Monday, August 30, 2010

Vitality Giveaway!

I know that it is the last day of August but in my mind September is officially beginning.  This month is looking like it will be the busiest month of running and racing ever!  I'm extremely excited, nervous, and can barely wait for the fun to begin...yet again!  So here's the schedule for will start out with my long run this weekend in preparation for my first race.

Next weekend on the 11th & 12th, the Red Rock Relay - where I'll be covering 19.5 miles in three legs.  Our team will cover 180 miles total - team name:  Bountiful Babes.  I'm working on our team T-shirts and they're going to be pretty dang cute! 

On the 18th, is the Top of Utah marathon - I'll be hoping for another PR.  Fingers crossed that it will at least be better than my last one. : ) 

On the 25th I'll be running The "official" Dirty Dash, remember I wrote about it here when I did the media preview!  It's going to be muddy, sticky, super dirty, yucky and a blast!  For this race we run 6 miles as a team of 5 - our team name is 'The Piggytales'.  We will definitely be dressed up for this one with our hair in pigtails of course!

 So are you jealous?  Does this race schedule kick butt or what?  It's going to be such a crazy month. I can't even wait for it to begin! It's like Christmas Eve x 3...yeah I know...crazy! ;) Wish me luck!

With that, I thought it would be a great way to start off my month with a GIVEAWAY!! A nutritional giveaway! I've gotta be focused on my training, and more importantly, my diet, nutrition, and what supplements will help me through this month. So what better way to kick it off than with a...

 There is a nutrition shop here in my hometown that I've shopped at for years. They have provided me with great products for all my running needs.  Recently they've been helping me with new supplements and I can already tell that they've made a difference!  They have given me a $40 gift certificate to giveaway here on my blog!  Did you hear that?  40 BUCKEROOS!  You can visit Vitality's website to see some of the things they have and I will also be sharing with you what I use later in the week.  The winner will be able to order their choice of product via telephone and they have agreed to ship your goodies for FREE wherever you are. So, just because you're not local doesn't mean you can't benefit from this wonderful offer! The employees, the manager, and the owner, are extremely knowledgable, helpful, nore than willing to consult and help you with any nutrition or supplement needs pertaining to your training.  They have definitely been a great asset to my health and running. 

So here are the rules for the Vitality Nutrition $40 GIVEAWAY:

1.  Become a follower.  If you are a follower already give yourself a bonus entry!

2.  Like Racing Dawn on facebook and leave me a message on my wall.  I love nutrition tips!

3.  Follow Racing Dawn on twitter and shoot me a message @racingdawn. (also leave me your twitter name so I know who you are) 

4.  Link my giveaway on your blog sidebar.


Since this is a nutrition giveaway from Vitality, you get an additional entry by going to their website, clicking on the "Buy Online" link and telling me which product category you would most likely spend your winnings on.

Good luck!  The winner will be randomly selecty next Monday, September 7th, at midnight MST.  This is a good one, so get your entries in!

Now that the first week of school is done, we are back on schedule and I look forward to getting back on schedule with my training and nutrition. I look forward to the upcoming events and am excited. Good luck to all of you with your training as well and don't forget to enter my giveway.

Happy running y'all!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Flashback Friday

Alright, this Flashback Friday is a bit more special than the others. My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary yesterday! 15 years folks. We have a beautiful family and a great life together! So, in the spirit of my lists this week, here's one more my friends (I promise this is the last one for a while). You're not sick of them yet are you? :) So here we go...
Top Ten Signs You Know You've Been Married for 15 Years
10. You spend your anniversary at Back to School Night. Yep, pretty romantic. We have three kids in elementary school so we had to make the rounds and meet their teachers. Nothing like sitting in a hot classroom for a few hours.

9. You go out to celebrate and order the most inexpensive plate cause you know you have to pay for soccer, ballet, guitar and art lessons next week. Kids are so expensive but worth every penny.

8. You buy chocolate covered strawberries to enjoy after the kiddos go to bed and when you go to get them out of the fridge, half of them have already been eaten. The other half have little bites taken out of them because the kid that thought they wanted one decided they really weren't in the mood for one afterall.

7. Instead of making plans weeks in advance for this special occassion you decide what you are going to do when you get in the car on your way out.

6. You cuddle up to enjoy a nice romantic comedy and you both doze off about 20 minutes into the movie... Sorry babe...

5. You still think you look as good as you did when you were first married until you look at your wedding album and you realize it REALLY has been 15 years.

4. Your husband tries to show your 13 year old how he used to get down on the dance floor when you were dating and he says "I saw those moves on MC Hammer's Behind The Music last night on VH1. Don't do that when my friends are here Dad."

3. You and your spouse actually think writing a top ten list together on the night of your 15 year anniversary is fun. (You should see the unedited version of this list!) ;)

2. Instead of spending an hour getting "suited and booted" for your anniversary date, you don't.

1. You tell your spouse "Hold on honey, I just gotta finish this blog post... Be there in a minute." : )

Happy Anniversary babe. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat!

I've been a slacker on my food journal among other things but I will definitley be back on track on Monday with a week dedicated to nutrition and diet. I also have an AWESOME giveaway coming up to compliment. Thanks for your patience during this recovery week and looking forward to an exciting new week. Make sure to check back to read about my new findings and get your entries in for the new giveaway.

Good luck to those of you who are racing this weekend. Good luck to those of you who are kicking out long runs this weekend. Good luck to those of you who are kicking out any amount of miles this weekend.

Have a good weekend and Happy Running!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another List

I love lists so I thought it would be fun to do another top ten.  The one from earlier this week ended up being fun to write up so here we go. 

One of the questions I've got a lot this week is 'If your experience was so bad last Saturday, why keep doing it again and again?'  I really do love running and that's what it all comes down to. I came across a cute article recently listing reasons to run a marathon so I took a couple and added in some of my own.  Kinda fun.

