Friday, October 28, 2011

A Little Zombie Love!

My alarm went off just before 6:00 this morning.  The Blur is in town this weekend (*much rejoicing*), so we all got up before the crack of dawn to get a run in before the day began. Let me just tell you that in Utah this week, it has all of the sudden decided to be done with the lovely warm weather we have been enjoying for the past couple of weeks and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees.  The temperature this morning? 29 degrees. I seriously wanted to back to bed, but as it is Halloween, I recalled the #1 rule of Zombieland: Cardio.  This is not a good time of year to forgo the cardio if you want to be able to outrun zombies.  So, we ran. 

In honor of avoiding zombies, and all things lovely and Halloween-y, I would like you to watch this video and giggle. I do every. time. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

An Open Letter to an Attractive Canadian

Dear Excessively Good Looking Skydiving Canadian,

Thank you for helping me to jumpstart my car at the airport today. Maybe someday we will meet again. I would like that. A lot.

Thank you,

Girl Whose Car Decided To Die After 10 Minutes Of Sitting At The Park And Wait And Therefore Had To Be Rescued By Your Handsomeness

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Magic Mile

A week or so ago I spent some time watching any videos I could find from RunDisney. I would be lying if I said that I didn't tear up a little bit when I watched the recap of the recent Wine and Dine WDW Half. I am so excited to run the WDW half in January! I can't believe that I really get to to this! 

Anyway, I among those videos I found this video on Jeff Galloway's magic mile.  In it, he suggests that you slow way down for your long runs. There is some simple, yet fancy math that helps you to determine what your pace should be and I was surprised at just how slow he suggest you run.  

This morning I had one of my longest runs ever scheduled. That's right folks, I have made it all the way back to 7 miles after I was injured last March.  I was a little worried about running it because my calf muscles have been really tight the last couple of days, but I figured that maybe if I applied the rules of the magic mile, the slower pace would help me avoid injury. 

When I started running I actually found myself "running" even slower than my magic mile goal pace. This was not good. But I pushed through. Just over half way through my run I ran through a local 5 k. I came up on the back of the pack and started breezing past people. It was really fun to run in a group for a little while and even more fun to be passing people. (This is a new thing for me, and it probably gives me more pleasure than it should :) )

I finished my 7 miles in 1:24. That averaged out to be a 12 minute mile pace - my precise goal pace for my run.  I honestly thought that I had completely botched my run starting out so slowly, and not exactly feeling speedy the whole time, but everything evened out in the end! I guess there really is something to be said for slow and steady! 

I have this quote on my wall and I think that it applies very well to situations like this when we are out doing something great but aren't convinced that we are actually doing very much at all:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Comfort food

Oh, the life of a grad student! I ended up not needing to go to my team meeting and I very nearly cried happy tears, because that meant I could go to the grocery store.  When my fridge gets empty, my anxiety goes up.  As I walked up and down the aisles of the store and filled my basket, I could feel my stress levels go down as I stocked up on my essentials; deli meat, wheat bread, sliced cheese, bananas, grapes, raisins, eggs, milk, etc. They would all be added to my other necessaries; salad greens, chocolate milk, and greek yogurt to name a few.  If I have all the things I love at home it is so much easier to make healthier eating choices, I just don't even have to think about it (hence the decreased stress level).  I just love grocery shopping. Am I crazy? Probably.

After the shopping it was time for a 4 mile run. I had one heck of a time getting out of the door, but as always, I was glad that I did.  I started out a little fast and then glanced down at my Garmin and saw that I was cruising at an 8:30 pace. Wah? I was a rockstar and I didn't even know it.  I went ahead and finished my first mile under nine minutes but then backed off a bit - that is just not a pace I can currently sustain. *someday* Overall it was a good run and I came back home to a dinner of tilapia and tomatoes.  Like I said before, it is SO MUCH easier to make healthier decisions when there are healthy things readily available at my fingertips. Everything is right with the world when my fridge is full :)

What do you always have to have in your kitchen?  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Today we had our second 500m swim test in my beginners swim class.  Although my last test was good enough to get me in the top lane, I am the only person in my lane who doesn't work out at 100% of the time at top speed.  I think that this will probably make me a better swimmer in the long run, but I wasn't sure how far it would but me behind in our swim test. :| That made me a little nervous. I was also a little worried because today was also the first day that SPIN seriously kicked my trash. I didn't know how much I had left to give! But still, I gave it my all and...I beat my last swim time by a whole minute! BAM! Look who's improving! I felt pretty darn good about that. It will be a tough act to follow come the end of the semester, but it is always good to know that your hard work is paying off.

Speaking of work paying off, I got to apply some of my smartypants grad school knowledge to real life today.  My good friend is studying to get her PhD in North Carolina but it coming out for a visit next week when she presents at a smartypants symposium out here in Provo. Her presentation is based on social media, leisure, and the family.  Because I took an awesome-sauce communications class last year, I got to help her create a power point that is going to knock the socks off of everyone who comes to her presentation. We did a social media theme that relied heavily on the facebook layout. It is fairly incredible.

