My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Roadrunner Files: Food to Some, Fuel to Others

Food. Isn't food always the question, with everything. What do I eat, am I eating too much, too little, protien, carbs, calories, blah blah blah.

With running, in my mind, food becomes fuel.

And therefore, I view it differently than I normally would. Instead of asking "will this make me gain weight, or will this make me regret it later," I end up asking myself, "how much energy can this give me?" "how can this help my muscles rebound faster?" and "will this kill my stomach during a run?"

I have done a lot of research with food and running, and the opinions out there vary greatly. And each year, there is a new way to eat for optimal running performance. It is always changing, and probably always will be.

I continue to research often, and I am open to trying new things as they come out. I keep what works, I don't do what doesn't.

So, I am just going to share with you what I do. I have had years to figure out what works for me, and a lot of trial and error. This may not be what works for you though. Take it or leave it my friends.

When I am running, just to run (no training, no races, no big runs) I try to focus on foods that give me the most energy and I stay away from foods that upset my stomach or make my runs hard. Here is what I have found.

Energy foods:
grape nuts with mixed berries, milk and artificial sweetner (lots of energy!)
yogurt(if you mix grape nuts in the yogurt it tastes just like pie)
burritos full of vegies and chicken
apples with cheese
granola bars
peanut butter
whole wheat pasta
tuna fish on ritz crackers

Foods that don't help much:
spicy food
fruit juices

Food For Long runs.
This is where I have done a lot of research. If you don't fuel up right for a long run, you are seriously asking for it. Don't put yourself through that kind of misery. It is hard enough as it is.

The day before a long run, I drink A LOT. Being hydrated is key. It is just as important, and maybe more important than the food you will be eating.

I eat more carbs than normal on this day as well. (if it is before a marathon, I carb load two days before the race, and do not run) From what I have read, about 70% of the food you eat on this day should be full of carbs. I don't go crazy and eat pasta for every meal and pig out on pop tarts and cinnamon rolls. I do, however, make an effort to get the carbs in. Oatmeal and a banana for breakfast, a whole wheat bagel sandwich for lunch, whole wheat crackers for snacks, and pasta for dinner. Dinner is where I really bring in the carbs.

This may sound crazy, but for me, Olive Garden is where it's at. I have eaten there three times on the evening before a 19-20 mile run, and all of those runs were awesome! Alfredo sits well in my stomach. Maranara sauce does not. Don't know why, but I learned that the hard way. I know we can't all go to Olive Garden every time there is a long run though. Pasta at home works too.

Without being well hydrated and without carb loading, plan on a very hard and horrible long run. I have been there, it is not worth it.

During the long run.
This has been the hardest thing for me to figure out, but this past month, I think I finally did it! I can't stand Gu, power bars are too hard to chew during a run, and those gummy/jelly things literally make me gag. I know, I am a wimp. I just can't stand those things. I am not saying they don't help, because they do, I just don't like them at all!

That being said though, it is so important to have something to nibble on and something to drink during a long run, unless you enjoy hitting the wall early on.

Here is what I do, and it has been working wonderfully!
The night before the long run, I buy a gatorade (lemon/lime) and hide it in a bush, somewhere along mile 6, mile 12 and mile 16.

There is no reason I use these miles, they are just where the good hiding spots are, and where I tend to get thirsty. I buy another one to drink when I get home. I drink the entire thing within 1/2 hour of finishing the run. This is very important.
Notice, I did not say water. Water is good, but if you want to prevent cramping and hitting the wall fast, gatorade, powerade, and sports drinks are the way to go. They are highly recommended for runs, or exercise, longer than 45 minutes.

I plant the drink, because I don't like to carry it on me. Lots of people carry the drink on them though and do just fine. Whatever floats your boat. Luckily at the marathon, the aid stations always have gatorade and water. I make sure to utilize this as much as possible.

During the long run, I have these in my pocket.

I just discovered these at Walmart a month ago, and I LOVE THEM!!! They taste great, they are small and easy to chew while running. And they give me awesome energy for the next few miles after I eat one or two. I ate these during my 19 mile run a few weeks ago and the difference was amazing. I will be carrying these on me during the marathon for sure! They are so awesome. (I ate one or two every three miles or is important to be getting nutrients through the entire run, even if you don't feel depleted yet)

During the actual marathon, I do eat one of the banana chunks they give you at the aid stations. They really make a difference and they don't upset my stomach. One marathon gave us gummy bears at mile 20 and I was pleasantly suprised with the short energy burst they gave me.

The key to being able to continue on in the long runs is to stay hydrated and to keep some sort of nutrition in you. It is easy to become depleted in everything when you run this far, and when this happens, you are running on empty and it is nothing short of pure torture. The finish line, or the end of the run, is not the place to finally eat or drink something. Eating and drinking through the entire run is very important, even if you don't feel like it.

I have done both. I ran a marathon without eating anything and drinking very little. I was sore for two solid weeks after the race and I was in so much pain for the last 6 miles of the race. It was really bad. I also ran a marathon where I ate and drank frequently and it was so much better. I was only sore for a few days, and the actual race was much better. I am a believer.

