Sunday, June 24, 2012

American Fork Canyon Half Marathon!

I found out on Thursday that I got into this race!  I was so excited because the course runs down American Fork Canyon, same as the Timpanogos Half Marathon, which I absolutely LOVED!!  This race was one of the best organized races that I've ever done.  From the packet pick-up to the finish area everything was perfect!  The volunteers were beyond helpful and you could tell that they were happy to be there, either that or they were very good actors!  I drove up with Holly, Jorge and Steph (my sister in law).  We got there early and were greeted by the best little bus greeter around.  We boarded the La Bus and were off in style.  We were lucky enough to sit in front of a very entertaining fella, he kept us laughing the entire drive up the canyon. 
Seems how we were so over eager to get to the race early we were rewarded with raffle tickets, they were for the first 600 people…I think!  We were also given these beautiful Mickey Mouse gloves...they were one size fits none but who cares, they got the job done.  I've never done a race where they handed out free gloves! Plus they look quite dashing with the cute race shirt ;) By the way, I washed those little beauties and they shrunk up to just the right size…I guess I’m glad I didn’t throw them during the run after all!

I won a free car wash to Super Sonic...yay!

The race started right on time and we were off.  My plan was to start with the 1:30 pacer, knowing that I would fall behind but hoping not to be passed by the 1:35 pacer.  I saw a gal from my kid’s dentist office and ran with her for a little while.  I LOVE running's the only time I can run somewhat fast.  So I went with it and went pretty fast those first few miles, my legs were numb and kind of weird for the first 5 miles.  I tried to look up my splits on my Garmin, Lou, but apparently I had it set to cycling so it's in mph.  I could be wrong but I don't think it was very accurate seems how it claims that my top speed was 128 mph.  Maybe that was when I was choking on my "mighty beans" (aka Jelly Belly Sports Beans).  I had finally caught up to a gal I had been chasing when I started choking on my blasted mighty bean.  I thought I was going to kill over.  Needless to say she got away and I think she may have been the one to snag the 1st place spot in my age group :( 

I also choked on my “Gin and Juice” (aka Energy Mix) I tell ya it's dangerous to drink/eat and run!!

As we came out of the canyon I could hear some men folk talking behind me and I worried that it could be the 1:35 pacer.  I was not going to look behind me I just continued to push it!  I was determined not to be passed by that darn pacer.  I tried to enjoy the scenery and I read all of the inspirational signs that were placed along the course.  Those signs really pushed me at times that I wanted to slow down.  I wish I could have gotten pictures of my 2 favorites.  One said something like, I run to prove to myself that I can do hard things.  And the other one said something about not setting limitations on ourselves.  I wish I could remember them but alas I cannot! 

This race was put on by Intermountain Healthcare and it was to benefit cancer:
Help us Fight Cancer 
We are here to race against cancer and help raise money that will benefit cancer patients in our community. We strive to promote living healthy lifestyles and encourage regular cancer screenings. We encourage our runners to "Race in Honor" of someone they know who has fought, or is fighting the battle against cancer. 
Patients in our community who need cancer treatments but cannot afford the full cost of care benefit from 100 percent of participants race fees supporting this cause.
Cancer isn't completely preventable, but you can protect your health by detecting cancer early. Cancer screening exams help ensure that any existing cancers are identified at their earliest, most treatable stages. We want to raise awareness about cancer treatment options and the support you can find right here in our community.

As I ran along reading the signs dedicated to cancer survivors and those who lost their fight with cancer I thought about all of the pain and suffering that others have to endure.  I figured that my suffering would be over in no time and that I could continue to push through.  Jake's dad and grandpa both have Lymphoma so I thought about them A LOT!  As I type this, I can think of many others that I know who have fought some sort of cancer.  I LOVE that this race supports cancer victims!

I ended up finishing in 1:33:10!  That is a PR for me, it was also good enough to earn me 2nd place in my age group!!  I got a fancy ribbon and everything :)

They had my beloved TruMoo at the finish, which some stranger felt the need to tell me!   Thank you random citizen :)  They even had a big french toast breakfast but I never feel like eating right after I run...unless it's my smoothie.  Plus, I knew it would be covered in cinnamon which I despise!! 

