Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Here Lies Amylee Nicoll.

Dedicated wife and loving mother.  Sister, daughter and friend.  She found a new passion in running which she pursued up until her final moments- when 5AM speed work in 20 degree weather killed her off.

Are any of you still doing speed work outside right now?  Any tips on running in the cold and the dark trying to get this done and NOT DIE?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekly RUNdown and Turkey Trot Recap

I am learning something about myself since I've started doing this weekly RUNdown- I am really good and motivated at the beginning of the week, but around Thursday everything falls apart.  It's not good... at least as far as running goes anyway.  In other aspects it has been great!  I've had more sleep, spent more time with family, and generally enjoyed myself over the last few weeks.  After a year of hard work and dedicated running, I think it's a good thing to put less pressure on myself.  (This is me talking myself out of a guilt trip.)  Here's the RUNdown:

Monday: Hill Sprints with Mindy.  5.04 miles (271 ft. gain), 9:12 pace.
Tuesday AM:  Yasso's!  4 sets: 3:10, 3:23, 3:19, 3:21.  This was the first time using the "workout" function on my Garmin.  It was awesome!  The only thing that annoyed me is that I couldn't tell what my pace was.  It was great not to have to mess with buttons and worry about going over a half mile.  I will definitely be using it again.
Tuesday PM:  IT Band strength training exercises- hips, buttocks, calves, feet.  45 minutes.
Thursday:  TURKEY TROT 5K
Friday:  Black Friday shopping from 3:30 AM until 3:30 PM.  This totally counts as a workout!

Last Week's Goal:  Strength train twice a week.  Failed.  Again.  What is with me?!  Let's look at the positive.  The past two weeks I've been consistent at strength training every Tuesday.  That's better than I was doing before!

This Week's Goal:  Do a long run with a tempo in the middle at marathon goal pace- 8:12 mile.  I would like to do a 12 mile run with 4 miles warm up, 6 miles at 8:12 pace, and 2 miles cool down.  I've missed doing a long run for two weeks in a row.  It's time to get. it. done.

Now for the good stuff, race recap.

I. LOVE. THIS. RACE.  It's so very small town- no chips, no official bibs, no official start line- just a place where everyone gathers in the street to run.  Lots of families turn out for the race and there are bikers and walkers and strollers and kids on scooters.  Everyone is so excited for Thanksgiving and that is what makes it so fun- the feeling in the air is tangible.
My Turkey Trot Bib (Yes, they are actual bibs)- Name, favorite number, and "WILL RUN FOR BUTTER!"  Ain't that the truth.
The race was a lot bigger than it was the year before.  (I'm sure it's because it was 40 degrees warmer this year than it was last year!)  Last year we all came in with frost beards.  You don't believe me???  Here's the proof!
This is my BIL Austin as he crossed the finish line last year.  It was -5 degrees!  He won an award for best frozen beard.

Look close- I've got a nice frozen goatee on my face.  I started waxing shortly after this.
You never can tell just who will show up for a race, so I was just planning on running the best I could and let the chips fall where they may.  I was hoping to place so that I could win a prize.  (That is the other great thing about this race- the prizes are seriously awesome- skull candy headphones, one hour massages, overnight stays in Park City, running gear, entries to marathons, and the list goes on).

We started and I came around the first corner and Darcy was there cheering for us!  She couldn't run this year, but she was the best cheerleader ever!!!!  It made me so excited and after a bit I could tell I was running too fast.  I looked at my watch and I was running a 5:58!  Best be slowin' down, Amy.  Throughout the rest of the race I felt like I ran pretty consistently.  There is a hill in the middle of the course so my middle mile was slower, but I was definitely putting out maximum effort.  My splits ended up being:

Mile 1- 6:54
Mile 2- 7:14
Mile 3 (.95)- 6:41

2.95 miles 20:33 with a 6:58 average pace/mile.

I am very, very happy with this even though I didn't win anything this year.  The winner of the women crossed in 17:50 and second place wasn't far behind her.  Isn't that amazing?!  I was the 5th woman to cross the finish line.

The cool part about this race for me was that it is the only race that I ran last year as well.  I improved over last year and that was my main goal!  Last year I ran the course in 21:48 with a 7:20 average.  So I had a 22 second/mile improvement over last year!  I'll take it!

My family is still coming off of our holiday hangover.  I swear I could have slept all day today if I wasn't responsible for three other lives.  This week is pretty calm compared to the last two weeks so I have high hopes that I will be able to hit my workout goal.

How about you?!  I've missed you all!  Tell me what your favorite part of this Thanksgiving weekend was.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

M.I.A. and Turkey Trotting

I miss you guys!!!!

