Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day 5k Re-Cap

Today's Workout:  25 minutes weights, 8 treadmill miles, 1% incline, 62 minutes.  I cheated on my taper but I just felt like I needed a good run.  I am finally feeling 100% post marathon just in time to taper again.  Blah!
Yesterday I ran the Memorial Day 5k with my sister Amber, and the ever so fabulous Ruth, Stefanie, and Julia all ran the 10k.  I originally signed up for the 10k but my sister talked me into running the 5k with her and we planned to push her jogging stroller and let her baby James run with us.

I woke up Monday morning looked out the window and it was raining/hailing/snowing..who really knows what it was doing out there but it was wild.  I knew we wouldn't be taking the baby out and decided to hit the gym for a quick 5 miles so I could just run the 5k with my sister.  After debating for a bit over what to wear I picked Amber up and off we went.  The car tried several times to take us to Target, RC willy, or just back to bed because neither of us were really looking forward to running in a down poor.  Somehow we made it to the race with 5 minutes to spare before start time.  We rushed to get our bibs and actually ended up having plenty of time because the race started 30 minutes late. 

We lined up at the start and off we went.  This was Amber's second 5k and I really wanted to pace her for a PR even though I knew she hadn't really been running at all.  I think my sister is super women because she runs maybe 2 miles a week and can just bust out awesomely amazing times.  Anyway she took off sprinting and I reminded her we had 3 miles to go and not 100 yards.  We slowed down our pace and I ran ahead to snap a few pictures.  (Yes I am guilty of running with my camera again.  But I promise I was careful.)

Amber is hidden in this picture but there is cute Ruth.  We stayed together until the 10k split off from the 5k.

Amber in the pink.  I make her practice smiling through the pain.  :)

Mile 1:  8:34

After mile 1 we split off from the 10k runners and kept moving forward.  At mile 1.5 there was a hill for about a quarter of a mile.  I told Amber to just keep moving her feet and we were able to pass about 10 walkers and joggers.  She seriously blew my mind and bolted up the hill with ease. I must admit she made me feel kind of like a wimp.  I think all those years of soccer she did definitely paid off because she scaled the hill like it was just a walk in the park.

Running through the cemetery at mile 2.

Amber running strong.

Mile 2:  8:52

After mile 2 the course was a gradual downhill to the finish.  Amber had an incredibly bad side ache but just kept going.  My sister is one of the strongest people I know because she did not slow her pace at all and was determined to finish strong.

Finishing strong and about to pass that boy.  :)

Mile 3:  8:12

We finished in 25:21 and Amber set a PR by 2 full minutes with minimal training.  Amber is so tough and pushed herself so hard and I could not be more proud of my amazing sister.  We were both so glad we decided to follow through with this race and I am hoping I can get Amber training for a half marathon in the near future.  Seriously if she starts training I think the sky is the limit for her potential.  I am so proud of her for trying out a passion of mine and being so supportive of me and all my craziness. I will keep you all updated on her future running plans. 
After we finished and I made sure Amber was okay I wanted to run back and help cheer on my friends.  I had a lot of adrenaline going and just felt so excited to be there.  I walked around with Amber for a bit and then told her I was going to run back and look for Ruth & Stefanie who were running the 10k.  I knew Magin had already ran back for Julia because she bolted past me way before we finished the 5k.  So I started running back and the first person I saw was Ruth.  Not very many 10k runners had passed me yet so I was shocked to see her and so proud of her!

Ruth is such a rock star.

Me looking like a dork and Ruth looking fabulous.

I turned around and ran with her for about .75 of a mile.  She was running at such a great pace and I was just so proud of her and so excited to be there to support her.  I seriously just love running and races always bring out my true passion for the sport.  One of my favorite things about running is the camaraderie and support and I feel so grateful to have such amazing running friends.

Ruth running into the finish.  Post baby PR!  This girl is awesome and I can't wait to see what the future holds for her.

Julia running into the finish incredibly determined.  She set a post injury PR and seriously amazed me with her progress.
Despite the crazy weather this was seriously one of my favorite races and I am so glad I went through with running it.  It was such a great way to start the day and a great reminder of the importance of Memorial Day.
Magin, Me, and Julia after the race.

Amber, me, and Julia.
Congratulations to everyone that raced over the weekend.  I read a lot of great race reports and am so proud of everyone who accomplished firsts, PR's, or just got out there and exercised over the long lazy weekend.

Ever wanted to not show up to something and then gone through with it and ended up loving it?

I so so seriously considered not going to this race.  It was a free race so I wouldn't have been out any money but I would have been out on missing this amazing experience.

Any advice to get my Sister motivated to run a half marathon?

Maybe if I post her training updates on the blog that would hold her accountable and motivate her. hmm

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

**I raced a 5k with my sister and some other amazing girls today and will do a full re-cap of the race tomorrow.  I ran the entire race with my sister and it was so much fun and such a great way to start the day.

Until then here are some pictures from our day remembering Trevor and a poem written by my Mom.  I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day and took some time to remember those who have passed on.

Trevor's Grave.

My family

A picture of the babies that we placed on Trevor's grave.  Thanks Trev for taking care of these babies for us before they made it to earth.

Remembering Trevor




           05/05/88 - 10/27/09
Four special babies.

