Friday, April 29, 2011

A Presitgious Award!

(Any other Christmas Story fans out there??) Ok, so it may not be as exciting as a glowing-leg-in-fishnets-lamp award, but Penny over at Pink Hat Runner gave me the Stylish Blogger award! (Sorry to be slow getting to this Penny!!) And thanks! :)

So the rules are that I have to list seven random things about myself. Hmmmmmmmm...

 1. - I am a pretty simple girl. I have never dyed/colored my hair, I have never had a perm, I don't get my nails done (unless my daughters painting on layers of sparkles counts!), and I have never had my ears pierced. I am not very "big" on jewelry, and while I like to dress and look nice, my style is definitely almost always "sporty casual'. I "do" my hair and wear a little make up every day, but again, I am pretty simple when it comes to that stuff. I am also a pretty big homebody. I do love to travel when opportunity arises, but I am most happy when I am just home and don't have to go anywhere. I love being home with Josh and the kids. Home and family are what it is all about. Life is good. Simple is good.

2. - I used to pass out. A LOT. I had/have a condition called vasovagal syncope. It is common for this to first hit kids in their teens (although I was a lot younger when it started) and then for people to have clusters of episodes throughout their lives. Luckily I haven't had it effect me much for a long time (although I am very sensitive to heat and humidity and have to stay very well hydrated). Here is how it is described -"Prior to losing consciousness, the individual frequently experiences a variety of symptoms such as lightheadedness, nausea,  the feeling of being extremely hot (accompanied by sweating), ringing in the ears, uncomfortable feeling in the heart, fuzzy thoughts, a slight inability to speak/form words, weakness and visual disturbances such as lights seeming too bright, fuzzy or tunnel vision, and sometimes a feeling of nervousness. These last for at least a few seconds before consciousness is lost. When sufferers pass out, they fall down and when in this position, effective blood flow to the brain is immediately restored, allowing the person to wake up. Short of fainting a person may experience an almost undescribable weak and tired feeling resulting from a lack of oxygen to the brain due to a sudden drop in blood pressure."

Sounds fun, huh? I can't even count how many times and places I passed out growing up... two of the most notable being when I fainted waiting on line to see the Little Mermaid show at Disney World as a teenager, hit my head and lost my short term memory, and when I passed out in the bathroom in the middle of the night, hit my head on the toilet and literally cracked the lid to the toilet tank in half with my head. My poor Dad went through a lot with me! All the fainting always made me feel like a total wimp, and I love how running makes me feel strong and tough now.

3. -I spent many years hanging out at a barn and riding horses. I also taught beginning riding lessons, mucked stalls, fed and watered the horses, and did all sorts of work around the stable to help pay for my horse and my lessons and equipment. I did equestrian/hunter jumper (English style) riding. I had a huge 20 year-old thoroughbred named Valentine who was a beautiful white/gray. He would jump the moon if I asked him to and followed me around like a puppy. He would drink Gatorade out of a bottle and LOVED Teddy Grahams. Seriously... he was the best horse ever. I love, love, love horses.

4. - I took six years of French in school and still remember quite a bit considering how long it has been. I have never been to France or Canada or spoken French to anyone outside of a class. (Not the most useful thing I learned I guess!)

5. - I was a super good student and graduated 5th in my high school class of almost 500 kids.

6. -  Josh and I got married when I was 19 (he was 21). I was 18, single, and pregnant when we started dating. He loved me anyway. :) A lot of people thought that Josh and I would never last, but we've been married for almost 15 years  now and truly are the closest, happiest, most in-love couple I know. Our relationship is my biggest blessing. He is absolutely my best friend and my soul mate, and there is no one else I would want to be with. I never doubted that we belonged together, and I have never regretted even for a second any of the life decisions we have made (starting with getting married when we did!). I thank God every day that Josh found me when he did and that we are together.

7. - I am missing a rib on my left side. I got crushed by a horse when I was a teenager and needed major surgery on my diaphragm, lungs and stomach. They "opened" me through the ribs and had to take one out. The doctor (jokingly) told me it would grow back and I believed him at the time. (Hey! Don't judge. I was young and scared!) My bra strap gets stuck in the "hole" where the missing rib would be and it makes me crazy.

Ok, now I am supposed to "tag" seven people with the highly prestigious Stylish Blogger award. If you have already been tagged, my apologies and feel free to ignore me. And if you haven't been tagged and want to be, consider it done. :)

I tag -
T at Racing With Babes
Mallory at Sit for your job, Run for your life
Alicia at Alicia Runs
Kevin at 5ksandCabernets
Green Girl!
Annette at Running in the Right Direction
Terzah at BQby40

Happy Friday everybody! Today is a "rest" day for me (bleck) but it's been a great week of running and I am looking forward to five miles tomorrow and 13 on Sunday. And I have my first team meeting for Ragnar Wasatch Back tonight at my house. Woo hoo!

And if you have any races coming up, you really want to enter my Races2Remember giveaway. Their products are great!! :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Not in

The lottery for the ING NYC Marathon was this morning and I was NOT one of the lucky to get in this year. Oh well! I am now one year closer to my guaranteed entry. Josh didn't get in either (if one of us had and not the other, the one who didn't get in through the lottery would have signed up to run for charity so we could do it together). Anyone out there get "in" today?? :)

And here is a funny for you... We had the Nordictrack guy here yesterday fixing my treadmill. (It was making a noise but still running really well. I guess someone at some point had tightened something too tightly when it was put together and after over 500 miles the too-tight-thingy  wore something else out... obviously I am very technical here). The customer service was great and my treadmill is all fixed and ready to go again.

The funny part is that the guy checked the calibration on it before he fixed it and said that I had been running FASTER than I thought I was. He said when he had it set to 12 miles an hour it was actually going 12.9. Sheesh!! So my 22:23 5K time for the Jelly Bean virtual 5K should be even faster than it was. I thought I was running about 7:13 miles... wonder how fast I was really going?

I guess that is better than knowing I was actually running SLOWER than I thought though, right??

Hope you all have a happy Wednesday. I am off in a little bit to go watch my hubby coach and my two eldest compete in our local high school track meet. Then I am going to an orchestra concert for my fifth graders and maybe a baby shower for a friend if there is time. Whew!

Running is going well... we did five miles this morning and have nine miles planned for the morning. I am getting more and more excited for Ragnar.

more soon!

If you haven't yet, go enter my Races2Remember giveaway!! :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Giveaway! - Races to Remember

One of the tools I used to help me reach my goal of running the Salt Lake City Marathon in under four hours was an awesome pace band from Races2Remember. These bands are great! When  you are ordering on the website you put in what your goal time is, and then if you want to run even splits or with a "warm up" (slower) in the beginning. You can also enter your own pacing strategy. Even better is that SmartPace Bands from Races2Remember even are custom made to the race course that you will be running!

The Salt Lake City marathon had a lot of hills (both up and down), and so even though my goal was to run even splits (or as close to as possible), I also knew that uphill miles would likely be slower than downhill miles. The SmartPace bands did all the figuring for me, and on race day I had a plan for every mile around my wrist. (I don't know about you, but once I start running my math skills go out the window!).

I found it really, really handy to look at the pace band at the beginning of each mile and know what my target pace was. The SmartPace Bands also have room for a motivational phrase of your choice which was super nice too. I put "Courage, Faith, Strength" on mine.

With one order you get three pace bands (three different times). I only wore one during the SLC marathon and it held up great and was a very helpful tool.

Along with their SmartPace Bands, Races2Remember has other great race-day products. They have "Grace Bands" which are custom made with what you want to think about each mile of your race (people to remember, power phrases, whatever!). They have back bibs that you can have custom made with your name, the cause you are running for, someone you are remembering, or anything you want it to say. You can also get custom made tattoos, name bibs and cheering signs for your fans!!

Another service they provide (for free!) is a spectator timing chart ("ChaseCharts"). You put in the fastest you could run and the slowest, the start time of your race and how long it should take you to cross the start line at the beginning of the race, and it makes a chart for your fans saying what time range you should be passing each mile marker. My family used this in Salt Lake and it was very helpful. :)

Races2Remember has WONDERFUL customer service and really great products. AND, they are going to give away any one product from their website (except for a cheering sign) to one lucky reader of See Mom Run Far. Winner gets to pick their prize!

Want to enter?

