What’s beautiful? What isn’t!

When I was younger, there was the unreasonable belief that unless you’re bone thin, you aren’t beautiful.  I would see many “thinspiration” photos around my friends and myself.  Now it’s been replaced by something else, “fitspiration.”  When instead of bone thin, you’re just thin with toned muscles.  Sometimes I see really curvy women with the label curves are beautiful.  Is one unreasonable beauty ideal really better than the others? I can run 20 miles like it’s no business, but I will never look like one of this “strong is sexy” models.  I’m petite and while I did hit puberty at some point I will also never be the “curvy is sexy” type either.  I’m okay with that because I am achieving my athletic and personal goals and although I won’t ever look like any stereotypical beautiful category  I don’t think that’s any less beautiful or sexy.   Your dreams and goals are what makes your beautiful.

Where am I going with this? Besides a small rant that our views of beauty are really warped?  Well, here goes as part of my partnership with Fitfluential, I’m participating in the What’s Beautiful campaign.  Under Armour just launched the third round of their What’s Beautiful campaign. It’s a competition to redefine beauty by encouraging and empowering women to set goals and then achieve them.

What I love most is the diversity of women who are showcasing the progress of their goals.  Athleticism isn’t defined by a stereotypical look!

How to sign up:

  1. Sign up on the What’s Beautiful website to create a page
  2. Come up with a goal for yourself. It can be as vague or specific as you’d like. Short-term or long-term goals welcomed and anything in between
  3. Upload your challenges. It shows that you’re working towards, or have completed an achieved goal. The entire What’s Beautiful community can see these goals on your page so that’s extra motivation, they can help you achieve them and cheer you on.

Best part besides sharing in a great community of female empowerment? Free Under Armour swag or better yet a trip to Cost Rica! Each week, Under Armour will be giving away swag bags full of loot to participants. they will feature top performers on their website. after 8 weeks, they will announce 10 finalists who have documented the most impressive & motivated journeys toward the goals. mid-july, winners will be announced! three winners will receive a trip to Costa Rica for a 4-day retreat.

Plus you can follow me, join my team and create your own.

My personal goal is to run 500 miles this summer (June-August).  Summer heat and  running is my least favorite season but I can’t achieve my Fall running goals without it.

My team’s goal? To run new distances in new places.  There is always a new city, street, or path to explore and run further than you’ve run before.  Redefine beauty with nature’s beauty.

What are your goals?  

50 Miler Peak!

The plan – Run 20 Miles on the trails Saturday, Run Cox marathon on Sunday

If I succeed, I am ready for TARC 50 miler and I’ll keep my spot.  If I want to die, I’ll switch to volunteering/eating instead.

Progress thus far

Best way to run a 20 miler? Almost break yourself around mile 10.  I started to cry and turn to go home, then I realized that there is no way I am getting through 50 miles, if I give up and cry over one fall with 10 miles.  Womaned myself up and got going!  Saw a lot of really fast runners on the trail.  I decided I will happily accept being the slowest as long as I can finish.

Step 2 – Providence Marathon – Goal is for a sub 4 but a finish will be good enough!

50 Miler – Week 18 Recap

Week 18… Over 4 months of working on my 50 miler goal and I still feel nervous.  I worry I haven’t spent enough time on my feet or trails.  I worry about the darkness, I worry a lot.  Sorry friends and family, but I have  less than 5 weeks left before the big night and I’ll probably be babbling about whether I think I can or can’t on an hourly occurrence.  Also I’m looking for recommendations on headlamps for the race.  Yea, you figure the girl whose planning on running 50 miles in the dark for the past half year would have one, nope, I was never a boy scout, I am never prepared.

Anyways week 18, a week after taking a full week off from running… My withdrawal symptoms did get a bit scary (day 5 is the worse) but coming back into the routine had a comfort that very few things could replace at the moment.

Monday – 2.62 Miles
It was in the hotel gym.  Running after sunbathing for an hour in the Vegas sun in a hot hotel gym, yea not smart.

