Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good week

Can I just say how awesome it would be if Justin never had to work?
This week I ran outside 4 times!
It was so nice just being able to take off and run whenever I felt like it, and I didn't have to go through the 2 hour ordeal of taking three kids to the gym. 
It also helped that we had record highs in Salt Lake this week.
Yesterday hit 57 degrees!
I was running in capris and a light running jacket, how lucky is that in December?!

So here's how my week looked:
Monday: 3 miler outside 27:47 (9:16 pace)
Tuesday: 5k on treadmill 25:17 (7:54 pace- I push myself to near death on a treadmill) :)
Wednesday: 3 miler outside 24:04 (8:02 pace... much better for an outdoor run)
Thursday: STRIKE class (kind of like kickboxing)
Friday: 5 miles outside 42:26 (8:29 pace)
Saturday: 5 miles outside 46:31 (9:19 pace)

Had to take it easy today since my shins are starting to bother me and there's no way I'm going into marathon training injured.
It has been a great week, though, I hope I can stay this committed when Justin goes back to work next week!

Monday, December 26, 2011

All Kinds of Updates

Update #1:
Last week while running at the gym, I started thinking that I can run pretty fast for how big I am. I realized that I've never noticed any girls as big as me run as fast as me at the gym.
Which got me thinking about the Halloween Half.
At the time of the race, I was about 148 pounds. Yup- there it is- out there. I'm 5'7", but that's still definitely on the heavy side for a runner.  
At 150+ lbs., you can register for the Athena division.
So I decided to check the Athena division results. Turns out I would have gotten 3rd place (out of 123) in that division if I had weighed just a couple of pounds more. And the second place girl only beat me by 6 seconds, and was only 20 years old! The third place girl came in almost a minute after me. So anyway... not that I'm happy that I weigh so much, but it felt pretty good to know that I really do push hard, especially considering I'm a bit of a fatty right now. :)

Update #2:
 Christmas morning meant a HUGE surprise for me from Justin. We are not the world's biggest gift givers, so I was totally shocked and thrilled when Justin surprised me with a shiny new GARMIN! Woo hoo!!

I was obsessed with the thought of taking it out for a run, but unfortunately it was Sunday, and being the good little Mormon girl that I am, I waited until this morning to hit the road. It came with a heart-rate monitor so I strapped it on and ran out the door.

Um, not exactly the glorious run I had envisioned. 

I barely made it to the end of the street before my hands were ACHING and my lungs were BURNING. Oh my word, it was C-O-L-D! I never do this, but I ran back to the house because I needed some more clothes. I grabbed Makenzie's little cotton gloves and threw on Justin's fleece pullover. I asked Justin to check the weather and it was 19 degrees outside. Sheesh.
I ran back out and felt much warmer, but I felt heavy with all those clothes on.
Not my best run ever.
It wasn't just the clothes holding me back- for some reason I felt like I couldn't breathe. I don't know if it was the cold or what, but I haven't felt that way since I first ran in Utah and wasn't used to the elevation. It was strange and not so pleasant.
I ended up with these results:
Time: 27:47
Moving Time: 27:27
Elapsed Time: 34:25
Avg Pace: 9:16 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace: 9:09 min/mi
Best Pace: 7:09 min/mi

Not very impressive... 
But I still had fun analyzing my run on GarminConnect.
Here's hoping I set the bar very, very low. :)

Update #3:
I'm in the mood for a race. 
I miss long runs.
I did run seven on Saturday, but it's just more fun when I'm training.
I'm looking at the Utah Valley Half Marathon on June 9th, but the crazy in me is contemplating the full. I don't know. I need to mull over it some more, but I'm really, really thinking about it.

Alright, that's what's on my running mind lately!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Provo Halloween Half: Done

I blogged all about the Halloween Half on our family blog-

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Last trial run before the half

Today I thought I would run about 10 miles to taper down before the race.
But when I got out there, I just felt like I needed to do 13 again to really be ready.
So I did... and I'm glad, because I was really feeling it those last 3 miles!

