Friday, September 30, 2011


Because the weekend is coming up, I figured I would give you a boost by showing you how normal you are.  Now for a round of confessions...

I hate the treadmill.  Did you already know this about me?  I ran 3 miles on one today at just over an 8 minute pace, and I will swear to you, I would rather run a full marathon.  Treadmills are BRUTAL.

My diet has gone down the toilet since the marathon.

I sing "Yankee Doodle" to myself while I wash my face.  It's true.  I've done it for YEARS.

My farts are infinitely louder than my husbands.  Oh my gosh.  I can't believe I just told you that.

My husband hates the word "fart".

I've had wheat thins and cheese for lunch 3 times this week.

I desperately wish I were running the St. George Marathon this week with so many of my running friends.  Kill it guys!!!

I can't believe I got married when I was 19.  I was such a baby!!!!!!!

I had dessert before dinner (Yogurtland with the blogger girls), and Crème Brûlée Cheesecake (Zupas with my best gal pals in this entire universe) after dinner.  I live a tough life, don't I?

Girls you might get "CHICKED" by- Rachelle, Julia, Janae, Ashley, Amy, Terra, and me.
My best friends!  Kalie, Erin, me and Whit
And now it's your turn.  Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thinking about running a marathon?

Be prepared to commit.  To your training schedule.  To your long runs.
And to painting your toenails.
I bet you were hoping to see a giant picture of ugly runner feet today.  You're welcome!
I can honestly say that, for me, this is the biggest pain in the butt about being a marathon runner.  I HATE painting my toes.  In fact, I'm going to have to head to the store to buy some toenail polish just to cover up these bad boys.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Well, I got this in my e-mail yesterday:

Dear Amylee:

Thank you for submitting your application for entry into the 2012 Boston Marathon. Regrettably, we are unable to accept your application due to field size limitations and the large number of applications we received from qualified runners.

Name of ApplicantGenderAge on
Qualifying Time
Amylee NicollF273:39:07

Entries from applicants in your age group were accepted through and including the time 3:38:46. 

 So, I missed running in the 2012 Boston Marathon by 21 seconds.  21 seconds in a 3 hour and 40 minute race is NOTHING.  I was sad.  I may or may not have shed a few tears, but I quickly got over it.

  • I know I'm good enough to be there.
  • I ran a BQ on my first marathon ever- How cool is that?!
  • I know I can do it again.
  • I have a new challenge and a new goal.
  • When the time rolls around to qualify and run in that race again, there's a better chance I can bring my husband, Dallas, with me- because if I went next year it wouldn't be feasible.
  • Piggyback on the previous reason- we will be in a better place financially to do so.  (Hubby in school full time and working part time = teeny tiny savings account and essentially traveling to Boston on student loans.  Bad idea).
I believe that it is important to look for the positive.  Although I had my sights set on Boston, I still had a hugely successful marathon experience and I'm not going to let this dampen my spirits.

Instead, I'll just run the Ogden Marathon.  Haven't you heard?  The Ogden, UT Marathon is the new Boston.

Who's with me?! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Mountains are on Fire

Updates to the family blog!  {Sweet Baby John} and {Big 5}

Fall is in full swing which means I love where I live even more than I usually do- and that's saying something.  The views on my runs lately have been spectacular.  I love that I'm done with the marathon so I can slow down and enjoy myself out there.  The sunset picture I took last Thursday, and these others I took this morning.

Stunning, yes?  Want to go for a run with me?

What does it look like in your neck of the woods?  I want to see!  I challenge everyone to post some pictures on your blog so we can all see what you're enjoying out there these days.

Friday, September 23, 2011

All Business

This post is the recipe for how I ran a marathon in 3:39.  I'm going to break it down by mile- so that's a lot of boring stuff to read considering the race was over 26 of those!  Maybe it will help just ONE PERSON.  If it does, then it's worth it.

First off, I think it's important to pick a realistic goal for you.  I trained for a 3:30 marathon, but I only achieved 3:39.  Am I happy?  You betcha!  I really wanted to run under 3:40, and I knew that training a little harder would get me there.  If you are wondering what a good goal is for you, I would suggest checking out the McMillan Pace Calculator.

