Sunday, April 27, 2014

20 Running Related Questions about Me...Got tagged

1. How long have you been running? 

I have been running regularly for just over 4 years now.  As a kid and growing up I was never athletic, and my only memory of running was when we had to run the mile every Friday in PE, and I hated it.

2. Why did you start running?

I started it after I lost weight doing Slim in Six, and I needed a new challenge, so I figured I would do a half marathon.

3. What is the furthest distance you have ever ran?

26.2 miles.  And I am in no hurry to do that any time soon.  Who knows, maybe I will sooner than I think :)

4. What is your best running memory?

Not sure, there are so many.  I think marathon finish lines are the best.  But also finishing the run portion of the Utah Half and crossing the finish line and jumping into Ken's arms is pretty high up there as well.  It was absolutely the perfect finish line moment.

5. What shoes do you run in?

Asics.  I have switched between a few of their stability shoes, but it is always Asics, currently the Gel Numbus 16.

6. What are your favorite and least favorite distances to run or race?

I don't know, I like them all for different reasons.  5ks and Sprint triathlons are sometimes over way too soon, though that can be a good thing too.  5ks can hurt a lot to if you really go all out like I do.  I tend to like the longer distances because the sense of satisfaction is amazing when you cross the finish.  Overall for running, I like half marathons.  Still a challenge, but not so much  you kill yourself in training for one or racing one.

7. Do you have a running partner?

Nope.  Just me.  I am fine with that as I like the time to myself.

8. What is your favorite place to run?

I really like to get up in the mountains and do trail running when I can, but it isn't very convenient.  There is something comforting and calm about the trails and farm roads by my own house, which are my regular.  I tend to like routine, so I never get tired of my same routes.

9. What is your favorite running accessory?

Not sure, but I love running skirts, if that counts.  Can I count my Jaybird Bluetooth headphones?  Those things are amazing!

10. Do you like outdoor or indoor running?

Outdoor is the only option, really.  If I really need to get a run in and the outdoor conditions are just terrible, I will pay $2 and go run on the dreadmill at the community center, but it has to be really bad for that.

11. What is your favorite time of the day to run?

Ideally, the morning because I can get it over with, and it is a good thing to start the day with something that productive.  It makes for a good day. However, since starting at the high school where I have to be to work so much earlier, these are not the norm anymore.  I usually run right after school around 4, and that is another good way to process my way and prepare for a full evening of wife/mom duties.

12. What races have you ran?

My Race Line Ups and Times Page, I have done pretty much every distance in running up to a full marathon and in triathlon I have done up to a 70.3

13. What music do you listen to when running?

Don't judge me, but I like everything.  There is music that I will only listen to when I run, but I love good beats like Eminem, Jay-Z, Beyonce, but also have country and 90s music.

14. What is the coldest or hottest weather you have ever ran in?

I would say the hottest I have run in is probably mid to high 90s, and that was in a race where the run portion hit mid day. I try to avoid high temps like that.  My coldest run was -10 below.  It was actually one of my favorite runs ever :)

15. What are some other exercises you love?

Besides the obvious of swimming and biking, I really like yoga, though rarely do it.  I enjoy a good butt kicking strength or plyo work out like Jillian Michaels or Insanity.

16. Are you currently training for something?

Always.  I have the IM 70.3 on Saturday then my main focus will be the Triple Bypass ride with my Dad on July 12.  It's 120 miles and 11000 feet of climbing!

17. What are your current or future goals?

Current goals are to stay fit and keep improving.  I would like to complete a full Ironman in the semi-near future.

18. Advice for new runners?

Stick with it, I promise it gets better.  The beginning sucks, but then you wonder how you ever WEREN'T a runner

19. Why did you start making running vlogs/and or blogs?

I really like being able to have a record and accountability for myself.  I like going back and reading past race reports and seeing how far I've come.  I also like reading other people's training and race reports, so I put it in blog form.

20. Who will you tag?

Not sure, anyone who reads this...GO!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Taper thoughts and Race Ramblings....

This was my first official week of tapering for IM 70.3 StG and I have done a whole heck of nothing this week.  I ended up being way more sore from the SLC Half than I anticipated, so I took it easy for a couple of days.  Even trying to walk my dogs left my legs fatigued.  I was feeling a lot better by Wednesday, so I thought and easy run would be okay.  Wrong.  I came home and they ached so bad I put on compression socks and took Advil!  What the heck!?  Three miles has never been so painful!  Apparently my legs need more time to recover from a two hard races within 7 days!

