Sunday, May 30, 2010

99th post!

This is Kristin.

It's hard to believe, but our little blog is about to have its 100th post!  That means I want to follow the blog world trend and do another giveaway to celebrate.  So stay tuned and be ready to win some fun stuff in the next post.  The thing is, we just haven't decided what.  Any requests?? 

Well thank you all for the well wishes on my beating my half marathon PR by one minute. :)  I was kinda surprised none of you non-runners asked what it stands for- did you just figure it out?  Google it?  There's also "PB," or "Personal Best." 

My running report for the week is that I did a lot of cross-training.  Matt's doing P-90X right now, so I joined him for a couple work-outs.  Danna's a little out of commission since she lost her toenail, again!  And if she's not running, I find it hard to get my bum out there at the crack of dawn.  Although it is a lot lighter outside of late, which helps.  And a lot warmer too! 

By the way, I would like to complain that my husband is one of those obnoxious people who can decide to drop a few pounds or totally change his body, and can actually do it in just a few weeks.  The P-90X workouts are SUPER hard, and I can't get through a single video in its entirety.  And I'm a marathoner!  After one week he was able to get through the full videos and is already getting visibly buffer and trim-er.  What a punk, eh?

Yesterday I went for a run by myself.  I worked during the day so it was an afternoon/evening run in the heat, which I love actually!  I had no pre-determined distance (which is rare for me) and I was waiting for Matt to get back from a movie (Prince of Persia.  He said it was okay.) so I just ran in a random direction, ended up on the parkway trail eventually (as always) and started running the dirt trails.  It was great!  I haven't left the asphalt forever!  It was a little edsxtra work, especially on looser surfaces, but it was a nice change of scenery.  Danna and I heard about a stabbing on the parkway last week (around 4100 S.) so that's another reason not to run alone in the AM- at least not without our trusty pepper spray.  I got a little nervous in some of the remote trail areas.  You never know who could be lurking around.  It was fun to see all the families out.  And all the dogs (almost all off-leash, I might add!) 

So how do you runners like running trails as opposed to running on paved paths?


Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Glorious Ogden Half Marathon (by: Kristin)

