Saturday, February 26, 2011

Two-thirds of a Triathlon

Before I launch into a review of today's workout, I have to report on my first experience as a race volunteer! It was AWESOME! I volunteered at the Bean Benefit 5K bright and early (at least for a snowy Saturday morning) and I got to help direct runners along the course. There were a couple, er, hiccups; some of the first runners didn't see the cone marking the turn right after my post and ended up running a little extra. I felt super bad, and chased some of them down when I realized they'd missed it. I stationed myself at that corner afterward to be sure it didn't happen again. A few other runners missed a turn and ended up shaving off about half the course and finishing in about 10 minutes...I don't think anyone was running 3.5-minute miles in the snow today.

Though there were some pretty inspirational runners, namely KIM-BO! Let me brag about Kim for a minute. Kim is A.W.E.S.O.M.E.S.A.U.C.E. I've known her for almost two years now; she's in my program at school. She is prepping to run Boston for the second time, and she runs like an animal. She has two speeds: fast, and faster. I sometimes call her Speedy Gonzalez, because shoot, he's about the only thing that can compete with her speed, and he isn't even real! I went running with her once and had my ego handed to me (little as it was to begin with). This morning, Kim was the first female runner to finish, and she was even one of the runners who missed the turn and ran extra. While she was busy running her extra quarter-mile, a couple other girls passed her. Don't even worry about it; she totally caught up to and passed them. I pretty much live vicariously through Kim. She is my hero.

After the post-race awards, give-aways, and silent auction (I bid on a t-shirt signed by Jimmer and Jackson, but!), I headed over to my gym to attempt a mini, completely indoor triathlon. I hit the pool right after the aqua-cardio class emptied out and swam for about 40 minutes. I had eaten about two-thirds of a bagel that morning (I'd been late to the race) and was starting to get really hungry. Undeterred I hit the stationary bike and my knees started aching about 30 minutes into it. Also, I was super, SUPER hungry by the time I finished biking. I decided two-thirds of a triathlon was good enough and went home to EAT.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Early Birds But No Worms

Today was an EARLY morning sweat-fest--and let me tell you, it was a good one! I am headed to the BYU Men's basketball game (Jimmer! Jimmer! Jimmer!) tonight and then Red Lobster with the roomies, so I knew a workout definitely wouldn't happen tonight.

My alarm went off at 4:30 a.m., but you know I didn't roll out of bed till 4:50. I then dinked around for a solid 20 minutes (where the time went, I have no idea) and finally hit the elliptical for a hill workout at 5:30. I finished a little more than 4 miles in 28 minutes--just in time for power pump! That is one killer class; I am already sore! It's pretty much the only weight lifting I do during the week so I feel OK about it.

I finished my mega workout with a--wait for it--2.2 mile run!!

I am currently loving my breakfast (two slices of whole wheat toast and the most amazing grapefruit from my friend's Arizona front yard) and wishing I had one of those foam rollers. I asked for one for my birthday. So hopefully in a week's time I will be foam rolling my little heart (and giant knots) out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Tears

I RAN!!!

Yesterday, after more than four weeks of not running, I RAN! I have never been so happy with a 1.5-mile run in my entire life!
It was perhaps one of the slowest 1.5 miles I've ever logged, but I LOGGED THEM, dang it! I also stopped every half mile to gauge how my knee was doing, but I DID IT!! I must have looked like the biggest goofball ever in the gym, trotting away on my treadmill with a giant grin on my face.

I stretched out really well afterward, and as I was driving home, basking in my own success, I started getting emotional. I kid you not. But these were happy tears. As soon as I parked my car, I trotted (again!) over to Miss Jennica's house to celebrate. I may or may not have hopped up and down on her porch using only my good leg as I shrieked (and cried again) with her about my 1.5-mile achievement.

I already feel so much better about life--I cannot even express the relief and the happiness and my overflow of emotions yesterday spilled out in happy tears. Yay!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Faith, Scholarship, and Running!

