Ogden Half Marathon 2016 Recap

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Ogden Half Marathon

To be honest, I was a bit discouraged when I finished and saw that my time for the Ogden Half Marathon was slower than what I thought it was. My tracker was off from about mile 3. I was hitting miles faster than the markers were coming on the road. I didn’t think much of it and was just going off the pace in my ear. So in my time and the race time are different.

My Splits from my GPS:

2: 7:48 4: 7:38 6:7:25 8: 7:32 10: 7:32 12: 7:28 and 13.66 7:32 (because my GPS was off it said I ran more) Overall pace: 7:34 and time 1:43.

I felt like this was correct because I was pushing my body to run out of my comfort pace. Apparently the cold weather just gets my intuition off!

The official race times were:

Overall: 238 out of 3661
Women: 65 out of 2311
F 30-34: 18 out of 405
Age/Grade: 63.41% Place: 229
Finish: 1:42:57 Pace: 7:52
Chip Time: 1:42:57
Gun Time: 1:45:15
5.2 Mi: 38:06 Pace: 7:20
10 Mi: 1:17:47 Pace: 7:47
11.9 Mi: 1:33:36 Pace: 7:52

Overview of the Ogden Half Marathon

Last year my husband ran the Ogden Half Marathon in the cold rain. I was hoping this year was going to be different. I was watching the weather all week. At one point I was convinced it might even be a bit warmer than I prefer for a run. I guess that was just wishful thinking! The night before the race I was getting my running clothes put out and was listening to the wind howl outside my window. I heard the rain pound against the house. I was ready to accidentally forget to set my alarm and save myself the weathered run. I knew it was going to be bad. I knew I was going to be cold and wet when I got done. Did I really want to run the race this bad? I almost talked myself out of it and then remembered I had made a commitment and was going to stick to it. So I got out my warm running clothes, and a extra pair to change into when I got done and set the alarm for 3:20am.

The Beginning of the Ogden Half Marathon

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Meeting new friends at the starting line is one of my favorite things to do!

I was impressed with how organized the Ogden Half Marathon was. They only had 30 minutes to get everyone on a bus and they did it.  They loaded 10 buses at a time and it seemed to work well. There was enough parking around the bus loading that I wasn’t stressed thinking I was going to miss the ride up the canyon. I was discouraged waiting for the bus to leave though as I felt the rain start to pick up a bit.

We arrived at the starting line about 1 hour before the gun start. It was brutal being cold and rainy. Up at the starting line there were was more people there than I thought. The lines to use the bathroom were so long. I felt like they could have used a few more to accommodate the crowd. There was a pavilion to try to keep dry waiting for the start but it was so small, only a select were able to stand in it. I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to stay dry before the race and it left me cold before we started.  So I bundled up in my trash bag and hoped for the best!

The Starting Line

I always battle with where to be at the starting line. Do I try to fight for the front so I am not weaving in and out of people the first couple of miles? Or do I hold back and wait for it all to fizzle out before I start?

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Trying to get around the people during the first mile. See the clouds? They never went away!

They were punctual on the start time. I ended up starting 3 minutes after the gun start. This led me to a slow start trying to get around people that were trying to find their pace, fix their shoe laces, take off layers, and stretching. I finally got around most people and could settle into my pace about 1 1/2 miles into the race.  These first 3-4 miles or so in Eden

Running in Ogden Canyon

Ogden Canyon is beautiful. Especially with all the rain we have been having. The trees and shrubs were all green. There is also a waterfall about mile 9 that is absolutely gorgeous! The weather in the canyon got crazy though. Lots of puddles, rain and wind. I thought we were running in a rain forest!

Running the Trail

After running the Ogden Half Marathon through the canyon you go onto a paved trail for a few miles. It has a few small rollers, and was just as beautiful as the canyon in my opinion. These miles were awesome with great hope we were getting closer to the finish line.  This trail leads you onto the main roads in Ogden where you finish.

