Friday, October 26, 2012

Big Cottonwood Canyon Half - Race Recap

A couple months ago my brother convinced me to sign us up for the Big Cottonwood Half Marathon. This was the first year they were doing this race. I was a little skeptical because usually inaugural races can be pretty unorganized since they're new. This was my sister in law, Rachel's come back race too. Coming back off of her broken foot from Ragnar. I'm so glad she decided to do another race this year. Especially since she swore up and down to me as I continued to beg her to sign up for other races that she hates racing and that's why she only does it once a year.

Ha! I will make a racer out of her .. she just may not know it yet.

So up we were at 4:30am on yet another Saturday morning. That's by far the worst part about running races. The early start times. When we arrived there was this huge line of cars waiting to get in and park so we headed across the street to park in a different lot. We barely met up with Evan and Rachel at the top before they started with the 5 minute warning for the start. We literally had time to drop our warm clothes at the bag drop and then we were waiting on Jeramie to pin his number and get his gear all situated. In the end I think we actually started the race about 3 minutes after the gun went off. Not something we really worry about because it's chip timed so we don't officially start until we cross the starting line. Or so I thought anyway.

As we headed out we ran the first couple miles together. The first one being quite quick. I was feeling really good. We ran on the other side of the road for quite awhile because we were just passing runners non stop. After a couple miles though Evan, Rachel and Jeramie started to slow down. I didn't realize this until they were quite a ways behind me. I really hadn't gone up there planning to run really hard at all. Just go with the flow and enjoy it. But I guess I just can't help myself. I am so competitive with myself. And truly it's just myself and my desire to beat my own times. Well and let's be honest starting at the back of the pack and picking off other runners the entire race is kind of a confidence booster. Since I was feeling good I just went with it. I figured I would give it everything and when I ran out of gas I would plant my butt on the side of the road and just wait for the rest of the group.

This right here is one of my favorite race pictures of all time.
See how both my feet are off the ground? That means no dimpling on my legs.
I really debated about what to wear to this race but I'm happy with what I chose.
I was worried the long sleeves would be too hot, but it worked out fine.

The outfit:
Socks:  Saucony Compression Socks (I've had these forever, can't find a link)
Shoes:  Brooks Ravenna 2's (link to the 3's)
Hat:  Brooks Printed Mesh Cap  (this hat is my all time favorite!)

So as I continued on down the mountain one by one I passed the 2:30 pacer, then the 2:15 pacer. I kept thinking, okay the 2:00 pacer will be next. I just have to pass this pacer and stay ahead, then knowing I started a few minutes after the official start meant that I would actually pull out a sub 2 hour half marathon.  In my head the first goal of a new runner is to complete your first half marathon with no walking this is usually the next big goal. Next, to finish in under 2 hours. I'm still a very new runner. I ran my first half marathon less than a year ago. Which even to me sounds very strange considering how many I've run since then. I finished Timpanogos (which was my "A" race this year) in 2:01! I was so close. As I got closer and closer to the finish line I kept telling myself I'm actually going to do it!! There are absolutely no words to describe this feeling.

This is a seriously downhill course.  And that can be a good thing and that can be a bad thing.  By about 6 miles my quads were screaming.  But my heart rate was nice and low so I just kept going at that same pace. It's like a drug really.  Looking down and seeing myself running so fast (speed clearly being a relative thing), I just couldn't help myself.  I felt like I was flying.

 I love that my husband does this with me.
I think if he'd stuck with me in the beginning he'd have finished with me.

He however stuck with my brother and sister in law for awhile.  I'll be honest, I'm bummed I missed out on this adorable picture.  These three are so fun to run with!

And really there aren't words to describe this sport / hobby. I wish that I could. We tell my other brother Mike all the time that he needs to start running, he still maintains it will never happen. And frankly he's stubborn and so I really believe that it will never happen. But boy you guys are missing out. The sense of accomplishment. Running is such a prime example of you get out of it what you put into it. If you work your ass off then you WILL be successful. It's really just that easy. But if you don't put the work in then I feel like you will set yourself up for failure. And that's where I think it becomes harder to stay motivated and stick with it. There are plenty of lunch times at work when I think to myself I really would rather not go run. I don't want to change out of my work clothes and then ruin my hair for the rest of the day. And then I just tell myself to stop thinking like that and get to it. And I swear there are LOTS of Sunday mornings where I would rather sleep in than go for a run. But it's true what they say, you will never ever ever regret a run. You just won't. Even when it was a miserable run (and there are plenty of those) you still don't think to yourself, well I wish I hadn't gone out and done that. Another thing about runners, they are the most enthusiastic to get new runners added to the group. BEST. THING. EVER.

Big Cottonwood Half Marathon

The Stats:

Official Finish Time: 1:52:25

Overall Rank: 242/646

Overall Gender Rank: 139/448

Age Group Rank: 29/86

Mile 1: 8:37
Mile 2: 9:16
Mile 3: 8:58
Mile 4: 8:43
Mile 5: 8:46
Mile 6: 8:31
Mile 7: 8:13
Mile 8: 8:13
Mile 9: 8:22
Mile 10: 8:16
Mile 11: 8:13
Mile 12: 8:19
Mile 13: 8:43
Mile 13.1: 8:58

I could not have been happier about my performance. I didn't go out there with these expectations and I feel so lucky that I was able to accomplish what I did.
This is truly what mile 13 of a PR race looks like.
Now let's talk about the race itself.  This was an supremely organized race!  Like I mentioned, this was the inaugural race.  And from beginning to end it was organized so well.  Just to name a few reasons why I would recommend this race to anyone:
  • Their Facebook presence with updates and the such was awesome. 
  • The medal was one of the best ones I've gotten. 
  • The course support was fantastic.  Water at all stations.
  • The tech shirt is great .. I've worn it for many training runs since then.
  • Timing chips attached to the bib.
  • Bag pick up the night before was super fast and easy.
  • Gorgeous views down one of the main canyons of the Wasatch Mountains.
  • All of the food and stuff after the race was really awesome too.

The hubs and me.
The whole family.

If you want an awesome race to travel to Salt Lake City for this is the one.  I can't wait to run this again next year and attempt to beat my PR. 

Have you run a specific race where you just loved it from beginning to end?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hobble Creek Half - Race Recap

A couple weekends ago my husband and I ran the Hobble Creek Half Marathon.  It's famed to be one of the prettiest races in Utah.  The kind of race that sells out within hours of opening registration.  I'm not actually sure how quickly it sold out this year.  I was online and registering the morning it opened.  This was my brothers first half marathon last year, and one of the few races I've gone to the finish line to cheer on.  Since then it seems like I've just been running them all.  But watching them finish this race last year is what motivated me to step up my training and run my first half marathon.  They were such an inspiration.  Plus this would be the first race I would actually run the whole thing with my husband.  I was excited for that too.