One tip I heard is that a marathon pace should be 1 minute longer than your 5K pace/mile, 45 seconds longer than your 10K pace/mile, and 30 seconds longer than your half marathon pace/mile.  If you look at my PR's, that was exactly true for me for my first marathon.  For example, my Half Marathon PR is 7:46/mile, so I could realistically run a marathon with an 8:16/mile pace.

Second of all- you have to run smart.  A marathon is a whole different beast than a 5K, 10K, or even a half marathon.  You do not want to burn out when you still have 6 miles left to go- it's tough enough as it is.  Top of Utah was unique in that it wasn't the best idea to run a "negative split" (which means running the last half of the race faster than the first half); most other marathons (and races!) you want to be able to achieve the goal of a negative split.  I think it's very smart to hold yourself back for the first 18 miles- or even 20!  I can't tell you what a huge boost it was to know that I was at mile 22 and I still felt great.  I didn't experience the "marathon death shuffle" at all and I credit that to running smart.

That being said, here are the splits:

Mile 1: 8:05 pace

Mile 2: 7:59 pace

Mile 3: 7:59 pace- drank powerade at the water stop

Mile 4: 8:08 pace

Mile 5: 8:02 pace- drank powerade at the water stop

Mile 6: 8:07 pace- ate 1/2 granola bar.  I had a hard time swallowing it while I was running.

Mile 7: 8:12 pace- drank powerade at the water stop

Mile 8: 7:50 pace

Mile 9: 8:02- drank powerade at the water stop

Mile 10: 8:19 pace

Mile 11: 7:59- drank powerade at the water stop

Mile 12: 8:01- ate some shot blocks.  I had an easier time swallowing these when I was running but I accidentally dropped one

Mile 13: 8:05- drank water at the water stop.

Mile 14: 8:15 pace

Mile 15: 7:59- drank powerade at the water stop

Mile 16: 8:17 pace

Mile 17: 8:20- drank powerade at the water stop a

Mile 18: 8:19 pace- I kicked it into gear and passed the pacers at this point.  Looking at my splits I can definitely tell that it was "maximum effort" and not "maximum speed".  I was slower than I thought!  I can't imagine how slow I would have been at this point if I hadn't run conservatively at the beginning.

Mile 19: 8:00 pace-  I ate a GU and drank water at the aid station.  Rachelle told me to GU before I felt like I needed to, and I'm so glad I did!

Mile 20: 8:38 pace

Mile 21:  8:24- drank powerade at the water stop and tried to eat a banana but ended up dropping it!

Mile 22:  8:35

Mile 23:  8:49- drank powerade at the aid station

Mile 24: 9:06- Oh no!  The pacers caught up to me!  Maybe it would have been better if I had stuck with the pacers until the last couple of miles???  Or the entire time?  I guess what I'm saying here is THE PACERS ARE A VERY, VERY GOOD THING.  I highly suggest using them.

Mile 25: 8:24- I didn't stop at the aid station because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to start running again!  No lie.  I felt totally hydrated and fueled because I didn't run through a single water stop prior to this.

Mile 26: 8:50 pace (Woah!  As Kara Goucher says, "When you think you're keeping pace, you're actually slowing down.")

Final .56:  7:37 pace- had enough kick at the end to finish strong.

The main tips are:
  • Use a pace group.
  • Don't pass on the water stops in the beginning.  (If you feel like you think you need to fuel or drink, then it is already too late!)
  • Don't push really hard until mile 18- or even later.
  • Pick a reasonable goal for you.  If it's your first marathon, don't put too much time pressure on yourself.  More than anything, you want to enjoy this accomplishment!
Add tips in the comments so anxious marathoners (like I was!) can learn from YOU!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Because my brain is still on burn out from my race on Saturday, I felt like another round of confessions was in order...

I made those same butterscotch brownies on Sunday night that I had made the week before and, you guessed it, I ate the entire pan all by myself.  AGAIN.

