Hal's plan has given me. I actually am way more concerned about distance than pace because I think my pace is right on track for a marathon as long as I can build the distance. If you are interested, below is a run down of my tentative training plan.

Week 1 (Jan 31st-Feb 5Th) Saturday Long Run=10 miles, Total Week distance=50
Week 2 (Feb 6th-Feb 12th) Saturday Long run=11 miles, Total Week distance=51
Week 3 (Feb 13th-19th) Saturday Long run=8 miles, Total Week distance=50
Week 4 (Feb 20th-26th) Saturday Dog Town Half Marathon=13.1, Total Week Distance=45
Week 5 (Feb 27th-March 5th) Saturday Long run=14 miles, Total Week Distance=54
Week 6 (March 6th-12th) Saturday Long run=15 miles, Total Week Distance=55
Week 7 (March 13th-19th) Saturday Canyon Lands Half Marathon 13.1, Total Week Distance=45
Week 8 (March 20th-26th) Saturday Long run=16 miles, Total Week Distance=56 miles
Week 9 (March 27th-April 2nd) Saturday Long run=17 miles, Total Week Distance=57 miles
Week 10 (April 3rd-9th) Saturday Long run=12 miles, Total Week Distance=52
Week 11 (April 10th-16th) Saturday Long run=19 miles, Total Week Distance=59
Week 12 (April 17th-23rd) Saturday Ogden Winter Series 30k 18 miles, Total Week Distance=58 miles.
Week 13 (April 24th-30th) Saturday Long run=12 miles, Total Week Distance=52
Week 14 (May 1st-7th) Saturday Long run=20 miles (EEEEK), Total Week Distance=60
Week 15 (May 8th-May 14th) Saturday Long run=12 miles, Total Week Distance=52
Week 16 (May 15th-May 21st) Saturday Long run=21 miles, Total Week Distance=61
Week 17 (May 22nd-28th) Saturday Long run=12 miles, Total Week Distance=52
Week 18 (May 29th-4th) Saturday Long run=8 miles, Total Week Distance=30
June 11th 2011 Marathon Week. Most likely taper all week or do a few miles.

Okay so this is all incredibly tentative but I am going to try and stick with it. You may think my mileage per week is incredibly high but currently I am running at least 50 miles a week so I think it will be easy for me to keep up the mileage. The distance is going to be my real focus. Also note that the lines in Purple are when I am building distance, and Green are tapering weeks. I like the tapering idea because I can work on speed more during tapers. My main goal in my training is to not worry about pace and simply focus on distance. Wish me luck, and what do you think of my plan??

Also if you drive past me please feel free to cheer, honk, or pull out the cowbells I'm gonna need the extra motivation my friends.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hale Freezes over 10K.

So let me begin by emphasizing the fact that I LOVE 10K's. Not too long, not too short just a perfect 6 miles. ahhh me crazy but seriously they are my absolute favorite distance. I will have to say that this 10k was my favorite yet. Because:
  1. Drum roll please.................I PR'd!!!!! I ran this race in 44:01 with an average pace of 7:05.
  2. I conquered my fear............HILLS!! Not only did I scale the hills without stopping I scaled them with confidence for the first time ever and I think they actually made me stronger. (Don't be expecting me to start 'liking' hills anytime soon, because that my friends will never happen.)
  3. This race was SOO well organized and I ran it with some pretty great friends. Julia killed the 10K and beat her previous PR by almost 10 minutes. Seriously...who does that? Yup she does, because she rocks. Kat also ran and beat her previous 10k time, and Stefanie ran her first post baby 5k and totally rocked. (although I didn't get to see sad.)
  4. My family was waiting for me at the finish and they are amazing. I always, always, always run harder, faster, and stronger when I see someone I know and I am so lucky that my family is so amazing to support my crazy little adult passion.
  5. I placed 3rd overall for females. That's right 3rd!!! Wow amazing and I won some pretty awesome swag. My winnings: Season tickets for 2 to Hale Center Theatre (such an awesome prize and my mother and I are pumped.), $25.00 cash, and tickets to Thanksgiving point gardens and animal life museum. Also the shirts rocked and we got $10 Magelbeys gift cards just for running. This is a race I will definitely repeat year after year.