After a long run or a marathon.
Hydrate like crazy. Drink everything you want to drink. Just drink. Drink all day. Try to eat a good size meal within an hour, to help with muscle repair and to help restore some lost nutrients.

So those are my tips. That is what I do. It won't work for everyone though. You have to find out what works for you. The best time for trial runs (no pun intended) is during training. Get it all figured out before the race. Trying new things during a race is not good.

What do you do for fuel when exercising, running, doing a race, ect? What works for you? What tips and tricks do you have? Share with us, I am sure we are all in the same boat.

Next up...
Roadrunner Files: Cross Training

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A First For Us




It was A LOT of work, but it feels good to have it all done.
Now we wait, and see if we can get anything to grow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


They are what life is about, right? Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. We have all heard that before, well, a lot of us anyway.

It seems that the bigger our family gets, and the older we get, the more this priority thing creeps in.

God will always be my number one priority in all that I do. That is something I have decided and will never go back on. The other stuff though, can be much harder.

Family is also a priority I have chosen to take presidence over most anything.

God and family are where I have found my true happiness, so keeping them front and center keeps me deeply happy.

There is other stuff though, every day, that requires all sorts of juggling, and I have a feeling that it will only get more bonkers from here.

Right now we are deciding some things. Sam is signed up for fall and spring soccer. Mary and Sam must do swimming lessons. That is not an option for them. My parents have a boat, we love water, they must swim. It is a safety issue for us.

Sam likes T-ball, Mary loves gymnastics, Mary wants to do baseball and soccer. We want our children to learn a musical instrument (so far I am teaching Mary paino, and it is a lot of fun), and William isn't even in the picture yet with all of this stuff. With two kids in sports and school, and Ben and I both training for races (Ben is training for a mini triathalon!), we are really having to plan our time.


We decided early on, that we want to be an active family. We seem to just naturally want to be that way...all of us. So why not embrace it. We feel that education is extremely important as well, but right now, the decisions are with sports. We also don't want to be so busy that we can't just sit back and have fun together. This is TRICKY!

I think we have found a way to spread out the sports through the year, and just have each kid in one sport at a time. The true trick however, has been trying to make sure we don't double book things. So far, it has been interesting.

Mary's first gymnastics meet was the same day as the 1/2 marathon I did with my mom. With that one, I had to choose the thing that was a one time thing. The 1/2 marathon with my mom was not something that will happen often, if ever again. There will be many gymnastics meets.

Sam's T-Ball games have been at good times, but they conflict with me and Ben's time at the gym, and next spring they may conflict with soccer.

Swimming may end up conflicting with soccer or gymnastics, and possibly even school, depending on what track Mary will be on and when Sam's preschool starts. We have a very small two week window that is empty this summer, with some luck, I can get swimming in at that point.

Now we have discovered that the 188 mile Ragnar Relay I am signed up for and have been training for, is the same day as the State gymnastics meet. There are 11 other team members depending on me, and it sounds like an absolute blast. I have been pretty excited for it. It is said to be very hard, but a lot of fun. However, my little girl is competing in a State meet. This is no small thing either. She has worked so hard to be able to do this, and it means a lot to her. She needs her mother there, smiling at her, giving her the thumbs up, doing her hair the way she likes it, helping her work through the nerves, and giving her lots of hugs when it is over. This, to me, is what really matters. Being there for Mary.

A replacement was found, and the Ragnar team is all set once more. I am sure I will think of them once or twice that weekend, but the feeling I get watching my girl do something she loves, will be well worth it. When all is said and done, it will be much more important than running up a mountain. There is always next year, and the next....

And hey, now I can do another 1/2 marathon in July or August instead! I am already on the hunt and I think I found one.

Even though it is a lot to juggle, and can get crazy sometimes, I actually don't mind that much. I just feel really grateful that we can be active and that we can do these fun sports and activities. I also know that there are things in life that are much more important and may one day have to be choosen over these activities. When and if it comes to that, I will do it.

For now though, we will plan the best we can, enjoy the fun, and embrace the craziness of it all.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kind of Roadrunner Files, but other stuff too. ;)

Yesterday was my last 19 mile run for my marathon training! I was sick all week with a nasty stomach bug, so it was my hardest long run so far. I was over the nasty bug when I did the long run, but I had only been better for a day. My nutrient stores were very low. Let's just say that I got a great mental workout. I wanted to quit from mile 1. If that doesn't prepare me for hitting the wall, nothing will. I also discovered the best running fuel (to eat during a run) ever! I will be posting it soon. I completed the run yesterday though, and I am so excited to be done with the worst of the training!!!
To celebrate this milestone, I decided to post a picture of my training schedule. Well, it is the last 7 weeks of my training schedule. It is nothing fancy, but it sits there on the fridge and motivates me every time I see it. I have actually been training consistently for about 15 weeks. Before that I was building mileage to get ready for the training. So, here is what my last 7 weeks has been like.

The numbers are miles, "cross" is cross training for one hour, and "R" is rest. Three weeks left folks! I am so excited and very, very, very nervous.

