Friday, December 30, 2011


I just caught up on a BUNCH of blogs!! Whew! I am glad that I am not the only person who has 100% lazy (why am I even running, I could probably walk faster than this) runs. Thank you SkinnyRunner for the validation!!!
Yesterday I was determined to log more than my standard 3-5 miles. I got 8 in... some of them 11:00 miles. Some of them 9:30s... what of it?! I got dressed (in what Ty deemed the ugliest outfit I have ever worn- I spared your eyes the picture, he did offer to take one and plaster it ALL over FB) for my run about an hour and a half before I left. I was procrastinating SO BAD that Ty finally had to say, "will you leave already??" Fine. So I left. And I didn't come back for an hour and twenty one minutes. Yes. Sometimes I write out numbers (eight), and sometimes I put the number as it is (8).

Like, tomorrow, I am going to turn twenty-nine. If I write it out, it doesn't seem as big as 29.
My muscles ache today. I am pretending that I don't have a sore throat and that my muscles are aching from the workout. However...I fear I may be coming "down with the sickness." Just in time for me to pretend I'm not turning twenty-nine. Barf bag.
I'm hoping there is a spin class this afternoon. That way I can spread my germs to spinners near and far. I'll also be going to Petco and the tanning place (I know it causes skin cancer-- I am a glutton for punishment and a very VAIN pasty white person ) so if you want (possible) strep throat...stop in at any of those places!

I will NEVER be this tan *envy*
I got my secret blogging Santa gift yesterday!! I will be blogging about it soon. :)

What is your favorite birthday tradition?
I like anything, but mostly I LOVE the cake! In the last few years, we have gone to one of my favorite restaurants (Paghre's) to celebrate.
Hoping to also add a not-so lazy run to the list and maybe a pedicure tomorrow!

What was your last workout?
LAAAAAZY run yesterday. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Survived

How is Christmas over? Wow... things have been moving so fast. I'm not going to lie, I was 100% spolied rotten on Christmas.
I got the Garmin!!! I am sooooooooooo in love with it. Running related-- two pairs of shoes, running tights, socks, GU, running sweatshirt.

I love you enough to let you see me without make-up
Horse related- Beautiful blinged out breastcoller and headstall. Square-toe Ariats.
I also got the Converse sneakers (thanks to my in-laws-- Ty wasn't touching those!!), a hiking backpack, some home decor, cookbook......giftcards....some earrings from my daddy (tradition).

I ran a virtual 10k on Christmas Eve. I also took the Garmin and one pair of shoes for 4.5 miles of test-driving yesterday. Woo hoo. In LOVE.

Pretty scenery on my run in Grand Junction
In depressing news, I turn 29 on Saturday. For ten days, Ty will be 27 and I will be 29. Craddle-robber!

What should I do for my birthday? Ty is wokring all day, so I have been trying to think of something special to do for myself. Maybe a long run? Snowshoeing? Stay in bed all day and pretend it is still December 30? I know, 29 isn't that old. I am actually not too sad to say goodbye to my 20' long as I can live in my 30's for the rest of my life!! :) :) :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Living on the Edge

Last night I made beef stir-fry with brown rice. In my Ty's world ...this is "healthy" and scary. I came to the table and saw this:

He thought it would be funny to get every SINGLE condiment out of the fridge to make his food "edible"...he was joking of course. He only used three of them, not all ten.

This morning, I went to see Jim to the gym (inside joke with the hubs)...because we got SNOW!!! Yay! I was planning a nine miler outside today. That ended up being a three miler on the TM and some strength training. Same thing right?!

I had a hair appointment this afternoon. Came home with some punk rocker hair. Almost got a divorce.

I blame the lighting for my haggard looking face..

Lucky for Ty, that is a clip in. Isn't it cute?! My husband is pretty straight-laced....he's in law enforcement. He had a country upbringing. Getting "crazy" means trying a new you have to have sympathy for him. In one week, I've came home with glitter jeans and purple hair. But hey...I'd say after the condiment incident, we've even.

I hope you have a Merry Chirstmas. I'm going to enjoy some wine and finish baking some yummy treats.