James and Mya with Trevor's smile.

Learning to play the piano.

The triplets first time trying icecream cones.

Grandma made all four babies icecream cones.

Even James got his own little cone.

I hope everyone had an amazing Memorial Day and was able to spend time with friends and family reflecting on memories of those we have lost.  I am so thankful and grateful I was able to spend the day with my family and my sweet little nieces and nephews.  My nieces and nephews met Trevor long before they met us and it is amazing to see Trevor's personality reflected through their faces.

Who are you remembering today?

Trevor, my Grandpa Wardle, cousin's Preston and Forrest, and many other family and friends.

Anyone race for Memorial Day?  Tell me about your race.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Run. Eat. Laugh. Repeat.

I hope everyone is having a relaxing and fun holiday weekend.  I love long weekends and love having an opportunity to just relax, smell the roses, and enjoy time with my family and friends.  Whatever stress you are dealing with in your life right now try to forget about it for just one day.  Do something you enjoy to take your mind off of reality because we all deserve a little break.

I kicked my holiday weekend off with an awesome 10-mile run with Julia and Ruth.  I woke up at 5am (after 5 hours of sleep) so excited because I love running and 10 miles is one of my favorite distances.  We ran up Provo canyon and the scenery was beautiful and it was perfect running weather.  I had so much fun running with these girls and this was such a great way to start the weekend.  After the 10-mile run I hit the gym for 25 minutes of weights.

After re-fueling with an awesome sand which on my homemade wheat bread and fresh chips and salsa I met up with my Mom and we went and saw Suessical.  I laughed until my stomach ached and there were tears of laughter running down my face.  I won season tickets to Hale Center Theatre in This race and me and my Mom have had a blast going to all the shows.

After the show we met up with My sister and baby James at Yogurtland and then did some shopping.

James and Grandma

James loves his Aunt Shel.

Today I woke up craving some speed.  I have been running a lot of distance since I started marathon training and really just wanted to run fast!  I don't normally run on Sundays because it is my off day but I set out with Izzy hoping to run some negative splits.  It is kind of hard to run seriously with Izzy but I think we did pretty good.

Mile 1 warm up:  8:23
Mile 2:  7:34
Mile 3:  7:29 

Breakfast was ready for me when I got home which was good because I was hungry!!   French Toast and scrambled eggs. Sorry no time for pictures

This afternoon I am headed to Bridesmaids to hopefully laugh some more and then I will just repeat my little cycle and soak up every second of this three day holiday weekend.

"Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects."  Arnold Glasow

Have an amazing and stress free weekend friends and remember that laughter is free medicine and much cheaper than prozac.  :)

What was the last thing that made you laugh?

Ruth's post about curling her hair was the last thing to make me laugh.  Love you Ruth!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Favs

Today's Workout:  10 minutes elliptical, 30 minutes weights, 5 slower than a turtle treadmill miles, no incline.  I had no energy and was fighting my body to even move this morning.  My body was screaming...NO but my mind just really wanted to run and enjoy it without pain like I did pre-marathon.  I left the gym frustrated so I immediately ate an entire loaf of poppy seed bread and it instantly lifted my spirits.  :)  (maybe there is a reason poppy seeds show up on drug screens?) hmmm
Sorry I was MIA yesterday.  I hung out with my Mom all day and she lives in a cave where there is black & white tv, only fire to cook the food, and the word Internet is not even in the encyclopedia on the bookcase.  We spent the day doing grown up things like playing with the babies birthday presents before they get them, eating our favorite colored jelly beans and leaving all the gross ones in the bag, and sampling every single kind of bread at the local bread store.  It was one of the best days I've had in awhile and there is absolutely nothing I would rather do then hangout with my Mom all day long.  All kidding aside, my parents actually live in a beautiful house, and it's for sale, want to buy it?  (They don't own a camera or computer or else I would post a picture.  I'll have to take one next time I go down to visit.)

**food hoarders tip- it is best to visit the bakery 5 minutes before closing time.  They offer you lots of leftover scraps and give you discounts because after all they will be throwing it away if you don't take it. Score! :)

Friday Favorites

1.  800mg IB profin.  I have always had a phobia of swallowing pills.  I am weird.  But I have been eating IB profin like it is skittles since the marathon.  I am pretty convinced I may have died from soreness by now without it!

Yes that prescription does have my Dad's name on it.  Shhhh!

2.  Fresh baked bread.  I bought me a loaf of homemade wheat bread at the bakery yesterday and it is amazing.  Nothing is better than a giant sand which the size of my head on thick cuts of yummy bread.  Yum!

I promise I just have a small head.  :)

3.  Chips & Salsa.  For some reason summer (well winter still in Utah) holidays make me crave chips and salsa like crazy.  The first thing I did when I got off of work today was drive straight to the store to buy me the biggest container of salsa I could find.  I obviously have my priorities straight.  :)

You are lucky you got a picture of this before it is completely devoured.  Like in 5 minutes.

I hope everyone has a fabulous long weekend and that it is Sunny and beautiful in you neck of the woods.  The weather man is predicting overcast, windy, and rainy all weekend in Utah.  I think I'm going to curl up in a snuggie, pop some drugs, eat the rest of that salsa, and hey maybe polish off the full loaf of bread.  That's what Holidays are for right?  weight gain!  :)

I have to ask one question.  Do you pick out what you want and leave what you don't want when it comes to food?