Well, that's a lie- I shared one tiny piece with Dallas.

Like many of you, I wish I never had to shower or get ready ever again.

When my kids are taking naps I almost never do anything productive.  Most of the time I sit on my couch and blog or watch TV shows on Hulu.

I used to watch "A Baby Story" on TLC every single day.

I think my kids are cuter than yours.

I work as a preschool teacher, but I would much prefer working with teenagers.

Speaking of teenagers- I'm doing Shakespeare workshops right now at my old high school.  Some of the students thought I was only 21.  I thought- 'how nice!'  But then I realized they probably noticed my pubescent acne and couldn't possibly have thought that I had actually graduated 10 years ago.

Sometimes I hate eating healthy.  Just give me some mac and cheese and get out of my way!!!

I do my best to nap every. single. day.

It's your turn!!!!  Spill your guts.  I promise you'll feel better.

Monday, September 19, 2011

2011 Top of Utah Marathon

Brace yourselves- I don't want to forget anything so this post is pretty detailed.
Hey look!  I'm running a marathon!!!

Where do I even begin?  I'm flooded with emotion as I think about my marathon on Saturday.  It was grueling at times (although, not nearly as much as I thought it would be), exciting, joyful, and ultimately very fulfilling.  I am once again at a loss of words to accurately describe the event!

In the early morning hours before the race I was awake in my bed listening to the rain splatter against the windows.  I just kept thinking 8:15, 8:15, 8:15 over and over and over again in my head. I wasn't certain how my body would feel and I was hoping that by keeping it easy I would feel good by the end.

FINALLY it was 4 AM. Mindy and I got up to shower before the race.  I thought my nerves were under control until I put on my mascara- my hand was shaking like a leaf!  I had plenty of time to stretch a little, dress, and eat a bowl of oatmeal before heading out the door.

Mindy and I met up with Darcy at the start.  We just started walking towards the bus and before I knew it we were boarding!  The ride up was pretty peaceful.  After getting to the shuttles my nerves calmed down and I just kept thinking about how great my 23 mile run felt and I was excited to get the race started so I could have that feeling again.

We got to the start and got in the long line to use the port-a-potty.  Was it just me and my bursting bladder, or did anyone else feel like the line was soooo loooong?!  When I was in the potty the rain came- but never fear, I was prepared!  I pulled my poncho out of my pocket to open it.  I thought, 'I should close the lid so my poncho doesn't fall in there.' But, you guessed it, I didn't, and you guessed it again, I tore open the wrapper and my poncho flew right into the toilet!!!  So much for that idea.

At the start- huddling together to stay warm.
By the time we finished at the port-a-potties it was time to get to the start.  We took off our warm clothes, dropped our bags in the school bus windows, and lined up next to the 3:40 pacer.  We tried to stretch, but there wasn't room- and then it started pouring!!!  We ran into the heat tent to keep our clothes relatively dry, and when we were in there that is when we heard the start gun for the hand cyclists.  Rain or not, we had to get ready!  We lined back up by the 3:40 pacers and next thing I knew the gun was off and we were trotting along!

Darcy and I stayed by each other for the first 6 miles of the race.  The pacers ended up getting a little ahead of us because we had a hard time making it through the crowd, but our pace was well below a 3:40 marathon so I wasn't worried.  Those first 6 miles flew by!  My body was feeling great for the most part, and I just focused on light and easy steps.  I could feel every one's prayers during this time.  I felt so blessed by my Father in Heaven to be able to be running.

It was so easy to pace myself when I knew I just had to stick with the people with the yellow balloons.  It was awesome to have a visual of my goal staring me in the face.  After mile 6 Darcy and I started to settle into our own pace and I pulled a little bit ahead of her.  I wished I could run with her for the whole race, but I knew that a marathon was a solo event (running together is what a Ragnar is for!).