I follow Hal Higdon's Guide. Just google "Hal Higdon's Marathon Guide" and you will find it. I tweak it a little (ok, a lot) so that it is more customized for me. He has a marathon guide for beginners, intermediate and advanced. He also has some great half marathon guides as well. I have used it for the past three marathons. This is the first time I have used the intermediate plan though, and it is pretty crazy.

On another note, we have had some visitors lately that I have failed to blog about.
Last weekend my friend Katie and her family came for a few days while they put some offers in on some homes here. The kids played their hearts out, and as always, it was awesome to be able to be with my best friend and talk, talk, talk. Again, I didn't get a picture. oops!

This weekend, Ben's dad came for a few days. It was a last minute visit, and we were so grateful that he came to see us. The boys went to Cabellas while Mary and I were at her meet. We all went to dinner. He and Ben also went shooting. It was fun for everyone to see Grandpa Lonnie.

We have been so blessed with a full house and a full guest room since we have been here in Utah. Such a change from the last three years of our lives. It is wonderful!

Up Next: As promised, Roadrunner Files: Food or Fuel

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jungle Fever

Mary had her second gymnastics meet today. The theme was Jungle Fever. It was at a gym in Bountiful called Flips.

I got lucky this time, and Ben was able to stay home with the boys (and his dad who came to visit), so I was able to sit and watch the meet un-interrupted. It was SO NICE!

Mary did great! I don't watch any of her practices, so I am always excited to see the progress Mary has made from one meet to the next. This was the first meet where she did all of the tricks by herself. She has been working on a trick on the bars for a long time, and she finally got it this week! She nailed it today in the meet.

She also did her handstand on the beam all the way up. She has been doing baby handstands lately because of a nasty fall she had in practice that made her scared, but today she went all the way up again!

It is so hard to get pictures and video at the same time. This is her on the way down from her handstand.

It was so fun to watch Mary, her team and all of the gymnasts there. They are all so talented and so cute. Mary's team took 2nd place and Mary recieved an individual all around bronze medal. She was beaming.

Lovely spot for a picture isn't it. hehehe Look at the huge trophy cool!

She qualified for the State meet next month, and she also qualified to move up to level four.

After talking to her coach though, I decided that level four can wait a while. She would be the youngest on that team by three years. I would rather that she stays in level three, where she is still very young, but where she can learn better how to perform and compete mentally. She would be lost in the crowd in level four, and would get frusterated. This way she can move up when she is a least a little older, and handle it all better mentally. Her coach was ok with the idea and said we can wait 6 months or so before moving her up.

We are so excited for the State Meet next month! I am proud of my little girl and all of her hard work. Good job Mary!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Roadrunner Files: Where do I begin? (starting up running)

Thank you to those of you who left your stories on the last post. They were great! Love it.
And shame on those of you who didn't. It is not too late....

Unfortunately, running is not something we decide to do one day, and then we go out and run a marathon. Oh, how I wish that were true.

The cold hard truth is that running begins one step at a time. And no, it is not easy.

I have been running distance since I was 18 (I will be turning 29 this year), and I have had to start a running routine over again 5 times since then. I am talking starting from scratch.

Because I am sure that illness, pregnancy, circumstances, or whatever, will once again force me to end what I love for a chunk of time, and then start all over again, I have devised a system that I use to get back into running. I call it my start up phase. I consider it the hardest phase with running.

Before starting up a running program, or an exercise program, you have to accept one fact. You have to accept it, and you have to be willing to work through it.

It will be hard. It will be fun, worth it, and addicting, but at first, it will be hard.

If you can't accept this, it probably is not a good time for you to begin running.

Once you have accepted the fact that it will be hard, then it is on to the next step. Setting a goal and writing it down. Without a goal, it will be very easy to quit. You need a goal. Sign up for a race, set a weight goal, set a mileage goal, set a pace goal, set a goal of exercising to a certain date, whatever it is, just set a goal.

Once you have accepted that it will be hard, and you have set a goal, it is time to get the proper running clothes. Running in jeans and everyday work out shoes will not cut it folks. You need a good pair of shoes (check previous post to learn how to pick good shoes), and you need flexible and good running clothes. Music is always nice too.

Now that you have the goal and the equipment, it is time to start. Set the time you will go running, and don't budge. Sure, you will be tired, or THE tv show is on, or you want to relax, or the weather isn't perfect, but no matter what, go running at your set time. Don't get into the habit of letting things get in the way. It is a very hard habit to break. Instead, get in the habit of working around your running schedule. If you really want to do something, you will make time for it. Think about your life and what you are willing to cram into it, if you really want to. It is all a matter of priority.

Now you need to decide where you will run. At a gym on a treadmill, outside, at home on the treadmill, or a little of each. I will be doing a post on outside running vs. treadmill, but for now, just do what is most convenient for you.

Once you are at the gym, on a treadmill, or on the road, warm up. DO NOT STRETCH COLD. I repeat, DO NOT STRETCH COLD! Warm up for 10 minutes before stretching, and then go ahead and stretch. You can warm up by walking fast, doing jumping jacks, jumproping, or whatever. Just warm up before you stretch.