Run. Love. Noel.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 in Review

2011 RIMD Recap
January: My birthday is December 31st and Ty’s is January 9th. We always celebrate together in January (that way I don’t get ripped off by New Year’s Eve). In January we celebrated our birthdays and impatiently counted down the days until our first cruise!!! I worked out like a maniac; determined to have a beach body by February.

February: I began packing my suitcase February 1st. I swear I was so excited I thought by packing early I would vicariously be on vacation.  We finally left for Florida on February 12th for the greatest vacation of my life. What a fabulous time we had. We even spent Valentine’s Day on the ship.  I had a great time running on the ship’s deck and even did a treadmill workout overlooking the ocean. Darn. Favorite part: Trunk Bay, St. John. Go there.

Trunk Bay
We went got back, I bought a new horse… Zoe.

March: With the cruise in the past, I now had the wedding to look forward to. I ran a half in Moab and tied my PR. Wedding invites went out. Stress levels got high. I kept running….
April: Dress fittings! Running! Easter! Running!
May: May was quite possibly the most difficult and emotional month of my life.  On May 9th, my aunt Aleece passed away. Three days later, on May 12th my Grandma Cooper left us as well.  It was all a blur. We spent the next ten days or so attending funerals, spending time with family, and trying to make sense of it all.  Selfishly I was devastated that both of them would be missing my wedding, although they had both become so ill that it was doubtful they would make it anyway.  I found peace in the fact that they would both be able to attend the wedding from up above.

The last time I saw my Grandma. Mother's Day 2011.
Aunt Aleece's Funerl
Running singlehandedly got me through this time.  I went a lot and I ran far. It healed me from the outside in. I’m pretty sure I was doing Jillian’s 30 day shred at this time and eating organic, but I don’t remember much…
One day after my aunt’s funeral was my bachelorette party and the next day my bridal shower. I was grateful for the fellowship.

June: This is the month I married the man of my dreams. A day I will treasure in my heart.

Ugly backdrop
July: Began hard training for Imogene/Ouray half marathon. Climbed Mt. Sneffles. This was one of my favorite moments of the entire year. I absolutely LOVED that day. 
August: Ran the Ouray Half Marathon (ran slow- used it as a long run/training day). The race felt awesome and I felt like I could run all day. I also hiked Hanging Lake- another beautiful moment.

One of my BFFs Jamie and my GodDaughter Brook
September: Imogene. You can read the recap here. That race changed me. An accomplishment I am VERY proud of.

In case you missed it last time...I ran IMOGENE. :)
October: The Black Canyon race. A month full of being happy and just being married and in love. I have fond memories from October.
November: We traveled to mesquite for Thanksgiving. November was a very hard month for me personally. I ran………………

Cooper Family, Mesquite, NV
December: So far so good!! PR in a 10k. A life filled with loved ones and a good marriage. I have been doing a lot of “house cleaning” emotionally, and I feel so renewed and happy because of it.
Christmas is in five days and I feel so very blessed. I somehow got lucky enough to marry the man of my dreams this year. I have a warm bed and food in my tummy. We have a tree surrounded by presents. We both have jobs and our health. Our families are close and we get to spend a lot of time with them. I also feel so blessed that running is in my life. There were moments running pulled me up by my boot straps and got me through the mud. There were moments when running allowed me to feel proud of myself, my accomplishments, and redefine my self-worth.
Happy Holidays to all of you. Thank you for reading. Your presence is a wonderful gift.  

Monday, December 19, 2011


I had a pretty great weekend. Friday I started my day off with a spinning class….it was glorious. One of those workouts where I pushed myself hard and it felt SO good. The instructor said the last “set’ was going to be like a race. I’m sorry did someone say race?!?!?! It was on after that! Pretty sure I won. I joke. I kid.
Later, I had a lunch meeting with the executive director for Girls on the Run Western Slope.  I was asked to be a board member!! Sooo excited. Also, we decided to bring back Solemates. Solemates is a fundraising program where adults get pledges for running a race and the proceeds go to GOTR.  Solemates participants get the benefit of professional coaching, discounted entry fees, group runs, and a goodie bag, etc.. Not to mention the health benefits. We might even try to get a couple of guest speakers…you know….like SUAR?! That would be awesome!

