Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two awesome races to check out

The week is going well, despite the fact that it is SPRING BREAK and it is STILL SNOWING. We are headed to Utah tomorrow to spend a couple of days "playing" as a family. My older girls are getting their hair done, we are getting everyone new sneakers, we'll go to the zoo and a movie, swim in the hotel pool, do some shopping, etc. Should be fun!

Ok, so I have been complaining about the weather here a lot lately, but we have THE most beautiful summers ever, and we have scenery to die for (seriously, I have lived here for over 10 years and still feel like I am in the movie "A River Runs Through It".) We went to Yellowstone, which is not even two hours away, last summer and it was pretty, but looked a lot like home. Mountains, water, trees, wildlife... I have all of that out my front door. :)

And while we don't have a huge variety of races like bigger areas, we do have two awesome races here this summer that I wanted to tell you about.

The first is El Vaquero Loco on August 13. What's that? You don't speak Spanish? El Vaquero Loco means "The Crazy Cowboy". This race is for you trail runners and for you endurance lovers. It is a 25K or a 50K over some truly crazy (and absolutely gorgeous) terrain. This post here has a lot of race information and you can look around on the blog for more pics, posts, info, etc. Registration info is here. Ty Draney, who puts on the race, is one of my husband's best friends and they coach track together. Ty is awesome and super hardcore, and this race reflects that!


Runners of the El Vaquero Loco get really cool hoodies and other goodies, and at the end of the race (at the beautiful Cottonwood Lake) hamburgers are barbecued for runners with all the fixin's and there are huckleberry sodas for all. If you are looking for a different kind of race in a beautiful place on some challenging trails, come check out El Vaquero Loco. :) I volunteered at the finish line last year (Josh was running it) and it was such a fun crowd and great experience. Josh is running again this year and I will be volunteering with the kids.

The other local race we have this year is the Star Valley Half Marathon on July 9. This is the inaugural year of the race, which is being held in honor of Jeremy Kunz, who was killed by a drunk driver during a race in 2009. The course for this half is absolutely beautiful (and all gently downhill!)  and registration is only $40 until the end of May.  You can see more pics and info on their Facebook page here.  This is going to be a wonderful race (and probably very fast for those wanting to PR)  in a beautiful place, with a way fun group of people. I am all signed up and super excited to run this.


AND, if you come to run either of these, as a bonus to the awesome races you can hang out with me and my fun crew. Tempting right??? :) Come!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dear body...

Dear body,
There is a lot I could and should say to you that is long overdue. First I am going to start with saying I am sorry. I am sorry that for over 10 years I took you for granted and pretty much treated you like garbage. I fed you mostly crap, did nothing to keep you healthy and almost never exercised. I made you carry around a ton of extra weight. I ignored your needs and did nothing to care for you, and then to add insult to injury, I had the nerve to bad-mouth you every time I looked in the mirror. I neglected you and mistreated you big time and I am sorry.

Despite the fact that I treated you so badly for over a decade, when I called on you, you were there for me. When I made you start exercising, you did it. When I asked you to get rid of some of the extra weight, you got rid of it gladly. When I asked you to run, even though we never had before, you did, with minimal pains or complaints. It wasn't easy, but we have both transformed as a result of our hard work. As I have pushed you to run further and further and faster and faster, you have never let me down.

I had no idea you were so strong. I had no idea that a runner was just waiting to be discovered in you. I had no idea we could do half the things we have done in the last two years, and I am excited to see what we accomplish in the future.

Thank you for being patient with me and for not giving up on me. I promise I will never ignore or neglect you again. I promise I will treat you right, and never take you for granted. I will give you what you need to be healthy and strong, get you as much rest as I can, push harder when you are up to it, pull back when you need me to, and listen to your signals.

Thanks for helping me find a strength, confidence, and part of myself that I didn't know I had. I am looking forward to many, many more years together and many, many more miles.

Love,
Me
PS And I am really really sorry about the ice baths, but I swear it is in our best interest. :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Taper time!

Thirty miles DONE this weekend. I did my 10 miler outside yesterday (half with Jenny) and then had a super fun day with the kids and with Jenny and her kids. (But I have to say that Rango was a really weird and pretty dark movie...especially for a kids' movie. Anyone else see it? Love it? Hate it?)

This morning I got myself up early and then went back and forth and back and forth and back and forth trying to decide if I should run outside or inside. It had snowed, but only about an inch or so, but it was really windy and the snow that was still coming down was really wet. I have been fighting a cold for the past couple of days (runny nose, scratchy throat, touch of headache) and the mom in me said that it was probably smarter to stay in, even though I so much prefer running outside.

So I decided to run on the treadmill, and told myself it was a good idea because I could try out my new shorts, tank and socks that I want to wear for the SLC marathon (and it is never going to be warm enough here in the next three weeks to wear a tank and shorts outside for running).

Decked out in my race outfit and armed with Hammer Gels, Perpetuem drink, tissues and a few DVDs worth of "24" season two (Yay for Jack Bauer!) I got on the treadmill. Can I just say that 20 miles is really stinking long on the treadmill, no matter how you slice it? I swear time and miles go by SO much slower on the 'mill than they do outside for me. (EMZ, you are awesome and I dont' know how you do it!) But I sucked it up and finished the 20 miles in 3 hours and 8 minutes, at a 9:23 average pace. If I had held that pace for another 6.2 miles I would have finished a marathon in about 4:05, and I was taking it nice and easy today, not racing, so I am feeling really excited about the SLC marathon and about my chances of breaking four hours.

I sat in an ice bath (self induced torture, but totally worth it) and now am hanging out in my compression tights and a big hoodie for recovery.

And now there are only 20 days until marathon day (April 16!) and less than three weeks of taper. I am really excited! I am really happy with how well this training has gone. When I was at this point in November (at the beginning of taper) I had a lot of soreness and a super tight ITB. I was proud as all heck to have survived the marathon training, but this time around I feel like I didn't just survive it, I feel like I kicked it's butt. :) I am running a lot faster and feel a lot stronger, and I think the increased miles and the additions of speed training and strength training have really made a difference. I guess I'll find out in 20 days. :)

Congrats to the amazing Dorothy over at Mile Posts who ran an incredible time of 3:26:43 at the DC National Marathon yesterday, and to the super cool TMB over at Racing with Babes who beat her marathon PR by almost 34 minutes and rocked the DC National Marathon with a time of 4:15:48. You ladies are awesome!!

Have a great rest of your Sunday everyone! More soon. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Spring" Break?

My birthday was wonderful. Thanks for all the kind wishes! :)

Josh got me this awesome Brooks bag that I had really wanted (but had not asked for or even hinted at!) He knows me SO well. :)
Tomorrow I am getting up and getting my 10 miler done (by myself) and I will be shooting for about an 8:50 place. Then I am going to come home, get cleaned up and head out of town with the kids, my friend Jenny, and her two younger kids. Josh needs to work from home on a website he is doing, so I am going to leave Noah here with him.  Jenny and I are going to take the kids to see Rango and then to Red Robin for dinner (triple woo hoo for the strawberry lemonade at RR!) Should be a way fun day!

