Happy happy day! I had an awesome run this morning. I took off by myself with a goal of running six miles. I didn't really have much of a plan as I am still letting my Achilles be "the boss" as I don't want to take any steps backwards in this recovery (and can't really afford to). I ran the first mile (downhill) at an 8:18 and it felt good and easy. My Achilles felt great... much much better than my first mile yesterday.
I decided to try and keep a good/faster pace for the run (as long as the Achilles felt good). The second two miles of the out and back run were on an incline/gradual uphill that often makes it feel tough to keep a good pace. I did those two miles in 7:47 and 7:40 and felt GREAT.
I turned around and then got to have the gradual downhill to my benefit, and I ran those next two miles in 7:33 and 7:30, still feeling great. The last mile was a more significant uphill, and I really wanted to keep the pace on the uphill. I focused on my form and on taking shorter strides, etc. and it felt so so good. The last mile's pace (UPhill) was a 7:25. I got home tired but SO HAPPY that I had such a good run. It felt amazing (and FUN) to run fast and I am feeling really hopeful about my Achilles now. (Still stretching, icing and wearing compression socks). It is not 100% but seems to be improving and today's run did a lot for my confidence. Yeah... running makes me happy.
Ok, time to answer some more of your questions. I answered a bunch of family related questions in previous posts, so here are my answers to some running questions. Feel free to still leave any questions you may have in a comment and if I haven't answered your question yet don't worry... I will. More posts are coming. :)
Jess@Blonde Ponytail - asked
Did you run in HS?
Nope. I didn't run in high school or in college. I had never run (other than playing tag, soccer, etc. with the kids) before April 2009. I did play field hockey in junior high. In high school I was big time into horseback riding (equestrian, hunter jumper, etc.) I had my own horse and then worked at a riding stable to help pay for my horse and riding. I mucked stalls, rode other people's horses for them, turned horses out, fed and watered, taught beginner lessons, etc. I spent A LOT of time at the barn and loved it. I sold my horse when Josh and I got married and Nate was born. I miss it for sure. Horses are my favorite. :)
What is your favorite mileage?
My favorite mileage to race is a marathon. My favorite mileage for a run is probably 14-18 miles. It's long but not LONG. I do love the 20 milers and look forward to them, and 6-8 is my "short and easy" distance right now. My favorite weekly mileage is 55-60 miles. That seems to be where I see steady improvement without injury and I feel REALLY good running that amount of miles.
Stephanie Anne -
When did you first fall in love with running?
I fell in love with running in April 2009. I went for my very first run ever on April 25, 2009. I had been trying to change my lifestyle and get healthy for about four months at that point and had lost about 20lbs (with plenty more to go). A couple of ladies in my neighborhood were running and I decided to give it a try (mostly because I was sick to death of the Wii fit and exercise videos). That first run was a two mile loop from my house and I had to stop and walk several times. I got home exhausted and defeated... and totally hooked. I ran every other day for a couple of weeks and before I knew it I was going 3 miles without walking.
I ran a 5K the next month and knew that I loved racing (and was thrilled with my time of 32:06). Since then I have continued to add to my weekly mileage and have continued to challenge myself with further distances, races, PR's, etc.
I have heard some people say that it took them awhile to start to love running, but for me, something clicked on that very first run. Even though it was insanely hard and humbling and I was FAR from good at it that first day, I knew deep down that it was something I wanted to do and was going to keep doing... something I was even "supposed" to do. Since then I have come to love it even more and I know it is a part of who I am.
Do any of your kids ever run with you?
Two of my boys, Shane and Ryan, are runners and have run with me. Shane is 11 (almost 12) and Ryan is 13. Ryan ran cross country in junior high last year and will be on the team again this year. (He also go to run in the Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay on a family team). He keeps getting faster and has the best attitude ever. Ry did spring track last year in school too and got quite good in the 100M, shot put and triple jump. He also ran a 5K with me and has gone on a couple of training runs with me too. He's great fun!
Shane is just the most crazy naturally athletic person ever. He is the one that WON our local 5K back in May. He beat me by 45 seconds with a time of 21:15, with no training at all. He ran all summer on some local trail runs with the high school cross country team and kept up with the front of the pack. He is equally talented at football, soccer and wrestling, so we are excited to see what Shane ends up doing. Josh and I take him running "with" us once and awhile. He's a wild man!
My oldest daughter is a junior in high school this year and she has run indoor and outdoor track every year so far. She doesn't love running, but she is quite good and could be really good if she wanted to. She runs the 200, 400M and 400M relay and also does triple jump. And Des joined the spring track team in junior high last year with Ryan and she did a bunch of different events. She will probably be more of a thrower than a runner, which is cool! (Josh was a state champion shot put thrower). The girls don't run with me but we cheer each other on. :)
Lots of my "littles" like to run too and we have fun running "races" together. I have an Ethiopian daughter (who is 7 1/2) who moves like she was born to run. And she is FAST. :)
All of that said, one of the awesome things about our family is that all of our kids are so different and have such a huge variety of talents, interests, etc. They are not competitive with each other and we encourage all of them to find their own talents and passions and follow them. If some of them end up to be runners that's awesome, but if not, I will be happy as long as they find something they enjoy.
