Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Marathon #3

So it looks like my blog has turned itself into my marathon blog since that's what I last posted about. Hmmmm...So in most marathon training programs, you build up your mileage each week on your long runs. So one week you run 14 miles, the next 15, the next 16, the next 18, etc. Then about three weeks before the marathon you might run 20 or 22 miles and then you taper, or run shorter distances the couple of weeks before the big day.

This marathon has been really different for me. During the weeks, I've run short distances because I've needed to get into work on time and haven't got there as early as I should have. Every Saturday when I should be out doing long runs, something has come up, including some unexpected travel, presentations for work, stress, not feeling well, you name it. So throughout the time I should have been running long, I wasn't. I knew I had the marathon coming up because I signed up a long time back, and I was starting to stress about what I was going to do and how I was going to finish.

One day at church, Brother Gudmundson was talking about this program he had done some research on and said he really believes in it. So I thought I had nothing to lose... I did a little research on my own about the method and tried to figure out how to do it right. The method is Jeff Galloway's Run-Walk program. I also listened to the Extra Mile Podcast: Galloway Edition as I was doing a couple of long roadtrips and finished them on some of my runs.

So my long run training program consisted of one 13-mile run one month before the marathon, a 19-mile run the next week, a 13-mile run the next week, and a 6-mile run the week before. And that is all. I do not recommend this training plan at all, but that's all I was able to do to prep for this one.

Friday night I ate dinner with friends, and I had plenty of beans and rice in my salad to keep me going through the run. I also drank a lot of water to at least start out hydrated. I went to bed and slept pretty well - of course a very short night because I got up at 2:45 a.m. so I could eat my oatmeal with banana before we had to leave. We caught the 4:00 a.m. bus and it took us up to Wallsburg, UT. It was certainly a lot warmer than last year, which was nice while we were waiting for it to start.

I had in my mind that I would be lucky if I could finish in 5 1/2 hours because of my lack of training. I was looking more to 5 hours and 45 minutes. So finally I started running at a 2 minute run/1 minute walk ratio. It was funny because I passed several people who had their beepers going off doing the same run-walk thing that I was doing. By mile 4, I took off all my extra layers  of clothes because I was all warmed up. Throughout the first part of the race, I really felt good. I felt like I could be consistent. I remember the different parts of the course and how I was feeling at those same spots last year. Honestly, I felt so much better this year.

As I came down the canyon, I was at 2 hours and 30 minutes at the half-way point, which is exactly where I was on my training runs. I did stop there long enough to hit a port-a-potty, and then I kept on going. I really could remember walking long stretches along there last year, but I felt really good going through there this time. About 4 miles away from the finish (so Mile 22), I started calculating in my head, that if I kept going and kept a decent pace, I could actually finish just over 5 hours. So I had some good adrenaline kick in. I also adjusted my run-walk ratio to a 1 minute run, 1 minute walk. I kept going. Along the way, I ate half of a lime-flavored gel and kept going. I also ate half a banana and a few orange wedges, but that was all. Pretty soon, I could see the finish. I honestly felt so much stronger this year than last! I couldn't believe it.

So I crossed the finish line at 5 hours and 7 minutes after I crossed the starting line. I honestly felt really good! The friends I run with (they all run faster than I do), so I guessed they would be at the massage line, and they were. So we all got massages, and it felt okay. I wasn't terribly impressed with mine, but oh well, beggars can't be choosers. I cut14 minutes off my time from last year and about 20 minutes off my time from the Top of Utah marathon that I did in September. And I trained way less than I should have. So that gives me some hope that I can be faster for the next one...Another one? yes! We signed up for the inaugural run of Big Cottonwood Canyon in September. I'd like to cut some significant time, but I know that is going to take a significant number of Saturdays. I hope my life will calm down a little bit now, so I can train.

Monday, September 19, 2011

One more marathon...

I just realized I never finished my posts on New York...Basically, I loved New York! I thought it was such a fun place to visit. I saw Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Wicked, and Catch Me if you Can while I was there. We ate at fun restaurants, including Bangladesh, Indian, Vietnamese, and Ethiopian. We really had a good time! We also had a really good conference and learned a lot. I felt like it was definitely worth going to! I would love to attend another one sometime by the same group.