Then the plan is to get everyone in bed and myself in bed early for my last 20 miler of this training schedule on Sunday morning. Woo hoo! They are predicting 2-4 inches of snow for Saturday night, but I am just going to hope that they are wrong about that, like they are so many other days. I do NOT want to do this last 20 miles on the treadmill. Really, really don't want to.

Today I kind of cheated and ran four miles on my rest day. Ooops. I just really was feeling the desire to run. I never skip my rest days and I know they are important, but today I needed to run. I kept the pace really easy and enjoyed it thoroughly. 

Tonight we are getting pizza and watching theYogi Bear movie all together. Yay for Friday night! And the kids are officially on spring break now so we have a nice week ahead of us, even if the weather isn't cooperating with the "spring" part.

Ok, hope you all have a great night and a wonderful weekend. More soon, including a post on two really awesome races here in Wyoming that you are all going to want to come and run (and come hang out with me!) :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yeah....

So... I may have just eaten chocolate and butterscotch bread pudding for a snack, dinner and dessert. (I am never going back to boring old birthday cake).

Good thing birthday calories don't count, right???

Not sure why the candle looks like a flame thrower... I promise it wasn't... and yeah, I ate a lot more than what is on that plate. :)

Winner!

Happy Birthday to me. :) Hello 34!  I kicked off my birthday but running 6x800M intervals at a 7:19 pace, with 200M recovery intervals in between (total of five miles). Kicked my butt and felt great. Then I did my strength training and now I have tomorrow off to rest up for my 30 miles I need to get done this weekend. Woo hoo!

Today is the day I give away my surprise book. Thanks to all of you who played along with my IPOD playlist game. The most picked on songs were definitely Beach Boys' Barbara Ann and Phil Collins' Dance into the Light. I did get lots of great ideas for songs to add to my playlist. Thanks again to all of you who played. :)

Now for the prize! The book I am giving away is "Once a Runner" by John L. Parker Jr. It is a novel about a runner trying to become a champion and it is such a great read. I really, really enjoyed this book.  Dave Langlais from Runner's World said that "Once a Runner" is, "The best piece of running fiction around. Beg, borrow, or buy a copy and you'll never need another motivator." Sounds fun, right? Anyone else out there ever read it?

Random.org chose lucky #6 as my winner which is Colleen of Cupcake Nation! Colleen, send me an email at fullhousemom at g mail dot com and I will get your book out to you. congrats!

Hope you all are having a great day. More soon!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Plan A

Those that know me well know that I am a planner. I like to plan. I like to have a plan. Whether it is Christmas shopping, a vacation, or my running, I feel better when there is a plan. Oddly enough I have no problem and am super flexible when plans change (and they often do!) but still...even knowing that things very well may change... I feel better when there is a plan.

So when I told Josh the other night that I had my running/training/racing planned out all the way through January 2012 he said, "Of course you do". Seriously... pick a day between now and then and I can tell you how many running miles I have planned.

From now until April 16, I will be finishing my training for the Salt Lake City Marathon. I thought I was using the Hal Higdon Intermediate 2 plan, but I realized that by adding in runs on Mondays and adding in the speed training I was basically doing the Advanced plan. Whatever you call it... it has really been working for me and I have really liked the increased mileage and the speed work and strength training.

After April 16 I will take off whatever time I need (the last two marathons I have taken off 2 days, then eased back into running with shortish, easy paced runs every day) and then will jump into training for Ragnar Wasatch Back  (at around week 12 of their 20 weeks training plan). Ragnar training is fun! Since you have to be ready to run multiple times in 24-30ish hours and on little to no rest, the training calls for "two a day" runs and "three a day" runs. So instead of going out and running 15 miles at once one day, you will go out and run five miles three different times in one day.  You can take a peek at the Ragnar (advanced) training here. Seriously... Ragnar is insanely fun. I am captain of the most awesome team this year and cannot wait!!

Ragnar is June 17-18. When that is done, I will take off a couple of days, ease back into running (listening to my body) and then jump back into my marathon training plan at about week 6 of 18 weeks for the Top of Utah Marathon which will be on Sept. 17.

And then after TOU, I will take my couple of days off, ease back into running as it feels good, and then jump back into the marathon training at about week 3 of 18 for the Disney World Goofy Challenge! The marathon training I have already been using features back to back long runs on weekends and is the one generally recommended to train for "Goofy", so I don't think I will tweak it much. I love, love, love having a race planned for early January. Last year having winter races really kept me motivated when it would have been easy to slack on running (thanks to darkness, freezing temps, holiday craziness, etc.) and helped me not gain any weight over the holidays and feel great physically and emotionally through the winter. I want to always have a winter marathon planned.

Of course if I get an injury or start feeling worn down I will scale training back, and if all feels good and my speed keeps improving, I will likely increase my paces for training and maybe add in some more miles. This is basically what I did last year too... trained for Ragnar, then jumped into training for my first half, then jumped into training for my first full, then my second, then my third. :)

Besides these big races I have a half marathon planned for early July (here locally) and a local 5K planned for the end of July.

Of course I know that plans change and that life is full of the unexpected and I will roll with the punches as they come (what other choice do we have?). But I sure do like having things planned out and having races to train for and look forward to.  Races motivate me to train and to be able to run further and faster. Races are fun and exciting to me and I LOVE them. Since we live hours from even the closest McDonalds or mall, almost any race I want to do involves some travel and time away from home. So because of limited money and time limiting my opportunities, I put a lot of thought into which races I register for and really pick and choose which ones I want to do the very most.

So how about you? Do you love racing? How far out do you plan your races? Do you like always having something to train for or do you like having "down time" in your running with no races planned?

Have a great day! (I am trying to ignore the fact that it is a BLIZZARD outside and there is almost six new inches of snow out there...)

And f you haven't played/entered yet, remember to come play my IPOD runninglist game and enter my contest for a REALLY good book.  There are only two days left until I draw a winner on my birthday. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring?

I woke up to my seven year old daughter telling me this morning, "Happy Birthday Eve, Eve, Eve Mom!" Indeed! :)

Yesterday's 12 mile pace run was really good. I was shooting to be around 8:45-8:50 pace and ended up at 8:43 average pace for the run (and the mile splits were all really even) so I was very happy with that. It was a lot colder than I expected when I started running (my phone said it was 20 degrees but that it felt like 9 degrees, whatever that means). It was cold and did NOT feel like the first day of spring. The wind was really weird too... it would be really windy for a while, then disappear, and then pick up again and it seemed to be coming from random directions. But after the first couple of miles I felt pretty good and settled into my pace and enjoyed the run. 

On tap this week I have 5 miles tomorrow, 10 miles on Wednesday, 5 on Thursday, rest on Friday, 10 on Saturday and 20 on Sunday. Then taper and only three weeks to the SLC Marathon.