Top Ten Reasons to Run a Marathon

10.  Prestige.  Did you know that only .1% of Americans have finished a marathon?  Quite an elite group whether you're winning them or not!  It's kind of like being part of a frat or sorority except you don't have to rush and we'll let everyone in who wants to join...after you run 26.2 miles ;)

9.  Short Shorts.  I personally don't rock these but when I see someone else wearing them I say 'Go on with your bad self!'  If you got the legs, work it!  This is the only time running in underwear is perfectly respectable. ; )

8.  Self-Discipline.  Did you ever think you'd get up at the crack of dawn by choice?  Lose the weight?  Run for 3+ hours?  Cross a finish line after running for 26 miles after months of training?  Heck ya!

7.  Health. Those achey muscles are your body's way of saying thank you.  Pushing yourself physically and becoming stronger can only be a good thing.

6.  Super cool gadgets.  I don't own any personally but I hear that downloading your runs from your Garmin after a crazy hill route is like the coolest thing ever.  Someday I'll get a Garmin watch and try it for myself!

5.  Energy.  Seems like this is contradictory but the more you workout and wear yourself out, the more energy and endurance you have in your everyday activities.  Crazy, but true.  Just have to try it to believe it.

4.  Tan Lines.  You have to be careful what you wear, but nothing like sun-kissed cheeks.

3.  New kicks.  You get to purchase a pair of running shoes every few months - you put 300 miles on a set and you're ready for a new pair.  Love new running shoes!

2.  Bragging rights.  Ladies, you can challenge the dudes...  Boys you can show off to the ladies.  : )

1.  Race Days are Fun.  Really.  I know my last one was a bit of a bust but race days are fun!  You mix and mingle with new people, share stories, and enjoy nature.  As a bonus, you finish with an amazing runners high or a runners cry ;) Either way, you've just accomplished something you never thought you could. You are totally spent but feel like you are on top of the world! There is nothing like it.

I know there are more things that can be added to the list. I am sure you have your personal favorites. What would you add to the list?  Can't say enough about running!

BTW - My training session went awesome.  I totally brought it.  I killed the circuit workout.  Don't get me wrong - it was tough and my heart was beating hard! My trainer said he was impressed...heck ya he was.  ; )  He timed my circuit and I was faster my second go around.  No free protein shakes at the gym nutrition shop this time but he did give me this session for free!  Nice! Thanks for lookin' out Zack! See you next week.  He said he'll use the same circuit with some of his other clients and see how they do. He thought I'd have 'em all beat. Nah, I'm not competitive, no way...but if someone beats my time I want a redo...;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back On Track

Thank you for all of your kind comments.  It really helped.  Such a tough race but I'm over it and feeling good today.  I am excited to move on.  I actually have a lot to look forward to in the month of September.  It will be my busiest month of races - so moving forward...

Maybe last pic from Park and my little guy discussing how hard it was to get this silly medal. ; )  I promise I'm not harboring any bad feelings...letting go...really I am. 

So, my kiddos are back to school. Of course my little guy thinks he's heading off with the big kids too. With all this going on, I missed my Tunesday Training Tips. It was my first real day off . Four of my five kids are in school all day now and it's a little weird. I have more quiet time with my toddler but he is definitley missing all the noise and action of the older kids.  We're having great one on one time and I love it.  He keeps asking for his brothers though and I know it's because they're the ones that always sneak him treats when I'm not looking.  : )

I will get my first run in since the marathon on Thursday and maybe another 8 to 10 miler on Saturday. We'll see how I'm feeling. My legs are not that sore from the race, they just feel heavy. I went for a short walk today to try and loosen them up and I think it helped. I know I've slacked with the Food Journal but I'll be tracking that again starting today!  This week is recovery week but I still have to stay on track with my nutrition.

I have my big training session tonight...The Smack Down.  'In this corner we have the tough as nails, 'I'll show you a workout', know everything trainer...and in this corner we have another know it all, the 'go ahead, bring it on' blondie runner.  Let's get ready to rumble....' echo, echo, echo...  Hahaha.  Hope I'm the one laughing tonight and not him! : )

Stay tuned to ESPN Sportcenter for the smackdown results tomorrow...  

Monday, August 23, 2010

Marathon #3 - Check

Yup, it was that good ;)

You know that song 'I left my heart in San Francisco'? Well I've got a new title for that song...'I left my pride in Park City'. Seriously, it was really tough. I survived but it sure wasn't pretty. I knew it going in but hopeful I could have a respectable finish time. That course chewed me up and luckily spit me out across the finish line.

So, other than going on and on about how hard it was...which can be a little bit of a downer, I thought I'd throw some sarcasm in a la David Lettermanish type. So here we go...

The Top Ten Signs You Know You've Run
The Park City Marathon...

10. The scenery and surroundings are amazing - I can't even knock that. So beautiful and great weather other than the head wind for 3/4 of the race.

9. Your swag bag has a box of Wheaties in it. I mean, come on Park City. Jen Aniston shows up and she gets a Fendi bag, Dolce & Gabana sunglasses and True Religion jeans in it. Now, I know I am not Jen Aniston but throw me a little some 'em some 'em. This is the city of celeb during the winter months and one step away from Aspen and the only freebie I get is a box of Wheaties? Really?

8. You get to 8th Street, which is mile 18, and you need a repelling rope to help pull you up the hill - it's that steep.

7. At mile 20 you've finally stopped running uphill. Remember that elevation chart I showed you? It said 16 miles up, right? It lied. 20 miles up, then gradual down. Huh.

6. A grown man puking at mile 23. Guess that could happen at any marathon but seemed poeticly perfect in this race.

5. Instead of hopping on the ski tram for a nice scenic ride up Deer Valley ski resort, you find yourself running right by it trying to stretch and jab the sides of your abs to get the stitches to release. The air is thinner than thin up there. Stitches finally worked themselves out over the next couple of miles...

4. Hamstrings crying "Why Me?"  the whole second half of the race.

3. Running so slow that I could take phone calls on my iPhone. No...really.

2. Your family is tired of circling the booths at the finish line waiting the extra half hour wondering where the heck you are. Sorry guys.

1. You're crying at the finish line. I know, I thought I had the mental part of of this in control but apparently not. This race got the best of me.

