Monday, June 28, 2010

Wasatch Back Relay 2010

Yet another great Wasatch Back Relay event. There is just no other experience like 28+ hours in a car with 5 other people, leapfrogging across the state with another van full of 6 sweaty, tired runners. You not only feel close to your team, but everyone in the race. We had three people in my van I didn't even know before the race. We're practically besties now.

This year seemed like a fast race. I believe our finish time was 28:55:56. We placed 98th out of 658 in our division. I'd guess we were at least top 20% overall. Over 2 hours faster than the first year. There was a bit less tomfoolery, but it was nice to get done.

I managed to get in at least 3 hours of sleep but I felt like hell. Pardon the language but I did. I was pretty trashed. I think I pushed myself pretty hard on my legs.

This year was a bit warmer. There was a team that dressed like superheroes (real superheroes), and they ran in the full body suits even in the heat. Hardcore. They said it was pretty hot.

We were the Sisterwife Superheroes: The Real Sisterwives of Salt Lake County. Longest name as far as we can tell. We made up superhero personas. I was Plunder Woman--part Wonder Woman, part pirate. Basically I took my Wonder Woman costume from the Provo Halloween 1/2 M race and added some hooks and guns.

I was runner 10. Anyone who has participated regularly knows what that means. Runner 10 runs the hardest leg in the race. I would say runner 9 has the hardest set of 3 legs overall, but leg 34 is named after Ragnar for a reason. It was tough. It took me 63 mins to go 4 miles. It's an average gradient of over 7 degrees. Try running that on your treadmill sometime. I wanted to run it under an hour, but I feel ok with my time. I gave it everything I had left. I ran more than I walked. What I did run was pretty slow apparently, but like I said, give that try before you judge.

I can't think of anything especially funny or awesome. It was just a great race overall though. We were supposed to keep quote books in each vans. We didn't have a lot of good one liners. Just a constant stream of "that's what she said". It got funnier and funnier the later it got. I was also in a van with 5 guys. I loved it.

Next relay is the Ragnar Las Vegas. I'm gonna get my Saints and Sinners medal this year. We're also going to try again for Hood to Coast for next year. This will be the 3rd try. We get in a pre-lottery lottery. Keep your fingers crossed for us in October.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tour de Cure 2010

Despite what I may have texted some people directly after the ride, I will ride my bike again. I may still want to do an Ironman (just not any time soon). It wasn't that bad overall. I enjoyed at least 80% of this ride very much. 10% was a bit uncomfortable (to be expected). 10% was brutal and soul crushing.

As a recap, the Tour de Cure is a "fun" ride (meaning no official timing, no winners, you just ride and hopefully finish). It was created to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. It takes place in Brigham City, my home town. This is my 3rd year participating. I had signed up for the 25 miler previously. Actually 65 miles is the longest I've ever biked. Previous to this it was 54 miles (Vikingman 1/2 iron distance triathlon, also a windy ride).

The start this year was at Pioneer Park. They arranged for camping at the park for participants but I think the torrid rainfall Friday discouraged most people. Good idea though. The course basically goes out west Box Elder County. The 65'er turns at Lampo Junction and the 100'er goes out past ATK. It's basically a flat course except for a nice challenging hill for the 65'er and a little bit bigger climb for the 100'er over Golden Pass.

If you like rural, dessert scenery it's the ride for you. With all the rain we've had this year, it was actually very green right now. I really did enjoy the sights, which is probably obvious from all the photos.

The race organizers do a great job. The volunteers are enthusiastic. The sponsors were very supportive and had great food at rest stops and the lunch break area. That's one difference in running races, there's no "lunch" stop. I didn't spend too much time at the break areas. Just refueled a bit, fill up my water bottle, and got on the road again. For one thing it was cold. 20 degs below normal. It only sprinkled rain for maybe 10-20 mins, but with the miracle of technical materials, I dried quickly.

This is basically the area I grew up in. Of course I'm from the big city in the county, Brigham City. The population has probably held steady, around 20,000, since I was born. There's been a lot of growth around Brigham, but it doesn't feel like much has changed over the years. Outside of Brigham, it's very rural. I had cousins that lived in West Box Elder County when I was a kid. We thought it was cool to go visit the "country" folk. LOL. It has a desolate sort of beauty about it though. There's a lot of flavor and character out there though. The lunch stop was in Garland which has a great old, small town main street.