Mandatory -
- Be a follower of See Mom Run Far. You can become a follower by clicking "follow" on the right hand side of the blog. Leave a comment and let me know you are a new follower or an existing one. :)

- visit Races2Remember and leave another comment here, letting me know what you would choose if you win.

Bonus entries -
- Post about this giveaway on your blog, facebook, etc. (then leave a comment here letting me know)
- Like Races2Remember on facebook here and tell them I sent you ( then leave a comment here letting me know)

I will pick one random winner on Monday, May 2. Good luck! :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

TWO

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. Yesterday was also my Marcus' seventh birthday, so we had a weekend full of fun and celebration. Here is a picture of the whole crew ready to go to church (with birthday boy sprawled out in the front!) There will be lots more pics up on the family blog later today if you are interested. Aren't they the cutest??

Today is a special day for me too. Today is my TWO YEAR running anniversary. Two years ago today I went for my very first run ever (or at least the first since high school). I had been trying to eat more healthily and exercising regularly for a couple of months (mostly with the Wii fit) and had lost about 24lbs. I was getting bored with the Wii and a couple of ladies in my neighborhood had just started to run. On April 25, 2009, the sun was shining and Josh was home and I figured I would give this running thing a try.

There is a loop from our house that is jut over two miles and I thought I could surely run that. Ha! It was SO much harder than I thought it would be. I had to walk three times and I couldn't believe how tough it was, but I was hooked. I started running every other day for a couple of weeks, and then ended up running six days a week (and still am!) Early on I was DETERMINED to run that stinking 2+ mile loop without walking and I remember how awesome it felt the first day I could do it.


The weight kept coming off and I kept being able to run further and faster and felt better doing it. Running very quickly went from something I made myself do, to something I wanted to do, and then to something that I needed to do. Running became a part of who I am.

On Sept. 11, 2009 I hit the mark of 50lbs lost! Less than a week later we had our beautiful son, Noah, placed with us for adoption. Noah was about nine months old and had significant special needs. I was afraid that all the stress and busy-ness of having a new baby (and especially one with high medical needs) would make it difficult/impossible for me to continue to take care of myself and get my running in, but I did it. I had to get up crazy early before Noah was awake, and I needed Josh to be there and willing to handle it if Noah woke up before I was done, but I continued with running six days a week (3-6 miles a day). I remember in March 2010, when we had made it through our first six months with Noah (including two surgeries and hospitalizations and countless appointments) and the holidays, and the horrible Wyoming winter.... I remember saying, "If I could keep up with my running through this winter, I can keep it up through anything!"


In Spring 2010 I started adding to the miles I was doing when Jenny and I started training to be on a Ragnar team. For the first time I had a training plan (loved it!) and we started doing hill work, paying attention to the time it took us to finish runs, etc.

Ragnar was an awesome experience (I loved it so much I bought a team for 2011 almost right away!) and then we decided to train for our first half-marathon. I really really liked having a training plan and the more miles I ran, the more I wanted to run. Before long I had decided to train for the Vegas Rock n Roll Marathon.

At first I thought I would run just one marathon and hopefully survive it,  to be able to say "I did it!", but before that first one was even over, I knew I wanted more!! (I guess you just never know until you try something). A month later I had the unexpected and amazing opportunity to run in the Disney World Marathon, and as soon as I got home from that, I signed up to run in the Salt Lake City Marathon. I really love the marathon distance. I love the training and I love the race itself. I love the challenge and the sense of accomplishment. It is without a doubt my favorite distance to race and train for, and I look so forward to many more marathons.

Here is a list of the races I have done -
5/17/09 - local 5K (not even a month after my first run) - 32:02
6/24/09 - 10k in Salt Lake - 1:02:28
6/18/10-6/19/10- Ragnar Wasatch Back (runner #6)
7/31/10- local 5K - 23:33
9/4/10 - Pocatello 1/2 marathon - 2:04:50
12/5/10 - Vegas RnR Marathon - 4:15:50
1/9/11- Disney World Marathon - 4:20:18
4/16/11 - Salt Lake City Marathon - 3:57:29
4/22/11 - Jelly Bean Virtual 5K - 22:23

For what I have coming up, you can read this post here.

I am a runner, and running has given me so much. Running has helped me lose and keep off 70lbs. Running has given me a sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment. Running has helped me reduce my stress and increase my patience. Running has helped me make taking care of myself a priority. Running has given me a wonderful friendship that I desperately needed. Running helped me find a part of myself... a part that is athletic, strong, tough, brave, determined, and confident...a part of me that I didn't know existed. Every day running betters my body, mind and soul.

Yesterday morning I got up early and slipped out for a run before anyone else got up and the fun of Easter and birthday started. I ran a seven mile loop, and it was one of those runs that was just perfect. The temps were cool but comfortable, the sun was rising, the skies and mountains were beautiful, and the world was quiet and peaceful on Easter morning. The miles came easily and I had a great pace, even though more than half of the loop is uphill. I felt fast and strong. My body felt great and I found myself smiling. It was one of those runs that was just FUN and felt incredible. I couldn't imagine a better way to start the day.

So thanks running, and happy anniversary. Thanks for two awesome years, and all that you have given me. I can't wait to see what we accomplish in the future.

Winners!!!!

Thanks to all who participated in my Planet Gear giveaway.

The lucky winner of the great Mountain Mama shirt is Kelly at Secrets of a Running Mom
and the winner of the cool Lonely Planet A Year of Adventures Book is Marija!

Ladies, send me an email at fullhousemom at g mail (dot) com and I will get you the info on getting your fun prizes.

I have a fun giveaway from Races2Remember (love them!) coming up tomorrow so stay tuned!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jelly Bean and what's next?

What a good morning! I got up and ran five miles with Jenny super early (we were home before 6:30am) and then after I got the kids off to school and Josh off on his 18 miler (he is training for his first marathon. So cool!!!) I decided to jump on the treadmill quick and do my Jelly Bean 5K Virtual Race! I love Jess, who is hosting this virtual 5K, and I thought this sounded way fun (you can run a 5K or 10K any day this week to participate and there are tons of great prizes!) I signed up knowing that this was the week after my marathon and that I may not feel much like "racing", but I knew I'd be able to run 3.1 miles and if my time wasn't great, so be it.

My legs have felt really good these last couple of days so I decided to go for it today. I didn't want to be stupid and push too hard, but I did feel good enough to run pretty fast. I finished with a time of 22:23. My last 5K was last summer and my time was 23:33. I had not done any speedwork before that race at all, and since then I have done quite a lot. I figure that running the 5K on the treadmill this morning made it somewhat easier, but having it be so soon after my marathon made me not go all out, so I am hoping when I do a 5K or two this summer I'll be able to cut some decent time off of my PR. Anyway, it was fun and I feel great.

Here are the pics I sent in to Jess for her virtual race :)

This was literally seconds after I finished, so red, sweaty face are in full effect
I have had a lot of people ask me now "what's next?" I am definitely still celebrating my sub-four marathon and what an awesome experience the SLC Marathon was, but I am also already looking forward. Right now the answer to what is next is RAGNAR!!!! Seriously, if you are a runner and have never done a Ragnar Relay, you are so missing out (and they have races all over the country now). I was lucky enough to get to be on a team last year and it was crazy crazy fun. I loved it! I knew that Ragnar Wasatch Back sells out faster each year, so shortly after Ragnar last year I put a team together. Team "See Moms Run" is made up of myself and 11 super awesome running moms. Ragnar is June 17 and 18 and I can hardly wait. We are going to have such a blast. Two days of friends and running and a party atmosphere. Does it get any more fun?

I am runner #6, so I have a 6.7 mile "very hard" leg (one mile steep uphill, then the rest is super steep down hill on dirt... ran it last year... I have never been so hot and dirty in my whole life). My second leg is a "very hard" leg that is just over 8 miles up a mountain pass (butt kicking!) and then my last leg is a three mile "easy" leg that is mostly flat.

I am all signed up to run the Star Valley Half Marathon on July 9. I have done three full marathons but only one half. I have gotten much faster since I ran that half (with a time of 2:04) so I am excited to see what I can do at the half distance now.

There are a couple of 5K's I will probably do over the summer, and after Ragnar I will be training for the Top of Utah Marathon on September 17. Jenny has really wanted to run Top of Utah and we've been planning on it for a while, but she has something that day and may not be able to, so we are looking at a couple of other marathons around that time as well. I feel confident that I could run a marathon, take a couple of weeks super easy and then run another, so if Jenny picks another race I will do it with her. The two we are looking at are the Pocatello Marathon  (we ran the half last year and it was great. Got to love a race that gives you a great backpack, tech shirt AND a bag of potatoes!) and the Layton Marathon.