After I got my cries out, we celebrated at Red Banjo of our favorite places to go as a family. You gotta go there if ever in Park City. Best pizza ever! I enjoyed my Cherry Coke too!

So there you have it. My Park City recap. I'm putting it behind me, the whole 5 hours and 7 minutes of it. Let me just say I started really strong. I got to the half-way mark at 2:10. I was ecstatic about that. Those uphills just didn't quit! After the hill at mile 18, that's when my hamstrings started cramping...bad. I'm just glad I finished. I'm pretty sure this will be the hardest course of my 12 marathons this year. At least I'm praying it is. : )

Gotta go back to the drawing board on a few things though. What should I have done to keep my hamstrings from cramping so bad? I shot blocked every hour, water & gatorade every 15-20 minutes. Took some endurance pills to help oxygen flow to my muscles and brain (I'll tell you about these soon!). Ate my regular pb sand and banana pre-race. I think I needed more carbs and sodium during the race. Maybe some pretzels, trail mix - I don't know. I also think I should have done more long runs with serious uphill miles at the end. But who wants to do those? :)

I'm going to do some yoga and tai chi this week to try to release all the negative energy and push forward to brighter days of running. (Sarcasm) I'm really okay today, just a little disappointed in myself. Which brings me to my final point of the day....

To all of you out there running, training, pondering marathons - You have to run more than one! You train so hard and do so many things to prepare and sometimes one miscalculation can throw off the entire experience. Don't let the "1" be the end. I tell everyone to run at least 2! You've trained for weeks and weeks and for it to be all over and done within one morning, good or bad, just doesn't seem like enough! Throw another one on that calendar. Whether it's a half-marathon 6 or 8 weeks before your marathon or a couple of marathons a month or two apart. You'll be glad you did. I'm so glad that I have Top of Utah Marathon to look forward to. I know it's going to be great! My redemption from Park City. No pressure. ;)

Happy Monday y'all!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

So, Without Further Ado...:)

Thanks to my production staff for figuring out (learning) how to rip, slice, and post this video. ;)

Racing Dawn on Park City TV!

I made it! I was on Park City TV last night! It was so fun. A bit surreal, but fun. I still haven't watched it yet. I've got it DVRed but I am having a hard time turning it it on...maybe later. I would have informed you of the time and channel but I just wasn't sure how it was going to go down...were they going to record it for a future show? I just wasn't sure if it was going to be live or not. I just didn't want to set myself up for disappointment. I have the dvd and my staff, I mean my husband, is still trying to get the footage spliced so we can upload it to the ol' blog. I have a hard time watching myself, but it might be fun for you to meet me and get to know me a little better than just through my writing! Stay tuned...we're having technical diffuculties at the moment. : )

This is the host, Ori Hoffer and I right before we went on. He was very nice and made me feel at ease throughout the interview. We chatted a bit before hand which made me feel more comfortable before we went live. Afterwards, he even hooked us up with a 2 for 1 coupon at an awesome restaurant on Main Street in Park City! Dinner was delicious - thanks Ori!

That's us during the interview. I couldn't believe I was really on television...I know, I'm being a bit gitty about it but it was really a fun experience. We chatted about running, kids, the Park City Marathon coming up on Saturday and the journey of 12 marathons in 12 months.  It felt like the interview went on forever but over in a flash.
Park City is home to the Sundance Film Festival as well as one of the locations from the 2002 SLC Winter Olympics. Lots of famous people have sat on the very same couch as I did. Ooohhhh... ; )

It was fun to do a television interview and it will definintely be a memory that will stay with me forever!  The Park City Marathon will also be memorable no matter how hard the course is!

So, without further wait, here is the video of my television debut ;)

So what's next for the new TV star? Let's see, how about I start with cleaning the kitchen. Have a good day everyone!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nutrition, what? huh?

Do you see these worms all over my floor?  Who opened that can?  Hmmm, I guess that would be me.  I had a feeling this would happen but I put it out there anyways.  Nutrition is so tricky to talk about.  Let me preface again by saying, I do not have my doctorate, nor am I a PH.D, nor a degree in biology, chemistry or physiology.  I am a runner, an average one at that, who has researched to find as much info as I can on diet and nutrition.  I've worked with many trainers and have asked a zillion questions.  I really should go back to school and get my own degree in Sports Nutrition.  But as of today, my 10+ years of trial and error is all I've got to work with.  I've received lots of good questions, thoughts and comments from all of you and I'm trying to figure out the best way to address them all...a few at a time I suppose...

Before I delve into those, I had my session with my trainer.  I have now been given permission to call him by name...  Zack. : )  I really haven't gone easy on him, but for those who've been following, I'm not messin' around.  I want results.  Tonight's session...nutrition.  I brought my food journal.  He gave a basic overview in a 45 minute discussion.  Can anyone make sense of his presentation?

What the crap?  I'm joking, we'll cut him some slack this's hard to write and talk at the same time.  I did pick up some useful info but really nothing that I am not familiar with. No miracle answers.  He showed the 'In vs. Out' diagram, knowing your RMR, and how your metabolism works, carbs, proteins, fats. According th Zach the trainer, did you know that 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories, 1 gram of protein = 4 calories, but 1 gram of fat = 9 calories?  Interesting...any comments on this?

We reviewed amino acids, how they work, break down and about blood sugar levels. We pulled out the microscope and looked at some slides of mitochondria while we were at it too...  : )  I'm giving him a hard time but it was good info and good reminders.  He knew his stuff.  We went over my food journal and I'm eating good.  I'm in a good range for caloric intake.  Without actually going into a lab, running on a treadmill with hoses and electrodes attached to my body to find out exactly what my VO2 max is, I'm pretty close to where I should be.  I have home brew for my body and I have figured out how they work for me, hopefully some of my home brew works for you too. I know my eating isn't perfect but it's a work in progress.  Don't worry everyone, I'm eating enough.  I'm not wasting away just yet.  As of tomorrow, bring on the carbs!  For the last 2 races I began loading 3 days before a race and I really feel like it's made a big difference!  I use to just carboload the night before.  Now I'm stacking those reserves for a few days, putting on an extra pound or two and I think it's one of the things that's helped me through the past couple of races.  Now, I'm not talking about stuffing my face, carbo-loading.  Just 2 or 3 extra servings a day and then a carb heavy dinner the night before.  Mmmmm, mouth is watering just thinking about it... : ) I will definitely report on my post-race meal - it will absolutely include a tall glass of ice cold Coke, with a touch of favorite.

