Sunday, November 28, 2010

fleet feet thanksgiving 5k

About  month ago, I challenged the girls in my church to make a fitness related goal. One girl said she's always wanted to do a 5k, and with the enticement of earning a Turkey Trot hoodie, we all registered for the Fleet Feet Thanksgiving 5k.

It was crazy cold the morning of, but we all dressed warm and headed out in the single digit weather. I was a little disappointed in Fleet Feet's lack of organization in the packet pickup. I don't know if they had more people coming than they expected or what, but there was a terribly long line. This caused us to start a good 20 minutes late, a really long time when you're standing out in freezing weather! I don't think they had any packet pickup the previous day, so that probably contributed. Anyway, not a big deal, we were off and running just as snow started to fall.

I have a confession. This is the first race that I have made a time goal. I complete, not compete. I told myself I wanted to get 27:something. Yes, I'm aware that's not super speedy, but I'm so used to going longer distances (5-6 is my usual, and of course more as of late with the half marathon) that I settle into a 9:30-9:40 pace and I'm cool with that. But 3 miles? I should be able to pick it up for 3 miles. Unfortunately, I had originally planned to run/walk with the girls and did zero training. I changed my mind a week before Thanksgiving and made the 27:something goal on a whim. Anyway, I kept an eye on my watch and figured I'd be okay at the pace I was going, and crossed the finish with a 27:20 time. I was pleased, especially when placing 9th in my age group! I've never made the top 10 before. It helped having my friend M-Cat along with me, who is a much more experienced runner. She was/is coming off an injury, hence why I was able to keep up. :)

This little chica ran the whole way and finished in 30 minutes! Afterward, she asked when we could do another. Yea! Another convert.

After we finished, I turned back to find the walk/running girls. I rounded them up a little after mile 2 and ran them in.

Oh right, this is a race report. I should report on the race. The course was nice and flat, albeit a little boring because we were mostly around a shopping center. The turns were well marked and volunteers were staged at appropriate intervals. They had a good variety of foods at the finish, and hot chocolate, too.

Although the swag bag was pretty skimpy, they did have some great raffles! I mostly coveted the gift cards to the Fleet Feet store, sweaty bands, and $250 to a tire shop. And the many many turkeys. BUT, I did win a Blender Bottle! Haven't used it yet- maybe this will prompt me to get some protein powder. Rather than t-shirts, they had good quality hoodies for participants. Not bad for a $20 entry fee. And for those of us who have more hoodies/shirts than they know what to do with, I appreciated the discounted fee of $13 with no hoodie.

Overall, it was a good Turkey Trot. Races are fun and that's all that matters! I think this may have been the first year they did this, and I'm sure they can correct disorganization for next time.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

people for bikes

Sign the pledge! If not to improve the routes of bike commuters like me, because they have the cutest logo.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Recent observations of human intelligence:

I stopped by a favorite consignment shop after being at the barn all day. I kept getting inquisitive looks from a mother/daughter pair, something that happens pretty regularly when I go anywhere in public in my riding garb. And usually dirty and covered in horse hair. We were both near the front about to purchase our items when the daughter finally said to me, "Those leg cover things are really cute! Where did you get them?"

I was caught off guard, never having been complimented on any riding gear by a non-horsey person, so I responded, "Uh... well they're half chaps. For riding. They're in any riding catalog or tack store... I mean they're not really a fashion thing, they're for riding." "Well they're really cute!" The mom butted in and said, to the daughter, "Well you like riding bikes, right?".

What? Have you ever seen anyone riding a bike? Do they wear tan pants and heeled leather boots and a 'leg cover'?

"No, not bikes, for horses."

Blank stare.

As seen on ebay:

"2011 NEW MODE JP BRAND cycling Jersey bib shorts set"

In their defense, the Pearl Izumi logo does look like a J and a P...

I love love love REI- they have a wide range of products and their garage sales have AMAZING deals. However, they may not be the best people to go to as far as product knowledge goes. Their employees are expected to be masters of way too many things and it can be hit or miss on who you get.

Case in point:
REI worker asked me if I had any bicycle brand preference. I responded that my other bike was a Specialized, so I have some attachment to that brand. He told me this may prove to be difficult because Specialized went out of business.

"What?! Are you sure?" "Yep, the whole company went under." "Huh. You'd think I would have heard about that." "Yeah it happened about 4 or 5 years ago."

Interesting, considering the Transition I had was only 2 years old. And that the other stores we went to that day were stocked with the new 2011 models. Way to be, REI guy, way to be.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

stuff i dig: arm warmers

Pearl Izumi Thermal Lite Arm Warmers!

I'm what you might call "temperature sensitive". Meaning, I freak out if I'm too hot/cold. Funny I should be discussing this right now, because I'm sitting at my desk in my puffy down coat because this office is too dang cold (don't worry Mom, I only blog/waste time on my lunch). You can imagine my delight when I discovered these little gems! They are perfect to wear on a slightly chilly day when you just can't decide if you need long sleeves or not. They peel off easily while riding (or running!) and can be stuffed in a jersey pocket.

There are a couple different materials for arm warmers. From what I've seen, the most popular are fleece and a synthetic material. While I've never ridden in the fleece, when I was trying them out in the store, they seemed too heavy. If the weather were cold enough to warrant a fleece material, I'd rather wear a jacket. The synthetic material is more like Under Armour and I found it to be more fitting for my needs. I went for these at, but if you aren't a member and don't have a store near you (to get free shipping), then this website would provide the same product for less money.  I especially like the neat design on the arm!

