Sunday, May 23, 2010

Belly Pictures and Crackers

And so it begins. Here's the first belly picture for this baby. It's weird because at 6 weeks, I already feel like my belly is getting a little bigger, or at least that it's more uncomfortable. I have a long ways to go so I need to get used to it. It kind of makes me laugh when I look at this picture, though, because it looks pretty normal and I know no one would even be able to tell yet.

I have been feeling pretty sick lately. I spent a lot of Friday in bed, and was very thankful that Ethan and Elle played so well and allowed it. I haven't gotten to the point of throwing up, but I do feel like I'm going to a lot and last night, in the middle of the night after getting up with Elle, I actually went and sat in the bathroom for a few minutes because I was so close to throwing up. I got up with Elle twice last night and that just is not good because my stomach is totally empty during the night which leads to the nausea, so I had a handful of crackers both times which helped.

I bought crackers for myself for the first time in a while, and I know it's kind of cheating as far as natural food goes, but I did get Triscuts which aren't that bad. They were really good too, and really hit the spot! I ate them plain a lot, but I also really liked to eat them with cottage cheese, yum! The hardest thing was keeping the kids from eating them all! "These are mommy's crackers!"

Crackers and pregnant women go together like peanut butter and chocolate (mmmm, why did I have to use that analogy?) so I feel totally justified. We used to always be able to tell who was pregnant in our college ward by who brought crackers to church. I probably would have brought my crackers to church today, but they were already gone. I had a little sandwich right before we left, but 3 hours is a long time to go without eating if you feel nauseated as soon as your stomach gets empty. I had another sandwich as soon as I got home, then after cleaning up a little, laid down for a nap. I slept until dinner time, and the roast cooked in the crockpot while I slept. I LOVE THAT! It was so nice to get up and already have food ready. I'm really going to have to start using the crockpot more.

The weirdest thing, and I remember having this from previous pregnancies, is that the foods that should sound good to make me feel better, just sound so disgusting to me sometimes! I've been loving smoothies lately, and last night Pete suggested a smoothy, but I was like, "Don't make me puke!" Even the thought of eating strawberries or grapes or apples or yogurt makes me sick sometimes. I'm sure if I ate them, they would be good and make me feel better, but it's hard to tell myself that sometimes. The same with water. I know I should be drinking a lot, but drinking water on an empty stomach makes me feel worse.

I have been craving junk food a lot more, at least the baked variety, like cookies and cake, but I'm trying to be good. I made cinnamon rolls the other day with half my bread dough. I just used butter, honey, molasses, and cinnamon as the filling and sprinkled chocolate chips on half and raisins on the other half before rolling it up and cutting it. I don't like raisins so I only had the chocolate chip ones and they were really good! We even cut them in half and made french toast with them the next morning which was yummy.

When I'm not feeling nauseous, I feel pretty good. When I wasn't in bed on Friday, I went for a bike ride with Ethan and Elle, and we stopped at this park just down the street from our house. It was fun, but it's in pretty sad shape with all the graffiti. I don't think I'll bring the kids back there even though they really like it and it's so close. I don't think I got any bad words in this shot, but there were plenty, some in huge letters that could not be ignored. Pretty sad.

Well, that's all for now. Have a great night!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Itty Bitty Plan Changer

You've probably been wondering why I haven't posted anything about running lately when the marathon is a mere 3 weeks away. You're probably also wondering why I'm not out on a 18 mile run today. Well, we've had a slight change of plans. Actually it's a huge change of plans.

At the beginning of last week I was just waiting for my period to start, and hoping it would be over before my first tri of the season. I waited, and waited, but it didn't come. I knew it was late thanks to my post complaining about it last month. As we headed down to St. George, I thought it must be coming soon because I was feeling really emotional and having other symptoms, but as the days went on I started to wonder if it was actually something else. I tried not to worry about it too much and just be happy that it had decided to wait for me to finish the race before it started. How sweet!

The friends that we stayed with have the same amount of kids as us and were totally shocked when they recently found out they were pregnant. I said, "Wouldn't that be funny if you got pregnant on accident and then I did? I mean, we have to have the same amount of kids!" She said she had a pregnancy test if I wanted to try it, but I told her I didn't even want to know until after the race.

Of course, the whole time during the race, I was thinking, "What if I am pregnant and I crash on this bike?" and things like that. Maybe it slowed me down a little, I don't know.

I was sure I wasn't pregnant, though. I had an IUD which is supposed to be 99% effective as birth control. Not very good chances there.

Sunday morning, I felt sick again and knew it was time to take the test. I had one handy so all I had to do was run into the bathroom and take it. I was nervous, though. We had kind of started thinking I was pregnant and I was actually afraid that it would be negative. Weird hu?

Well, I took the test and, you guessed it: Positive.

I didn't know weather to laugh or cry when I found out. I did find it very overwhelming, and wondered how it would change my plans. At first Pete was like, "You'll still have a great season." We figured I could just keep on doing what I've been doing. Isn't that what you're supposed to do?

When I called the doctor’s office to schedule an appointment and told them about it, they told me to just come in right away. This made me more than a little nervous.

