My Favorite Running Gear & Race Results!

Lately, people have been asking me what my favorite gear/clothing to run in is so I decided it was time to just lay it all out there. But first, I would first like to let you know that I am writing this post from an airplane. This is the first time I have ever splurged and purchased in-flight wi-fi, I’m livin’ large my friends. However, WHY doesn’t Netflix or Hulu work up here?! Come on world, this is 2013. Just kidding, I’m still trying to figure out what kind of router these guys have and how I can walk out of here with the thing. I have trouble getting the Internet at my house to work between a flight of stairs. I also just tried to download a movie from iTunes so I had something to occupy my time, but I’m currently sitting at an estimated 104 hour download time, so I guess I’ll be enjoying that flick on my flight back home. Did anyone go see The Incredible Burt Wonderstone? It better be worth my $4.99 and 104 hours.

Okay, back to the reason for my post! When I first started writing this blog, I was set in my ways with my New Balance shoes and no one was going to change my mind. Well, recently in the midst of all of this knee nonsense, I decided it was time to try to a new brand of running shoe. I think anyone who runs can relate to the stress of such a task. The wrong shoe can literally put you on the couch for weeks if you aren’t careful, but the right shoe can change the way you run all together. After lots (and lots and lots) of shoe review reading and asking any and all runners I know, I decided on Mizuno’s. My first choice was the Mizuno Wave Rider 16s. They seemed to have everything I would need in a shoe, especially the cushion and heel support. After a little more digging, I realized they had a 12″ heel to toe drop which is something I am not used to and not a big fan of. I’ve done quite a bit of Minimus running. which as you know is a 0″ or 4″ drop. Even when I’m running in my regular shoes I’m sitting at about an 8″ drop. Moving up to a drop like that can be brutal on your body, so I decided to keep looking. I finally stumbled upon the Mizuno Wave Sayonara’s. I instantly fell in love. They only weigh about 7.2 ounces and have a 10″ heel to toe drop. If the reviews are all correct, they still offer that great cushion and heel support. Either way, they have officially been ordered and I will be sure to let you know how this goes!

So pretty :)

So pretty:)

That was a really long post about my shoes, I apologize. I just really love shoes. Not even just running shoes, heels are my weakness. So much so that my credit card is currently in the freezer so I can’t get to it to buy more:) Anyway, on to the rest of my beloved running gear:

Garmin Forerunner 10
iPod Nano
Minisuit Jazz Slim Shell Case W/ Belt Clip
Running shorts from Gordmon’s or TJ Maxx – I know that sounds ridiculous, but they are my go-to even over my Nike’s
Under Armour Compression Shorts
Greenlayer Short Sleeve Tee
Greenlayer Arm Warmers
Nike Sports Bras

That’s it. I like to keep it simple and cheap! I purchased the watch and new iPod right before my first half and they have been life savers, seriously! I don’t know how I ever ran without them before. The iPod case was like $1 and it was quite possibly one of the better investments on that list. If you have a newer version of the Nano, I highly suggest looking into one of these bad boys. If you have any suggestions on some of your favorite running accessories I’d love to hear them!

Oh good, just checked back in on my movie and we’re up to a 166 hour download time. Fantastic.

WHOA, I can’t believe I almost published this post without any mention of the Color Me Rad 5K from last weekend! I’m sad to report that Aleck did infact finish about 5 seconds before me. Probably no coincidence there on almost forgetting to mention itūüėČ We finished right under 23 minutes which probably explains why we were so exhausted the rest of the weekend. It was a lot of fun though, totally worth it!

CSLC13_05_02081Me 5k

5K

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sarah

It’s the First Official Day of Summer! How Will you Celebrate?

I. LOVE. Summer. I love the warm weather, the sitting outside, the sweating when I run, BBQ’ing…okay, okay, drinking beer while I watch someone else do the actual work, swimming, sitting by the pool. I just love it all! It’s quite possible that summers in Park City alone were enough to make the move from the Midwest worth it. No humidity? Yes please!