During mile 7 the clouds broke!  It started pouring rain, and then it started hailing.  Hail!  Really?  I wanted to yell out 'This is so awesome!' but I'm pretty sure everyone else would think I was nuts.  Maybe I was.  All I know is nothing could break my stride. I also noticed that between miles 7 and 8 there was a discrepancy between my Garmin and their mile markers.  Somehow it was off by three tenths of a mile within those 2 miles- before that they were all pretty much right on.  I started asking some other runners, and they noticed that they were off, too. 
I was so excited by the time I hit halfway because I knew that I was feeling good and that I probably wouldn't have any problems with my IT Band.  The canyon was the perfect downhill grade.  It wasn't so downhill that my legs felt beat up at all- it was just nice and slight so that I didn't feel like I had to work so hard.  I was right with the pacers at this point and was itching to move past them, but I didn't!  So proud of myself for not pushing too hard too soon in the game.

Mile 17 and pumped up!!!

Miles 14-20 were my favorite of the race.  I felt so great and having the family and friend support was fantastic.  The biggest problem were my tight and painful calves, and the blisters on my heels.  I tried to stop at miles 17 and 19 for band aids at the aid station, but they didn't have any!!!  My friends Kalie, Erin and Whitney surprised me by coming up to cheer for me and they gave me the biggest boost!  I wasn't expecting them and I got very emotional when I saw them.  My husband, kids, and brother in law Beau were also there at miles 17 and 19- I was super excited and still feeling great.  When I saw my friends is when I finally let myself pass the pacers.
Mile 18- Can you tell I'm emotional
Mile 19- I think I have the same face every time I see my family :)
I stopped to have my calves sprayed with icy hot at mile 23.  They were so painful at this point.  I noticed my bloody ankles from my blisters, but I was so grateful that I couldn't really feel them.  I guess the pain from my calves was bad enough that it blocked the rest of the pain out from other places.  I suppose that is a good thing?!

Then the goin' got tough.  I felt great until mile 23 and then after that I just kept trucking along.  I still had a big smile on my face, but I was definitely feeling it.  I pushed through and I was proud of myself.  Typically at the end of a race I get passed a lot because I gas out too soon- this time I was the one doing some passing!  I never got passed until about the last mile of the race.  I knew I had paced myself perfectly when I was in the last 3 miles.

Seeing my friends and family at the finish was surreal.  As I crossed the finish I saw on the big clock that I was coming in under Boston Qualifying time by a hair- 3:39 and some change for seconds.  I. DID. IT.  It all sunk in and then I couldn't stop crying.

I pushed through hail, rain, bleeding blisters for 10 miles, tight painful calves, an injury before race day, and I was able to pull a Boston Qualifying marathon!!!!!!!!!!!!

I owe it all to an incredible Physical Therapist, great advice from Rachelle after learning so much from mistakes she made during her first marathon, and those awesome pacers and sticking to my plan.

My official time ended up being 3:39:07 for the 26.56 miles that I clocked on my Garmin.  Know what makes me even happier though?  I looked at my time on my Garmin when I hit 26.2 miles, and my time was 3:36:39.  I was 10th in my age division!  My average pace was 8:15/mile- just like I had been envisioning.
Possibly one of my favorite pictures of all time.  Dallas is my number one fan and I know I couldn't do any of this without his support.

Darcy had quite a few troubles- a bruised and very painful foot, soaking clothes that chafed her to hamburger, and a cold.  She pushed through and finished in 4 hours exactly.
Darcy at the finish- smiling in spite of everything!

Mindy- the crazy girl hat decided to sign up to run a marathon only 5 weeks before the race- finished with a time of 4:17.  For a girl that had NO DESIRE to ever run a marathon, she rocked it!!!!  She says she will never do one again.  We'll see...  :)
Mindy is amazing!  I love this girl.

Marathoners!!!  Mindy, Me and Darcy
The texts and messages from people all day were so awesome.  Thank you to everyone for your support and excitement.  I'm so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family!

Will always thinks I win because I walk away with a medal :)
Erin, Kalie, Me and Whit- these are the best friends a girl could ever have.
What would you count as your PR time if the distance was off in a race- your Garmin, or the official time?
Part of me wants to say my Garmin time because it is better, but official time is probably the right one to use.  Plus then I might have an easier time of beating it during my next marathon :).

