Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm Committed, Now.

"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves.
It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go.
It helps us to find out what we are made of.
This is what we do. This is what it's all about."
~PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

I can't even believe I'm doing this. I signed up this morning. Registered and paid.
I'm committed.
I'm running a race. Oh my gosh. Help me now.

If you are local and want to run with me sign up here. I can't promise that I will actually run WITH you because I'm kinda slow, but we can at least meet up for a picture and celebrate afterward.
Also, it's a "women only" race. Sorry, men! You can come cheer me on and take pictures (because hello?!?, this MUST be documented) and be ready with a cold bottle of chocolate milk at the end.

The girl at Salt Lake Running Company, where I bought my fabulous sports bra, told me that this was a great first race to run. Also, its date in early October will offer a cool brisk air, as well as allow me to recover after I get home from Italy and maybe even work off the pounds of gelato I plan to gain.

Oh, and yes, I'm aware that this is a 6k and I've been training for a 5k. But what's another kilometer when you're already on a roll? Eeep. I'm about to start Week 7 in C25k, so I'll get there. But right now, I just feel like screaming; I can't even believe I'm doing this. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Couch-to-5k: Week 5 Day 3. Success!

"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day.
It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"

~Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner

Salt Lake City at sunset
August 2011

Last night as the sun was beginning to set, I chose to bite the bullet and be strong instead of opting for easier wimp status. I had been putting off W5D3 for a couple days, fearing the amount of running it required.

Let me illustrate the Couch-to-5k Running Plan for you, so you get the idea behind why I was delaying W5D3.

Week 1 Day 1: 5 minute brisk walk to warm up, then alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes, then 5 minute walk to cool down
Week 1 Day 2: Repeat
Week 1 Day 3: Repeat

W2D1: 5 minute brisk walk to warm up, then alternate 90 seconds of jogging with 120 seconds of walking for 20 minutes, then 5 minute walk to cool down
W2D2: Repeat
W2D3: Repeat

W3D1: 5 minute brisk walk to warm up, then do this twice: jog 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds, jog 180 seconds, walk 180 seconds, then 5 minute walk to cool down
W3D2: Repeat
W3D3: Repeat

W4D1: 5 minute brisk walk to warm up, jog 3 minutes, walk 1:30 minutes, jog 5 minutes, walk 2:30 minutes, jog 3 minutes, walk 1:30 minutes, jog 5 minutes, then 5 minute walk to cool down
W4D2: Repeat
W4D3: Repeat

W5D1: 5 minute brisk walk to warm up, then alternate 5 minutes of jogging and 3 minutes walking for 20 minutes, then 5 minute walk to cool down
W5D2: 5 minute brisk walk to warm up, then jog for 8 minutes, walk for 5 minutes, jog for 8 minutes, then 5 minute walk to cool down

Can you see the rapid increase in the last week or so? Now we get to W5D3... the one I was dreading, the one I'd been fearing since I'd looked ahead to future workouts sometime in week 2.

W5D3: 5 minute brisk walk to warm up, then jog for 20 minutes with no walking, then 5 minute walk to cool down

Um, excuse me? Who wrote this program? Seriously, I'm supposed to jump from a max of 8 minutes continuously running to 20 minutes? Just like that?

Well, whoever wrote this program knows what's what because I did it! I ran non-stop for 20 minutes. I don't think I've ever done that in my life, and what's more? It was relatively easy. Wow. I almost have no words to describe the incredible feeling of accomplishment I had last night. I did not even have one bout of the "tightness-in-my-lungs/heart-I'm-going-to-die" shortness of breath. I'm a runner. I can't even believe it!

I had been putting off W5D3 for a couple of days, after I completed W5D2 on a treadmill. The treadmill run was my easiest run to date. I'm not sure if that's normal, but it was great. But I was just nervous about that 20 minute stretch of pure running (jogging). I'll admit that I kept telling myself that if I wasn't able to hack the full 20 minutes, that I could try again tomorrow. So initially, I set myself a goal to at least run 10 minutes. When I reached the 10 minute mark, I thought, oh just run the rest of the way home, at which point I was only 4:30 shy of 20 minutes, so I just kept going and ran around the block again.

Now, I can hardly wait to get back to W6D1. Seeing genuine progress is so motivating. So is rewarding myself with a glass of chocolate milk after each run. Did you know that chocolate milk is the best post-workout drink you can have due to its perfect combination of carbohydrates and protein? Well, now you do, so maybe that will add to your motivation. :)

The C25k plan really trains your body to build endurance with all the intervals of walking and jogging. Week 6 has more intervals and then ends with 25 minutes of running/jogging on W6D3.

I cannot even believe that *my* body (not to mention my mind) did this! It's really quite possible that I'll be running that 5k in October. Mid-week 4, I thought it was completely impossible that my body would ever get used to this. Now, I'm actually excited about it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Our Divine Creator.

"The more we learn about the universe,
the less it looks like a great machine and the more it looks like a great thought."
~Sir Arthur Eddington, British astronomer

I just saw this video and wanted to share. The images are incredible and thought provoking. John Lewis, the scientist in the video, presents a thoughtful, intelligent perspective on God and religion, which is refreshing. I really like when he talks about how our two eyes work together, and how science and religion are like two eyes or two witnesses.

God, our Heavenly Father, loves us, all of us, and He has prepared a plan for us all to return to live in heaven with Him and our families again. In the LDS Church, we often call this "The Plan of Happiness". He wants us to be happy. Knowing where I came from, what my purpose is, and where I'm going gives me something to reach for and look forward to, and offers beautiful assurance and hope when life is hard.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hiking to Cecret Lake in Albion Basin.

