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February

Running: Well my running has been many days of just running…. I am feeling lost right now with what I am going to do. Many times on my run, I would get sad wishing that I was out for the reason of training for the Olympic Trials but that was not in the cards for me. So it has taken me all of this month to work out some feelings. But it has also been good! I have grown a lot from this experience.

I was so excited to watch many of my friends and people I have met race the Trials on the 29th. But it also brought on a longing and emptiness (if that’s the right word) that I wish I didn’t have to feel.

Anyway… I am back into “training” and am excited to do my race in Greece. Here was February’s running for me (left to right, top to bottom):

Skiing/Snow Shoeing: We have been fortunate this month to get a hold of some lift passes to go skiing/snowboarding up at Sundance Resort a couple of times. I wish we could go more but it is so expensive! We are cheap and usually go to the hills and/or mountains near us and hike up and ride down. It is fun to watch them because they have no fear. Me… I am such a wimp now. I used to ski and snowboard all the time (I worked at Sundance resort on the lifts for 13 years). Now… I just watch the girls and Corom go. ๐Ÿ˜‚

We had some good days of snowshoeing and some days we had to drag our kids out while they cried because they didn’t want to go.

And of course, they would start to enjoy it just a few minutes after we would start (for the most part).

Indoor Track/Simplot Games: I do like indoor track… mainly because it is indoor and I can stay warm as a coach. Ok and I like working with the kids… they are dedicated and fun to coach. Corom still coaches for the jr. High here but he also became our pole vault coach at the HS.

I also enjoy going to The Simplot Games. It is a fun, 3 day weekend “track meet” trip. Usually Corom and the girls come up but this year they didn’t because the hotel pool was not in use. We have a good group of kids.

Corom bought that pink “Yoda the one for me” shirt as a Valentine’s gift. He was on ambien (the pill that helps you sleep), when he ordered it. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‚

Valentines Day & The Banff Film Festival: We did a little Valentine’s breakfast before I left for the track meet. The night before we took the girls to the Banff Film Festival at UVU. There were so many great films. My youngest won the most pull up competition during the intermission.

Basketball Games: Well our 3 younger girls finished off this month with their basketball games. They played well but we still lost a lot of games. Oh well… it’s fun to do the city sports. We went to the boys and girls high school games when they played at home.

Other:

The girls jumping out of the window:

My oldest made this out of clay:

Our dang English Mastiffs got inside and tore our garbage apart. We had pizza on our counter for dinner and they ate all of that as well.

Me making pancakes and my girls always comment on how much chocolate chips I put in my pancake. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‚

The girls helped paint the “She Shed” (which was rare for them to help), helped with dinner (which is another rare occasion), stopped to pet the horses on our walk home from church, went to Manhawk at the high school, and we went to the High School play.

Just a couple of videos of the Manhawk talent show. Pretty funny:

 Just a random video (I wish this is how my kids fought all the time)… this is very minor.

And Corom came to the gym on one of my runs to surprise me with water. It was much needed!! Yeah I am not the prettiest runner… that’s for sure. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Houston Marathon- January (So Much in 1 Month)

If God puts a Goliath in front of you, He must believe there’s a David inside of you! I did not beat my Goliath the way I wanted to but I did gain the David inside of me because of this journey. Though just a running goal, it gave me clarity to each day.

It has taken me a little while to process my journey to Olympic qualify and this last race in Houston. I have been sad, down and angry at times. I question how I could have let CIM (the race right before my last attempt at Houston) get away from me by missing the trials by 28 seconds. Such a long race and to miss it by 28 seconds is nothing, but everything!!  The marathon is a beast of a race but that is why I love it. There are so many ways 26.2 miles can slip away from you. It tests your limits, mentally and physically. I will admit, there were times I felt amazing but there were many times I wanted to give up. Racing is terrifying because of the unknown. All the “perfect” training that goes into the marathon can take a turn for the worse come race day if one thing goes wrong (in Houston’s race… the wind mentally and physically for me). I am not as mentally strong as many of the amazing ladies that I have met along my journey, but I have learned so much about myself and have grown to be a person that I thought I was incapable of becoming.  I have had so many ups and downs, but the good has by far out weighed the negative. I love running and to be honest, it feels so good to run this fast.

Along this road, I have met amazing people; we trained together, we fought together and we have helped one another out. Few qualified but most didn’t. I am coming around to being ok with being among those that did not qualify… I went out for that last shot in Houston knowing it would be a difficult race on tired legs. After a hard, fast and pushing to my limits marathon at CIM, I had to get right back into training for Houston. It was a more emotional and draining training cycle but I did not want to look back and wonder “What If”.  So I knew I needed to give it one more shot before the trials in February.

