Monday, August 25, 2008

Top of Utah Half Marathon!

Oh the aching feet! The sore knees! The screaming hamstrings! The painful hip flexors! The entire aching body! That's what you get when you decide to run 13.1 miles without any walking breaks. And get it good, you do! Trust me on that...

I ran the Top of Utah Half Marathon on Saturday and it WAS GREAT!!! A much better experience than my first one, although I think I was much more prepared and trained for that than this one. Now, when I say it was great, keep it in mind that I do NOT mean the time spent running. No, no, no.... the great part is the fact that I DID it and FINISHED and had a great time! Not to mention the fact that I wasn't part of the road kill we saw along the way!

The best part was Jen decided at the last minute to run it too! She has been having some knee issues and wasn't sure if she could, but she did! I was so glad I didn't have to go it alone. We stayed together and kept each other going the entire distance. It was quite the experience from the get go.
Jen picked me up at 5 a.m. and then we drove the 30 minutes to the park where registration was. It was pretty nippy, but that didn't stop all those crazies from doing it. They bused us up to the starting point and then we stood in line for the porta potties. That was an act of bravery in itself because these were much more "scent" sational then most. I did get some good lung strengthening while inside it though because I couldn't (or wouldn't!) breath! As soon as we finished our business, we were smashed as tight as sardines waiting for the starting gun to go off. We wanted to move to the back, but it was impossible to even turn or move in anyway. Talk about squished! It was crazy! I am not sure, but I think there was close to 1500 runners!

Still very dark. We had to be on the buses by 6:15 a.m.

That's Jen smiling wondering what in the heck we were thinking!

I didn't get a very good shot of the porta potties. There were 10 times this many!

As we were riding the looooong bus ride up, I was looking out the window thinking how VERY, VERY far it was and I was going to run it???? We rode the exact route we would be running, only in reverse. Jen told me to try and not think about that. Very good idea. Before we began, I noticed my iPod's little light was on which means the battery is near death. GREAT! I had forgot to charge it! I was not happy! I have to have my running songs during these long runs or I might die. Really, I might! I actually almost forgot to even bring it with me entirely. I was just not as prepared for this run as my last one. It's a miracle I remembered my running shoes! I decided I would hold off on turning on the iPod until mile 10 1/2 where the mile and half hill began. I knew I would need it most then.

Patiently waiting for the gun!

As soon as we started out, I got a really nasty side ache and it just wouldn't go away. I wish I knew what caused those things so I could somehow learn to avoid them. I ran with it for about the first two miles and then it decided it wanted to switch to my other side. And switch it did. After another mile or two, it finally went away. Thankfully! The course was GORGEOUS and it was a lot of down hill while we were in the canyon. I wonder if that is why my feet felt like they were literally on fire for most of it. My knees are obviously not used to the down hill and so they started to hurt about mile seven. The temperature was perfect and we had a wonderful and refreshing light breeze. We couldn't have asked for better weather. It was 60 degrees when we finished. We saw some interesting road kill in the canyon including two skunks, one unidentifiable animal, and we counted up to 14 smashed snakes. Counting the dead snakes helped to keep my mind off my lack of tunes. I was just grateful I didn't end up as part of the road kill! Even though there were a few times I actually wish I had. There were more than a few times that I really wanted to quit.

I took this as we were running...

Looks a little tired don't ya think? Hee hee

Neither of us took a watch and so we had absolutely NO idea how were doing with time. We decided that this was going to be a FUN RUN (the biggest oxymoron around btw!) and that if we had our watches then we would be worrying about our time and trying to push it harder. So since we liberated ourselves from them, we just went with the flow. Neither of us stopped to walk at all, and only slowed down while at the aid stations to drink some Gatorade and eat an orange slice. On the very last aid station at mile 11, I actually stopped to drink it and I noticed my legs completely stiffened up on me. I was getting real tired by then and Jen said she was too. But we kept on moving knowing that we only two more miles to go. The uphill at the end was pure cruelty on the race organizers part! I think every single race I have ever ran always ends with the last stretch being uphill! Why do they do that? I figure they must not be long distance runners or they would make sure it was always downhill! Same concept of a man designing kitchen appliances or bras!

This was about mile 11. We had lots of people cheering us on! Thankfully!

