Thoughts...

Had a conversation today with an athlete/crossfit trainer/runner. I was sharing my achievements in certain areas of fitness and lack of progress in my running. As we continued talking and sharing stories and tips, he said something to me that I knew but I had been putting aside because I was listening to some other type of advice. You all probably know it and I am sure that if you have been training for awhile you already live it--if you want to be good at a certain activity, you must practice that activity. Example, if I want to be a great Zumba instructor, I should go and practice dancing, especifically Latin rhytms. However, if all I do is spin, there is no way that is going to help me in my dancing choregraphy wise. The same goes for my running, if I want to be a great runner, I am going to have to RUN, lifting weights and cross training will help me become stronger and will allow time for my legs to get a break from the pounding, however, if I want to be a runner, simple, I MUST RUN.

But running for the sake of running is not going to cut it. I need to put QUALITY runs. I can go to town doing Slow Long Runs and it will make me a Slow Long Distance runner. But, I don't want to be a slow runner anymore. I want to play with the big boys/big girls and to do that, I must get off my pretty plum bum and hit the road and hit it hard and fast.

And I leave you with this picture...yep, I have a marathon in 5 days. It is going to kick my trash because I haven't done a single long run since Ogden Marathon back in May, except for half marathons.

Tou 5 days

 


Wellsville 10K

In which I decide to run another race just a day after running walking the crazy Bear Lake Monster! Nyah and Riley What in heck was I thinking when I signed up, no idea! I must have been dreaming of qualifying for Boston again because that is the only way that I could have willingly signed up for another race.

Crazy!!!

Morning of the race came and frankly all I wanted to do was roll back into bed and put my eyemask on til the clock striked 2pm, instead I got up at 6am, alright, it may have been more like 6:15am. I hate mornings! I am not a morning person and I don't think I will ever be. I have always thought that I should get a graveyard job, I would be the most diligent worker ever! 2am rolls around and I am happy and full of energy.

Anyways, morning came and we went to the race. I was half asleep and cold but it was time for work. I wasn't expecting much from myself that morning. My legs were shot from the Monster on Saturday and I was feeling tired.  My son lined up at the 5K line and my friend Bianca took my little girl to the 1 mile start line, hubby, our awesome friend Josh and I headed to the 10K line.

The gun went off and it was time for my legs to start working. I still remembered this race from last Iphone september 187year and I remembered the uphill in it after mile one and my legs and brain were NOT looking forward to it. I took off with speedy Josh and quickly dropped off after the first block. I ran as best I could. My legs felt tired and sore. I kept telling myself that they would warm up and that I would be ok.  Got to the first aid station at mile 3 and my legs were not feeling any better. I knew at that point that I wasn't PRing this time around, my legs were just not there. They didn't feel like lead but they didn't feel happy either. I kept running the course hoping for my legs to get their speed but they never did. On the last descend I pushed as hard as I could and realized that I had just missed my PR and I still had a block to go. I kept telling myself "this is just a training run for the marathon" but it is still hard on the ego.

I finished in 47:20 (I didn't pause my garmin til 10 seconds after I was done running). Hubby finished in 44:50. My awesome boyo finished his 5K in 23:45 and my darling little Ny finished her mile in 9:03. Wellville picture

10K elevation map and splits

Wellsville 10K elevation map
Wellsville 10K splits


Almost into the Olympics!

I don't meddle nor post much about politics, but this one I cannot let go. It is just too much fun!

According to Paul Ryan, I am only a few minutes away from being selected into the Olympic team.

My Paul Ryand Adjusted Marathon time is a whooping 2:35!!!

Now, that's what I am talking about!!! I knew I was Olympic Team material all along, I just didn't know how close I was. If he is in charge of the BAA in the years to come, he may have my vote ;).

 

Paul Ryan
Clickity on the picture to calculate your awesomeness :)


Bear Lake Monster Half

Hubby and iHubby and I participated in another half marathon this weekend, the Bear Lake Monster Half Marathon. We were excited about this one, it had a completely different terrain than what we are used to. The Bear Lake Monster Half is all on dirt roads/ATV terrain, and it included climbing 1,100 feet of elevation. Usually, our races include dropping 1000-2000 feet of elevation but no climbing unless is like 200 feet.

The night before the race, we prepped all our stuff for the race and went to bed, around midnight, we started hearing the sky rumble. Oh no! I don't like running in rain, it gets quite cold up here when it rains and the last time I ran a race in the rain, the sky decided to drop some hail on us and I didn't want to repeat it again. We went to sleep and when we woke up the rain was still going :/ bummer. We got in the car and as we drove over to Bear Lake, I kept praying for the rain to stop. It took us about 45 minutes to get there and the rain was constant.  We got to the race start and we got our packets and the rain still continued. 45 minutes to start of the race and the rain started slowing down, then I looked over the mountain and I could see the sun and a hit of clear blue sky. I got hope in my heart. 10 minutes before the start of the race, it was like a blanket was pulled away from the sky and the sky turned a brilliant blue. It was a beautiful morning for a race!

