Tuesday, March 29, 2011

By Saturday, I was still extremely sore but i did infact vow to walk or crawl. I ended up taking my pedometer to the gardens at Thanksgiving Point and walking 3 miles with the girls. Sunday morning i felt as if a cloud had lifted. I think maybe the walking broke up some of the lactic acid... and my funky funk.

Monday i ran 4 miles!!! I know, i know, not the milestone you want to be proud of when you are halfway into marathon training, but i'm stinkin' happy -especially after my small CrossFit set back.

Today is my second fundemental class for CrossFit. I am eager to get the fundementals done and over with so i can just start already. But i know if i don't have the basic knowledge and techniques, it won't do me much good in the long run (literaly). So in the mean time, i whisper "patience" to myself.

Here are some of my favorite positive quotes i read, when i have set backs.

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens. -John Homer Miller

Your aspirations are your possibilities.- Samuel Johnson

You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.
-Charles Bixton

You can't get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.
-Jerry West

You cannot tailor make the situations in life, but you can tailor make the attitudes to fit those situations before they arise. -Zig Ziglar

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A funk

When i was a child, all the way up to my adulthood i could write about anything. I could write a 2 page essay on a paperclip. I spilled my drama filled teenage years onto page after page in my diaries. I favored writing for the high school newspaper over sports. Anything that got my juices flowing, i could write about (paperclips and all). But lately i am not feeling the flow, the zone, the inspiration. Yes, it's a funk.

I usually get these funks because something is out of balance. I am in a constant state of evolution as i strive for balance in all areas of my life. I never really come full circle and let out a big sigh of relief and say, "I have total balance today -i am superwoman!" Because the truth is you don't. You simply can't control everything. But you can strive for it.
My six areas look like this...

As i dissect my six areas, i seem to find the culprit... body and home.

Body. The word body is litteraly screaming at me. After my kick butt CrossFit session on Wednesday, i woke up to utter soreness. Soreness that was unbearable. I walked like a 90 year old woman with constipation. Yes that hidious!

Because of this i had to skip my 9 mile on thursday and my Saturday 18 mile with the running club. I have not run since Monday!!!! I never knew how much running put my life into balance, until now.

My body is also shouting one more thing... CHANGE YOUR FREAKIN' DIET! I eat fastfood, drink too much caffeine, eat processed foods daily, and don't drink enough water or eat enough vegetables and fruit. I am a bad bad running girl.

Home. I have dishes piled up from Wednesday night. Four full laundry baskets overflowing with clean clothes from last Sunday, an empty refrigerator, a play room full of disorganized toys and a patridge in a pear tree. We've eaten more pizza and thrown-together meals this week, than any other week since the new year.
My time management is not very manageable these days. So this Saturday, i am doing a overhall of my two problematic areas.

I will run today. If i can't run, I will walk. If i can't walk, I will crawl.
I will stop eating fast food but allow myself 1 cheat day.
I will drink water instead of caffinated drinks.
I will research athletes diets and find out what they eat.
I will use 2 hours today, to do dishes, laundry, mop, vacuum and organize toys.
I will grocery shop for healthy foods today, and organize 5 meals for the week.
I will buy fresh flowers for my beautiful home.

I will have balance in my life again.

Do you ever get in an unbalanced funk?
What do you do to get out of it?
What does your favorite running diet look like?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Insanity it is!

Let's see if i can get this straight...

Saturday:  Join the Sojourners runners club for a run in Utah mountains.

Outcome: Join the running club and vow i will be perky and shiney every Saturday morning at 7am for the rest of my life.

Sunday:  Aproached by gym owner about Cross fit endurance for marathon runners.

Outcome: I commit to peaking in on the class midweek and seeing what the heck this Crossfit is all about.

Wednesday: I try Crossfit for the first time and think, "get me out of here!!!"

Outcome: I insanely agree to sign up and have a person kick my butt each tuesday, wednesday, friday and probably Saturdays after my morning run with my club.

I am officially insane.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cross fit or the cross road of insanity?!?

On Sunday i was approached by a friend who told me about crossfit endurance for marathon runners. My eyes perked up and I instantly listened to every word she had to say. I am familiar with Crossfit but i never knew it could help you get across the finish line faster.

After i spoke to her, i checked out her gym online and read a little bit more about it. Are you serious? The police acaedemy and marines use Crossfit training to get their own in shape. Then i dig deeper... they life heavy things, they kettleball, they climb ropes, and they do handstand pushups. Really?