So where does the drama start in? The hill was tough but do-able. Part of the added challenge for that and the end of the ride was the fact that I didn't get my cable for my front derailleur replaced before the ride. Basically I'm stuck in the big gear (is that high or low? I can never remember). That just makes it harder on hills and into the wind.
Sigh, the wind. That is what nearly killed me at the end. Brutal is the word that's been going around but it doesn't full capture the essence of it. I mean on the last stretch back it was howling. I mean that literally, you could hear it shrieking across the fields. It's very intimidating mentally, not to mention physically when you have to lean into the cross wind gusts to keep from being pushed over by it.
The worst were about the last 2 miles. I just wanted to quit. It was straight into the headwind. I felt like someone had my breaks on. I mean you had to fight to move forward. And of course I was totally in the wrong gear. At one point I "manually" shifted the gear and it stayed in place for awhile. That last bit took all the air and energy and soul right out of me. I thought my knees my blow too. Also, because I couldn't pedal as fast anymore the cold got to me.
I'm pretty sure I had the first symptoms of hypothermia. If I had been any further out, I probably would have called for a ride and not finished. Not cause I'm a quitter, but I knew I was going to be in trouble physically soon if I didn't finish. But I pushed on and finished. I still would have quit 4 blocks out if someone had been there to pick me up. Seriously, 4 blocks away and I start crying (I wanted to long before this but didn't have the energy too).
Gloriously, the last two blocks were tailwind and slightly downhill. I just coasted in. I went home and took a long, hot shower to get my core temperature back up and crashed for a 3 hour nap. The only time I've been more exhausted was after the Vikingman 1/2 Iron, but I had also swam and run a lot too.

The best parts of the race where knowing it was for a good cause, beautiful scenery, challenging course (wind aside), and meeting awesome people. I have to give a shout out to Wanda and Doug. The only thing I really would have changed about this ride (other than getting my cable fixed) was dragging some friends into it with me. My top 2 favorite things for long bike rides are aero bars and drafting. Several miles out from the last rest stop Wanda and Doug passed me and invited me to join their draft line. I spent half the race wishing I could draft and even sneaking up on the tail of a few riders. Hehe. Bless you both for adding me to your line. It was a godsend I needed near the end. As hard as the end was, I'm so grateful I got that chance to save a little energy before the last little bit.
Don't be scared away when I try and drag you out next year for this ride. The wind is not common. It really is a great ride and it's for a great cause. Overall, it gets the Amy seal of awesomeness approval.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Marathon challenge

I like to promote healthy living. I would like to pose a challenge. I challenge you to run or walk a marathon by the end of summer. Piece of cake. Not even the end of summer. By the end of July. Seriously, 26.2 miles in about 2 months. That's like a half a mile a day.

You choose whether you want to walk or run. Track all your miles. The decimals count too. You have to get the full 26.2 in. When you finish, post here and tell me how it went, did you enjoy it, where did you run/walk, did you drag anyone out with you, etc.

First person to finish gets a prize.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Little Adventuring

I've starting itching for an adventure. I get this way periodically. I think it's the good weather and sunshine. But here I am at work. Sigh.

I've been brainstorming ideas for little adventures I can have so I don't go too stir crazy. Here's what I have so far. I started simple and practical, but I gave my imagination a little more tether as I got thinking.

1. Take a hike/walk
2. Pick a big word of the day. See how many times you can work it into conversation. Try probabilistic, incomprehensibilities, or hegemony.
3. Take a walk but don't step on any lines the whole time.
4. Take dares from coworkers.
5. Pretend you're a pirate queen/king and make up pirate names for all your coworkers.

6. Plan an extreme, fantasy vacation.
7. Check your list of goals/stuff you want to do for the year/lifetime and do some.
8. Go camping in the living room. Just put a tent out in the living room and sleep there for the night.
9. Pick an international cuisine/restaurant for lunch or dinner
10. Get a new haircut. There is something exhilirating about cutting off a lot of hair or going with a new style.

That's all I have for now. I was going to go for a trail run tonight but a handsome man offered to cook me dinner. Big check for today's adventure.

Friday, June 4, 2010


I'm back in school. I have been talking about doing it for 2 years and I finally pulled the trigger. I made up my mind and got enrolled all in 3 weeks. Crazy. I'm enrolled in the Associates program for Fitness Technician. I'm also doing the Yoga Instructor Certification course. I have it mapped out for 4 terms and plan to go year round, obviously starting this summer.

I just finished my first summer class. I had a three week Anatomy & Physiology class. Four hours 4x a week. It was intense. I had a great, engaging instructor though and I actually retained quite a bit. I totally got an A. Wahoo! I like to start with some momentum. I actually have a kind of funny story about the day we learned about the endocrine system, but I'm not going to share it. lol.

It's been a while since I've been in school, but I remembered what nerd I am. I really like school. It's a bit much to work full-time and take a full-time load of classes, but fortunately I do like school and I love my courses. I was never this passionate about either of my previous degrees. Maybe I'll finally figure out what I want to be when I grow up.....