I was reading the book Mind Gym (the book is excellent by the way) throughout my training; my husband brought up a good point… all the sports they talk about in that book can’t even compare to running a marathon. With all sports, you have to get “in the zone” and stay “in the zone” while you are performing. Most sports, you are able to take a mental break throughout the game/match, but with the marathon, you have to stay in that mental state for the entire race and try not to spiral down into the negative state; which would take you out of “the zone”. Well… welcome to Houston for me. I woke up “In the Zone”. I had really good sleep for a night before a race. But then… opening up the hotel room door to winds. I fell out of the zone and let the negative thoughts seep in before the race even started. Everyone who knows me, knows I hate to run in the wind. It is a weak spot in me when it comes to racing. The entire weekend in Houston, it was calm, humid weather, with rain showers off and on. Of course on Sunday morning, it was windy. It was cold as well but I didn’t mind the cold. The forecast was saying it was going to be between 13-16 mph winds. It sucked. I knew what I had to do. I began to think of all the positive things around me and I thought of my family and everyone who believed in me.  The other racers were in the same boat as me and we all had this fight together.

The race started at 7:01. We started off in a big pack of about 100+ ladies. Our pacer leading the Olympic hopefuls along the road. We stayed tight together fighting against the wind. The nervous energy all around; drinks and gu’s being shared amongst everyone.  At about mile 11, they had an announcer, music and a pretty big crowd. As we were approaching in our pack, he announced, “Here comes the Boston hopeful qualifiers”. We all gave a little laugh. I wish that was the time we had to hit to qualify for the Olympic Trials. And I say this not to make fun… regardless of your pace in the marathon, there is nothing easy about it when you are pushing your limits. Anyway… By mile 13, ladies started dropping their pace and couldn’t hold on. You hate when it gets to that point because you are always hoping you are not next. We had 3 pretty good falls at different times in this marathon. I do contribute that to the windier conditions. We all ran so close together, that there were quit a few times I was stepped on from behind or accidently kicked or vice versa. Every time someone went down, at least 3 or 4 more would go down with her. They would always pop back up and continue. Not knowing the outcome of their race but hoping the best for them. So many encouraging words would be said amongst our group throughout the race and everyone generally was hoping the best for everyone. I love this sport! I had a friend out there with me. She was shooting for the same time. At about mile 15, she started to drop. I was so sad for her but yet as I ran past her, she yelled keep going, you are looking strong! She is so amazing and had to drop out of the race due to hamstring issues. Ayisha is such a fighter and one of the most positive people you will ever meet. (Ayisha is on the left; Mariah is the top right; we met in Chicago and kept in touch throughout the training cycle to Houston and the bottom right is Joy. We became friends on Facebook because we have the same coach. We met up at the race… she qualified for the trials but is hoping to run for Ireland.)

Well… Sadly, It was not my day, either. I just did not have the fight in me this time and I realized it at mile 18.  My legs were tired. I was also all over the place for the 1st 17 miles with my mile splits. (We were with the pacer… lots had to do with wind but other factors as well.)

Mile 1: 6:30   Mile 2: 6:19   Mile 3: 6:09   Mile 4: 6:13   Mile 5: 6:19   Mile 6: 6:12    Mile 7: 6:16   Mile 8: 6:20   Mile 9: 6:18   Mile 10: 6:13   Mile 11: 6:09    Mile 12: 6:16.     Mile 13: 6:21.     Mile 14: 6:11

Mile 15: 6:19   Mile 16: 6:16    Mile 17: 6:10     Mile 18: 6:27    Mile 19: 6:35   Mile 20: 6:39    Mile 21: 6:45    Mile 22: 6:49   Mile 23: 6:52    Mile 24: 7:03   Mile 25: 6:59     Mile 26: 6:40    Mile 26.4: 2:12

26.4: 2:49:41. Pace 6:26 per mile

As the pack pulled away at mile 18, I tried to keep them in sight just in case I had a miraculous burst of energy. I kept pushing hard and by mile 21ish, I decided to not push so hard and to slow down to be able to enjoy the rest of the run. I did not want to finish this last qualifier hating the marathon. I finished, finally. I was so sad the last few miles but so happy that I have been given this opportunity to be able to do this. We have traveled to so many places (with Corom and sometimes my girls), met so many people, seen and experienced things that few can say they have experienced…because of running. I would be lying if I said I have no regrets, but I can honestly say that I tried! And I am no where near to being done.

