Sunday, March 30, 2008

WRFDJ Vol. #1 Tunes Playlist

So, I FINALLY mailed off my favorite running tunes to the lucky winners of the drawing eons ago. I am so sorry it has taken so long! Life has gotten the better of me! But, you'll have them in time for SLC Marathon Day! So, for the winners, and anyone else who wants to run to some groovy songs, here is Jen's Running Playlist. Enjoy!

1. New Shoes, by Paolo Nutini
2. Smiley Faces, by Gnarls Barkley
3. Music Is My Hot Hot Sex, by CSS
4. Walking On Sunshine, by Katrina & The Waves
5. L.O.V.E., by Ashlee Simpson
6. You're the World to Me, by David Gray
7. Touch the Sky, by Kanye West
8. Let Go, by Imogen Heap
9. You Can't Stop the Beat, from Hairspray
10. That's What You Get, by Paramore
11. Hi, by Psapp
12. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, by Wham
13. You Are the One, by Shiny Toy Guns
14. A Little Bit More, by James Lidell
15. Now That We've Found Love, by Heavy D & The Boyz
16. Under Pressure, by David Bowie & Queen
17. Dancing On the Ceiling, by Lionel Richie
18. Goodbye Girl, by Squeeze
19. Someday Soon, by KT Tunstall

The CD you'll be getting in the mail is without playlist, so you'll have to get it from here. I hope these tunes keep you going the way they do me. What songs do you love to run to?

We can do this...

Like Kristie, I couldn't sleep at all on Friday. I knew that Saturday was going to be a big day. It seemed like I had just fallen asleep when I heard the buzzing of my alarm. I sat up in bed for a few seconds and let me feet hit the floor. I surprised myself that I didn't lay back down for even a second. I must've know how important this was. I had my clothes laid out and everything was ready to go. I made the apparently popular wheat toast and peanut butter for breakfast and headed out into the cool morning.

I was nervous.

A lot happened on our run. For the first time, I realized how much I needed the Lord at the most unexpected times. I honestly felt the nerves cease and my confidence soar as we asked Him to help us on our journey.

Second, I had a killer new playlist. I don't know how I did it, but my run went exactly along with the music and I was loving it.

We had to let Kimmie go- I watched the tears in her eyes felt her pain and frustration when she couldn't complete the run.

I felt my own tears- only they were tears of joy, hope, and anticipation as I realized how close we were to completing such a huge goal. Like Jen, I tried to imagine it was the big day and that each mile we completed was one mile closer to the finish line. I truly enjoyed myself on Saturday. Knee and ankle problems seem insignificant when I compare that pain to feeling like I can overcome anything.

This journey for me has been one of sacrifice, diligence, and overcoming obstacles. I'm so close now, and I can't wait to be able to share it with those that I love.

All downhill from here...

Wow! What a day! What a run! Like all of you I'm sure, I can't believe how many emotions I felt yesterday! All the emotions started in the wee hours of Saturday. I remember glancing at my clock, 12:32 a.m. I was so mad I was still up & hadn't fallen asleep. All the nerves and bad feelings started then, "Oh, you are not getting enough sleep, you didn't drink enough water today, you are not going to prepared for tomorrow, etc." All the negative feelings started to flow. I ended up falling asleep finally and woke up with the same negative, nervous energy. I just didn't feel ready for the run. Even though we had been running and training, I just didn't feel confident. I think a lot had to do with me completing this run several months ago, and then having to go through the pain of not completing the marathon. I knew it was a big day, and I was definitely feeling it.

I got my running gear on along with my fully-charged IPOD & Garmin and started making the drive in the dark to meet Jen. As I was in my car eating my wheat toast w/ peanut butter (wishing I would of had my banana to go on top), I called Jen in a panic. "Do you think we can do this? I'm scared..." Jen has been so supportive of me and this run, almost making me forget that she had to do the run to! She was so encouraging & I definitely needed it. Still my thoughts were consumed with nervousness & uneasiness...

We finally arrived at the Legacy Bridge to meet our team and begin the long journey ahead. We said a prayer and it really did calm my nerves. My emotions started to change and I felt confident, prepared. I knew everything wouldn't necessarily go perfect, but things would work out.

Wow. I just looked at the clock and I have 30 mintues to get ready for church...oops! I will continue this today!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Miracle in a tube....