Once you are warmed up and stretched, start jogging. It's as easy at that, just start jogging. Don't expect to bust out a mile without any problem. It will take time. will be hard.
The best thing I have found when I start running is to set times. For example: (if I am on a treadmill) I will run for three minutes and walk for one. Repeat this for 30 minutes. If I am outside, I will bring a watch and time it, or you can run past six houses and walk past two, or something like that.
Once this starts to get easier, move up a bit. Run for 5 minutes and walk for one. Or, run to the blue house, and walk past the red one. Once this gets easier, bump it up again. Pretty soon, you will run the full 30 minutes or the full route you are on. It make take two weeks, it may take a month. It doesn't matter, as long as you are improving.

STRETCH after every run. This is the time to stretch. Take time and do it right. The best time to stretch is when the muscles are all warmed up. Drink a lot of water and stretch after each run. It will make a big difference in your recovery.

If anything starts to hurt when you are running, pay attention.

There are different kinds of hurt however. There is the side-ache, the sore muscles, the lower back ache, and the normal aches and pains of running. Those are not reasons to stop. Slow it down a bit, but you are ok to continue most likely. Those should go away after a week or so.

Sore bones, a particular muscle that is screaming, knee pain, or anything like that, means that you should back off a lot, or stop for a while. I am not a doctor, but I would say that those should be looked at.

The first week or so you will be sore. Ice, stretching, drinking lots of water, Advil and pushing through it would be my advice.

So there you have it. Everyone is different, and I am not an expert, that is just how I start up running. I have had to start from scratch 6 times since I have been distance running. Every time, it is hard at first, but oh, the results are very worth it. There is nothing like getting back into shape, reaching goals, and being healthy.

To sum it up...
Accept that it will be hard...but very worth it.
Set a goal.
Find a place (home, gym, road)
Get the right equipment.
Warm up
Stretch (a little before and a lot after)
Drink lots of water
Stick to it. The only way to improve is to keep at it.
Oh, and one thing I didn't mention. Three days a week (at least) is a good goal for running, if you want to maintain. Four, or more, days is good if you want to improve a lot. Enjoy!

Anyone out there have any other tips, tricks or advice to starting up a running program? Feel free to comment!

Next up: Food to some, fuel to others.
(food for everyday running, food for long runs, food during runs, etc)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Roadrunner Files: YOUR Stories

Most people that start running/exercising do so for a reason. Health, weight, in support of someone else, to reach a goal, and so on.

I personally believe that the story of a runner is what makes a runner. The story of a person is what makes the person. This post is not for runners only. It is for anyone out there who has ever started any sort of exercise or fitness program. Even if you aren’t currently exercising, you can contribute. If you ever have exercised, started a fitness program, began running, or anything similar. We all have something to gain, and to give, from this.

Throughout my years as a runner, I have been a witness to, and have heard about so many amazing stories out there! For example:
A friend who doesn’t run, trained for and ran a breast cancer 5K for her sister with breast cancer. My mother, trained for and ran a ½ marathon on her 55th birthday!
My first marathon I ran was one month after the attack on 9/11. One guy, who was not a runner at heart, ran the entire marathon holding up a full size American Flag. His brother had been killed in the attacks. We all ran the marathon wearing the name of someone who had been killed that day. Instead of a loud band playing fun songs at the starting line, all 4000 of us runners stood in silence and saluted the flag as the National Anthem played before the gun went off. There was not a dry eye there.

The stories inspire. The stories motivate. The stories keep us going on the days we don’t want to put those shoes on and go. The stories are what make us start in the first place.

I have a story, actually I have a few. My story changes depending on the phase of life I am in. I will share with you, but only if you will share with me. Allow me to get personal. ;)

I began running out of having nothing better to do. I was always active up through High School, and when I got to college, I found that if I wanted to stay active, since I was not longer able to do things with a team, I had to find something I could do myself. So, I started putting one foot in front of the other and went from there. I ran to stay fit and to be healthy. With some major coaxing from some cousins and trained for and ran my first marathon that year. I got hooked.

A while later, after I had been out of the country for a while doing a service thing, I was back to square one. I hadn’t run in five months, I had gained weight from the food we ate in Ecuador, and I had to start all over again. This time, my reason for starting, was to gain back what I had lost. I had a really bad experience my last week in Ecuador that left me in a mental mess when I got home. I had lost myself in a way. Running and God were my way back, and each step eased my pain and allowed me to work out the whirlwind of fear, unease, and confusion swirling inside of me.

A short time later I ran to overcome. As a result from that experience in Ecuador the last week I was there, and with the weight gain, my self esteem hit rock bottom. I developed an eating disorder. It was getting pretty bad by the time an angel friend of mine got help for me. I was using my control over food, or lack of, to gain control that I felt was lost. Through God, therapy, a loving and supportive family, and running, I became whole from that terrible disease, and learned to overcome. I ran my second marathon with a healthy and whole mind and body that year. It was a big deal to me.