Here I am right after running in. They gave out rubber duckies to everyone as they crossed the finish line. ha ha some of the weird stuff your get at races. Also as a side note I passed a good 20-30 5k racers in the last tenth of a mile. Those 5kers seriously need to get off their Keysters!
My sister amber and momma Sue waiting for me at the finish. They were so awesome to come and even stay for the awards ceremony.

Me, Julia, and Kat. Awesome running friends. I think races just aren't the same without running friends. :)

I pretty much felt like a real Olympian at this point as the announcer called my name. I threw my camera and my phone and ran up to my little box. ha ha call me a 2 year old but I was PUMPED!
People thought I was going a little overboard with my excitement. But get off my back I just PR'd and stood on a podium for the first time ever. It was seriously a proud moment.

My prize package and me just cheesing it up.
This was such an amazingly fun race. I will now spend the rest of my day searching for every 10k I can find in Utah and plan to run the ones with the best swag and prizes. ha ha actually I am about to embark upon some major marathon training starting next week. Wish me good luck because I am going to need it. Just a few things I learned from this race: (I learn so much from every race and if I don't write them down I am bound to forget.)
  1. Gu in the sports bra= great idea. Trying to open GU with gloves on= bad idea.
  2. Nature Valley crunchy granola bar for breakfast= great idea.
  3. Wearing a jacket=bad idea. I always toss it at the beginning and never get it back. Oh well stock up on cheap running gear. I lost my $1 gloves and $3 dollar jacket on this adventure.
  4. Paying attention to how your body feels=good idea. I definitely did not pace perfectly on this race but I listenned to my body and was able to push myself when I felt like I could and cut back when neccessary. (aka my friends the hills.)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My idea of a PERFECT DAY.

More to come on my race tomorrow but I was just thinking about how awesome today has been and reflecting on my idea of a perfect day.
My Idea of a perfect day:
  • Sleeping in until 8:15a.m. and starting the day out with a race. (this race was perfect because it did not start until 10:00 a.m.)
  • Running into the finish line seeing my family waiting for me and knowing I have set a PR.
  • Placing in the race and winning AMAZING prizes.
  • Going to lunch at our favorite restaurant Chilis with my AMAZING family.
  • Hanging out with running friends and talking about running constantly. (Oh yeah and eating ice cream on top of that.)
  • Babysitting my sweet nephew James who makes me so happy for the night.

So that is my idea of a perfect day. Running, thinking about running, hanging out with runners, and then dreaming and fantasizing about my next run.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

Mine would obviously involve running in every way shape and form. Thinking about running, actually running, or watching other runners on TV.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Running Plateau

I feel like this guy below with my running lately. I don't know if it is just because it is winter and it's been awhile since I've raced or the fact that I feel like my running is not improving. But lately I feel like I've hit a running plateau.

It is times like this that I really wish I had a running coach. Someone to improve my workouts and re-direct my focus. But I don't so I am trying to dig deep and figure out what I want out of running and why I run.
Most of you that know me well know that I am not a deep thinker at all. I have always just had this attitude that if I don't think about it I wont worry about it and things will get better. I simply just strive to live each day to the fullest with my positive attitude and optimistic outlook. I never sweat minor details and my greatest pet peeve is when people complain about their lives. But truth be told I do have bad days. I have weaknesses and I have insecurities and self doubt.

After some deep thought I think I have realized the reason for this plateau. I think it is because I don't know what I am running for or running towards. Of course I am running to stay healthy and to get better and faster, but lets face it I'm never going to be Cara Goucher or Shelane Flanigan or compete in the Olympics. In the past I have always worked out and ran to lose weight and being competitive as I am this has kept me going. Now that I have reached a healthy weight and have no desire to lose any more weight I sometimes wonder why I am waking up at 5a.m. each morning and pounding the treadmill for 50 miles a week? Hence the plateau.......

