Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dreams and Favorites (and treadmills)

Here are a few more questions and my answers.

I'd love to know, at what point did you realize that running was something you're good at and not just a tool to get in shape?

This is a GREAT question! When I went on my very first run (April 25, 2009!) it was because I was on a journey to lose weight and get healthy. I had been exercising consistently for four months and had lost about 25lbs, and I was bored to tears with the Wii Fit and I was looking to get outside in the sunshine.

So when I went out the front door that morning on that first (pitiful attempt at a) run, it was just another form of exercise - just a new way to burn calories.

As humbling and completely butt-kicking as that first run was (two mile loop - several walk breaks - MUCH harder than I thought it would be!), I was completely hooked. I loved being outside. I loved how my body felt running. I loved how my mind felt when my body was running. I loved that it was such a challenge. I loved how I felt when miraculously, I finally made it back home. Something inside me shifted that day on my very first run. I certainly had no clue I would ever be even remotely good at it, but I knew I would stick with it (and I did!). I knew I was a runner.

When did I realize it was something I was good at? Hmmmmm. That's a good question. I had experiences throughout that early part of the journey that bolstered my confidence and gave me hints that I might be good. Seeing regular progress, realizing I was more committed and determined than most, conquering new distances, setting PRs...

Certainly finishing my first marathon (the Vegas Rock N Roll Marathon in 2010) was a big moment. I had run the entire race, I had felt good throughout the marathon, I had finished strong, I had beat the goal time I had set in my mind, and I knew I wanted to run another one before I even took my Brooks off and got into the ice bath.

But I think for me, the real moment that I realized that running was something I could be good at was when I finished the Salt Lake City Marathon in April 2011. I had set the goal to run a sub-4 hour marathon. I had found a training plan. I had read lots of books and taught myself about speedwork and proper training paces. I worked hard, believed in myself, and ran a 3:57 (cutting 18 minutes off the time I had run just over four months earlier). Reaching that goal was big for me. It helped me believe in myself and my potential. It made me believe that the sky was the limit - that I could set goals and work hard and achieve more than I imagined. Five months later (after more planning and lots of hard training) I ran a 3:28 and qualified for Boston. And four months after that, I dared to dream about running in the Olympic Marathon Trials, and set that as my long-term running goal.

Confidence, goals, dreams - for me they have gone hand in hand. As my confidence has grown I have set goals. As I have reached goals my confidence has grown, and so have my dreams.

Of all the races you have ran, what is your all time favorite, of any distance? 

I totally suck at "favorite questions". Every hoodie I wear is my favorite hoodie. Whatever movie we are watching is my favorite movie. I have 12 favorite kids. :) Don't even ask me to try and pick a favorite song or favorite book or favorite food. It's hopeless.

My favorite race distance, hands down, is the marathon. It has been since the very first one I ran. I love everything about it - every one of the 26.2 miles. There is no other distance I would rather run or be good at. That is one favorite I am sure of.

But my favorite all time race??? Do I go with my first marathon? Disney (because I do love all things Disney)? My first BQ?  My first Boston Marathon? NYC? Pocatello? I could make good arguments for so many of them... They are all my favorite in some way!

Instead, I think I will say that my favorite race of all may be Ragnar. I have run Ragnar Wasatch Back three times now - twice on a team of 12 women, and once on an ultra team of six (three guys, three girls). This year my ultra team will be at it again in June. I love Ragnar. Someone said it was like Woodstock for runners and it's true! It's like an overnight running party. I love spending so much time around other runners (your team and the other teams). I love the spirit of fun and support. I love all the running!

I also love the small, home town 5k's that I get to run with my kids with lots of friends and neighbors running and cheering, and don't have to travel for...

And as far as best event, best course, best organization, best people - my favorite is the Star Valley Half Marathon. (Seriously, come run this. You will LOVE it and you can hang out with me and my crew!)

See?!?! I told you I stink at favorite questions. :)

can you please tell me what you do to keep you occupied on your treadmill for long runs and what kind of treadmill do you have at your house??

