The Ultimate October

Last week Ben and I took a couple of days off work for no reason other than to party.  We should do that more often, it was a freaking fun family time.  Plus the weather rocked!  It's about time we get some lovely weathers.

It's kind of an off feeling when you go about Saturday festivities on a regular weekday.  I could definitely get used to it if we could just win the lottery one of these days.

Marathon Training - It's Taper Time!

This past week went fast -- as do they all -- and I'm officially into my taper!  It's weird to me that all the training I have done is just that, done-zo, finished, completo.

This week I ran 32ish miles:

  • 45:00 zone 2 run = 4.5 miles w/the fam damily
  • 6x800 repeats @ 7:30 average = 4.51
  • 30:00 decline on the treadmill (no pace) = 2.64
  • Split long run:  12.5 (outdoor race paced) & 7.5 (decline on treadmill with 4 race paced miles)

The split long run is a new thing for me.  I had never heard of it before I hired a coach and was tentative about it at first, until I tried it, that is.  You run 60%ish of the long run, wait, and run the next portion.  It may seem like cheating at first thought, but it's actually quite common and also quite tough.  Your legs are fatigued and nowhere near recovered, and BOOM you head out to finish the run.

If you're interested in reading more, here's an article

^^Night before the long run I set out my life so I can get up and GO

Right now my "race pace" is a high zone 2, low zone 3 pace, which puts me around 9:47, although I've been running a bit closer to 9:30.  I think my zones have changed since I tested in August, but we're sticking to them at least until after the race.

I'll talk more about race goals next week but my #1 goal is to stick to my pending race plan and avoid an overall miserable experience.

I do think I have my race outift ready and gave it a chafe free test drive...

^^Maybe minus the compression socks if the weather forecast is warm.  Two days ago it was, yesterday and today it looks perfect.  Please!  Stay perfect!!  

Always obsessing about the weather.  My experience is the weather can kill the experience though.

Almost there!  Then my training will stop filling your feeds.  At least until I sign up for my next race.  :D

Marathon Training - Week 15

17 days!!!  SEVENTEEN.  #seventeen XVII diecisiete 十七 so forth and on.

That means I'm half way into week 16!  Mentally I'm ready to attack it!  Physically I'm close!!  Well close to as close as I'm going to be.  :P

Things are trucking along.  Next week I'll be pulling back a bunch while also doing a few more downhill runs to prepare my legs during my two week taper.  I should mention how happy I am that I'm doing a two week taper, not three.  Three is a major mental game.

Our October has been nuts with monsoons.  Finally.  So nice to run in them!  I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR.

Last week my long run was the same workout as the week before:  17 miles at a 9:55 pace.   The first six were on the treadmill at a decline to get my legs used to some of it and to see how my knee responds.  It was so inflamed the rest of the day but it is doing a little better each week! 

Charlie (coach/PT) scraped my IT band which I had never heard of before.  I've scraped it one more time since and though it leaves my leg literally bruised, I think it may be helping??  I'm still hitting all of my runs and my long runs have been awesome!  On my last one I spent a majority of my time slowing down and hit many of my splits too fast.  I have to pay better attention in these cooler temperatures that are AMAZING TO RUN IN.  Wahoo for 70s.

I was supposed to hit 12 miles at 9:45 and ended up with:  9:41, 9:41, 9:41, 9:41, 9:36, 9:33, 9:44, 9:43, 9:25, 9:33, 9:40, 9:31

I ran half of my long run in my new shoes which were a much softer ride than my Newtons, I was surprised!  They are a little bit heavier, but I think I love them.  They are the Saucony Triumph Iso.

^^^I was just laying there afterwards and some guy came and asked if I was okay.  lol!

My sister was asking how I carry my GU so I thought I'd post it on here in case it can help others.  I pin them to my belt and flip them over so they don't bounce.  Below you can see one flipped over and one just dangling and bouncing in an annoying fashion.