The doctor took the IUD out, and in the process casually told me that removing an IUD can sometimes cause a miscarriage. I was thinking, “Why didn’t you tell me this before!?” Nothing happened, though. She said that it had slipped down a little and that might have been why I got pregnant, and that it could have happened during that extremely heavy period last month.

The doctor had me make an appointment later that day to get an ultrasound to make sure the pregnancy wasn’t in the wrong place because that happens a lot with IUDs and it could be life-threatening.

Ok, now I’m more nervous!

I went in and did the ultrasound, and she was really thorough, making sure there wasn’t anything where it wasn’t supposed to be, and she said she definitely saw a yolk sack where it was supposed to be. Whew!

The only problem was that it’s too early to even be able to see a heartbeat or anything, so I’m going back in 2 weeks for another ultrasound where we should be able to see a heartbeat and be able to relax a little bit.

When I talked to the nurse, after the ultrasound ordeal, I told her I was training for a marathon in 3 weeks and asked her if I should stop. She told me that they don't recommend doing any aerobic activity for longer than 45 minutes, and to keep my heart rate below 140. Well, that totally throws the marathon out then!

On the other hand, I had read some accounts online about women who did marathons or half marathons or even who just kept running while they were pregnant. I was thinking that my body is used to this, and that I'm in pretty good shape so maybe it would be fine. For a day or two I felt really stressed and conflicted about what I should do. I missed my run on Monday, then I went swimming on Tuesday and felt great so I thought maybe I'd still do it, and started planning my 10 miler on Wednesday.

Then I talked to Pete and he was like, "What? After that scare we just had?" And I knew he was right. We are incredibly blessed to even have this pregnancy, how could I even think about doing something that might put the baby in danger? It also helped that for the past few days I've felt so sick that I couldn't even think about running, let alone running a marathon! Yuck! I also thought about how hard my last few long runs were and that this is probably why. Maybe getting sick at the beginning of a pregnancy is our body's way of telling us to take it easy.

After that, it was really easy to make up my mind not to do it. I emailed the race director and told him my situation and he just put my name on the list for next year. That will be a fun thing to look forward to and to help me get back into shape after the baby is born. Besides, my sister had just decided to wait until next year anyway so we still get to do it together! I did the same thing with BAM, and luckily I hadn't registered for Bear Lake Classic Half yet.

So, to make a long story short (TOO LATE!), I'm pregnant and I'm no longer doing the marathon.

For the next few months, this blog will probably be a lot quieter and it will probably look a lot more like a mommy blog than a training blog so sorry about that for those of you who don't care about that kind of stuff. I will keep swimming a lot, walking, and riding my cruiser around with the kids this summer so I'm not going to be doing nothing.

It's amazing how something so small that you can't even see it can totally change your whole life!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Flatirons Timing

I officially LOVE Flatirons Timing! They are the company who did the timing at St. George Tri. First they, very nicely, gave me a new chip because I was stupid and forgot mine on race morning. Then, when my numbers didn't show up with the results, they very patiently stayed in contact with me until they figured out the problem. Now I have official results! I updated it on my race report if you really care to see what they are.

Yesterday I went swimming, and when I was getting out, the guy next to me was like, "I bet you've swam a mile!" He was all impressed, but that was actually a really light swim day for me. I hadn't really figured it out, but I just agreed with him. When I got home, I figured it out, and I had done just about exactly that. (how did he know?!) Here's what I did:

200 kick
200 swim
200 pull buoy
200 swim

4o0 swim

300 pull buoy

150 easy - cool down

Total Distance: 1650 meters (I think 1600 is a mile, right?)
Total Time: maybe 45 minutes?

Actually, I might have done a little more than that. I wasn't paying very good attention to my counting...

I felt really good in the pool and am so excited for the the new Northwest Rec. Center to open a few blocks from our house! The grand opening is June 4-6, so 2 weeks and 2 days! I won't have to drive 15 minutes to get to my pool anymore! :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

St. George Tri 2010 - Race Report

We drove down to St. George Friday night, and made great time. When we were about half an hour away from Cedar City, we called an order in to Pizza Factory. It's usually really busy there when we stop by on a Friday night so we just planned picking up some food and eating in the car. When we got there, there was hardly anyone there, though, so we asked them if we could just sit there and eat our food. Our food was all ready and they just took us right in to a table. It was awesome! We need to do it that way from now on. I just had some fettucini alfredo with chicken. We had plenty of time to stop at packet pick-up in Hurricane on the way, then we headed to our friends' house in Santa Clara. It was so nice to stay with them. We roasted giant marshmallows and made s'mores in their back yard, then the kids all went to bed in the tent they'd set up. Of course they didn't stay in there, and of course they didn't end up going to sleep until around midnight, but we still had a great night.

I wasn't too worried about staying up a little late because my wave didn't even start until 9:00! They moved the start of the race back because of the trouble they've had with the water being too choppy in the past. They say it usually calms down by around 8:00, so that's when they were going to start this year.

It seemed way too relaxed to go to a race that late! We usually have to get up at 5am, and we usually sleep in so we have to rush, but today we just got up at 7 and had plenty of time to get out there.