And of course the NEW YORK MARATHON announces on Wednesday who gets in to this year's race through the lottery on Wednesday!! I told myself I would not get my hopes up but man oh man would I LOVE to go run that!! I figure if I don't get it this year I will just be one more year closer to my guaranteed entry. :)

Josh really loves the idea of the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon being at night this year (this was my first marathon in Dec. 2010 and Josh's first half). We did have a very awesome time. I don't love the thought of a late afternoon marathon, but if he decides he wants to go again, I am in.

And then early January is the Goofy Challenge. Yeah baby! If you are thinking about signing up for any of the Jan. 2012 Disney World Marathon weekend races, the prices go up here soon, and the Goofy challenge is already 50% full! Apparently there are lots of other crazy people out there. :)

Have a great weekend everyone! I have another cool giveaway coming up soon, if you haven't yet entered my Planet Gear giveaway, please do!! And please help spread the word, especially to any active mom's to be you know. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Final thoughts

 I have a few final thoughts about my experience running the Salt Lake City Marathon. It already seems like it was way longer than four days ago! (If you somehow missed my monster race recap, you can find it here).


How do I feel?  I have been getting this question a whole lot. To be honest, I feel great! The day after I was somewhat sore and tender, although it was an all over feeling, and no one area had any extra pain or tenderness. I was easily walking around without limping, and only really noticed when I got up after sitting for a long time (stiff!) or when I first got up in the morning (gently!). I even had a guy in the lobby at the hotel when we were checking out tease me about NOT limping. :)

I did take a ridiculously freezing ice bath in the hotel right after the race and then started rolling and stretching morning and night (still am). There was some soreness when rolling the first day or two after the race but nothing too bad.

But do you know what did hurt? MY LUNGS. This is the second time this happened to me (the first was after my first two legs of Ragnar last year). On Saturday, Sunday and Monday it hurt A LOT to take a deep breath (and yawning was seriously painful) and if I took any sort of deeper breath I coughed and coughed and coughed. Anyone else every have this? I wonder if it is from running in the altitude, although I live and train at over 6,000 feet and never have that problem at home. Strange! Any thoughts?

After my long runs I have always, always felt better after a short, easy run. (It just always seems to make my muscles looser and happier). I took off Sunday and then on Monday morning I got on the treadmill and did a very, very slow and easy three mile recovery jog. I figured if it hurt I would stop right away, but the early morning stiffness and soreness faded quickly. When I was done the stiffness was all but gone and my legs felt tons better. I ran with Jenny yesterday and today (just five miles nice and easy) outside and it was wonderful. Yesterday I was a little stiff and sore when we first started (quickly went away) and today I felt good from the very beginning.

I know some people believe that you should take a ton of time off after a marathon and I know that some people think if you can run a few days later that you didn't push hard enough. I don't know. All I know is that I have always been a fast "recoverer" and my body feels better when I run, so I am doing what works for me. I am listening to my body and taking it nice and easy (no watch or Garmin) and doing lots of rolling and stretching. I am also trying to get extra rest during the day and sleep at night. But I feel good. :) This morning I got out of bed quickly and walked around a bit before I even realized that I didn't notice any stiffness at all.

Ok, a few more thoughts from the race -

Favorite signs - There were quite a few great signs, but I had two favorites. There were a couple of girls that were just before mile 2 with a big sign that said, "You are so NOT almost there!" That made me giggle. (At mile 12 it probably would not have, but you still have a sense of humor at mile 2). :)
The other sign was somewhere around mile 21 and it said, "You gave up sleeping in on the weekends for this!" Indeed!

Perfect race? I have read that the "perfect race" is one in which you pace yourself well, don't hit the wall or "bonk", and finish strong, and yet finish with your gas tank completely on empty, knowing that you gave it your all and could not have run ANY further or faster than you did. Not an easy thing to accomplish for sure.

So was this a perfect race for me? I can't honestly say that I finished with NOTHING left in the tank, although with the side aches and cramps all over that I was getting with half a mile to go (and the wheezing and trouble getting a breath when I finished), I am not sure how much more I could have pushed myself on that day and on that course.

I do feel like I paced myself very well, that I stuck to my plan and that unless I could have had a miracle and run it without the two potty stops (which cost me about 4 minutes), that I had about as good of a time as I could have hoped for. Maybe I could have pushed the pace a little more and finished a little faster, but maybe if I had pushed it more I would have pulled a muscle or bonked and wouldn't have been able to finish strong (and could have ended up slower over all). SLC may not have been a "perfect" race for me, but I do think that it really was a very dang good one.

That is not to say that I think 3:57 is the best I can ever do though. The last few months have shown me that with consistent training I can and will get faster, and I firmly believe that if I put the work in (which I plan on doing!) that I have faster times in me. ;)

Athena - I know that "weight classes" in races can be a controversial topic, but for my first couple of bigger races (10K and half) I put myself in the Athena division, because my weight was definitely over the requirements. Then I lost more weight, and I was well under the weight limit for Athena in Vegas or Disney, which I was happy about. :) I pretty much assumed I was out of that weight range now for good, but when I signed up for SLC, the "Athena class" was over 140lbs. Most of the Athena classes I have seen have been cut off at 150, 155 or 160 so I was surprised this one was so low. I thought about putting myself in the Athena class (when I registered for SLC I was 141lbs) but since I was hoping to shed a couple more pounds I didn't.

A couple of days before the race I looked at the list of registered runners and noticed that there were only 30 or so women in the Athena division and wondered if I could be competitive in that class. My weight has been consistently 136-137lbs for the last couple of months though. They were not weighing in and it was "honor system", and I am sure after a big meal with my clothes and shoes on I could be 140 pretty easily, but I decided not to change. Bottom line was that I didn't feel like I belonged in the "heavier runner" weight class any more. (And let's face it... women don't lie UP about weight, right???)

Well stink... if I had run in the Athena class, I would have WON IT. By four minutes. Seriously... I could have won a division in a marathon.That may be the only time I ever regret losing a few pounds.

When I told Josh, my dear, sweet husband said, "You should have had the fries."  :)

Here is my favorite pic from the race weekend. I told my parents that starting to run marathons was my best plan ever to get to see them more often. This made our third weekend together in 4 1/2 months (and they are now pretty much expects at preparing for a marathon the day before, expos, marathon spectating and cheering, and marathon recovery). :)



If you haven't  yet entered my Planet Gear giveaway, please do!! And please help spread the word, especially to any active mom's to be you know. :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Planet Gear Giveaway

When I was on my way to Salt Lake City on Friday I got an email from Kelly and Planet Gear, asking if I would be interested in doing a giveaway.

If you haven't heard of Planet Gear, it is a very cool private sale site, offering curated sale events that last just 72 hours. They offer "the world's best outdoor gear, apparel, and travel destinations at exclusive pricing for members only." And, they give back by donating 1% to environmental groups to help preserve our world.

From their facebook page:

"We believe in the outdoors. Fresh air. Fresh tracks. Warm sand. Starry skies. Drifting snow. Lazy rivers. The places we go to renew our spirits and find inspiration. 

We believe in gear. Warm fleece jackets, stretchy yoga wear, energy bars/beans/drinks, bells for our beach cruisers… the things that bring the spark to our lives outdoors.

We believe in exploring. Inspiring destinations, travel blogs, dreamy landscapes. Experiences that create sweet, unforgettable memories.

We believe in giving back. Clean air, clear water, healthy living. To preserve our world, we donate to grassroots environmental groups through 1% for the Planet.

We believe in sharing. We work with the best brands in the outdoor and active lifestyle communities to get exclusive deals on gear, apparel and travel."

So, are you interested in being a part of Planet Gear? The good news is it takes less than 30 seconds to register and it is free! And you instantly have access to their great sales.

AND,  courtesy of them, I have two fun products to give away to you.

The first is a brand new copy of the book, The Lonely Planet "A Year of Adventures". (I totally want this book!) Product Description - "A Year of Adventures is the inspirational planning tool to take you all around the world in pursuit of adventure. Discover a whole range of extraordinary experiences, including hiking in New Zealand, diving with sharks in South Africa, ballooning in Switzerland and storm watching in Alaska. Choose from over 100 activities in 130 countries, some to challenge you, some to enjoy at a leisurely pace, and catering to all fitness levels. After all, adventure doesn't need to mean hardship. Be inspired and plan a year to remember!"