So as it turned out we were camping this weekend up at Jordanelle Reservoir.  This meant that we would have a little bit of a longer drive in the morning.  The alarm went off bright and early at 4am and we very very carefully tried to get ready in our trailer without waking any of the kids up.  Turned out we did a pretty good job of that, my dad didn't even hear us leave.  I had mapquested directions to the starting line and it estimated a 1 hour drive time.  As we raced down Provo Canyon we were behind another car that had a Ragnar sticker on the back window.  Based on their speed I said to Jeramie, I bet they're going to the same place.  But as we got to the bottom of the canyon and headed further south they kept going so I guessed I was wrong.  Until we then made a wrong turn and saw them pass us again.  I just thought it was funny to pick out another set of runners based on running stickers on their car.

We ended up making it to the finish line with just the right amount of time.  We geared up and walked over to packet pick up to get our bibs.  Once we had them pinned on and our timing chips attached to our shoes we walked over to the buses and literally just climbed on the bus.  We sat in the very first seat and spent the ride up the canyon listening to all the nervous runners.  I always find the bus talk amusing.  I was happy that the ride up the canyon didn't make me sick like the bus ride up for Timpanogos.  Once the bus dropped you off at the top you had to walk like another half mile up the canyon.  We laughed at all the people who were in such a rush to get up there.  We took it nice and leisurely walk, fast enough to keep us warm but certainly slow enough that we weren't using any race energy.  Once we got to the top we hopped in line for the Honey Buckets.  They were some of the longest lines I've ever had to stand in.  But by the time we finished we literally walked to drop my drop bag and then made our way to the slower pace signs.  We kept walking and walking, once we got to basically the complete back of the pack we were still at the 9:30 pace (faster than we planned) but we were at the back.  This really truly is one of my biggest pet peeves.  People who stand in the much faster corals than they clearly plan to run only to slow people down behind them who were respectful enough to stand in the correct coral.  It punishes those of us that are in the right place by forcing us to spend the first couple of miles trying to navigate around people running much slower.

Here we were at the starting line.  As you can see there's nobody hardly around us.

The nice thing about starting at the back
and running a conservative pace is there was little crowd to deal with.
This is pretty much what the first 8 miles looked like.
Slight down hill along a two lane unmarked road.
Very pretty.

Since we had only run Timpanogos Half a few weeks ago and it was my "A" race this year I had no intention of racing this one too.   Our goal was to go out at between a 10:30 and 11:00 min pace.

Mile 1:  10:37
Mile 2:  10:37

At this point we picked up an older gentleman.  He said to me that I should have been a pacer because I was running 10:30 on the nose.  I was a little bit flattered.  I'm pretty sure it was a compliment.  We chatted a little bit about what other races he had run and what he had coming up.  He mentioned going out too fast at Timpanogos and gassing out.  He was happy to pace with us for a while in order to avoid having the same thing happen.  It was kind of funny for me really.  I ran between the older gentleman wearing his BYU cap and my husband wearing his "Will Run For Beer" bondi band .. haha.  Opposite ends of the spectrum I tell you. He stuck with us until around mile 7, however didn't talk much after that.

Mile 3:  10:22
Mile 4:  10:29
Mile 5:  10:22
Mile 6:  10:01
Mile 7:  10:19
Mile 8:  10:19

At this point I have to mention that I am apparently very natural at maintaining a pace.  I don't spend a ton of time watching my Garmin.  I just pretty much run by feel.  I think it was around mile 8 that we started to hit the bottom of the canyon where it diverted us off of the road and onto a paved trail similar to the trail that I run the majority of my training runs on.  There were some rolling hills in there and a lot of flat.  This course is much more flat than Timpanogos was.  Jerm and I were still running together.  Not talking too much, he was feeling pretty good and I was happy for that.  I was feeling pretty great.  Not too tired. My heart rate was in a great place.  Just felt like a speedier training run to me.

Mile 9:  10:26
Mile 10:  10:22
Mile 11:  10:07

This is where it got interesting.  I was just chugging along.  At this point we had dropped out into some neighborhoods.  I was just running along when all of a sudden I noticed that Jerm had pulled ahead some.  I didn't think too much about it. He does that occasionally when he gets impatient with another runner.  He'll leapfrog over them and then we catch back up together.  But this time he just kept going.  So I picked up the pace a little thinking, well okay we wants to go a bit faster as we come into the last couple of miles.  As I sped up he did some more.  At which point I let him go.  I was a little bugged that he didn't say hey, do you want to pick it up and finish strong?  He just took off without a word.  So I continued to chug along at a slightly quicker pace at this point.  I really didn't have a whole lot more to give without really pushing it.  This whole time I could see Jerm in front of me and I noticed that the gap between us was closing.  We were heading into mile 12 at this point and so I picked up the pace some more with the intention of finishing strong.  I caught up to him and basically said, "WTF was that??"  He looked tired.  Apparently when he hit Mile 11 his MotoActive told him he was heading into lap 12.  He thought it meant he had hit 12 miles and he was pushing to finish strong.  Only to find out that he had only finished mile 11 and rather than 1 more to go he really had 2 more.  I laughed.  Hard.

Mile 12:  9:13
Mile 13.1:  9:14

I still felt great at this point.  My legs were a bit tired but I had some gas to finish strong and so I pushed him to keep going.  He was a bit miserable at this point.  But finish strong is exactly what we did.  I enjoyed running with Jerm for the majority of the race. Once we finished we walked through and picked up our t-shirts (this race hands them out at the very end to finishers). Picked up our medals.  Grabbed some fruit and chocolate milk and went and sat to catch our breath.  I wanted to check and see what our official time was and this took FOREVER.  I guess they were too interested in posting times for us slower runners.

I got a truck load of compliments on my outfit.

Love running races with this big guy.

Official Results:

My time:  2:12:10
Average Pace:  10:05/mile
Overall Place:  732/972
Age Group Place:  116/147

Jerm's time:  2:12:10
Average Pace:  10:05/mile
Overall Place:  733/972
Age Group Place:  50/61

387 Male finishers
585 Female finishers

Jeramie missed a PR by 4 freaking seconds!  If I had known we were gonna be that close I would have pushed harder sooner.  But the good news is that we both felt great and enjoyed running the race together.  Overall the race itself was pretty good.  Although they did run out of the energy gels before we got there, that was a drag. I almost wish that they would put them in your swag bags before the race so that everyone would get one, rather than letting people who pass through first grab a fist full leaving slower runners with nothing.  I did enjoy being one of the runners that spend the whole race passing people rather than the runner that is passed.  Ragnar I got passed a lot.  I like that you have to earn your t-shirt (even if I didn't love this years design as much as last years).  I thought it was cool that they decided to hand out medals to all finishers as well.  Although the medal itself was a little plain.  Better than nothing though.  I could see doing this one again.


