Trail Running

I love road running, but to be honest there is so much more opportunity for trail running in Utah. My husband, an avid trail runner, has explored just about all the dirt possible for both hiking and running. Although, I could do a post on this technical and freeing sport, he has done just that with an entire blog dedicated to trail running in the Wasatch. This Saturday, he has started, and is hosting, the first ever Pie and Beer Day Fun Run. This 25 miles race, will take place in honor of Utah’s famous Pioneer Day on July 24th. And yes, there will both pie and beer at the END of the race! Come celebrate the festivities with us post race, and/or sign up to be a part of next year’s festivities! Check out his blog Wasatch Runner for all sorts of information on trail running routes, races, and his personnel experience with running in the Wasatch!

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Salt Lake 10 miler

Today ended my five week training for the Salt Lake 10 miler, and started my training for an upcoming 1/2 marathon this April. Today’s race began at Little Dell Reservoir and headed up the road to Little Mountain, and down Emmigration canyon ending at “This is the Place”. After the first 1 1/2 to 2 mile climb we then descended down Emmigration past snow-capped mountains, streams, and wooded hillsides. The weather was a perfect 50 degrees for our 8am start. The first 5 miles I felt great cruising up and down at an eight minute per mile pace. The second half, didn’t go quite as well. I was able to follow my training schedule to the “T” over the past 5 weeks, but unfortunately, that came at the cost of today. This was my fourth day of a running stretch leaving my legs quite sore from the beginning. After the first five miles, I was spent. I pushed ahead to mile 8 but then began to slow down finishing completely exhausted. Overall, I felt great about my end time of 59th out of 294 people with a sub 8 minute mile average crossing the finish line at 1 hour 19 minutes and 45 seconds. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel as well physically as I would have liked too. Over the next two weeks, I plan to continue running in prep for a 1/2 marathon on April 16th.

5 weeks to 10 miles progress…

I am over half way through my training for the Salt Lake 10 miler. It took me a full week of running until I felt like my legs and lungs were beginning to catch up with my heart’s motivation. My first long run, only 6 miles, looked completely different from my 10 mile run this past weekend, just two weeks later. I had to stop twice during the 6 mile run to catch my breath and walk after feeling like I was going to lose it on the side of the road. I was floored with my body’s condition, but continued to pick up the pace the following week clocking 27 miles. Last week, thanks to a little extra help from Pete, I was able to continue the progress with a 4, 5, 7, 6, and then 10 mile run. With two weeks remaining, I have had a little hip pain and numbness in my left hand from what I believe is a extra strain on my ulnar nerve. I’ve only endured  two runs in the valley’s rain and hail, with mostly overcast skies.  After the 10 miler, I have decided to continue on to train for a 1/2 in April. April 24th- April 30th is Infertility Awareness week.  I am planning a Salt Lake 1/2 marathon on April 30th in honor of infertility awareness. If you would like to join me on this trek, I would gladly welcome any takers. Course map is to come and who knows, maybe someday I can turn this into a fund-raising event to help support couples who can’t afford advanced fertility treatment.

Two weeks to go!

Week 4: 4 miles, 6 miles, 8 miles, 5 miles, 11 miles

Week 5: 4 miles, 5 miles, 6 miles, 4 miles, Salt Lake 10 miler!!!

*I would like to also thank Clif Shot Blocks for helping me push through my latest run.

5 weeks to 10 miles

Somewhere between my four weeks of forgoing any form of exercise, a failed IVF cycle, several extra pounds of weight gain, and a major slump; I’ve decided spring is in the air, and so should be I. So, with much encouragement from a running friend, some nice sunny days, and a fresh start to a new month, I’ve decided to pick myself back up, lace up my running shoes, and sprint full force into a ten miler five weeks from now. To start my new season, I headed out Sunday afternoon for a beautiful 3 1/2 mile jog around Liberty Park, only to notice I was breathing heavier, moving slower, and had sorer muscles following! Pretty pathetic for a thirty-one year old who was completing half marathons only a few months prior. Regardless, I realized getting back into running was not as easy at thirty-one, as it was when I was twenty-one. So here is my plan over the next five weeks as I train for the Salt Lake 10 miler! Each week I will run 5 days with Saturday being my long run day. Adding the stroller, on at least half those days, should help with strength training as well. Of course, if I’m lucky I will have support during my longer runs, and if all goes well, maybe I’ll shoot for a half by mid April.