I won't go into great detail, just a quick training log type update.
The iphone died when I was about 11.6 miles into my run. Not cool! I was relying on RunKeeper for my distance and pace, so I don't know what my total time or pace was. I do know that I was doing a 9:13 pace right before it died, and I slowed down the last mile or so. Luckily, it died at an intersection, so I could just use MapMyRun to see how far I ended up running. I overshot it a little and did another 2.1, so 13.7 miles today! Feels great. I've got that postrun high right now, love that!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

13-Mile Training Run

Man, running 13 miles is quite the adventure.
A lot can happen when you're on the road for two hours.
Today was my big 13 mile pre-race training run.
And it also happened to be the South Jordan Marathon, which went right by my house.
Right outside my neighborhood was the mile 17 mile marker/aid station.
I couldn't resist, and I joined in with the runners, thinking this would be a great way to train.
It was pretty fun, and totally got me pumped for a race.
After a few miles, though, I started feeling a little silly.
I was passing lots of people, obviously, because they were on mile 20 and I was on mile 3.
And while you can get away with people not seeing your bib, you can't hide the fact that you're not wearing a timing chip. Sooo... feeling like the race hijacker that I was, I jumped on the sidewalk to make it a little more clear that I wasn't in the race, and to be out of everyone's way.
I made sure to hit my intersections at the same time as the marathoners, though, so I wouldn't have to wait, which was pretty awesome.

Around mile 5 or 6, I passed this middle-aged guy that was just having a blast, yelling to people cheering him on and waving his arms around like he was just having a party. On mile 22. 
I told him he had way too much energy for mile 22. 
He said, "Hey, if you're not having fun, you might as well quit!"
I think the super-fit guy that was on his heels probably wanted to punch him.
But seriously, great attitude. He has probably run a lot of marathons. Maybe I will be feeling that good on mile 22 someday.
Alright, so right after that on mile 6 I knew I was about to turn off the marathon course so I took my gel a little early and got my last chance for some water. I told the volunteers I wasn't in the race but they didn't care. That one little cup of water was all I had on the entire run, and I'll be honest, I could've used some more.

As soon as I turned the corner, it was basically a gradual uphill climb the rest of the way home.
On my first six miles, I was averaging an 8:40 pace. And it just got slower and slower every time that lady came into my ear to tell me my pace.

By mile 10, I was dying.
I was around a 9:07 pace, I think.
I had to dig really deep.
I had to take myself to later in the day, when the run is over, and you're wondering if you gave it all you had.
So I gave it all I had.
And all I had resulted in a 2:00:38 run. 
I was hoping to push it to under 2 hours, but that was close enough that I know I can get under 2 hours on race day, especially since it's downhill.
I mean, look at the elevation chart on this thing. 
Doesn't get any better than that!

I'm pretty excited, this is the only timed race I've done since I had Kyle over a year ago (Ragnar doesn't really count). Can't wait!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Getting closer...

 We had quite a wintry week here in Utah.
It even snowed.
And when it wasn't snowing, it was raining. And freezing.
So Saturday came and once again, it was about 40 degrees outside.
The good news for me?
Freezing my fanny makes me run a hecka lot faster.
The previous Saturday, I ran 10 miles at about a 9:40-9:50 pace. 
Yesterday I ran 11 at a 9:03 overall pace.
I was elated.
I needed that boost of confidence SO bad.

But it wasn't just the cold weather that helped me.
It was that brain of mine.
As every runner knows, running is mostly mental and I just had to get my head in the game.
Instead of being worried about the distance and getting injured and all those reasons I was telling myself to just take it easy, yesterday I just wanted to dominate the asphalt, to take charge of my run instead of just letting it happen. I pushed myself, and it felt great.

I have also amped up my mid-week training.
I was only running Tuesdays and Thursdays mid-week before, and that just wasn't cutting it.
I added another day (or 2? I can't remember) and I pushed my pace on those runs. 

And lastly, I did a bit of carb loading on Friday.
Who says carb loading is only for race day? If you're going to run 11 miles, have some carbs the day before. 

I did have some uphill climbs, but I'm happy to say I maintained my pace decently well on them.
I think it makes it a little easier when the goal at the top of your hill is this:

I feel a lot more optimistic about the race now.
I hope I can stay around a 9 minute pace again this Saturday when I go for 13!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ten Mile Technology Meltdown

Ran 10 miles yesterday for the first time since Ragnar.
I felt pretty good- legs got a little stiff on the last mile or so, but I was okay.
My technology, on the other hand, was not okay.
I started the run using Justin's iphone/Runkeeper.
About 4 miles in, the headphones started going out.
I took them off and carried them.
About 5 miles in, the iphone started dying.
By 6.5, it was almost dead.
I ran to my house to grab my ipod/nike+ sensor to make sure I did exactly 10 miles.
My nike+ sensor must be losing battery power because it wouldn't work.
Luckily I know a route that is a little over 3 miles so I just ran that to complete my 10 miler.
I tried using my headphones and got to listen to the music go in and out for my last three miles.
Thanks for nothing, technology! 
Before my technological meltdown, Runkeeper said I was doing around a 9:40 pace.
I don't know why I'm so slow. The downhill in this half is really going to have to do its job if I'm going to finish in less than 2 hours. The last time I ran a downhill course (Provo 10 miler), my pace was under 8 minutes. I would need to be in the 8-9 min/mile range right now to be anywhere close to that. Oh well. I'll just keep plugging away and see what happens!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A little self reflection

Had to be brutally honest with myself during my 7 miler today.
I've put on some pounds and I'm not as fast as I thought I was.
But it's okay. I'm not gonna go sulk with a tub of ice cream or anything, I just need to work on some things before this half next month.