Are you thinking about running a marathon?
If it's even on the radar, I say you should do it!  It's an experience that you can be proud of for a lifetime.

How long should you rest after a marathon?
I'm itching to start running again!  I want to wait at least a week, but I don't know if I can last that long.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I'm utterly exhausted.  I don't have the brain power to do my marathon recap tonight, but I couldn't leave you hanging for the rest of the weekend either.  This race experience was unmatched.  I ran the Top of Utah Marathon in 3:39:07 and qualified for the 2012 Boston Marathon by the skin of my teeth.  I loved it!  I can't wait to do it again.  Look for the full recap sometime on Monday.

Friday, September 16, 2011


"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves.  It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go.  It helps us to find out what we are made of.  This is what we do.  This is what it's all about."
-PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

The jitters have been eating me alive over the last week.  Dreams are filled with a marathon that never ends, a marathon that I just decided not to do, and a marathon running up a mountain.  Needless to say, my sleep isn't very restful when it's filled with running marathons.  Thanks to Cory for sending me this incredible article about the jitters.  It gave me confidence and hope- both of which I have been lacking over the last week and a half.

I'm running a marathon tomorrow.

It's finally sinking in, and I can honestly say that I am SO EXCITED for this experience!  Right now I feel kind of like I did before I had my first baby;  I don't know what to expect.  I know the process is going to be hard.  I know I'm going to feel pain.  But I also know that it will be one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had.
Happy:  Finish a marathon.
Excited:  Run a marathon in under 4 hours.
Ecstatic:  Run a marathon in under 3:40- my current Boston Qualifying time (for one more day!)

I wouldn't be me if I didn't have a plan about how I was going to do this.  

I'm going to arrive at the start line and find the 3:40 pacer.  I think this is the best option for me.  I need to try not to go crazy during the first part of the race (which is always extremely hard for me anyway, let alone when I'm running down hill) so sticking with a pace group at about an 8:23 pace should hold me back and keep me comfortable.  Running with a pace group means I'll have people to hold me accountable to it.

All bets are off at mile 18.  If I feel good- it's balls to the walls, my friends.  Time to blow that marathon out of the water.

However, if I'm feeling pain from my IT Band, I'm stopping.  I've promised Dallas that I'll do this.  One race isn't worth ruining the rest of the year for.

There you have it.
I have such a great support system of friends and family that have been wishing me luck (and praying for me!!) and I'm so grateful.
These little gestures and kind words have not been lost on me.  Thank you, Kalie- this was one of the kindest things anyone has ever said to me.  Thanks to you bloggers who let me whine and complain and be an outright jerk, and you still come back to tell me it's all going to be okay.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Time to BELIEVE in myself.  Here goes everything.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Update on the family blog. Click [Here] for the individual post.

You know you're a runner when your physical therapist is your Facebook friend.

Will drew an "All About Me" poster in preschool today, and one of the sections talked about his favorite place. He drew this:
I think last weeks blogger meet up at Yogurtland had an affect on him. In case you're wondering, that is blue frozen yogurt with "bobo balls" in it. (Whatever those things actually are, I have no idea, but he loved them). Good times, eh?!

On to other news...

I'm feeling decent. If the marathon were only an 8 mile race, then I wouldn't feel worried. But, it's not- so, enter worry.

I ran 6 miles on Saturday and felt pretty good. My leg felt tight (not painful or sore) during part of the downhill about halfway through, so I stopped and stretched and then walked down to the bottom of the little hill. After that I had NO problems whatsoever. I can't remember what our pace was exactly... 8:45? I'm too lazy to look it up.

I rested until today (Tuesday), and this morning I ran 2 miles at an 8:19 pace; I wasn't pushing it, but I wasn't trying to go really slow either. I felt a little sore. I've been able to feel it multiple times throughout the day. Boo to that.

My PT was out of town and I left a message to get in hopefully sometime tomorrow. I've already decided I'm not going to run at all until the marathon. It's pretty sad when your PT is one of your Facebook friends. Seriously. I should be his sponsor or something.