What are your thoughts on the free race energy gels/chews? Have they run out at your race before?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Five Things Friday

1.  I went with my husband and running buddy on my last 12 miler of this training cycle straight down Provo Canyon last weekend.  It was unbelievably beautiful!  I could rave on and on about how perfect this run was.  The company, the temperature, good amount of shade, wasn't scary even though it was like running on a highway.  It was just so beautiful.

I mean seriously, if this picture doesn't make you a tad jealous I don't know what would.

2.  We have this fancy new gym membership and are only managing to get there 2 days per week.  We need to double that to justify keeping it.  I have been afraid to try another class because the Hot Vinyasa one that I did left me sore for almost a week afterwards.  So close to my next half marathon I didn't dare risk being that sore on race day.  But after this weekend I'm gonna give some more classes a try.

3.  I did really good with my eating habits this week .. until today.  We had a pot luck at work and I totally got weak.  I'm disappointed in myself.  But at least we only have these every couple of months now.  So I don't have to worry about a repeat performance for at least another couple of months.

4.  I finished reading Bob Harpers, The Skinny Rules.  I actually really enjoyed it and the whole time in my head the voice I heard was Bob's .. with his accent and everything.  I think that for the most part it was good stuff.  While I'm still doing Weight Watchers (you know other than my pork out today on pot luck food), I plan to try and incorporate the rules as well.  I also think there are some good recipes in there that I'd like to give a try.  I think with the two combined I could make some good life style changes.

5.  Tomorrow is race day!  After my 12 miles downhill last Sunday my right calf really started to flare up.  So I haven't run all week and I've been resting it.  Today it feels pretty good.  I did a couple days on the elliptical and some weight training this week. But no running.  I've been rolling it and icing it every night this week.  So I'm optimistic that I can still run a good race tomorrow.  I'm really hoping to finish between 2:05 and 2:10.  My fastest to date was Salt Lake Half with a 2:12.  This is the first training cycle where I introduced some speedwork.  So tomorrow will show whether it paid off or not.  Well tomorrow is also a downhill course though, rather than the hill at mile 12 on Salt Lake.  I'm excited to run it with my brother too.  He's 10 years my junior and really tall, so I know he will push me to keep up the pace.

Me and my husband, post 12 sweaty miles.


What do you do when faced with a pot luck??  Suck it up or cave?
          --  Clearly today I caved.  Fail.

Have you read Bob Harpers new book?  Thoughts?

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Well .. I haven't blogged here on the running blog in ages.  Mainly because my last two posts generated a whopping ZERO comments.  So I guess I should quit worrying about writing for other people and just focus on the journal aspect of it.  My journey as a mother of 4 children, who works full time and still makes time for running.  I am very committed to my healthy journey.  So maybe I'll start posting more frequently again.  Who knows?

So here I am, I've been a "runner" now for about a year and a half.  My first half marathon was 7 months ago with a time of 2:45.  My second half marathon I PR'ed big time with a 2:12.  Since then I have introduced some speed work.  My next race is a week from Saturday.  I've worked really hard this training cycle as well.  My goal is to go sub 2:10.  It's a downhill course (a first for me) so secretly I'm hoping to do a bit better than even the 2:10.

Anyway, I finally talked my husband into joining a gym.  I really wanted to start incorporating some more cross training.  Things like yoga, other fitness classes, as well as the elliptical.  And also I've really been wanting to add strength training bad to my routine because I know this will make me a stronger runner.  So with our membership to the gym we are entitled to fitness assessments as frequently as we would like.  They encouraged us to do one pretty early on so that we can then do another one later to see how far we've come.  It all sounded good to me.  Since I'm in some of the best physical shape I've ever been in I was feeling relatively confident that I would score pretty well.

I'm just gonna lay it all out there.

I am 5'5 and I weigh 142 lbs. 
Based on those numbers my inHealth website at work tells me that my BMI is 23.7.

BMI Guidelines Read:

Underweight:  less than 18.5
Healthy Weight:  18.5 - 24.9
Overweight:  25.0 - 29.9
Obese:  30.0 or higher

So okay, I'm in the healthy range, it's the top of the healthy range but still healthy right?

I've been hovering between 140 lbs and 143 lbs for the past entire year.  My original Weight Watcher goal weight was to weigh 145 lbs.  I hit that and have maintained it for a year now.  So I'm feeling pretty good.

I went back to WW's last week because I really want to lose 10-15 lbs.  I've been kind of trying for the past couple of months.  But find that I always let myself slip a little with that age old excuse of, "I ran 10 miles this morning, I can have a treat."  When I did the Hot Vinyasa yoga class this past Monday it completely grossed me out to see all the the dimpling on my thighs when I was in downward facing dog.  Hello cellulite!!  Now please leave.

So I walked into the fitness assessment with high hopes.  Sure I wasn't going to be at the middle of the healthy range for things, but I wouldn't be bad either.  Needless to say I left feeling incredibly disappointed / bummed / deflated / MAD / confused.

Body Fat Percentage:  35.1  (Average is 23%, you want to be below this)
VO2 max:  34.3  (Average is 34.6, you want to be above this)
Metabolic Age:  53 years (umm .. I'm 37)

At which point he dropped these numbers on me and I think I mumbled something about being really surprised. I think my husband was even more surprised and he says, "How can this be?  She runs 4-5 days per week religiously?"  Then the guy went into recommending a full board VO2 max test with the mask and all that.  And to be honest I wouldn't object to this. I think it would be cool to find out that kind of information.  However, I would probably do it in a more clinical setting and not in the middle of the gym.

I was alarmed at the body fat percentage.  According to the Livestrong website, a woman with 30% body fat is obese.    This is where I start to really get confused.  By my body fat I am obese .. by my weight I am smack in the middle of the healthy range.  I mean really could this be any more confusing?  I was SO disappointed by this there really aren't words to do it justice.  It's not like I dispute that I had been wanting to lose some more weight and am confident that I have the weight to lose. But still .. really?  Obese? 

