Saturday, August 29, 2009

5 Weeks To St. George Marathon

Monday, August 24th 2009: 30 minutes on exercise bike followed by throwing up for the next 20 hours. I'd like to say that the exercise bike was so boring it made me throw up. I don't think that's quite true. Close though. My stomach wasn't feeling good whether I was riding the bike or not, so I figured I might as well ride.

Tuesday, August 25th 2009: The only part of my body that got any exercise was my abdominals which got a good workout from all the throwing up. I had black eyes from the veins above my eyes bursting from all the vomiting. Click HERE to read about my partner in crime.

Wednesday, August 26th 2009: 2 miles in 20 minutes. I thought I was feeling a little better so I tried a few miles on the treadmill. Probably not the smartest thing I did during the week. Mel wasn't home or I would have been chastised and not allowed on the treadmill. For good reason.

Thursday, August 27th 2009: 3 miles at the track. I did a little speed workout and actually didn't feel too bad while I was running. I didn't feel so swell afterward though. Ugh.

Friday, August 28th 2009: Rest. Carbo-load item of the day? A pack of Hostess donuts. God bless Hostess.

Saturday, August 29th 2009: 11.5 miles in 1 hour & 59 minutes. Mel and I started the run with a group of friends:

We started at the Walmart in Hurricane and headed up the enormous hill toward Coral Canyon. This is one long, steep hill but Mel and I took it slow and I was surprised how good I felt. Here's Mel before we started up the hill:

Mel planned to run 8 miles so she turned around at the 4 mile mark to head back. We were averaging 12 minute miles which felt good especially heading up the hill. I kept going a little while longer before heading back. My fastest time on the run was an 8 minute mile, and I averaged about 10:20 miles over the whole run.

My Achilles hurt much less on this run which I was so thankful for. I felt surprisingly good today. I really needed that after the long run last week when I felt so terrible. It was fun to have Mel along for the first section. Good job Mel!

“Some seek the comfort of their therapist’s office, others head for the corner pub and dive into a pint, but I choose running as my therapy. It was the best source of renewal there was. I couldn’t recall a single time that I felt worse after a run than before. What drug could compete? As Lily Tomlin said, ‘Exercise is for people who can’t handle drugs and alcohol.’” ~ Dean Karnazes

Saturday, August 22, 2009

6 Weeks To Marathon

Monday, August 17th 2009: 30 minutes on exercise bike. I watched the world championship track meet while I rode. That helped the time go by quicker.

Tuesday, August 18th 2009: 30 minutes running hills. I jogged to the biggest hill I could find then ran up and down it for a half hour. I wanted to get my legs more used to running up and down hills since I'll get a lot of that at the marathon. I'll run the hill again next week and take my camera to demonstrate to you just how ginormous the hill is.

Wednesday, August 19th 2009: 30 minutes on exercise bike.

Thursday, August 20th 2009: 6 miles in 1 hour & 2 minutes. My stomach didn't feel very good that morning. For some reason I stupidly left the mp3 player at home. I cursed myself for the next hour. I really needed the music to take my mind off of how much I wanted to vomit. I felt sluggish and drained and desperately wanted to be back in bed.

Friday, August 21st 2009: Rest. Carbo-loading meal of the day: a Tostino's pizza. God knew what he was doing when he inspired the frozen Tostino's pizza.

Saturday, August 22nd 2009: 14 miles in 2 hours & 14 minutes. I ran the last 14 miles of the marathon course with Karrie, Shane, Elizabeth, and Ben. I didn't feel good for the entire run. Again, my legs felt like Play Dough. My right Achilles tendon was very testy.

There was only one good part about the run today. ONE. It was the amazing sunrise. I brought my camera with me on the run and stopped five times in the first few miles to take pictures. It was truly beautiful:

My body did what it does best - get overheated. I was sweating like a politician at a town hall meeting. By the end of the run I was feeling dehydrated and overheated and on the brink of barf.

I'm feeling a little discouraged about the running right now. The two runs I've done on the marathon course kicked my butt. My body did not feel good. add those two runs together seems very daunting. I might as well be running to Egypt.

Despite my concern, I'm hopeful that my body will adapt a little more over the next month so I'll feel better prepared.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Running For Charity

My friend Paul Cardall is sick. This excellent husband, father, and musician is in desperate need of a heart transplant. Paul has been my biggest mentor since becoming a musician and I had to do something to help him and others like him.