Before, during, after the move... I was not exercising consistently at all. I was eating whatever was easiest. And as it tends to do, it all caught up with me.

Because it was so hard for me to squeeze in exercise, the few times I did make it to the gym (maybe once a week?), I would just bust it as fast as I could on the treadmill for 3.2 to make myself feel like I was still in shape. I would stay in the 8 minute mile range, sometimes dipping into the upper 7's, feeling really awesome about myself.

But that was on a treadmill. And I don't know if this is true for everyone, but I can go way faster on a treadmill than in real life because I don't have to push my pace- the machine does that for me. I also never touched the incline so I didn't have to face one single teeny, tiny hill. No wind, no uneven terrain... none of that stuff.

Now that I've been running outside again, everything has changed. If I want to go fast, I have to do more than push a button and keep up with the spinning mouse wheel. I have to tell myself, "You can do better. You can go faster." And then actually do it. It's hard! 

And then there's the old running weight-o-meter, feeling every ounce of extra weight pulling you down. Not enjoyable.

So! I have six weeks until this race. Today I worked really hard and I did 7 miles at a 9:14 pace. 9:14 is not bad, it's just that I had to work so dang hard for it. My training goals for the next six weeks are to drop a few pounds by eating right (uh.. and eating less... chocolate... and ice cream...) and to push my pace on my shorter runs so I can be more comfortable running a teeny bit faster on my long runs.

Okay! Here goes!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New trails!!

(photo from The Daily Herald)

We've been in our new home for one week now and this morning I finally got to try out the running trails in Daybreak, which is right next to us. We don't officially live in Daybreak (yes! we don't have to pay their pricey HOA fees!), but we're reallllly close.

I knew there were running trails, but I didn't realize how many trails there were. I could run forever out there! It was awesome. On my way up, I had gorgeous valley views and then I ran around the lake. I ran five miles, but when I got home I told Justin I just wanted to go back out and do it again, I loved it so much. He said that is annoying. haha

One of my favorite things about running has always been exploring new areas, so today was awesome. Can't wait to find more trails and get favorite routes. 

I may have enjoyed it a bit too much, though, because I did a 10 minute pace (according to my Nike+ --finally found the foot sensor again when we moved). But I loved it. Plus, Justin and I are running the Halloween Half Marathon in Provo next month and I don't want to hurt myself. Haha remember how I thought I was going to run that race last year? Two and half months after having Kyle? Hahaha! I know there are people who do that, but I'm definitely not one of them!

Anyway, loving our new house and our new trails. Hopefully I will be a little faster next time though. :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Final days before Ragnar

The Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay is only a few days away. 
I guess this is as prepared as I'm gonna get!
I ran 9.5 miles on Friday night in my new Mizuno Wave Inspire 6's (last year's model = half price).
I decided to get them, even though I know it's not recommended to get new shoes right before a race, because I was still having some recurring ankle pain on my right side and my left shin was really starting to aggravate me.
So being the brave (dumb?) soul that I am, I ran 9.5 miles on my first try in them.
I got done with that run with absolutely zero pain anywhere.
Totally convinced that worn out running shoes are to blame for most of my injuries!
I ran 5 miles in them yesterday and some hill runs today and still not an ache or pain anywhere, I'm loving it!

Tomorrow I'm going to take the day off and Thursday I'll do a nice & easy 2 or 3 mile jog and then Friday morning IT'S ON!!
I feel a little guilty that this race has been shadowed by our Disneyland trip, which we'll be leaving for on Monday. My mind is totally in Mickey-land right now, but I am trying to focus on this race. I really need to get my head in the game. I'm also a little nervous because this will be my first time leaving Kyle overnight (thanks to Justin's mom and my poor sister Tiffany, who was supposed to be running the race with us, got a stress fracture, and will now be sleeping over with my kids!).
But yeah, despite my distractions and my jitters, now that the race is practically here, I'm getting pumped!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Up the mountain

I'm not one to run with things in my hands, but I really wish I'd brought my camera along today.
Last week I got ready for my Ragnar distance run, and today was the day to get ready for my 3.2 uphill climb (they changed the course a bit because of some road damage we've had after LOADS of rain this Spring and my hill got cut by .4 mile! YES!!).

