Tips for running on trails … and pregnant

My last two “Rundown” articles that for my bi-weekly column I write for the Spectrum, have some tips on two very important running topics (to me, at least).

The first one that came out a couple of weeks ago was “Tips on running through pregnancy.”

This is something that is very important to me and something that I have gotten many questions about.

Here are my tips:

1. Start an exercise regiment before you get pregnant. If you ask a doctor about exercise or any physical activity during pregnancy, they will almost always say “If you’ve done it before, you are safe to continue; but don’t start anything new.” Which brings me to my next point:

2. Consult with your OB. It is always best to get a good assessment from your doctor, if you are able to run. For some, due to complications and such, it is not possible; but for most, it is and is highly recommended.

3. Get a good sports bra. Need I say more.

4. Go to the bathroom before. Again, need I say more.

Now, the good stuff …

5. Pay attention to your body. Now is not the time to be breaking any records or setting any new personal best times. If it feels uncomfortable (and you be the judge), don’t be afraid to stop and walk. After all, walking is also a great source of exercise.

6. Ease into it. For the first few minutes of the run, you will feel a little bit “off.” For me, my belly is a little wobbly and feels different. I find that if I take the first few minutes slow and steady, that the baby finds a comfortable position, and I am able to continue the run without any problems.

7. Be careful. When I say this, I am referring to the clumsiness that is often associated with pregnancy. It is a fact that your gate will change, due to your hips shifting and also that you have added pressure right at the top of your hips and pelvic area.

You will find that you are not picking your feet up off the ground as high as you used to. Pay attention to this and be careful, as to prevent yourself from falling … especially if you frequent the trails like I do.

8. Try avoiding rocky terrain. This is one that I need to follow a little better than I do. I love running in the mountains near my house. If you must run on trails, again, be careful. Watch your step, and even walk over areas that are rockier.

9. Bring a phone. This is generally a good idea for anyone to do. During my first trimester (the lovely time that is packed full with yuckiness), I had a few runs where I felt nauseous after a few miles. It didn’t happen very often, but when it did, it was good to be able to call my husband to come pick me up.

10. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Fuel, fuel, fuel. When running, you are obviously burning more calories than normal, and a lot of your water is also going to the baby. It is extremely important to replenish your body buy bringing water and/or sport drinks and also fuel with (healthy) food. Which brings me to my final point:

11. Eat healthy. It is difficult enough running with a baby in your belly. Adding junk food to the mix, only makes things that much worse. By fueling with healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other (food-pyramid-ish) stuff, you can avoid any unwanted sick stomach, and be able to get out there and enjoy a good run … not the bad kid (if you catch my drift). 

To read the article in its entirety, here’s the link.

The other article focused on running hills. I love hills; mostly the uphills. It has taken me a while to get here, but I am honestly at a place where, if I see a road (preferably rocky) veer up, I will always take the detour. There is just something about the climb that is so rewarding, exhilarating … everything!

Here are my tips for running hills:

  • Take short strides and stay on the balls of your feet on the uphill. Staying on the balls of your feet will help you to lean into the hill, which is always a good thing (leaning away will create what I call a “Jack and Jill effect). The short strides will help with your posture and also, strangely enough, help you cover more ground.
  • Keep your arms moving at the height of your hips, moving rhythmically with your legs. It may take a little focus at first, but keeping your arms low, rather than up high near your chest, will help open up your lungs, helping you to breath better. Which brings me to my next point:
  • Breathe slowly and deeply. Going up hills, you will need more oxygen. The tendency for many is to breathe fast. This is also know as hyperventilating, and when done, creates an adverse affect. Taking in slow, deep breaths, helps you to relax and focus on the task at hand.

Now, for the downhill …

  • Stride out, relax and let gravity do its job. Gravity is a wonderful thing if used correctly and not forced. Too often, downhills are pushed too hard, when in fact, if you have long, relaxed strides, and don’t force gravity, the downhill will be quite enjoyable and less of a pounding torture.

Here is the link to the entire article.

If you’re wondering if I combine the two (hills and pregnancy), the answer is, YES!

Here is a picture from this morning, after completing a 1700 ft climb up to View Benchmark on a trail called “Ann’s Trail.” So much fun!



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HOMM 1/2 Marathon(s)

This weekend was quite the eventful one. After pacing the Utah Valley 1/2, last weekend, Adam was asked to pace the 1:40 pace of the  HOMM 1/2.  He said he would; so that was the plan.