I do this with everything and it drives people crazy.  When I eat lucky charms I pick out all the marsh mellows and leave the other junk, with chex mix I hate the pretzels so I pick them all out and throw them back in the bag, and any fruity candy I hate the yellow & orange so I always leave them in the bag too. ha ha I am crazy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Learn From My Mistakes Part 2 (Hydration)

Today's Workout:  30 minutes weights/abs, 20 minutes elliptical, 5 mile treadmill run, 1% incline.
Okay I know these posts are a little boring, but they are also something I would have loved to know about before my marathon so I am hoping they are beneficial to someone.  Basically I experienced two incredibly common problems during my first marathon.  First I started getting leg cramps at mile 19.  These leg cramps butchered my time goal and were miserable beyond explanation.  You can read my post HERE about what I learned and what I will do differently next time.  Secondly I finished the race so dehydrated that I fainted and ended up in the medical tent under Dr supervision rather than basking in the glory of my accomplishment.

JULIA is also covering hydration this week as a part of her Monday Foot Notes so make sure to hop on over to her blog for all sorts of additional information.  Ultimately leg cramps and hydration go hand in hand and if you hydrate appropriate it should minimize your chances of experiencing the excruciating pain of muscle cramps.

The most important thing I have learned about hydration is that everyone is different and requires different amounts of liquids depending on their intensity level and how much they sweat.  Your fluid-replacement plan should be designed to minimize loss of body weight so that you avoid dehydration during exercise but prevent weight gain from excess hydration during training or races.  Basically if you are hydrating appropriately you should not loose or gain weight during 1 hour of exercise.

How to gauge how much you need?

Weigh yourself before you run:  me today= 123.0 lbs

Exercise for 1 hour straight and track how many fluids you take in:  me= 12 oz water

Weigh yourself after you run:  me= 121.4

Every half pound I lost in sweat is equal to 8 oz of liquid equalling 24 oz for me today.  24oz+12oz (that I drank)= 36oz.  This means I should be drinking 36 ounces of water per hour!!!  If I want to run a marathon in 3:30 that equals 126 ounces of water or 9 ounces every 15 minutes.

Yowza!!!  I thought I was drinking throughout the marathon but I know for a fact I was not drinking more than 16oz per hour and that obviously was not enough for my sweaty little self.  Keep in mind that I am an incredibly sweaty runner and I recommend you try the equation out for yourself.

Other Tips I Found Beneficial About Hydration

Maintain a Salty Diet:  When you sweat you are sweating out a lot of sodium and it is important to replenish this.  During a long race consider eating salty snacks such as pretzels, especially if you are a salty sweater.  I for one am a salty sweater.  After an intense workout I have a grainy (salty) film covering my skin.  I think I am going to try salt pills and see if that makes a difference.

Favor Sports Drinks Over Water:  Sports drinks such as Gatorade help keep your body hydrated, fueled, and salted.  The flavor of sports drinks can also encourage you to drink enough to stay hydrated, the carbohydrate energy will fuel your active muscles, and the electrolytes will help replace some of what is lost in sweat.  If you remember from my previous posts I did not drink any sports drinks at all throughout the marathon.  If you do not like sports drinks it is okay to stick to water but you should be supplementing with electrolyte pills to make sure you are getting your electrolytes in.

Recognize Warning Signs:  Headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, weakness, irritability, vomiting, heat flush, abnormal chills.  I experienced muscle cramps, fatigue, and dizziness and should have been proactive about doing something about it rather than thinking I was invincible and just running through it.

Alright so there you have it.  For more information on hydration make sure to link over to Julia's blog because I know it is full of great information.  Again all of this information is based on research, my opinions, and my experiences.  I am sorry for 2 days full of boring posts but I think I finally have everything I learned from the marathon out of me.  Running really is all about the journey and I just look forward to learning new things every day and learning and growing from all of my mistakes.

"The pride in finishing a marathon is much greater than all the pain endured during the marathon." ~ Hal Higdon
Anything you would like to add about hydration?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Learn From My Mistakes part 1

Today's Workout:  30 minutes weights, 30 minutes slow jogging/walking, 30 minutes elliptical.
First off I want to apologize to everyone for my lack of commenting in the last 24 hours.  I am convinced that blogger hates me because it is not letting me comment.  :(  I promise I am reading everyone's posts and have so much to say but every time I type the longest comment ever it will not let me post it!  Is anyone else having problems with this?  I am hoping it is just my computer and when I try a new one I can go back and comment on everyones awesome posts.

I decided to break this down into 2 posts since it will likely be kind of boring and full of lots of information I have researched.  If you are a non-runner reader you most likely will not be interested in all of the mumbo jumbo and as a disclaimer all of this information is based on research, my opinion, and my experiences.

During the marathon I experienced incredibly painful muscle cramps beginning at mile 19.

What are muscle cramps?  Muscle cramps are unpleasant and painful sensations caused by contraction or over-shortening of the muscles. They affect almost 40% of marathon runners. A sudden cramping will cause you to stop suddenly as your leg muscle seems to curl into a ball, with excruciating pain.  During a marathon your muscles can tighten up gradually to the point where each step becomes extremely painful. Continuing will only make this worse.