Week 1: 3.5 miles, 4 miles, 5 miles, 4 miles, 6 miles

Week 2: 4 miles, 5 miles, 6 miles, 4 miles, 8 miles

Week 3: 4 miles, 6 miles, 7 miles, 5 miles, 10 miles

Week 4: 4 miles, 6 miles, 8 miles, 5 miles, 11 miles

Week 5: 4 miles, 5 miles, 6 miles, 4 miles, Salt Lake 10 miler!!!

Winter Running Mama

Barely breaking twenty degrees several days these past few weeks, and almost consistently not rising above thirty the entire month of January; I have had to become more determined, more thoughtful, and much more intentional on getting outside. Besides the extreme cold temperatures, the Salt Lake inversion has also become a challenge to running in the city. Although, I can’t control the air quality around me, I can control the comfort of my child while I push through my winter workouts. So, I’ve decided if the suns out, GET OUT! Here is what I have found helpful towards keeping us running mommies active during the winter months, and our little ones warm!

Planning ahead

  1. Expect extra time when getting yourself and your baby or toddler ready for a run in the winter. It takes me a good half hour to get out the door. I would expect forty-five minutes to an hour for two kids, and anymore than that, I would highly recommend a sitter!
  2. Gather up clothes, equipment, shoes, jackets, food, etc ahead of time so that way you can just assemble yourselves at the door!
  3. Make sure you have a good running stroller. We love our BOB revolution. It works great in all-weather conditions.
  4. Look at the weather in the morning, and plan your run around the warmest part of the day!
  5. Bring extra clothes, blankets, snacks, etc during your run incase things move slower than expected, or weather changes.

Getting yourself ready

  1. I AWALYS get ready first. That includes, layers, hair, shoes, etc.
  2. I love my Nike Dri Fit running pants, they are perfect for splashing water and snow. I usually always wear two base layers, and if its below twenty degrees, I’ll throw a fleece on top. I have continued to wear my road running shoes, but if there is lots of snow on the ground I am happy to trade for my trail shoes, which keep my toes a lot more dry. Fleece gloves and a head band or hat are a must.

Dressing your little one

  1. Dressing little ones is the fun part. They look a lot cuter than us adults in winter gear. I took some pictures to go along with the details of keeping your  little one warm and dry on a cold winter day.
  2. Start with a base layer onesie followed with warm pants, socks, and fleece, sweater, or sweatshirt. Sometimes, I’ll even have a onesie, shirt, and sweatshirt if it’s really cold. I am a big fan of Ella’s Columbia one piece snowsuit. It actually comes in two parts, an inner fleece lining and an outer water proof layer. They zip together and the hands and feet fold over to replace the need for gloves or shoes! I LOVE it! It also has attached hoods so if it’s not too cold this is all you need. It’s the perfect all in one, easy assembly piece of clothing.
  3. Next put in the binky or give baby their favorite snack or toy for the ride.
  4. Strap baby in the stroller, and (cover with a blanket if extra cold).
  5. I always keep milk in the stroller. 
  6. Lastly, BOB makes a running stroller weather cover that not only shields from rain, snow, etc but helps keep heat trapped in. I use this each time we go out in the winter for the mere purpose of keeping Ella warm. It really does work.
  7. When Ella was a baby, I would dress her similarly in base layers and a one piece snow outfit, but I would place her inside a “Bundle Me”. It held her in and was better than a blanket. This item was perfect for the really little ones.