I was a little too relaxed about it, actually, because I forgot to put my timing chip in my bag. Of course, I didn't realize this until I was setting up my transition spot. At first I though, "Oh well, I'm just doing this for fun anyway, it doesn't really matter," and just finished setting up. I grabbed my wetsuit, cap and goggles and headed over to the port-a-potties. After that, I decided to find out if there was a possibility of me getting a new chip. I walked all over the parking lot in my bare feet trying to find the timing chip people, and when I did, they were very kind and just got me a new timing chip. Of course, with the chip came a new number so I had to get marked again and hurry and change the number on my bike, helmet and race belt. By the time I did this, they were announcing that all the Olympic Women 49 and under should be at the swim start. So much for a nice leisurely start.

I put my wetsuit on half-way, then ran over to the boat ramp, where we would start. I hurried and put my wetsuit on the rest of the way, trying to make sure I pulled it up good, while looking for Pete. I found him, and he took some pictures.

Here I am trying to hurry and zip my wetsuit up so I can get into the water with time to warmup.

Notice my lovely double numbers? Stylish!

I got in the water and thought, "This isn't really even cold!" Of course, when I put my head it, it was a different story. I kept looking at Pete, telling him it was cold, and he kept telling me to put my face in more and swim around. That's what I did.

I'm not the one waving, I'm the one to the far right who looks like she's still trying to adjust to the cold water.

Swim - 1.5k (.93 miles) - 31:31

After swimming around, and sticking my face in the water a bunch, I felt much better. I felt excited and ready to go. Then the guy came over and told us we had 5 minutes! What?! All that rushing for nothing? So, I kind of swam around, treaded water and chatted with the other girls until it was time to go. Soon, he was counting down and we started cheering. Then the gun went off and I realized the very front was not the best place for me! Everyone was just going at it really hard and it made me feel really overwhelmed. I like to ease into the swim a little.

Look for the bare arm. The nice thing about being one of the only people with a sleeveless wetsuit is it's easier to find me!

I was hitting people and people were hitting me. I tried to see where the buoy was, but I couldn't find it.

I thought, "It's ok, just follow everyone else." But I was feeling more claustrophobic than I thought I would when I put my face in the water, and I felt like my wetsuit was choking me. I kept telling myself it wasn't choking me, and that I just needed to find my rhythm, but I wouldn't listen. I turned over on my back for a minute and pulled my wetsuit down away from my neck, then turned around and tried again. I didn't feel any better. I looked for the buoy again. This time I found it, but it looked so far a way! I just felt like I couldn't do it. I told myself, "yes you can do this! You swam more than twice this far in the Ironman without a problem!" I was still having trouble believing myself and I still felt like my wetsuit was choking me so I rolled onto my back again thinking about how my swim time was shot so I should just relax and focus on finishing. I seriously wanted to get out of the water, but then I thought about how that would ruin everything.

I started swimming again, nice and slow and relaxed and I started to feel much better. I found some feet and followed them, and before I knew it, we were at the buoy! I kept following the feet until suddenly, she was veering way off to the left so I let her go. I felt bad for her, but what could I do? I swam by myself the rest of the way, and started passing people. When I got to the end of the first lap, I glanced at my watch and saw 15 minutes. That couldn't be right, could it!? Seeing that gave me new energy, and I realized my swim time might not be that bad after all so I pushed harder on the second loop. I passed more people, including some guys from the wave before us. That felt good, and once I rounded the buoy, I really pushed it hard, and kept pushing until I could see the boat ramp under me. I stood up and looked at my watch. It said 30 something! Wow!

T1 - 3:15

I was so happy, and hurried off to T1. I knew my official time would probably be 31 something because the timing mat was just before the transition area, but I didn't care. I felt so good and happy, and just felt my whole race turn around for the good. I felt even better when I saw a lot of bikes still racked by mine.

Sweet, my bike's not all alone here!

I put my helmet, sunglasses and shoes on - not worrying about socks, and got out of there. I was feeling pretty cold, my hands had had a hard time pulling my wetsuit off, and my jaw was all tight. I just tried to breath, relax and get moving. I knew that would warm me up.

Ahh! Sorry about my blindingly white skin!

Bike - 33k (20.5 miles) - 1:15:24 (16.2 mph average)

It probably took me 10 or 15 minutes to warm up, but I could feel the sun on my arms, and it felt good. After about 3 or 4 miles, you hit the bit hill, and that probably took me almost 10 minutes to climb. I had a couple people pass me, and I just tried to hold steady and try to pass them back later. Some of them I did, some I didn't. I felt like I did pretty good on the bike. I kept my hart rate at around 160-170, which is high for me on the bike! I just had a lot of fun too! After the turnaround, it was a lot more downhill, and I just felt so happy cruising along at 25mph with the wind in my face, I felt like I would cry! I started just smiling at everyone I passed and really enjoying it! At one point, there was a hawk soaring along beside me, and that was awesome.

I passed a lot of people and felt solid going back down the big hill, and went right over the cattle guard at the bottom without a problem. It's always a huge plus not to crash on the cattle guard while going 35mph!