What causes cramps?  No one really understands what causes cramps. They are a medical mystery although modern theories believe the reasons are connected to the way nerve signals are sent to our muscles.  The Mayo Clinic defines muscle cramps as:  “Overuse of a muscle, dehydration, muscle strain or simply holding a position for a prolonged period of time may result in a muscle cramp. Athletes who become fatigued and dehydrated while participating in warm-weather sports frequently develop muscle cramps."  There are many theories about causes of cramps, ranging from excessive heat, dehydration, and the loss of electrolytes and minerals, to muscle fatigue, insufficient training, and poor stretching habits.

Fact:  The tendency to get a cramp increases in the latter part of the marathon.

Reasons may include overexertion (such as starting out too fast...oops!) or low sodium and potassium levels in the blood.

Preventing Cramps

1.  Train Appropriately - On race day, running faster than you've trained for will overwork your muscles and make them more susceptible to cramps.  Prior to the marathon I had done several 8-mile tempo runs and a half marathon at the pace I was running, however I knew from my 30k (18.64 mi) I could not keep that pace up for more than 13 miles.

2.  Hydrate Appropriately - As a runner becomes dehydrated they lose electrolytes and these electrolytes are critical to muscle function.  As you sweat you are losing calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium.  Muscles need these minerals to function correctly, so when they begin to run dry muscle function begins to falter.  Potassium depletion is one of the main culprits in cramping. Marathon runners that have experienced cramps late in a marathon, should start by drinking more electrolyte rich fluids.  I opted for water at every aid station. (didn't want to add calories......DUH!)  Water is great for dehydration however it has zero electrolytes.  Just hydrating with water was not replenishing any of my potassium, calcium, magnesium, or sodium.

3.  Take Time to Stretch - Stretching during training and on race day is critically important.  Pay close attention to the muscles that are most likely to cramp up like your calves, hamstrings and quads. You should stretch those muscles gently but thoroughly.  I never stretch before running.  I always stretch briefly after but not nearly long enough.

4.  Pace appropriately - Overuse of muscles is a major contributor to getting cramps.  I paced the marathon as if I was running a half marathon rather than a marathon.

Treating Cramps

If you do experience muscle cramps here are some things you can do to alleviate the problem.  Just simply running through them as I did is NOT the best solution.

1. Stop running and stretch the affected muscles. You may have to do this several times before the cramp finally dies down

2. Applying deep pressure to the affected muscle can provide relief. Press into the sore muscle with your fingers for about 10 to 15 seconds at a time.

3. Drink a fluid with electrolytes like Gatorade and / or take a salt tablet with water. 4. Slow down or walk for a period of time. You need to relieve the stress on your muscles.

I hope that this information is informative and you are able to learn from my mistakes.  I basically violated every single thing we just learned so it is absolutely no surprise I am one of the 40% to experience muscle cramps.  Here is a quick list of things I am planning to change up to hope this doesn't happen to me again in 18 days when I run Utah Valley Marathon.  Again as I mentioned previously there is no clear cut definition as to why leg cramps happen.  There is however preventative measures we all can take as runners to lesson the chances.
  • Add potassium to my diet.  I am not a banana eater but I am about to be.  It is recommended to eat one banana a day for two weeks leading up to the marathon.
  • Add calcium to my diet.  I do not drink milk.  Never have, never will.  I will be starting on a calcium supplement to ensure I am getting enough calcium in my diet.
  • Get a cbc blood test done to ensure my levels are all normal.  My Mom and Dad will not allow me run UV marathon until I cross this one off of my list.  I have no veins and hate having my blood drawn, but in all honesty I haven't been to the Doctor in 2 years so it is probably a good idea for me to have a thorough physical done.
  • Start drinking fluids with electrolytes.  I am an idiot and never wanted to add calories by drinking Gatorade.  Ding dong Rachelle grow a freaking brain.  I will plan to alter at every other aid station or figure something else out so I am drinking fluids with electrolytes and not just water.
  • Pace smarter.  Much of my muscle cramps may have likely been because I was pushing my body too hard too soon.  Pacing is hard for me but I really need to figure something out.
  • Stretch.  I have been starting to stretch but I need to stretch more and really focus on my muscles that cramped up during the marathon.  aka my calves, hamstrings, quads, and shins.  (yep I pretty much turned into noodles.)
Alright so there you have it.  Next up will be all about hydration and how to avoid fainting at the end of the marathon.

Anything you would add about muscle cramps?

How do you make sure you are taking in enough electrolytes while running?