We went over what we eat.  Which I'm sure he thought we were full of crap.  But for the past 2 weeks we've been eating really healthy so he kind of had to take it with that in mind.  The only recommendation he had there was to do the meal replacement protein they sold in their shop rather than the plain protein we currently have in the morning.  I'm not sure I'm entirely sold on that.  One good tip that I picked up was to drink a protein shake 1 hour before bedtime.  Just the plain kind .. protein + water.  He talked about how when you sleep your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism drops down a ton.  By drinking a protein shake before bed it aids in keeping that metabolism going while you sleep.  That makes sense to me.  It also happens that during a conversation with my running buddy discussing my frustration with the lack of weight loss. She and I theorized that perhaps I should have a second protein shake during the day to assist in getting some extra good calories in for fear that I'm not eating quite enough on days I run. 

So that's where we're at.  We have an appointment with a personal trainer for our couples training session in a couple weeks.  I'm excited for that.  I will stick with the Weight Watchers for now.  I'm optimistic that I can lose another 10-15 pounds.  I think I am also going to work a little harder at trying to run some of my runs in the fat burning HR zone.  I religiously wear my HR monitor when I'm running outside.  So this I think could be another step I can take to improve my body fat composition and overall weight.  I just hope it doesn't mean that my overall running pace slows down.  That's my biggest fear.

This picture here is most unattractive.
Like the dimpling on my thigh?
Maybe that's where those 50lbs of fat are residing?

But then I have to take a step back and remember.
I've been at this running stuff for about a year now.
I love the picture below. It reminds me that running is fun and I am strong.
(HA! you can't see the dimpling through the mud!)

Please help me you more experienced runners!

Can you make sense of confusing all this is?

Have you ever had a similar fitness test done and been shocked by the results?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Recap - Salt Lake Half Marathon 2012

This recap is so much later than it should have been.  Never the less .. I'm finally writing it!  Settle in .. this could be a long post.

There was so much debate over whether or not this race was even going to happen.  Even with the debate I still went ahead and registered Jeramie and I to run.   This would be his first half marathon.  I was really excited for him too.  Not to mention I had some big goals for this race, which I talked about here.  I ran my first ever half marathon back in December with a finishing time of 2:45.  It was my first race and I went into it fully trained, but definitely with the goal of "I just want to finish and not have to walk."  I was also really leery of going out too fast and ending up having to walk towards the end.  It was a really good race experience and it taught me that I still had plenty of strength at the end and I had trained well.  All of that to basically say that even though my goal was to shave 25 minutes off of my last race time, while this sounds like a lot I thought it was very reasonable since I knew I could have given more at that race.  My secret goal was 2:15.  I knew that would be hard, but I also knew that I had trained well and if I really worked for it I thought it might be possible.

On Friday night we had a plan to ship our four kids off to my parents house for the night and stay home and kick our feet up with a bowl of Macaroni and Cheese.  This seems to have turned into my night before the race meal.  I ate it once before a long training run and had felt really strong that next morning.  This is somewhat monumental because we don't get to go out much without our kids together, so to pass up a meal out is a big deal for us.  I think it turned out to be a good decision though in the end.  We headed to bed pretty early and next thing I knew the alarm was going off at 5:45am.  As I rolled out of the bed there was Jeramie with his classic, "just five more minutes ..."  I quickly got dressed and headed downstairs to make my staple pre-run meal of Peanut Butter on toast, just once slice please.  Before we knew it we were driving up town.  The plan had been to meet my friend Rebecca at the church her husband goes to which was right next to a trax station and then we would ride the trax train to the starting line.  We arrived right on time and walked over to the station where we found a few other runners waiting as well.   The nice thing about being able to ride the light rail system is that runners could pick it up from basically wherever and so there weren't massive amounts of people all trying to do the same thing at the same time.  I liked this about the race.  My brother Evan and his wife Rachel were just going to meet up with us around the start line since her parents were going to drop them off right there. 

When we climbed off the train with all the other masses it was still dark.   However, as we were standing in line for the honey buckets it quickly lightened up.  The start line was fun.  LOT'S of people milling about.  It was still chilly and so I had opted to keep my long sleeve on at this point knowing that not soon after we actually started running I would be pulling it off and tying it around my waist. I had done that a lot during my training runs so I knew this wouldn't bother me.

We took a couple obligatory pre-race pictures.  I love that my husband isn't afraid to rock the headband!

Once we finished up at the potties we headed up to the actual start line.  Evan and Rachel had arrived and so we were hoping to catch up with them up there.  I ran into one of my Daily Mile friends, Stephanie.  It was SO nice to put a face to the name and meet her actually in person.  She was just as nice in person as she has been on Daily Mile and I'm hoping to actually hook up with her for some training in the near future.  After talking with her for a few minutes and wishing each other luck I tried to track down my family again.  Turned out as we headed up to the start line, they had headed down to the honey buckets.  Oh well, wasn't meant to be.  So we headed to find our pace groups instead.  Our goal had been for Rebecca to start out with the 2:30 pace group and Jeramie and I were going to start with the 2:20 pace group.  Well once we got up there there was only a 2:30 pace group sign. I saw at one point someone walking around with a 2:20 sign but it's almost like they were looking for someone to run with it.   Oh well, I had my Garmin .. we would be fine I told myself.  About 10 minutes before the start I sucked down a Gu and felt good to go.  Before we knew it the gun went off and we slowly started moving forward.

Mile 1:  Felt FUN!  It was a bit downhill.  Jeramie and I were running together and really I was just trying to find a groove amongst all the other runners running at such radically different paces.  Before I knew it I noticed up ahead that someone was wearing the same tank top as I was .. duh it was Evan and Rachel. I bought her the top for her birthday so we could match on race day.  I wasn't expecting to see them in front of us and I guess that's why it took a minute to register in my head that it was them.  We kicked it up a small notch just to catch up to them to say hello and wish them luck.  They had lofty goals too of a 2:10.  One thing I noticed was that there were people lined up for the porta potty in this first mile.  Seriously?!  You've got many more to go.

Mile 2:  Headed out along a road I drove daily while I was getting my undergraduate degree from the University of Utah.  It felt like a slight uphill but was probably only flat, feeling uphill because of the downhill we started with.  Jeramie was holding up strong at this point and I felt like we'd found out groove.

Miles 3 - 4:  I was still feeling really good and Jeramie appeared to as well.  We headed down into a park for a little out and back. Considering I had heard this was a relatively downhill course it kind of sucked to literally run down into the park only to have to run back out uphill.  That hill was a bummer.  The whole time though I was looking for Evan and Rachel when I went down the hill.  I never saw them but apparently they saw us right as we turned into the park and they turned out.  Then I watched the whole time going up that hill for Rebecca behind us.  Never saw her either.  Once we turned the corner of the hill we took our first shot bloks.  We were both carrying our own water and fuel so that we never needed to stop at any aid stations.