Tuesday – 7 Miles – 61 Minutes
I was nervous after having two failed runs in the hotel gym after a week off. Luckily, I prefer to blame the weather.  Not that Tuesday was any better with 70 degrees in Boston.  However, even with 4 hours of sleep and heat, I got 8:42 pace.  I’ll call it a transition run?

Wednesday – 14 Miles 1 hr 54 min
I call this the getting my confidence back.  8:08 average pace which includes warm up and cool down.  Maybe the vacation didn’t kill all endurance.

Thursday – 6.2 Miles 55 min
Repetitive work gym run on incline 3

Friday – 6.2 Miles 55 min
Repetitive work gym run on incline 3, same as the day before

Saturday – 13.27 Miles 2hr 26min
I wanted to do 20 miles but I slept in until half my day was gone.  Damn being sick & jet-lag  11 min pace with 11+ trail miles in the Fells!  After spending a week in the dry canyon west, I was happy to return to my tree lined trails.  I wish I woke up early enough to meet up with TARC but those 8AM meet up are too far from me for me to ever make it on time.

Sunday – 20 Miles
My favorite running day of the week. 13 miles on the Quincy Half marathon (7:32 Pace) and 7 miles after eating a snack and changing an hour later.  The second run felt really difficult.  I do double runs regularly but I usually have several hours to recover in between.  My legs post race felt heavy but I knew I could do it, how else am I surviving 12 hours of running?  First 2 miles felt horrible, next 3 felt great,  but the last 2 I was glad to be over.  I stuck to an 8:30 pace but i as not going to run a mile more than 20.  So even though it took about .3 miles for the Garmin to sync, you bet you I counted those towards mileage!

Total mileage – 69

Total feelings – Happy to be running!

How did your week go?

Half of Quincy Half Marathon Race Recap

I originally signed up for this race as a Boston Prep speed test check on March 10th.  Then mother nature of New England decided to dump buckets (2 feet) of snow the day before the race.  The city freaked out and canceled the race.  You see, it’s been a rough few weeks for Boston area runners.  Snow and rain for Hyannis marathon, and a full out cancellation for the Hampton, NH half.  So a big part of me was not expecting much luck in a race.  Then the race director surprised us with a new date or an option to defer to next year!

KUDOS!!!

Very few times has a race been rescheduled after cancellation.   And if it has, I have never had an option to defer to next year! I thought about deferring next year, but there was some questions about Quincy allowing the race to happen in 2013, and I didn’t want to risk it for 2014.

So new date May 5th it was!  I think registration was only $45 or $50.  The race started at 8AM.  Since it was a fairly small race, there was a limited number pick up on Saturday (2-4PM at the Y) and most runners grabbing their bibs before the race.

I woke up at 6:45 (I know not a good idea for a race 30 minutes away that starts at 8AM).  In my defense I’m currently battling a cold that’s trying to destroy me.  I usually prep my clothes the night before, but felt too sick and tired.  There was a slight panic at 6:45 when I realized it was going to be high 40s and all my capri pants were dirty.  As much as I didn’t want to, I dug out my winter tights with a grumble and a whole lot of resentment.  It’s May!

On the bright side, I sweet talked Tony into driving me to the start line after some record breaking breakfast eating. On the downside, I gave Tony the wrong directions and got us lost on the way to the race.  GPS, I am not.

Sorry, no self photo for this race.  I was tired, sick and not looking like my pink usual self.

Luckily the closed roads didn’t create much issues in getting to the starting line even at 7:45AM.  I got my number, got my free shirt, checked my bag, visited the bathroom and was at the starting line by 7:57!  I patted myself on the head and brushed my shoulder off right before the bag pipes started.  We had a moment of silence for Boston, and I don’t think I’ve seen as many slightly teary eyes during a national anthem before.

I AM Boston I WILL Run

This little card was in our swagbag.

