Category Archives: Runner

Ragnar Trail Relay Zion 2013

Ragnar Trail Relay Zion 2013

Back when my new friend Brenda asked me to be on her Ragnar team I thought I was crazy, I had been running only sporadically after my marathon (all that training made me hate having a schedule to follow!) and I didn’t really know her or anyone else on the team. In fact, I only knew that she and one other girl in my ward were going to be on it. So I went into this weekend knowing that at least 5 people were going to be complete strangers and we would be spending 72 hours together.

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But Zion National Park is so pretty. And I love running and the feeling of community at a race, so I went ahead and said yes.

I’m so glad I did. I’m going to say this right now, if you get an opportunity to do a relay race with a team — DO IT.

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We made team t-shirts for everyone that turned out great. Really time consuming, but they were CHEAP and looked awesome.

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We headed out early Friday morning, April 26, 2013, after loading everyone’s camping gear into Brenda’s truck. We made pretty good time so we stopped for lunch.

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From left to right, Becca, me, Cathy and Brenda.

We stayed just a little too long at lunch and so we had to book it down to the campsite so our team could get checked in and our first runner could change and we could make our start time.

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When we got to the campsite there was a NEVER ending line of trucks and vehicles parked along the road with their occupants all waiting for the shuttle to take them in to the campsite. We sent our first runner on one of the shuttles and we dug through the truck (this picture is me trying to find something in the coolers in the back of the truck without unloading it.)

After a good half hour wait or more we loaded everything on to a shuttle and then perched precariously on top of the stuff and drove in.

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Then we had to carry everything we brought to our campsite which was not close to the dump site. And we brought a LOT of stuff.

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We set up three tents, one for gear and two for sleeping. We were all strangers before, but we aren’t anymore.

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We each ran the same three legs, but we had a rotation all figured out so we knew who was running when. I asked to run the longest leg first because I had basically NO training for this race and I wanted to make sure I would be able to finish my third leg.

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So my first leg was the 7.5 mile loop. It was long and it was SANDY. I felt like I was running on a beach. My calves could not handle it, and I got a bunch of sand in my shoes and got blisters. 5 of them.

Luckily on this leg they had a water station a few miles out and that saved me because I ran in 80 degree weather at 4 in the afternoon.

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The loop felt like it would never end and there were no mile markers so you had NO idea how much farther you had to go. But it did have some pretty views.

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Like I said, my feet were sandy.

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My friend Cathy from the ward was the other person I really knew before this trip. I knew I liked her but I didn’t know how cool she was until after this trip. She was the runner immediately before me so every time she finished I took off running. Which also meant that our schedules were fairly similar.

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As the sun started to go down it started to get chilly but I wanted to stay awake until after my second leg which ended up starting at midnight, almost on the dot.

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Every body tried to stay fueled up and loose throughout the night. It was weird to be eating such random times and things. We were all sweaty and just stayed in our running clothes for 24 hours.

I ran the 4 mile leg at midnight. It was my first time running at night with a headlamp and it took me a while to get the position figured out. You don’t want the light too far out in front or you forget what the terrain right in front of you looks like, but too close and you end up running a lot more slowly because you don’t want to run past what you know. I’m sure there were a bunch of gospel principles I could have been thinking about on this hike… but all I could think about was the fact that I was literally running to the top of the mountain. This leg gained 400 feet in a mile. It was so steep. So steep.

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I came back and tried to sleep but couldn’t get to sleep because my lungs were so cold from running at night so I ended up sleeping for about three hours. I woke up and really enjoyed the sunrise. This is the finish line and the place where every leg ended and you exchanged with your next runner. Really cool arch.

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The campsite was so crowded but it got surprisingly quiet at night. I guess that’s the beauty of having everyone around needing to get up and be running too!

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I ran my last leg pretty early in the morning and I really like it, but I was tired. I think I’d like to run that trail again on fresh legs and see how it goes. The end of all three trails converged for the last half mile up switchbacks. Seriously so steep and narrow, it was difficult to find a way to pass people without feeling like you were going to slide down the mountain.

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When our last runner finished his leg we were all there waiting to cheer him on in our team shirts and we ran across the finish line together. They gave us our medals and we took team pictures.

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We finished in just barely under 24 hours of running.

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We all took showers and cleaned up and then drove through Zion National Park to go to Springdale for a celebration dinner. It was delicious and felt so good to sit down somewhere clean. I love camping, but I also love being clean.

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Because we had the campsite already paid for we stayed Saturday night too. We got up and made breakfast, packed up camp and went to church. After church we went on a little walk hike to the Emerald Pools.

