Monday, January 31, 2011

Run of Death

That'll teach me to say that I love running.


I had the WORST run I have ever had this weekend.  It was horrible for so many different reasons.  First, it was freezing outside.  My nose was running like crazy and I was convinced I was going to have snotcicles when I was done.  Second, it was 2500 feet higher in elevation than I'm used to.  Apparently those thousands of feet make QUITE a difference.  Third, there were hills.  Lots and lots of hills.  If you add these three items up, it equals asthma attacks!  Yay!!  Who knew?  And stupid me didn't have her inhaler with her...

The asthma started acting up around 2.5 miles in.  I had to stop and focus on my breathing for several minutes before I was able to even walk.  I then was able to walk for a little bit and then try jogging.  I ended up jogging slower than I could walk!  I was so frustrated!  But, I was determined to complete my 7 miles no matter what.  So onward I went...and then had another asthma flare up.  And another.  Finally, I was reduced to walking all uphills and attempting to jog the downhills.

This made for a very very long run.  Or walk.  Whatever you want to call it.

But...I finished.  I did the whole dang thing and finished.  It ended up sidelining me for the entire day and I ended up stuck on the couch because I felt so awful, but I was proud that I had at least gave it all I had.

By the way, the reason that I was at such a higher elevation is because I was attempting to escape the dreaded Salt Lake City inversion and get some clean air in Park City.

Because really, who wants to run in this...
This isn't fog or rain; this is an inversion...which is a fancy term for pollution.
 ...when you can run in this?
Hellooooo blue skies!
Even with the pain and suffering, I would make that decision again.  Asthma is better than lung cancer any day!

Friday, January 28, 2011


I did something unusual last night.  I came home from work around 5:30 (highly unusual because I usually work until at least 7, but not the most unusual thing I did) and then went on a run with Hubster.  Here's the weird thing--it was a rest day in my training schedule and I had the option to stay home and veg on the couch guilt-free but I chose to go out running with my husband for a few miles because I WANTED to.  Ummm...that's both really weird and really exciting for me!  I think this could be a really good changing point for me in my running.  I've wanted to make the switch from loving running because it's a great workout to actually just loving running.  Here's hoping the mentality sticks!

Love this man!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Holiday Weight = Gone.

If you'll look up to the top right corner of my blog, you will notice I've ran twice this week.  Awww yeah...I haven't slacked yet.  It was a good run with the hubster.  We were able to talk (well, he was able to talk and I listened and gasped responses) and spend quality time together.  I love it!  I still can't believe I can run with my husband for over 3 miles and not die...Yay for progress!

This morning I decided it was time to bite the bullet and retake my measurements.  I haven't measured myself in probably a month and a half because I knew the measurements had gone up over the holidays.  I was being a chicken.  Isn't it funny how we react when we know we are gaining weight?  Instead of taking the measurement and stepping on the scale, we shrink away and avoid confirming the truth at all costs.  At least that's what I I alone?

Anyway, here are the new measurements.  I think I will only do measurements monthly, but still continue to weigh in all the time.  Deal?  Deal...

So...not so bad.  The difference between week 19 and this week is pretty minor.  I went up on my waist, thighs, hips, and calves.  I didn't go up nearly as bad as I thought I would.  I think this is easily fixable and that it won't be so bad next month when I measure in.  I'm still happy with my progress overall.  I am extra motivated these days because my birthday is coming up in March and I would love to be in the low 140s by then.  Send positive vibes my way!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Holy Races, Batman!

Twelve races in twelve months...I might just be crazy.

Hubster and I have designated this year as Year of the Runner.  This year will be a year full of races and focusing on running.  It will be a year to push ourselves to our limits and finish challenges we didn't think we were capable of.

Should be exciting!

After posting my blog yesterday, I decided that if I really am going to run a race per month I should probably find ones that spark my interest.  So, without further ado, here is the magical list of options:



(not many races in Utah in March--I'm still not sure I'm crazy enough to do this one!)



(Running this with my bestie...debating whether I want a medal bad enough to run the half over the 10k.  I love me some medals!)

(This one sounds so fun!!)