How about my Intake vs. Outtake? Obviously some days you workout harder than others so your calories may be different. Different in the sense of what you're eating pre-workout and post-workout to benefit your efforts.  However, you're always looking for a deficit when you're in weight loss mode.  Now I hate saying this, but I would like to drop ten pounds.  And here's a few reasons why.  One, it would definitely make my runs easier to be a little lighter.  Also, I'm at a decent weight but I'm not as tone as I would like.  I have some layers of fat that need to shrink a bit.

Another Zack the Trainer tidbit for today...Did you know that you cannot lose fat?  You can't work it off.  It shrinks or it expands - you are born with the same amount of fat cells that you will die with. I'd heard this before but I am not sure what to think about that one. I would love for you guys to chime in with your thoughts and expertise on this one. What have you heard on this subject? Would like to hear your comments. I'll do a little more research as well. I also want to tone up more to gain a little more muscle. The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn throughout the day.  Definite advantage to add muscle. 

Back to my point, eating close to the same every day with healthy meals will keep that blood sugar level consistent, which will in turn keep your metabolism even.  You want to keep a nice even eating pattern without big spikes or dips to maintain healthy weight loss.  We don't want our bodies to go into starvation mode and start eating muscle - that would not be good. On the other hand, bingeing and eating high calories, especially carbs, makes that blood sugar spike and fall quickly. When the body digests and uses what it can there's excess left over (extra calorie intake) which converts to fat. So, I stand corrected...calorie intake does revolve around what kind of activity you do from day to day, but staying in the same range will benefit the grand scheme of it all. Try and keep it even my friends.

Now I don't own a Garmin, or a heart rate monitor.  I'm old school.  Not by choice, I'd love a Garmin but these races aren't gonna pay for themselves, they are pricy! If it came with a music player, a water dispenser for my long runs and could convert into an automatic scooter when I was done, then maybe I would consider one...;)  Hopefully down the line I'll be able to afford one and enjoy all the fun technology that awaits me. For now, I measure the old fashioned way. When my son is tired but won't go down for a nap, we jump in the car for a ride (10 minutes and he's out) and its a great way for me to discover new running routes and measure mileage. I also gauge my physical acitivty by asking myself the following questions...Can I have a normal conversation while I'm working out or running? How hard am I breathing? Check my pulse manually. Do I feel like I'm going to pass out? Can I finish out my run or do I need to call my husband to come pick me up again? Hahahaha!  It really has worked so far for what I've done and I look forward to stepping up my game to improve my performance.

On average, I burn 80 to 90 calories per mile I run.  My RMR is 1406 for my height, weight and age.  I burn roughly 500 calories during an hour strength training session.  I even have a breakdown of how many calories I should eat at each meal of the day. I have a lot of info. I also have a life too. I'm a wife and mother of five busy children. It's the end of summer and school is starting. Say hello to basketball, soccer, ballet, jazz, guitar, piano, art lessons, scouts, homework, friends and family time.  I can only manage so much on any given day. I'm trying, but it's a real challenge to get so precise sometimes.

So here I am again working with a trainer. The next level is calling my name.  I can hear it.  I'm close.  I'm not trying to win any races here, just hit a sub 4 marathon, get lean and tone.  Qualifying for Boston would be icing on the cake.  I need to work harder and in different ways. I definitely need to keep monitoring and journaling what I eat and when.  Zack said next week 'It's on'! He's bringing his A game and I'm ready to throw down.  Whoever cries uncle first has to buy the other a protein shake at the gym bar & grill.  There will be no need for me to be bring my's on!

I hope some of the tidbits that help me, help you. As we are all different, I aim to give basic, sound nutrition advice that works for me...good rules of thumb.  However, I see that many of you are just like me and want as many details as you can.  For those who have sent me specific questions to my inbox, I welcome them and enjoy the conversations we have regarding your specific needs. I am happy to help! Numbers, percentages, rankings and results...that's what we like. These are the indicators that help us know if we are on the right track. Hopefully what I share with you here helps to keep you on track to acheive your goals. I always welcome your questions, comments and advice. Shoot me an email. I also welcome corrections if anything I share with you is different than what you have heard in your training.

Oh yeah, and I'm going to be on TV tonight!  What!?!?!?  I'll tell you more about it tomorrow!

A Winner! A Winner!

We have our winner for the Blender Bottle Giveaway!  It is....

#16 by

Kovas Palubinskas!

Whew hew!!!  Email me your info and you'll be shakin' up protein drinks and super good smoothies in no time!

Thanks to all who entered.  And don't worry, there's more to come!  I've already got my next two giveaways lined up and ready to go!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cat & Mouse

Are there any cat lovers out there? I usually am, except mornings like today. We have 2 cats that are low maintenance and for the most part great additions to the family.  However, it's not so wonderful to wake up to a cat meowing loud enough for the whole household to wake up at 6 a.m. Only this wasn't her usual I'm hungry meowing, or pet me meowing. It was a closed mouth meowing. Which can only mean one thing. She brought in a new play toy. Two choices... a bird or a mouse. I'll take a bird any day. Today, however, her play toy of choice was a mouse. That's what I get for leaving the unscreened window open over night. Of course she takes it to the girls' room, it's usually the messiest room with the most obstacles(toys), so therefore a great place to play 'cat & mouse'. Yes, my cat still brings her toys in half-alive. She wants you to witness her brilliance in catching her prey. Can you feel my anxiety? I've had too many mice get away from her to know that this situation doesn't always end well. It's not fun to look for mice that are still on the move, lifting up clothes, looking in shoes, toy boxes and purses to find a little grey rodent. Believe me, not my idea of fun. So I enlisted my husband to get it, and he wanted to let our cat finish the job but I insisted that he take care of business. Today was a good day. He caught it right away. Princess was disappointed that her fun was over for the morning, but now I can carry on without wondering when a mouse might run across my path today. I'll be wearing the running shoes in this house, thank you very much, not no stinkin' mouse... : )

So big week this week.  My #3 marathon.  Park City Marathon is Saturday! I'm looking forward to it. Excitement is building... Does this elevation chart scare anyone?  Mostly uphill til mile 16ish?  I haven't done as many hill workouts as I had planned.  Not going to lie, a little nervous.  I'm going in with the attitude that I can do this, I will finish it, it will be great weather, and I'm going to have fun.  Not expecting a PR of any sorts.  Good attitude, right?  Fun, it's all about fun...