I am signed up for a race in Greece in April, and then one in Montana in June and will do another in October… but right now, I just want to take a week or 2 and clear my head. It’s been quite the journey with a continuous 7-8 months of hard and intense training and racing. Chicago Marathon was the 1st weekend in October (2:50), then CIM the 1st weekend in December (2:45:28; 6:19 pace) and Houston January 19th (2:49:41; 6:26 pace). My legs are shot and my feet hurt!

So many thoughts have ran through my head these past 2 weeks. Now what? Where do I go from here? But as I just mentioned, I have 3 races lined up and I will break that 2:45 time just to show to myself that I can do it. I don’t know how to thank everyone for being so kind and for the encouraging words. I don’t think people realize how much they have helped me along this journey of mine. Everyone has helped me push beyond what I’d be capable of doing on my own. The days I didn’t believe in myself and wanted to give up, are the days I had the most support and encouraging words. I have a hard time believing in myself and many times I relied on everybody else to get me through. My heart is full to all of you. Thank you!

January

As I mentioned in my last post… we started off the year with the annual “Polar Plunge” in our city. I did go off on a 8 mile run before everyone met up, but my oldest and I did not jump in. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Corom and his friends are always pranking each other on their birthdays. It is so annoying and hilarious all at the same time. It was Mike’s bday this month and Jeff, Travis and Corom decided to brick off Mike’s front door.

Our dog Boaz fell out of the truck and got a pretty good gash on his leg. Mike came over with all his doctor stuff. Corom, Jeff, Mike and the girls cleaned him out, numbed him and stapled the wound.

I did a podcast a week before my race: I had no clue what I was doing and what to say. Oh well… it was fun talking to Matt on Ramblingrunner.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/road-to-the-olympic-trials/id1468827005#episodeGuid=2c43e178-d57a-489d-9112-af8cfa788884

Corom does a T.V. show for the high school every Wednesday called Corom’s Corner. The 1st Wednesday of this month he talked about change and New Year’s resolutions. He shaved half of his beard and head for the show. The 1st 2 min of the show only showed his unshaven side. He gives his spill on change, New Year’s resolutions and what not. Then the HS crew goes to a 2 min clip on a studio C skit. When the camera is back on Corom it is zoomed in on the shaved side of his face. It was pretty funny and disturbing.

I wanted him to come home right after Corom’s Corner was over to shave the rest of his face and hair before he visited other schools. He didn’t have time to come home and had to run up to one of the elementary schools. He soon found out that that day, the elementary school was celebrating halfway through the school year day. The ladies in the office thought he did that on purpose for their school. They loved it and took him around to show the classes. My oldest is in Jr. High. She actually cried that morning and begged him not to come to her school like that. Her words, “Dad, please don’t come to my school until you fix your hair and beard! My friends already think you are weird!” The sad thing is, even with tears coming down, we both laughed. Yeah… we are not the most sympathetic parents.

Our travel to Houston- Jan 16-19:

Sarah (my mother in law) and I arrived in Houston on Thursday evening (close to 5 p.m.) after 3 delays. Our 1st flight left at 5 a.m., we had a layover in Denver… which was only supposed to be 2 hours but ended up being 6 hours. It was a long day. But we did meet great people at the airport. It made the time go by fast.

Expo, movies, sleep, running and food… what more could you ask for! At the expo, I met Matt (he had me on his podcast), and talked with Jared ward for a little bit. Ok… so I’ve met Jared a few times. He lives in the city next to mine. He has talked to my distance runners a few years back. I didn’t think he would know who I was, but as there was a line of people wanting to take a picture with him, he saw me, stepped out of line, gave me a hug and talked for a short little bit. I felt like I was cool and important. ๐Ÿ˜‚

We did stay with a family friend, She took us around to see the Houston flood marks. Unbelievable!! Jody showed us neighborhoods that were completely under water. It was hard to imagine. We went out to lunch and we ran into 6 missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love running into missionaries. One of the elders was actually a kid I coached for a season. it was fun to see him.

 

Coaching Indoor Track:

Cross Country season ended the 1st week in December and indoor track started 2 weeks after that. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I really enjoy coaching indoor… it is more laidback and enjoyable.

Corom is now coaching for the high school he works at and where I coach at. We have pole vaulting in our school district (about time). He pole vaulted at a college for a couple of years. We have had a few indoor meets. I love coaching and I love it even more when my own girls come hang out at the indoor track with the high school kids.