(Just ignore this one...move right along...nothing to see here.  Okay--not sure if I am capable of doing this one, but if I am going to run a marathon this is the year to do it.  We didn't designate it year of the runner for we will see how I feel after my first half marathon.)



A jingle jog 5k...none are posted yet, but I know there will be some!

This list of races did just the trick for my motivation.  I'm excited about running again!  Some of these look like so much fun, and others are ran through such beautiful areas that it couldn't be terrible to run them.  I'll keep you updated on my progress!

An another note, yesterday my work began a Biggest Loser competition. We will be competing on most weight loss and largest drop in body fat percentage.  We did this a year ago, and I am happy to report that my weigh in yesterday had me down 20 lbs and 6% body fat from the last time I weighed in.  Yay for that!  I don't expect to win this competition, but I do expect it to be another motivator for me to keep working hard.  It's already helping!  I can't wait for my body fat percentage to be within the healthy range...just a few months of hard work and I'll be there!

What fun races do you have scheduled this year?  What is keeping you motivated these days?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Want. Now.

I want.  Bad.  All of them.
These might have to be the gifts I get for myself and wrap and make myself earn.  I love them because some of them are race specific (like the Ragnar Race series) and some are distance specific.  I gotta earn it before I can wear it!

It's random, but I thought I'd share my latest want.  Enjoy.  :)

It's way too early...

Good morning!  This post comes to you at the bright and early hour of 6:24 am.  Sad story--I'm already at work.  This has been my life story for the past two weeks.  Here's something you all should know about me:  I am NOT a morning person.  I would sleep till 9 or 10 everyday if you'd let me!  So if this post is all over the place, it's because I'm freakishly tired.  :)

I've come to a stalled place in my progress with working out and losing weight.  My motivation is gone.  I've fallen into bad habits.  I've stopped tracking calories, and even worse I am overeating and I know it and I don't care enough to stop.  This is bad, people.  Very bad indeed.

It's time to reevaluate my priorities.  I need to find a way to kick my butt in gear and get excited again.  Coming up with a list of challenges with set completion dates has helped me in the past.  I think that's the best solution for me now.  I've been discussing with hubster the possibility of running one race per month like Ann from Twelve in Twelve did.  I really like the idea.  Races keep me motivated and on track.  I'm going to find a bunch of races I want to do and update you on them soon.  January's race is already complete--yay Ragnar!

Another idea that I would like to incorporate is a reward system.  My best friend (you will remember her from my many hiking pictures from last summer) has an awesome family and her sister gave her a bunch of little presents for Christmas.  The catch was that she could only open them once she achieved some goals that she would set for herself.  It's a great way to motivate!  I just need hubster to buy me some awesome stuff that I want really bad.  Or go buy the stuff myself and wrap it up and torment myself with my desire to open them RIGHT NOW.  :)  That should do the trick...

In any case, I'm going to take it a week at a time.  Anyone can be perfect at something for a week.  I would like to be perfect this week at working out and tracking calories.  I didn't track calories yesterday, so I'll have to start today.  Here's to a great week!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ragnar Relay Florida Keys

Oh promised, here we go!

Let's just start this out by saying that using a race to cleverly disguise a much needed vacation is a great idea.  Hubster has wanted to run a race with me for a long time, and I have wanted to go on vacation to a beach for a long time.

How the discussion went:

"Hubster...I think it would be really fun to run this race with you.  Look at me--I'm being ACTIVE!  You don't want to discourage me from being active, do you?  DO YOU??"

Sneaky, sneaky can you argue with that?  In any case, we signed up, flew clear across the country and landed in sunny Florida.  Goodbye snow, hello sun!

Look at that--not a snowflake in sight!  So far so good!

We spent the first day trying to recover from our red eye flight.  We were crazy enough to think it was a good idea to take a midnight flight out of Utah and arrive at 10:30 am in Florida the day before the race.  Who said you need a good night's sleep before a big race?  Dirty liars...  Oh wait.  They were telling the truth.  It's actually good advice!