I'm going to toe that start line, and I honestly can't say whether I'll be running 2.62 miles, or 26.2 miles. Either way, I'm excited to take part in the experience. I have some incredible friends to cheer on (Go Darcy, Mindy and Cory!!!), and I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH. Whether I can run this one or not, my next marathon I am going to kick some serious trash.

Here's to Ogden Marathon 2012!!!!

3 days until the waiting is over.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I hate running skirts. (Notice that its bolded and italicized. That means that I hatehatehate it).

I ate an entire pan of Butterscotch Brownies last week.

I'm on Day 3 of "No treats until the marathon" and I've successfully had a bag of swedish fish, a chocolate brownie fresh from the oven topped with vanilla ice cream, and a bowl of the best (and unhealthiest) jalapeno artichoke dip you've ever had- all in the last 2 days.

It's nearly 10 AM and I have yet to shower, get dressed, or eat breakfast. Annnd my kids are still in the jam jams... but they have been fed! Go me!

Tapering is my favorite part of running.

Well, besides "carbo loading."

I'm addicted to The Bachelor Pad. If Vienna and Kasey win tonight, I will run screaming from my house.

I'm still hoping to run TOU on Saturday in under 3:40.

Spill your beans. I won't tell.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lemons and lemonade

Yogurtland yesterday was good for my soul. I was so excited to go and see Rachelle yesterday and talk a little about Vegas Ragnar (which we didn't hardly do, so I guess we'll just have to meet up again!), and to finally meet hungryrunnergirl! Little did I know what a treat I was in for to meet Ashley and Sarah as well.

Ashley and I are both struggling through setbacks with injuries and hoping to run marathons in the very near future despite the challenges (me @ Top of Utah and Ashley @ St. George). She is so awesome! She was so strong and so inspiring to me that I can, in fact, do this. I'm excited to blogstalk her and get to know her better.

Sarah- what a cutie! She didn't really know anyone; she just moved back to UT to go to BYU from Ohio. I connected to her right off the bat when she started talking about going to rehearsal- she's a Secondary Education major with a Theater Emphasis as well!!! She was super energetic and I can only imagine how much fun it would be to work with her on stage. She is also running her first marathon- the Layton Marathon- next month.

Then there was Rachelle... that girl is as sweet as they come. She brought me a very thoughtful card and bag of swedish fish (which I would have taken a picture of had I not eaten them already- so much for no sweets!) to wish me luck at my marathon next week. I'm so grateful to have a friend like her! I can't wait to run Ragnar with her and get to know her even better. She was so inspired to invite me to join her team. It was just what I needed to get me through the marathon blues I have been having- now I have something to look forward to!

Janae is just as funny and kind in real life as she is on her blog. She walked right in and gave me a huge hug as soon as she came in the door. She's just one of those people that has a very magnetic personality. No wonder we all can't stop reading her blog!!!

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is this- when life gives you lemons, grab a bunch of strangers and go to Yogurtland. You won't be disappointed!

Jessica @ rerun running asked me a question about my leg being 1" shorter than my right, so I thought I'd clear things up! I don't typically have a leg that is longer than the other, it just happens because my hips are so out of whack. (And my hips are so out of whack because of birthing babies- so be prepared for that if you haven't already experienced it, ladies!) When I first laid down on the table and PT Dan looked at my legs, he asked me one question- "Have you only been running on the left side of the road with the traffic coming towards you?" Well, of course! That's the safe way to run. Well, apparently it only aggravates my problem because my right leg will always hit first and my left leg has to reach for longer thereby causing the discrepancy in height. So there you have it. I could definitely tell that I needed to be adjusted because I felt out of balance while I was running (and walking, for that matter), but I didn't realize how badly it had gotten.

Tip from my PT: Run in the middle of the road if you can, and if you can't, be sure you are switching it up between the left side and the right side of the road. If you are running on the track, change directions sometimes, too!