 

Home Life:

Skiing/snowboarding at a school near our home:

Basketball (my kids, HS and college): My 3 younger girls are playing basketball. It is fun to watch… controlled chaos. We Lao had the opportunity to go to the men’s BYU basketball and we try to go to the HS games when we can.

Church activities, Science projects, Star awards & assemblies, 100 days at school, saving owls and more!

The Spirit of Christmas! Recap Of CIM Marathon

I love December!! I love the spirit of Christmas and spending time with my family… even when we fight (which is a lot-especially with the girls ๐Ÿ˜‚). In the month of December, we do an activity every night pertaining to the holidays. It’s been a fun tradition and as my girls get older, they are having more fun with it.

Dec 1st: Christmas activity- We put up the Christmas Tree and decorated our house.

Dec 2nd: Christmas activity- FHE (family home evening) and drawing names between the girls for Christmas.

Dec 3rd: Christmas activity- Writing letters to neighbors and delivering them.

I had an easy 6 mile run today. It felt nice.

Dec 4th: Christmas activity- Make count down necklaces. My mother-in-law is taking our girls this weekend so corom and I can go with the high school cross country team to California. So she will continue the Christmas activities.

I had a 2 mile warmup, 3 mile tempo run at marathon pace, 2 mile cool down. That afternoon, Corom and I left on a Charter bus with the HS XC team (a few other coaches, the neighboring HS & their team, and chaperones) to Southern California for a race at Mt. Sac college- Footlocker.

It was quite the drive but they were a fun bunch to drive down with.

Dec 5th: Christmas activity- making soap for friend gifts.

I stayed at the hotel all day, while Corom and the other coaches went to Disneyland with the HS kids. I was sad to miss out but it was nice to be able to relax before my race. I did get an easy 5 miles in. I love taper week. ๐Ÿ˜Š At Disneyland, corom and Chad (one of the other coaches) did have a few issues-kids losing their Disney tickets, etc., but nothing to bad.

I do feel somewhat bad because my girls have never been to Disneyland… we would much rather spend our money on taking trips around the U.S. and different countries. I just told them to join the XC team. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Dec 6th: Christmas activity- watch a Christmas movie

After a short 5 mile run with strides for me…

We (the HS XC kids, coaches and I) loaded up on the bus and headed for the beach. It was a very nice morning and the weather was great… the afternoon it began to rain just a little before we were about to leave.

After we picked up their race bibs, went back to the hotel and went out for dinner.

Dec 7th: Christmas activity- make gingerbread houses at grandma’s house.

We watched some of the HS kids races, then corom and I left Southern California. We went to the packet pickup expo, then headed to my brother in laws house (Jarom).

Dec 8th: Christmas activity- make cookies and bring them to G-goats neighbors. Corom and I came home tonight so the girls sang and delivered cookies to g-goats (Sarah’s- their grandma) neighbors. Then brought the extra home for some of our neighbors.

I raced the CIM marathon and then we drove home (after a short visit with Corom’s brother, Jarom). It was a nice drive. Corom and I had a great, long and much needed talk with the 2 of us and with no interruptions.

Dec 9th: Christmas activity- went to the elementary school for a movie night with treats.

It was kind of an emotional day for me. I was so happy about my race but sad at the same time. It was nice not having to get up and run, though. I subbed at the girl’s school today, in my 3rd daughters class. There are a few kids in that class that makes it so hard at times. And it didn’t help that I was tired.

Dec 10: Christmas activity- shop for secret sister and elementary school choir concert.

Dec 11: Christmas activity- make a Christmas craft and bring them to the neighbors.

Dec 12: Christmas activity- Christmas story and hot chocolate (but the girls were fighting so much that they didn’t get hot chocolate).

Running:

I got back into training today. I’m going to run Houston marathon to give it one more shot for the Olympic trials. Here’s to another intense 5 weeks. ๐Ÿ˜

Dec 13: Christmas activity- Christmas movie and neighbor gift exchange.

Dec 14: Christmas activity- ice skating.

Dec 15: Christmas activity- old folks home. I did have to warn my kids and mainly corom the night before on this activity. The girls are pretty good about going but corom has a hard time with this activity. Today went really well! And I don’t know if it’s because my girls are getting older but we had longer visits with the residents and better interactions. The Barney’s came with us again this year.

Dec 16: Christmas activity- Christmas dinner and orchestra recital.

