Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekly RUNdown

"You can't control your level of talent, but you can control your level of effort."
-Thomas Blake

This is the first week where I finally felt like I was able to train hard.  It felt so good!  Each run left me feeling pushed to the limit- which is exactly what I like.  At the beginning of this week I'm not sure what I will be able to do.  The 12 miler on Saturday left my foot (that seemed to be getting much better) pretty sore again.  I don't regret the training I did, but I'm grateful that this week is a bit of a taper week.

Monday:  Cycling 13.8 miles in 50 minutes, 16.6 mph.  This was definitely my hardest on the big thus far.  Even did a few "sprints".

Tuesday:  ITBS Rehab, and 5 mile tempo.  I did 1 mile WU, 3 tempo miles at 6:51, 6:54, and 6:58, and then a 1 mile CD.  I ran in the rec center and it was so. hot.  I wanted to die, but, as always, I was so glad I pushed myself hard.

Wednesday:  Cycling, 12 miles in 45 minutes, 16 mph.  Strength training from Run Less, Run Faster.

Thursday:  4.58 miles hills with 8:12 average pace, 306 foot gain.  Ran with Jami and she smoked me.  Again.  I'm starting to wonder if I will ever be able to keep up with her on the uphill again???

Friday:  Cycling, 12 miles in 1 hr.  This was super easy- just keeping my legs moving.  NTC- sculpted arms.

Saturday:  12 miles at 7:59 average pace.   I ran with Jami for the first 6 miles, and then finished the last 6 by myself.  I felt really great until the last mile and a half, and then it started to feel hard.  It was windy, but thankfully we weren't running into it (except when we were climbing the one hill on the route- of course).  My foot wasn't too painful during the run, but it has been bothering me pretty bad since.

For Saturday's run I organized a group of girls to drive to a spot and then we'd all run back home.  We all rode up together and then we split up because we all run a different pace.  Even though we weren't together the whole time while running, it was still so much fun.
Yours Truly, Katie, Jami, Mindy, and Jill

We started running at about 6 AM, so we got to watch the sun rise.  It was so beautiful!  I wished I had my camera on me to capture a neon pink Mt. Timpanogos.  I couldn't resist this shot of my running view when I was driving back from picking up my car.

I know I post a lot of pictures of the mountains, but I'm in love with them, so you'll just have to deal.

Last week's goal:  Strength train 4 times.  I didn't hit 4, but I did work on legs twice.  I still feel really good about my workout week.  I was active everyday and felt great- that is what is most important.

This week's goal:  Listen to my body.  I've been trying to pretend that my foot issue isn't as big of a deal as it really is.  3 weeks after the incident and it is still bothering me.  So, I'm going to be careful this week and if I'm still feeling pain walking, I'm going to cross train instead of run.  As much as I hate to do it, I think that's what has to happen.

Sometimes do you wonder if "racing" is even worth it?  Is it better to just take it easy and enjoy yourself without putting on the pressure?
Lately I have been thinking about this a lot.  This training cycle has left me feeling so helpless.  I just never know what I am going to be able to do and it has been frustrating.  I feel like if I pull out of the marathon, or decide to just run it in 4 hours or something, then I wouldn't be stressing so much and I would be better at listening to my body.  I just don't know what to do.  I'm feeling very conflicted.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Here- take my hand.

Thank you to Cory for posting this incredible video.  If you haven't watched, you should take the time to do so.  Grab some kleenex- you're gonna need it.
Sometimes we get mixed up being focused on paces, and distance, weekly mileage, and training schedules. Bottom line is that we are really blessed to be able to do what we do. Fast or slow, our goal is to make it to the finish line. The only thing better than making it there yourself, is by helping propel someone else to the finish- literal or figurative.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's important to lend people a hand sometimes.  Make room for everyone.  Push someone forward if they don't have the strength to do it themselves. 

We are capable of great things by ourselves, but extraordinary things when we work together.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I will say this once, but I will never say it again.