Then, life went on. I got married to the man I love. Mary was born, and before I knew it, running was a thing of the past. I didn’t think that running and pregnancy would go well together, so I stopped. Then Sam came along. After I had him, we moved to California. Very far from family. Life got busy with the two kiddos, but the kind of busy where you do so much but don’t get anything done. I started to feel overwhelmed, lonely and unhappy. Ben gave me a pair of new running shoes for Christmas that year. What a man! They were my answer. I started running again, and oh the joy it brought to me! The freedom, the endorphins and the release of all that frustration! And at that time I ran for sanity, peace, and release. I completed my third Marathon a little over a year later.

I got pregnant soon after that marathon, but 16 weeks into the pregnancy, we lost our precious baby. Because of the way I lost the baby, complications in surgery and an illness I contracted in the hospital, I was not able to even stand up, much less run. I was told it would take 6 months for my body to get back to a good blood level. I decided one day as I lay there on the couch crying for my baby and crying for my sick body, that I wouldn’t let it beat me. I would overcome this, get my running shoes on, and show them who was boss. Because of God, I was able to begin jogging again three months before the doctors thought was possible. I ran to prove to myself that I could choose my attitude and the way I would handle what life gave me.

I got pregnant soon after, and 9 months later William was born. We moved from Colorado Springs 7 weeks after that. Needless to say, that once again, running had been put on hold. A month after living here in Utah, I found that I just flat out missed running. I had learned to love it. Now, I run because it is what I love. It makes me feel good. It rejuvenates me. It keeps me healthy. It makes me set goals. It gives me something to look forward to. And let’s face it, it keeps me sane. Disclaimer: I absolutely adore my children, they are good kids. And my husband is wonderful. I am happy with my life. As a young mother, it can get stressful though, that is where the “running keeps me sane” comes from.

So, that’s my running story.
The reason for this post, was not for me to give you all of life history of my running, it was to lay it all out there to make it more comfortable for YOU to share yours. We all have something to gain by those who are willing to give. Give us your story. The comment section has lots and lots of room.

Even if you aren’t exercising, but have a goal to start up soon, tell us about your goal! A goal not written down is a goal that probably won’t happen. So write it down here, among friends.

What motivates you? What goals do you have? Who has inspired you?

We all start somewhere, and that somewhere is with a story, a purpose, or a goal.

Share with us, I dare you!

Up next….Where do I begin?
Advice and how to’s when it comes to starting up running program.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Ever since Sam was an infant, we knew he was a sweet heart. He has always been very humble and eager to please. He was the kind of baby that seemed like they would always be a baby. Just sweet and innocent.

Sam also showed a great desire to be active. That has grown these past four years, and Sam is becoming a very active boy who loves to run, jump and play.

He is also VERY shy when it comes to any kind of organized event or sport. He does not like people watching him. He avoids it at all costs.

I knew this when I signed him up for T-ball, but I also knew that it would stretch him in good ways. Sam loves to play baseball here at home with Ben. He knows how to throw and catch and hit the ball. He likes to do it on his territory.

The first T-ball practice, Sam sat on the side and meekly watched. He had no desire to join the team, even though he loves the sport.

The first game, he refused to play. Ben and I got a little worried. Was this just a big mistake?

The second game, we were able to get Sam to wear the team hat. This was a big deal. He still won't wear the shirt, because he is afraid of the attention it would bring. The shirt is at least three sizes too big and looks like a dress. We were thrilled that he wore the hat. Sam hit the ball once and stood in the field for a while! This was a big deal. We were very proud of him.

The third game was last night. Sam played the whole game and liked it!!! He would get shy when people would cheer for him, but he kept on going. We were so proud of him! It has been neat to see him crawl out of his shell week by week and be stretched a little.

He has a lot of courage and we were happy to see him willing to do something that we knew would be hard for him.

We are excited to see what the next few games will bring.

He is a great kid and a sweet boy. We sure love our Sammy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Roadrunner Files: Shoes and Nerves

Before I dive into this post, I realized that I forgot to emphasize something. The Roadrunner Files are not here for me to just blab on and on about running. Believe me, I know I am far from the fountain of all knowledge. I was hoping for this to be more of a "I help you, you help me" kind of thing. Any suggestions, tips, websites, or advice you want to add in a comment, PLEASE do. It will help all of us out here. ;)

So I tried out those shoes mentioned in the last post. I ran about three miles in them and then did an hour of awesome cross training. I want to tell you all about my wonderful find with cross training, but that will be another post for another day. It rocked my socks though, and I am S-O-R-E! It feels great.

Back to the shoes.

I found that the shoes were ok for running and excellent for cross training. For me, that meant I had to return them and buy the Saucony Cohesion Grid 4 shoes (ooohhh, such a big name) that I also mentioned in the last post. I need performance running shoes. I run way more than I cross train. I was pretty bummed to return those cute shoes, but once I put the other pair on, I knew I made the right choice.

They will be so much better for running and they fit perfectly. They are just like the ones I have had for years, but even better! I am so excited to begin running in them, and I think they will have the perfect support and spring I will need for the marathon.

Speaking of the marathon, it is one month from today! You would think I would not be nervous anymore for these, but in all honestly, I am almost to the point of being sick with nerves. As I type this, I literally have butterflies in my stomach.