It's also my daughter's birthday weekend, so really the focus is on her.  We're going to stay up in Park City for three days and have a blast for the last weekend of the summer and dedicate it to my soon to be 9 year old!  She's pretty excited as are the rest of us to have a weekend up there.  My race will only take a few hours, I'll shake it off, good or bad, and then play, play, play!

I will be catching up my food journal today.  I will admit right now that I am not an example to be followed.   I made lots of mistakes last week with my eating and will have to dissect it in another post.  My trainer will also be going over it on Wednesday during our extra long session, so I'll give you my POV and his this week.

Don't forget my giveaway here!  You only have til tomorrow night at midnight!

Have a great day & I hope you don't run across any stray mice today! : )

Friday, August 13, 2010

Flashback Friday - Ogden Marathon

The Ogden Marathon is one of my most favorite Utah races.  It is in May every year when the spring run-off from the mountain is usually at it's highest.  The majority of the run is a gradual downhill through country and canyon.  Simply beautiful.  It's quiet and you run with the river through almost the whole race.  You know that smell of spring, not Downy spring, but real fresh clean spring?  Mmmm.  Yep, you get to enjoy that fragrance the whole way through.  My fave.

I've run the full marathon twice and have also completed it as a relay with a friend, I ran the first half and she the second.  Both times that I ran it as a full I finished in 5 hours, which is definitely not my best, but the scenery, the volunteers, the finish line area, even the race expo was all excellent.

I really can't complain about anything from this race except for when I ran it in 2006 it poured rain.  Like hurt your face and body, pelting rain.  And it started at the beginning of the race, around mile 8 til about mile 12.  Wring your shirt out kind of rain.  I remember coming up to one of the stations where relayers jump on and this kind, kind lady gave me her gloves to run with.  We were all looking like drowned rats and shivering and she choose me to give her dry gloves to.  In that moment it made night and day difference in that race.  I actually felt like I could finish just having warm gloves!  Thank you glove lady, where ever you are! : )

I mentioned a couple weeks ago when I did Hurt in the Dirt that one of my big reasons for doing that race was so I could go and have an early race entry for Ogden Marathon.  Ogden now sells out in a matter of weeks once registration opens October 1st!  It caps at 8500 runners!  That's a ton!  And it is attributed to it being such a great race and that it was featured in Runner's World in the Top 10 races to do in the United States!  Pretty cool.  I tell everyone that it is a great first marathon to do and one to go back and do over and over again.  I should totally work for them, they are getting a lot of love from me!

Last night we made Orange Dream shakes with our Blender Bottle.  So good.  We also made the Classic Smoothie with raspberry yogurt and cranberry juice - it was excellent once we added some vanilla ice cream! :)  Tomorrow I'm going to try the waffle recipe.  Just a new way to shake things up!  If you haven't yet go here and enter the giveaway for your very own free Blender Bottle!

How you doing on your eating?  I'm still hangin' in there.  Not craving my soda but would kill for some Wheat Thins and cheese...   (btw - I use to look up my calories and portion sizes, you can also use them for free to keep a log!) 

Anyone doing any races this weekend?  I've got a short 12 miler ahead of me tomorrow, love taper weeks! 

Have a great weekend friends!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Food Journal Check-In

 So I threw out the food journal challenge earlier this week and was excited to hear some of you accepted!  However I realized quickly that I would have to share what I actually eat.  And I am the first to admit that I fall in the bad mentality of 'I run, therefore I can eat whatever I want'.  Not good.  Second personal problem is that I'm actually a pretty picky eater so when I know that I'm supposed to be eating good, I would rather just not eat than eat one more salad.  Such a mental thing.  So couple of tips to help keep us all going... 

1.  Consistency is everything.  Try to eat the same amount of calories every single day.  There is no such thing as balancing out at the end of the week.  You can't eat 1000 calories on Monday and then 2000 on Friday and say it just all evens out in the wash.  You are trying to retrain your metabolism and the ups and downs of calorie intake just jacks it up more.  If you have to eat the same exact food every single day, then do it.  I often do that and you will see as the days go by I don't vary too much.  I still have the taste buds of an elementary school kid, someday I'll grow up... : ) 

2.  Don't starve yourself.  You have to eat, good foods, to keep your energy up for running, kids and life.  Staying too low on calories does not do you any good nor those that have to live with you!  Dietitians and nutritionists are not supposed to recommend eating lower than 1200 calories a day and I don't either.  Doctors can recommend lower, they went to school for extra years for that privilege, so of course consult with them.  

3.  Variety is key.  You want to try to get in as many nutrients as possible.  Choose as many colors as you can when it comes to fruits and veggies.  You can't overeat on any of these.  Try to stay away from over processed foods - anything that comes in a bag.  Those things are convenient and cheap but not necessarily nutritious. 

