Thursday, June 30, 2011

Childlike Behavior

Today's Workout:  5.5 miles outside in the rain, 30 minutes elliptical.


While I ellipticized Dillon got his cardio on by walking on the treadmill.  Dillon loves working out at the clubhouse and that is how we kick off almost everyday while he is here.
***

Next we were off to the Hogle Zoo.


Dillon's favorite part of the zoo was the snakes.


And of course James's favorite part was the horses.  A true little buckaroo indeed.



Amber was a fan of the gorillas.





And besides lunch my favorite part would have to be the carousel and train ride.



Running around in the sun all day like a small child left me cranky and exhausted and me, Dillon, and James slept the entire way home.  (sorry Amber but thanks for taking us.)

Do you have any childlike behaviors?

It would take me all day to list all of mine but I definitely love the freedom and exhilaration of playing like a kid again.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Speedwork & Dillon's Story

*My one year of running anniversary is quickly approaching and I have two awesome giveaways planned to celebrate.  You are going to definitely want to stay tuned and get in on this.

Today's Workout:  20 minutes weights, 8 speed work treadmill miles, 60 minutes.
***
Wednesdays are my designated Speed Workout Days

Speed work:  The purpose of speed work is to help you run faster and smoother.  Speed work is shorter intervals of goal race paces and should feel hard but not so hard that you lose good running form.
My workout today looked like this:  6x800s (800 meters=half a mile)
1 mi warm up, 8:00 pace
.5 @ 5k pace 6:40
.5 recover 8:06 pace
.5 @ 5k pace 6:40
.5 recover 8:06
.5 @ faster than 5k pace 6:31
.5 recover 8:06
.5 @ faster than 5k pace 6:31
.5 recover 8:06 pace
.5 @ faster than 5k pace 6:27
.5 recover 8:06
.5 @ faster than 5k I MIGHT DIE RIGHT NOW pace 6:19
.5 recover 8:06 pace
1 mile cool down 8:34 pace

Benefits of Speed work:  Simply put the benefits you reap from speed work should translate into improved race performances over time.  They will also help you learn to tolerate both the physical and mental discomforts while racing. <-----This is important!  Speed work also comes with risk of injury so definitely ease into it and if you have no desire of getting faster avoid it altogether.
***

My cousin (he is actually my cousin's son so whatever that makes him) Dillon is coming today to stay with me for two week and I'm pretty sure he will be making multiple appearances on the good ole blogitty blog so I decided he deserves a proper introduction.  Plus his story is inspiring and makes me want to be a better person each and every day.


Dillon is a Special Needs child and the most amazing example of a human being I have ever known.  He was born prematurely with several brain defects and severe Muscular Dystrophy.  His Mom was told he may not live to see his 1st birthday and that there was no chance he would ever walk.

Dillon is now 19 years old and just graduated from Centenial High School in Boise.



Dillon taught himself to walk at the age of 5 and started by walking on the tops of his feet.  He was then fitted for braces and through lots of physical therapy, and determination he is able to walk and even run all on his own.




Mentally Dillon is on the level of about a 6-8 year old but he lets nothing get him down.  One thing is for sure and that is that Dillon loves life.  He is always happy and inspires everyone he meets.  His euphoric energy and love for life is contagious and I feel blessed to have him in my life.  His life has not been easy and he has overcome several trials.  He has faced ridicule from teenagers, the mental battle of being in a 19 year old body with a 6 year old mind, and learning to walk against all odds.


But Dillon lives in the moment and he truly strives to live each day to the fullest.


Dillon Loves Life.

I may be slacking on commenting in the next few days as I spend every waking hour playing with Dillon.  So please forgive me and I promise to catch up.  Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Does Dillon's story inspire you to never give up and to live each day to the fullest?

Everytime I see him I am reminded of the simple pleasures of life and I throw all my worries out the window. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Marathon Training Details

Today's Workout:  25 minutes weights, 18 minutes elliptical, 6.5 treadmill miles, 52 minutes
***

A few of you asked me how I came up with my marathon training plan?  Basically I threw it together based on where I think my current fitness is and what I think will help me to achieve a 3:20 marathon.  I am no expert and just think this is a plan that I am actually capable of following.  For my back to back marathons in the spring I followed a plan similar to This.  I didn't do speedwork, tempo runs, or hill training but rather focused on increased mileage and long runs.