The rest of the weekend was spent at my parents’ place.  We finished up our Christmas shopping on Saturday…..what a RAT RACE. It was serious insane. There were a lot of good sales….and I got the most AMAZING glittery jeans at American Eagle (epic fail on not having a picture of them). They are a little obscene. When I tried them on, the entire floor on the dressing room was covered in glitter!! Score.
Last night, I went to the gym. I did a three miler and lifted for about thirty minutes. I am pretty sore today, but it was a good workout. Today has been such a stressful day at work. I am so thankful I leave at two. I have an appointment….and then I am planning to RUN. Far.
Happy Monday. <3

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Baseline Blues

Do you ever wonder if you’re going to stay in the same running category forever? Is running like some sports- only the truly talented will be crowned as champions? Think in terms of winning Boston...not in terms of we are all winners for running a race (which I truly believe).

Finishing sixth in my age group at the WinterSun 10k sparked some serious interest in my running soul. I really didn’t train to run that race fast. I did a couple of speed workouts on the treadmill in the two weeks prior, but honestly my training was ho-hum. Sooooo….of course, I’m now wondering what I’m capable of.
Is it the truly talented who win marathons? Or is it the truly dedicated and hard working? If I run enough miles at a fast enough pace in the months leading up to a race, am I eligible?  Don’t get me wrong. I know it takes nutrition, proper sleeps habits, smarts about pacing, course knowledge…ALL that. However, those things take studying. Not some God-given unattainable talent. 
Yesterday I watched a woman run on the treadmill at 7.8 for an hour without changing her pace or resting. That’s a 7:42 pace. For racing, I could see this. For training, I’m wondering what her racing pace is? It’s not that I’m comparing myself to her (well at least not publicly on a blog where you all can see it), but it does make me wonder…could I ever be the kind of person who maintains 7:42 on training runs? To be honest, I’m more of a 9:15-10:00 training run kind of person. Is this laziness? A rut?
I was reading Neon Blonde Runner yesterday. Her racing history is amazing!! I am in awe at how fast she is! Go girl! Yet… I have been running for ten years. I have been racing for almost four. I find myself maintaining a pretty consistent outcome. This is good because I am not losing ground, yet I find myself wanting more. I want a 1:30 half. I want a 3:00 full. Well I want a full to be completed first….then I want MORE. MORE MORE MORE!
It is time to face the realization that training the minimum is not going to cut it anymore. I realized this during Imogene this year. I am going to include my recap in today’s post because I wrote it before I had a blog. I finished Imogene, but I should have been a lot stronger. I know now how to be strong in this race…and I WILL do it before I hang up the Nikes someday.
Anyone on the same page?
Also…anyone have a good marathon training plan that offers about four days of running (five at most)? This will be my first marathon…
Pretty scenery...65 miles from home, what's not to love about the Grand Valley Marathon?'s Imogene:

I run so fast the crowd is blurry...

