Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Top of Utah Half Marathon 2012

As I look over my last 12 months of posts, the only thing I've consistently posted about are my half marathons. But why mess up a good thing? I like having a record of my runs and this is where that record is kept.

In July I ran the Hobbler half. A very nice run I was not ready for, but I was okay with that and got to run with my wonderful sister, Crystal. During that run she told me about a freind of hers who trained for a marathon by running intervals 5 days a week and then her long run. This freind got her best time ever. SOLD. By the time we finished that run I was committed to that plan for a few reasons 1) I have kind of hated running these last few months.  2) Because of my hating running, I loved the idea of doing less of it. Intervals take about 30 minutes a day. 30 minutes vs. 1 hour? Not rocket science.

So, this is what I did--three or four days a week I did the Body for Life cardio interval run which consists of 3 minutes of walking warm up. Then running one minute at your '6' (on a scale of one to ten, what pace is a 6 for you? Not MPH) then one minute at a 7, one at 8, and one at 9, then back to 6. You do this set of 6,7,8,9 four times and on the fourth set you add an additional minute at your '10'. then you do 3 minutes of cool down. The whole thing, start to finish, takes 23 minutes and it's brutal, but it's over with quicker than an episode of Spongebob. I usually add a couple minutes of walking to either side, but still, it's 30 minutes, it's indoors (for me, you can do it outdoors too), and I got to do it at the same time my husband did his exercise which was fun.

Then, on Friday or Saturday (usually) I would do a long run. Most of the long runs were with my friend Cory Web, and that was awesome. We would meet at a trail half way between our homes and run and talk and run and talk. I looked forward to those runs because she was there, and that made it possible for me. I was able to work some long runs with other partners here and there as well and I did a couple by myself, which were only tolorable because I only did them a couple of times.

My longest long run was 10 miles two weeks before the race. I meant to run 12 the next week but didn't make it work so the Tuesday before the race I ran 9--this is not recommended, to do a long run the week of the race, but I didn't feel I had a choice. I by no means pushed it in my training--not for speed, not for distance, not for terrain--I just did what felt like the minimum amount I could do and still expect a decent result.

Then came race day, the ultimate test. Lee and I went to Logan the night before and had dinner and went to a movie--I'm loving this new tradition of ours, makes the races even more fun. I got my packet nice and easy and while I love the design of the shirt, it's black. I hate running in the heat so there was no way I will ever wear that shirt in the sun. I took two 3mg Melatonin to help me sleep, but they didn't help too much, I was tossing and turning most of the night. The next morning I was up at 4:15 and waiting for the shuttle from the hotel by 4:35. The Shuttle was almost 30 minutes late, which was annoying but it gave me time to drink a bunch of water and eat my PB & J sandwich I'd brought from home.

I took the shuttle to the main pick up, hooked up with my friend Holly, and got in line for the buses. I took half of my 5 hour energy and saved the other half for later. It was really cold and while I was uncomfortable until the race started, I was encouraged by the idea that it woudln't get as hot as last year, which was 87 degrees by 8:00 in the morning. Holly is much faster than I am so she took off soon after the race started and I hung back a little bit, started up my iPod and jumped in about half way through the pack. I really hate running with the pack and will probably wait for the end in the future. It's annoying to be dodging people for the first six miles, until things thined out.

I made great time down the canyon, 8:50/miles and pulled out my 5 hour energy at mile 7, waiting for a water stop so I could wash it down. No water stop until mile 9 (where the course also starts going uphill), then I spilled half of it when I grabbed my cup. I was feeling it by then and ticked that I'd forgotten the spacing of the stops. I did this exact thing last year and really hope I remember to take it next year at mile 6. Anyway, by mile ten my pace was down to 10:10/mile. I'd been watching my Garmin at each mile and for awhile had entertained the idea that I could come in under 2 hours, but by Mile 11 I had given up that dream. I was hoping now to simply beat my PR (Personal Record) and come in before 2:07. I was able to keep my feet moving and crossed the finish line with 2:02:56.

Could. Not. Be. Happier. Not only am I thrilled with my time, but TOU was a really miserable race for me last year and so conquering it was awesome. Knowing that my interval training method worked was also awesome. Having Holly at the finish waiting for me was another awesome tidbit. She, BTW, did awesome and took 1st place in her age category! Inspiring.

Despite how well it went, however, I'm not doing another 1/2 until January at the earliest. I am frustrated with my weight right now, which continues to creep up on me, and am looking to impliment a different work out plan for a little while in hopes of building some muscle and increasing my metabolism. Running, for all the good it does, seems to make me hold on to the weight and it makes me very hungry so I'm going to try something else and then see what the new years holds.

BUT, this run also helped me check off another of my yearly goals--run 3 half marathons. I am very happy about that and feel good about changing things up a little bit.

All in all, a very good run. Now, on to the next adventure.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tres Leches Cupcakes Contest!

A new book and a new contest!
This contest is to win copies of my books--any book in the series, including Tres Leches Cupcakes—pronounced trays lay-chays—which will be released the first week of September 2012. The contest starts with 3 copies up for grabs, but I will add more book-prizes for every 50 entries into the contest, keeping the odds good regardless of how many people participate. The more entries, the more prizes!

Multiple entries are encouraged!

Here's how to enter:

  • Join my newsletter list at (If you are already on the newsletter list, you already have one entry.)
  • Blog about the contest and book release. (email with the link which will be posted on my website--copy and paste information available at
  • Comment on a blog about the contest and the book release. (blogs will be posted at
  • Facebook about the contest and release. (email—one FB entry per person)
  • Tweet about the contest and release. (email—one Twitter entry per person)
  • Attend a live event on or before September 15th. (events listed at

I would love, love, love to give you a book, so please spread the word and play along!

Happy Reading!