Again, it was really wonderful to take a minute and to see how far I have come.  It is comforting to see that I  really am learning things in school.  Grad school is kinda killing me right now, but!  I just need to remember to keep looking back to see how far I have come.  It is worth it, step by tiny little step!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Seriously? How cool is this?  A one hundred year old marathoner. I think that this is something we should all aspire to. Talk about enduring the race - in every sense of the word.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Long Runs and Donut Runs

This morning I think I cracked the key to an incredible long run.  For the last couple of weeks one of my really good friends, Kate, has joined me on my long runs. She is one of two friends that I love to run with, but we have been missing our third. Meggy isn't really up to the mileage that we have been putting in, so she has just been sleeping in on Saturday mornings. We had 6.5 planned for today and were feeling incomplete about running without a third of our group. We also felt bad that she was missing out on these gorgeous canyon runs,  so today we decided to make a plan where she would meet up with us halfway through the run. We ran a couple of miles up the canyon, picked up Meggy at Nunns Park, and ran back down.

Seriously, it was the best idea ever.  About 3/4 of a mile before we reached the park we met up with a guy who was doing his last long run before he runs the New York Marathon in a couple of weeks. We ran together for a bit, swapped stories, and before we knew it, we ran into Megan and turned around to head down the canyon. Picking her up felt like hitting the reset button on our run. It felt like we had just started! All of the previous miles felt like they had never happened! We had an awesome run and we all met our goals for the day. Even our friends who don't run - we included them as well...

As soon as we finished our run we met some other friends for donuts at the Provo Bakery. Donuts are a good recovery food - right?  Well, maybe not, but there is nothing quite like a chocolate milk and a maple bar after putting in some quality miles while everyone else is still asleep in their beds.

By the way, this morning's run was my second longest ever and I felt great afterwards. I had been feeling really nervous about my half marathon in January, and now I am feeling much more hopeful! WDW here I come!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Running Friends and Bieber

I was just chatting with a friend the other day about my favorite cupcake shop and I realized that I hadn't been there in ages. WHY? That place is delicious! Then it dawned on me that a few months ago I started running with my friends instead of going out for cupcakes. In fact, when my dear friend got back from vacation this week the first thing we did was go running. Who are we?! I don't know.  But I like it.

Tonight I went running with two of my three best running buddies.  One just recently moved to North Carolina, but she will be here in two weeks and we have a date with a couple of miles and one very beautiful canyon. Anyway, we just went for an easy three miles, but Megan brought her phone and blasted some Bieber and we laughed and talked and sang through our run, and we had a MARVELOUS time. There is just nothing like running with your best buddies. They have really saved me the last couple of weeks as I have been struggling to get out the door. Love you guys!

Who do you run with?
What song really gets you pumped up when you run?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Provo Canyon and an Empty Lane

Mondays and Wednesdays are cross training days for me. In my 18th year of school (my final year of grad school) I finally figured out just how awesome university PE classes are.  I took a couple of yoga classes during my undergrad, but this semester I have a spin class and a swim class, and let me tell you that I am in love! I used to shy away from classes because of my fear that I couldn't keep up, but I finally decided that I will never be able to keep up if I don't learn how! (Well, that and a couple of pre-class months of swimming and biking on my own didn't hurt).  But it still took a lot of courage to get there!

Anyway, today in spin we took a virtual ride up Provo Canyon. Our teacher just shouted out instructions and described where we were going. "Turn left to head up past Vivian Park."  If you weren't familiar with the canyon, it might not have meant much to you, but I have recently spent a lot of time up there and this mornings ride was especially vivid for me. It is amazing how much easier it is to climb when you are imagining that you are heading up to Squaw Peak instead of just staring at a blank wall.

Imagine with me! This:

Or this:

Even though I felt like I had been hit by a semi-truck when I woke up this morning, I am so glad that I pushed through it and went to class.

I spin at 7:00am. Yikes. That means that I am pretty janky most of the day, but I know that I am just going to get in the pool at 1:00pm, so it isn't a big deal. Did I mention how much I LOVE university PE classes? Seriously, everything I need is built right into my class schedule! Anyway, I am top lane in my beginners swim class, thanks to some epic time on the community swim team about 17 years ago, and usually my lanemates are pretty serious about showing off their swimming prowess. Because of this, we often have pileups at the end of the lane because everyone is busy showing off how fast they are instead of just pacing and focusing on the work out. (I was one of these showoffs for a bit p.s., but it didn't take me long to figure out what was going on) Well, dream of all dreams, two of our lanemates were gone today! That left just 2 of us in the lane and we could spread out all we wanted! It is amazing how excited I get about the little things.

What is your favorite cross training activity?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


And it begins...

I have been thinking about starting a running blog for a while now. I spent the vast majority of my summer at an internship that left me with plenty of time to kill. I was training for a relay race at the time and was a little bit frightened as I had never participated in anything like that before.  So, I started reading running blogs to get a little inspiration.

And I was inspired. All of you runners out there - let me just say that you rock my world. Reading about all of your experiences taught me a lot. I learned about dealing with injuries, I learned about just how awesome frozen yogurt is post-run (or anytime - thanks Yogurtland!), I laughed, I cried, and most of all, I learned that there is an entire community of you out there cheering one another on.

Consider this my official move into that community - consider this me cheering you on :)