Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hobbler Half Review

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

Hobbler Half Marathon 2014 Race Review
The Course: You start up the left fork of Hobble Creek Canyon. Unlike most canyon races, this is not a completely "downhill" course. Hobble Creek offers plenty of ups and downs to make this a unique and challenging half. Due to construction, they changed the end of the course. When we exited the canyon we headed south into Mapleton. I actually preferred this course over last years. The route has a total ascent of 354 ft, a maximum elevation of 5,783 ft. and drops to 4,683 ft.
View at the start

One negative to the course was that it was short! Most runners reported 12.8 miles (including me). I'm sure this will be remedied in the future. Accurate course distances and mile markers are so important, and this year's Hobbler Half didn't deliver either.

Support: There were plenty of aid stations and port-o-potties along the course. They also offered a bag drop option at the top, which seemed to run smoothly. The race started a couple minutes late, but not enough that it was a big deal.
The race also had the RYR Pacers out helping runners meet their goals. They covered paces between 1:35 and 2:30 and also provided a sweeper. This adds a ton of value to me when racing.

Extras:  Packet pick-up ran smoothly. There wasn't any cool swag for this race, but I liked that they included a printed page of race-day instructions. I think it's convenient to have the important info in print on race morning. I was also disappointed that the race shirts are the same as the Provo Half shirts. They have different graphics on them, but they are identical otherwise.

This race also offers a 2 person relay over the half marathon course. I have friends who run the relay and love it! I think it is a fun option that this race offers.

Run13 likes to throw a party at their finish lines. There were bounce houses, face painting and hot air balloon rides. There were Creamies, snow cones, free breakfast and massages. My 5 year old remembered how much fun he had last year, and was really excited to do it all again this year.

Slim used his little piggy toes as brakes.
2014 Medal

Runners: There were just over 700 half marathon finishers, 33 relay team finishers, and 161 5k finishers.

Weather/Conditions:  The weather was nice and cool at the top of the canyon, but it heated up quickly. Even with the 6:30am start time, it's still a July race so prepare to run in the heat. There is some shade coming down the canyon, and after the first turn towards Mapleton, but the majority of the race is in full sun.

Bottom Line: I really like the Hobbler Half. Run13 puts on a fun and well organized event. The course is scenic. It also helps that it is in "my" canyon. If you're looking for a pretty canyon run that isn't steep, this is a great one. If you're looking for a super fast course, skip it. Well, unless they plan on making it 12.8 miles again next year ;)
Post race hugs and kisses

My Hobbler Half 2014 Experience:
Jocelyn and I got to the high school at 4:45am, parked in Springville High's main parking lot and walked over to the park where the buses were loading. We made it on one of the first buses up the canyon.
After only 1 year on the "running scene", I already feel like I am part of a running family. I could have enjoyed another hour walking around and talking to all the amazing people I've met through running.
Jocelyn and me
I went into this race with low expectations but high hopes. My knee and calf (opposite legs) have been bothering me on and off ever since I was training for UVM. I've taken a lot of time off from running since Ragnar to recover. Two days before the race I did a 2.5 mile treadmill run and still had some pain.  I stopped by my  Physical Therapist office on Friday to get taped up. They have worked wonders in the past for me.

I usually approach races with my focus on a strong finish. This one I wanted to start at a pace that would keep the dream of a PR, or at the least a course PR, alive as long as possible. If my nagging injuries ruined it, that was one thing, but I didn't want a conservative start to be the reason I missed a goal.
1-8:55       5-8:48         9-10:12        13-9:32
2-8:38       6-9:35        10-10:37
3-8:45       7-9:07        11-9:48
4- 8:53      8-9:47        12-10:18

Looking at the splits, I went out too fast for my current fitness. No regrets though. My knee pain started around mile 2 but it improved as I warmed up. It never got worse so I just forced my mind to forget about it.
I didn't take water for this one, and would get quite thirsty in between aid stations. I'd always get a burst of energy after drinking some water and dumping a cup on my head.

I really pushed my brain during this race. I tried to never let myself feel "comfortable." If I started to feel like I was going to blow up, I would take some fuel (I ate a salted caramel GU and some skittles during the race.), focus on the next mile marker, and/or find an awesome song on my playlist. This seemed to work for me and I was able to snag a course PR, and it was my 2nd fastest half at 2:01:26.

