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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Three Things Thursday

So I'm having one of those days when everyone and everything just annoys the crap out of me. Do you ever have those days? Please tell me I'm not alone in my crazy. I'm thinking a trip to Wal-Mart first thing in the morning wasn't the best way to start things off, but it just kept going after that. I'm hoping writing this and then reading some of your blogs will rid me of my annoyance. Now on to my three things:

  1. If you are reading this in your Reader and you have a minute to spare, click on over and check out my blog's new look. I got rid of the black background, which I actually threw on here around Halloween and just never got around to changing. So let me know what you think. I was going for something simpler and easier on the eyes.

  2. Yesterday I did hill intervals on the treadmill. I haven't really done a lot of "hill" runs, but my October marathon has a few so there's no time like the present to start preparing my legs. I did 7 intervals, 2:00 each, 9:40 pace, incline between 4-6%. I don't really know what I am doing, so if you ever do hills on the treadmill, let me know what you do.

  3. My biggest little midge turned four last month, and I got her "4-year pictures" back this week. I know I am her mom and am extremely biased and it is cheesy and whatever, but she is an amazing little person.

RUN: I started watching Spirit of the Marathon. So far, so good!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two Things Tuesday

This post is not running-related, but I have two things I need to throw out there to all of you in my bloggy world and hopefully you will throw something back, specifically your opinions.
  1. I added a poll to my sidebar. Someone mentioned it is hard to read my blog because of the black background. Let me know what you think!
  2. I am working with a client that is a photographer. What are the things you look for in the photographer you choose to have document the important moments in your life? What would sell you on one photographer over another? Why would you pay more for one over another?

RUN: I have a lot of safety pins.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hurricane Half 5K Race Report

For being a 5K race, I have thought about so many things I want to include in my race report. Hopefully I will remember them all now that I have time to sit down and try to organize my thoughts.

Because the race was in Hurricane, which is a little over three hours from my house, we went down the night before. My girls and my awesome, beautiful, super-fun cousin went down with me. We got there late Friday night and pretty much went straight to bed. Our hotel was in St. George, which is about a 30 minute drive from Hurricane. Because we got there late on Friday, I had to pick up my packet before the race and wasn't sure how much time to allow for that. I knew the bus to the starting line left at 6:00, so I set my alarm for 4:30. As usual on the night before a race, I woke up several times. One of those times was at 4:20, so I turned off the alarm and got ready. I left the three sleeping girls and headed to the race.

I was one of the first people there, so I picked up my packet and then hung out it my car to keep warm. I checked my email and read all your encouraging and luck-filled comments. Thanks for that by the way!

After I saw the half marathon buses pull away, I headed inside the building where I had picked up my packet and went potty (three times). The buses finally loaded just after 6:00 and took us to the start, which was also the last part of the half marathon. There was one port-a-potty, so I got in line. I know from experience that it is NOT FUN to run a race when you feel like you need to go, so I like make sure I am running on empty. After that last potty stop, I slowly ran a little and stretched to warm up. There were about 200 runners, so when they announced they would be starting in two minutes, I made my way to the actual starting line. Because they didn't have chip timing, I wanted my time to be as accurate as possible (typing that actually made me laugh, but I'll get to that).

After three failed attempts to shoot the gun on "go" (of "ready, set, go"), they finally got the gun to go off. I started the G-man and ran. My legs felt strong, my calves were happy, my knees were cooperating. It was all good until I got to the marker that showed we had three miles to go and realized I had gone well over 1/4 mile already. Huh?

At each mile marker, my watch showed I was about 1/4 mile off. I tried not to think about it and just ran. Most of the race I was alone. There were less than a dozen people in front of me and only two people passed me the entire time. It was weird for me. When I glanced down and saw my watch pass my 26:00 goal time, I was a little discouraged ... until I realized the miles were past the 3.1 point. I stayed strong though and crossed the finish at 27:49.

After crossing the finish, I asked the race director about the distance and verified that the course was exactly 1/4 mile long (which was also confirmed by several Garmins that were next to me at the starting line). The race people measured the course on Google Maps and apparently no one took the time to verify that it was correct. So according to the race info, I ran the "5K" in 27:49. But I'm going with the more official stats from the G-man:

3.35 miles

It was frustrating to see the 27 in my final time when I was trying to PR and after seeing my pace on my watch consistently between 8:00-8:30 throughout the race. I tried to figure out what my time was at the 3.1 mark but gave up trying after spending way too much time on the computer wandering around my Garmin's graphs and stats. If you know how to do that, PLEASE share.

And did I mention, I took 2nd in my age group?!? I know there were only 200 runners and it might be the only time I ever get a medal for an age group win, but I was still pretty stinkin' excited!

Silver for Second Place. Yay me!