Dec 17: Christmas activity- leave a treat for the mail lady and garbage man and deliver neighbor treats. Piano recital!

My 3 younger girls are in piano… 2 out of the 3 don’t like it. But I’m hoping they will change their mind once they start to learn more. My oldest is in art so she does not have to take piano.

My oldest (13 years old) drew this picture in about an hour. My kids are obsessed with The Hunger Games. I have been reading to them almost every night and they love it. It has been a great way to get them to go to bed on time and for us to read them the scriptures (Book of Mormon) and have them listen (or at least pretend to listen). ๐Ÿ˜‚

Dec 18: Christmas activity- drive around salem pond and look at the lights. My oldest and I had to work at the Clarion, so we missed out on this activity. (I worked a lot this month at the clarion… mostly during the day).

After the pond, Corom and the 4 girls went to the high school Christmas performance (my oldest was able to go to that)… I stayed at work a little longer. We served an event that day for 400+ people.

Dec 19: Christmas activity- Christmas craft. Parties in their classrooms.

Dec 20: Christmas activity- serve neighbors.

Dec 21: Christmas activity- see Santa!

Dec 22: Christmas activity- Christmas movie

Dec 23: Christmas activity- sledding and a Christmas get together at the Black’s. Well we didn’t go sledding because there wasn’t enough snow! The girls did go over to our neighbor’s house for a Christmas party. The neighbors are so good to my kids!

Dec 24: Christmas activity- Greek dinner and pass around. I love making and eating Greek food (well eating it at least)! My sister and her family came over and my mother-in-law and Gary came for dinner. We did a pass around gift right after. Then it was cookies and milk out for Santa and then bed time.

Dec 25: Christmas Day- gift to Jesus (our gift to our Savior this year is having positivity in our home). I don’t write about it often but with Corom, he suffers from depression and just having really low days and extremely high days with his moods. I know with him being a social worker at the school has been a huge blessing for him and for the school kids. He can relate and understands and knows how to help. He has been so good with what he has to deal with (and has the right medication). Anyway… so we are going to work on positivity in our home this year and hopefully less fighting between the sisters!! ๐Ÿ˜‚ The girls play so well together and it’s so fun, but they also fight really well! ๐Ÿ™„

The girls could not come out of their rooms until 7:45 this morning. At the beginning of December we start the time at 6 a.m. for getting up for presents. If they fight, it goes up 15 min. If they are nice and help each other out, it goes down 15… well 7:45 it was. I loved it! ๐Ÿ˜‚

We had a very nice morning and a lazy day! I did go out at about 1 p.m. for an easy 8 miles. It was beautiful out today. So many things to be grateful for. I love my family and my Savior!

For the rest of the break we didn’t do to much. Corom worked on our shed out in our backyard for the most part of the time. We are turning it into a craft/art room for the girls. We did go to the movies, had another friends gift exchange (with this group we always get together after Christmas… lots of pranks, funny/shady gifts, and dropping off junk on you lawns ๐Ÿ˜‚) and ice skating again (with the Thompson’s) but other than that… just neighbor kids in and out of the house.

New Year’s Eve:

I had a hard workout today! 19 miles worth of a speed workout. I was glad when it was over! The girls had a few friends over and we celebrated New Year’s with New York’s time (2 hours ahead of us). It worked great. The kids had fun and then all the friends went home by 10:15-10:30. We watched a movie as a family until midnight and then went to bed shortly after that. Oh and of course, Corom had to light off a few fireworks, etc.

Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day:

I did start off the New Years with a 8 mile east run. It was great but the roads were snowy and slippery. Corom and his friends started a polar plunge tradition in our city about 5 years ago. Every year more and more people jump in. This year, Corom led a group on a 1.1k run and then jumped in right after. My 3 younger girls jumped in with Corom, as my oldest and I watched. ๐Ÿ˜‚

My 3rd daughter stepped on something in the pond and almost needed stitches. Good thing Mike was around to come check it out!

A few random pictures throughout the month of December:

I saw this write up on me in a little news article called “The Stable”:

JENโ€™S HEARTBREAKING 3 MIN PB

Jennifer Hughes ran a heartbreakingly brilliant 3 minute PB in Sundayโ€™s California international Marathon.

Hughes reduced her PB from 2:48 down to 2:45:28, just missing out on the US Olympic Trials Qualifier by 28 seconds.

With half a mile to go in the race, Hughes was on for 2:44:44 but in the final half mile, Lady Marathon swiped the legs from under our Jen.