I just tear one off as needed.  I'm fueling about every 45 minutes right now and I've learned that cold water makes me cramp up, so I'm drinking "cool" water.  haha

Always a learning journey, this running stuff.

17 days, time to think about my marathon outfit.  :D

My Running Story

The other day I was thinking about when I started running and how it became somewhat of an addiction over the years.

The first time I remember going on a run was in junior high school when some of my friends encouraged me to join them after school to do some runs around Kaysville/Layton city with our gym coach, good ole Mr. McDonald.  It was kind of a warm-up season for when the actual track season came around, so I grabbed my trusty basketball shoes and started joining the group on weekly runs around town.  We'd often go to Arctic Circle and get ice cream cones, turn around and run back!  It felt like we ran 10 miles but it was probably closer to a 5k.  I think Coach McDonald was analyzing his possible future additions to the team; I'm sure he was impressed with my basketball shoes.  ;)

Track season rolled around and I got all of my gear and planned to run cross country, but then I had to choose between track or cheerleading because their practices overlapped.  Ultimately I chose cheerleading (and so did many of my friends that also ran after school), and for the next five years I ran sporadically as I wanted to, or if you can count the "mile" we ran in cheerleading.  I just enjoyed listening to my tunes, thinking, and soaking up the outdoors!  I also bought all of my shoes based off of bright colors and cute looks, and I was a fair weather runner for sure.

Fast forward to college and the indoor track at WSU, which was a pretty nice gym, honestly!  I ran and ran and ran my heart out on that track for the next five years, Monday-Thursday, every night from 9-10:30pm.  I carried my giant portable CD player in my hand, wore my Sauconys that I'm pretty sure were for trail running, and I ran and jammed to my tunes while simultaneously keeping an eye on all the hot dudes working out in the middle of the track.  I rarely kept track of my mileage, just time, and I ran so slow that I swear I was never sore nor did my body really realize I was working out.  I was there to have some wind down enjoyment with my music after a long day of school and work.  I'd always see other regulars there too, who eventually I become friends with some of them, and I found out I had been dubbed "the running girl."


I met Ben a month after I graduated from college and he hated running.  That's what he told me!  A classic case of "I HATE RUNNING."  I continued to run as I could, and he CrossFitted until he had his caving accident right before we got married, which forced time off of regular CrossFit since he couldn't use his arm.  He eventually took a CrossFit Endurance class (a running type class) and realized that he was a pretty fast runner!!  He even learned proper form and started off with a mid foot stride.  Ahead of me from day one!

Ragnar Wasatch Back 2009

We then moved to Arizona and needed some hobbies to help soak up the snow-less climate, especially since we lived in a small town with a long drive to the city, so we decided to train and try racing.  I had run a Ragnar a couple of years earlier, and a 5k or two, but I never had a Garmin or really pushed myself until 2011 because I just didn't care about being competitive.  We bought our first Garmin and signed up for a local 5k [that ended up being clock-less and a half mile long so I have no idea my time anyways], but Ben ran his first 5k in 22:15, which he's taken 3:00 off of so far.

5k race!

I ran a lot over the next while and eventually got fitted for shoes, bought another Garmin and had Ben help me with my form so I could make big crazy plans like run a full marathon.  I blindly chose the SLC marathon because it is my stomping grounds, so my family all decided that if I was going to run a marathon in SLC, they were all going to train for the 1/2!!  (My siblings had run track in grade school and my dad is the original Hales runner, but nobody had really raced before.)

Around the same time, my sister was required to run the Disneyland 1/2 marathons due to her position at Disney, so she started running them and soon got the bug herself and hasn't looked back since.

Us family are all pretty friendly about it, but we are ridiculously competitive.  If we are all well trained then it really is a competition as to who will beat who, but usually somebody has an injury or set back, tis the life of a runner.  The only person who hasn't gotten bit by the running bug at this point is my mom, but we're working on her.  :D  She's the world's best cheerleader though.

