Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chocolate Agave

Shhhhh..... don't tell--- someone I love is getting this in their Christmas stocking.

Winter training

So, I've enjoyed over two months of running... injury free! Exactly one month post marathon, I lost my first toenail. Surprisingly, I've managed to keep the other 9. I know this is probably something you don't really want to know but, ha... its just a blog!

I don't really know what it is but since the marathon I've been pushing it harder than before. Maybe its knowing I came so close to breaking 4 hours, maybe its finally having a break from IT Band pain, or possibly I'm just enjoying the exhilaration of running harder, and faster... improving a tiny bit at a time.

The last two weeks here have been freezing. I've found myself on the treadmill more than want to. Treadmill running sucks! Really, I don't understand why its so very hard. I can hold a faster pace outside and enjoy but indoors my legs are fatigued, totally sweaty, and light headed. What's up with that? Is it that the treadmill uses different muscles and I am actually really out of shape?

I've been trying to mix some of my P.I.N.K. workouts and P90X into the mix. I tried Plyometrics last week for the first time. It totally kicks... gives you that good burn for several days.

I've registered for two spring half marathons.... Canyonlands and Ogden. I'm super excited!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


A good friend that has been battling Inflammatory Breast Cancer for over two years passed away last night. She was the mother of 5 children. I can't imagine what this family has been through and the struggles that they will continue to face. I know there is a plan but sometimes it is just so hard.

Everyday when I run, I am just so thankful that I CAN run. My life is full of reminders of what a blessing it is to have a strong body. I may not be the fastest runner on the block but I am strong physically and mentally. I CAN take care of my children and I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed me in that way. Caring for Crew can be exhausting but tonight after he fell asleep on the floor, I scooped him up. As I carried him to his bed I marveled at his features... his long eyelashes, little lips and a sprinkling of freckles across his nose. He's getting big I thought... I'm sure I can carry him to bed for at least another TWO years.

Two years.

The same amount of time it took for one dear mother to slip from this life to another.

Tonights run was refreshing. A breezeless night with perfect temps. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me. My thoughts constantly straying to her family and what they have lost.... And Also... a new Angel in Heaven. I'll miss you my friend. RUN/FLY/DANCE.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

St. George Marathon 2009

It's official, I'm a "marathoner"! Wow, just typing the word gets me all excited. This is something I've thought about for years but was never really sure that I had it in me. I remember about 10 years ago talking with my little brother about running a marathon together "SOMEDAY". Well, last Saturday was that day!

Since I first entered the lottery for the St. George marathon, I've battled a nasty IT Band injury. I remember waiting for the lottery to be drawn and wondering what I had gotten myself into. I didn't really think I would get in and then since the day of that fateful email, I've wondered how I would ever get to the start line let alone finish the race.

Even on Saturday, as Marty and I rode the bus to the start line (at 4:30 am) I wondered how my knee would hold up. The bus ride was long and between the two of us (Marty battling the same injury) I really had my doubts. Still, I was determined to finish the race.

The starting area was filled with excitement. Marty and I hit the porta potties and then found a spot right next to the fire. We sat there for about 40 minutes and visited with some of the other runners. At one point I closed my eyes and said a little prayer. People started getting lined up at the porta potties again so we hit that line one last time. Just as we came out we noticed the race was on. We dropped the clothing bag and took off running.

I ditched my sweatshirt during the first couple miles. At mile 3 we stopped for water and Marty took off his warm-up pants. Another quick water stop at miles 5 and 7. Veyo hill was long and steep but we kept a nice pace and we didn't get passed. The next several miles were slightly uphill and it seemed to go on forever. We stopped at every aid station... mile 9, mile 11, mile 13, 15, and 17. A couple times we stretched our IT bands during the water stops (only stopping for 10 seconds or so). We were really looking forward to seeing family at mile 16 but when we got to Snow Canyon they weren't there. Still, the spectators at that point were a real boost. I was still feeling really good at that point and was shocked that the knees hadn't given me much trouble so far.