PhotoWe lined up at the start line and there were just a few of us, probably a total of 50 people in the half marathon, 5 of them my friends, 2 of them crossfit athletes. We took off and we went out, about 1 mile was paved and as we went out, I was one of the first women out. Hubby quickly got up to the front of the pack and I stayed behind at my own pace. We passed the first aid station, then the hills and dirt roads began, unpaved territory for me, no pun intended.  The course description mentioned hills then downhill, well I was counting down the miles to the downhill. Up and up and up we went, some little downhill only to be confronted with another hill. I tried to run them at the beginning, but quickly I realized that my legs couldn't handle it, so I started walking. I felt guilty walking, I rarely walk, unless I am feeling sick and I wasn't sick so the guilt was eating at me. But, I swallowed my pride and walked. I walked most of the hills and ran whenever I could. I decided that if I couldn't run, I would at least walk, definitely NO STOPPING, but walking was okay.

I stopped at the aid stations and got plenty of water and took advantage of the tables to simply lean on them and rest up. I continued with the challenge of climbing up the hills. My legs are so not used to hills, I totally suck at them, and they get in my head and break me. But, whenever there is downhill, I can totally own the course and I took advantage of each of those dowhills.  After many hills and rolling baby hills, I finally reached the aid station between mile 6 and 7 and the volunteers told me that the downhill was finally coming. I believed them, but first I had another major uphill, so I walked it and then finally the descend started and my little legs took off.  There was another gal in front of me and we kept going back and forth, either she was in front or I was and we kept at til around mile 9, then I was ahead til we reached mile 10.  We arrived at the last aid station, around mile 10, and I rested, took two full cups of water a nasty GU, and the gal caught up to me and we both were at the aid station for a few seconds.

In the last 5K of a half marathon, I like to tell myself, you only have less than 30 minutes, you can do anything for 30 minutes.  Well, except this half had another small uphill for me, the other gal passed me at this point and I wanted to kick myself for not being able to keep up but I just found my comfortable pace and kept going. The other cute gal was just a few steps ahead of me for the next mile, her being in front helped me tremendously as the road had a lot of rocks and the road was narrow so wherever she stepped, I stepped.

On the last 2 miles though, she slowed down a bit and I passed her, I looked at my Garmin and I was excited to be done.  The road was downhill and I decided to take those last 2 miles as a WOD, I pushed and pushed. The first aid station/last aid station was up ahead and I took off my sweater and gave it to my friend Lori from the NERC FB group. I knew that I had only about a mile left from the aid station so I told myself " the road becomes pavement, it is a WOD, no stopping!". I took off, no prisoners, it was just me and the road, Eminem's song 'Til I Collapse came on my iPod on cue and it was time to work straight from the heart. The moment of truth, the moment where I could be either 2nd place or 3rd was to be decided on the last mile of the course. I wanted to look back and check on the other gal, but I didn't want to lose time, so I pushed and pushed, I could see the gal in first place about 1/2 a mile ahead of me, no way I could catch her, but I had a chance at keeping my second place if I just kept going. So I did. I pushed. It hurt. My lungs were burning, my legs were screaming in pain to stop or at least slow down.  We had to take a left hand turn at the end and I had just enough time for a glimpse behind me, but it was enough to see that I had gained at least 1/2 mile on the other gal, but I was not done yet. I had to keep pushing to the end then I saw my hubby already at the finish line, he was wearing his medal and he had a big smile on his face and he yelled "go Isela" and it was just enough to get me through the Finish Line. I had it! I conquered the Bear Lake Monster and I came in 2nd overall, it is my slowest time ever, but it was good enough for second on this challenging course.

At the end of the race, the other gal and I chatted for a bit. I thanked her for pushing me throughout the course for being there when I needed her,  she did the same. It was a tough course but I am so glad that I did it.  The views coming on the way down were spectacular. The lake looked so blue and it truly mesmerized me. I can't wait to do it again next year! Hubby finished 9th overall. He is such an amazing runner! See you next year Bear Lake Monster!

Official time: 2:03:05. 2nd place overall in the women's.

Elevation map--just because it was the hardest darn half I've ever done in my life! It must be recorded in internet history that I did run walk this half!

