Sunday, December 28, 2014

Weight Loss Challenge 2015

In the spirit of a New Year, I put together a few weight loss challenges that I saw and liked and made my own! We are starting on January 5. Everyone was asked to contribute $20 and the winner will take the pot. Because I am running the challenge I am coming up with weekly challenges. They haven't been decided yet, but I'll post them weekly so you can follow along. The Google doc is below for you to use, adjust as needed for what you are looking for. Happy New Year!
Here is how you calculate your percentage of weight lost:

((IW-AW)/IW) * 100= weight loss percentage
So if I start at 211, and I lose 5 lbs in a month and end up at 206.
That’s 211-206 (5 lbs.)
Take 5 lbs.  and divide it by my starting weight (211).  5/211 = .023697
Multiply that by 100 and you get 2.37%

Here is the weekly tracker that we are using.

Here are the detailed lists of Good and Bad Foods

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Drop 13 Half Marathon

Drop 13 was held Saturday, June 14th, 2014 in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  It was organized by On Hill events.

On Thursday I got an email with all the details and electronic information. It was all advertisements for other races.  There were more race details on their Facebook page.

Packet pick up was held at Wasatch Running Company.  Since I already got all the electronic stuff I just had to get my bib number and shirt.  They didn’t have the usual packet extras I’m used to from other races such as the free pain relief, gel packet, or coupon for free food, etc.  I walked into the store, picked it up, and walked out in a matter of minutes.  The shirts are just normal running tech shirts, nothing special.

Race day I got up super early to get to the finish line.  I was on the second bus up.  Because I was so early I got to sit inside Silver Fork Lodge.  It was cold up the canyon and I was glad to be  inside where it was warmer.  When I walked out of the lodge a few minutes before start time there were people all over shivering and trying to stay warm.  The few minutes I stood outside waiting for the bathroom and to wait at the start line, I was cold.  Once I started running I started warming up quickly.

The race started on time and we were off.  It started really early because they closed the canyon for part of it.  As people spread out then cars were allowed to come through.  It was nice to not worry too much about traffic.  The course was all downhill. All the miles except the last two that were in the canyon.  The course was beautiful in the canyon.  It was nice and shady with a slight breeze and very scenic.  At times I was amazed at all the beauty around me.

The aide stations were filled with enthusiastic volunteers. If you volunteer then they give you a $50 credit for another one of their races.  There was water and gatorade to refuel with.  On the website it said that there was gel packets at aide stations, but I never saw any.

There were very few on course port-a-potties.  There were huge lines at the spots that had porta-a-potties.  I saw tons of runners going off course behind trees instead of waiting in line.  They definitely needed more on the route.

When I reached the finish line I was so happy to be done. The constant downhill was killing my knee and I was ready to rest.  The finish line was in a very small area in a parking lot and there wasn’t really anywhere to sit down and stretch.  After race support consisted of a 1/3 banana and 1/4 PB&J sandwich with a little cup of water.  With not much going on, I figured it was time to collect my medals and head home.

Yes, I said medals.  Not because I was super fast and placed in a top three.  The best thing about this race was that they rewarded you for completing the race, if you dropped 13 pounds while training, and if you had a PR on the race.  But this race was so fast with so many getting their best times that they ran out of PR medals.  I was really happy with my time since it was my first half since having my baby this winter and was surprised when I got a PR.  When I went to collect my PR medal and they were out I was upset to not take it home with me.  I got on the list to have one mailed to me and am waiting for it to come in the mail (yes a month later and still no medal or contact).  I’m hoping it comes soon so I can add it to my medal board.

I had really high expectations for this race and was a little disappointed.  I loved getting so many  medals and the course was beautiful and fast.  Other than that I wasn’t very impressed.  I would give it 3 running shoes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dino Half 2014

The Dino Half was so much fun! I have been so excited to do this race since finding out that the medal was a dinosaur. I can tell you the medal did not disappoint! It was fantastic and definitely my new favorite. What was even better was they gave the kids the same medal for running the 1 mile fun run.  I think the medal has encouraged my 12 year old to take on the challenge of running a half marathon because next year she will be too old for the kids race.
There were a lot of fun stories in this race. Like this guy who ran the entire race in this costume:

And these girls, who ran their first ever half marathon! Milo is 11 and Gabby is 9, Gabby was officially the youngest finisher of the Dino Half. It was their grandmother’s first half marathon as well. And all three of them placed in their age categories! Why did they want to run a half marathon so young? Their dad Kyle has been running half marathons for several years and taking the girls to all his races. Last year he had a goal to run 12 half marathons in the year. These two were tired of watching and wanted to be involved in the fun! What amazing girls all three of them are!
The course on this race is a fantastic mix of downhill and slight inclines. I didn’t think the hills were too bad but I did want a little more downhill. Of course this is coming from a lady who adores the downhill races. It was a well-marked course and even had a half mile section that had a race of it’s own, the Sprint-a-sauras. I have never run a race within a race and it was super fun. It was on mile 6, so I decided not to give it my fastest because I am an old lady and I tire out quickly (and yes I am sticking to that story). It was awesome to see the other runners trucking down this portion of the course. 