Park City celebrates the “kick off to summer” in a pretty unique fashion. On the first Saturday after summer has officially begun, all of the restaurants on Main Street (the most popular street in the town) line the streets with tables and serve up their best dishes and their finest wines. Just kidding, not their finest wines, I just thought that sentence had a nice ring to it. There is plenty of wine though. You have to make your reservations for this extraordinary event pretty far in advance and you better believe we jumped right on that!

Savor the Summit '12This is a picture from Savor the Summit last summer. That just happened to be a stroke of good luck on timing and a mis-scheduled reservation. There really is no better way to celebrate the beginning of summer than bringing the whole town together for dinner, drinks, music, the works. It will even be worth the 900 miles I will need to run on Sunday to work off the face stuffing I plan to do on Saturday:)

 

Saturday morning though, that’s when the real fun begins! Aleck and I will be running the Color Me Rad 5K! At first, this was something I was totally excited about. 3.1 miles filled with color bombs seems like I don’t need to stress about my timing, ya know. But now that the race is tomorrow, I’m a little bit on the fence about having “color bombs” thrown at my face multiple times. What kind of start is that to your day? A stranger throwing things at you. Who knows, maybe I’ll love it so much I’ll ask Aleck to run along side me on my next marathon and throw color bombs at me the whole way. While highly doubtful, people seem to live for this color run nonsense.

I think this past week I have been able to run more than I have in about a month now. It’s been wonderful and exhausting all at the same time. I did a 6 mile trail run Tuesday evening, which is a run that always kicks my butt. A little over the first half of the trail is a climb, gaining 1,500 feet in elevation. The only thing that makes it worth it for me is knowing that once I hit the top, the rest of the trail is downhill until I stumble to my car and make some dramatic scene like I just finished running up and down Everest. I’ve also been able to get in some mountain biking, which I self diagnosed as a good treatment for my knees. Whether it actually is or not, who knows.

image (1)photo (16)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy your first taste of summer! I know I will!

Sarah

I’m Back! Training for Half Marathon 2

FINALLY, I can get a few miles in on foot without finishing the run in tears and frustration! It’s still not easy, but I am just happy to be back out there. I’m also happy because I finally got an answer to what’s going on – – plica syndrome. It’s not something I have ever heard of before, but after some indepth (maybe a little too much WebMD) research, I get a little uneasy every time I think about it.¬†According to the doctor who broke my little heart, this is something that can end in surgery but does not 100% of the time, so he highly suggested physical therapy.¬†I politely told him that is far from the budget of a 24yr old, who just moved, bought a new bike way out of her price range and doesn’t know how to stop shoe shopping. So, I opted for some “on my own” type physical therapy, some good ice packs, endless amounts of icy hot & IBUProfen and my favorite part, the mandatory new running shoes (wahoo!) Also, my favorite part of his diagnosis, running is not out of the question, as long as I’m smart about it and listen to my knees when they are screaming at me to just stop already!

However, there are a few things I wish people would have told me when all of this began that did not involve the phrases “You’re stupid” “Why are you still running” “Stop running”. In my opinion, it’s pretty fair to say that most anyone who is passionate and/or serious about whatever activity or sport it may be, it is not an easy task to just – -stop. You go through the training and push through the pain to see it pay off in the end, when you finish a race you never thought possible, or you get that PR you’ve been working so hard for. The list of things I wish I would have known is just as long as the list of things I wanted people to stop saying. I painfully regret not taking it a little easier a little sooner than I did. Looking back, the day it started I should have educated myself on what it could have been and how to treat it the best I could, without becoming a couch potato. After all the pain this stupid thing has caused me and all of the pain that I know is yet to come, the one thing I would want to hear if I had to do it again would be someone telling me (and yes it may need to be in a loudish tone) “HEY, be smart moron!” Moron gets me every time. But seriously, all I did was aggravate the injury further and by overcompensating on my – – what was then – – good knee, I injured that one as well. I’m now working with two bad knees, both with plica syndrome and one with a knee cap that is no longer straight and in it’s place.