So I drove wayyy over to the East side so I could run up Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Okay, it's only about 10 minutes away, but it feels like another world.
I parked in a neighborhood just outside of the canyon and as soon as I looked in front of me, I knew why people pay big bucks to live that far East.
It was a bit overcast but the sun's rays were breaking through clouds and shining onto green mountains spotted with misty clouds nestled into nooks and crannies.
Just breathtaking.
The birds were in heaven and singing loud and clear and the river was coming down next to the road with whitewater force. 
It was runner's paradise.

I went about 4.2 miles up and straight back down.
I was aiming for 3.6 up but I missed the landmark I had chosen on mapmyrun. It got to the point where I was pretty sure I had already been 3.6 so I ran to the first landmark I could find (some fancy shmancy house) and then mapped it when I got home. And 4.2 uphill was just fine, I feel a lot more prepared for Ragnar now.
 I was surprised that the hill really didn't seem that intimidating. I wish it had been more steep like the hill in Ragnar will be, but this was the best I could do.
There were moments where it got steep but mostly it was just a long, gradual uphill run.
Here's the breakdown: this run had a 1050 ft. elevation gain in 4.2 miles and the Ragnar hill has a 1400 ft. elevation gain in only 3.2 miles. So it's a lot more steep, but I'm hoping I can handle it. 

My ankle worries are dissolving. It is stiff and bothering me a bit, but I think with ice and ibuprofen I'll be just fine.

Alright, three weeks to go!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Going the distance

I have to admit, I wish I had trained a little harder for the Ragnar. It's in 4 weeks, so that only leaves 3 more Saturdays for long runs or hills. 
So today I got out there and ran 10 miles to make sure I was ready for my 9.6 mile leg.

Mentally, I was fine. It actually didn't feel as long as I thought it would. But around mile 7, my legs started to fatigue a bit. I took a gel but it didn't really help. My legs just aren't used to this much distance right now.  But they made it through just fine. I have no idea what my pace was. I really should be tracking it, but we lost the foot sensor to our Nike+ and I just haven't put any effort into tracking my pace since. I really hope I'm under 10 minute miles. Please, please let me be faster than that by now.

Only problem is some ankle pain. I took some ibuprofen and I'm icing it and crossing my fingers it doesn't become a problem. It started on Thursday when I tried to be all gung ho and set the treadmill to a 7.0 incline and ran 2.25 miles. DANG that was hard!! My ipod was dead, too, and honestly, it was miserable! I think I was going like a 12-13 minute pace and it was still crazy challenging! And I got the beginnings of a nice little ankle injury as a souvenir. Why do I do these things to myself? And maybe the better question is:
Why did I sign up for that crazy hill in the Ragnar?
I'm seriously getting nervous about it.
I can just see my team cheering me on as I shamefully walk up the hill.

So yeah, the good news is I ran 10 miles, woo hoo! Furthest I've gone since having Kyle.
Bad news is I may be injured... please let the bad news go away.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ragnar training

The Ragnar race is less than 2 months away!
It is upon us!
Now that it's almost here, I'm finally getting excited about it.
Up until now, it has just seemed like this elusive race that was never really going to happen.

I didn't sign up for the easiest of legs, so it's time to get training.
My first leg is an easy, flat 3.5 miles. Wahoo!
My second leg is relatively flat, but it will probably occur in the wee hours of the morning, and it's 9.6 miles. That one could go either way for me. Either I'll be pumped and in my groove and loving the craziness of the whole thing, or I'll be tired and slow and wondering what the heck I'm doing. Time will tell.
The third leg is (dun dun dun!) 3.6 miles STRAIGHT UP.

Look at that incline.
And with zero sleep!
I'm sure I won't sleep. I wish I were one of those who could fall asleep anywhere, anytime (Justin), but I'm not. It's going to be a sheer miracle if I get any at all.

Anyway, I've slowly been integrating some hill workouts into my runs, I wish I had been better about recording them here. I've also been doing some half run/half stairmill days at the gym. Anything to strengthen my butt and hamstrings because heavens knows I'm going to need it!

Today I ran 3.5 at a 8:34 pace. It was tough. I was going for 4, but the child center girl came to get me to change Kyle's diaper. I thought about asking if I could just have 4 more minutes, but didn't. :)

After changing him, I came back and did a mile at a level 5 incline at a 10:00 pace. It wasn't too bad. I wish I knew what number to put on the treadmill incline to mimic that hill I'm going to run. Probably a 10, seriously. I think for now I'll keep it at a 5, and work my way up to 3.6, then boost it to a 6, then 7, etc. Ughhh, can't wait. BUT at least I have another motivation which is: my butt. Needs some serious help for swimsuit time, so at least I'll be killing two birds with one stone.

