Friday, November 3, 2017

26.2

Well, I did it. I trained for and ran a marathon on October 21, 2017.

Out of 79 planned training runs, I missed two. That’s 77 runs from May 29, 2017 to October 20, 2017. My actual race makes 78 runs.

Just some data and numbers for you in case you’re impressed with those: 
- 631 miles 
- 101.4 hours = 4.23 days of running
- 10ish treadmill runs (maybe more, maybe less)
9ish runs with hill sprints
At least 70 runs were dark or early in the morning
20 weeks 
- Three illnesses 
- Three pairs of shoes 
- Four periods 
- Four different states (Utah, California, Louisiana, Nevada)

I’ve experienced tear-inducing chafing on my back, hips, and bikini area.



I’ve had blood-filled toenails. I only actually lost one toenail. It usually just was lifted and discolored from blood.

I’ve had muscle cramps and stomach cramps (thankfully only one time was severe).

I’ve gotten sunburned and attacked by the wind.

I’ve had severe foot pain.



I gave up 20 Saturday mornings.

I’ve used lots of Ben Gay.

And the good?

I rarely had knee pain. I could still run through my illnesses. I accomplished more than I would have ever thought myself capable of.

Here’s my recount:

As for the race itself, it was freezing up at the top. I tried to stay ahead of the 4:30 pacer because I wanted to be done by 11:15am. For a majority of the race, even up to mile 20, I was able to stay ahead of that pacer. But at mile 20 is where I really started to struggle. I just couldn’t make my body go any faster to catch up to them, and I was falling farther and farther behind. That was actually my biggest mental struggle, that although I was trying my very hardest, I wasn’t going to make my goal. All this struggle and all this training and all this pain only to not reach my goal was very disappointing for me. I almost lost my will to keep running.

At mile 10 one of my bosses was there (since the course was about a mile from his home), as was another friend. It was so fun to see both of them and have them cheer me on during my race. At mile 10 I was still going strong and still feeling good.




The race was frustrating and much hillier than I expected. I trained on hills, but these were long. And the north to south and south to north running made it feel really repetitive, with the same sights in the distance. It felt like running in place.


By mile 22, I felt like I was walking more than I was running.

My quads started to lock up really bad. I never had that happen during training, so it took me by surprise and was yet another mental struggle for me—really discouraging. My legs are pretty strong, and the most trouble I had during training were tight glutes and pain in my left foot. So the quad pain was quite unexpected.

At one of the last fuel stops/bathroom stops, a teenage kid was there. His encouragement was so genuine. He told me to keep going, that I was doing great, and to finish strong. He said it like he knew the pain I was in. I was so thankful for him. 

By the time I got to the Jordan River Parkway, I was done, mentally and physically. I just did not want to do any more. I was walking a lot. I almost cried (happy tears) because I had a three separate people heading the opposite direction, total strangers, who weren’t in the race but knew what was ahead, who told me I was doing great, to keep going, and that I was almost there. Their encouragement was so nice. I don’t know if they had any idea what I was up against in my head. So it was really thoughtful of them to encourage me.

I was so tired, and my legs were so stiff that I really struggled to run. I walked most of the parkway, or at least it felt that way.





One frustrating thing was that I started my run on my app right when they said go. This meant I started early. So I was hitting each mile marker about a tenth of a mile ahead of time. This also meant that I finished 26.2 miles quite a bit before the finish line. This also did a number on me because in my head I was already done. But the finish line was still ahead, and I still had to get there.

You can tell by my splits which miles were hard
The time I got on my app versus the official race time has a discrepancy since I started my app early.


Time I got on my app

4:36:45 official time

When I came around the final corner, there was a lady walking with her baby along the finish line, which I thought was really weird. It seemed she was kind of clueless. My friend Kristen yelled at her to get out of the way, which I heard in a video later. So funny.