I wanted to let you know about a charity team I’ve set up for the St. George Marathon with a fantastic group of people at Intermountain Donor Services. They coordinate all the organ transplants in the state and provide education at schools and fairs about the importance of organ donation. This is definitely a life-changing organization.

I’d like to challenge you to run a “virtual race” with me called the DOME (Dixie Organ Marathon Event). Your race fee (charity donation) could be:

$10 ~ Shadow Runner: I don’t want to run but would like to contribute.
$26.20 or more ~ DOME Virtual Runner

For contributions of $26.20 or more you receive an EXCLUSIVE PIANO CD featuring Paul Cardall, Jon Schmidt, David Tolk, me, Marshall McDonald, and Michael R. Hicks. This will be sweet!

For more info and to donate visit or email me at .

Happy Running!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

7 Weeks To Marathon

I am beginning to feel as uncomfortable as a cow who accidentally stumbled into McDonalds. Less than 7 weeks to my first marathon. I'm nervous.

I truly don't know where I stand. I've been training for almost a year, but I don't know if I have under-trained or over-trained. I'm not sure what I should be expecting from my body at this point in the game. I read an article today about the shirts that people wear during marathons. One shirt said "This seemed like a good idea 3 months ago." I think it's a safe bet that I'll be feeling that way around mile 21.

Monday, August 10th 2009: My ankle was really hurting and I didn't think it was a good idea to run. When I was younger I told my dad I had a headache. He said "Do you want me to kick you in the knee?" I didn't see how that had anything to do with my headache and I had a puzzled look on my face. He said "If I kick you in the knee you'll stop thinking about your headache." I needed a kick in the knee.

Tuesday, August 11th 2009: The one-month anniversary of spraining my ankle. It has been throbbing all day. I'm not a fan of doctors but I was worried and set up an appointment with a sports medicine doctor, Dr. Millward for the next day. No running.

Wednesday, August 12th 2009: No running. I met with Dr. Millward who said nothing was broken but literature shows that it takes 6-9 months to completely heal the ligaments of a sprained ankle. He said as long as I'm careful I should be okay to keep running. Good answer.

The advice of most doctors would be "Are you serious? Stop running you idiot!" They don't understand runners. Dr. Millward runs so he understands the obsessive insanity of the lifestyle. His answer is always "Keep going."

Thursday, August 13th 2009: 3 miles at the track. I did a few speed laps but after 2.5 miles my ankle and Achilles were throwing a tantrum. Will someone kick my knee?

Friday, August 14th 2009: 16 miles in 2 hours 40 minutes. I did not appreciate my alarm going off at 4:45am. Alarm clocks should be illegal.

The fact that I ran 16 miles (at a 10:19 pace) is a small miracle considering how my foot felt. It convinced me that I can do anything I put my mind to. I could run for about 5 minutes before the ache would force me to walk. But then after walking for 20 or 30 seconds I could go again for another 5 minutes. Except for my foot I felt pretty good. Here's a picture along a section of the road I ran:

Whenever I run past about 13 or 14 miles I get insanely hot. I live in southern Utah - we know 115 degrees in the summer. But the hot I feel isn't like anything I've felt before. It feels like my innards are melting from the inside out. I am a soft, precious flower that is wilting in the barren desert. (Yea. Me. A soft, precious flower.)

Saturday, August 15th 2009: 1 mile at Fun Run with Jackson. Mel rocked at the Washington Fair 5k race. Rocked. And Jackson ran the 1 mile run. He decided a few weeks ago he "wanted to train for the race" so he has been consistent with walking/jogging.

I jogged with Jackson and pushed the girls in a running stroller. Jackson won his age division and received one of these cool ceramic prizes. It was a happy moment.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

8 Weeks To Marathon

Monday, August 3rd 2009: 4 miles in 37 minutes. I had an interesting thought as I was driving home from work. I wondered what it would be like to run in 100 degree weather. So I gave it a try (although the temperature sign I ran past said it was only 99 degrees).

I was surprised how good I felt for the first three miles. It was the most effortless running has felt in a long time. I ended up finishing the run with a 9:07 per mile pace which I was happy with, especially considering that I had done a 20 miler a few days before.

Tuesday, August 4th 2009: 2.5 miles in 23 minutes. My body was feeling a bit worn out so I went on a shorter run and averaged a 9:14 pace.