Anyways the gun went off at like 8:01 and the first 5 miles were a fast blur.  If only the last 5 miles ever felt as good as the first.

I’ve looked at the course map (below) but I had no clue what elevation changes would be.  I said “Quincy is flat, right?.”

Half of Quincy Map

To be fair, although only a few miles from Boston, and one stop off the red line, I have only been to Quincy once.  And that once was to go to Fat Cat after watching a saliva dripping episode of Phantom Gourmet.

Anyways, as I mentioned, the first 5 miles were fast.  Then there was a small bump but nothing too bad.  Next few miles were okay enough.  My pace was dropping and not towards the faster direction…  Then the hills came.  They weren’t large, but enough to shock my body into wanting to stop.  Mile 11, 12, 13 were no longer a blur.  Instead it was slow and I tried to push myself into gear but my quads were clearing only speaking Spanish for Cinco De Mayo that day, because when I said go, they would walk.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the finish line in sight… until I realized I had to run on a track for about 1/4th a mile to reach it.  I have never stepped on a track before.  It felt weird and I tried to sprint but about 200 meters in I was about to throw up and had to walk a second.  How embarrassing!  I’m 200 meters from the finish line and I’m walking!  I wanted to kick myself!

The track that everyone says is good for speedwork didn’t seem so fast, it seemed slow and painful but I crossed the finish line 1:38:43.

Although my Garmin said I only ran 12.99, more than 1/10th of a mile short of the distance.  I know the course is measured and I’d like to think that I didn’t somehow cut off a block since I was following runners in front of me.  I guess I’ll call it a Garmin error?

Quincy Half Marathon

Positive split for the win?

Half of Quincy metal

The medals are super cool.  They’re smaller and lighter than others but I’m in love with the design.  I think the ribbon alone makes this my favorite medal I got in my drawer.

As I was looking up at the results, I got to meet Dani/Weight off my shoulders! Dani PRed on the course after just finishing the Boston Marathon!  I also got to meet her wife and father and invited myself into a ride home =).  Thank you Dani & family!

Quincy Half Food

After finishing the race, I went back to the school and was pleasantly surprised with the food.  At the finish line they had bananas and water, but back at the gym there were two or more tables of sandwiches!

Half of quincy Lunch

There were also two types of soup.  I grabbed a vegetable soup and a grilled veggie wrap and took it with me.

Overall, Quincy half was a great race.  Everything from number pick up, to starting line to finish line went smoothly.  Over 650 runners ran and while the roads were not fully closed (only one direction would be closed), the volunteers and police did such a great job that I was never worried about getting hit by a car.  My only suggestion is wishing they had women’s shirts.  The small they gave me was big and has been donated to Tony’s collection of race shirts Liana runs and Tony wears.

Total Time – 1:38:43
Pace 7:32M
Total Place 118/672
Division 18/111

Less than a minute from a PR!  Maybe if my legs were fresh and I tapered I could have PRed this race but I’m okay with my results.  My priority is the TARC 50 Milers and I must keep my eyes on the goal.

Hiking the Narrows – Zion National Park

The narrows refers to an area where the Virgin River has carved a spectacular gorge in the upper reaches of Zion Canyon: 16 miles long, up to 2,000-feet deep, and at times only 20 to 30-feet wide. However, hiking The Narrows means hiking in the Virgin River. At least 60 percent of the hike is spent wading, walking, and sometimes swimming in the river. You are literally chest deep into water on a good day.  There is no maintained trail because the route is the river. The current is swift, the water is cold, and the rocks underfoot are slippery.

When we did the hike, the current was described at “moderate” and water was a bone chilling 40 degrees Fahrenheit   A permit is required for the 16-mile top-down hike through The Narrows. A permit is not required for hiking The Narrows from the bottom up.  I’m not even sure if the top-down hike was open when we were visiting in April, so instead we ventured bottom-up approach.