.... and THIS little tube of cream is saving my marathon dreams these days. While pricy, it is worth every penny. I've been dealing with plantar fasciitis in my left foot, and IT band pain in my right leg. I've started rubbing this stuff all over the two problem areas 3x a day, and it's made a world of difference. Go and get yo-self some. Seriously, wonder cream.

Our race before the race....

This morning I awoke to the "bring" sound from my cell phone indicating I had a text message. I kept my eyes closed, and tried to feel around on the floor for my phone. I opened it, and through squinting eyes I read "Did you see that it's raining outside?" It was Kimmie. I wrote back that I was still very much in bed. She then wrote back "What should we do?" I knew this was my chance.... the chance to make up some excuse why we shouldn't run 20 miles today, but that angel on my shoulder just wouldn't let me give into the temptation of sleep and ache-free muscles. "Let's just do it," I wrote back. The "bring" sounded again, and I read the words "I'm in." And so was I.

I next got a phone call from Kristi-- a very nervous sounding Kristi who said "How are you feeling?" "Good!" I replied. "Why do you sound so chipper, aren't you nervous?" she said. "Yeah, I'm nervous, but I just have a good feeling about today, Kris," I said. Today was do-or-die-day for Kristi, and I knew it would be scary for her. Kristi was training for the St. George marathon last year, and got all the way through her big 22 miler, only to injure her knee, and be too hurt to complete the marathon. I remember listening in horror to her telling me how she broke down in the doctor's office, and that's when I said "Kris, it will be fine! We can run the Salt Lake Marathon together in the spring-- it will be great!" And that leads us back to this moment, in the dark, wee hours of this Saturday morning, and I once again was telling my best friend how everything would work out, because this time we had each other. "I know today is a big day for you, but we're going to do it!" I said, as convincingly as I could. But the truth is, I was pretty scared too.

I got ready in a flash, and grabbed a Zone Perfect bar on my way out the door. PS, those things have the grainiest texture that is far from "perfect," but I choked it down nonetheless. I knew I would need the fuel for the very long road ahead.

I set out to drop off drinks at my designated fuel stations. Kris, Kimmie and I had decided the night before we needed 4 stops along the way. I then booked it out to meet Kristi at the finish point, so she could park her car to give us all a ride back up when we were done. We were not going to have a repeat of Immigration Canyon, for those who remember our wonderful "group think" decision:)

I picked up Kristi, and we headed up to the Legacy Bridge at the University of Utah. This would be the starting line for the marathon on April 19th, and our starting line today. We were going to run 20 of the 26.2 miles along the route.

After a group prayer, (Kristi, great idea! We definitely needed the Lord on our side!) we started our long decent into the valley. We turned onto Foothill, and we were all feeling great! Next turn was 21st South. All I could think was, "what's going on?!?!? Why doesn't anything hurt? I feel great!" Apparently, the rest of the group was feeling the same way-- we all looked at each other in bewilderment at the ease of our run thus far. We headed down the 21st hill, and toward Sugarhouse Park. And, that's when we hit our first snag of the day.

We ran across a street, and everyone suddenly stopped. Kimmie was starting to cry. Her knee had been bothering her for a couple of weeks, and this run was just too much for her. She wasn't going to make it. We all gave her our best encouraging words, and hugs, and told her to go to the doctor and chiropractor immediately. There's still time to heal up, Kimmie! Take it easy and you'll be fine! It was heartbreaking, but once we reached the park and our first fueling station, we said goodbye to our Skinny Kimmie, and kept on truckin'.

At Sugarhouse is where we ran (I'm punny) into other future SLC Marathoners who were doing the same thing-- running 20 of the 26.2 of the route. Kristi started to chat with a man who said this would be his 20th, yes, 20th marathon, and that he had completed 5 ultra marathons, but that this was his daughter's first. Wowza, people like that are superheros to me.

We kept on going, and soon, we were running up our first hill of the course, and it really wasn't that bad! I found myself smiling along the way, envisioning the cheering crowds, the children with signs that read "Mom, you're my hero!" and my own cheering section, my aunt, cousin, and darling nephews. I can't wait for the big day!

At about mile 12, I started to feel it a bit, but nothing too terrible. I am currently working through two injuries: my right it band, and I have plantar fascitis in my left foot. But, it appears all the balls/cream/inserts I recently aquired at Wasatch Running are working, because I really was feeling great!

