Thursday, June 30, 2011

3 things for Thursday

1. My feet are so stinking happy in THESE
They are the same super awesome Brooks Ravenna 2's I have been running in for quite a while now, but they now come in this crazy cool color combo. SILVER AND LIME!!!! (Josh says lime is a flavor, not a color. Whatever. I think it rocks!) It is a lot more green in person than it looks in this picture and has just a teeny tiny bit of purple. It is like Brooks said, "Dear Erin, we are making your favorite shoe in your favorite color, just for you. Love, Brooks". THANKS BROOKS!

I put these on for my 10 miler this morning and of course they felt awesome, and I am pretty sure the neon green made me even a little faster than usual. ;)

2. This morning's run was a 10-miler with four miles at tempo pace (7:36-7:56 goal). I ran five miles at an easy-ish pace, then did the four temp miles at 7:41, 7:42, 7:33, 7:24, and then one mile cool down. I felt super good!

I used Accelerade (drink) in the Lemonade flavor and Accel gels (vanilla flavor) for the first time today and I think I really like them. I am definitely a fan of the flavor of the lemonade drink, and I like that the Accel gels are thinner than most gels (they go down really easily). The Accelerade has protein in it, and I have used Hammer Perpetuem until now which also has protein in it and I have really liked that for my long runs/races. I need to use the Accelerade and Accel gels a few more times to decide for sure if I will stick with them, but today my stomach was better than usual, my energy was great and I liked the taste/flavor of the drink a lot and the texture of the gel a lot.

Anyone out there use (or try) Accelerade or Accel gels? What do you think???

3. I AM GOING TO NY!!! Yes, I am going to NY in November to run the ING NYC Marathon (dream come true!) BUT, I am also going to NY in July! My amazing parents bring out several kids for a week each summer for ultimate spoiling. (We're talking Broadway shows, donuts for breakfast, amusement parks, eating out, swimming in the pool every day, shopping, doting attention from relatives, etc. etc. etc.) It is SUCH a treat for the kids and they each look so forward to their turn to go to NY.  We usually coordinate my brother's annual trip out to visit us in WY so that he can escort a child or two one way, and then Josh has escorted kids in recent years.

At first the plan for this year was to have one of my parents fly out, visit for a few days and then bring a couple of kids back, but their work schedules were crazy and they wanted to save their days off for when the kids are in NY. So they asked if I would want to bring some kids out to NY. Ummmm... YES! I haven't been back to NY in over two years, and even if it is just for a couple of days, I am super excited! I will fly out with Des and Belane (who are 13 and 7), I will stay for a couple of days, and then they will get a few days without me and my brother will bring them back. Then my brother will stay for a week and then he will take two kids back with him (older kids). The big kids will just fly back by themselves since they are expert travelers.

I will be on Long Island from July 21-24. My parents live in Bay Port. If any of you NY'ers want to come say hi or meet me for a run, I would love it! (I am excited to run at sea level... not excited for the heat and humidity!)

That's all for the moment. Hope everyone is having a great Thursday. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gone Running! :)

Ok, I caved. I joined Twitter. I have to say I really like it! If you want to follow me (and find me so I can follow you) I am @SeeMomRunFar.  :)

Yesterday was "track Tuesday" and my work out called for 4x1200 and 4x400. I did a half mile warm up, then the intervals with a one-lap rest interval in between, and then a half mile cool down (6.75 miles total).

Here are the splits
1st 1200 -  5:12 (6:59 pace)
2nd 1200 - 5:12 (6:59 pace)
3rd 1200 - 5:12 (6:59 pace) - Don't ask me how I was that consistent... don't think I could do it again if I tried!
4th 1200 - 5:02 (6:46 pace)

1st 400 - 1:33 (6:18 pace)
2nd 400 - 1:32 (6:13 pace)
3rd 400 - 1:31 (6:10 pace)
4th 400 - 1:28 (5:58 pace)

These are all slightly faster than my training plan calls for, but I am not trying to be. I am running them on feel and checking the "pace" on my Garmin once or twice per lap. I am not good yet at having a feel for what a certain interval time feels like.

But I guess if I am finishing strong and not slowing up during the work out I am doing ok, right? I am new at all of this!

The track workouts are tough, but I am really liking them. These last couple of weeks are the first time in my life I have ever run on a track (I never ran in school) and something about it makes me feel like a "real" runner (silly I know!)

Today was an easy six mile run. Well, it would have been easy if my stomach wasn't acting up. Good grief I had to make TWO emergency pit stops. Thank goodness that summertime = construction = portapotties. I really get so frustrated with my stomach issues.

Tomorrow I have a 10 mile run with four of the miles at my tempo pace of 7:36 ish.

And I have a half marathon coming up on July 9. I am not really "training" for it specifically since I just started my marathon training for Top of Utah, although I definitely want to race it. I have no idea what to expect though. I have only done one half and finished in 2:04, but that was over a year ago (and three marathons ago) and I have a lot more endurance and am a lot faster now. I guess I am shooting for a sub 1:50, but we shall see how it goes. Either way it should be super fun because it is a local race and there will be tons of people we know participating.

One of my good friends sent me this picture this morning and it made me laugh. Love it! Enjoy!!! :)

First WINNER!!!

I used to pull the first winner in my Big Fundraising Giveaway and the first lucky winner is......

STEPHANIE ANNE from Running To Health

Congrats Stephanie!!! Check out the link above and then email me at full house mom at g mail dot com and let me know which two prizes/prize packs you want!! Yay!!

For those that didn't win, there are still sixteen awesome prizes/prize packs (and likely more being added soon). Everyone who has entered (and hasn't won) will continue to be entered until all of the prizes are gone and a new winner will be chosen every Wednesday.

If you are already entered, at any time you can make another donation of at least $10 and have your number of entries doubled (or tripled if you have already donated twice) or if you  haven't entered yet, you can make a first donation and get in on the fun any time.

THANK YOU to all of you who are participating. Your generosity and support means SO very much!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


The first winner in my fundraising giveaway will be drawn tomorrow and will get their choice of any two of ALL 18 prizes/prize packs.