A few of you were also concerned about the high mileage in my training plan and I can understand and appreciate your concern.  I realize that the mileage seems high but my body is already accustomed to regularly running 60 miles a week.  Part of the reasoning for the high mileage is strictly training purposes and the other part is for my sanity.  I realize that some of the extra miles could be seen as choosing quantity over quality but if it medicates my mental health than it is worth it to me.

With that said I thought I would detail what some of my training means.  Keep in mind that I have barely been running a year and I am still learning but here is an outline of my first two days of training.  Some of this information may be irrelevant to you and most of you probably know a lot more about it than me but I sure wish I would have understood it better when I first started running.  So I figure it is worth sharing if even one person can benefit from it.

Yesterday's Workout was an 8 miles Tempo Run

Tempo Run:  A tempo run should be "comfortably hard" effort and is a continuous run with a buildup in the middle to near 10k race pace.  Tempo running is crucial to racing success because it trains your body to sustain speed over distance

My Tempo Workout looked something like this:  10min warm-up 8-8:15 pace, 2 miles @half marathon pace 7:24-7:30, 1 mile @10k pace 7:02-7:15, 2 miles @ half marathon pace, 15min cool down.

Benefits of Tempo Workout:  Improve metabolic fitness by increasing lactate threshold.  "Tempo training is more important than speedwork for the half and full marathon," says Loveland, Colorado, coach Gale Bernhardt, author of Training Plans for Multi sport Athletes. "Everyone who does tempo runs diligently improves."

Today's Workout was X-training and/or easy run

Easy Run:  An easy run should feel easy and you should not feel like you are pushing yourself.  You should be able to hold a conversation and feel like if necessary you could run faster or harder.

My Easy Run Today:  6.5 miles at an 8 minute pace.  Your easy run should be 30-45 seconds slower than your half marathon or marathon pace. (I should have slowed this down even more and that is something I am working on.)

Benefits of Easy Run:  The real benefit of Easy/Recovery runs is that they increase your fitness--perhaps almost as much as longer, faster runs do by challenging you to run in a pre-fatigued state (i.e. a state of lingering fatigue from previous training.)

Okay that is enough for today.  Each day I do a new workout on my training plan I will explain to you how and why I do it.  It is a really good thing my Dad does not have Internet access at home this Summer because he would be on my back about writing the worlds most boring posts! 
***

In other non-running related news my cousin Dillon is coming tomorrow to stay with me for two weeks so prepare yourselves for crazy summer adventure picture overload!

A picture from last Summer.  I am so excited to see my buddy Dillon!

Are you training for a half or full marathon?

Are you bored to death with my training posts or do you find them interesting and beneficial?

Promise to not be offended if you'd rather look at a picture of a Bloody Thumb than read my silly ramblings.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Marathon Training Take 2

Today's Workout:  25 minutes weights, 8 treadmill miles, 62 minutes
***


I realize I am a complete and utter hypocrite.  Yesterday there were talks on this here blog of 'taking a break' and today I am planning out my St. George Marathon training. Ahem.....addiction? Yes indeed.  But humor me if you will. 
  
As I look at my calendar I realize that St. George Marathon is only 3 short months away.  How did that happen?  With that acknowledgement it became time for me to quickly devise a 14 week training plan.

Vague Goals:

1.  Lose 5-7lbs.  Hate this goal but the harsh reality is that it needs to happen. We all know that body weight affects running performance, and the "leaner" you are the faster you run.  Stupid, stupid, stupid!

2.  Peak at 65+ mile weeks.  I have no idea how I am going to achieve that and that therefore is why I am calling these goals vague.

3.  Hit the hills once a week.  Again the first step in reaching goals is making them right?  This one will be a dozy for me.

4.  Make easy days EASY.  This may actually be the toughest for me because I have a hard time not wanting to push myself all the time.  I know though that this is important.

