Wednesday, April 30, 2008

race reports

alrighty ... looks like we've got a few race reports from salt lake and other recent races.
check them out here:
way to go ladies.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

spirit of the marathon

thanks to the crazy life for this referral ... i cannot wait for this thing to come out on dvd. it will be watched before every race i run. and for anyone who asks, this is why i run.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Need some new running music??

I don't always listen to music when I run, but when I do, I want it to serve a purpose, and that purpose is usually to get my rear in gear. The other day, as I was heading out the door for my first post baby 3 miler (woo-hoo), I was borrowing my husband's ipod, (as mine wasn't charged), and the first song that came on got me instantly pumped and inspired... I didn't even feel like doing my normal warm-up walk, I was ready to run! I just love it when a song does that for me. It's the kind of song that just makes you want to run, so I thought I would share it with you all. It is called 10,000 Lakes, from the new RS&RB album, which is not yet released, so this may technically be an illegal copy. It's ok though, my BIL is the drummer, and he is the one who gave us the tracks, so I'll just blame him if I get in trouble! ;) Make sure to listen to the whole thing, as the end is the best. If you are into intricacies of music, pay attention to what the individual instruments are doing at the very end... so cool!  Let me know what you all think.

So, I swear I am not trying to create a sentimental moment with this montage. But I am challenged in many things, and one of them, apparently, is being able to find a music player that would let me upload a song from my itunes library. I'm sure there is one, but I'm retarded, so oh well. I knew I would be able to with one true media, so I just decided to do a "running" montage with pictures from the SLC and Ogden marathons. If you want, you can just hit play, and then just listen to the music and not look at the pictures, what ever suits you! ;) 

Now can't you just see yourself running, or better yet, FINISHING a marathon to this song?! Love it!

Friday, April 25, 2008

so sleepy

we must have been tired last night. we laid down around 7:45p and didn't wake up until 7:15a this morning. holy cow! our bodies must have been trying to tell us something. layovers, red eyes, jet lag, and staying up WAY too late finally took its toll.

while i obviously don't practice what i preach, sleep is a key ingredient for a runner, or any athlete. i know that when i get a good night's rest i feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the demands of the day, especially running.
so i'm not an expert, but i found a great article on that lists the top 10 benefits of sleep. if these aren't enough to get me in bed by 10:30p, then i don't know what is!

1. Keeps Your Heart Healthy: Heart attacks and strokes are more common during the early morning hours. This fact may be explained by the way sleep interacts with the blood vessels. Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, all risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Your heart will be healthier if you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.
2. May Prevent Cancer: People working the late shift have a higher risk for breast and colon cancer. Researchers believe this link is caused by differing levels of melatonin in people who are exposed to light at night. Light exposure reduces the level of melatonin, a hormone that both makes us sleepy and is thought to protect against cancer. Melatonin appears to suppress the growth of tumors. Be sure that your bedroom is dark to help your body produce the melatonin it needs.
3. Reduces Stress: When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body's functions are put on high alert which causes an increase in blood pressure and a production of stress hormones. Higher blood pressure increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes. The stress hormones also, unfortunately, make it harder for you to sleep. Learn relaxation techniques to counter the effects of stress. There are also stress reduction techniques for sleep.
4. Reduces Inflammation: The increase in stress hormones raises the level of inflammation in your body, also creating more risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes. Inflammation is thought to one of the causes of the deterioration of your body as you age.
5. Makes You More Alert: Of course, a good night's sleep makes you feel energized and alert the next day. Being engaged and active not only feels great, it increases your chances for another good night's sleep. When you wake up feeling refreshed, use that energy to get out into the daylight, do active things, and be engaged in your world. You'll sleep better the next night and increase your daily energy level.
6. Bolsters Your Memory: Researchers do not fully understand why we sleep and dream, but a process called memory consolidation occurs during sleep. While your body may be resting, your brain is busy processing your day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings and memories. Your dreams and deep sleep are an important time for your brain to make memories and links. Getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better.
7. May Help You Lose Weight: Researchers have also found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that the lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, important for the regulation of appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep. So if you are interested in controlling or losing weight, don't forget to pay attention to getting a good night's sleep.
8. Naps Make You Smarter: Napping during the day is not only an effective and refreshing alternative to caffeine, it can also protect your health and make you more productive. A study of 24,000 Greek adults showed that people who napped several times a week had a lower risk for dying from heart disease. People who nap at work have much lower levels of stress. Napping also improves memory, cognitive function and mood.
9. Reduce Your Risk for Depression: Sleep impacts many of the chemicals in your body, including serotonin. People with a deficiency in serotonin are more likely to suffer from depression. You can help to prevent depression by making sure you are getting the right amount of sleep, between 7 and 9 hours each night.
10. Helps the Body Make Repairs: Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair damage.
get some rest!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