Imogene 2011
The nerves set in when I stopped in Sports Authority the afternoon before.  This is really happening. An event I had deemed in my mind as “off in the distance,” was suddenly upon me.  Miles of training, hours of focus and fretting all coming down to the next day.  I couldn’t have felt less ready.  It took me 30 minutes just to decide what to wear—and not from a fashion standpoint.  All bets are off at 13,000 feet. You never know what you will encounter.
The morning of the race, I was jittery, but excited. My two main fears: not making the cut off time and the guaranteed difficulty of the race.  I rode to Ouray with a fellow runner/friend, Iradia.  It was a cool 42 degrees.  The streets were lined with runners, family members, dogs, and spectators.  I felt excited just to part of it as they called off all the hometowns of participants.  Of course, I cheered for Montrose.
When the gun went off, it was surreal. I began trudging along, thinking “maybe I can at least run the first mile before I am forced to walk because of the incline.” Well that lasted about half a mile.  We began ascending a steep trek, and we were toe to toe with no room to pass.  We finally hit the main road again, and we all began to spread out and find our “place.”  The first five miles, while not easy, seemed to pass quickly with many areas where I was able to run.  I maintained a good pace, pleased with my time to this point.  When I reached the Lower Camp Bird aid station, I filled up on water and a couple slices of fresh peach.  I was beating the cutoff by 30 minutes at this point. I felt pretty good about my pace and was on my way.  Beyond mile five is when things started to get “real” as I like to say…..
Steep grade and climbing in elevation with less oxygen with every passing step.  Somewhere around mile six there was a nice downhill/flat stretch where I was really able to let loose and run. The break in stride felt great and I had a heighten sense of confidence—momentarily.  The next hill was upon me, and by this point in the race I had learned to walk the hills and run any part that was flat, downhill, or a very slight grade.  Most of the runners around me followed this same rule.
By Upper Camp  Bird, I pretty much hated my life and my decision to run this STUPID RACE!!!  Whose idea was this anyway? What kind of idiot would purposefully put themselves through something so masochistic?!  My thighs were burning. My back was aching. The only thing I had going for me was making the cutoff, which I was almost wishing I hadn’t at that point.  I had no idea how I was going to make the 2.4 miles to the top, let alone run another 7.1 to Telluride. So I fueled up on more Gatorade, water, peaches and performance gel. I took a few moments to rest and then headed up to the top.  Little did I know, the next 2.4 miles would be the most trying, self-defining, and humbling miles of my running career.  
But there was no running in those 2.4 miles.  I take that back, there were two small gullies about 30 yards long I jogged across.  This was the first part of the race where I had to stop and rest at certain points.  To say my legs were in pain would be an understatement.  My heart was pounding out of my chest and my lungs were screaming for some sweet oxygen, which was pretty much non-existent.  I wondered how disappointed my family would be if I just laid down right there and let someone haul me off that stupid mountain.  They had us write our “in case of emergency” contact on the back of our bib.  I kept imagining my husband getting that dreaded call. I moved forward step by small, weak step.  When I hit the orange cone signifying we had reached mile eight, I looked up to the top.  The runners marched one by one, like little ants at a painstakingly slow pace.  Yet even more painful was the thought of making it another step. Or two miles… just to the top.  And I kept going.  I thought about what it took just to get that far. I thought about my family waiting at the finish for me.  And mostly, I thought about how mad I would be at myself if I did not finish. So like Dora in Finding Nemo…I just “kept swimming.”   I dug deep. About mile nine, I met up with my most favorite runners of the entire race.  There was a man in his 70s who was running it for the 12th time. He was dressed in running shorts—and that was it.  And let me tell you: I was freezing my butt off at this point.  Then there was a woman in her late 40s/early 50s.  We got to chatting and I learned it was her first time, and like me, it was a Bucket List item.  As we talked about our SERIOUS regret in putting this on our Bucket List (haha…ha ha ha), the old man turn around and smiled.  That man lead me to the top. Another favorite moment in the last mile was a guy about my age (also first timer) who was struggling as I was. Without saying anything else, he suddenly said, “have you ever seen Finding Nemo?”  LOL! I told him “YESS!! I have been screaming JUST KEEP SWIMMING in my head all day!!” It felt good to laugh.
Finally we reached the single track about two tenths of a mile from the top.  My lady friend said, “okay let’s do this.” The “lane of pain” she called it. And it was.  The four of us trudged up small tiny step by small tiny SLOW step. We finally reached two women beating cowbells dressed in parkas with Hawaiian grass skirts and coconuts on. “You made it to the top!!” Sweet sweet words.  At the top, there were thirty mile an hour winds. It was cold to say the least.  The aid station had hot soup, which was SO lovely.  I stocked up on fluids, fruit, and two pretzels.  I was excited.  This is the point when I knew I would finish the race.  I took a look back over the last ten miles I just conquered, took a quick photo and bailed off towards Telluride at 3:04 hours into the race.
It felt good to run downhill. And the view was incredible. One thing that had inspired me to run Imogene was a picture of that view featured in Runner’s World magazine, it was definitely breathtaking.
The terrain was rocky, loose, and treacherous.  For the first mile, my pace was great.  I felt confident in a strong finish.  Then the downhill started to take its toll.  My knees started to ache.  I kept on moving though, didn’t stop.  At the final aide station 2.6 miles out, I shed my jacket.  I kept jogging at a slow pace, praying my knees would hold for the remainder of the race. My tank was empty.  I didn’t think I had anything left.  When I hit mile 16, something came alive inside me.  I made sure I did not leave ANYTHING out on that course. I kicked it into another gear and hauled ass to that finish line.  Just about that moment, I heard it. The cheering.  The yelling. I could taste the end.
I kept on trucking, moving my little legs as fast as they would carry me.  As the finish came into view, I was elated.  It was a sight for sore legs! And thirty yards before the finish line, I looked to my left to see my husband standing there.  My husband who was not supposed to be at the race.  My heart swelled with pride, and I blasted through the finish line. VICTORY!!! 4:28 hours of pain and suffering, and completely worth it.                 
My husband came around to the end, and I met him with tears and a hug.  Such an emotional moment.  My family was there too. I told them I would never run again…but I lied.
So today, as I hobble around on two battered and abused legs, I reflect.  Never will I forget Imogene.  I walk away from the mountain with respect, humility, and a newfound belief in myself.  They say character is what you do when no one is looking.  Character is also finding the strength to go on when quitting appears to be the only option.  Imogene proved me wrong. 
Thanks to everyone for all your love, support, and prayers. I love you all.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


