Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Half Marathon Recap

 2 Timothy 4:7- I have fought a good fight, I finished my course, I have kept the faith.

You never know when that really tough run is going to sneak up on you.  Sometimes it is in the middle of your training, sometimes it feels like those tough runs come in groups, and sometimes it happens during a race.  Whether you are prepared or not, when you hit the pavement you never really know what you are going to get.

I think my husband said it best when he said, "You've been taking these half marathons for granted.  You don't really prepare for them and you just expect to go out there and feel great."  It's so true.

The only thing I really prepared for during this race was my costume.  Bad idea.  I don't care who you are- running a half marathon is HARD.  I took the difficulty of the race for granted and I didn't prepare by running any downhill, and most importantly, I didn't prepare mentally.  So by mile 10, I was ready to throw in the towel.

I didn't.  I kept going, of course.  I don't know if it was the brutal pounding from the extreme downhill in the first 4 miles, or if they were still fatigued from Ragnar last weekend, but my legs felt like cement.  I tried to jump in the race picture at mile 10 and FELL!  Oh man.  I was laughing my head off, but at the same time I was totally shocked.

I ran with a guy for the last mile or so and he was ready to give up.  He was groaning and breathing really heavy.  For some reason it was easier to keep him moving and focus on him rather than myself- so that's what I did.  I acted like the cheerleader I was and encouraged him right up until he sprinted past me towards the finish.  I was proud of him because he definitely was able to do more than I was at that point!  He found me after I finished and thanked me.

When you are struggling sometimes the best answer is to look outside yourself and pull someone else up instead.  It's surprising how much it will lift you.

In spite of what felt like a constant struggle- from a side ache in the early miles, to cement legs, and gagging on Gu- I was able to pull a new PR finishing the race in 1:37:39 with a 7:26/mile pace.  I'm proud of myself that I just kept pushing trying to run as fast as I could.  I ran a good race.  I finished.  I have faith in myself that I will be able to run a better feeling half marathon in the future.  I will just prepare better next time!

It was still a great race filled with some great memories- here's some snapshots to help me remember.
Me with a runner's best friend- Garmin 305!  :)

Cutest Kitty ever- Kalie Rae.  She pulled a new PR- beating her previous time by 6 minutes!!!
L-E-T-S G-O! Let's go! Let's go!
The PR crew- Jill, Katie, Heather, Kristen.  Every single woman in this picture pulled a new PR.
Mindy and me at the top before the race.  Gorgeous start to a gorgeous course.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Just popping in to say BOO!!!!

The Halloween Half was a bit of a fright, but finished with a new PR. 1:37 with a 7:26/mile average!  The best part, by far, were the costumes.  Actually, it's a tie for first; the other best part was cheering on my friends as the majority of them all pulled a new PR.

I'm off to another Halloween party!  Look for the full recap on Monday- Happy Halloween!
Mindy, Me, Kalie Rae

Friday, October 28, 2011

She's baaaaaaack!!!!

***Family Blog update- {The Hunt}  

I got to run with Darcy this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It made my week.  Just like being able to finally run with Mindy again made my week last week.  This was my first run with Darcy post marathon and boy have I missed her.  I LOVE my running partners.
I'm running the Halloween Half Marathon tomorrow.  I'm pretty excited!  After multiple costume changes, I think I finally have what I'm wearing squared away.  I would tell you, but I don't want to spoil the surprise.  I'm sure you'll be biting your nails with anticipation.

As far as the race goes, I don't really know what I'm going to do yet.  It's a VERY downhill course, so the possibility of a PR is huge.  I would really love to break into the 1:30's, but I'm nervous.  When I ran the Salt Lake Half 6 months ago is when I injured my IT Band for the first time.  I do not want to go through that again- and downhill courses definitely leave that possibility wide open.

My friends Kalie and Mindy are both running, so part of me just wants to hang out and run with them and help them reach a new PR.  We'll see how I feel in the morning!  I'm packing my little camera, so at the very least, be prepared for some cool running costumes!

Lastly, I just need to reiterate how my Las Vegas Ragnar team ROCKS!  Our team captain sent us the results, and we were 29th out of 478 teams in Vegas and 12th in our division.  They were so fast!  It was truly a blast to run with such a talented team.
Julia, Rachelle, Mike, Heather, John, Jeffrey, Lance, Ridge, Roxie, Ken, Me, and Travis in the front showing off his hot bod.
Anyone running a Halloween race this weekend?
Obviously, I am!  Halloween is my favorite holiday and I can't wait to celebrate it with RUNNING.