Bear Lake Monster Half Elevation Map


TOU 1/2 Marathon 2012

Isela Phelps TOU Half 2012
First fall race of the season arrived! I was not prepared for it at all. I had done a total of two training runs for it, a 5 and a 3 miler, besides the short runs we do at crossfit. Yes, I ate a piece of humble pie that day as I miss my PR by just 20 seconds!!! Did I want to kick myself about it, no doubt! I still keep thinking "if just maybe I hadn't stopped at the aid stations and walked through them" if I could just have pushed that last mile from a 7:30 to a 7:10 pace. The truth is that I didn't look at my previous time so I didn't know how much faster I needed to run than last year. Now, I have regrets and I need to wait one entire year to try again.

Having said the above, I cannot feel totally bad. My time was quite respectable still 1:39:57 which is totally okay, especially for only two training runs. Also my recovery time was practically zero, I felt really, really well that very same afternoon and the previous days I was just a little tired but not enough to slow me down any or to make me skip any WODs or to miss work.

During the race, I felt secure about my steps, I didn't once feel like quitting nor did I feel that my hips were about to give up. My hips felt strong, like they could handle the pounding. During halves and especially fulls, my hips start "dipping" towards the front and I need to keep pushing my tush back so that I can give proper steps. Not the case during this race, I remember thinking around mile 11 that my hips felt strong.

The race itself, I feel that I had a strong race, not a fast race by any means, as I remember going down the hills and saying "maybe you should push more" and I would answer to myself with "don't want to get too tired, this is a training run for St. George Marathon, that's it!".  

OVERALL: I am satisfied with the race. I am not happy with myself for missing my PR but there is always next time. I am happy with the fact that I didn't die on the course, that I did run a 7:30 on that last mile and that I felt very good after the race.

Splits and elevation map:

TOU half splits
Tou half elevation

 


A run with my awesome boyo

Running partners
There are days where I can definitely sit down and have a pity party about my kiddos growing up and me growing older and them leaving me in the near future as they get their own fabulous lives going. Then, there are days like today, when my awesom son sees me getting ready for a run and I nonchalantly ask him if he wants to join me and he drops his pencil and drawings and jumps at the opportunity.  Him getting older to come on a run with me is definitely a perk! Him fitting into the same size running shoes as me, not so much as he takes my running shoes to school sometimes, ha ha ha! He is a runner at heart!

This is the second time we ran together, the first time we went 2 miles in about 15 minutes flat. I was dying! I never start off that fast unless I am racing and it is flat or downhill. Today, we went for 3 miles, they were nice and easy miles and he kept up with me the whole time. At the very end, I told him to sprint home as I cheered him on, he took off and left me in the dust. He got home about 15 seconds before me.

Running Inspiration

You are Going

I found this on the I <3 Run FB and I wanted to save it so I could always remember it.

Hey, Fat Girl.

Yes, you. The one feigning to not see me when we cross paths on the running track. The one not even wearing sports gear, breathing heavy. You’re slow, you breathe hard and your efforts at moving forward make you cringe.


Y
ou cling shyly to the furthest corridor, sometimes making larger loops on the gravel ring by the track just so you’re not on it. You sweat so much that your hair is all wet. You rarely stay for more than 20 minutes at a time, and you look exhausted when you leave to go back home. You never talk to anyone. I’ve got something I’d like to say to you.

You are awesome. If you’d look me in the eye only for an instant, you would notice the reverence and respect I have for you. The adventure you have started is tremendous; it leads to a better health, to renewed confidence and to a brand new kind of freedom. The gifts you will receive from running will far exceed the gigantic effort it takes you to show up here, to face your fears and to bravely set yourself in motion, in front of others.

You have already begun your transformation. You no longer accept this physical state of numbness and passivity. You have taken a difficult decision, but one that holds so much promise. Every hard breath you take is actually a tad easier than the one before, and every step is ever so slightly lighter. Each push forward leaves the former person you were in your wake, creating room for an improved version, one that is stronger, healthier and forward-looking, one who knows that anything is possible.

You’re a hero to me. And, if you’d take off the blaring headphones and put your head up for more than a second or two, you would notice that the other runners you cross, the ones that probably make you feel so inadequate, stare in awe at your determination. They, of all people, know best where you are coming from. They heard the resolutions of so many others, who vowed to pick up running and improve their health, “starting next week”. Yet, it is YOU who runs alongside, who digs from deep inside to find the strength to come here, and to come back again.

You are a runner, and no one can take that away from you. You are relentlessly moving forward. You are stronger than even you think, and you are about to be amazed by what you can do. One day, very soon, maybe tomorrow, you’ll step outside and marvel at your capabilities. You will not believe your own body, you will realize that you can do this. And a new horizon will open up for you. You are a true inspiration.