This race is dedicated to:
Mr. Hottie McHotterson

I barely slept the night before the race- lots of tossing and turning and checking the clock.  I have decided I hate race mornings with their painfully early hours and endless to-dos (up at 3:30, drink water, bathroom, Glide, belt, outfit, chip, bib, drink water, winter clothes, bathroom, sunscreen, hair, face, shoes, map...).  Matt took me to the buses where I met up with D, S, Amber, Rick, and Julie.  The bus ride up took forever!  I wondered if they had mistaken us for the full marathoners.  The drives are always humbing,, helping you realize just how long the race actually is.  The race starts up lovely Ogden Canyon in a charming city called Eden.  There we racers waited for a looong time (the other thing I don't like about race morning). 
The temp was a little cold at the start, but I must say that the weather throughout the entire race was absolutely perfect.  It was nice and sunny, yet cool with a slight breeze.  We keep getting lucky in our races, weather-wise. 
As we all kindof got into the groove of our paces, Danna and I paired off, and within a mile or 2 Suzy caught up to us (6 months pregnant, might I add?) and we ran together for a while.  D and S knew I wanted a PR this race, and I was determined to run alone if needed.  They tend to have to make bathroom stops often.  When aid stations were coming up they would sprint ahead and make a VERY speedy bathroom visit.  I would slow down a bit and we'd get together again.  At one point I realized that I really needed to speed up if I was going to make my PR.  We were having so much fun chatting and it was just like the old training runs we 3 used to do together (we haven't had a really long 'long run' together in ages).  
Then I had an epiphany.  Why was it important for me to beat my PR?  I'm not a fast runner, I'm not trying to qualify for anything.  What I like about running and racing is the experience of it.  A PR is nothing but me competing with myself and possibly not enjoying races as much.  I decided to stick with the girls and love the race.  And seriously, this race was just pure joy!  It's so nice to feel good, run with fabulous girlfriends, and just take it all in.  
The aid stations for this race were every single mile!  And they had the genius idea of letting local businesses run the aid stations.  Every station is basically an ad for that business, and they compete which each other to have the coolest station.  It's ridiculous how full our belt pouches were by the end of the race.  They gave away such things as...a whole pack of Five brand gum, every flavor of GU and Clif Bar at every station, otter pops, hard candies, skittles, twizzlers, pretzels, fruit, other candy, and every first aid item imaginable (Icy Hot, Vasoline, Sunscreen packets, etc.)  How fun is that.  Danna, for example, had over $15 worth of GU in her belt at the finish line.  Funny!
As for the course itself, it was absolutely gorgeous!  We ran through the beautiful canyon, always next to either a big pretty lake with boats and ducks, or a lovely river with charming little houses all along it.  And the hills were green and gorgeous.  Then we run through this charming little series of parks on a running trail- under trees, under and over bridges, through tunnels.  The race ends on Historic 25th Street with a huge crowd. 
A few other pluses for this race:
None of the aid station bathrooms had a line!!  Ever!  And this is the only race I've ever run where all the spectators actually cheer for you!  (Not just for their loved one.)   I mean all of them!  And all the volunteers had cow bells or music or something.  They were scattered all along the course and constantly cheering.  So great!  I have nothing but utter praise for the Ogden 1/2.  We may consider the full next year it was so great!  Oh, and the drop bags?  Perfectly organized and ready for you to pick them up yourself.  I know you were all wondering.
Okay, so at about mile 10.5 or 11 we were running along happily, and Matt called my cell.  He told me exactly what time I had to finish if I was going to make a PR and told me to pick up the pace!  I did the math and realized a PR was possible, but only if I ran faster than I ever run.  I was feeling so good, I figured, what the heck!  Danna and Suzy agreed to do it with me (the babes) and we kicked it into high gear.  We were furiously passing people and started even getting annoyed that they were constantly in the way (so not our usual style).  We were constantly shouting, "On your left!" and weaving through the people.  Thanks to their Garmins, we were ever aware of our speed too.  After a while, as you can imagine, we got veeery tired (I remind you again, Suzy is 6 mos. pregnant)!  We were doing over 2 minutes per mile faster than our norm.  
We began to groan and complain around mile 12.5.  We were desperate to see the finish line. The closer we got the more we panted and grimmaced,  Adam was there taking our picture at one point and possibly thinking, "Wow, I've never seen them like that.  Did they hit the wall or something?"  We soon caught sight of the finish line and were outright whining (except Danna, who was the faithful cheerleader.  You see, she's been speed and distance training diligently.  We saw the pay-off here as she endured much better than we).  At mile 13 we were in sheer survival mode.  I was doing mantras in my head like never before.  Just when I was near despair, the huge Ogden High School band (right next to us) started banging their drums to the perfect, intense beat and their big brass sound willed me forward.  I heard Matt scream my name near the finish and had only enough energy to smile at him desperately and blow him a kiss.  Danna, Suzy and I finished holding hands!  And then it was straight to the mist showers for a loooong turn.  
Then someone generously doused Suzy with their water bottle.  (She was suddenly way overheated.)  Danna took her to the shade and she was soaking wet.  Then she suddenly got way too cold and started shivering.  Luckily my cousin Jen was a first aid girl there. Long story short, we took Suz to the medical tent where she got such fun medical treatments as this:

Sun + space blanket + new clothes.  I'll let Suzy or Danna tell the rest of that story, but bottom line- Suzy and the baby are ok!  I also went into the medical tent and got iced (my co-worker Michelle was working there too and wrapped the ice for me).  Matt may not have gotten a volunteer shirt this time, but he did sneak into the finisher fair with me.  Races must bring out his mischievous side.  

Ams finished magnificently too- and at a sweet pace, might I add.  We went to look at the chip times and mine was the exact same as my previous PR.  I was pissed!  All that work for nothing!!  But, there is a good ending to this tale my friends.  When the official times came out online, mine was ONE MINUTE faster than my previous PR!  Hahaha!  Yessssss!  And it was all worth it.

Ice ice baby.
Also note the unusally tan legs (if you know my white self at all).  Thanks Clarins.


PS: My finish time: 2:31:57

Friday, May 14, 2010

I missed my therapy appointment

"They say you can't run away from your troubles, I say you can."
-John Bingham

I got this in my "Quote of the Day" from Runner's World yesterday, and I love it. I haven't run with Danna in a couple weeks and I can totally feel the difference, emotionally speaking. I've rarely run with Suzy and Hayley too. It feels like I haven't been to therapy. The beauty of this therapy is that it's free! There's just something about the combination of the running itself, the girl talk, and the airing of feelings and stories, the validation, and the buring of the calories. I am a better wife and co-worker when I'm getting my group runs in.