What's your costume?
It's secretive.  Tune in tomorrow or meet me at the Halloween Half to see!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ragnar Las Vegas 2011

What could be more fun than going to Vegas?
Running around the city in the desert with a bunch of complete strangers, of course!

This race was everything you expect (and hope) a Ragnar to be:  fun, rewarding, challenging, and something I could learn from.  And, boy, did I ever learn my lesson!!!

Here's the team:  Heather, Rachelle, Ken, Julia, Travis and me.  We were Van 2 and started running at about 3:30 ish.
Meet Ken- Team Captain Extraordinaire. He makes running look easy- even when it is running up a mountain... or two. Super organized, efficient, and he needed to run at least 5 miles BEFORE his leg even started so that he was properly "warmed up." If you were at the Ragnar, then there was a good chance you  talked to this guy because he started a conversation with everyone.

Great form, Ken!
He even had a giant smile at the top of the "Ragnar" leg in Las Vegas.
Then there's Rachelle. Super supportive, super enthusiastic, super encouraging.  It's people like her that make our sport look good.  Each leg she ran blew me away even more.  Heat, costume, fatigue- nothing can slow her down.  And man, she is FAST.
Run Spidey, run!
Travis- the guy just makes you want to yell OORAH!!!  The former Marine was incredible- especially for a new runner!  Super consistent, speedy, and he led our team with the most kills in a single leg- 54!!!!!!!!!!!!  Could  you expect any less from a marine?
Julia can do anything!!!!!  Hill?  Sure.  Heat?  Sure.  Her blog title fits her to a T and I was in awe of how well she ran her last leg.  Nearly 8 miles in the blazing Vegas sun couldn't even slow her down.  Julia and I had a great talk out by the hot tub between our first and second legs.  I'm so glad that I could run this race with her and Rachelle and get to know them in real life.  They are incredible, strong, women.
This was my favorite picture I took during the race.
Last but not least- Heather!  If I was in need of a laugh, I found it from this girl.  She kept me giggling from sundown to sunrise.  She ran some of her fastest times ever during this race, and it was so cool to cheer her on.  She was runner #12 and I couldn't keep up with her running into the finish.  She. freaking. rocks.
The blog wouldn't be complete without a lot of talking about how this girl did:
We all did jumping pictures in honor of Fast Cory.  I regret not getting our whole team jumping in this spot!
There is a lack of pictures from my first two legs due to them being unsupported and in the middle of the night.  It's really too bad because of the entire race, those were my favorite moments.

Leg 1:  3.6 miles with a 550 foot gain in the first 3.  This leg was harder than I was expecting.  Just when I thought the hill would crest, I would turn a corner and it would continue up another switch back.  Despite the challenges, it was awesomeI don't think I've ever ran so strong up hills.  I was able to pull an 8:02 average pace, 20 kills (not including a lizard and a giant beetle), and I raced a girl to the end and won :).  It was good times for sure.

Leg 2:  3.9 miles at 1:30 AM.  I ran comfortably, sang some, danced some, saw a shooting star, made sure I had high knees for my team, passed 38 runners, and finished with a 7:09 average pace.  Sweet.  This is the fastest I have EVER run in a Ragnar.  Very pleased.

Then this happened... Leg 3:
It was HOT.

Let's establish something right away- I live in the mountains in northern Utah.  This means that the warmest temperature I've been running in lately is about 50 degrees- and that's in the heat of the afternoon!  I'm more accustomed to 40 degrees than anything.  So the 85 degree day in Vegas was SHOCKING.

I totally wigged myself out before I ran my final leg at 1:30 in the afternoon.  I drank like crazy and ate some snacks beforehand.  (This was another big mistake- I hadn't had a meal all day.  I should have had breakfast at the very least.)

Julia came in after her killer last leg and I had to hold back tears watching her finish so strong.  I was fired up and ready to rock, so I took off.
That's when I ran a 6:50 first mile.
Then a 7:05 second mile.
I was hot.  Understatement.  I felt as dry as the desert.  All the water I had been drinking seemed to have just evaporated!  I wasn't sweating and my mouth was completely dry.  My team caught up to me at mile 2 and gave me some water.  I poured water on myself at the water stop, drank some water, and then drank the entire water bottle that Rachelle brought to me.  She could tell I was struggling.  I stopped and dry heaved, but was determined to keep going.  Rachelle told me to slow down.  Did I listen?