RUN: I remember my legs being SO SORE after my last 5K (in 2007). My legs hardly knew they put in that extra effort the day after this race. That is just one of the things that reminds me how far I've come.

Friday, April 23, 2010

5K Here I Come

Tomorrow I am running the Hurricane Half 5K, and I am already feeling the butterflies. I ran my last 5K almost three years ago, not long after I started running. My time was 31:20. Tomorrow should easily be a PR, but I want more than that. I want something that I will have to work to beat in future 5Ks.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend and those running everywhere!

RUN: My calves have been unusually sore. Wondering if it is from pushing my girls in the double jogger.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I'm exhausted. Mentally.

Physically, I am doing pretty good. In fact, my running is the one thing keeping me going mentally. Running gives me that little endorphin kick that puts me back in action mentally.

I actually decided to write a quick post as a "break" from everything else. I pushed aside my guilt about being so far behind on blog reading and on writing blog posts for my family blog because writing this would result in a shorter break than attempting either of those things. I haven't been totally out of the blogging world lately, but I haven't left comments because I haven't yet found a magical way to leave comments through Google Reader without having to open each individual blog (please tell me if you know of such magic). I will admit I am ridiculously behind though. My apologies to your 804 unread posts in my Reader. I appreciate you reading my blog in spite of the fact that I have been so delinquent when it comes to reading yours. I will get there eventually, I promise.

In the meantime, I have made a decision about my marathon. I will not be running it. No, not even attempting a run/walk. Although my knees have been much better lately, I have decided a marathon with a lot of downhill is not the right thing right now. Especially since I don't feel prepared otherwise. As I considered my options, there was no way I would get to the race with any runs longer than 16 miles under my belt, and that just wasn't going to cut it. I will go pick up my number and my shirt, but I won't be joining the other runners at the starting line. I have tried contacting someone about volunteering or other options, but no one ever calls me back. So not running it is the way it will go down.

With that decision made, I can now looking forward to what is ahead for me and running. I added a new race to my schedule, the Utah Valley Half Marathon on June 12. I think it is the perfect timing and distance for where I am right now. I am really excited to run it, partly because my cousin is running it too. I also talked to the race director, and his insight made me even more excited. But I'll save that for another post.

RUN: I can't figure out why I get blisters over and over again on the bottom of my foot where the arrow is pointing in this picture:

Saturday, April 17, 2010


My four-year-old recently told me: "Mom, I want farkles."

First, farkles = freckles. Second, I think she got the idea from a recent episode of Sesame Street in which Abby Cadabby's freckles become sparkle freckles.

I'm sure my midge was disappointed and may have even thought I am a "mean mom" (her new favorite thing to tell me) when I told her I'm sorry but it is my job to do my best at keeping her from getting freckles (someday she'll thank me, right?). She has one little freckle on her foot, so she'll just have to be happy with that.

I think I'm doing a pretty good job in the freckle prevention area. My girls left Hawaii just as white as they arrived. My baby has such pale skin (I call it porcelain because it just sounds better) that when I put a pale pink and cream striped bathing suit on her, my hubby said he couldn't tell where her skin ended and the suit began. When I put sunscreen on my girls before our run today, my oldest midge didn't bat an eye. She just stood there and waited until I was finished. My little one squealed for a second then gave up and went limp until the ordeal was over. My oldest midge freaks out if we go anywhere outside and she doesn't have sunscreen on. I have sunscreen at home, in the swimming bag, in the glove box and in my diaper bag.

My hubby calls me "The Sunscreen Nazi."

I take pride in the name. I haven't always been this way though. The millions of freckles on my back and shoulders are proof. It wasn't until I got older and wiser that I started buying sunscreen in bulk. I once believed I looked thinner with a tan. Now I believe I look thinner when I look thinner.

I guess my point here is that I hope you all remember to lather on the sunscreen. It seems kind of contradictory to get out there and run in an effort to be healthy without it. I'll get off my sunscreen soapbox now.

Like I mentioned above, I went for a run with my girls today, 6.56 miles pushing the double jogger. We broke it up with a stop at a park about halfway.

I planned on seven miles, but apparently the road that runs next to the trail (where I predetermined our route) is a little longer than the trail. It was so nice to be outside and my girls loved it. In fact, the only reason I attempted a run this long with them (my longest jogger run yet) was because they were so happy during the 3.5 miles we ran together yesterday.

RUN: Whenever the G-man would beep, hearing: "Mom, what is your watch telling you now?"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I finally made it to 100 posts. It took me almost a year, but I did it. To celebrate, I decided to let you guide how this post would go by answering your questions. Here are the answers to most of the questions I received. There were two questions that I just couldn't answer in a few sentences, so I decided to answer them individually in later posts. So Jesse's and Lauren's answers are still to come.

