Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I guess this is goodbye.

Over a month ago a friend of mine suffered (and is still suffering) a terrible tragedy.  I talked about it on the blog before.  Although I haven't mentioned it much since, it has really affected me.  It's affected so many little things that I can't even name them.  I think the best way to explain it is by sharing this quote:

"This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now."

This quote is from the Prophet of my Church, President Thomas S. Monson.  I actually came across this talk when I was searching for peace just after the loss of Val, Kathy and Quincy.  While this tragedy is not my own, it has helped me to more fully distinguish those things that are important, and those things that aren't.

I've realized that this blog takes time away from what is most important to me in this world- my children.

Don't get me wrong- I have loved it.  It has been a great blessing to me to form friendships with people that share my passion.  I've loved connecting with so many people, and I feel truly blessed for the relationships that have formed here.

But it is time to say goodbye.

I've thought about just not updating, but I hate it when a blogger just disappears without a proper farewell.  So, here it is- the final post of Run My Guts Out.


Thanks for supporting me in my successes, and most of all my failures.  Thanks for inspiring me.  Thanks for making me laugh.  Thanks for being a friend!

Much Love,

Monday, June 18, 2012

5 Ragnar Commandments

I just completed my 5th Ragnar!  How nuts is that?!  Just two years ago the Wasatch Back was my first race EVER.  My how times have changed!  For me, I feel like the Wasatch Back is the most challenging race that I participate in.  I love the hills, I love the difficulty of running in the elements, and I love doing it with great friends by my side.

Since this is my 5th Ragnar, I will share my 5 Ragnar Commandments:

1.  Thou Shalt Pack Light!  I sleep in my running clothes, and I take advantage of Ziploc bags.  However, you shouldn't follow my example of forgetting to pack a jacket.

2.  Thou Shalt Run Happy!  Smiles are contagious.  Feeling tired?  Smile.  Feeling sore?  Smile.  Feeling excited out of your mind?  SMILE!
3.  Thou Shalt Run Hard.  It's probably going to be hot on your longest leg with the biggest hill you've ever had to climb, so run hard.  You'll be proud of yourself if you do.
4.  Thou Shalt Get Out of the Car!  Everyone is tired, everyone would prefer to sit in the car and relax, but everyone loves a good cheerleader.  Everyone NEEDS a good cheerleader.  My own personal rule is that every time we stop to support a runner, I always get out of the van.  Always!  This is my favorite of all the commandments.  It makes you the best teammate, and your legs will thank you for allowing them to stretch and move.

5.  Thou Shalt Rock the Night Leg.  I didn't get any night pictures this time, but the night legs are always the best.  Every time!  Maybe it's because it's finally cool out?  Rather than dread running at an obscene hour of the night, anticipate it!  I guarantee it will be your favorite run of the race.

 My team was T.H.E.  B.E.S.T.  So proud of each and every one of them.  We finished in 33:53:32, and we had fun in every single one of those seconds.

I pushed myself harder than usual on this Ragnar, and it was great fun.  I'm way sore today- my quads and calves are both shredded.  I'm so happy with how I was able to run, and I can't wait to do one of these crazy relays all over again!

 What are your personal Ragnar Commandments?

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Not much blogging, but....

I did a three-a-day last Saturday- 3.1 in the AM, 4.5 in the noonish, and 6.7 in the evening.  The best part was that my mid-day run was this:

Dirty Dash with the husband and Piglet Plunge with the piglet.

I checked out Guardsman for the first time this year.  It was gorgeous and every bit as challenging as I remember.  I only ran a mile and a half up and gained 1,085 feet- for a road runner, that's a lot!  And I was able to keep a 10:52 pace.

We had a team 10K for my Ragnar team- Stoked on Socks.  Wasatch Back is 8 days away and I'm, well, STOKED.

On Monday I ran leg #27 of the Wasatch Back with Darcy.  She's runner #3 and this will be her final leg of the race.  It's a route I've wanted to run for a couple of years and it was fun to actually do it!
I also ran leg #28 with my sister, Cami, last weekend.  We NEVER get time to ourselves, so to run for over an hour and being able to talk uninterrupted was blissful.

Can you tell I'm excited for Wasatch Back?  I'm E.X.C.I.T.E.D.

What are you looking forward to these days?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How I ran a 3:29 Marathon

When I showed up to the expo with my friend Kalie before the Ogden Marathon, my stomach dropped.

There was no 3:30 pacer.  3:35- yes.  3:25- yes!  NO 3:30.

Considering the fact that I owed my last goal hitting marathon to the 3:40 pacers, I was devastated.  I had only run 1 other marathon, and I was nervous thinking that if I wanted to hit my 3:30 goal, that I would have to do it on. my. own.

I grabbed a 3:25 pace band just in case I decided I was feeling fast that day.

I *attempted* to eat healthy that day (and in the week leading up to the race).  I had a 12" turkey sub from Subway for lunch and a 6" turkey sub and banana for dinner.  Subway is the recipe for success, I tell you!

