Secrets To My Success

All I can see is Michael J. Fox….anyone else with me???

Soooo….my husband, Coach Lance, was wondering when I was going to post some actual running tips on this running blog of mine.. WTF Coach Lance???? You want some substance???? Oh-kaaaayyyyyyyyy fine.

Here goes, I will even number them;)!

1. Running partners!!! Hands down biggest reason I have continued to run!!
Accountability!! Unfortunately, just showing up for myself is not enough. I was born
A flake;)…I will find every excuse imaginable. But I have a really hard time letting
Others down. Thanks for putting up with my flakiness girls;)…love you!

2. Having goals.

A.( learned my note taking skills from Mr. Hanks in 12th grade, thanks Hanky-poo)
Set time goals, PRs, etc. But try to always keep improving, growing. Being too
Comfortable creates boredom you become stagnant and quit…end of story;).

3. Always sign up for your next race(before you have even completed the one you
Are currently training for)! Sounds like a bit much, but here’s why…

A. Sign up before you complete your current race because if you have a bad race
You will be tempted to say “screw it”! But if you have already committed…
You are bound to keep on keepin on(these races are not cheap)!

B. You will continue to move forward and avoid those running hiatus that erase
That awesome base you worked soooo hard to build! Try to always maintain a
Base, even if it’s only 20 miles per week.

4. Less is more. I only run 4 days per week, sometimes only 3, but rarely more
Than 4. It prevents burnout, mentally and physically. And, dare I say, I have yet
To be injured. Please don’t jinx me;)!

5. Stay Inspired!!!! How??? Read blogs;), especially mine…magazine subscriptions,
Races, local running stores, the running community. Immerse yourself in this
Incredible world of running and you cannot fail or ever struggle to find
Motivation!!! A cute new running outfit can never hurt either ;) !

Note to reader….Mr. Hanks did not teach me how to take pretty notes on a computer, hence the lovely caps at the beginning of each sentence… Ughh!!! I considered trying to fix it, but then said nahhhh…..I am extremely technologically
challenged which is one of my top excuses for not starting this blog sooner. But I figured my imperfections would just make you love me more or pity me…lol.

Last but not least…I would love to hear “The Secrets of your Success” please leave me a note so I, too, can be inspired!!! Can’t wait to hear from you!!!

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First Run of 2011

. This morning I had to face my running partners and hope they weren’t offended by my descriptions of them…thank goodness they weren’t…good thing my big mouth has said it all to them before. I have a very hard time sensoring….most thoughts pass right thru my lips…almost immediately;). Not always full of tact I honestly mean well.

So….today’s run….at the gym, of course. To quote my friend Kim “It is frigid outside!” (but I would like to add another choice word beginning with f before frigid;)) I hate the cold! I am a fair weather runner…wimp…it’s ok though, I’ve embraced it:)
My gym is lame. It is actually a basketball gym that thru in a weight room with a few treadmills and elipticals…for fun! There are no TVs and minimal people watching. This can make the treadmill all that more treacherous.

Today was our Pace Run Day (my least favorite). Why??? Because holding a pace or any sort of consistency for me is sooooo boring!!!! This is also why I think my race times are not improving. Consistency and discipline….my life’s greatest challenges…ugh!!!

Here’s how today looked….
1 mile warmup, walk 3.8-4.0 for 5 min or so (look over Shari’s already running, damn I guess I better run)
Mile 2 pace 7.5(8:00 mile) for the first .50, picked it up to a 8.0(7:30 mile) for the next .30 and then ended the last .20 at a 9.0(6:40 pace)
It was a good song!! I couldn’t help myself….:) Sin Wagon by The Dixie Chicks…(I have strange running music taste it is random and all over the map… Just like me) Awesome for speed intervals, but that is not what we were supposed to be doing….this is supposed to be a pace run!!!

Shari (miss consistent, rule follower was holding nice and steady on a “pace run”)….
Mile 3 I decided to take a little walk break after my 9.0 push…lol… Only for a min or so…at least until I found my next mile’s song( I repeat a song for a mile…really because I can’t figure out my new iPod… And that little instruction manual, seriously has less than 50 words, still sits in my junk drawer ( I think ).)