The L. A. Marathon was this weekend and if you are interested in some "odd" runner news from that race... a Sumo Wrestler claims to have set a world record, and no matter how you feel about him,  McRunner finished in 2:36 (5:57 pace). Imagine if he had fueled better. :)

If you haven't played/entered yet, remember to come play my IPOD runninglist game and enter my contest for a REALLY good book. :)

Thanks to all of you who have already left comments. They are fun to read and I have gotten some really great song ideas to add to my list. And it's good to know I am NOT the only person on earth who remembers the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" song. I knew you guys were cool.  I have to tell you though, I ran by myself yesterday and did bring my music, and I ran extra hard to Barbara Ann! That song is staying on the playlist. Too bad Beach Boy haters! :) 

Ok, work is calling. More soon! Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday, Saturday

So far today I have -

- dragged my butt out of bed at 5am
- run six miles at an easy pace
- fed kids breakfast
- gave 7 boys haircuts (they get lined up and shaved... like sheep at a farm) :)
- washed and braided Belane's hair
- got many small children bathed, lotioned, hair combed, etc.
- cleaned all the windows and mirrors in the house
- cleaned the bathrooms
- vacuumed the whole house
- mopped the floors
- made lunch
- done all of Noah's meds, tube and dressing changes, etc.
- played a couple of games of Connect 4
- done a few loads of laundry
- gotten dinner ready
- taken a shower

and a bunch of smaller things that don't need to be listed. Whew. Josh and Mercy are gone at a track meet but should be home in the next couple of hours and I finally have a little time to relax while Noah naps and everyone else watches a movie. Motherhood is definitely an endurance sport!

For those that don't follow my family blog, here is a picture of my 12 awesome kids (this was the Christmas card this year).


Yup, they are the greatest. :) I ran with Jenny this morning which was fabulous, and tomorrow I have a solo 12-miler on the schedule. Since we kept the pace easy today I am going to do a pace run tomorrow (aiming for an 8:45 pace or so). Looking forward to it!

For any other Brooks fans out there, I read this article last night about Brooks' new PureProject Collection that is coming out in October. I love Brooks shoes and their running apparel and I am excited to see the new shoes! I was wondering when they would have something in the barefoot/minimal categories.

That said, I am not sure how "minimal" I will be able to or should go. I have days where I look at some of those shoes and think it would be fun to try them (and it's hard to argue with wanting to be as strong as you can and run as naturally as you can). On the flip side though, I have been running 50+ mile weeks injury free and have no plans of slowing down any time soon (lots of races coming up!) so I have to think, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

I run in the Brooks Ravenna 2's and love them. They are definitely not minimalist shoes in any way, but they are fairly light, very responsive and offer support for "mild" overpronaters. These shoes feel like they were made for me when I put them on, and they are super comfortable whether I am running at a 7 minute pace or a 10 minute pace.

I did recently ditch the insoles I had been adding to my running shoes, and after a couple of weeks of soreness (I was able to run through) my feet/ankles/legs adjusted and now feel awesome. I had a PT tell me once that I wouldn't be able to go to "minimalist" or barefoot shoes because of my low low arches and pronation, but I know that that is not always true. I am naturally a midfoot striker when I run, and I am barefoot almost all the time except for when I run, because I work from home and hate even wearing socks if I don't have to. :)

So yeah... sometimes I think about trying out some more minimalist shoes, but for now I keep coming back to "if it ain't broke..." and not wanting to risk injury for no real reason. So for the moment I am sticking with my Ravenna's because they are working so dang well for me. :) But I definitely will be interested to see what Brooks reveals this fall.

How about you guys? Any of you trying out (or already dedicated to) barefoot running or "minimal" shoes? Hope you all are having a great Saturday. More soon!

If you haven't already, don't forget to play my IPOD runninglist game and enter my contest for a REALLY good book. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tunes, a Game and a Giveaway!

Happy St. Patty's Day!!! For someone named Erin, whose favorite color is green, today is a fun day. :)

One of the things that lots of runners find motivating is good music. I recently updated my running playlist on my (green) IPOD and thought it would be fun to post it here. As I thought about it though, letting someone see your playlist is kind of like letting them see your laundry. It's personal! :) But it's fun too, so I am going to share mine, even though it may seem like a weird mix to some.

And I decided to have some fun with this. I will post my playlist below, and then I am asking you to leave a comment listing at least one song you would take OFF of the playlist (if you had to listen to it!) and then at least one song you would add to it. (Feel free to list as many as you want both for the deleting and the adding.)

If you leave a comment with at least one song you would delete from the playlist and at least one song you would add, you will be entered into my new giveaway. (You can have one extra entry to the giveaway by either becoming a new follower or posting about the giveaway on facebook or your blog and leaving me a comment letting me know).

What giveaway you ask? I am going to keep the prize a semi-surprise, but it is another great book that is running related. It is great for guys and girls, is an easy read, is very entertaining, and is a great story. I have a new copy that I will send to a winner drawn randomly one week from today...March 24th... my birthday! Yup, I am giving away a present for my birthday. :)

So please play along and help spread the word. I think this will be fun.

Ok, here is "Erin's Ultimate Running Playlist". I warn you it is long... it is long enough to get me through at least two really long runs or multiple shorter runs without any repeats. It is mostly in alphabetical order but I have moved some songs around a little.

I Wanna - All-American Rejects (love me the Rejects) I always start with this song.
Fighter - Christina Aguilera (this is my POWER song!)
On the Floor - Jennifer Lopez
E.T. - Katy Perry
More - Usher
The Time (Dirty Bit) - Black Eyed Peas
Rhythm of Love - Plain White T's
Take me Back (Deja Vu) - Van Halen (One of my all time favorite songs)
Little Lion Man - Mumford and Sons (Mumford and Sons are awesome!)
Ain't No Other Man - Christina Aguilera
All Your Reasons - Matchbox Twenty
Another Heart Calls - The All-American Rejects
Ants Marching - Dave Matthews Band (I always think of this song at the beginning of races)
Bang on the Drum All Day - Todd Rundgren
Barbara Ann - Beach Boys
Beautiful Girls - Sean Kingston
Beautiful Liar - Beyonce and Shakira
Beverly Hills - Weezer (love me some Weezer too)
Big Time - Big and Rich
Billionare - Travis McCoy and Bruno Mars
Breakfast at Tiffany's - Deep Blue Something (Anyone else out there remember/like this song? Josh says I am the only one)
Breakin' - more Rejects
Burn it to the Ground -  Nickelback
Callin Baton Rouge - Garth Brooks
Can't Stop Lovin' You - Van Halen
Centerfield - John Fogerty
Check Yes Juliet - We the Kings
Come by Me - Harry Connick Jr (Josh loves Harry and Harry songs make me think of Josh, who I love, so they make me happy)
Damn Girl - even more Rejects
Dance Into the Light - Phil Collins
Dance the Night Away - Van Halen
Dreamin' - Weezer
Dynamite - Taio Cruz
Electric City - Black Eyed Peas
Every Little Thing She Does is Magic - The Police
Fallin' Apart - Rejects
Far Away - Nickelback
Faster - Plain White T's (GREAT running song!)
Feeling Good - Michael Buble
Follow Me Down - 3OH!3 (Alice in Wonderland Soundtrack)
Get on Your Boots - U2
The Girl got Hot - Weezer
Gives you Hell - and yet more Rejects
Go Go Go - The 88
Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant (Great beat!!!)
Got No Shorty - Sean Kingston
Harder To Breathe - Maroon 5
Hey Sexy Lady - Shaggy
Hey World (Don't Give Up) - Michael Franti and Spearhead
Hey, Soul Sister - Train
How Far We've Come - Matchbox Twenty (this was playing when I finished my first half marathon!)
I Get Around - Beach Boys
I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
I'll Believe You When - Matchbox Twenty
I'm a Believer - Smashmouth
I'm Yours - Jason Mraz (it's my Josh song)
If You're Wondering if I want you to - Weezer
Imma Be - Black Eyed Peas
Let Her Dance - Stephen Marley
Let it All Hang Out - Weezer
Long Day - Matchbox Twenty
Long Road to Ruin - Foo Fighters
The Longest Time - Billy Joel (I am from Long Island... I gotta have some Billy)
Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5
The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
Mona Lisa - All-American Rejects
Move Along - more Rejects
My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
New Divide - Linkin Park
Not Falling Apart - Maroon 5
Not Givin- Up - Natasha Bedingfield
Out of Our Heads - Sheryl Crow
Push - Matchbox Twenty
Right Now - Van Halen
Rise Up - Diane Birch
Rock Star - Nickelback
Rock That Body - Black Eyed Peas
Rude Boys Back in Town - Michael Franti and Spearhead
Same Old Song and Dance - Aerosmith
Savin' Me - Nickelback
Say Hey (I Love You) - Michael Franti and Spearhead
September - Earth, Wind and Fire
Shambala - Three Dog Night
Sloop John B - Beach Boys
Somebody to Love - Queen
Stand - R.E.M.
Sweet Emotion - Aerosmith
Take Me Away - Plain White T's
There and Back Again - Daughtry
Through with You - Maroon 5
Tripping Down the Freeway - Weezer
Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
We Will Rock You - Queen
The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful - Jimmy Buffet (i have always loved this song)
What I've Done - Linkin Park
Where You Are - Rascal Flatts
Why Can't This Be Love - Van Halen
Why I Am - Dave Matthews Band
Won't Stop - OneRepublic
You Can't Hurry Love - Phil Collins
Wild in the Streets - Bon Jovi
Don't Tell Me What Love Can Do - Van Halen
The Cave - Mumford and Sons (SO love Mumford and Sons)
Coming Home - Diddy - Dirty Money & Skylar Grey