We hit another fuel station, and choked back some Power Gel. Kristi said "I like this kind!" "Like is a strong word," I replied. I hate gels of any kind. And everytime I throw one back, I battle the gag reflex. Just then, Kera said "I LOVE this chocolate one! It's fudgy!" Then Kera, it's all yours. I'll take some real fudge, thankyouverymuch.

We worked our way through Holladay, down to 62nd South, toward Van Winkle, and beyond. That's when something really hilarious started to happen. Kristi creeped ahead of me a bit, and I noticed that she was waving and smiling at every car that passed. Most of the drivers would wave, smile, and honk back. I can only imagine that it made their day as much as it did mine to see a beautiful Baywatch looking babe running, waving and smiling at complete strangers, then throwing them a thumbs up! This continued through the rest of our run. I love this girl.

With only two miles left to go, I was on fire: feeling good, and like I really could keep going all the way to Gateway, the real race finish line. And soon, we reached Fitts Park, our 20 mile mark. Kristi and I sprinted the last little bit.

We did it-- we made it through our roughest run. This was the hurdle we needed to get over before race day, because every experienced runner I've talked to has said if I can run 20, I can run 26.2. I'm counting on that advice!

Here's to the last few weeks ahead. We're almost there, girls! Go WRFDJ!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Birthday Retreat in St. George....

dancing in the car-- wish I knew how to download the video Kera took of us dancing! It's hilarious!

It's official, I'm 27. Wow, writing makes it seem even older somehow. And, for my birthday weekend, some of us WRFDJ's girls headed down south to St. George for a little r&r, that is rest and RUNNING. What better way to celebrate one year older than with some of my favorite girls in a warmer place, and running?

We left Sunday, March 16th, the big birthday, in the morning. First, Kera's wonderful husband, McSean, made us breakfast-- what a stud! Then we loaded into Peetie, my car, and hit the road. Unfortunetly, snow made the drive down a little trecherous. It always seems to snow on my birthday!

We settled into my parent's vacation home, and had some quality girl time! Here are some of the highlights: dancing in Peetie, the purple PT, which fit right in... old people LOVE PT cruisers, and there are a lot of old people in St. George. We, of course, blasted "Do it to it," and danced the night away. Shopping at Smith's for black finger nail polish (so hot right now, right girls?) and trying on all of the St. Patrick's decor while we waited in the forever long line. Eating at Pizza Factory with our darling waiter, Roger-- Kera loved him! Running on the Virgin River Trail in perfect weather. And, shopping and eating at the outlets! Thanks for a great time, Kera and Kimmie. Love you guys!

Pics from a past run....

I have been such a slacker downloading pictures. My camera battery died, and it took me forever to get the charger, so here are some pictures from our run Feb. 2 at This is the Place. Love these girls.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Today it wouldn't turn off.....

My brain. It wouldn't let me just enjoy my run. The first and last miles are always the hardest for me. I live for those moments in the middle.... that minute when I forget I'm running, and just feel the crisp wind on my face, the fresh air in my lungs, take in the view, and know I'm alive, and it feels good.

Lately, the middle moments have been getting longer, and with each run, I look forward to when I reach that point of forgetfulness... forgetting the pain I'm feeling, the troubles I'm facing, the stress I'm handling, and all the self doubt that creeps in daily. I really felt like I was coming into my own, and becoming the runner-- and woman-- I always thought I was. But, today threw a wrench in my wheel of progress. So, what did I do? I quit. I got in my car, in the middle of my run after 4 and a half miles, and quit. Real heroic, right? Instead of pushing through it like I always do and telling myself it too would pass, suddenly, my chest started to close, and it became hard to breathe. But it didn't have anything to do with my physical fitness.... the lung collapse had to do with my heart, and the pain of going through a personal struggle I'm not sure I'll make it out of. And suddenly, my regular escape of running became too much of a burden, and I couldn't see the metaphorical finish line in sight, for my run, or my life. So, I gave up. Like a coward. And I feel like a failure in every sense of the word.

Monday I'm going to make up for it... go somewhere in the canyon, and hope to get my middle-moment-magic back. (And, pray a cougar doesn't attack me in the process. Damn my job, always conjuring up fears of armed robberies, crashing planes, and now, of course I did a story last week on freaking cougar attacks. Just what I needed.)