5.  Train for a 3:20 finishing time.  7:38 pace for 26.2 freaking miles.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

 
 SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdayTotal Mileage
Week 1 Jun 26-July 2ndRest or easy jog8 miles tempox train &/or Easy runSpeed work 5 miles + 2 mi cool downEasy run 8 milesHill Workout 7 milesLR 12 miles44
Week 2 July 3rd-9thRest or easy jog10 miles tempox train &/or Easy runSpeed work 5 miles + 2 mi cool downEasy Run 8-10 milesEasy run 7-8 milesLavendar Days 5k + 5 miles easy47
Week 3 July 10th-16thRest or easy jog10 miles tempox train &/or Easy runSpeed Work 6 miles + 2 mi cool downEasy Run 10 milesHill workout 8 milesLR 13-14 miles, vaca with fam56
Week 4 July 17th-23rdRest or easy jog11 miles tempox train & 6 mile easy runSpeed Work 6 miles + 3 mi cool downEasy run 10 milesHill Workout 8 milesLR 15 miles61
Week 5 July 24th-30thRest or easy jog11 miles tempox train & 6 mile easy run8 easy miles or x trainEasy 6 milesEasy 4 milesTimp Half Marathon50
Week 6 Jul 1-Aug 6thRest or easy jog12 miles tempox train & 6 mile easy runSpeed Work 6 miles + 3 mi cool downEasy Run 10 milesHill Workout 8 milesLR 16 miles63
Week 7 Aug 7-13thRest or easy jog12 miles tempox train & 6 mile easy runSpeed Work 6 miles + 3 mi cool downEasy Run 10 milesHill Workout 7 milesDash for Donation 5k + 5-6 easy miles55
Week 8 Aug 14th- 20thRest or easy jog12 miles tempox train & 6 mile easy runSpeed Work 6 miles + 3 mi cool downEasy Run 10 milesHill Workout 8 milesLR 18 miles65
Week 9 Aug 21-27thRest or easy jog12 miles tempox train & 6 mile easy runSpeed Work 6 miles + 2 mi cool downEasy Run 10 milesHill Workout 6 milesLR 20 miles65
Week 10 Aug 28th- Sept 3rdRest or easy jog12 miles tempox train & 6 mile easy runSpeed Work 6 miles + 2 mi cool downEasy Run 10 milesHill Workout 6 milesLR 22 miles67
Week 11 Sept 4th-10thRest or easy jogOnion Days 10kx train & 6 mile easy run8 easy miles or x trainEasy run 8 milesEasy run 6 milesNebo Half Marathon47
Week 12 Sept 11th- 17thRest or easy jog8 miles tempo6 easy miles4 miles tempoeasy run 6 milesEasy run 6 milesLR 10 miles42
Week 13 Sept 18-24thRest or easy jog5 miles tempo4 easy miles3 tempo miles4 easy milesNapa Valley Ragnar RelayNapa Valley Ragnar Relay35
Week 14 Sept 25th - Oct 1Rest or easy jog4 miles tempo3 easy miles3 easy milesrest2 easy milesSt. George Marathon38

So there you have it.  I have a plan.  I will not follow it perfectly and I will tweak it as I go but it sure does feel good to at least have an outline and have something in writing.  The less thinking my peanut sized brain needs to do each morning the better. :)

**Go check out my friend Stephanie's blog and become a follower.  She is planning a giveaway as soon as she hits 50 followers.  She is also a personal trainer, a speed demon, and one ripped little Mama so stop by for some awesome training tips.

Any Questions about my silly little training plan?

I will try to detail each day for you throughout the week and explain my tempo, speed, and hill days. (once I figure them out for myself first. :)  I also may split some of the workouts into 2 a days since I have a hard time running more than 8 miles before work and I do not want to sacrifice my weight routine.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

American Fork Half Marathon Re-Cap

I keep putting this re-cap off for some reason and I think it is because I am not 100% happy with my performance yesterday.  I want to be happy because I ran a good time and set a new PR which is great. But the truth is I know I could have done better and in the end I feel like I let negativity and self doubt get the best of me.

I loved the course, I loved the cause, and I loved the downhill elevation but I did not love the way I felt during this race.  I never had an "aha" moment or a "runner's high" during this race and I am hoping I can learn from it and move forward.  Luckily for me I am running a nearly identical course in 35 days and will have a chance to redeem myself.

