Thursday, July 30, 2009

So lonely...

It's been a bit of a lonely week. I ran/cross-trained alone each day because Danna has been nursing an injury and under doctor's orders not to run on certain days. (And she took Suzy with her to the elliptical machine so I didn't have her either.) She went back to Dr. Toronto (Sports Medicine), who is awesome by the way. He diagnosed her with "periostisis" (a bad shin injury!) and told her she was wearing the wrong shoes. What is amazing to me is that Dr. Toronto first of all agreed to skip his lunch to see her, and even read every page of her running log word for word!!!

We made a crazy trip to Salt Lake Running Company to get her some new ones. I got a new running belt which doesn't leak! It's fabulous. The SLRC is a great place to buy shoes, fyi. They do this whole assessment on you, and also give great running advice. All the employees are pretty much famous runners (the guy that helped me plans to break the St. George Marathon record this time, and the one who helped Danna was recruited from out of state to coach the runners at Westminister!).

I went running Thursday night at about 9 pm and it was still pretty hot! I did 4 miles on the High School track. This seems to be becoming a Thursday night tradition. After our Wednesday morning runs (this week it was 7 miles! Before work!) I am wiped, and can't drag my bum out of bed the next morning. It's amazing how the little things provide a distraction on a tough run. For example:

Laps 1 & 2: The wind started blowing hard and the track sprinkler system turned on and I got a little annoyed, and became a little cold...

Laps 3 & 4: The sprinklers started feeling good!

Laps 5 & 6: The sprinklers became necessary and I missed them when I ran on the other end of the track.

Laps 7 & 8: The sprinklers turned off! Aaa! I turned up my ipod and was glad the wind was still blowing at least.

Laps 9 & 10: A new set of sprinklers were turned on, and I veered to the edge of the track on every lap to get misted. :)

Laps 11 & 12: I began counting and re-counting the laps I had done and would have to do, thinking I must have counted wrong and constantly wondering if I was really on lap 13...I wasn't.

Laps 13 & 14: I started wondering if the track wasn't really 1/2 mile in circumference, and if I had really run 8 miles. Wishful thinking. I planned all the things I was going to write in this blog entry. Yes, my faithful readers- I was thinking of you. (Actually, I think a lot about what I'll blog whenever I'm running. I have some clever/genius ideas, but then when I actually go to blog, I draw a blank!

Laps 15 & 16: I kicked the speed up a notch and knocked 2 minutes off my mile! And then I ran through the sprinklers! So refreshing. Here I am after the run:
But for me, the loneliest thing of all is always the dreaded cross training. We are supposed to do cross training once a week, for at least 45 minutes. No one knows more than Matt how much I hate it. I whine and whine and put it off. I don't have a lot of great options. We've got the LAME equipment in our condo's clubhouse. The only usable option is the stationary bike with only one (easy) setting. Note that it is VERY hot in this room with no A/C. I could go for a walk I guess, or a bike ride, but they seem too easy and I feel I am not really cross training (and my bike has problems). I don't like the pool, so that's out.

Here are some pix of me leaving for, or coming back from a cross training session:

See how unhappy I look about the whole X training thing? Even though I'm done! (But look how much skinnier my legs are getting!! Sweet!)

After this photo was taken, I wouldn't actually leave. This is when Matt pushed me out the door- for reals. I think he even locked it. I thanked him later. Much later.
I decided to do "walking" for my XT, so I walked to Danna's (not a long walk!!), and she indulged my laziness. We drank raspberry lemonade, and swung on the hammock while we talked to Adam. Then I walked home. What a workout!
And we did a lot of laughing. Here we are discussing the chihuahua that tried to bite me.
I make funny joke!
For yesterday's long/adventure run, Danna and Suzie agreed to drive up and join me in Park City. I scoped out a trail called "The Rail Trail," which was a toughie! It was a gradual downhill slope for the first 5 miles, and uphill for the last 5! I was struggling, I tell you. I was so glad to be done, and poor Suzy had to run an extra 6 miles without us, so as usual, Danna and I iced and stretched and chatted.

Friends, Danna needs your prayers. Her shin injury is really a concern and she may have to modify her training a lot to be able to run the race. Will you pray for her to heal from her injury and to be able to run without problems? (As a side note, maybe you should also pray for her not to be a reckless rebel and run too much despite the pain, and despite my yelling at her about it!)