There is still time to participate and spread the word! :) Thanks everybody!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Holding up the jumper cables

My Dad is an awesome guy. He is loving, generous, forgiving, patient, funny, witty, loyal, and really smart. He does a lot of fundraising for a lot of great causes, and he often uses the analogy of "holding up the jumper cables".

He says that when it comes to doing good and helping out with a cause, most people care, but don't really see how they can make a difference or how they can help, and says it is a lot like when a car is broken down on the side of the road. People feel badly that the car is broken down and the person is stuck, but they don't usually stop because they don't know what to do or how they can help.

If you imagine coming out to a parking lot and finding that your car has died, or being stuck on the side of the road, and you just sat there and waited for help, you probably would sit there quite a while without many people (or any people) stopping to offer help.

But, if you pulled out your jumper cables and held them up, it is highly likely that in a short period of time, someone would pull over and offer to jump your car. Someone would see that you needed help, see the jumper cables and realize that there was something they could do to help you out.

So whenever my Dad talks about fundraising, he talks about holding up the jumper cables. He believes that if you let people know you need help and give them a specific way to help you out, they will respond.

And that is what I am doing today. I am standing out here in the parking lot by my dead car, holding up the jumper cables.

Except instead of a jump, I am asking for a donation, and asking for your help to get me to my $3000 fundraising goal for Team MEB and the NYC Marathon. Getting to run the NYC Marathon is a dream come true, but getting to do so while raising money for a charity I believe in is an honor.

I have seen first hand both in the U.S. and in Eastern Africa how desperately so many kids go without the opportunities and resources that so many of us take for granted.

I have been in Ethiopia and seen the total joy that comes across the faces of children who are handed their first REAL soccer ball, and the pride on the faces of kids as they put on their first team jersey. I will never forget it.  And there is no arguing that obesity is a real problem in our country and that there is a huge need to have our children's generation get active, healthy and fit.

We can't end poverty today. We can't change the fact today that millions of kids in the world have little or no access to opportunities to live a healthy lifestyle. But by supporting Team MEB, we can help provide kids in the U.S. and in Eastern Africa with access to resources for health, education and fitness.

 Participating in sports and organized physical activity can give kids in need self esteem, confidence, hope, joy, satisfaction, life lessons, pride, and opportunities that they otherwise may never have.

This blog has well over 300 hits a day. If everyone that stops by donated just $10, I would more than meet my fundraising goal in just one day. I know money is tight for most of us (I really, really know) but how often do we spend $10 on unimportant things without even thinking twice about it?

And, I put together a really super awesome giveaway! If you missed it, there are over $650 worth of great prizes, and with 18 prizes/prize packages, your chances of winning are pretty dang good even with a small donation. There are just TWO DAYS LEFT until I draw the first winner, who will get their choice of any two prizes/prize packages.

So, I am holding up my jumper cables, waiting for help. What can you do?
- Make a donation to Team MEB
- Help spread the word about my huge Fundraising Giveaway

Thank you!!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Out of the ordinary (times three)

It has been a good running weekend. :)

Yesterday I had an 8 mile run on the schedule. I also had signed up to run Adam's Sweat Your Thorns Off 5K.  Adam lives in Phoenix, so he really is sweating off his thorns and other body parts. Lucky for me, it was 42 degrees F when I left my  house yesterday morning and almost 50 when I got home from my run. PERFECT.  (For those of you who are jealous remember... it was still snowing a couple of weeks ago).

I ran four miles at my Saturday pace ("easy" pace according to coach Dorothy!) and then ran the second four miles faster. I didn't go all out and race it since I had a long run today and had already done speed work twice this week, but it was fun. I finished the 5K portion of my run in 22:59. I didn't print my race bib because my printer is out of ink and my camera was m.i.a. so I didn't get any pictures. Sorry! Major technology fail on this one! Thanks Adam for hosting. :)  (If you don't read Adam's blog, go check it out. He is super funny, runs fast and has a really cute baby).

This morning I had a 14 mile run on the schedule and I set out on my own around 6:45am. My target pace for long runs this training cycle is 8:50-9:50 and I finished with an average pace of 9:05, so I am happy with that. Everything felt good and it was a pretty uneventful run except for three things -

1. I almost got hit by a bike! This guy rides his bike a lot around here. Everyone knows him and has seen him, and he does the same long, hard route a few times a week. He rides really far, and up over big mountain passes. AND HE RIDES IN WRANGLER JEANS. I am not making this up people. And he has a full,  big bushy beard. Not the guy you would ever pick out as a cyclist. But he is super impressive with how far and fast he goes and the mountains he is riding over. (Imagine if he had some bike shorts?)  I never get more than a "hi" out of him, but he has chatted with Josh some.

Anyway, we cross paths fairly often and we have never had an issue. I saw him coming for quite a ways (we were on a long, straight, stretch of highway), and I got all the way left to the edge of road and grass. We were in a spot with a really nice and wide shoulder. I kept my eye on him and noticed he wasn't moving over like he usually does. He got closer, closer, closer and showed no signs that he wasn't going to plow me over. His head was bent down and he was working hard at getting up the hill and seemed to be looking down instead of ahead of him, and he really just didn't see me. At the last minute I jumped down into the grass... scared the heck out of him I think. He apologized and waved and then kept on going. Crazy!

2. There was SOMEONE IN MY PORTAPOTTY. At 7:20am on a Sunday. In the middle of nowhere. Seriously??? There is a portapotty that sits out at one of the little rural post offices that is about 4.5 miles from my house. The (very old) building has no running water and no bathroom, so they put a portapotty outside. It is SUPER handy for my selfish running reasons. :) Anyway, I have never ever even seen a single soul when I have stopped to use it before (and the post office is closed on Sundays), and there were no cars around, so you can imagine my surprise when I went to open the door and a man's voice yelled out.

A young guy came out and said he was waiting for a ride. I apologized and said that there wasn't ever anyone around this early in the morning on a Sunday and he laughed. WEIRD. Even weirder is that an hour later when I went by again, he was still sitting in front of the closed post office.