I am nervous because I am running this marathon for time. I have two goals in my mind. One goal, I know I can beat if I just push through after hitting the wall. I have already run two very long runs in under this goal time. The other goal, well, it is reaching for the stars, but it is a huge dream of mine, and I am training my butt off to try for the impossible. In order to hit this specific goal, the marathon will have to go perfectly. And I mean, perfectly. No stomach cramps, no leg cramps, no bathroom stops, very little walking, maintaining a pretty fast pace, and so on. For those of you out there who have ever done a long run, or a marathon, you know how rare it is to have a run without any of these happening. If I can just hit one of these goals, I will be more than thrilled!

I am not trying to keep anyone in the dark, with my specific goal times. I just don't think I could handle the pressure of knowing that everyone out there knows my goals and will be waiting to see if I hit them. I get enough pressure from myself, I don't think I could handle any more.

I guess the nerves come from knowing what it will take to reach one or both of these goals. It is going to be one of the hardest things I have done. It is going to push me to my limit. It will be very, very hard. Things that I know will cause me pain, I get very nervous for.

Needless to say, I am incredibly nervous for this marathon. The mental game has begun. And if you haven't learned this by now, running is just as hard, if not harder, on your psyche than it is on your legs.

So, what do I do to calm my nerves? I do a few things.

In some movie, I can't remember which on, there is a quote. "Keep your eye on the prize." That is what I try to do at the starting line of a big race. I just think about how great it will feel to run through the finish line and to accomplish the goal. I also jump up and down a lot. I can't explain that one. Sorry.

I also train harder the more nervous I get. If I just can't shake the nerves, I run them out of me. Yes, there is a point where fatigue can over-ride nerves.

Sometimes, I will read to get my mind off of it for a while. The nerves from reading some creepy, wacked out, intense, and horrifying murder mystery are a nice substitute from reality sometimes.

I will also try to think about how far I have come and try to be happy for all I have accomplished. This really helps me gain perspective.

It helps me a lot to talk to someone about it. Ben and my mom are my main listeners/victims. The poor souls. I hope they have learned by now to just smile and nod, and occasionally say, "oh yeah, sounds rough," or "you can do it."

And then there are the times where I just pace all over the house worrying myself sick and thinking about all that can go wrong. These usually end up with my fingernals chewed down to nubs, cold sores, the consuming of lots of empty calories, and lots of trips to the bathroom. I don't recommend this one. I avoid it like the plague.

So, what do you do to calm your nerves? Any nerves, not just running jitters. I would love some more tactics to add to my collection.

Happy trails everyone!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Roadrunner Files: Shoes

In 2000, when I first started getting into distance running, I had a hard time finding a shoe that worked for me. Blisters, shin splints, and sore foot muscles and bones were driving me crazy! I talked to a few people that told me to look online. I went to the runnersworld website as well as others, and searched on their shoe finders. I found some adorable shoes, but soon learned that "cute shoes" weren't always the same as "functional shoes." The one's I did find, I thought were ok as far as looks, but the function could not be beat. I bought them, and was thrilled with the result. Ever since then, I have been running in these.

The Saucony ProGrid 3. They fit like a glove, the cushion makes me feel like I am running on the clouds, the foot support is phenominal, and they last a LONG time. I love these shoes!

The past few months, I have found that my toes have been hurting during runs. Weird! During the 1/2 marathon a week ago, my toes really hurt. And finally during my long run a few days ago, they were killing me! I finished my long run on Saturday, only to find that my toes had literally broken through my shoes! No wonder. This has never happened before. So weird.

This has me abolutely freaked out at the moment! Breaking in a new pair of running shoes, just one month before a marathon is NOT recommended. Even if you don't get blisters and the obvious pain from bad shoes(or shoes that don't fit your foot style), the change in shoes forces your muscles and bones to adapt to the new feel, and it can cause some problems with gait and running performance for a while. Shin splints, and sore muscles can occur. Not good a month before a marathon! I have been pretty irked with the whole thing.

I have always wanted a running shoe that not only performs well, but that I am also in love with as far as looks. Saucony has amazing shoes, but I am not a fan of how they look. I am such a girl. I have stayed with them though, because for me, these shoes might as well have my name written on them. They fit me that well.

Today at the shoe store I decided to branch out and look at and try on other brands. I ended up laughing at myself as I landed right back where I started, in the isle with the Saucony shoes. I guess I am just a very loyal customer to that brand. I know they work, and I trust the shoe. And, I found a shoe I thought was cute!!! Finally.

They have two new running shoes out right now, and I am still torn between the two.
There is the Saucony Mirage, which I think is adorable. I love the colors.

It is lighter than the shoe I am used to, and more flexible (which is the new big thing for running shoes right now).

And they have the Saucony ProGrid 4.

Which is the exact same shoe I have had for years, with some great upgrades.

I tried both pairs on and ran around the store, over and over and over again. I just can't decide. They feel different from eachother for sure, but they both felt good, in different ways.
Do I want the shoe that I know will work, and that is even better than what I have already had, but isn't as cute, or do I want the shoe that is a new and upcoming style for running, is more flexible, and is a color and style that I really like?