Miles 5 - 8:  Pretty uneventful.  We were running strong and at a very consistent pace.  I felt good.  The time was going by and I couldn't believe when we passed the mid-point.  I remember thinking, wow this thing is almost over already.  There were occasionally people on corners cheering but for the most part it was pretty dense.  Jeramie continued to seem like he was doing pretty well.  Although he wasn't occasionally pulling ahead like he had been doing early on.  I was pacing for a 2:10 finish which was pretty remarkable.  But I also knew of the dreaded hill right before the end.

Mile 9:  At this point I started to get a bit of a belly ache.  Nothing too drastic.  Just uncomfortable.  All I kept thinking was that I should have done all Camelback Elixer in my water bottles instead of the Nuun.  I don't know what it is about Nuun but it seems to mess with my tummy sometimes.  At this point we were running through neighborhoods and the weather was definitely warming up some.  I welcomed each spot of shade I passed through.  It was also at this point that Jeramie dropped to run right behind me.  He was on my tail for maybe a quarter mile before he started fading farther back.  We had talked about this before the race and I knew he wanted me to push on and do my best.  I was disappointed not to be running with him anymore.

Mile 10:  I think it was about here that we lapped around another park.  There were quite a few people there.  I was definitely having to dig a little deeper.  I was getting tired and I knew I still had that hill to deal with.  I was trying hard to keep my pace up so that I didn't lose time here.  I wasn't passing many people anymore.  Most people were getting tired too.

Mile 11:  This is about where we turned onto State Street.  And the beginning of a flat turning into moderately slow incline.  I knew I was still pacing for a good time but man .. I was just tired at this point.  I focused on watching to see if I could find Evan and Rachel up ahead.  I was really grateful that although I was tired my knee's were holding up great. I had no dreaded knee pain like I had had on my last training run.

Mile 12:  Here we go I thought.  This is it.  This is the mile that I have to deal with the hill.  I was trying to muster the energy for an extra kick.  But it was quickly becoming apparent that the incline was growing steeper with each step.  It was a nice wide road at this point with lots of room and that was nice.  As I headed into the steepest part of the hill I saw a guy running towards us with his finishers medal and he looked familiar.  Sure enough it was this guy I work with that runs lots of marathons and he's FAST!  I was happy to see a familiar face and put my best smile on as he saw me and stopped to take a picture.  It actually turned out to be a great picture.  I was so grateful for the encouraging words as he called out to me that I was almost to the top.

Mile 13.1:  As I turned the corner at the hill I was looking forward to picking it up on the downhill into the finishers chute at the bottom.  Oh boy did my legs have a different opinion. I was amazed at how fried they were after that hill!  They literally felt jello-like and as if I couldn't control them. I was afraid to go too fast for fear of actually face planting because I didn't have the necessary muscle control in my legs.  So I actually finished that last little down hill at a much slower pace than I expected.  As I got close to the finishers chute and began to watch for my family there they were all of a sudden!!  I very well may have teared up at this point.  I was SO happy to see them.  AND my daughter was holding a sign for me!  Best surprise EVER!  I didn't expect a sign.  I waved and put on my best smiley face.

As I approached the chute I could see the time on the clock and I knew I had run a GOOD race.  I knew I had killed my time goal and I was overwhelmingly proud of myself.  I had worked so hard.  And I was still smiling!
 Official Chip Time:

Overall Place:  1973 / 3496
Gender Place:  1027 / 2132
Division Place:  187 / 380
Pace:  10:06

I did it!  I beat my notsosecret goal!!

As I finished and grabbed my medal I ran into another one of my Daily Mile friends, Alison.  So excited to see her and she was REALLY nice too.  As it turned out she literally finished as the runner right in front of me.  We definitely should do some training runs together since our paces match so nicely!

After talking to Alison for a minute I excused myself so I could hurry up the road to try and catch Jeramie coming in.  As I walked I tried to watch over peoples heads to see him.  When I got to where my family was they said he had already passed by. I was disappointed to have missed him.  Apparently he didn't even see them, nor did he see the sign they'd made for him either.  So proud of him for finishing his first half marathon.

Official Time:  2:23:47
Better than my first.

Evan and Rachel snuck in their goal with a 2:10:02 and 2:10:03!

Here is our whole group.

Rebecca missed her goal but already has plans for redemption at Timpanogos in July.

Overall, I thought the race went off well.  Especially given the fast that the new race company didn't take over until this year.  I'm glad that they came in and saved the race and the medals were AWESOME and the t-shirts were good too.  All of the aid stations were stocked well as well as the finishing area.  I would recommend this race.  I think it will only get better next year as they now have an entire year to plan it.

I hope so because I registered us for next year at the discounted price this morning!  So we WILL be back.  And I WILL make that hill sorry it ever messed with me.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  Okay, so I saw very little discussion about this weeks Biggest Loser in blog world this week and it was a pretty big week.  I just have to say my peace.  I am so disappointed in Mark and Buddy that they quit.  I think it was unbelievably ungrateful of them and disrespectful of them to the show, to their trainers, and to the previous contestants.  Granted my kids were bouncing around during the show and I know that I missed some bits and pieces.  The show always pulls twists like this.  And if the eliminated contestants have gone home and worked hard to continue their journey without the help and support of the show then GOOD FOR THEM.  Really I was disappointed that they all pulled that little stunt that they did.  I thought they all looked like spoiled brats.  Ahhh .. the whole show just make me so mad.

2.  I'm also disappointed that it's Kim and Conda as the final two.  I don't much care for either one of them.  So I'm really hoping one of the eliminated contestants that I previously liked comes back to give me someone else to cheer for!

3.  Thank you for your comments after yesterdays post.  I think I'm going to listen to you all and start out at a 2:20 pace and then after 2 miles see if I feel like I can push it some more. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to respond!

3.1  I opened these today and let's just say I ate a lot of them!  I have been so hungry this week.  I think I'm embracing the "carb load" idea a little too much!

My mum brought me the whole packet back from England.  They really are one of my favorites.


So did you have any thoughts about this weeks Biggest Loser?

Are there any cookies that you just can't stop eating?  Maybe I'm missing out on some American ones.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Training Cycle Complete

Well this week I completed my training cycle for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon this Saturday. I used the Hal Higdon Novice 2 plan this time around.  I really liked the plan because I had heavier mileage on the weekend (when I'm not working) and shorter runs during the week (when I did have to work).  I didn't miss a single training run this entire cycle.  It certainly helped that we have had such a mild winter here in Utah this year. 

