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Solo 5k & a Trip to St Geezy

Ever wonder what a solo 5k looks like?

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About like this. Me, waving at the camera as I stealthily run by in the dark. I kinda look like I’m up to no good with my mask on but my reflective gear makes me look like a person you can trust. I took a trip to St George with Harristone/Sun Valley Mortgage Cycling Team this weekend. I was also signed up for a 5k that I was sad to be missing so I went out early Friday morning before we left to take on the course solo. Solo 5k’s aren’t that awesome. 5k’s are hard enough. Take away the crowd, race day energy and enthusiasm felt, you pretty much just have a street in the dark and your thoughts. 

Thought of the day from Kara Goucher: “I’m not done yet”

This course is flat, like really flat, and I really had no idea what I was capable of. I have not put in a lot a fast workouts. My first one was earlier in the week. One mile total of 200’s and my quads felt like I had run a down hill course half marathon. I didn’t know that was possible. My plan was to start with a 7:45 for the first mile and hopefully maintain or speed up a little with each mile. That’s not quite how it went but I’m very pleased with myself still, especially considering the way my quads felt. Without the quad soreness I think I could have done a little better, and stopping for cars added a few seconds, but this was a good test to see where I’m at. 

24:43(7:58 min/mi) finish time

1- 7:45
2- 8:00
3- 8:14
.1- 0:43

I was sad to miss the 5k but I’m soooo happy I made the decision to go down to St George. The weather was perfect and I got in some amazing riding with some pretty rad people. I’m going to be doing some racing with the team this summer so it was fun to meet and hang out with them. We got in about 120 miles of riding over the three days.


Day one was an easy, fairly flat 35 mile afternoon ride. This was my first real group ride. I’ve been riding for years but I feel like such a newby. It was a little weird and intimidating but so much fun.

Day two was the longest day with a 65 mile loop. There were some good hills and I over did it on the first one and lost my energy half way through. We stopped for pie and it gave me enough energy to finish. In years past this ride has been windy. I’m really glad the weather was perfect because I wasn’t mentally prepared to handle wind and weather.


I wasn’t planning on a ride on day three. I was just going to go to yoga and relax while everyone went out. I went to yoga with a few others and decided I’d go out on the ride and see how I felt.


This was a 20 mile ride through Snow Canyon. This ride was perfect. So pretty, so warm, and so chill.  I stayed back with a few peeps and we just enjoyed the scenery while everyone else raced up the climb… and back down.




vs. them


It was a great weekend and I’m so glad I went!!! This team is a great group and, although I was reminded that I need to wait until after Boston to race bikes, I’m excited to get my Cat 4 on.



Bacon & the Track

It was a great debate yesterday for my speed session. My lungs are really feeling the bad air we have in SLC during inversions so I was going to go indoors, treadmill bound. That sounded like no fun. Plus, the temps were near 60 so how could I miss running in those temps? I checked the air quality and it said it was a green day. Green light for me!!! So to the track it was. I did a short warm up, then 8×200’s(half way around the track) with a 200 recovery jog, and finished with a short cool down. 5 miles total. Not a huge workout but it was plenty to just get my feet wet. I haven’t done anything fast for ages so Coach Josse is easing me into it. 

This morning was an 80 minute spin class. I woke up with my lungs not feeling so hot. I’ve never had such a problem with the air in the winter but it may be time to get a mask to run in. Spin was great though. We did 4 sets of seated big gear flat road, standing climb, seated climb, recover(all 4 minutes long). I loved it. It broke the time up just enough and made the class go by fast.

Tomorrow will be a rest day in preparation for my solo 5k on Friday and a big weekend of cycling. I signed up for the Salt Lake Running Co 5k|10k|15k race series and the 5k is this Saturday. I’m going to a training camp this weekend with the cycling team I will be racing with this year so I am missing the race. Sad day. But I’m going to do the course solo on Friday so I can still feel like I’m participating. Solo 5k’s are probably my favorite though so it will be good ;)I can’t wait!!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but something close to a phenomenon has happened. I crave sweets, treats and carbs very little these days. It’s the weirdest feeling, actually. I don’t know quite what to think of it. I’m going with it though and have been pretty good about nutrition and getting plenty of vegetables in my diet. One thing I AM addicted to lately is bacon. I probably eat entirely too much of it, but it’s better than stuffing my face with sugar all day, right?


This is by far my favorite post workout, morning, afternoon, night and anytime meal. Toast with ghee, avocado, bacon, over easy egg and green chili sauce. I eat a lot of them. They are good.