3. - Josh came to check on me. Josh NEVER comes to check on me. (Ok, once last year when I hurt myself and Jenny and I were way late getting home he came and rescued us).  If you read my last post you know I got stuck in a crazy thunder and lightning storm earlier this week (hail, wind, thunder that shook the house, lightning, etc.) and my knight in shining armor did NOT come to rescue me. But this morning, on a bright, sunny, perfect morning I noticed a van that looked a lot like ours headed my way (and lets face it... not that many people drive a gray Chevy 15 passenger van. I know you are jealous. Try to contain yourselves).

I was totally in the time window I told him I would be and was moving a long at a good pace (and was just two miles from home at that point). I gave him a "what the heck" shoulder shrug and he waved, turned around and headed back home. When I got home, he said he had had a nightmare that I had been hit by a car and was laying in a culvert, and he just couldn't relax until he came and made sure I was ok. Poor guy! I told him the bearded-denim-wearing bike man tried to wipe me out, but that I was totally fine. And I am SO careful with the cars. Poor Josh though. I hate dreams like that. But I love that he loves me. :)

Anything out of the ordinary happen on your run today?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Marathon training again!

Happy Friday!

- Training! This has been my first official week of training for the Top of Utah Marathon on Sept. 17. I have my training plan designed by the awesome Dorothy Beal and I am excited to be marathon training again! I am believing that I have what it takes to qualify for Boston (even though it makes me nervous to say that!) and am giving it my all to achieve that goal.

This week so far I had an easy-paced 8 mile run on Monday, "track Tuesday", an easy six miles on Wednesday and a tempo run yesterday. The track work out was 1x1600, 2x1200, 2x800, 2x400 with a 400m rest interval in between and a half mile warm up and half mile cool down. I hit all of my paces and felt really good even though my quads were still a bit sore from my long, fast downhill run at Ragnar.

Yesterday's tempo run was CRAZY! The plan was eight miles total with three miles at a tempo pace of 7:26-7:56. I dropped my two oldest kids off at the church at 7am for a camping trip and then I took off. There was blue skies with some clouds around, but the sun was shining. Not two miles into the run, and WALL OF DARK CLOUDS, complete with thunder and an insane amount of lightning strikes was moving right at me. I could literally just count the lightning strikes and watch them get closer and closer.

I was running four miles out and back and for a little while I considered to keep running and see if I could get past the storm, but it was moving way too fast and was way too big. I am not one to get scared easily, and I was pretty scared. I ended up knocking on someone's front door at 7:30 in the morning! The nice woman (who subs at my kids' school and is super nice) took one look at me in my running clothes and knew exactly why I was at her door step (the thunder was super loud at this point). I just wanted to use the phone to call Josh and have him come and rescue me, but instead she just gave me a ride home herself. My hero! I wasn't in the house for two full minutes when the hail started, and lightning strikes were all around the house. I was so glad I had gotten off of the road and grateful for the ride home!

I jumped on the treadmill, did a half mile warm up and then ended up doing four miles at tempo pace (7:47, 7:40, 7:36 and 7:30) and then a one mile cool down.

Today is a rest day, then tomorrow is 8 miles and Sunday is 14 miles.

-Relays Rock! Congrats to all the awesome ladies who made the Nuun Hood to Coast relay team!!! I so, so, SO wanted to apply, and had an awesome application ready to go, but in the end I had to put my Mommy priorities first. My kids start school that Monday, and they just really need me to be here. It will be an incredible experience though and I am so excited for the team and to hear all about it. You are going to have a blast!!

Speaking of relays, I got my team all registered for next year's Wasatch Back. Registration has only been open for not even 48 hours and is currently only open for people who ran Ragnar WB this year, and there are already over 500 teams registered! CRAZY!!! We are team S.P.U.R. - Six Psycho Ultra Runners and I could not be any more excited to be running Ragnar as an ultra team AND to get to do it with Josh!

Here are a few more pics from Ragnar this year. :)

This is me and the girls in Van #1 as we finished decorating our van the night before.
Here we are hanging out and waiting at the finish line. Free massages were AWESOME. Um, yeah. I was cold!!

Here is our official team pic of all 12 of us. :)

Please help me out by spreading the word about my big fundraising giveaway! There is over $650 worth of prizes and I am so hoping for a great response. Just $10 gets you entered in (and there are tons of ways to earn bonus entries). Please help me raise money for Team MEB and help kids in need in the U.S. and Eastern Africa have access to health, education and fitness.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Totally awesome fundraising giveaway!!!

It's here! The Giant See Mom Run Far/TEAM Meb NYC Marathon Fundraising Giveaway!

I am so, so, humbled and grateful for the amazing companies and people in the running community and the insane mount of support, encouragement and generosity I have been shown in putting this together. I am overwhelmed and EXCITED with all that I have to give away and am hoping and praying that the kindness I have been shown leads to raising some big money for a great cause.

The prizes are worth over $650 total and there is so much good stuff!! A lot of it is for runners, cyclists or triathletes, but there are prizes that just about anyone would be happy to have.

The cause - I am running the NYC Marathon as part of TEAM Meb. Meb Keflezighi is a U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist in the marathon and won the NYC Marathon in 2009. He has many other impressive achievements in running and in life. His story is truly one of "the American Dream", and I love how Meb stands for family, being your best, faith, balance, friends, dedication, hard work, education and other values and morals I believe in.

The MEB Foundation stands for Health, Education, Fitness and Balance and helps youth have the opportunities they need to succeed in life by providing access to health, education and fitness to children in the U.S. and in Eastern Africa. As a mom of 12 and as one who works with kids in need, this is a cause near and dear to my heart.

The goal - to raise at least $3,000 for the MEB Foundation before the NYC Marathon in November.

The details - I want to keep this as simple as possible. There are tons of awesome prizes. They are all listed below, and reviews of many of them will be coming in the next couple of weeks.

To enter - You must make at least a $10 donation to my MEB Foundation fundraiser here. You will earn one entry for every $10 donated.