Over the past five years I have run 32 races (that Athlinks and I can think of) in four states and two countries (CHINA!!):

9- 5ks
2- 4 milers
6- 10ks
8- 1/2s
1- full (soon to be 2)
1- Warrior Dash
1- Super Spartan
1- Gladiator
2- Ragnars
1- other

This is kind of long, but I'm making of practice of posting whatever I want to post, regardless if it's boring.  haha  This blog is our life journey, and running is a huge part of it.

A few more weeks until marathon #2.  Mentally I am so ready!!  Still working on the physical training though.  Come on lil leggies.

Review of Resolutions (Take III)

This is my final review until it's done (or it's not) and some things I have rocked at, others I'm still a little behind on.


  • ✓ Run 500 miles!  Yay, this one was completed in September!  I'll be about 100 over after this week.  If all continues, perhaps I'll get an extra 250 miles for the year.

LilySlim Fitness goals tickers

  • ✓ Get my abs into shape.

  • ✓ Adopt the 3+2 program (3x run + 2x cross train):  I changed things up using heart rate training to build an 8 week base to my marathon training and then I hired a coach.  So while I no longer stick to 3x run + 2x cross training, I'm doing 4-5x run (many lower intensity) + 1 cross train + 2-3 core trainings, I'm going to say success on this.

  • ✓ Adopt a weekly clean eating lifestyle: The goal for this was to get my body back to pre-prego by eating mostly Paleo.  Over the past year I have learned that pre-pregnancy weight and pre-pregnancy figure are two very different things.  Now that my mileage is getting higher, I am able to eat a little more of what I want so my diet is not AS clean as it used to be (I like me some Oreos), but I am going to go with a success on this because the initial reasoning for this goal has been a success.  We still eat mostly clean, but I'm okay with the occasional rice or a batch of cookies or heaven sent Red Lobster Cheesy Garlic Biscuits from Costco (OMG).

  • ✓ Get to China trained but injury free:  So now it feels like we never went to China and that I just really dreamed it all.

        The fitness goals have been my strength this year, but the next batch haven't been all so successful.  Thankfully I still have a few months to work on them!!


        • Adopt a daily [deep] cleaning schedule list:  Yeah, this was pretty unrealistic to set, but when I made this goal my baby didn't even CRAWL.  lol  So yeah, I work and play with B3 all day while trying to get 6-8 hours of work in, then I have my fitness and husband/family time, so the best I do is house pick ups and kitchen cleaning.  The rest is back to the weekend.  Or never.  :P  How much is a cleaning lady?

        • Read 10 books: I've read 3 books:  Gone Girl, The Cuckoo's Egg(loved!!), and Matt Fitzgerald's 80/20 Running.  I started The American Sniper which ended up being a little slow and I haven't picked back up in months, I started another about Globalization which I can't concentrate on reading while also watching B3, so I'm just going to have to pick some easy reads if I want to read anything further at this point.  Reading has taken the biggest hit since have a little one.

        • ✓ Pump/nurse for 6 months (March 13):  this feels like a million years ago

        • Finish the nursery - Still making progress.  We just received a flag banner this past week for one of his walls.  Note to self, have the nursery done before baby or it'll never get done.  He still isn't in his room though.  Lately we've been putting him in pajamas because I plan to move him into his crib and pajamas mean he'll be too hot snuggling with us, but then he falls asleep and looks so angelic that I can't bring myself to not snuggle him... all night long... so I usually end up pulling a foot or two out of his jammies so he doesn't overheat.  :D  I'm truly pathetic, I know!

        • ✓ Whiten my teeth (post nursing)

        • Decorate my work space - Need to go to Ikea and throw a few more $$ down, then I'll be set.  I wish Ikea was a tiny bit closer.

          • ✓ Grow out my hair:  Still going strong.  It's getting long!

          • Do something with the front yard/entry -  Mostly done.  I'd like to do something about that broken slate in the entry [still].

