Tuesday, October 8, 2013

St. George Marathon 2013!!

I ran my 8th and final marathon of 2013 this past Saturday.

I can officially say that this is my favorite marathon.
So well organized and the course is just amazing.
It is definitely the perfect course for me and how I run.

The weather can be unpredictable- but it is usually warm down 
in St. George during the first weekend in October-
which is when the race is held.
This year we had perfect marathon weather.
(I may use the word perfect a lot in this post)

It was actually very cold and windy at the start,
but they had so many fires going up there, we were able to keep warm.
As long as we didn't move away from the fire ;).
Still, I had 2 layers of gloves on and was unwilling to take them off...
so there are no pictures at the start (or during the race).

The wind died down as the race got going-
and it was a tailwind so not even really an issue.
Since this was my 8th marathon in 6 months,
I wasn't looking to push it- let alone get a PR.

BUT- this race course is just too good to hold back!
It's really just hard to take it easy once you get past the halfway
mark and the downhill begins!
My plans went out the window and I just went with how I felt...
and I felt pretty great, so I picked it up a bit.

The whole race went by so fast- 
I can't even remember how I felt at different parts of the race.
Except the last 2.5 miles.
I remember how I felt then.
The downhill ends around then and heads into town for the final stretch.
I checked my watch and I was at a 8:12 average pace.
I knew that meant around a 3:35:XX finish.
I also knew that my Boston qualifying time is UNDER 3:35.

My mental game has not been good during the last few miles of
most all of the marathons I have ran this year.
I have a tough time overcoming the fatigue and convincing
myself to just keep running.
Still- I knew how close I was and I still felt good, considering.
So I dug deep... really deep...
and just ran.
I hadn't even considered going for a BQ time,
but I now knew it was possible and I wanted it!
Those last miles crawled by.
I skipped the aid stations and popsicles being handed out by spectators.
I was on a mission (to not collapse, mostly)-
and I did it!

3:34:41!
I got my Boston qualifying time by 18 seconds!

I would have cried if I had any fluid in my body ;),
but I DID immediately call the husband because I knew that
he would understand how exciting this was... and how unexpected!

I was and am still so happy with how well this race went
and so happy with my time- especially on my 8th marathon of the year.
St. George also has the best marathon medals.
Every one has it's own unique design (polished sandstone, I believe).

The cute ladies I went there with also had amazing races!
They both PR'd by around 7 minutes and have cut so much
time off of their marathons this year- I am in awe of them!
Plus- they can run a crazy fast marathon and still look amazing.
I haven't mastered that part of racing yet :).

The Boston qualifying all worked out well for me, too.
If I would have qualified with this time before the 2014 registration,
I wouldn't have made it in.  18 seconds under would not be enough.
It may not be enough next year, either.
Since this BQ time is good for Boston 2015, 
I will be 35 on race day.
so I technically qualified by 5 minutes and 18 seconds.
(35-39 BQ time is under 3:40).
At least that's how I interpreted it on their website.
Feel free to tell me if I am wrong!

Anyway- that was the rambling, nonsensical, 
wordy recap of my last marathon of 2013!
A great end to quite the adventure.
It is now Tuesday and I feel great!
Even hit up the gym this morning.

Now it's time to start planning for 2014!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Big Cottonwood Marathon 2013...

Last weekend I completed marathon #7 of 2013!


13 total marathons since I started running 3 years ago.

I love marathons.
It's my favorite distance.
I may have mentioned this before.
However, I am feeling burned out.
I don't look forward to running between races.
I knew that doing so many marathons in such a short time
(7 in the past 5 months)
would result in less than stellar times and SOME burnout.
It's been a little worse than I thought.
So next year I will stick to just a few full marathons.

I did manage to get my best marathon time of 2013
and my 2nd fastest marathon time ever.
If you want a PR, do the Big Cottonwood Marathon.

Do a LOT of downhill training, though.
I mean a WHOLE LOT.
I did not do this and by the time it flattened out,
my calves were absolutely dead.
The last 6 miles were not pretty.

I still managed a 3:42,
but I was around a 8:00-8:05 pace until mile 20.
Bad news.
I am still very happy with that 3:42
 because I wasn't expecting anything near that.
(Especially after running a 4:23 at Park City a month before.)

BUT-I know that I could have done so much better
with good, focused training.

I really loved this race.
The course runs down through a beautiful canyon for 17 miles.
The organization and aid stations were amazing.
They had an issue with one of the marathon buses getting stuck
on one of the switchbacks heading to the start,
so the race started late- but only about 20 minutes.
It could have been SO much worse but the race directors
really figured things out and kept things rolling.
I was very impressed.