IF YOU HAVE ALREADY DONATED prior to today you can leave a comment telling me so, and that will be good for one entry (per prior donation) into this giveaway.

If you have already donated prior to today and you donate again (at least $10), I will double your total entries. If you have already donated twice prior to today and you donate again (at least $10) I will triple your total entries.

You can earn extra entries by -
- posting about this giveaway on your blog and/or on Facebook (leave a comment for each additional entry you earn this way).

- visiting any of the Facebook pages of the companies that have donated items and leaving a comment on their wall that "Erin from See Mom Run Far" sent you. Facebook pages are linked below. (Leave a comment for each additional entry you earn this way).

- visit any of the websites for the awesome companies that have donated items and look around. Websites are linked below. (Leave a comment for each additional entry you earn this way.)

And remember - I will DOUBLE your total entries (including the bonus entries) if you have already donated and make a second donation and I will TRIPLE your total entries if you have already donated twice and make a third donation.

I will draw a winner every Wednesday using, and the winner will get THEIR CHOICE of any TWO prizes/prize packs and we will just keep going until everything is given away. As of right now there are 18 amazing prizes to choose from and there may be some more prizes added as we go too. :)

Now for the fun stuff!! As of now, the available prize list is - (drum roll please)

- BOTH OF THESE HAVE BEEN GIVEN AWAY! I have TWO pairs of Ironman Performance Raising Earphones (these sell for $50 each!) AND two Ironman Series Armbands from Yurbuds! These will be given away as two prize packs, each with one set of Yurbuds and one armband. These are MY earbuds and are the only ones I have found that stay in my ears and don't bug me when I run. They are the only ones I use.  I LOVE these earphones.

You can find the Yurbuds facebook page here.

- A combo back of two great books! A copy of Family Feasts for $75 a Week and a copy of Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family by Mary Ostyn. This prize pack is worth over $20 (and much more if you consider the money saving and sanity saving tips you will get!) :)

Mary is a fellow adoptive mom and runner (just did her first 5K ever and rocked it!!!) and she is also a very talented writer and all around wonderful person. For a bonus entry, visit Mary's incredible blog at Owlhaven and leave a comment that I sent you.

- THIS PRIZE HAS BEEN WON and is NO LONGER AVAILABLE. An autographed copy of Meb Keflezighi's book "Run To Overcome".  This book is a really great read and a very motivational story for runners and non-runners alike. I enjoyed it so much I read it twice. :) If you are looking for inspiration, search no further!
 You can find Meb's facebook page here.

- ONE OF THESE HAS BEEN GIVEN AWAY and one is still AVAILABLE TO WIN! Gotein! I have TWO prize packs from Gotein.  Gotein is a protein supplement that you add to your water that helps refuel  and improve lean muscle mass. It is easy to mix (just shake), low in calories and fat, and high in protein, vitamins and minerals.  I have a full review coming, but I tried out Gotein during my Ragnar Relay and I loved the flavors and found it a great, easy and tasty way to get extra protein in after a hard run. Love it!

The first prize pack is of two boxes of Gotein, 12 packets each box,  (your choice of chocolate, vanilla or strawberry) and a Gotein t-shirt.
The second prize pack is of one box of Gotein (12 packets) and a Gotein t-shirt.
You can find the Gotein facebook page here.

- THIS PRIZE HAS BEEN CLAIMED! A totally awesome skirt from Running Skirts! The skirt donated fits women who wear a size 8 in women's pants, and they said that is their number one best selling size. The skirt I have looks like the one below but is a sky blue color with yellow sides. SO CUTE!

You can find the Running Skirts facebook page here.

- (THREE OF THESE SHIRTS HAVE BEEN WON ALREADY- ONE IS LEFT)  I have FOUR awesome shirts to give away from Tri It Wear!!! (Each one is a separate prize). Winners who get a Tri It Wear shirt get their choice of shirt style and size.
They have men's and women's tops and all are very cool! Here is just one example of the many cute women's tops they have. (I love the 26.2 style!)

and one of their cool men's tops

You can find the Tri It Wear facebook page here.

- BOTH OF THESE HAVE BEEN WON!!!! Winner's choice of any of the super cool Allied Medal Displays!! These medal displays are so great. I have the one shown below and I love it! It is super well made and my medals look awesome on them.

You can find the Allied Medal Display facebook page here.

- A beautiful black and pink flowered headband from Active Bands! I have tried lots (and lots) of headbands and I am really impressed with how well the Active Bands are made, how well they work, and how pretty they are! My best friend Jenny tried one out during Ragnar, and really really liked it (review coming soon).

You can find the Active Bands facebook page here.

- THREE pairs of Flex Sport Buds (pink, green and blue!) from h2o Audio! (Three separate prizes). THESE HAVE ALL BEEN WON! These sport buds are sweatproof and waterproof and they STAY IN your ears. They come with three sizes of silicone ear plugs so you can find your perfect fit and they are perfect for running, swimming, just hanging out or whatever activity you enjoy.  Josh used a pair of these for his marathon a couple of weeks ago and he thinks they are great. These are his favorite and go-to earbuds for everything. He loves that he can just rinse them off when he is done sweating. :)

You can find the h20 Audio webpage here.

- (THIS PRIZE HAS BEEN WON)  A medium knee sleeve from 110% Play Harder. Have you checked out their products? They have some great stuff!!! This knee sleeve offers compression and cold therapy for the entire knee and surrounding area and is great for any type of athlete.
 You can find the 110% Play Harder Facebook page here.

- THIS PRIZE HAS BEEN WON! A gift pack of products from 2Toms! I have a pack of Butt Shield, Blister Shield and Sports Shield. If you haven't tried 2Toms products yet, these are superior products for athletes and active people that prevent blisters, friction burns, saddle sores and all sorts of other uncomforts that can plague us! These are great for runners, cyclists, hikers, triathletes, etc. I have a full review of these products coming up soon. These products last all day, are non-staining, non-toxic, non-greasy, unscented, waterproof and go on easily.

You can find the 2Toms Facebook page here and make sure you check out their 2nd annual Worst Blister Contest for a chance to win more great 2Toms products.