Of course not.  I ran my third mile with a 7:32 average pace- including the dry heaving.
Then I blew up.  I literally felt like I couldn't go another step.  I told my team to go on ahead to drop off Heather.  I just had to be alone (even though they were awesome- Rachelle was even offering to run with me).  I felt so defeated.  I stopped to walk for a few seconds and then made myself keep running, but I slowed down.  A LOT.

I ran the final mile at a 9:25.  There was no way I could go any faster than that.

I made a final push at the end for the last quarter of a mile and ran it with a 7:11 pace.  I have never in my life crashed like that!!!!!!!  Overall my final pace for my last leg was 7:42/mile.  It was discouraging considering this was the leg I was hoping to hit a new 5K PR.

Life went on and our team finished the race in roughly 27 hours.  I don't know our final time and they haven't released the results yet.  I'm super proud of us!  We all ran a great race- in spite of many different challenges and difficulties.

It was a memory maker for sure.

Vegas Sunset
Running a night leg in Vegas rocks my world.
Vegas Sunrise
Ready for our last legs!  Me, Travis, Heather, Ken, Julia and Rachelle
I missed Mindy more than words can say!  This was the first Ragnar that I had to run without her.  I hope I never have to do one without her again :).  (Is that a deal, Mindy?)  She came back from a tendonitis injury and rocked the Ragnar leg.  So proud of her!!!!!!
FINISHED!!!!!!  Ken got some air over the finish line.
Our sweet shirts that Heather made had our names on the back.  Only the girls got shirts this time.  Don't ask me what expression I am making because I have no idea.  Tough?  Sexy?  Pissed?  It's a toss up, really!
Van 1.  Mike, John, Jeffery, Lance, Ridge (12 years old!!!), and Roxie.
Serious bling thanks to 3 Ragnars this year.

Overall, I loved this race. The course was great, (the organization astounds me), the friends were stellar, and I definitely will plan on running this race again. Maybe next year? After all, I have to take revenge on that last leg!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Leaving for Las Vegas

***Update to the family blog- {There once was a little girl...}

Am I really going out of town today?

As I write this I have 4 children bouncing balls all around me playing keep away, one is begging me to stick her in a princess dress and another is asking where another ball is.

In less than 48 hours I'll be flying solo.  YAAAAAAHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

No making sandwiches or wiping noses (or bums for that matter).  No whining!  (Well, hopefully...)

I'm a little bit excited.  I am packed- playlist and everything.

One pair of shoes, powerade, wheat thins, shot blocks, kit kats, Garmin, glide, vest, head lamp, tail light, first aid kit, 3 outfits, jacket, pants, sleeping bag and a pillow.
I'm in an alternative sort of mood lately and will be rocking out to this:

FM Static- Definitely Maybe
All American Rejects- Gives You Hell
Matt Nathanson- Faster
The Ready Set- Airplanes
Chris Merritt- Show Me What You're Made Of

My personal favorite lyrics comes from the song "Show Me What You're Made Of" and it goes a little something like this:

"You think you're such a bad a**, well alright, so come on!  Show me what you're made of....  Come on and lay a finger on me!"

Let's see if that Ragnar has anything on me.  Viva Las Vegas, Baby!

See you all on Monday.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Why wait???

What can I say?  I'm not very good at holding myself back.  So, on my run tonight, I just went for it- and blew my previous 5K PR time out of the water by over a minute and a half.

New 5K PR- 21:04 with a 6:47/mile average!

Who's saying that I still don't have a goal to get a new 5K PR in Vegas?  After all, I've got to break into those 20's sometime, right?

Stoked :D

Do you believe that you can only get a new PR at races?
Heck no!!!  If it's the fastest you've ever run that distance- race or no- then that is what I call a PR.  Don't wait for a race- go out and chase down a new PR; I want to hear about it!

I put a spell on you...

***Updates to the family blog! {Just an ordinary day} and {Witches Night Out}

Mmmmm.... October.  Don't you love it?!  I'm totally in love.  From pumpkins, to changing leaves, to witches- I'm soaking up every minute.  Plus, running in 40 degree weather!  It just doesn't get much better than that!