Anyway the day started early at 3:30am.  This time is actually becoming a norm to me as I have been awake in the middle of the night on Saturdays for the past three weeks.  I woke up, threw myself together, and was out the door by 4.  I got to American Fork High School by 4:30 met up with Rochelle and her friend and it was off to the races.

We got up to the top around 5:30am and after a quick trip to the porta potty it was time to go.  I really cannot say enough about how well organized this race was for being the first year.  This is definitely a race I will do every year because it was incredibly well put together and for such an amazing cause.  The gun went off right at 6am (in fact it was a little before 6 on my garmin) and I was excited to get going.

Although this race was a downhill course which I love I truly never felt strong the entire race.  I kind of felt like I was pushing myself, and breathing hard with every single step. 

Mile 1:  6:31
Mile 2:  6:52
Mile 3:  6:56

I knew I was running okay but people were passing me and I felt like I needed to speed up so I decided to push it a bit.

Mile 4:  6:41
Mile 5:  6:23
Mile 6: 6:31

I started to get excited as this was definitely a 10k PR for me and thought I would just keep pushing myself and see if I could run 9 miles in an hour.  I ate 3 chomps and just decided to go for it.  This was such a stupid decision because I pushed myself too hard and ended up blowing up because of it.

Mile 7:  6:23
Mile 8:  6:55

After mile 8 the course flattened out and I was exhausted.  Every single muscle in my body ached, I felt like I was gasping for air, and I just had no idea how I was possibly going to finish this race.

Mile 9:  7:16
Mile 10:  7:36
Mile 11:  7:53

I was struggling mentally after mile 11.  I knew I only had 2 miles to go but those 2 miles felt harder than the entire last 6 miles of my marathon.  I was turning to a walk/run method at this point and slowing completely at the water stations.  I tried to think about all of the cancer victims I have lost in my life and then I started thinking about how cancer patients never stop fighting their battle and that they are not quitters.  I was able to pick it up when I though about how hard cancer patients fight every single day for their lives.

Mile 12:  7:36
Mile 13:  8:03
Mile 14:  1:23 (6:50 pace)

Finishing Time:  1:32:57, 7:02 pace

I was so incredibly happy to be finished and so excited to go back and cheer my friends on because I knew they were going to knock their PR's out of the park and run great.  They all did awesome and I honestly think my favorite part of the day was cheering on all of the half marathon and 5kers.  So many of them were cancer survivors and it was so exciting to see them doing something so hard.  It helped me to put things in perspective and remember the real reason I was running the race.  I held my sign up for them, cheered for every single runner, and found myself overwhelmed with emotion when a few people were chanting out loud "we can do it" our mom fought cancer and we can fight this race.  It was so emotional and so great!

So happy to be finished

Totally squinting but proud to be kicking cancers ass.

Me with my sign

Julia, Ashley, and me after the race.  I love that we are all wearing pink.  I wore pink in support of breast cancer.


Blurry picture but I ended up taking 2nd in my age group and winning movie tickets.  17th overall female and 55th overall finisher.

Overall this race was an amazing experience and I am so glad I did it and so excited to have set a new half marathon PR.  Although I am somewhat disappointed with my performance I still ran a great time and set a new PR.  I also think that this was a major red flag that my body needs a break from racing.  I push myself really hard when I race and racing 4 weekends in a row was probably not my brightest idea. 

Sometimes I forget that my body isn't a machine and I ask too much of it.  Racing is definitely a passion of mine and I love it but I also realize that it takes a lot out of me physically and mentally.  My next big race will be Saturday July 30th.  I may or may not sneak a few 5ks in between that time but I definitely am not going to push myself.  The worst thing I could do is risk an injury before I start St. George training.

Ever ran a great race time wise or even PR'd but just weren't feeling it?

Besides this race my Turkey Trot 5k (which was a PR for 5 months) was very similar.  I hated every second of it but somehow still ran a best time.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Your Feet Hurt Cause Your Kicking Ass!"

Today was a race day and not just any race day but my 4th consecutive weekend of racing in a row!  I whole heartedly admit that I have a problem.  But I just love it!  Anyone know a good therapist that could walk me through this addiction?