So back to my little walk….
7.5 (8 mile pace) hold steady Martie!!! I did, actually. My music was hilarious..old, vintage Run DMC (1983). I was literally laughing out loud! I listened to it twice (repeat remember). It was almost like books on tape…lol.

Mile 4
Did I say 3 mile or 4 mile at pace run??? I am really hoping I said 3… I am not feeling it today… Could be the lack of sleep since Grace was awake since 3:30 which means… So was I:(…or the 8pm mimosa (hey it sounded refreshing)????
Whatever the excuse, I felt like crap.
This mile was all over the place 7.0-7.5-7.0-8.0-6.0….. OMG!!! The song for this one was a Nelly/ Christina Aguilera mix… Awesome btw!!

Mile 5
Please be done Shari….pretty please…I kept looking at her 2 treadmills down, steady as ever, trying to get her attention….but unlike me, she is focused.
She said we could be done… Yes!!!! But let’s do a cool down mile….
This last mile was nice and sporadic, of course;). Dave Matthew’s Jimi Thing….perfect!

Now I need to go wake up my daughter and rush her out the door to her first day back to pre-school…. Hallelujah!!!!!!
But….a quick shout out to Celest for running 12 weeks pregnant this morning!!! Poor girl puked before the run and was white as a ghost afterwards… Now that’s a real runner!!!! Love you girl!

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2011 Goals

Well I just tallied up last years miles…..1045!!
A bit disappointing, since last year was 1400+ and I didn’t even run in November or December!!
But I’ve never been a huge fan of big miles….Quality over quantity, right???
I actually love speed training! WTF??? I am totally serious, my running buddies hate this about me!! One, un-named runner pal, used to have to go to the bathroom multiple times in the early morning in anticipation of a speed workout with me. I often credit myself for her svelte figure….better than a laxative!!

I truly believe that speed training is the most important aspect of marathon
training…more than the long run! Well….I guess it does depend on your goals, but if
you are looking to PR, this is your bread and butter.

Long slllooowwww boring running=long slow marathons(marathons are never boring if
you like to people watch, best people watching on the planet!)
You want to get faster you MUST run faster…you have to go thru the discomfort…you
might puke or at least dry heave (glamorous, I know).

I will write an entire speed training section in my blog, in the meantime, if you have
any speed related questions….I would love to talk about them!!

As for my goals this year…..to PR in my half and full marathon, of course:)!!
To be much more specific…

My Running Goals For 2011
Break a 1:30 Half Marathon
Break a 3:20 Marathon (preferably 3:12-3:15)
Race a 10k (which I have never done)….run it in 40min or less

Lofty goals, huh??? Well those were my same ones last year minus the 10k. I failed.
I only PRed once last year by a crappy 15 seconds on my half….1:31:14!
What happened??? I got cocky. My first year and a half of racing was amazing!! I PRed every time, qualified for Boston 5 times…ran a 50mile ultra with bronchitis.
I thought I was untouchable….(sooo embarrassed at this moment).

I got a serious reality check….I started regressing… Going backwards… WTF???!!
This was not supposed to happen….you get out of it what you put into it, right???
Well I got lazy…complacent….I actually undertrained and over-raced…thinking I could just pull theses incredible times out of nowhere.

Once again, I am humbled….and grateful! This year I vow to run smarter…to rest the week before a race (not go on a 12 hr shopping extravaganza the day before a marathon and expect to PR…more about that bright idea later). I will respect and baby:) my body….rest!!!

On top of all of that feel good girlie crap, I have a real plan;)! I plan to focus on the half… Until I break 1:30!!! Lots and lots and lots of interval work and the dreaded mile repeats! I plan to run 1-2 full marathons max! I will not run any races that are closer than 4 weeks apart (ok that one will be tough, but no repeat of last year’s back to back to back races… Ughh!!!) I will recover!!! I will prevail!!! I will survive!!!!! LMAO… Nice theatrics;)!

Happy New Year!!!

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Disclaimer and Intent

Wow that sounds so…professional?!?!
Well first of all I feel that I need to explain or apologize for any or future offenses;). I am not politically correct, but quite the people pleaser (unfortunately). I am brutally honest, ok not usually brutal, mostly sugar coated, or honest with a smile:).