- THIS PRIZE HAS BEEN WON! a $40 gift certificate to SILVER MAPLE!!! Your biggest problem if you win this is going to be deciding what to use your gift certificate for! There are so many beautiful things.  Here is one of my favorites.

Here is what Jacquelyn from Silver Maple says about her jewelry, "At The Silver Maple, we work hard to create uniquely special, hand-stamped, vintage-inspired, pieces that channel happy thoughts. Whether it’s your child’s name, a memorable date, a special place, or an inspiring phrase, the idea is to smile and reflect each and every time you look at your piece."
You can find the Silver Maple on Facebook here.

- (THE MARATHON BARS HAVE BEEN WON, the PROTEIN BARS are still available)A friend who is an ambassador for Snickers Marathon Bars has donated TWO boxes (one box of Snickers Marathon energy bars, one box of  Snickers Marathon Protein Bars). Can you say yum??? Check them out here!!!

Please, please help spread the word about this fundraising giveaway. THANK YOU again to all of the amazing companies who have showed such generosity and support by donating their great products and thanks to all of YOU for helping me raise money for such a great cause. Good luck to everybody!!


***FTC requires that I tell you that these products were given to me free of charge for the purpose of review/giving away/fundraising by the awesome companies mentioned above. That said, opinions shared on the products are mine and mine alone.***

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ragnar recap

Boy... taking three days off from life really set me back! Whew. Work, laundry, blogging... I am behind, behind, behind. I am slowly catching up though and I think by tomorrow I will be back on track. Fingers crossed!

I want to get this Ragnar recap done though. Let me say first that if you live close enough to get to any of the 16 Ragnar Relays in the country, it is SO worth it. These races are so much stinking fun and are just an awesome experience. And, it is a totally different race/running experience from anything else.

If you don't know what a Ragnar Relay is, you can check out their website here. In a nutshell, 12 runners in two vans run about 200 miles. One van is always "on" the course while the other van has "off" time to rest, eat, etc. and one runner from the team is always running. There is a lot of sleep deprivation, a lot of running and crazy amounts of fun.  Ragnar Wasatch Back is the largest of the races, and they estimated there to be 14,000 runners involved this year. It is kind of like a 200 mile party for runners. LOVE IT.

We left here around 2:30pm on Thursday afternoon with the six girls in Van #1 and my 13 year old son, Ryan, who ran on a family team. After some driving around to track down Jenny's new running skirt from the UPS man we were on our way, and we got to Logan, UT just in time to do a couple of quick errands, drop Ryan off with Josh's parents and get to Olive Garden for some team carb loading.

We met the other six girls on our team in Van #2 at Olive Garden and had a nice dinner. From there we went and loaded up on groceries, drinks and ice and packed up the vans, checked out the start line, and then went to the parents' house of one of the girls on our team who offered to let us ALL stay at their beautiful home (10 minutes from the start line). It was the perfect set up and saved us a lot of money on hotel rooms. It was getting dark and cold so we hurried and decorated the vans, had some birthday cake for one of the girls' birthdays, and then went to bed for an EARLY start.

The alarm went off at 3am on Friday morning and the six of us in Van #1 were on the road by 4am. We got to the starting area, got our numbers and packets, went to the safety training, etc. and before we knew it our runner number 1 (my great friend Alana) was off and running at 5:15am! The girls in our second van got there in time to cheer as our team was announced and Alana took off. It was cold and still pretty dark, but the weather forecast was perfect so I was not complaining about being cold.

Everything went super well! Our team finished in just over 30 hours, and we placed 18th out of all 90 women's teams in all divisions, and we placed 11th out of the 62 teams in the women's open division.

We were done by around noon and we went and had lunch at Cafe Rio and then were home and had the cars unpacked by dinner time. Perfect!

I was really really happy with how I did. I ran the same legs that I ran last year, and to be honest, I felt like a different person. Instead of being the one being passed and being encouraged by other runners, I was the one passing people and encouraging others. I felt fast and strong, which is a pretty awesome feeling.

My first leg was a 6.7 mile run. The first mile and change was steep climb (to the top of a mountain pass) on a dirt road, and then the rest of it was crazy down hill the other side of the mountain (7% grade and switchbacks in places) on dirt road. There has been so much snow this year that the road was just cleared of snow and approved for traffic last week, and it was ROUGH. Big rocks, little rocks, sticks, mud, dust, loose dirt, grooves, etc. made for some very trail-like running. It was rough because I wanted to run FAST because of the steep downhill but I was super afraid of hurting myself too and had to watch every single step.

On this leg there was a promo by the restaurant Cafe Rio, that the first so many runners through would be handed a sombrero with about a half mile left to run, and if you came through the exchange zone with a sombrero on you got a ticket for a free dinner. I REALLY wanted a sombrero.

I was super excited to see the man handing out the sombrero as I was sprinting in to the finish line and two of my friends waiting with cameras to get pics of me getting my sombrero. So fun! As I took off the guy yelled at me that I had to actually wear the hat. It would NOT stay on, so there was me, running at a 6:45 and faster pace (sprinting to finish) with both hands holding a sombrero on my head. It was hilarious! It looks like I am holding a sword in the pic but it is the slap band that was used as a "baton" and passed from runner to runner. I was ready to slap it on to the next runner!! I finished this leg at an average 7:55 pace and was very happy with that considering the steep climb for the first part of it and the rough terrain (although my quads have paid the price!) I didn't get passed by anyone on this leg and I passed quite a few runners  (10 or 11... can't remember).

My second leg was brutal. It was over 8 miles and it was almost all up hill. REALLY up hill. Big hills. Switch back hills. Up around a dam hills. I was determined to run this leg without walking. Last year this leg kicked my butt. It was a curse and a blessing to know what was ahead of me and knowing what to expect. I don't have much to say except that it was TOUGH. I paced myself well and never walked even a step. I wanted to be under 10 minutes a mile average, and was thrilled to finish with an 8:59 average pace. I got passed by two runners (one was so fast he sounded like a train and I had to just watch him go by in awe!) and I passed 7 or 8 runners. It was a major personal victory to sprint into the finish line at the end of this leg, having conquered such a beast of a run.