Zion Narrows 2

Before we could start the hike, I knew we had to get equipment.  I knew that after almost freezing in tropical water, I needed a dry-suit for this hike.  I woke up the boys and of we went to Zion Adventure.   This styling little number costs about $52 a day to rent and comes with your very own walking stick, boots and neoprene socks.

Zion Narrows 3

While the water was only 40 degrees, the air temperature climbed up to 70, so needless to say things got a little warm in there.  And if you’re wondering if that walking stick is really necessary? I can tell you yes, yes it is.  I fell right from the start even with the stupid stick.

Zion Narrows 1

When you get off the shuttle, the hike starts with a one mile paved walked before you hit the water.  I continued my squirrel photography and if you want to get really strange looks, walk by a bunch of people chilling in a dry-suit.  I think someone at one point burst out laughing at us.

Zion Narrows 5

Within a few minutes of walking, we were waist deep in water.  Sadly, those times were not captured since I value my camera and am currently accepting all donations for a waterproof case.

Zion Narrows 4

We rented a drysack thing to hold my camera and phone but we quickly found out it was not waterpoof.  Poor Tony held it and worked very hard not to fall while the rest of our group would drop like flies on a random rock.

Zion Narrows 6

Every time we hit a sandy beach, the boys would decide it was time for a break

Zion Narrows 7

In about a mile and a half we reached a forkroad.  We could walk down Wall Street or the other (I forgot the name).

Zion Narrows 8

We started with the other, which was more shallow and had more plant life.  We then made our way back.

Zion Narrows 9

What the other lacked in water, it made up with some serious rock climbing.  Although part of me thinks we just hiked past the designated trail.  Things got way too hard, way too fast.

Zion Narrows 10

Wall Street kinda of resembled this only the water was chest deep.  Since you’re walking against the stream, you are using your stick as a third leg to push you forward.  Very draining and snacking had to occur often to refuel.

Zion Narrows 11

Needless to say, coming back was easier.  You see the drysuits get filled with air and turn you into a floatable device.  You can basically relax and float your way back down.  Except poor Tony, because he had to hold up my camera from the water.  He doesn’t look like he minded at all, plus he was a champ at this.

Zion Narrows 12

And how do you reward yourself after a treacherous battle with water? You don’t share your ice cream! Bwahaha.

2013 Boston Marathon Race Recap

I’m a little delayed on posting this because how do you recap a race that caused you a week of fear and worry and many things worse for so many others? I walked by Boylston yesterday during lunch and still trembled while almost on the verge of tears (I was alone). Its hard not feeling an incredible weight of doom when I walk through Back Bay but at the same time feel an incredible amount of pride for humanity at each race or run I’ve done since.  I’m not over what happened but I’m incredibly lucky and I’m moving forward (because I was lucky enough that I can).  As terrible as things got, there were 27,000 runners who had some major accomplishments whether they finished or not.  I’ll be running in 2014 because I think it’s important to not let anyone change the lifestyle you believe in.  We own the streets.  We are Boston Strong, We will run.

This will be a race report on the race and not what happened afterwards.  If you want to help with a donation, I still believe the official Boston One Fund is the best and honest way (because I really don’t trust all these t-shirt selling/landfillers etc set ups).   If you feel my race report is wrong, I’m sorry, I have plenty of other posts you can read instead.

2013 Boston Marathon Race Report

The morning started relatively routine.  I got up as last-minute as I could.  Around 6:45 and was trying to be in Boston by 7:30 for the shuttle to Hopkinton. I planned on making coffee but in typical fashion I ran out of time.

Boston Marathon 38

I did find time to hug Jack for good luck!

Boston Marathon 37

Tony made me two peanut butter sandwiches to eat on the bus ride over.  I wasn’t going to make the same mistake of not bringing my own fuel for the second year.  I stand on my view that powerbars are one of the most disgusting things you can eat before a race, esp those weird ones at the village.  And one of the worst memories from 2012 was me starving so badly that I called Tony last year to bring me food mid marathon on his scooter!

