Saturday, March 30, 2013
Friday, March 29, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I asked my wonderful running buddy and fellow Buffalo Run finisher to talk about her race experience. Katherine (or as I call her, Speedy K) has helped me through many a long run. I don't know that I'd have trained as hard and as well if it weren't for her. Enjoy her story. It's a powerful one. -Renee
Hey runrenee blog readers! Renee asked me to write about my experience running the Antelope Island
Buffalo Run 25k. I am one of Renee’s running buddies and began running January 2012. Before then I
never ran…ever. I dreaded the thought. I was that kid who worked every excuse to get out of running
the mile at school, hated laps at soccer practice, and stuck to any other form of physical activity. The
track coach at my high school commented once that I lacked the long legs for distance running, balanced
with my long torso- according to her, making me a terrible sprinter. I bought into that and vowed
to never run unless it was some sort of zombie apocalypse or I was being chased by bears. After my
second baby was born, a wonderful friend convinced me to come along for some walking/running to
start getting back into shape. I was very adamant, “I don’t run. I can’t run- I won’t be able to keep up
with you!” Her, ‘shut up and join us’ attitude (ahem…Meghan) was irresistible, and I soon found myself
waking up 2, sometimes 3 times a week to go “running.” I put it in quotations because at the very start
of it all, I could only run ¼ of a mile at best before having to walk. I alternated walking/running, and
I remember the first time I ran a full mile without stopping. What got me out of bed was the fun, the
friendship, and good conversation we had on those runs. By late spring I found myself getting out of
bed early in the morning for the running itself! I started actually enjoying it! Feeling my muscles getting
stronger, my heart and lungs able to keep up without burning or wheezing, and feeling younger and
healthier in general was outstanding. In June I ran my first official 5K- so nervous because I had never
heard of things like, “packet pickups” or “bib numbers.” This was an entirely new world to me!
Fast track to this Buffalo Run business. After my baptism into the running world, I found myself really
sticking with it. Consistency is the secret my friends. I joined training runs with Meghan and Renee as
they prepared for the St. George Marathon summer of 2012, still in disbelief that people actually run
26.2 miles (and all of the sudden all those car stickers made sense! Duh, 13.1 meant, “Hey! I ran a half
marathon” and Ragnar was a running relay race. I really was stumped for years wondering what the
hell Ragnar was). Each time I would lose my ambition and motivation, my pals, Renee especially, would
get me back on track. I was given books to read: Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes, and Born to
Run by Christopher McDougall. They inspired me, taught me, and motivated me. After my birthday
in fall of 2012 I began a training plan to prepare me for this 25k run. Those of you out there like me-
super novices in the world of running, know this: A man named Hal Higdon can be your new BFF. He has
devised training plans for races of all different lengths and is the gold standard for race preparation (plus
he has free training plans online that you can just print out and slap on your wall next to your calendar).
I began following one of his running schedules in what would be one of the harshest winters Salt Lake
City has seen in years. Record low temperatures and snowstorms made for some intense and brutal
training, but week after week I plugged away.
After conquering 13 and 14 mile runs, I began to feel ready mentally. However during my last long pre-
race run (16 miles) I was hit with a sharp case of what Google told me was “runner’s knee,” and had
to stop. I freaked out. Physically I was okay, but mentally I would’ve felt much better conquering that
last long run. I had no choice but to rest, then one week before the Buffalo Run I headed down to the
southern part of the state to enjoy a nice downhill 10K race. A fun little trip, but a long car ride back
with young children and hot germs surprised me with a horrible chest cold. Yikes! Feeling more than
nervous at this point I had to stop and reflect on all the work I’d done to make it this far, and make the
decision to run regardless. And I did. I woke up the morning of race day, put on all of my cold weather
apparel, and drove with my mom (aka my biggest fan) out to Antelope Island. I was so nervous before
the race I almost forgot to put my timing chip on my shoe and my race bib on! I refused to let myself
think of completing the race in its entirety, so I told myself, “Just start running Katherine. Then keep
running. Maybe run some more after that and hopefully you’ll be close to the finish line.” As Renee
described in her post, there are treacherous switchbacks, and many hills. Because of my coughing and
constant nose blowing I was slow, but finishing was what mattered to me most. A week earlier I ran
the Spectrum 10K at an 8:30/mile pace, this run was just over a 13/mile pace- a fact I had to let go of in
order to stay positive and focused. As the race came down to the last few miles I began making friends.
I would find a runner going at a steady pace then copy their rhythm to force my feet to keep going. I
met a woman named Lorraine whom I promised to hug when we crossed the finish line (which I did)
and two guys who cheered me on and ran across the finish moments after I did. The aid stations were
lovely, the other runners kind and positive. The race director was very personable, and the course- no
less than extraordinarily beautiful.