This last weekend I went to a Witches Night Out at Gardner Village in Salt Lake.  It was so much fun to meet up with my sisters-in-law for some caramel apples, cinnamon almonds (my favorite!), and DANCING.
I got my witch on.
Annie was sad that she couldn't come, so she had a Kitty's Night Out with her brother and Daddy.
Me and my Kitty, Annie Kate
As far as running goes- I think someone put a spell on me.  I slowed down this week... a lot.  It was W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!  I enjoyed conversations (with my healed up running partners!  Yay!) instead of a faster pace- I'll just have to pull some speed out in Vegas for the race this weekend.

Workouts were as follows:
Monday Night- 3 miles @ 9:03 pace (Mindy)
Tuesday Morning- 6 miles @8:42 pace (Jami)
Tuesday Night- 4 miles @ 9:02 pace (Mindy)
Friday- 5 miles rolling hills (256 ft. gain) @ 9:27 pace (Mindy)
Saturday- 12 miles @ 8:21 pace (Jami)

I felt really great for most of the runs, but Saturday's 12 miles kicked my butt!!!  I can't believe I ran a marathon only one month ago.

Do you prefer to run with a running partner, or alone?
It depends on the day!  Most days I prefer to run with a running partner, but if I'm going to tackle some major hills or speed work, then it is best if I do it by myself so I can really push myself and go at my own pace.

What are you going to be for Halloween?
A witch!  Obviously :).  Except I will be a skeleton for the Halloween Half Marathon that I'm running the Saturday before Halloween.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I've said it before, and I'll say it again- In Heaven I will be able to sing like Adele. ( Or Sarah McLachlan- I'm not picky).

On Earth, I have a friend that actually CAN.  She doesn't sound like Adele, but she is insanely talented.  As far as acting/singing, she is the most talented person I know.  Check her out for your listening pleasure-  Her name is Kandyce Marie Gabrielson.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Name that movie.

We have a winner for my Scott James Jewelry giveaway!!!  The winner is....

Congratulations!  E-mail me on my contact form on the blog with your address and I'll get your charm to you ASAP.

While the rest of you are at it, go check her out.  She's a mother of 2 (like me!!) and manages house hold, full time work, and marathon training- and she has yet to go insane!  Kudos to her.  Plus, she lives in my most favorite place in the world- NEW YORK CITY.
In New York- concrete jungle where dreams are made of.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I suppose I'll run a Ragnar.

****Last day to enter my GIVEAWAY for Scott James Jewelry! I'll announce the winner tomorrow morning.
NOTHING gets me excited like seeing this:
I could jump up and down screaming right now if it weren't for the fact that my baby is asleep and I prefer her to stay that way for awhile.

I think my excitement stems from the fact that running the Wasatch Back in 2010 was my very first race EVER.  The runner's high caught hold of me big time, and I've been addicted to it ever since.  I feel like Ragnar's bring out the best part of running- you work past extremes in fatigue, distance, temperature, running times, crazy hills, soreness, and best of all, you get to do it as a team

Next Thursday I get to meet my Vegas Ragnar team for the first time- 7 Studs and their Showgirls. I know Julia and Rachelle as blogging buddies, but I've never laid eyes on the rest of them. Dallas (my husband) calls my blog friends my "Invisible Friends" (credit for the title going to Mindy's husband Derek) and I'm stoked to turn them into real friends.  

This Ragnar feels so odd to me.  All 3 of my previous Ragnar's I trained for like crazy- never missing two and three a day runs, and running at all times of the day and such.  And the hills, the HILLS!  I ran so many hills.  Running this race has been almost an afterthought.  I can't believe I can just say, "Sure, I can run a Ragnar."  They are tough business and I'm happy to be able to run one at the drop of a hat!  It helps that I'm not running the Ragnar Leg or anything.

So as a team of 12 we will be conquering this:

Ragnar Relay Las Vegas course map.
I'm runner #11 and will be completing 3 separate legs as follows:

Leg #1- 3.7 miles and 574 foot elevation gain.  This is my toughest of the race, but as my first leg- still feeling fresh- it doesn't freak me out.
Leg #2- 3.9 miles pretty much FLAT!  Sweet!  I don't think I ever run a flat course unless I'm on a track.