When we got home that day, he looked up the race online and found that there was a trail 1/2 marathon that was tied to this race, that was set to take place the day before.

Adam and I have really only been training on trails, and so that race sounded much more appealing to him, so he signed up. I asked him if he was up to doing back-to-back 1/2’s, and he seemed to be fine with it. I knew, in the back of my mind, that there was a chance that I would end up needing to step in and do the 1/2 …

So, the night before the trail 1/2, 2 of my brothers, Rand (26) and Kett (12) came through on their way up to Ogden to help my grandma with some yard work. They decided that they would stay the night at our house.

here's Kett a couple years ago, helping my kids on a hike.

here’s Kett a couple years ago, helping my kids on a hike.

Rand is the bearded one in the back. Another super cool uncle!

Rand is the bearded one in the back. Another super cool uncle!

I was planning on bringing the kids to watch Adam finish, but thought that they would have more fun with their uncles, so I asked if it was OK if I went with Adam to the race in the morning, and they said no problem. I have the coolest brothers EVER!

Bright and early, Adam and I headed to the race. I knew that I would have a lot of time before  he ran. We had to be there at 6 a.m., the bus shuttled them up, and the race was set to start at 7:30. Being that the race had a steep climb (1600 ft in the first 2 miles to be exact), followed by a steep, rocky descent, I knew that it might be a while.

So, what did I do? What else? I went for a run!

I thought that I would end up running on the parkway, which I wasn’t excited about at all. But, about .6 of a mile up the parkway, I noticed a trail head. I decided to go exploring.

The trail ended up winding its way up a mountain. It took about 1.5 miles to get to the bottom of the mountain, and the ascent was just over a mile up. It was so, so pretty up there. I just loved it! The problem was, I didn’t bring my camera. The views were just so amazing, that I didn’t want to miss out. So, I ran back down to the car, got my camera, and headed back up … yeah, I just had to. Here are some pics.

Here’s kind of a side story: About halfway up, I heard some rustling in the bushes. I looked up to see a deer (this was on the first time, so I didn’t get a picture). I don’t see deer out where I run; I just see antelope.

I have found that antelope are smart creatures, and don’t scare easy. They will stand their ground and watch you until you are out of their way. Deer on the other hand, always get scared and clumsily try to get out of there. I think this is why I don’t see any dead antelope on the roads; just deer. That’s my two cents, for what it’s worth :).

Anyhoo, back to Adam …

I figured that, being that the winner of the course last year, ran it in just shy of 2 hours, that Adam would be done at maybe 9:15-ish.

I got down just before 9, so that I would be there in plenty of time to get some good shots of him finishing, and even a video.


I underestimated his awesome, super-human-ness. Just as I got out of the car, I heard the race director saying, “we have our first runner.”

I hustled to where the finish was, and here Adam comes, blazing  around the corner. I barely got a picture of his backside (not that that’s a bad thing 😉 ).

He ended up beating the course record by over 10 minutes and the second place guy came in 7 minutes later.

It was really funny, as he was finishing, there was a girl who was waiting, ready to take pictures of “the first finisher.” When Adam passed, she looked up, all peeved and said, “that’s not my husband!”

I almost said, “nope, it’s mine.” I just left it, but I could tell she was surprised. The guy who came in second was supposed to win it. Adam is very unassuming like that.

Here are some pictures of the race:

Here is a video I got of the awards ceremony. (Please disregard the annoying “Whoo’s.”

Here is a picture of the aftermath:

Your'e supposed to Band-aid those babies up BEFORE the race!

Your’e supposed to Band-aid those babies up BEFORE the race!

Not only did he get some nipple chaff-age, he had some major blisters on his feet.

I knew that he would have a hard time running the 1/2 the next day. I prepared myself to have to step in …

And, yup, by Friday evening, he was hobbling like crazy. I told him I would do it.

So, this morning I paced the 1/2.

Before the race, I met up with a friend, who I paced the SLC Marathon with, Ashley Poulson. She was doing what was called, the Oquirrhman Challenge. This is where you run the trail half, and then come back and run the MARATHON the next day. She won first place in the women’s 1/2 and did the same in the marathon. She did a little Ash Kickin’!

Here are some pics of her after the 1/2 on Friday:


The half was downhill for the first 8 miles … a KILLER downhill. It was so hard to keep it at 7:37 pace, but I really tried to slow things down.

I ran with a high school girl for a little while and did my best to encourage her to land softly on her feet on the downhill, but she really struggled with this. She  fell back at about mile 6.