So then I thought I would attempt an easy swim with the pull buoy and work on upper body.  Then I got to the pool to find it was closed for lightning.  I still don't get why indoor pools are closed for weather, but it obviously doesn't matter what I think, it was closed regardless.

So here I sit on Friday, I am supposed to run 6-7 miles.  I will attempt it, but I am going to take it easy for sure!  Then tomorrow is supposed to be a 35 mile bike ride.  AND the weather calls for temps in the high 40s and 90% chance of rain.  I know this is why God created bike trainers, but I hate with an intensity changing out my back tire to put it on the trainer.  Looks like I get to SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP and do it anyway.

As much as I hate how this week HASN'T gone, obviously my body is trying to tell me something, and I need the rest.  Especially with StG coming up, and all those hills.  And all that heat.  And all that wind.  I know that I won't lose much if any fitness and the rest will do me good.  I have also made the mistake in the past of NOT listening when my body is trying to tell me something, and Heaven knows I won't do that again.

So what are race week plans?  I already have a sub for next Thursday and Friday and am heading down as soon as I drop the kids off at school on Thursday morning.  Ken and the kids will join me on Friday.  I really want to be down there for the Pro Panel on Thursday at 4:00, the pro line up for this year is AMAZING!  Can't miss the chance to meet these folks!  Linsy Corbin, Crowie, Andy Potts, and many others will be there.  Friday I plan on doing an easy pre-race swim out at Sand Hollow and checking in my bike and run stuff that day.  I also want to be able to take my time in the Athlete Village and the Expo, without having to worry about boring other people (read: Ken and the kids) to tears.  If the kids get down there in time on Friday, they will do the IronKids fun run as well.

The weather forecast for StG has been scaring me a bit.  The original one I saw a few days ago was calling for a high around 97.  That had me freaking out a bit.  Okay, maybe a lot.  The most recent one has it sitting around 90 race day, but with high winds.  I am not convinced that is any better.  I am not making any changes to my nutrition plan, just up the water potentially and FOR SURE do salt tabs, including on the run.  I am again grateful that I was able to do Rage just a week and half ago, because the conditions will be pretty similar, just longer and hotter :)

So, that is it for now.  I am nervous but at the same time so excited for this race!  I have many good friends who have done this before, it is on their yearly race list, and I keep hearing amazing things.  Plus, I love StG and this will be a gorgeous race, and I plan to not let that escape me on race day.

So in the meantime...Happy Tapering/Training/Racing all!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Salt Lake City Half Marathon Race Report

I have very few races that are on my yearly race list, but the SLC Half marathon is one of them.  This is my 4th year in a row to do it, and I love it for many reasons.  One, it is a home town kind of race!  I love that the entire course is in the city and you have great crowd support the entire time.  Second, I like the timing of it being in mid-April.  It doesn't usually conflict with any of the other races that I want to do.  The course has changed slightly every year that I have done it, but this year brought the biggest changes to it, it is almost nothing like the previous years, it is almost like they started from scratch in designing this years.

I picked up my packet on Thursday from the race expo at Energy Solutions arena.  They always have a decent expo.  The shirt this year, as always, was butt ugly.  I seriously think they try to outdo themselves every year on this one.  However, not like I really wear them anyway unless they are cotton.  I will just throw it in my pile of race shirts to eventually be made into a quilt.  I did go to the Bondi band booth and buy too more.  I love those things, and you can never have enough.  I then went and bought another race belt.  I bought one from this same booth last year and really like it, however, I don't always want to carry water on during the race and I want one like it, because it does stay down, but with out water.  Got one and used it during the was awesome!

Fast forward to Saturday morning.  We got up and headed down and I was debating where to have Ken drop me off.  The race tells you to just ride any TRAX train up to the start.  However, I did that last year and they never came for us and we barely made it to the start on time.  Ken started up 400 South trying to figure out where to drop me off, and we started running into major traffic as the bike tour had already started and the roads were closed.  I just gave him a quick kiss goodbye, grabbed my stuff and jumped out and ran across the street to a station where I saw lots of other runners.   Well, apparently they haven't figured things out from last year.  WE waited and waited for a train to come.  There was dozens of runners waiting and the cop that was working the station was clearly as agitated as we were.  He kept yelling at someone over his radio to get more trains there.  Amazing, how he commented, that during a University of Utah football game they can run trains every 5 minutes, but when there are 8,000 runners trying to get to the start line, they can't up the trains for that.  Long story short, we eventually got picked up and there was standing room only.  And, I got to the start line 4 minutes before the gun went off.  UUUGggggghhhhhhhh!