So, as wierd as i am, I'm going to check it out on Wed. and see if it's for me. I had some goals set for 2011 and one was to get out of my comfort zone. Running a marathon is not comfortable. Getting up at 7am on Saturdays to run with my club is not comfortable. Juggling home, work, husband, running and children is not comfortable.

I just didn't know i would be blasting past my comfort zone and heading straight into insanity.

Do you know anything about Crossfit? Can it really help you reach your running goals?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

First club run, first canyon sunrise

Today was my first run with Sojourners Running Club. Sojo is a group of runners of about 20-40 people who run anywhere from 5 miles to 26 miles. I joined the club because i was so sick of running on busy streets for safety and inhaling car fumes. I wanted to run in nature, feel the wind, trip over a rock, see a deer.

I got my chance this morning! We met at Canyon View Park at 7 am while it was still dark. My alarm didn't go off and my husband was already out the door at 5am for a snowmobiling trip with the guys. I gasped, then ripped myself out of bed, yanked my hair back and globbed a spoonful of barley soup into a bowl and headed out.

Crap: I forgot my gels
Go back
Double crap: I forgot my water and telephone
Go back
Triple crap: I forgot my drivers license
Don't go back... you won't speed anyway (yeah right)

I headed up the canyon and turned into the parking lot. About 15 people were grouped around an opened van. I suddenly remembered the New Balance rep was going to be there to present their new minimalistic shoe line. The first few seconds out of my car, I was greeted by fellow runners who introduced themselves.
Everyone was very friendly and helpful.

No time for talk. We start running. The group is fast, very fast. I suddenly realize i am a fat cow. Sorry... a fat SLOW cow. The group breaks and i follow the slower one. We start climbing.. and climbing... and i'm dying. The sun is starting to rise and i look around as if i am on another planet. I smell the mountian air, i feel the wind, and yes i trip over a rock. The climb was a killer, but amazing.

About mile 2, i lag behind with two other runners. We talk about upcoming races and goals. We follow the pipline and look out into the canyon as the morning sun hits the rocks. The wind started picking up but i didn't mind. Cheryl, our guide waits for us and names a few trails.. grizzly, pipline. I get this sense of eagerness and i decide i want to run them all before the end of the summer.
As we stop at the end of the rocky trail, i look up and see Bridal Veil Falls. It is breathtaking in the morning light. I've seen it a dozen times by car driving up the canyon, but never like this. Decision time. Go back or keep on going. Cheryl and another experienced runner debate the Bonneville shoreline trail and "the rock". I have no idea what they are talking about, but i do know one thing -i am not ready to go back. I have 12 miles on my schedule and i had to hit it or go home with my head in between my legs. I get excited and say, "let's do it." I had no idea what i was getting myself into.

"The rock" shoul be called "A slow death". I am officially changing the name. Holy crap balls that was hard. It was rocky so you had to focus where your feet were going and it climbed slowly but it didn't stop. It just kept on going. The experienced runner in front of me was very encouraging. "Short and quick steps..just relax..you are doing good." Then it got worse. He announces, "here is your speed work -let's pick it up."
I was thinking, "huh, did he just say speed work?" He led me through 4 minutes of grooling speed up the mountain and finally my lungs couldn't get any air. I had to walk.
 I make it up. Half walking, half running, partial gasping. He calmly says, "You did it -good job!". I did do it. That was a good feeling. I think to myself, next time no walking. We ran an easy mile down a dirt hill to the parking lot and said our goodbyes. Great people, beautiful trails and an exceptional feeling of doing something new and different.
My own calcutta today was a mesh of things. Running in nature, meeting new people, pushing myself beyond what i think i can do, and seeing the sunrise for the first time in the canyon.

Friday, March 18, 2011


I've been MIA for the last few days because of a sick child.

Let me just tell you, sick children are not fun to be around. They vomit gross disgusting things out of their mouths, then without any warning it explodes out the other end. They whine, cry, beg, shout, and demand. They wake up at 1 am and want comfort and love at the blink of an eye.

Parents of sick children are not fun to be around. We are grumpy, tired, and ill-tempered beacause we have washed sheets for the gazillionth time, scrubbed vomit off our necks, held a sticky body at 1 am, and constantly hear whining and crying in one ear and begging, shouting and demanding in the other.

Running. What's that? I havn't had a minute to collect my thoughts, let alone find my running shoes. It's a bit tricky, this mom thing. On weeks like these, i ask myself, "am I a runner or a mom?" Because in real life you can't be both all the time.