I kept debating about what shoes to wear for the marathon.  Nike Trainers?  New Balance Minimus?  I wore the minimus shoes for my last marathon, but I hadn't been training as much with them this time around.  Ultimately my husband made the decision for me and I set out my Nikes- best not to change what you practiced.

At about 10:30 PM is when I started panicking about the pacer all over again.  I just didn't feel like it was smart to try to do a 3:25 when I hadn't been training for it, so I madly created my own pace band using the splits that Billy created for me and finished at 11PM- just in time for Pepto and bed.

I slept okay- thanks to taking a melatonin- but woke at 3:15AM and just waited for my alarm at 3:45AM to get out of bed.  I've learned over the last 2 1/2 years that lack of sleep doesn't affect race performance.  I began my early morning race routine- bath, Pepto again, granola bar and banana for breakfast, lots of water, more than one prayer on my knees, and I was out the door.

I took a Gu with caffeine about 30 minutes before the race started.  Let's talk a bit about Gu- it's positively GAGGY.  However, it is the only thing I've found that doesn't give me GI issues during the run.  The trick is getting it down.  I've found that if I swallow it with a swig of water that I do better, but I'll be honest, every time I took one during the race I thought I wasn't going to get it down, and that that was going to be the one that finally made me puke.  I never did, but that feels like a miracle.  I hope to find something one day that is good on my stomach as well as easy to swallow.

I ran this race one mile at a time.  I looked at my pace band and did my best to match my mile pace to the pace that was listed.  I was completely focused on this- so focused that I didn't even see my family until I literally ran right into them.  It was so great for me to have a little goal to look at and wrap my head around for each mile.

I drank 1-2 cups of liquid at every water stop along the course.  If I was taking a Gu, then I took water, and if I wasn't then I chose Powerade.  I wanted to be sure I was well hydrated throughout, and I feel like I was.  I never felt thirsty.  I took a Gu at miles 5, 12, 18, and 22.  Gu was my only fuel for this race.

Here's the mile breakdown compared with Billy's splits:

My splits:                                   Pace Band:
1- 7:36                                        7:37
2- 7:48                                        8:22
3- 7:39                                        7:59
4- 7:41                                        7:59
5- 7:44                                        7:54
6- 7:43                                        7:46
7- 7:42                                        7:49
8- 7:48                                        7:51
9-8:03                                         8:08
10- 8:01                                      8:06
11- 8:13                                      8:08
12- 7:58                                      8:01
13-7:59                                       8:08
14- 7:54                                      7:54
15- 8:26                                      8:27
16- 7:57                                      8:08
17- 8:00                                      8:21
18- 7:34                                      8:07
19- 7:59                                      7:49
20- 8:22                                      8:36
21-7:56                                       7:56
22- 7:45                                      7:49
23- 7:22                                      7:43
24- 8:09                                      7:47
25- 8:13                                      8:01
26- 8:30                                      8:03
.4- 2:58                                       .16- 1:18

Garmin time:  26.39 miles, 3:29:00, 7:55 pace
Official time:  26.2 miles, 3:29:00, 7:59 pace

Sure wish I could figure out how to pace myself according to miles rather than using my Garmin.  Seems like the distance is always off in races, but I just don't know how to do it without my watch!  I still feel like I ran a marathon with a 7:55 pace.

Taking into account that this was only my second marathon ever and that I was able to pace myself to my goal of a sub 3:30 on my own, I am very proud of myself!  I love that I can say that I truly ran my own successful race.  It still amazes me!

I was so glad I didn't wear my Minimus shoes.  Last time my calves were cramping so bad during the last 12 miles and this time I didn't have any cramping at all!  I was able to walk around and even run the kids race with Annie that afternoon.  I felt fatigued, and had a bit of hamstring pain and IT Band pain that I had been fighting over the last couple of months, but nothing that I felt negatively affected my performance.

As I look back on race day, the only mistake I feel like I made was signing Annie up for the kids race.  I finished my marathon at 10:30, and Annie's race didn't start until 12:30.  I ended up getting really sick that afternoon and I think it was because I didn't get food- or enough water- in me fast enough; we didn't get lunch until 1:30 and by that time I was feeling SICK.  It's important to take care of yourself after you put such a huge demand on your body like this!

My biggest mistake in all of training was running 20 miles on a treadmill.  I never train on a treadmill and running on one for such a huge run screwed up my body.  I did that treadmill run almost 2 months ago, and I'm still fighting off the injuries from it.  I will never do that again.

I trained using the FIRST method from Run Less, Run Faster.  I missed an entire month of training within my training cycle, and I really believe that if I hadn't been following this program, I wouldn't have made it to the start line.  I'm a convert!  I would love to run more frequently than I do, but because I'm prone to injury, it's just not in the cards.  This program keeps me healthy AND helped me achieve my goal of a 3:30 marathon.