I've spent the last hour or so with my legs propped up on my couch reading about how a bazillion of you have been out running and streaking over the last few days while I've been out spending all of my money and eating too much fast food.  Good thing I get to start over next week!

BUUUUUUT- I did run a Turkey Trot! That counts for something, right? I'll do a proper recap later, but for now I'll leave you with this terrible picture they snapped of me at the finish line:
Can you tell that I wanted to die?  Because I wanted to die. 
Please repeat after me: "I can feel awesome about myself because at least I don't look like THAT GIRL." You're welcome.

5th woman overall with a time of 20:33 in 2.95 miles (6:58 average pace).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Early Christmas?

What a lucky group of bloggers we are!  Aspaeris must have been impressed with all of your knowledge about the pivot shorts from the giveaway, that they are offering a coupon code!

Enter Code:  APSNEW for 25% off your purchase!!!

I've been feeling very humbled and thankful this month. It's hard not to use these holidays to reflect on how blessed we are.  I'm so looking forward to being surrounded by some of the people I treasure more than anything in this world tomorrow for dinner.  In no particular order, I am feeling very thankful for:

  • My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
  • The Gospel
  • My hard working husband
  • The funniest kids I know
  • A strong, healthy body that accomplishes great tasks- like giving birth and running marathons
  • Friends that love me even though I'm a bit loud and neurotic
  • A safe place to live and to raise my children
  • Warm clothes, warm bed, warm home, warm food
  • The failures that help me grow and the successes that push me forward
I hope you all enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your family (whether you are American, or one of those silly Canooks :)).

I am one of those crazy Black Friday shoppers- so the next time you see me I might be missing some of my hair, but dang it, my arms will be full of gifts at a raging good deal!!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my wonderful blogger friends.

PS- I'm also running a Turkey Trot 5K tomorrow morning. Anyone else running for an extra piece of pie??? I'm a little nervous because, quite frankly, I hate the pain of fast short races. They're so hard! Wish me speedy thoughts so that I can *hopefully* win a gift card :). Hoping to take 1st Women Overall in this small race.  I was second last year with a time of 21:47- really my only goal is to beat that time.  Adios muchachos!

Monday, November 21, 2011

WINNER and Weekly RUNdown

I could not be more excited for the giveaway winner of the Aspaeris Pivot Shorts!  Each comment that you made on my blog during the week counted as an entry (as long as you did the mandatory entry as well), so regular readers had multiple entries :).  The WINNER is none other than one of my favorite people in the universe-

"Confession: Sometimes I don't drink any water w dinner so there is more room for FOOOOOOOOOD!" 

Thank you to all who entered! If you didn't win, I would definitely look into buying some compression shorts for your overall running and fitness health.

On to the regularly scheduled program:  My Weekly RUNdown

The holiday excitement has hit full force at my house this week.  Besides that, I was out of town for a wedding Thursday through Saturday so it messed up my normal running routine.  I only made it for 3 runs this week and ended up missing my long run.  It's my own fault.  I chose sleep and shopping over sweating.  I should regret it, but I don't.  I plan on hitting things hard this week to make up for it.  Plus, for the first time in weeks, my legs actually feel good!

Monday:  Hills with Mindy.  5 miles (260 ft. gain) 9:10 pace.
Tuesday AM:  Yassos!  4 sets: 3:10, 3:11, 3:18, 3:14.  Ran on a real track at the high school and enjoyed every step!  So much smoother to run on than the track I've been using.  5 miles total.
Tuesday PM:  IT Band strength training- glutes, hips, quads, and calves 1 hour.
Friday:  5 miles on the Tread Mill- 8:12 pace.  Alternated between running somewhere between 8.5 and 10 and then recovering on a 7.  Running inside is HOT!  Sex and the City kept me company though and that was good times.  I still would have preferred to run outside.

Last Week's Goal:  Strength train twice a week.  FAIL.  I did do it once, though!  I worked out during the Biggest Loser and that helped with my motivation.  Plus I actually did something rather than sit on the couch and eat junk food.  (Why that usually happens to me during that show I don't know, but it does).

This Week's Goal:  Strength train twice a week.  I have a feeling this might have to be one of my goals for a few weeks in a row.  The good news is that there are going to be 2 episodes of the Biggest Loser this week (Tuesday and Wednesday) so I think my chances of hitting my goal this week are good :)

How was your week?  I want to hear about it!  Besides race reports, this is my favorite part about blogs- hearing about YOUR workouts.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

LAST Chance

The Aspaeris Giveaway ends tonight at 11:59 PM.  Don't forget to enter!!!

