Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sly versus Time

Ok, so I have been terrible keeping up the last 6 months. I chalk it up to my hectic schedule combined with a little bit of laziness. Here are the highlights of my spring and summer.

LA JOLLA - This is our second time running the La Jolla half marathon. Ami and Teresa ran a great race, both PR'ing. I didn't quite run the time I had wanted, but still ran a great race.

Yes, we are lame, and by "we", I mean Ami and Teresa. We didn't get our shots after the race and took these in Teresa's backyard 2 days later. Ami and Teresa had family problems they had to address after the race, and I'm hoping they learn their lesson for next year to take the time to get pictures done anyway. You two...

Chris met us down in La Jolla to cheer us on and keep Brandon company. We are enjoying some Cold Stone before our post-race lunch.

Ami, Teresa, and me back in LA at Houston's for a post-race dinner.

YAY! Chris joined us again. I can't wait to go back out to Cali.

VEGAS BABY! - Kami and Neil put together a coed team to play in Vegas. Minus the poor officiating and the dirty teams, it was a lot of fun.

I was so glad Riley was able to go with us. He killed everyone on defense, and our favorite moment was when he tracked a guy down and CRUSHED him near the sideline, launching him out of bounds. Serves him right to mess with any of us...

Unfortunately there were no shots of the moment when Greg and I collided, resulting in me getting knocked out, and Greg getting a "Sly sized" bruise on his shoulder as he landed on top of me. I came home with my very first concussion. Thanks Greg, for the memories. :)

Me, Kami, and Annika chillin' in between games.

Club Atletico. We made history here.

RAGNAR RELAY - This year our team name was Justice League 2010. I recruited Tony to our team this year, and we had a blast. Minus the chaos at the finish line again.

We ran into the Ashcroft clan at exchange 6. What a fun bunch. :)

I was runner #10 this year, and my first run consisted of 3.6 miles. It wasn't too bad, other than the fact that I didn't come across too many other runners and I barely finished at a +2. Just look how fast I'm going... my hair is flying in the wind. :)

My second run was a long 7.7 miler. I killed it on this run, and finished at about a +18. Here I am tallying my kills.

Tony was super excited as he finished his last run. The poor guy had battled a bad cold all weekend. Good thing I brought those sports beans with an extra kick of caffeine.

My third run = "Ragnar". It was a gut wrenching 4 mile run all uphill. I ran it in my Wonder Woman costume (swim suit), and was cheered on by every passing vehicle. I actually felt great when I was finished and could have gone a couple more miles.

Since I felt so great, I ran the very last leg to the finish line. Kami had pulled a muscle, so Neil covered her last run, and I took his. My fourth leg was a 5 mile run to the end. I ran pretty strong until the last mile or so when I was thrown a bunch more uphill runs. I ran as hard as I could, and still finished with a +5. Only problem was, my van was held up trying to get to the finish line venue, and I had to cross without them. Come on Ragnar, you killed our buzz once again.

Me and my bro... I'm pretty sure I'm his favorite sister.

CHERRY HILL - All the siblings (minus Ami & Brandon, and Mitch), and all the nieces and nephews spent an afternoon at Cherry Hill on Kenna's day. Of course when it comes time to get a group picture with all the nieces and nephews, it's virtually impossible to get everyone to cooperate. I think it's more fun this way anyway. You've got Porter and Easton flexing their muscles, Fallon holding an uncooperative baby brother Hudson, all while wishing she were somewhere else. Emily Ty, Quincy, and Mia trying to get a good pose in for the camera, Ellie, not sure what is going on, Kimball hiding and flashing his devious grin, and AJ flipping his eyelids for the next shot. Ah... good times...

Kimball taking his time getting out of the Double Dragon slide area. This was unfortunately cut short due to some little kid "pooping" in the pool.

I was shocked Easton wanted to go down this slide. Just before we were about to go down, he turned to Melissa and said... "I don't want to get my eyes wet." She of course responded by advising him to close them as we went through the waterfall. He did pretty awesome and didn't freak out at all. Please don't mind the "butt shot".

Porter and I cruisin' down the Double Dragon slide.

Hudson and Fallon floating in the Lazy River. I'm not sure what Hudson finds so funny.

Quincy, Emily Ty, AJ, and Mia all sticking together down the slide.

FREEDOM RUN - This year Tony had to bike the run instead of run due to some cracked ribs, and once again Emily Ty and AJ went along for the ride.

This was the funnest race I have ever run. I had decided not to kill myself and go for a PR, and to stick with Teresa and run along side of her. It was nice to run with someone and have Tony and the kids on bike support to keep us motivated.

SOCCER - I've been coaching two teams once again, and I had both teams entered in the Striker's Cup tournament in Layton. I coach a U11 Sol FC team with Tony in which Emily also plays on, and I am now coaching a state U14 Avalanche team. They are all a great bunch of girls!

My Avalanche team won the championship game. It was a great start for us, as we were able to learn to play a new brand of soccer. We are bound to come across some adversity, but I am optimistic that this team will be State Cup contenders once again.

ANOTHER HALF - I ran the Top Of Utah Half Marathon with my friend Kami, and met up with another friend Nicole.

At around mile 4, I was SO SO happy to see Neil so I could give him my camera I was carrying and shed all my extra clothing. He saved me!

At mile 8 or so, I was happy to see Tony, Melissa, and the kids holding a sign cheering me on. It gave me new life, as I thought I was "tanking it" due to a lack of training. When I got to the finish line, I had actually PR'd by about 7 minutes. I finished in 1:39:12. Unfortunately as I had stopped abruptly, it also caused me to dry heave a few times. That's never happened to me, and I managed to keep my breakfast down. Whew...

I'm not sure what's in store for me next, but it is the fall season, which most likely means lots of travel. My first out of state game comes up Oct. 8th at Boise State. I'm praying for NO snow.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sly versus 26.2

So 16 weeks of training and a 5 month California visitation drought finally came to an end. On March 21st, I ran the "Stadium to the Sea" LA Marathon, which went from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier. We were worried about traffic to Dodger Stadium and race officials recommended runners to be there 2 hours prior to the race. We got there with no problems, so I had a lot of time to kill. I saw Chef Gordon Ramsay, American Idol singer Allison Iraheta (she sang the National Anthem), and NBA player AC Green (motivational speaker). I sat near the centerfield wall wrapped in a blanket, waiting for the race to start. Before I knew it, it was time to line up and I hadn't even warmed up yet. Oops. Mistake #2 was getting stuck in the 11:00 pace corral. I should have wedged my way up closer to the front as this cost me about 6 minutes of time trying to break out of the pack and get into the rhythm of my pace. Mistake #3 was not using the port-a-potty before lining up. About 10 minutes before the gun was about to go off, I decided I needed to pee. It took about 8 miles to get the though out of my head, and the worry that my pee was weighing me down.

Instead of breaking the race up into 5 phases like I had planned, I ended up focusing on each mile, one at a time, trying to stay right around an 8:00 pace. This worked well, and some miles seemed to come super fast. Once I hit mile 20, I picked up my pace slightly, and really kicked it in the last mile and a half. I was cruising past people at that point. I decided a little too late to go for my goal of qualifying for Boston just a little too late. My finishing time was 3:42:08, 1:09 off from qualifying. I definitely ran a little too conservative, but I felt like I finished really strong. Overall, I was happy with my race. There's a possibility I may run it again next year... we'll see. Ha ha.

Other celebrities running were Shia LaBeouf (Transformers), Sean Astin (Lord Of The Rings), and Audrina Patridge (reality star).

The rest of the trip was great. A short meeting with Chris, massages, New Moon, and good family company. I recovered remarkably well, only sore for about 2 days (going down stairs sucked), but was able to run 4.5 miles and play in my 2 soccer games 3 days post race. I was a little nervous about being ready for the La Jolla Half Marathon 5 weeks after running a marathon, but it looks like that won't be a problem. I got back into training with no problems, and 13.1 miles seems like a breeze now.

Here's my marathon journey...

3 weeks from today, I'm out of this miserable weather and back in Cali. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sly Versus The Little Things

I've recently decided that being single is GREAT! I don't have to answer to anyone, can come and go as I please, and have the remote all to myself. My life has been such a whirlwind lately, and I think it's time for me drop all the drama with guys and dating, and to appreciate the little things in life, like...

#1 - M&M mini's. What sets these M&M's apart from the rest of them is they just melt in your mouth with the perfect ratio of shell and chocolate. I prefer eating them two at a time.

#2 - Sweat pants. There's nothing like the comfort of putting on a nice clean pair of sweats. I do prefer pocketed ones, because one must have chapstick available at all times.

#3 - Gloves. One thing I hate, is having cold hands. During the winter especially, I will play indoor soccer while wearing the thin knit gloves the entire game. It may even be the source of all my power. That and yogurt.

#4 - Dictionaries. I prefer to spell things properly, and try to always have one handy. I also like to look up unfamiliar words. For example, I learned one last week while watching Survivor, and I was sure it wasn't a word. Ignoble. Yes, it sounds stupid, but it is an actual word. It means... not noble or mean.

#5 - Grapefruit spoon. Yes, a spoon with jagged edges so you can cut the wedges of a grapefruit and then immediately spoon it out for a nice healthy snack. This is my new favorite utensil ever. It beats out the electric knife.

Well, those 5 are a start, and boy do I feel better.

To be continued...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Two Steps Back

Marathon training has been going great. Or should I say HAD been going great. Last week I ran a new long run record of 20.5 miles on Sunday, 9 half mile repeats with 1/4 mile recovery in between with virtually no fatigue on Tuesday. Wednesday, was lower body strength training and 2 indoor soccer games where I scored a hat trick in one game, and 2 goals in the second. Thursday... a little bit of rest and recovery with U17 training. I was looking forward to Friday, which is plyometric day, but woke up with the flu instead. I hadn't been able to eat or drink anything all day, but knew I had to at least hydrate myself. After speaking with Teresa, she suggested grape juice. Now grape juice to us is a comfort drink. It reminds us of our Grandma, because she always had grape juice. Well, the thought of grape juice didn't sound all that bad, so I forced myself to sip some throughout the rest of the day. There were moments where I thought I was feeling a little better, and would drink several sips. I was WRONG. Now, I weigh the pros and cons of my decision to drink grape juice.

PRO #1 - The thought of drinking it didn't completely repulse me.
PRO #2 - It was probably the most pleasant thing I have experienced in reverse.

CONS #1 - I was left with a big purple mess to clean up.

That's right, projectile vomiting all over the bathroom floor, toilet, AND my pants. Thank goodness for tile floors and black pants. I still don't regret my decision.

Anyway, I spent all weekend on the couch. I had high hopes to work out on Monday, but was too exhausted after work. It is now Tuesday, and I was able to complete 4 half mile repeats before getting too sick to continue, and pushed through a little bit of upper body strengthening. I have 25 days until my marathon, and I am determined to overcome this setback. Of course, I could use all the support and motivation I can get. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Day Of R & R

It was the classic ending to an exhausting week. 17.25 mile run on Sunday, 7 x 800 repeats at a fast pace on Tuesday as well as back & bicep strengthening, lower body strength training (including well over a hundred lunges on each leg), followed by 2 grueling indoor soccer games on Wednesday. Joint boys & girls U17 soccer training on Thursday. Plyometric accompanied by chest, shoulder, and triceps strength training, as well as U10 training, and don't forget reffing 3 coed games on Friday. Needless to say... my legs are hammered. Saturday rolls around for some R&R? To a normal person, that means rest and relaxation. In my world? It's RACING and REFFING.

Today was the Sweetheart's 5K in Bountiful. I stayed down at Kami and Neil's as Kami was running the race with me, and as usual, I stayed up too late Friday night, which makes waking up that much more annoying. I am very particular with what I intend to wear each race, and which shoes I'll run in. I thought I had it all figured out until it got closer to race time. The weather wasn't the best as it was starting to drizzle. Kami and I headed back to my car to change our pants. I wasn't about to get mud spots all over my white pants. I was a little bit bummed. Black just didn't look as cool.

Kami wasn't the only one running the race with me. My Dad and Dottie were geared to run as well. As the old man was getting himself all put together, I had to laugh a little as he was fastening his camelback hip pack. Here's our convo...

Sly: "Are you running with that?"
Randy: "Yeah..."
Sly: "You know it's... 3 miles, right?"

As for the race, it seemed to go okay. I did get passed by a female track star, and didn't really want to kill myself to keep up with her. I just went the pace my tired legs would carry me. I continually passed people, so I still finished pretty strong, but definitely did not PR. I finished with a chip time of 22:42, which was still good enough for first in my division, 5th female, and 23rd overall. I Can't really complain about that one. Kami finished at 27:09, 4th in her division, and my Dad at 36:44, also placing 2nd in his division of... wait for it... 2 people, but 2nd nonetheless. Dottie finished at 40:47. I am eager to be done with the whole marathon race and training so I can get back to my shorter distance training. I think it may be affecting my speed.

Kami and I with Cupid at the finish line. Poor guy...

Luckily they handed out the awards without too much waiting in the cold, and I won myself a gift certificate for an entree at Texas Roadhouse. Too bad I don't eat out a whole lot, but I'm sure I'll put it to use eventually.

Luckily we had a little bit of time to go back to Kami's for a nice hot shower to warm back up, and refueling before heading to the Sportsplex to ref. I had 4 painful youth games to ref. I decided I hate reffing youth. They just kick the ball most of the time, and it seemed to be at me a little bit too much. Yes, I got hit a few times. Thanks to some gummy worms, I made it through and was ready to finally relax.

To top the day off, instead of heading straight home, I met Jessica at Rumbi's for an early dinner. It's been nice catching up with my cuz. I hope we can make this a monthly ritual as we are 2 for 2 so far this year. It is now 2:00 a.m. and finally off to bed to get my rest for my long run tomorrow. I'm shooting for 20 miles, and hoping for decent weather, and less tired/sore legs. Pray for me. :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Long Run

I have forty days until I run the L.A. Marathon, and training in the winter has been brutal. The treadmill is boring, and the weather is cold and sucks. Luckily, today it wasn't bitter cold or snowing. Unlucky for me, I had a 17 miler to do. I was finally able to get a good night's sleep (9 1/2 hours), forced myself to wake up and get fueled for my run. Today's breakfast consisted of Frosted Flakes and a grapefruit, and an hour and a half later, I was out the door.

As I started on my run, I figured a way to break it up into "5 phases" so it doesn't kill me mentally. I'm also trying to document my training as much as possible, so I also decided to bring my small camera along with me. I was more than glad I did, because I got an idea in my head during phase 2, and I think that's what got me through the run. So when I go on my runs, I like to run past people's houses that I know, so my idea was to try and hit everyone's house (in the south end of the Valley) and take a picture. Here's my route.

Phase 1: I leave my house and head down the hill and turn left at the first block. I head back uphill for a little hill warmup, and turn back down to run past Scuba Steve's house. I then turn north on main street to head back up and past my house. That hill is a killer workout, and I LOVE it. I go past the Stake Center, and head south on the Millville bench and make that little loop around. I just need to get to the highway to complete the phase.

Phase 2 : Starts at the highway, heading north towards Hyrum. I tried to run on the sidewalk, but it was still covered in snow in a lot of places, and I ended up stepping in a puddle. I swore, and headed back to the side of the road. Between the inversion and the traffic, I could actually taste the gasoline. Not my favorite phase. I just need to get to main street Hyrum to complete the phase.

Phase 3: Heading west on main street, I head for the cemetery. Now the camera comes out, and it gave me a surge of energy. I first pass by my Grandpa's grave.

Next is Kenna's and my Great-Grandmother's. As you can see, there's still quite a bit of snow.

I leave the cemetery and head south on good old 500 east. I pass my Grandma's house, trying to look in the windows to see if she was home, and gave a good wave as I went past.

I head back west to get to Kimmie & Bryce's house.

Of course, Cory and Rita live next door, so I didn't have to go far to run past their house.

That phase seemed to go by the quickest, and I'm sure it's probably the shortest phase, but I continue down Kimmie's road and head for the "autobahn" leading to Nibley. I just need to get to the railroad tracks to complete the phase.

Phase 4: I was actually feeling pretty good, and mile 12 hit in the middle of the back road to Nibley, so I decided it was time for some Hammer Gel. I don't enjoy energy gels at all, but I was smarter this time. I didn't try to swallow it immediately like last time, which, I learned will trigger my gag reflex. I swish it in my mouth a little bit, trying to break it up, diluting it with my spit, and swallow in several waves. Gross, I know. After I get most of the packet down, it's followed up by a few swigs of water.

When I get to the end of the road, I head back west for the back road toward Tony's house. The phase is complete when I reach 800 west.

Phase 5: Final phase, woohoo. It actually seemed forever before I reached Heritage Park, where I head back east toward Tony & Melissa's. Thoughts of me training with AJ on the familiar road kept me going, and voila... Tony & Melissa's. Too bad nobody was watching out the window. :(

I make the loop around Nibley Elementary, and make my way back to Millville. I take the small bridge road, which leads me to Millville Elementary, and I seemed to pick up my pace a little bit. It's the home stretch. I turn back up past Scuba Steve's house.

And FINALLY... after 17.25 miles... I'm home again. I walked around the small block for a cool down, and there you have it. That's the furthest I've run so far, and I am surprised how well I handled it. I think I'll be ready for that marathon after all.

What's also important for my hard workout days, is my Protein Monster immediately after. That always helps me recover quicker and better. I should be a spokesman for Odwalla, because I swear by their C Monster brand as well. It keeps me healthy.

The best part of a long run is refueling... all 1300 calories. :) I've been logging everything I consume on a program called Perfect Diet Tracker, and I never thought I would ever hear myself say... "I need to eat more fat." Good thing we had an avacado in the house to help out with that.

Final thoughts... Oh how I miss summer.

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Battle At Soldier Hollow

The 2010 race season is officially underway. My goal for this year is to run at least one race each month, hitting every distance from a 5K to a full marathon. For months, I've been looking forward to this little spin on the 5K adventure. A SNOWSHOE 5K! This past weekend, I ran the Battle At Soldier Hollow (BASH) Snowshoe 5K. It was my first snowshoe race, and it was a BLAST! Since it was the inaugural BASH snowshoe 5K, so there wasn't too big of a turnout, possibly 50 or so racers.

I did better than I thought I would, most likely due to the snow being so packed down. Nonetheless, it was still a killer workout. I love the beginning of races, once the nerves get flushed out. It's when I catch myself smiling and enjoying the scenery around me. This race did not fail. As soon as the gun went off, I immediately cracked a smile as I adjusted my running pattern to accommodate for the very large contraptions strapped to my winter boots. It didn't take long to get into a rhythm, and at one point thought to myself... "I got this. This isn't bad at all!" That was when I thought I was at the halfway point, but I was, in fact, NOT. I was probably a quarter to a half mile from the turnaround point. Once I hit the ACTUAL turnaround point, I was then thinking... "Okay, this is pretty hard." I kept pushing through, but my mind got the best of me the last half mile, when I had to stop and walk a few of times, but not to worry... it was never more than a minute combined, and I KNEW no other female was going to catch up to me. Unfortunately, I also knew the female ahead of me was going to extend her lead. Oh well... I decided I'd battle it out for second. I finished strong with a time of 28:35, and even though I was the number one loser, I DID get comments on how stylish I looked. Second place overall female isn't bad for my first time out, and hey... I lost with STYLE. Just wait until next year. I plan on smashing it.

As for the rest of the year, here are my racing plans. I dare you all to join me! :)

February - Sweethearts 5K (Bountiful)
March - Shamrock 5K (with AJ & Emily Ty) & L.A. Marathon
April - La Jolla Half Marathon
May - Smithfield Days 5K/10K (not sure which distance I'll run)
June - Utah Valley 5K & Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back
July - Freedom Run 15K (Blacksmith Fork Canyon) & Provo 10K
August - Top Of Utah Half Marathon
September - Top Of Utah 5K or Pocatello 5K
October - I'll find something... possibly Ragnar Relay Las Vegas
November - Malibu Half Marathon & Turkey Trot 5K
December - Moab 10K

Whew... that's a lot of miles. I'm looking forward to making more memories and PRs.

"Consistency requires discipline. Force yourself out the door."
-Bob Glover & Shelly-Lynn Florence Glover