I bow to you.**

The Pink Series 5K

PinkSeries5K

I had a dream! A dream that I will run a 5K around 20 minutes. I never thought I could be that fast, thus it was a dream. I am slow, remember, I was the Chubbette for awhile, the one that ran 13minute miles and puked a lung each time I had to run more than half a block.

But my dream became a reality on April 28th at the Pink Series 5K event. I am a big fan of the Pink Series events, they surely know how to make a gal feel special. From packet pick up to the welcoming "hunks" they keep at the Finish Line waiting eagerly to place our medals around our necks, to the awesome awesome food at the other side of the Finish Line. If you haven't had a chance to do one of their events, take a day and sign up for one and run it, you won't regret it ;).

The course was all downhill and when I say downhill, I truly mean it. 400 feet loss in 3 miles--it is sweetly fast! So fast that my legs couldn't keep up with the turnover. Heck yeah! Being a marathon runner seriously makes me appreciate short runs like this one even more.

One of the funnest parts about this race was our "token" runner, Pleasant Grove City Fire Chief Sanderson, anyone who crossed the Finish Line before him, would receive a gift card as a prize. I didn't think I stood a chance, he is an ultra runner and superb runner all around, so when I made it to the Finish Line just a couple of seconds before him, it made my day. I think he was just being nice and let me get there before him so not to break my heart so close to the finish line.

The race was over before I could realize that I was getting tired. 20:34, my fastest 5K ever! And the course was actually a little longer, many garmin's clocked it at  3.21.

5k top 5
Here we are, the top 5 and Fire Chief, Sanderson.

Thank you The Pink Series for an awesome time and an awesome event!

 


Canyonlands Half Marathon

Canyonlands big picture

On March 17th, I had the chance to participate in a spectacular race in Moab, UT, Canyonlands Half Marathon. The views on this particular half marathon are outstanding! I wanted to stop and simply take in the view various times, and it wasn't because I was coughing up a lung cuz I was so out of shape, no, the beauty of this magnificient area is just lovely! The beautiful red rock and the rock formations are a beauty to the eye.

Canyonlands view

This was my very first Canyonlands Half and I didn't know what to expect. I knew it was down the canyon and I have ran down canyons but not this particular one. As we made our way up to the start line, we didn't know what to expect. It was a little chilly and I was wearing shorts. What we didn't expect was the wind, lots and lots of wind with small particles of sand all around. I remember breathing at one point and getting a mouthful of dirt in, hahaha, I quickly learned not to run with my mouth wide open on this one.

The course is pretty gentle downhill, beautiful views, and a very, very small little uphill, nothing to be afraid of, then it flatens out at the end.

I did however find the last 3 miles of this particular half to be the hardest, not because I was tired, rather due to the wind factor. It was fierce out there! I always wear sunglasses and this was a day that I was truly grateful for them, the dirt was flying everywhere! The wind was so bad that at points I felt I was running backwards. Thank goodness for my spare tire as it helped kept me on the ground, 10 pounds lighter and I am sure I would have been flying like a piece of candy wrapper. At one point, I found a taller gal than me and I just ran behind her, everything was cool until she decided to spit and well due to the wind, I got a big chunk of it on my arm and my shirt--serves me right for trying to hide from the wind behind her.

It was my first race of the season and the wind factor was brutal, and although I should take those two things into consideration, I still felt badly about my performance, it is one of my slowest marathon to date in my short racing life. I clocked in at 1:47:58. I know, I know, I shouldn't beat myself up about it as I did give it my all but still, one always likes to perform better not worse. My kids just tell me that I am getting old...and I guess they are right, hahaha.

Moab 2012 001

My awesome little cheerleaders were waiting for me at the end with big smiles and hugs and ready to tell me that I was a "stinky" mom and needed a bath fast! Aren't they adorable? Yes, I keep them cuz they make adorable cheerleaders, especially when one of them wears tiny little socks that have St. Patty's days all over!

Moab 2012 063

Overall, I loved this race. The views alone make the entire 13.1 miles worth it! I will definitely do it again if I have a chance.

And another picture because it just shows my awesome muscles, alright, I just want to show you how spectacular my little treasures are, one of them on each side of the road just waiting for me to give them high-five :). I sure love them both to pieces ;).

Moab 2012 034



Back on the road

Hamsterwheel

Training starts tomorrow for my running season and I am very glad it does. I need some sort of distraction and this may just be the ticket. I jumped this year to the Intermediate Marathon training program and I think it is going to kick my a$$. I don't think I am ready for that much mileage but I will give it my best effort. Just thinking that my first long run is this Saturday and it is a 9 miler is already sending my legs into panic mode. Oy! I better strap on the shoe laces really well and get ready for another awesome ride. May the force be with me as I embark on my 4th year of running.

