Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Draper Trail Days Race and a local 5K

This weekend was so much fun.  It was busy but I loved every minute of it.  I feel like I recovered better from this marathon than any other.  Wednesday morning I woke up feeling really good.  All the soreness was pretty much gone so I took off on a 15 mile bike ride.  I had to do it fast now that kindergarten is out and my workout time is limited.  I did the same thing Thursday morning and finally lifted again Friday morning.  It seems like it's been a long time since I've gotten a really good weight session in.  Then Friday night I did a local 5K to benefit a lady who has leukemia.  I went in with the attitude of just taking it easy and having it be a shake out run, but halfway in I was feeling good and Heather and I picked up the pace a little and finished strong.  25:30.  Not a PR, but I felt like it was a good time and a good effort.

So glad to be running with my bud again!

All the friends from our neighborhood that showed up to support her.
Jodi, Mike, Rob, Heather, me, Tim, Cheryl, and Heather 

We'd never make it as Rockettes!

The next morning, bright and early I met my brother, Tom for a trail run.  He was doing the 10 mile and I decided to do the 7 mile.  I debated doing the 4 miler since it was one week after the marathon but thought if I took it slow, I'd be o.k.

One of the best parts was that I got to meet up with Josh, Susette and Julia, all blog buddies to run with them as well.

I love this girl.  She is wise beyond her years and is planning on running a 50 mile trail race this fall!

It was really congested at the beginning of the race.  Beautiful single track and with all the races starting at the same time, it didn't thin out for a while.  My brother, (mr. speedy) took off and we settled into a nice pace.  The trail went up and up and up but it was gradual and the trail was nice dirt with a lot less rocks than I'm used to.  We took a slight detour and saw Ghost Falls.  The weather was perfect with it being overcast and in the high 50's.

Before I knew it we were at the point where we had to part ways.  I was feeling so good that I thought about going on with the group on the 15 mile run, but my head told me that I needed to be smart and take it easy.  That decision was the hardest part of the whole race.  I knew that my climbing was done and the rest was downhill and I was sad.

This is where we parted ways

My best pouty face

So sad to leave my buddies

The after sweaty picture

 The rest of the race was short.  I made it back to the finish line one minute after my brother finished his 10 mile run.  He did awesome and it was so great to see him.  We ate our bread, drank our drinks and said goodbye.

It was such a great weekend.  I wasn't sore and knew that I could have done the 15 miler or this one faster, but am proud of myself for playing it smart.  I was happy with my pacing as well.  It was a great race, one that I'd love to do every year.  It was marked well, even though I almost took a wrong turn a few times because I was busy talking to Julia.  Good thing there are other runners out there that were paying attention to us and directed us to the right trail.

Julia talks in her post about her reason for loving the trails.  I can understand exactly what she's talking about.  I love being in the mountains, in God's creations and experiencing them in a way I never would take the time to do otherwise.  The best way that I can explain how I feel about the trails vs. the road is to compare it to music.  Road running to me is like rap music.  I like some rap music.  I get in the mood for rap music sometimes.  It has a steady beat, it's loud and aggressive.  Running on the road is great for when you want to just run and zone out.  It's great for setting a new PR.  Trail running seems more like a symphony to me.  The rocks and obstacles are like the strings.  Add in a stream to jump over and hills and the scenery and it's like the horns and percussion instruments are added.  The tempo constantly changes, the intensity has crescendos and the variety of it all is what makes it interesting and beautiful.  It lures you in and can carry you away.  The trails do that to me.  It feels more like a dance rather than just pounding out the miles.  And even though I can't explain it very well, I can't get enough of them.

How do you feel about the trails vs. the roads?  Which do you like better and why?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

marathon photos

I don't usually like the photos that get taken of me.  Especially during a marathon.  These ones however are not too bad.  I still don't know if they're $62.00 good, but still...  I look happy.  And I really was.  I could feel myself smiling almost the whole way.  Yes, I hurt towards the end, but I was so glad to be there and so grateful just to be running that it made everything else o.k.  Us runners are a weird lot.  We look for pain.  We like to be uncomfortable.  But only because we've seen the results.  We have felt the accomplishment before and we know what's in store for us after the pain.  
Here's my frustration: this marathon was not my worst time.  It wasn't my best, but it was pretty normal for me.  And I didn't train.  The only consolation I have is that I enjoy the training.  I like the long miles.  But I wonder if I really need them.  Maybe it's because I've done a few marathons but I really wonder if all the training beforehand does more damage to me than just one day of stressing my body.  Just wondering out loud.  Feel free to chime in if you have a strong opinion on the subject