See how happy they make me?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

how to make yourself like running

Growing up, I hated running. I dreaded the day we ran "the mile" for PE, and since I didn't play sports in high school I never had to make myself do it. It wasn't until I had been working out at the gym (elliptical, spin classes, etc.) that I realized I was fit enough to run a few miles, I just didn't like it. I would go through phases where, for a couple weeks, I would run 2 or 3 miles some evenings and then quit for a month or two. I remember the first time I got it in my head that I wanted to break the five mile barrier. I psyched myself up, mapped my route, and did it. Once. And didn't attempt again for a year. Then I did it again, and this time it only took me 6 months to do it a third time, and then a couple months for another time, and then the next thing you know I wound up training for a half marathon. I'm still not quite positive how I got there... But, I have been thinking recently how I got from dreading running to kind-of-maybe-sometimes liking it. And here's what I came up with.

photo from here
1. Running is mental, mental, mental. Unless there are real physical limitations (injuries or obesity) you can run- even for a little. Most of the times I've cut my runs short or gone slower than I had planned were due to me talking myself out of it. Know your weaknesses- do you need an iPod with  great playlist to keep you going? Are you going to be more motivated in the morning? Do you need a running buddy? It's amazing how quickly time passes when you're chatting with a friend.

2. Focus on how great you'll feel after. Whenever I think about cutting out a few miles and heading home early, I always think about how proud I'll be to bust in the door and exclaim how many miles I completed.  I have friends at work that I know won't think it's weird when I tell them what I did that morning, or I call my mom or runner sister to share my accomplishment. Telling other active people about your plan to run X miles tomorrow morning keeps you accountable to your goals and may maintain motivation. I think about how great I feel afterward, and how I'm much more likely to stay on track the rest of the day. Most people find that they crave healthier food when they are regularly exercising.

photo from here
3. Sign up for a race. There are a TON of websites, articles, and even apps that help newbies and non-runners train for 5ks. A 5k is a great goal to shoot for- 3.1 miles is an accomplishable distance, yet still impressive to our couch dwelling colleagues. And there's nothing like a race to get you excited and jazzed up about running. You get a cool tshirt to wear and impress people! You get a number to stick on your wall! You may even get a medal- just for finishing! "When we sign up for a race, we become athletes", says coach Patti Finke. "We take better care of ourselves. We train properly, eat in a healthy manner, and get enough sleep." Running a 5k race means you're committed to something- you're training.

4. Reward yourself- preferably without food. Unfortunately, most people (myself included) automatically think of food as ways of treating ourselves. Of course there are healthy ways to do this, like maybe a lunch at Subway when you normally pack PB&J, or a fresh pineapple. But try to come up with some non food rewards for everyday runs and to mark milestones. It could be buying a couple songs on iTunes, reserving a special body wash exclusively for post-run showers, or a massage from a very supportive spouse.

5. Look the part. Having cute workout clothes to choose from makes me look forward to working out. Don't feel like you need to spend an arm and a leg, either. Some of my favorite tanks or shorts have come from Target or discount stores like T.J.Maxx or Marshalls. There may be a consignment store in your area for outdoors goods- we love love love Second Track Sports in Salt Lake.

6. Become a part of the culture. I think one of the biggest changes in my attitude towards running is the focus I put on thinking of myself as a fit person. I added a bunch of fitness blogs to my google reader and hang bib numbers in my cubicle to remind myself of the lifestyle I have chosen to live. Entering a race and even shopping in athletic stores makes you feel initiated into the casual running scene. Sure, I still feel like I'm pretending to be a "runner", but who cares? "Fake it 'till you make it" is a good enough motto for me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

half marathon madness

The dangers of watching Community's Halloween episode the night before a half marathon? Having ABBA stuck in your head for two hours of running.

It was a pretty fantastic episode.

Anyway, my first half marathon can be considered a success!

Note to self- don't take off a headband before photos.

My darling cousin trained and ran it with me. Neither of us had ran more than a 10k before deciding to do it, so we kept a pretty equal pace the whole time. My unofficial time ended up being 2:05- meeting my other goal (the one besides finishing) of keeping about a 9:30 or 9:40ish pace. Not that that's fast by any means, but I'm not a very fast person.You should see me drive.

Action shot by the husband!

Speaking of husband, he made this delightful little sign while he was waiting for us to get to the halfway point.

Magically, my knee did not hurt AT ALL. I had run 10 miles of the course a few weeks ago, and my IT band started to hurt after mile 2. When I did my last long run before the race, it was killing me again for most of the time. I thought for sure it was going to be a huge deal since a) I'd never run more than 10 miles at that point and b) the first several miles were very downhill. I guess I've gotten good at stretching it when I give myself the time.

 This must have been when "Fernando" was playing in my head.

The race was really well organized- quite the feat for over 2,000 runners. They had pacers carrying signs the whole way with what time they were keeping. The event shirts were awesome, water stations were well stocked (and with Heed! My favorite!) and the course was beautiful.

Oh, and the COSTUMES. People went crazy. Really, check out the photos on Facebook (search Provo Halloween Half). It's amazing what people were running in.

One of my personal faves:

The amazing thing is that this guy made it on the podium and kept about a 6 minute mile.

Will I do a half again? Maybe by Spring I will have forgotten the agony of miles 10-13. The good news is, every race I do I like running a teeny bit more!