My wonderful doctor also did not rule out running another race at the end of July as long as I feel like it won’t cause any further injury. So that is my goal, to run Race #2 on July 27. That is about 7 weeks away. It’s more training time than I gave myself for Race #1, one of these days I’ll fit the normal 12 week training schedule in…maybe.

Up to this point, the furthest I have run since the Dino Half is about 7.5 ¬†miles, and that was just 2 days ago. Yikes. I am still just as determined as I was the first time around, maybe even a little more. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have also been mountain biking in my off time, which keeps me positive that I didn’t lose the leg muscle and endurance I would have by just sitting around. As of right now, I am trying to only run every other day and mountain bike on the off days. I am also trying to do as little road running as possible and stay on the dirt trails where the impact of ¬†my foot strike is a little less harsh on my knees. With the exception of my run this morning (ow), I’ve had little issues with my current training plan. Next weekend is the big Color Me Rad 5K with Aleck, so I’m feeling the need to be in my best shape that day. I don’t know if I could move past it if he beats me…

Anyway, I’ll be sure to post the results of that race, if they’re in my favor of course, and for now here are some pretty pictures of PC from some of my mountain biking adventures.

It is a very green Spring in PC!

It is a very green Spring in PC!Mountain Dog

Have a great weekend and get a good run in for me!

Sarah

Still Injured – Now What?!

I haven’t posted anything lately, mainly because I have been out of commission (with running) since my last half marathon. The day after the race, my knee was in it’s worst shape yet and it only went downhill from there. I took a couple of weeks off which was horrible, awful, miserable, any negative¬†adjective¬†you can think of, and just plain boring! This past Sunday, about 5 days ago, I decided to give it a try with a short and quick 4 mile run. Hello big mistake. Now the pain and swelling is in both of ¬†my knees, awesome right?! Despite the injury issues I’m having right now, I still signed up for my second half marathon! (maybe it was a little in spite of current circumstances) My next half is going to be the Timp (Timpanogos) Half in Utah, at the end of July. I’m also doing the Color Me Rad 5K at the end of June which I’m hoping I’ll be recovered and ready to run by then. Without being able to get up every day and run, my thoughts on the sport have changed entirely. I never used to call myself a “runner”, I just never thought I fit that classification, even though people will tell you anyone who runs is a “runner”. For me personally, I just didn’t think it fit. I had it in my head that I didn’t enjoy the actual act of running, just the feeling of accomplishment that comes after finishing a long run, or PR’ing when you didn’t think you had it in you. Now that I can’t do it anymore (for the time being) I would give anything to be outside on a nice day, on my favorite trail, escaping reality and just running…and doing it all for no one other than myself. If anyone were to ask me now, I’d say I fit the description of a runner:)

I would go crazy if I wasn’t able to get a workout/activity in in some form, so I have gotten creative with staying in the best running shape I can without actually running. I found a pretty awesome filler activity, mountain biking! I think I am having more fun riding my bike as an adult than I did as a kid, but I think the scenery and the trails in Utah may play a little part in that. I recently purchased a new mountain bike from Jans out here in Park City. I haven’t hit any of the hard stuff yet, but even on the easier trails you definitely feel the burn. In an earlier post I mentioned that one of my loves for running came from the simple fact that it could take me to some really cool places. I have a sneaky suspicion that mountain biking is going to do the same thing. As much as I don’t like to admit it, I’ve also taken up a new hobby in the form of a workout video, gasp, I know. However, the results are there! I’ve been doing the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30, and I will absolutely testify to the video, it’s not easy and you will see results! Even so, this is temporary until I get the knee situation figured out!

I’m hoping to be back on the running train within a few weeks with a new training plan for Half Marathon #2!

 

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

 

*Enjoy!


My First Half Marathon – The Results

Yesterday I ran my first half marathon, and it’s safe to say I am addicted! I’m already looking for my next race. One of my favorite things about racing is the places it can take you. For someone who loves to travel and see new places, it will make every race different and every race as exciting as the first.