Thank Heavens for Nicki Minaj.

After a very tough- and hot!- tempo run at the indoor track at my rec center yesterday, I could not have been more grateful that "Fly" came on during the last half mile of my three tempo miles.

She saved the day... for me, anyway.

Sometimes it's really nice that I can be so easily pleased. Speaking of- A friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook. She took it on her morning run. I will never get tired of this view.
Are you easy to please?  What little thing has made your day of late?
Loving a new kitty shirt for my baby girl, fast runs, Raisinets, Donkey Kong Country, Downton Abbey, being read to by my 5 year old, Redbox movies with the hubby, and my exercise bike.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I have an itch.

This weekend is the Del Sol (Arizona) Ragnar Relay.  I ran this race last year and I can confidently say that it was the strongest race that I have run so far.  I was fast, I had never been injured, and I even ran a 4th leg.  It was awesome!  I'm totally missing it this year.

I'm missing it so much that I even asked a friend if she would be willing to drive to AZ with me to see if I could just hop on a team last minute.

Then I remembered that I have kids and somebody has to feed them and bathe them.

So, I'm missing it this year.  And I'm sad.  What's a girl to do?

Sign up for another relay, of course!!!

On May 12th I will be running my first Red Rock Relay.  I have heard so many good things about their race to Zion (Southern Utah) in the fall, and I was stoked to see a relay in Moab- which just so happens to be one of my favorite places on this planet.  I somehow managed to con 5 other people into running with me and we will be team Hell's Revenge for the 70 mile, 2 leg, 6 person relay.

Who wouldn't want to run in country that looks like this?

There are still spots open, but they are capping it at 250 teams this year.  It's a short relay- not an overnighter like a Ragnar- so it is all the fun without the misery.  Get on board and let's race, eh?  When you register, be sure to tell them that Amylee Nicoll sent you!

Have you ever run a relay?
I have run 4 relays so far and they are my absolute FAVORITE part about running.  What's better than one race?  2 or 3, of course!

Red Rock Relay (Moab)- $85
RUNNING total:  $565.54

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekly RUNdown

Here comes the post where I publicly show what I do for workouts each week. Boring?  Completely.  Necessary for me?  Yes!  It's a great tool to look back and see what I did right, or what I did wrong.   

This week felt like a huge success for me even though I have been fighting a small foot issue.  It is slowly getting better and I don't think it will affect any more of my training.  I'm looking forward to some good runs this week and to continued cross training.

Monday:  Cycling- 11 miles, 45 minutes (14.7 mph), ITBS Rehab Routine

Tuesday:  Cycling- 11.3 miles, 45 minutes (15.1 mph), NTC Sculpted Arms

Wednesday AM:  Cylcling, 12 miles, 1 hr (12 mph).  Not sure if you can really call this a workout considering the fact that I didn't really break a sweat- (which would make my Grandma proud!).  I did, however, enjoy some Downton Abbey.

Wednesday PM:  4.25 miles, 1 hour.  I went to the rec center with Mindy.  We alternated jogging a lap and walking a lap.  I wanted to make sure my foot was feeling okay, but most of all I just wanted to spend some time with Mindy!  I have missed my running buddies so much lately.

Thursday:  4.45 miles, 8:10/mile pace.  Hills with Jami.  We hit Lindsey's Hill again with 298 feet in altitude gain in the first 2 miles.  I still wanted to die, but maybe not as bad as last week :S.

Saturday:  10 miles, 7:57/mile pace.  SO. HAPPY.  This was my first double digit run in what feels like a century!  My foot has been hurting since, but nothing too bad.  I ran the first two miles at a warm up pace of 8:35, and then the rest was around a 7:45/mile pace.  There were parts that felt really hard, but I was just so grateful to be running that it didn't matter.  I finished up with 15 minutes strength training from the Run Less, Run Faster book.