As I got out of the canyon, I was about 1 minute ahead of pace. I wanted to make sure I banked some time, because we were told to come in 0-30 seconds under pace.

Starting at mile 8, the course was really flat, and I kept a consistent pace. I ran with a few women for a while, before they started to drop off on an uphill at about mile 9-10.

It went up for a while, then wound through some neighborhoods. At mile 11-12, it was a really steep uphill climb that I hadn’t expected. I was going at 8:30-9 minute pace up it; it was that steep.

All the time I had banked, I ended up losing on that, and more. I knew that I needed to pick it up significantly on the last mile, which was downhill, if I was going to come in on pace.

I did that, and ended up coming in 13 seconds under pace, at a 1:39.47. It wasn’t difficult at all and felt great! Here is a picture with me and another pacer after the race:

Just getting to the top of the hill

Just getting to the top of the hill

Being 6 months pregnant, there was not a single time where I felt uncomfortable, tired … anything. I feel really good about this.

All day he has been kickin’ like crazy! He’s definitely going to follow in the footsteps of his (wiggly) older siblings :).

It was a great weekend, and I am so grateful to have been able to do it!

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Pacing the Utah Valley 1/2

If you’ve been following me, you know that I paced the SLC Marathon back in April, when I was just over 3 months along (pregnant, that is). 

In the post, I described some lessons learned while pacing. It was a great experience, but kind of a shock because I didn’t know what to expect. I thought that because I was expecting, that slowing my pace way down, would make things easier, which it didn’t … at all.

I have wanted for a while, now to be able to redeem myself, prove myself and to more importantly, have that fulfilling pacing experience that I had heard pacers having and had hoped for.

So, when I was asked to pace the Utah Valley 1/2, for the Utah Race Pacers I jumped at the chance. I was asked to do the 1:45 (8 minute mile) pace, and Adam was asked to do the 1:35 (7:14) pace.

I was so excited to do this for so many reasons. I wanted to be careful and cautious because I am expecting. So, I signed up for the Alpine Classic 1/2, that I wrote about here. I thought that if I could keep a good pace on this hilly course, and do it comfortably, that I would feel good going into the UV 1/2, which is more of a downhill course.

After the Alpine Classic 1/2

After the Alpine Classic 1/2

I have run this course many times before. I took 5th at it last year, if I remember right.  I am really comfortable with the course, and just love it!

The plans for the weekend were still up in the air.  (One of my many) younger brothers, Joel, is going to school at BYU, and due to the recent “girl droughtage” due to moving the LDS mission age to 19 for girls, his weekends are not nearly as busy as they would have been otherwise. So, I called him to ask if he could watch our kids overnight while we went to stay at a hotel and then run the race.

He (excitedly) said he would. He is such a great brother/uncle! I can’t think of many other 22-year-old guys who would gladly watch his sister’s 5 kids overnight. I’m guessing he won’t be so eligible after this post! Nothing is more attractive than that :).

Because I don’t have pictures from the race right now (I am a bad picture-taker), here are some pictures of Joel and my other brothers that prove what cool uncles they are!…

We will take as much of him as we can get, because he has accepted a scholarship to play basketball in Nebraska for the next couple of years. We are so proud of all his hard work and for him accomplishments, but Nebraska is a long way away :(.

Anyhoo, Adam and I stayed at a hotel and were able to get to the buses bright and early (4 am to be exact).

At 6 am we lined up for the start.

I had quite a good group with me for the first little bit, then it started to thin out. I ended up running with two older gentleman for the bulk of the race. One was a BYU professor and the other was a man who worked for an oil company in Texas. I had others in my group, but most of them had earphones in, and were just following me, which was fine.

It was good to have those two men to talk to, though.

It was a really comfortable pace, and I did find that I had to hold back a lot, but it really wasn’t all that bad at all.

I got to mile 11 and was a little over a minute ahead of pace, so I decided to slow down. The two men went ahead because they were feeling good. They both thanked me and went on their way.

I was met at about mile 12 with another wave or people who were wanting to beat 1:45. I encouraged them and pushed them for a little while, but then realized my pace was creeping up, so I held way back.

I didn’t want to come in too soon and found myself alone for the home stretch. There were a couple of runners who were behind me, struggling a bit, so I turned back to bring them in.

I finished at 1:45.07. Even though we were supposed to come in right at or slightly under 1:45, I feel better not having finished the race alone, but with someone else. Adam came in at about 1:34. It was so great to have him at the finish line waiting for me :).