This week i had to put my running shoes up and just be "mom." I'd like to say, it feels satisfying but i would be lying. It feels... crappy. My body is begging for a run. Just give me 40 minutes and 4 miles and i can release all this crappiness.

My own calcutta this week: I can always run, but i won't always be holding a sticky 6 year old at 1 am. These are the memonts she will remember. Not that you ran 30 miles this week, but that you didn't.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Underdogs and recovery

My whole life i have always rooted for the underdog.

Superbowl... i want the team that has no chance of winning to win.
Best friend in elementary school... thee only african american girl in the whole school.
My first child... down syndrome and so proud to be her mom.
Favorite bible story... David and Goliath.
Facinating historical events... Alexandar the Great defeats King Darius even though he was outnumbered, the battle of Myeognyang, and Harry Truman in the 1948 presidential election.

And now...

Bachelor... Chantal wins; not Emily!

I guess the underdog doesn't always win, but you can be sure of one thing. I will always be on the sidelines rooting for them.

Onto the matter of recovery...

I guess as a fairly new runner, i don't know much about recovery.
I've heard the saying, take a day off for every mile you run.
But i have never really taken it to heart, until a few weeks ago.

I usually go for my long runs on Saturday, recover on Sunday and hit speed or tempo on Mondays.

Mondays were always "hell days" because my body would never cooperate. Then 3 weeks ago i stumbled on an article on recovery. Number 3 hit home.
I've changed my speed/tempo runs to Wednesdays instead.

It goes to show you what a little information can do.

How to Recover After Running a Half Marathon

1. First make sure to rest and take at least 2 days off from running after the race. If your leg muscles feel OK, you can take easy walks to loosen them up and get the blood flowing to help clear out the lactic acid which causes soreness. Also, taking Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help ease the soreness and reduce swelling to aid in quicker recovery. Motrin, Advil, or Aleve work great for this.

2. If you have excessive pain, use the RICE rule, where you Rest, Ice the affected area, Compress the area or muscle afterward with an ace bandage, and elevate the sore leg. Continue to ice the area for at least 2 - 3 days. Do not apply heat or use a hot tub as this increases the blood flow to the swollen area. The goal is to reduce blood flow to the swollen area for quicker healing. Heat can be applied after the third day which will increase blood flow to the area and help heal it now that the swelling is gone.

3. Keep in mind that the general rule is to take it easy for at least one day for every mile you raced. So if you ran a Half Marathon (13.1 miles), you should take it easy for at least 13 days. This does not mean you can not run. It just means you should not do speed workouts, or heavy mileage. Plan your exercise routines around short easy runs, and cross-training activities such as swimming or biking. Some professional take 1 - 2 weeks completely off from running and only do cross-training to aid in a quicker recover. This also helps to keep yourself from burning out due to focusing on a single activity.

4. After 13 days, you should feel well refreshed and ready to start training for your next race. Start out easy, increase your mileage slowly, and sign up for your next race.

Monday, March 14, 2011

You got this!

Picking up insoles in bushes after Disney On Ice

Some might say i am a control freak. I am an organizer by nature, i enjoy cleaning, and i am a huge planner. Planning, organizing and cleaning give me a sense of control over my life. No one else can take that away. I know, i know i should probably seek professional help one of these days.

When things don't go as planned or as meticulous as i'd like, i usually freak out. My family members know this all to well about me. This weekend my running mantra spilled over into my hectic unplanned life.

Plan: Run 16 miles on Saturday morning
Surprise! Stomach flu. Hugged the toilet for 4 hours while drinking gallons of Pepto.
You got this! I'll just run before church on Sunday.

Plan: Movies with mom, go home, get some sleep for long run tomorrow
Surprise! Arrive home from movies, to find out my lovely husband said yes to a girlfriend sleepover. Up until 1am playing the sleepover drill sergeant.
You got this! Sleep in an extra hour, then drive friend home before run.

Plan: Extra hour of sleep, then take friend home
Surprise! It's daylight savings time and we loose an hour.
You got this! Skip church or cut run short or run really fast. I opt for running fast.

Plan: Run 16 miles (really fast)
Surprise! At mile 3 my insole on right foot is giving me a serious blister.
You got this! Take out insoles and hide them in bushes. Will pick them up later.

Plan: Disney On Ice with girls
Surprise! Cousins wants to come at last minute.
You got this! Buy tickets online, 2 rows back, one adult will have to sit alone.

