Sunday, June 28, 2009

3 Weeks To Bryce Canyon Half Marathon

We're going to run the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon in 3 weeks along with half the neighborhood. It will be really fun to have so many friends there.

Mel originally signed up to run the 5k. A week or two after we signed up she said "Do you think I could do the half marathon?" And the rest is history. Ever since then she has been very dedicated to training and she'll do great.

I've tactfully avoided telling her how bad our legs are going to burn after the race.

14 Weeks To Marathon

Monday, June 22nd 2009: 30 minutes on exercise bike.

Tuesday, June 23rd 2009: 3.5 miles in 38 minutes. Mel and I went early in the morning and just took it easy. I decided to run fast for the last mile to our house up a big hill and did the last mile at an 8:47/mile pace.

Wednesday, June 24th 2009: 30 glorious minutes on the exercise bike.

Thursday, June 25th 2009: 4.5 miles at high school speed workout. The group did 800's (2 laps around the track). I was a little nervous about my pacing for 2 laps. I usually just do one, but I push hard enough that I couldn't imagine doing it for 2 laps. I ran all the 800's with Darrin Larson who helped me with pacing so now I know a little better what to expect. My times for the 800's were:
1) 3:23
2) 3:46
3) 3:49
4) 3:38

I was pooped by this point and ready to head out. Tom asked if I wanted to do one more. I told him I didn't have another 800 in me, but may be able to do a 400. He challenged me to do it in 1 minute 25 seconds, my personal record. I was apprehensive but gave it a shot.

I was cruising the first half of the lap and was surprised how good I was feeling. Then I wore out. The last 1/4 of the lap was excruciating but I kept pushing.....and crossed the line in 1 minute 23 seconds! Then I stood on the side panting and trying my darndest to not let the throw up escape that was begging to come out. This is the closest I've come to blowing chunks. I thought it was inevitable.

I was on cloud 9 the rest of the day for beating my record. Granted, it's only 2 seconds faster but I did it after already running 4 miles. It was so hard that I felt really proud of myself.

That night I ran 6.7 miles in 1 hour 19 minutes with Mel. She wanted me to run with her so I thought I'd be fine. This was very foolish for 2 reasons: 1) My body was still worn out from the morning running, and 2) I ate a big bowl of Wheat Chex 20 minutes before we left.

For the whole run I had a bad side ache and it felt like the whole bowl of Chex was lodged right in my throat. It was miserable.

Friday, June 26th 2009: Rest (with a healthy supply of junk food and icing my knees).

Saturday, June 27th 2009: 12 miles in 2 hours 18 minutes. My brother-in-law Dean was down from Washington and has gotten into running. So Dean, Mel, and I headed out at 4:30am for a 12 miler. This was both Dean and Mel's distance record and we had fun running together. The stars aligned and we got a nap afterward. Otherwise I would have perished.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How To Avoid Bleeding Nipples

Sweaty clothing + skin = chaffing.

Disturbingly, any runner will tell you that nipples are especially prone. Ugh. Fortunately, Running Superfans created this prevention video. Very funny - enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

15 Weeks To Marathon

Monday, June 15th 2009: 5 miles in 55 minutes. I ran with Mel and we kept a pretty steady pace for the run.

Tuesday, June 16th 2009: 40 minutes on exercise bike. Whoa mama. My legs were moving, my heart was pounding, the sweat was pouring, and I was having the time of my life. Wait. That last part was a lie.

Wednesday, June 17th 2009: 3.5 miles at the track. I did 4 fast 400's (1 lap around). My times were 1 minute 25 seconds, 1:35, 1:34, and 1:26. On my last lap, I really tried to beat the 1:25. I was one second slower but definitely gave everything I had. I think 1:25 is my record for a 400.

Thursday, June 18th 2009: 30 minutes doing hills on bike. The weather was perfect in the morning - cool and crisp. I went up and down hills for no good reason. As Captain Sarcasm would say, "It was interesting and fantastic!"

Friday, June 19th 2009: Rest.

Saturday, June 20th 2009: 17 miles in 3 hours 5 minutes. It is inconceivable that my chicken legs carried me 17 miles. I ran into a really strong headwind for the first 8 miles which kicked my rump. This is how I felt:

By the time I reached the half-way point and turned around I was starting to feel worn out. Somehow my legs continued to move. The last three miles I picked up my pace and was feeling pretty good, but with about a half mile left I was spent. Spent. It felt like someone had secretly strapped filing cabinets to my legs. A charley horse was begging to come over and play but thankfully it never hit me full force.
I finished with an average 10:54 per minute pace. I wanted to beat my 10:36 pace from last week's long run and I think I could have if it weren't so windy. I hope to leave the filing cabinets at home for the next long run.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Very Funny Running Video

I found some videos by Running Superfans through Runners World. This one about a guy training for an ultramarathon is my favorite. I watched it three times and sobbed with laughter every time.