It was such a great experience this time around. It was such an easy run and I attribute most of that to having the focus be on helping others reach their goals. When you take the focus off yourself and serve others, things just don’t seem as difficult.

I am now 24 weeks along, and still plan on keeping some good mileage up, but I think this will be my last race to pace until after the baby is born. I may do another 5k or 10k, though. We’ll see …

Adam will be doing a trail half marathon this Friday and then pacing another half on Saturday. We’re excited to watch him!

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Birthday hike

Today marks 9 years since I became a mom. It seems so long ago, but then again, not so much.

I am a lucky mom to have such a big helper for a son. He has always been so easy-going and really, such a blessing in our family.

When asked what he wanted for his birthday, he said he wanted a new pair of soccer cleats … Lionel Messi cleats, to be exact. We looked online and found a site that was doing 25% off all Messi items, which is quite the deal, being as his stuff is always so expensive.

It has been quite the “Messi” week, as there was some talk of him leaving Barcelona! Anderson was so worried about this, that he taped the soccer news channel for 2 days straight, waking up at 6 am to check what was up.

Good news, Messi will be staying, and that means we get to hang on to our Barcelona jerseys for a little while longer … Unlike the Phoenix Suns Steve Nash jersey that is now collecting dust in the basement.

This morning when I asked Anderson what he wanted to do to start the day, and he said that he wanted to go for a hike. He missed the last one because he had soccer tryouts, and he really wanted to go today.

Adam has spent the whole week so far at a teacher training, so he wasn’t able to come today. We have done it without him before, so I knew it was going to be fine, but he was missed.

We went up our favorite hill (zig-zag hill), but he really wanted to go down the other side to walk the trails that are down there. I made sure that I packed plenty of water, some pretzels and fruit snacks.

It turned out to be about 3 miles total. They all did so great!

Here are some pictures:

Posted in born to run, exercise, family exercise, health | 2 Comments

Summa’ Time

This week marks the official first week of summer vacation!

This is an especially important time for our family because it means that we are all off of “work.” I will still be writing for various newspapers and news sources, but that is my place to ramble and vent, so it never really feels like work :).

Adam teaches HS and I teach preschool. We both LOVE our jobs and are extremely grateful not only to have them, but to be able to do something that we love.

The past 4 summers, we haven’t had much of a vacation, being that Adam has been coaching soccer (a fall sport). This has made it so he has been gone doing camps, clinics and things, which has actually proven to be more stressful than the actual school year.

This summer will be our first summer that we are able to spend it all together without all of that added time and stress.

The kids and Adam got out of school on Thursday of last week. I had an ultrasound and dr. appointment that day, and I also had my preschool graduation on Friday, so it was kind of (bleh) having everyone else able to relax and me not being able to. The kids couldn’t quite understand why I wasn’t able to relax as much as they could.

My favorite picture from the ultrasound. I love little feet :)

My favorite picture from the ultrasound. I love little feet 🙂

Being that my graduation was in the evening, I did my best to do things that would keep my mind off of the stress of the evening. So, what did I do? Well, I first went for a good, 10 mile run, then I took two of my kids (Aspen and Ace) for a hike up our favorite hill (zig-zag), which is only a 2 mile drive from our house. .  I have only taken all 5 up it before, but Azure was napping, Aussie was feeling lazy and Anderson had soccer tryouts that night (he made the premier team, BTW 🙂 )  so, I got to take 2 kids for the first time ever up the mountain. It was quite a different (but neat) experience. Here is a post I did when I took the kids on the hike 2 summers back, on another blog. 

We saw a lot of lizards — that I had to tell Ace not to try to follow, lest he would end up off the side of the mountain. We saw lots of new, wild flowers, which Aspen gathered as she went. We had a good handful of cottontails and jack rabbits dart out in front of us. We even saw a squirrel of sorts, which is something that I never see out here.

As we were walking, the two of them kept saying how slow the walk was, so they insisted on doing a run-walk, which I was more than OK with. One day I will take them on a run all the way up the hill.

We made it up to the top in no time, and we had popcicles and water and I took a few pictures of them. It was really such a great hike that took my mind off of the stress of my day.


Hooray for the top!


Sprint to the top


Who do you think is older? Well, you’re wrong! Size means nothing; she is very much the older sister :). BTW, check out the trails back there! That is my home away from home!