Well, there are a few people/objects that I need to thank this week for helping me get through the training. First of all, the Backstreet Boys and their Black and Blue album. Thanks for singing me through those tough miles, Boys! Natasha Bedingfield and her inspiring songs, Jeff and Hal- my coaches, Matt, my hubs, for literally pushing me out the door or forcing me to go to bed on several occasions! Danna, for always providing a cooler full of ice, a bag of towels and wet wipes, and a darn good time (that "darn good time" part goes for Suzy too!), and my cute student for starting the first therapy session without me on Wednesday mornings, and for every person on the Parkway who says, "Go girl!" or "Have a good run," or even the traditional, "Morning!" It's really amazing how much it helps. (By the way, I realized the habit of lifting a few fingers in a wave, and saying "Morning," has become so automatic for me I can't even stop myself. While running around the track, I realized I kept doing it to the same people lap after lap. I think they felt awkward after the second time, and frankly so did I.)

More pix from the aftermath of last week's long run:

This is my Smoked Salmon Benedict. Yum!!
I'm really excited to eat it. I'm also excited to be so sweaty and salty in a public place.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Freak Parade

No, I'm not kidding. We seriously got OUT OF BED at 4 something. It's true. Ask our husbands. If they hadn't already been passed out asleep, they would have passed out. We had a gaggle of girls this Saturday. Kristin, Me, Suzy, and Mikelle all braved the elements (ok, the weather was great- the only 'element' was our orneriness) to do an "adventure run". We have grown tired of our regular old parkway freaks. We need new ones. Underwear guy-- almost completely over it. Barefoot man-- How many times can you watch him run barefoot and wonder about his sanity? The Polygamist compound-- we watch for incriminating evidence daily that we should sweep in and do a mass women-and-children-rescue ala Carolyn Jessop style, but so far all we have seen is one of the girls mowing the lawn... wearing an I-pod. Not so suspicious I gotta say. There are the Good ol' boys who we watch for an imminent heart attack. Then there are the matchy-matchy bike riders who we are convinced all call each other every day..."What are you going to wear? The yellow? Ok, yes, definitely the yellow windbreakers". I'm sure all of our buddies have nicknames for us too.... hyena-laughing girls, the complainers, the slow-runners etc. I have no illusion that we ourselves are not a part of the parade. As you can see, when you run the parkway at the same time every day, you basically see your same people every day. Which, when it comes to our cheerleaders is AWESOME, but the cheerers are slumbering away at Vicky:thirty, so we are now each taking a turn scoping out a new place to do our Saturday long runs, and calling it our "adventure runs." (Maybe the exciting name will fool our left brains into thinking we are getting up to do something incredibly fun and new.)
Kristin picked a trail in Riverton that is actually a different area of the parkway. It wasn't until we arrived at the head of the trail that we realized that I had forgotten my 'watch' with the GPS that tells us how far we have run... kinda important when you don't know where you are running. K and I needed 13 miles. Mikelle, 5, and Suzy, 15. We talked two other women into letting us run near them and their watch. I think they left us in the dust when we kept asking "What is our pace?" "What time is it?" "How far have we gone?" So instead we resorted to asking other runners on the trail, "hey- how far have you run?" and then running to where they said and finding another runner to ask again. So yes my friends, we turned into the freaks on a whole new trail. There was an organized 5k that we crashed. That was new. Guys with hunting guns. Scary. There was even a hot spring on the route. It was an overcast day perfect for a long run. The view of Lone peak AND Timpanogas was INCREDIBLE! We talked and laughed and bugged others non-stop.
We have decided that we like it when people cheer for us- of course it stands to reason that we should now cheer for everyone else on the parkway (excluding those only wearing underwear or those lacking shoes.) I think all of our freak friends are used to us yelling at them. "You go girl!" "Keep it up!" ( especially to the matchy-matchy bikers). Apparently the people in Riverton don't feel it necessary to have strangers yell at them to keep running. Weird. They looked at us, blinked a few times, and moved over to the far side of the trail. Huh.
The trail wasn't as long of a loop as our trail, so we had to double back a few times on some portions. I think maybe the Rivertonarians thought we were just there to terrorize their nice, ridiculously early runs.
Because Suzy had to do 2 miles more than K and me, we had brought our little ice-packs, and towels, and post-run drinks, and anything else we could think of that we might want. So we sat on a pic-nick table, barefoot, and sweaty (yes- on our towels), and iced and laughed, and groaned in pain, and took pictures of each other doing stupid stuff. At one point a runner walked next to us and I commented that really we weren't that weird, our other partner was running still. She made a remark back that indicated she had seen weird, and we were it. Which, of course, makes us laugh, and make fun of ourselves, which made us even weirder.