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It was really pretty but my blisters were complaining the entire time! I was really glad to get in the truck and head out and back to civilization.

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Seattle Ghost Marathon

When my friend, Melinda, convinced me to try cross country at McLoughlin Junior High about 15 years ago I doubt she knew she would be affecting my life this much.

I gave cross country a shot that hot day on the track in 7th grade and I’ve inconsistently been a runner ever since.

I don’t really know what hit me in July 2012, but I decided that it was time for me to reach a goal that had been percolating in the back of my mind… I was going to run a marathon.

I was a little nervous because after two previous half marathons I’d hurt my foot training for a marathon and it had kept me from running for a solid year.

I took out my trusty training schedule and plotted it all out on my calendar.

Then all it took was four months of solid running (and it came to feel like all I did was run the closer I got to the marathon.)

As I got closer I realized that choosing the Seattle Ghost Marathon might not have been the smartest idea I’d ever had. Seattle in November is RAINY. I started to get really scared that I might have to run for hours and hours in the freezing rain.

However, two days after Thanksgiving, we got up early and drove up to Seward Park on Lake Washington where the race started and finished.

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I could not believe how lucky I was!

The weather could not have been more perfect. It was cool, but not too cool and the sun even came out! I fell asleep in the car on the way up and so instead of spacing out a ton of calories over the drive up, I just chewed a protein bar up quickly and jumped out to get my packet and race number.

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Can you believe that sunrise?

I was so ready to go. For some reason every other race I’ve run I’ve been so anxious for the race I nervous peed at least 5 times before the race begin. This time though I just decided that if I had to pee sometime during the race I’d go ahead and stop– this race was not one I was running for time.

I started with the majority of the half marathon runners and I even beat a lot of those people as they ran. Up until mile 16 or 17 I was doing absolutely fine, felt great and just pretty much loving life.

Then I turned down some fuel from my parents who were out walking the course and I started to regret it. So I called them from a couple miles down the road and had them come bring me a protein bar. I think I was about 3 and a half hours in at this point and I was starting to really feel it.

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The protein bar gave me more energy and I even had to chuckle at the signs my aunt and uncle posted along the route — cheering me on and making me a little bit embarrassed that everyone knew there was someone named Kyna and someone named Beans running this race. But I did love it.

I hit mile 21 and I thought I was going to cry. I just hit a wall, I think this is where my lack of pre-race fueling really caught up to me. Luckily right around the corner was my family waiting for me!

My little brother Ryan ran the half mile up and back to the turn around point with me and I came back to the fuel station where my family was. I ate a potato dipped in salt (probably the best tasting snack I have ever eaten, EVER.) And then my other brother, Ty, and my sister-in-law, Kelli, told me they were going to run the last 4 miles with me.

I honestly don’t know how long the stinkin’ race would have taken me if they hadn’t run with me. Ty kept pushing me along and Kelli made me feel like I was a rockstar, saying all these supportive things and pretending like I was just an incredible runner.

All of that family support meant so much to me.

I crossed the finish line at 5:14 and was so happy to be done!

During the race I had run with a woman who was part of the Seattle running club and she runs a marathon every other weekend. No joke. I don’t know how she has the time to run that much, but she was legit. She was only running the half the day of my race because she was running the full Seattle Marathon the next day. She was so excited for me and that I was running my first marathon that she waited for nearly 2 hours to see me finish the marathon. I don’t even remember her name but she was so nice! It made me remember why I love races. Even if you’re not fast, not official and a stranger, being out there on that same track means you belong.

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After the race I grabbed my medal, took my shoes off, rolled up my tights and waded into Lake Washington. That cold water was… COLD. But it probably really helped my feet and calves recover.

We all piled into the van and headed over to Aunt Orlene and Uncle Stan’s house for a post-race lunch.

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Before we filled up on potato salad and sloppy joes (on specailly-purchased gluten free buns), I made everyone take some pictures with me.

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Then I jumped in the shower and washed away 5 hours of sweat. I don’t know if a shower has ever felt so good.

I spent the rest of the day relaxing, stretching and my fantastic mother gave me a massage both that night and the next day. Because of her sweet, sweet hands I barely felt sore at all! I guess my training did pay off!!

Everyone has asked me since if I’ll ever do another marathon. I don’t know if I’ll ever do a full again. I’m not completely opposed to the idea, but I think I’ll go back to half marathons for now!

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My Face is SO Hot Right Now

Today marked the first day of a day I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Taper time!