T2 - 3:33

I got back to the transition, and heard Pete call my name. I was so happy to see him, and just felt so good! I threw my shoes on (again, not bothering with socks), grabbed my hat and race belt, then had to sneak out of the transition fence and run over to the port-a-potties. I ran by Pete to do this, and told him how dumb I thought it was that they didn't have any bathrooms out on the course! I tried not to be too annoyed, though, because I was having a good day! I tied my shoes and clipped my number on while I was in there then hurried back to transition to exit properly. I looked at my watch as I passed Pete again and I think it was at 1:57 so I was really excited that I had time to get in under 3 hours!

Run - 6.2 miles (10k) - 1:04:39 (10:26 min/mile average)

I was really worried about the run being too hot, but I wasn't feeling it yet. At the first aid station, one of the volunteers asked if I wanted to be splashed, and I said, "Yes please!" and took off my sunglasses. He gave me a good splash, right in the face! It went up my nose so I sputtered a little, but I thanked him and went on my way. That splash also got the front of my shirt all wet, and it stayed wet the rest of the time which helped keep me cool, but I did also dump water on my head at the other aid station, which they had every mile. It was kind of uphill most of the way out, and I just tried to keep moving steady and knew I could use the hill to my advantage on the way back.

At the turn-around, I grabbed a Hammer Gel (they even had my favorite kind, apple cinnamon!) and some more water and headed back. I tried to use the downhill, and remember that I could run faster on downhill. I don't know how fast I was going, though because I had decided against bringing the Garmin with me. I felt pretty good on the way back, but I did feel slow and couldn't really get moving faster. I ran up the hill to the parking lot, and started looking for Pete again. There were a lot of spectators lining the path here, but they were the quietest spectators I've ever seen. Very few of them were cheering or even acknowledged me. (Though there were some kids that were doing an awesome job cheering!) Oh well, all I cared about was Pete anyway. Then I saw him, and he had the camera out so I tried to look like I was running fast! hahaha

Right after I saw him, I rounded a bend and there was the finish line! Yay! There was a girl a little bit ahead of me, and I sped up so I ended up crossing the finish line at the same time as her. I really could have passed her, but she seemed really excited to be finishing and I felt like I'd be stealing her thunder if I passed her. I know, that's a dumb thing to think in a race! But, whatever.

Finish Time: 2:58:19

I looked at my watch right when I finished, and it said 2:58! That's tied with the best finish time I've ever had (at BAM last year) so I was really happy with it, especially considering I've hardly been out on my bike at all this year, and my little panic attack in the swim!

I had a great time! I'm so glad I got to go down and do it, and that it turned out so much better this year! Overall it was a really good race, and they did a pretty good job, except for the port-a-poty placement issue.

I'm so glad Pete came and stuck around the whole time to support me! He's the best husband ever!

We decided to relax and hang out with Adam and Rachel for the rest of the day (which was really fun!) then drive home that night. That way the kids could sleep in the car and it would be so easy, right? Well, on paper that sounds good, but that's not how it went at all. Ethan and Elle both woke up twice, separately, screaming and crying so that we had to stop and walk them around a little. On top of that, I was just so tired, and it seemed like the distance from St. George to Salt lake had doubled!

When I was driving, and I realized we were just a little past half-way, I felt like I was doing another race, but this time I just wasn't going to be able to do it. We passed a Motel 8 when we stopped for gas and to calm Elle down one of the times, and it just looked so tempting! I knew it really wouldn't be as nice as sleeping in our own beds, but I was tired and my legs were starting to hurt pretty badly, and I just didn't feel like I could go on any longer. Ug, it was the worst drive ever! Luckily, Pete took over driving from there so that helped. We did make it home, and our bed was so wonderful and comfy! The kids all transferred to their beds very nicely too and slept in until almost 9:00! I also took a nap this afternoon. So, that was a good ending. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Feeling Discouraged

Operation Jack

Last night, after I posted about my quest to find someone who's fast who hasn't always been fast, I found someone! I got on Twitter, and saw @OperationJack (Sam) and asked him how fast he was when he first started running. His reply stunned me. He said, "Probably 11 min/miles."

What?! He's doing marathons in just over 3 hours now!
Then he said, "Ran my first 1/2 in 2:29:45, ran a full in 3:07:53 less than two years later. Drop me an email. You can get faster."

I emailed him and asked him what the secret is and if he really thought I could do the marathon in 3:40 (he's pacing for that time, and it would qualify me for Boston!) since he keeps teasing me and asking me if I'm going to go for that.

Anyway, he wrote me back, and was very encouraging. He said that his long runs were 10 min/mile for his first marathon and he did that in 4:06, and that he'd guess I'm no worse than a 3:50 runner. So, that's really encouraging for at least being able to make my under 4 hour goal! He said to remember that everything is diffrent on race day so I'm probably not too far away from Boston Qualifying. Wow! How nice of him to take the time to look at what I'm doing and give me such good encouragement and advice when he's so busy working and taking care of his family and RUNNING A MARATHON OR TWO A WEEK!