I'm going to go and buy some new running shoes so I can break them in on our 22 miler next weekend, and just try to have faith in myself.... faith in my ability to stick to this goal. Faith that I can make wise decisions, both personally and professionally. And faith that I am still on track to becoming the person I want to be. Somewhere along the line, I've lost that confidence I used to wear so proudly, and I'm trying to get it back. I just hope I can find my way.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Worst Run Ever...

First, (despite the title of my post) I would like to point out that I have had several great runs lately. I haven't been writing and I apologize.

To sum up, I had an extremely hard time on our 16 miler which was 2 Saturdays ago, and I about had it. I was sick of slacking and sick of my body giving out on the long runs. So I promised myself that I would do all of my training during the week. (Especially now that it is getting warmer.)

I could tell that it was making a difference by the end of the week and even more so when it came to our 18 miler. I felt great for a really long time. I would even say I experienced "runners high". I was so overcome that I was even waving to perfect strangers including construction workers. Soon after however, my left knee started hurting so much that I could hardly walk. I kept trudging along, and soon was left behind. Luckily, Kimmie waited up for me, because without her I would have surely gotten lost. Long story short, the run ended in tears and me buying a foam roller...but at least I finished.

That takes us to this week. Jen Kimmie and I had a fabulous retreat in St. George!!! It was so much warmer and it was so fun to get away from the husband and baby and relax with great friends. We had a fun time celebrating Jen's birthday and had an amazingly invigorating run on Monday.

Then Tuesday was my off day...Then Wednesday, I ran 24 laps around a highschool track at night which was boring as hell, but I finished.

Now here comes the stuff of legend...
So Thursday I only have 4 miles, and I think this is going to be nothing. I decide to bring Owen since it was still light out. McSean (my husband) told me that if I put him in the football field that is in the center of the track (which was fenced and locked) that he could have fun running around while I watched him. I obviously thought it was a good idea since the next thing I knew I was lowering him down onto the field.

I plugged my headphones in and started jogging. I immediately realized I needed to pee. That can I say, is the worst feeling in the world. Especially when you know that you could have easily adverted it by just going when you had the chance. So I made it one lap around with my headphones on. It was so seemed like Owen was trying to chase after me and I was waving- completely oblivious that he was screaming bloody murder. Luckily I finally saw up close that he was having a nervous breakdown and raced over to the fence. He was running towards me with his arms up desperate to get him out of there. What a freaking great mom I am.

So I grabbed him. Thank God I didn't have to jump in after him... So I figured I would race to the bathroom in the school and then grab my jogging stroller and then finish. I even relaxed my bladder a little, knowing that I would be able to relieve myself soon. All of a sudden, I looked up and saw a janitor coming out of the door and locking it behind him. What's this?!? "Are all the doors locked?" I asked. "Yup- it's closed for the night." the guy said.

My heart pounded as I tried to figure out a solution. I could run home, but by the time I got there, I knew I wouldn't go back out. So crazily enough, I decided to pee in my car in an old Propel bottle. Of course it didn't all go in the bottle- thankfully I had a blanket under me. I also had senior citizen night coming out in full force. Apparently every oldie in the world wanted to walk right past my car so they could get their evening exercise.

So I get up with my Propel bottle and realize that my butt is soaked with pee. That's always fun. I should have given up then, but I decided to keep going. I made it 10 laps around with only 6 more and I had to stop. Owen was braying and kicking like a donkey and I couldn't take it anymore. Plus, I apparently didn't get all the pee out and I couldn't stop thinking about going again. Plus, my jogging stroller is HANDS DOWN the freaking heaviest thing in the world.

So I gave up. I was so pissed I couldn't see straight. All the grannies were staring at me because I was yelling at my kid. One of them almost got a punch in the hip.

The final chapter is me realizing that Owen left his ball in the field with no way for me to get it except for jumping the fence. Needless to say, I haven't done that in awhile. Not only did I almost die, but I ripped a hole in both my very expensive pants and shirt.

Holy crap. I hate kids right now. Why do they have to make everything so freaking complicated?!?! If anyone has some horror stories to make me feel better, I would sure love to hear them.

Looking forward to our 8 miler this Saturday.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

I swear the last time I checked...

.... I was just about a week shy of 27, and not the image of old age this woman reflects. But Saturday, I felt this lady for all 16 miles. Everything hurt.... my legs, feet, ankles, joints, bones, skin, you name it. It all felt like I added a year with every mile... make that 20 years with every mile. I don't know where it came from, either! Last week, I was on fire with our 15 miler, and this week, it's as if I was a completely different runner!