My last leg was an easy three miles of flat running. Last year my body was so physically exhausted from the lack of sleep and the two previous legs (which were the furthest I had run at that point) that I literally could not force myself to run these last three miles. I would run a little and then have to walk a little. It was so hard and I had never been so tired ever (not even after child birth).  So this year my goal was to run the whole thing and to finish strong.

Woo hoo! I finished with a 7:44 average pace. My quads were SORE when I started so I took the first mile easy (about an 8:30 pace) and then picked up the pace as I went. It was about 6:30 in the morning when I was running this leg and it was quiet... not a lot of other runners on the course and not much traffic. During those three miles I thought a lot about how far I have come. My weight is down 18lbs from Ragnar last year (over 70lbs over all). My speed has improved greatly. My endurance has grown by leaps and bounds. I literally felt like a different person and a different runner. It was pretty awesome.

All of the girls in my van did a killer job. We didn't really see the runners from the other van much but I heard that they gave it their all too and their times were great. We botched up a couple of the exchanges and lost about 30 minutes on our time which was a bummer, but lessons learned.

Sleep? Hmmmm... not much. We slept about 2 hours on a high school gym floor in the middle of the night (about 10:30pm Friday night until 12:30am Sat. morning) and then most of us cat-napped for an hour or so in the van somewhere in the 3-4am range on Sat. morning. We got to shower at two of the high schools too and being clean never felt so good.

Food? Fueling is tricky for these relays because your recovery and your fueling are all blurred together. We had a lot of turkey, bagels, trail mix, bananas, apples, chocolate milk, yogurt, popcorn, M&M's, etc. I was drinking my Hammer Perpetuem all day but didn't eat a whole lot before my first two legs because I was really worried about my stomach. I SO did not want to have to make any emergency pit stops during the race and was super happy that I didn't have to. I did eat like a teenaged boy at one of the exchanges. We got to a high school around 9pm (after my first two hard legs) and they were selling spaghetti dinners as a fundraiser. I ate a huge plate of spaghetti with meat sauce, a roll and a salad and it tasted awesome.

Drama? Happily, no! The girls in my van were the greatest, and even though we were going on almost no sleep and were pushing our bodies hard, everyone got along and was so good to each other. We had three girls in my van that had never done a Ragnar before and they were all amazing! I heard that the other van had a great time and all got along well too. Yay! :)

Weather? Could NOT have been more perfect. Lows were around 40, highs were in the upper 60's. No rain, no wind, blue skies. Heavenly! Last year it was SO HOT. This was perfect. We really loved the early start too... we started off when it was nice and cool (cold!) and finished early in the day. I liked it much better than our later start last year, even though getting up so early on Friday morning was a little icky.

Ryan did an incredible job! We saw him run part of his first leg, and then we met up with him and the rest of his van (got to see Josh's parents, brother and sister in law) a bunch of times at the exchanges. He was always smiling and never complaining and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I am crazy proud of him! What an awesome kid he is.

Registration for Ragnar Wasatch Back opens tomorrow for people who ran it this year and HECK YEAH I am registering a team. BUT, this time I am registering an ultra team! That means we will have six runners instead of 12, and each of us will run two sets of legs at a time (30-35 miles or so each total). AND the best part is that Josh and I are going to do it together! We decided to put together an ultra team of three girls and three guys. Josh hasn't gotten to run a Ragnar yet and really wants to, and it is something I really want us to do together. Jenny, Alana and I will be the girls and Josh and two of his buddies will round out the team. I can't even imagine how fun this is going to be (those of you who know Josh, know it is going to be dang fun). And, I am really excited about the challenge of doing Ragnar as an ultra. Woo hoo!

Here are some of the pics! My camera was "lost" for awhile so I don't have any of our team pics from the finish line but I will share when I get them. There were lots of other cameras and other pictures taken. These are all of the van I was in. :)
This is Alana at the end of her first leg. We had to wear reflective vests, head lamps and "butt lights" when we were running in between 7:30pm and 6:30am.  Alana is great!!!

This is Ryan coming into the finish at the end of his first leg!!! How cool is he ??
This is my friend Lorrie. This was her first Ragnar and she did a crazy good job!
Yay for Jenny! Her first leg was a BEAST and she did such a good job. We need more excuses for getting away together because getting to hang out with her for 48 hours was one of the best parts of this whole thing!!

This is me during the downhill leg. The trail isn't too bad at this point.
I love this pic enough that I am posting it again. Definitely captures the fun of the moment! Right after this I put it up on my  head and was running with both hands holding it on. Hopefully one of the girls has a pic of that. :)

Vandi, Alana, Lorrie and Lauri at a snack break. These ladies are so much fun!

Jenny was the driver most of the time. She will love me for posting this pic. I told her to smile!
Alana (in pink) ready to go on her second leg!
Vandi running her second leg. This was Vandi's first Ragnar and she was amazing.
Lauri finishing her first leg. Lauri is fast and super fun.
Jenny modeling (and trying out) an awesome Active Band. Review coming soon!
This was during the beginning of my 8 mile up hill leg. I am still smiling. :)

This is the end of my 8 mile uphill leg. Now I am REALLY smiling. It was DONE! :)

Vandi, Alana, Lorrie and Lauri

And because this is one of my favorite pics ever, even though we have no makeup, no sleep, etc. I am posting it again. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ragnar ROCKS

Sorry for the lack of posting. I got home on Saturday night and was exhausted (and had lots to do and catch up on) and then spent a wonderful Father's Day with Josh and the kids yesterday.

Ragnar was AWESOME. We had perfect weather, an incredible team and a super fun time. There was very little sleep, but all sorts of fun.

I ran really hard and am very excited about how I did.  I feel like a different person compared to last year.

I have details,  lots of pics, and fun stories that I will get up tomorrow.

Just as a teaser... here I am finishing my first leg... with a sombrero.