To celebrate with me, please watch the video below:

But, replace “Hammer time” with “Taper time”… it makes it much better.

I’m excited to finally be in the same month as my marathon since I’ve been training since JULY.

A lot of great things have come from all of this training, number one being I’ve run farther than I ever thought I’d be able to ever. And more distance still to come!

I have also had a lot of fun exploring Provo/ Orem on foot. I have also discovered TED talks as podcasts. I think I’ll have to write about all of the interesting things I’ve learned while running. Look up TED talks, listen/watch any of them. You will not be disappointed.

I have also learned that when I run in the cold my face gets incredibly hot for the rest of the day. Right now, I have a metal ruler pressed against my face to try to cool it down. Any remedies for this?!?

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Marathon Thoughts

After my 10-miler on Saturday I’m starting to wonder if this is more true than funny… I’m shooting for a marathon in November. I’m waiting to sign up until I do a 15-miler and make sure my feet can do it. (15 miles is where I got hurt 2 years ago so I’m a little nervous about it.) If I do, I’m planning on the Ghost of Seattle marathon 2 days after Thanksgiving. Wish me luck!

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Dirty Dash Recap

I’m starting to treat my blog like my journal. Not in that I put my innermost feelings here — I’m not that exposed yet. Just that I always tell myself I’ll post/write more often. And then months go by.

With that said, here are some pics from the Dirty Dash.

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Probably one of the most fun and grueling races I’ve ever done — counting my half marathons.

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You START the race running up a hill full of mud. And you’re pretty dang tired by the time you slip your way to the top. But then there’s a rope net to climb over.

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The rope net turns out to be child’s play compared to the wooden walls. I had to have help over the tallest of them and ended up kicking my teammate full on in the face. Full on.

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After you make it through the mud trenches and the freezing water spraying over the course (I fell down while just standing and waiting to go over a wall it was so slippery from the water spray), you run through the stinkiest lake you’ll ever find.

Then you try to do the monkey bars. Ever tried doing monkey bars when your feet are mud bricks that have now dried? Dare you.

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The second-to-last obstacle is the water slide. Definitely awesome. Definitely dangerous — someone broke their ankle they landed so fast!

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Then you wade through two giant mud puddles to cross the finish line.

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As a team of course.

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We haven’t signed up for another race, but we’re thinking we might travel to the next one and make a weekend out of it!

Color Me Rad Recap

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We started the race off running (odd for a race — normally there are so many people that you can’t run from the start line)…

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But then as we hit the color stations it got incredibly backed up and we had to walk through.

Thank goodness for the sunglasses!!

We had a ton of people run this race with us and it was a blast! We made white shirts with our team name and last names on them… but it seemed like EVERYONE else had as well.

It was pretty difficult to find everyone (with all 6,000 runners wearing white) but we eventually did.

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The morning was chilly but not freezing even though the race was the end of April.

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We lost a few of our team members as we ran, it was difficult to dodge all of the people who were just walking the race, but we met up with them at the end.

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The finish line consisted of people throwing all of the chalk into the air at the same time. The color cloud it made was amazing! Really hard to see and really hard to breathe, but really fun!

And, I have the best pit stains ever from that race. The color was wet spray, not just chalk and they seemed to hit me right in the armpits. Now that I’ve washed my shirt a couple of times I have yellow/green pit stains that are huge. I’m really classy.

Running through the pain

More than a year ago I got a stress fracture from overtraining and essentially quit running for a year. I have done 2 or 3 miles here or there, but nothing serious and no races until the 5k with my family for Christmas.

With the races that I just signed up for looming nearer and nearer, I have gotten much more diligent and I am trying to get back into running, but it’s painful.

It’s painful because my foot still hurts.

Some runs it is worse than others and some runs (the ones I crave) I don’t feel it at all. Yesterday I did 3 miles and it was windy and my foot started hurting badly enough that I started favoring it. Enough to give myself knee pain and then hip pain because I was favoring it so badly. (Yes, I am using my blog to complain- you didn’t have to read it.)

It’s also painful because I remember the ease with which I was running when I got injured.

I barely did 3 miles at a 12 minute mile pace yesterday, I wasn’t dead at the end but I don’t know how much more I could have pulled off. I think back to the time when I could whip out 3 miles at a 7:30 minute pace (just over a year ago now) and it almost makes me want to give up.

I think part of the reason my run yesterday was so painful is that the weather changed today, it has been sunny and beautiful and today the rain clouds came in, it started pouring and the weather app on my phone says it will be dreary like this until Sunday.