Even though I've totally been beaten down by all the racing I've been doing lately, I was able to beat my Provo Half time by 9 seconds. I know that my mind and heart pulled this off, because honestly my body feels 100 years old right now. :)

Me and Holly. It's a bit of a goofy picture but I like how happy we look.
Running in to the finish!
Anyone have more thoughts about this year's Hobbler Half?
Would you rather a course be a little long or short?
Do you always aim for negative splits in your races?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Smoothie Addicts

 Hobbler Half Marathon was Saturday, but I'll do a post all about it soon. It was a good one!
We're back on the daily smoothie kick around here. If I don't make one first thing, Cory or Slim will always request them.
 I never say no to a smoothie request. It's a great way to give my kids, kale, spinach, chard, chia seeds, and flax seeds.

 We celebrated my cute nephew's birthday at Chuck-A-Rama.
 I don't think I've ever seen my kids eat so much in one sitting before!
We ended the night at the Owlz baseball game with some fun friends and family. This was my kids first baseball game, and they loved it. I was worried it would be miserably hot, but we were blessed with a nice shady spot.

All you can eat buffets... yay or nay?

Have you tried putting greens in your smoothies? 

What are your favorite smoothie ingredients?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Not all rainbows and unicorns

I try to be a positive person and I hope my posts reflect that. I know that a grateful heart leads to happiness. Now with that said, life is not always blissfully happy or easy. Little Slim brings me so much joy, but this past week he provided me with lots of "growing experiences".

"Not me mommy. I'm your easy child."
A few nights ago, Slim decided he wanted to have an all night party in his room. Every 30 minutes he would start screaming, "Mom! Mom! Mom!" until I would go in to convince him to stop screaming. After playing this fun game until 4 in the morning, I ended up just "sleeping" in the recliner with him. Funny how he decided he was finally tired when mama was holding him. At 4:30am I turned my gym alarm off and just accepted that working out was not going to happen. No sleep + No workout = Emotional Mama

This does not make a good bed.
 It's not shocking that I had a hard time dealing with the rest of my day. Sleep deprivation is no joke.
The daily (or multiple times a day) emptying of all the cupboards bothered me more than usual.
I know that I am raising 2 little boys because this kind of thing happens on a regular basis. Yes those are snails.
 So gross!
This is what your porch will look like when 100 snails escape their bucket in the night. Notice my dead flowers in the background. Things have been rough around here lately. 
 While I'm being real with you all,  I also let my boys get completely sunburned. I'm usually the sunscreen queen and I have cried over letting Slim get so burnt (his little shoulders actually blistered.)

 This is what I look like when I want to curl in a ball and rock back in forth. I was so tired that my lazy eye was starting to show itself.
Slim didn't seem too bothered by his all nigher. He just hung out in my bed watching his favorite movies all day.
It took until the next night, but I finally was able to go to the gym for one "test" run before the Hobbler Half. I only made it a couple miles on the treadmill, but it did help cheer me up.
I'm pleased to say that we had a great weekend. The kids slept, I was able to run the Hobbler Half, and spent time with family and friends. I'm sure glad hard days (weeks) don't last forever. I'm ready for this new week, and I'm betting it's better than last week. :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The trail run that wasn't

I attempted my first post-Ragnar run on Saturday. I was invited to do an 8 mile trail run with a fun group of gals. I knew my body wasn't totally recovered (still had calf pain and knee pain), but I have a really hard time missing out on fun things, so I went. 1 mile in I knew my body wasn't ready. My tendinitis in my knee was really bothering me. I slowed it way up and ended up doing a walk/jog. Jocelyn stayed with me, but we sent the group on. It was quite frustrating for me at first, but I focused on what my body has let me do over the past year instead of what it wasn't letting me do in that moment. It was a beautiful morning and I really want to do this run again when I'm feeling better.