4.  Stick with it!  It takes more than 2 weeks to see big changes.  Give it at least 6 weeks before you judge what is working or not.  Patience is hard, but key.  Stay strong and don't be too hard on yourself if you slip up.  Just make a better choice next time you walk in the kitchen! : )

So here is my yesterday (Wednesday):

10 a.m.            Protein Shake with half a banana            250 calories
12:30 p.m.       Ham sandwich on wheat                        260 calories
                        apple                                                      80 calories
                        blue tortilla chips                                   140 calories
4:15 p.m.         Greek yogurt                                         130 calories
                       Granola                                                 120 calories
5:30 p.m.         Beef Jerky                                              80 calories
6:30 p.m.        2 C Romaine salad                                  40 calories
                       2 tbsp dressing                                       40 calories
                       1 serving chicken                                  130 calories

Total Calories                                                                   1270

So not the greatest, but better than the day before.  All the tips from today are mostly for me to remember, the things I always to seem to fall short on.  I'm going to keep my food intake posted everyday up in the 'Food Journal' tab so if you feel like checking up on me or calling me out on something you can check there to see how I'm doing!  I'm going to keep it up at least through my marathon that is a week from Saturday.  My calories will change up starting Wednesday of next week to get ready for the rac,e but I'm going to try to stay pretty consistent til then.  I'm going to try to eat as clean as possible and see what kind of difference I feel!  I'm going to miss my Dr. Pepper and my Wheat Thins...  tears, tears, tears...  but,

We can do this!  Let me know how you're all doing too!  It's no fun trying to be good all by myself!  Any tips you want to share?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blender Bottle Giveaway!

 It's that time again...  Time to give something away!  I'm new to Blender Bottle and have been using it to mix up my recovery drinks after a long run.  It works great!  It totally gets all those clumps out before you drink.  They have really yummy recipes on their website as well.  Can't wait to try a few!  I'm trying Orange Dream Shake for the kids today.  I'll have to sneak a little taste in..

In Blender Bottles words, 'What’s your dream? Whether you’re training for a triathlon, working out to be the best on the team, or simply cutting back to reach your ideal weight, the BlenderBottle® will help turn your dream into reality.
Hydration and proper nutrition are an essential part of any training or weight loss program. With the BlenderBottle®, you’ll mix smooth and delicious nutrition supplements—anytime, anywhere.'

Sounds good to me!  Make sure to look around their site to find lots of nutrition tips and recipes to make in the Blender Bottle!  They list all their nutrition facts with recipes so it's perfect for us that are logging in our food journals this week!  : )

So here's the rules...

1. Become a follower of my blog Racing Dawn or tell me you're already a follower!

2. Follow racingdawn on Twitter and tweet about it.

3. Become a fan of Racing Dawn on Facebook and post a message on my wall mentioning the giveaway.

4. Check out Blender Bottle's website and let me know what recipe you would try first!

5. Mention this giveaway on your blog with a link to or put a link to racingdawn on your sidebar.

Make sure to leave a seperate comment for each entry!

This giveaway will end this Tuesday, August 17, 2010 11:59PM MST. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Wednesday, August 18th. If you have any questions please drop a line to Good luck!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tunesday Training Tips & Challenge

Another session down...  I had my training session early this morning and it went great.  My sessions are only a half hour long and go by super quick.  We record everything we do so we can pull it out and repeat it other times during the week.  And my trainer is listening, you'll all be happy to know!  We did core work today but not crunches.  I'm feeling stronger already.  : )  We did two-legged hops onto boxes, squats with a 45 lb bar in press position, reverse incline sit-ups with a 20 lb bar and push-ups with a single hand row in between.  It might be a little hard to envision all exercises but they're tough, I assure you.

Our next session is actually going to be a full hour and we're going to go over nutrition specifics.  So great.  I know that losing weight and getting lean is 80% diet and 20% exercise.  It's a little daunting but you gotta have the facts so you can make a difference in your body!  So for the next week I'm going to keep a food journal.  Aaah.  I've done it before, and I'll do it again.  Something about writing it down makes me feel more accountable about what I'm putting in my mouth.  I'm really not a big over-eater but I have my indulgences that I know throw off my efforts.  I'm going to eat better, but still eat things I like.  Not turning to soy milk and kale or having a protein shake for every meal, gotta keep it real...  I'll figure out a way to post it on my blog so you can follow along - and now for the challenge - join me!  It's always easier if someone is doing it with you!  And really knowing what your calorie intake is and even the combinations of food you eat make a huge difference!  Suffer, I mean, participate with me and keep a log.  I'm gonna just keep track of mine in a notepad, but there's plenty of options online.  I find if I keep a notepad on the kitchen counter it's easiest to write it down while I'm eating.  I'll post it day to day and I'll share all my findings next week after my session with my trainer!  Good luck, stay strong - you can do it...

A little something to put a little jump in your run...  One of my favorite artists to listen to while working out is Chris Brown during his pre-craziness days.  I'm thinking if I master this dance routine I could do just about anything!  : )  Enjoy!

...and how cute are those little boys dancing!  Seriously...

We got a new winner!

So it seems like it's been forever since I did the iTune's giftcard giveaway but we need to have a winner claim their prize!  So our new winner is.....

                                            #24 Beana from So Cal! 

Congratulations! Please send your name and contact information to and we'll put it in the mail. You'll be groovin and running to new beats in no time!  Thanks to all of you who participated.

And thanks to Beana for the shout out on Fit Friday!

                      Next giveaway coming tomorrow!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Round-Up

We had a great weekend!  So fun to get away and have a change of pace.  Our family went to Bear Lake, Idaho.  The weather, for the most part, cooperated.  We were able to go on a hike, play in the lake, visit a craft fair and just relax at the cabin.  My two cousins that were there with their own families have kids the same ages as mine, so they were all completely entertained!

I was able to get my all important 20 mile long run in.  It's so fun to run somewhere new and enjoy the scenery.  I was set on the distance I needed to cover but I wasn't worried about the time.  I stopped and took pictures along the way and actually walked most of the last 2 miles because it was all uphill!  Nothin like good hill training at the end of a 20!

I'm not sure if these pictures can do Bear Lake justice, but it's breathtaking!  My girls even met me at the end of my run!  What a great way to spend a few morning hours...

This is Bloomington Lake - a half hour north of Bear Lake.  We hiked in about 20 minutes and enjoyed the beautiful views.  People were out cliff jumping and also swinging from a rope into the lake!  A few from our crew gave it a try and said it was a blast!