Boston Marathon 36

I got to the athlete’s village around 8:30/9 and met up with Colleen, whose crazy butt ran a 50K on a crazy trail at Blue Hills less than 24 hours before. The village was a buzzing of excitement, and anticipation!  The porta potty lines were crazy long and I think the reason you have to get to the Athlete Village early is so you can wait on a 2 hour bathroom line.  I contemplated peeing in a corner of a field instead but luckily Colleen’s running club had a bus with a bathroom and I spared a small population a disturbing sight.

At the starting line I also bumped into Robin who was in my corral.  We started together and I was going to try to keep up with her and a 7:30 pace.  However, it felt so good to be running faster and the downhill made it easy and all the fast runners made me feel like I should be running faster, that I completely went out of pace and ran too fast.  I don’t regret it, it felt great to be running at 7:10 pace on the downhills and I still don’t know if I believe going slower would have made me finish faster.

Boston Marathon Sign 3

Around mile 12 I saw Katharina, her daughters and awesome sign!  Team DailyMile FTW!

Boston Marathon 31

She got this awesome photo of me where I think my brain was kinda like “I think I can, I think I can, choo choo!” It’s funny how when you run downhill for several miles even the flat path feels like a wall.  Luckily around mile 15 there were a nice steep downhill right before the heart attack hills started aka Newton Hills to bring your confidence up just before punching you in the gut.  Last time I met these hills was a year ago.  Funny how, I forgot how painful they could be.  Heartbreak hill didn’t break me, that was all the way at mile 20, it was the first two bumps that did the job way before that instead.  By mile 18 I couldn’t lift my legs.  They felt like lead.  I was munching on Chomp gummies hoping the sugar will help but hunger and eating was the last thing I wanted.

At mile 20 my friend Dan was going to meet me.  My phone by mile 18 was dead and I started worrying that I won’t find him but luckily I did.  The plan was that he was going to pace me for the last 6 miles at a 7:30 pace. HA!! It seemed like a perfectly reasonable place since the last 6 miles are mostly downhill.  HA!

Luckily around mile 21 I saw Ana & Melinda to cheer us on.  That got me moving for a little bit.  I regretful didn’t take a photo with them this year =(

Boston Marathon DanTony got this awesome photo of Dan telling everyone to cheer on!  Look at the excitement!

Boston Marathon 32Tony, my roommate and a few of our other friends were holding these signs, Jack stayed up all night working on.  JK Adrienne is the talent in the house.

Boston Marathon 34If you’re wondering what’s happening here? It me hoping that Dan will forget about me, keeping running and I can just roll over to the side and take a nap.  The girl on her phone won’t even notice I’m there!  I don’t remember marathons being so painful but I could barely respond in one word answers.  And I think my pace was probably more at 8:30 than the 7:30s I dreamed of.
Boston Marathon Sign 2

Another sign I ran by around mile 23 from more friends! ❤  Tony’s parents also saw me on the course too and I’m sad I missed them.

Dan giving me the stink eye as I try to justify walking.  I think the conversation went like this.  Dan – Okay next stop light, no more walking, we’re gonna run.  Liana – No response and starts walking slower to avoid getting to the next stop light.

Dan, not gonna lie, I thought about tripping you.  I had no energy to use words, but the thought was there!

Boston Marathon 33

At the start of Boylston, about 1/3 of a mile, Dan left me to finish the race on my own with a warning of no walking.  I think I was so terrified that I sprinted ahead and plus I wanted to pass a few people after being passed by so many.

Boston Marathon Splits

The story my Garmin tells of my ups and downs has no real logic behind the fact that I’m a wreck of a pacer.

My official results 3:26:46
Pace – 7:54
Overall Pace – 7,553
Gender Place – 1,481

Overall I feel happy, I ran a strong race and gave it my all (Dan made sure of that).  Do I wish I have PRed? A little, but I’m more happy that I got to see so many familiar faces along the way.  Thank you BAA and all the volunteers, thank you Tony for putting up with me, thank you friends who all came out on the course and thank you Dan for pushing my lazy self for the last 6 miles.  I hope to see everyone there in 2014!

