Saturday, April 30, 2011

Don't applaud, just throw money

Throughout my marathon training I have had so many people tell me that they are proud of me, or have a lot of respect for me, or just want me to know how much they support me. Recently a rep from a local charity that I think is super awesome asked me if I would run for them for the Colfax Marathon. It's called Denver Metro Partners, and is like a Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization where mentors are paired up with youth in the Denver area. As of right now I am one of three runners for the organization and have raised $155 but my goal is $500. I was able to set my own goal and felt like $500 was attainable because I feel like I have had so many supporters throughout working towards this goal. The minimum donation is $10 and every single penny goes straight to DMP. I feel like this is a great way for people to show their support for me and hope that I can convince a few more people to donate for me!

Check out my website at for more details.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Respect the Distance

I took a 20 mile tour of Littleton today. On foot.

Earlier this week I got an email from my client Meredith asking me if I wanted to meet up for my long run. She's doing the Colfax half so she only had 12, but said she could map out my other 8 so I could keep going. In her prime, she ran marathons including the NYC several times. Now that she's got kids and a crazy packed life she runs halves and has a pretty good steady 9:30-10:00ish pace. Because of the kids she asked if I would mind coming over near the salon to meet her. Truth be told, I am very intimidated by running outside for long distances. The treadmill is good to me because it has tvs, water fountains, bathrooms, a place to hold my refuel, and lots of meat heads to distract me. I bit the bullet, drove the 35 minutes through rush hour traffic to suburbia, packed a water belt and some Gu, and made a quick pit stop before she and I took off.

The Garmin Forerunner 305 is by far the best running investment I've ever made, today would have literally been impossible without it. Her husband suggested a loop that he thought was about 11 miles. I'm terrible with direction so I really have no clue where we were most of the time but we can over to Bear Creek Park which is where I did a photoshoot for Edelweiss By Sarah last year, and it is beautiful in the spring. There were some pretty crazy hills and the first one was at mile three and a half. Luckily, at the top there was a bathroom and a cool water stop (with cups!) so we took a quick minute stop before heading through the rest of the park. Poor Meredith is probably only 5'2" so I have a good 9 inches on her and it wasn't really fair to try and tackle the hill side by side. This was the only hill her husband had warned her about, it was by far the worst, but there ended up being several others that were a good challenge. It was kind of cool to see some new parts of Littleton and other than the wind, the weather was perfect. It turned out that the route was a little shorter than we had thought so we looped through her neighborhood til we hit mile 12, then stopped inside so I could refill my water belt.

Meredith had told me if I ran from her house to C470(the highway), it would be exactly 4 miles. Literally right where the sidewalk ended I hit mile 16. It was pretty hilly to run up Belleview and I might have considered stopping to walk but I knew that when I switchbacked I would get to run down all of those hills. It was nice to have the last 4 miles pretty easy. After hitting 20 I felt good and definitely could have kept going. It made me feel a lot more prepared for the race, and feel less bad about missing the 18 from two weeks ago. I can also say that I REALLY enjoyed being outside and will be doing more long runs outside in the beautiful Colorado sunshine. I never in a million years thought I would be able to say that I got up early on my day off to drive 30 minutes to run 20 miles with someone who is old enough to be my mom.

And as a random side note, lots of love to Columbine this week. Yes, we did have a crazy old man at the mall with a bomb that has yet to be identified.. but we're all A-OK. Remembering those lost that day 12 years ago, and all of those who were directly affected throughout our community. <3

Monday, April 18, 2011


This morning I woke up excited that it was the Boston Marathon. For the first time I understood what it meant to qualify for Boston, knew the names of people expected to win, and had friends who had been working their tails off in preparation for the race. I read about a bazillion running blogs and loved the buzz about the girls that were running today. It's amazing how the running culture is shared through blogging, and I was super excited for these girls that I've never even met. Personally, I had 3 friends running today. My friend Peter who lives in DC not only ran the race, but raised $2,342 for the Boston Living Center. Brady, a friend from Colorado who lives in Utah now. And Ashley. I know I have mentioned her before, so let's introduce you a little more.