Afterwards, we all went to breakfast at the Left Fork Grill and solved all of life's problems. So see- all is well in the world. And next week is my turn to pick the adventure run!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The dynamic duo does double digits

Another week goes by...
Sunday we completed the 100th mile of our training schedule. Woo hoo!

This weekend our run was really great. I actually struggled the first 4 miles, but felt pretty good after that. We ran a total of 12 miles!! We will never again be running single digit runs on Saturdays. My little sis Mikelle came to run with us for the first 4 miles (she is now training for her own half-marathon: The Top of Utah), and Suzy ran the final 2 with us. These created excellent distractions from the drudgery. As did our fun girl talk. I talked about every little detail of Youth Conference (which I went to this weekend) for about 8 miles, letting Danna breathe easy. :)

Twelve miles!

On the run, there were a few highlights I would like to mention. Underwear Man. I have been telling Danna about him for a while now, but no description could do this strange dude justice. On this run he appeared! He rides his bike in a strange pair of underwear each morning, clearly seeking attention. Sometimes it's a one-piece tight white cotton wrestling-type suit, (what Matt's mom used to call a onesie!) but yesterday he had a new flesh-colored pair of underwear on (only) joke! I felt so validated to have Danna actually see this guy (Mikelle saw him too!), and when he whizzed by she looked horrifiedly at me, and I yelled "That's HIM!" We then discussed his strange daily behavior. Any of you other Parkway walkers/runners seen this guy??

We also saw the Jeff Galloway marathon training team out and about, and we cheered many of them on, and felt not a little jealous of their coolness, and their jugs of water and Gatorade every few miles. We might have joined if it weren't $159.00. Check it out: Sheesh! What do they do to earn that money? Make you run? More on the training team later...

After the run always comes my favorite part. The icing, stretching, and eating. We iced and stretched for about 40 minutes I think. Seriously, my whole body was covered in salt crystals like never before in my life. I was a walking salt lick. As we stretched and chatted with Adam, we decided we are going to be starting our own training program next year. It will be called "She Runs Like a Girl Marathon Training." We will be driving along the Parkway in a shaded golf cart, with tropical umbrella drinks and a megaphone, and shouting things like:

"Move it ladies!!"
"More walk, less
next tip is go faster!!"
And many other hillarious things I can't remember!
Adam suggested we put spikes on the front of the golf cart.
And then we would see the Galloway runners going by and we'd obnoxiously trash talk them. When our trainees asked technical running questions we don't know the answers to, we'd shuffle through Jeff or Hal's books (which would of course be disguised with a pink cover.) Or we'd just answer them all with "That can be solved by stretching your I.T. band."

After I went home and showered, we met up again for a little more fun. Namely my favorite 2 things! The "lox and a bagel" from Einstein's, fresh squeezed OJ, (Danna had a blueberry streussel and fresh fruit medley).

Then a make-over and shopping trip at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. I got some cute Estee Lauder make-up, a sweet gift with purchase, and check out my cute new shoes!! (Also check out this sexy male model!)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dream killing run!

Well, I guess I'll have to revise my theory on the step-back week because Kristin and I stepped back so far this weekend we almost stepped off the planet. There is no way General Mills plans on giving us our own cereal box EVER after "the run that makes you scary to yourself and others" this past weekend. Of course in the above picture we were still naive.
Kristin and I have been scheming with our friends about a girls weekend away. Kristin, Me, Elaine, Renee, Vicky, and Colleen went to the Richards family cabin this past weekend. We had a ridiculously good time. There was no sleeping allowed, you must stuff your face with every artery-clogging food you ever dreamed of, and of course hours of free therapy with good friends who love you, even your weirdo stuff. You know it's an official break from eating healthy when you start dipping chocolate raspberry sticks into the carmel to eat them. By the end of the weekend, we were pouring Vicky's sinful carmel on even our breakfast eggs. Let's be honest here- Kristin was just eating it off a spoon by the end, and I was dipping those 1 gazillion calorie Ferrero Rochers. If Dr Phil had had a camera on, he would have whisked us all off to LA by this point to discuss our ravenous-wolf meets starving-refugee eating, as well as our "childhood wounds" that would probably needs TEAMS of psychologists to sort out.... and then write fascinating new text books on it all. So yes- it was FANTABULOUSO!!!!