We met at the trax station on 90th. Tara and Melissa missed this week because of injuries and kiddies-- we missed you guys! My sweet friend from work, Jared, decided he wanted to run with us. And, you know my amazing super-runner-high-school-friend, Amy, I spoke about in previous posts who just completed her first ultra-marathon? Well, turns out she's Kimmie's amazing friend too-- we had no idea! Small world! She said she wanted to run with us this week and take it easy because she's nursing an injury. But once we started, we realized an ultra-marathoner's definition of easy, and ours, come from two very different versions of Webster's.

We started on the path, and I just kept telling myself that the first few miles are always the hardest for me. It takes me a bit to get into the groove, but with every mile, the groove just wasn't coming! Part of the problem was that I usually run with Kristi at my side, and this week, I tried to keep up with Amy, and Kristi stayed behind with Kera and Kimmie. I couldn't stay with "muscle-butt" for long, and soon, I was all by my lonesome-- inbetween Amy and Jared in the lead, and the rest of the girls behind me. It was like this the majority of the run.

I had to watch, as Kera called it, the "butt that rap artists sing about" bouncing ahead of me for 16 freaking miles, knowing Amy wasn't even winded, and I would likely never catch her. And, cute, sweet, skinny Jared was jogging at her side. Again, this is why I hate boys. Kristi and I have decided we are going to seek out gym rejects and invite them to run with us to make us feel better about ourselves, no more of this super-human-runner thing. It just hurts our pride too much. Seriously, we loved having you two. I'll just close my eyes while I run next time so I don't see my failure running ahead of me, looking better in running clothes than I ever hope to.

On about mile 9, I had to make a pottie break, and fell behind. I caught back up to Kera, then passed her, and then got to the point where I could see Kristi and Kimmie in the distance, but the old lady just wouldn't move any faster!

It was rough, but I made it, and I hope it is not like this next week, even though I'll be one day shy of 27 for our next group run! Is this what getting older does to you? Another reason for me to continue my love affair with Edward Cullen and stay forever young as a vampire. (Kristi, that was for you:)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Doctor, Doctor, Give me the news...

After last Sat. run my knees felt like they were flipped up. Ouch!! So, I went to the Dr. on Tuesday. After moving my legs all around and some x-rays , he said I had patella femoral syndrome, which is pretty common in runners. He referred me to a physical therapist so I went there on Thursday. She was really great and showed me lots of exercises & stretches that I have to do in order for me knees to stop hurting. She also said my hips are out of alignment and that could be one of the reasons for my knee problems. She taped my knees with some really fantastic tape that will stay on for about 4-5 days. She said I can run, but only 3 miles a day until Monday when I go back for more therapy. Overall, it turned out to be really positive and she seems to think that I will be able to run the marathon. I am going to try and run tonight...the first time since last Saturday. I am hoping everything will be okay. It seems like it's really not fair to come this far and not be able to finish. So I am going to really focus on getting my knees better.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

You got to be kiddin me?

Yeah for completing 15 miles! I'm sorry the run was so discombobulated this week. I know I am to blame. I really was planning on coming home from work on Friday to map out a run and inform everyone of place & time. However, after 6.5 hours of helping my husband at a home show booth, I arrived home in the wee hours of the night. As I was going to bed at 12:30 (Disclaimer: I usually go to bed by 10:30 at the latest), I thought there was no way I was going to be able to plan the route, run the 15 miles & then come back to get the house ready for my sister-in-law's baby shower. There was just not going to be enough time! Ahh, I went to bed frantic and exhausted!

So, 6:00 my alarm goes off. I leave to plan the route & grab stuff for breakfast & then finally call everyone! I woke up Kimmie, got a hold of Jen, called Tara, who told Melissa, then Kera...Ahhh! Jen hadn't told her yet that we needed to run earlier. I thought it would be okay; I told myself she will call back. After message & message, no response. I felt so guilty for never getting a hold of her! Sorry Kera! I promise I will not plan so late again! By the way, has anyone heard from her yet?