The day of the race came.  The anticipation was high.  We drove to the starting line only to find everything but the starting line...we were lost.  Really lost.  And we weren't the only ones.  We suddenly encountered many 12-passenger vans attempting the impossible:  U-turns.  For those of you who haven't braved a u-turn in a gigantic vehicle, let me just tell you--it ain't pretty.  Eventually (approximately 42-point turns later) we found our starting line and showed up to start running approximately 30 minutes late.  Oops.

So we didn't start out in a very good place.  However, our captain was our first runner and he decided to vent his frustrations by running 3 miles in 21 minutes.  He managed so skim off one minute per mile on his pace.  Basically he was running like a mad man.  Go him!

Eventually it became my turn to run.  After a couple of quick trips to the lovely port-a-potties (what is it with pre-race jitters??) I made my way to the exchange.  I was ready to go!  My first leg was a simple 4.3 miles and I was anxious to get started.
Apparently this is how I psych myself up pre-race...yay dolphins!

Hello, my friend...

Anticipation is killing me!
Hubster was racing the leg before me, so we got to meet at the exchange for the baton pass off (which was a slap bracelet...brings me back to the good old days!).

Hubster coming into the exchange...

...and I'm off!
The first leg was great.  The lower elevation made running a lot easier and my pace was great!  I'm normally at around 11:15 for my pace and I was down at 10:00 miles for the entire leg.  It felt wonderful!  I had great support from my teammates along the way.  They were cheering and yelling and making me feel like a rock star.

The dramatic pass off...can't you hear the slap?

I finished my 4.3 miles in 43:33 with an average pace of 10:10.  That's a personal best right there!  Awwww yeah.  I did a happy dance afterwards.  Gotta love running at sea level!

My next leg was during the night around 9:00 pm.  I ran pretty much the entire length of Key Largo.  Those are words I never thought I would get to say in my lifetime!  I would like to say this run went just as well as my first leg, but somewhere along the day in Florida I made the mistake of eating some local treats.  I ate a number of tasty fruits from a magical farmer's market, but I am gonna go ahead and blame the boiled peanuts.  Something made my stomach mad.  Halfway through the run my stomach was all in knots and I wanted it to be over with.  Right. Now.

Alas, I had to continue on.  I ran my first 3 miles of my 7.2 mile leg in just over 30 minutes, but then I hit the stomach problems and my pace got worse and worse.  I ended up with an average pace of 11:20 for the whole run.  I was SO happy to be done.  I don't even remember coming into the exchange at the end...I just remember the feeling of joy that it was over.

7 Mile Bridge...just keeps going!
I finished my run and then we took off to find a place to sleep for the evening.  I made a few bathroom visits (curse those delicious boiled peanuts!!) and finally got situated and ready for bed.  If I had to pick the part of the race I liked the least, I would have to say climbing in my brand new down sleeping bag being all hot and sweaty and sticky and smelly.  I felt like I was marinating in my own sauces.  Yummy, right?  Just had to share that with you...It will serve as a nice reminder to me when I run the Wasatch Back relay in June.

After sleeping through the night in a mummy sleeping bag on a random baseball field in a random park, I woke up somewhat refreshed for the last run of the day.  I remember saying to myself, "Self, it is only a 3 mile run.  That's cake!  You could run that any day of the week!  It will go by so fast you won't even remember it!"

. . . .

Lies.  Dirty rotten lies.  

Those three measly miles were the hardest miles I've ever ran.  I started the run at 11:00 am and it was hot outside.  I've been running in 20 degree weather and it was 80 degrees outside.  My body was not adjusted.  I was sweating like crazy.  It felt like the whole thing was uphill.  A very gradual and painful uphill.  I remember thinking to myself that the hill was never going to end.  I am embarrassed to say this, but this was the only leg I actually walked on.  Yep...I stopped and walked on a 3 mile run when I am able to run 8+ miles without stopping usually.  I was definitely suffering.  Once I stopped to walk, I walked for about 5 seconds and it felt so good that I knew I had to start running RIGHT AWAY or I would never start again!  So I sucked it up and just plowed through it.  

At the exchange...I promise I am more excited about it than I look.  And it happened much faster than it looks.

Mid-run.  Dying.  Must have water.

My awesome support team running with me to the finish line

Fake smile for photos!