ย โ€œโ€ฆmy legs just felt like lead! I really could not get my legs toย  turnover the last 800,โ€ Jen told The Stable News.

In The Stazzaโ€™s Stable Strava Group, Jen explained the bitter/sweet nature of her PB: โ€œThanks so much John!! You are truly amazing and I had that 2:48 time 4 years ago. I started a little over a year with you with a 2:50:45 timeโ€ฆ you helped me get 5+ min off since I started with you. So thank you!! Bitter/sweet today.โ€

Stablemate, Jason The Yoof Cisney captured the excitement in real time as he followed the race on the live tracker and posted in The Stazzaโ€™s Stable Strava Group: โ€œSavannah picking it up! Jennifer gonna be real closeโ€ฆMan thatโ€™s tough for Jenโ€ฆto be so close for so long. Very solid efforts all aroundโ€ฆ.That last 400m must be a tough stretch. Looks like people lose a lot of time there.โ€

Jen also took to Facebook to share her thoughts and thanks: โ€œWell another great opportunity to be resilientโ€ฆ Iโ€™m not giving up on another marathon race that I missed my time!! I was 28 seconds off qualifying for the Olympic trials. Bitter sweet today (more bitter than sweet )โ€ฆ I did shave 3 min off my previous best. Hopefully, next time I will be crying for joy.

BITTER/SWEET TEARS:Jenโ€™s bitter/sweet PB hits home

But here we go for 1 more shot in Houston. Itโ€™s a good thing I like running. Thanks John Stazza for coaching me. Thanks Sarah for taking the girls again. Thanks Corom for supporting me. And thanks to everyone else(running friends, the kids I coach, neighbors and family).โ€

Jen will now have a few days rest and then get ready for the Houston Marathon where she hopes to give The Lady Marathon a slap and knock off those 28 seconds or so, to get the OTQ.

CIM Marathon New PR! 2:45:28

CIM Marathon: December 8th, 2019:

Time: NEW PR by 3 MINUTES!: 2:45:28

BUT I missed the Olympic Trials By 28 seconds. So Bummed!

 

So… the morning started off great. I woke up at 3:30 a.m. Corom and I left his brother’s house (in Sacramento) and drove 40 min to grab Alison B from her hotel. He dropped us off at the bus that took us up to the start. (The pic below is obviously the day before picking up my packet…)

We waited in line for the bathrooms for a while, then only warmed up for about 3 min. The least amount of warming up that I have ever done before a race. The weather forecast said it was supposed to be pouring rain and wind. We had the perfect amount of “rain” and little to no wind. It was awesome. It was very humid, though.

If any of you have run a marathon… you know that the entire race is a mental and emotionfest! I felt great, then the next mile I felt like crap, then the next it was all good, the next I kept thinking there is no way I am going to hold this pace, then I am totally going to achieve my goal… on and on for the entire marathon. Well, this race was no different. I felt great and then mile 7 rolls around, and I honestly thought, “Holy Crap, I have a long way to go, there is no way I will be able to stay at a 6:15-6:18 pace.” I held on to a few more miles, and something clicked over and I felt strong and alive! I made it to the halfway mark at a 1:22:23 I believe, a few seconds under the Olympic Trials mark of 1:22:30, and still felt great. I was a little behind the pace group, on purpose, because they were going a little faster than what I wanted to do; but still kept them in sight. Mile 15-16, I began to struggle again. My legs began to feel heavy and the negative thoughts started to seep in. I quickly took another Marten gel hoping that would help. The wheels started to click over again at mile 17 when I realized I only had an hour left of running. I became excited and knew I could hold on for 1 more hour!

I began slowly to make my way up to the pace group pack. The 2:45:00 pacers (3 guys that were pacing the Olympic Trials field) started off with about 150 ladies… by about mile 20 when I caught up to them, there were only about 20 ladies left. Most just fell off that pace and could not hold on, but still a good size group. I had emotions come on early of excitement and joy that I was going to do this! I felt great. I even held back because when I caught the pacers, I wanted to run ahead. So for the next 3 miles, I stayed right with them. They kept telling us to relax, that by mile 23, we were 10 seconds ahead of the 2:45 time.

Holy Crap… I was going to do it! I knew, I only had 19 minutes left of running and then I was done! I started to pull a little ahead but not by much. Mile 24 comes up and still feeling good, fatigued, but good. We were 15 seconds ahead of the 2:45 time!! Then with only a mile and a half to go, my legs started to feel really heavy, like lead. I popped another piece of run gum in, hoping that caffeine would kick in and carry me over. The pace group quickly caught up to me but I knew I had about 10-15 seconds to spare behind them. So for the next .7 miles, I held on behind the group. With only a mile to go, at about 25.2, I really started to unravel.