          • ✓ Get back into blogging mode/redesign blog:  I was gung ho about blogging until this summer when I realized my time is too short!  I decided to take my contact info off and am back to just blogging when I can.  I haven't opened my Analytics in 3-4 months either, but since I did redesign this place earlier this year, I'll say success enough.

          • ✓ Get back to Nikon pictures:  My life is boring (don't get me wrong, I like my boring life so much!!) but I try to bring the camera along when we do family things and I'd say so far so good.  Now I need to get out and just shoot for fun.

          • Write/orchestrate two new pieces:  Shoot.  I at least am playing Christmas on the piano and working on some of my old original pieces.  It's just harder to completely focus on my own time these days, usually I'm multi-focusing/tasking.
          The most amazing cover ever ever ever in the history of life. 

          The song I'm covering:

          • Be more positive/kind/optimistic/forgiving around the clock:  Keep trying!

          Have a fantastic weekend!  We're finally cooling down here -- a crazy, never ending summer!!

          Happy Birthday, Love B3

          Yesterday was my little brother's birthday!!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMES!!

          So B3 likes to send a little note to people on special days and it proves to be a little more difficult these days.

          I was proud of the picture below because:

          You can read the message
          He's looking at the camera
          He's smiling
          He's talking

          Almost a complete success, maybe minus the setting, too, but meh.

          How I went about getting that picture ^^.

          Marathon Training - Week 14

          Since we're down to my final weeks of training, I am going to update a little more on it.  I know everybody is dying to hear.  hahaha

          I just got fitted into a neutral shoe, the Saucony Triumph Iso.  It was between these, the Kinvaras, Brooks Ghost and a New Balance pair...

          I nailed my long run this past weekend and I'm so thrilled!  The knee issue I've been dealing with has created doubts so the confidence boost was needed.

          Long run:
          2 mile warm up + 3x4 miles @ 9:45 pace (top of my zone 2) with 10:00 jogs in between sets + a final cool down Z1/Z2

          I finished with 17 miles at a 9:54 pace which is good.  Unfortunately the weather has continued its bizarre streak and the temps are back upwards 100+ again, so when I started out it was already 80, but I guess I'm kind of used to it.  Arizona has been drunk all summer.

          ^^pomegranate in my oatmeal

          Gosh I do wish twilight lasted longer, though.  It's dark, you blink and SUNSHINE.  I ran around my house/block for 20 minutes before I felt it was light enough to dart out of the neighborhood.

          Before my start, I drove around planting my frozen water bottles behind a bush where I could figure 8 around them.  At mile 10 I was hot, uphill-ing and my water was GONE.  Rude, I was pissed.  I called Ben in a frantic uproar only to hear his blinker and see him turning the corner to come surprise me with the B$.  Hello TIMING.

          Ben live tracks me via my Garmin!

          I have been working on this one, it's been a huge problem for me in previous races.  Yesterday I started with a pack of Shot Blocks, then I had four GU throughout, starting at mile 3 (I finally bought salted caramel!).  I would like to be able to take in a GU every 30-45 minutes on race day which is a LOT but so far I have never had any trouble stomaching it.

          Yesterday I felt like I could have kept on running forever by time I hit 17, so it helped!

          The rest of the week went well and Ben and I took the little guy out on a couple of nighttime family runs.  He sure is cute.  :)  During the week I'm still able to keep the knee strap off, it's just the morning long run that I can't get through without it.  I'm still working on it, hopefully it'll loosen up soon.

          <a month!!!

          October Activities

          Things have been so busy these days which means the blog doesn't get attention that I want to give it!  That being said, here is an October bulleted update:

          • Work has been really busy lately.  I'm working on a couple of projects, one being the new stadium at Utah State!  That's pretty fun since I have family and roots in Logan and my grandparents were heavily involved in USU and even taught there before passing away.  I'm an Aggie at heart.

          • Bentley sure is adorable and walking everywhere.  He is SO CUTE.  Gosh, I never had any idea the cuteness that would engulf my life by having a child.  The Frankenstein walk is my favorite, arms out and all.