half marathon, take 2

just signed up for the UHCNC half marathon tonight. the race is saturday, may 3. why did i sign up? honestly, i would like another try at my half marathon goal. i worked so hard to train and i think that it just sucks that i got pretty sick two days before my race. while i completely loved salt lake, and learned so much, i really just want a second try with all this hard work i've put in the past 10 weeks. does that make me totally pigheaded and competitive? absolutely. welcome to julia. tempo run tomorrow, here i come.

why oh why?

i've decided that running a marathon is just like childbirth. dang, it's painful. and you think as you are doing it, "why do i do this again? this is going to be my last marathon for a LONG time." and then, i swear, soon after you finish, you're planning your next race. well, maybe most people don't plan to have another baby right after they deliver one, but it's so true... you forget the pain and, therefore, deliver yet another marathon... er, i mean, child... sometime later down the road. i'm glad i forget the pain, though, because i sure love my babies and i sure love to run races, of all distances.

i ran the salt lake city marathon this last weekend with my darling husband, ben, and despite the pain and agony of it all, i totally had a blast. this was ben's first marathon and he worked it like a champ. i'm so proud of you ben! and this is the first time i've run a marathon with someone... i've always been alone. i liked having company... a lot. the time goes by way faster and just having someone by my side, even though he doesn't talk much (my silly husband thinks it's weird to talk when you run), helped me to work harder than i think i would have worked had i been by myself. i had originally set out at the beginning of my training to get a PR by beating my time of 4:11 from the st. george marathon. ya, didn't happen. i was quite lazy with training this time around. i missed about half of my long runs and quite a few of my weekday runs as well. so, before i ran the race i decided that if i could beat my time of 4:19 from the ogden marathon, i would be pleased with my performance. and i did. ben and i came in at 4:16. it was hard though...

after the course split off from the half-marathoners, we had this wicked head wind blowing straight at us as we headed south down to holladay. maren, lindsey, julia, did you girls have that head wind? it was tough. we literally had to just duck our heads and push into it. and then there was the altitude. i was just so tired for the first half of the race. but after we turned and started heading back up north, we had a tail wind working with us. i've never felt anything like that before... there were these huge gusts of wind so strong, it was literally pushing me faster than my body wanted to go. it helped get us to the finish line faster, though, thankfully.

and there, at the finish line, was all of our wonderful family. what a great feeling to be finishing something so challenging that you've been working your tush off on for the last four hours and to see your family going crazy for you! it was awesome. my parents, were there and my sisters, hailey and alexis. ben's sister, kadi, and ben's brother and his wife, doug and jackie, were there. and you can see my sister, morgan, and her husband, nate, with their hands in the air for us.

and seeing our precious little boys... that was the best.

so which marathon next?! like i said... marathons, childbirth... you totally forget the pain. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

salt lake city marathon

well, i must have posted a self-fulfilling prophecy last monday. a factor i couldn't control came round wednesday morning: a big, fat cold. boooooo. i woke up with a nasty sore throat and aches. i sped to trader joe's after work and bought some vitamin booster and vitamin c. i was popping them both like they were candy. mmmmm, candy. thursday i woke up feeling worse and friday was unbearable. sore throat, congested lungs, achy body, and a stuffy nose. i really tried to ignore the whole sickness, for fear that i would actually be sick for race day saturday morning. my father-in-law had me gargling hydrogen peroxide all friday night. while disgusting, it actually killed the sore throat and saturday morning i was feeling pretty good.