I'm so very grateful that I was able to do this great race!  I nearly forgot to mention that my race number was lucky number :)  I will get my sub 1:30 half marathon...just not today!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ragnar Wasatch Back 2012

I think I can actually say that I enjoyed Ragnar this year...last year I HATED it!!  We had quite the time filling our team, injury after injury and then of course those that just changed their minds.  I absolutely loved how our team ended up.  Jake and I were in van 1 with Holly, Jorge, Rachelle and Julie.  I didn't know Julie coming into this but man is she a hoot and she is CRAZY fast!!!  Rachelle kept me laughing, I loved being with such awesome, fast runners.  Of course it was a little hard knowing that I was by far the slowest runner in our van!! 

Jake hurt himself the week before but we still wanted him in our van.  Having him be the driver was nice but that meant we had to cover his legs.  My plan going into Ragnar was to do an ultra, 6 legs, the only problem was that I did not want to do his first leg, which was 7.6 VERY HARD miles.  That leg along with mine would have been 14.5 Hard miles in 90 degree weather, no thank you.  Luckily for me Rachelle was nice enough to do his 1st leg for me.

My first run was 6.88 Hard miles, it had a pretty steady climb but it wasn't steep.  I wouldn't call it a hard run, it was just really hot which made it hard, the course itself didn't seem hard to me though.  I did it in 53:02 with an average pace of 7:42.  8 kills!!  I only saw 8 runners on this leg and I killed them all!

Holly and I decided to do our night time runs together again this year.  We started with her run which was 8.4 Very Hard miles.  The only hard part was the first mile which took us 10:26, it was a very steep mountain and our legs felt weird starting out.  I started to feel pretty good but Holly was being very quiet which is very uncommon ;)  I asked her if she was okay and she said that her stomach was killing her.  She seemed to get worse and worse.  She wanted to throw up and I wanted to pee my pants.  We were running down hill which was making it very hard for me not to pee my pants.  Finally, Holly made me go off the side of the road and go in the bushes while she tried to throw up..aren't we quite the pair.  I still can't believe I did it but I did.  I felt much better even though I think I still whizzed all over myself.  I have not mastered the bushes yet ;)  Holly on the other hand felt horrible.  When we sent our team off we told them to go straight to Jorge's exchange and rest up.  We stopped at the next exchange where Holly decided that she had better call the team to pick her up.  I know exactly how she felt because I experieced it last was not fun.  She felt horrible for not finishing the night run with me but I actually enjoyed my run in the darkness of the night.  She did most of Jake's 2.8 Easy miles with me.  She told me to go ahead there at the end, I hesitated but decided to run to the team and have them go pick her up.  I'm not sure how many kills we had for these 2 legs, I think it was around 14 or so.  Holly kept a really good pace considering how she felt, she is my hero!

I ran through the exchange point to start my 4.9 Moderate miles.  I got 14 kills!  I stayed at a comfortable pace, I was afraid of bonking!  I remember looking at my watch at one point to see that I had already run 11 miles, what??  I was feeling good and just kept picking people off the course.  I was only scared for a minute when I saw glowing eyes looking at me!  Who knows what kind of wild beast it could have was probably just a cat!  My night runs equaled 16.1 miles.  My Garmin read 15.7 miles in 2:07:44 with an average pace of 8:08 minute miles.  I stopped my watch while we walked which is why there is .40 difference.  I hopped in the van and drank a TruMoo chocolate milk, I think TruMoo is what got me through this Ragnar experience.  I drank one after every run and I made myself eat quite a bit through out the day and night!

After our van finished up our runs we drove to the start of Holly's next run to get some sleep.  Jorge and Jake slept under the stars in sleeping bags, while us girls slept in the van.  I probably got 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours of sleep.  I couldn't get comfortable, my legs hurt and I couldn't make them happy.