Remember, if you leave a comment with at least one song you would delete from the playlist and at least one song you would add, you will be entered into the giveaway and you can have one extra entry to the giveaway by either becoming a new follower or posting about the giveaway on facebook or your blog and leaving me a comment letting me know.

Ok, have at it! I hope you play along. :) And Happy St. Patty's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gone Goofy!!!

I was going to wait until my birthday next week (March 24th!) to post this, but I am too excited not to share it now. Yesterday I registered to run in the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge in January 2012! Running "the Goofy" means that you run the Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday, and then you run the Disney World Full Marathon on Sunday....39.3 miles in two days!!!

Because of the generosity of a friend and of my parents, I got to run the Disney World Marathon in January this year (with just a couple of weeks notice and planning!) My race report is here if you are interested.

From the time I was little I have always loved all things Disney. I love the movies, the characters, the TV shows, the parks, the merchandise... I buy into all of it hook, line and sinker. I love Disney. Mary Poppins was the first movie I ever saw in the movie theater. Jiminy Cricket is my most favorite character ever. I could watch all three Toy Story movies on continuous loop and never get tired of them (good thing because my Solomon is obsessed). I love the princesses old and new. I can say/sing every word to Beauty and the Beast. I love Lightning McQueen. I wish Sully and Mike hung out in my closet. I watched DuckTales and Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers religiously when I was younger, and now watch all the new shows with my kids. I have CD's of all the Disney music. I think Captain Jack Sparrow is the coolest. I love it all.

When I first started running, before I ever could even imagine running a marathon, I said to my running friends, "The only way I am ever running a marathon is if I can run Disney. I want to run through the castle and get a Mickey medal." Well, I ended up running Vegas first, and then got surprised with the last minute opportunity to run Disney. It did NOT disappoint. It was amazing and I loved everything about the race and the weekend. I couldn't imagine enjoying a race more, and I came home knowing that I wanted to do it again.

A friend of mine that lives here contacted me this past weekend and asked if I had any interest in running the Disney World Marathon again. She wanted to register for the half marathon and was looking for someone to travel and room with. With the race being the week after New Year's it is a time that Josh cannot get away (because his indoor coaching has started) and it is a time that my older kids really can't miss school, so I know that a family trip (which isn't in the budget any way right now) or even a couple's trip for Josh and I wouldn't work well around this race.

In January my parents met me in Florida for the marathon which was beyond GREAT, but I didn't want to make them feel like I expected them to again, and I really didn't want to go by myself. So to have a friend ask if I wanted to travel with her and share a room was a perfect situation!!

So I told Josh that what I really wanted for my birthday was to go Goofy, and sign up to run the Goofy Challenge! I hadn't heard much about the Goofy until I was in Disney for the marathon, and I knew it was a challenge I wanted to take on someday. Of course I needed Josh's blessing to be gone for a few days and to spend the money (although we've got plenty of time to save up and plan the trip). Josh was supportive as usual and gave me the go ahead! Registration opened up yesterday and I am all signed up!!!!!

I was telling my kids about it (who are all so great about my running and get really excited about my races) and my 13 year old said, "Mom, running 13 miles one day and 26 miles the next day sounds more like a birthday punishment than a birthday present!" Ha! :)

There is a tiny piece of me that feels rotten about going to Disney without Josh and the kids (although all of them except Noah have been, most of them a few times), however as I told myself when I went in January, I have devoted my entire life to taking care of other people, and doing this for myself is ok.

Besides, the kids LOVE my Mickey Mouse medal, and this time I will get a Donald Duck medal, a Mickey Mouse medal AND a Goofy medal. :)

As always I am incredibly grateful for Josh's love and support. He really is my best friend and the greatest husband ever. Right now we usually have to take turns to pursue our running/sport interests since we don't live close to much and travel with 12 kids is crazy expensive. But I SO look forward to the day when we are the older couple doing lots of races together (maybe even coaching together!) and are always there to cheer each other on. He has his first marathon AND his first triathlon coming up this summer and I am so excited for him. He totally rocks. :)

So Happy Birthday to me a week early! I have gone Goofy! Hopefully I will feel more like this...


than this....

Actually since my training already calls for back to back long runs I am not too worried. I think it's going to be great. Have any of you done the Goofy challenge?? Anyone planning on being at the Disney Marathon Weekend in January 2012? The registration fees are lower if you sign up early. :) It's a long way away still (and I have at least two full marathons, one half marathon and a Ragnar to run first), but definitely gives me something to be excited about and look forward to.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tearing down, lifting up

Why do people have to try and tear each other down so much? Seriously??

I could give a million examples, but I had a conversation with a woman that just left me scratching my head a few days ago. She was asking me about my running, weight loss, etc. and asked me what I weigh. Now I never took Social Etiquette 101, but I am pretty sure that isn't a question you just go asking people... especially people you aren't related to, married to, or best friends with.

I am super easy-going and happen to be very happy with and secure about what I weigh (if you missed this post, I recently hit 70lbs lost) so I told her that I have been at 137lbs for about a month. She acted all surprised and said she thought I was "smaller" than that, and then proceeded to tell me that she thinks a healthy weight for me would be more like 117 and I should work to lose another 20lbs. Seriously?