Boston Marathon 35

Nuun Giveaway Winner & Weekend Food Porn

Monday, my least favorite day of the week! Besides being a crazy cat mama, studies show that having a fury friend is good for your health physically and mentally!

Benefits of Cats

So of course, Jack & I caught up on some cuddly moments

Jack Cuddling

Also caught up on some mint juleps, friends and awesome food from Oya Cuban Cafe

Oya Cafe Malden

Top left is Arroz Imperial con Maduros – Baked Casserole Layers of Yellow Rice, Pulled Chicken Seasoned with Cuban Spices, Topped with Blended Cheeses, Sweet Fried Plantain. Top right is bread pudding.  Bottom images are the same thing but I needed a 4th pictures to not have a white cube.  Ropa Vieja – Braised Shredded Beef with Sauté Red Peppers, Onions, Garlic, and Sofrito, Served with White Rice, and Tostones.

Sunset Cinco De Mayo

Sunday was Cinco de Mayo and although I’m not Mexican, I celebrated properly with good company, some tacos, a lot of salsa and a margarita!

Nuun Giveaway Winner

And now the real reason you’re reading this post, Winner of my Nuun Giveaway is Laura. Laura send me an email LianaATruntomunchDOTcom with your choice of flavor.

Nuun Giveaway

24 Hours in Grand Canyon, AZ

Though widely considered one of the world’s most spectacular canyons, the Grand Canyon is neither the world’s longest or deepest gorge.  Its average depth is about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers), though the canyon ranges from 2,400 feet (731 meters) deep below Yavapai Point on the South Rim to 7,800 feet (2,377 m) deep at the North Rim. The canyon wends 277 miles (446 km) along its sinuous path.  In comparison Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in the Himalayas as the world’s longest and deepest canyon. Its depth reaches 17,567 feet (5,382 m) and its length 308 miles (496.3 km).  (I wanna go, I wanna go)

Grand CanyonWhat I really wanted to do was hike from Rim to Floor to Rim.  In a dream world I would start in the middle of the night and do R2R2R, which is going from South Rim to Floor, to North Rim to Floor back to South Rim.  But sadly the boys vetoed all my proposals for hikes.  Usually a people take two days to do Rim to Floor to Rim (maybe 21 miles?) hike.  I think if we started at 5AM, and hustled through, we could have finished in 12 hours but the boys weren’t really feeling the 11+ mile uphill hike on the return.  One day Grand Canyon, One day I’ll be back!
Grand Canyon 2

Instead I settled on a walk along the south rim edge.  Grand Canyon 3

And I focused on improving my squirrel photo skillz.

Grand Canyon 4And found the most naturally colorful rocks on earth, or maybe just the Canyon

Grand Canyon 9

At its narrowest, at Marble Canyon, the Grand Canyon is only 600 yards (548 meters) across. At its widest, the gorge spans 18 miles (29 kilometers).  On average, the canyon is only 10 miles (16 km) wide from rim to rim, but crossing by foot takes 21 miles (33 km), and driving by car is a 251-mile (403 km), five-hour odyssey.

Grand Canyon 8The might Colorado river flows through it all the way down to Mexico.  The Colorado River cuts through schist, a type of metamorphic rock that is 1.75 billion years old. That’s nearly half the age of the Earth (which is 4.5 billion years old).  These relatively unaltered sediments stopped accumulating about 230 million years ago, and are older than the dinosaurs. Though no dinosaur bones have ever been found in the park, geologically recent fossils, including 11,000-year-old sloth bones, have been found in canyon caves. Many marine fossils and animal tracks also appear in the National Park’s rock layers.