I was driving my arms and trying to hold on but the group got a little farther. I saw the mark that said 800 meters left, still kept trying to drive but my pace slowed down to a 6:25. 400 meters left, I slowed down to a 6:30ish… I could not get my body and mind on the same page. I was struggling so bad to push through the last 3-4 min but I COULD NOT do it! This is the last 400 meters of my race. Bless Coroms heart for running on the side of me just to get a video… I’m not a very pretty runner.

I crossed that finish line at 2:45:28 and I was so sad. I felt what it would have been like to achieve a goal that I have been trying so hard for. I just started to cry and I couldn’t stop.

Corom was so patient with me and just waited for my crying to stop. There were many runner friends there that were encouraging and shared my frustrations.

But it was still hard none the less. I am so grateful for a 3 minute PR. My best time before was a 2:48:12 and that was 4 years ago. Since I started training again this last year and a half… I have not been able to break 2:50. So I am so excited but sad about it at the same time.

Looking back now that it’s the next day, I keep questioning myself why couldn’t I just push on. How did I let it go that last mile. But I guess it’s back to trying for one more shot in Houston… I’m getting to old for this. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

There are so many people that I have to thank!! Corom (my husband, my 4 girls, my mother in law for watching our girls, my family, friends, neighbors, ladies I run with and the kids I coach. So supporting and amazing!

Chicago Marathon & A Whole Lot To Catch Up On!

Chicago Marathon October 13:

I love running Chicago’s marathon! The course, the people & volunteers, the atmosphere and the energy… all of it, so electrifying. I didn’t hit the time I wanted or a PB (personal best) but I loved the entire race. I did go into this race with a few hiccups along the way with training. I found out 2 1/2 weeks before the race that I was borderline anemic so trying to load up on iron pills was no fun.

I was able to stay mentally positive even when I fell off my pace. I’m not going to lie… I am way bummed about it but there’s always another race. I don’t know if I’m crazy to keep trying for the olympic trials, but I know I would regret it if I didn’t try. The weather was perfect at the start of the race.

It was about 32 degrees Fahrenheit and no wind. Which was awesome because it’s been windy all weekend (strong winds). At about an hour into the marathon (10-11 miles in), the wind started to pick up.

I still stayed on pace for another 5-6 miles but around 17 miles, started to struggle. Slowly but surely, I began to fall off pace… I finished at a 2:51 and just tired. But mentally I felt good!

Corom was awesome and all over the course! He probably put more miles in than I did. He seriously was making me laugh… I’m glad he was able to go out with me.

We had a great weekend (movies, walking the streets of Chicago, food) and met so many great people from all over the world. I do love traveling for races.

Well back to training!

September:

My 2nd daughter’s bday: She turned 12! My kids are growing up so fast. She is so fun to be around. She knows how to joke with adults which is not too common with younger kids. She is growing into a beautiful young lady and always so sweet to everyone (except to her sisters ๐Ÿ˜‚).

We had a girl from Italy stay with us for about a week. We took her around to the Hot Springs, a Sundance lift ride, the High School, etc. It was a little hard because she didn’t speak or understand English to well. But it was fun having her in our home.

We went south towards St. George Camping with my sister (missy and her family), the Thompson’s and Jeff Chase and a couple of his kids. We had a blast!

October:

Halloween: Trick or Treating (lots of it), The Witches 5k Run (and the 1 mile… my kids did both); Halloween dinner of Monster burgers, mummy dogs, pumpkin mashed potatoes and brain jello, and school parties!

November:

My 3rd daughter’s bday: She turned 11. She cracks me up! Always says whatever she wants and doesn’t care what others think or say to her. She is the best cleaner and loves doing it! She is always willing to help anyone that needs it.

Corom’s birthday was also this month. He is now 41. We are getting old. His friends left a nice surprise on our front lawn. ๐Ÿ™„ They left a living room set out there (chairs, couches, shelves, carpets, TV, a toilet and many more things). We do live right next to the high school and jr.high so that was probably pretty entertaining to them.

The girls made him breakfast as well.