In other news:  This week was a huge running/exercise FAIL for me.  The holidays are upon us and I just know they are going to wreak havoc on my normal routine.  Anyone else struggling with this already?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What in the world???

I am in the throes of Christmas shopping for my kids. I. LOVE. IT.  I love picking out cute dolls for my baby girl and tough toys for my big boy.  However, I'm always aghast by some of the toys they come up with.

Monster High Dolls- What the heck?!
Awful!!!!!!!!!!!!   I will never understand.  Is Twilight to blame?  Or something else?

I'm headed out of town, so the next time you'll hear from me is on Monday with the Giveaway WINNER!

Don't forget to enter!

And for the heck of it-  an extra entry if you tell me what the oddest toy you've seen this season is.  The extra entry will only count if you have already checked out Aspaeris's website and told me something you learned about them.  Feel free to write what you learned (NEW ENTRIES ONLY) on this post.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Boston Marathon Qualifier

Remember that one time when I qualified for the Boston Marathon?  Although I haven't forgotten it, sometimes I can't believe that I actually did it.  I think I feel this way because I missed getting into the race by a mere 21 seconds before the race filled up.  I have moved past that disappointment and now I am just satisfied with achieving my goal.

Something really cool happened to me today that reminded me of what I am-A Boston Marathon Qualifier.  What happened, you ask?  My best friend gave me a surprise:

Aren't we so cute, all matchy matchy and everything. :)

Hope my in-laws don't mind when I wear this to the fancy schmancy wedding we're going to this weekend.  After all, they did say they wanted us in our best dress, and this is BY FAR the best thing I own.

Kalierae- I love you to the moon and back.  (And not just because you gave me this jacket... although it doesn't hurt :)).

Get Inspired

Running is a spiritual journey for me. I learn a lot about myself while I run, and when I'm in those tough moments it is easy for me to see clearly that I am not alone in this journey of life. As I read Cory's story about his first 100 mile ultra marathon I felt so inspired and lifted. You must read it and wish him congratulations.

If you haven't already, don't forget to enter the giveaway for Aspaeris pivot shorts.

Monday, November 14, 2011


One month ago I won a pair of Aspaeris Pivot Shorts from Run Mom Run. I've been hearing a lot about compression and the benefits of wearing compression shorts/sleeves, but I had never had the opportunity to try it out until then.

Ever heard the expression, "Once you go black, you never go back?"  Whelp, that's where I am with these pivot shorts!!

I really wanted to try these out and see how I liked them before I said anything on the blog.  I want to be sure that the stuff I put on my blog is authentic- I'm not going to do a giveaway or write about something that I don't use frequently and LOVE.  So that says something about these shorts right there.

Back to why I love the shorts...

I have two little kids.  While they are cute and loveable, they also changed my body when I was working on getting them here.  I lost the baby fat, but unfortunately a lot of the changes are here to stay.  One of those changes are hips that don't stay in place very well.

For those of you that remember, I have suffered from IT Band issues a lot this year, and I pretty much have to face the facts that it's something I'm going to have to deal with A LOT if I want to run.  My hips are the main culprit in this.  I can always tell when my IT Band is going to hit me with pain because my hips start feeling funky first.  It's hard to explain so you'll just have to take my word for it.  Wearing these compression shorts has totally helped my hips!!!!  When I wear them, they feel less fatigued after a run, and they recover much quicker.  I have felt the zing of the IT Band much less frequently as well.
I have worn my shorts while doing strength training, regular workouts and races.  The other day I commented to Mindy that I need at least 6 more pairs so I can wear them every day of the week!  (Did I just let people know how often I do laundry???)

The interesting thing is that the benefits that I've experienced are not even the main reason you should wear them.  These shorts have many other benefits, but I want you to head to the Aspaeris website so you can learn a little about them on your own.

Plus, they make you look tough.
IT Band prevention, baby!!!
Here's how you enter the GIVEAWAY-
1.  Be a follower and tell me in the same comment after you...
2.  Visit their site- aspaerispivotshorts.com- and tell me something special that you learned about these particular shorts.

Additional entry if you:
1.  "Like" Aspaeris on Facebook and add one of your confessions in a separate comment.  (Wanna know what a confession is?  Check mine out here, here, or here).

Contest ends at 11:59PM on Sunday, November 20th.  Winner will be announced Monday morning.

***If you are a regular reader and commenter of my blog- I know who you are- the odds will ever be in your favor (name that book).