When I saw that finish line way in the distance, it was a sight for sore eyes legs. Dave had brought McKay and Taylor to cheer me across it. I was grateful for their support. I am amazed how much it boosts me when I see even total strangers along the route cheering me on. It really helps. The best part was my time was 2:02:04!!!! Not bad at all for an old woman! I was excited about that. I was hoping to finish by at least 2:10. Jen and I checked out the trophies because they are so unique and not your typical trophy. They are these Aztec looking runners on a rock. Pretty cool. I have to say I was coveting one! We didn't stay for the awards because with over a thousand runners, what is the point? In my mind there was no way I even stood a chance for an award. In this race they give awards to the top six in each age division, which I think is great. Most races only give out the top three. When I got home and checked out my place on the website, it said I came in SEVENTH in my age division! OH! How sad!!! That meant I only had to run 56 seconds faster to have placed sixth and receive one of those cool trophies because the sixth place runner was 56 sec. ahead of me. If she had been three or four minutes faster, then I wouldn't have cared so much. But 56 sec! I could have easily cut that off my time. IF I had only known. Oh well...coming in seventh out of 45 or more is pretty encouraging to me even if I didn't get one of those cool trophies! But dang! Actually double dang because some of them were purple!!!


I was so completely tired and exhausted when I got home. I took a Celebrex immediately upon walking in the door, but I think I should have taken it before the race. I wasn't too sore...yet! But oh boy! I was directly after! My knees were the sorest they have ever been. This is a new thing to me to be so incredibly sore. I really couldn't walk without looking like I am 90 years old. I iced the knees, hoping that would help somewhat. I didn't feel any relief until Sunday morning, but then my quads were sooooooooooo sore! I think my entire body is pretty angry at me for putting it through that! Walking downstairs is a joke unless I go backwards. Even then it takes me four times longer than it should. I am now kicking myself for not following Jeff Galloway's plan of walking one minute for each mile you run. He claims that will totally eliminate any soreness after. Next time.... WHAT? Did I say next time??? I must be also having some kind of mental distress along with the physical or I wouldn't have said that! However, during the run I decided running a full is not for me. There is NO way I could have added 13 MORE miles to that run and still be among the living., I am now thinking I could do it if I was trained well enough. Crazy! Totally insane I know!!! But... isn't that what all runners are? I am beginning to really believe that! Well, crazy in a sane sort of way.

Here we come....almost there!

Trying to wave and run at the same time....surprised I didn't trip!

Almost to the finish line!!! Whew...

WE DID IT!!! I think we look a little bushed!

Trying to recover

My fans!

This place was packed!

Totally crazy!

Using our last bit of energy to grab the Gatorade!

Here I am back at home icing my knees.

My buddy McKay letting me hold him!

I wrote most of this on Saturday, and I am posting it on Monday night. I am still pretty sore. Yesterday it was torture to sit down or to stand back up. Talk about screaming quads and hamstrings! Today I am finally able to walk without looking like I broke something!

Overall, the experience was great! I am glad I went through with it even though I really needed a bit more training. Next time I want to run it under two hours. Yep, there is that "next time" again! Hmm...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wish me Luck!

Please do because I am going to need it!!!
Yep, I have FINALLY committed to run the Top of Utah Half Marathon Saturday! I have really struggled this entire summer with committing myself to doing the FULL marathon in September. That decision was made for me due to my lack of training. I have concluded summer is too insane to be able to invest the huge amount of time needed to train for a full. But, I had ALWAYS planned on doing the half...until about three weeks ago. I just wasn't sure if I could even pull off the half. I have been a real slacker when it comes to my long runs. Not by choice...but by circumstance really. Life has just got in the way. I hadn't signed up because I just wasn't sure it was going to happen. That added to my lack of committment. I have learned that signing up EARLY will contribute to my motivation because money is now involved! lol Then when my long runs became more "short", I thought I was probably crazy to even attempt it. I was so ready when I ran my first half marathon in May. But I am so NOT ready for this one. There is NO TURNING BACK now!

When I was out running yesterday, I ran into (literally!) my good friend Jen and so we ran together. That was fun since we haven't done that for a while. She is dealing with some knee issues right now and though I have tried and tried to talk her into doing the half all summer, she was pretty determined not to. BUT...I was so excited when she told me yesterday that she is now considering doing it !!!! She has to see if her knees will cooperate first and then she will decide. I am hoping that they will behave and let her do it!!! That would make it so much more fun for me!!!