Well, finally we are off on our run. Paul, who is in the marketing department at Tara's & my work, has told us in the past 2 weeks he plans on running in the SLC marathon. I have instructed him that, "Paul, you know everything you read tells you, you need to at least train for 4 months before you try to attempt something like a marathon?" "Paul, yeah, sure you can try, but it is pretty hard (to put it lightly?)" The farthest he has ever run is 4 miles. He asked if he could run with us, and I said why not. I guess there was something deep down inside me that wanted him to see how hard it would be to run 15 miles and to prove to him he shouldn't try and run in the marathon. I thought there was going to be no way he was going to be able to complete it! Well, did I eat my words. He didn't break a sweat, didn't breathe heavy, didn't break pace ...nothin'! The whole time I was saying to myself, "You got to be kidding me?" I guess he was born to run long distances. He is so lean, has not fat on him whatsoever, I don't know, I'm still baffled by it. Men! Ahh! How annoying! Paul, if you by chance stumble upon are blog and are reading this, I'm not hating on you, it's just kind of disheartening to all our months of training. Whatever!

Tara I really hope your knees start to feeling better! And, Melissa I know you can finish the 26 miles! You did awesome! Check with a doctor to make sure there are no major to Tara! I have been there before and I know how awful it is! Hang in there!


Yesterday I ran 15 miserable miles all because I let my mind get the best of me! I came back from California with some sort of respiratory/flu sickness and was not able to train once this past week. I woke up Saturday morning with low hopes and expectations. I was already thinking from the start that this run was going to be a tough one. And let me tell you... IT WAS. By mile 4 I think I had already given up, which made the remaining 11 miles a challenge.

As I was attempting to tackle that first hill for the second time I fell a good quarter mile behind Kristi, Jen and that boy I secretly wanted to punch in the face for never running more than 3 miles his whole life and then running 15, ahead of me, without breaking a sweat! Anyway, this random lady comes running down the hill that I'm panting up, and says to me, "Wow... your friends are down the hill and almost around the corner, you'd better hurry up." I was NOT in the mood for her or her comment. Before I could even process the words in my brain I swear they came out my mouth and in the meanest, most sarcastic tone ever I said to her, "Yeah, I noticed and thank you for rubbing it in." We exchanged glares and kept running.

As I kept running I knew I had to do something. I was making myself miserable. I tried and tried to change my way of thinking, but to no avail. I've decided it's much easier said than done. I knew had to finish so I just kept trucking along. I found myself cutting corners, taking short cuts and cheating myself out of 15 glorious miles. By mile 13 I was finally feeling better and really guilty for not running the full distance. I don't know what I was thinking, but I decided I had to make up for all my lost mileage, so I ran a few extra blocks around the strange Amish-like garden in the Daybreak community.

I was finally feeling great, I knew it was only a mile or less to Kristi's and I was ecstatic. As I was rounding the corner to what I thought was Kristi's street, I realized it wasn't. I was lost and Mellisa had the directions. I ran back trying to see if I could find her, but she was no where to be seen so I just kept running. I talked to 2 or 3 people who didn't know where Kootenai street was so I knew I couldn't be that close. By this point I was back to my previous way of thinking. I was tired, disappointed in my performance and just wanted to be DONE. The last mile probably turned into 2, but I eventually found her house. Kristi is awesome and fed me, her grumpy, non-talkative friend, bagels and chocolate milk which helped lighten my terrible mood. Thanks K-Money!

It's amazing to me that if you give yourself even one little reason to doubt, how it takes over all of your thinking. When I go into a run positive, having confidence because I've trained well that week, I have great runs. When I worry about a pain bothering me or how little I've run during the week, the run and my mind get the better of me. This is the last time I'm letting my mind kick my trash like this. From now on nothing but positive thinking for me! I'm going to train and eat well this week in hopes to gain back some of my running confidence.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Our Ultra-Half Marathon, and why I hate boys

An Ultra-Marathon is by definition, any race over 26.2 miles. There's a such thing, you ask? Why yes, though I am convinved all of the mental hospitals empty out on race day because only someone INSANE would try to run one. My super-runner friend from high school, Amy, just completed her first of 34 miles and said I should "definitely do one too" after I complete a few regular marathons. Sha-yeah. I can totally do that! Right after I lose my mind!

Well, since we are training for just a plain, ol' regular marathon, I thought I would talk about how amazing we all are for completing our first "Ultra-Half-Marathon" today, that is anything over 13.1. We did a whopping 15 miles today, and I've gotta say, it was a GREAT run for me!

There was a bit of panic when I woke up this morning and still didn't know our meeting place. Kristi, poor thing, was helping her husband Phil with his business until the wee hours of the morn' and didn't have time to contact us all. But just after I woke up, I got a call from Kris. We were meeting at her house in Herriman, and she had already mapped out a plan. She's always so awesome like that.