Ok, so it may take me a lifetime to get to all of those places, but how fun to read and plan (and dream!)

And the second is one of these beautiful, Whitney, long-sleeved maternity tops from Mountain Mama. The shirt being given away is the white version of this shirt and the winner can choose their size. For all you pregnant ladies, or all you active women who may be pregnant in the future, you definitely want to check out Mountain Mama. They have great lines of clothing, bathing suits, etc. for active pregnant women.

AND, Mountain Mama will be one of the featured sales on Planet Gear starting tomorrow at 8am PT. The sale will last 72 hours and will offer a chance to get stylish, and comfortable maternity clothing that can be worn on the trail and in town.

So how do you win? Here are the rules.

Mandatory to enter
- You must be a follower of See Mom Run Far (click "follow" on the right hand side of the blog page if you aren't). Leave a comment and let me know you are a follower. Also let me know in that comment if you are interested in the book, the shirt, or both (I will draw two winners, one for each prize).

- Join Planet Gear by going here. Joining takes just seconds and is free.

Bonus entries-
-Go to the Planet Gear facebook page and like them, and leave a comment and let me know
-Go to the Mountain Mama facebook page and like them, and leave a comment and let me know
- Post about this giveaway on your blog or Facebook, and leave a comment and let me know. If you know any active mommies-to-be, please let them know.

I will draw two winners... one for the book and one for the shirt, on Monday, April 25. Good luck!!

Recap of Salt Lake City Marathon 2011

We got home late last night after a WONDERFUL but exhausting weekend.

I want to get my race recap done while it is still fresh in my memory though so here goes. WARNING... it's long (you all know I am long-winded by now, don't you?) I like to remember the details! :)

We got to Salt Lake around 11:30am on Friday. After a quick lunch we picked up my parents at the airport. Yay!!! It was so, so great to see them. New York is just really far away. First we headed over to the expo. We parked and walked a little bit and it was beautiful outside. I wasn't expecting to be impressed with the expo after just being at Vegas and Disney World, but it was really good. They had a lot of booths and good stuff, everything was well organized, and they even had a super nice lady who was making balloons for the kids. Josh won a chapstick and a bag of rice so he was happy. :)

The shirts and "goody bag" were major disappointments, even with my low expectations, but that is really the only complaint I have about the race weekend.

After walking around the expo we headed to the hotel to check in (we wanted to check in early to make sure we got adjoining rooms) and then we went to a really fun dinner at "The Old Spaghetti Factory". Very yummy!

Josh and my Dad dropped off Pam, the girls, Noah and I at the hotel and then my Dad and Josh took the boys to an arena football game. It was right by the hotel and the tickets were only $10 each so they decided to go. The girls had the option to go but wanted to hang out with Pam and I at the hotel. Noah was pretty cranky... lately he gets really nervous when we are not at home or in the van and he was letting us know that he was displeased with not being at home or in the van. He finally did settle down and play a little and did sleep great all night.

I got everything I needed arranged for the morning, enjoyed some time with Pam and the girls, got Noah and the little girls in bed, and then laid down while I waited for the boys to get back. They were back just after 10pm or so and we quickly got them all into bed and Josh and I went to bed too. (The guys LOVED the arena football game!!!)

I did not sleep super well, although I had slept well the whole week before so I wasn't too worried. I got up at 3:30am and pretty much hid in the bathroom (where I had set everything up) so I didn't wake anyone up. Luckily it was a huge, very nice bathroom (thank you Marriott).  I had the coffee maker set up to heat my water and ate my oatmeal (sweetened with honey) and drank a glass of Vitamin Water right away. My plan was to leave the room at 5:30 so I laid down for a little while and then slowly started getting dressed and ready.

Just before 5:30 I snuck over and kissed Josh goodbye and then headed down to the lobby. The race website had said that the host hotel would have shuttle service in the morning from the hotel to the start line, which was one of the reasons we had stayed there (because I knew I would be going to the start by myself and didn't want Josh to have to get up and drive me or anything) but when we checked in they told us that they didn't know anything about that, and then showed me how to walk to the TRAX stop and ride it to the start line (and TRAX was free for runners that morning).

So I was prepared to find the TRAX station and get on, but when I got to the lobby, sure enough there were nice big buses waiting to take runners to the start after all. Score! It was raining a little but it was still warmer than Vegas or Florida had been (cold, but not freezing!)

I sat on the bus and listened to people talking around me, and then it was about a 15 minute ride to the start. I felt anxious but overall pretty relaxed, although it would have been nice to have someone to talk to and hang out with. The starting line area had a gear bag check (and they gave us better bags to put our stuff in), food, PLENTY of porta-potties, etc. and didn't seem crazy crowded. I warmed up a little, checked my bag, used the bathroom one last time and then made my way to the start line. I did NOT want to get stuck in a slow bunch of runners like I did in Disney, so I made my way up near the front (but behind the runners who were clearly out to win or try). The half marathoners were starting with us as well, but despite that it still didn't feel too crowded.

Standing at the start I was feeling READY. I was not feeling very nervous, and I was just ready to get running.  I was excited and hopeful, and feeling as prepared as I could be.

I took off my throw-away sweat shirt right before the start (but kept on my throwaway gloves until about mile 4 or 5), and while I was chilly, I could tell the temps were going to be perfect. I believe it was in the upper 40's at the start, and never got above mid 50's. The skies were overcast the entire race which was great... NO SUN to heat me up, and it sprinkled a couple of times but just for a minute or two and it felt pretty good. My outfit was perfect... the tights were perfect and I loved the new tank and arm sleeves. The new headband never BUDGED and I am definitely going to pick up a few more of those. And my Brooks Ravennas did me proud! (If you missed it you can ready my "what I wore" post here).

I think I lined up in a pretty good spot at the start because once we started, the people ahead of me took off, I passed a few people and got passed by a few, but then seemed to settle in pretty quickly with people running at or about the same pace. I kept reminding myself not to go out too fast and to stick to my race plan, and I did.

I was really surprised how fast the first six miles went. The course had a lot of down hill and some decent up hills. I used my pace band and Coach Bob (Garmin!) and  kept right on the paces that I needed to get a sub-four hour time. (The pace band had my fastest mile at 8:45 and my slowest at 9:10). My head was in a good place and I was calm and confident.

Here are my splits for the first six miles
Mile 1- 8:49
Mile 2 - 8:54
Mile 3 - 8:45
Mile 4 - 8:45
Mile 5 - 8:49
Mile 6 - 8:59

I didn't talk with anyone, but I enjoyed watching the other runners, listening to the conversations around me, and looking at the people cheering. This section went through a lot of residential areas after the first two miles or so and the roads were closed, so there were lots of people out in front of their houses cheering us on.  There were rarely any BIG crowds until the end, but a very steady stream of great people cheering and watching. I took my first gel at mile 5 as planned (and every five miles after that), and took sips of my Hammer Perpetuem regularly, while supplementing with water at the aid stations (I did this throughout the race and it worked perfectly for me... NO WALL!)

Somewhere after mile six my stomach rumbled and I knew I would need a pit stop soon. I have to say of all of the races I have done, the Salt Lake City Marathon did the best job with the porta-potties. There were tons at the start and finish, and then several at every single aid station (and aid stations were every 1.7-1.9 miles).  Just before mile 7, I got to an aid station and only waited a short bit to get into a portapotty. I lost just over two minutes.

From mile 7-10 was the worst that I felt the entire race. I didn't feel terrible, I just didn't feel great. My stomach was still feeling off, I felt a little tired, and I knew I still had a very long way to go. There were some uphills in here too. I was able to keep my mental attitude positive though and I just kept telling myself that I could do it. My friend shared this scripture with me before the race, "Be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded. Chronicles 15:7" and I kept telling myself to be strong and courageous, over and over. It helped!

Just at mile 10 I had to stop again at the portapotties. There was no line at all and this time I lost a little under two minutes. I took my second Hammer gel as I took off and then I really settled into a groove. My body felt great, my stomach was calm, my energy was good, and the miles just started clicking by.