"Doubly happy, however, is the man to whom lofty mountain tops are within reach."
~John Muir

Cecret Lake in Albion Basin, Utah
August 15, 2011
Last night I hiked up to Cecret Lake in the Albion Basin, more than 9,000 feet above sea level, with the Singles Ward. It's situated in the middle of Snowbird and Alta ski resorts, and yes, it's spelled with a C.

It was a moderately easy 35-minute hike up, although, I did have one short bout of the "this-is-abnormally-high-elevation-and-my-heart-and-lungs-can't-seem-to-remember-how-to-function-properly-and-this does-not-feel-normal-and-do-I-have-asthma?-because-I-truly-feel-like-I'm-going-to-die..." shortness of breath that I get every once in awhile when I exert myself on hikes (or walk quickly up four flights of stairs). That was a success. I'm not really sure what it is because it's not the normal "I feel out of shape" shortness of breath. It's different. Much much different. Scary different. But anyway...

Cecret Lake is nestled in the mountains at about 9,500 feet above sea level, which is pretty high for this native San Franciscan who has spent the majority of her life at less than a couple hundred feet. To give you some perspective: my home in San Francisco sits approximately 100 feet above sea level and my home in Salt Lake City is approximately 4200 feet above sea level. So Cecret Lake more than doubles that... but it's beautiful. There was still snow up there. Not lots, but definite large patches.

The Albion Basin is liberally littered with beautiful wildflowers that are especially radiant this time of year. They make you want to just skip through fields with your arms outstretched singing something like "The hills are alive..." Either that or pretend you're Heidi.

Despite nine mosquito bites, I just really had a great time. The weather was beautiful, a perfect temperature, in my opinion (no hot hikes, please). And I met (and re-met) some really fun people, both once we arrived at the lake and in the carpool ride up to the trail-head. Good conversations.

What a beautiful Monday evening it was. I'm so happy that I've had opportunities to get out and experience all that is beautiful Utah. Utah's newest tourism slogan is "Life Elevated," and I think it's rather fitting.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Random Thoughts for a Monday.

"The future depends on what we do in the present."
~Mahatma Gandhi

Nicaraguan Island Home
January 2008

About two weeks ago, I was doorbell-ditched by three little kids. :) I didn't answer at first because I knew what was happening. I finally did and they started laughing and running away. Then, they came back to introduce themselves to me. SO funny!

I miss the cloudy/thunderstormy summer we were having last month. Now, it's pretty much remaining cloudlessly in the mid 90s. I love the unexpected afternoon thunderstorms. LOVE them!

I still have that NYC trip post up my sleeve. Get ready. It's coming.

Being single only means you're patient enough to wait for someone you deserve and who really deserves you.

If you want your car to smell good, put a box of dryer sheets in an inconspicuous place. Then park in the heat of the sun in the middle of the day.

When I had a dream that one of my ex-boyfriends had a sex change and turned into petite woman about 5'5", I knew it was a nightmare and that I didn't want to find out what it "meant."

The hardest step of running for me is not the first one out the door, but the one about 22 minutes into it. :)

Never, never look at your 401k account the morning after the largest meltdown the stock market has seen since the onset of the most recent recession. Again, resist the urge the next morning when stocks have dropped even lower. Don't follow my example on this one. I'm more than obsessive about it, but we won't go there right now.

I'd like to live overseas again. I know I've said this before, but it's true. Maybe on an island. Like the one pictured above. An island home.

When attempting the Countries of the World Quiz on, don't forget that South Sudan has recently been declared the newest sovereign nation.

Always splurge on a Friday afternoon chair massage at the office. Totally worth it. (Especially when you wake up with a knot near your right shoulder blade which prohibits you from turning your head when changing lanes.)

Last night, after watching "The Social Network," I got online and got immediately on Facebook. Interesting world we live in.

Four weeks down, five to go on The Couch-to-5k running plan! I'm set for W5D1 tomorrow morning. (That's Week 5, Day 1.) Eeek.

I'm going to Italy in 30 days. More on that soon, but I'm so excited. Wahoo!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Bountiful Baskets: Just another peek.

"Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon."
~Doug Larson

I just can't resist showing you what I got this week from Bountiful Baskets. I promise not to post every time I pick up my basket, but those cucumbers were just so delicious! I don't eat potatoes very often, so I'm going to have to come up with something now that I've had two weeks in a row of potatoes. Oh, and the peaches! Yum. So incredibly delicious! Nono would be proud of me. I think he's smiling down on me, laughing that it took me so long to come to appreciate the pure deliciousness of a ripe, juicy peach. :) But now I love them!

Happy eating!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Word of the Day: Orthography.

"When our spelling is perfect, it's invisible.
But when it's flawed, it prompts strong negative associations."

~Marilyn vos Savant

Photo found here.

From my Page-A-Day Calendar last Thursday:

\ȯr-ˈthä-grə-fē\ n *1: correct spelling
2: a way or style of spelling

*English orthography was not yet regularized in medieval times, so words often had many different spellngs.

Did You Know?
"It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word!" That quote, ascribed to Andrew Jackson, might have been the motto of early English spelling. The concept of orthography (a term that derives from the Greek words orthos, meaning "right or true," and graphein, "to write") was not something that really concerned people until the introduction of the printing press in England in the second half of the 15th century. From then on, English spelling became progressively more uniform and has remained fairly stable since the 1755 publication of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language (with the notable exception of certain spelling reforms, such as changing "musick" to "music," that were championed by Noah Webster).

Who knew?! Poor spelling drives me crazy. It's rampant and I just don't get why people don't hire proof-readers. I'm not claiming to be a perfect speller, myself. People make mistakes, I understand that. But when you're printing something for a large audience or to market your product or to announce your wedding, don't forget that we live in the 21st century and we care about correct spelling. Please, please, please use spell-check and then, hire a proof-reader. Better yet? Hire me. :)