Grand Canyon 11

We stayed in Maswik Lodge, an outdated cabin built right in the National Park.  A little gross, but one step up from sleeping on the floor in a tent.  However, we had showers and a bed and heat, so I was happy.  They have a cafeteria but the options are shall we say limited to simple put.  So I got a salad and a bowl of chili for lunch.  Meh, but I guess you can either have nature or fine dining.

Grand Canyon 13

After lunch we continued walking along the rim.Grand Canyon 12

A large portion of the South Rim is paved and very accessible.  The parts that are unpaved can be accessed with a shuttle system that runs every 5-10 minutes during daylight hours.

Grand Canyon 14

In the evening you can see Elk all over the park including the village area where all the tourists congregate.  Yea this photo was taken about 1 second before Mr. Elk and Mrs. Elk showed us how baby elk are made.

Grand Canyon 15

Besides  hiking you can also be carried to the bottom of the canyon on a donkey (or something).  We walked down a little bit but quickly walked up as the sun was setting.

Grand Canyon 16

The sunset in the canyon will never fail to disappoint.  Only advice I can give of where to view, is pick a point where the sun is behind you so you can see the colors of the canyon better under the setting sun.

50 Miler Training Week 15, 16, 17 – Boston Marathon Taper, Double Marathon & Rest Week

Don’t forget to enter my Nuun giveaway, only 1 day left!

Week 15, 16, 17 of my 50 miler training are a little funky.  To be fair, I don’t really have a plan.  There’s just time before the race and day of the race and then who knows what I’ll do with my life?  Maybe learn to swim? Get a puppy? Probably just keep running.

My emotions and thoughts from the last three weeks of running are faded and forgotten (for the most part) and are instantly replaced with more recent recaps of this week’s runs.  None the less, the mileage recap drumroll”

Week 15 – Boston Marathon Taper Crazies

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 10.43 Miles 1 hr 38 min
Ran over 7 road miles at about 7:30 pace, first mile was 8, so I guess the rest were sub 7:30. Bumped into some trail animal friends and of course couldn’t resist running the trails with them. Did a few hill repeats and about 2 miles of trails. I guess trail miles were around 11-12 pace?

Wednesday – 6.4
Ran outside along the Charles for about 50 minutes

Thursday – 6.3
47 minutes, 7:27 pace & legs felt bouncy

Friday – NONE because it’s taper week!

Saturday – 4 miles
4 outside on the flattest road I know to pace myself.  Finished in 30 minutes with goal pace of 7:30 and felt great!

Sunday – 2 mile 15 minutes
Treadmill miles at goal pace 7:30 minute miles

Week 15 Miles -29 Miles

Week 15 Feelings – Felt awesome, the shorter distance were totally going to my head and making me dream of PRs

Week 16 – Marathon to Marathon

Monday – Boston Marathon
I finished in 3:26 and I have a detailed report of an emotional race, but it’s hard to write that up without thinking about what happened afterwards.  And honestly? I’m still dealing with it.  It hard to walk by the trinity church area without bursting into tears or freaking out every time I hear a loud noise outside or the fire alarm goes of or if I see a plane fly by (I work on a high floor of one of the tallest buildings in Boston).  I’ll get to it, because the actually race went great and I was filled with so many loved ones along each mile and that’s what the Boston Marathon (my home race) is all about for me and will continue to be for me even if I hate waking up at 6AM for a race that starts at 10:20AM.

Tuesday – 5.15 46 minutes
Ran on a flat road for about 46 minutes, had hopes of doing 8 miles but the legs were SORE and had enough after 5 miles.

Wednesday – Rest
Rested, foam rolled, and hugged my loved ones

Thursday – 4 miles
Started at marathon goal pace but struggled and ended in 31 minutes.  7:45 pace and felt tired.  No dreams of PR were coming my way on Saturday

Friday – Travel Rest Day
I wish flying was considered a workout, but I checked all my luggage so I can’t even really count it as strength other than a workout of patience.

Saturday – 26.2 Miles 3:56:54
I have my full recap of the race posted but all I can say is that I have never felt more happier with a sub 4 hour race.