What is your favorite way of making "lemonade" when life gives you lemons?
I definitely track down some friends to help cheer me up. I'm reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin right now and in it she says, "...the most reliable predictor of not being lonely is the amount of contact with women." It's true! I'm so grateful for my girlfriends, sister, and Mom during times when I feel like a lemon. And the hubby- he's good at cheering me up, too.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blogger meet up!

Tomorrow at Yogurtland in Orem at 4PM- be there or be square!

Moving forward...

***Mucho family updates!!! Click [HERE], [HERE], [HERE], [HERE], and [HERE] to see what's happening with the Nicoll's! There's nothing quite like a blogger assault, right?

So much about running, and especially races, is left up to chance. Will the weather be gorgeous or foul? Will my stomach feel okay? Will I be able to run injury free after months of training? What will the support be like along the course?

There's so much out of our control. That is why we (read- I) must learn to let go.

I've trained well. My pacing has been perfect. I've trained with hydrating and refueling and know exactly what my body can and cannot handle. I've done hills, Yasso's, long runs and recovery runs. I've been eating healthy. I've had the race course taped to the side of my bed since March, visualizing and mentally preparing myself for running 26.2 miles down Blacksmith Fork Canyon all the way to Merlin Olsen Park.

Everything I could control, I did. I couldn't control my left leg being 1" longer than my right. I couldn't control my hips being out of place. I couldn't control a locking SI joint. I couldn't control the fact that I was born bow legged and thereby making me prone to IT Band injures.

So, where do I go from here?

Dan Ivie, my physical therapist/miracle worker, feels that I will be able to run the marathon. Running it in 3:35 or under might be a different story. So, it's time to rework things. The great thing about the Boston marathon is that it isn't going anywhere. It will be there year, after year, after year. And, if things go well, so will I. So, I've decided it's time to take the time goal pressure off. I'M RUNNING A MARATHON, FOLKS. And that, my friends, is accomplishment enough.

Plus, next year when I run a marathon, I will already have one under my belt and know what to expect. Perhaps that is when I will run that Boston Qualifying marathon- it is something I will keep chasing until it is mine. It will happen, just maybe not in 9 days from now.

Instead of running a 3:35 marathon, I'm going to enjoy the ride. When I finish, I'm going to have a huge smile on my face because I will know that I accomplished something incredible because whether you finish in 2 hours and 5 minutes, or 6 hours- a marathon is a marathon, and it's something to be very proud of.

In fact, I think I might just have to reward myself by running Vegas Ragnar next month with Rachelle and Julia. Done and done.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I'm disabling comments on this because for now I just need to get my feelings out there. I'm going to be super whiney and complainy, so be prepared. If you are in the mood to read a blog about a mom of 2 named Amy that happens to be kicking the trash out of her marathon training and will most likely qualify for Boston, then go [HERE]. She rocks! And she'll inspire you.

For me, well, I'll do my best not to drag you down with my very pessimistic attitude at the moment.

The marathon has been in my sights all year. As I've been training for other races, my main focus has really been on the marathon. During Ragnar Del Sol, I all but gave one of our van members the 3rd degree as I questioned her about training/racing/Boston/hydrating/fueling- all for a marathon. It was easy to see where my mind really was, even though I was in full swing Ragnar.

That was 7 months ago and the thoughts, training, and energy towards running a marathon has only intensified since then.

So, now here I am- I'm limping around my house feeling sorry for myself that I worked my butt off only to be sidelined at the last minute. I ran with Darcy today after not having run since basically last Wednesday. In the interim I have been icing, foam rolling, I got a massage, and I have been using my friend Mindy's E-Stim machine hoping for a miracle with my IT Band.
So far, there hasn't been a miracle. Part of the 10 miles today was relatively pain free, and even up until I stopped I wouldn't say I was in a ton of pain, but then I had to walk almost a mile home, and that is when the pain started.

This isn't just a little injury that needed a few days rest.

I'm hoping and praying that when I go to see my PT tomorrow that he will be able to work the miracle I'm hoping for because, let's face it, this marathon is in 12 days and IT IS A BIG DEAL.

For now, I'm angry. All of this work and effort to possibly see the race I've been spending a year preparing for go by without me. The thought makes me literally sick.