First Month of marathon training

 


Intermediate Training

Mom, look, am a big kid now! I have graduated to the Intermediate level of marathon training! :) It only took me 6 marathons to finally bump up to the next level. I am afraid and I think I may need my hand held for a little while but I think I can do it...if anything, I think I will give it a shot and it can only help me get a little better out there on the road.

I am bumping up from running 4 times a week to running 5 times a week and there will also be some hill workouts, speed workouts, and something called YASSOs at the end. There are some longer runs at the end too--22 milers, eek! But I think I am ready. I am ready to tackle something new :).

Week 1 training:

Week 1 Intermediate Level

I have also been working on my hamstring strength, I think my ITB issues are coming from week hammies so I am working on that...my bum hurts now from all the lunges but I guess that means I am working muscles that I hardly use.


Feeling the Pressure

2010HealthDaysRaceLogo  I am doing a small race this Saturday, Smithfield Health Days 10K,  typically I wouldn't put much thought into a small race, however, I realized when I signed up that I had a goal in mind. I really want to do well this time around, at least shave a few seconds off my time from last year.

10K Last year, I did this race and I went to the start sore from doing Body Pump a few days prior and for some reason I was also a little under the weather.  The morning was cold and I remember starting the course and being shocked by finding out that the entire first 3 miles were uphill and then coming back, expecting all downhill I was presented with a different route and had a major hill around mile 5. I remember cussing the organizers for putting such a hill at that mile, but I guess they were trying to keep it honest and true.

Turtle running So, I am going into this race a little preoccupied and with high hopes of beating my time for this course from last year. Time to beat: 48:07. Wish me luck! I really hope I can beat that time...but I don't know if my legs will have it in them...also I am hoping the rain will go away and let the sun come out to warm me up. If I really think about it, I think it is a huge miracle that I could have gotten that time, that is about 7:44 minute miles (I never even train at that pace)...I am going to be hard pressed to accomplish that this time around......really, it seems a little daunting. Eeek!

By the way, my fastest 10K was 45:05 last year but it was on a different course--mainly flat with some really little ant hills.


Boston Marathon report part II

The Race

So I left off when I told you that I had gotten to the Start of the race late. Yes, I felt so awful when I finally got through thousands and thousands of people to get to my corral was gone and the entire second wave was leaving. I wanted to cry when I heard that I missed the start, thankfully my time didn't start at the wave start but when I crossed the timing mat. I cruised up to the end of the wave and made my way slowly through it. I began at about a 11 minute pace as people weren't moving very fast...I felt like a snail, then finally I was able to find some room and run a little bit more at my pace. The weather felt great, a little chilly but the sun was out and I had a hoodie on just in case it got too cold. The spectators from the start were lining the streets--both sides of the street! Little kids, adult, older adults, and their pets were outside cheering and singing and giving treats to the runners. It was amazing. I had never seen that before in my previous four marathons.

The first mile went by quite uneventful, just tried to get my little body in a space where I was okay to move at a decent pace.  I knew the first couple of miles was going to be congested but I never imagined the magnitude of congestion I was presented with...the whole time I was surrounded by thousands of runners, to the left to the right to the front to the back. I seriously thought that if I could hook my arms to the people next to me and lift my feet that I could probably make it at least half way down the course.  Crazy fun to be surrounded by so many runners!

Between mile 2 and 3, I unfortunately had a little mishap that I wasn't expecting. Someone ahead of me dropped a water bottle and I tried to avoid steppinp on it so I lifted my foot and side-stepped only to have my foot roll and my ankle go pop! I thought was going to die! In my head, the only thought that came was "no, not now, I still have 24 miles to go and I am not quitting". There were some lady spectators on the side who quikly ran to me and asked me if I was okay. I felt like crying and saying, "no, it hurts" but my stubborness came out and instead, I mumbled something along the lines of "I will be okay, it was nothing". I hopped for the next little bit and my hop became a small limp as I tested my weight on the foot. It hurt but not to the point of tears, so I kept going paying close attention to my foot. The pain lessened as I continued and I concentrated more on my left left and foot making sure that it wasn't taken all the weight of my body. In my head, I kept repeating that I had 24 miles to go and that I wasn't about to quit. My foot felt better and eventually the pain went away or my body realized that I wasn't going to pay any mind to it.

SPI Belt At mile 3, I took my first GU and started hydrating. I had a plan of taking one GU every 5 miles after mile 3, a GU every 40-45 minutes or so. I hate carrying GUs with me and most of my other marathons provide GUs along the way but Boston only provides 1 at mile 17. I wasn't prepared for this 1 GU deal so during the expo (by the way, the most amazing humongous expo I have ever seen, wish I had had extra mula with me to buy stuff) I purchased a SPI belt to carry my GUs. I was thankful that I was able to find a GU booth were they were selling the stuff super cheaper 5 of them for $6 bucks, cheaper than I buy them around here anyways.  The belt weighs almost nothing, it is perfect for holding those gels. I just wish it doubled as a number belt too.