All my people were cheering for me at the finish line. I probably had the biggest support group there. Of course, I shamelessly solicited for everyone to come. My mom and grandma were there, Julie ran the half and stuck around after, Kristen and her friend Tina were there, Brittney and Kristine, and Rachel and Cara. The cheering and support meant so much.

I could barely walk afterward. I wanted to hug everyone, even though I was sweaty and gross. I was fighting back tears of pain and pride and disappointment. I was hobbling. We took some pictures in the field area. Then we took pictures with the race backdrop, me with everyone, and me alone.















While my mom and grandma went to get my donuts (from Lehi bakery!) and my presents, which they didn’t need to do, I tried out a couple Kodiak pancakes they we remaking for the finishers. They weren’t very good.

Kristen, Julie, and Tina left because they had already been waiting around for me forever! Kristine had to take off because her husband and baby were there. Rachel and Cara got themselves a Waffle Love and then took off afterward to get on with their weekends. Brittney hung around, watched me open presents from my mom and grandma, and helped me carry stuff to my car. My grandma got me some cookies, candy/soda, jerky, and coconut almonds. My mom got me a loofah sponge, a couple of cute notebooks, and an awesome insulated cup. They both brought me flowers and balloons. They're too much. 

The rest of that day went on like a normal Saturday. I switched some laundry over. I showered, picked up my groceries (thank you ClickList, I couldn’t walk), and got a massage. The shower was especially painful because of the chafing I didn’t know I had. It was especially bad around my bikini area. It was completely raw, like a burn. I had to waddle like a penguin, and the skin was raw and weeping so bad that my cotton underwear kept getting stuck to my skin. It was awful. After my massage, I got dinner at Mo Bettah with Brittney, and we watched Wonder Woman at my place. And ate more donuts, obviously. I used some A&D on my chafed areas, which really helped by the next day. I took pictures (with underwear on) just so I could get a better view of it; it was pretty gross.

Everything was hurting besides my legs. My ribs and sternum hurt. My shoulders hurt. Thankfully, my knees did not. But it really just felt like everything hurt. You can watch me emotionally recount the whole thing here:


Sunday was kind of a nightmare of pain. I could barely get myself out of bed. I hobbled very slowly to the bathroom. Walking felt impossible. I had to try and hoist myself up anytime I wanted to get off the couch or from a low sitting position. My legs weren’t working. I often had to lift them up or position them where I wanted them.

I did take two laps around the block (at separate times). They were very slow and laborious. I’m sure that anyone who saw me was wondering why a young woman was shuffling like an elderly person. But I figured I needed some movement to keep my muscles moving. I spent the day on my couch watching movies and reading.

On Monday I was still hurting but was functional enough to go to work and walk at a reasonable pace. On Tuesday I probably could have done a simple cardio workout like Cize or something, but I just didn’t want to get up. Exercise has been a struggle since my race. I find myself not wanting to do much of anything since there’s no plan I have to stick to. But I did wake up a few mornings this week, so I’m making some progress and trying to remember my love of running.

When people have asked, “How was it? Would you do another one?” I have lowered my eyes and shaken my head. I honestly can’t recommend a marathon to anyone. I know some people do one every weekend, and I just don’t know how that is enjoyable or sustainable. I think if I had met my goal time of 4:22, I would have been happier about all the time and sacrifice I put in—having achieved what I set out to do. Having invested 20 weeks and 101 hours and a lot of sweat, I don’t know if it was worth it. I don’t even really feel proud of myself because of how those last 6 miles went.

I think I’ll stick with half marathons because 12 weeks of training is more fun and doable. And it won’t impress people the way a marathon will, but it will still be work to reach that point again. 

A lot of amazing people have reached out and have been so supportive. They want me to pat myself on the back and remind me that I “did a freaking marathon.” And yeah. I did. I just am having trouble feeling enthusiastic about it, even almost two weeks later.

But I did it. And it’s worth documenting. And I know now more than ever that I can do hard things. 

And don't worry. I ordered my 26.2 sticker today.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Worst Week

My life is really good overall. Generally speaking. On the whole. Really good.