Preschool graduation went great and I will miss so much the kids that I had this year. Most of them I have had for 2 years, and have really gotten to know them. Good thing we live close and I will get to see them grow up :).

preschool2013 002 preschool2013 001

Pictures taken by mikki

Here is the link to a video that my younger brother made of the school year. So lucky to have him do this for me every year :). BTW, here is a link to his creative mastermind idea “Skakesfear.

The next morning was the annual Pony Express 5k. This is a race that I have done nearly every year since I moved out here. Last year, it was the race that I got my 5k PR of 17:58 on. It is really such a great race. This year I didn’t do it, and lots of people in my community thought I wasn’t doing it because I was pregnant, but because of the half marathon that I ran last week, it was soon known that this was not the case.  Adam had actually signed up for the Xterra Trail Series, and this was the first race in the series, and it was held in one of our favorite places, Park City. There was a 5k, 10 and half marathon. He signed up for the 1ok.

I wanted so badly to support him in this, and to have the kids go and see him. He kept telling me that he didn’t need us to go see him, but I was determined.

The race didn’t start until 9 am. I knew we had to be leaving by 7 to get there in enough time. So, I got up at 5 am to get my 8 miler in, got home, got the kids up, dressed, breakfast (and yes, I was able to clean up, too), and we were ready and out the door right at 7. Phewww.

Adam is so humble and also a big over-thinker. The whole way up, he was questioning himself and worrying about the race.

I know what a phenomenal athlete he is, and that not only is he in fantastic shape, but he is a fighter. I never have any doubt in my mind whenever I watch him compete, that he will do great. He always does.

When we got there, I made sure to let him go to where he needed to, and I kept the kids away and distracted. I know that there is a certain routine that runners/athletes go through before a competition, and I didn’t want to be a distraction.

We did go to the start to see him off, but then waited at the finish area, being that it wasn’t a great course for spectators.

A little straggly, but so happy to be in Park City watching dad run a race.

A little straggly, but so happy to be in Park City watching dad run a race.

The kids found a lot of sticks and rocks to play with. Then about 20 minutes into the race, the race director told me that he thought it might be fun for the kids to get in a line and hand out the finishing medals.

This was a lot of fun for them, and most importantly (to me), kept them from throwing rocks!

They had so much fun doing this, and I’m sure they will remember it for a long time to come.

The kids handing out medals.

The kids handing out medals.

They took turns really well as the 5k-ers came in. It was really cute, though, that our youngest, Azure was the one who got to hand Adam his medal when he crossed … in 1st place for the 10k!

Yeah, he won. I had no doubt. He’s a stud.

He took his shirt off and the people at the finish needed his #, so he had to stop before to put it back on.  There was some slight confusion for a second, so I didn't get a good picture ... he always looks good, though :). You can see Azure standing there, ready to hand him his meal.

He took his shirt off because the people at the finish needed his #. So he had to stop before to put it back on.
There was some slight confusion for a second, so I didn’t get a good picture … he always looks good, though :).
You can see Azure standing there, ready to hand him his meal.

I am so glad that we were able to watch him, and that he was able to have successful race. I look forward to watching him compete in more races, and to having more fun family activities like these throughout the summer.

BTW, I have an article that came out tonight about the need for summer vacation. Here is the link.

**I have told many of my readers that I would post the links to my articles. If you are in the mood for reading some more, here are some recent ones:

Tips on running through pregnancy

Family, community work to fulfill young girl’s ‘Sand Bucket List’

The problem with the insecurites all mothers have

Pregnancy: Why women wait to tell

How to improve your 5k time

First mile is hard, rewards are great

Let the over-explaining child over-explain

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Alpine Classic 1/2 Recap

If you have been following this blog, you know that it has been a long time since I’ve run a race … 7 months, to be exact. My last race was the St. George Marathon back in October.

A lot has happened since then. It hasn’t been that I haven’t wanted to; life has just happened … oh, that and WINTER.

I got a lot of running done this winter, but there really aren’t all that many races going on in northern Utah during those months, and I am not at the point in my married/mothering life to justify travelling for a race.

Also, there is another (little) reason why I have been laying low, and that (little) reason is because we are expecting another baby! I am 22 weeks along, due the end of September and we are so excited to be adding another boy to the family!

This time around has been a lot better than last time. We feel very blessed.

If you know me, though, pregnancy has never been a reason for me to stop running. I have run through all 5 of my pregnancies, and have found that I have felt great, my deliveries (so far) have been so easy and recovery has been so fast. I actually found out we were expecting our first child in the middle of my last cross country season at SUU. I raced until 12 weeks, and even got faster. Imagine that?!