Speaking of the marathon, it's exactly one month from today! Ahhhh! I really want to get my 10x10 soon so I can get an Operation Jack shirt to wear at the marathon. If I'm going to wear it for the marathon, I need a few weeks of testing it out first so who out there is willing to help me out and donate $10 to fight Autism? Click here and do it really quick. You'll at least get to see a gorgeous picture of me finishing the St. George Marathon if you click that link!

Why So Glum Chum?

So, with all the encouragement, what's with the "Feeling Discouraged" title? Well, today I had planned to do my long run since I'm doing St. George Tri on Saturday. I was going to do 14 since it's kind of a rest/recovery/race week, and I thought that was a good distance for that. (little did I know...)

For starters, I woke up in a bad mood for some reason. I was tired and grumpy and just wasn't excited about my run at all. I even had arranged with my friend for her to come pick Elle up so she could play with her daughter for a few hours. That way Elle would be happy, and I wouldn't have to wake up early to run. How perfect, right? Why was I in a bad mood, then??

Anyway, she came and got Elle, then I hurried and got ready to go. Today I brought Coconut Water in my water bottle, which might have been a mistake trying something new at this point. I didn't really like it anyway. I could tell it was hydrating me really good, and it felt ok in my stomach (I think), but I didn't like the taste of it at all.

I headed up the Avenues, then up Virginia Street. I did not feel very victorious running up that street. I actually didn't really run up that street at all. I walked. I got to 11th Avenue and headed over to City Creek Canyon. I hit 7 miles before I got to City Creek, but I wanted to stop at the restrooms there so I went to about .25 over my planned turn-around distance. It was really nice to take a little break, and the water up there in the drinking fountain is heavenly! Seriously, it's worth the run up there just to have a drink of that cold, delicious water. I took my one and only shot of hammer gel while I was there, then headed back down. It was only downhill for a few minutes, then it was back up to 11th avenue. Man, it seems like I've done this run before and it wasn't THIS hard! I just didn't feel good, and I felt like I was hardly moving. I can't even explain what didn't feel good. I didn't exactly feel sick, and my legs didn't really hurt that bad. I don't know what it was, but I just wasn't feeling it.

Finally, I decided to turn back down a little sooner than going all the way back to Virginia and headed down K Street. It was really steep and fast running down the hill! I felt pretty good on the downhills, but as soon as it would flatten out again, I'd have a really hard time keeping going. Even running down past Temple Square where I usually feel great, and have fun with all the momentum from coming down the hill, I just wanted to be done. I don't know if it was my bad attitude from this morning or if it was just that I haven't fully recovered from my hard long run on Saturday and my cold, but I just was not feeling good at all. I made myself keep running until I hit 12 miles, then I walked - even though I was almost a mile from home. I did run a little bit more after walking for a while just because I wanted to get home sooner, but it was pretty pathetic. Maybe it was because of my sniffly nose, but while I was walking, I just felt like I was going to cry, and when I got home I texted Pete and said I never wanted to run again.

I only had about 15 minutes to get a drink and stretch before it was time to pick the kids up from school. That kind of made me glad I didn't still go for the 14 miles. I was glad I at least had a few minutes of "me" time left. My legs and feet were so sore. As soon as I picked up the kids, we went and got Elle, then I came home, turned the TV on for them and had a nice hot bath while eating a Larabar and drinking some ice cold water. That made me feel much, much better.

12 miles is probably what I should have scheduled for this week anyway, 14 was too ambitions. Especially considering me still trying to get over being sick, the extra hard run I did on Saturday, and the fact that I'm supposed to be doing my first race of the season in 3 days. This is what I get for making my own schedule. I need a coach! I'm kind of mad at myself for letting this happen.

This is even what I tweeted before I started my run: "Ok, my friend just came and picked Elle up, should I go run or take a nap? J/k it's a beautiful day, I'm gonna run!"

That even sounds more upbeat than I felt. I really should have listened to my body and took that nap. On the other hand, though, it's good to have hard training days. Hopefully it will make race day seem that much nicer. (and I'm totally having key-lime pie right now. SOOOO GOOD!)

Ok, here are my slow poke numbers. I'm embarrassed to even post them.
  1. 9:42
  2. 10:41
  3. 10:47
  4. 11:19
  5. 13:00 (ahem, walking up the hill is included here...)
  6. 10:15
  7. 9:28
  8. 10:28
  9. 10:48
  10. 9:26
  11. 9:47
  12. 10:49
  13. 2:09 (for the .19)

Total Distance: 12.19 miles
Total Time: 2:08:19
Average Pace: 10:31 min/mile

Here's the elevation profile of my run, if that's any consolation...

That's 1,001 ft of elevation gain/loss.

I'm taking the next 2 days off. The house could sure use some attention too so that will be good. Plus I get to pack for St. George and all that fun stuff. I hope I'm rested up by then!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My First Barefoot Run

I love the sound of rain in the morning when I'm all snuggled up in my warm bed. The only problem with that lovely sound is that it makes it very hard to get up and go running. I love to just turn my alarm off, roll over and go back to sleep for an hour while listening to the sound of rain on the roof. This was especially true yesterday morning because I had planned to go to a nice grassy feild and have a go at barefoot running! I was so excited about this plan, but when I heard the rain, thought about how cold that wet grass would be on my little (I use that word loosly) feet and about how I'm still trying to get over this cold, I decided running barefoot in the grass just wasn't a good idea this morning and happily went back to sleep.