Last week's goal:  Get back in the groove.  I feel like I have for sure!  I also ate better this week- a green smoothie a day keeps the doctor away!

This week's goal:  Strength train 4 days this week. I want at least 2 of those days focusing on legs and glutes.

Do you keep a fitness journal?  How has it helped you?
Yep!  That's what the blog and Garmin Connect do for me.  SUCH a good resource.  Just this week I was able to look back through my log on Garmin Connect.  I injured my foot in a similar way last year while training for Top of Utah. It was so helpful for me to look back and see what I did for training during that time.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Where the magic happens.

***Family blog update!

There was a very loud and obnoxious knock on my door yesterday afternoon.  I was instantly annoyed because my two year old was asleep on the floor and I have a small yappy dog that barks incessantly if someone even walks in front of my house.

You know how precious nap time is.

By some tender mercy, Annie didn't wake up.  And then I found this on my doorstep:
I have a good husband!  He must have seen me *attempt* to download and edit family pictures on our dinosaur Dell and took pity on me.

So, if my posts seem more sparkly than usual, now you know why!

We have done our duty to stimulate the economy with our tax refund :).

I desperately want to add a Ragnar sticker to the front.  Should I?  Husband says no and I say HECK YES.

Did you get a refund this year?  Do you spend or save?
We do both.  We spend a fraction of it and then save the majority.  Or at least try to.  Tax season is the one time of year when it's awesome to be poor.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Funny Story.

Dallas' Grandma is possibly the fourth greatest thing that has happened to me because of my marriage.  (Dallas = Will = Annie > Grandma).  Grandma K. is a total gym rat.  She is there 5-6 days a week, and oftentimes she goes more than once a day.  She's 74.

Awesome, yes?

That fact only makes this statement more humorous.

"When I go to the gym there's all of these women working out everywhere and they are so sweaty.  It's disgusting."  
-Grandma K.

She was there when I came in at my first half marathon in October 2010.  I'm thinking she was mortified when she saw what I looked like.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

One Shot

My friend Mindy posted an article on Facebook about the 5 hardest sports to train and compete in; track was #4.  The author writes how you train for months on end all so you can have one shot to make it.  I know marathon running isn't "track", but I think it can be grouped with it easily.  Why?

One shot to qualify for Boston.

One shot to make it on the Olympic Marathon team.

One shot to PR.

Months and months of training lead up to one perfect race.  As runners, we don't get the the best out of 7, or 3 tries and the best time counts.

We get one shot.

We fail, and we escape with knowledge of what we can do better the next time around.  While there is always another race, if we are training like we should then that very peak performance will happen at most a couple of times a year.  Those aren't great odds for an athlete.
This training season has me all wigged out.  I had to miss another workout today.  Running is such a mental sport and I'm trying my best not to be a mental case about it.  All I keep hearing in my mind is Dolvett.

Hard work, dedication.  Dedication, hard work.

So, I'll hit the bike hard again tonight and hope that Thursday I can hit the hills instead.

The author of the article concludes saying, "Try running EVERYDAY for 9 months and tell me how you feel, tell me how motivated you are, tell me how your confidence levels are. After that it will be understood why track can just be hell on the body and mind."

Our sport is work, but it's a work I really love.

And for the record:
Tank for Wasatch Back team- $22.99
Protein Powder- $51.77
RUNNING total: 480.54

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekly RUNdown

Sometimes we go along and we're so concerned about what is happening with our running.  Is the IT Band tight?  Why do I have this pain in my foot?  How's my form?  Am I going to have to miss a workout?  How am I going to make it to the start line if I keep getting sidelined like this?

While the worries and concerns of a runner are important sometimes, when something truly important happens, everything else falls away and we are able to see clearly what the bigger picture has in store for us.
My Grandma Jewel holding my sweet Annie Kate on her blessing day.