So to climb this plateau and get over myself I have made a list (don't you all just love my lists.) of reasons I run and why I want to keep running forever. Lets face it when it comes right down to it I am addicted.

  1. Running is my adrenaline. My source of energy and without it my personality changes. I am negative and a missed workout turns a good day into the worst day ever!
  2. Running is good for my health. Just because I'm not trying to loose weight anymore doesn't mean I should quit running. Did you know that runners get half as many colds as non-runners, or that running consistently can increase your life span? Lets face it, it's not a bad habit.
  3. Running and working out is my ME time. If I wasn't waking up at 5a.m. to work out each morning I would just be sleeping an extra 2 hours. Having this time to focus on just me is so important and as hard as it is to drag my ass out of bed each morning I always feel a huge sense of relief when I have finished my daily workout. Without my hour and a half at the gym I would never get this time to myself.
  4. I can improve my time and I can run distance. My running career has been short lived at this point and I have SOOO much room to improve. If I keep working hard and keep getting better I can improve.
  5. Running races is my Vice. Nothing can compare to the feeling of finishing a race. If this feeling alone is the only thing that keeps me running than so be it. It is so worth it!!!

So this is why I will keep running. The bottom line is that I will keep running for me and I know that my upcoming races will push me harder and ultimately carry me past this plateau.

Why do you run or continue your talents that you are passionate about? And how do you overcome plateaus?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Florida Keys Ragnar

Warning: Picture overload. (my mom doesn't have fb so I try to share as many pics as I can with her on the blog. For more pictures see fb.)
Now onto the awesome adventure of Florida Keys Ragnar. Wow what an amazing opportunity to go on a fabulous trip and make some amazing life long friendships. Ragnar's seriously are the best. I absolutely love spending 30 hours in a van with people I just met. It is so interesting how easy we all got a long and how much we learned about each other.
Our team was awesome. Seriously I hate to toot my own horn but what amazing group of people. Team "We're Off our Keysters" finished in 29 hours 41 minutes. Giving us a pace of about 9:18 miles. We started at 9:30 a.m. on Friday January 6th and finished around 3:15 p.m. on Saturday. This trip was amazing for 5 reason.
  • We we're able to spend a full day in Miami before the race began. It was such a relaxed day and we just laid on the beach and walked around the shops.
  • I met some awesome people and look forward to keeping in touch with all of them and running with them in the future.
  • I felt so confident in my running. It was so great for me to finally feel confident in my running for the first time. I have FINALLY learned to pace myself and it is so exciting. (full blog post to come on this topic soon.)
  • Brian and Curt were able to volunteer for this race and it was so exciting running my middle leg and knowing I would have extra support at the finish. I ran this night leg in 7:36 miles.
  • We got 'snowed in' in Keywest and were able to spend an extra day on the beach. I also got to run 2 days in a row along the beach in Key West. Basically amazing compared to the 20 degrees I came home to.

Our team overall ran 191 miles. I was runner #2 and ran a total of 16.

  1. Leg 1: 5.48 miles 7:41 pace.
  2. Leg 2: 4.68 miles 7:36 pace. (through gator land might I add.)
  3. Leg 3: 5.85 miles 8:05 pace. (my legs were shot from the awful terrain known as gator land.)
In Miami the day before the race started. Just chillin on the beach.

Mine and Julia's creation. We had so much fun decorating the van for this Ragnar.

The beginning of the race, 17 minutes until start time.

First hand off. This isn't a very good picture but this is Alicia handing off to me for my first leg of the race.
After me and Julia finished our first legs. Feeling good to have one out of the way.
"Get Off our Keysters." Showing off our assets.

I am officially finished with all three of my legs. Woo hoo! Sorry for the lack of pictures from my 2nd two legs. Our team had an injury so no was there to take pictures of my second leg, and I look like death after my 3rd leg so I decided to save you from having to view my disgusting self.

We did it!!! Team picture at the finish line.

Me and Julia showing off our medals. We got two medals. One for running the Florida Keys Ragnar and another for running two Ragnars, Florida Keys and Las Vegas. We love medals.
Exploring Key West the day after the race.

Me and my gator friend. eeeek I was so afraid of gators the entire race. There were 2 legs in the race where the runner had to run through a trail in the everglades right next to a gator canal. My team decided to choose the Utah girls for these two legs. How kind of them.

The beach in Key West. Since we were snowed in an extra day we decided to hit the beach. It was 2.5 miles from our hotel so we walked there and back. This is also where I ran each morning while we were in Key West.
Serenity. The beach was fabulous.
The big thing in Key West is mile marker "0". Unfortunately we didn't make it to mile marker 0 so we decided to take a picture with mile marker 1.

One last picture of the beautiful weather.

Overall this trip was so amazing and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to run this race, visit Florida and meet some awesome new running friends. I learned some very important things about myself and my running on this trip and I am so excited to see what the future brings.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year New Beginning

So I am headed to Florida this afternoon to run Florida Keys Ragnar. WOO HOO! I am excited and just hope that everything goes smoothly and I run awesome. It shall be interesting to see how 70 degree weather and being at Sea Level effect my running. More blogging to come on that as soon as I return.

Before I head to Florida I wanted to write down and express some of my goals for the upcoming year. As much as I hate getting older and writing 2011 I truly do love the thought of a new year. A new beginning to erase the mistakes you have made in the past, start fresh and think about your upcoming opportunities. Anything that happened to me before today is gone and all I can do now is move forward and make the best out of every second of 2011. Since loosing my brother I look at life a lot differently. Rather than wishing time away I truly look at each new day as a new opportunity. An opportunity to overcome a challenge, help someone grow, learn something new, and accomplish something great. I feel so lucky and blessed to be where I am at in my life and to know that everyday is a new opportunity to become a better me.

Several of my friends in the blogging world have been summing up their New Years resolutions in one word. If I had to define what I want this new year to bring and what I want to accomplish with one word I would summon it up with the word MOTIVATE. Motivate others to become the best that they can be and motivate myself to accomplish great things. With the right attitude and motivation anything is possible. This is my motto and I hope to hold myself to it 2011.

With that said I would like to write down 3 of my New Years resolutions. I have thought about this new year a lot and am so excited to see where it takes me. I hope to continually add to this list and ultimetely hope I can look back on this year and see that I have become a better me.

1-Qualify for the Boston Marathon. This has been a life long goal of mine and it is well within reach. If I work hard and dedicate to my long runs I know that anything is possible. I have been apprehensive to share this goal with everyone but I think that sharing it is important to me acheiving this overarching goal.

2- "Thank you". I read in a magazine article that those that express gratitude toward others are 68% happier. I totally believe this. I know that when I am thinking about others and helping others I am so much less likely to worry about myself and truly do feel a greater sense of satisfaction. So my goal in 2011 is to compliment someone every single day and to sit down and write a letter of appreciation to someone that has helped me or changed my life. I challenge everyone reading this to do the same. Your burdens will feel lighter and you will be blessed.

3- Update my blog more often. Not for the people that follow my blog but for myself. Since I started this blog I have realized that writing down my thoughts has helped me and I have grown as a person. My mind is like a race car running around in circles all day long and often between work, school, running, and taking care of things at home I forget to think about myself and my thoughts. This blog has forced me to write down my thoughts and take time for myself. I hope that in 2011 I can learn more about myself, self reflect more, and ultimetely become a better person.