Practical tips

  1. Pick roads that are wide since sidewalks are unreliable for snow clearing.
  2. Learn to gauge the amount of time your child can handle the cold. If you want to do a longer run but know you only have a given amount of time, pick roads with less lights, less traffic, where you can gain more distance without waiting around for rush hour to pass through.
  3. Look for parks or other trails that might be less snow packed or traveled by cars.
  4. Run during nap time if you want to do longer distance.
  5. Look at the weather at the beginning of the week and plan to run on the warmest and (in SLC’s case, the clearest air quality days).
  6. If it’s not working, don’t give up, turn around and try again another day!
  7. Most importantly, make it fun for you and baby.

Five for Five

This summer I decided to challenge myself to five half marathons in five months. My goal was to encourage spending time outside, pushing my body beyond comfort, getting back in good shape, and doing something for myself. I ended up going far beyond my own expectations, and coming out incredibly thankful for the health and body God has given me. I spent some much needed time reflecting, relieving stress, boosting my overall moral, and enjoying God’s creation around me.

MAY: Family Fun Run: To begin the season, Pete and Ella came along for my first run. We started from out home in Sugarhouse, and ran into the city winding up along the avenues and back around Liberty Park, finishing at home. Ella was a real trooper, despite a few sprinkles, and a sub-two hour stroller ride. Pete was both my support and cheerleader, this day and for the rest of the summer.

JUNE: Salt Lake City 1/2: The best part of most of my runs was the company I could drag along. I was able to find two friends to join me for part of this race wrapping around the outskirts of the city. We headed from the east side of Salt Lake towards Hogle Zooand the Bonneville Shoreline trail, where we hoped on the University campus and up into the avenues. On our way home, we crossed back through the old neighborhoods of upper Sugarhouse. Although, not the most scenic of my runs, certainly, a challenge as this was the only ½ I ran mid-day!

JULY: Canyon to Canyon 1/2: The Canyon to Canyon half marathon was a registered race beginning at East Canyon Resort and heading on Jeremy Ranch Road. This is a rolling dirt road heading towards Park City. The race is an out and back. For a rolling trail run I finished in an hr and forty-eight minutes, placing second for my age group. This was a great challenging fun run with beautiful views of the Jeremy ranch area, and the great rolling farmland that surrounded.

SEPTEMBER: Teton ½: Originally, my goal was to run four half marathons over the summer. I had tentatively planned for this to be my last summer race. We spent Labor Day weekend at the infamous Teton Village. It was a glorious three-day vacation away from the bustle of Salt Lake. I started my run from the village and trekked seven and a half miles down the Moose-Wilson Pathway to the small town of Wilson. I then turned around and headed back basking in the incredible views of the Tetons, open fields, horses, and coyotes I ran across. With “Beware of bear” signs posted every few miles, I moved quite swiftly not wanting to push my luck. This was actually a fifteen-mile run, making this the longest run of my summer.

OCTOBER: Provo Halloween 1/2: This was by far the most beautiful course I ran. The race was held on October 30th and started at the top of Sundance Resortheading down the canyon for five miles until you cross along on the Provo River Parkway Trail. The leaves were yellow half fallen and covering the flat trail for eight miles. Since the first part of the half marathon were down hill, I made record time beating my overall half marathon time by twelve minutes. I couldn’t have been more proud of how I ended this running season. My friend and I came in sixty-fourth place out of over 1600 people, and twenty-first for my age group. I couldn’t have felt younger that day, or older the next five days following!


Running

When two people meet and are attracted to one another, it’s often a common interest that strengthens that bond. Running was a part of both Pete and my life before we met, and slowly became a necessary pass time. In high school and collage, I ran to condition my body. It was a stress relief and a perfect way to zone. Now I run for the same reasons, but also to do something for myself. Pete finds running a way to challenge  his body. Each year he is looking to set new goals for races, bigger mountains to climb, and longer distances to run. He loves pushing his body and seeing what he can do. I love feeling as though I’ve accomplished a task, and the satisfaction that I feel after a good run. We both think clearer, communicate better, and have more patience and less arguments when we run. Pete loves to run long distances up mountains and on trails, I love to run short to medium distances on flat country roads. But most importantly, despite our different likes and talents, we take the time to do it together several times a week. I do believe, running helps us to be more loving as individuals and as a couple.  I think this will be something we continue to do together for years to come.