As I already said- miles 1-17:  downhill.
Sometimes crazy downhill.
Just cruised through most of this.
I could tell by mile 10 that my calves were going to give me trouble.
That much downhill is really, really brutal on your body.

The last 9 miles were rolling and boring after the beautiful canyon,
but that's just how it goes, right?
They also give you your race photos for FREE!
These aren't random amateur photos.
Zazoosh was there doing the photos...
and the race people gave them to us runners- FREE.
There were 29 photos of me.
Free.
Did I mention Free?
They usually cost at least $7 to download ONE picture.
Awesome.

It's not their fault that I look like I do in my photos...
that's all on me ;).
(gnarly sweat marks)
These are the best ones :).

Icing on the cake- the medal is HUGE...
I really love huge medals.

I plan on doing this race again next year.
This time with the downhill focused training that I mentioned earlier.

One more marathon for 2013-
St. George on October 4th.
Another great marathon.
(My marathon PR is from St. George last year- 3:37)

Even with all the burnout-
I am jazzed that I've been able to complete all my races this year.
This is the first year that I haven't had to miss a race
due to injury (or thyroid disease).

The human body is amazing.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Winner!! Color Me Rad 5k Entries...

I was supposed to select the winner yesterday- 
but it just slipped my mind!

I had this here marathon this morning...
and I got preoccupied with wondering why I was doing another one ;).
(recap on that later)

Moving on.

After assigning numbers to all the entries,
Random.org selected:

Sara Lingwall!

Yay!!

Sara- sent me a message by going HERE and I will give you the info!

It is going to be so fun!

Disclaimer: Color Me Rad provided me two free race entries to promote their event and 2 free entries to giveaway. I did not nor will not receive any compensation for this or any Color Me Rad post. I will do a further post regarding the Color Me Rad race but all opinions will be my own according to my own experience with the race.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Color Me Rad 5k Giveaway!! (Utah Valley)

I am so excited about this!!

I have been given 2 free entries to give away
at Utah Valley University on September 28th!
One reader will win both of the entries,
because who wants to run a race alone?

This race looks like an absolute blast!
Such a fun way to spend a Saturday morning with the family.

Seriously- doesn't this look like so much fun??

They use colored cornstarch, so it is perfectly safe...
and also gluten-free :).

Possibly my favorite part:
Kids 7 and under run for FREE!

I only have to register 4 of us and the younger kids can come, too!
My kids are beside themselves with excitement.
They can't wait!

Even if you don't win, this race is only $35!
With that you get a t-shirt, sunglasses and a packet of color to throw
during the final "color bomb"!
(kids 7 and under don't get this stuff)

Check out their FAQ page for other info on the race.
Just go HERE TO REGISTER now if you can't wait!

Here's how to enter:
(Note:  these entries are for the race in Orem, UT only.  If you know someone in Utah who would love to run this race, you can enter and give them the codes in you win!)

Nice and simple.
1 entry:  Comment on this post and tell me who you would take to the race
2 additional entries:  Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter (post link to the tweet) or on your blog.  Then comment telling me how you shared.

Winner will be chosen at random on September 13th.

Good luck!
-------------------------------------------------

Disclaimer: Color Me Rad provided me two free race entries to promote their event and 2 free entries to giveaway. I did not nor will not receive any compensation for this or any Color Me Rad post. I will do a further post regarding the Color Me Rad race but all opinions will be my own according to my own experience with the race.

Foamy Fun and Big Cottonwood...

This past weekend I was able to run the 5k Foam fest-
with my oldest daughter, little H girl.
Let me just say- this was SO much fun.
I highly, HIGHLY recommend this race for a little family fun :).
Hopefully they will be back next year because my oldest
child, D-man, really wants to do this one.

The race took place at This Is The Place Heritage Park.
If you've been there, you know that it is at the base of the mountains,
so there are some hills to deal with.

This is definitely just a "fun run", though-
so hills don't really matter.
Most people were walking up them.

I loved this race (and other races like it)
because it is family and non-runner friendly.
You don't have to be all into running to do this race.
It's not competitive and is not timed.
You just run to have fun... and get to the next obstacle :).
I love me a good marathon,
but I also love a race that I can do with my kids.
I sure do like those kids of mine :).

Here we are before the race:
(I look like I need to use the restroom, but I was just trying to get lower for the pic)

They had a big blow up pit full of foam set up-
and the kids there watching could play around in it:
This was awesome because we had someplace to be right after the race,
so the husband and all the kids had to come, too.
Having something there for them to do was so helpful.
Of course, they were all soaked by the time we left.
They had a bouncy house set up as well.
Fun times for all!