The next few miles truly went fast. I loved running down the streets with all the spectactors. They had bands playing or music playing. One of the towns even had the Elvis singing just for us! Another town was playing YMCA and all the runners were dancing to it and making the letters with their hands--I of course had to join in on the fun and had to dance along. It really didn't feel like I was running a marathon as I was having so much fun waving and laughing at everything around me.

When I reached my 13, I had to look at my Garmin just to be sure that I was truly at mile 13, I couldn't believe that I had ran already 13 miles and that I was feeling so good, even my foot was feeling great. I was keeping up with my hydration--walking through every aid station picking up a water and sipping just a little bit of it and then a little bit of gatorade. 

Wellesleykiss12 I have to mention that it was between mile 13 and 14 that I was presented with a beautiful sight! The women from Wellesley College, hundreds of women lined the streets with signs that read "Kiss me" or "Kiss me, I won't tell your wife" or "This is your only chance to kiss a Chemist". I couldn't help but smile. Hundreds of young women spending their Saturday outside cheering for us crazies. It was beautiful.  No, I didn't run to kiss any of them but I did smile as the men ran over and hugged them and gave them a kiss on the cheek.  With memories of these women cheering me on, I kept going for the next few miles, smiling, high-fiving children along the way, my heart calls to them when I see their little hands out and I only imagine my kids doing the same thing. I always get a thrill when I high-five one of them and they turn to their parents and say "did you see that, they like me!" (picture found at FieldNotes)

When I crossed mile 18, I told myself--well ducky from now on it is all heart. You only trained to 18 miles this time around so from this point on, it is all coming from the heart. I knew that the next few miles had in store a couple of hills, including HeartBreak Hill but I was ready for them. I wasn't feeling tired, my legs felt okay, my lungs had plenty of air (the wonders of coming from a 4,500ft elevation down to 200ft) so I charged ahead. I kept my eyes down on purpose during the next few miles. I knew that hills were coming and the mind can play tricks on you making you believe that the hills are bigger than they truly are so with eyes on the ground, I dug in and ran forth. I counted the hills and I knew that I should be feeling the hills that they were right there and that I only had so many left.

Before reaching Heartbreak hill, I looked around and I saw a few people walking, I didn't want to walk, not yet. I told myself I could walk if I reached mile 22, then I could take a one minute break. I dug my toes and kicked up and started up what I thought was the second "big" hill in the course. I ran up it, passing a few people on the right and left. My pace wasn't fast but I was feeling pretty good. When I reached the top of the hill I was quite surprised to see a big broken heart drawn on the ground. I looked up and I had to ask the person next to me "was that Heartbreak hill" they confirmed it. I couldn't believe that I had ran up THE hill and I didn't even feel it. I had miscounted my hills and thought that I still had one more to go when in fact I was done. Granted, I was running a 9-something pace by this time so I wasn't sprinting up it.

The next few miles were all heart. At this point, I put my headphones on and listened to some songs. One of my favorite Zumba songs came on (Pegate by grupo Treo) and I was singing and trying to put my heart into my run. I had 5 miles left. I told myself I could run 5 miles. 50 minutes tops even with water breaks. I brougtht memories of my kids to the front of my mind and forged ahead. The spectators were still around cheering us on but at this point, I needed to reach deep within me for what I needed and my kids are usually the answer. As I pictured their little faces and imagined hearing their voices, the miles went by under my feet.

BostonRunning2 It was around mile 25 when we crossed some sort of bridge along the course that I remember getting all choked up, I put my headphones away and turned my iPod off.  I felt out out breath not because of the intensity of the workout but because of my personal thoughts of things going on in our lives right now. I felt tears surfacing and I felt my heart hammer through my chest and the crowds around cheering me on. At that moment, it wasn't so much about the marathon I was running but more about my personal struggles at this time of my life. I remember as if I was in slow motion, I closed my eyes and one of my tears fells down on my lips. I could taste the saltyness from my tear combined with my sweat. I remember lifting my sunglasses and wiping my tears clean with my hand, feeling the remnants of salt particles on my face from the dried up sweat. I remember looking around and seeing a little girl with deep blue eyes just smiling and waving. I looked up and saw the Citgo sign and the promise that it brought of only 1 mile left.

Boston Picture I shuffled through the 25 mile aid station. Stopped to stretch my lower back and to reasses my feelings at the moment. I told myself again, 1 mile, anyone runs 1 mile, even my 6 year old has run 1 mile races. So, I stood up, smiled and high-fived one of the spectators and told myself that was the end of my break and no more breaks til I crossed the finish line.