I was crunched for time, so I came home with the pink and black mirage. Now that I am home though, I am having second thoughts. New things scare me.

I am taking them to the gym tonight and that will be the deciding factor. I can return them after one "trial" workout according to the sales clerk. So we will see.

Aside from my own shoe ordeals, here are some tips I learned about choosing and wearing a running shoe.

If you have a high arch, loosen your laces, it makes a big difference.

Try to buy your running shoes at least a half size bigger. A full size bigger is preferred. I don't know the reason for this, but it really works!

Yes, there are different shoes for trail running vs. road or treadmill running. Make sure to tell the sales clerk what you usually run on.

It greatly matters if you turn your feet in or out, and there are shoes for both.

Shoes should never give you blisters, even if they are brand spanking new. Blisters= a shoe that is not right for your foot.

Even if you feel like an absolute idiot, run around the store with both shoes on AND LACED UP, before buying any pair of running shoes. Walking in them will not show their true ability or lack of.

The average running shoe should be replaced around 300-500 miles. A lot depends on if you run inside on a clean smooth surface, or outside in dirt, water, rocks, etc.
I can tell I need new shoes by the fatigue in my legs after a run that would normally be easy for me. I also keep track of miles I put on my shoes.

There are shoe stores out there that will watch you run and help you find the perfect shoe for you. If you prefer that, go for it. It may be more expensive, but in the long run (no pun intended) it could be worth it.

There are also numerous websites out there with info on how to pick running shoes. This one is excellent.

I am curious to see how my shoes work for me. I will let you know tomorrow!

What shoes have worked or haven't worked for you? Any more tips or tricks from you runners out there when it comes to shoes? Let me know.

Monday, May 9, 2011


How could this food

and this plant

And this soap

possibly taste better than...

A nice warm bottle of whole milk?

I don't get it.

Why Not?

I had a thought today.
I run, and I run a lot. I have run three marathons, one half marathon officially, and about 15 half marathons during training for marathons, tons of 10K's, a lot of
5K's, and I am currently training for another marathon as well as the 188 miles Ragnar Relay through the beautiful Utah Wasatch Back. Needless to say, I run a lot, and I like it.

I am not a professional runner by any standard, and I don't pretend to be one either. I am just your average, busy mom of three kids, living life and trying to stay fit and healthy. I started out as a beginner, running track in Junior High (the 400 seemed to be the race I always did), and hating it so much in High School that I quit. I picked up long distance running a few weeks into college, and haven't stopped since. As all people do, and I have learned as I go. I am who I am and I run how I run, and I am content and happy with that. I have however, learned a lot of running tips, tricks, do's, do not's, nutrition techniques, training techniques, and so on. I have learned these through all of the years of running, lots of research, a 95% degree in Sports Medicine (that is a story in and of itself), reading running magazines, experience, and lots of races.

I never really blog much about my running (especially the training) out of fear of giving my readers running overload. I blog about the races, and occasionally about some fun experiences, but not really the day to day miles and what training for a marathon, or a 1/2 marathon, or any race, truly entails. But, I have had enough people ask me for advice, tips, ect, that I feel like maybe I should let you all in on the training process more than I usually do.

I was going to start up a running blog, but there are already so many out there, and I would feel inadequate. I am far from being one of those top runners out there, but I am not a beginner either. I feel that my place is with my own little blog, right here, with my

So, I am going to be a lot more open about my training. I will share the tips I have learned about nutrition info for running, picking running shoes, race training programs, and so on. I will fill you in on the new info I get and have tried. I will let you know how my own personal training is going as well. The posts will not be long for the most part, but they will be informative and a lot more frequent. Read them if you want, skip them if you don't give a crap. I will continue to do the usual blogging as well.

I will label the posts, so you will know if it is a running post or not. They will be labeled "The Roadrunner Files." Lame, yes, but if you can think of something better, by all means, send me a note.

So, without further blabbering, here it goes. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


The Foot Roll

The Arm Roll

The Back of the Knee Roll

The Belly Roll

The Hair Roll (or curl)

He is OFF of formula!

He sits in a forward facing car seat.

He can walk along the furniture and stand by himself for a few seconds.

He has 6 teeth.

He still LOVES to dance, and will dance to anything.

He would sit in water all day and splash like crazy, if I let him.

His favorite food is pancakes and/or banana bread.

He says momma and bottle.

The doctor thinks he may have asthma. We are looking into it.

He is a few ounces shy of 27 pounds.

He loves to throw a ball, crawl after it, and throw it again. He will do this for a long time.

He loves rides in the stroller.

He has a love/hate relationship with Maya, our dog.

We love him so much and we kiss and squish his rolls all day long.

Happy 11 months baby boy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Big Day

Saturday was quite the day at the Maynard household. If it was happening, we were involved in it, or so it seemed. It took some serious coordinating and planning to pull it all off, but pull it off we did, and what an incredible day we had.

My mom started running in December of this year. In just four short months, she has worked, pushed, endured, and given what it takes, to be ready to run her first half marathon at Thanksgiving Point! And to top it all of, the race was on her 55th Birthday! So amazing and so inspirational to me.