This race was to support cancer, and my employer was sponsoring it, and there was just no way I was turning it down.  My legs may be hating me but it was a beautiful morning and a great race for a great cause.  I'll deal with the pain later right?



Full re-cap to come soon.  But the results are in:

Garmin Time:  1:32:57, 13.22 miles, 7:02 average pace, 3:29 max pace? (um is that even possible?)

Official Results: 1:33:02, 7:06 average pace, 2/79 age group.

Congrats to everyone who ran this race today!  I am especially proud of Ashley, Julia, and Rochelle.  You ladies rock, and cheers to kicking cancers ass!!



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dash For Donation

Today's Workout:  25 minutes weights, 6.25 treadmill miles - 50 minutes, 10 minutes elliptical
***

If you have been following my blog for awhile you know that I started it after my little brother Trevor passed away in a tragic car accident in October of 2009.  After Trevor passed away I picked up running as a way to help cope with his death.  Me and Trevor were incredibly close and running has filled a major void for me in grieving with his loss.  

After Trevor's death two of my greatest passions in life have become running and organ donation.  Trevor was an organ donor and through his selfless donation lives were saved.  Immediately after Trevor's death my family was faced with the difficult decision of organ donation.  Trevor had selected "yes" to organ donation on his drivers license and this made the decision easy for us.  I think it is one of the best decisions Trevor and my family has ever made because it has touched our lives in so many ways.

Trevor's name is displayed on the Celebrate life Monument in downtown SLC and each year my family celebrates his life at the annual Organ Donor Recognition Ceremony.


Celebrate Life Monument.  If you look closely you can see Trevor's name.

Organ Donor Recognition Ceremony 2011.

Since organ donation is something my family and I are so incredibly passionate about and it has directly touched our lives in so many ways we have decided to put together a team for this years Dash for Donation in honor of my brother Trevor.



If you live in Utah and would like to join us in running in honor of my brother please click Here to register.  Use team name Running For Trevor to join our team and save $7 off of your registration fee.

I will also be designing some awesome team shirts for everyone who participates so make sure to let me know if you sign up so that I can get you a shirt.  Julia and I ran this event last year in honor of my friend Erin who was awaiting a kidney transplant and I think we would both agree that it was a wonderful experience. It is a very well organized race with a lot of great giveaway prizes and all proceeds go towards Intermountain Donor Registry and help aid the 110,586 people currently waiting for an organ.

  • 18 people will die each day waiting for an organ
  • 1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives
  • Someone is added to the organ donor waiting list every 11 minutes
  • Each day 75 people receive organ transplants
"Organ transplantation has become an accepted medical treatment for end-stage organ failure. The facts prove it. But only you can help make it happen."

Are you an organ donor?

Has your life been affected by the gift of organ donation?

Are you going to join my team?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Running on Empty

Today's Workout:  20 minutes weights, 8 treadmill miles, 64 minutes.
***

I have a confession to make.  I do not like grocery shopping and haven't been to the grocery store in three and a half weeks with the exception of one trip maybe 2 weeks ago to buy apples and cottage cheese.  Heaven forbid I go 2 minutes without cottage cheese.

Don't worry yourselves I have definitely been eating.  Believe me I am THAT girl that does not miss a single meal.  Hungry or not if it's meal time I'm eating!  I've been living off of my Mom's leftovers from Sunday dinner, supplementing with canned fruit, eating way more pb&j sandwiches than I wish to share, and maybe stealing a bag of chex mix and twizlers from my Ragnar van. :) 

The goods I stole from my parents house this Sunday.

Just proof that I am not the only person in my family that loves cookies.  There were only 4 adults at Sunday dinner this week.  oops!
This little "grocery free" stint has actually become a good thing because I have been forced to make up meals and use things in my freezer and pantry I would have never touched if I had fresh groceries.  I have also saved some money along the way which I am not complaining about.

I planned to face the Walmart death march yesterday for Tuesday double couponing day (do you guys know about double couponing day at walmart?) but I was instead forced to watch a 1 year old be tortured by a white coat wearing Monster. 