Five words carried me through that last mile. YOU. CAN. DO. IT. MOM. At first, they were almost a whisper in my head, then they got louder and louder and louder. I could hear my little children's voices in my head cheering me on. As I reached the 26 mile mark, the voice just got louder and louder and louder. Then, I heard my name and my sweet husband was there screaming my name at the top of his lungs and taking pictures. It was exactly what I needed, my children's voices in my head, then my husband there in person cheering me to the end. I gave all the little bit left that I had in me and I crossed the finish line. 3:50:07 Boston dream completed!

Boston 2011--an Epic Year for the Boston Marathon. World records were broken with Mutai coming in at 2:03:02 for the fastest marathon ever. Many others achieved personal record times. Personally, I reached my goal of running the prestigious Boston marathon.

It was one of the best running experiences I have ever had, one that I truly will never forget and I hope I can repeat again in the future.

   BostonMosaic



 


Boston Marathon report part I

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G

The entire event was more than I ever imagined. People told me of the spectators but I never believed it until I saw it and experience it. It was an amazing race and it was mostly due to the spectators out on the course cheering for all the runners.

Boston 008 Starting from the beginning, I was afraid of missing the bus so I woke up at 5am which is usually quite late as I am used to getting up at 3am to board a 5am bus but this time around I had to be on the bus by 7am. As I woke up and got ready for my big day, I was surprised that I felt calm and ready, despite my single long run of 18 miles. I knew what was ahead of me and in my head I knew that if it came to it, I was okay with walking the last 5 miles. I wasn't there to set a record, I was there just to have fun and enjoy the experience. I taped myself up--KT Tape on my legs always since I overpronate so much and my shoes don't do the trick on their own. I decided while taping my legs to also tape my right ankle, no idea why I felt the need but I went ahead and taped it (little did I know that it would be my saving grace later on in the marathon). As I was getting ready, I turned the TV on to the local news and the marathon was everywhere, all the news was about it and about the weather and how it would affect the runners. Quite exciting to see the race on national news!

Boston 011 Hubby walked me to the bus loading area where I was expecting to get there and wait on the line for a few minutes but when we got to Boston Commons we were presented with thousands of runners waiting in this super long serpentine line. I wish I had known my wait was going to be almost an hour as I would have gotten breakfast and ate it while waiting in line. I was lucky to have taken my winter coat with me as it was a cold morning and as we waited there in the park it got colder and Boston 013 colder. Runners were there wearing their short shorts and they ended up taking their friends jackets/sweaters to wrap them around their legs just to keep warm. I have to remember that 50 degrees feels a lot different in Boston than it does in Utah. 50 degrees there still means you need a coat. After a little wait, I was able to board the bus and leave my hubby behind--I always find climbing on the bus on my own a little scary, I wish I could take him with me.

Boston 010 In the bus, I sat next to a guy who qualified on his first marathon and his family insisted he did Boston...I told it was really awesome :). His entire family was in Boston to cheer him and see him at the finish line. After chatting for a few minutes, I closed my eyes and I slept all the way to the starting line. I got to the starting line around 9am and my starting time was 10:20 so I hurried to the porta potties and waited my turn with all my other fellow runners. I made a few friends there from all over the world. It was super neat to meet so many runners from all different parts of the world. As always, almost when it was my turn, the toilet paper ran out and all of us were scrambling around for TP...I must remember to take a roll with me to the starting line. Thankfully someone thought ahead and brought extra.

After taking care of business, I hurried and went to food section and picked up half a bagel and some water. Drank a full bottle of water and ate slowly. Then it was time to get serious and get going. I shed my layers, it was terribly sad leaving my coat and my sweats. I didn't want to be cold so I wore a long sleeve layer and short sleeve. I dont' like carrying extra clothes but I didn't want to be cold. I made my way to the starting line with plenty of time but there were so many people to weave through that by the time I got to the starting line my wave and corral had already left. I ended up at the tail end of Wave 2. I had missed the Start :(...so sad.

Stay tuned for part II....the race

 

 


1.5.8.5.6

Boston-marathon-logo

Boston bound...I am going on an airplane...weee! I am so excited to see from afar some of the best runners in the world...to run the same streets they have ran down, to perhaps even see them up close at some point.

I shall be in Boston by Sunday morning..the worst part about the trip is the whole red eye flight but hopefully it won't affect me so much. I knew that I wasn't going to sleep much anyways...never do before a race...must take some Tylenol PM the night before just to get a few hours in.

My lucky number of the day 15856...may it bring me to the finish line in one piece and hopefully that my feet cross the finish line without any blisters or if there are blisters that at least I'll be conscious to realize the pain :).