When I actually got up, I still had the idea of barefoot running in my head, (we were listening to Born to Run right before bed) so I decided to go to the Holliday-Lions Rec Center where I could take Elle to the childcare and run on their indoor track. I just had 4 miles on my schedule so that's not bad to do on a track, and I even brought the Garmin so I could use it as a timer/lap counter which was very nice since it's 15 laps to a mile! Ug.

I went up to the track, self-conciously took off my flip flops and just started running. I felt like everyone on that track was looking at me, and I even heard someone say, "look at that." when I passed them. After a couple laps, one guy even asked me what the benefits of barefoot running are so I slowed down and breifly exained what I've learned to him. I told him how it's better on your joints and it makes you have good form and strenghtens your feet and stuff like that. He asked me if I'd researched it a lot and I said that I had, then he asked me how long I'd been running barefoot and I had to tell him this was my first time. I wish I'd been doing it for years so I could tell him how great it's been for me, but I just couldn't. He told me good luck, and I started running again. Most of the time, I was was the only one running on the track, everyone else was walking. So I got to pass them all a lot and let them stare at my feet.

Other than feeling self-councios, which I pretty much got over after a few laps, it was really fun running barefoot! I felt like a kid who was just running for the fun of it. Kids don't care if they have shoes on or what kind of shoes they have one. When they feel like running, they just run. It was awesome how I didn't have to even think about my form or what I did with my feet at all. I kind worried that I would be thinking about how my feet were landing the whole time, and have to be really careful, but I didn't really have to think about it at all. It was actually really nice not to have to think about my feet. I didn't have to worry about my shoes rubbing or my blisters hurting, or even landing the right way. Even the blisters I had from Saturday's run, didn't bother me at all when I didn't have shoes on. The only thing was that, after a while, the rough track was starting to rub on my feet and I worried about the bottoms of my feet being raw for my 14 miler on Wednesday.

I ran 2 miles barefoot, then stopped and put my shoes on to do the other 2. While I was running I could feel muscles in my feet and legs working harder, or in a different way than they're used to, but I felt pretty good. I finished my 4 miles, and did a couple 2:00 intervals.

Total Distance: 4 miles
Total Time: 39:55

When I was almost done, this guy came on the track and he was running really fast! One time he passed me and I tried to keep up (like I do sometimes swimming), but I just couldn't. I still marvel at how people can be so fast! Even though I've gotten faster, it still seems totally out of my reach to run at say, a 6:00 pace for any length of time. Is there anyone out there who can run that fast who used to run 10:00-11:00 miles? I'm still searching for that person, and when I find them, I hope I can get the secret out of them.

I went home and soaked in a hot bath, then rubbed my legs, tortured myself with the foam roller a bit, and put my compression socks on. I was pretty sore for the rest of the day, but I wasn't sure how much of that was from Saturday's hard run and how much was from running barefoot.

A day later my calves are still pretty sore, but I didn't get nearly as sore as that first time I ran in Pete's Newtons for 2 miles so I really think my Bioms have been a great transition. I'm not totally ready to go barefoot, but I'm a lot closer than I was a few months ago. I'm not sure if I'm sold on running barefoot all the time, but I'd like to do it once a week or so (probably in grass would be nicer) and I'd like to get an even more minimalist running shoe when it's time to buy running shoes again. Who knows when that will be.

Today I went swimming and timed my 1500 to see where I'm at because, oh yeah, I have I mentioned St. George Tri is on Saturday? Yay, my first race of the season! I'm so excited! Right now the forecast for Saturday in St. George is a high of 91 degrees! Yikes. And I won't even be finishing until around 11:00 so I need to be ready for a hot run!

Anyway, today's time wasn't my best, or my second best, but it might have been my third best, and I guess that's pretty good.

Total Distance: 1500 meters
Total Time: 30:40

I'm starting to get pretty nervous about my tri on Saturday. I just need to remember that I'm doing it for fun. I know I can finish, and I know I'm not in the best biking or swimming shape, but this is just for fun. I just hope we actually get to do the swim. After the last 2 years, you can see why I'd be nervous about that, but I'm giving this race one more chance.

I hope my legs aren't too sore for my run tomorrow. This might not have been the best week to try out barefoot running....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My run with MSRuntheUS

Ashley Kumlien is running across the US to fight Multiple Sclerosis. Literally.

She started in San Francisco on March 23, 2010, and she'll end in New York after about 6 months of running 20-30 miles pretty much every day. Here's her blog.

I don't even remember how I found out about her. I guess it was on Twitter. Someone must have mentioned her and I just had to follow her with what she's doing. It's been really fun to follow her so far, and I knew she would be in Salt Lake City on the 8th, but I was too unsure about what I was doing and just too plain nervous to ask if I could run with her.