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ogden Marathon 2012- #8

A couple of weeks ago I started seriously thinking about running the Ogden Marathon.  I kept thinking of my name on the list with a big DNS next to it.  You all know how I relate running to life and I just kept thinking that I did not want a Did Not Start to be on my record of life.  I'd rather have a Did Not Finish, where at least I could say I tried.  Rationally, I know I should not have even attempted.  Or I should have just done the half.  Since the stress fracture this winter my training has been minimal.  I've been cautious.  I've been good.  And because of that I worked up to a 6 miler, a 6.5 miler, a 9.5 miler, an 8 miler, and a 10 miler on the weekends.  My other 2 or 3 runs during the week were not over 5 miles.  Granted, a lot of miles have been done on trails which I think are harder than normal miles, but still...this was not even close to adequate marathon training.  Still my heart has really tender feelings for the Ogden Marathon and I did not want to miss out.

I started making plans for how I could run it.  I promised myself that if I felt ANY ankle pain at all, I would immediately quit and get a ride down to the finish line.  I promised myself that I couldn't have ANY expectations of even finishing and that I would have to be o.k .with that.  I told myself that it was going to just be fun to run with a bunch of other people in a beautiful part of the world. I knew I was going to hurt.  Marathons just do that to you.  But I didn't want to miss out on that hurt.

Two days before the marathon I got this quote in an e-mail, "Your mind will quit a thousand times before your body will.  Feel the fear and do it anyway."  I thought it was perfect and knew that it would be my mantra going into this run.  Kind of like "Embrace the Suck".

I woke up marathon morning seeing that finish line.  I wanted it.  I kept telling myself that it might not happen but the part of me that was o.k. with not finishing was slipping.  I really just wanted to finish.  I still was firm in my mind that if I had any pain that felt like an injury I would stop.  But nothing else was going to keep me from that finish line, no matter how long it took me.

I had lots of little gifts along the way.  First, I met up with Mel, who bought her bib the night before and was using it as her last 20 mile training run before Utah Valley.  I didn't know if I would see her in that sea of people, but saw her as soon as I crossed the street to load on the busses.  I got to ride up with her and chat the whole way.  I got to stand by the fires with her and stand in the portapotty lines with her.  It was such a blessing to have a buddy.

It was in the 30's- very chilly.  There was frost on the ground and there was a fog over the river.
Despite the cold, it was beautiful.

I got to see Ashley around the fire pits as well and it was a welcome sight!  It was also nice not to be really nervous.

The next huge gift was that Mel and I got to run together.  She is a speedy bunny and so we don't get to run together very often.  But since she had already put in a lot of miles during the week, she was o.k. with hanging with me for a bit.  It ended up being until mile 18.  What a huge blessing.  I can't even say how great it was running with a friend, getting to know her better, and having a partner for that long.

I had one real goal going into the run.  I wan't to run up the hill at mile 14.  The first two years I ran this marathon I walked at least a part of it.  Last year I walked with someone else who needed to walk.  This year, I wanted to conquer that hill for me.  And I did.  And it felt SO good.  After that point stopping would have almost been o.k.  Almost.

Next gift, my body was doing great.  I was careful to take it easy from the beginning.  I was slightly concerned about my right rear end.  I strained it doing handstands on the front lawn with the kids earlier in the week and it was just working itself out.  I was worried that after all those miles it would tighten up again.  While it did a bit, I was able to stretch it out a couple of times and it was good.  The calves started to cramp just a bit around mile 20 or so but a quick walking break seemed to help.  The worst thing I suffered with was a side ache that would never completely go away. It moved from side to side, up and down, but bugged me off and on throughout the race.  I'm still sore from that today and my abs will cramp if I get into the wrong position.  Crazy.

Another gift was talking with an amputee about his accident and the marathons he has run since then.  He was inspirational and our conversation came during the last mile.

After Mel and I separated at mile 18, I knew I was going to finish.  And I did.  5 hours and 5 minutes.  And though I didn't have anyone at the finish line for me, by a little tender mercy, there was Ashley and her family.  I got to sit with them and eat ice cream and drink chocolate milk on the grass.  It was a beautiful day.  A good day to be alive.  