Sometimes too opinionated…but very openminded. I try my very hardest not to be judgmental, but that is definitely a work in progress. I have found that anytime I am…karma bites me I’m the ass, especially when it involves my daughter. “My child will neeeeevvvveeeerr do that”….well she does:(. I have been humbled.

My grammar is far from perfect. I am originally from a very small town in Utah and have never totally escaped the “Salina Twang.” it’s ok….I am at peace with it…lol.
I use waaayyyyy tooo many explanation marks!!!!!! But I can’t help it…I really do talk that way! I am excited and animated, not a great trait for being photogenic. Ugh!!! Eyes closed…head tilted…mouth open….sometimes I see pictures of myself mid- conversation and wonder what the heck the other person was thinking about me?!?!I have convinced myself that it’s endearing;)! Now wishing I would have stuck with my “modeling classes” back in elementary school…oh well.

I use too many smiley faces, winks, sad faces, and …..’s……hope I don’t annoy you too much (sometimes I annoy myself). I am easily distracted…yet another annoyance…I mean, endearance (is that a word??? It is now). I don’t use spell check or edit, ironically enough, I can’t stand typos….sometimes I can’t been finish reading a sentence if a word is mis-spelled. But I am learning to let go and say “so what?” or something like that;). If I continue to get hung up on the details, inadequacies, and imperfections I will never move forward. Excuses Begone Dr. Wayne Dyer!!! LMAO!

Now that I’ve knocked myself down (gotta love self deprecation)…I will now start to build myself back up by sharing with you my intentions of this blog.

I love to run (well at least 50% of the time).
I love to talk….especially about running.
I love to write about something I am passionate about.
I love to shop…for great deals…mostly running related.
I love to help, encourage, counsel others.

I hope to include all of the above in this amazing blog of mine;). I hope to build new friendships and strengthen old. I want to help others attain their running goals. I want to write customized plans, hold classes, and offer individual coaching. I am not a professional runner, but I have accomplished some pretty incredible goals (racing times) and have zero athletic background. Zero.

I have always considered myself uncoordinated and clumsy….to discover that I am an athlete and I am strong and competitive at 31 years old has been life altering!!! I want to encourage you to find that same inner strength I have found in me!!!!!:)

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First Half Marathon

So….after I decided I was a “real runner”, I signed up for my first half marathon in Bryce Canyon Utah in July. I continued running with my newfound running buddies/neighbors (how convenient) Celest and Shari. Celest is 7 years younger than me and Shari six. Both were born in the 80′s, stay-at-home-moms, and Mormon (more about that later).

Celest is the happiest, most chipper, most consistent, helpful person I know. I have likened her to Christ and I’m not even religious. The girl is a near saint. She always laughs at your stories, she makes me feel like I really am funny;). She does not have a mean bone in her body. Someone really strange could walk right past her and she
wouldn’t even notice. I really admire this about Celest, however, if I am feeling catty,
gossipy, otherwise unchristlike….she is not the one to sit by…ahem…or in our case
run by….that would be Shari;).

Shari is quiet, reserved, opinionated, very competitive, extremely hard on herself, consistent, always on time (usually early) and last but not least….has 5 kids and is beautiful!!! Always ready!!! And sexy;)! We call her our sexy friend! Shari is often referred to as shy, but I object. She has her opinions, usually quite similar to mine, and I can usually tell with one glance that we are thinking exactly the same thing! We have this great understanding….sort of unspoken. However, I wish we could level the talking meter… I could definitely talk a little less and she much more. Her
competitive nature pushes me too. I love that about Shari!

Neither one of the girls had signed up to run Bryce Canyon with me. But I thought I would do it to kind of see where I was at. I had no idea how to gage a time goal. I new we were running approximately 9-10 minute miles. My main goal was to beat my aunt’s previous 1:48 half marathon time from ten years prior (weird, I know).
I was kind of nervous to go without my new running buddies…they had kind of become my security blankets.

So my husband, Lance, and I were off to Bryce Canyon for our romantic getaway (race). It began with a motel room so lovely that we left the second we stepped inside…careful not to touch anything for fear of….umm…rabies??? Lol…cooties!!! It was dis-gus-ting!!! So off we were to find a hotel room in the land of few hotel rooms and no vacancies. But we both agreed that we would rather sleep in our car than that creepy, crawly, crabby motel bed.