At home I run A LOT of out and back runs, so mentally to me "half-way" is where I turn around and am headed home. Telling myself that I am "headed home" is a boost, and passing 13.1 miles (we ran over a timing mat) was exciting. I was "headed home" and feeling strong.

I did have a moment of doubt when I saw that my "half way" time was 2:00:38, and I knew I would need to shave time off of my first half time to be able to finish in under four hours. I also knew that the downhills were pretty done at that point and that there was at least one significant UPHILL at the end, but I didn't let doubt creep in and I kept telling myself to be strong and courageous, and I borrowed EMZ's favorite line... "I freaking got this!"

Next group of splits -
Mile 7 - 11:00 (stupid stomach)
Mile 8 - 8:59
Mile 9 -9:06
Mile 10- 10:35 (stupid stomach again)
Mile 11- 8:54
Mile 12- 8:57
Mile 13- 9:06

From this point out, I felt better as the race went on. I was feeling strong and feeling more and more confident that unless I hit "the wall", pulled a muscle, or had more major stomach issues, I was going to make my goal of running this in under four hours.

I was surprised how much of this race was MENTAL for me. I had definitely put the physical work and training in... I had not missed a mile in my training, I had busted my butt on speed work and I had really put the work in to be able to run faster and longer. But it still was not easy. I had to concentrate, focus, and push myself pretty much the entire time. Any time I noticed my mind wandering a little I would look down at Coach Bob on my wrist and sure enough my pace would have slipped a little.

 I had to focus and concentrate consistently, and I had to run hard consistently too. I felt my body wanting to ease off and slow down some, and I kept reminding myself that I was RACING. I wasn't racing the people around me, but I was racing the clock and racing myself. It was supposed to be hard. My body was ready, but focusing and concentrating and pushing yourself for (just under!) four hours isn't easy. "Be strong and courageous." "I freaking got this".

At mile 15 I took another Hammer gel, and again miles ticked on by. As we passed mile 17 and were into the "single digits" in miles left I was excited!

I have to say that the police were amazing. There were tons of road closures and intersections, and the cops were just great. They were cheering and clapping and really added to the atmosphere. There were lots of great people out cheering us on too, and quite a few people who set up tables in front of their houses and were offering orange slices, drinks, bananas, etc. One guy was set up on both sides of the road with big signs for "Temptation Station" and was offering free beer and vodka. His sign said, "Anyone can run a marathon SOBER". LOL! I wonder if anyone took him up on the offer? I certainly did NOT. :)

I was scanning the crowds for Josh, the kids, Dad and Pam, although I was pretty sure I wouldn't see them until the end. Josh, Dad and the boys had had a late night, and I told them just to take their time getting up, getting breakfast, etc. The race went right past the front of our hotel right around mile 25 so I thought I may just see them there. I also thought I might see them at Liberty Park around mile 23, as that is a fun place for the kids to wait around. I had left them with a course map and a chart saying time ranges of when I expected to be at each mile.

I got more and more excited as the race went on, and couldn't stop smiling. At mile 20 I took another Hammer Gel and shortly thereafter I finished my Perpetuem.  I had one last gel to take at mile 25 if I wanted, but at that point I decided I probably wouldn't take it (and I didn't). With only six miles to go I felt awesome and I knew that I had a decent cushion now to make my goal and that unless I completely fell apart, I was going to get my sub-four.

Mile 14 - 8:51
Mile 15- 8:57
Mile 16- 9:03
Mile 17 - 8:59
Mile 18- 9:02
Mile 19- 9:00
Mile 20- 8:58

In my first two marathons, miles 20-26 were LONG, long, long, long, long. But in this race they just zipped on by. I hit Liberty Park just around mile 23. Lots of times Josh and I have been at Liberty Park with the kids, watching people run around the perimeter in the sunshine and it always makes me want to run (although I never have). I kept saying to myself "woo hoo! I am running in Liberty Park!" And just before I left the park I was scanning the crowd and noticed my Dad!!! I waved to get his attention and then I saw Josh and he had already spotted me. They all cheered like crazy (Solomon was the loudest if you had any doubts) and I tossed them my water bottle since it was empty. Josh and Shane ran along side me on the grass for a minute and took pictures and then I left them with a huge smile on my face. I yelled to Josh, "I got this!"

Miles 24-26 had some serious hill. At first the ascent was gradual but it was enough that you could feel it and then you could see the STEEP part looming ahead of you. At this point there were many 5k participants on the course who were walking, and a lot of marathoners who were walking too. When I got to the steepest part of the hill I couldn't even see anyone else running (the runners were really thinned out at this point) but I kept telling myself that I run hills ALL THE TIME and that I wasn't going to give up now. I never stopped running and fought hard up that hill.

Hitting the top of that hill was really, really awesome. At that point I knew it was less than a mile to the finish and that it was mostly downhill. I knew I was going to be under four hours. I was smiling again, and trying to finish strong. Things were definitely starting to cramp though. I had one hamstring that was threatening to cramp (it never did badly, but was threatening a little for the last couple of miles and threatening for real that last half mile). Calves were very tired. Both of my sides were cramping that last half mile and it was hard to breathe (I am sure because of the hill). But I was racing, and I was going to finish strong.

I made one final turn and saw a straight shot to the finish line. There were lots of people cheering. I looked up and saw the race clock and knew that sub-four was a done deal. I had no idea if my family had made it there in time, but I was so so happy.

I always try to finish my races at a sprint. I gradually picked up the pace and then went for my final kick. There were three guys ahead of me that I wanted to catch, and I think I scared at least one of them when I went by (there were only a few of us in the finish chute at this point). They picked up their pace and took off after me. It was a little race within a race! I was able to edge out two of them and one got ahead of me. Everyone was cheering and I felt like I was FLYING and I was pretty sure it was the fastest I had ever run (and the Garmin confirmed that!)

Mile 21- 8:53
Mile 22 -8:51
Mile 23- 8:55
Mile 24- 8:46
Mile 25- 9:02
Mile 26 - 8:35
Mile 26.2 - 8:07 (off because I didn't turn off the Garmin right away after crossing the finish line and I walked a little first and celebrated and caught my breath before stopping the timer. It says I hit a max speed of 15.6 miles per hour though! I am sure it wasn't for more than a few seconds, but woo hoo!)

As I crossed the finish line and finally stopped running, I felt amazing. My Garmin said 3:57 and change. (Late that night I finally got my official time of 3:57:29). I started to cry, but I was really having to suck to get some air in too (I sounded like my son Marcus when he has an asthma attack). I calmed down for a minute, and then was handed my medal and a bottle of cold water right away. I had my picture taken a few times, and then was handed a bag from a bakery (with a roll and a huge cookie in it) and walked through a lane of food items. I finally spotted the guy giving away chocolate milk, told him he was the guy I was looking for (and got a big laugh) and took one of those and downed it.

I walked over to the gear drop and got my bag, and then found a table where I put my stuff and stretched some. I had my favorite flip flops in my gear bag so I changed into those (and was thrilled to find happy feet with ZERO blisters... love my Brooks!) and then put on a sweatshirt. I ate a piece of a Power Bar and picked at the roll a little. I figured my best chance at finding everyone was to stay put so I did, and sure enough shortly thereafter I saw my Dad!

My Dad took me back to where Josh, Pam and the kids were. Because of traffic and road closures they had missed my awesome finish, but they were all very excited for me and it was great to see them and get lots of hugs and congrats. I felt like I was on the top of the world. I wanted to call Jenny but it was loud and the kids wanted my attention so I just sent her a quick text. Solomon was the cutest... since I had gotten to the finish line before them he said, "Mom! You were faster than A CAR!!!!!!" Yeah baby. :)

Obviously it was a great race and an incredible day for me. (The rest of the weekend was wonderful too... we had a lot of nice time together, the kids got to swim, we ate a lot of yummy food, we played outside in a park in the sunshine, and we loved having time with Papa and Pam).

My only complaints about the Salt Lake City marathon were that the shirts and bags were really really cheap  (they did have better quality bags on race morning, although it was very last minute). And it was a little annoying that the host hotel was so uninformed about race morning transportation, but again, that worked out great when it mattered.