This past weekend I peaked with my 12 mile long run.  It was the longest I've ever run on a training run.  I felt amazing until about mile 9.  And then those last 3 miles I was miserable.  Both of my knees were killing me and I was just physically done.  It was really strange and honestly freaked me out a ton.  I had done long runs where I could pull out a 9ish minute mile the last mile only weeks before.  But on Sunday I was running 12 minute miles the whole time and I had nothing left those last three miles.  It was all I could do just to put one foot in front of the other.  I would be lying if I didn't say it shook my confidence big time.  I'm a big believer in sticking to a training plan and you will be successful. 

Here are a full family of deer we saw right in the middle of our run.  Beautiful!

I tried to figure out what I had done differently that led to a bad run.  I had hydrated well the day before. I hadn't had a "bad" dinner (I've made that mistake before).  I was wearing my calf compression sleeves for my run and I haven't been wearing them, but that shouldn't cause my knees to feel so awful.  I've run long runs before wearing them.  I ran an extra day during the week that week, perhaps that had a negative affect.  I mean maybe my legs were just plain tired.  That's possible I suppose. 

So I adjusted my schedule this week.  I had originally planned to run 3 miles on Tuesday, 2 miles on Wednesday and then rest two days.  Instead I ran my 3 miles on Monday, 2 miles on Tuesday and picked up an extra rest day before the race. I hope the extra rest helps. 

I'm also a little worried about my pacing strategy going into Saturday and I guess I'm still a little undecided.  My first half marathon I finished in 2:45.  I knew I could have ran it faster.  At the end I really wasn't spent the way I felt I should have felt.  So I know I will PR this weekend, it's almost a given unless something tragic happens.  My goal I feel comfortable that I could push myself decently and still accomplish is 2:20.  My pie in the sky goal is a 2:15.  When running my pace runs on my training plan I ran them usually between 9:30 and 10 minute miles.  Based on that I should be able to run a 2:10 race.  But I just don't know that I can hold that kind of pace for 13.1 miles.  I feel like that's way too aggressive.  But could I maintain a 10:18 pace the whole time?  That should shoot me in at 2:15 and I think it's "possible".  It's a slightly downhill course, with a moderate hill from mile 11-12.  I don't want to bonk at that hill.  They have pace groups too, 2:20 and 2:10, but not 2:15!


See my dilemma?  I also had one training run where I went out way too fast and I had to walk just to get my heart rate down.  I don't want that to happen on Saturday either.

My sister in law has lofty goals for a 2:10 and by brother is running with her.  Do I try and keep up with them some?  My brother was a great rabbit for me when I ran my PR 5K back in November.  Do I use him again? 


I have trained in rain and snow this time too.  Evidence here:

However this Saturday lookie what we have: 


I'm thinking the 7am start will not be the usual chilly we've started with most Sunday's.  So that's good. But with a 79 degree high that day I bet by 7am we could be close to 50's.  And that is perfect running weather to me.

I guess the only thing I know for sure is what I will be wearing:

Lululemon Race Back Tank (matching my sister in law)
Running Skirts Sparkle Heart Skirt (matching my BFF)

They don't actually match that great .. but I will match my two ladies and that means more to me anyway.  At least I know what I'm wearing right?

I'm really excited that this will be my husbands first half marathon.  And we will be running it together, unless of course he leaves me behind like he did the last long run we did together.  It was actually kind of funny.  He came with my run buddy and I.  We all started together.  We joked about how it was like having our own bodyguard.  Then when I was dealing with some Garmin issues he pulled ahead.  But he doesn't have a Garmin and he hadn't started his Runkeeper app on his iPhone.  So I kept wondering how the heck he would know when to fuel and when to turn around.  Well he didn't.  After about 4 miles Rebecca dropped back and so the three of us were very spread out on the trail.  I started closing the gap on him and once he saw me coming he sped up some more.  At which point I was like, whatever.  As we hit the hill and also hit the turn around point I called his name (he listens to his music really loud) and he didn't hear me.  So I turned around to find a guy coming up close behind me.  He laughed and said, "he missed the turn around didn't he?"  YEP!  It was funny.

I digress .. hopefully he doesn't pull ahead on Saturday and leave me in his dust.  haha.

Well there you have it.  I've dropped off the face of the blogging world for over a month and here we are. 


Does anyone have any advice .. suggestions  .. experience they can offer me with regards to my pacing debacle?  I would really appreciate any help.  I've got to figure this thing out and soon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Daily Fruits and Veggies Requirements

So at my work we have an opportunity to earn credits in order to get a discount on the following years insurance premiums.  I'm very diligent about getting all of my credits in nice and early.  No waiting until the last minute for me.  We have to earn 25 credits.  Already I have earned the following:

5 pts     Personal Questionnaire
10 pts   Officially Tobacco-Free (that was a hard one .. NOT)
5 pts     Maintaining or Losing Weight between Thanksgiving and New Years.  I maintained.

So I only have 5 points left to get.  Easy peasy and we're only 2 months into the year.  This months healthy challenge is to strive to get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day for a total of 80 points for the month.  Now if you do the math you only actually have to accomplish the 5 servings 16 days out of the month. However, basically as long as you have a total of 80 servings you're golden and get another 5 credits. 

I like to think that I eat relatively healthy.  I am currently obsessing over the 3 pounds I gained in a single week last week .. seriously WTF??  But, I know I can drop them all again this week with a little focus.  Let's just say that I refuse to buy any Cadbury Mini Eggs because I know I don't have the self discipline to not eat them sparingly.  It doesn't help that my mother sent home with me the leftovers of her "better than sex" cake she made for dessert last night. It happens to be my very favorite dessert.  It's not going to be easy to not eat more of it when it's calling my name from the fridge.

So anyway, I thought it would be a fun challenge to try and get all those fruits and veggies in for a month. As I looked at the tracker the following was staring at me:

What counts as a cup of fruit of vegetables?

  • 1 medium piece of fruit or vegetable - about the size of a baseball (apple, pear, tomato, potato)
  • 2 cups of raw leafy vegetables - about the size of two handfuls (lettuce, spinach, kale)
  • 8 strawberries; 2 large plums; 2 large stalks of celery; 10 broccoli florets; 12 baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup of dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots)
It sounds kind of simple.  But then when you really think about it, two cups of leafy vegetables isn't really a "side salad" but more like a full plate of salad!  10 broccoli florets, sounds like half a plate.  Same with the 12 baby carrots.  And poo on the dried fruit, that's a lot of calories for such a small serving.  Then combining all those servings to add up to FIVE!  That's a lot of food.  And I always tend to look at my fruits and veggies as kind of filler foods, they don't really ever seem to satisfy actual hunger.