And what if I am able to run it? THE FIRST 18 MILES ARE DOWNHILL. Basically, if I run this, I'm going to trash my IT Band for the rest of the year. I don't have extra money to throw at my PT every couple of months to help me get the problem under control.

Ugh. Super frustrated. I'm sure tomorrow I'll feel better and allow myself to look at the positive, but for today.... I'm just going to do my best to keep the swear words under control.

Running is a jerk.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Well.... that sucks.

I have a race tomorrow... that I won't be running.

Darcy and I tried to do an easy 5 miles yesterday. I made it less than a half mile when I knew that wasn't going to happen. I was feeling an all too familiar tightening and pain on my left side. My IT Band. I tried to run a little bit more, but it was definitely not going away. So, we walked. The night was gorgeous and it was pleasant to have a conversation without struggling to do it between breaths.

But now I have this problem. I wouldn't say it's a full blown injury, but I feel like it's about 1 run away from becoming one. I first felt that something might be up during the last 3 Yassos that I ran on Wednesday. I could feel a pull and a hitch in my stride, but I was hoping that it was just nothing. Obviously it wasn't nothing. The good news is that at this point it doesn't hurt AT ALL while I'm not running, and it doesn't bother me while I'm going down stairs either. Knowing this, I hope that I'll be able to get it under control easily and that I won't have to even worry about Top of Utah.

I'm waiting for a call from my PT so he can answer some questions. For now I'm just going to do my old rehab- strength training exercises, foam roll, ice, and rest. The soonest they could get me in for a session was Tuesday afternoon. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed until then.

Ugh. So much for that 10K PR (I'll have to wait to break into that 45 minute mark until next time)- the marathon is WAY more important.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Checking Out

*****There's a FREE 5K at the University of Utah on Saturday, September 10th. Go to for details!

Have you seen this? If you haven't, then you should. Fast Cory beat me to the punch on posting it, but maybe some of you don't read his blog (sad for you) so I figured I'd post it anyway. There was one circling around about relay races, but this is about marathons. It's a little different, but insanely accurate. My husband was laughing so hard and exclaimed- 'Amy! This is your life!'

Sad, but true.

Now that we have that out of the way....

I'm feeling a sense of completion about my marathon training. Top of Utah is in 15 days from today. 15 days!!!! I can't believe it, but I am so ready for it. Darcy and I guilted our way through our last set of 10 Yassos last night.

"Guilted?" You say.

Yes. Guilted.

For some reason since I completed the 23 miles on Saturday, I feel like I should be done with my training. I've narrowed it down to a few reasons:
  1. I can't wrap my head around the fact that I ran 23 miles on Saturday, and that my body can just keep running the rest of my training schedule for the week. Shouldn't I have to take the rest of the MONTH off?
  2. I'm afraid of getting injured. This kind of relates to #1. I'm hyper aware of every ache and pain I feel because I'm worried it's going to take me out of the race.
  3. I'm tired. I would rather sleep and sit on my butt than run.
  4. I feel like I've done the work and there's not much more I can do to prepare for the race.
Although these are good points, I KNOW that I'm not done with my training. I have a 12 mile run this week, and an 8 mile run next week. Could I skip them and still do well during the race? Probably. However, I feel like it is really important to stay mentally focused on the task at hand; keeping with my training schedule will help me do that.

So last night we went out thinking we'd do 5 Yassos. After each one we just kept saying, we can do one more, just one more! And then we would. We did this all the way up to ten, and the results were great:

3:15, 3:17, 3:20, 3:20, 3:25, 3:22, 3:28, 3:24, 3:18, 3:17

How excited am I to be done? SUPER excited!!!! This was the last really hard workout before the race. It's just smooth sailing from here on out.

Now, I'm in need of some advice from some veteran (and by veteran I mean you've run at least ONE marathon) runners:

***In the last 2 weeks before your marathon, do you still push yourself hard during your workouts? Or do you take it easy so as to avoid injury?

***What do you do in the last 2 weeks before a big race?