Alright! Time to hit the ground running and get ready for Ragnar!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Into the elements

Spring is here and things are slightly warming up in Utah.
So I have ventured away from the treadmill and out into the elements.
I forgot about elements.
Elements are kind of rough.
But I kind of like rough.

My 5.5 Saturday run was like running through a wind tunnel.
I had a mile-long stretch where the wind was so strong I felt like I was running underwater.
It wasn't my preferred way to run, but I do get that sense of satisfaction knowing that I am getting prepared for wind should that happen in a race.
Running outside also brings unexpected hills.
And since I have a 4 mile steep uphill leg in the upcoming Ragnar relay, bring 'em on!

I also came across 3 dead animals in one run on Saturday- that part of outdoor running is not my favorite.

But I'm happy to be outdoors again.

I can feel summer coming and it sure feels good!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pushing myself

This morning I knew I needed to run.
But I really didn't want to run.
We were in the middle of a snowstorm, Justin was going to play basketball at the church, Kyle is getting his first tooth so he's snotty and not feeling too great, and I was just not feeling energetic.
I told Justin I just wasn't going to go.
But Makenzie wanted to go play at the gym, and Justin gave me the wise advice to just go.
So I went.
And as usual, I was glad I did.
I was kind of thinking I would do a 10k distance, but I started out not really knowing what I was going to end up doing.
I warmed up for the first mile and by the end of that mile I was doing a 6.8 on the treadmill (I think that's an 8:49 pace). I was feeling pretty good.
I started thinking about the upcoming Ragnar race, and the 4-mile straight uphill leg I have to run, and I decided to start some uphill training.
So every other song I put it on a 2.5 incline for the duration of that song. I didn't decrease my speed (still 6.8) so it was a good challenge. By 3 or maybe 4 songs of that uphill, I was getting tired.
So all of mile 4 I just ran, same pace.
On mile five, I was recovered and decided to push myself just a little more.
I decreased my speed down to a 6.0 (10 minute mile) and put the incline on a 4.0. That's a pretty good incline. I did two songs like that- it was a challenge.
As a reward for my efforts, on the last mile I gave myself a nice -2.0 downhill. It felt great.
I ended up doing my full 6.4 miles in 58:13.
I think that's a 9:22 pace.
I really ran my guts out and it felt so good!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Catching up

I have been doing a lot of running lately, I've just been terrible about recording it here!
I wrote a few posts ago about wondering when I would ever start to feel "normal" again.
Well, it came.
Somewhere around 4 and a half months after baby, my body stopped having those "ouch, I definitely just had a baby" pains during my runs.
If I went faster or longer, though, they would come back. But the pain was barely there.
At about 5 months (which I hit 9 days ago), it pretty much stopped happening altogether.
The past few weeks, I've been running 4-5 miles pretty regularly (2-4 times a week).
I got a little ambitious and started running 4-5 miles around a 8:30-8:45 pace, just because I COULD. It has been so long since I've been able to push myself like that, it felt awesome.
And I thought surely I would start dropping the excess baby weight.
But no such luck.

I didn't watch my eating, but I figured running like a maniac and doing some intense workout classes combined with breastfeeding would do the trick.
But it didn't!
What the heck??
I wasn't losing a pound.

I talked to a friend who is an instructor at the gym.
She said I needed to do base training.
Run slower.
Keep my heart rate low.

Not again!! 
Just when I thought I could go all out again, and you're telling me to slow down??

But what she said made sense.
When I run super hard and do the intense workout classes, my heart rate is in the anaerobic range. That makes you burn sugar and carbs, but it doesn't teach your body to burn fat.
Aerobic exercise (keeping your heart rate lower) will teach your body to start burning fat.
She said, "get on the elliptical or treadmill and go at a pace you would go at if you were starting a marathon. And go for an hour."
I read a good article about it here.

So that is what I've done the last 2 weeks.
Going off the heart rate guide on the treadmill, I have to run a TWELVE minute mile to keep myself in the aerobic/fat burn range.
It's not so bad, it just takes all sense of competition out of you. :)
I've also started cutting SOME of the carbs out of my diet (man I love carbs! I didn't realize I pretty much eat a carb-only diet until I started monitoring them).
I've lost a few pounds already.

So I'm sticking with this plan, because I still have 20 more pounds to lose.

So anyway, I'm back in the game. It feels good. I can run again. And it should feel a whole lot better when I'm 15-20 pounds lighter!