This picture is the one and only time Ashley and I have ever been together in normal clothes.

This is how I normally see her:

I met Ashley at the gym in September. She was chatting with my trainer, Joe, and somehow we got introduced. I quickly learned that she was training for the Rock N Roll marathon, I was training for the half. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and had absolutely no idea that she knew EXACTLY what she was doing. She started running next to me and we started chatting, getting to know each other, and becoming friends. She rocked the Rock N Roll in 3:27 and qualified for Boston.

Monday runs have always been pretty miserable for me, but having Ashley there has made it fun. She might run a heck of a lot faster than me, but she is always incredibly encouraging. It's because of her inspiration/encouragement that I decided to sign up for the Colfax Marathon. She has been there to calm my nerves, pump me up, keep me going, and to tell me "get it girl!" I jokingly call her my "Running Coach," but I don't think she realizes that her coaching has been the one thing to keep my from backing out from this race.

The girl never gives up, never compares herself to her crazy amazing running friends (her boyfriend ran the Platte Half in 1:13:05), and always gives it all she's got. She completed the Boston today in 3:22:18 and I couldn't be more proud of her. Next month she will be running miles 13 to 23 with me and the thought of it brings tears to my eyes. Her incredible determination is exactly what I am going to need that day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

high mileage week

This morning when I woke up my legs felt refreshed and ready to run. I spent Monday on the elliptical and took Tuesday off from working out since I had a class before work. It was only half an hour before my normal start time but I am learning the importance of recovery and am glad that I listened to my body and let my muscles repair. I really wasn't all that sore from Sundays race since it was only 13.1 miles but I did run it at a faster pace than I train at, speed walked 5 more later that day, and my shins took a beating from the concrete trail. My 5 miles on Wednesday were relatively easy but it was nice to wake up today feeling ready to tackle my long run. After already pounding out 23 miles already this week, 10 seemed like a breeze. To think a month or so ago I was stressed to tears before a run that long.

Along with learning to become a better runner, I am also learning how to be the best girlfriend ever. My new relationship seems to be going really well, so I thought I would share with you some of my great gf secrets.

*Spread your time equally between the gym and your boyfriend. I have Fridays off, he goes to work at 3:30. I only spend half of my morning at the gym so that I can spend the other half with him before he goes to work. But maybe decided to do an extra few miles on his birthday and missed going to the Zoo and/or movie in celebration.

*Always be (un)fashionably late.
Text from me at 11:30 today: I should be over by 12:15
Reece:Great! See you soon!
arrival time: 12:35

*Be super low maintenance. Guys don't like when girls spend too much time getting ready, right? Natural product (no hair washing since Wednesday and running 10 mile on it is a great natural texturizer!) and greasy beach waves are hot! I made sure to let him know that I didn't have time to blowdry my hair, but might have forgotten to mention that the wet hair was made by sweat and not freshly washed hair.

*Let your boyfriend rub your tired achy legs for you, but don't shave your legs very often.

*Talk to him all about running, racing, upcoming races, all things running, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah (<---- I am sure this is what he hears).

*Offer to make him dinner but never ask him what he wants. I just assume he likes all of my healthy Paleo food, the way I prepare it, and has no preference when it comes to which healthy Paleo foods we eat together. Especially on his birthday. And on race day when it's time for a cheat, always suggest the food he's allergic too (frozen yogurt).

*Shower him with gifts.
"Sorry I'm late, but I brought you a cookie."
"Sorry I'm not ready yet, but I made you banana bread."
"Sorry I procrastinated my run and now you have to leave for work in an hour, but I brought you some hair gel!."

These my friends, are CLEARLY ways to keep your relationship thriving.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Platte River Half Marathon

When I came back from Christmas I was excited to hear that my coworker and friend, Stephanie, was signed up for a half marathon as a surprise from her personal trainer. She was less thrilled since she is not a cardio kind of girl, so I told her I would sign up too. I don't like running alongside my friends, but it's fun to have someone to chat with about training, the expo, and be there on race day. Not only was the race only $45, you got 30% off of a pair of Brooks shoes- double score. Since I had already committed to running the Colfax Marathon in May I thought it would be fun to have a race as one of my long runs. It turned out not to be the very best weekend as far as my training schedule was set up, but since I have already completed at least the half distance a good 5 times now, I was feeling confident and excited.