Another awesome thing was that they let you download 
the pictures they take during the race for FREE.
I love that.
Except that there was only one picture of me on the course
and absolutely no pictures of H-girl until after we had finished.
Still, the obstacles were super fun.
There were 2 foam covered slip and slides,
some walls to climb over, a rope ladder thing (that was REALLY tall),
and a mud pit with ELECTRIFIED rope we had to crawl under.
Luckily H-girl is little, so she easily fit under the ropes.
I was not so lucky ;).
(It really didn't hurt- just shocking... haha- I'm so funny!)
There were a bunch of other obstacles, too-
so you never had to run very far at a time before coming to a new one.

Most races don't give out medals for a 5k, 
but the Foam Fest did, which was great!
H-girl loved getting her own medal.
We got good and muddy from the mud pit,
but all the foam in the other obstacles cleaned us up pretty well.

I'll say it again- I definitely recommend this race.
There were more obstacles than other mud runs I have done
and I liked that they also had medals at the end.

Make sure to sign up early for 2014-
the prices get pretty high if you wait until the last minute.
I would also sign up for the earliest wave.
The parking gets more difficult the later you get there.
_____________________________

My next marathon is coming up soon- next weekend!
I'm excited about this one-
It's the Big Cottonwood Marathon.
My last 2 races have been tough- with lots of uphill.

Big Cottonwood looks like this:
If I get tired, I can just roll down ;).
Sadly, I am in no shape to PR this year-
but I can scope it out so I can work on that for 2014.

----------------------------------------
Disclaimer: 5k Foam Fest provided me two free race entries to promote their event. I did not nor will not receive any compensation for this or any 5k Foam Fest post.  All opinions will be my own according to my own experience with the race.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

5k Foam Fest!

On August 31st, the oldest daughter and I
get to run in the 5k Foam Fest here in Salt Lake City!

Princess H has been begging me to sign us up for some sort of 
obstacle course/mud run for years but she was never old enough.

Finally she gets her wish!
This race looks awesome and I know she will LOVE it.

Seriously- the obstacles look like so much fun!
Check out videos of them HERE.
It includes:
5 Foot Walls
8 Foot Walls
30 Foot Slip 'N Slide
50 Foot Slip 'N Slide
Bouncy Ball Attack
Bungie Trip Wire
Cargo Net Climb
Electric Mud Crawl
Moon Walk
Spider Web Forest
Stumpy Jumper
Mud Pit

 (these obstacles may not ALL be included and may change)

AND...
if you would like to come join us-
the cool people over at the 5k Foam Fest have provided 
y'all with a code to get $25 off your registration!

So head on over HERE to register
and enter code FOAMFEST in the promo code area
(towards the end of the registration process).

If you would like to join our team, 
send me a message through the Contact Me page up top
and I will give you our team name!

Hope to see you there for some foamy good times!

Disclaimer: 5k Foam Fest provided me two free race entries to promote their event. I did not nor will not receive any compensation for this or any 5k Foam Fest post. I will do a further post regarding the 5k Foam Fest race but all opinions will be my own according to my own experience with the race.

M.I.A.

Hmm... not quite 2 months since my last post.
Not so good.

In those past 2 months I have done 2 half marathons and 2 full marathons.
All were rough races for me- but all were completed :).

I will hopefully do individual recaps of all of these,
but here is the brief summary!

First was the Seattle RnR Half:
The course was challenging (for me) but it could have been worse!

Next was the Foot Traffic Flat Half in Portland:
I love this race, even though I got my slowest half time EVER.
I managed to not charge my Garmin, so I ran free.
I enjoyed the scenery, used the bathroom a few times and just ran.
Good times.
Really, I loved it and will do this race every time we are in Oregon for the 4th.

Next was the Sogonapmit Marathon on July 27th.
The elevation profile looked something like this:


A nice climb of about 1700 feet up to the half marathon start...
and then back down again.
Also, the full marathon started at 3:30am.  
Nice and early.
My worst marathon time ever but that was expected.
I loved this race and will do it again next year.
Plus- the husband did the half marathon, so we got to drive
over the race together and I got to cheer him into the finish.
Doesn't he look like he had so much fun??

Then I did the Park City Marathon this past Saturday.
Did I say that the Sogonapmit was my worst marathon ever?
Well, that didn't last long.
Enter the Park City Marathon.
The stars did not align for this race.
It is another tough course with a gradual climb until mile 16 or 17.
I had issues during this race that I have never had before...
we'll leave it at that.
 Even though it was a terrible race day for me, 
it was still a beautiful.
I kind of want to try it again so I can conquer it-
instead of feeling like it conquered me ;).
 Still crossed that finish line, though.

That puts my total at 8 races for the year.
2 half marathons
6 full marathons.

I managed to get my 2nd Marathon Maniac star
by completing 6 marathons in 4 months.
I'm starting to feel a little worn down :).

The next race is coming up next weekend and it's a fun one!
More info on that in my next post... coming SO very soon.