Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Recovering like a boss

I didn't know what to expect post-marathon. I prepared myself for the post-race "blues", but fortunately they never really came. I think it's because my race calendar is so full. (Wasatch Back "Ultra" Ragnar this weekend and Hobbler Half two weeks after that.) I tried to run 4 days post marathon, but I could feel my left calf (felt like a strain or pull) so I kept it short. 
Here was last week's Daily Mile report. 2 miles.  I can't remember running that few miles since I started running consistently 2 years ago.
 Due to sick kids, family visiting and life in general I didn't attempt running again until yesterday. Mentally and emotionally I was dying to run, but I can still feel the strained calf muscle. It is what it is. I've been doing lots of foam rolling, stretching and planks. If I can't run as  much as I'd like, I might as well work on my core.
I took these 4 cuties to the library's 1,2,3 Blast Off summer reading program and they loved it. I think I deserve a gold star for taking 4 kids into public on my own (and not losing one).
 Not running has given me more opportunities to wear "normal clothes". I have to admit that I have grown to prefer living in elastic waist bands. :) As usual... I had something spilled on me. I think (hope) this was water but you never know.
 Without running, I've been battling with my emotional eating more. This salad, however, always satisfies me.
 My go to "comfort food" right now is hummus. So dang good.
Do you prefer real clothes or workout clothes?

Do you take time off from running after a big race?

What is your favorite snack right now?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hello Summer, meet Winter.

We've been experiencing some crazy weather here in Utah this week. Yesterday it snowed in the mountains and was in the 50s in the valley. It was quite a shock to the system. I froze all day. It sure made for some beautiful scenery though. The mountains are really green, with snow caps. Here was the view from my house this morning. Just beautiful!

Something not beautiful at all..... laundry mountain on my bed. My body is recovering from Saturday, but so is my house. Things sure fall apart fast when mom is MIA for a day (or two).
My appetite has been weird since the race. Some of my typical pregnancy cravings have resurfaced (like loving potato chips???), but I'm am NOT pregnant. Weird. I know that if I want my muscles to rebuild themselves nice and strong, they need the proper nutrition. I've been on an eating roller coaster. Eat chips....drink a kale smoothie. Eat a Hershey's bar....eat a serving of broccoli the size of my head. I'm hoping I can settle back into my normal eating soon. 
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate (no make-up seems to be the trend this week)
These 3 cousins had so much fun dressing up and playing together yesterday. Cousins really are the BEST friends.
 This is such a minor thing, but I got so much pleasure putting the 26.2 badge on the blog. Ain't it pretty?
Today's Workout:
Upper body 3x12
Kettlebell snatches with squat

Bicep curls
Tricep overhead extensions
Tricep dips

Face pulls

Hammer curl into shoulder press
Straight arm pull backs

Crunches on BOSU  ball
Bicycle crunches

1 min elbow plank
1 min side plank (each side)
1 min elbow plank

Hit the treadmill for a 2 mile shake out "run". Walked .5, ran 1, walked .5.

Are your cousins your best friends?

Do you have a designated "laundry day" or do you do loads throughout the week?
I do loads throughout the week, so having 4 loads to fold all at once was miserable for me. 

Do you have weird cravings after a race or intense workout?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Utah Valley Marathon 2014 Race Review

The first part of this post is my personal experience running this race, and the second part is an overall review of the race for those thinking of running this specific marathon. 

This race was everything I had hoped it would be! I got on a bus at 3:50am and rode 26.2 intimidating miles up the canyon. I was emotional as I looked around at all of the runners. I thought about how many hours and miles had gone into their training. It was an inspiring site! I ran into Janae and Heather, friends I met through running, in the port-o-potty line. It was nice to see familiar faces!

 Waiting to cross the starting line.
When the gun went off, another wave of emotion hit me. It was really happening. I was going to get to run a marathon. In fact, so many times during the race I would think about how badly I had wanted to run a marathon and would get a huge smile on my face because I was actually doing it! I knew exactly why I was out there pushing myself, and that was so crucial in my finishing.