For one, 137lbs for someone that is 5ft 5inches tall is a completely healthy weight. It is right in the normal weight range. I have muscles. I even have some definition in my abs! I have gotten a lot faster with my running. I feel healthy and strong right now. I am wearing a size 4. If I never weigh a pound less than 137, I am perfectly ok with that. Seriously.

I am pretty confident that I could diet and get myself down to 117 if I felt the desire to (and worked really hard at it). But would I be at my strongest? Would I be the healthiest I can be? Some people might be their strongest and healthiest at 117. Maybe I would, but I don't think I would be. I don't buy that lighter/thinner always equals healthier.  I don't buy that skinnier is always better. I don't want my daughters to believe it, or my friends and family!

I have some newly-found self confidence (thank you running!) so her comment didn't hurt me or bother me, but it really did leave me wondering WHY people do that. Why do people say things to try and make others feel bad? Or to doubt themselves? Or to feel like they aren't good enough? And I know sometimes we are way too hard on ourselves too. I have definitely been guilty of being too hard on myself, although I think I am a lot more emotionally healthy now than I used to be (again, thank you running).

One of the things I have loved about running is how awesome and generally supportive the running community is of each other. Both virtually (in all the great running blogs!) and at races, it seems that most runners respect and encourage each other, whether they are running 5 minute miles of 12 minute miles, whether they are running their first race or their 100th, and whether they weigh under 100 pounds or over 200. I am just as proud of my friends who get out there and struggle to finish a three mile run as I am of my friends who run marathons regularly.

I think that is why I enjoy blogging on this blog so much, and why I enjoy reading so many running blogs. The support is great.

So whether you are happy with your weight or trying to lose, whether you are already super fast or have paces in the double digits, and whether you can do a 20-miler without stressing or are still building up to running more than a couple of miles, BE PROUD of yourself. Be happy with yourself. You are good enough how you are.You are doing awesome and the hard work and energy you are putting into running are going to pay off in a multitude of ways.

And now your homework is to find someone to lift up emotionally today. Give a smile, a genuine compliment, a hug... whatever.  Instead of tearing others down and trying to make others feel worse, lets all make someone feel a little better about themselves today.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Winner!

Time to announce the winner of my "Unbroken" giveaway!

Random.org chose......

TEAMARCIA at The Studly Runner!!!

Congrats!!! Send me an email at fullhousemom at gmail dot com with your address and I will send you your book.

To everyone else, if you get a chance to read "Unbroken" I highly, highly recommend it. And you will definitely be motivated and inspired.

In this giveaway I asked people to leave a comment sharing what motivates them to run and I am going to post the responses below. Motivation is always good!

"I've been inspired by Kyle Maynard and his story: http://www.kyle-maynard.com/ I cried a lot at the beginning."

"My inspiration lately is a couple quotes...
"145 - How bad do you want it?"
My goal weight that I'm chasing after hard.  and "You are capable of so much more than you think."

"What inspires my running? Music and scenery! I'm in the process of putting my playlist for my half together. Sometimes just knowing I'll get uninterrupted time with music is enough to get me going. As for scenery, I live in one of the most beautiful places in the country. The mountains on the horizon always make me want to run faster."

"What inspires me to run...the adoption process! We are waiting to bring home our little boy from South Korea and I find running to be a wonderful distraction from the waiting :) I just love it!"

"What inspires me the most, I think, is the feeling I know I'll have when I'm done."

"I am inspired by running in that if it was easy, every one would do it. I like reading about new goals or feats others have experienced so I to can shoot for the stars!"

"I am inspired to run so I don't end up old and fat. :) Nothing wrong with being old. Just want to be healthy when I get there."

"I run to stay in shape and be healthy. I get inspiration reading about the many fanastic runners out there - in Runner's World and in the blog world."

"Newest favorite quote "You don't stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running." by Chris McDougall (Born to Run) another awesome book! My family, my health, and friends all inspire me to run!"

"I am inspired to run because it reminds me that I can do anything I pour my heart and soul into."

"I run for my family. My kids think every person they see running is "mommies friend!"

"I am inspired by my Dad, I wrote a little bit about his running adventures on my blog - http://runnermaybe.blogspot.com/2011/03/fundraising.html - I think some day I would like to do the Maui Marathon to honor him and remember my step mom"

"I am inspired by all runners. I love hearing their stories why they run, how they stay motivated, etc."

And me? I wrote about my running motivation here, but in a nutshell, my motivation to run is how great it makes me feel, physically and emotionally. I enjoy the challenge and the success. I am more calm, patient, peaceful and happy since I started running. I love feeling strong and putting a lot of work into something just for myself. I love the sport and I love being able to say "I am a runner". :)

Thanks to everyone who participated! More soon.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Awesome 20

My second 20 miler of this training plan is D.O.N.E. I was looking at my training schedule last night and I have a scale back week now this week, then another 53 mile week with a 20 miler at the end, and then it is taper time! This has gone by so fast. Salt Lake City Marathon is just over a month away! :)

Here I am all done. I am trying to make a 2 and a 0 for 20. I was tired!

Today's run went great. I ran the whole thing by myself, and I finished the 20 miles in 3 hours and 15 minutes, at a 9:45 pace, which is right where I wanted to be. If I had kept that up for another 6.2 miles (which I could have) I would have beaten my marathon PR by 30 seconds or so, and I was taking it nice and easy today, not racing, and I ran hard yesterday so my legs were definitely not fresh. That gives me a pretty big confidence boost! I had no cramps, no aches or pains AND I only had to make one quick pit stop. (Caroline, seriously... I could kiss you).

The weather was pretty good, although it did snow on me for about four miles. The temps were in the upper 20's and low 30's which was great and there was only a little wind. I don't think it could have gone any better. :)

Now on to my exciting news. NO, I did not get into the NY Marathon (funny that a few of you guessed the same thing... you have a good idea of what would make me shriek!) They haven't announced the lottery winners yet on that, although I know my chances are really really slim because of the huge pool of runners who want in. If I do get lucky and get drawn, I promise you will all hear my shrieking. :) I should know either way in April on that.

My news is that my parents are coming out from NY to spend the weekend with us and to cheer me on when I run the Salt Lake City Marathon!!! They met Josh and I in Vegas and took care of Noah when we ran that race in December and cheered us on, and then they met me in Disney and were there with TONS of love, support and cheers when I ran that marathon. I did not dare hope that they would come out for the Salt Lake race and had no expectations. But then last Sunday, Pam (my step-mom, who is amazing) called and surprised me by saying her and Dad were going to come for that weekend!! Yup, I shrieked.

It is really hard having my family so far away and I miss them so much. And my Dad and Pam have been SO incredibly supportive about my running, and about everything. They love and treasure the kids so much and they truly enjoy spending time with us. They are just always there for us with unconditional love and support.
Here is my Daddy and I the last time I saw him...leaving the airport in Florida
Here I am with Pam in Florida. I spent a huge part of my life without a mom in it, and having her in my life now is such a huge blessing to me.