I prepped by eating a little more fruit over the last few days, and added in a little bit of potato and rice yesterday. Dinner at Garbanzo? Yum! I was a little worried about the rain that was forecasted to happen and anxiously awoke to hail in the middle of the night. Thankfully when 6:45 rolled around it was sunny, and today ended up being perfect race weather with the exception of some crazy wind. Going into this race I had two goals. The first, was to finish in under 2 hours.The second, to have fun and enjoy the run. My last half I finished in 2:01. That was in October, I was definitely less trained and conditioned, 10ish pounds heavier, but since I'm marathon training I have been focusing more on endurance than speed. During the drive over I was reading through my Pinterest board trying to get inspired and "in the zone." I like to write quotes, reminders, mantras, etc on my arm to help remind me of why I am doing it. I also like to pick one person for each mile of the race to run for. I was trying to go over my 13 people and I suddenly realized we were on Santa Fe near the Belleview exit. For those of you who don't know, I lost a dear friend in a TERRIBLE car accident right at that spot a few years ago. Goosebumps covered my arm and I knew exactly who I'd be running for(and with) today.I think Reece thought I was a little crazy this morning. He was such a trooper. He worked til 3:00 this morning, picked up my race packet yesterday, took me to the race, took pictures, cheered me on at the finish line, and ate Yogurtland with me even though he's lactose intolerant.

I was able to get a pretty good spot right at the front of the 9:00minute mile pace line. That was my goal, just stay under 9:00/mile. I bumped into my client Mike, and his wife Jackie, who I apparently talked into signing up for the race. Her goal was the same as mine and he was determined to beat me (which he did, by 4 minutes). I splurged and bought a Garmin Forerunner last week and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I set it to beep at my if I got under that pace and was happy it really only beeped during narrow entryways, and when I was grabbing water. I started out strong and stayed strong for the first half. So strong that I was able to slow down a lit bit for the second half. At mile 10 I realized that even if I ran 10 minute miles I would finish within my goal. What a great feeling. I soared through the next 2 miles and in the last mile was faced with one very steep hill. Wow, what a climb. Not a whole lot can make my calves hurt, but they burned as I trudged up this ridiculous hill. I was planning to run my last mile fastest of all, but this killed me and slowed me down during and after.

My official race time was 1:54- an 8 minute PR! I know I've only ran one half marathon but it was a PR nonetheless, and was a full 2 minutes faster than I've ever hit the 13.1 distance in my training. I can honestly say that I had tons of fun at the race and am so glad I decided to do it. Stephanie ended up finishing in 2:30 and Sarah (also from work) finished in 2:10. It was both of their first half marathons and I was so impressed with both of them. Kelsey, Lindsay, and Kim from the salon came to cheer us on and it was great to see them at the end. To my surprise, Ashley also ended up at the race because her boyfriend, Matt, decided last minute to run it. He finished in 1:13, and took second place. Typical Matt. I am so grateful to have so many people in my life supporting me and cheering me on through this crazy journey I have been on for the last couple of years. I can't believe that I went from getting winded walking a mile, to running a 5k in 42 minutes to running 13 8:45/miles! Colfax is in 5 weeks and I am feeling refreshed and ready to tackle that crazy distance!