I'll be posting a video from Running Superfans once a week for the next four weeks. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

16 Weeks To Marathon

Monday, June 8th 2009: 3 miles in 25 minutes 23 seconds. I pushed on this run and did a shorter distance but faster pace, and finished with an average 8:28 per mile pace. Mercy. It hurt. I hope this rumor about how speed training improves pace isn't an ugly conspiracy to make runners suffer.

Tuesday, June 9th 2009: 6 miles in 58 minutes. I wasn't tremendously thrilled to go out and do an early pre-work run after the previous night's speed run. Surprisingly I think my body is starting to get used to the early morning outings.

Wednesday, June 10th 2009: Rest. Glorious rest.

Thursday, June 11th 2009: 16 miles in 2 hours 49 minutes. Mel and I headed out for our long run at an inhumane 4:30am. I ran the first 4 miles with Mel who did 8 that day (Good job Mel!). I ran slower the first half to conserve my energy. Great news - my Snickers bar was waiting at the half way point. I found out that after running 8 miles, a Snickers bar isn't too appealing. Hmm.

I was feeling okay at mile 12 so I sped up and finished the last 4 miles strong. It's a much better feeling to end a run with a strong finish than to drag yourself to the end. I was really happy that I ended with an average 10:36 per mile pace.

It is truly inconceivable that I ran 16 miles. I would have never, ever believed you if you told me a year ago that I would do this. I had perfected my excuses that I wasn't a runner and never would be. My excuses included:

  • My knees throb when I even run half a mile. I could NEVER run 16 miles (this was my favorite excuse).

  • My body's not built for that.

  • I don't have the time.

  • Of all forms of exercise, why would I pick the seemingly most boring exercise ever?

  • I get tired and out of breath easily and quickly.

  • My feet, back, and KNEES hurt!

Trust me, I was a staunch member of the "I Could Never Be A Runner" group. But after starting very slowly, building very slowly, pushing my body just a little farther, lots of stretching, and not giving up when it got hard, I am now a believer. I am convinced that if I can do it, anyone can. I promised myself I wasn't going to cry. Where are the Kleenix?

Friday, June 12th 2009: Spent the day at Canyonlands National Park and biking around Arches with Mel and Jackson. We spent the weekend at Moab (visit for pictures coming soon).

Saturday, June 13th 2009: Hike to Delicate Arch and Corona Arch. Amazing.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

17 Weeks to Marathon

Monday, June 1st, 2009: 45 minutes on bike. I went out and rode around LaVerkin for a while before work. By the end of the ride, the last few hills to get up to our house are rough.

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009: 5 miles in 48 minutes. I've been working on figuring out what a good steady pace would be for me. For this run I tried to keep my pace at about 9:30 per mile. I think that was just a little too fast to sustain for too long because I was pooped by the end.

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009: 3 miles at track. I went to the high school to do a speed workout. Let me tell you something - I know the speed training is important but I absolutely dread it. I hate it. It makes me question why I ever pursued this hobby.

I started off warming up for a few laps, then did 400's (1 lap around) fast followed by a slower lap (followed by a few minutes wheezing at the side of the track trying not to barf). Here's a fancy little chart of the 5 fast(er) laps I ran:

Thursday, June 4th 2009: 30 minutes on exercise bike.

Friday, June 5th 2009: Rest. My "carbo loading" day (a crude excuse to eat lots) included 3 pieces of toast, a cookie, a burrito for lunch, some Mountain Dew, and a delicious salad from Durangos.

Saturday, June 6th 2009: The Speedster - 10k race - 53 minutes!

Mel and I ran The Speedster (the 10k is around 6.2 miles) this morning, joined by a few other runners from the neighborhood.

I ran the whole race with Shane and we finished with an 8 minute 34 second average pace for the race!!! We were steady at this pace the whole time. I was worried the first few miles because I knew that was faster than I should be going and I didn't want to be on the brink of death for the last half of the race.

To tell you the truth, I honestly don't know how I was able to go that fast for that long. Normally I can run two miles at that pace but then I'm done. My body was begging, I mean BEGGING for me to stop after about 4 miles. I truly felt like I had nothing left and couldn't keep going.

But somehow I ran despite feeling like I may pass out, and despite being overheated and being on the verge of blowing chunks. The 6 miles of this race were much harder than my 15 miler last week.
Mel finished in 1 hour 3 minutes which is awesome - especially for her first race. She cut down her pace a lot also. I'm proud of her.

My 53 minute time put me in the top 3 finishers for my age division so I won a medal which I was really happy about. That is the hardest I've ever worked for a $3 piece of metal.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Marathon Documentary

My friend Paul Cardall sent me this documentary that his dad did for KSL in the 70's.

Each clip is about 10 minutes long, and gives an entertaining picture of the work involved in training for and running a marathon. These videos are EXCELLENT and should be required viewing for anyone planning to run a marathon. Enjoy!