Quick note: If you are going to be at the Utah Valley race on June 13, check out the details at the bottom of this post; I’d love, love, love to meet up with you and say hi!

It seems a little unreal that I only have two more weeks of training before this race rocks my world. This last week I had a few hiccups with my schedule and running and getting it all in + my long run on Saturday had me in tears, but the week is over and I’m kind of glad about that.

Monday: it was Memorial Day so we took advantage of family time and all seven of us (ok, eight if you count Maggie the Pup) went on a three mile jog/bike ride. It was slow and steady and fun to do as a family. Well, fun for me since I wasn’t the one pushing the stroller. Brian and the two older boys are trying to get ready for the 10K they’ll be running the same day I do my half so it was good to all get out there together even if we were sweating buckets at 8 a.m.

training week 18

Tuesday: I did a little stretching in the morning (like, 10 minutes) but that’s all I fit in + still trying to rest my leg that hurts now and then.

Wednesday: was supposed to run four miles and woke up to my alarm at 5:45 a.m. only to hear it pouring rain outside. I couldn’t bring myself to jump on the treadmill so lazybones that I am, I didn’t run today even though all day I kept thinking “I’ll do it before dinner” and then “I’ll do it when the kids go to bed.” I didn’t do it and I felt lame but I had so, so many other things to get accomplished that running fell by the wayside today.

Thursday: redeemed myself slightly by meeting my friend Deb in the early a.m. and running five instead of four. It actually felt pretty good and that one problem area on the back of my right leg didn’t bother me a bit.

Friday: I thought I might run two miles today to make up for the mileage lost over the week but instead the kids and I rode our bikes in the scorching heat of the afternoon (after spending the entire morning working our fingers to the bone inside and outside) to get sno cones. I figured since I had Miss Cam on the back of my bike and part of it was uphill, that counted as my cross-training/running today.

training week 18

And then later that night, I had a hot date with this truck full of sand. I unloaded the entire thing in preparation for finishing our chicken coop and my back and arms and abs were feeling it (and I’m not talking feeling the love, I’m talking feeling the pain). Yowza.

training week 18

Saturday: I woke up a little before 5 a.m. to tackle my 10-miler this week since we had company in town again and I wanted to be back to make breakfast for everyone. A friend of mine, Kim, who has recently decided to run a half-marathon texted me earlier in the week saying she was running seven on Saturday and we decided to do our long runs together. She runs fast – like 9:30 minute miles – and I was nervous about that but told her to not feel bad if she needed to leave me in the dust. In the end, we averaged about 10:05 miles which is quite a bit faster than I usually run on my long ones even though I know that’s not really super fast in the running world. When she split off to go home (after 7 miles for her and 8 1/2 for me), leaving me with my remaining couple miles, I actually thought I might not make it. My legs were tingling and achy and I think I know what it means to officially “hit the wall”. My friend, Areli (who I ran with a couple weeks ago), ended up meeting up with me for the last mile or so at which point I was pretty much in tears. By the time I got to 10.5 miles near my house, I couldn’t run another step and wondered if I’d have to crawl home. A couple of my toes were bleeding (I have no idea why, it hasn’t happened before) and my knees hurt terribly which hasn’t been a problem for me yet either. Quite frankly, I was a mess.

This run definitely taxed me and left me feeling a little insecure about everything, not to mention feeling very sore, too. I took a few ibuprofen in the afternoon and it seemed to help (with my headache and my sore hips and legs) especially since much of the day was spent doing work outside (we are desperately trying to get our chicken coop finished among a thousand other tasks). Bethany suggested in the comments of last week’s post to try a bath with peppermint oil as a substitute for scary ice baths. I meant to try it today but ran out of time – will definitely see how it works soon, though. I like the idea.

training week 18

This Week

Monday: run 3 miles
Tuesday: rest day (my legs need it) but hopefully will do some stretching/yoga
Wednesday: run 4 or 5 miles
Thursday: run 3 miles
Saturday: run 5 or 6 miles (starting to taper for the race; I’ll be at a family reunion on the coast of Oregon on this day so will have to be creative about how to get the run in)

Details on Meeting Up After the Race

As you know, I’ll be running the half marathon in Provo, Utah, on June 13 that starts at 6:00 a.m. The marathon also starts at 6:00 a.m. and the 10K starts at 8:00 a.m. I figure if all goes well (and I actually finish instead of hiding in a port-a-potty along the way), I should be done around 8:20 – 8:30 a.m., give or take a little.

It will be quite a party after the race or so I hear. Tons of fun and booths and food and massages at the finish line…and lots and lots of people. After the race(s), I’ll be hanging out in a little spot to the east of the bag pick-up so if you want to stop by and say hi (please, please do!) look for the blue-topped canopy in that area. Even if you aren’t running the race and are close enough to come and drop in, I would love it so much! You know, just as long as you realize I’ll be stinky and sweaty and chugging gatorade and ice cream (will they have ice cream there? oh, please have ice cream there). I’ll probably be under that blue canopy for a while after the race ends so make sure to comment and let me know if you’ll be in the area so I can keep my eye out for you.