Friday my roommate and a friend that we work with drove up to Logan, Utah to participate in the Top of Utah marathon.

Tonya and I stayed at Jordan's sister's house in Smithfield, which was a lot of fun. It was so fun to visit with them and they were great hosts. When I got there, I realized I did not take any contact stuff, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. How dumb is that! When I packed, I was going to take one bag, so I loaded up my stuff and then decided to take a different one instead, but forgot to take everything out of the side pocket. So luckily, they had some contact solution and a dixie cup and gave me a toothbrush. I was very grateful! It was really fun to be with them.

Saturday morning we got up really early (because we kept waking up thinking it was later than it really was.) We ate breakfast and got ready and went to Logan to catch the bus that would take us up the canyon. When we got up there, we stood in line to go to the bathroom for a long time. Then we walked down to the starting line. About the time we got down there, it started pouring rain. Luckily we were able to find a corner under a tent. Then it let up and we thought we would be good. Then it started coming down again! It was crazy! Finally, the mountain men were out with their muzzleloaders and a cannon to start the race. We waited another couple of minutes before we took off. And we ran and we ran and we ran and it rained and it rained and it rained and hailed too. I thought once I got out of the canyon it would get sunny, but the sun didn't come out until mile 22.

It was interesting to talk to and listen to the people running around me. They all had such interesting stories. One man had run the Wasatch 100 mile run last week. He said it took him 32 hours. So this week was just a nice recovery run. Haha!

Anyway, by the tie I got to the end, I felt like it was time to stop. My hands were freezing and I was wet all the way through. I guess I would have been wet all the way through either way - hot or cold - either from the rain or from sweat. Actually it was probably a mix of the two. After we finished, we went over and got a massage. It actually felt quite good! Here's a picture of the end with Tonya and Jeff. We did it!

We went and ate at Cafe Rio, which is one of our favorite places to eat. Then we went and took a shower - always one of the very best things you can do after a really long run. I was finally able to warm up after taking my shower. We drove back home, and I actually have felt really good since. I have felt so much better than I did after I ran the Utah Valley Marathon.

I'm glad I did it! I'm hoping my running next year will be faster. I am taking a weight training class this semester to improve my strength, which will hopefully improve my speed and endurance.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hello, New York City!

For work, I have an opportunity to attend a conference to learn more about how to do better design and usability work. One of the very best conferences to attend is happening this week in New York City, so my roommate Tonya and I were able to come. But we decided to come a little bit early so we could get to know New York and also to have some fun.

Friday, we left Provo to come. We arrived about 3:30 into JFK and caught a taxi (something we won't ever do again because it is so expensive!) and went our hotel. Then we set out to explore New York. we walked to a little Indian restaurant and had some yummy food and then caught the subway into the center of the city.

We started walking around and it started to pour rain! And I mean POUR! So we stepped into Walgreens and we wandered around in there for a few minutes trying to see if we could wait it out. We went out for a little more and the it lightened up and then it started again. So we were in and out of stores to wait out the rain. Finally it passed over us and we headed over to the Rockefeller Center to look out over the city, but because it was cloudy, you couldn't see very well, so we switched our tickets. Instead we went to a park and sat for a long time and then we went and found one of the best-kept secrets - McDonald's (at least here) has fresh fruit smoothies and oh they are so good, especially on a hot, muggy night when you are tired and thirsty.

Here we are at Times Square. There are may advertisements, and they are big and well-lit! Check out this one!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Utah Valley Marathon

Yes, you read that correctly. Today I ran the Utah Valley Marathon. It was so much fun!
I didn't know how it was going to turn out, but it was a really fun day!

Here is what happened leading up to and through today. Mike (coworker), Jeff (coworker), Tonya (roommate), and I have been training for the marathon for the last 16 weeks or so.
Yesterday after our work retreat we went to the marathon expo to pick up our bib numbers and our shirts. We were all really excited! Last night, Tonya and I ate a lot of food, did some pre-marathon massages, read up on some other marathons that look interesting because we were too excited to really sleep, but we finally did go to bed.