I am trying to figure out my game plan for ensuring I am drinking something with electrolytes for the next marathon.  Anyone triend Nuun? If so tell me what you think.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tapercovery & Race Pictures

Today's Workout:  40 minutes elliptical, 20 minutes weights.  I am still incredibly sore and will not even consider running again until I am able to walk and sit down without pain.  However ellipticizing actually felt really good and seemed to loosen up my legs.
I am working on an awesome "Learn From My Mistakes" post about the marathon and I plan to go into more detail about my muscle cramps for the last 7 miles and also dehydration and fainting at the end of the race.  I want to make sure my facts are correct so stay tuned for that post.  I always think I know quite a bit about running but it is just seriously amazing how much more I have learned from my first marathon experience.
In other news my body and mind are completely confused.  I am recovering and also tapering all at the same time.  I read today that is takes 26 days to recover from a marathon.  oops!  I don't have 26 days!!!  Today I honestly cannot fathom the thought of running another full marathon in less than three weeks.  I have no idea what to do about my training and know that likely the best thing for me is to stay off of my feet as much as possible.  As much as my mind is looking forward to running UV marathon and wanting to run right away with every fiber of it's being, I know that my body is not physically ready to handle the stress yet.  So I will be doing what I HATE and taking it easy.  IB profin, stretching, icing, wearing compression sleeves at all times (including work), and finally learning to use that cute little purple foam roller.  My quads are on fire, my calves are sore, my shins are sore, and my hamstrings are sore.  Basically I am a 25 year old living in a 99 year olds body right now.

Okay now that that's out of the way here are some more marathon pictures that the lovely KATIE captured at the end of the race.  Thank you so much Katie!!

I hope that everyone started there week off right with an incredibly intense Monday workout.

Anyone have any specific questions for me about the marathon?

I will answer any questions you have as best I can, so ask away. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ogden Marathon Recap

I got off of work at 2:30 Friday, came home and packed and we were on the road by 3:30.  The drive up went really smooth and before I knew it we were already in Bountiful.  I called Amy and we met at a gas station and she handed me her packet.  She was the sweetest person ever and it was fun to meet her in person.  Thanks for cheering for me during the race too Amy I heard you every time.  (You were the only person that said my real name.)

We checked into the hotel in Layton by 6:00 and I headed out to do some shopping at target.  The hotel was perfectly placed right next to a target and just does not get much better than that.  I shopped around for about an hour and ended up buying a tank top for $4.  I just cannot get enough of those aisles of clearance racks at target.  After shopping I stopped at Jimmy Johns and picked up the same sand which I ate before the 30k.  It was just as big and delicious as I remembered it.

After I ate and I laid out all my gear I text Ashley to see what time they were catching the bus in the morning and she told me to meet her, Pam, Josh, and Brittany at 4:30 a.m.  4:30??  I originally had my alarm set for 4:15 and realized I would need to wake up a lot earlier to meet them in time.  I set my alarm for 3:40 and then proceeded to roll around in the bed all night long.  I haven't decided if it was purely nerves or if I really just HATE sleeping in hotels but I maybe got 3 hours of sleep at the most.  I started getting ready at 3:15 because I was sick of laying in bed and by 4:10 we were headed out the door to drive up to Ogden so I could meet my group.

I met up with Ashley, Pam, Josh, and Brittany at their hotel and we walked down to where the buses were loading.  I was feeling a little nervous but more just excited to begin the whole journey.  It was finally happening and I felt ready!  We waited about 15 minutes to load the bus and then we were off.  We were really lucky to have the Cliff Pace Group on our bus and they were so fun to talk to and a wonderful distraction from thinking about running back down what took 45 minutes to get to on a bus.  We chatted with the pacer and the drive flew by.  I ate my Nature Valley granola bar and tried to drink plenty of water on the drive up.  Side note:  I really wish I would have ran with a pace group.  I am an idiot for not sticking with them from the beginning.

We got up to the start around 5:45 and a little over an hour before the start of the race.  It was muddy and there was no where to sit because of all of the mud so we were on our feet until the race started.  I used the porta potty twice, ate a banana, and 'borrowed' a few Gu's from the stand they had set up.  The race started 10 minutes late due to some busing issues but right at 7:10 the gun went off and we were off to the races.  I was full of adrenaline but felt like I started out fairly slow and conservatively.  There was a huge pack at the beginning and I tried to stay calm and settle into a comfortable pace.  Mile 1 flew by and I honestly felt as though it was effortless.  I did not even check my garmin because I was focused on not letting my garmin control me and running by feel.  I should have checked my garmin because little did I know I ran that first mile in 7:09. oops!  Miles 2-3 flew by as well and I finally checked my garmin after mile 3.

22:03- Oh shit I started out too fast.  I tried to slow down and make sure I wasn't pushing at all.  The first 6 miles were downhill and I just felt so amazing I was not able to force myself to slow down at all.  I tried to run a little slower but it felt uncomfortable so I just continued to ignore the garmin and run at a comfortable pace.  I met Corrine at mile 3 and she was so fun to talk to. She had just had a baby 10 months before the race and was shooting to run a 3:20.  We ran together until mile 7 and then she broke away from me.  I ate my first chomps at mile 6.5 and  mile 7 was the first relay exchange and it was a lot of fun.  The volunteers were dressed up in disco costumes and on roller blades and YMCA was playing over the loud speaker.  It really pumped me up and I was grinning from ear to ear.  At the 7 mile mark I was at 52:15.

The next 5 miles to the halfway point were rolling hills and had long stretches of gradual uphill and downhill.  I was still feeling great but once I hit mile 12 I knew I could not keep my pace up the entire race.  I ate my second chomps at mile 12.5 and  I hit the halfway point at 1:39:53.  For the first time of the race I started to feel overwhelmed and fatigued.  I slowed down and was not looking forward to the hill ahead at mile 14.  I walked for the first time in the race at the hill.  It was starting to get hot, my legs were already feeling sore, and the incline of the hill was more than I could handle.  I walked for about a minute and then picked it up and ran was able to run pretty well through miles 15-17.  I ate my 3rd Gu at mile 17 and at this point I was stopping completely at every aid station.  The heat was really setting in and I was sweaty and exhausted.  I wanted the race to be over but knew I still had 9 miles ahead and tried to stay strong.  The scenery was really pretty running down the canyon and I tried to focus on it and relax.  I hit mile 17 at 2:15:20.  I knew I was slowing down but also knew if I kept an okay pace I could still reach my ultimate goal of 3:30.