My approach was to run really conservatively until mile 13 (walking and hydrating through aid stations), and then assess how I felt. The first 13 miles were beautiful and I felt decent other than the strong headwind I was fighting. I ran alone until I came up on Janae around mile 16. I knew she should have been way ahead of me so I was concerned when I saw her. She was having stomach issues and a "bad race day". We were both so happy to see each other. We ran together after that. I had stomach trouble around mile 17.5 and had to hit the woods since we were in between port-o-potties. We walked through aid stations and in the last miles I stopped a couple of times and would say, "let's walk for two cones" (orange cones were lining the course). I knew Janae was feeling stronger than me, and I still am so grateful that she stuck with me. I'm really independent when it comes to running, but I don't know how things would have been for me if I'd been alone those last miles.

I wanted to finish strong, but my chest was getting really tight and my heart rate and breathing were going nuts. I was close enough to see the LDS temple's Angel Moroni statue that was at the finish line, but had to accept that there would be no sprinting to the end. That's been my thing in the half marathons I've done; I always push really hard the last mile and sprint to the finish. It was humbling to realize I just didn't have it in me. I was fearful of collapsing before I reached the end. Janae ran ahead about a mile from the finish. I wasn't sure how close to passing out I was, so I just put it in a really low gear and kept my eyes on the Angel Moroni statue.
50 yards from the finish line I saw my cute family! Holly and Steph had made fun signs, and part of me just wanted to go over and hug everyone right then and there. Then I realized that if I stopped moving my legs, they may never start again, so I put my eyes back on the finish line.

This picture brings tears to my eyes. I love how the sun's rays are shining right down on me.
Somehow, with heavenly help, I was blessed to make it to the finish. I'm so in love with this whole experience.

I never could have done this race without Kevin. He watches the kids while I get my workouts in. He patiently listens to my alarm going off in the 4 o'clock hour each morning. I just melted into his arms when I finally found him after I crossed the finish line. I just adore him!

Utah Valley Marathon 2014 Race Review
The Course: This course was absolutely beautiful. You start up Wallsburg Canyon, run until you meet Provo Canyon, and then down University Avenue. Then it's a straight shot to the finish in downtown Provo. This run had it all: beautiful canyon scenery, farms, mountains, waterfalls, lake views, and exciting downtown finish line.

The only negative I felt for the course was that through Provo Canyon, the road is steeply cambered. It was annoying and made my hip-flexors sore (the soreness left as soon as the road was flat again.)

Support: This race had amazing volunteers and plenty of support. I was far from being in the lead pack and I feel like the volunteers still had great energy and enthusiasm when I came through. There were aid stations and port-o-potties every two miles. There were lines at most port-o-potty stops, but at mile 13, when you get to where the half marathon started, there were tons of port-o-potties. So if you run this race next year, know you won’t have to wait in line if you can make it to mile 13.

Extras: The expo was good for a race this size. Packet pick-up was very organized and there were minimal wait times when I was there. I loved getting a sample of doTERRA's Deep Blue Rub (cream with essential oils for muscles and joints) in my packet. In my opinion, the girl shirts were ugly, but for some reason I don't think you should wear pink and purple together unless your 5.  I heard others say they liked them, so maybe it was just me.
The race paid for all of the runners to have FREE race photo downloads. I LOVE this perk! The race offered text alerts for a minimal fee and a big screen at mile 22 with personalized encouragement. I was expecting a picture of my kids holding a sign for me, and as I ran by the volunteer even said, "Look at the big screen. There is a message for you!" All I saw was a blank screen. Oops. Hope it worked for everyone else.  I was really sad about not seeing a picture of my two cuties.

No complaints with the medal. I may be wearing it every day for the next month. ;)

Runners: Apparently there were over 1400 Marathon finishers. I was so inspired by the diversity of the runners in this race. Maybe all marathons are this way, but all my assumptions of what a marathon runner "looks" like were demolished, and I'm so glad that they were. I ran side by side with young, old, small and large runners. There were runners decked out in expensive running gear, others were in baggy basketball shorts and t-shirts. A group of fireman ran in full gear. I loved seeing all of the different runners, brought together to tackle the same course.

Weather/Conditions:  I felt like the temperature was perfect (50s), but I've never run in wind like that before. I feel like the strong headwind just made the experience "richer", but I'm sure not everyone felt that way. ;)
There were wind gusts of 23mph and wind speeds of 16mph. 