The road to the finish line seems long. It was nice to start seeing people in the crowd cheering though and that is what kept my legs trying to push faster.

Overall the Ogden Half Marathon was gorgeous and I would recommend it to anyone but this would be a great first race. The weather may not be ideal for a first race, but the course is more downhill and on the easier side would make it enjoyable!

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The after picture. Rain does a number on your hair!

Just remember to have fun! No matter what they weather is on the day of the race, just enjoy the journey. It is an accomplishment just to be doing this! So put a smile on your face and run your guts out!

Getting a Faster Race Pace

runningI found a love for running in my high school and college years but wasn’t very fast. Read my story on how I got a faster race pace and cut 1 hour off my current marathon by running fewer miles and less times throughout the week.

The Back Story

Being a “fast” runner was ever a word to describe my running ability. It was a skill I had to learn and a way I had to train my body to be comfortable with a faster pace.

I was a sprinter in high school but not fast enough to make it to State. I was just a hair off of being that good! (or I tell myself that!) I never loved to go more than 3 miles. I thought I wasn’t made for endurance running. Crazy how what you tell yourself you are, you believe. I believed I was only a sprinter. I wasn’t made for distance. So when I started running distance I was at about a 10-11 minute mile. Which I was content with. I was just running for exercise and therapy! It was how I calmed my nerves and cleared my head while I was going through high school and college! I got a roommate that ran for the same reasons and we often found ourselves going longer and doing more challenging courses. I was surprised that I found lots of satisfaction in this. I was interested in how to cut time off my running pace.

The First Race

Time passes and I get married. It was a busy time in our life. We were both going to school, working and trying to stay healthy.  I decided to try out a marathon. Knowing it was going to be just for fun and to keep me accountable with exercise. But it was also a great challenge for me and I knew I needed something for me.

When I was looking around at marathon training schedules it was hard to find one that didn’t take hours and hours out of my day. But knowing I was still a real beginner I went with a pretty generic outline. It had me running lots of miles 5 days a week. It was crazy. Especially when I was getting closer to the race. It was requiring me to run 8-10 miles multiple times throughout the week.

This was hard but I fit it in. I ran around my town, on the treadmill and tried to keep on track. I didn’t quite make it to race day with a full training schedule behind me because I got burnt out. I was tired, physically from running so many miles each week. I went into my first marathon with my furthest distance of only 13 miles to my name. This was stupid. Absolutely stupid. But I had always heard that you can run double what you have trained. So I took faith in that and went for it.

The race was hard. It was more down hill than I had trained, more uphill than I trained and I went way to fast out of the shoot. I was tired and run down by the time I first saw my husband at mile 17.  The last few miles were pure torture as I told myself to just more one leg in front of the other. I prayed for strength and knew I was going to make it but it wasn’t going to be pretty.

As I crossed the finish line at 4 hours and 40 minutes it was a mix of emotions. I was sad that I didn’t hold up as well as I wanted to. I was tired and sore. I was happy that I finished, but sad that I wasn’t as good as I wanted to be.

The next marathon that I did was with my husband. Although I did the same time, my training was similar to the first but I made it up to 20 miles instead of 13! Plus the course was a lot different and it was a huge difference in how I felt at the finish line.

The Turning Point

My 3rd marathon was where I changed my training and cut 45 minutes off my racing time.  This was a more enjoyable training schedule too. I didn’t burn out and didn’t feel like I always had to run.

I was running only 4 times a week and cross training 1 day a week. This helped keep my joints safe and prevent injury by strengthening my muscles to support them.

hill running
Want to know the secret about this way of training? It was hills. I ran hills. I did it 3 times a week. I pushed myself while I went up. I kept up the pace when I got to the top and I let gravity take my pace faster down the hill. I kept the pace after the downhill to a reasonable speed and found that my miles were getting faster. My endurance was getting better too. It was amazing how strong my heart got by pushing it to the max going up the hills and making it recover a little bit harder by not stopping at the top.  I love to exercise, but I don’t love to do it all day. This helped me get in my miles and get on with my day. I loved this way of training and knew I was going to do it with any other race that I did. I finally found a way to cut time off my race pace.