In that 4 minutes I weaseled my way through the crowd to try to find the 2:00 hour pacer for the half.  I really like using pacers as they a good way to stay on pace, not go to crazy out of the gate like I usually do and I have had many successful races in the past using them.  I was able to find him and as soon as the National Anthem was played and the gun went off, he was my guy to stick with!  The course immediately headed up a couple of hills into Federal Heights.  I have never been in this swanky neighborhood before and it was beautiful!  Lots of people were in their front yards cheering us on.  We then ran up along the Salt Lake City Cemetery in the Avenues and overlooking the entire city and it was gorgeous!  Then down City Creek Canyon through Memory Grove and that is when that had me sold on this new course.  It was so pretty, and some of my favorite parts of the city, it was great.  We then wound down to South Temple and followed it for several more miles.  I loved the crowd support, as usual, for this race and the weather conditions were perfect.  I was able to feel pretty good and I hit all of the aid stations briefly for a quick swig of water and I had my Clif Shot blocks through out the run.  It reminded me though that Shotblocks are really better on the bike.  They are a pain to chew and try to get down while running, so next time I will stick with Gu :)

I had to stop at about mile 8 and hit the porta potty.  I lost a few minutes in there for sure.  That is also when I lost my pacing group and I never caught back up to them.  I really felt very good this whole run until about mile 11, then I was ready to be done.   Luckily by then we were winding our way through Liberty Park and that is another one of my favorite parts in the city, so I knew we were close and I  enjoyed being there.  Then it was out of the park, round the corner to 400 East and then a mile to the finish.  I did my best to sprint that last bit to the finish, but I was GONE by then.  My legs were heavy and I was so ready to have this run over with.  My final run time for the race was 2:05:24.  It's not the sub 2 I wanted, but it isn't bad either.  I know that this was a harder course with the hills through Federal Heights and 800 South, and I had lost time in the bathroom.  I do really want to try another half sometime this summer though to hit that sub 2 goal again :)

I got my medal, grabbed a Creamie, a bottle of water, then texted Ken to find him. I always love hooking up with him post race, he is always very encouraging.  I also visited briefly with some friends with my running group then we headed home.

Overall, I am okay with this race.  I can't really complain with hitting an average pace of 9:32/mile, when all my long runs lately have been at least a minute longer than that.  And, lets be honest, I haven't been putting in the running miles I have done in the past when I have done this race before.  That will be a big focus of mine once I get through the Triple Bypass with my Dad.  Finally try to do something about this dang run!

What's next?  I am officially tapering for IM StG in two weeks!!! I have had two very hard races within a week, so I am HAPPY to be tapering and resting up prior to StG.  I can't believe it is already so close, and I feel that I am ready.  I still have to try to get away from that time expectation as I go into it, but I think that I will be fine.  

In the mean time, for me, it is Happy Tapering! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

RAGE Triathlon Race Report - Olympic Distance tri

The Rage Triathlon is put on by BBSC Multi Sport and takes place at Lake Mead National Park just outside of Las Vegas.  They offer a sprint, Olympic, and Half (70.3) distance.  I have not raced with BBSC before, but had heard good things.  I had a couple of friends doing this one, so we made a mini road trip out of it and it was a blast!

Friday morning, Mike, Melinda, Alicia and I all headed south to Vegas for our race.  Mike and I were doing the Olympic distance, Alicia was doing the sprint, and Melinda was along as race support extraordinaire Seriously, these people are a riot!  I had so much fun and laughed until my sides hurt with these friends!  Once we got to Vegas, we went to packet pick up, and got our cool shirts and swag bags.  I like that it is a shirt I will actually wear!  It was also in a very cool triathlon shop and I spent some time drooling over bikes :)  We then did what probably isn't ideal pre-race, and walked the strip.  Hey, you can't miss that right?  We had fun, ate an amazing burger, and enjoyed people watching.

Gorgeous morning for a race!!
My goal for this race was simply to treat it as dress rehearsal for IM StG 70.3, as I figured the conditions and the courses are pretty similar.  I didn't care about time, I just wanted to practice pacing, nutrition and see if my new tri kit will make the cut for StG :)

I actually slept pretty well, and we got up and left the condo to get to the race site by 6:30.  My swim wave didn't start until 7:50.  I was thrilled to be at a start line again, and really liked how BBSC set up transition.  We had plenty of space and it was one very long transition area, instead of the standard rows.  The only draw back to this is that it was a long run to get in and out, but it was worth it for the extra space.