Two days running and hanging out with your best friend? Life is good!!!
And, while I was gone, I had several more incredible companies contact me and offer products for my big fundraising giveaway. I will have that post up this week, and when you see how great the prizes are, I hope you will want to participate. :)

You can donate now, and it will count as extra entries once the contest is up and running.

Click here to donate. Thanks!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Party time!!!

My bag is packed, Josh has had his refresher course on "caring for 12 children (especially Noah) while Mom is gone", and I am set and ready to go! Watch out Ragnar Wasatch Back! Team See Moms Run is on it's way in just a couple of hours. WE ARE SO EXCITED!!!!

This week has been really good! Couple of highlights -

- We had track Tuesday again this week. I did a half mile warm up and cool down, and10x400M intervals with a quarter mile rest in between and got them all at my target time of 1:38 or faster. BUTT KICKING.

- Next week I officially start my training for the Top of Utah marathon on Sept. 17. I am READY and excited to get to it. BQ (Boston Qualifying), here I come. :)

- If you want to see Josh's super cute race pics from the Teton Dam marathon (including a few of us together at the finish line!) you can see them here. Fun!!

- My big fundraising giveaway is officially HUGE! There are prizes worth over $500 at this point... GOOD STUFF. I am so excited for it. My goal is to have the post up on Monday or Tuesday next week. I am so touched by the generosity and support of the running community.

- Time to Party! See you in 191 miles (and I will have LOTS of pics). Yay Ragnar!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Josh's first marathon!

On Friday afternoon, Josh and I took off (KID FREE!) to Rexburg, Idaho (about two hours away). We enjoyed the ride (KID FREE!) although Josh was definitely nervous. I used a variety of techniques to keep him calm... "stroke the ego", "distraction", "suck it up buttercup", "story telling", "advice giving", etc. :)  The packet pickup was at a junior high school, and we got there just as they were setting up.

The Teton Dam marathon is really small. There were less than 100 marathoners,  about 300 half marathoners and then a bunch of runners doing the 5K and 10K races. Instead of a pasta dinner they were doing a potato bake (gotta love Idaho!), which actually smelled great, but since we were KID FREE, we decided to go out to a real restaurant instead of eating potatoes in a junior high cafeteria. :)

 There weren't a whole lot of dining options, so we ended up at Applebee's. We don't have any of those chain restaurants here where we live so we do enjoy them when we are out of town. And to be honest, ANY meal that I don't have to cook, serve to a small herd and clean up off of the floor instantly tastes 100 times better. After dinner we drove a part of the course so Josh could see it, and then went back to the hotel to enjoy a quiet (KID FREE!) evening with an early bedtime. I had fun going through all the papers in Josh's swag bag and he got everything laid out for the morning.

I have to say that when I was looking through the race program and saw that the course record (including the guys!) for the 5K was only 22 minutes and change I was REALLY tempted to try and find a way to sign up and run it! But, I was determined to be a super fan for Josh no matter how tempted I was to race. (trust me... I was really, REALLY tempted).

Josh got up around 3:15am on Saturday, ate some Cream of Wheat and half of a bagel and got dressed and ready, and I got up about 4:15am.  He had to be at the high school by 5am to get on a bus to the starting area for a 6:30am start. I dropped him off, then went back to the hotel and got showered, ate a quick breakfast and made a plan for when and where to see Josh along the course.

Anyone who knows me knows that I don't like to drive, and I REALLY don't like to drive when I don't know where I am or where I am going. I had never been to Rexburg so I was a little nervous about getting around, but I pulled up the race course on Map My Run and wrote myself out directions on how to get to different parts of the course to see Josh. It was tricky because the course itself was on the only main road in a lot of the areas and it was closed to traffic. But I made a plan and hoped for the best.

Armed with my instructions, Josh's bag for after the race, my cell phone, my camera, etc. I was on my way. Josh was planning to be running about 9 minute miles, and I got to the 6 mile marker just ahead of when I thought he would be there. I waited just a few minutes and sure enough, I saw his orange shirt coming towards me. I ran out to him, told him he looked awesome, asked how he felt and if he needed anything, gave him a kiss, told him I would see him in a few miles, and then sent him on his way.  He looked great!

I jumped in the van and found my way to the next point that I could see him, which was at mile 10. When I found a place to park I got out and recognized some people from our small town who were there cheering on some of their family members. It was fun to have someone to hang out with and chat with.

At the mile 10 point we saw the leaders go by, which was really awesome. It is a small marathon so there were not super elites, which made the leaders even that much  more inspiring to me. Josh came along just as I expected... still looking good! I ran out to him and then ran with him for a short while and did the same routine..."need anything?" "want me to take anything?" "how are you feeling?" "you look awesome!!!" "smooch" "see you in a few miles". "I love you!"

Back into the van, and then on to Mile 15. More waiting, lots of cheering on my part (I cheered for every single runner that went by!) and then along came Josh, just as I expected. He still looked great at mile 15 and was right on pace and right where he wanted to be. I was so excited for him and so proud! I ran out to him a third time... same routine... then told him I would see him at the finish, as the rest of the course there was no way to see him without driving on the course, which wasn't supposed to be allowed.

I found my way to the finish line, and got a seat on the bleachers just a few feet from the finish. I was QUITE proud of myself for finding my way around and getting to see Josh and each of the spots and getting to the finish line all by myself. :)

I can honestly say that I could sit at the finish line of a race ALL DAY LONG. The 5k runners and 10k runners were finishing when I first sat down, and then I got to see the marathon and half marathon winners come in too. From there it was a mix of finishers from all four races and each one had their name and race announced. I was a total boob.

I cried for the 80-something year old man finishing the 5K and the way the crowd all stood and cheered him in like he had just won an Olympic medal. I cried for the very overweight woman who finished the 5K crying herself, and also had the crowd on their feet. Couples finished holding hands... moms finished being escorted by their kids...grandmothers finished with bunches of grandkids cheering them on... a retired police officer finished to huge cheers. The fast, the slow, the super athletes and the "just starting to get into shape" runners ALL worked hard, and all crossed that finish line to big cheers. I love it! I seriously could hang out at race finish lines and never get tired of it (although it SURE did make me want to go run RIGHT THAT MINUTE!). If anyone ever wants some motivation to run, go sit at a finish line for a little while.