For me trail running is a spiritual experience. I’m out there feeling everything amazing there is to feel
about our beautiful existence as human beings. I’m alive in the wind, the sunshine, breathing, soaking
in life. The kindness of the other runners, the powerful reminder of what the human body is capable of,
and the overall sensation of accomplishing something great was overwhelming to me. I didn’t stay long
after the race, but hurried home to greet my kids and hop in a hot bath. Dinner that night tasted that
much better, and the pride I feel about completing this- my longest run so far, is a wonderful feeling. I
feel powerful and strong, and well…ready for more! Let’s go run Renee!
Monday, March 25, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
I just finished up my last training run. Katherine and I did a whopping 2.3 miles. It felt really great to get out, as I've been very anxious today. But this is it. I can't be any more ready than I am at this moment. Thanks to all who've wished me well. Your words will pull me through those last miles. My next post will be a race report! It's go time!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
The good news is my throat isn't sore today. The bad news is that it was dumping snow this morning. The race day forecast still says highs in the mid 30's with partly cloudy skies and no precipitation, so I really can't complain. I'm feeling anxious today and really ready to do this thing. Katherine and I will head to Layton this afternoon to pick up our packets. I'm sure that will only fuel my excitement!
Two days until race day!
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Today my mind is an endless reel of questions and lists. Should I pack a drop bag? I think so, since the weather is so squirrely. Why is it only going to be a high of 34 degrees on race day? At least it isn't supposed to rain. Ok, I'll pack a drop bag, then at least I have extra clothes if I need them. What should I bring for after the race? I should get some beer for after the race. I wonder if they have any good gluten free beer at the liquor store. I think I'll make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I had better make bread. Why did I have a sore throat this morning? I hope it's just the weather. I hope my right leg doesn't bother me on race day. I'd better use the foam roller and stretch again later. What should I wear? Long sleeves. No. Short sleeves and a long sleeve. No. Long sleeves and a vest. Ok, yeah, that will work. You get the idea. It doesn't stop! And I still have three days until race day! It's going to be a long week!
Stuff, from left to right: clothes for after, clothes for drop bag, hydration pack and food, clothes to wear and Luna the cat (he's not coming on race day though.)
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Now on to business. I ran this afternoon. Three miles was nice and quick and since it's a beautiful day I really enjoyed myself. I ran without my Garmin *gasp* so I wouldn't feel pressure to run quickly, and what do ya know? I ran quickly anyway!
I ran in my new shorts that my wonderful running buddy, Katherine got me! They're awesome and oh so very Renee!
Sunday, March 17, 2013
What can I say? I love my running buddies. If it weren't for those girls there would have been many a morning I went right back to sleep. Having a partner who is relying on you absolutely helps get you out of bed when it's 5 degrees, when it's dark, when it's snowing, or when you just plain don't feel like lacing up.
That's not the only perk. What about those runs when you feel like the world is all wrong? When you wonder why you've chosen this sport. You know those runs when all you can think about is the end of the run? Two words: Running Buddy! What better way to turn a brutal run into bliss than to get the party started? Sing to each other? Yes please. Dance in the streets? You bet! Stop for coffee and then run with it? Ohhh yeah!
Take a look at some of these runs. Do I think they were more fun because of my running buddies? Yes. Yes I do.
Strike a Pose
Things to be thankful for: Running Buddies
Epic Snow Run
Don't get me wrong. I love a solo run. I love a nice long run where I can just get inside my head and find out what's going on in there, find out what I'm made of. But, I do love my running buddies. Sharing successes and failures (and new longer distances) together makes for some very entertaining times and some very strong friendships.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Training Week 16
Weekly Total: 34.86
Previous Total: 379.18
Training Grand Total: 414.04
Training Week 17
Weekly Total: 20.26
Training Grand Total: 434.3
Next week will include a few short runs and then, of course, the BIG day! Exactly one week from right now, 12:55pm, I will have been running for nearly five hours. I will be starting to feel the pain. I am beyond excited. I'm getting butterflies in my stomach as I type this! I'd better get some sleep the next few days because I have a feeling I won't be sleeping much come the end of the week!
Friday, March 15, 2013
How was my run today? Meh. I went out at 6am, which was partially the problem. But even after I woke up a bit I still felt very complacent about running today. It happens. But, I ran and that's what counts.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Having a blast as usual, Katherine and I hit up her neighborhood and part of the Dimple Dell gully we hadn't been in before. The sun was out, it was warm, and I was really enjoying the fabulous spring day. I was feeling particularly great by the end of the run and enjoyed picking up the pace for the last mile.
Monday, March 11, 2013
I really don't know if there will be anything that I can eat at the aid stations, and cross contamination is always a concern for me (I have celiac disease for those of you who didn't know.) I will assume I cannot eat anything the race provides and bring enough in my pack to fuel my entire race. I love my Nathan pack, by the way!
I'm getting so excited! Only 12 days left until race day!!!!!!