She was able to get ahold of everyone, with one exception.... Kera. We tried again, and again, and again, and again, and AGAIN to reach her, but she wouldn't answer and we didn't know what to do! We had to leave her. We missed her so much!

In her place, there was a sweet skinny male co-worker of Kristi's, who seemingly decided recently, "Hey, this running a marathon thing can't be THAT hard, so even though the most I've run is a meager 4 miles, I think I can handle 15! I mean, how rough could it be?" I kind of laughed a little to myself thinking, buddy, you have no idea what you're in for. We've been training since December, and you're just joining us today? Good luck, I thought. You'll need it.

We piled in the car and drove the route, leaving treasure treats along the way. The plan was to make a 7 1/2 mile loop, come back to Kristi's, then make the loop again. Kristi was sure to include a few hills (and they were big ones) since our 13 miler a couple weeks ago was mostly downhill.

We started running, and I was feeling pretty good. The first hill was a killer and just before we reached the top, I heard dilusional-boy pant "Holy Cow!" I smiled. We had a loooooong way to go. But, as we kept on keeping on, dilusional-boy stayed right there, with Kristi and I in the lead. He wasn't even breaking a sweat. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? I kept thinking to myself. We finished the first loop, and prepared for the second. Kimmie caught up with us. She was a sickie all week, and wasn't quite herself, but she kept going!

We had just started the second half when we saw Tara and Melissa walking toward us. Tara said she was done, her knees just hurt too much. (So sorry, Tara!) Melissa said she would keep going with us. Usually we kind of naturally run in pairs. Kris and I in the lead, Kimmie and Kera right behind, and Melissa and Tara in the tail. I knew it would be rough for Melissa and Kimmie to keep going without their partners, but they did it, and I'm so proud!

I was feeling great the whole run! Kristi and I were going strong, and to our chagrin, so was the boy who stayed with us the ENTIRE way. He broke a sweat on mile 9, but didn't even fall behind. And, that is why I hate boys. They can simply decide to accomplish some heroic athletic feat, and somehow, it's like no big deal. He went from 4 to 15 in one freaking week!!!!! It will make me feel a little better if he's sore this week, because goodness knows I'm limping around the station tonight, as my IT band feels like it has needles sticking all over it.

This was, without doubt, my favorite run so far. My endurance was up, I stayed strong the entire run, and didn't walk a bit-- not even up the seemingly endless hills! Thanks Kris for planning an awesome route, and for the oranges and bananas. It's so nice to get a little refueling along the way.

I'm sooooo ready for next week! And, something tells me Super-Boy will be too. Awesome.

What am I doing anyway?

I was prepared this week or so I thought. I made sure I hydrated well enough and I ran well. I read a book of helpful things to run a marathon. I was ready to go. Well almost. We started out and I was in the back going slower. I wanted to pace myself because I knew I had a long way to go. I had my magic pants on and ate my magic beans before the run. We had some big hills to run up and that was sure fun. I didn't realize that we would be running up that hill twice and was happy when I made it up the first time. I was even smiling while I ran. Things started to go downhill when Tara told me her knees were killing her. I kept trying to encourage her to think of other things besides her knees. It wasn't working. We also were in the back. Kristy suspected that we would be behind from previous runs, so she was nice enough to write out directions for us. For some reason I thought a road sign said the name to turn left on and so I turned left. I was probably hallucinating. I couldn't find the other road to turn on. We turned a corner and found the group going out for the second loop. Tara said she was going home and I knew I was on my own. I couldn't keep up with the group for sure especially on the second loop. I told myself that I would do 15 miles today. I have it written on my calendar and look at it everyday. I also told other people that I was running 15 miles. So I decided to keep going as crazy as it seemed. My knee started to hurt three miles in and I was walking a lot. I caught up with Kimmie. I think she felt bad and waited on me. We ran up the hill and down and I told her to go ahead if she needed to because my knee was killing me. So she kept on. It was fine because I didn't want to slow her down. Anyway I told myself I was finishing this even if I had to walk. I walked a lot because my knee ached. I found the right way this loop and was extremely exicted to see my car at Kristy's house. I ran there to find everyone stretching out. I asked them how long they'd been there but no one would say for sure. Oh well I finished and I was happy. I'm not very confident that I can do the marathon now. I need to go to the doctor about my knee. What a bummer...