(Side note: I found this pirate picture from a Google Images search and it’s on a blog post about how to fool court-ordered monitoring. Hilarious.)

I now believe all those stories about pirates with wooden legs and old people who say they can feel a storm coming in their joints. I can too! I’m sure there is a scientific reason behind this effect, but I wish it weren’t the case.

I always tell my friends when they complain about hating running or how they just “aren’t runners” that you have to give it a solid month of regular running before you can tell if you are going to enjoy running. I have been trying steadily again for about 2.5 weeks. I’m already enjoying it more, I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks bring.

5k Mania! You in?

It’s officially spring and we can officially run outside and pretend it’s really nice weather.

My roommates and I celebrated the return of beautiful by going on a run together!

Then we got home, made a delicious dinner (french toast and eggs) and then signed up for 2 different 5k runs!

You have to have a goal, right?

The first 5k we’ll be doing is Color Me Rad– which just from the picture looks amazing. If you want to be on my team you can, but you have to promise to say hello. It’s April 28 just around UVU. I stole the picture from the website, but I’m pretty sure that will be me in about 6 weeks.

The second 5k we signed up for is The Dirty Dash. It’s a full-on mud run. Mud pits, slip-n-slides and more. This one is June 2 and will be an absolute blast. You can be on my team for this one too. But this one you have to run with me if you’re going to do it. I stole this picture too, I don’t know these people, but I like their hats.

So, what do you say? Look like fun? It’s just a motivator to get out there, enjoy the weather and get active!

Join me!

Merry Christmas 2011

I got to go to Washington again for Christmas this year.

I absolutely love visiting that beautiful green wonderland with my very favorite people in the world.

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This little guy might be one of my favorite people too and I’m just getting to know him! 🙂

My mom treated Kelli and me to see the Nutcracker performed by the Pacific Northwest ballet. I loved being able to spend time with the girls!

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It was a beautiful production. The rat king took my breath away! The set was done by Maurice Sendak of “Where the Wild Things Are” fame.

That night we got a visit from my grandma who got to meet her little great-grandson!

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We spent time eating, cooking, playing games, watching movies and shopping.

I also convinced my entire family to run a 5k on Christmas Eve with me.

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Everyone was such a good sport! Even the “non-running” Mom and the amazing lady who just barely had a baby! I no longer have any excuses to not exercise.

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Kyrk is definitely the fastest runner in our family right now. I have decided I need to get serious about my training and really get in the swing of things again- give him a run for his money!

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I thought it’d be fun to wear matching t-shirts so I made some with a little iconic imagery involved. We were the Running Ninja Taylors instead of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- I think the Taylors would have been able to take the Turtles any day.

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This guy is so fast he ended up running a 10k when we all only ran the 5k!

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Best support group EVER. Love this man- best example of a righteous man I’ve ever known.

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These two really know how to make a picture look good. Well, Kelli does anyway.

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Ryan got picture shy- but he kept up with Ty for the entire 5k! Impressive.

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Last Christmas I took a picture of my mom at this very Wendy’s and she claimed it wasn’t flattering. This one redeems it I think.

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What do you get when the boys decorate the gingerbread house? A band of cinnamon bears breaking in through the chimney, of course.

Christmas morning was a lot of fun, we even got to FaceTime with Cody while he was in Wyoming.

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He called exactly when it would have been his time to open presents! Great coincidence!

I got some awesome gifts and I’ve already used a few of them!

We were lucky to have Ty and Kelli spend Christmas in Washington this year but we definitely missed Cody!

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3 Song Run

I tried out my new shoes today. It felt so good to get out and hit the streets again. As per the suggestion of the real “runners” that I’ve talked to I decided to just go for a quick run and not push my foot too hard, but just slowly build up my muscle over time.

I pulled out my old running playlist, put it on shuffle and was out the door.

The first thing I noticed? My burning lungs!

I really have slacked on my cardio, I remember when I first started running again (after my 7 year break after high school) that I would end each run with a coughing fit. That eventually went away as my lungs got used to it, but I have let them get lazy again.

My legs felt fine and I loved the feeling of exploring my neighborhood on foot with a slight breeze cooling me down as I jogged.

Although I had my foot start aching only one and a half songs in to the run, I kept going for another song and then walked for a brief cool down.

All in all I went just over a mile. I feel good about it although I am frustrated when I think back to this time last year when I was training for the Halloween Half and the mileage I was putting in every day then. But, I ran 3 songs long and I feel good about it.

Even though I didn’t listen to it, I now have the song “Back in the Saddle again” going through my head.

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