My sister-in-law, Nichole, also ran the half marathon. She is such a cutie! It was so fun to run with family.

We woke up at 5:00am to get ready, and at 6:00am, we stepped out into a snow storm and got in the car. We didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the snow. We all grabbed a few more layers and hoped for the best.

My brother Devin came with us, so that he could take care of Sam. Sam was a VERY good sport to wake up so early and trek out in the cold with us. And Devin was a Saint to do it as well.

(Me, mom and Nichole all pumped up before the big race!)

There is nothing quite like the energy at the starting line of a half or full marathon. It is so contagious and so fun! It is one of my favorite parts of running these races. It was cold, but everyone just had fun with it. The music was blasting, the balloons were everywhere, the booths were being set up, and so on. I loved watching my mom experience it all for her first time. Excitement, nerves, joy, worry, awe, ect.

They shot off the gun, and a miracle happened. I think it was a Birthday gift to my mom from the man upstairs. The clouds broke, and the sun came out. We ended up having a GORGEOUS run. It was the prettiest run I have ever done. We ran through the tulip festival, the gardens and around a golf course. We ran past waterfalls, under tunnels made from tree roots, past a carousel made from trees, through a rose garden, over bridges, etc. It was breathtaking at some points.

My mom did not stop once. She ran the entire race. We ran it side by side, step by step. And there is no way to really express the feeling of running through that finish line next to my mom. It is imprinted on my mind and in my memory and there it will remain as one of my most fond memories and tender moments of my life.

(the last push to the end)

(crossing the finish line)

(we did it!)

While we were busy running, and Devin was busy taking pictures, watching Sam, driving us, and navigating, there was a whole other event happening back at home.

Mary had her first official gymnastics meet! My sister Kelsey stayed home in order to help Mary get ready for the meet, and to help Ben with William at the meet, so he could video and take pictures.

My mom did Mary's hair the night before (they couldn't have ponytails at this meet because the floor routines hurt their heads when they do certain tricks, so she had to have braids). I can't braid well, and we would not be there in the morning to help Mary get ready, so my mom did it. We sprayed her hair until it was rock solid, and it didn't budge when she slept. They got to the meet on time, and were able to video, get pictures, and support Mary on her big day.

(Mary headed down the vault runway)

Mary did awesome! She has improved a ton since her last unofficial meet. She did her vault all by herself, she stayed on the beam and remembered the routine, she did her floor routine to the music on her own, and she completed her bar routine with a difficult dismount that she finally got this week!

Her whole team did really well and took first place!

(Her team on the podium. According to Ben, the place was packed and it was so hard to get pictures. It is blury, but at least it is something.)

Mary's personal all-around score was amazing, and we were shocked to learn that if she can do this at her next meet, and get just one more point, she could qualify for the state meet and possibly move up a level! (her age may hold her back from moving up a level this year)

After the race, our group went straight to the baseball field where Sam had his team pictures. Ben and his group went to get Ben a haircut.

Sam is in a shy phase right now, and does not do well with pictures. After 40 minutes of standing in freezing temperatures, I finally got him to at least wear the team hat (the shirt was out of the question) and kind of get an individual picture. It will be hilarious, because they snapped the picture as he was running from the camera man. I think he ran away too fast to get in the team picture as well, but maybe they got his arm or his leg in it. I can't wait to get the pictures, and I really can't wait to show them to Sam 10 years from now. So funny.

His first game is this week, and we are all excited. He loves baseball, and once he warms up, I think he will really enjoy it.

While Sam was getting (or not getting) his pictures done, Ben and crew arrived home, got Mary dressed up in her princess clothes, and took her to a Birthday Party.

When our group got home, Ben and his group were just getting home from taking Mary to the party. I said a quick hello to Ben as he was headed out to the gym. The rest of us showered, rested and relaxed until it was time to pick up Mary.

We picked her up on the way to Olive Garden, where we met up with Ben after his workout. We were all finally together and we ate and ate and ate. We were absolutely starving by this point. It was 4:00pm and it was my first time eating solid food the entire day.

After Olive Garden, we all hung out and digested, which was a lot of work considering how much food we took in.

Once there was room to spare, we pulled out the Cold Stone Raspberry Cheesecake ice cream cake, and celebrated my mom's Birthday. I will never be the same, that cake was unreal. If there is cake in heaven, that would be it.

The rest of the evening we just hung out and talked about the events of the day. We watched the video of Mary's gymnastics meet, looked at marathon pictures, and basked in the goodness of a day well spent.

Devin and Nichole left that night, and Kelsey and my mom left the next morning. Ben taught Gospel Doctrine at church, and as always, did a phenomenal job. I substituted for Sam's teacher and taught Sunbeams and then it was off to choir practice after church. I am learning to really enjoy playing the piano for the choir. I love the spirit that music brings. We had some good friends over Sunday evening for treats and we all hung out and had a great time talking and letting the kids play.

And here we are, at the beginning of another week. I am not sure how that happened, but the weekend is gone, and the memories are here to stay. Until next time...