My last run was the one I was most nervous about, how was I going to run 11 more miles???  Holly ran Jake's leg with me which was 3.3 Easy miles.  She started my 7.7 Very Hard mile leg with me but our team mates put the smack down after about 1 mile and made her get in the van.  I tried to keep a somewhat comfortable pace so that I could make it through.  After a nice downhill came an ugly 3.5 mile climb.  It was horrible and I thought it would NEVER end.  I got passed 2 times during this run but I got 78 kills!!!  I fought hard for those last couple of kills!  For you non-ragnarites a kill is when you pass someone!  I ended up doing 11 miles in 1:33:15 with an average pace of 8:28 min miles.  I'll proudly take my 8:28 pace, this run was HARD!!  I saw Jorge and tried hard not to cry, I seriously thought that this run would never end.  I passed off and walked into the crowd where I started crying.  Rachelle came and gave me a big hug and then Holly and Jake joined hug!!  Julie thought I had hurt myself but nope I was just emotional!!  My legs hurt pretty much everywhere and I was actually afraid that I had injured myself.  I stretched a tiny bit and then we were off to cheer for Jorge.

Our van was amazing, everyone (but me) ran super fast!!  As soon as our van finished Rachelle and Julie had to leave which brought great sadness to my heart.  Those 2 gals together crack me up!  At this point we were over the "sponge baths" and really wanted to shower but we didn't want to pay for it.  We found a river and believe it or not I sat in it!!  That is so out of my comfort zone...there are snakes in there for pete's sake! Oh, I nearly forgot that during my last run I almost stepped on an ALIVE snake...eeeeek!  It put a pep in my step for a minute.  So yes, I sat in the river for a good 5 or so minutes.  I did it more for my soreness than anything but it felt good to get some of that swass off ;)  We headed to the finish line to wait for our second van of misfit runners.

I will say that after this Ragnar experience I WOULD do it again.  I really loved this race!!  33.8 miles baby!!  I may have done it in an unconventional way but I did my ultra least in my own little crazy world I did!! I really wanted to get 2.2 more miles in so that I could get my 36 mile run in by my 36th birthday but Jake put the smack down.  Honestly, had I not felt injured I would have done it rather he liked it or not.  During Rachelle's last run I tried to run so I could see her finish and my leg said NO!!!  I had better not be injured or I am going to stomp on Jake's sore foot, just kidding!!!!

Van 2 seemed liked a fun group too!  Dave, Aimie and Trent are in our Ward and the other 3 people we just happened to stumble upon, they seemed awesome though!!  Thanks to everyone on our team for making it such a fun time!  And a special thanks for Jorge and Holly for being the team captain's, they were the best captain's a team could ask for!!

If this post didn't make any sense at all just remember that I am sleep deprived and my brain isn't quite working yet :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Utah Valley 1/2 Marathon!

Last week Holly called me and said that Jorge had a free entry into the Utah Valley Marathon.  She knew that I had no desire to do the full so they got me into the half.  I was so excited!!  Friday night Holly and Jorge had me and my kids over to carbo-load!  We had our usual pre-race meal: homemade pizza with whole wheat crust, turkey sausage, turkey pepperoni and LOTS of veggies.  It was delicious, then it was time for dessert...pizookies :)  Wow, they were delicious!  I felt properly loaded, I had the right outfit ;) sometimes the right outfit makes all the difference, come on you know it's true.  I figured if I couldn't run fast I should at least look fast :D

I woke up at 3:30 am and drove over to the Provo Towne Center mall to meet up with the other Stephanie Anderson, my SIL.  We boarded the buses, UTA buses none of this school bus business.  We sat in the very front and I am so glad we did, our bus driver was a hoot.  He was a little confused at first but I reassured him that I knew where we were going and I wouldn't let him get last year!!  We got about 3 miles down University Avenue when a lady came on his radio thingy and said for all marathon buses to head back to the garage.  He looked confused and said "Now!"  I was afraid he was going to listen so I said that she meant the FULL marathon buses.  Whew, that was a close one ;)  We got up to the starting line and some guy was trying to instruct our driver as to where to go next.  I couldn't hear everything he was saying but as we drove away the driver muttered "That was no help at all...I don't even know what a fog line is!!"  Steph and I busted up!

We thanked our little bus driver friend and headed to the Honey Buckets, we got in line for the MOTHER of all Honey Buckets, it was a port-a-potty suite.  After being in line for 20 minutes or so the gal in front of us turned around and thanked us for entertaining her.  I can't remember all that we were saying but whatever it was she appreciated it :)  I was so grateful to have Steph with me at the starting line.  We saw Janae and Billy and chatted with them for a few minutes, if they aren't the cutest couple in town then I don't know who is.  Steph went back to the back and I decided to start with the 1:35 pacer.  I kept up with the pacer until about mile 3 where he all of a sudden disappeared, I was confused until I looked up my splits...I went from a 7:15 mm to a 7:42 :/  There was a big hill and the wind was pushing against us.  I said going into the race that I was going to go with how I felt, not pushing it.  After all, I couldn't be the 2483 person to drop out of our Ragnar team ;)  I wanted to enjoy the race...not kill myself off! 