i don't think i could have asked for a better morning. the temperature was perfect, i was still on east coast time, so a 7am start time really felt like 9am. linds and mare were right by my side. i finally got to meet erin at the start. (she had an AMAZING race. i bet she'll post about it soon. way to go erin.) erin, you are beautiful inside and out. :)

so off we went. first six miles were fantastic. last 7.1 - mmmm, not so much. the cold kicked in and i'm fairly sure my lungs shrunk to half their size. stupid, stupid cold. i'm still trying to figure out how much of this was mental vs. physical, but suffice it to say, mile 7-11 were pretty rough. i had a great finish, and tried to keep a good attitude at my small victory known as a half marathon. i loved seeing family at the finish. steve's face was the best. he looked so happy to see me. love you stevie boy.
salt lake was the place where i really began my running. i remember six years ago trying to run the trail around liberty park once, and not making it halfway around. it was pretty amazing to be able to go around it saturday without a hitch. i remember hearing a fifty year old woman in relief society in my sugar house ward say how elated she felt every time she crossed the finish line of a marathon. saturday, i saw her family on the course. thank you for the inspiration.

it was really a race of returning. returning to family, returning to friends, and returning to roots - and even an old, slow race time. ;) that being said, i truly believe every race is a learning experience. this one taught me to be okay with the uncontrollable factors and to love the moments that are given to me. while i'm pretty sure many races have taught me this particular lesson, i think it was really driven home this time. there's nothing more valuable than that.

so, i'll let jona post about his incredible marathon if he wants to. if not, that's fine. but let's say he was incredible. way to go babe.

Monday, April 14, 2008

riddle me this

run no. 1: last saturday i ran 12 miles. it was a pretty awful run. it was a warm, muggy southern morning and i had 0.00 energy for the run. the trail i ran was a relatively flat (small, rolling hills) out and back.

run no. 2: this past saturday i ran 10 miles. it was a pretty amazing run. it was a cool southern morning and i had lots of energy for the run. the trail was full of hills, hills, hills. i loved every second of it.

so riddle me this: how is it that i ran the 10 miles almost 35 minutes faster than my 12 miles? especially given the serious climbing the 10 mile run demanded?

it just goes to show that many, many factors go in to a good run, or more importantly a good race. in preparing to run the salt lake half this saturday, i am trying to control a lot of those factors. 1) sleep, sleep, sleep 2) drink water, water, and more water 3) eat well 4) be prepared with everything i need and keep it a low-stress week.

unfortunately a lot of factors can't be controlled. weather, porta-potty issues, a stressful day at work the week before the race, travel - just to name a few. the most important thing for me to remember is that i can control my mind and my attitude regardless of the uncontrollable factors. i just need to tell myself (power of the mind) that i am going to rock this race. and maybe i just will. maybe that was the key for run no. 2 - i'll just channel that for saturday! ;)

good luck to everyone running the sl marathon this weekend. molly, i hope your race went well on saturday. i'd love to hear about all of them.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

a true sugar addict: a nutrition discussion

hello, my name is julia, and i am a sugar addict. for the past 90 days (with a few exceptions) i have abstained from refined sugars for my upcoming half marathon. i'm not gonna lie, it sucks. i am waiting for april 19th anxiously, when i can sink my teeth (with little to no guilt) into pf chang's great wall of chocolate, ooooh, or a bag of skittles, or gail's chocolate chip cookies. i would top it off maybe with a milk shake or my all time favorite candy, the BIG strawberry flavored laffy taffy. i am getting sick just thinking about it. :)

but given the subject of food, i get asked all the time if i can eat whatever i want because i run. my real and honest answer: no. twinkies and diet coke on a friday night do not equal a great run on saturday morning. being a runner naturally pushes you to eat healthier because your body, as a runner, demands it. what i'd like to discuss is what i eat regularly, the night before a run, right before a run, during a run, and then after. i am not a nutritionist (though i'd like to be someday), and do not profess to be an expert. but what i do works for me, and that's what i'll share. i'd love to hear the same from you.

what i eat regularly: now that i've moved to the east coast i've had a little more time to prepare meals. it's refreshing after six years of wendy's, chipotle, and cereal. jonathan and i will sit down every sunday together and plan our meals for the week and go grocery shopping together the next day. true story. our favorite meals include trader joe's mahi, mahi; kaylynn's famous spinach, bell pepper chicken salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar; black bean chili; whole wheat blueberry pancakes; and well - chipotle. what we try to gravitate towards is fresh (sometimes organic) ingredients that have nutritional value. we make sure each dinner has a vegetable, a simple carbohydrate, and protein. nothing is ever processed or refined - if possible. breakfasts usually include kashi or nature's path with skim milk with simply orange to wash down a multi-vitamin. costco carries all of our breakfast products, so we can get it relatively inexpensively in bulk.