My first half was the Dino Half in Vernal, Utah. It is a beautiful run down Dry Fork Canyon and back into town. Just as a short recap, I decided I was going to run this race about a month in advance, which didn’t leave a whole lot of room to get in a half marathon training plan. Well, about a week and a half before my race I was on a 6 mile day, and on my first step out the door I felt a shooting pain go through my right knee. It continued with every step for the next 6 miles. Hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have finished my run that day, I assume it has a lot to do with what came next. That night my knee was swollen about twice it’s normal size and I could barely walk. This continued for the next week and it finally felt better the Friday before race day. So I made the decision that I would run the race, and if I had to, I would take time off and give it the necessary rest afterwards. Words can’t describe how happy I am to have made that decision. I went into the race with a goal to run it in under 2 hours, but I wasn’t going to push it if my knee was really hurting. I am very happy to report that I finished the race in 1:58:02! I was pacing quite a bit ahead of that until mile 11.5. I hit a wall and just couldn’t come back from it. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed when this happened. But hey, it was only my first, I have plenty of races and time to improve. I think the “first race” jitters may have given me a little boost as well. I think I had a smile plastered on my face for the entire first 10 miles!

In love with my first medal!

In love with my first medal!

I think I’ll be staying off of my knee for the next week or so, but lucky for me, I don’t consider mountain biking to be strenuous on the joints. So I’ll still be out and about!

What was your first half (or full!) marathon like?

A Delicious Vege Quinoa Cake Recipe

Yet another successful Pinterest recipe to add to the books. Either I’m becoming a better cook or I now have a knack for finding the easy recipes. The latter being where I’m leaning on this one. Either way, I’m happy! I added a few things and switched out some ingredients for healthier ones from the original recipe I found and also added a lemon-dill-sriracha remoulade.¬†Intrigued yet?

Quinoa Cakes

  • 1 cup organic quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth, fat free low sodium
  • 1 Tbs ground flax seeds
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 1/4 cup 100% whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil

Lemon-Dill-Sriracha Remoulade

  • 2/3 cups cashews, soaked in water for about 2 hours)
  • 1/3 cup water + more as needed
  • 2 Tbs sriracha, more to taste as you like
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lemon, zest & juice
  • pinch of onion powder
  • salt & pepper

In a small pot over medium/high, heat broth and quinoa to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Once done, remove cover, fluff with a fork and let set for another 15 minutes to cool and absorb remaining water.

While the quinoa is cooling, start mixing together the ground flaxseed with 3 Tbs water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken.

To prepare the remoulade, place all of the ingredients in a blender (I used the magic bullet) except for the dill, and blend until smooth. If your mixture is too wet, add a few cashews and blend again. Likewise, if the mixture is too thick, add a little water at a time until desired consistency. Stir in the dill by hand. Taste. Add more of whatever you like while blending by hand. Cover until ready to use or keep in refrigerator.

For the quinoa cakes – in a medium bowl, combine the quinoa, flaxseed mixture, flour, onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. The mixture should be moist enough to stick together, remaining slightly tacky. Add additional flour or water, 1-2 Tbs at a time if needed to adjust consistency. I had to add quite a bit more flour to get the cakes to stick together. Season with salt and pepper. Form into about 8-12 patties. I ended up getting a little more than this.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook, w/o touching them, until nicely browned on one side, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for an additional 4-5 minutes.

Keep finished quinoa cakes on a wire rack over a baking sheet in the preheated oven until all cakes have been cooked. Place the hot quinoa cakes with a generous dollop of remoulade and pair with a steamed vege of choice. Mine was asparagus and green beans:).

One thing to remember that I did not account for when making the sides, was cooking the quinoa cakes in the skillet will take quite a bit of time. I could only cook about 3 at a time, and at 4-5 minutes a side the time really added up on me!

And there you have it! A delicious meal, that was just as good reheated for lunch the next couple of days!



*Enjoy!

I Hiked Coyote Gulch..AND BARELY MADE IT OUT ALIVE!