Another way to cut time off my race pace

Marathon number 4 came up and I was worried I wasn’t going to get the same type of hill training in that I needed for this marathon. There weren’t any hills around my house. No really. The closest hill was about 3 miles away and it doesn’t even last longer than .1 mile. Plus, I am lazy when it comes to training. I don’t like to drive to different places to run. I like to start from my house, end from my house. Really, the truth, I like to sleep so if I have to drive somewhere to run, I have to get up earlier. Not cool. I also like to keep my workouts as short as possible. I mean, I have 4 kids, and a husband that I really like to hang out with so if I’m spending all my mornings driving around just to go for a run, I feel like I am wasting time. So I tried to do the hill training but they were as close to my house as they were the last time I trained for a marathon. So I resorted to running faster with shorter distances.

I would take on a 2-5 mile route and run it just a bit faster than what I was comfortable with. If I was doing just 2 miles, I would almost sprint those miles. Taking a break by jogging and then running the mile fast again. Or I would do sprint intervals. I would set a timer on my phone and sprint for 20 seconds, or I would sprint for one block and then jog for the next. I would do this for at track runningleast a mile if not more. In the summers too, I would often go to the track to teach a class and so I would stay after and do sprints on the track. Sprinting the straight aways and jogging the corners.

With this training I was able to get my best time of a marathon at 3 hours and 39 minutes. Cutting 17 minutes off my current race time! Not quite good enough for Boston but pretty darn close!

Conclusion

If you want to cut time off your current race pace, I would suggest not just running. Mix it up with sprints, hills and long runs. I think you will find better enjoyment in training too. You won’t just be running the long roads at the same pace. You will be challenging your legs to run faster. Your heart will learn to recover faster and you will find better endurance. You will cut time off your current race pace.

Killer 30 minute at home workout

This workout will get your heart rate up, your sweat dripping and your legs burning! Grab some water and a towel, you’re going to need it! This 30 minute at home workout is a 3 on the intensity scale of a 1-3. It was great to get a total body workout in just 3o minutes.

When you push yourself past the point of exhaustion and into the point of muscle failure your muscles will start changing shape. How do you think body builders get their muscles to pop? It’s not by doing a couple reps until their barely felt the burn. Oh no my friends.  They push and push and push some more. They really make it burn. I’m not saying this workout will get you to body builder status, but it will get you to push your muscles to a higher level.  This workout is a great way to see results, burn extra calories and get stronger. I love total body workouts. They make me feel extra accomplished for the day.

~Happy sweating my friends

10 Minute AMRAP

Some days you just need to do something real quick to get you going in the morning.  This is only 10 minutes and gets your whole body.

AMRAP  stands for AS MANY ROUNDS AS POSSIBLE. You should try to go fast with each group of exercise to achieve this purpose of this workout.  Keep going through the exercises until the timer runs out.  ~Happy Sweating

Full Body Workout

Get a timer, water, and maybe a yoga mat. This workout will get you hot and sweaty and you are going to love it! It is a 2.75 on the 1-3 scale so it’ll be worth the 30-45 minutes you put into it! It’s a full body workout and  I love when I leave a workout and know that I didn’t miss any part of my body!

Whats great about this full body workout is you can really push yourself to make it your own workout. It is designed to do at least 2 rounds of each circuit but you could add 1 or 2 more extra rounds and get a few extra calories burned!

Don’t stop until your buzzer goes off. I promise it always goes off! It might feel broken and the time feels longer than it should, but don’t give up.