Bottom Line: I thought this was a well organized race and the scenery was perfect. I felt like they delivered what they promised. I usually say if I'd do the race again in this part of my review, but you'll have to wait until I can walk normal again to get my true answer. ;)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Double Celebration Today!

Happy Father's Day to all of the men out there who impact a child for good. Your influence is so powerful, and I'm thankful for the good men in my life! Today is also Slim's 2nd birthday. I love that his birthday falls on Father's Day this year. It just seems so perfect!

Our little baby bird
 Kevin and Slim at the hospital
 For some reason we tend to celebrate birthdays around here for at least a week.
 Celebrating with cousins
Kevin found this sweet 4-wheeler at a yard sale and Slim is obsessed with it. He thinks it should be an inside toy, and I don't. We'll see who wins this one. ;)

He even got his own fried ice-cream at Los Hermanos

What are you celebrating today?

What are your Father's Day traditions?

Fried ice cream? Yes or No?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Marathon- Check!

Today didn't go exactly how I hoped, but I wouldn't change a thing.  I fought for each mile and was able to finish with friends and family waiting for me at the finish line. I loved today. I loved the hard parts, I loved the deep sense of gratitude I had for my body. I loved seeing friends out on the course and at the aid stations. I loved seeing all of the other runners and their courage and grit. Most of all, I loved seeing that beautiful finish line. It "only" took 4 hours 44 minutes and 48 seconds!

Full race report soon!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Ok... I'll tell you my one goal for tomorrow

I have to start by saying that my local grocery store, Reams, now carries BYU Creamery ice-cream. If you've ever had BYU ice-cream, you know why I'm so excited about this.
 I'm feeling much more confident and excited for tomorrow than I was yesterday. It's amazing what one night of sleep can do for your perspective.  Here's the official outfit:
I've been pretty careful about my eating the last few days. Breakfast today was whole wheat pancakes with ground chia seeds and bananas. I topped them with plain Greek yogurt and Sohgave syrup. So delicious.
Lunch was left over pasta and dinner was homemade whole wheat pizza. I also ate a couple of bananas and a protein bar. If I don't end up with tummy issues tomorrow, I will be eating this exact menu for every future race. ;)
 The expo might as well been Disneyland for my kids. They loved getting all the freebies and Cory had to check out the Haunted Half's spooky display.
 We noticed some familiar faces on this huge banner at the Top of Utah's Half Marathon booth.
 Those two pacers in pink are the famous Holly and Stephanie.

So....my one goal for tomorrow is to not end up like this guy:
 Time to get to bed! The alarm is set for 3:10am! Yikes!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Operation Race Outfit

I'm ashamed to admit that I have driven up north at least 4 different times looking for my race day outfit. Today we stopped at Cabelas to pick up a Father's Day gift and then headed to Scheels. After an hour of trying on clothes, we tried to get on the Farris wheel. Come to find out Mason is too short to ride and Cory is too short to ride alone. Major fail. Cory was so mad at me and said, "You tricked us. You said we were going to Scheels to ride the Farris wheel, but it was really so you could buy stuff." Oops. He's on to me.  I think the shooting gallery smoothed things over a bit.
After searching for days, I bought a pair of "long" Nike shorts that I thought would be perfect. (I'm a little self-conscience in shorts because "thunder" and "lightening" seem to get hungry and eat them while I'm running.)  I also bought some KT tape (for Ragnar), Body Glide, and a pair of shoes I've been wanting since they came out. They were on clearance b/c they were a return. (I sure hope someone didn't run 100 treadmill miles on them and then return them.)
 Man I love a deal!
I put the the new Nike shorts on this evening. Must have been the store mirrors, because they didn't look as good as I'd thought when I bought them. I still don't know what I'm going to wear, but here are a few of the options. Do guy runners even care what they wear on race day, and whether or not their shoes, belt and headband match? Surely not. I think tapering (running way less so I can have fresh legs on race day) is making me crazy!!
This heavenly zucchini, chicken pasta with vodka sauce cheered me up. I ate out on the porch by myself, while I tried to fight all of the ugly body image demons in my head.
No way I can stay in a funky mood with this guy around.
Runner friends, do you buy a new outfit for races?

Do you take your kids with you when you're clothes shopping? If so, what are some of your tricks?

What are you looking forward to this weekend?