I’m really loving the results I’m seeing with nutrition and my workouts. I feel like I’m building muscle better than I ever have and I know nutrition is playing a major role.

I feel like I’m finally in training mode and things are going well. Ankle is feeling better all the time. I’m getting in strength training, mileage increases, cross training, icing, stretching, nutrition and sleep. Things are great and I can’t wait for a weekend away in St. George!

Update It’s been Forever-Josse

So seeing my sister post lately I keep thinking I need to get back at writing and posting.  I am training for Boston and finding it harder to train in the winter than spring/summer.  But as of lately we have had nice spring like temps.  Today we did a 5 mile tempo in 45 degree weather and sunshine.  It was so lovely.  For this training cycle I have been following the same book as Ericka 80/20 running by Matt Fitzgerald and really like his concepts.  “Run stronger and race faster by training slower.”  I got a heart rate monitor and really try and stick with 80% easy running and 20% hard/fast running.  I am doing an 18 week program, which is long for me, but it has 8 weeks of base running 8 weeks of peak training and 2 weeks of taper which is perfect for me.  I am in week 8 of this cycle.  Some of the challenges for me have been getting my mental edge back, I keep asking myself do I really want to run fast it’s is so much easier and less painful to run just a little bit slower.  But YES I do I LOVE to be in shape and run fast and I would love to run a good, strong Boston.  Boston Strong Baby!! So I am going to work on my mental game and get myself back into marathon shape and Run as well as I can on April 20. Happy running and I will sure try and post more oftenphoto 1From our tempo run today 5 miles @6:46 avg pace

photo 2From a long run a couple weeks ago


Riding to the Lake & Rounding It out with Yoga

Proof that I got my strength session in Friday night…


That was the only strength training I got in for the week but I’m ok with that. I still feel sufficiently worked. Yesterday’s ride was flat but 3 hours long so I was definitely feeling it when we were done.


We rode out to The Great Salt Lake, which is my first time in the 32 years of living in Utah to see this marina. It was a great ride and great destination to ride to. My only complaint, and I complained a lot about it, would be the head wind on the way out. Wind on the bike is not my thing and wind with a chill in the air is even worse. I made it through though and was rewarded with an amazing view.


The way back was WAY more manageable. The good thing about a headwind is the chance of a tailwind. 44 miles total. 1:50:00 to get out, 1:10:00 to get back. Big difference for how flat this ride was.

I ended the week with an hour and a half yoga class. I am really loving doing Sunday yoga. Especially these extended classes that focus on really good stretching and relaxation. It’s like a reset button after a long week of adding mileage and trying to get workouts in. I feel amazing afterward and ready to start a new week.

Last week’s totals:

Running miles: 26
Cycling miles: 83.50
Strength sessions: 1
Yoga sessions: 1

The plan for this week:
(Recovery week)

Monday: 4 mile run, easy swim, strength
Tuesday: first running speed work!! 6-8 200 meters w/ 200 meters recovery, 4-5 miles total
Wednesday: 45 min bike, strength focus on arms
Thursday: Easy bike + 2-3 miles
Friday: 2-3 mile warm-up/5k all out/2-3 mile cool down, easy ride in the evening
Saturday: Long ride
(Sunday): Easy ride, maybe


Exercise Is the Best Stress Reliever

Stress producer? Pretending to be a college tour guide in front of a camera. Stress reliever? Exercise. I swear I was more tired from reading scripts yesterday than I have ever been from a workout. Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but man, I’m sure glad I have exercise to decompress.

My life is pretty low stress and I rather enjoy it. It’s good to get out of my comfort zone every once in a while though because then I can really appreciate the effect exercise has on me. It seriously works wonders.


Utah may have bad winter air, but it’s still gorgeous.

It’s supposed to be fairly nice out tomorrow so I got my long run in today so I can ride outside tomorrow. 12 miles! I never thought it would happen! I kind of broke my training rule by running two days in a row but my ankles don’t feel too bad. At least not any worse than normal. Icing and stretching. Icing and stretching.

I haven’t got in any strength yet this week so I plan on getting my butt in gear right after I post this. I am feeling tired from increasing mileage so I have been a little unmotivated with the extras. I know I need it though and next week is a planned recovery week so I can suck it up and do what I know I need to do.

I discovered something this week that is just too good not to share. Bullet proof coffee. Not such a new thing but I tried it this week and I will never not want it every morning of my life. My cream was bad so I decided to use ghee. All you do is blend a little ghee(or butter) in your coffee for like 5 seconds and voila. It is the most amazing coffee I’ve ever had. Even better than my $5 lattes that I adore.