Shannon said...
If you could change one physical thing about yourself, what would it be?
I first put I would change the weird area above my belly button on my stomach, but I realized I would change my entire midsection overnight if I could. I would love to have a tight little six pack and none of that extra stuff hanging around my waist. In fact, I decided yesterday that a nice set of abs is what I'm giving myself for my birthday. I have six months to get it. Luckily the one physical thing I would change is something I can get without surgery.

On a rainy day, what would we find you doing?:)
What I would love to do on a rainy day is read for hours on end. If it's a warm rainy day, a run would be perfect. But with two little girls, those things rarely happen. Rainy days are pretty much like every other day at our house.

April said...
What is the hardest thing you have ever had to do?
Be a mom. It is the best but hardest thing I have ever done. Making the decision to become a mom is not something I took lightly. And my husband would tell you I am really hard on myself as a mom. I have the amazing opportunity to be home with my girls, and I feel I owe it to my girls, to their dad, and to myself to do the best job possible. There are many nights I lay in bed obsessing about things I wish I had done differently that day. While there are obviously some wrong ways to be a parent, unfortunately there isn't a perfect or right way to be a parent. It is a day-to-day learning experience, and I just hope I am doing more right than wrong and that the women my girls become will reflect that.

misszippy said...
What kind of writing do you do?
I used to write mostly entertainment and fitness articles; I have also contributed to books about sports and relationships. After being the editor of a construction publication for several years, I started doing more construction writing. I edit all types of material, from books to articles to PR materials.

Suzy said...
Best run?
My last race, the Spectrum 10K. I met my goal and felt the best I ever have during and after the race!

Fun run?
I don't hang around very long after any of my races, so the ones that stand out are purely because the run was fun. I ran the Freedom Festival 5K one year and the 10K another year, and both of those were a lot of fun because you run along the same route where the 4th of July parade will be held immediately following the race so there are a TON of spectators cheering on the runners.

Salt or sugar?
Both. I like something sweet after I eat, ideally something baked that has frosting on it. I'm not a big candy person though. I can go for salty almost anytime. I could live on chips and homemade salsa.

Do you have a vice?
Procrastination. I put things off. Some of my best work is done when I'm under pressure or pushing a deadline though, so I don't think that vice is going anywhere too soon. With running, my procrastination solution is always having a race on the calendar.

Group or solo runner?
Solo, although I love races because of the feeling of running with a group of people with a common goal. Also the one run I did with a group (and Alicia) was awesome. Solo is more a matter of circumstance.

Do you listen to music while you run?
Yes. I especially can't imagine doing speedwork without it. I even listen to music while I have the (muted) TV on sometimes when running on the treadmill because the music is more motivating than anything on TV. I almost didn't sign up for a race once because the rules said iPods were not permitted.

What kind of music?
A little of everything. Except rap.

What exercise don't you like?
Organized sports with balls. I am afraid of getting hit by the ball.

Favorite magazine?
I used to subscribe to about eight different magazines. Now I just read Runners World (of course) and Entertainment Weekly.

Alicia said...
What is your proudest moment?
The moment my first daughter was born and I became a mom.

Sunflower Kisses said...
Best run?
(See Suzy's question)

Proudest running moment?
The first time I saw my hubby and girls during a race.

Disappointed running moment?
Having to walk so much during the last part of my marathon because of my knees.

What do you do to fight disappointment?
I vent on my blog and get feedback and encouragement from amazing runners who know what I am going through or who know exactly what I need to hear.

Any running-related injuries?
My knees: ITB issues in the left and tendonitis in the right.

Michelle said...
Proudest moment?
(See response to Alicia)

Any vices?
(See response to Suzy)

Favorite running gear?
My Garmin and my iPod. I haven't found any clothes I can't live without.

Favorite thing to eat after a run?
Anything over four miles ends with chocolate milk (although technically that is a drink).

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...
How much money can writers truly make? Just curious??
If you are Stephen King, you make a butt-ton of money. If you are Runner Barbie, you make considerably less. However, the point of this post is honesty so I'll be more specific. I can't tell you what butt-ton translates to in dollars, but I can tell you what this writer makes. For smaller editing projects, I typically charge around $35/hr. For writing projects, I charge between $0.50-$1.00/word depending on the client, type of work, research involved, etc. I also do work as a project editor, where I manage content gathering, organization, editing and sometimes writing; for those I get $1000-$1500 per project.

I work on a project-by-project basis, and I am lucky to get to pick and choose what I do and how much I take on. My husband goes above and beyond as the bread winner in our home so I don't have to work; I GET to work.

RUN: The place I get the sweatiest when I run is under the cross straps I wear below my knees. I actually had sweat running down my calves yesterday.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Need a Bigger Plate

My eyes have been bigger than my stomach lately when it comes to the amount of work projects on my schedule. As a result, I haven't been blogging as much as I would like. I have been running though, and I always come up with one or two things I want to blog about while running. You should be getting some good posts down the road a little, so don't wander off too far.