I usually tend to let the bad things roll off my back and move forward. I've found that by focusing on the bad things that happen, more bad things tend to happen. You see what you're looking for, you know? 

But this week has been a rough one. When I woke up on Monday, I felt some drainage in the back of my throat. I went for a run anyway. I didn't work out Tuesday and did not run on Wednesday. On Tuesday I was especially emotional and overwhelmed with my illness while at work. My head felt like it weighed 100 pounds yesterday. Today is Thursday, and I think I'll do some low impact cardio at my club house tonight. But I don't do well restricting myself to the couch. I've been at work all week while sick, and Monday was an especially long work day. I don't know the last time I was sick, but definitely not in the past 8 months, and most likely more. Granted, since starting Shakeology two years ago, I've gotten sick maybe once or twice, and it was much shorter lived than usual. So I guess that makes this more miserable, since it's been such a long time. 

I'm having some issues at work, mostly where I make silly mistakes (used the company card for a personal expense on accident) or feel like I'm continually falling short or not doing whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing. I mean, I make my lists. I do things as best I can. So much of my success rests on other people following through in their responsibilities. For example, on Saturday, I had a call from a branch manager saying that the restaurant that was supposed to cater his company barbecue on Saturday had no idea about his order. I went to my emails and had sent the correct information, but the lady whose hands the orders were in apparently relayed incorrect date and time information. But this reflects on me, and then the manager had to pick up the slack and figure something out at the last second. Another example is when I call hotels or make credit card authorization arrangements, and the hotel clerks have no idea what to do, causing my employees to surrender their own credit cards, even though I made arrangements. 

I've had two of three bosses in a sense "correct me" this week. I don't like disappointing anyone or falling short of expectations. One of the issues this week is a work hour issue. I had really hoped to just use 2 hours of PTO tomorrow and not come in at all because I'm feeling pretty rotten. But I have to come in tomorrow for a couple of hours. I'm not sure how to manage it and feel like bursting into tears at the thought of coming in.

And honestly, just the past two weeks at work have been a lot busier and more chaotic than normal. There's been a lot going on and a lot to plan for, and a lot of people I've had to rely on.

I'm stressed about money because I turned my middle bedroom into a gym instead of finding a new tenant. It's just an adjustment to a new and tighter budget, but it's stressful for me. I've done really well on a much smaller budget with way more expenses, so I don't get why this is so hard? I guess you adjust "up" as your means go up. So adjusting back down is a challenge. I'm trying to keep in mind the things I'm enjoying more now: more cleanliness, fewer dishes in the sink/rack, more fridge space, a HOME GYM...

On top of all this rather small-minded stuff is all the nasty garbage going on with the white supremacists in Charlottesville. My heart can't even handle it, and I don't know what to do about any of it. I don't want to be a passive person, like the citizens in Germany or Poland who just sort of let things happen. But I also don't know what actions to take. I know that indifference is the worst place to be in, and thankfully that's not where I'm at. 

I am just mentally and emotionally wiped out. I'm trying not to be discouraged about my marathon training or about work or money or life in general--or with how people are treating each other. I could really just use a day of leisure and relaxation. Sadly, anytime I take a day off it turns into a day where I catch up on "all those things I've been needing to do." So if I ever do decide to really take a personal day, I'll have to plan HOW I'll relax each hour--like actually plan blocks of time so I don't fill it with busyness. How pitiful, huh? 

I plan on writing a blog about my last trip home to CA over Pioneer Day weekend. We'll see if I can muster up the motivation to actually do it. After I blow my nose 45 more times. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

New Orleans and Summit

I went to New Orleans a couple of weeks ago for Beachbody Summit, a big event where coaches gather for company announcements, recognition, workshops, professional development presentations, and more. It was a great time with my friend and sponsored coach, Kathryn. Our days and evenings were pretty full with Beachbody activities, but we did get to see some cool things. New Orleans was an amazing city, and I’d honestly love to go back (whenever I will sweat the least).