Here is me and the boys after the local 5K in May. :)
What is your pre-race go-to meal?
Right now it is plain oatmeal sweetened with just a little honey and some Accelerade, eaten/drank 3.5 hours before race time. My stomach is a work in progress though and I rarely eat before any regular runs (even my 20 milers). I do great fueling during runs/races though with Accel gels and Accelerade and... knock on wood... have never hit the wall in a race.
What is your favorite race bling?
My favorite race bling is my Mickey Medal from the Walt Disney World Marathon this January!! I remember when I often said that I couldn't imagine ever doing a marathon, but if I ever did, I wanted it to be Disney World. I LOVE all things Disney, and the marathon did not disappoint. It was an amazing experience and I loved every single minute. I cannot WAIT to go back and do the Goofy Challenge in Jan. 2012 and I know that that Goofy medal is going to be my new favorite bling!!!
Lindsay asked -
Favorite race you've done?
This question is actually really hard. Vegas was my first full marathon and Josh and my parents were there, which makes it a "favorite", but I didn't love the course and am not a huge Vegas fan. Disney was my favorite in a lot of ways, but Josh wasn't there and my stomach gave me a lot of problems during that race. Salt Lake City Marathon wasn't an exciting location or course (it was tough!) but Josh and the kids AND my parents were there, and I got my sub-four hour time and I felt really really great the whole time, so that was definitely a favorite.
And then the Ragnar relays I have done are one of the most fun things ever for all kinds of reasons so Ragnar is a favorite...
The Star Valley Half Marathon last month was a total blast... I kicked butt (1:38:18), got my first age group win, got my first trophy, and got to experience it with lots of friends and neighbors so that is a favorite...
And looking ahead I have awesome friends coming up for Pocatello AND the Top of Utah Marathon (and I am hoping for an insanely good PR in Pocatello). NYC Marathon is going to be a dream come true and I giggle every time I think of the Goofy Challenge and going back to Disney. More favorites!
Nope... can't pick a favorite.
Would you ever do a Tri?
I answered this one in detail here but the short answer is probably not. The truth is, I am a one trick pony. I run. I CAN swim and that part doesn't scare me too much, but I am a total bike chicken. And I am sorry to all of you cyclists out there, but I just hate riding a bike. I don't like how it feels, I don't like riding with traffic, I don't like going fast, I don't like worrying about chains and flat tires... I just don't like it.
And, at this point, trying to be the best runner/marathoner I can be takes a lot of time. I feel like life is in really good balance right now. Trying to add in two more sports would throw that off, and I am not sure I could even do it (or at least do it well).
So, I may be the only one (it seems so this summer!) but I have no plans or interest in doing a tri.
Do you like to travel to do a race or do you like to do races close to home?\
Most of the time I don't have much option because we live in the middle of nowhere and there aren't many races here. We have two 5k's and the new half marathon, and that is it. So, travel is generally required. I loved doing the half here at home and being able to sleep in my own bed, be home right after the race, see lots of friends, family, and neighbors, etc. (and save money!). I don't like being away from home, Josh, or the kids, and there is a ton of work involved in me leaving for any period of time. However, traveling is lots of fun too. I have to say it has been nice after races when we have traveled to go back to a hotel and not have to jump right back in to laundry, dishes, child care, etc. Recovery is easier that way. :) So, there are pro's and con's to both, although most of my races will involve some travel just because of where I live.
Caroline asked -
do some of your older kids run as well? (answered above) do they come to your races?
The kids have come to some of the races. I have traveled by myself for a lot of the races because of cost. Josh and I brought Noah with us when we ran Las Vegas so Noah was there. :) All of the kids were in Salt Lake when I ran that marathon (and it was awesome to have them there!!!!) and Josh brought them all to Ragnar last year and had them all set up with signs that spelled out WE LOVE YOU MOM! I don't want to drag them anywhere and Noah can get overwhelmed in really loud/crowded places, but they have enjoyed the races they have been at. (And yeah... they all would love to come to Disney, but since it is the first week back to school after Christmas break, the first week of winter sports for Josh and the big kids, and a really crowded week at the parks, that's not an option).
Here is Josh (yup, he's the greatest) and the kids lined up at an exchange during Ragnar Wasatch Back last summer. :) You can click on this pic to see it bigger if you want.
That's all for now! Thanks for all the fun questions. More soon. Have a great weekend everyone.