 I'm still pretty sore today but I love it.  More pictures and lessons learned and frustrations to vent, later on in the week!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fly With the Flock 5K

 As a last minute decision, I ran a 5K in Ogden last Saturday.  I had been looking for a small race to do as an "I'm back to running!" thing and this seemed perfect.  It was all on trails and was beautiful.  I still don't know my time because there was a mix up with the chips.  They were supposed to be posted on Monday and I have a feeling they're just not going to get it figured out.  Makes me wish I would have turned on my phone app and tracked myself.  Oh well, I am back to running and it felt so good!  I ran fast enough the whole time to feel out of breath and like I was really pushing myself as hard as I could on the terrain.  I did roll my bad ankle once and it hurt for a couple of minutes but then worked itself out and was fine the rest of the time.  But nothing like pain to freak a post injury person out for a while.

Jodi, Julie, and me.  The 3 "J's"
Any race would be worth that breakfast.

It was perfect weather and the best part was the breakfast afterwards.  Maybe someday I'll have pictures and a result to share!

Addendum:  Time: 26:36  2nd in my age group 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tour de Cure Training and Life Lessons

My training for the Tour de Cure bike ride was going really well... that is until I could run again.  Now that I'm back to normal running, it's hard to get myself on the bike.  However, it's for a great cause and I've already signed up, SO I guess I better get my rear back in gear to be able to finish this thing.  And the Tour de Cure button on the right side will take you to the donate page.  If you can, please help me out!

It started out great.  The bulk of my training was done on my trainer in my basement.  I rode for an hour and a half the first time.  Then an hour and 45 minutes.  Then 2 hours.  Then 2 hours 20 minutes.  Then 2 and a half hours and finally 3 hours on my bike.  I was getting used to sitting on the seat without my butt completely hurting for the rest of the day and it was working.  I was also attending 2 spin classes a week that I feel like have really helped me keep my cardio up during my injury.  

I rigged up the iPad so the I could watch the Biggest Loser without disturbing my family early int the morning. 

Since it's been nice outside I've put away the trainer for the year and have been enjoying the wind in my face.  Literally. I've forgotten how every time you ride it seems there's wind.  I'd like to say it's because I'm so fast but that's just not the case.  It always baffles me how it seems like there's wind against me both ways even when the trees or bushes or weeds aren't moving one bit!
I went out with the bike club a couple of Saturdays ago.  That morning it was visibly windy and was predicted to only get worse as the day wore on.  I've never ridden with a crowd.  It was a learning experience as to the hand signals and drafting principals.  But we rode 36 miles that day, a new record for me.
If you've read my blog for a while, you know how I love life lessons that are learned through running.  Who knew that I could learn them while riding as well?!!  I learned a great one that day that I've carried with me close to my heart since then.  Even explaining it doesn't do it the justice that the feeling that accompanies it deserves.  It's deep and personal and I hope I can impart some of that feeling to you.
When drafting on a bike, whether directly behind or to the side, the object is to have the front person block the wind a little bit and make the effort easier while maintaining your same or slightly faster speed.  On this particular day we were dealing with a steady crosswind and so we were lined up slightly staggered on the road.  There is a sweet spot when drafting.  You have to work hard to get close to the bike in front of you.  Almost scary close.  And then you feel it.  An immediate sense of relief.  The effort is instantly easier.  You legs and lungs get a reprieve.  You still have to work.  You can't slack off or you'll get out of that sweet spot and have to work hard to get it back.  But if you maintain that effort, the speed is faster, the effort is not unbearable, and you are able to go farther and faster than you could on your own.
After we got home, in fact several days later, I was thinking about that principal.  It is easily relatable in lots of situations.  When we have hard times in our lives- when the wind is blowing against us- it gets hard to keep going at the same speed.  We start to tire, to wear ourselves out trying to keep up with it all.  But we all have people that are there willing to break the wind for us, to help us keep going.  Whether it is a friend who's willing to listen, or a spouse who picks up the slack for us, or a blogging buddy who leaves an awesome comment; we all have people around us to help us through those hard times.  And even when we think we're alone, we're not.  I know that the Savior Jesus Christ is there to help us through.  He is willing to shield us from the storms of life.  We have to do our part to get close to him, but he's willing to go any speed we need to keep us in that sweet spot.  Unlike our friends and even our family, he never asks us to take a turn at the head of line.  He's always there to pull us through. And there IS a tangible sense of being pulled when you're drafting.  Sometimes we don't realize that we've been drafting with the Lord until the wind stops blowing.  I hope through these little life lessons I am learning to be more grateful and more aware of the times that He is helping me.  And I hope that I can be a good drafting partner to my friends and family, that I can help them through the storms of life as well.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Catch Up Again...

