Monday, January 30, 2012

Virtual Run in honor of Sherry

There will be a Virtual Race to honor the memory of Sherry Arnoldson.

The virtual run will be on Saturday, February 11 at 9 a.m. MST.

Mark your calendars
Print out a running bib and pin it to your shirt
Gather your friends, your running club members, your families
If it’s wet where you are, “laminate” your bib with postage tape and punch holes in it
If that time doesn’t work, go when you can
GO. Run as far and as long as you want. Walk, hike, cycle, rollerblade if you don’t want to or can’t run.
Please share this on your blogs, Facebooks and Twitters
Keep it simple. Just run with Sherry on your minds and hearts.

If it feels right, please blog about your run and let me know. I’m going to post links to those posts so her family and friends can read them. If you take pictures, send them to so that they can be posted on the shut up and run blog site.

Information can be found at

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chilly Cheeks

Today was our group fun run. JoAnna named it "Chilly Cheeks Run." We all met at her house and we did a warm up walk, then ran about 4 miles. JoAnna, Mindy, and Rose had marked the roads with arrows. Heather at Runners North let us borrow some of her signs that could be placed at corners too. There was a water station at about mile 2. We ran through River Heights and Logan today. When I finished, I walked back about 2 blocks, looking for the rest of the group. Never did see them, so I returned to JoAnna's house, and found them there. Krista said that they took a shortcut, which actually ended up being longer than what we ran!

Before the run, JoAnna was telling us what the route would be.
She was saying go up this hill, take the middle road, run through the cemetery, there is a downhill that was kind of steep, blah, blah, blah...I have to admit, I got lost after she said turn left!

We zig-zagged through River Heights,(apparently through a dangerous section!)
headed to the Providence Cemetery, went down into Logan, and worked our way back to JoAnna's house. I ran with Mindy. I had to laugh at her when we started to run in the cemetery.
She said, "We were going in to wake the dead."

Mindy had surgery Tuesday on her elbow, and yes, she ran today!! Crazy. I wonder where she gets all her energy?

As I said, Mindy and I ran with each other for the first 2 miles.
At the water station, we were caught by Jill and Shanda. So we paired up with them, and we ran in pairs. I got the giggles when I read this sign.

After our run, Ella and Jake (JoAnna's children) were waiting to give all the finishers medals!
Was not expecting that!!!

JoAnna's mom and dad
also came over and made all of us aebleskivers.
These are traditional Danish pancakes that are in the shape of a sphere. They were heavier than donut holes, kind of like pancakes, but yet light and fluffy. And I swear I could taste a hint of orange in them. Come to find out, Krista said that he DID add some orange rind to the recipe. MMMM. I ate 3, could have had 13! They were so yummy.

What a fun day! Looking forward to next months group run!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An Accidental Athlete

Just finished the book, An Accidental Athlete, by John "The Penguin" Bingham. (Thanks Heather @ Runners North for recommending and letting me borrow this.)

I can SOOO relate to this book. I was not an athlete growing up. In fact, athletics were the furthermost thing from my mind!! I discovered my inner athlete February 2010.

I remember when I first made the decision to start running. It was scary. I registered and paid for a 5k. Then come to find out, it was actually a 6k! I was nervous. My goal was to finish. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just finish. I remember the day I stepped up my training and ran from one mail box to the next, then I would walk. I was so excited when I could actually run 1 mile without stopping! My friend Amy was training for the TOU half at this time, and she was up to about a 9 minute mile. She challenged me to see if I could run our 3 mile loop, without walking. I was so surprised---I COULD DO IT!!! I was so excited to tell her. I was running a little over an 11 minute mile, and Amy was so supportive of me. Even though she was faster, she was genuinely excited to see my progress.

I have found new best friends through running. As we are out on the road or trail, we are very vulnerable and friendship bonds develop very quickly. I treasure my new friends, and I, like Amy, am truly excited for each small and large accomplishment.

I have a few quotes from the book An Accidental Athlete, that I want to remember. So here it goes.