Weekly RUNdown

Can I just say that  it feels really weird not to be "in training" for something!  I do have a 5K on Thanksgiving, but that's pretty much just for fun.  After that my next scheduled race isn't until the Ogden Marathon in May 2012.  Until marathon training starts again, I'm just going to be working hard to maintain my base- which means about 25- 30 miles of running/week with a long run of 10+ miles.  And maybe a little bit of speed work because y'all know how I want to get faster.  That being said, here's what last week looked like for me:

Monday:  Hills with Mindy.  5.55 miles, 9:12 average pace.
Tuesday:  Yasso's!  Only did 3 sets of 800's today- 3:09, 3:16, 3:11.  They wore me out!  I can't believe I used to do 10 of these in a row.
Friday:  Easy run with Mindy.  6.2 miles with 9:23 average pace.  Left hip started to really bother me...
Saturday:  10 mile long run with 8:46 average pace.  Got to run with Darcy and Jami.  We took it slow.  I don't know why but ever since the Halloween Half I have been feeling so beat up.  Even Sunday I was still feeling sore after this run- and 10 miles really shouldn't be a big deal for me.

Last Week's GoalWake up at 5AM to run.  The goal is to do it while my children are asleep.  I felt really inspired by this post to make a better effort at this.  Success!  Thanks to the time change it didn't totally kick my butt.  And thanks to 10 minute power naps I didn't die in the evening.

New Goal:  Strength train 2 times a week.  Pathetic goal, yes?  Let's just say that two times a week is a heck of a lot better than ZERO times a week.  I have been feeling really beat up and kind of struggling with my hips, IT Bands on both sides, and my left shin.  I'm hoping to get some good strength training in before injuries take me out.

Tune in later for a GIVEAWAY!

Friday, November 11, 2011


I've been feeling pretty comfortable at a 9:30 pace this week. Sometimes I think I need to start to pick things up a little, but why?  Isn't the point to just enjoy yourself out there?

I put my kids to bed early on Thursday nights so I can watch Grey's Anatomy in peace.

Arby's seems to have been calling my name lately and I've eaten there more in the last month than I have in the previous 2 years.

I hate cleaning out the drip pans on my stove.  I just buy new ones.  I'm so wasteful!

I plan trips on Travelocity and then bail before the final purchase screen.

Everything we want or need during the months of November and December gets wrapped and put under the Christmas tree.

Speaking of Christmas- I love buying my kids toys!  It's a problem.  They need another toy like they need a hole in their head.

I started watching a new kid today- a baby named Jack.  Don't worry.  I'm secretly pretending that he's mine!

I say "seriously" way too often.

I feel like I'm fizzling on the whole blogging thing lately.  I just don't have the fire anymore!  Is it because the races are over? Perhaps when training for the Ogden Marathon starts up I'll find myself with oodles to say again.

I ran to the store and bought myself a bag of Butterfingers after I had already eaten all of my kid's.  Those things are like crack.

I love to watch my Annie run around naked.  That bum is SO. CUTE.

I've watched several Christmas movies and have been listening to Christmas music on occasion.

What about you?  Any confessions as of late?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Because I'm nutso.

I love running really huge crazy long hills. 
I love running the really difficult races.
I love running so fast that it feels like my heart might explode.  (Which mine actually might considering I was informed by my friend that my heart rate during Vegas was the same as someone that was high on crack... Interesting).
Call me crazy because I know I am.
No, I didn't lose a leg.  This just happens to be my best I'm-so-happy-to-be-running-in-the-snow stance.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Salt Lake LDS Temple
This blog is a place where I allow myself to spill all of my thoughts about running, so for the most part that is all I talk about on here.  However, there are other parts of my life that fill a much bigger piece of me than running does.  There's my family- of course- but another large part is my faith.  I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I know it creeps up occasionally on my blog, but in my real life, my faith is ever present in every move I make.  I love it and I wouldn't have it any other way.

It's why I never run on Sunday.
It's why I have been able to run certain races that I thought were going to be un-run-able.
It's why I am the person that I am.

Dorothy Beal from Mile Posts
There is a blog called Mile Posts that is written by a fellow Christian named Dorothy Beal.  She is an incredible runner, and an incredible person.  She wrote a post awhile ago called "26.2 Bible Verses" that was just featured on BlogHer in anticipation of the New York Marathon.  Talk about something to focus on when you are trudging through the depths of misery :).  It is inspiring and encouraging! I am planning on printing it off and carrying it with me when I run Ogden next year.  Read them!  I promise they will lift you up and encourage you.

26.2 Bible Verses by Dorothy Beal

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chasing the High

I'm hoping to have another moment like this one:

Ogden Marathon 2012: REGISTERED 

Did any of YOU register for the Ogden Marathon, half, or relay today? Planning on it?  Planning on running a different full marathon next year?