Friday, April 8, 2011


A few weeks ago at church, my friend Valerie mentioned a website she likes called Pinterest. The next day I happened to come across it and have been glued to it ever since. It's more or less a virtual dream board, where you can hoard images under any particular topic. You could make a board of stuff that you want, hairstyles you like, wedding ideas, ANYTHING. You can follow your friends, or choose to follow people whose boards you like. You can create your own pins or re-pin other peoples. It's seriously addicting. So far I have only created one board, a collaboration of quotes and images that inspire me to run, work out, push harder. I keep a running journal and already have a bazillion quotes scribbled into the front of it, but this is definitely more fun. I love finding something that inspires me. When I am running I have am repeating a lot of these to myself over and over. Check out my board at

Who else has a board?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Everyone's been blogging about tapering, with less than 2 weeks til Boston. I figured I should taper too:

Oh wait, tapering doesn't include actual tape? Oops. My bad. I earned myself a mighty big blister last weekend from my street shoes, and a bandaid plus packing tape were the closest thing I had to moleskin or blisterguard. Luckily since I'm a mid striker, it doesn't really affect my running but my work shoe choices have been limited. It is *kind of* a taper week for me with the half on Sunday but really I'm just having a taper day on Friday. Since my marathon is more important to me than this half, I'm trying not to compromise my training too much.

Today was my last real run for the week and I loved every minute of it. I am actually getting really excited for Sunday! Maria was in today so we had nerdy Paleo carb loading talk and I am feeling really prepared. She also gave me permission to eat frozen yogurt after the race. Yogurtland, here I come!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Have I Done Any Good?

Not to steal a line from one of my favorite hymns.. but I am pretty sure the message of SERVICE was loud and clear in today's General Conference. This morning as I set out on my very windy run, I tried to clear my head to soak in the good word and messages I'd be hearing today. My mind wandered off onto a blog post I read over at Rust Belt Runner. Her local radio station has started a movement called The Drive Through Difference. The idea more or less is to do selfless acts of service in little ways like paying for the person behind you in the drive through, and encouraging that person to pass on the good deeds. As I fought the wind this morning I tried to think of little ways I could create opportunities to do this. After watching conference today I will definitely be looking for extra ways I can serve others.

With only one week til the Platte River Half Marathon , I am crossing my fingers for good weather. It was 82 degrees here in Denver yesterday, and 68 at 7:30 this morning when I laced up my shoes and headed out for a run. By 1:00 today it was cold and rainy, and by 2:00 it was snowing. I'm not really sure what tricks Mother Nature has up her sleeve, but this is really not funny.

I have been a little bit stressed out about the race, but am trying to be excited. I have set myself a time goal and have been training hard to be able to attain it. I know that my body is conditioned to complete it even faster than my goal, but sometimes the negativity takes control and I get nervous that I won't be able to push myself hard enough. After having terrible 16 last week I was unsure of how to go about my schedule and include tapering at the same time. Fridays run was scheduled to be 10 miles, and next Friday is supposed to be 18. Since I'm doing 13.1 on Sunday it is clear that 18 on Friday is not an option. I am still unsure of if I will be able to make up the 18 (considering running 5 more after the race), but I decided to do 13.1 on Friday within my goal time to remove all doubt of if I am capable of my goal. I put my playlist together, fueled up, brought appropriate refuel (honey stix, coconut juice, and a Lara Bar cut up), and ran with purpose. I'm feeling pretty confident, but now just have to work out the logistics- where to park, how to get my packet, what to wear, etc.

One thing I am really excited about is having people there. When I ran the Rock N Roll in October, I went it alone. My friend Nic dropped me off but didn't make to back to the park before I finished. As excited as it was just to finish, it was a little anti climatic to cross the line and then hang out waiting for my ride. For this race, Sarah and Steph from work are also running the race. Hopefully we will have a few of the salon girls there to cheer us on, and Reece promised to come watch me finish as well. Regardless of the outcome I need to remember that I am doing it for fun and to ENJOY all 13.1 miles.

workout this week:
ran 5 miles/abs
ran 6 miles/arms/chest/back
stair climber for 60 minutes
ran 5 miles/shoulders/abs
30 min elliptical/1 hour zen strength class (btw, I found out this is a lot of Vinyasa Yoga)
ran 13.1 miles/abs

Does anyone have any specific examples of little acts of service they have performed? Or have been done to them? What songs would you suggest I add to my 13.1 playlist? What mantras work for you when you're giving yourself a pep talk?