My next post on here will be of my experience (be it good or bad) with the half. WISH ME LUCK!!! I am gonna need it...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

End of Summer 5K Race!!!

I have some good news and some bad news. Which do you want first? Hmmm??? Good or Bad??? Bad or Good??? Since I can't wait for your comments before I post this, I will choose for you. I will give you the good news FIRST. This morning I ran another 5K race. It was called the End of Summer 5K. Nope, that is NOT the good news. Having the summer come to an end is bad news for me. Even though I have run a lot of these (well, a lot to me anyway) this one was a FIRST for me because I took FIRST in my age division!

Woo-hoo! Three cheers! Rah-rah! Yippee!

THAT is the good news! I have never taken first place before and so I was pretty psyched. I came in 22nd overall!!!

Okay, okay...I am getting a little overly excited considering the bad news. The bad news is there were only three in my age division. But hey, a first place ribbon is a first place ribbon...right? I could have just posted that I won first place and left it at that and no one would be none the wiser. But...being the cool person that I am, I decided to fully disclose the dark side too.

The course was the exact same one as the Firecracker 5K that I ran on the 4th of July. I was hoping to improve my time by a minute or so, but unfortunately I increased it by 15 seconds. I am using the excuse that I am one year older since I ran the July 4th race. This is totally and completely true. My birthday was August 2nd. So technically I am one year older. That would explain the extra 15 seconds... naturally. Increasing 15 seconds every year isn't too bad if you ask me. And if you take into consideration that the wind was a little wild, then maybe my older age should only account for 10 seconds. Works for me! I know... whatever...

There was a 65 year old woman who also ran it and she was awesome. She said this was only her fourth race and she did really well. She came in almost last, but was an inspiration to all of us other oldies out there! I hope I am still spry and running at that age! I have been in races before with 80+ year old men before and they are amazing! Either way, me and my buds felt a tad bit old because this race had a ton of the youngster boys cross country track team runners in it because they sponsored it.

This is me with my friends Mitzi and Julie BEFORE the race.

Here we are AFTER the race. We all got a ribbon for placing in our age groups! Woo-hoo!

Me and my very special and very prized BLUE RIBBON! I love it so much I am holding it upside down!

It was a BEAUTIFUL day for a race! Temps were perfect! Not too hot or too cold. Just a little windy. The half marathon is next Saturday!!! Not sure I am ready to handle that again!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just Didn't Have it in Me

Today I had planned on doing my long run. The temp was only 62 degrees when I began. Pretty nice! But I just wasn't feeling the energy I knew I needed to make it that far. I kept at it but I was also so not there mentally. I had a lot on my mind today and was just not able to keep my pace up. I stopped to walk a lot more than usual. I knew by mile four that there was no way I was going to make it 11 miles today. So when I got to the high school I decided to stop and watch my 17 year old son at football practice for a while. There was a bunch of women running the track and I thought maybe I should just join them and watch practice at the same time. But I just wasn't motivated enough. I decided to just bag my long run and try and do it on Thursday. I realized I really hadn't eaten many carbs yesterday or drank a lot of water and I wonder if that affected my energy today. It was just not there. I was pretty discouraged with myself. Usually I can push through it and eventually pull it off, but not today. I can't blame the heat because it was only 72 degrees when I got home. I know that there will be good days and bad days, but it's hard to just let it go when you are having a bad day. The frustrating thing is on my last mile, I finally started to get in the groove physically and wondered if I could keep going. But I could tell I still didn't have it mentally. Running is so much mental that I didn't even push it. I just came inside and ate breakfast. Oh well, tomorrow is another day! When I google earthed my distance I was even MORE frustrated because I went almost NINE miles! If I would have just got in another two miles I wouldn't have to do it again on Thursday! Well, maybe I would since I really did walk more than I should and stopped to watch the football practice for about 30 minutes. Let's hope I feel it on Thursday. Ugh!