The weather was perfect. The course was great, even though it wasn't one you would consider easy or fast (and I kind of like that I got my first sub-four on a course that wasn't particularly easy or fast). It was a much different experience than Vegas or Disney without the huge crowds, music and entertainment on course, hype, etc. however I enjoyed the smaller running field and the quieter course. The city was very pretty and clean. I was never bored and I just really, really liked it. The organization of the expo, the race, and the finish line were all wonderful and they had a really nice variety of food and set up at the end (and free massages, although I missed getting one since I was hurrying back to the kids). Oh, and the medal was quite big and very nice. Overall I think that the Salt Lake City Marathon did an awesome job and puts on a great race and weekend.  I would definitely recommend this marathon and will definitely do it again.

Pictures!!
Here I am with all my stuff in the awesome Brooks bag Josh got me for my birthday. This was right as we were leaving Friday morning.

 Josh took this pic as I was going by them and leaving the park, just past mile 23.
I think this is my favorite race pic :)


This was earlier in the race...not sure where.

Love the pics with both feet off the ground. :)

This was JUST after reaching the top of the hill, just past the 26 mile marker. Yup, that is how I felt!


This was just a few seconds later, realizing it was less than a mile (downhill) to the finish!
Be strong and courageous...

Coming into the finish line

Passing and staying ahead of two of the guys :)

Obligatory cheesy finisher pic
Thanks so much to all of you who sent me good luck comments and emails and for all of the congrats. It means a lot!!! More soon. :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stats!!!

Official time - 3:57:29

#24 out of 106 in the 30-34 age group (I am 34!) - top 22%

#334 out of 1197 total finishers, 719 guys, 478 gals, top 28%  (Amanda, my 9 year old, is so happy I beat a lot of "boys") On the third grade playground, that makes you BIG TIME. :)

#85 out of all 478 women, top 17%

I am so stinking happy. Race report soon (and Josh got some fun pics I will get up too). Now for sleep!

Yes I freaking DID!

Still waiting on official time, but Garmin says 3:57 and I the official clock said 3:58 when I ran under it (and I didn't start right at the front). SUB FOUR BABY!

That is an 18 minute PR, and my third marathon in under four and a half months.

I had to really concentrate and work hard the entire race to keep my pace where it needed to be to get my sub-four. I did have to make two quick porta-potty stops (lost four minutes) but I had factored that in to my pacing because I knew I would need a pit stop or two.

I did not walk at all. I ran the whole thing.

NO WALL. I got faster as I went. My first negative splits!

The weather was perfect. It sprinkled a little but temps were in the 50's and no sunshine. There was a KILLER hill from mile 24-25.  Other than that the course was great.

I finished STRONG... raced two guys into the finish line and hit a pace of 3:51 in that final stretch. Crazy!

I felt good the whole way, although everything was tired and threatening to cramp the last half of a mile. But there was no way I was slowing down then. :)

I saw Josh, the kids and my parents at mile 23 and that was WONDERFUL.

I enjoyed the smaller race and didn't miss the IPOD at all. From now on I won't be racing with music.  I am able to concentrate better without it I think.

I cried at the end. I didn't cry at the end of my first or second marathon, but I have worked really hard for this and was just way emotional that I had actually done it.

So yeah, it was tough. I had to work hard the entire race, and focus on my form and pace the entire race, and keep away the negative, tired thoughts for 26.2 miles, but it was SO worth it.

3:57. Yee haw! I will give a real recap soon. For now I need food and a shower and to enjoy my awesome family.

(this post was written from the UNcomfort of a tub filled with oh so cold water and ICE). :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ready...Set....

We are in Salt Lake City.

My outfit is laid out for the morning.

My bib is pinned to my singlet.

Coach Bob (my Garmin!) is charged.

I am carb-loaded (but not overly so) and well-hydrated.

Very early morning breakfast is ready to be made.

Alarm is set.

I have the best cheering squad ever.

I am ready!

Nothing left to it but to DO IT.

Sub-four marathon...you are mine.

I plan on having SO much fun. I am looking at this as my 26.2 mile victory lap after an awesome yet butt-kicking training plan. I have truly put the work in and am ready to reap the rewards.

Of course my "Plan A" is to get under four hours. I believe that if everything comes together well and there are no major setbacks or unforeseen challenges, I can do it. And yet I know life is full of setbacks and unforeseen challenges, so my "Plan B" is anything faster than 4:15 (my current PR). And "Plan C" (the back-up, back-up plan) is to finish with a smile on.

It's going to be great!

Thanks for all the well-wishes and to all of you on your way to Boston, GOOD LUCK!!! Run hard and have fun. :)

I will let you know how it went tomorrow afternoon! :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Advice and a winner!

Thanks to all of you that entered this giveaway, and extra thanks to all of you who took the time to leave me a piece of advice for my marathon this weekend.  Make sure you keep reading below because I put together a great list of advice from everyone. :)

The winner of the book "Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss" by Dean Karnazes is...............................
#27 -  Jess at Blonde Ponytail!!!!  Congrats Jess! Send me an email with your address and I will get your book out to you. :)

Now on to the advice. I found this article called 26.2 Training Tips to make it to 26.2. Pretty fun article with some good advice. But the best tips came from you readers (and work for any race distance). Here is what you said. :)

- My best piece of advice is to relax and enjoy the journey! I have only run one marathon (Boston) and I had a blast! I have run many halfs and stressed during some. It was only until I relaxed and trusted my training that I got my pr...twice in a row!

-Best advice--Salt Lake City's weather is super variable during this time of the year (it was 70 degrees last week and now there is 4 inches of snow outside). Pack appropriately for all weather conditions! And go to places like Deseret Industries for some throwaway clothes/jackets that you can wear at the beginning and toss during the run.

-Oatmeal- my favorite pre-race or long run breakfast. Drink and eat gels (or whatever) before I feel like I need to. Walk through every aid station. (this is a personal preference- I know not everyone does this or needs to).

-My standard advice for race day--remember that there will be lows, but also know that they will pass. Ride them out and then push the pace when you start feeling better. You've got this!

-The food you eat two days before your race is more important than the day before. Carbo load two days out and eat completely normal/healthy the day before. This will help you to not feel bloated and yucky at the start from eating too much pasta the night before! Instead of overeating the day before - hydrate hydrate hydrate. It's easier to run a PR or have a great race if you feel great - don't enter it dehydrated!

-my advice is to imagine you have to run further than the actual race distance...then you might have more get-up & go for the "shorter" distance you are actually running!!

-My best advice (keep in mind I've never done a marathon) is to remain your own best friend and cheerleader throughout the race. If you stay proud of yourself, you'll do well.

-Just do you! Just do your thing, don't worry about anything else why you are on your run! BE YOU and you will be beautiful at what you do!

-My advice is don't eat anything you haven't tried before this entire week. If you don't know how your body will react to it, don't risk it.

-i have never ran a marathon but when my mom ran salt lake at about mile 18 she was really feelin it and saw a sign that said "pain is temporary, quitting is forever" she chanted that in her head over and over until she crossed the finish line. i have no doubt you'll be able to finish but if it gets painful just think "pain is temporary!" also, i am under the strong belief that if you can't make the time you want to, don't beat yourself up about it and just enjoy the fact that you are able to run 26.2 MILES! o, and GOOD LUCK!

- Advice: If this is mary #3, use that past experience. Envision yourslef on the course, as a smooth confident runner, breathing deep taking it all in. You've put in the training--time to enjoy!!

- My best advice...easy. Don't change anything or add anything new from your training. You have trained your body well and it is too late to try new things. The distance will be the only "unknown" factor so don't add on by adding new things or changing from training.

- My advice is....get as much sleep as you can, especially in the week ahead of the race. Get it in the bank and that rest will be your best friend in your marathon. Good luck!

- Enjoy and be grateful for your injury-free success!!!

- My best advice for your marathon? Hmmm. Don't drink too much water before the start! ;)

-My advice: Some things you can control - Some things you can't. Only spent time worrying about the things you can. For instance: Wear your most reliable gear, double tie your shoes, hydrate, rest, etc. That way when the unexpected happens you will still have the attitude of success knowing you did everything you could to make this your best race ever. (side note: I got terribly sick before my first half marathon and was just devastated. It was out of my control but it stunk. Only other runners understood my disappointment.) Good Luck to you, Erin!

-My advice is just to take every moment in and enjoy it. Dont make it so much about crossing the finish line at a certain time. You are going to do great. Cant wait to hear all about it

-My advice: Enjoy the run!! My personal opinion of races is as long as I finish (whether it's running, walking, or crawling), I DID IT!!

-My best advice...TRUST YOUR TRAINING...! Good luck...can't wait to hear how it goes!