There were about 6 of us that kept playing leap frog.  I think I saw the same guy pass me 8 times yet I never remember passing him, weird!  I chatted with a guy I had met while working at 26.2 a few times throughout the race.  There was a little kid that ran by me for a while, I finally asked him how old he was and he said 12!  That is amazing, he did awesome!  He was like Kobe and as soon as I said how fast he was he zipped off and I never saw him again.

At mile 7 we came out of the canyon and I all of a sudden felt at home.  I run that road often and felt like I knew where the hills were, I knew where the CRAZY birds were and I knew how far I had until I was finished.  I was done playing leap frog and told myself that I wouldn't let any of the others pass me again and they didn't.

The volunteers were amazing!  Just a word to those who go out to cheer for family members...cheer for everyone :)  One of the runners kept getting the crowd to cheer and I LOVED it!  It doesn't do the runners any good to see a bunch of people standing around staring at them.  Stare and's fun!!  Even at the finish line people only seemed to be cheering for the one person they came out to watch.  That is one thing I loved about Boston people cheered for everyone.

I ended up finishing in 1:37:30 which I am okay with.  I know I could have done it faster but with how I have been feeling lately I'm just glad I finished.  I ended up placing 7th in my age group, 1 minute faster and I would have been in the top 5 and earned a plague :(

I loved how organized this race was, the expo was great, the finish area was awesome! 

After I finished I ran back to the mall to my car, zipped home, grabbed the kids, zipped back to the race and we cheered on runners as we waited for Jorge and Holly to finish the full!  This was Jorge's first marathon and he did amazing!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


For the past few weeks I have been feeling like I have meningitis ;) JK!  That's what I call it when I feel like this, I really don't even know what meningitis is but it sounds good!  I thought I just wasn't getting enough sleep or not eating right, I kept thinking up all sorts of things that could be causing me to feel like this.  Then I stumbled across an article about over training in Oxygen Magazine.  I have suffered from this in the past but for some reason I continually forget about it.  I tried to find the article online so I could share it with all of you wonderful people but it's not out there in internetland just yet.  So I did the old school thing a snapped a pic of it.  It is out of June 2012 Oxygen :)

Let's just say I have been experiencing most of the above mentioned symptoms :/

For some reason I have also been having a hard time eating enough on the mornings that I work.  I am so used to eating the same thing every morning to fuel my workouts that when I'm not working out I don't know what to eat.

I have tried with all of my might, mind and strength to take it easy but that is harder than it seems.  Yes, I do realize that I have a very warped mind but I truly do enjoy working out and pushing my body.  I also know that the amount of time I spend working out each week is a little abnormal.  I realize that I can't expect my body to lift weights for an hour plus each day and then run a minimum of 8 miles a day, (let's not forget the long run that is done every Saturday) without giving it a break every now and again.  Hello, my name is Stephanie Anderson and I am addicted to working out.  There, I feel much better.  I know I have a problem but if I have to have an addictive personality at least I am using it for good rather than evil ;) 

I did make a very good choice that I am quite proud of.  I was offered an entry into the Utah Valley Marathon and I was actually smart enough to turn it down and ask for an entry into the half marathon.  Thank you Jorge for the hook up!!!  All of my running buddies are doing the full and it is VERY hard for me to miss out on all the fun.  However I know what my body can handle right now and 26.2 miles isn't it.  I will be lucky to get 13.1 done.  I am so excited to be able to do this race, I am going into it as a training run rather than a chance to PR.   I want to be smart about my training and I DO NOT want an injury.  When your body is over trained you are at great risk for an thank you!

I hope no one else out there is over trained right now.  I wanted to do a post about it just in case some people are like me and forget that our bodies need a break every now and again!  Sometimes it's hard to scale back when you enjoy it so much.  Good luck to everyone running this weekend, if anyone is doing the half and would like to meet up for a bus ride let me know :)