Leg #3- Then I get to finish off with this beauty- 4.2 miles with nearly 470 foot loss.  Seriously folks.  This is what I'm talking about!  PR TIME!  I'm hoping to break my 5K PR time on this leg.
I'm so so so excited for this race!  Meet new friends, hang out in Vegas with some family, run a good race.

I've come a long way since I first started running in January 2010, and I'm pretty stoked to reward myself with a cool trip.  Where would I be without my invisible friends?!  Thanks you so much for inviting me, Rachelle!

If you haven't run an overnight relay- it is a MUST do!!!  There are legs for all difficulties- from the new runner to the veteran- you pick your poison.  Do one, and you'll be addicted.  Promise!

Have you ever run a relay?  If so, what is your favorite?
I've run Ragnar Wasatch Back (Utah) twice, and Del Sol (Arizona) once.  I loved both for different reasons, but Wasatch Back is by far my favorite race I've ever run.  It's so freaking hard that you can't help but feel pride in accomplishment.  I feel as proud that I ran up the Ragnar leg as I do about running a Boston Qualifying Marathon.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We fail?

If you haven't already, go and enter my giveaway for Scott James Jewelry!

I know I've been MIA lately.  I didn't think it would be possible, but I think I've actually run out of things to say!  So, alas, the blog has remained empty.

This last weekend I went to Cedar City to the High School Shakespeare Competition.  I workshop kids for Shakespeare with Davis High School, and I love every second of it.  This year there was a lot of playing, a few tears, more laughs than I can count, and many a sleepless night.

I also ended up with strep throat which means that I skipped out on my long run...  I'm still trying not to beat myself up about it.

Back to Shakespeare....  His words are universal.  The reason the Bard has been so popular is because of the timelessness and utter relatability of his characters and the situations they are in.

So maybe we don't murder our enemies sons and bake them into pies like in Titus Andronicus.

And maybe we don't sell our souls to the Devil in order to obtain a higher position like MacBeth.

However, we can apply the lines to our lives with ease.  Example?

MacBeth, Act I Scene VII:

Macb.        If we should fail?       
  Lady M.        We fail!
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we’ll not fail.

Whether you have a bad workout, a bad race,or you are getting ready to run your first race or your 100th- remember COURAGE. 

...and maybe remember not to dabble in devil worshiping.  It just leads to death.  Trust me.

Friday, October 7, 2011

GIVEAWAY! Scott James Jewelry

I have five loves in my life: The Lord, my family, theater, running, and jewelry.  It's true!  You will hardly ever see me without earrings, a ring, and a necklace.  My taste is pretty simple- nearly everything I wear is silver.  That is why I love, love, love Scott James Jewelry.

I feel I should tell you that I am not paid, or given anything by Scott (in fact, he doesn't even know I have a blog at all!).  He is a family friend, but most of all, I just really love his jewelry.  If you have run races in Utah, there's a good chance you've seen him.  He's at the start and finish line of every Ragnar Relay, many of the marathons, and even some half marathons.

On his website you can see that he custom creates jewelry.  He has a whole section for running jewelry because, you guessed it, he's a runner himself!  (Although I'm sure he doesn't wear the necklaces :)).  He has a section for running, Ragnar Relay, triathlon, Sand Hollow, St. George, Ogden, Rock N' Roll, and Utah Valley.

Anywho- I'm writing all of this because I want to show you my necklace!  My dearest friend Mindy gave me a 26.2 charm the other day.  I was so stoked!  She's so thoughtful and I feel so blessed to have her as a friend.  Here is my necklace (if you see me, I'm pretty much always wearing it):

MY CHARMS:  26.2, Del Sol (Ragnar Relay), and the Ragnar Relay symbol (which I may or may not pretend is a gold medal for running up Guardsman, aka the "Ragnar" leg, in the Wasatch Back this year).
What I'm so excited about is that I'm going to spread the love!!!!  I'm having my very first giveaway!  (I know, my jaw is dropped, too!)  You can enter to win this simple and sweet "run" charm for your very own.
To enter the giveaway you must follow the blog and enter a comment below.  Please only one comment per person.  Contest ends in one week- Thursday, October 13th at 11:59 PM.  (Do I even need to be that serious?  I mean, come on, there's only like 10 of you that really read this.)  I will only ship to the good ol' US of A (and that's because I'm CHEAP).

Feel free to check out Scotty's jewelry too!  (Although, that's not required.  He has some cool stuff and Christmas is all but knocking on our door).

Good luck! :)