Finally, Friday, I asked her when and where she would be running in Salt Lake. I told her I needed to run 16 miles, and that I'd like to run with her. She sounded excited when she answered me and told me she was meeting the Salt Lake Running Club (I'm guessing this is them) at Draper park at 8:00, but that they were only going to stick around for 3 miles. The only problem with 8:00 was that I had a primary activity at 10:00 that I was supposed to be helping out with so I had to figured something out. I found a park exactly 8 miles up her route from Draper Park and decided to park my car there and ran down to meet her.

Pretty impressive looking, isn't it?

I got to Bair Park at just a little after 6:30. I had been planning on going to the bathroom at the park. Surly they would have bathrooms at a park, right? Wrong! At least not any I could see. It also shared the parking lot with the fire station so there were a bunch of firefighter-looking guys standing around. I was way too embarrassed to ask them if I could use their bathroom, and just hoped I'd find one soon, but really I had no idea what to expect! I had never been in this area before.

I started running, but seriously, I have to go to the bathroom right before I start running or I'm in trouble. I kept having to stop and walk to keep from peeing my pants. I wanted to find a gas station or run off in the bushes, but it was all just neighborhoods so there was nowhere for me to go. I was getting so frustrated, I was about to cry, and my first 2 miles were super slow.

1. 11:40

Finally, I got away from the houses and found an area with lots of trees where I could hike up and go. I didn't pause my timer so this really slowed me down.

2. 12:44

I felt much better after my little pit stop and got back to a good pace!

3. 9:11

Here's the elevation profile of the whole run. If you can't tell, that's a total of 1,302 ft in elevation loss/gain.

I had kind of expected the whole first half to be downhill because it was going down into the valley, but there were a few uphills that actually made me feel better, though they slowed me down, because it meant it wouldn't be all uphill on the way back!

4: 10:11

Then I hit the big downhill and I went from 5 to 6 miles in what seemed like a blink of an eye! I'm actually surprised mile 6 is that slow because I was going really fast! I did get a side ache during it, but I tried to just keep going and use the downhill to save my time a little.

5. 9:20
6. 853
7. 9:40

When I got close to mile 8, I stopped to check my phone to make sure I was at the right place, and I was. Then I called Ashley to see if they'd started yet because it was 8:00, but they were still at the park. By the way, I was able to cary my phone with me easily because I finally got an iffiness belt! YAY! It fits my iphone perfectly, plus my car key and a credit card and ID. I turned it so it was kind of on my hip, and I could completely forget about it! It was great.

8. 9:55

I got to the park, joined the small gathering of people and met Ashley. We all chatted a bit, took some pictures, and I used the bathroom there before we all took off.

Isn't she cute? And boy does she make me look white! (See my new hand-held water bottle?!)

Really only 2 people from the running club joined us. Some girls kind of started running with us, but they took off and we lost them really quick. The 2 guys who joined us were both older, and really nice and interesting to talk to. I can not remember their names, though! I'm so bad with names. Sorry guys! Anyway, we all talked about running and different race and the training runs we'd done for them. They told me one of their runs they do for St. George is go up the Avenues and up City Creek Canyon, then back down to practice the downhill. That's pretty much what I do, though I haven't gone up City Creek much yet.

It was so cool to talk to other people who are into running. Most people I know think I'm crazy for running so much! It makes me tempted to join their club just to meet some more running people. It's only $15.

9. 10:58
10. 10:35

Up, up, up we went, and when we got to the long, steep part, I just had to stop and walk. I felt like such a whimp. Ashely and one of the guys just kept plugging along, but the other guy stopped to walk with me and keep me company. He just kept talking and acted like it was no big deal. I don't know if this was good or not because it made me feel ok about walking for a few minutes.

11. 12:16
12. 11:37

When we got to the top of the hill, the guys turned back around and I ran on ahead by myself for a few minutes while Ashely stopped to use the bathroom at a church. I thought for sure she'd catch up to me easily, but then I started to get worried and stopped to wait for her a little. That's when I took this picture:

The last 4 miles, I just had a great time talking to Ashely, though I found myself out of breath a lot. I blame it on being sick just 2 days before. I'm sure I wasn't all the way recovered. Who knows, though, I'm not used to talking while I run so maybe I'm always like that! Plus I'm used to doing my uphill first, while I'm fresh, not at the end! UG! I think I had to stop and walk twice! I never usually never stop and walk on my runs, except maybe to take some gel. I felt so bad for holding her back, but she was totally cool about it and just very encouraging.

13. 10:33
14. 11:04
15. 10:13

I even had to walk when we were about one mile from the car! When I look back on it, I probably should have taken the last of my Hammer Gel. I had one more shot, but just forgot to take it.

16. 11:39

We got to my car and I had to hurry home because it was already almost 10:00! I was really hoping to be done by 9 or 9:30 at the latest. She gave me a hug and thanked me for running with her, but I really feel like I'm the one who should thank her for letting me be part of her huge run across America, and for helping me get though that hard 16 miles. I feel blessed to have been able to meet her, and will definitely keep in touch! She is amazing and is doing a wonderful thing for those who have MS.