          • At his 1 year appointment we found out B3 still is tiny <5% (^^^he's wearing 3 month shorts) that he's now on the same diet as my brothers, GET SWOLE.  He's healthy that the doctor thinks it's just his genetics but to be safe we're loading him up with the Pediasure everyday.

          • I'm really bothered by this one.  I found a scorpion inside by the patio sliding glass door yesterday.  We haven't had one in the house since we moved in and hired an exterminator so I was REALLY not happy about it since B3 plays all over the floor.  I've left the patio door open lately because of the cooler weather and it's not sealed very well, so I'm sure that's where it came from.  We had a torrential storm and the exterminator said that it flushes them out when it floods, plus the extra hot temps we have had.  Tomorrow the exterminator will be back out because I don't even want them in my yard!  Meanwhile I switched the patio door for the windows.  Tough luck getting in through the windows, suckers.

          • Marathon training has taken over a lot of our spare time (less than a month to go!!).  The days are almost too short to run in the morning or night on workdays (no light), so often Ben gets home and I jump on the treadmill and then we switch.  Some days I don't get my cross training in until after 9pm, but we're managing and we are so excited about some PRs this next year+ will hold.  As for our long run, Ben has to get up beyond early and run in the dark so I can hit the road right at dawn since my long runs are 2-3 hours and it's still in the 90s these days, but cooling soon (I hope).  I never run alone in the dark, by choice.

          • My knee is kind of holding up and Ben has had some numbness back in his foot so we're meeting with our coach/PT this weekend.  I have been wearing the knee strap which is the only way I can get through my long runs, but I dare say my knee is getting a little better/looser?  I'm still nailing every run!

          • I'm playing the organ for a session of our stake conference this weekend and my wonderful mama gave me a lot of new organ prelude music that over the last couple of weeks I've tried to get a little organ practice time in so I don't slaughter it.  I wish I owned my own organ, but luckily my brother has a church building key.  :D  One of my favorite parts about General Conference is the ORGAN.  The hardest thing for me is holding back from playing PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.  Or INSPECTOR GADGET.

          • This week Ben and I went on a family run which knocks off one more thing on my 31 while 31 list.  I sure am enjoying making weekend plans to cross items off.  This weekend we'll finally see THE MARTIAN which we both read the book and loved.  STOKED.  I usually hate movies too.  31 while 31 

          Alright, back to work and the B$ just fell asleep.  Awwwh how cute, life is busy but good.  :]  

          Happy TGIaF.

          Marathon Training - Weeks 12 & 13

          Good news!  During week 12 I surpassed my year mileage goal!  :D

          So I'm a month out from the race and I keep having doubting thoughts about it creep into my mind.  I have even entertained the idea of pushing back to another marathon in December, but the real trouble is I spent so much effort into picking a race that by probability would have most things going for me come race day.  

          Over the past two weeks I have been chuggin' along and hitting almost all of my runs and nailing all of my paces, but I'm still dealing with that darn IT band issue in my right knee that showed up two weeks ago.  #stupid

          I'm still able to run (woot woot), but if I run in the morning then as soon as I stop and my legs tighten up, my knee becomes terribly inflamed, which lasts alllllllllllllllllllllllllllll day, but the pain recedes overnight.

          When I run during the week my knee is fine, which leads me to think that it's because I run in the evening and my knee is plenty warmed up by then.  (???) 

          This past week 13 Charlie (who is my coach) broke the long run into two consecutive days.  I've never done this before, but it allowed my knee to recover overnight, but then I was headed right back out on fatigued legs while hitting my same paces.  It was interesting, and surprisingly not as easy as I thought it be.

          I sucked at capturing my training in pictures.  It happens.  I also never talk about my strength training, but it happens too!

          BUT still going strong, still putting on an optimistic front in hopes that it'll influence my knee into showing signs of improvement so I can get something good and LONG in.  

          Do I want this??  YES!