There was lots of on course support and tons of aid stations. Just when I was wishing I ran with my water belt, BAM! there was an aid station. 

After race support was great as well. They had my favorite, chocolate milk and tons of water. The food choices were a little thin but it was one of those races for me when you don’t really want to eat after. Maybe I would have changed my mind if they had some better food.

The communication from the race directors prior to the race, at the start, and finish was great. The emails were informative and timely. The race started late however the announcer let us know that it was due to a late bus. Nothing worse than waiting and trying to figure out why. 

The shirts were nice running shirts with a dinosaur on it. I like it and have run in it since. Its comfortable and stylish. Well, maybe stylish isn’t the right word for a race shirt but I like the dinosaur, it gives me someone to talk to when I start to struggle.

Overall I give this race 4 shoes! You can count me in every year for the medal alone.

Aside from the race, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what happened when it was time for awards. I don’t usually stick around for the awards portion because as I mentioned before I am old(ish) and that makes me really slow (or it could be my training, diet, and M&M dependence). This race I was waiting for the aforementioned Milo and Gabby to come in. There was a small glitch in the results that was apparently due to the race within a race. Let me just say that I felt that the race directors handled the situation with patience and class. He apologized and said that while he could not immediately provide the results, they felt it was more important to get the results correct. I have to agree with him, it’s better to get it right the first time then try to fix it later. With that said, there were a few racers that acted in a manner that surprised me. Maybe that is because I never won a race, but for you to say that you finished in front of another racer or for your family to scream it from the crowd, isn’t necessary. It’s just as effective to whisper it to the individual presenting the awards or a member of the race staff. I would love to hear your comments on what happened, so rant away!

Oh and by the way, don’t drop dead of surprise but I took first place in the brontosaurs division! Yes, this is their version of the Athena division. I am not sure I like the name but I’ll take a first place finish any way I can get it.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Miles For Mitchell 5k

Miles for Mitchell was held on May 3, 2014 in Herriman, Utah.  This was an amazing community event to be a part of.  This race was not competitive and is more of a journey to be the best that you can be.  It was a great run for me after having a baby a few months ago and not being in the best of shape.  This race had every shape, size, age, babies in strollers, families running together, dogs, and even two boys with the same disease as Mitchell in their wheelchairs.  The organizers and volunteers were so encouraging as well as runners (and walkers) cheering each other on.  The race was timed and even had pace runners but had a very relaxing feel to just finish.

An email was sent out a few days before about packet pick up and times for the race.  I wish they would have included the route.  I tried to find it online and could not.  I figured knowing the area and living close by that it would run around the neighborhood by the park.  But I would have felt more comfortable if I had known for sure where I was going.

Race packet pick up was super fast.  I walked into the RunGr8 store, told them my name, and walked out.  It is so nice to pick up packets during store hours so you can go when it is convenient for you.  The packet had so many free things that I wouldn’t expect for a fundraiser run.  I was very impressed with the coupons and free things that I can use.

The park was busy the day of the race.  My only complaint on race day was that we started about 15 minutes late.  Mr. Jones gave a few words of thanks and then we were off. The course was great.  There were three water stations with cheering volunteers.  There were also lots of officers to help with traffic and keep us safe.  At the finish line there were oranges and water for the runners.

When the race was over they did the raffle and then there were tables for the silent auction to browse through. My family came to see me finish and get a waffle from Waffle Love.  Everyone should be rewarded with a waffle after running.

There was not a medal for finishing.  The reward (besides the waffle) was helping to raise money for a great cause.  I did take the Miles for Mitchell lanyard that was in my swag bag to hang on my medal board to remind me that I did this race.

As I checked Facebook today and looked at the pictures of the race it was so fun to see pictures from around the world of people dedicating their runs for the day to Mitchell and DMD Awareness.  There is even a touching video found at of race day.

I give this race 4 shoes.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Tulip Festival Half Marathon

This race had everything! Uphill, downhill, gravel, dirt, pavement, a red brick road, tunnels, waterfalls, tulips, a deer or two, a bridge, golf course, dinosaurs (alright a dinosaur museum), and super excited volunteers. 

Thanksgiving Point’s Tulip Festival Half Marathon has a perfect route if you get easily bored during your runs. It was so beautiful and changed so much over the 13 mile course. I can’t decide what the most beautiful part of the course was; the tulips or the waterfalls. I think that if it wasn’t pouring rain for the entire race, I would have said the waterfalls, but that day I had quite enough water!

The communication from the race directors was fantastic. Their emails contained all the information we needed for packet pick up and race day. It even had the forecast, which unfortunately as I mentioned was rain. It was amazing how well everything still went considering the downpour. The race started on time, the volunteers were happy and helpful, and the course was in relatively good condition (the part on dirt got a little slippery but it was thankfully very short). 