Onto a new week...  I've got lots of excitement coming up!  This is actually a taper week for me however, I'm going to hit my mileage really hard during the week, session with the trainer on Tuesday and then scale back on Saturday to probably 12 or 13 miles for a long run. 

Last call to S Club Mama from Nebraska... you have til the end of today to claim your iTunes card!  Tomorrow we may have a new winner, so be sure to check in!  And another giveaway to come!

**Side note - I was so excited to see my new Ikea catalog in the mail when I got home this weekend!  I know it has nothing to do with running but it's my other love, interior design.  I will be referring to the pages for weeks to come!  Anyone else love the design styles of the Swedes? : )

Thursday, August 5, 2010

3 miles, 3 miles, 3 miles...

We did it!  Our Red Rock Relay team did our first training run together!  Of course we have all been training on our own but we've scheduled 2 sessions to do together and our first one was a blast!

I know, how cute are we?  We look like we have way too much energy to go running at midnight!  We only missed one girl and that is because she has twin babies that she had to be home with, we'll give her a pass. : )  We had a pre-run meeting at my house to go over van assignments, where we're going to stay, and also discuss nutrition/meal planning.  Only one of us has done a relay - not me - so we are trying to plan the best we can.  If anyone out there has good tips and any info you think can make or break a relay, please share!

Only one of us brought a reflective vest.  Put that on the list for the race.  We did an easy 3 miles and had so much fun.  We all are at different paces so when we hit the half-way mark of our out and back, we waited for everyone to gather up again.  At this spot, there were 11 of us standing at a corner and I'm sure there were some suspicious neighbors.  We even had a visitor from the local law enforcement drive by real slow to inspect the situation... "Headquarters, we got a gaggle of women out here loitering, I think we're going to need some back-up. 10-4."   Ha ha...  I'm sure he realized quickly we were pretty harmless!  By the way, it was 81 degrees at midnight?!?

Watch out Redrock - these new kicks are comin atcha!

Onto 6 a.m. - What a perfect time to run.  I didn't get to sleep until about 1:30 a.m. so the when my alarm went off at 5:45, I felt pretty groggy.  Once we got going though, it felt great.  Muscles felt good.  I ate a Clif bar and some water and off we went.  We were able to witness a beautiful sunrise.

After we finished our run, we planned our 2 p.m. run.  Not everyone was going to to make it because of work and other commitments. 6 of us planned on meeting and running the easiest route of all since it would probably be in the 90's at 2 o'clock.

Instead of the 90's we planned on, we had a monsoon tropical storm hit and of course, a complete downpour of rain!  Hey, I can take that over heat any day!  There were rivers flowing down the streets from all the rain that fell really fast.  My shoes were soaked through within the first 5 minutes.  Before I left my house it had already started to rain so I wore my Utah Valley Marathon tech shirt and the shoes I wore for that race, you can remember that story here. : )

Lindsay wasn't able to make it to the run, but strategically found us and got pics of us running - without anyone knowing!  Proof we did it even in the rain.  Seriously, I could not have been happier that we did our run in the rain.  10 minutes after we finished our run the storm passed, the sun was out, and the heat returned.

So we had a successful 3, 3, and 3.  We're going to do it all again in a few weeks to practice again.  And yes, I will admit, I am tired.  That is why this post is coming today and not yesterday!  Body good, but sleepy!

I had my training session Wednesday night, right before the 3,3, and 3, and it was great!  These sessions are only a half hour long but he's kickin my butt.  And the great thing about it is that when we're working out, he's choosing things that I can get through and can complete without falling apart or having to stop.  Now 2 days later I'm feelin' it!  My favorite new move is where you start in a crab walk position with dumbells in your hands and push yourself up to a standing position. You then do a shoulder press and lower back down to crab walk position again. It sounds weird and you have to twist your body back and forth to move from one position to the next. Man, my abs are still hurting today.  Love it!  He definitely listened when I said I wanted to work core, speed and strength.  Yay!

Now we're off to a family vacation this weekend at my cousin's cabin.  It's going to be great to get away for a few days with the fam and relax a bit.  I'm planning my long run up there for Saturday and I'm sure it will be wonderful.  I've got to get some serious hills in during that long run to help prepare for the Park City Marathon.  This upcoming race has a gradual up for about the first 16, 17 miles and then down the final miles of the race.  Sounds tough to me, but I've been told by others that because you will be running slower it won't be as hard on your body come recovery time.  We shall see...

So, any tips on relay team musts?  How bout uphill marathons?  I'll take whatever you got! Plus it's fun to hear about the different things you guys are doing.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tunesday/Training Tips

I'm  trying to get back on track with my training this week but it has been tough.  I had a great recovery week last week and then the race on Saturday was awesome.  Now, trying to be consistent with my plan before Park City Marathon sneaks up on me seems to be really hard!  I've become a magnet for a lot of other races that aren't the marathon distance and I'm trying to fit them in everywhere.  I'm not really sure that it's a good idea but these races are so fun!  I'm starting to get a glimpse of what I may be leaning towards when my challenge ends...

So for today... I have a training session with my trainer at the gym - the first real session - so I'm excited.  I really am counting on him to take me to the next level.  I'm prepared to work hard and definitely get results!

Also, I'm part of a relay team for the Red Rock Relay that is coming up in September.  It's a race that covers 180 miles between 12 people in Southern Utah.  Tonight we will attempt a training run together. Here's our at midnight, run 3 miles, meet at 6 a.m., run 3 miles, and meet at 2 p.m., run 3 miles.  Most of us have distances longer than this but it will help our bodies feel what it will be like to run 3 legs in 36 hours.  Crazy!  Gonna look pretty crazy seeing 12 women running through town at midnight!  It will also benefit us to try out what our nutrition should be between those runs.  Trial and error, we'll see what works.  Details and pics will surely be available tomorrow!

 I thought I'd add a couple more Q&A's today...hope they help.
Please feel free to add to or tell me how I wrong I am in the comments!  I love feedback!