It wasn't much of a start, to be sure. But it was a start. Every day or so I'd lace up my shoes and try it again. Every time I ran I tried to go just a little bit farther than I had the time before.
What I knew for sure was that even though I was awful at it, I liked running. It was pure. It was honest. It was simple. It was just me and my feet and the road.

September 25, 2010, was the day I crossed my first official start and finish line. (Cache Valley Duathlon) I did this as a team. Me, Jan, and daughter Jacque. Jacque ran the first 2 miles, Jan did the bike 12 miles I think, and I did the last 2 miles. We placed 1st is our division. We were the ONLY ones in our division, but that didn't matter!! When I read this, I thought of that day. That was the day that my life changed forever. That was the day I discovered a part of myself that I didn't know existed. I was a competitor. And I liked it. I liked everything about it. I liked lining up at the start. I liked being out on the course. And I especially liked coming across the fish line. I knew than that my life would never be the same.

I liked this part of his book too: Being a runner has made me a fundamentally more honest person....I cannot lie to anyone about how fast I am. If they are running next to me, they will know. I connote lie to anyone about how far I can run. When I need to stop, they'll know. .....other runners are honest with me too. I can't lie about my pace, but neither can they. You can't pretend to be a runner. You can't buy something that represents speed and expect anyone to be impressed.

Running is a wonderful sport. Unlike nearly every other athletic endeavor, it brings every ability level--fast or slow, seasoned or novice--together to share in a common goal: to stand on the starting line and test our strength, courage and our spirit. ...the glamour of the sport belongs to runners at the front of the pack, but the glory belongs to any one of us, regardless ......If we face the obstacles, overcome our fears, and push our limitations, we can emerge victorious.

What I want most for myself as a runner, and for those whom I'm fortunate enough to encounter or influence as runners, is to learn to run inside our own light, to experience the transformation that occurs when we are no longer what we were and not yet what we will be. We are only what we are.
Being an athlete doesn't mean that you are athletic. Being an athlete means that you are committed to encountering the world around you with the courage and conviction of an athlete.
If you have that courage to think and live and feel like an athlete, then you will find, as I have, that you have more strength of will and body than you ever dreamed possible.
All it takes to begin is a single step.

A single step, that's all it took.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Indoor Track

It has been raining cats and jammer kids here in our valley for the past couple of days. I wanted to do a 5 mile run today, but was not looking forward to running in a downpour. Did not want to run on the treadmill either. I asked around to see if anyone wanted to meet me at our local Recreation Center to run around the indoor track. A couple of people were interested, so we met up around 2:00.

I have not been to the Rec Center since HIGH SCHOOL!!! Mindy brought her daughter with her, and I am so glad that she did! Come to find out, it takes 13.5 times around to equal just 1 mile!!! How in the crap you could keep track I do not know. We had her mark tally marks every time we came around. We ran for 1 hour.

Pros about the indoor track:
Controlled environment.
Safe area to run.

Cons about the indoor track:
The track was just a concrete floor.
13.5 times around equals 1 mile.

Would I do this again?
If I had no other option, maybe. It was nice to run around with my buddy, and we were able to converse with each other, which made the time go by quickly. It was nice not to get drenched. It was nice just to wear shorts and a tee shirt. The floor made my feet hurt. Running around could have been boring if not with a buddy to pass the time. It would be hard keeping a mental note of how many times you have made the loop, I would probably have to make dots on my arm or something to keep track.

My goal today... a long easy run of 5 miles. Goal accomplished.

Sending a big girl shout out to JoAnna, for Rockin the St. George Half today with a 1.59!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Report: 21 day Jumpstart

Well, as you know, I tried the 21 day jumpstart diet program. (total vegan) I lasted 14 days. I gave in on a few things. I did have a couple of glasses of milk, 2 or 3 muffins, and whey protein powder (in my fruit smoothies) during this period. I did not miss meat and cheese like I thought I would. I did miss yogurt, cottage cheese, and the all time favorite, a glass of milk!It was supposed to give me more energy, clearer thinking, etc. My report---tired all the time, did not sleep well, always hungry, and this is a good one....brain function was severely affected!! A couple of examples: Jacque and I were talking about having a snack, she was naming things off to me, she said "go have a peanut butter sandwich." My reply to her, "I don't want any chicken." Where the crap I pulled that one from I have no idea. Oh, and when I was driving home from dropping Jacque off from school, I totally missed my road! mmmmm, coincidence??? maybe, maybe not.