I picked up my packet the morning of the race. There was no line, they had no problems locating my bag and it was filled with goodies. Not just the flyers for other races and from the sponsors, but actual things! It was so nice to get a bag with stuff that doesn’t automatically go in the trash.

The course support was fantastic. Tons of aid stations that included not just water and PowerAde, but bananas, oranges, and GU. I especially want to mention the volunteers doing traffic control on the last mile-ish. There were two men who were so enthusiastic, giving high fives, yelling encouragement with smiles on their faces (did I mention it was pouring rain?). It was a great pick up on the last little bit and something that was much needed. 

After race support was in line with the rest of this race. They had a wide variety of items to help get you fueled back up including my favorite chocolate milk. Trader Joe’s was there handing out free bags and granola bars. 

Now for the bling, the medal is cool. What do you think? 

The shirts, well at least they are running shirts. And it did save me from freezing all the way home in my currently soaked running attire. 

My new found running friend, who happened to be the pacer at my last race, gave me some advice for this race. She said that you will feel great in the beginning and push harder because of that. But don’t forget to save some energy for the rest of the course. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember this advice until it was too late. The first three miles I felt great, I conquered the “big” hill in this race and was on my way. Don’t let that big hill fool you, there are tons of ups and downs and different surfaces that can affect your stride. This is a tough course and I look forward to redeeming myself next year, in hopefully dryer conditions.

This race gets a 4.5 shoes and our recommendation not to change a thing (well maybe the weather and the shirts).

Monday, April 28, 2014

Miles For Mitchell

The second annual Miles for Mitchell 5K will be held on May 3 in Herriman, Utah. Mitchell Jones was diagnosed with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy in July 2005. As his family struggled to deal with the many issues of his disease, his father took his thoughts to the internet. He started a Facebook page that detailed the struggles, challenges, and triumphs of this amazing young man and his family. Unfortunately, Mitchell passed away on March 2, 2013.

In an effort to honor his memory, family and friends of Mitchell started a 5K. Dari Wininger, race director, says she started this race to help her son Carter deal with the death of his good friend in a positive way. "How could I not do something for the pure love of childhood friends?"

In the inaugural year, the funds donated were used to pay for Mitchell's funeral and a portion of his headstone. Going forward, all funds from the race will go to support the mission of Mitchell's Journey and Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.

Last year we had the great privilege of assisting with this race. This year we have the opportunity to review the race and encourage our great running community to get involved. You can get involved by racing on May 3 (details below), dedicating your Saturday run to Mitchell, purchasing a shirt, or sending a donation.

After the race there will be a raffle, silent auction, and the Waffle Love truck will be there! If you haven't tried Waffle Love, you are missing out on the best waffles on the planet!

You can make a donation to the nonprofit foundation by using the following Paypal link:

Or sending a check to
Mitchell's Journey
5526 West 13400 South #102
Herriman, UT 84096

Race details:

Saturday May 3, 2014
run/walk begins at 9:00 am

Herriman Main Street Park
13000 South 5900 West
Herriman, Utah

To sign up for the race:

If you are dedicating your Saturday run to Mitchell, be sure to take a pic, and share it on the Miles For Mitchell Facebook page. Mitchell loved purple and gold, lego's, video games and Star Wars; find a fun way to include his fav's during your run.

We are looking forward to this race and running in memory of Mitchell!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Herriman Half Marathon

I couldn’t miss the Herriman Half because it starts and finishes within walking distance of my house. I am already partial to this race because of the ease of access and it combines a lot of the routes I already run. With the exception of the hills, because as you know if you have read my blog before, I try to avoid hills. 

You do not want to miss this race next year. While there is some room for improvement, this race was fantastic. The price was super low, $40! You really can’t find a half marathon for that price anymore. There was plenty of on course support with the aid stations and police at every intersection. I was not expecting the kind of police support that was provided because it was a small race and a low price. The shirts are nice, I especially like the color and design. The medal was the same design and color, so I think it’s my new favorite. 

The course itself was challenging, however with any challenge you get to feel that great sense of accomplishment when you have conquered the hills. Don’t let the course discourage you from signing up for this race next year, it’s really not as bad as it looks!

Talk about finish line extravaganza! This race had tons of stuff at the finish line! They had a bouncy house, the Chic-fil-A cow, music, and great food! My kids were so entertained and my husband (not a runner) even said how much stuff they had there.

There was some room for improvement. While I loved the color and design of the shirts, they were just normal t-shirts and not a shirt I can run in. I am still going to wear it but I won’t be able to show other runners how awesome I am because I ran the hills in the Herriman Half. 

The website and communication from the race directors needs a little boost. I like to get a reminder email confirming the details for race day and that was missing with this race. The race results weren’t available the same day as the race. But I really like the details that are provided now that the results are available. Overall, these were very minor issues that I am sure will be considered before next year.

I give this race 4 shoes! I look forward to running this again next year and convincing all my running buddies to face those hills head on.