-Best advice is to enjoy it and don't over think. My first marathon is still my favorite. I think I try to hard now :) Get enough rest and don't try anything new.

- My only piece of race day advice is um, don't eat greasy cheese pizza the night before ;)

-Eat, Sleep, Run,and give thanks. You have trained hard. You have earned this time. Enjoy yourself. On the practical side - protect your feet, make sure you have socks to keep your feet dry and safe. Happy Running

- My best advice would be to get a good night's sleep and just remember to have FUN on race day. ;-) That's what I always tell myself--that I am supposed to be having fun. I know you will do great Erin!

Thanks again. You all are the best! More soon. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What I'll be wearing!

I hate not running! Rest days... bleh. I know they are important and I am resting as I am supposed to, but man I am itching to run (and the FINALLY beautiful weather is not helping). Can't wait for Saturday. 

I thought it would be fun to do a post on what I will be wearing for the SLC marathon (in THREE DAYS!)

First though, I have a confession to make. I imagine it will make me wildly unpopular with quite a few of you in the female-running-blogging-community (I can't imagine the guys care???) and I am probably making myself an outcast. Forgive me, and give me points for honesty, k??

I don't like running skirts.

It's true, I don't like running skirts. I do not mind them at all on other people (although I  have come up on quite a few women in races wearing running skirts that I am pretty sure have NO idea how much back side they are really showing off to the world with the "swish swish"). I do see lots of runners wearing them who look great, but it just is not my style. I don't wear skirts in real life except for church on Sundays, so it just doesn't make sense to me to put on a skirt to go run. I tried one on once and it was comfortable but I just felt goofy and knew I would not be joining the ranks of running skirt wearers. So, I think they are cute on other people and think they are great for other people, I just don't like them for me. (Please don't hate me).

So what do I wear on my lower half when I run? I am a fan of tights, shorts, and capris. I have never worn the super short, "swishy", classic runner shorts... I am all about the spandex. It feels great, it stays put, and it prevents chafing. I have some pretty darn short ones, some slightly longer ones, capris, and full (compression) tights. Which ones I wear depends on the distance, conditions, and my confidence level. :)

For marathon #1 and #2 I wore full length compression tights and my legs felt really good (all things considered) during and after. I trained in compression tights all winter for my long runs, and so I am planning on wearing compression tights for this race... my super awesome SHE Skins tights. These tights ROCK. They are super super thin and have a very "cool" feeling to them. So even when it is very warm, you legs still feel cool in these (they have almost no warmth to them at all). I have other brands of compression gear and no other material I have found feels as good as these. I have a pair of compression shorts I have thought about wearing instead, but right now I am leaning towards the tights. (But I reserve the right to change my mind).

Here is my outfit pic! Right now the weather is predicting clear/sunny skies with a low of about 40 and a high about 60 for the day. Should be PERFECT running weather!!!


Along with my SHE skins tights I will be wearing-
- This awesome Craft Cool headband (most headbands and hats don't stay put on my head/hair. I have lost a hat and a Bondiband on different runs because they wouldn't stay on. This one is super light, feels great and doesn't budge).
- My favorite Tifosi sunglasses
- This new Brooks tank which I can't wait to wear, in my favorite shade of green (the color in this pic stinks... it is a lot brighter). Has to be lucky! And the material feels amazing.
- a sports bra, but you don't really need to see a pic of that :)
- Moeben arm sleeves. LOVE THEM (I wore them in both of my other marathons and the temps were similar and they were perfect). They feel so good on my arms... are warm when you want them to be, are cool when you want them to be and keep the sun off. They stay put (but push down and pull back up easily as desired), don't rub at all AND the pockets are perfect.
- Coach Bob (my Garmin 305).
- My Nathan 22 ounce hand-held water bottle, which will be filled with Hammer Perpetuem. I will also be planning on five Hammer gels... one every five miles.
- My super cool Pace Band that I just got from Races2Remember. I am really excited about this one! They not only make a pace band to tell you the mile splits you will need to hit in order to finish at the time you want, but they also adjust your paces for hills (up and down) and other factors for your specific race course. How awesome is that?

and then of course on my feet I will be sporting
My favorite favorite Brooks Ravenna 2's, and my Brooks low-cut tab socks. This pair of Brooks is perfectly broken in with 50 miles on them including my last 20-miler.

Do you notice what is missing? Yeah, as of now I am planning on running without my IPOD again. I may change my mind last minute, but right now I am thinking I would rather run without it.

I dare say I am ready! :)

Remember that today is your last chance to enter my giveaway for "Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss" By Dean Karnazes. I will pick a winner tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Answers

I have gotten a couple of questions in the last few days so I am going to answer them now (and if there is anything you want to ask me, feel free to leave a comment and ask away. I am an open book!)
And, I have a picture post coming soon with my race day outfit. Fun stuff!


I did my run of five miles (easy pace) this morning and now I have only two more miles to run before the SLC marathon. (Tomorrow and Thursday are days to take off and rest, then two easy miles on Friday, then race day!) Woo hoo!

Thanks for all your kind comments on my post yesterday about How I Do It.  I have to say that I don't think its easy for most people to find the time to exercise and I am inspired by anyone who runs on a regular basis and by so many of you who are able to make it work while being parents (some single parents!), working from home, working out of the home, etc. We all have our own set of challenges that makes it hard to fit running in.

And yes, I am lucky that my husband is supportive of my running. He also runs (and is just new to cycling) so he takes his time to get his exercise in too. We support each other.

One last thought on "fitting it in"... when the weather is crappy or I am tired or whatever, I always remind myself that I have never...not ONCE...regretted going for a run. But I have almost always regretted it when I have skipped a run.

Questions and answers -
"Erin: how much sleep do you think you need? Are you disciplined about going to bed early?"
Well, of course I would love to get a full eight hours of sleep a night, but that doesn't happen very often. I wish I was like my Dad and could be fine on just a couple of hours of sleep a night, but I have found that to function well and feel my best I need a minimum of 6 1/2 to 7 hours of sleep consistently. So, if I am getting up at 4:45am, then I need to be in bed by 10:15 at the latest, in theory.

What makes it hard is that several nights a week Josh doesn't get home until 10 or later, and I like to wait up to see him (although I often fall asleep on the couch waiting). And of course on the weekends a lot of times we'll get a movie, stay up watching TV or on the rare occasion go out, and then I won't be in bed until later. When I have a night that we stay up later, I do try to go to bed earlier the next night to make sure I am getting enough sleep overall, and once a week I get to sleep in until 6 or 6:15am.

Naps don't happen around here for me. If the kids are quiet and settled, I have work to do of one variety or another.

But for the most part, I am settled and "resting" pretty early each night. My little kids go to bed between 7:30 and 8pm, and by 8pm most nights I am laying down on the floor or the couch in the front room with the big kids (and Josh if he is home), either reading or watching TV with them. And, being honest... a lot of nights I fall asleep there pretty early, and then move back to bed around 10-10:30pm. I do pay a lot more attention to how much sleep I am getting when I am training, and especially when I am close to a race. This week I have been going to bed by 10pm, and the next couple of mornings I won't be getting up to run so I will be getting a good eight hours.

And yeah, it's hard getting out of bed at 4:45am and I am tired every single morning, but really, when DOESN'T it suck getting out of bed?? :)

"What kind of treadmill do you have?"
If you are newer to my blog, you  may have missed about how I accidentally bought a treadmill back in January (which, I am happy to report, I have now paid off). I took advantage of a great Nordictrack sale, a coupon code from Ragnar and free shipping and bought a Nordictrack T9 CI. I have put almost 500 miles on it already and it I really love it. In fact when we stayed at a hotel recently, their "gym" treadmill felt really cheap and crappy compared to mine. I love the built in speakers and fan, but mostly I love the wider and longer belt and the fact that it runs smoothly. It did start making a strange noise a few weeks ago (although still running fine) and Nordictrack sent someone right out to service it (seems like someone put in a bearing too tight when it was built so it needed to be placed prematurely).

Here are a couple of pics of me on it and a little bit more review if you are interested. I am super happy with this treadmill!

Ok, time to go be responsible. :)

If you haven't yet entered to win the awesome Dean book "Run!" make sure you enter here. And I only need two more followers to be at 100, so if you don't "follow" yet, give my ego a little boost and click follow over there on the right hand side. :) More soon!