Here is a blog I did when I was expecting our 5th, about being a pregnant runner.

A few weeks back, my husband and I were asked to pace the Utah Valley 1/2, this coming June 8. When we were asked, I really just wanted to do it so badly, especially going with Adam. He was asked to do the 1:35 pace and me the 1:45 slot. It is a downhill race (not too bad of a downhill, though).

I really wanted to get a run in at that pace or faster, at least 2 weeks before, so that I could feel comfortable about pacing the race. When I heard about a new race in our area, called the Alpine Classic 1/2, I thought that this would be the perfect one to sign up for.

I looked over the course and saw that it had some pretty steep uphills with an overall 345 foot gain in elevation. Course map here.

I love hills and thought that it would be so much fun. I figured that if I was able to keep a solid and easy 8 minute pace for a tough course, that the downhill one would be nothing.

When I got to the race, I  saw the man who is in charge of my pacing team, Jonathan at the start. He told me that I should win the race, and I told him that I wasn’t planning on it because I was pregnant. He gave me a good vote of confidence, though, which was much appreciated. I still had no intentions of doing anything but running my 1:45.

Funny side note: I was standing in the port-a-potty line, when a lady turned to me and said “look at all the runner bling!” She was referring to all the flashy shoes, compression socks, bright-colored clothes the people had on. She then said, you can tell the fast ones by how nice their shoes are. Feeling a little self-conscious, I looked down at my red and white adidas manas, that I got for $35 on clearance on Zappos, that I have run 4 marathons and countless halves in. They are beat up to who knows what level. She then looked at them, and we had an awkward moment … followed by another one, when I had to go in the port-a-potty after her. I was about to say “you know how nervous a person is by how smelly … ” … just kidding :).

Here is proof of my (over) used shoes:

Same shoes Jan 2012

ariragnar arimarathon2012

Anyway, so at the start, I didn’t line up at the front; I just stayed a little in the middle of the pack. It wasn’t a huge race,  by any means, but I did not want to be the pregnant lady at the front.

When I started out, I saw two girls go out fast. Instinctively, I wanted to go out with them, but then I remembered what I was there for, and it was not to go out fast.

Because I am expecting, I wanted to make sure that I kept that in mind, and pay attention to my body. So, I stayed a good distance behind them and just kept my pace at about a 7:30-7:45 and felt really comfortable.

I passed the first girl at about mile 2. The other girl who was in front of me had on bright pink clothes from her head down to her shoes, so it was really easy to keep track of her.

At about mile 6 or 7, there was a really steep climb (one of many). I saw that she was struggling, and so I decided that I would pass her.

At about mile 8, the photographer passed me on his 4-wheeler. He asked if I was expecting (yes, he did :)).

I told him that I was, and that I was expecting my 6th. He then rode beside me for a little while, snapping away. The driver even told him that he needed to get a shot of my shadow … I agree it’s probably my best feature ;).

I’m excited to see the pictures! And best of all, they are free! I will post them when I get them.

From then, on I coasted in, finishing 2nd overall and first place female with a time of 1:33.47. –Not a spectacular time, but for a hilly course and being pregnant, I’ll take it! Results here.

Not a single time in the race did I feel like I was pushing it. It felt so good. When I got in the truck to drive home, I felt him kicking like crazy. It was kind of like a little “good job, Mom!”

I got some comments from friends on how they couldn’t believe I ran it pregnant, and my response was this: “I kind of think I cheated a little. After all, I was running with 4 legs!”

It was a great race that I will for sure put on the calendar for next year!

Posted in born to run, exercise, family exercise, health, running, Uncategorized, winter running | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Moms and fitness and some super cool (un) shoes

My last couple articles have been focused on running, which has  been a change from what I have been normally writing. It has been kind of good to have my readers there, see this side of me.

My article was titled, “Being a ‘fit mom’ does not mean I have to be a ‘selfish’ mom.

This was actually based on a thought that I have had for years, but after reading a few blogs, articles and posts by friends about moms who exercise as being selfish, I though that it was a good time for me to put in my two cents.

I know how it is to feel selfish for exercising. When I was a first time mom, it was really hard. I was working full-time as a teacher at the time, too, and I didn’t want to take more time away from my kids.

I have found that not only does the 30 min to an hour exercising, not take away from my kids, but it adds to it. I have more energy to spend with them and I am happier doing it.

