Monday, December 17, 2012

Brooks ID 2013

This weekend I received an email that I have been selected to be a part of the 
Brooks Inspire Daily program!!! <Insert HUGE Smile>


I am 100% honored to have the opportunity work with such an amazing company!!

Excited to RUN HAPPY with BROOKS in 2013!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tucson Half Marathon Race Report

Tucson Half Marathon

Great way to end the 2012 season - PR!!!!  After Top of Utah 26.2, I took some needed 'easy' training which didn't leave much time for a nice build/specific training for this race.  Went into this race with these goals:

  • #1 'make it hurt' and pace the race smart
  • A+ goal Sub 1:30

Pre-race they bused us up to the start line.  We had about an hour and a half to kill so I stood with everyone around the warmers.  I wanted to get in a 10-15 minute warm-up; but it was pitch black.  I seem to trip very easily as of late, so I decided it was not worth the risk:) I did do a bunch of drills

This is a smaller race – 1219 finishers for the half, so it was fun to get to start up front with the fast runners. Teresa and I decided the first 3 miles I'd keep my HR in zone 4 and then go for it! With that in mind I took off. 

Miles 1-5 Lose most your elevation in these miles. I felt wonderful, never felt like I was overworking it, and legs were turning over quick!

6:45, 6:42, 6:44, 6:39, 6:45(Took Gel)

Miles 6-10 still losing elevation but with some ups (These don't seem significant when you are driving the course but running it you feel the up’s) I always write BTM on my hand before a race but a running friend who's been helping me had told me to write FOCUS and that every time I looked at it he would be pushing me. I looked at that word a lot throughout these miles and kept telling myself not to let the pace slow.   

6:37(New 10K PR), 6:47, 6:54(little climb here, at top I remember this was where legs started to hurt) 6:52, 6:51

Miles 11 – 13.1 only significant climbs on the course in these miles.  Saw my dad right before mile 11 was was a great boost!! The climb behind the mall looks daunting; but pump the arms and lift the knees and you get up it quick. Last stretch to finish line is on an incline as well.

6:45 (took ½ Gel to get ready for climb) 7:04 (Hill), 6:49, 6:09 


6:47 avg pace

173 avg HR

**Didn’t end up taking in any liquids… I was worried if I slowed to drink I’d have a hard time getting back into the pace I was running.  It was cool enough and I had taken Hammer Electrolytes tables the week prior 

After the race I saw Hillary and talked to her for a minute. 
Super freaking nice person and full of energy – love that!

Couple race details:
-         They ran out of small shirts so I’d hit the expo early.
-         Take one of the last buses so you are not waiting around for so long
-         Awesome volunteers!  
-         Not huge support on the course from the public if that is your sort of thing… it is beautiful though
-         Bit of a traffic mess after the race...police were unsure which roads were closed/etc… I wouldn’t park at the school
-         Take the drive to the top of Mt Lemmon… beautiful up there!

The body and mind continues to amaze me and I plan on continuing to push it!!!! 

Already 22 weeks out from STG 70.3!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

2weeks out + Catchup by Photo

Quick little catchup

 Spending time on my new bike 
that I am in freaking 
love with

Training for Tucson Half (2 weeks out) that I have a 'big' goal for:

 Learning to Man UP

                      Happy Legs                                                         Tripping in the dark

Adding strength sessions in the gym to build me some muscles :D
- Upper body = pull myself through the water faster
- Lower body = stronger legs = faster runner/biker
- Core strength ---->>> one day hope to have Coach T's Abs :)


Focus on swim.  
Finally seeing some significant improvements.

Making myself learn how to REST in off season and not liking it one bit :) 
A rested body = super fantastic 2013 performance.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Moab Race Pacing & Rocky....

First things first

Let me introduce…


 :) More to come on him

I had my first experience being a pacer this weekend at the
 Moab Other Half Marathon.

First let me say…
I am very introverted
Very shy
A little awkward around others

SO that being said…. Not only was I nervous to pace the correct time at this race; but, I had to step out of my comfort zone and interact with people I didn’t know (Tragic :D)

I learned pacing is hard, no matter what the pace.  I was running the 1:50 group, an ‘easy’ pace for me, and still found it difficult.  When you are lining up for the race, people come up to you and share their pre-race nerves and PR goals; seeming to pass some of that goal responsibility off to you. LOVED this. Loved being able to encourage them and share in that excitement.   

From the start until about mile 5, I had a large group with me.  I probably checked my Garmin 587.893 million times to make sure I wasn’t running too fast or too slow.  We were given pace bands that took into account all the hills, which was super helpful.  The first half of the race is rolling/down hill and spirits were high.  Then everyone seemed to disappear, except for 5 people - 4 who made it with me from start to finish, and 1 we picked up along the way.  This is where the awesome headwinds and fun hills showed up. 

Every time we would approach a hill I would tell them we are going to OWN this hill and up we went. It made me nervous to hearing their breath start to get heavier and heavier. I would say each of their names and tell them how strong and awesome they looked. Towards the end I would run ahead when I saw an aid station and grab water’s and get the GU’s I had stored in my shirt!  I had never run this course before, and they kept asking is this the last hill…. Um YES (last hill for now anyways ;)) POWER UP it. One guy started complaining about the head wind – CHARGE THROUGH IT MAN, you so got this.  

The top of last hill is at mile 11 and you can see all the way down to the finishing area. So funny how the attitudes changed - no more complaining about hills or wind! The last mile I told them to go ahead of me and kill it. I literally screamed at them to push it until they couldn’t hear me anymore. 
1:49:46, 14sec. too fast.
That feeling from a PR is hard to surpass. It was amazing to be able to share this feeling with these finishers. After the race I loved getting hugs from them and sharing in the excitement of exceeding their original 1:50 goal.  ALL 5 of them came in ahead of time.

Sitting in the finishing area, waiting for the other pacers I realized I really needed this race…

***Sometimes I need to force myself out of my comfort zone to experience times like these.  Most people don’t ‘get’ it, but it is HARD for an introverted person to engage in social settings.  Solitude is what feels ‘right.’  Forcing myself to step away from that, I met some awesome new friends and glad to have done so.
***Race settings always remind me why I decided to change my life around and STAY healthy.  After the past couple of weeks, this was defiantly a needed reminder to freaking –  

If you ever get a chance to pace a race I highly suggest you do so. 
Incredible experience.   
I hope to continue. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mt. Nebo Triple Summit Report

Mt. Nebo
'Triple Crown Peaks'

Pointing to the Top
Mt. Nebo is the highest peak in Utah County/Wasatch Range, hitting an elevation of 11,928. 

September 30th 2012 my father and I decided hike the Nebo Triple Summit.  We drove to Nephi the night before so we could get an early start. 

Our plan was to traverse the triple crown peaks from South to North.

We started about a quarter of a mile before Andrew's Ridge Trailhead at 10 to 7am, elevation 6,471.  The morning was a perfect 47 degrees.  The trail leading up to the south peak is well defined and very steep.  The scenery in this area is absolutely stunning. 

We ascended through several switch-backs until we hit the top of Andrews Ridge.  Greeted with a sign directing us to take right.   

Once you get to the ridge line all three peaks are in clear view.  The trail to the South Peak was the easiest - not technical what-so-ever; but the elevation starts to get to you after passing 10,000 feet.  The temperature once on the ridgeline was changing from hot to freezing!

On South Peak looking to the next two to summit
Summited South Peak and time to move to the middle peak.  We traveled along the west side of the ridgeline... This is where I started to get a little nervous :) There were not many large rocks to scramble around, but from the south summit to the north summit, there were steep scree-covered slopes to ascend/descend.

(Moving your way to the top of #2, look for a cairn which marks the safest way to reach the top) 

 From the top of middle peak we again headed west of the ridgeline to make our final assent to North peak

On top of Middle Peak - looking at North Peak

Finally made it to the top of #3.  Saw some other hikers.  Had a little break for fuel, pictures, and to write in the log book.  Views were amazing.  

The decent from North Peak down to Wolf Pass again was not very technical, but steep and more of the sharp slate rocks.  At this point the sharp rocks were being felt by the bottoms of my feet.

Worked our way down to the North Peak Trailhead (Monument Trailhead). 

At this point we walked on the actual road for about .25 of a mile, then dropped down into Salt Creek Trail to make our final descending loop back to the car.

Salt Creek Trail is very well defined and gorgeous.  Full tree coverage, so it is not hot and there is sounds coming from the creek which you follow all the way down the trail.  I was very tired during this section so I didn't appreciate this section as much as I should have.   

Final Stats:
Miles: 19.58
Total Elevation Gain: 8150
Total Time: 12 Hr 10 min (includes lunch/breaks/etc)

** Suggestions:
- If you are attempting all 3, definitely start at South peak and work your way to North
- Start at the actual trail head (Andrews Ridge Trailhead)
- End your day with a full moon and drive through Payson Canyon - STUNNING in the fall

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Post-Marathon Recovery, and Looking Forward

Two weeks have passed since my last 'A' race of 2012. 

Two weeks of recovery = Not many hours scheduled in TP, low mileage, very low intensity, ornery mood… Post-Race Blues are NO Joke.   You come off a 'successful' race with such a high and built up energy in which you immediately want to channel into your next goal.  Suddenly, you have all this time on your hands that was once 100% focused on a goal race, but what your body needs to now focus on is : RECOVERY

I read an article that compared healing muscles in recovery to healing an open wound.  We have all experienced an open cut that seems to be healed, but you stretch it to far and it bursts back open.  The article explained the same goes for healing your muscles after a hard race.  Your body tells you, you feel better and are ready for more; but, these thoughts may be artificial.  I have had to keep reminding myself over and over that even though I feel fully healed - I need to give my body the appropriate amount of time to fully recover.

Teresa and I have the remaining 2012 and 2013 base plan set:

 Remainder of the year...
-Swim focus! 
-Build bike strength
-Race 13.1 either November/December

2013 Goals
-Qualify for Worlds 70.3
-'A' Races 
   *St George 70.3
   *Boise 70.3
   *Lake Stevens 70.3
-Qualify for Boston 2014 - I want to not only qualify put PR again at this distance

I was reading this blog the other day.... and loved this section:

“I have a strong desire to find what will break me physically, emotionally, and mentally. I want to know that deep, dark place where I really feel like I can’t go on and need to quit…. but then somehow power on… or can’t. I want to take my suffering to another level. I have never stood on the start line of a race or started a run or ride thinking I couldn’t complete the effort or filled with fear...I definitely have had some low spots in races and couldn’t go quite as fast as I wanted, but the thought of pulling the plug or having to quit has never crossed my mind.”

This really resonated with me as to what I want my 2013 to look like. I want to push hard and find my limits. My father and I were talking the other day about what it really means to find those limits. Finding those limits can mean 
blowing-up at a race...
feeling uncomfortable and scared... 
not reaching an extreme goal... 
tip-toeing the injury line...
but pushing to this point, pushing to step into this scary territory, is where I want to go!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Top Of Utah Race Report

Top of Utah Marathon 
'Third Times a Charm'


Overall 145
Gender 23
Division 4
**My Garmin read 26.45 @ 3:24:45 - I need to work on the tangents I guess??

Details/Picture overload....

Leading up to the race:
-         Increased carbs10g/body weight per T’s instruction – 3 days prior
-         Increased my Iron supplement – 1 week prior
-         Increased my fluid intake – 3 days prior
-         Took an electrolyte tablet – 1 week prior
-        Get min. of 8 hours of sleep each night – 1 week prior

Goals: Qualify for Boston
A+ Goal: Sub 3:30
A++ Goal: Sub 3:25
Secret super running goddesses’ Goal: 3:19

Uneventful. Bus ride up, I sat next to a super sweet girl from Oregon.
When we reached the start is was COLD.  Waited in (The SLOWEST) line
for the bathroom and then went into the warming tents. 10 minutes
before the start I took off my warm clothes except the gloves, took ½ a GU
and got in my corral.   