I however shall not be discouraged.  I think it's a great habit to form.  And it will be a challenge.  I like challenges.  The funny thing is that I like fruit and I like a lot of varieties of vegetables. So this shouldn't really be THAT hard.  We shall see.  To assist with my goal I purchased some V8 this weekend.  I'm not really that big on drinking my calories, however I might make an exception here.  And at only 50 calories per glass I think I can afford it.  I tried the Pineapple Mango Green Tea first and let me tell you it's YUMMY!!

I also have a half a container of V8 soup every day with my lunch. So I'm almost half way to meeting my goal for the day.  I was already doing this before and love that it's a full serving of veggies.


Do you get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in each day?  Is it easy?

Any tips or tricks?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Is this a joke?

So I headed out for my usual noontime run this afternoon.  Got a quick 3 miles in.  I always wait and eat my lunch after I run. I do not enjoy running on a full tummy.  And I pretty much eat the same lunch every day but Friday's.  Then I opened this:


I thought, well crap this must have been sitting in the back of my fridge.  I quickly found the expiration date, nope should have been good through 3/22/12.  What the heck?  I feel cheated.  Target owes me a new yogurt. These puppies aren't cheap!  I ate my sandwich and my cup of soup.  Alas, I will be hungry later.

The good news is I hear we're supposed to get some super warm weather this week!  YAY!  Because today was really cold.  I said to my running partner this must be what real winter running is about.  I didn't even bring my iPod today because I knew I was running with my co-worker and we'd just talk the whole time. 

As I look at my training schedule I am reminded with how far I've come.  This weekend is a cutback week.  I only have 3 miles on the schedule.  My immediate thought was 3 miles?  That's hardly worth the effort.  And yet this time last year I was in the thick of my 5K training.  I'm also very excited for the new running vest that will be arriving in my office at work tomorrow!  I have been eying a particular one for weeks now. Then randomly came across last years model for half the price.  I can't wait!


What do you do when what you've packed for lunch ends up moldy?  Go hungry or resort to something less healthy?
       --  I am trying to hold out until I get home. But that fudge cake bite in my mini fridge is calling my name!
Do you eat the same things every day out of convenience?
       --  I eat the same breakfast and lunch Monday through Thursday.  I know I won't gain weight and it     
            takes the thinking out of packing my lunch.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A bit of randomness.

Training is going really well.  These past two weekends I've done my long runs with my husband.  And failed to take a picture of us together on both.  My normal long run buddy has been on vacation.  So Jeramie stepped up to fill in.  Since he's currently training for his first half marathon he's using the Hal Higdon Novice 1 plan.  I've been using the Novice 2 plan. Which means shorter runs during the week and running longer sooner on the weekends. I've really liked the way this plan fits into my home life.  I have more time on the weekends to fit in the longer miles than I do during the week. 

When we started out on Saturday it was unbelievably windy.  I kept saying to Jeramie while we were driving, "this is gonna suck."  I guess I shouldn't have been so negative.  But wind is probably my least favorable running condition.  As we got started I kept thinking that at least we were running into the wind on the way out, so it would be at our backs coming back and with quite how windy it was it would practically carry us!  We're talking SO windy that when I talked to Jeramie spit would fly out of my mouth! haha.  And oh did it make my nose run.  Ironically enough the direction we ran our turn around point ended up being literally across the river from my work.  We could see the building when we turned.  Then on the way back the wind completely died down.  So much for it carrying us back!  It was a good solid 8 miles.  My legs felt strong all week. 

I did notice that one thing I don't love about running long on Saturday's as opposed to Sunday's is that normally after my long run on Sunday I meet up with my mum and head out to do our grocery shopping together.  So I'm on my feet and moving the rest of the day without really thinking much about it.  But these past two Saturdays after we run we've basically come home and I feel exhausted and don't even want to move my butt from the couch.  It's amazing to me how much it feels like it takes out of me. And yet I love it and look forward to it so much. 

As I was stretching after our run I noticed how pretty the mountains looked behind me.
  I had to share the view!

One of my favorite pieces of running attire.
My vest.
I love that it keeps me warm when it's windy, but I don't get hot.


So tell me, what's one of your favorite pieces of running attire when it's windy out?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  I think I'm in love with sandwich rounds.  I switched from deli meat to an egg salad sandwich every day at work.  Well really it's only 4 days per week because I treat myself to a hot lunch on Friday's.  This past weekend I grabbed a package of multi grain sandwich rounds.  Ever since I heard on CNN that bread is the biggest contributor of sodium to our diets I've been looking at sodium even more than before. These sandwich rounds had less sodium that the Sara Lee bread I was eating and they're only 10 more calories.  And I think I love them.  So delicious!  I highly recommend giving them a try, even though they don't look very big.

2.  I found out last night that one of my second cousins husband passed away from a massive heart attack. He was only in his 50's.  It makes me so very sad for them and their family.  They had two children.  A son who is getting married in June.  And a daughter, unmarried.  She will not have her father to walk her down the aisle and that makes me very very sad.  She was in my wedding and recently went through a very rough break up.  Life is so short.  I watch as my brother is going through a terrible divorce right now.  Battling depression.  Paul's death reminds me that life is short.  I hope my brother is reminded that life is short too.  I just want him to be happy.

3.  On a happier note.  My other brother called me last night on his way home from work.  He said that he'd gone online to register for the SL Half Marathon.  He was complaining that the price had gone up to over $70.  Then he says he noticed that it was only $14 to do the full marathon.  And did I want to do it with him?  I laughed.  HARD.  I said no.  As much as I would love to run a full marathon and I'm actually seriously considering the SL Marathon next year as a very viable option for my first.  So I pointed out to my brother there isn't nearly enough time to train for it.  There are only 9 weeks left.  This week we're scheduled to run 8 miles for our long run on our HALF marathon plan.  That if we had 9 weeks left of a FULL marathon plan that we'd be needing to run 17 miles this weekend!  His response, "Well I ran 3 miles last night.  I felt pretty good.  I could have run another 14."  *sigh*  To which I reminded him he's 10 years younger than me, 6'4 and very naturally athletic.  While he may be able to crank out 17 miles .. I could not.  Sadly I will NOT be switching to the full.  But this time next year I could very likely be running 17 miles this coming weekend!  And THAT is very exciting.