So we are all going to meet in Salt Lake on Friday, April 15. Josh and I will drive down with the kids and pick up Dad and Pam at the airport and go out for a big, early dinner. We'll go back to the hotel and watch movies and visit. I will get up early on Saturday and take the shuttle to the race start, and then they will all meet me at the finish line (and maybe I'll see them all somewhere along the course too). We'll do more eating, let everyone swim in the hotel pool, spend the night again in the hotel on Saturday, and then on Sunday we'll take them to the airport and then we'll all drive home. What a grand weekend it will be!!! It will be great to get to see them and it will be so awesome to have Josh, the kids, and my Dad and Pam all there when I finish marathon number 3. Yay!

Hope you all are having a great weekend. :)

Last chance to enter my "Unbroken" giveaway! I will draw a winner tomorrow morning. :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blue skies and dry roads

This morning's run was GREAT. It was a 10 mile pace run, and my goal was to keep the pace between 8:50 and 9:05. Every time I looked down at the Garmin and the pace felt good, it was right about 8:47. I finished with an average pace of 8:50 for the 10 miles, and the last two miles were all uphill (and there was some uphill in the middle too).  The sun was shining and the weather was in the mid 20's which felt warm compared to my recent outdoor runs. It has been up to the mid 40's during the day and all of the roads are clear. Yay! It really feels like spring is close now.

My stomach was really well behaved on this run too! I talked about my running tummy troubles a couple of days ago. After a comment from Caroline, I went and checked the ingredients on the Nuun and Hammer Fizz tablets that I enjoy so much (almost no calories, great taste, good hydration) and sure enough in both, the second ingredient is sorbitol, which is also used as a laxative. So I switched to just drinking good old water during the day (starting yesterday morning) and things were SO much better already today. Around mile 4 or 5, where I usually start having problems I still felt great. I ran past the first "potty stop" opportunity at mile 6 and then another at mile 7. I stopped and used a bathroom at 8 miles into the run because it was the last opportunity and I was feeling rumbly, although I may have been ok not stopping at all. Big progress! I used my Hammer gels and HEED drink as usual on this 10 miler, so for now I am going to stick with drinking water during the day (avoiding sorbitol at all costs) and fueling as usual on long runs and see if things stay better. Thanks Caroline!

Josh had to do 12 miles today. Normally I would have done the extra two miles with him, but since I have to run 20 tomorrow I stuck to my plan. We ran the first six miles together, and then he told me to "go ahead" since I was doing a pace run and he wanted to take it slower because it was his long run. When I stopped for a pit stop he passed me, and then I caught him and passed him again with about a mile to go to home. We'll have to coordinate better next time because I so love running with him. :)

I am looking forward to my 20-miler tomorrow. I really like the long runs and the roads and skies should be clear and it should be warm enough that I don't have any problems with  my water bottle freezing. I am really enjoying this training and feel like I am getting faster and stronger. I love how great my body feels right now.

I got some really, really exciting news last Sunday that I am going to post about tomorrow too. I was so excited that I shrieked, and I am not a shrieker. :)

Hope you all have a great weekend! Remember you only have until Sunday night or really early on Monday morning to enter my "Unbroken" giveaway.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Seriously????

(yeah, I love Grey's Anatomy and I say "Seriously?" all the time).

But really. Seriously????

Have you heard about THIS GUY??? He calls himself "McRunner" and he is training for a marathon by eating nothing but McDonalds for 30 days. AND he is attempting to run a sub 2:36 at the L.A. Marathon on March 20.



Seriously?

Obviously he is a good runner, but I can't imagine what eating only McDonald's would do to the body during marathon training... even to the svelt and the fast. Me thinks it is quite a bit off from ideal fueling.

McRunner is raising money for a good cause... he is donating up to $2,500 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities ($1 for every like on Facebook here).

I am definitely intrigued by this story and am interested to see how he does (I imagine he'll be fine). Quite the publicity stunt for sure.

 I could stick to the oatmeal and yogurt and fruit for breakfast but I would be struggling for lunch and dinner. I love my McDonalds fries as much as anyone but since I have lost 70lbs and have been eating better, I find when I eat stuff like that the grease and stuff make me feel like garbage.

Sheesh... I think I have stomach issues NOW... I can't imagine what 30 days of McDonalds would do to me!!!

What do you think? Could you get away with eating nothing by McD's for 30 days of marathon training? Have you heard of McRunner??? Happy Friday! I am enjoying my day off and then I have 30 miles planned for the weekend. :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Butt-kicking

It's a double butt topic day...

First off, let me say that interval runs kick my butt like nothing else, but man they hurt so good. :) I did six half mile intervals today with the first five at a 7:19 pace and the last one at a 7:13 pace, with a quarter-mile recovery jog in between (and a half mile warm up). It was five miles total and I finished in 41 minutes and a couple of seconds. My legs were tired but I felt really good. Tomorrow is a day off and then I have 10 miles on Saturday and 20 on Sunday. The weather has really warmed up so I am fingers crossed it will last and I will be able to get my miles all done outside this weekend. Yay!

Now on to a different "butt-related" topic... I normally am the one begging people in the house to stop with the "potty talk" (not bad language, just literally talk/jokes about anything bathroom related) but today I have a potty topic. Nothing is sacred amongst runners, right? If you aren't in the mood for a TMI topic, feel free to stop reading now.

I have mentioned on here how I think my biggest strength as a runner is my mental toughness and drive... I never quit during a run, I don't struggle with being motivated, I don't back down from challenges (in fact I love them) and I never say "I can't". That said, my biggest challenge as a runner is definitely my GI tract. For crying out loud, my stomach drives me crazy when I run. Most days after 5-6 miles or so I NEED to have a potty stop or there is no more running (without a highly embarrassing accident. Haven't had an accident yet... don't want to). I always carry toilet paper with me, I know where all of the accessible bathrooms are on my runs, and I am the master at ducking behind a bush or into a culvert when needs be on a long run (lucky for me I live in the country). Peeing is not the issue... for some reason my normally-hamster-sized-super-wimpy-bladder turns to steel when I run.

I have played with my fueling, and Hammer gels and drink are the nicest to me and get along with my GI tract the best. (GU and Clifbloks are disasterous).I have experimented with eating before I run, and pretty much I can't. For my marathons I can eat some plain oatmeal, but it has to be a good 3 1/2 hours before race time. For the rest of my runs I just run early and eat when I am done (and fuel with Hammer products for long runs).  I stay well hydrated. I have tried cutting out dairy (didn't help). I avoid greens and ruffage and anything with fiber before races and long runs which helps, but doesn't completely stop the problem.

I have tried Immodium and other things, but they haven't helped and I don't like the idea of taking something like that regularly.

Sometimes I get lucky... In my first marathon (Vegas, Dec. 2010) I only had to stop at the porta-potties ONCE during the race. I couldn't believe it. For me, it was a running miracle. But then at Disney, I had to stop THREE times, and lost over 10 minutes in the dang porta-potties. I can't even imagine what it would be like to be able to go out and race and not have to worry about my stomach and potty stops.

I am at the point where I have just accepted it and deal with it (on the flip side I have trained for three marathons so far without injury...knocking on wood....) and figure we all have some kind of "pain in the butt" to deal with, metaphorically speaking of course. :)  But I am lying if I say it isn't frustrating. 

I know this is common among runners...Anyone else out there have chronic stomach issues when they run? Anyone else ducking behind bushes and into culverts? Anyone have any magical advice?

Don't forget to enter my "Unbroken" giveaway and help spread the word. It is an awesome read and I am excited to send it to someone. :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Want to win an awesome book?