We landed before 5 and got an Uber to our cute Airbnb called “Little Orange.” It’s described like this, “Built in the 1860's, "Little Orange" is half of a "shotgun"; thus, it boasts the hallmarks of traditional New Orleans architecture: 13 foot ceilings, cypress mantels, pocket doors, tall shuttered windows, and hardwood floors. The shutters are a vibrant orange to remind you of this city's Caribbean spirit.”



Our first Uber ride was a relative success. I couldn’t really understand our driver very well except that her fiancée had passed away recently, and that was her first day back at “work.” She kindly took us to Wal-Mart where we got some almond, milk, egg whites, yogurt, veggies, and other things. I won’t lie, I was initially pretty tentative about the area as a whole, including the street we were on. It was a little run down and sketchy looking. But I felt much safer over the next several days.

Thursday night was the opening session at the Superdome, where some cool announcements were made. Most notable was about the new snack portioned shakes called Daily Sunshine. It’s a good serving size for kids, and a good snack size for adults. It’s plant-based, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO. It’s pretty tasty, too! I actually like the strawberry banana better than the chocolate. Not sure how that happened, but it’s a true story.



Friday morning was our workout with the super trainers. I didn’t register early enough to get in with Shaun T. But I did get in with Tony Horton. We had to be at the Convention Center by 6:00 for this. Afterward, we had a team photo with my coaches, Chelsea and Robb, who are some pretty amazing humans. It was my first time meeting them and some other teammates I’ve chatted with or followed online.

6am workout with Tony

Me and my coach, Chelsea

Me and my other coach, Robb

Me and Caitlin B

We walked from the convention center back to our house, which is about a mile distance. I immediately put on my running shoes and ran four miles. It was a little frustrating since I wasn’t familiar with the area. I had to do a lot of turning around at dead ends, or places where there was no sidewalk. But I got it done, and that’s what counts.

We headed back to the superdome at 9:30am for some motivational speaking from Brendon Burchard. I’m his new biggest fan. It was good stuff. After that, we went to the shuttles to get a ride to the convention center. But it was a mess, and the lines weren’t moving. We decided to walk to the Riverwalk outlets, which are almost attached to the convention center. The walk was pretty terrible, if I’m being honest. I was sweating so bad my garments and clothes were soaked through. It was awful. The crowds were bad to fight through too. We ate at Raising Cane’s, which wasn’t as good as everyone said it was. It was fine, but nothing special. 

Next we had our afternoon workshops in the convention center. About four pairs of coaches talk you through different aspects of coaching, whether it’s on-boarding new coaches, how to attract your lifers, building your brand, etc.

After that, Kathryn and I went to the Core, which is basically Beachbody’s shopping center. I didn’t get anything except Daily Sunshine samples. Stuff was too expensive for me. We then took photos with the super trainer cutouts.






Then we walked over to Drago’s seafood for an early dinner. We beat the crowd. It was tasty, except for my wilty salad, and the service was not good.

Charbroiled oysters

Seafood pasta

Kathryn's shrimp dinner
We wandered back to the outlets to try some beignets at Café du Monde. They were good, but I liked the ones at Disneyland better. 




We took some pictures outside the restaurant since it lines the Mississippi River.




And then we wandered over to the French Quarter to see Bourbon Street. It was way too crowded. The chaos is fun; it was an experience. But I didn’t need to spend much more time there.






When we got to a less busy spot, we called an Uber to get home.

I spent a few minutes on my running app to see if there were any runs people had done in the area. Thankfully, a girl had mapped a 10 mile run up St. Charles Ave with a loop around Audubon Park. I decided I could follow her route and had no excuses to use like, “I don’t know the area.” I am SO glad I went on that run. It was long, but the best way to see a town is to run in it. The homes I saw gave me all the heart eyes. They were amazing. If you are bored one day, use Google Earth or street view to look at the homes on St. Charles street in New Orleans. It won't do it justice, but you'll get an idea.