I pushed forward stopping and walking at the aid stations but other than that running between a 8:15-8:45 pace.  As hard as I pushed my body was not allowing me to go any faster.  I started thinking about all of my blogging friends, everyone that was supporting me, and Trevor at this point to carry me through.  I was worried because I was physically depleted and did not know how on earth I was going to finish this race.  My legs were fatigued but starting at mile 19 the leg cramps began.  It was excruciating and hard to describe.  I tried to ignore it and just run through it.  It started only in my calves and I hoped if I just kept running it would go away.  I was doing anything to distract myself from the pain at this point.  I tried to encourage runners as they passed me, think about anything to get my mind off of the leg cramps and just kept shuffling my feet.  I was passed by the 3:30 pace group at mile 19 and it felt as though they were flying.  I knew there was no way I could keep up with them and at this point was just hoping for a 3:45 finish.  I hit the 20 mile mark in 2:42:16.

I was discouraged but my attitude was not completely depleted.  I knew that if I just kept moving forward I would be okay.  I met up with the sweetest girl at mile 21 and she was so encouraging.  I cannot remember her name but we ran together for about half a mile.  She told me how she was running her 15th marathon and how she started running to overcome diabetes.  Her story was incredibly inspiring and helped take my focus off of the pain.  I was feeling nauseous but somehow choked down another gu at 21.5.  And then at mile 22 my upper legs began to cramp completely.  Every few steps my legs would completely buckle and I had to catch myself from a few close falls.  I hit mile 23 at 3:11:59.  I was discouraged an in a lot of pain but I figured it I could run at least 10 minute miles for 3 miles I would finish in 3:45.

Right before Amber started running with me.

The pain only got worse and I was cussing in my head as I hobbled forward.  At this point I was turning to a run/walk method and walking for 1 minute intervals.  I felt like I was going forever and would look down at my Garmin to see I had only gone a measly .15 miles.  It was discouraging and I was really just looking forward to being done.  At mile 24 my sister was waiting for me and I don't think I have ever been so excited to see her in my entire life.  I was still going slow and screaming out loud whenever my legs buckled but she was encouraging and just kept telling me how close I was, how proud she was of me, and that I was running a freaking marathon.  She was incredibly patient with me and whenever my legs buckled too bad to run she slowed down to my pace and even walked with me.  My pace for the last 2 miles was 10:45 and it felt incredibly hard.  Every single step was full of pain but also pride because I was pushing through what I thought was my threshold.  When we got to mile 25.75 I told Amber to go ahead to the finish and that I just needed to finish on my own.

How I felt the last 6 miles.
The last half a mile was honestly harder than the first 10 miles combined.  I knew I was SOOO close but my legs were cramping so bad and I was in so much pain it took all I had in me to even make it to the finish line.  The crowd support was great and both sides of the street were lined with spectators.  Everyone was cheering and I was somehow able to run strong to the finish line.  I crossed the finish line at 3:49:39.

Unfortunately I never had that euphoric sense of accomplishment I had imagined over and over in my head.  Something was wrong and I knew it was more than just the usual lightheadedness and muscle fatigue.  As I waited to get my medal the paramedics approached me and asked me if I was okay.  They said my lips were blue and I was incredibly pale.  I told them I would be okay but really I knew that there was something wrong.  I collapsed on a patch of grass and before I knew it I was in the medical tent being examined by a Doctor.  I was embarrassed and felt bad that I had ruined the moment of finishing a marathon for myself and for my family.  My Dad was completely calm and told me just to relax.  My vision was blurred completely and the Dr. told me this was because I wasn't getting enough blood flow in my brain.  He elevated me and made me stay until I was hydrated, my vitals were stable, and I could stand without without getting dizzy.  It was a scary and unfortunate way to finish my first marathon.  But the good thing was that I was okay and I was finally able to rejoice in knowing I had accomplished something great.

We hung around for a while and I ate a creamy and a piece of bread.  Whenever I got up to walk I still felt unstable and dizzy so my family just sat with me until I finally felt good enough to walk to the car.  This was definitely not the finish to my first marathon I had imagined but it was an amazing learning experience and I am so excited to take everything I learned moving forward.

Finishers Medal.
Me and Amber.  My saving grace.

My family
I placed 481/2368 and 12/140 in my age group.  I must admit that I am not 100% satisfied with my time and I hope to achieve sweet revenge at Utah Valley in 3 weeks.  I learned so much from this experience and will do an entire recap of what I learned sometime this week.  Overall running a marathon was an incredible experience and by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.  Yesterday I swore I was selling my Utah Valley and St.George bibs, but today I am looking forward to changing up my training and using what I learned to move forward and continue to grow as a runner.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Short Version

"There will be days you don't think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime of knowing you have."