Kristin and I of course had to negotiate how and when to do our long run for days prior because of the party lifestyle. We decided to do it Sunday night when we got home. While we were there we did our cross training walk. Our friends all watched us complain as we put on our work-out clothes, seriously- how weird that the altitude made them shrink. Crazy stuff. But we had a beautiful walk right at sunset. The sky was the most gorgeous shades of purple and blue and even pink. We had all new victims to psycho-analyze while exercising, which is a nice break from ourselves. It was a great workout!!! Who knew that the dream-crushing long run was on the horizon as well?

Sunday arrived and after a long weekend of serious exertion (mainly walking upstairs to bed, and eating to the point we thought crossing the cattle guards might cause them to collapse), we headed home. It has been so Hades-hot this week. We decided to run around 8 pm. Not late enough my dear readers, not even close to late enough. Truly- even Kristin admitted to running her AC. Poor little Matt must feel like he lives in one of the ten circles of hell it has to be so hot in that house. "Your hell is to live with one hot Chica- but in one seriously hot house!" I would melt like the wicked witch that I am in there. ANYWAY.... the run sucked. Seriously sucked. We were panting like sick dogs before we got out of the driveway. Kristin who weighs about 200 pounds less than me said, "I feel like my body is so heavy." I, meanwhile, was trying to not do a good impression of a runner who ate like a crazy person for 3 days, had no sleep, and now decided to top it off by puking on the side of the trail. Other walkers usually don't like that. It was all we could do to keep moving. I think we walked more than we ran. And seriously- you could not have called that running, it was shuffling. At one point we were trying to run past a family taking a sweet little Sunday stroll on the trail, just enjoying each other and nature. We crawled past, loudly complaining about all the space they were taking up, and wanting their little kids to MOVE IT. Stop looking so NOT sweaty and so happy you big jerks! It was not pretty.

Then, the next plague arrived.... swarms of locusts. Ok, maybe they weren't locusts, but there were swarms. They were thick enough I'm sure the Israelites would have agreed they were BAD! Kristin began running doing a continuous large scissor motion with her arms. That only made us look more pathetic, desperately sweaty, and more than a little mentally unstable. I was laughing so hard I'm sure we looked like arm swinging, trail weaving, hyena laughing drunks. But hey- I'll be honest, Kristin was swatting a huge number of bugs for both of us with her arms, and I thought she deserved a medal for her courageous lack of "shut-up and don't look at me like that, this run sucks, ok" heroism. bug made it through her helicopter arms and went straight into her air-sucking mouth. I seriously wish I had a video for you. Describing what happened next will do it no justice. She stopped running abruptly, her hands went to her throat, and she started gagging/choking, while jumping up and down and her eyes googling out. She started trying to get the locust out of her mouth with her hands, but then resorted quickly to one large spit..... which landed directly on her thigh. She started yelling and trying to get the spit-drowning locust off her leg, which required a complicated dance. I was not about to offer help- it was the only fun part of the run, and I'll be honest, I needed the laugh. I think others on the trail were considering calling the police. We decided it would be best to keep moving while she recovered. After leaving the scene of the crime, Kristin commented while STILL spitting occasionally that she thought she still had a bug leg in there somewhere. At least the spitting was practiced enough at this point she wasn't hitting herself. We decided that if Larry ran by at any point of this run, we would trip him. As soon as my watch beeped 7 miles, we yelled "finally!" and "about time!" at the inanimate object and sulked as we walked the last bit home. We didn't do a cool-down, or blow-by-blow review of the run, we just said "that sucked" and we each went home.I layed on the floor icing everything I could think of and demanding Adam fetch me things for about an hour and a half. Every few minutes Adam would cautiously ask.... "what went wrong?" "It sucked. That's it, every aspect of it sucked. " Everything hurt! Eventually he helped me to crawl to the bed and get in it and I slept all sweaty and disgusting for 11 hours straight. Pretty as a princess too, I'm sure.
So, the plan for tonight is to get out my medal for just finishing my first marathon and take turns wearing it, pretending we are crossing the finish line, and convincing ourselves that run NEVER HAPPENED!!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

If you're thinking 'bout bein' my running partner it don't matter if you're hot or cold...