Oh, and about ghee. I made some for the first time. I had to after Josse has been cooking with it and I tasted her food. It’s kind of amazing. It’s so easy to make too. I’m kind of a perfectionist and need to follow directions so I used these instructions as reference. Josse doesn’t really do anything but watch it and take it off the heat after the second time it foams and it turns out splendidly.


Warm Hands Are Much Better


Operation warm hand was a success for my long run. Gloves under mittens did the trick. I’m so out of the habit of winter running that I don’t remember how to dress appropriately. Also, I just want to say winter training is so stinkin’ hard. Getting out in the cold weather just isn’t my favorite thing. I usually wait til the afternoon so I get the best chance of catching some warm rays, but I do have to admit that see the sunrise is pretty amazing.

Overall it was a good week. I got tired towards the end of the week but I adjusted my workouts to cut out a bike ride. I played hooky from the last part of Wednesday’s workout for a mid-week clean mountain air session on the board. I feel it was justified :)

I look pretty pro about 10% of the time and pretty ridiculous 90% of the time but it’s damn good times nonetheless.

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I ended the week with a 10 miler on Saturday. Things are still really slow but I’m trying to be patient. I am feeling the effects of ramping up mileage. I’m more tired but that’s to be expected. I’m trying to take thing really gradual so my body tolerates everything. I’m still dealing with injury so that’s more reason to be really careful still. I’m happy with the progress I’m making and feel like I’m on schedule still to be trained and healthy for Boston.

Totals for the week of January 18-24

Running miles 23
Biking miles 30
Swimming meters 1000
Strength sessions 2
Yoga sessions 1

The plan for this week:

Monday- 6 mile easy run
Tuesday- 60 min easy bike
1st workout-
1 mile run. 50-60 min w/ intervals on the bike, 4×400 w/ 200 recovery. 1 mile run.
2nd workout-
swim, intervals of some sort, around 2300 meters + strength session.
Thursday- 4-5 mile easy run + strength session
Friday- 60-70 min bike + yoga (maybe a swim)
Saturday- 12 mile easy run



Ready Set Go. Blah

“Ready, set go.  Blah.”  Actual words that came out of my mouth this morning. I did not have a good attitude about today’s run. I woke up late because I forgot to set my alarm, I’ve been having issues with one of my orthotics and I knew it was going to irritate my arch, it was cold and the glass door is cold on my toosh while I’m locking the door, the air is gross, and I wasn’t thrilled, thinking about how long 10 miles was going to take while trying to keep my heart rate down. So many bad thoughts made getting out the door and starting feel like torture.

I knew that once I started it would be fine and I’d get through it, but it was just one of those days. I sucked it up and got my butt out there. It took longer than I thought to get some good thoughts going through my head, but I got there eventually. An hour and forty minutes is a long time to think about actually being able to run. I am grateful I was able to run 10 miles today. I am also grateful for hot showers, hoodies, fuzzy socks, and coffee. I had no fine motor skills after my run. Which brings up Rule #1 with cold weather activities.  When finished, before all else, shower. Most important.

Week 2 is almost in the books. It takes a bit more effort figuring out what to do each day but it’s fun to see the calendar feel up.

I did my long run today because I’ve got a 3 hour spin class tomorrow. Should be interesting!

My doctor has been having me do all sorts of things to get my ankle better and me back to running. One thing I have been doing religiously and absolutely love is ice massage. It feels so good! And I feel like I can get the important areas better than an ice pack. Just freeze water in a little dixie cup, tear away the paper and massage areas you are having issues with. Love it!




First Week of 80/20 Training

I’m posting this a bit late because I’m a huge procrastinator, but I finally calculated my training time from last week and I’m surprised to see how close I was to 80/20. I wasn’t keeping track that closely so I was expecting to be further off.

A couple of things I learned in my first week:

  1. I have to run REALLY slow to keep my heart rate in Zone 1-2
  2. It was a little overwhelming trying to figure out how much to do of what, so I just kinda guessed and hoped I was somewhat close.

I think starting a heart rate training program will automatically cause you to slow down in the beginning(until you start adding the faster stuff in). But considering slow and not a lot of activity for the last several months it’s to be expected that my fitness won’t allow my training to be fast any time soon. As for keeping track, I’m sure with more practice it will get easier.

I started the week with sunrises in the valley and shreddin on the slopes(snowboarders would think I’m a dork for saying that) by the weekend. It was kinda great.