2 hours, 5 shots, 999 tears (half of those tears from me), and 1 Doctor thinking me and my sister were lesbians (sisters hubby couldn't make the apt and it took 3 people to hold down the giraffe sized toddler) later I was way to traumatized to face the crazy walmart lines.

Today I finally decided that I simply cannot eat another can of peaches or another pb&j sandwhich so it is the day I will finally face the dreaded grocery store. 

That is where you all come into play.  I am incredibly bored with my same old foods (cottage cheese, yogurt, turkey sandwiches, grapes, granola bars, potato chips, & twizlers) so tell me something awesome that you have been eating lately that I must buy today?

Hate grocery shopping or love it?

It totally depends on my mood because sometimes I love it but definitely not lately.

Ever try the "see how long I can go without buying groceries" game?

You should try it because you will be surprised at what you can find lurking in your pantry.

Ever buy things you don't need just because you have a stupid coupon?

Yes way to much and this is why I have a love/hate relationship with coupons.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Who Let The Dogs Out..

Today's Workout:  35 minutes weights-Boy did that feel great, 6.5 speed work miles 8:00 warm up, 7:04, 6:59, 6:59, 6:54, 6:44, 8:30 cool down.  I kept the incline at .5 for most of the workout and lowered it to 0 for the last 2 speed miles.
***

 I usually run 2 miles about 4-5 days a week with my furry little friend Izzy.  Izzy loves to run and quite frankly I love running with her because it is so carefree and stress relieving. (well it used to be).  I never really care about pace or time and  I look forward to coming home from work, lacing up my shoes, and going out for quick little jaunt.  It clears my head, releases Izzy's pent up energy, and keeps me from eating my stress away in the pantry.


The problem is that lately almost every time we run we have been getting attacked and chased by big dogs off of leashes.  I whole heartedly admit to having a major phobia of big dogs.  I was not raised around animals at all and have always had a major fear of dogs.  I am getting better about this but I literally have been known to cry big alligator tears at the mere sight of a dog.

Seriously just this picture scares me.  That is how bad my phobia is.
For the last year Izzy and I have had our favorite little route that we would always take.  1 mile out and 1 mile back on a nice little dead end road filled with farm land.  Suddenly for some reason the people that live down this little street decided they no longer need to chain their dogs up and we get attacked by the same German Shepherd every single time.  It chases after us from the beginning and I end up having to pack Izzy in fear the dog may eat her alive as a small treat.  So much for being a nice and relaxing run.

Izzy is a small 14lb dog

 
Our little farm road.
After fighting this fiasco for several weeks and having major anxiety over whether or not the "mean dog" would be out I decided to map out a new route. I found a little rural road next to a church west of my house and was excited to try something new.  The run was going great and I was happy to be trying out a new little route when all of a sudden about a mile into the run 2 big dogs came out of nowhere.  They chased after Izzy and ended up knocking me to the ground in the process. I fell to the ground hard and was trying to hang onto Izzy's leash in fear they might eat her for dinner. While trying to keep a tight hold on Izzy and brace myself for the fall I ended up landing on my right wrist and cutting my finger incredibly deep.  I have been ignoring the wrist pain and hiding the cut with band aids while praying it doesn't need stitches. 

You just know you all look forward to these awesome self portrait blackberry pics.
After taking 3 days off of running the dog I decided to make a last ditch effort and just run on the highway.  I know this is probably unsafe and not ideal but north of my house there is a wide highway with a pretty wide shoulder.  The first two times I took this route I thought that we had finally found the answer to our prayers problems and that we were in the clear but I was wrong.  Yesterday we went out and were just enjoying the cool nighttime weather when out of nowhere bam there is another German Shepherd leaping towards us.  I picked Izzy up and the dam big dog followed us all the way back to my house jumping up and taunting Izzy the entire way.

Anyway I don't know what the point of this rant  post is but I guess I am just looking for advice?

Anyone ever had this problem?

Should I go talk to the dog owners and ask them to chain up their dogs?

Should I just get over my phobia of big dogs and assume that all dogs are nice and wont harm us?

Should I take my brother in laws suggestion and shoot the big dogs with pellet guns?