Last Sunday my Grandma Jewel passed away.  She was 94.  My Grandma lived with my parents for over 6 years, and for the last nearly two years she has been in a care center why my own sweet mother has been there every single day to take care of her.  My Grandma was ready to move forward and leave us behind.  We believe that there is much more than this life, and I know that I will see my Grandma again.  We are happy for her, but that doesn't mean we aren't sad for ourselves.

No matter the circumstance, losing a loved one is difficult.

I spent much of this past week grieving her loss.  For that reason, my focus was definitely on more important things than what my training schedule says or deciding when I was going to squeeze some strength training in.  However, I'm grateful that I was able to have some truly cleansing workouts and deal with some of my grief in a constructive way.

Monday:  Cylcing- 11 miles in 45 minutes.
Tuesday:  Elliptical at 5 resistance, 25 minutes.  Followed by 3 miles of "hills" on the treadmill- started at a 4 incline and worked up to a 5 for 2 miles.  The last mile I dropped incline to zero and ran at an 8.5. 8:28/mile average pace.
Wednesday:  Cycling- 14 miles in 1 hour.  IT Band/Shin routine, 25 minutes.
Thursday:  4.3 miles 8:20/mile pace on hills with Jami.  This totally kicked my butt.  I definitely need to hit the hills hard.
Saturday:  8 miles with 7:58/mile pace.  I ran for Sherry Arnold.  Did you?

Last week's goal:  Eat less fatty foods.  I was in control at home, but being out of town for 3 days definitely took it's toll on my diet.  It was no bueno.  I'm going to try again this week

This week's goal:  Get back in the groove.  Strength train for sure.  Last Sunday night when we were going to bed my husband accidentally kicked my foot.  It is still hurting!  I'm going to really pay attention to it this week, RICE, and only cross train if I have to.  Hopefully I can still hit my 10 miler hard on Saturday.

We did have some happy times in my Grandma's honor.  The best part was getting together with my family.  I love them so.
The Wilson Family!  Me, Clay, Cami, Mom, James, Dad, Sam.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hell has frozen over.

See this guy?
He has agreed to get off the motorcycle,
let go of the steering wheel,
put down the fishing pole,
AND the gun,

lace up some running shoes and run the Dirty Dash with me in June.

I can hardly believe this is happening.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekly RUNdown

***Visit the family blog for a few new updates!

When I'm fighting an injury I feel like I fight it and fight it and fight it, until all of a sudden- Poof!  One day it's just not there anymore.  I finally reached this point this week and for the first time this year I felt strong and ready.

I'm already grateful for this injury because it helped me to create a better habit of cross training and strength training- both of which will help me to remain injury free in the future.

Monday:  4.07 miles @ 7:48 pace/mile.  I wanted to run my planned marathon pace- 8:00/mile- and was happy I could do a little under that and still feel comfortable.  I went to the chiropractor in the afternoon and I could tell a HUGE difference from how I felt last week compared to this week.  It sure helps when you are running with an ankle that isn't locking (probably a big source of my shin problem) and a hip that is back in place.  15 minutes of strength training exercises from Run Less, Run Faster.

Tuesday:  45 minutes cycling- 11 miles total.  ITBS/Shin rehab routine, 25 minutes.

Wednesday:  3.14 miles with Breona @ 8:27 pace/mile.  It snowed!  We finished running and then walked around talking for about 30 more minutes.  Running partners are one of the greatest parts of running.

Thursday:  45 minutes vigorous cycling- 14 miles.  Nike Training Club- Ab burner exercises, 15 minutes.

Friday:  Nike Training Club- Sculpted Arms, 15 minutes and ITBS/Shin Rehab routine, 25 minutes.

Saturday: 6 miles- 2 mile warm up @ 8:22/mile, 3 miles tempo @7:46/mile and 1 mile cool down @8:26/mile.  It was so fun to run during the day!  It was clear and beautiful.  I overdressed (note to self: 17 degrees at night and 17 degrees during the day is NOT the same).  How could I not enjoy myself when my view looked like this?

Last week's goal:  Keep up the cross training and strength training.  No problems here!