It was already very hot waiting on my swim wave and I knew I was in for a scorcher.  I was glad that I had thrown salt tabs into my bag for this trip and knew I would use them on the bike.  Before I knew it, it was time to suit up for the swim!

My swim wave wasn't huge and it was a deep water start.  I visited with other people and was shocked at how cold the water was!  It was freezing, even with a full wetsuit!  I really wish I would have worn my skull cap under my swim cap, because as soon as we were off and I put my head under the cold hit and I had a brain-freeze style head ache for the first 5-10 minutes.  The swim started off and went to a buoy that was out a ways and involved sighting into the sun.  I had a hard time seeing where I was going and I had a hard time hitting my groove till we past that, as I was pretty disoriented and frustrated trying to figure out where  the dang buoy was.  Even though this seemed like a long time to get where I felt like I was in a rhythm, it was only till that first buoy and the turn there that I felt that way, only 300 yards max.  Once there I was able to find a good groove and it was a straight shot to another green buoy that I could sight the whole time and felt like I finally was where I wanted to be.  I didn't have much contact with other swimmers, the water and area were really pretty and I was happy to calm down, and enjoy the swim.  The water did get choppy at times, but I actually like this for a challenge.  I did take in more water than I would have wanted, but I was still happy with the majority of the swim.  Once out of the water, my final swim time was 32:50 for one mile swim.  Not great, but it was that crappy start that did me in, and also the fact that the timing mats for the "end" of the swim were quite a ways from where you actually exited the water.

As I mentioned before, the way this transition was set up, it was a long row of bikes on either side and it took me awhile to get to my bike running down this giant row to get there.  I had a hard time getting out of my wetsuit and switching to the bike gear, then running my bike all the way down to the other end to the bike mount area.  My T1 time was 4:49, which was average for my age group on this transition.


The bike course was on a hill immediately out of transition.  I hate this because you really have a hard time hitting your groove.  This was a difficult course with TONS of hills.  I did over 75% of this 25 mile bike course in the small ring.  It was a never ending onslaught of big climbs, then a down hill, then repeat, repeat, repeat. I could not think of a better training ride for StG!   It was brutal when you add in the heat of over 90 degrees, absolutely no shade, and wind.  I was glad to hit my nutrition for this ride, I stuck with my Perpetuem, shot blocks, and a salt tab every 30 minutes and water in between.  The hills were fun on the down hill, I finally got gutsy enough to do every down hill in aero.  It was a fun reward for the climbing!  I felt that I had to make up time wherever I could and take advantage of the free momentum!  As hard as this bike was, I felt like I handled it well and though I was tired, I didn't feel like it was killing me, but I was glad to get it over with as well.  My only gripe with this out and back course is the bike aide station wasn't until about mile 19-20 of the 25 mile course.  Really?!?  This meant I was with out water for about 25 minutes.  Why not have it at the turn around?  It made no sense and it was pretty irritating, but I got over it.  Final bike time was 1:40:28, an average speed of 15 mph.  Considering how much climbing was in this course, I'll take it!!

Another slow transition as I had to run forever and get to my spot.  Then, it was a really quick shed the cycling stuff, throw on the running shoes and be on my way.  I did take a pit stop at the porta-potties.  Total T2 time was 3:16.

Man, the first part of this run was bad.  Not one thing good about it really.  This was also an out and back run course and to get to the turn around it was one giant gradual up hill to that point.  Then, right off, the run start did the first mile on a very gravelly and rocky path!  It was awful!  It was pretty demoralizing and I knew I was going slower than a herd of turtles through peanut butter, and it was hot, my body was tired, and I just did not love this first part of the run.  BBSC was good about frequent aid stations on this run, and with the heat they were absolutely critical.  I grabbed a Gatorade and a water at every station.  I only walked at the aid stations but my run was pretty much a granny shuffle until the turn around due to the uphill of the course.  I started to question my sanity of doing StG knowing that it is very much like this course, only longer.  I started to think negatively, beat myself for a crappy run, etc.  Thank heaven it was about this time I saw Mike pass me on his way back in.  He yelled, "Looking strong!" and gave me a high five.  It is amazing how just seeing a friend on the course and getting a little support turns things around for you.  It was not far after that at all, maybe a half mile, that I finally hit the turn around.  That was a "Hail Mary!" moment!  It gave me the mental boost to know that this Death March was half way done, and it was literally all down hill from that point out.  I really hit a good groove on the second half of the run and tried to give high fives and shout outs to the people that were around me.  I dare say I actually enjoyed the second half of the run?!?  I was thrilled to be done though and crossed the finish line to my friends cheering me on.  Final run time was 1:14:24 for this 6.2 mile run, an average pace of a 12 minute mile, but this did include a longish bathroom break.  It is what it is.