I am really just at my wits end and looking for any tips you might have.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Theres No "I" in Team

Today's Workout:  8.5 treadmill miles, 1% incline, 65 minutes
***

"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.  The ability to direct individual accomplishments towards organizational objectives.  It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results."

It is no secret that I love and am obsessed with running Ragnar Relay Races.  Wasatch Back Ragnar was my 3rd Ragnar Relay, (I haven't even been racing for a year yet) I will be running 2 more in 2011, and am already making plans for 2012.

What makes Relay Races so great?  I could not possibly run 200 miles all by myself.  None of us could do this alone, but together as a team this daunting task is made possible.  Through support, dedication, and working as a team together we achieve something great.

My re-cap of the memorable event

I met up with my team "Size Does Matter" Thursday night.  A few of the team members I knew, others I didn't, but of course we all hit it off instantly and are now the best of friends.  After a quick trip to walmart and a few hours of sleep it was time to get the party started.

Kim, Stefanie, Brian, Me, Ken, Nate, and Roxie
I was the first runner and I was incredibly excited to start the race.  I traded first legs with my team captain Ken because he really wanted to run the 5th leg hill.  I happily obliged and it turned out to be a great switch.  Running the first leg meant a lot to me because my Dad's family is from Logan and we are also HUGE Utah State fans.  It was cool to start at the stadium, run past my sisters old stomping grounds, my aunts old house, and just bask in fun childhood memories throughout the first leg of the race.

I promise I really was this excited to start.

These 6.9 miles flew by and I truly loved every second of this leg.  I talked to a few people along the way and before I knew it I was at the exchange in Millville.  6.9 miles with a 7:37 average pace.  I think I smiled the entire time.

Halfway through my first leg of the race.

After my first leg it was time to support the other runners in my van and enjoy the gorgeous scenery we were surrounded by.  Supporting my team members is my favorite part about Ragnar.  I love cheering them on and making sure they are enjoying the experience.

Stef, Me, and Nate enjoying the view while waiting for Roxie.

Supporting Roxie with some water as she tackles the massive hill.

Giving Stef some water during her first leg.

Waiting for Ken to run in.

There he is.
In between legs we hung out at the exchange, ate a few free samples, and took a few pictures. 

In Eden Utah at the first major exchange.
The traffic was a little congested so I decided to hang my head out the window and take some pictures.

The three awesome girls in our van.  Stefanie, Me, and Roxie

After a little bit of rest and some grub it was time for round 2.  Ken Started us off and as always he was ready to go.

Our awesome team captain Ken in the orange.  Such an awesome runner and always energetic.
My second leg was at 8 o'clock at night and the weather was perfect.  It was a short 4.2 miler and I finished in a little over 30 minutes with an average pace of 7:30.  I really wanted to run consistent miles and I really focused on staying in tune with my body.  This run felt hard but good.  It was also fun Because Ken's sister Heather and Mom LeeAnna came up to support our team.  They stopped in the middle of my leg and cheered me on and this really gave me a mental boost.

I have no idea why this picture is cutting off but this is me and Heather before my 2nd leg.

Night time running.
 After our teams 2nd leg our van headed to North Summit High School to try to sleep.  I think I got a solid 2 hours of sleep before it was time to get ready for our last legs.  I was tired and a little sore but still feeling good and excited to run my final leg of the race.  I ran my last 3.35 miles in 24 minutes for an average pace of 7:08.  Even though it was my shortest leg it was definitely the hardest for me.  There was a lot of uphill and I was just tired.  It felt so great to finish this leg strong and I was incredibly happy to be done and proud of my van for running so hard.


Ready to run my last leg of the race.

Excited to only have 3 miles left to run.

My last exchange.

Handing off to Brian after my last leg of the race.

Wasatch Back Ragnar was such an amazing experience and I am so thankful and grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing team.  Unfortunately I had to miss the finish with my team to make it to my nephews birthday party but I am so proud of every single member of my team for never quitting and always pushing themselves.  So many individual milestones were met and collectively we finished a great race and could not have done it without each other.

Teamwork truly is an amazing thing and Ragnar always reminds me that running is not always about pace, speed, or distance but rather enjoyment, camaraderie, and making memories.

Thanks to team "Size Does Matter" for such an amazing and unforgettable experience.