My run was great, besides the excessive humidity (80 degrees and 87% humidity). I ended up not doing the full loop of the park on accident (it was huge; I thought I had completed a loop but only did half). So I ran down Magazine Street for a little while. It was awesome. I guess it’s a big tourist draw, and I could totally see why. But after a while it started to look a little sketchy, so I ran back up to St. Charles Ave for the rest of the way.



After showering and getting ready, we got to the Superdome a little earlier than the previous day. We got to hear from Chalene Johnson and Darren Hardy. I texted highlights to my family from Darren Hardy’s presentation because it was so good. We cut out a little early when Carl came on so we could get on a shuttle more easily than the previous day. We took the shuttle to the convention center and walked a little ways to a pub that had been mentioned on Yelp, called Dino’s. The bartender was our server, and she was really cute and nice. I got a chicken bacon ranch wrap with waffle fries, and Kathryn got a salad.


Darren Hardy 


From there we walked back to the outlets where we visited the fudge and ice cream place. We got fudge to bring back home, and ice cream to eat on the spot. We headed back to the convention center for our final afternoon of workshops. We actually got to sit with our team this time, so that was cool. It was a much more leisurely afternoon, thankfully. 

We walked back to our Airbnb again, looked for this Bakery Bar we had walked by (and had to backtrack to find it—my bad), ate some veggies and macro-friendly frozen meals, and got prettied up for the closing ceremony. We got to the Superdome early again for another team picture. It was kind of an ordeal because 1) lots of people and 2) poor lighting).

The purple and mint houses

The Bakery Bar





We both slept in a little bit on Sunday morning. I checked out reviews for nearby restaurants. A local had recommended Surrey’s. I ran by it a couple days before, and it was showing up as #1 on Yelp. So we walked to the restaurant. Kathryn got the Strawberry stuffed French toast, and it was yummy. I got a biscuit and gravy with potatoes and bacon. I’m sad to report that my biscuit hadn’t been cooked all the way. It was dense and doughy, not fluffy or raised. I didn’t even eat it. Everything besides that was so, so good. I knew they had messed up my biscuit when I saw other people’s plates come out of the kitchen as we were leaving. I was really sad about it and wished my server had followed up or asked what was wrong with my biscuit, and offered to bring me a new one. I don’t know if Louisiana is considered by others to be “the south,” but I was sad to have such a disappointing biscuit in what I consider to be the south.






My favorite home in the neighborhood
We packed up our things to make sure we were ready. Thankfully, our Airbnb host said we could take our time checking out since the cleaning lady wouldn’t be coming until later. So we hitched a ride to the French quarter where we did a self-guided walking tour. If you ever end up in New Orleans and want to know what you’re looking at, this site was helpful and cool: http://www.neworleanscvb.com/meeting-planners/marketing-resources/fq-walking-map/


In the French Market, we stopped and got some pralines and also went to Harley where I got my dad a shirt that is sadly, too small. After some more walking, we got some lunch at a random little stand in the marketplace from an Italian lady. I got a grilled ham and cheese. It was fine. We sat in a little park area where a lot of vagrants were. And oh my word, the flies. So many flies.

We walked a little way out of the French Quarter so we could catch an Uber more easily. The girl who picked us up had only been in the city for a few weeks; she was from Virginia if I remember right. We caught an Uber really quickly to get to the airport very early. I guess they had a lot of delays and issues early in the morning, so we wanted to get there early. After passing through security. Kathryn spotted Tony Horton with a line of coaches waiting to take pictures with him. He’s so handsome, and he was so nice. I was star struck.


I won’t say much about our flights home except that I don’t believe I’ll be flying with Frontier again. We left an hour late from Colorado due to all their other late connecting flights, and landed a half hour late in Salt Lake. And when you have to work the next day, those 30 minutes matter.

All in all, I found New Orleans super fun and charming. I absolutely love the style of the homes there and couldn’t take enough pictures. I would definitely come back for more, but I would visit in the coolest possible season.