Tonya and I got up at 2:15 am so we could eat enough and our food could settle before the start of the marathon. Then we layered up our clothes and at 3:30 we left our house to go catch the bus.

We arrived up the canyon at the start of the race (Wallsburg, UT) at 4:45 and it was quite chilly up there, so they had fire pits and water and Powerade and bathrooms. Actually, it was quite interesting because Wallsburg reminds me so much of home, just a small town up in the canyon.

About a quarter to 6 we shed our outer layers and put them in the truck that would take our bags to the finish of the race and went to the bathroom one more time. And then we started...

The first 7 miles went around Wallsburg and then around to the highway by Deer Creek Reservoir. I am a fairly slow runner, so I just ran by myself. I listened to a book called Blink about how quickly we make first impressions about everything/everyone we see. I stopped at chapter 4 and listened to the sound track to Wicked (the Broadway musical).

There were lots of hills over the first half of the course. I wish I had done better at training on the hills because I was awfully slow. Once we got to the halfway point, the landscape was a lot more familiar because that is where I have done my long runs. So from the road, I could see the parks I go by when I'm on the trail. Each of the odd miles had an aid station to get water or Powerade and some of them had bananas and oranges, or Gu, or otter pops, or shot blocks to keep us going. I drank at every one of them and I felt like that did keep me going. I probably should have eaten more of the Clif bar I had in my belt, but it just didn't taste good to me while I was running, but I knew I needed calories.

My chip time was 5:21, which was not quite as fast as I had hoped, but better than I thought it would be when I reached mile 14. Overall, I am pleased at it being my first marathon. I really had two goals for it: 1. finish and 2. not be the last one. :) I did both, so I felt good about it. (A friend later told me that there were still people coming in after 7 hours.) For the next one, I will probably work more on my speed and I need to do more on hills.

When I got to the finish, my friends were all there because they are faster than I and Lori, Jordan, and Mckenzie came down too! It was exciting to see the finish line at the last aid station and to know I just had a little bit left to go!

Here's a picture of us at the finish. Not too bad looking after 26.2 miles!

We walked around a little bit for the muscles to stop spasming and then Tonya and I stopped at Kohinoor (Indian food) to eat when we got home. It tasted pretty darned good! Taking a shower was amazing and I felt so much better afterwards. I tried to take a nap, but my body had a hard time really resting. So I got up and went to the store so I would walk around and bought some chips that were salty.

Tonight Lori and Jordan took me to eat at Outback and it was a lot of fun! I came home and we did massages. As long as I keep moving, I am not so stiff. I must say, I'm not too fast moving, but as the marathon shirt says, it's "Pain you enjoy."

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Today I had the opportunity to participate in the Utah NAME conference, which was held a Utah Valley University and I had a good experience there. The theme of the conference was Narratives of Bravery and Hope: Making my Home in Utah. A lot of immigrants here shared their stories and their dreams for the future. I was really impressed by them and their desires to do good in the world and their desire to make a difference. UVU also has some really great programs in place to improve the opportunities for Latino/a students. they have Latinos in Action and Latino Educators of Tomorrow programs that I think are so important. I also was impressed by the comments made about the university president, Matt Holland, and how much he cares about the students.

Part of what I did was share a project I have been working on. It was to write up a booklet that contains a lot of the activities that we used in our Multicultural Education class that Ramona Cutri and I co-taught. In it, I included the activity objective, how it ties into the Standards for Effective Pedagogy, the materials for the activity, how to set up and conduct the activity, how to debrief it, and then some ideas for using the same activity with different topics. I felt like it went well and I'm glad I was able to participate in it. We had my project posted online. Scroll down a little bit once you get to the screen and read the section on Lesson Plan Adaptation Activities. Then click the Download ... materials here. I decided today I would like to convert into a wiki page where many people can edit it and add their own activities. I think that would foster some additional collaboration that would enhance the project more. Overall, I was pleased with how it came out. I will play with the possibility of converting it into its own website.

It was interesting to me to participate in the conference because it made me think about my own identity as a scholar and how is used to be so much more involved than I currently am now, as I am an instructional designer and spend more of my day thinking about design and how to make whatever we are creating easier, rather than people issues.