The hill at mile 19 was more than I expected. It seemed to go on forever. I was getting to where I really had to focus on just making it to the next aid station. After the aid station at mile 21 I had pretty much hit the wall. Marty and I were still together at this point but I was really having a hard time keeping up with him. After mile 22 he went on ahead. My pace was slowing and everything was a blur. Once I hit the city, I tried to focus on the encouragement from spectators. I ran along the side and high-fived as many kids as I could. I was just really trying to mentally stay in the game.

Honestly, I don't know for sure how often I stopped for walk breaks after that. I was really mentally not with it anymore. I remember seeing a sign that said, "7 MORE BLOCKS" and I wanted to rip it up and scream at them.. but I didn't have the energy. I kept waiting for those corrals around the next corner and wished I had memorized the route a little more closely. One too many walk breaks that last mile. People were wizzing past me. Finally, I saw something in the distance and I could barely make out the words, "FINISH LINE"! I gave it everything I had at that point and then I heard my mom yell, "GO MEL"! It was over... I DID IT. I finished in 4:01 just 3 minutes behind my little brother.
It's true what they say about the marathon. The first 20 miles you rely on your mental and physical strength... the last 6 miles are purely spiritual. I know its true because today just 3 days later I really can't give you a detailed explanation of what happened those last few miles. All I know is that somehow my legs carried me across that line.
At the finish they had these giant water misters. I stood there for a minute and soaked myself. I couldn't believe it! 4:01... I never expected things to go so well with the injury and all.
The marathon is quite an experience! I'm very happy with how it went. The weather was perfect, the spectators were awesome, my brother was an excellent running partner. Much to my dads dismay, I have to say... there probably will be a NEXT time. I just don't know when. I would like to get a lot more miles under my belt before I do it again, I need to get injury free. Next time, I want to finish strong!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

4 More Days

My crazy head is filled with multiple blog posts! Things are real crazy around here right now. I'm desperately trying to squeeze in 7 hours of sleep at night but things have not been in my favor. The little one has had a series of seizures over the past two weeks and he isn't eating or sleeping well. When I'm not up with him in the wee hours of the morning, I'm either out running or tossing and turning in bed worrying about either the marathon or my boy.

But YES, I'm also excited! The anticipation is killing me and I realize that no amount of worry is going to make this marathon happen.

My brother flew in from Houston last Saturday and we did our 8 mile run together. It was a great feeling to run with him and finally be at this point. Neither one of us feel 100% ready but at this point what can you do really?

So, for the next few days I'll be carbo loading, hydrating, and hopefully sleeping too! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

3 Weeks until Marathon

Wow, I can't believe its been a month since I've posted. I'm still running and babying this stupid injury. After taking time off to let this injury heal I've gradually worked my way back up the training ladder. I completed long runs of 12, 14, 15, 17 and 20! Yes, that's right... 20 miles! My 17 miler was horrible. I left at 8:30 pm because we were leaving for vacation the next morning. I'm typically not an evening runner. The first 12 miles were okay. My IT bands were hurting but it was manageable. After I Gu'd (Gu Roctane) the 3rd time I got very sick. I had to make a run to the porta potty. I started getting really crampy and shaky. I'll save you the GI details but it was miserable. I walked a lot the last mile and came home sick. It took me another full day to recover.

Needless to say, I wasn't feeling very confident about my upcoming 20 miler or the marathon. With the vacation and stuff it was another 10 days before my next long run.

Last Saturday I met with Jen and Heather for a 20 mile jaunt through the canyon, around the reservoir, 2 miles back up the canyon and then turn around and run home. It was such a nice change to run with friends. It really helped the time go by. We just took the run nice and easy with lots of stretching breaks. All 3 of us nursing injuries;) I finished it feeling pretty decent which is a great confidence builder at this point.