When my husband is at work, he drives a vehicle with blue and red lights on top of it. I too, work in “the industry” and scheduling is a bit of a “road block” if you will, when it comes to holidays, weekends, and sleeping in the bed on the same day at the same time. I have been holding off on sharing about this because we have to be super careful about saying too much. But…it is a major part of my life.
Shiftwork. It is a bugger and a half. Weekends are better translated as “days off,” as there are times when my weekend could be Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Or any other combination. Sometimes I work from ten at night till six in the morning. Sometimes from six in the morning until six at night.  When I first started this job, I had no idea how I would ever stay up all night or not have weekends off. However, I adapted. We’ve adapted.
For instance, if I am working nights during the winter, it is fabulous from a running perspective. When I wake up, it is mid-afternoon (also known as the warmest part of the day usually). In the summer, nothing beats getting off work at six am and taking off for a sunrise run. Nothing takes more motivation or gumption either. Just sayin.
Back to the main reason I wrote this post: scheduling.  For the very first time in over two years, Ty and I were both scheduled off for an entire holiday weekend (Christmas). What’s better, we were both scheduled off for New Year ’s Eve (more importantly my birthday=Dec 31).  This was going to be epic. I am speaking in the past tense for a reason….SIGH…Ty’s schedule has been changed. I am going to just be positive—we are still getting more than we've had before. We will still be together Christmas Eve and Christmas. And we both have jobs. These are all very good things to be thankful for in this season.
On to my selfish musthaveeverythingrunningrelated portion of the post:

How do you not love the details of this?
I was reading PoshMeetsPavement and came upon her new purchase. I immediately scathed Lululemon for it. In case you would like to put it under my tree, you can find it here. I like the white also. Size 4. HAHAHA. $108 is a lot of money for a running top. Even if the hubs and and I both have jobs. J

In other news-- who's winning BL tonight?
I want Antone....worried it might be John.
Hoping for Vinny for at home prize

What is one "ridiculous" thing on your Christmas (wish) list?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Catch Up

Straight Up Catch Up
I am the WORST at keeping up with my blog lately. If you want regular posts, you’re going to have to follow HungryRunnerGirl. She is much better at this than me.
I have a few problems…first, I was teaching a class last week so I was away from the computer all week. My laptop lives in the coldest room in our house and it MUST be hooked up to the cord (the battery is shot)…so.…incidentally I have been absent!! I also haven’t been keeping up on reading blogs and realized I missed HungryRunnerGirl’s shoe giveaway. Dang it.
Oh well, there are a total of three (3) pairs of shoes on my Christmas list. Including these:

Ty says I am too old to wear these and they are only cool if you’re in high school. UMMM…. How rude!!
Last week was pretty kickass as far as workouts go. I had the run last Monday I posted about. Thursday I went to the gym and three miles flew by because I was watching D.U.I on TLC.