Here is the link to the article. I’m curious what you think.

My next article was about my favorite shoes, or rather, Unshoes. I have written about them before, but they are worth writing about again and again … until everyone has a pair :). And no, I don’t get paid for this. I really think they’re something special.

Here is the link.


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Lessons learned pacing the SLC Marathon

The past couple posts I have mentioned that I was getting ready to pace the 3:35 pace of the SLC Marathon.

I was really excited for this, but also really nervous. As experienced of a runner as I am, I have never really been good at pacing.

In my training runs, I have tentative schedule in mind … mainly knowing how many days with fast/hard/hilly runs, days where I take it easy and days where I do long runs. I generally pay attention to my body and really go from there.

Races are pretty much the same mentality. I know not to go out too fast (especially speaking of marathons and halves), but for the most part, I go by feel and make sure to fuel really well. Case and point, this last October when I ran the St. George Marathon, I really had not idea what kind of a pace I was on to finish at. I had a goal of bettering my time of a 2:58, but I was really quite shocked to come down the home stretch, to see that I would be coming in under a 2:55.

Looking at my watch and keeping track of mileage is really something I don’t like to do.

However, I had always seen pacers at the larger races, and knew that this was something that I really wanted to try doing, mostly because I respected them so much.

When I was asked to pace, I was so excited. I was originally asked to do the 3:15, but I really wanted this to be easy, so I asked to do a slower slot, and was given the 3:35 slot.

This brings me to my first MAJOR lesson learned about pacing:

Slower does NOT always mean faster.

When I trained for this, I was putting in the mileage, but not the time. My 20 mile run took me just over 2.5 hours, and I was doing my best to take it easy. But when I got to mile 22 at just over 3 hours, my legs were spent. This makes sense, as the longest run, time-wise I have done in 3 years, has been right under 3 hours, and this was when I raced marathons.

I greatly underestimated time vs. distance.

Along these same lines, when you are running (and I could just be speaking for myself) significantly slower per mile, than you are used to, it does mess up your gate a bit, causing pounding and pain in your legs and hips.

So… if you are wondering how it went, well, let’s just say, I helped my pace group along 22 miles, and then the other pacer (so grateful to have her), brought them in to the finish.

I finished, but it was a walk, run, type thing, due to sharp hip pains. Ugh. Not fun.

Some great notes to end on

The pace team that I ran for (Salt Lake City Pacing Team) was sponsored by Adidas, which just so happens to make the shoe I run in, AKA, the Adizero Bostons. I love Adidas, and was so glad to be running and representing their apparel.

Along with this, the SLC Marathon  was the first marathon after the Boston bombings, so there really was such a great feeling there. One of the other pacers made some ribbons for us to wear and right at the starting line they played “Sweet Caroline,” just like they do at the start of Boston.

Right before the start. -- Did I mention it rained the whole time? Well, it did :). I am the one with the grey bag, yellow cap and brown jacket.

Right before the start. — Did I mention it rained the whole time? Well, it did :). I am the one with the grey bag, yellow cap and brown jacket.

The ribbon we got to wear to show our love for all those affected by the bombings.

The ribbon we got to wear to show our love for all those affected by the bombings.


So many runners wore Boston shirts, and there was just such a great feeling out there on the course.

Anyway, I am so grateful for the experience and hope that I will be able to do it again sometime, with many of these lessons learned in mind, so that I can do a better job.

Closing note: If/when you see pacers out there on the course, tell them ‘thank you.’ Pacing is not an easy task.

Posted in born to run, exercise, family exercise, health, running | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Utah runner reacts to attack at Boston Marathon, says he would ‘absolutely’ run race again

Well, I was asked to write a “Utah Reaction” to the Boston Marathon explosions, but I didn’t get on it in time … I was a few minutes late. Oh, well.

I did have a friend of mine who was out there, tell me a little bit about his experience, and I hate to waste it. So here it is, and it was all edited by, so it has to be perfect :). They may still publish it, but I am very impatient.

Utah runner reacts to attack at Boston Marathon, says he would ‘absolutely’ run race again

The Boston Marathon is one of the most prestigious marathons in the world. This year’s race featured approximately 26,000 entrants, most of which had to run a qualifying time to earn entry into the highly sought-after race.

According to the Boston Athletic Association’s website, a little more than 350 runners from Utah participated in this year’s marathon.

Most of them not only had to run a qualifying time, but had to spend months training for the event, that for many, could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

For months, these athletes prepared their bodies by logging long miles every day. Runners from Utah, across the country and across the world saved hard-earned money, took off work, and left home with their families to travel to this prestigious event.