First off I would just like to sincerely thank everyone for your love and support.  Thank you for the amazing comments, the texts, fb messages, and just for thinking about me and believing in me.  Knowing that so many people believe in me really helped me to push when there was literally nothing left.  So Thank you!  I am so incredibly blessed and grateful to have such amazing and caring people in my life.

I wanted to give you a few quick thoughts on today's race.  Tomorrow I will do a full recap.  My brain is 1/8th functioning so I apologize in advance for the randomness. I am also sorry there are no pictures, I didn't end up taking a lot of pictures unfortunately.  My sister did take a few so I will get them up as soon as I have them.

1.  I am sorer than I have ever been in my entire life.  I honestly refuse to leave my house the rest of the day because that would require me to walk down and then back up 3 flights of stairs.  No thanks!  (As a side note it may have taken me longer to walk to the car after the race than the race itself.  With my Dad holding my hand and three stretch stops later we finally made the entire 3 block jaunt to the vehicle.)

2.  Ogden Marathon was an incredibly organized and well supported event.  I would highly recommend it.  I would say it was the most organized+best crowd support race I have ever ran to date.  The runners vibe was also great.  I met quite a few incredibly inspiring people along the way.

3.  I experienced an incredibly amazing runners high from miles 2-10.  Which ended up screwing me in the end but man for that moment I was on cloud nine.

4.  I did not listen to music the entire race.  I turned it on after mile 10 but just wasn't really feeling it.  I kept trying to get into my music a few times after that but it just wasn't happening.

5.  My legs started cramping at mile 19!!  Mile freaking 19.  I fought excruciating pain the last 7 miles.  I was able to fight it fairly well until mile 21 but it just continued to get worse from there.  I drank at every aid station, I ate every 45 minutes, I just plain and simply think it is because I went out too fast. 

6.  My sister ran the last 2 miles with me and I was a complete basket case.  Without her being patient with me and pushing me I would have finished slower or died who knows?  Totally kidding about the dying part.

7.  Even with all of the 'chub rub' I used I still chaffed.  ick!

8.  I ate an otter pop at mile 23.  I was desperate for something and couldn't fathom the thought of swallowing a 5th GU.

9.  I crossed the halfway line in 1:40.  You can interpret the rest. 

10.  The paramedics were all over me after I crossed the finish line.  Something about my lips being blue and my skin completely pale.  I told them I would be okay and proceeded to pass out on a patch of grass.  Next thing I knew I woke up in the medical tent with a Dr looking over me and my Dad to my side.  My vision was blurred, I was dehydrated, and my electrolytes were depleted.  They took a few vitals, spoon fed me some powerade and sent me on my way.  There were some seriously injured people in that place and I am so grateful I managed to finish this race sans serious injury.  I will however be seeing my family doctor for a thorough check-up since passing out and anemia both run in my family.

The bottom line is I finished!!!  I am a marathoner and I even somehow manage a small smile on my face as I crossed the finish line.  I was not necessarily disappointed in my time but I was literally so disoriented and delirious I did not ever experience that incredible sense of accomplishment I was hoping for.

With that said I would not give back this experience for anything.  It was amazing and I am incredibly proud of myself.  Did I reach all of my goals?  No. Did I make a lot of mistakes?  You better believe it.  But honestly none of that really matters anymore because I accomplished something great and I refuse to be disappointed with my efforts.

Garmin States:  26.38 miles, 3:49:38, 8:42 average pace

I bet your all already dreading the long version. ha!  Sorry this suddenly got so long.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I Believe

Today's Workout:  Jogged 2 miles at exactly 7:00 a.m., 17 minutes.  I know I may have broke the taper but I just needed this mentally.  Came home stretched for 10 minutes and watched the Ogden Canyon mudslide live on TV.  (Don't worry the marathon is not cancelled.)
Sorry I didn't update yesterday.  I was busy hanging out with this guy:

In a nutshell I chased James around half the day, went for a walk with James, Izzy, and my sister, ran some last minute marathon errands, and watched the incredibly disappointing Grey's Anatomy finale.

The big day is approaching.  In fact in less that 24 hours I will be hopefully be finished with my very first full marathon!!  I am a big fat ball of emotions.  I am excited, I am nervous, I am anxious, I am ready, I am doubtful, I am stressed, I am calm, I am kind of like a big box of chocolates...you just never know what your gonna get.  I think that those around me have learned to approach me with caution this week because one minute I am ecstatic and the next I am quivering with fear.  

The sweetest JULIA gave me the best good luck surprise ever!  A lucky Kentucky Derby glass filled with taffy, and my favorite licorice.  (I may or may not have already devoured all of the candy.)  My favorite part of her gift was the card.  It talked about believing.  Believing in mind over matter, believing that nothing is impossible, and believing that when there is a will there is a way.  It reminded me that so many people believe in me.  My friends believe in me, my family believes in me, my co-workers believe in me, and Trevor believes in me. 

Most importantly I believe in me.  Sure my training has been no where near perfect.  I have skipped runs, done way too much training on the treadmill, and made thousands of beginner mistakes.  But I have faith in myself and without a doubt I believe I will cross the finish line of the race.