My oh my have I had a lot going on since the last time I posted! My half marathon is in about 10 days and I totally screwed up my training schedule because I went out of town this past weekend on a little hiking excursion, but I’m working to get it back on track! Before I get into that, this hiking trip I went on was an excursion indeed. I’m not sure if any of you ¬†have heard of it, but Coyote Gulch right outside of Escalante, Utah is always being talked about as a must do hike in the US. When I read that recently, I decided that we must do it right now:). When I get excited about something I have the tendency to feel that I need to do whatever it is right away. Before heading down to Escalante we did a lot of research and preparing for the trip. Everything we read said the best way to enjoy the hike was to do it in 3 days/2 nights. So, that is what we planned and prepared for. We took off work Friday and headed out of town at 6am. Very ambitious, I know. Fast forward until about 2pm that day, we finally got to the trailhead! We hiked in 7 miles on Friday to get to the spot we decided to camp. 7 miles usually doesn’t phase us on a hike, but we both had our >20lb. backpacks on and the entire hike is done through sand and water. The second day you hike 6 miles to a place called Stevens Natural Arch. This portion of the hike is absolutely awesome. It was still entirely through sand and water, but every bit worth it because of the scenery. Plenty of pictures below. This is where the story gets interesting. About half way through this 6 mile (one way, so really 12) hike we decided that when we got back to camp we were going to pack up, head to the car and drive down to Moab, Utah to spend the day hiking around there on Sunday. The hike is a strenuous hike and holy cow do they mean it. When we finally got back to camp after hiking 12 miles early Saturday morning/afternoon we were already exhausted and oh so sore! But at that point, we had talked about getting to eat real food that night so much that we were not going to let anything get in the way of that! We were booking it out of there. It was going to be the fastest 7 miles we ever hiked. WELL, somewhere along the way we forked right when we should have stayed left. Unfortunately, everything in the desert looks very similar so we didn’t notice it until we had already gone who knows how far in the direction. When we both spoke up and came to the conclusion that we didn’t recognize anything we made the decision to turn around. Mistake number 2. We didn’t backtrack far enough to find anything that looked familiar, we just jumped on the next trail we thought looked a little bit right and went even further (in the wrong direction) down that path. By this time we are fighting daylight and we are both so mentally and physically exhausted that nothing seemed right. When it finally got dark enough that we had to break out the headlamps, we made our way back to the last recognizable spot that we remembered passing and made the decision to set up camp and figure it out in the morning. One thing I will very proudly say, is that we both stayed very calm throughout the whole thing, not counting the thoughts in our heads that all came spilling out while we were safely in the car on the way back to civilization. I don’t know if anyone has ever been in the desert, on a plateau at night, but apparently that’s where you’ll find a nice little sand storm. But, I obviously made it out alive to tell the story. All we needed was a little rest and daylight and we made it on the first try Sunday morning. Needless to say, I might stay away from the desert for a little while. Maybe find some hikes with some clearly marked trails, no sand and who knows, maybe I’ll start paying better attention to where I’m going to hopefully avoid getting that feeling ever again.

Our Camp Site at Coyote Gulch - Jacob Hambleins Arch

Our Camp Site at Coyote Gulch – Jacob Hambleins Arch

My view first thing in the morning

My view first thing in the morning

The famous waterfall from Coyote Gulch pictures

The famous waterfall from Coyote Gulch pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stevens Natural Arch - the end of the Coyote Gulch Hike! Your 26 mile reward

Stevens Natural Arch – the end of the Coyote Gulch Hike! My 26 mile reward

Now, onto how this affected what was once a very disciplined half marathon training schedule. My original plan was that I would get back on Sunday morning from the hike and still get in my long run that evening (11 miles). Little did I know, my body was going to be aching when the hike was over. There was no way I was getting off of the couch until I was forced to go into work Monday morning. So, I took Monday off as well, hey it’s an off day on the schedule! Tuesday I went back to the normal 4, but Wednesday I did 11 instead of 6 and I took the rest of the days off and did 12 on Sunday. It was a rough week! However, by doing my 12 on Sunday even though I had just done a long run a couple of days before, I got myself back on track. I took Monday off, did 4 yesterday and got in my 6 today. Things are looking good! I am getting really anxious for the race next weekend, it’s going to be hard but I still have faith in my goal of finishing the race in under 2 hours. Fingers crossed!

 

*Enjoy!