Sunday – 4 Mile Hike
Bryce Canyon from Sunset Point to Sunrise Point

Total Miles – 69 
Total Feelings – I’m pooped, really contemplating the whole 50 miler idea and whether I can do it.  Feelings switch second by second.

Week 17 – Vacation Getaway & Hiking up canyons

When I travel I almost never get to run because I try to see & eat everything I can, literally.  I’m also usually with family, Tony, or friends who don’t see 4 hours of running as a great away to enjoy a vacation.  So instead I relax and go with the flow.  This week’s flow happened to be hiking,  So Luckily, I got some miles in while resting up from my running overdose.

Monday – 8.2 Mile Hike – Fairyland Loop, Bryce Canyon – Blog post to come

Tuesday – 10.5 Miles of hike – Watchman Trail, Angel’s Landing & Emerald Pools all at Zion National Park – Blog post to come eventually!

Wednesday – 10 Miles – Observation Point, Hidden Canyon, Weeping Rocky, backtracking on Observation point to find tony – AH-mazing photos and post to come

Thursday – 8 Miles – Mileage might be off by it was hiking in waist deep water.  Yes recap to follow.

Friday – 5 Miles Walk along Grand Canyon – It was hot, it was cold, leisure pace for many views.

Saturday – 3 Mile Walk – I don’t usually count walking but I think walking along the Vegas strip at night should be counted as a workout even if I was drinking a yardstick margarita .

Sunday – 5 Mile RUN! – I was happy to run again but sad that the gym was 80 degrees and I almost threw up!  Not a great way to return back to running.

Total Mileage – 49 Miles, Yes I’m counting walking since I only had 5 miles of running

Total Feelings – I miss running! I love hiking, maybe 50 miler is a great idea!

Bryce Canyon – Hoodoos from Sunset to Sunrise

Our first stop and venture into national parks started with Bryce Canyons.  After four hours from Salt Lake City, I almost dismissed and skipped over this marvel in favor of an extra day at Grand Canyon.  Luckily, upon arriving at Bryce in the late afternoon, I completely fell in love with the canyon and it’s collection of hoodoos.  Not to be confused with voodoos,  hoodoos are tall skinny spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins and “broken” lands.  I’m sure they exist in other parts and countries, but I personally have never seen anything like it.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 1

My brother and I started at Sunset point for no main reason besides the fact that it was the first parking lot we saw.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 2

We ooohed & ahhed looking down below
Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 3

The first mile or so were steep switchbacks straight down to the canyon floor

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 5

As the floor of the canyon there was a side trail called Peekapoo loop.  We started thinking it was a short loop until we learned it was about 5 miles and we quickly turned back.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 6

On our return we met with a dinosaurBryce Sunset to Sunrise 7

Instead of taking the steep sunset point back up, we decided to follow the trail to sunrise point instead.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 8

There we met her majesty the queenBryce Sunset to Sunrise 9

Clearly my brother was very happy that he got to avoid walking up the steep switchbacks and instead slowly made his way up the canyon on a longer but more gradual trail.  Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 10

The view was amazing and with each step we were rewarded with an spectacular peek at the canyon.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 11

Sunrise point looked slightly similar to Sunset point and was only a half mile hike away from the start along the rim.  We walked by many trees hanging by a root that gets them closer and closer to the edge as the canyons continue to erode and grow.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 12

After a failed attempt at getting dinner, I dragged Tony away from his homework and to sunrise point to watch the sunset.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 13

No one left disappointed. but a little cold.  The temperature went from 70 at 5PM to 40 at 8PM!

The hike from Sunset Point to Sunrise point was about 3 miles (not counting our peekaboo  trail) and could probably be done in 1-2 hours depending on how long you take pictures.  Starting at Sunset allows you to quickly descent and a more gradual ascent to sunrise point.  Unfortunately, I did not have the energy or motivation to wake up early enough to watch the sunrise, but I’m sure it would have been worth it.