We were in luck…we found a nice clean, cute little one room cabinette ( not sure if that’s a word, but that is exactly what it was).

Off for my perfect pre-race dinner…pizza…but packet pick up first. I was soo excited to get my super cool tech racing tee!!! I felt legit!

After dinner, we drove the course and Coach Lance stepped into effect. Take advantage of the downhills he told me…make sure you start up front, it’s a mental advantage….huh??? Lance had played team sports his entire life growing up…something I had ZERO experience with. So I listened intently. Thanks Coach Lance!

The only piece of advice I did not take from Coach Lance was in the fashion
department. You should wear a trash bag to keep you warm at the start….heck no!!! I wanted to be cute in my matching tank and running shorts!!! Duh!!!

Well the next morning I froze my buns off with the 38 degree start… Brrrrrrrrrr!!!!!
But I started up front and right before the gun went off I overheard these girls talking (ok, I eavesdropped). Anyway, they were talking about their 8 minute minute mile goal pace….that would definitely put me where I needed to be, below a 1:48. Note to self….follow them.

And we’re off!!! Of the two girls, one had on super cute bright green Nike shorts (ones I later purchased myself). Follow the girl in the green shorts!!!

Me and the green shorts chic leapfrogged each other several times throughout the race, but she finally took me at 11 or so…right where I hit my wall along with some delightful Gatorade vomit in my mouth. I was about to walk, throw in the towel….I was done…..

Until I asked someone with a watch where we were at, time wise….it was 1:19 or something like that. I quickly crunched some numbers (running makes you suprisingly good at math) and I suddenly realized, not only was I going to crush 1:48, but I had a real good chance at breaking into the 1:30′s for my first half marathon!!!!! Holy crap!!!!

I felt this huge burst of energy come over me….I was no longer “done”, I was nearly giddy!!! I could not wait to see Lance’s face at the finish line! He was going to be soooo proud of me!!! And he certainly was…when the clock read 1:38!!!! 3rd in my division!!!!!! I wanted to jump up and down, except for the moment I stop running I could hardly walk!! Those steep 8-9% downhill grades tore my poor unexperienced legs up….to this day I don’t think I have ever been so sore.

I couldn’t wait to tell everyone, especially my running buddies, since they were probably the only ones who really got how incredibly cool this was!!! OMG!!!

I re-entered my neighborhood as the “big man on campus”. There are a lot of runners in my neighborhood, city, and state actually. So… I now had a reputation a social status of being a “fast runner”!!!

It was kind of bitter sweet….I kind of felt like I had a target on my back….I was beaming with pride, but trying really hard to remain humble (nobody likes a bragger).
I also now felt that there were expectations of me…if I wasn’t fast enough did nat equal failure???

I think that my first success is what led me to my next successes…I believed I could do it….so I did:). People called me fast…. And so I was! It was awesome!!!!

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Every Run is Unique

Every single run is unique, kind of like snowflakes, and my brother Waylon. I actually bought him a tee shirt that said that for Christmas. I thought I was hilarious, unfortunately, I was the only one:). But there are no two snowflakes alike, definitely no one else on earth like Waylon, and absolutely no two runs the same!

For someone like myself who gets bored and distracted way too easily…this is just one of the many things I love about running! Funny, it is also what I dislike most about running. It is unpredictable. There is actually a love quote that I am about to slaughter…it goes something like this…what attracts us to an individual is usually what drives us the most insane about someone or pushes us away. Not so poetic, but you get my point.

Running is such a metaphor for life and such a cliche, I know. (I don’t really like those). But it really, truly is. The highs and lows. The challenges….the wins…the losses. Lessons learned. Struggles. Triumphs. Friendships. You get to see the depths of someone’s soul when you’re out running a 20miler. You really find out what you’re made of. And just like when life sends you a huge challenge you usually find out how strong and incredible you truly are.