The finish line was fun, I got a cool medal (I can now add it to my out of state medal count) and they had the standard water, chocolate milk and bananas.  I grabbed one of each.  Then they had a shaded tent where they did lunch for the athletes of a sub sandwich, chips and cookies.  That was very nice!  Final total time for this Olympic distance was 3:35:45.  All things considered, I am happy with this.  This was the toughest race I have ever done considering the heat, the wind, the constant hills, etc.


I would give BBSC 3.5 out of 5 stars.  I liked the packet pick up, the shirt, and the location, even given the hills.  I liked the frequent aid stations on the run.  The transition area I have mixed feelings about as they do give you a lot of room, but the nature of it is that is makes for long transitions.  I HATED the rocky start of the run course on the gravel, and the location of the bike course aid station at mile 19ish was pathetic.  They needed it much sooner than that.  Also, the lack of porta potties on the bike and run course was sad too.  However, they did well at many other things and I would race with them again.


As this was a dress rehearsal for StG, I took mental note of things to do differently or AHA! moments through out the day:

-Take a skull cap for the swim.
-Add an extra water bottle for cheap insurance on the bike, even though the aid stations by Ironman will be more frequent
-Salt Tabs are your best friend.  Will continue to do them every 30 minutes as needed
-Carry my hydration pack race belt.  The water will be needed, plus it doesn't ride up as bad as my other one does
-DO NOT USE THE SWIFT WICK SOCKS for races.  Great for a short run or ride, but blisters galore and my feet were so on the run.  Sheer misery.
-The new Betty Designs tri kit rocks.  No chaffing on the top, the bottoms rode up a little on the bike, but otherwise it was awesome.
-I survived this course and actually felt pretty good even at the end.  I now know I am ready for StG, and I am so grateful that I did this race to fine tune and few things, but I know that as long as I have realistic expectations and race smart, I will have a good race come three weeks :)


I have my last solid week of training this week then the Salt Lake City Half Marathon next Saturday to start my two week taper till StG.

Happy Training and Racing!

Melinda and I post race.  She rocks, plain and simple :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It's Race Week Again!

I have several races close together in the months March, April and May, so this is another race week as this weekend I head south to Las Vegas to do BBSC's Rage Triathlon at Lake Mead.  I haven't raced with BBSC before, but I have heard nothing but good things.  I signed up for Rage as a good dress rehearsal for IM StG 70.3 just three weeks after.  I wanted to be able to get into open water prior to StG, and I also wanted to tri out a new tri kit, and also fine tune some nutrition.  I will be doing the Olympic distance at this race. they also offer a sprint and a 70.3. It really is a B race for me, as it is a prep/training day for StG, as mentioned before.

Things training wise have been good and bad.  Bad, in that I haven't hit all my work outs due to a bit of a stomach bug the past few days.  The bad cramping and GI issues would leave me in some compromising positions to try to bike or run, to say the least, I will leave it at that.  However, I have hit the key work outs, meaning my long runs and rides and those are going well!

My last long ride I headed out to Antelope Island and decided to try every climb out there.  There aren't any that are particularly long, but they are short and steep, one even reaching 24% grade.  Needless to say I didn't get all the way up that, but I was able to get much further up it than I could last year.  The other climbs I was able to do much easier (and faster according to my Strava data) than I could remember doing them last year!  I love seeing progress like that and it is a confidence boost as I head into StG where, from what I hear, it is all about the HILLS!

My last long run was 10 miles.  It seriously was the easiest 10 miles ever!  I finished feeling great, like I could easily continue, and I was hardly sore at all!  It also was a boost to know I am back to where I can knock out 10 miles with no problem!  Yeah for seeing progress!

Rage will be very similar conditions to StG, from the weather, and the course.  I am anxious to see how it goes.  I will be driving down on Friday morning with friends and that is always fun as well.  Race report will follow!

In the mean time, Happy training/racing all!