 If you can't run, you can at least take "running" pictures.
When I got home, I took Slim back to the doctor. The poor kid has had a cough for like a month and has been such a gremlin child lately. Turns out he has his first ear infection. We're on day 3 of the antibiotic and he's already returning to his old happy self.
 Dr's office selfies
I started my Monday like a beast. I finished off all of the watermelon in the fridge and hydrated while I planned out my week. Unfortunately beast-mode wore off by like 10 in the morning. I have the hardest time keeping myself motivated on the days I don't run. :( I have the Hobbler Half on Saturday, so at least I know I'll get to run in 5 more days. I can make it!
If you don't know what to have for lunch, you should have this. Quinoa and black bean quesadilla. I may be repeating this every day this week. So satisfying!
Today's Workout:
About 5 minutes of: side lunges, squat kicks, jumping jacks, reverse lunges

3x15 Kettle bell pass under, walking lunges
3x15 Kettle bell single arm clean and press ( I added a squat at the bottom of the movement)

3x15 Wall-ups
3x 20seconds Handstands with one foot on wall

3x15 pilates leg lifts (alternating front and side = 1 rep)
3x15 reverse leg lifts (pulse 10 after the last set)

Plank (1:30)
3x10 Push-ups

40 min on the spin bike
(Did 3 min out of the saddle, 2 min in the saddle intervals for the duration)

Cause baby I'm a firework

We had yet another great year watching the Freedom Parade in Provo, UT.  Mason loved the motorcycles and seeing Darth Vader. Cory loved getting squirted by the passing floats, throwing pop-its, and being with his cousins.

 Slim gives the best loves!
 Holly, Jorge, Stephanie, McKenna and Kobe, all ran the 10k. You can read about their experience HERE. I've never done this race, but it sounds like a fun and challenging one.
We were also able to enjoy two BBQs with family and friends. We ate so much yummy food that day! We spent the evening with the Reynolds family and it was a great time. Cory and Slim had so much fun playing with their cute kids.
 We enjoyed a gorgeous sunset around the fire and then Brandon put on a very impressive (and I'm sure very expensive) fireworks show for us. This was Cory and Mason's first year seeing aerial fireworks. We've always had them in bed before they started. :)

 Slim was all about the clean up.

I tend to get homesick for my SC family on holidays, but I was so busy all day enjoying my UT family and friends that I didn't this year. It's weird having your heart split between two places. I don't think I'll ever feel complete in either place, because I'll always be longing for the other. SC is part of who I am- I adore and miss my family there, but UT with it's beautiful mountains and loving family and friends has captured my heart. I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July, surrounded by people you love. God bless America!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ragnana Bread

Eating during Ragnar was interesting to say the least, and my stomach felt "off" basically the entire time. Something that always sounded and tasted good was Holly's Ragnana Bread that she was nice enough to share with everyone. Four days post race and I'm still thinking about Ragnana Bread. This morning I pulled out a new (to me) cleaned up banana bread recipe I found online. It's not Holly's, but it cured my craving. 
The recipe is HERE
I followed the recipe exactly, except I used chocolate chips instead of walnuts. It's not banana bread without some chocolate. ;)
And yes they were baked and ready to eat by 7:30am. One of the blessings of waking up at an insane hour to exercise.
 I've also been eating more fish lately. I buy frozen Tilapia from Sam's Club and bake two filets at a time, with a few tablespoons of fresh salsa on top.
I made a delicious salad with avocado the first day and used the second filet the next day, to make a yummy fish taco with rolled up chia corn chips (from Target). I loved the added crunch.
I'm really missing my cilantro lime dressing from Trader Joe's, but this Bolthouse Farms, Cilantro Avocado yogurt dressing from Target is a runner-up:

Step aside oatmeal, I'm back on an egg and smoothie kick.
There are also non-food related things going on around here this summer. My cute sister-in-law Trisha just bought a new home and we were able to go visit yesterday. She has a little hamster and my kids loved it!
 Here's slim the daredevil. He built a "ramp" out of a chair cushion and was trying to ride his scooter off of the couch. He's a cute little mess.
 I loved seeing this little moment at the splash pad this morning. These two cousins love each other so much. They were deep in conversation when I snapped this picture.
Today's Workout
Lower body weights- I used much lighter weights than usual, since I'm still really sore and tight from the race.
Walking lunges, skaters, squat kicks
Do 3 rounds, 12 reps of each
Regular squats
Sissy squats
Sumo squats
Lunges (12 each side)
Hamstring/glutes cable hip extensions
1 minute plank
30 second side planks

15 minutes on the elliptical machine
What foods are you craving lately?

What are you cooking/eating on the 4th?
I'm thinking kabobs on the grill.

Were you close to your cousins growing up? Are you now?