My ITB is still bothering me but I think I can get through this marathon only as long as I don't push it too fast, remember to stretch a lot and just have fun. I won't be breaking any records thats for sure. I guess thats okay. I figure if you can't take your first marathon easy and just have fun then when can you?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On the mend

The ITbands are healing. In the past week I've been able to do the following:

Tuesday: 2 miles with pain

Thursday: 3 miles with less pain. Nearly got killed on the highway... details to follow this post.

Saturday: 5 miles (hills) with some pain. The pain did not get worse throughout the run which is a good sign. I did not have my knee taped so was surprised I could go that far. We were visiting my brother in Casper, WY. I got to run with the antelope or should I say, "the antelope whizzed past". Sure was wishing I could be an antelope.... what a fast fast animal!- Average pace (8:17)

Monday, August 17th- 5 miles again with very little pain. I'm keeping the KT tape on for a while longer. My average pace (8:16) was quite a bit faster than before I took 2 1/2 weeks off. Either the pool running made me stronger or it just feels so good to be back at running that I'm pushing it a lot harder.

Now, the question is how fast can I increase my mileage after taking time off?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


For the past week I have followed my chiro's orders and I have NOT been running. No pool running, no biking... nothing! My IT bands are full of scar tissue, both of them.

I had my followup visit yesterday and he suggested I try running again today.

The first mile was exhilarating and then BAM... more annoying knee pain! I will continue treatments, ART and Graston until we get this worked out. I will continue icing and wishful thinking. Lets be honest here... I will be PRAYING for a quick recovery because time is running out. The marathon is less than two months away.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


My running the past 10 days has pretty much been non-existent. After my 16 miler I went out for an easy 2 miler only to discover my ITBS problem is back. I attempted speed work a few days later in which the planned 7 miles turned into 4.

Determined to run my scheduled 18 miler the following Saturday, I ran through 10 miles of PAIN for a total of 11 miles. Yes, only the 1st mile was without pain. I thought I could just run through the pain but apparently it isn't so. By the time I got to 11 miles, I was barely walking.

The past 10 days I've taken to pool running. I purchased the Speedo jog belt where I've hit the deep end to continue with some kind of non-impact training. It's been kind of fun training in the water but not road running pain free is real depressing.
My Chiro has been using the Graston technique on my IT Bands. Yes, both of them are hurting now. Last week I came home with giant bruises along the band of tissue on each leg. Now that the bruises are mostly healed I am going back. Is that crazy or what?
I took a trial run this morning and was pain free for nearly 2 miles. This is good news! I am healing but with my scheduled 1/2 marathon this Saturday there is just no way to be 100% better. Today I will find out if a cortisone shot is an option.
To top it off, last week when I went to donate blood I found out my hematocrit was low. Likely, my iron level is down and I'm feeling it. Whatever happened to being invincible?

Friday, July 17, 2009

16 Miler, CHECK!

I decided to move my long run up a day since tomorrow I'm acting as the "athletic supporter" for one of our favorite races. Stock, Carl, & Hammer are running a 4.7 miler around the local reservoir.

I wanted to get out and running by 5:00 am but I underestimated how long it takes to get ready for a long run. Also, I spent way too much time looking for my ipod which was missing from ITS' place. I couldn't find it (brain doesn't work that early in the morning) so I set out for my 16 miler in a bad mood. About 1/2 mile into my run it came to me quite clearly exactly where I left the ipod last time I used it. Come to find out I couldn't even place the blame on my 9 year old.... turned around, ran home. I found it sitting on the treadmill right where I left it during Thursday's awful 6 miler which took place on the treadmill while listening to two episodes of Signing Time. Talk about boring and painful! I haven't hit the mill since last march. On a good note I did learn a few new signs and I completed my tempo run.

Oh ya, back to the long run.... I hit the road again. Took a GU after an hour and a second one 45 minutes later. My legs were screaming off and on the whole way. That's normal right? I tried out my new headband from Bondiband.... LOVE it! Finished my last mile going up hill, 2 hours 33 minutes. Average pace 9:35, which is the same exact average pace that I ran my 14 miler two weeks ago.