I think she's going to be running through Heber in a few days, so let me know if you want to meet her or if you're willing to let them plug their RV in at your house or something. If you're not nearby, you can still go to her site and donate, or just send her an encouraging email or something: MSRuntheUS

Total Distance: 16.1 miles
Total (moving) Time: 2:45:49
Total Elapsed Time: 3:07:29 (yikes!)
Average Moving Pace: 10:17 min/mile
Average Heart Rate: 163 bpm

PS - I was an hour late for the primary activity! I was so sore, though, I really had to stretch, take a hot bath and down my left-over burrito from last night, before heading over. I hope they were ok without me. When I got there, they were all like, "Are you ok?" I must not have looked my best! After all, I didn't take the time to put makeup on. I did get to play duck-duck-goose with the kids for about 15 minutes before it was time for the treat, then to go home.

I feel surprisingly great today. I will still do the foam roller, but I'm not really THAT sore. I think I'm going to try running barefoot tomorrow! Wahoo!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Foot Update

I'm feeling much better today. I was pretty sick yesterday, but feel like I'm getting better. For the past two days I've just been wearing flip flops or bare feet. My bunion is feeling SO much better! (Though it still looks disgusting to me!) It makes me wonder why I kept wearing shoes for so long. I just hate having my feet cold, and I hate stepping on things and hurting my toes. I actually stopped wearing flip-flops last year because I kept kicking things and breaking toenails. I decided it wasn't worth it and started wearing shoes all the time. But maybe it is worth it.

I've been reading a lot about barefoot running, and just going barefoot period, and it seems like it's much better for you. It makes sense, and it also makes sense for me to stop wearing narrow shoes that are making my bunion worse. I'm going to order some shoes from VivoBarefoot to just wear around when I don't want to be barefoot or in flip-flops, and depending on how tomorrow's run goes, I might order some for running too. I'm just really nervous about doing that so soon before the marathon!

Since my bunion feels so good right now, I'm going to see if running in my Bioms makes it sore or if it was just sore from wearing my other shoes. Experiments, experiments. Stay tuned for tomorrow to find out!

Oh, and I'm also getting to run half my run tomorrow with Ashley from MSRuntheUS. She's running across the Untied States, starting in San Francisco and I think she'll end up in New York. She runs at least 20 miles a day which is just amazing! It will be cool to meet her and do just a tiny bit of that epic run with her! This cold better be on it's way out by then!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Life is Great

I'm so sure that the one night where I get the computer all to myself, I feel too sick and tired and frustrated and depressed to write on my blog. Sorry guys, nothing fun tonight!

My training has been going really well, I've gotten pretty much all my workouts in (minus one swim) in the past few weeks and it's been great fun! I'm totally excited, and think I'm ready, for my first race of the season next weekend! I just need to get through one more tough week, then I'm going to taper. Kind of.

Today, I woke up at 4am thinking I was really allergic. I took some claritin then went back to sleep for an hour or so (during which time, I had a crazy dream about running a marathon with chicrunner where at some point we had to run through a mall or something where it was really crowded and stressful, but I did end up almost finishing in 4 hours!) but the allergy medicine didn't really help. You know what that means. I got Pete and/or Mindy's cold. I sure hope it was Mindy's because she got over hers a lot quicker. Of course, kids do seam to do that, don't they? I did still get up and run 9 miles though! Boo Ya! I saw 2 signs that said "Good Day" and one that said, "Live is Good" on my run. I had to agree.

My foot felt fine during the run, but when I got done it was really sore and I wanted to take my shoe off right away. I was also freezing! I had a hard time typing on my phone, my fingers were so cold. Funny how sometimes 40 degrees can seem so warm and sometimes it can be so cold! It took me a really long time to get warmed up. After a hot chocolate (I didn't care about the sugar at this point, I was just cold) and a hot bath and shower and warm clothes I felt better. Another sign that it's not just allergies, and that I'm really sick.

Other than that I'm just sick of my foot hurting and getting really stressed/frustrated about that. I'm going to try to figure my shoe situation out, and I'll let you know when I do that. I did go to payless today (out of sheer frustration) and bought a really cheap, ugly, wide pair of Champion running shoes that I wore around for the evening. Wearing those I've felt a noticeable difference. Or, I should say, un-noticable because I don't feel any pain. Even when I touch my bunion, which earlier when I did that it really hurt. Pete thinks it's the shoes I wear around the house and not my Bioms that are causing the bunion to worsen, but I think it might just be both. So I might have to do a complete overhaul of my shoe wardrobe. Does anyone want to buy a used pair of Ecco Bioms for half price? They're size 41 (European). I really have loved them. They helped me improve my stride and overall running form and I've gotten faster, but they're just too narrow for my deformed foot.

I think all my heels are going to have to go too. :( Sad night.

But, I'm truly grateful for what I do have, and that my problems are so miner and trivial. I'm so blessed with a wonderful husband and three beautiful children. I'm also so grateful for my ability to train and do the things I love. Here's a beautiful video about a beautiful mother who reminded me today about what is important: (beware, you might want a tissue handy)

(Click on the video to see it without the cropping. Sorry, I couldn't make it smaller.)

I'm going to go look for some NighQuil, read Fabelhaven for a little while, then go to sleep. Goodnight!