The first transatlantic telegraph cable was made of 340,500 miles of copper and iron wire designed to stretch 2,876.95 miles along the ocean floor.  Once the cable was in place you could use electrical impulses and signal code to send any message you wanted to the other side of the world.  Human beings are hard wired with the impulse to share our ideas and the desire to know we’ve been heard.  It’s all part of our need for community.  That’s why we’re constantly sending out signals and signs.  And why we look for them from other people.  We’re always waiting for messages, hoping for connection.  And if we haven’t received a message, that doesn’t always mean it hasn’t been sent to us, sometimes it means we haven’t listened hard enough.   -Fox's new series "Touch"

I loved this quote that started one of my new favorite shows.  I thought that it perfectly sums up why we blog.  Why we connect to people we've never met. How we can find things in common with people across the world and why it's so addicting.  With my injury came a change of schedule for me and with that change came less time for blogging.  And even though I'm back to my normal schedule for the most part, I've gotten out of the habit of sitting down and recording my thoughts and feelings and activities and most importantly, I've really missed out reading and connecting with some of my favorite people.  That little quote got me thinking about why I do this.  Is it really worth the time that it takes.  And I have concluded that it is.  So I'm going to try to get back into this sharing of ideas and thoughts and learning from you.  I really have met some of the greatest people through this little blog and wouldn't trade that for the world.  

With that said, here's a little catch up!  I'm pretty much back to normal.  I got to run 9.5 miles of trail with my brother a couple of weekends ago.  It was hard and so good.  And last weekend I got to run with Heather and Mel for 8 miles.  I've gotten to run with my husband and my daughter as well.  I also have gotten to do a couple of speed workouts.  I didn't do any all last year because I was still working on my form.  It felt so good to be out of breath and feeling like puking.  My ankle seems to be just fine and I don't even think about it most of the time.  I've even had a few crazy thoughts of running the marathon even though I haven't trained at all, and just having fun with it.  But then I come back to my senses and realize that I'd really be hurting and could even possibly put my summer running at risk.  So I push it out of my mind...most of the time. 

 To compensate for the marathon I signed up for a bike race.  It's the Tour de Cure that benefits the American Diabetes Association.  I signed up for the 60 miler only because I don't have a real road bike (just a hybrid) and didn't think I could do the 100 miler as quickly.  I knew that I could do the 25 miler already and wanted somewhat of a challenge so the 60 miler was all that was left.  I have fundraising to do.  And the cause is very personal to me.  My husband has type 1 diabetes.  He found out as a 20 year old young man and has been dealing with it ever since.  Our goal has been to keep him healthy so that when they find a cure, he will be eligible to receive it.  He does so good.  He takes 3-4 shots a day of insulin and checks his blood sugar levels many more times than that a day.  We have had rocky times.  We have had scares in the middle of the night.  Exercise is a challenge to figure out just how much insulin to take and stress plays a bigger role in his blood sugar levels than I would ever imagine.  He was told 20 years ago that there would be a cure in his lifetime.  I believe there will be and hopefully by my participating in this event I can make a small contribution.  If you want to help contribute to this cause, I will have a button in the upper left corner installed shortly.  Any small amount would be appreciated.

Things have also been busy at home.  We've got the garden on it's way for the year with a few more things to add this weekend. 

We got new baby chickens and have been watching them grow.  

And we got bees a couple of weeks ago.  It's been quite the learning adventure thus far and I'm sure that over the summer we will learn a lot more.  

removing the sugar water to get to the queen.

dumping 10,000 bees into their new home.

checking a couple days later to make sure the queen got out and was still in the hive.

What the finished bee boxes will look like when all the layers are added in the summer.

We've also been working on the backyard.  I've made it my job to do the rock terracing walls.  I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.  The steps were the trickiest part.  Now that all that heavy lifting is done I can get back to my regularly scheduled weight work outs.  The yard work really was interfering with them leaving me sore on days I didn't want to be sore.  

So now that you're all caught back up with me, it's time I get caught back up with you.  
What have I missed?
Has something big happened that you want to tell me about?!!