Here’s the breakdown because I like looking at the numbers :)

Zone 1-2(minutes)
60 run
60 bike
35 bike
15 swim
30 run
60 bike
88 run
Zone 3-5(minutes)
15 bike
18 swim
Total Minutes 426
Zone 1-2 82%
Zone 3-5 18%
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I Pledge Allegiance

I figured out my heart rate zones yesterday, I think.  I downloaded an app that was supposed to help figure them out before I got sick. I tried it twice and couldn’t figure out how it was supposed to work. Apparently I’m technologically challenged so I opted for the good old-fashioned talk test. I warmed up for a few minutes then started the talk test, reciting The Pledge of Allegiance after a minute of running at a certain heart rate, repeating the increase until it became uncomfortable to talk.

The heart rates I tested:

139 bpm
144 bpm
149 bpm
153 bpm
158 bpm
161 bpm

161 was the level that felt uncomfortable.  The instructions said to go back to the heart rate just before it became uncomfortable and that is your lactate threshold heart rate(LTHR). So the zones I calculated are bases off of 158 bpm. You can go a level further and figure out what your pace zones are based on your heart rate zones.  Another day.

My Zones:

Zone % of LTHR Target zone w/ LTHR OF 158 bpm
Zone 1- Low Aerobic 75-80% 118-126 bpm
Zone 2- Moderate Aerobic 81-89% 128-141 bpm
Zone 3- Threshold 96-100% 152-158 bpm
Zone 4- VOâ‚‚Max 102-105% 161-166 bpm
Zone 5- Speed 106+% 168+ bpm

So these are the zones I will be training at. Next up, write out my calendar from now to April.



Puttering to a Start

I ran a few times! And then I got sick. Epidemic flu levels in Utah and I have to be a part of it. Super lame. I got in a pretty epic swim right before feeling sick so at least I got to remember what that felt like. It’s been a week since I’ve felt symptoms and I’m feeling like I can start up training again. My ankle is STILL not completely better but taking another week off sure didn’t hurt it. I feel really behind when I think about being ready for Boston, but I’ll just have to adjust my expectations and goals. I know I’ll finish even if I’m a turtle.


I’m still excited and very motivated to push myself during this training cycle.  While I’ve been injured I have been learning about a type of training that I have been planning to use in preparation for Boston. The basics: train slow a lot and fast a little. Sounds easy, right? It should be but most people don’t, including me. Most endurance athletes are guilty of training too hard too often. The problem is it’s really easy to do, even if you think you are taking it easy for most of your workouts. I felt the effects of this in 2014. I had a great year in 2013, PR’s all over the place. Then I felt like in order to have an even better year in 2014 I needed to run faster in every workout.  Push harder. I was exhausted on most “easy” runs which made hard workouts nearly impossible to complete. I always felt like I should be able to be running faster during tempo or track workouts but I just felt exhausted. The reason? I was running too fast on days that should have been easy.  Always feeling like I should be able to run faster for my easy pace, therefore pushing past what was a comfortable run. The result was always feeling tired and never getting faster. The major thing that will change for me is that I am giving myself permission to take easy days really easy so I can take my hard days hard.  How much slow and how much fast? 80/20. 


I read a book called 80/20 Running and it’s crazy how everything that didn’t make sense makes complete sense now. It’s such a simple concept but surprisingly hard to do. Our brains tell us to race fast we need to train fast. Nope. Train slow most of the time to race fast. The book does a much better job of explaining the benefits of lots of slow mileage with very strategic fast workouts, but allowing the body ample recovery time between hard workouts is essential to racing fast. And what would ya know, throughout history and present time it has been shown that at the elite level, this ratio is what most athletes use to consistently improve over many years. So, if the elites train this way, I’m in.

Of course, I don’t have a huge running base right now so I will have a modified cross training plan, but it doesn’t matter what type of endurance training your are doing for the 80/20 ratio to work. The easiest way to tell you are going slow or hard is heart rate training, which is what the book is all about. You have to figure out what your heart rate zones are and train accordingly. I’ll post my personal heart rate zones in another post, but typically there are 5 zones. Low Aerobic, Moderate Aerobic, Threshold, VO2max, and Speed.


My plan will be simple. Pretty much ALL of my running miles will be slow to start out, some of my bike workouts will be hard, and swim workouts will be slow. Lots of strength training, eating well and lots of rest will be very important for me too. I will be writing out a calendar so that I have an idea of what I need to do each week to be ready for the marathon in April.  See. Simple.

Keepin’ it simple and no more sickness. Pressing the start button one more time… now.