Training for half is on track, I guess. I have been doing my strength training 3 times a week, and trying to get in the Cardio RX at least 5 times a week, but it has backed down to 4 times the past couple of weeks.

Last Saturday I called Mindy, Lisa, and her husband Chris, at the last moment to see if they wanted to go for a run with me. We just went around our home town. I ran to Mindy's corner (about 2 miles) then we went to Lisa & Chris's house to pick them up. I get nervous running with new people. I have ran with Mindy before, and we are about the same speed when we are out for an easy jog. Was a little nervous to run with Lisa and Chris. But it was so fun. We all stuck together, and when someone needed to walk, it wasn't a big deal. Thanks you guys for being my running buddies. It is always easier to get out if you have a friend to run with. I have to admit, I wasn't feeling it Saturday morning, but knew that I needed to get out. I ended up running 4.5 miles. Tomorrow I am planning on a 5 or 6 miler. Depending on weather, may do it outside or hit the rec center and run around the indoor track. Not feeling like Satan's Sidewalk for 6 miles. (Treadmill)

Marathons are fun. You have all those people out there acting like you're a big deal, it's kind of awesome to soak that in for your one day.---Desiree Davila

Saturday, January 14, 2012

She's not coming Home

This is a sad post. Yesterday I learned that Sherry Arnold is not coming home. Sherry was 43. I am 44. Sherry was a teacher. I am a teacher. Sherry was a mom. I am a mom.

Sherry disappeared around 6:30 am on January 7th when she went out for an early morning run near her home in Sidney, Montana. A single shoe was the only trace that they could find of her. Her husband called police after she did not return after 2 hours, so probably around 8:30, and the search began.

One of the blogs that I like to read is shut up and run . Sherry is the blogger's cousin. I have been following this story since I learned of her disappearance last week. It really makes me angry that this happened. And it is also a slap in the face, as I have ran at times when thoughts come into my mind, "It's getting darker sooner than I anticipated." "I should not be on this road." "What if......"

Although I did not know Sherry personally, her death has made an impact on me, and many in the running community around the United States. Friends in my running circle are talking, making safety strategies, running with buddies more often. Yes, even here in our happy valley, it COULD happen.

Sherry did not die in vain--we will ALL learn from her, gather strength from her--and remember her in all of the steps we take going forward. She has touched the lives of many.

We are all connected through this running, mommy world. What happens to one, happens to all.

Today, I called 3 friends. We ran. We talked about Sherry. We ran in honor of Sherry.

Be at Peace dear Sherry. You are loved, and you will be missed.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My new running buddy

Took Abby with me today. Really debated this one...back and forth. She is not that good of a leash dog. She likes to run fast. She doesn't listen very good.

When I woke up this morning, it was so bright, I thought for sure that the sun was out. Mother Nature was pulling a fast one on me. It was just bright from the SNOW!! I had a hard time getting motivated today. Looked at the RX Cardio schedule and thought maybe I would go to the gym and do my 20 minutes. I have heard that after you do something for about 3 weeks, you have formed a "habit." I have been running for 2 years??? Why is my habit of running so hard at times?

Abby and I went to the Logan River Walk. I was the only one on the path today. It was snow packed and slick in some spots. Abby does not like to run on the snow. She kept weaving to the clear spots on the path. The River Walk is 2 miles, so after that, we just ran around Logan for another 2 miles. We encountered some other dogs during our run. I was a bit nervous, as she has not been around strange dogs. I made her sit while a wiener dog passed us on the narrow bridge. She did very well. When we passed other dogs she did not try to pull me towards them and she did not growl or bark at others. She did however, love to pull "me." The leash seemed like it was always tight. My arms got tired!