My most recent run was five miles while my girls napped today. I felt a little guilty ignoring the work I should have been doing while I had some quiet time and even more guilty when I let work calls go to voicemail, but the guilt was worth it when I stepped off the treadmill. Here are the stats from my tempo run:

  • 2 miles @ 10:00 pace
  • 1 mile @ 9:22 pace
  • 1 mile @ 8:49 pace
  • 1 mile@ 8:20 pace
  • Total: 5 miles in 46:32

Another thing that kept me from feeling too guilty was wearing new shorts. Get Fit Athletic Wear, a local running store that has the BEST selection of actual running apparel around here, was having an amazing deal. You got $25 off any purchase of $50 or more. So I bought these and then wore them on my run:

I L-O-V-E them. They are Saucony Run Lux Shorts.

Until today, I only had one pair of running shorts and they bunch up between my legs when I run so I only wear them on shorter treadmill runs. I have been looking for the perfect pair of shorts, and I'm pretty sure I found them. The Sauconys are so soft and light and they didn't ride up between my thighs at all, even without Glide! I will be buying additional colors soon. I also got a matching tank and a white Asics shirt that was 40% off. It was a happy running day indeed.

If I love the tank as much as the shorts, that just might be the outfit for my next race. And that race is next Saturday (the 24th). It is a 5K, my first since 2007. I'm pretty sure I can PR, but I will go into more detail about my goals in a post closer to race day.

You may notice the Hurricane Half Marathon on my list of races changed to the Hurricane Half 5K. Because it is a Runner Series race that will get me into the St. George Marathon without depending on the lottery, I need this race. With my knee pain popping up too often between five and seven miles into my runs, I didn't want to have knee pain and end up walking half of the 13.1 just so I could finish so I decided to play it a little safer with the 5K. I am actually really excited because it has been so long since my last 5K; I'm hoping to find out how much I have improved since I started running.

Now I'm off to spend some quality time with my girls before they head to bed. Check back later this week for post #100!

RUN: Grape Pomegranate Carb BOOM Energy Gel. YUM!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Three Things Thursday

It's Thursday, although I actually had to consult the date on my computer to verify it. I have been off a day all week for some reason. Anyhow, here's the latest...

  1. I've had two five milers this week so far. One was a 5/1 (minute) run/walk. It wasn't too bad. I think the run/walk thing is edging its way to the top of the marathon solution board. Last night's five miles were speedwork: 1 mile warm, 5 x 800 @ 8:34 pace with 400 recoveries, 1/2 mile cool. There's another five on the plan for tonight.
  2. I'm not a huge fan of American Idol. I've never watched it faithfully. When I have watched, it was almost always while I running. Last night I tuned in hoping the music would help pass the time. Since it was a results show, there wasn't as much music as I would have liked, but it was worth watching just for Jason Derulo's performance. Not just the song though; his whole performance was entertaining. If you have three and a half minutes, click the link and watch it.
  3. I resorted to a Three Things Thursday list today because I need to finish my taxes. They have been almost done for two weeks. Today is the day I'm going to get them done. Right now in fact.

RUN: Jason Derulo's In My Head. If it's not on your playlist, add it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Under Pressure

You guys really stepped up and gave me some great advice after my last post. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am still not sure what I am going to do about my race next month, but I have a lot of great suggestions and ideas I am now considering. What I do know is I am going to keep running as much as my body will happily allow. I'm even going to try another "long" run on Saturday. I will keep you posted as the runs progress and the weeks pass.

One of the suggestions I have taken into consideration is to run/walk it. My first reaction was no way am I going to walk. Then I started thinking it might not be the worst idea there is. So I tested it out with a four mile run last week. I ran 4 minutes, walked 1 minute for the entire run. My time was 40:13, which was hard to see but wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. It took a real effort to focus on the time rather than the distance for the entire run. I usually cover the treadmill display to help the time pass but couldn't because I had to be able to see when to walk and when to start running again. I did my walk minutes at a 12:45-13:00 min pace. I didn't like slowing down too much because I didn't want to lose my momentum. I'm going to try another run/walk effort on a five mile run this week and see how it goes.

I also want to let you know that I finally had a little extra time last night to catch up on many of your blogs but I got an error message whenever I tried to comment so just know I enjoyed reading about your 10 hilly miles, your Easter morning runs, your bike rides with your wives, your tapers, your vacations, your colds and allergies, and on and on.

And before I go, I just want to remind you this is your chance to ask me anything. Only two more posts to go and then you will get your answers.

RUN: When Queen's Under Pressure came on the iPod, partly because the song is awesome but also because the beginning always reminds me of Vanilla Ice.
(This is my cheesy new addition to the blog. I'm going to start sharing something that stood out during my most recent run.)

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