I also thought about how much more needs to be done to work with kids who are not the mainstream. I think that is one reason I am excited to get more done on my dissertation.

Then I listened to the second half of the afternoon session of General Conference and I ran almost 15 miles today... I'm glad tomorrow is a rest day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

I had an awesome Valentine's Day. Mckenzie came over to play while Lori and Jordan went on a date. We played with my penny jar and dumped my coins out on the floor and then picked them up and then dumped them out again. Mckenzie told me stories and we made valentines with stickers and pictures on them. The big event of the evening was to make the dessert for when Lori and Jordan came back. Lori had sent over a chocolate cheesecake, so Mckenzie and I made it.

Here is Mckenzie mixing up the crust. She had a great time pressing it in the pan. Especially when she noticed some of it stuck to her fingers and she got to lick them off. Then she pushed some more down and licked some more off. :)

Here we are mixing the crust again.

And here Kenzie is getting ready.

I really wanted to take a picture of her after we mixed everything and she finished licking all the bowls. I could tell that Lori has cooked with her a lot because she knows how to mix and stir and how to scoop things that have spilt. She also knows well how to lick the bowl. :)

So we made a yummy chocolate treat and it was a lot of fun. When Lori and Jordan came back, we had a nice time eating the treat we made.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saint George Half Marathon

Yesterday I did something I had never done before. I ran a half marathon. That is 13.1 miles of running. And it was AWESOME!

I did it with some friends from work and my roommate. We did the Dirty Dash earlier and now we did the Saint George Half. It really did feel good and I had a great experience doing it.

Tonya and I went down to Saint George with our friend Jeff from work and his wife, Julie. We talked and laughed the whole way down to Saint George.

Tonya and I stayed at one of our favorite hotel chains, Knight's Inn. We stayed at one in Denver, but this one was a lot more well kept up. It was nice for us (and not too expensive)!
We woke up early yesterday morning and ate some yummy breakfast. I had some oatmeal and a banana. Then our room was a little bit cool, so we got back into our beds and too a little nap until Jeff and Julie came.

So here is our before-race photo. Dad, I don't know if you can see it or not, but I am wearing my Crooked Pole Tipi Works viser. I think it was lucky!

Our orange shirts say CTL. Every year the CTL buys t-shirts for everyone at work and this year we asked if we could get some tech-shirts for running rather than the regular cotton t-shirts. We had to pay a little extra, but they are fun to wear. I like the color too!

The course was interesting because part of it went through the city and then it went out along the river and the freeway in St. George. We looped around a couple of times. I guess I must have been deep in thought throughout the whole race because I was listening to a book on my iPod. I listened to the first three chapters of the book two times and all I know about the book is there was a picture of a boat on a wall and it looked like the waves were really moving and some boy's cousins were coming to visit and he liked to torment them. (Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis. I'm sure it is a really good book!) Other than that, I was listening for the voice in my iPod that says "one mile completed...You are at the halfway point. Only 6.5 miles to mile to go...400 meters to go...congratulations you have completed a half marathon. Time: 2:23. Distance 13.1 miles. Rate: 11.02 minutes per mile. Thank you Lori, Jordan, and Mckenzie for the running chip. It works great! And those were my stats. I felt fine about those, especially because I ran last weekend the same amount of time, but only ran about 11 miles. I felt good about it!

Here is the post-race picture. Kj and Jessica, I loved the water bottle belt. It is really handy to carry water and the phone and snacks and whatever else you can fit in it. It is great!

We don't look too much different from our pre-race picture. It was exciting! Tonya and Jeff finished about 30 minutes before I did, so they came back and met me where I had about 1/2 mile left.
I am really glad I did it. While we were there, we signed up to do the Utah Valley full Marathon in June, so we will be spending the next few months training and increasing our distance so we can run a full 26.2 miles. It really will be awesome!Who would have thought?

Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and took the best shower ever! It felt so good! We went and ate at Cafe Rio and then went to the outlet mall and found some nice shirts for $2.99. Then we drove home. Today I feel great! I have been so hungry though! I have eaten a lot of meals and snacks!