My "running girls" can also attest to the fact that if I'm pissed about something and I start ranting about it on the run, I start running super fast. When I start in on a passionate story, Danna says, "Here we go girls- brace yourselves. We're about to run 8's." I get all pumped up on the adrenaline of my story, I yell, I flail, and I feel GREAT! Then after the run, the story's off my chest, and I've run all that pent up frustration out, and I feel all better. My poor running partners though. They are such good sports. They run at my pace without complaint, and they get all into my story- asking good questions and making perfect, validating, girl-friend responses. "No WAY! You are TOTALLY in the right and that is so messed up!" It's the best.

So how could I afford to miss a run? Cuz if I'm not telling a story, someone is, and you know it's a good one. No one wants to miss out. I used to make D and S re-tell me everything they talked about on their long runs if I wasn't there. It's quality conversation, people.

So tomorrow is the Ogden, Utah Half Marathon, starring Amber, Kristin, Danna, Suzy, Rick, Julie, and possible Karin! Oh and Candace at I Have Run. Who did I miss? I'm excited!! And nervous. And stressed. And hoping I don't forget anything since I'm sleeping at Grandma's tonight. Wish us luck!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

The view from my hammock

Danna here!
Don't you just love how restful, rest days are?!?! This is the view from my hammock on a sunday afternoon dozing away with the hub. You know how if feels to put in about 35 or 40 miles in a week and then spend sunday relaxing? It's heaven right? It gives your body time to catch up, repair, rebuild, and strengthen for the push next week. Marathon training season begins soon, and I am relishing the rest days. I have a big push this week to be ready for Ogden half this weekend. We have a strong team running. Kristin, Suzy, Rick, Amber, Julie, and myself. Rest up AND work hard! Our she runs like a girl team will rock! Enjoy the views and the ride!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Don't give up...

It's Kristin here.

I love this song- tell me you aren't motivated to go run (or whatever it is you do when you're motivated) after listening.  I think it would go well in a running mix for the ipod.


Guess what!  My sisters are going to run a race with me!  Brother in law too.  Now we just need to pick a half marathon that doesn't conflict with our family vacation.  Ideas?  (TOU is out)


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Crawling to the end, and proud of it

It's Kristin.

Today's run was TOUGH for me.  I felt gaspy and sluggish pretty much the entire run- almost 3 hours of running.  I frequently found myself with my tongue hanging out, canine-like.  Hayley is a saint and lengthened her run to be with whiny me.  Why was the run so hard?  I thinking I was tired, ate me GU and drank my water in a weird sequence, ate a weird dinner last night, cross-trained and "toned" heavily on Wednesday which I'm not used get the idea.  I was supposed to run 2 more miles, but quickly and easily justified cutting it short.  Now I'm doing what I love to do best after a rough run- icing and lounging in bed.  (And listening to the rain too!)  I have a lot to do but I'm going to do as much as I can off my feet.  Matt's downstairs doing P-90X.  And looking VERY cute in his SLC half marathon technical T, might I add?

On a lighter note, I have some big news!!  D and I signed up for A FULL MARATHON this year!  This is a huge deal and I am very excited to report that it is the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon.  There with be rock bands all along the course, about 15,000 runners, and they even shut down the Vegas strip for us to run through!  The race is December 5th if you wanna join us or cheer us on. 

We were rejected from another race we tried to enter- the San Francisco Women's marathon.  Bummer!  D is considering doing St. George again, and- get this- the Dublin Ireland Marathon!!  If I could afford that trip I would so be there with her.  Anyone wanna donate to my cause?  :)

Well, all I have to say about my current state is that I do feel proud of myself for what I have accomplished with my running in the past year.  I started training for my first marathon a year ago- running very slowly and never having run more that 3 miles.  Now I've run a marathon!  And today, I persisted in running for hours despite feeling totally tired, and in all reality having the power to call Matt to come pick me up and drive me home at any point if I wanted to.  But I di'n'.  Hayley and I kept saying, "Ok, we got this, we can DO this," during the last 3 miles or so.  

And now a little shout out to my sister Karin, and my friends Amber (aka "Ambleh") and Hayley today, who both ran further than they ever have in their life, IN the rain, AT a decent pace.  I'm very proud, ladies!  And do my little Rosie who just signed up for her first marathon too!  Can't wait to cheer you on in St. George!