In the webster dictionary a mantra is defined as a mystical formula of invocation or incantation. My favorite description comes from wikipedia. A sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of "creating transformation". 

Wow! Two of my favorite words in the same sentence: capable and transformation

This weekend did not go as planned. But i kept my running mantra close to my heart and it all seemed to work out in the end.

What's your running mantra?

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Perfect Friday

Fridays have this air about them. They make you feel anticipation, frivolous and lighthearted. I just want to throw caution to the wind and do something out of the norm.

For circumstances beyond my comprehension, i had a few hours after work to myself. I know, i know, this is BIG. When you are a mother of two, a 12 year old handican (handicap + can) and a 6 year old, you know what i'm talkin' about. Some days you feel more like a chauffeur or a referee than a mom.

After work i sat in my car and thought, what now? I don't think i can remember the last time i had 3 hours to myself to do whatever i wanted (except for runs of course). Don't you just love the paradox of it all. I want a few hours to myself.. i want to spend some time without my kids... but when i finally get my wish, i have no idea what to do. I hate that!

I threw caution to the wind and went to my favorite cafe in the whole wide world: Cafe Fresh in Orem, Utah. An organic cafe attatched to Good Earth. I've been going there for 3 years and i order the exact same thing everytime (The Garden Explosion). It's better than a Big mac. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Vegetables, vegetables and more vegetables. All wrapped up in a heavenly whole wheat wrap. Mind you, i am a meat eater. I crave it, i need it, i can't live without it. That's why it is so shocking i order this particular wrap. I swear they disguise the carrots as beef.

After i grabbed my grub, i headed to one of my favorite parks in the universe (Nielsons Grove). There is nothing too special about the park itself. It has the usual park accesibles... grass, trees, walking trails, ponds. But what makes it special is the history. About 100 years ago a man from Denmark immigrated to Utah and built a beautiful park for the community. Over time it was destroyed by marshes and wetlands. The city bought the land back from the original family and rebuilt it just as Mr. Grove designed it 100 years ago. When we moved to Utah from Denmark in 07', it was the first park we visited and for some reason, it brings our whole family peace.

I sat on the damp grass, eating my earthy sandwich and thinking what a perfect Friday. It can't get any better than this. Then running popped into my head.

I drove home, put my running shoes on and skipped merrily outside into the cold sunshine and ran 3 miles. Today was suppose to be a rest day, but i couldn't resist. Running is becoming more than a training schedule. Running is becoming apart of my life.

I hope i don't pay for the 3 miles tomorrow. I have sweet 16 and i am wondering if i should have rested instead of ran.

This was no ordinary day. I actually had time to hear my inner voice...
and it said...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

And the Oscar goes to....

I thought, if i'm going to do this running thing, then i might as well do it right.

About 5 weeks ago, when i started having knee pain, i shmoozed around the knee support tape. The woman at the running store asked if she could answer any questions about running tape or injury. She recommended a form class to understand more about how i could run better and pevent injury. 5 bucks! Sure i'll take it.

Yesterday was the big day. Absolutely a must for all runners. I learned the 4 golden techniques of running: Balanced Forward Posture, Compact Arm Swing, Proper Foot Strike, and 180 Cadence. Genius!!

I got my 8 miles in, took a quick shower, then headed over to Brigham Young University, where we met at the Smith Fielding House, an indoor track. Our instructors, Hawk, and his son, Golden (love the names!) started out with a quick bio of themselves. Hawk won the St. George Marathon in 84' with an impressive time of 2:22. Holy smokes, i was in the presence of glory. His son broke a world best at age 12.

They started us out running a few laps with our shoes on, then shoes off. All the while filming us. We went more into depth about the 4 basics and then headed back to the store for the dreaded dissection.

Oh, dear. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The first dessection was brutally honest. "Check mark, arms are everywhere." The second, "Leaning to much forward, check mark, and not enough arm movement." By the time he got to me, my heart was racing and i thought, what will i look like on tape... what will my thighs look like on tape? Then i had this thought.. who cares. You are here to learn how to be a better runner. If this is uncomfortable for a milli-second but i learn to run better and injury free, then bring it on!

I looked great! I don't like to toot my own horn, but i looked pretty darn good. He starts out by saying, "This is the best form we've seen yet. Maybe lean a little bit more into your run, but pretty good."

I felt like i just won the Oscars! I'd like to thank my parents for giving me these amazing genes, then to my husband for always fixing dinner while i run, and to my ....
well, you get the picture.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Painfully enjoyable

It hurts, but it feels sooo good.
No, i am not cheating on my husband.
Although, i do think he is a bit jealous. The last couple nights i've been laying on the bedroom floor using it, while he begs me to come to bed.
I plead... just a little bit more!