So last night was this huge, giant event I've been planning with my presidency (I'm the president of the Graduate Student Society at my university) for MONTHS! It's called the Faith and Scholarship Symposium and every year we invite one of the university administrators to come speak, then there's a fancy dinner, this year we had an incredible musical number, and well, you get the picture.

Anyway, this year, one of the university vice presidents spoke about the relationship between learning and spirituality. One of the coolest things he said (I thought) was the importance of maintaining physical health to improve both spirituality and ability to learn. It really resonated with me, and was incredibly inspiring. I know I'm a much better person academically, emotionally, and spiritually when my physical health is where it needs to be.

I think that message really resonated with me because recently it's been a bit of a struggle to keep my physical (and emotional) health where I need it to be without running (although I'm shooting for an easy 2-miler today--wish me luck!). I'm fighting a lot of random injuries (tendinitis in my shoulder, residual Achilles' tendinitis, and an angry, angry knee). I realized though, this is probably my body's way of telling me to chill out a bit and to re-balance other parts of my life. I had a bit of a reality check today and I'm working on more realistic running goals for myself--at least for the next little while. I'm hoping with some R&R though, I'll be good as new and back on the pavement soon!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


This may sound a bit silly, but I have long had a secret dream to volunteer at a race. I've always been a runner, never a volunteer. When I race, I am always so grateful for those amazing volunteers--they just seem so awesome! I love seeing their smiling faces at check in, handing out Gatorade, or awarding finisher's medals. And volunteers get to witness to some really incredible moments and personal achievements. I get goosebumps just thinking about it!

This month, my dream comes true: I am volunteering at a benefit 5K Saturday, February 26. I am super stoked because this race is also for a good cause; it will benefit the family of a cancer patient. If you find yourself in the vicinity and in the mood for a quick little 5K jaunt, you should jog on over to the Shops at Riverwoods in Provo at 8 a.m. and join us runners (and volunteers!). You can learn more about the family, pre-reigster, or donate at If you're a more spur-of-the-moment kinda runner, there will also be race-day registration. 26.2 Running Company is sponsoring the event and is providing timing chips--always great for training! The course will follow the Provo River Trail. If you can't run, then please donate!

Bean Benefit 5K
Saturday, February 26, 2011
8 a.m.
The Shops at Riverwoods
Register or donate at

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Seat Warmers

Today dawned...well, actually it dawned about 25 minutes into my interval workout on the elliptical this morning. So I guess today pre-dawned colder than it's been all winter! My car told me it was 7 degrees at 6:15 this morning when I started for the gym. I am personally offended by such temperatures and am strongly opposed to them. I am also strongly opposed to sitting on cold leather car seats in thin workout pants for any length of time. Needless to say, this morning's trek to the gym was chilly, at least until my seat warmers kicked in about 2 seconds before I parked.

Training in the gym is an interesting study in motivation, efficiency, and frankly, humanity. Some days, it is ridiculously difficult to get myself to the gym. Other days, I'm super stoked to spend an hour or more in the cardio cinema. I find this is directly related to whether the gym is playing Rumor Has It (possibly the worst movie ever) for the billionth time, or if Avatar/Lord of the Rings/Star Wars/Inception is showing. (I am an incurable sci-fi/fantasy nerd. Now you know my shame.)

As for studying humanity, people watching at the gym is unparalleled. New Year's Day, for example, I was in the cardio cinema once again. I was joined by possibly the most eclectic sampling of gym goers I have ever seen. On the stationary bikes in front of me, a group of what looked like kids in their late-teens or early twenties, just chillin'. Not actually biking, definitely not breaking a sweat, but just loving Transformers 2. Also on one of the stationary bikes, a woman wearing, I kid you not, a full-length fur coat and giant Jackie-O sunglasses in the pitch-dark cardio cinema. She later decided to join me on the treadmills (right next to me though every other treadmill in the room was also available) for a stroll (and stroll is being generous) in her giant coat o' awesomeness and sunglasses. I think the fur coat was probably a little matted on the right side because I propelled such large amounts of sweat onto it. And she may or may not have had to squeegee her sunglasses. In a word? Unforgettable. Probably for her, too.