Nutrition Plan: 
- GU every 35/40 minutes (Ended up taking only 1/2-3/4 of each gel)
- Instead of all 1 flavor, took several different kinds so I wasn’t getting sick of
the taste
- Switch between sips of water/Gatorade every other Aid station (skipped li
 liquid at the first and very last aid station)
**This worked out perfect

Miles 1-12
8:01, 7:45, 7:36, 7:39, 7:47, 7:44
7:44, 7:38, 7:49, 7:51, 7:46, 7:44,

Uneventful miles throughout the canyon… usually those first miles I feel amazing and they go by incredibly fast.  Not the case today.  I was pretty cold until mile 5ish where I took off my gloves.  I saw a guy running that had the symbol of the company an Ex worked for… lets just say that lit the fire to get in the game and race ;)

This marathon is difficult to negative split because you have your entire elevation drop in the front half and the hills start towards the end.  T and I had planned starting the first miles at 8 then to hold 7:50-8’s until mile 22.  My heart rate was staying below 165 running in the 7:40-7:45ish range so I went with that until I was out of the canyon. I had written on my gloves START SLOW and had to keep looking at that.    

Mile 13-17
Coming out of the Canyon with Yellow Shirt Guy
7:40, 7:32, 7:40, 7:50, 7:44

Miles 13-14 someone turned on the wind and we had a nice tailwind for 2 miles!  Mile 14 was the first time you saw spectators and my dad was there! Whooo

I felt best during this section.  Flat section, spectators, energy was high.  Yellow Shirt Guy and I were playing off each other during these miles.  The first real ‘hill’ starts around mile 18 where he told me he couldn’t keep the pace so we parted ways.

Miles 18-21
7:50, 7:52, 7:58, 7:41
Hello Hills

Salt Lake 26.2 I hit my ‘wall’ at mile 18, so after I passed mile 18 without that dragging feeling I had the hugest smile on my face! I kept thinking, I got this… no wall for me today.  

My dad surprised me at mile 16, 19, and 21! He has never been throughout the course during a race before so this was wonderful! I high-fived him every time!

Mile 22 was where I told my dad, T told me to give all I had left so he yelled -- ‘SPEED UP’!!:D
He said the police man asked him why the hell would you tell her to speed up after 20 miles!?

Miles 22-26.45
7:34, 8:01, 7:46, 7:29, 7:37, 0.45 3:14 (7:15 pace)
These miles HURT.  

Mile 23 you climb your last hill (which seemed to never end) and that is where my HR escalated to the 180's and was starting to make me nervous.  I decided to stop look at my Garmin the rest of the race and push as hard as I could. 

A new friend told me 'you have to trick your mind into thinking you are capable of faster,' so that is what I concentrated on.  Turning the corner and look up the incline on Main Street was the most daunting section of the race for me.  I saw the 2:25 pacer and made it my goal to pass him - Done.  PUSHED to the end!

After I crossed the finish line, my stomach did not want anything to do with the post race food they had.  Gave my dad a huge hug and grabbed my ‘Boston’ gloves a friend had made and took my finishers photo with them. My legs started to cramp SO bad. Saw a stream that was going through the park and went and sat right in it! Whooo felt so.freaking.wonderful.  Teresa was the first person I wanted to call! I owe so much of my progress to her and wanted to let her know we did it!!

Went and checked out of our hotel and came back real quick for awards. Saw so many faces of Bloggers I stalk look up to.  I wish I would have went and introduced myself and talked to them… ‘Hi I’m Christie, I stalk your training blog. – Want to be friends?’ ;)

The day after T had me do a 30min walk which really loosened the legs up.  Soreness mostly in my butt!  Prior marathons my body has been incredibly sore for about 3-4 days post race… I feel pretty damn great today (Butt sore still)  Difference in this post-race, has been the lack of ability to sleep and the huge hunger appetite has not hit yet – I am sure it will!

Less than a year ago I could not imagine myself running paces in the 7’s during a marathon.  Who thought someone that never really participated in any athletic sports could really start to excel?  I realize excelling, and speed, and success is all relative - I definitely don't want to sound like I am bragging...there are SO many faster and on a completely different level than I.  I just know that I can get there. It is honestly amazing what your body can do, in such short amount of time, when you are determined enough to put in the work and dedication.  So cliché, but ANYTHING is possible 

Having an incredibly supportive dad and an amazing coach doesn’t hurt either ;)   

4:30 >>>> 4:06 >>>> 3:24….. Sub 3? I think YES!!!