What supplements do you take and when?
If you're running less than an hour you don't need Gatorade or supplements. They are extra calories that are unnecessary for less than 60 minutes of exercise. However, if I know I'm gonna be out for over an hour I start my usual routine of a peanut butter sandwich and water before the run and then hydrate every 15 minutes from the beginning, usually just 4 or 5 oz - 4 swallows - rotating Gatorade.  But honestly, I don't bring Gatorade unless I'm doing 2 hours or more.

I also add in supplements every hour mark. I switch it up all the time... it's something you gotta try...figure what works for you and your tummy.  My favorites are the Clif Blocks, they are like gummy bears, they taste good, and go down easy. I usually only eat one, maybe two squares an hour. I've taken trail mix, honey packets, regular gummy bears, Clif bars (I only take 2 bites of a Clif bar an hour). I've liked the Clif squares the best. You're looking for fast carbs that will digest quickly and easily.  The last thing you need is something sitting in the bottom of your gut making you feel sick. 

What do you do to help get past your wall - whether it's 4 miles or 24 miles?
This one is tough.  You really can't prepare for it until you've hit that wall and crossed it a few times.  I've hit a wall in every marathon I've run.  It's all mental my friends.  I run with music and that helps me but it really is a mind game. Your body is so fatigued that it really is pure will that pulls you through.  I actually have little chants that I say to myself when I feel myself slowing down or hitting a wall. My go-to phrase is 'Finish like a champ, not a chump.'  I know, so goofy, but I've heard sillier.  : )   Also, in some instances it helped to talk to those that are around me in a race that are trying to finish at the same time. There's been a race or two where if I saw someone crying during the final few miles, I just had to go past because I know I would start crying too and probably not finish! 

If you start feeling strong when you leave for your run and then you're feeling really fatigued and weak in the mind by mile 4, you're probably dehydrated. Or, maybe you need to switch up your course.  If you're always running the same route and at the same point always feeling tired, it's mental. Try switching up your runs throughout the week to see if that would help. For example: Monday, an easy 3, Tuesday XT, Wednesday Fast 2, Thursday Hills, Friday off, Saturday Long 4. This will help you add mileage and increase your speed.  A lot of you know these tidbits, but for newbies I think it's super helpful!

As far as Tunesday goes, I still have Hurt In The Dirt on the mind.  They put together this short little video of some of the race day action accompanied by a great R.E.M. song.  Enjoy...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hurt In The Dirt - The Filthy Recap...

Yep, that's me...  Hurt in the what?

 The race directors weren't lying. I, indeed, did get Hurt in the Dirt!  The inaugural race was all that it was built up to be and more!  I can't believe I just did this race...  We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into!  The race had several options on how to complete 4 legs of racing. My friend Lindsay and I decided I would take the running portions and she, the mountain biking portions. We had a great pre-race meal...

Yeah, we split a cheeseburger...hey we were starving for real food.  All this other stuff was for during the race (except for the ipod, turns out they were prohibited - gotta be safe!) and I really don't think the burger threw me off too much, I burnt those calories off after my first plunge through the river. : ) 

I began with 2 loops of a 2 mile course and it did not disappoint.  I love trail running and this course had it all.  Including huge fallen trees that had to be climbed over (about 10 of em x 4 loops!). We had to cross the Weber River twice during each loop with water deep up to my thighs - so 8 times total - and a serious set of built in steps that were killer!  Not to mention sliding down trails, ducking under branches and hopping over fences.  I felt pretty hard core if I do say so myself... : )  I wasn't the fastest runner but I also wasn't the slowest. 

I feel like I completed them in a respectable time, the race results have been posted and the first leg of running I completed in about 35 minutes  I'll take it...

After my first leg of running Lindsay jumped on her bike for 2 loops of 5 miles each on the course and it was tough.  She did awesome though and completed that 2nd leg.  We both did good hydrating and fueling in between legs and I know that really helped keep us going through the 4 hour race.

Out on the third leg now, running, I had a great cloud cover at this point which really helped taper off the heat. This leg was a 36 minute running time.

When I came back in to the transition area, we decided that I would do one of the mountain biking loops and then she would do the last loop to see if we could finish in time. Let me preface by saying I am not a cyclist.  I own a beach cruiser. My visions of cycling are on a beach boardwalk somewhere...not on a mountain ;) I have never mountain biked. I have never switched a gear on a road bike. I don't even know which brake controls which wheel! When mounting up on the bike I didn't put the bike gloves on right, they were actually on upside down. Another racer had to set me straight, thanks buddy! Seriously...I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

It was ridiculous. I had already run 8 miles and now I'm off riding on trails though trees, switchbacks, riding over logs and hills that were insane. I was comforted by the volunteers that assured me that no one was able to actually ride up any of the steep hills...

 and no one was actually able to ride through the beach like sand either. I did come to one section where it dropped off (steep) down to a pebble beach. I panicked and squeezed the life out of the brakes and over the handlebars I went. I scrubbed!  Hard! Dirt in your teeth hard! Of course the race photographer was on the bridge right above me capturing it on film.  Beautiful - I hollered up to him, 'I hope you got that!'  Can't wait til the pics are up online!

Lindsay finished up with the final bike loop, in the dark (what a rock star) and did a round-off over the finish line. I believe we finished in about 4 hours and 16 minutes.  It was tough my friends, don't let anyone tell you different... : ) Hurt in the Dirt is no joke.

One of the perks of coming out to do the race was that we could sign up early for the Ogden Marathon and secure our spot for a race that will sell out in a matter of weeks!  I met up with one of the race directors and shared my little story of 12 in 12 and that I was ending with a bang at the Ogden Marathon in May next year.  Hopefully he will assist in the post-race, post-challenge, after-party at the race! : ) That would be awesome!

Lindsay and I finished up our night downing some Rooster's Root Beer. That was the perfect post-race drink...and we got to have one of these cool mugs for a souvenir of the day.  So fun!  Cheers Hurt in the Dirt! We'll see you next year.