Fake smile wavering...
I think it's important that I come clean right now and let you know that when I got home and plugged my runs into Garmin Connect I discovered that my last leg had the smallest elevation gain of all my runs.  So yeah...there's that.  Apparently the boiled peanuts destroyed my ability to run.  My average pace ended up at 11:58 which is higher than my usual pace.  Yay for fatigue!

I have more photos to post, but this blog is apparently limited to 1GB of photos and I've reached once I figure out how to bypass that I will post my final photos!

Overall, I loved the race.  It was a challenge, both mentally and physically.  I had a great team which made it fun.  Hearing their cheers during the long parts of my run made it easier to keep going and stay focused.  I got my first finishers medal and love it!  I am proud that I did this, and I can say I will do another one in the future.

Did someone say Wasatch Back aka The Original Ragnar Relay?

Awwww yeah, baby!  Here I come!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Work has taken an unexpected turn and I've been planted off site for the next two weeks doing extremely busy work.  This means I haven't had a chance to do my Ragnar Relay post.  Very sad!  So, here is a quick photo tease from the race:
Dramatic Baton Pass-off

I promise I'll post a thorough recap when I get the chance!


Monday, January 17, 2011

I'm BACK, baby...and have answers to Q&A time!

I was only gone for ten days, but it felt like a month!  The Ragnar Relay was a blast and I will dedicate a whole post to the race once I get my feet under me again.  I've been going like crazy!  China was also interesting, and I'll share some pictures from that as well.

But now it is time to answer your questions about me!  Shall we begin?

Sabrina asked me:

What is your guilty pleasure?  
SO many answers to this question!  It could be anything from those stupid orange circus peanut candies (seriously, I can't get enough of them), to cheesy TV shows like Vampire Diaries.  They are too good to pass up!
Where/How did you and the hubster meet and where did you go for your honeymoon?

I met Hubster my freshman year of college at Utah State University.  We had Psychology together and he thought I was cute and made a point to come sit by me.  Nothing actually came of it until a year later when we had Accounting together and we studied together.  We became good friends and then that turned into dating!

As for our honeymoon, we were lucky enough to go to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  It was such a fun place!  We played on the beach, we went on a zip-line in the jungle, went snorkeling off some islands, and went on sunset cruises.  It was perfect (except for the fact that I got really sick within a day of landing there!).

Cafe Moka asked me:

What was your major in College? 

I went into college planning on studying Psychology, but quickly changed my major to Accounting.  With only one semester left before graduation I discovered (after an awful Tax Accounting class) that accounting was NOT for me, and promptly changed my major to Marketing.  It was a great move for me--the classes were amazing and my GPA sharply rose back to 4.0s each semester.
Were you a good student?
Hmmm...I was an excellent student in high school (the lowest grade I ever got was an A-) and I scored high on my ACT (32).  High school was a breeze for me and I wasn't used to having to study.  When I got to college, I had a rude awakening.  My first year of college I wasn't working so I had plenty of time to study and I had A's all freshman year.  However, once I started working 20-30 hours a week (and started hating my major) my grades slowly declined.  Once I changed to Marketing as my major, the grades improved and I graduated with honors.  I did get an F once though!  I had a class I hated so bad that I just stopped going.  Big mistake--I had to retake it and suffer through it twice!

Did you live with your husband before getting married?
Yes and no--We never formally lived together but we were pretty much inseparable and he was ALWAYS at my place.  Just ask any of my old roommates--they probably wanted to charge him rent!  

Can you share your proposal story?

Of course!   Hubster and I dated for nearly 3 years before we got engaged, so we knew each other really well.  However, I didn't expect him to propose when he did!  I woke up on Valentine's Day to a knock on my door and a dozen roses from my handsome man.  He made me breakfast while I got ready for the day.  He delivered roses throughout the day and made me feel very special.  When it came to dinnertime, he made me the most delicious Fettuccine Alfredo (seriously amazing) and told me all the reasons he loved me.  When he got down on one knee, I almost cried I was so happy!  He was super cute...he got a little choked up when he asked me, and of course I said yes!

That's the end of the questions.  If you have anything else you would like to know about me, don't hesitate to ask!