What I love about these circuits is it alternates between full body and core. You get your heart rate up and push your limits and then bring it down just a bit to work your core. It’s pretty perfect if you ask me.  What we did in class was a round of lunges in between each circuit. I called it active recovery, my friends called it torture! I am just there to push, and challenge and I think I did with this one!

I hope you enjoy this Total Body Workout. Comment or email if you have questions about a certain exercise! ~ Happy Sweating

25 minute tabata

Don’t forget your towel with this awesome tabata workout! You will need it! It is a 2.75 on a scale from 1-3. Those first few tabata intervals are like “really this is the workout?” and then you get to interval 4 or 5 and thinking the timer is broken because those 20 seconds feel longer than they really are! Don’t give up though. Push and challenge yourself. You can do hard things and you will prove it to yourself with this tabata!

Set your tabata interval timer for 20 seconds. You will do one set of exercises for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this 8 times- total of 4 minutes.  Move onto the next exercise on the list! ~Happy Sweating

20 Minute Total Body Workout

Only got 20 minutes to workout? Don’t worry, we will make it effective! Get a timer and some weights (if you have them!). Let’s get started! If you have a few extra minutes why not throw a cardio burst in between intervals? A few jumping jacks, or jump ropes? Maybe you are feeling real good and want to do burpees? Yep I said it the “B” word! 🙂  This is fast, effective and it gets your heart pumping. We are burning calories on this one! ~Happy Sweating

3 simple ways to cut calories

 

Looking for a good way to cut out a few calories from your day?
 
1. Pay attention to the small things you eat.
As a mom I get tempted by the food the kids eat. Lame huh. I love corn dogs and chicken nuggets. I love sugary cold cereal {Like a lot} And I’ve been known to take the first bite before I hand it over to the kids.  Or finish their plate as I’m cleaning up.
The crust of grilled cheeses or peanut butter sandwiches are the best part anyways and they always leave it for me to eat.
Or how can you say no to the persistent 2 year old who you are teaching to share when she hands you her goldfish crackers or fruit snacks. Really? You can’t!! So nice of them to share but
What is it doing? !! Well, let’s think about those small bites in calories. It may just be 20 or 50 calories here and there but if you’re adding that on top of your meals, and snacks it means hundreds of extra calories every week. These calories turn into energy which our body needs but if you aren’t using all that extra energy it gets stored. Mine gets stored around my waistline first, then my cheeks, (top and bottom cheeks!)
BUT this is a simple thing to STOP!!!!  Just be conscious of it. It’s not your food. Don’t eat it. It’s OK to throw that food away. It’s either garbage in your gut or the garbage can. And if you toss it, you don’t have to work it off!  Or better yet, make your kids finish it so it’s not tempting you! You will see a difference on the scale if you do, I promise.
2. Stop Snacking at Meal Time! 

Another thing to remember is when you are cooking dinner to not get tempted by snacking and cooking. Grabbing something to munch on while you grab your ingredients for dinner out of the pantry while you cook is not a bright idea. You ruin your appetite and eat more calories than you need too. Just be patient and wait. If you can’t possibly wait and your might pass out due to hunger, grab a healthy choice or something to compliment your dinner. For example, if I am baking chicken and still have 45 minutes left, start with your salad, the veggies or cut up a apple. This way your filling yourself with nutrient dense calories.  If I wait too long to eat, I usually over eat so this is a good way to keep that under control too.

Remember to stay attentive when you eat and keep portions in your mind. Some days your body needs more calories than others due to your workout or hormones, so give it what it needs but give it healthy options. If you are hungrier eat more vegetables with dinner or add more berries to your oatmeal.
If you feel all is lost,
 
3. WRITE EVERYTHING YOU EAT DOWN! 
Nothing gives you a more detailed outlook on where you are getting your calories and where you are falling short than the old fashioned pen and paper!

 Don’t forget to drink your water and keep your food colorful! I am not saying Skittles colorful, but carrots, peppers, bananas, apples, broccoli.. get the idea?!