Happy Wednesday! I got up early today to get my 10 miles done before Noah's daily therapist appointment. Josh was great and got up with the kids and got them out the door for school so I could start early and I didn't have to wait until they were on the bus. I ran it at an easy 9:22 pace and felt good. I finished watching season one of "24". Gotta love some Jack Bauer.

Here I am all done with my 10 miles today. :) (Sorry, no make up on at all which is a little scary).

Ok time for another giveaway. My two favorite things to do for myself are running and reading, and when I can read about running, I am extra happy. I recently ordered two books with a gift certificate and the order was accidentally sent to me twice, and I was told not to worry about sending the extras back. So a couple of you will luck out with some great books to read that are related to running!

The first book I am going to give away is "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand (who also wrote Sea Biscuit).

There was a segment of this book in Runner's World Magazine a few months ago and when I read it I knew I wanted to read the book. The book did not disappoint AT ALL. It tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, from his childhood, to how he gets into running, to how he makes it into the Berlin Olympics, to how he becomes an airman in World War II and all that happens to him. He ends up in open ocean on a raft... thirsty, starving and being attacked by sharks, and then suffers and is challenged even more greatly when he becomes a prisoner of war under the Japanese.

I warn you that it is not an easy story to read. It literally hurt my heart and mind to read about his experiences. And yet if you ever want to feel inspired to never give up no matter how hard life gets, or if you ever want to be amazed by the human mind, body and spirit, this is a book to read. And I do believe that being a runner helped shape who Louis is and how he dealt with challenges and trials.

Louis Zamperini is an incredible man who has lived an incredible life, and still today remains an incredible athlete in his old age. To give you an idea of his personality, he once told Hillenbrand when she was first starting to write the book, "I'll be an easier subject than Seabiscuit because I can talk."  :)

This book was a really great read... I hated putting it down when I had to be responsible and do something like feed the kids dinner. :)

If you would like to win a brand new, hard cover copy of "Unbroken" here is what to do -

One entry - Be a follower of this blog (click follow below on the right). Leave a comment and let me know you are a new follower or that you already follow.

Second entry - Post about this giveaway on your blog or on Facebook. This is a great giveaway for us girls and for the guys. Leave a comment and let me know you did.

Third entry - Leave a comment and share something that inspires you to run. It can be a person, a quote, a feeling you get, a song, an experience, whatever. Let's share some inspiration with each other. :)

I will use Random.org to choose a winner on Monday, March 14. Good luck and thanks for participating! :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Afternoon start?

Happy Tuesday!

I did my tempo run this morning... one mile warm up, two miles at 7:34 pace, one mile at 7:19 pace and one mile gradual slow down. At the start I felt pretty tired and wondered if I could hang on to the pace, but then I started feeling really good and I finished feeling great. Tomorrow I have 10 miles, Thursday 5 miles, Friday off, Saturday 10 miles and Sunday 20 miles.

I heard some interesting news today... The Las Vegas Rock n Roll marathon is going to be held with a 4pm start time this year, so that runners get to run the strip "at night". (I ran Vegas in 2010 and it was my first full marathon... it had a 7:30am start). What do you think? Would you like a marathon with a 4pm start??

I was thinking that since the majority of runners in Vegas last year were doing the half (there were like 20,000 half runners last year and only 5,000 full runners) the average runner won't be much in the dark with a 4pm start, although I guess it does get dark pretty early in December. It would also make traveling home on a Sunday night after the race pretty challenging.

If they don't change the course, I have to say that the second half of the full marathon would kind of suck in the dark. It wasn't too exciting in the daylight... it was mostly through industrial areas with a lot of nothing. It would be really dark and boring in the dark. (For this race the first half is out and back on the Vegas strip which is way fun and could be a blast at night, but the second 13.1 miles are not very exciting at all). I didn't mind it at all, but part of how I entertained myself was watching the runners headed towards me (since it was an out and back) and that would be hard in the dark.

And then I can't help but wonder about fueling, etc. for a 4pm start. Have any of you ever run a marathon or long race that didn't start in the morning? I did run in the Ragnar Wasatch Back relay last year and my runs were at 5pm, 1am and 2pm the next day, but we were so physically exhausted, hungry, tired and off schedule that we were all totally out of whack anyway (and the longest distance I had to run at once was only 8 miles).

I did really enjoy the Vegas Rock N Roll marathon and it was super well organized. The start, despite there being over 25,000 runners, went really smoothly and the corrals worked way better than the ones in Disney did in regards to controlling crowding for the first few miles.

Josh and I definitely weren't set on running Vegas again, although it isn't too far from where we live, we had a great experience and I love a winter marathon because it kept me training when things got dark, cold and snowy (and it would have been easy to slack off). If I had my choice I would rather do Disney again though. :)

What do you think? 4pm marathon start on the Vegas strip... really cool? bad idea?

And please... any of you experienced marathoners, I'd love some advice on my race pace post.

Stay tuned for a fun giveaway tomorrow after I get my 10 miler done. :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Race pace?

I had a great run this morning. I did 12 miles on the treadmill. I did the first 9 miles at 8:57 pace, then a mile at 8:51, then a mile at 8:47, then half a mile at 8:41 and then half a mile at 8:34. It was a "hard" run but it was doable and I felt great and could have kept going at the end which felt good. I usually do my long runs at an easy pace but since this was a "short" long run I decided to run it fast and see how I felt.

I am trying to decide what is a reasonable race pace for my marathon next month.

In my first marathon (Vegas) in Dec. 2010, I finished in 4:15:50, and I lost 3 minutes and change at a porta potty during the race. So that means my running time averaged about a 9:37 pace.

In my second marathon (Disney) in Jan. 2011, I finished in 4:20:18, but I lost 10 minutes and change at porta potties (I had to stop THREE times...my stomach gave me some grief), so my running time averaged at about a 9:32 pace, although I felt great at the end and was really slowed down for the first four or five miles because of how crowded the course was, so I definitely think I could have had a better time.

I did not do any speed work or pay attention to pace during my training last fall/winter and I have been doing regular speed work and pace runs this time around. I feel strong and I feel like I am getting faster. But I don't know what is realistic in regards to how much I can improve from January to April. It is unrealistic to shoot for under four hours and about a 9:00 or slightly under pace? I held it fine for 12 miles today, although obviously 12 is a lot less than 26.2. Any advice from you more experienced marathoners?? I would appreciate any advice or thoughts. :)

Josh and Mercy will be home here in a couple of hours. YAY! I can't wait to have them home and spend the afternoon and night snuggled up with Josh. Man I love that guy. :) Happy Sunday everybody!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Awesome and Stupid

This morning's run was AWESOME. Not because I hit any crazy paces or because the weather was freakishly warm or anything like that, but because I got to run with Jenny! She texted me last night and asked how far I had to go today and if I wanted to run with her.... ummmm yes! Of course! Since this is a scale back week in my training I only had to run six miles today, and Jenny was ok with that distance (she is just getting back into running after an injury).

Can I tell you how grand it is to start your day running with an awesome friend?? Man I missed it! The miles go by so quickly. And with Josh being gone for four days, lets just say I may be a little lonely and a tad bit more desperate than usual for some adult conversation! (Feel free to leave a comment, email me, text me, call me, send a carrier pigeon, WHATEVER).