Thoughts and Goals for the race:

I am running this Marathon on a complete last minute whim.  I did not sign up for this race and I did not train with intentions of running my first marathon this soon.  I am running this race because someone else is injured and was kind enough to offer me her bib.  I cannot express enough gratitude to the amazing person who offered me this incredible opportunity.  I have met the most genuinely kind people through blogging and it nearly brings tears to my eyes.  People truly are amazing and I feel so blessed to have such wonderful examples in my life.  Seriously how did I live before my blog?

Anyway with that said I am running under someone else's name meaning this race will not qualify me for Boston.  Even if I run it in lightening speed it will not count as a qualifying time.  I am approaching this marathon as a training run to prepare me for a BQ at Utah Valley in 3 weeks.  I had a choice to run 20 miles by myself this weekend, or run 26.2 miles with thousands of other people.  I picked the latter.

Race Day Goals:

1.  Enjoy the experience- This sounds cheesy but I really just want to relax, have fun and soak up the entire experience.
2.  Drink & Eat- I do great with this in training runs but have a tendency to slack in races.  I know how important staying hydrated and fueled is and I hope I can focus on this.  I plan to stop and drink at every aid station.
3.  Don't get injured.  To interpret this means not pushing myself too hard and staying focused on listening to my body and my breathing.
4.  I would be lying to myself and all of you if I said I didn't have time goals.  Ultimately I just want to finish the race and pace smart so that I do not die.  But here are the time goals I will be pulling for.
Minimum:  under 4 hours
Target:  3:45
Stretch:  3:30

Alright so there you have it.  I hesitated a million times to write this post because I have an incredibly hard time admitting and then documenting my goals.  But no matter what cards I am dealt tomorrow I know that I believe in myself and I will cross that finish line with pride in my soul and a smile on my face.

Has blogging positively affected your life?

Honestly beyond words for me.  Again I truly feel lucky and blessed.

Any last minute advice for my first marathon?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Optimist: Just a Day-Dreamer More Elegantly Spelled

Today's Workout:  35 minutes weights & abs, 3 treadmill miles, no incline, 24 minutes, 5 minutes stretching.
First things first.  I officially have 100 followers!!  I can't believe 100 people are suffering through my grammar errors and reading my shenanigans.  But thank you to each and every one of you.  I truly am inspired by your stories, your blogs, and each and every single comment you leave me.  The blogging community is amazing and I feel so lucky to be a part of it.  If I could send each and everyone of you a personalized 'Thank You' I would but please know that I truly appreciate you and am sincerely thankful!  And not to be all gushy and sentimental or anything but I am also incredibly excited that I hit 100 followers the week of my marathon.  You can guarantee I will be thinking about you all while I am running for 4 hours straight.

Most people who know me personally know that I am one of the most annoyingly optimistic people you will ever meet.  I am totally that person to point out the silver lining in any terrible situation. 

"oh you ran out of gas driving home from work" Me:  at least you were on your way home and not on your way to work and it will be good to sneak some extra exercise in walking to the gas station. :) 

"My life is so terrible, wa wa wa, I can't sell my house, my dog sheds all over it, poor me, poor me, wa wa wa." (this is totally my Mom who has since learned to not call me with her problems.)  Me: Oh no how terrible! (insert sarcasm)  Do you have food to eat?  Do you have a roof over your head? I guess it really isn't that bad then. :)

I could share all sorts of examples but the point is things could usually always be worse and I am quite good at pointing that out.  I am an optimist through and through.  Call it annoying (I would), call it a talent.  It is just who I am.  And now to cut to the chase of this lengthy introduction I wanted to share with you Why I Like Tapering!

Besides having more time to wrestle around with my pup.

1.  I am falling in love with free weights.  I have always lifted weights but quite honestly I have always half assed it.  It has been one of those "well if I get all of my cardio in and am bored I'll lift" or "I'll lift for 15 minutes just to say I did it on the blog." excuses, excuses!!  In the last 10 days I have fallen in love with lifting weights.  The best part?   I weighed myself today to make sure I haven't gained 20 lbs since I started the taper. (which I know I haven't because my clothes fit the exact same.)  I did gain weight, 1 lb.  You were waiting for the awesome part....I measured my body fat also and I am down to 18.5%.  Ding, Ding, Ding.....the light bulb finally went off in my peanut sized brain and I realized the importance of incorporated weight training into your fitness program.  You better believe I will be lifting weights for at least 30 minutes a day 4 days a week from here on out!  This also re-iterated the point that I often try to tell myself that weight truly is just a number and does not determine overall fitness!

2.  I have been spending 30+ extra minutes a night with my bestest friend.  It has been so nice to wake up and just relax in bed for a minute without feeling completely rushed.  Oh how I love you Mr. Bed!
Please ignore the computer from the late 70s.
3.  I have had a lot of extra energy and time to practice some old hidden talents.  And you thought all I could do was run and misspell words?
It is pretty awesome that I can cross my lips like that right?

Headstands are my secret weapon when the hidden talent competition gets competitive.  :)

Outtake.  I was home alone last night and self timer is difficult to master.  Sorry guys!
Tomorrow will be the true test as it will be the first real "rest day".  No weight lifting, no running, and no stepping foot inside of a gym all day long!  What will little miss optimism think of to make it through this one?

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Any hidden talents?

I can literally stay in a headstand position for at least 20 minutes and I can still do the Chinese splits!