I know my mind is full of several others goals but I will leave you with these three. Lets make 2011 a great year. Remember that attitude is everything and with a clear vision, an optimisitc outlook, and a positive attitude anything is possible and challenges only make us stronger.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Re-cap

Wow I can't believe it is a new year. It is absolutely crazy how fast time flies. I was thinking last night about how much I have grown and changed in the last year and I truly am excited to continue my journey, not only in running but also in becoming the best me that I can be. The best runner, the best sister, daughter, friend, student, and supervisor I can be. It has always been my philosophy that nothing in life is ever perfected, there is always room for improvement. My only goal for 2011 is to continue improving in every aspect of life and enjoy more of the simple things life has to offer.
In 2010 I ran 10 races!! I started running races in July and continued to finish 10 races. Six 5ks, two 10ks, one half marathon, and one incredibly memorable Ragnar Relay. What a fabulous year of running for me.

  • I placed 3rd in my age group in the Lavender Days 5k and won $20.00.

  • I placed 1st in my age group in the Payson Onion Days 10k and won a silver dollar.

  • I placed 1st in my age group in the Oktoberfest 10k and won a metal.

  • I placed 3rd in my age group in the Turkey Trot 5k and won a turkey.

  • All of the other races I finished and that is always most important. Above all I learned there is always room to get better and that my Love for running trumps any prize I could ever receive.
  • 10 things I learned in 2010:

10. I am actually kind of good at this running thing. When I ran my first 5k in July I had no idea what to expect, quite frankly I was scared to death. Sure I had ran on the treadmill at the gym and the elliptical but I never really took it seriously. When I finished that race I realized for the first time that I am actually kind of good at this running thing.

9. My body is physically capable of running 13.1 miles. Before the half marathon I had dreamed of running one but never actually thought I was physically capable of running for that long.

8. Anyone can do anything they put their mind to. When there is a will there is a way. My dad had always told me this growing up, but now I actually believe it because I have lived it. I had a will to run and it has not been easy, but I have worked hard and I have succeeded. Anyone is capable of anything if they posses the confidence necessary to achieve what they want. Most things in life are far more mental than they are physical.

7. Taking risks are necessary to achieve greatness. For so many years of my life I lived with a fear of failure. Rather than trying things I just sat back and did nothing in fear that I wouldn't be good enough. I have learned that if you live your life in fear that you wont succeed you will never see your maximum potential. Failure is necessary for success, and by taking risks I have achieved so much in my life and grown so much as a person.

6. I can always improve my running. After the high of running so many races in October I hit a wall. I felt as though my best was behind me and I could never improve my running. However in the last few weeks I have realized that there is always room for improvement and if I continue to work hard I will continue to improve. Hard work always pays off.

5. Running downhill ROCKS. Before running the 2,000 feet declining downhill half marathon I was completely afraid of downhill. Not because I personally feared it but because a hand full of people had told me how awful it was. Well I am here to tell you that I would rather run 10 miles of downhill than 1 mile of uphill. I will take a downhill race any day.

4. Running with a team is the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. Running alone is great but running with a team truly incorporates teamwork and accountability. The friendships I made from running with a team will never be forgotten and are so memorable to me.

3. Running has relieved so much stress from my life. Before I started running races I felt stressed constantly between work and school. Now I feel like running is an outlet. It gives me an opportunity to evaluate my life and realize everything will be okay. I think it is all about balance and running has truly helped me manage my stress.

2- Running TRUMPS school and work. My daily routine: I have an 8 page research paper due by midnight, a biology midterm, a group project due in 2 days, 3 employees called in sick and my boss wants my monthly reports by 3p.m.................But all I can think about is my upcoming race. I spend my time researching the route, studying the elevations, and looking at last years race results. Running has taken over my life and I love it.

1- Lastly running has brought me closer to my brother Trevor. Every time I run I think about Trevor. I don't know why but since my first race it seems like he is with me. I think about how proud he would be of me, and how happy he would be I have found something I love. I also think about our memories and it gives me time to reflect on him and his life.

As I wave goodbye to 2010 I can't help but reflect on what an amazing year it was. I feel so blessed to have so many people around me that support my running and I look forward to the upcoming year. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!