My ankles and arches felt good and the dry roads and light skies this morning were grand.

Ok, mini-rant time. DAYLIGHT SAVINGS IS STUPID. Why? Why do we mess with TIME? Just these past few weeks it has started to get light out nice and early.... enough so that I could go out at 6am or shortly thereafter and not even need a head lamp for long. But next weekend stupid Daylight Savings is going to go and mess that all up and make the mornings an hour darker. WHY? And don't even get me started on what Daylight Savings does to kids and wake up/bed times. You wouldn't think one little hour could mess things up so much but oh trust me... it does.

My favorite quote ever (and I can't remember who it is from) was by an Indian Chief who said, in regards to Daylight Savings, something along the lines of, "Only a white man would think that you could cut off the top of a piece of paper, glue it to the bottom of the same piece of paper, and have more paper."
 RIGHT???

I hate politics but I always joke that any candidate that runs on the "Abolish Daylight Savings" will have my vote. :)

Ok, rant over. For the moment. :)

I have 12 miles planned for tomorrow morning which is sounding pretty easy after 19 and 20 milers the last few weeks (and 20 miles next week).  Oh, and I made my hotel reservations for the Salt Lake City Marathon on April 16! Josh got the weekend off and is going to drive me down and bring the kids so they can all be at the finish line. I am SUPER excited for this race and having them all there will be awesome.

I hope you all are doing something fun this weekend. I am a track widow until tomorrow afternoon and a couple of kids are sick so we are just going to hang out today and watch movies (after I clean the house, braid Belane's hair, etc. etc.) More soon!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Headband Winner!!!!

The lucky winner of my awesome Punkee Love Headbands giveaway is #15, who is........


TMB at Racing with Babes!

It's pretty funny... I asked my 12 year old what number she would pick and she said 15, and then I put it into Random.org and that came up with 15! So I guess you are meant to have these TMB! :) Congrats!!! I am confident you are going to love these headbands. I will email you with the details and you can get to picking which headband(s) you want. Congrats again. :)

If you like running and reading and reading about running, I have two more awesome giveaways coming up very soon.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

SNOW, intervals and last chance

We are getting snow just DUMPED and dumped on us. Not that that is unusual up here at over 6200 feet elevation, but sheesh. I am so ready to be back to running outside. We have gotten almost a foot of snow since I went to bed last night and it is still coming down.

Here are a couple of pics from my front door this morning...
 These are the foothills right across the road... it is so snowy you can barely see them and you can't see the mountains behind them.


With Josh out of town and the weather dreadful, I am looking forward to a day of just hanging out with the little two kids now and then the rest of the kids (minus the eldest who is gone to state track with Josh) later. And no, we never EVER get snow days. Life goes on when it snows here and people just know how to deal with it. COME ON SPRING! :) I am also looking forward to Grey's Anatomy tonight...my guilty TV pleasure.

I had a great run this morning! I did five miles total on the treadmill of intervals. I did six 1/2 mile intervals with a 1/4 mile recovery job in between each (and a 1/2 mile warm up and a 1/4 mile cool down). I ran the first five intervals at a 7:30 pace and the last one at a 7:19 pace and felt great. I am always amazed at how fast interval runs go... I think it is because I am focusing on 1/2 a mile at a time. NO soreness at all again today which makes me super happy.

Someone recently asked if I do my intervals outside or on the treadmill. For now, since our local track is covered in feet of snow, I am doing them on the treadmill but I look forward to doing them on the track as soon as the snow melts. While I am running them on the treadmill I use this chart to figure out where to put the incline so that I am running (hopefully) equivalent to running outside. When I run outside the speed does feel much easier to me, even though everyone says that treadmill is easier.

For those that have asked recently, I am using Hal Higdon's Intermediate 2 marathon training plan as a starting point. I added in a three mile recovery run every Monday, and I am also doing tempo runs, interval runs, and marathon pace runs once a week with my long runs and easier paced runs, and I used the McMillan Running Calculator to determine my paces. I am training for my third marathon (Salt Lake City on April 16). I ran my first marathon three months ago in Las Vegas (4:15:50) and then my second in Disney World two months ago (4:20:18).

Today is your last day to enter my Punkeelove Headband Giveaway.
 I will announce the lucky winner in the morning! :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where to get the 411

Yesterday was a tempo run. I increased the speed for the first 1.5 miles, and then ran 2.5 miles at a 7:53 pace. Then the last mile I gradually slowed the speed back down (five miles total). I love tempo runs. :) Wednesdays are an easier day, so this morning I did six miles, starting at a 9:22 pace for three miles, and then for the last three miles I increased to  9:13, then 9:05 then 8:57.

Today was the first day since ditching my insoles that my inner ankles weren't stiff and sore for the first mile and I felt super great with no soreness at all the whole run. Yay! My youngest son has a physical therapist that comes once a week to work with him and the PT is also a runner. He checked my ankles out again on Tuesday  and thought that the soreness/stiffness is just my tendons getting used to not having the insoles. I am just so stinking glad it is still getting better and now seems almost gone. Woo hoo! I was a little worried I had given myself an injury or was on my way. It feels good to have gotten rid of the insoles for good.

This is a "scale back" week in my training, and then next week is over 50 miles again.

Salt Lake City Marathon is next month which is exciting. I am SO hoping to get able to get under four hours. (Yup, saying that out loud. I really want to be under four hours, which would mean improving my time by 15 minutes from this winter). Think I can do it??

Josh and my oldest daughter leave tomorrow morning with our high school track team for the state meet and they won't be home until Sunday morning. Indoor track season is LONG when you are the coach's wife. And then they get home on Sunday, and outdoor spring track starts on Monday. Sheesh! At least the meets for spring track are more local and aren't usually overnights. And even though it is the start of "spring" track, our fancy new outdoor track facility is still under several feet of snow. Josh and his throwers will be spending the first week or so of the season doing what they usually do... digging out the the throwing pits!

Ok, so here is a question someone asked.  "You seem to know a lot about running, gels, training, shoes, etc. What websites/magazines do you read to get all of your information? How would you encourage a beginner to learn more about running? I just run about 3 miles a day and would love to take my running to the next level but not sure where to even begin."

Let me say up front that I research pretty much everything. I love to read and I like to be educated about things. Whether we are adopting a child, buying a vehicle, running marathons, or taking on a new project, I research it up and down, inside and out. Some might say I am even a teeny tiny wee bit (just a little ) anal. Whatever. :)

For me, running is fun and is something I enjoy and am passionate about, so I REALLY enjoy reading about running. I like reading about training, gear, shoes, fueling, races and on and on. I like reading about other people's experiences with running and I like reading advice from the pro's.

I am a big fan of Runners World, the magazine and their website. We also get and read Running Times. I read a lot of running blogs and SO enjoy them. My favorite "info" books are Hal Higdon's Marathon (so much great advice and info) and Run Like a Mother (really, a must read). And then of course there is a good old Google when I want to look something up.

Where do you get your running info? Where do you do your running research or reading? Any good sources for us? Leave a comment!

And remember, you only have until Friday morning to enter my Punkeelove Headband Giveaway. 
Trust me, you want these! :)