the night before a race: this is where the traditional carb load comes in. my carb of choice is spaghetti - whole wheat if i can get it. because whole wheat is a simple carbohydrate it is more easily absorbed in your body for energy storage (sugar = glucose) and is ready for the next day's events. i like to eat some sort of spinach or vegetable for that extra psychological vitamin boost and TONS OF WATER. drink all day long. staying hydrated for me is crucial for a race. the more i drink, the better. on that note: i have the hardest time drinking water - my body either craves it or hates it. yes, these are the symptoms of dehydration. so, i don't practice every day what i preach, but at least the day before a race, i'm drinking h2o like it's going out of style.

race day: everyone has their own ritual, that's for sure. mine includes waking up at the last possible moment (kaylynn, rebecca, maren, lindsey - any of you could attest to this right?) and eating a peanut butter and jam sandwich. (whole wheat bread, natural peanut butter, and just yummy jam) mmmmmmm. what this equates to me is again a carbohydrate (bread, jam) and a protein (peanut butter). i drink a bit of gatorade and water, but not too much to give me fishbowl stomach, and out the door i go. the experts will tell you to wake up at least two hours before you run and eat a 300 calorie meal before you run. personally, i just can't get my butt out of bed that early. :) i also make sure to down a few pepto bismol tablets to make sure i don't hit the porta potties too often, or at all. yes, runners - you know what i am talking about.

during the race: GUUUUUU. i load up my fuel belt with my choice of gatorade (3 flasks) and water (1 flask) and pack in my GU and iPod and i'm ready to roll. for a half marathon i like to take a GU at mile 5 and 10 (gives me something to look forward to) and at a marathon every 5 miles and then another 1/2 GU around mile 23 for a psychological boost. all these little suckers are, are 100 calories of pure sugar gel. yum. i make sure to take each GU with water to help digestion. (keep in mind that after gatorade, GU, and your PB&J before, you've ingested around 700+ calories for a long run). experts tell us to drink six fluid ounces of sports drink every 20 minutes or so - my needs are much less. what i tell people is drink when you feel like you need to drink - but before you become dehydrated - because once you've gone there, your body won't recover and you can kiss that PR goodbye.

after the race: YAY!!! celebration time. this is where my sugar comes in. wait - i've done all that work and now i eat whatever i want?! it sounds awful, but true. the body's metabolism is sooo high at this point your body will accept anything to replace all the calories you've burned. (ps, did you know it takes 3,500 calories burned to lose 1 pound?) ideally it should again be whole foods, full of vitamins and protein and good carbs, but what's the fun in that?! yes, i am awful. generally jona and i head to chipotle after a really long run - and walgreen's for our hit of sugar and candy. yum.

i hope this stuff makes sense and is somewhat helpful. sports nutrition (and general nutrition for that matter) is a really interesting subject. i hope to become an expert someday!

Friday, April 4, 2008

our new mascot

i have decided to make my little maggie the official "Love to Run" mascot. maggie's running story begins about six weeks ago when we took her out for her first 3 mile run on a cool, sunny afternoon. she started out like a champ, and after about 15 minutes of running - she was DONE. i had to pull on her leash just to keep up a slight jog. at a check up, the vet was examining our little pooch and made the comment that we had (and i quote) "a naturally good running dog". apparently she's quite muscular and built well for running. so over the next month we slowly worked with her to increase her mileage. each run she ran just a bit further.

and this morning, triumphantly she completed her first 5K without a hitch. there was a skip in her step and her tail was waggin'. she loved it. i've never seen her so happy as this morning when she got out in the misty air for a run with her jula and jona. way to go, magpie! :)

have a great weekend everyone. hope you all have fantastic runs and that we get to hear all about them next week.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

runner's high

thanks to rebecca for this awesome share:

a quick excerpt from the article:
The data showed that, indeed, endorphins were produced during running and were attaching themselves to areas of the brain associated with emotions, in particular the limbic and prefrontal areas.
The limbic and prefrontal areas, Dr. Boecker said, are activated when people are involved in romantic love affairs or, he said, “when you hear music that gives you a chill of euphoria, like Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3.” The greater the euphoria the runners reported, the more endorphins in their brain.