Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More From Washington

Washington was an absolutely gorgeous state and the silly pictures I took with my cellphone definitely do not do it justice.  Luckily for me my good friend and Ragnar teammate Jill is an awesome photographer.  Here are a few of the shots that she captured.

And this last one is just for my sister.  Yes Amber I actually got that close to a raw fish.  Yuck!!

I hope you enjoy a little bit of the scenery I was surrounded by while running from Blaine Washington to Whidbley Island, and sight seeing in downtown Seattle.  Thanks so much Jill for letting me borrow your pictures.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Northwest Passage Ragnar Relay ULTRA Style

I'll do my best not to bore you to tears with my terrible writing and grammatical errors but no promises. ;)  This ultra relay was ultra fabulous, beautiful, fun, crazy, hard, amazing and basically one of the coolest things I've ever done.  Running as an ultra team basically means double the miles and double the fun of a regular relay.

The epic little ultra adventure all started when I met up with my ultra awesome ultra team. 

Jill, Ashley, Katy, Julia, myself and Lisa is behind the camera. :)
First things first.  We got all decked out in our ultra colorful team outfits.

Lisa, Jill, Katy, Ashley, me, and Julia!

We got ultra close to the Canadian border and it was ultra green!

 And then the ultra wet ultra relay began.

My first leg was ultra hilly with 1005 feet elevation gain and I loved every second of it.  It was beautiful and I ran the 9.5 miles with a 7:23 pace.

After the first legs of the race the rain let up and we decked out our ultra large 15 passenger van.

In between runners we took in the ultra awesome scenery, acted like ultra dorks goofing around and having fun, and I cheered my heart out ultra loud for all of our runners!

And then before I knew it it was already time for round 2.  An ultra long and ultra dark 16.4 miles in the middle of the night.  I paced 7:50's overall and for the most part it was a quite enjoyable run but I must admit there is nothing easy about running for 2+ hours at 2am on zero sleep.  I was very happy to be finished.  I got about 2.5 seconds of sleep in the van and then it was time for the last round of running.

Lisa kicked things off on the last stretch of the ultra relay.

The rotation kept on going and even though we were all ultra tired we never skipped a beat!  We cheered, took in our gorgeous surroundings and just kept on keeping on.

My final leg of the race started at 11am and it was ultra hot out!  12.5 miles with a 7:32 average pace.  I felt great was thrilled to have completed my part of this little ultra adventure.

Even though my part was finished at this point there was still running to be done.  Jill and Julia both ultra rocked there legs and after running 200 consecutive miles in 30 hours and 3 minutes we all crossed the finish line together! 

What an ultra freaking amazing experience!  I know that this ultra Ragnar does not necessarily qualify me as an ultra runner but I definitely earned that ultra medal.

I feel so incredibly fortunate that I was able to take part in this event and am very thankful for the ultra amazing friendships I made along the way.  Each of these five ladies inspires me in so many ways with they're strength and they were such amazing examples to me throughout this race.  I will absolutely cherish the memories we made together for a lifetime! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Run Through the Lavenders Half Marathon Recap

I was very excited about this race this year and had been looking forward to it since Utah Valley Marathon.  I took time off from hard workouts after the marathon and then began training (with what little time I had) for this race as a key race.  You can read the full recap of the race on My Training Blog.  I will not rewrite it but it is totally worth the read! 

 Two short years ago this race was my first ever 5k so it will always hold a very special place in my heart.  It is the race that began this complete madness of a running journey for me! When I heard they added a half marathon this year I was thrilled.  The race begins in Goshen canyon and the first mile is on dirt trail. Next you enter onto the highway and weave around Mona Reservoir for 9 miles, finally finishing the final 3.1 in the lavender fields on dirt trail.  It is a tough course with 30% ran on trail and a net elevation gain. 

One of the many perks of this race is that it is only about 12 miles from my house.  There is nothing quite like running a race in your own backyard and I was even fortunate enough to have the famous Jake & Andrea stay with me Friday night.  I prayed that having them in my home would somehow make some of their speed rub off on me.  A far cry as I knew the next morning I would be toeing the line with the best of the best in the State of Utah.  Something must have worked because I ran this race much faster than I had anticipating finishing in 1:28:53.  Going into the race I felt I was in shape for 1:32 in perfect conditions.  But add in awesome competition (seriously the best in the state), determination, and a little confidence in myself and I completely exceeded my expectations.

The final kick to the finish!  I feel like I look a beached whale in this picture but the determination is written all over my face!

My finishing time was good enough for 5th place overall female.  I have never been so happy to finish 5th place in my life considering the Elite competition I was up against.

The Nephi Crew.  I love it when I see familiar faces at races and this was many of these guys first half marathons.  So cool!

Julia sent me this picture and I love it!  I feel so honored to be among those names and yes I still have tons of room to grow but I was not light years behind which is really exciting.

The top five women.  Kassi Harmon, Andrea North, Stephanie Talley, Jen Hughes.  What an amazing honor to be among such talented athletes.  Seriously if you don't believe me google these ladies or something.  They are legit and the coolest part is that they are all incredibly nice and very humble.

Andrea & I after the race.  Andrea is basically my running idol.  She is an incredible runner and such a nice person.
Julia and I after the race.  Julia totally freaking rocks and ran a half marathon the night before this race in training for her ultra.  She is incredibly inspiring to me!
Ashlee, Me, Julia, and Sara after the race.  I was so excited to finally meet Ashlee.  She is the absolute sweetest and totally rocked the race.  Sara ran the 5k and did awesome!
  This was such a great day and one of those races that I will never forget and keep going back to each year.  Young Living Farms really puts on an awesome event and the greatest thing about it is it just keeps getting better each year.  The race organization is flawless, the prize money for overall and age group winning is awesome, and the events afterwards are a lot of fun and family friendly.  I really cannot say enough good things about this race.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I've been really busy having FUN!!

I've never been the brightest crayon in the box but if there is one thing I have learned since my brother passed away and as I get older it is to cherish and enjoy every single moment of life!   

As the title reads I've been really busy the past two weeks having fun with my family and friends and just genuinely living life to the fullest.  Rather than thinking about or anticipating "whats next" I've just taken some time to disconnect, relax, and live in the moment!  Sometimes having kids around is the best medicine for adults and I have been so incredibly lucky to have my cousin Dillon staying with me the past two weeks.  This amazing kid continues to teach me through his example, strength, attitude, and love of life. I will forever be grateful to have him in life and to be able to learn from him each day.

The activities were honestly endless and awesome and I am so thankful for the time I was able to spend with Dillon and my family.  We visited the aquarium.

Went and saw the Movie Brave and rode on the Train at the mall.

Made several trips to the Track to practice our running and multiple trips to Salem Ponds to walk along the lake, feed the ducks, and play at the play ground.

We celebrated the 4th of July in style by running the races in Eureka and spending the day with my grandparents.

We went to a Bee's game and had so much fun meeting Bumble and walking around the park.

Made a trip the the Dinosaur museum and enjoyed the most amazing Ice cream cones ever at Thanksgiving Point.

And finished the party with a great big Family Reunion as the finale!

I know that I say this in like every other post but it is worth mentioning again that my family freaking rocks!  Although Summer is flying by way too fast for my liking I have really, really enjoyed it so far.  So many awesome moments and I am really looking forward to continuing to create some awesome memories. I am so incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such amazing friends and family.

I hope you are having an amazing Summer too and that you are taking some time to embrace and enjoy every moment.