As it started getting to the window of time that I expected to see Josh in, I started getting nervous. I hadn't seen him since mile 15, and I know that it is after that that things in a marathon usually start to get really hard. And I knew he had some big hills to conquer. I was so hoping he wasn't hurt or struggling. I watched and watched the corner where the runners were coming around to head to the final stretch and every time I saw orange I got excited.

I knew it was Josh though the second he rounded the corner. It was just after 4:00 on the time clock and I was SO happy and excited. I was so glad to see him and so relieved he was still running well and was finishing with a great time. I took off down the grass along the road until I got to him, and then I ran in with him, cheering all the way.

Josh's official time was 4:03:33
29th overall out of 87 finishers
20th out of 48 male finishers
7th out of 14 in the 30-39 age group

Some of the things he said -

It was harder than he thought it would be.
Hills suck.
At around mile 23 he hit a mental wall, but he never hit a physical wall.
The only thing he would do differently is that he would have worn his toe socks instead of the compression socks. He got a NASTY blister under his toes on one foot.
He would run another marathon. :)
Everything was run very well for such a small marathon, however he doesn't think he would run this race again.

Josh did a great job at fueling. He took his first Hammer gel at mile 4 and then took one every three miles after that, and he drank Cytomax and water and stayed well hydrated. The weather was perfect... a mix of sun and clouds, with starting temps in upper 40's and temps at the finish around 60.

He got some of the yummy food they had out (really nice set up) and then we went back to the hotel and got him in an ice bath. I am a believer! Then a hot shower, a nice lunch and we headed home. Upon arriving at home he fell asleep on the couch for a four and a half hour nap. :) He was pretty gimpy for a day or two but today he feels awesome and is moving around great. He is a rock star!

Here is Josh resting before we left on race morning. Not sure why the pic is so grainy... the lighting kind of sucked in the room.

Yeah... he doesn't smile for pics until I yell at him.
 I yelled at him. :)

Here is Josh (in the orange) coming in to mile 6. Yay!

Mile 6 aid station

This is him coming in to mile 10. Yay!

This is almost at mile 15. The city lined the street with these flags and it looked really cool.

And here he is all done! 
Our friends that were there got some fun shots of us running into the finish line together and Josh said there were course photographers too, so I will share a few more pics when I get them.

Have I mentioned how proud I am of this guy and how much I love him? Yeah... he is the greatest.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rain rain go away...

I woke up this morning to cold, rainy weather. Bleck. And I didn't get much sleep at all, because the alarm on Noah's feeding pump went off FIVE TIMES. (Noah, 2 years old, is hooked up to a pump that gives him small amounts of a special formula 22 hours a day because he cannot eat normally). I went to bed at 10:30pm last night and was up at 1 am, 1:45am, 2:55am, 3:15am and 4:35am. And then I got up at 5am this morning. With the 4am wake up call yesterday and long day, I am TIRED.

Here are a couple of bullet points for today - 

- I had a good 12 mile run with Jenny this morning despite being tired. I hadn't seen her for a couple of days and I missed her!

- I am still totally excited and proud of Josh. THANK YOU to all of you who posted congrats and kind comments. I have been passing them all on to him and he really appreciates them.

- I will do a full review tomorrow of his race, with his input and fun pictures tomorrow, but let me just say I could spend all day sitting at a race finish line. I love it!

- I am sorry I didn't post about the giveaway on Friday but it has GROWN and I am waiting another few days to a week to get it all together. Trust me, it will be worth the wait.  I have a SUPER AWESOME GIANT fundraising giveaway coming up. Seriously, I am so touched by the running community and the generosity and support that exists. Trust me people... the prizes for this one are GOOD (just the first three prizes are worth over $100 combined). I am way excited about it and can't wait to share with everyone.

- Only FIVE DAYS until Ragnar Wasatch Back! (Four days until we leave!) Two days of friends and running? YES PLEASE. And I have the most awesome team. I am a proud captain! Team See Moms Run is going to have a blast.

Happy Sunday! I am on my way to church and then am going to enjoy a rainy afternoon home watching movies with my family. Have a great day everyone!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

He is awesome!

Just a super quick post to say that Josh is awesome! He just finished the Teton Dam Marathon in 4:04 and change. Woo hoo! He did a crazy incredibly great job! Pics and report coming soon. Now home to the kids. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

5K race report

This morning, after my 8 mile run and my strength training and my blog post, I remembered that I had to run my Virtual 5K for Autism that I signed up to run for the awesome Alicia. Jenny and I have a 10 miler planned for the morning and then Josh and I are leaving and tomorrow is the last day to get the results to Alicia, so I decided to put my running shoes back on and get it done.

Since it was still SNOWING, I decided to get on the treadmill to run this virtual race. Mental note to me - treadmill running STILL feels much harder than outside running! Here is a cute funny though... when I was heading down to get on the treadmill in my tank and shorts, my seven year old Marcus said in a very concerned tone, "Mom! You DO know that it is freezing out there, right???" I told him not to worry and that I was just going on the treadmill. :)

I set two rules for myself for this race - I was going to start the treadmill at 8.5 (a 6:58 pace), and there would be no slowing down or stopping, only speeding up until I was done. I finished running at a 10.0 (6:00 pace), and finished with a final time of 21:18 (an average 6:52 pace for the 3.1 miles).

Here is my super short race report -

I blasted my IPOD through my treadmill speakers and was on my way.

My thoughts -

Mile 1 - Yee haw! Here we go. Running fast is FUN.

Mile 2 - Oh crap. What have I done. This is fast, I am tired, and I have to maintain this or get faster for quite a while still. I wish I was running outside.

Mile 3 - Thank goodness - only a mile left. I hope I don't throw up on my new(ish) treadmill.

last .1 - Holy cow - I am running really fast. I have never run at 10.0 before on a treadmill (although I have been faster outside). Woo hoo!

21:18 is a new PR.

Josh came down and snapped a few pics while I was running...

Thanks Alicia for hosting this!!! :)