Fascinating I tell you!! I didn’t even have the sound on because for some reason the treadmill was shorting out and my left ear kept getting shocked. An awesome feeling. You should try it. After the run, I did a few circuits of a Jillian workout and I am still sore four days later.
Friday I ran my FAVORITE loop. Saturday my friend Britt and I tried to go snowshoeing…but…there wasn’t enough snow. FAIL. So we hiked.

And yesterday… I put everything in my mouth that even came close to resembling food and watched my celebrity crush new hero win yet again!!! GO BRONCOS!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Giveaway (Not Mine)

SkinnyRunner is giving away SportyGirl jewels.....enter HERE

Monday Bliss

Just Another Perfect Monday
Before you slap me, it was actually my “Tuesday” so it doesn’t count. I worked Sunday. I get off at 2 pm on Mondays, which makes it seem like I have an eternity before I have to be back at work Tuesday morning (6 am).
When I arrived home, a magic elf had done all my Christmas cookie exchange baking. The elf wished to remain anonymous.

That being done left my day wide open (five dozen cookies is no small feat). So I did what any normal person running junkie would and ran to my bedroom to get geared up for a post race recovery run.  It was a balmy 25 degrees outside.

It also snowed all weekend. I loved it anyway.

 I had to run on main roads since everything else is iced over…so traffic was my only complaint…but it could be a lot worse. I did six miles in less than an hour.  I spent most the run thanking God for the ability and opportunity to do what I love.

Yes I wear that jacket and hat EVERY day
Once home, I made dinner, folded laundry (barf)—least favorite chore EVER), got caught up on the NFR (National Finals Rodeo), and ironed for my husband. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it was just one of those warm and fuzzy days for me. <3
Run on.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

WinterSun 10K Recap

I squeezed so much into yesterday it felt like two full days between sleeps.  Friday night, I took off from Montrose to Nucla to stay with my Granddad.  The roads were crap, but I made it and was able to spend the evening with him.
I took off yesterday morning around seven to make the 85 mile drive to Moab. Which ordinarily would be a cinch, however when the roads look like this:

You know it’s going to take forever. And it did. I was up half the night night worrying about the weather and the roads. The highlight was when I came upon an eagle gorging on roadkill somewhere past the Utah border. The thing was like a freaking pterodactyl on booze.  It was so goreged it could not fly and nearly took out the whole front of my truck. Yes it was that big.
I hate winter weather driving anyway. So when I got to LaSalle Junction and saw dry roads, my spirits were lifted.

I was a nervous wreck the whole way, and was worried I wouldn’t be able to run. So I slammed a couple Valium and strapped on my shoes.
This is one of my favorite races, and the third time I have run it.  There aren’t many other races in the area, the weather is (usually) nice, and it is a fast course.
The shirts were ugly. That is about my only complaint.
On to GREAT news… I PR’d!! By a long shot too. It was just one of those days I told my body I was going to do it, and I did. Must have been the Valium. 
Partially through the race, I ended up running by a guy. I let him pace me until about mile five and then politely took off to the finish. J
Official Time: 47:49. 6th in my age group, 19th overall female out of 342. 7:49 pace.
I learned a lot from this race. First, while I did PR, my splits weren’t negative. I blame my pacer. I also blame forgetting my watch and having to pull my phone out my pocket all the time to check my pace.  Had I achieved negative splits the whole time, I would like to think I would have placed. Most likely second (in my age group). Since the first place runner is trying out for the Olympics and all…
After the race, by Moab Race tradition, I took myself to the Moab Brewery and had a delicious Greek pasta and beverage. Table for one…
I drove home (and much nicer roads), took a shower and went to a charity ball with my hunka burnin love.

Myself, Miss Holly, And SIL Amber
And the day finally ended at midnight or something. However….it was a wonderful day. <3