Monday, April 11, 2011

How I "do it"

A question that I get asked a lot is, “How do you do it?” I get asked that about feeding 12 kids, laundry, running, and life in general.  But since this is my running blog, today I am going to write about how I get lots of miles in while raising 12 kids, working a demanding job from home, trying my best to be the wife my husband deserves, keeping my house in order, and living this good life (while keeping my sanity). 

Being honest, the running helps a lot with the keeping my sanity part. I have always loved the life that Josh and I have built together and have always been a happy and optimistic person. But for a long time, I did not dedicate much (any) time or energy to taking care of myself. I often ate cereal for dinner after the kids were in bed. I ate whatever junk was around.  Showers didn’t happen until noon some days. There was no exercise or hobbies or any part of my life that wasn’t directly related to Josh and the kids or my job.  I think that is typical for a lot of moms. 

When I decided I was sick of putting myself last and wanted to start taking care of myself too, I had to figure out how to carve out some time to do it in. Like every other mom (and dad!) on the planet, I could imagine my day and write out a to-do list that took up every single minute of it and then some. It was so easy to say, “Oh bummer. I just don’t have enough time to exercise.” That is what I did for years and years and years. 

I took an hour in the morning after the bigger kids were on the bus, the younger kids at home were settled, and before the phone started ringing too much and decided that was my time. Of course there were interruptions at times, but for the most part I found by choosing to take that hour (give or take) to exercise, that somehow the world kept turning, everything still managed to get done during the day, and I felt a whole lot better getting it done.

A couple of months later when I started running, I was hooked. It was SO stinking hard and most often in the beginning left me feeling slow and out of shape, and yet I loved it. Every day I woke up wanting to get out there and try again, and the sense of accomplishment I had when I was able to run further or faster was incredible. I ran my first race and LOVED the experience.  I went to a running store and got real running shoes. I ordered Runner’s World Magazine. I got faster. I was able to run further.  I started thinking of myself as a runner, and loved it. I found a part of myself I didn’t know had been hiding in there for 32 years. 

The more I ran, the more I enjoyed running and the more I saw “runner” as a part of who I am.  And I noticed that as I started taking care of myself and found the runner inside of me, that I was a lot happier overall. I never had been unhappy in any way, and yet I found that I suddenly had more patience, more energy, more focus, less stress, and just a new sense of inner peace.

So finding time to get my runs in became important. At first I was only running three or so miles a day, which didn’t take up a whole lot of time, but as I started training for longer races I had to run further which took up more time. 

 The only way for me to get my runs done is to either get  up and run really early while the kids are still sleeping, Josh is home, and no one needs me (or even knows I am gone), or to get on the treadmill while the kids are settled.  During the winter I did most of my weekday running on the treadmill after the kids got on the bus, and while Josh was still home and getting ready for work (and keeping an eye on the little two who are home with me). 

Now that the skies are getting lighter earlier and the temps (in theory) are climbing, I am back to doing my runs outside. I get up early (how early depends on how many miles I have to get in) and make sure I am home by 6:30-7am, so I can see the kids before they leave at 7:30, do the little girls’ hair, and give everyone a kiss and a hug as they go out the door. This morning I got up at 4:45am to leave at 5:30am and was home by 6:15am after five miles with Jenny. Only one kid was even awake yet when I got back home.

And then I always do my long runs on Sunday mornings.  Sunday mornings are my time. Josh is always home on Sunday mornings, the kids sleep later than usual and I can take off on as long of a run as I want by myself or with a friend, and know that when I get home all will be well.  I still get up early so I can get back as early as possible, and my time away is minimal.

In life we find time for the things that are important to us. And I am a huge believer that balance in our lives is incredibly important. Running is very important to me. It is one of my priorities. It is never more important than Josh or the kids, but it is important enough that I make time for it almost every day. Running is my way of making myself a priority too.

I know some moms feel guilty about the time that their running takes away from their family. I don't. For one, I have found a way to get it done while having a very minimal impact on my time with Josh and the kids, and it is the only time I take just for myself. And for two, I think that I am setting a good example for my kids by showing them that moms (and dads!) need to take care of themselves too. And I hope that maybe I can inspire some people... heck, if the crazy lady with 12 kids can find time to run everyday, anyone can, right??? :)

In a nutshell, I would say I get my running in by getting up and getting out the door early (usually really, really early). Most days I am back in the door before the kids’ breakfast... happy, rejuvenated and feeling that awesome feeling that comes after a run, ready to devote the rest of my day to taking care of my family and doing my work with a smile on because I have started my day by taking care of myself and doing something I love.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nerves?

This morning's run was SLICK. The roads were clear yesterday afternoon and looked clear this morning, but it snowed just enough last night and got just cold enough to make a crazy slippery layer of ice. I ran in the snow along the side of the road to avoid the ice. The temps weren't bad though and the miles ticked by quickly as I paid attention to my footing and enjoyed the quiet morning.  I have eight miles on tap tomorrow and then just a couple of short runs and a couple of rest days before marathon day. :)

Someone asked a while ago, "Do you get nervous before races?"

In general, I get more excited than I do nervous. The morning of a race I definitely  have some nervous energy, but nothing terrible. It's a "I am about to tackle something really tough but I am ready... let's get it going" feeling. :)

Before my first marathon I got pretty nervous about a week before race day. I started doubting myself and wondering if I really COULD run 26.2 miles. I also made myself crazy with all the little decisions... what to wear, what to listen to, when to eat, what to eat, etc. etc. etc.  Josh kept telling me to trust my training, and the last 24-48 hours before the race I settled down and was just ready to do it.

For my second marathon I knew I definitely could run 26.2 miles (because I had just done it a few weeks earlier), and I had thoroughly enjoyed it the first time, so I didn't have the same nervousness or self-doubt. I also had found a way to fuel that worked well for me and knew what I wanted to wear, so I didn't make myself nuts with lots of little decisions either.

This time around, I have no doubts that I can run 26.2 miles. I know I can do it, and I am looking forward to it. I love the marathon distance and I am excited to do it again. I have set myself an ambitious (for me) goal of running it in under four hours, but I am not feeling too nervous about that either. I know it won't be easy, but I am believing I can do it and feeling confident (but definitely not taking anything for granted or being over-confident). If I don't make my goal this time, I will get it next time.

It's funny because all throughout my life I have gotten super nervous for stuff... concerts (I sing and used to play the violin pretty well), tests, teaching in Sunday school, going to big events...all kinds of things. But when it comes to running I just don't get too nervous. I am not sure why.

How about you? Do you get nervous before a race? When do the nerves hit? How do you deal with them?

One week from right now I will be running my heart out in SLC! :)

Don't forget to leave me some advice and enter to win some Dean! Have a great Saturday everybody.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Soliciting advice, and a giveaway!

Today was supposed to be a rest day, but the skies were blue, the sun was shining, and even though it snowed a bunch yesterday and last night, the roads were ok. I decided to just go out and run nice and easy. I left "Coach Bob" (my Garmin) at home and my watch, and just ran. I focused on my form and staying relaxed and enjoying it, and it was a heavenly five miles! It did my head and my body a whole lot of good and was just what I needed this morning. It was really rejuvenating. Only five more (short!) runs until Salt Lake City Marathon!

Ok, so a week from right now we will be on the road to Salt Lake City, and I will be be less than 24 hours away from the start of marathon number three. Woo hoo! :)

Since there are so many smart, experienced, totally awesome people out there reading my blog, I am going to solicit advice.

With just over a week until my marathon, I am asking you to leave a comment with your BEST piece of advice for me... either for the next week or for race day.  Even if you've never run a marathon (or even a race) I have no doubt you can come up with something. My five year old told me, "Don't trip". See? Even a five year old can offer up some good tips. :)

And as a thank-you for your advice, I am going to give away a new copy of  "Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss" by Dean Karnzes.

I just finished reading this last night and it was a fun and inspiring read.

So do you want to win some Dean? Or just give a girl some encouragement and advice? Here is how to enter.
- You must be a follower. Either become a follower by clicking "Follow" on the right hand side of the blog page, or leave a comment letting me know you already are. (one entry)

- Leave a comment with your best piece of advice for me for the next week, or for next Saturday... race day! (one entry)

- Bonus entry - post about this giveaway on your blog or facebook and send people to this post.

Thanks in advance!! :)

I will pick a winner using Random.org on Thursday, April 14 and will put together a post using your best tips.

Happy Friday everybody!!