When I do long runs outside I don't need music or anything. But when I am on the treadmill, especially for long runs (and I have done 22 and 23 milers on multiple occasions), I do need to entertain myself. I have listened to quite a few audio books on my IPOD (this winter I have listened to the Hunger Games series, several running books and the first of the Game of Thrones books) and I also watch shows on Netflix on my laptop. My oldest son talked me into watching the first season of the Walking Dead earlier this month, and this week I have watched almost all of the first season of Mad Men and I am really liking it.

My treadmill is the NordicTrack T9ci and I bought it in January 2011. I don't use it all from April through October, but it gets A LOT of mileage November through March. I have done two 100 mile weeks and many 90 mile weeks on it. I have been very happy with it. It has always been very reliable and is smoother than the treadmills at our gym (which I occasionally run on with a friend). I love the built in fan and speakers. It is not super fancy, but has performed well for me. I did buy the extended warranty and they come out and service it once a year for preventative maintenance and anything that needs to be fixed is covered. (I just needed a new walking belt for example). When they come to service it they change the motor belt, lube the walking belt, check the calibration (to make sure the speed is accurate), etc. Their customer service has always been excellent for me (and no, I am not sponsored by them in anyway and paid full price for my treadmill).

I am not a treadmill lover, and would 1 MILLION times prefer to run outside, but I am very grateful for my treadmill and that in the ridiculously cold and very icy winters up here in the Wyoming mountains, I can still train at intensity in the early morning hours.

That's all for now! More soon! :)


Mallory said...

This post made me incredibly happy to read. I love reading about each runner's journey. One day when we have a house, I absolutely want a treadmill. Like you, I prefer to run outside but sometimes it's just much safer to run indoors.

Heather said...

Great post! I'm watching Mad Men during my treadmill runs too, it's addicting! :) I love what you said about setting goals and reaching them and how encouraging that was for you!

Annet said...

A show you might want to try next is Being Erica, it's a Canadian show but other than set in Toronto and I watched one episode and then had to watch them all. It's on the Canadian netflix, so it should be on the American one too I guess. Plus I like when I know shows are finished, so I can watch knowing it ends!
With our big dump of snow and very cold winds, I can't run outside. Wishing for a treadmill...

Christina Williams said...

Your NordicTrack has a built in fan?!?! How did I miss that model! :) I love our NordicTrack too. We bought it in 2010 and both my hubby and I log quite a bit of miles on it and it is still going strong (although I am sure it needs to be serviced). I mainly use it in the summer when it turns 100 degrees here and I have my kiddo out of school and now in the winter when there is too much ice/snow out. Other than that, I too try to run only outside. It is so much more preferable! I got the Kindle Fire HD 7 recently as part of my Christmas gifts and am liking it for the mill, lots of options with watching Netflix, books, and still music :)

coach dion said...

I don't do treadmills, but I live in Cape Town and it's never to hot or to cold, and when the rain comes in I head to the mountain to see just how bad it is...

I'm a dreamer and wish my body had a little less miles on it, with 57000+miles logged I need a proper break, but I have to many races to run, and I'll go mad it I don't run.

e said...

I love reading your story and your journey, thank you for sharing it again!

Also - I highly recommend all of the Game of Thrones books to listen to - the third is my current favourite, and I hope George R. R. Martin is getting cracking on the 6th! :)

Kylene said...

I have been eyeing the Star Valley half for a few months now. We go there a few times every year and I love that place. It's good to hear you recommend it. Thanks for your inspiration. I am feeling the winter running blues and it's all I can do to get myself on that treadmill these days. I'll have to go download some good audio books and get my bootie back in gear. Good Luck with your training!

Annie Crow said...

I remember sometime in my first couple of months of running (15 years ago) having the thought, "if I go slowly, I can run forever" and how happy that made me.

And now I am so much faster than I ever thought I would be (and getting faster still).

It's such a gift, this love of running.

tina said...

I love running outside too but there are a lot of local news lately with safety issues around the time that I do run. My husband is worried so the next best thing is the solution.

The livestrong seems to be the ideal treadmill for my needs base off of

Have you had any experiences with this brand?