As for my 21 day kick start diet.....I caved....I had a glass of milk last night with a piece of apple pie. MMMM, it was so good. I am missing that tall, cold glass of milk. Have not noticed an increase in energy. We'll see....2 more weeks. Tonight, Jim made a beef roast with gravy, rosemary potatoes, baked asparagus, french bread with brie cheese & roasted garlic & avocados. I also cut up a pear and had some left over Hoppin' John Salad. I had everything but the meat and the gravy. I did not feel like I was missing anything.

Running and songwriting share similar principles. When it doesn't feel good, you just work through it.

Ben Gibbard, Lead singer, Death Cab for Cutie

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What Month is This??

January 4, 2012. The sun is shining. People are running OUTSIDE, in SHORTS!!! What month is this???

After work today I was so, so tempted to just forget Cardio RX, and take off outside and just run. No plan in mind, just run somewhere and soak up the sun. (Trust the program, trust the program) But.....I am trying to stick to the Race RX Cardio program. I really want to give it a shot, give it my all, and see what the outcome will be. So, off to the dreary gym I went. Did a little bit of a warm-up on the bike, then moved over to the treadmill, so I could tackle today's challenge. Today's workout was #7 of level 5. (I know you are thinking, "Well what the crap does that tell me.") Remember, there are FOUR different heart rate zones. Today I jumped from zone 2 (159-66 bpm) to zone 4 (177-86 bpm) every other minute. Basically it meant I ran at 5.9 mph for 1 minute, then jumped to 7.2 mph the next minute.
I really had to push myself to get my heart rate up to zone 4 today. Even at running 7.2 mph it took about 30 seconds or more to get my heart rate up. I will have to adjust the incline up more to see if I can get it in the zone quicker. I had it at .5 and 1.0 at various times today. Looking at this through positive eyes, my heart must be getting stronger if I have to push myself harder.

The adult strength training tonight was a killer. In fact, a couple of the guys in the am class almost got their names written on the floor, for all to see!(If you throw up, you write your name on the floor) I was not able to complete the "pike set", just ran out of time. Maybe 1/3 of us were able to complete that. My hamstrings and gluts are so stinking sore from Monday!! Using muscles that have not been used in certain ways is a real killer. (Trust in the training. Have faith in the process.)

On a side note, I am trying this 21 day kick start program. Eating Vegan for 3 weeks. It is supposed to give me more energy......mmmmmm......not feeling it. So far, so good. I have been really focused on not eating any animal products. This includes my all time favorite, MILK, no cheese, no yogurt, no butter, no cottage cheese, no ice cream, no mashed potatoes made w/canned milk, you get the picture. I am not missing "meat" as sometimes meat just gags me! I knew I would miss the other stuff though.

So what have I been eating? Well, rice with salsa and mexi vegies; homemade apple/strawbery sauce;
fruit smoothies w/protein powder (this is whey protein, but "I gots to have me some protein!"); couscous salad w/raw vegies & rice vinegar w/cumin for the dressing;
bagels; english muffins w/strawberry jam; juice; homemade granola (this has butter in it); water; chips; pears; banana nut muffins; I made a roasted red pepper & carrot soup w/almond milk that was ok; soy yogurt which I just could NOT gag down....YUCK OLA! I am trying to go totally vegan, but as you can see, there are somethings that just, well, squeak in. I'll report on how this is going in 3 weeks.

My two dogs, on the other hand, are on a different kind of diet. I came home today, to find that they had ransacked my church bag. They were in Candy Cane Heaven, along with tic-tacs, and 2 pieces of "coal." Now Chloe has minty fresh breath!

I love to go running. It's a way for me to stay centered, to lose the stress of the world around me, and to just be present. I recommend it to everyone, especially if you're looking for a way to find peace and focus in your life.

Leo Babauta, The Zen of Running, and 10 Ways to Make It Work for You,