Wednesday, August 5th 2009: 30 minutes on exercise bike.

Thursday, August 6th 2009: 3 miles at high school track. I didn't have much time to run before work so I just did a few speed laps. I timed one of my 800's at 3 minutes and 22 seconds. That's a little faster than I should go if I were to do more than a few 800's (2 laps around track), but since I only did a couple I think it was okay.

Friday, August 7th 2009: Rest.

Saturday, August 8th 2009: 13 miles in 1 hour and 58 minutes. A group of 10 friends who all live within about a 2 block radius all drove up to Central to run the first half of the St. George Marathon. Among the lessons I learned from this experience,
  • The first half of the marathon is HARD.

  • There were many more hills than I expected.

  • The Veyo Hill chewed me up and spit me out. It yelled "Who's Your Daddy!" to me.

  • Avoid wardrobe malfunctions. I brought along a waist pack that I hadn't used for a long time. I was reminded after 1/2 mile that the clip didn't work. I ended up carrying the stupid thing for the next 4+ miles.

  • Running isn't for wussies.

I ran with my friend Darrel for the first 7 miles and we were averaging an 8:35 pace. We passed a cafe where the smell of bacon was so strong you could taste it. I had my wallet with me and I begged Darrel to stop and go have a Grand Slam breakfast with me. We decided to skip that and kept running.

At the bottom of the Veyo Hill I had to stop for a minute to stretch my legs and knees. Then I ended up taking two walk breaks up the hill. It seemed never-ending.

At about mile 10 I had one of the "What In The World Were You Thinking!" moments. Running wasn't fun. I hurt. I was tired. There are old ladies who just walk the whole marathon. I considered asking to be recruited to their team.

I still ended up finishing with a 9:10 pace which surprises me because there were sections of the run where it felt like I was in slow motion. Like my legs were pumping but I wasn't moving an inch. A smoothie afterward somehow seemed to make all my pain go away. I had lots of fun running with good friends. If it weren't for them, I really would trade to the old lady team.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Newbie Chronicles

Please. I'm begging you. Click on the picture for a link to my absolute favorite columns in Runner's World called "The Newbie Chronicles". If you really love me you'll click on the picture. Woops. Been around 5 year-olds too much today.

These ten short articles by Marc Parent are the funniest, most accurate description of what it feels like to begin the hobby / lifestyle of running. If you're not a runner yet, these just might convert you. Be careful though. Those with weak bladders may just get themselves some wet pants.

In one article he says "The only thing running hasn't changed is running itself. I would have guessed that by now it would be easier for me to do. It isn't. People say the run gets easier, but people say aliens abduct you in the desert, too. I've stopped looking for signs of an easier run in exchange for signs of an easier life."

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

9 Weeks To Marathon

Monday, July 27th 2009: 30 minutes running hills. I headed to the closest big hill I could find, then just ran up and down for a half hour. I saw my friend and relation Marjory as I ran past her house but I couldn't talk her into joining me on the hill. Wussie.

Tuesday, July 28th 2009: 30 minutes on exercise bike. Having the exercise bike in front of the TV makes this bearable. It allows you to be lazy and exercise at the same time.

Wednesday, July 29th 2009: 4 miles in 39 minutes on the treadmill.

Thursday, July 30th 2009: 30 minutes on exercise bike.

Friday, July 31st 2009: Rest

Saturday, August 1st: 20 miles in 3 hours 24 minutes! My average pace was 10 minute 12 second miles. I drove up toward Cedar City to have the advantage of 20 degrees cooler than home for this long one. I'm so thankful I did. I packed my camera and took a few pictures along the way:

About half of my route was on a paved road and half was on a dirt road. There were beautiful sunflowers lining the road on some sections. The beauty of the sunflowers made up for the quadrillion grasshoppers that were all over the place.

I felt pretty good for the run, although expectedly my legs started to tighten up around mile 15. The muscles of my calves tighten like rocks and are on the brink of charley horses. My knees start to stiffen up and feel wobbly. I had to slow down a little but kept going. I was sooooo hot for about the last hour. It felt like my skin was melting off my bones.

I'm feeling more confident about the marathon, and plan to get in one more 20 miler before the race. I'm hoping my ankle starts feeling better. It is still achy from twisting it a few weeks ago. Grrr. Ice packs have become my close, personal friends.

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” -T.S. Eliot