Ha ha, little ode to MJ there. But what I mean to say by that title is that Danna and I are very different in some ways, but even so we make great running partners. I am always cold, she is always hot. This makes choosing the time of day for our Saturday runs a tricky process. I could seriously live all summer without A/C and never complain. Danna could do winter without a heater, easy. I hate carrying my jacket, but freeze for the first mile or 2 if I don't bring it. Danna has been running in shorts and no jacket since March. BUT, we both like to sleep in! Danna likes to run at night, I prefer to get it done in the morning. She says "Lava (rhymes with java) Hot Springs," I say "Lava (like the "la" in "lamp") Hot Springs" which is, by the way Danna, how the locals say it as we have discussed.

We have created a code with which we can discuss any spot along the parkway. If she called me mid-run and I said "I'm at garbage can," she would know exactly where I was. It's kinda fun. Thanks to her GPS watch we have also clocked out every 1/2 mile along the parkway. Some of the locations we speak of frequently are pretty funny-sounding. Here are some of my favorite examples:

House 6334
The horseshoe tar (there is a bit of tar painted into a horseshoe shape)
The arrows (arrows painted on the road)
The quad (Go Aggies!)
The last Russian Olive
Stinky truck stop
The spot with the prettiest view
Duck pond
(and Danna, I bet you would know what I was referring to if I said: Graffiti underpass, mosquito bog, huge slug spot, starting line, tree...)

There is a man who runs on the parkway with his wife. He runs at a slow limping-type pace. He runs barefoot! We refer to him as "Barefoot Man." During one of my cool downs he passed me and I summoned my courage to ask "Sooo, why do you run barefoot?" He explained to me that a shoe is like a cast, and that it is better for the foots range of motion and general mobility to go shoeless. I mean, often times he runs on the rocky gravel and it seriously looks painful. Foot ROM? What about arch support?? Well, I didn't feel he was very happy with my asking, so even though Danna and Suzie were very excited and had more questions, I feel I have overstepped my bounds with Barefoot Man.

Matt modeled for me what we imagine happening to Barefoot man:

We have cool "Runner's Logs" that we write in every day. They are pretty fun and motivating. here's an example from one of my pages:

One thing Danna forgot to mention in her last post was that this Saturday an amazing event occurred- WE PASSED OTHER RUNNERS on the Parkway! This was a first for us, but we passed 2 other runners who were training for a half-marathon! That was definitely one for the log book. Very special.

I would like to celebrate by sharing an amazing picture I took. An aerial view of my shorts and shoes.

A bonus video of one random morning last week:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Make people clap for you

We talk about the most random things on our long runs. This week I was telling Kristin about how once I read this little quote about happiness. It said to give yourself a self-esteem boost, you should take up a sport where people clap for you. Kristin and I have better cheerleaders than the Dallas Cowboys, and they are even fully clothed!
We have a friend named Vicky. Vicky makes the word amazing look bad. That girl is incredible. She cooks, sews, bottles, is a mean soft-ball player, takes care of her family, and oh yeah, is Young Women's president on the side; she is a REAL mormon girl. I hope to grow up and find that I have turned into Vicky. She gets up at....i don't even know....some ridiculously early hour that doesn't even know sunlight. To be honest, I have never been awake at those kinds of hours, I'm not really sure they even keep time that early. Every week Kristin and I find new ways to describe how truly painful it is to get up THAT early and RUN TEN MILES! This saturday Kristin was telling me about how it was so early it was Vicky:thirty. I laughed so hard I almost forgot to hold my shorts up!
Our ward Relief society ladies walk every morning on the trail. That is when all the figuring out of the world is accomplished. I one time had my new relief society president ask me why I thought my new ward has such a hard time keeping up programs like book group, out-to-lunch-bunch etc. like the 4th ward. I told her the only answer was that the 4th ward women are party girls. They live for the fun stuff. Let me tell you- they have a good time. So, every morning when we plod past them, they cheer, yell, clap. No one should have to start out their day with out a good cat-call! They are truly obnoxious and how could a girl not love them more for it?! Every other runner on the path is jealous we travel with our own group of cheerleaders. So it is true.... to feel good about yourself, pick up a sport where people clap for you. It gets me up early in the morning!