Peace.  Love.  and Happy Running.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Rule or The Exception

I should have taken a picture of my lunch today.  See, I run on my lunch break 3 days per week.  I pick up my oldest boy from kindergarten on a fourth day, which leaves Friday as my only "free" day.  I use it to have lunch with my BFF .. sometimes my hubby.  Well today we had a "lunch meeting", which really translates to NO lunch break.  But the conciliation prize is that they buy you lunch.  Well as I walked in to my meeting one of my favorite co-workers was telling me about how she hates lunch meetings because she has to eat organic and gluten free because of a sensitive stomach.  Anyway .. all of this got me thinking.  There are people who definitely ail from things that medically require them to eat differently. 

People with allergies
Gluten intolerant

My own daughter, born with Prader-Willi Syndrome has some VERY specific diet guidelines.  To the point that people are pretty much legally obligated to accommodate, or make special exceptions.

But what about the rest of us?  Those of us that really want to just eat healthy.  That is OUR diet exception.  I certainly wouldn't want to be medically restricted to a certain diet, and I'm truly not downplaying this necessity at all.  BUT .. what I am saying is if I walked into that meeting and said, "I can't eat that.  Too much fat.  Too many carbs." etc.  Can you imagine?  Because people instantly get defensive over their own choices.  When really I wouldn't be judging anything that they want to eat.  Merely I would prefer to have a more healthy option.  I learned a long time ago through a bit of international travel that if you ask for a vegetarian meal on the plane you get WAY better food than the rest of folks.  I realize that I could have torn apart one of the sandwiches (removed the cheese, wiped off the mayo, etc), but even then I would feel like I was drawing negative attention to myself.  Trust me .. I am in no way saying I'm a food saint.  I like a good cheeseburger like the next gal.  But my weekday eating is actually the healthiest of all.  The occasional splurge I usually save for the weekend.  I guess my point is that it bugs me that people actually look down on you for wanting to eat healthy.  Primarily because it makes them uncomfortable with their own choices.

Anyway .. this is just what was rumbling around in my head today. 

In other news, this week there was a 20 year old girl that was attacked and sexually assaulted while running in Provo at 9pm alone.  My husband instantly freaked out and insisted I run with a co-worked when I go out.  Which by the way is in the middle of the day.  As we head into this weekend and the virtual run in honor of Sherry Arnold it really just got me thinking.  I hate that we have to worry about this as female runners.  I just wish we didn't have to worry for our safety in broad daylight, while running in "good" areas.

Also, I am working with my brother to put together a Ragnar Relay, Las Vegas team!  So excited at the thought of that.  Wouldn't be until November .. I'm really hoping those plans fall into place.  In addition, I manage a team of 10 folks at work.  I got it officially approved today to sign my whole team up to run in the Dirty Dash!!  It's team building.  They are so excited and so am I!!  How cool is that that my company will sponsor us doing that?  I think pretty cool.  We're hoping to talk my boss and my bosses boss in joining us as well.  I love that I work with a group of people that are willing to do something like this that isn't necessarily in their comfort zone.  I think they're pretty cool too!  They're already dreaming up costume options.

Lastly, I got a pair of these:

I don't plan to run in them.  But I plan to wear them as much as possible in order to strengthen my feet to help with my running.  Maybe one day I might transition to something like this for running.  But for now we'll start with walking.  But I AM hoping to transition to some of these for running.

Happy Friday!  Happy Running!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Winter Running

I have to say that am really falling in love with Winter running.  I am just coming up on my 1 year running anniversary and Winter was really a season that I was intimidated by.  I worried about slipping and falling.  But most of all I worried about the cold temperatures.  Now granted we have had a relatively mild Winter so far here in Salt Lake City.  But when I first moved out here from California about 17 years ago (that sounds like SO long), I digress.  When we first moved out here I had been running pretty regularly in California for awhile there.  It was September and I was forced to run in the early evening after work and school.  I don't know if it was the change in temperature or the altitude or a combination of the both, but frankly I felt like I was sucking air bad.  Quickly, as the temperatures continued to drop I dropped off with my running as well.  Since that was my only previous experience with Salt Lake Winter running I expected to really struggle as we rolled into the colder months. 

My mindset has since changed.  I have never paid SO much attention to weather forecasts in my life as I do now.  It's not just the temperature though, it's whether the wind is blowing.  Or whether it's cloudy versus sunny.  Because if it's 30 degrees and sunny I can actually expect to feel pretty warm. But 30 degrees and cloudy is a totally different story.  When it's windy I will grab my favorite Brooks jacket and I'm golden, because even if the wind drops I can peel it off and quickly roll it and then tie it around my waist.  All whilst not stopping my run.  I haven't yet had to test this jacket in any kind of wet weather, but thus far I LOVE it.  I run all my weekday runs right in the middle of the day on my lunch break.  So it's actually the warmed part of the day.  I'm always in capri's regardless of the temp, this includes when there's snow on the ground.  And I'm never cold.

Another item I have to be careful to choose is which hat I wear.  I have a great Saucony beanie that I go to when it's colder or windy.  But if I don't need the warmth then I go for my Brooks ball cap so that I can keep the sun out of my eyes.  I wear glasses and so it's important to not have to squint if I can help it.

It's all about finding the perfect balance of layers.  For the most part I usually get it right.  And that makes for a very happy runner.  Funny, because now that I'm loving Winter running so much I'm actually starting to stress about the Summer months!  I don't think my noontime jaunts are going to go down too well.  One thing I've thought about is maybe going slightly earlier, if I could get away with maybe a 10:30 lunch break.  Guess we'll have to wait and see .. but I'm thinking it won't be nearly as bad as I am expecting. 


What's your favorite season to run in and why?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  I am so happy to report that I didn't gain any pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year.  I was really worried considering the fact that my half marathon training (and the high miles associated) came to an end Thanksgiving weekend.  On top of that all the holiday stuff.  Yeah .. I was worried.

2.  I have officially registered for this:

And this week was the start of my training plan.  I have opted for the Hal Higdon Novice 2 this time around.  I like that it means less miles during the week since I run those over my lunch break at work.  Instead I'll be running longer miles over the weekend.  We'll see how this goes. Plus it includes a little bit of speed work.

3.  I'm wondering whether the goal of 4 (maybe 5) half marathons in 2012, considering I've only actually ever run 1 in my life is too lofty?  I hope not.  The four are spread out really well.  It's only that fifth one in there that is a little close to another one, which is why it's a questionable one. 


How did you do with weight management over the holidays?

Do you feel relief from the structure of a training plan like I do?  I LOVE them.