Immediately took an ice bath, glutamine, and creatine. I feel pretty good and those 4 new blisters don't look to bad really. I still can't believe I did it, 16 miles, another mileage PR.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Workin' It

I'm a month into my marathon training program for St. George and it seems to be going good so far. I'm learning that there really is a purpose to every run and I'm careful not to cheat on any of my workouts. So, far I've completed long runs up to 14 miles which is the farthest I've ever ran. This Saturday is a 16 miler, yikes.. that makes me nervous!

Everyday is spent reading up on proper nutrition (thanks for the book Jen) and training tips. Carl has printed off several articles on the importance of running HILLS! Hills are suppose to make you faster and stronger. Last week I included hills into two of my workouts. One of the hills is over a mile long with a 6% grade. I made it to the top without stopping which was a first for me.

We finally got a bike trailer for Crew and he is addicted. Every spare minute is spent with him getting towed around. He LOVES it! Carl, Stock, and I have to take turns pulling him around because its so exhausting at some point.

Also, I'm starting Week 3 of the P.I.N.K workout. It's a great, short workout to add in at the end of the day or whenever I can squeeze it in. Well, with the running, biking, and strength training I'm feeling it. One thing I really need to work on is getting enough sleep:)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Wasatch Back 2009- Part 2

Look at how time flies! I wanted my Ragnar post filled with lots of fun details. Unfortunately, due to my crazy busy summer you might have better luck getting those details by reading from some of my teammates blogs HERE and HERE . There was so much excitement with our team which was simply amazing given we were all basically strangers as I mentioned previously. I'll just do a quick recap.

We didn't start until afternoon which for me was quite painful. I like to get up first thing in the morning and start my day with a run. My 6.7 miler from Millville to Hyrum would have been much more pleasant in the cool morning but sheesh... who's complaining:) Instead the temps were something closer to 90 degrees.

This picture of me is taken somewhere along Hollow Road in Nibley (Hyrum?) about a 1/2 mile after I decided to take a GU without water. The expression on my face doesn't clearly depict the excitement I was feeling at the sight of my fellow "Energizer Runnies" and their stash of WATER! I really need to work on smiling, don't I!
Jen from my neck of the woods is just as sweet in person as she is on her blog. I'm so glad I was finally able to meet her:) Jen's 1st run was through a beautiful part of Cache Valley. Rolling hills a herd of cattle, sprinklers, dust, hot sun... she experienced it all! Jen is one of our experienced runners having completed 3 marathons. Oh, and she makes scrumptious peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies of which I think I ate too many. Yum!

This is my friend, Cameo! We were neighbors and running partners almost 8 years ago. Cameo is someone I have always admired greatly and a great runner which is why I invited her to run the relay with us. Its been too many years since we've spent any time together. Cameo's 1st leg was up the Avon pass. Nearly 8 miles uphill and she didn't stop at all! Let me tell you- that is IMPRESSIVE!

Angie had the last leg in our van. She ran the last mile or so to the top of the Avon pass and then down awful terrain for 7 or so miles. The exact mileage is a little shady to me now that I've slept a night or two;) Whatever, she ROCKS! I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet Ang. I've been reading her blog for over a year and just love her humor and her drive. What a privilege it is to finally know her in person. Tall girl also had a killer uphill 8 mile run in the dark. She was the bomb... ran the whole thing without stopping.

This is Exchange #5! Carl was volunteering as a course manager for Exchanges 13 - 18. I took this picture so he could be glad he wasn't in charge of this exchange. Runners had to dodge the vehicles that were trying to follow their runner and others were trying to pull in or back out... it was conjestion to a tee.

Sarai (on the left) added a lot to the team. I loved her calm personality which was something that really helped me when I was nervous and anxious before a run. Sarai was the runner after me and I had the privilege to watch for her at the exchange points. Sarai's 2nd leg was probably her toughest. She had a long 8 miles uphill. The view was gorgeous. Once again she proved to be a stellar runner, tackling that hill without stopping. Also, Sarai was a great sport about wearing the bunny ears and beating that old Energizer drum. Loved it!