One such participant is elite runner Brandon Dase of Spanish Fork. Dase, having traveled there with five other runners from Utah, had qualified for this race after running an impressive 2:39.54.

Dase had posted a picture the night before the marathon of him eating a pre-race meal with his friends. They were all ready and prepared for the day ahead.

One thing they were not prepared for was what would take place at the finish line, however.

At just over the four-hour mark, two bombs went detonated near the finish line. Police said the attack has killed at least three people and injured at least 124.

Dase finished over an hour before the bombs went off, but was still affected by the horrific event. Here is his reaction on the race and the tragic events after: How was the race?

Dase: The marathon for me was the toughest and most satisfying race I have ever run. The crowds at Boston have to be experienced to be understood; they were amazing. It was a very special day. Where were you when the explosions hit?

Dase: We were all on the bus that had been stopped because of all the people when the explosions happened. The bus driver thought he had hit something; it was that loud. None of us knew what had happened.

Then we saw people running in all directions away from the finish area as they were being evacuated. We still didn’t know what was going on. We hoped on Twitter feeds to find out.

They tried to divert and stop runners while evacuating the area at the same time. It was handled very promptly and seriously by everyone. The city officials, officers, workers and people here are amazing. What are you doing right now?

Dase: We’re still processing the whole day. Obviously our main concern is with those who were affected by the explosions and for the safety of all who were there. This will be a very memorable day that runs a gamut of emotions.

We are all trying to contact family members and friends, which is hard because of the cell traffic. It was stressful while we were getting back to our house. We had to walk a long way, catch trains and buses, and walk some more. It took us over 2 1/2 hours to go just a few miles. The train and bus workers and all locals were clapping for marathoners wherever we went. It was incredible. They let us ride the buses and trains for free. This city is a special place. Given the circumstances, would you do it again?

Dase: I would absolutely do it again. To live in fear is not to live. A marathon is a celebration of the human spirit. The Boston Marathon is that coupled with the celebration of the American spirit. I will always strive to be a part of both.


Brandon after the finish. “Mission accomplished.”


“This place is awesome! 1 hour to go!”


Pre-race meal that Brandon made for all 5 of his friends.


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Another little recap and some personal thoughts

Sheesh, I am an inconsistent blogger. I have an excuse, though. I have been writing … a lot! It has been so good for me to get my thoughts down, and I am still blown away that I get to do it for thousands of readers each week.

Although this blog was started so that I could write about running, it is through the start of it, that I have found my passion for writing, and there are so many more things to write about than running, so I hope you will continue to follow regardless.

A couple of weeks ago, I opened up for the first time (to the public) about the passing of my older sister. I know that I have referenced her on here before, and more specifically on my post “Running in Heaven.” However, I have never written about her passing.

To be completely honest, I didn’t think that I ever would, being that it is such a painful and difficult thing to talk about, but with the passing of a young, teenage girl in my town, I had the overwhelming feeling that I needed to share.

Here is the link to the article, The Silence of Suicide.

In opening up about it, it has helped me to feel not so alone. I am glad that it had such a good response and I hope that it was able to give a much needed voice to others in similar situations.

This week (tonight, actually), I have an article coming out entitled, Celebrating life through organ and tissue donation. 

My older sister was a donor. Although due to the circumstances surrounding her death, and her having been on life support for days, her organs shut down and were not able to be used. However, because she was so healthy, her bones, skin, tissue, tendons, corneas as well as a valve from her heart, were able to be donated to help so many.

Although it is so difficult to be on this end of the donation side, it does give me comfort to be able to know that even in death, as she did in life, my sister was able ( and is able ) to help others to live a more fulfilling life.

Here are a few pictures of her. Her smile alone, tells what an amazing and wonderful person she (is).


Megan being a great big sister to me (the baby at the time 🙂 )


She came to visit us from Georgia. She was expecting her 3rd child at the time. She was so happy, and a perfect mom.


In the hospital after having her youngest daughter. She wanted so badly to be a mom; it was what made her happy.


A pencil sketch done of her after she passed. This really represents the way I will always remember her.


This is where I know she is. This is such a comforting picture. I look forward to the day I will see her again,

**On a running note, I will be pacing the 3:35 pace at Salt Lake City Marathon on April 20th.  Watch for a full re-cap … 🙂




Posted in health, organ and tissue donation, suicide | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments