Pony Express 5k

Pony Express 5k
My first race ever!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Why did I do this?

Last night I kept asking myself that question. Why? What purpose does it serve. I was quite certain several times yesterday that it served no purpose. My rear end isn't meant to sit on a four inch wide platform for 7 1/2 hours, is it? Why do I want to run a marathon? Why do I want to do the Ironman in Kona? Everything I want to do just means more and more torture for my body.

So why? Bodies aren't meant to endure this! Or are they?

My ancestors were pioneers who crossed the plains, walking every day for miles and miles over rugged terrain, forging rivers, enduring harsh winter and blistering summer weather. Many died from the hardship. Then when they arrived, they spent the rest of their lives laboring all day to raise crops, care for cattle and sheep, just cooking and cleaning meant hard work from morning to night.

Soldiers in past have marched all day, slept on the ground, fought throughout the night. Existing without sleep, little food and away from their loved ones for months or even years to secure safety for their countrymen.

Our country was founded by those who lived harsh lives, building a new nation out of raw country. Their bodies endured conditions unthinkable to our modern way of life. After long and difficult voyages, they didn't have family waiting for them, they had rugged wilderness, had to build homes, forts and plant crops just to exist. There was no alternative.

So I ask again, Are our bodies meant to endure harsh physical conditions? My answer has to be yes. Our bodies are meant to struggle through hardship and come out stronger. I believe that God created us to survive whatever challenges come our way.

The problem is, we don't have to fight through physical challenges for our daily life. Our lives are cushy and undemanding. To grow, we have to create hardship. Endurance racing is how I've chosen to push myself. I was afraid to try, but each time I do something new, I discover new abilities my body has developed. Through this journey I have also found other changes. I have found a new peace. A new patience with life. New relationships with my husband and children. Time with others free of outside noise.

I think every part of our lives is that way. Not just the physical, but the emotional, mental and spiritual. Do we challenge ourselves to reach out to other people, build bridges of love and support? Do we force ourselves outside of our comfort zone, and learn something new? Do we build our faith and trust in our Heavenly Father? Or do we live in fear of change and growth.

One of the speakers at Andrew's graduation used a favorite quote of mine.

Our Greatest Fear
Marianne Williamson

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

It is easy to exist, it's easy to stay where we are and live in our comfort zone. It is hard to change, in change we risk failure. We risk being ridiculed. We risk pain. But in staying where we are, we guarantee failure. Failure at our true purpose. We guarantee pain, pain of wondering what we could have been, could have done. We guarantee mediocrity.

Take a step outside your box, be something more, something different. For me I choose to risk failure, ridicule and pain in order to find success, accomplishment and joy. Come with me.


Well, I obviously didn't post about the ride yesterday, too tired! It was AWESOME!! When we got started, I had to use the facilities, so I left a few minutes later than everyone. My hubby left before me, he's been sick and just got back from Africa so I told him I'd catch up. I wanted to check up on some of my clients doing the ride. So I rode with one for a couple miles and then hooked her up with another one who was about the same pace. Then I was keeping my eyes peeled for another one... little did I know she and her husband took off at a great pace and were way ahead of me. Finally caught up with Mark about 5 miles into the ride.

We stayed together till the first stop at 20 miles. I wanted to stop and refill the water and chat with my friend running it. He kept going. Good thing I stopped! When I was ready to leave, my kids pulled in... They were supposed to be manning stop #2. AHHH! They had gotten lost, really just hadn't driven far enough. Oh no, what if they missed the first riders? Well g
ot them set straight and fortunately they were ahead of the lead riders. Whew! When I took off, my ear buds got caught in the spokes, yes I just dropped them, and they ripped apart. Another 93 miles to go with no tunes. UGH! So, singing to myself, I set out to catch Mark.

On the way I passed my client and her husband, and found Mark a few miles after that. That's Mark at stop 2. We rode to the next stop, 40 miles, together and there I made another mistake. So many people I knew were there, plus my kids and it was Andrew's 18th birthday!!! Yay Andrew! Thanks for supporting mom and dad! We stood around and talked way tooo long. My legs got cold and this was at the base of the biggest climb of the day. 9 miles and about a 2000 ft
climb. Actually it felt like more than that, because there were a few ups and downs.
This is a pic from the car of the hill, steep huh? On the way up, while shifting down, my chain jumped off and got all bungled up. No one around to fix it so I had to get all greasy, boo hoo, got grease on my bright pink jacket too. But I did it! Honestly I didn't know how I was going to make it up that hill, but not only did I make it, I even passed some people! Thank you Spin class! Teaching those has definitely made me better at hills.

On the way up, I heard crazy honking behind me and then my car passes me, with my husband and friend in it!
They were hitching a ride to the lunch stop at the top of the hill. CHEATERS!!! JK, they were both pretty worn out already. The hill would have killed them.

Us at the lunch stop. Thanks Summit Cafe!
Lunch was great, but again, I stopped too long. The wind had kicked up and clouds rolled in and we were cold. I had to get riding to warm up. Coming down the hill was great, we were in this little old mining town and it was so quaint. But the road was a little scary! About 5 miles down the road, Mark cramped so we stopped and I massaged his legs, but he was ready to stop. There was no reception, so I forged ahead, hoping either he would get picked up, or I could call the kids and have them come get him. They had already passed us, but there was a turn off that we later found out they missed, so really they were behind us. When I got to the next stop at 70 miles, that's where I discovered they hadn't been by yet. I was scared that they were lost, but was able to get a text off to my daughter. A friend was manning that station, so I asked her to let them know about Mark and try to keep reaching them while I went on.

After I was about 5
miles down the road, they came by and let me know that he was safe and the kids had him! YAY! Through this stretch I rode with a guy named Bob, found out he owns Cafe Rio, hence the Cafe Rio jersey he was wearing. He was riding with a neighbor of ours and Shawn Bradley (former BYU and NBA star) Super fun to meet him, very, very nice guy. Now, it was just rolling mile after rolling mile. Once I hit the last stop at the Pony Express monument I knew I could make it. This was a fast stop and I was off.

When I finally hit the turn off at 5 mile pass to head for Fairfield, I was so happy, and scared. This was the home stretch, my turf, I had riden this before and knew all the twists, turn, and hills. I was scared because I also know the wind in this valley. After Fairfield, 15 miles to go, there is a long slow hill going into White Hills and then Cedar Fort. I was dying! I had skipped the stop in Fairfield because if I got off the bike I wouldn't get back on. I had plenty of water and food, so I forged ahead. This hill is not terribly difficult, I was just so tired and had slowed down to about 8 mph. Finally to the top of that hill! It comes down into Cedar Fort and then another slow grind (not as steep) back to the Eagle Monument to turn back into town and only 5 miles to the finish. This is a slight downhill, plus the wind
is at my back here!!! YAY, I was singing out loud I was so happy!

When I got back to the school (the starting point), I think I had to pry the seat off of my backside. I almost cried as I hobbled over to the grass and layed my bike down.

It was fun watching and cheering as friends rolled in. Mark got there a few minutes later, he had gone back to pick up his bike, not knowing it had already gotten a ride in another truck. Poor guy, drove all that way for nothing... Here's Mark with Shawn, Wow huh?

So, would I do it again? Not this week, but yeah I would!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Century's and Lobsters

Fast post today...... Tomorrow is my first century bike ride, that means it's over 100 miles! 112.4 to be exact. I'm so excited and scared at the same time. Will my backside make it? Will I bonk? (cyclist verbology for hitting the wall) Will it rain? Will I make it up that 8 mile hill? My kids are manning one of the food stops, will they be ok? Will they go crazy? Mark just got back from Morocco at 3 this morning, will he be ok? He's doing the ride.... why I don't know, but I'm glad to have him with me.

But life is full of firsts. And I'm going to enjoy this one! Tell you mor
e tomorrow.

Oh yeah, speaking of firsts, today we cooked lobster for the first time. I've never had lobster before and it was fun and pretty tasty!

okay, got to go to bed!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


So this has nothing to do with running, or fitness, well except that Rachel is going to run a 5k with me next week, but anyway....

Tonight was her 8th grade graduation! Wow! Sunday was also Andrew's seminary graduation! YAY for us! On Thursday Andrew will also graduate from High School, but I'll talk more about that then. (For my few followers that I met online, Seminary for us is a 4 year, LDS religious education program for high school students)

Ok so for some pics! This is Andrew before graduation, isn't he so handsome? He is such a great young man. He works very diligently and always tries to make good choices. He is constantly serving others. He truly is a Christ like young man. I am so very proud of him!

And Rachel, Wow growing up way to fast. I can't believe we have another high schooler on our hands! Well, if you have to put up with teenagers, mine are pretty great. Honestly, I think having teenagers is way funner than babies and toddlers. I adore babies and think they are just yummy! But there is something so great about teenagers. I love having all the kids running through the house, girls in the bathroom doing hair, boys playing video games and pool.

So here she is! The newest high school student in our house! She got to sit through graduation with her very "good friend" M, and here's the whole group of crazy kids. They are great kids and are a good influence on each other. I am very grateful for these kids. They are true friends who care about each other. I love that her guy friends are all gentlemen who protect the girls and treat them with respect. And the girls all encourage each other to maintain high standards of behavior, modesty and excellence. Too often teenagers play to the lowest common denominator and try to find acceptance through degrading behavior. But not these kids. They are so great! I am really proud of my kids and their choices. They hold their standards high and encourage all around them to do the same. A rising tide raises all ships.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Virtual 10k triumph!!!!

Today I ran my first ever virtual 10k sponsored by racingwithbabes. My only goal was to beat my best 10k race time, well my only 10k race time, lol. So goal time to beat is 58:23. I'd planned to get up early before clients got here and run my 10k, but when I woke up and heard the rain pounding down that got nixed. So I went back to sleep and got up an hour later for my group, (who totally rocks by the way!) Then I hurried off to teach spin...killer class! By now the weather had cleared, so I could do my run outside, YAY! I like the treadmill, but it doesn't really seem fair to run a 10k race on it.

So ate some breakfast, did some chores and then headed out. My hubby took his garmin to Africa with him, so I didn't want to try and figure out an exact 10k so I just looped my exactly measured 5k route twice. As I got going, I was feeling kind of sluggish and kept thinking up all the justifications I would use for not meeting my goal. I didn't get enough sleep, I did a killer leg workout yesterday, still recovering from the 56 mile ride on Thursday, already did spin class, you never run as fast by yourself as in a "real" race, its hot outside..... on and on... Then as I hit the 1/4 way
mark, I realized I was ahead of my needed pace! WOOHOO!

My legs still felt like lead..... but it was encouraging. When I finished the first loop of my 5k route and headed out for the second loop, I was still ahead! On the way back I have my "5 minute" mark. Meaning I know that I will be done in 5 minutes. Ok, right on schedule to do it! What a surprise, I was sure I wouldn't make it. Coming back into the subdivision it was all I could do to keep putting one leg in front of the other... My friends lawn looked so inviting, I just wanted to collapse on it! But I had to make it to Karen's mailbox, the magic finish line. About a hundred yards out, I gave everything I had, "GO LEGS GO" Crossed the line at 57:40!!!!!!!!!! 43 seconds better than my 10k last year!! The Pink Flamingo flies again!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The end of the beginning

Ok, so when Mark left for Texas, I started changing my eating habits... totally cut out sugar and started counting every calorie. I also ramped up the exercise. I kept walking and added in some little jogs. I mean really little! Like 30 seconds little. But within a few weeks I actually attempted a full mile and did it!

That was when some friends talked me into doing a 5k. Whoa there, me running 3.1? I had never ever ever before run more than a mile. That seemed like a marathon!

But I found a training schedule for complete beginners like me and that's all it took. Give me a challenge based on numbers and i'm off. I love crunching numbers. Soon it was all about beating myself, being better today than I was yesterday.

Can we say ADDICTION? Best of all the running was exactly what I needed. The pounds started melting off! Now I was all about the time! I became a freak about pace and sprints, long runs, hills... it's a whole new world (break into song) but a world where I knew lingo, but no actual experience. My first real race was still a couple months away.

Then I started lifting weights with a trainer, WOW, another huge learning curve. But holy cow it felt incredible. Getting some rockin' muscles felt so good. Plus it tightened everything up in a way running couldn't. Well, by now my total loss was about 50lbs and it was time for Mark to come home. He knew I'd been working out, but really didn't know the extent of what I'd done. He didn't really take me too seriously when I told him I wanted to become a trainer. But he'd missed the "transformation", so I didn't get upset.

The weekend he was coming home was Andrew's state basketball tournament, and he was going to miss all of it. So sad and depressing.... But we both got to surprise each other that day! He drove all night long and made it home in time for the last two games. Surprise for me! And I was wearing jeans that were 3 sizes smaller than when he left. Surprise for him! I have to admit it was awesome! He kept hugging me and then looking at me, then hugging me again.

The next week (oh, btw Andrew's team won state!!) Mark came to workout with me and I kicked his trash! That's when he took my goal more seriously. For the first time in my whole life, I felt like I had a passion, something where I could really help people and change lives. Not something just to have a job, but be part of who I am, part of my heart.

First race came! Goal was to beat 30 min. Did it in 27:17! YAY!!! Now I was hooked for sure.

So between work, kids, house, running and training, I started picking the brains of everyone I knew who had anything to do with fitness. I spent my spare time reviewing every possible certification, trying to decide the best way to do it. Checked out the trade colleges.... not the best way, tuition was $15,000, yeah, let me pull that out of my back pocket! Finally decided on 3 possibilities. Also decided, that I needed to work at a gym to get a better idea what I wanted to do. Started at 24 hr fitness, and the manager helped me figure it out.

Now to pay for it. My sweet darling husband took care of everything. He worked extra and then talked to my mom about it. Between the two of them they gave me my tuition for my birthday. Wow, it's really happening! I'm not just talking about it anymore. Can you believe my amazing family? Sacrificing to make my dream come true! I studied and studied. Muscles and bones, scared me to death. I never took anatomy, and now I had to learn it all on my own. ARGHHH!

To make it even worse, there were some others at work studying for the same exam, and one of them had to take it 4 times. That does alot for your confidence. Especially since he had been teaching group fitness for years and was incredible. Then another friend had to take it twice, also fabulous group instructor. I didn't know if I could do it. I probably put it off way to long, just out of fear.

Finally I set a deadline, well Mark did. He didn't want to pay for another extension. but I did it! Passed on the first try!

That gets me almost up to date. So, that's it the story of how I lost the weight and changed my whole life, my families lives and now onto to world!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Okay, so here comes the funny humiliating moment.... only funny because it's no longer true...

My dear, darling friend Kristen celebrated her 40th at Disne
yland accompanied by a bundle of crazy friends. So we spent the week running around the park like a bunch of nine year old girls having the time of our lives. The Matterhorn is one of the all time best rollercoasters, of course and it's better at night! So we are all in line, I think there were 10 of us that day and the line is crazy long so they are stuffing people in the cars. Well me and Tiff were the last two and the other girlies had all gotten in two per seat, so we climb in the front seat of the car and crammed the two of us in there. And I do mean cram, I was still about 50 lbs over goal weight and Tiff was rounder then too.

!!!! Tiffany wants me to mention here that she is not the same size anymore either, lest anyone think the two of us are still a bit chubby!!!!

Well there was definitely no need for safety belts on that ride! We could have done loop-d-loops and not budged. I think we smacked heads a million times before it was over. Well as the car r
ounded the last corner and saw the crazies waiting for us, they were laughing hysterically at us. I'm wondering whats going on and wave as they snapped pics. So after we pried ourselves out (wish we'd had a shoehorn), they pointed at the back seat....EMPTY!!! Oh, my GOSH.... what idiots we looked like, both of us chubby, smashed, squashed into the front seat for no reason. ARGHHHH!

ok, maybe it doesn't rank th
at high on the embarrassment scale, but you'd have laughed if it was on America's Funniest Home Videos.

Anyway, that was o
ne of many wake up calls. I look at pics from that trip and don't even recognize myself.

This is me with my Kristen, or Cinderella, she answered to both. As you hopefully can see, I've changed alot.

There were some other catalysts. The holiday season that year was particularly stressful and Mark was getting ready to leave for 10 weeks with the military. All in all not my favorite Christmas to remember. When he left is when the big changes started. After all I didn't have to cook for him, kids don't care what they eat so.....

Tired now, more story tomorrow......

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The story...

The story of my life... Where does it start? How do you suddenly wake up and realize you are over weight? Years and years of denial. I mean, I was never the skinny chick. But I wasn't the fat chick either. I yo-yo'd a little in high school and college, but never felt like I was huge. I did normal things, swim team, tennis lessons, dances, parties, band, debate, drama, had a good social life, some boyfriends, and of course caught myself a really awesome guy!

So when did it happen? Was it after baby number one? It took time, but I lost most of the weight. Then baby number two and three came very close to each other. Less weight came off this time. Built a house and the stress and lots of work took off some! YAY! Then babies number four and five came very fast. More weight and less time for me. Did more yo-yoing. Then number five went to school full time and I went to work, at a desk. Over the next year I put on more weight and hit an all time high.

My tipping point came when the two biggest pair of pants I owned were tight enough that I could barely do them up. And there was absolutely no way I was buying the next size.

Two things happened that set me on my way. This was in May 2008. First, at work, they started a biggest loser contest. A trainer came in and took our measurements and body fat, ugh! I discovered I was 37.7% body fat. I think that was among the most horrible moments of my life. Second, my friend Becky had just finished a contest--in which she took second! Go Becky! And she wanted to keep going. So she started a biggest loser for friends and family. So in I go... Well her fitness consultant met with all of us to get us started and I again found that I was 37% body fat. Two witnesses, I am definitely fat, in fact I qualified as obese. Complete humiliation was mine.

After the summer when both ended, I had lost a few pounds, but nothing significant. I had however started changing some habits. Now I walked at break time, and ate a little less. I was consistently inconsistent, and thus didn't see the greatest results. But again headed in the right direction.

Ok, it's late. And I have clients coming at 6am.... so i'm going to bed, but tomorrow I will reveal one of the funniest, most humiliating moments of my entire life. Sorry Tiffany, I'm sharing it with the world! g'night

Monday, May 17, 2010

There's a first time for everything!

Well, here I am. Finally after much peer pressure (Liz), I am entering the world of blogging. Why wait so long? Fear. Fear that I have nothing to say worth reading. Fear that I might run out of something to say. Fear that I'll say the wrong thing and it's out there forever, for all posterity to make fun of. Ok, maybe that's going a little far, but really, who wants to know what's on my mind?

Solution? Write to myself. Partly to remind myself of my own personal journey and partly because it keeps me accountable for my training and nutrition. I have made huge changes in the last 2 years (tell you about that in another post) and I don't want to go back. Plus through the coaxing of friends (Brian) I have become addicted to triathlons, (MaryAnne) running, and (Dear Hubby) cycling. So now, I have training schedules to keep and it is sometimes overwhelming to a number cruncher like me.

So welcome to my new athletic life!