This week's goal:  Eat less fatty foods.  Last week was bad news and the Super Bowl was the icing on the cake.  I've been pretty good about sweets, but I need to eat fewer corn dogs and nachos make healthier choices for my meals.

How was your week?  What was your favorite workout?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

HELP! I need somebody.

Hmmm....  Where to begin.  I have lots to say and I need LOTS of advice.  So, hang on tight because I could really use your help here.

First-  I haven't been much into posting on my own blog lately.  It's not that I don't have things to say (because HELLO if I ever ran out of things to say, then I'm certain the world would implode), I just haven't had time to sit down and write.  I've mostly been spending a lot time hanging out with my munchkins doing munchkin type things.
Kangaroo Zoo- Highly recommend.

January was an interesting month for me.  This was the first time that I've had to completely forget about running for awhile.  I'm back at it now, but the miles are few and speed is limited.  In January I ended up running a grand total of 37.33 miles and gaining only 977 ft- I have a loooong way to go if I plan on hitting 50,000 vertical feet this year.  I have a feeling February will be better.

I got a stationary bike!!!  I scored it for free from my brother so I can't argue with that.  It's so quiet when I ride.  I'm looking forward to incorporating this into my training schedule.
Why do we post pictures of ourselves?  They're so awkward.

And speaking of training schedule- I just finished reading Run Less, Run Faster.  I feel like I need to re-evaluate how I train.  I need to avoid injuries, and I want to train efficiently, so it looks like this plan might be the answer.  I will be running 3 days a week and cross training on the bike 2 days- with strength training several times a week as well.  I do not want this marathon training to bench me for the rest of the race season!  Has anyone used this?  Did you like it?

My training schedule is... a mess.  That's an understatement.  I'm pretty much taking things day by day as I figure out what I can do and how far I can push myself with this injury.  I feel encouraged after the last couple of runs and am hoping to run 6-7 miles on Saturday.  If I keep my week day miles fairly low over the next few weeks, and cut out pretty much any speed work (except a moderate tempo), do you think I could add 2-3 miles a week onto my long run for the next few weeks?  For example, my training schedule would like like this:

Week 1: 6 miles
Week 2: 8 miles
Week 3: 10 miles
Week 4: 13 miles
Week 5:  15 miles
Week 6: 15 miles
Week 7:  13 miles- Once I hit here I will be caught up and can continue training as planned.
Week 8:  18 miles
Week 9:  20 miles
Week 10:  15 miles
Week 11:  20 miles
Week 12:  15 miles
Week 13:  22 miles
Week 14:  13 miles
Week 15:  10 miles
Week 16:  O-Town Marathon

This is the first time I've written it down.  It actually seems waaay more manageable than I thought it would.  3 weeks ago I did a 10 mile run, (and before that I was consistently running 10-12 every week) so I feel like the jumps in the beginning aren't too crazy.  Thoughts?  Advice?

I know I get injured when I start doing heavy speed work.  For that reason I am going to hold off on speed work- excluding the tempo run- until week 6.  I also want to quit doing the speed work a little bit before the race, but how early is too early?  Week 13?  In training for Top of Utah last year I ended up injured during the speed work 2 weeks prior to the race.  Thoughts?  Advice?

Help me out blog world!  I need you!!!!

In other news, I have been successful for an entire month with only eating 1 treat per day.  Miracle.

Google Reader may be the best thing ever invented.

I'm also stoked on Pandora.

CEP Compression socks are the way to go.

I painted with noodles in preschool and it completely rocked my world.

My Wasatch Back Ragnar team had our first meeting (it's totally an excuse to get out of the house!) and I do believe, if this is even possible, that this year's team is going to be the best ever!  Mostly because our team name is "Stoked on Socks".  I've already picked up some super sweet pairs- get prepared to be amazed.

Lastly, I ran under an 8:00 mile for the first time in a month.  LIFE. IS. GOOD.