Tancy completed our team. I love this picture of her running her final leg through Heber(?). Look at that smile. She also had some really tough runs. At one exchange I missed her because she was so fast. We pulled up to the exchange a little late and as I jumped out of the suburban she came running across the parking lot with the slap bracelet. We exchanged the bracelet and I stumbled off in the dark totally unprepared for my run. Ahem. I can't tell you have grateful I was that she was totally forgiving and gracious about that mess up.

Here I am waiting for Tancy to come in. I'm waiting for her this time... aren't you proud of me? It was starting to drizzle at this point and I was just trying to stay warm. My last leg was a short 3.3 miler from Francis to Kamas. The cool, slightly wet temps were perfect. I ran this leg hard all the while trying to enjoy the scenery. There is such a rush for me running in new territory.
The farmland through this part of the race made me feel right at home. This is my final leg and at this point I am completely amazed and grateful that I was able to run pain free for the first time in almost two months. I've really been struggling with my ITband. I've been to two different chiropractors many times, iced, taped and stretched. The most painful of all was the fact that I had to drastically reduce my mileage just a month before this race. I would have liked to do so much better but with everything thats been going on phycially I need to remember to be grateful that I was still able to participate. This was definitely an opportunity that I'm glad I didn't miss. ;
A cheer for Van #1! We've all completed our "legs", feeling good, feeling happy and accomplished... oh, and tired;)

There is so much more to the story... Here are a few of my highlights

                • tripping over a pothole while trying to turn on my shuffle in the dark, twisting my ankle and a little problem with my bladder.

                • sleeping in the suburban by myself and accidently turning on the car alarm which disturbed a parking lot of sleeping runners

                • Dry heaving at the smell of the high shool gymnasium

                • waking up with an upset stomach which was cured with a little Diet Coke

                • no moon, glow bracelets, sparkers, lots of stars

                • running a couple blocks with my mom and my nephew

                • seeing Carl during his volunteer shift

                • NEW FRIENDS>

                Thursday, June 25, 2009

                Energizer Runnies

                It's been a good 5 days since I participated in Utah's Ragnar Relay. Normally, I would rush right to my computer eager to document the event but this time I've wanted to cherish the experience for a little longer. The experience is mine to hold onto.... it has left me completely speechless and only through my little heart can I even begin to share it with you. I've read the race reports of several teammates which have made me laugh hard and cry at the same time. Don't you love that feeling:)
                I first heard about the Wasatch Back just over a year ago and I decided then that if I ever had the opportunity to participate I would surely jump at the chance. Because the little people in my computer are as real to me as my next door neighbor, I didn't hesitate when a group of mommy bloggers decided to form a team for the relay. Over six months ago, I paid my money and signed up to join a group of women runners who I had never met. All winter long I trained to run my spring half marathons but each and every time I ran I had the "Wasatch Back" in the "back" of my mind and boy was I excited!
                Before the team was finalized I reconnected with a very dear friend and invited her to join in the fun. Much to my dismay she agreed which made me very happy..... I know, I know.... sometimes I really surprise myself...realizing I do in fact have Real Life Friends (RLF). Ha ha!

                As the time for the race approached we organized everything via Internet. Details like food and leg assignments had to be divided up and at the last minute we decided van decorations and costumes were needed.
                Friday morning came and I was a little nervous to meet these women. When we met together for brunch and threw together our decor it didn't take long for me to feel at ease. I met Sarai, Jen, Tancy, Angie and reunited with my friend Cameo. You know, sometimes I have those moments when I realize that even though life is freakin' difficult and I struggle, I am EQUALLY blessed by the people who come into my life. Honestly, I can't explain how inspired and impressed I was with these new friends. Truly, they are amazing women and I can't fathom how lucky I was to get matched up with the five of them.

                Over the next 30 hours and 2 minutes we learned quite a bit about each other and I'm quite certain that ALL of them know a tad bit more about me than they would like to;)

                ** to be continued