The rest of the day was work and things not going so well at work. He had to do an assembly at an elementary school. He was given an hour to talk about emotions, suicide and the safe app Utah has. Well he decided to throw in some magic tricks to keep the elementary kids entertained and engaged. There was a girl in the front row that kept calling out how the trick was done because she could see everything. Corom said he was getting so frustrated. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Anyway, we had dinner with his brother and sister and their spouses. Later in the week we went out again with our friends.

Thanksgiving was good this year. My brother (Mike) came into town from California. So my other brother (John), my sister (missy), my Aunt Georgia, 2 nieces (Taylor’s) and a Chinese family (visiting from China and had no place to go to), came to our house. The week was fun with hanging out. Corom’s brother also came into town.

More cousin fun.

That morning we had a little over 50 missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint’s come to our house for cinnamon rolls, muffins and drinks. We used the facility behind us to play soccer and football with them (our families, the mission president and the cute missionaries.

August:

My bday… I started off with a 9 mile run with 2 good friends of mine (Amber-her bday as well & Beth). Beth has us run with balloons, music and little fire crackers, along the busy roads every year! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Love it!

I had some friends stop by on their bikes… I wasn’t home so I got this nice selfie from them:

I received a message from the Croatia guys:

Corom lit off some fireworks for me…

I had songs sung to me on messenger (just audio) from our Peru friends and the Republic of Georgia… and treats, messages from neighbors and friends.

I did go about my day as usual… cousins are still in town, so my mother in law, aunt Mary, and 7 cousins (4 of them being my own girls) went to the movie, “Lion King”. It was cute.

Corom and I went out to lunch at the Chinese place here in town (and a pic of some of the treats I got from friends).

I had cross country practice and ran 5 miles with them, then headed straight over to the Boat Regatta.

Corom, Sarah (my mother in law), and I had to help build 3 boats out of duct tape and cardboard. It is 2 people per boat (so my 4 girls and 2 cousins).

I actually got a few cross country runners to come over and help us build them (in the 2 hour time frame we were given to build it).

They put their boats out in the water and had to race around some buoys. My oldest and her cousin’s boat sank right away and had to be brought back in. My 2 middle daughter’s were a pair and their boat made it around great. My youngest and an older cousin also had a great boat and made it around. It was pretty entertaining to watch.

The rest of our City Day’s week: We had a 5k fun run; We had a parade; We went to the city talent show and there was many more activities!

August through December:

XC:

-High School Cross Country: I absolutely love coaching the high school kids (we are actually on our way to California right now for our last race). They had a great season. The girls team made it to state and we had a couple of boys on our team make it. They were a lot more chatty this year than in the past but they are also a young team. They Ran well and worked hard! I will have to say, they did some great service around the community when needed. Anytime someone needed help moving or whatever, they always jumped to the occasion.

-My oldest and Jr. High XC (and soccer): Corom coaches the Jr. High team. It has been nice to have him as a coach because he makes it fun for the kids where they get hooked and then they come to us at the HS. ๐Ÿ˜‰ My oldest is running for the jr. High now and is actually enjoying it. I love going to her meets and watching her. And I also threw in a soccer picture… corom and I coached her city soccer team as well and this was the 1st time we won the tournament. ๐Ÿ˜‚ The team was really good!

-Coaching the City’s XC team: The city started a new elementary age XC program and asked if I would coach it. We had about 22 kids on the team (3 of them were mine ๐Ÿ˜‚). It was actually more than I thought but fun to be out there with the kids.

Yes it is a lot of running, every day!! With my own training, HS, Jr. High and the city… sometimes I do go a little nuts.

Random Pictures:

I had a gift certificate for a a few pedicures… well I never used the gift certificate and realized it was going to expire in about a day or 2. So, my girls and I, decided to take a day out and get spoiled. It was nice! (I actually had an 19 miler that morning… so it was great to sit and have my feet/toes worked on.)

Boaz, our dog, had an infection in his mouth. It kept getting worse… we took him in and he had to get tubes in his cheek to drain the blood. If it comes back then we will have to put him down. ๐Ÿ˜ž and our cat went missing the same week… she has been spotted in the city next to us by a few random people but we cannot find her. Poor chubby… maybe she will find her way home.

The last 3 bottom pictures are of my oldest… she likes to cook. She put a sheet across the kitchen (to hide what she was doing in the kitchen) and surprised us with breakfast.

Pictures of the Southern Boil at the Clarion, hiking and a trail run…

Running On Healthy

Living Life Healthy, Fit, and Happy

Mother Racer

Mother, Wife, Coach, RACER

Barlow Family

Mother, Wife, Coach, RACER