Total Distance:

8.67 miles

Monday, August 11, 2008


As usual life has been crazy! I spent four days last week at girl's camp and so my training once again has suffered! I am pretty sure I am not doing the full marathon in September unless some kind of miracle happens and I am able to get up to 20 miles in the next few weeks! UGH! I AM doing the half in two weeks though. I DO feel like I am prepared enough for that one. It is the Top of Utah and that is the same course as the full....only half. I think I will see how it goes and then make my final decision after. I am not sure if ANYBODY has ever been so wishy-washy about doing a marathon as I am. I guess in the back of my mind I think that I can decide based upon how I feel a month before. Not a good plan I know! I REALLY wanted to do it, but summer has proved to be a tough time to train with it being so busy and so many interruptions in my training schedule. The heat doesn't help much either, but then if it was winter I would be complaining about the cold! Go figure! I am okay with not doing it and putting my energy into training for the Ogden Marathon in May. My main worries are what if I can't do it in May because of an injury or some other crazy thing! I know that is crazy to even think that, but I feel pressured into doing it now while I am injury free. However, if I do it and am not really ready for it then I risk injuring myself while running it. So, logically I should NOT even consider doing it at this point, but my heart doesn't want to miss the opportunity in case it is the only one I get. Kinda silly I KNOW, but that's how I am thinking right now.

I ran five miles on Monday last week before girl's camp and did a five mile hike at camp that was a killer, but was good cross training! I wanted do my long run on Saturday but I got out too late and it was 400 degrees by mile six and so I ended it at that. I also ran five today. I am planning on doing my long run either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Total distance:
Monday 5 miles
Thursday 5 mile hike
Saturday 6 miles

Monday 5 miles

Sunday, August 3, 2008

"DO NOTS" For Those Long Runs

Yesterday I did my long run.

My plan was to do a 10 miler. It was only 9.64.

My plan was to leave by 7:00 a.m. I left at 7:54 a.m.

My plan was to have great music blasting in my ears to keep my mind off my body pain. My IPOD battery died at mile two.

My plan was to run with no stops. I stopped and chatted with a good running friend I hadn't talked to for a while for almost an hour.

My plan was to not encounter any wild critters. I encountered baby skunks. At least I think they were skunks. I am now fairly convinced they were just kittens.

My plan was to not answer my cell phone unless the call was from home. I answered four non-home calls.

My plan was to make it back before it got too hot. It was 250 degrees before I returned.

My plan was to return no later than 9:30 a.m. I arrived home at 10:30 a.m.

My plan was to blog about my run as soon as I returned. I was too late and I had no time.

My plan was to have a quick recovery. I did.

I guess one out of ten isn't so bad. Hmm... Whatever.

For future reference I am making a note to self.



*1 Google Earth your route BEFORE you leave, not AFTER you return. It is always so disappointing to think you ran farther than you really did!

*2 Get out of bed early even IF it seems too hard at the time. You will feel fine and just dandy-roo after about 10 minutes of being up. It is much harder to run in 250 degree heat than it is to get up at 6:30 a.m. Much harder!

*3 Charge your dang IPOD! That little flashing light means the battery is about to die. If that happens on your way home from your last run, then CHARGE IT!

*4 When you run into a friend you haven't talked to in a while. Run WITH her while you talk. Especially since she was on a run too! Who cares if she is heading the other way. An hour of talking and not running is a WHOLE HOUR of NOT RUNNING!

*5 If you even think you see wild skunks, (whether you do or not) then either turn around and head back the other direction or run like H-E-double hockey sticks!!!

*6 When you forget your phone in the first place, do NOT go back and get it. If you do go back and get it, then when it rings just let it ring. EVEN. IF. IT. IS. YOUR. BIRTHDAY. If it is that important they will leave a message and you won't have to listen to them sing Happy Birthday to you. You can just delete it before they finish the chorus!

*7 If you don't want to run in extremely high temps then re- read #2. Repeat it over and over in your mind. Just get up girl!

*8 If you want to return by a specified time then follow ALL of the above!

*9 If you want to blog about your run before you forget the details then once again...DO THE ABOVE!

*10 For a quick recovery...well that's a stumper! It would logically seem that doing the above would provide a quick recovery, but since you had a quick recovery and did none of the above, then I guess it stands to reason that sometimes being a slacker pays off! Thank goodness! I was really hoping someone would tell you that!

Total Distance: 9.64 miles