Wish me luck! A dream come true for sure...my mantra as always "once upon a dream, now I am making it a reality"


Wildlife on the Run

Elk

We truly live in a wonderful area of the world, despite the awful long winters we have, I have to admit that it is always gorgeous. During one of our runs, hubby and I spotted this family of elk. We wish we had our camera with us at the time and we continued running, two days later, the elk were there again, two days later, they were still there, so on Sunday we took our kiddos to see them and to snap a few pictures of the lovely creatures.

Kids

 


My Favorite New Top!

Santa noticed that I was quite good this year and gifted me with this awesome new running top...can you say Dreamy, thank you hubby :)!!! It is buttery soft and super light weight. The neckline crosses at the front for a nice "cowl" look. But the best part of it...the logo!

Top copy

Close-up of the logo: yep! Boston Marathon Qualifier...thank you darling for such an awesome gift!

Boston2

 

 

 


Motivation

Hurdling CartoonGif

“You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming.”  Frank Shorter

Hubby and I have signed up for our next marathon: Ogden 2011! Yes, I am going to go down and conquer the beast that gave me awful blisters this year. I have but one goal in mind to finish with a smile on my face not tears and feeling sorry for my poor foot like this year.

In a few days, Oct. 17th,  I will be turning 33. I never thought I would make it past 23 so 33 is a big thing for me. Growing up I had it in my head that I would die at the age of 23--why? No idea. I just always had that in my head. In a sense, every year after I reached 23 has been a "gift" to me. 33 is going to be big. I want it to be big. I want to live each year to the fullest. I want at the end of each year--Oct. 16th to look back at my previous year of life and say to myself "yep, I gave it 100% and I held nothing back."


Apple Days 5K

  Apple days
The River Heights town was celebrating their "birthday" and as part of the celebration they held a small 5K & 1 Mile Children's Race. I had plans of having us all participate but little Nyah decided the night before not to run so I had to arrange for babysitting for her, thankfully, my neighbor Jill was going to take part on the race but not in the 5K so she could watch NyNy while Sam, Bryant and I ran. 

Race morning came early and with a chilly wind. Each time I run in the cold air I suffer for it the rest of the day with an awful cough and with a chill that just stays deep in my bones. As we lined up for the race, Bryant went to the front with this friend Quinn. I wanted to keep him in my sight just to be sure he crossed the roads okay but then Quinn's Dad told me that he would be watching them so I was "free" to just run. As they let us go for the run, I took off with the front of the pack, I was one of the first women in the pack but I hadn't paid close attention to see if there were any others girls up there with me. Race 001

My Garmin beeped at one mile and I saw that I clocked a 6:53 pace! Wowza! I was rocking it and I was feeling it in my lungs--the cold air was making me hurt so I pulled back just a little to allow for the cough to subside, men with strollers were passing me by this time but I was still at the front of the pack. A little downhill came and I savored it as I knew that the next 1/2 mile or so was going to be uphill. In the uphill section, I dug in with my toes and gritted my teeth but kept going, I passed one of the gentlemen pushing a stroller. Uphills are usually my crummiest but I wasn't going to walk, I kept pushing and kept telling myself that 3.1 miles is easy and I should be able to keep the pace going. As I neared the last turn of the race, I dug in a little deeper and with my throat aching from the cold air I crossed the finish line.

Race 007 Gasping for air and yet not being able to take it all in due to the cold and the cough that came at that same moment, they handed me a little paper plate that said 1st place W. I looked at it and they told me my time: 23:04. I had been fast enough to come in 1st place in the womens! I was stoked despite the ache in my throat and lungs.

Hubby was already there, he had finished in about 22 minutes--he doesn't remember his exact time as the organizers started talking to him and he forgot to stop his watch.

My boyo had not finished yet so I sent Sam, who was feeling a bit better than I was to go run back to get him and help him. I didn't have it in me to run back, I needed water and a rest to let my throat feel better. 3.1 miles is a bit far in my eyes for an 8 year old to run non-stop but Boyo aka Bryant really had his heart set on it.

Boyo came in at 27minutes! He is freaking fast for an 8 year old! He placed second in his age group. He wanted to come in 1st so he was a little disappointed but we made sure to tell him how stellar his time really was. I mean, I know a lot of adults who would love to run a 5K in 27minutes.

After the 5K the 1Mile race started and Nyah decided at that point that she wanted to run, so hubby went with her. She just ran for fun, no pressure, just running with her friends from the neighborhood.

After the race, they gave all the little kids a ribbon and we all got apple pie and ice cream.

I got my 1st place medal EVER! My kiddos won a pair of socks and a gift card to Zeppes, an Italian ice cream place. Overall it was a fantastic family activity! 

  Phelps5K