My brother in-law, who is a personal trainer mentioned buying one and my running friends say they can't live without theirs. I popped into Big 5 and bought the cheapest one i could find. Bro in-law said buy a really outrageous expensive one because they last longer. I don't know what an expensive one feels like, but this one feels pretty darn good. I never knew stretching out an IT band could be so painfully enjoyable.
I'm hooked.

After dinner tonight i decided to indulge in my new guilty pleasure. I ended up delegating for 15 minutes on the floor. "Fetch dog", "start on your homework now", "no i did not run the dishwasher.. you start it then".

Not very peaceful but my legs feel great!

Multi-tasking: Foam rolling and playing fetch with my dog

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Big Labowski

I've been having on and off again knee problems for the last 10 weeks. My mom suggested i see a chiropractor. I am not big on chiropractors. I know, i know... regular chiropractor care mantains the entegrity of the spine and nervous system.. blah, blah, blah.

I have nothing against chiropractic care, it's just that i tend to backtrack on how nature intended us to live. One of my favorite phrases is, "Did they use _____ 100 years ago? No! Then why do we need it now??" I can already jump 10 years in the future and hear my two teenage girls nagging, when i tell them they can't have a cell phone, get off the computer and go for a run, and yes... eat your vegetables.

Even though mother nature takes over the best of me sometimes, i know what i have to do to accomplish my goals. I am running that marathon to the end, even if i have to crawl past the finish line. With that said, I saw a sports chiropractor today. He examined my hips, legs and feet. Yes, feet. I about died when he said, "Could you take off your shoes?" If you have ever seen my feet, they are a calloused mesh of ugliness. Although i have never met a runner with beautiful feet, i was slightly embarrassed. Mainly over the would-be odor. I quickly reminded myself, "Farrah, a runners feet are instruments... they should be ugly but FAST!" So i took them off.

No stink, thank goodness. He started wiggling my big toe on my right foot. He stared at my gnarled calloused toe and sighed deeply. When a chiropractor sighs deeply, it's not good.

He concludes i am having knee problems because of my big toe, hense The Big Labowski title/photo. He further explains i have limited big toe motion and this sends my feet into protective mode, which then sends my knee into tweaked out mode. I'm not sure that last description was a medical term, but you get the picture.

Solution: insoles. I go back on Wednesday with my overpriced insoles i bought at my local running store. He is cutting the insoles for toe support.

Wow... who would have ever thought i had knee problems because of my darn toe. Go figures.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The science of running: 30/70

This is starting out to be a pretty good day.

I started my morning bright and early at 7am. Don't you just love gettting up before anyone else. I usually peak out my back window and look at the snow covered mountians, take a deep breath and say, "this is going to be a great day!"

I fixed homemade banana chocolate chip muffins, eggs, bacon and fresh sliced melon. We only have 2 more days with our danish guests, so i thought it might be nice if we had one relaxing breakfast together. Usually we are rushing out the door with a bowl of cereal or a cup of coffee.

At 10:30 i headed out for my 15 mile run. Even though i did not get my 7 mile in this week, i still felt confident that it could be done. I gave myself a goal of 2 hours and 15 minutes (9 minute mile). Let's just say i completed the 15 miles. Period. My timing was a little off, but i completed it. Isn't that the important thing?

After running 15 miles today, i am convinced that running is 30% physical and 70% mental. Those last 5 miles were a killer.

Now... putting my feet up for some well deserved rest.

My own calcutta today was: Running my longest run EVER!!! It won't be the last.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Oh the dreaded word: Time.

You would think because this is a semi-running blog, i would be talking about my running time.

When you work, come home, make dinner for 9 people, clean up, then fall into bed at 10:00, time means something else than beating my 9 minute mile.

Don't get me wrong, I love having guests... especially danish guests. They pull their own weight with the chores and make things easy on the hostess. But it's still a different dynamic in the house and with my running.

I am very proud to say i did NOT foregoe my Monday 3 mile speed work and my 4 mile run this week. Today I have a 7 mile and i have no clue how i am going to fit that in.

It's chinese night and i think i have 2 egg rolls buried in the freezer (maybe). This means home at 4pm from a long day at work, grocery shopping, then preparing an amazing chinese dinner for 9 people. Did i metion dessert too.

Time. This week, i loathe the word.