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First Run

Today is my first post on my blog and it almost didn’t happen…due to every excuse and distraction I could muster up. I don’t have pictures (well I do….somewhere…more about my lack of organization later and probably often…lol) hey if we keep a sense of humor about our “imperfections”, it..uh…humanizes us, right??? Makes us relatable??? At least that’s what I continue to tell myself;).
Focus Martie! That’s my lovely 4 year old daughter, Grace, shouts out at me…way too often…no wonder she’s grouchy.

Anyway…I am a runner. There I said it. I have claimed it!!

I have always wanted to run ever since I can remember. I even found a contract signed and dated by me and my younger brother when I was 10. He was to be my coach to ensure I would run my block or two every night. I don’t know if I ever even ran that darn block once…but I had fabulous intentions, hence the signed contract;).

Fast forward 20 years or so…..

I am a stay at home mom of an amazing, brilliant, headstrong little girl and a wife to a husband who works at least 80-100 hours a week between his real job and his own business.

I am about to lose it. Work was not really an option…I had no family nearby…and zero hobbies.

I am not crafty. My attention span is very short, shocked I’m sure;).
I am not really into being a homemaker(sorry Lance). I like to talk, way too much. I love to write. Hmmm…. I like to exercise, mostly walking sometimes running. But, at that time I weighed the same as I did in the 8th grade (thanks to my colicky, acid-reflux, non-sleeping daughter). And who exercises for reasons other than aesthetics??? Lol.

So…I started walking with my jogging stroller and two large unruly dogs, oh ya and oh course Grace was in the stroller. I swear it was the only time she wasn’t crying. I walked in my red crocs..not very smart or cute…I know. But lacing up tennis shoes and getting the right outfitnwas yet another distraction that would surely derail my good intentions. And besides, aren’t crocs kind of similar to the new minimalist movement??? ie…those ugly 5 finger things…

My neighborhood is very hilly. I started with the infamous “Cabelas loop”. 2.6miles of up and down, seemingly more up. Well the downhills were so steep that it was almost easier to jog(BTW, I abhor that word… So 80′s)

So I ran the downhills and threw in the flats for fun.

This was March of 2008, almost 3 years ago.

I continued my 3-4 days of walk/jog/run…I didn’t have a plan. I just knew I felt better.

Then my turning moment came… I found out both of my non-runner sister-in-laws had signed up to run a June marathon in Colorado. It lit a fire in me. How dare they sign up to run a marathon??? They weren’t runners!!! Why was I soo mad??? Because they were doing what I had always wanted to do but never had the guts or discipline to follow thru with. I had attempted and failed various training plans…had even toughed out a few long runs.

We decided to go to Colorado in support…so I signed up for the 10k…I had run a few before…no big deal. In the months leading up to the big event I decided I was going to sign up for a marathon myself. Portland. In October.

In the meantime, I met some running buddies in my hood who ran at the butt-crack-of-dawn. I am NOT a morning person and probably never will be. But I AM extremely social and figured the company, friendship, and most importantly, accountability would be a great thing for me. BTW, these friendships have been a godsend to me and I consider each one of the more like sisters. I will talk about them each plenty:).

The big Colorado Marathon was here, Steamboat Springs…it was beautiful!! Neither of my sister-in-laws really trained. Both decided they hated running. The younger one decided to run/walk the damn race and the other one reckoned she would just walk the ENTIRE 26.2!! Pure hell, to me, anyway. But neither of their goals sidelined a night of booze and celebration…pre-race. I was soooo appalled!!! Why weren’t they taking this seriously??

Race day was here. I had never attended a “real” race, Turkey Trots don’t count…

I couldn’t believe the diversity of runners!!!! Fat and skinny…old and young.. short and tall…some with handicaps…some just unathletic(me)…some super lean “runner types” and everything else in between!!!

Everyone’s goals varied too…for some it was “fun”…some did it in support of someone else…some were looking to break their own personal record…some planned to walk…and some just hoped to finish.

There were also varying experience…first-timers to 100-timers and more.

And FINALLY it dawned on me…….

Running does not discriminate. It is kind of like an art form. There is no one way. I loved and still adore that about running! It is such an individual sport and I have never in my life felt like I “fit in” and suddenly I did.

I ran that day…my big 10k…..thru the glorious Colorado mountains…I was a runner. And in love!

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