A Little Sappy

Your support has meant so much to me over the last 18 weeks. I can’t even describe it. I never, ever would have come this far and continued training if it wasn’t for this fun/crazy/loving/supportive/virtual support group. Maybe it’s weird and not entirely socially normal, but in my toughest running moments, I know deep down that I’ll be ok because I can bring my fears and emotion and successes and challenges here and you have my back. It sounds trite, but I mean it: I’d be lost without you.

Thank you so much. So very much.

I’ll be posting one more training update next week (might be a few days late thanks to that family reunion) and then probably a recap after the race. I can’t believe our time together is coming to an end but I’m ready to get this race checked off my bucket list!

35 Responses to Training Update: Week #18

  1. Jenny says:

    Wait… You can’t stop running and posting, seriously! It has been so encouraging to read your journey that I started running (as I lay here icing my shins.)
    I am sure you will do great on your day, I can’t wait to read about it.

  2. Amy says:

    I have loved reading about your journey!!! Please don’t stop posting!! What about a “Mel Runs” Instagram or something??? 😉

    • Mel says:

      Hmmm, well that’s an idea. I hadn’t really thought of “what’s next.” I’ll keep it in mind! Although my husband Brian would say I need another virtual hobby/account like I need a hole in my head. And he’s right. 🙂

  3. s says:

    I really love these posts and how real they are about your journey. You may not execute your plan precisely each week but that is life! You show all of us how a regular mom, with a slew of young kids, a blog, and many commitments, just keeps pushing through and following through on a commitment…without nannies and personal trainers. Keep posting Mel! You are inspiring many of us through your posts and the guest posts.

  4. Alicia says:

    Mel, you may have already seen this, but you were the first person I thought of when I read this article. Great inspiration! Keep on keepin’ on — you’re going to be awesome!

  5. Bridget says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve really enjoyed both your training updates and the other stories you have shared. You are part of the reason I started running this spring. This is the longest I’ve ever kept it up and I’m confident I’ll be ready for my 5K later this summer. Good luck with your race!

  6. Stacey says:

    Wow – you look really great!! Hard to believe you have 5 kids. I think you’ve just inspired me (again) to keep trying! I just really have 5 lbs that would make a big difference.

  7. Mollie says:

    Looking forward to seeing you in Provo! And I think a “Mel Runs” instagram is a fun idea – I will miss having these updates from you each week. You’ve come so far, and you’re almost to the finish line!

  8. Julie says:

    I’ll see you at the finish line, Mel!
    A few tips for the big race:
    -Clip your toenails a couple days before the race
    -Take ibuprofen before, even if you’re feeling okay. It won’t hurt you, and it could really help. My father-in-law is a master marathoner, and he told me that he asked his doctor about pain while running. The doctor said that taking ibuprofen before running is good to keep the inflammation down from an over-use injury, but during running, your body metabolizes Tylenol better, so that’s a good choice to have with you during the race. I don’t know if that’s true, but I think it’s worth a try.
    -Get in line for and use a port-a-potty right when you get to the starting line– the lines get really long!
    -Bring snacks while you ride the bus and wait at the starting line. You don’t have to eat everything, but it’s better to have something in case the race starts late or you’re hungrier than usual (getting on a bus at 3:30 am might do that to us!).
    GOOD LUCK!!!!

    p.s. Your kids are so cute! And they must get it from their mom, because how do you look so cute raking sand in a chicken coop?

  9. Rachael says:

    Don’t worry about the race–you will be fine! Just remember that your pain from Saturday’s run is because you were running at a faster pace than you usually do and for a much longer time. When you do the race, you’ll be hanging out at a comfortable pace and it will be sooo much more bearable! (But I agree with the recommendation to take ibuprofen beforehand…runners joke about it being Vitamin I. Love that stuff! I felt like crap after my race a week ago until I remembered about glorious glorious ibuprofen and then I was back outside running 48 hours later.)

  10. Cara says:

    The longest I had ran before my half was 10 miles, but the 13 was no huge deal. I would say the last mile and a half was the hardest simply because I knew I was almost there! With the crowds and fans, it will be SO motivating! I am so, so excited for you and can’t wait to hear your race recap. 🙂

  11. sunnyd says:

    You’re nearly there & can I say- SKINNY!!! I just wanted to let you know that a big group of Warroad Branch women will be headed to Winnipeg on race day and thinking of you all the way. Loving the recipes and loving tracking your progress. You go girl.

  12. Lisa says:

    My sister and I will be there and can’t wait to meet you after the race. We had been debating on finding another half to run together and decided on Utah Valley after all your inspirational posts (and before realizing the 6 am start time–yikes!!).

    • Mel says:

      I know – the 6 a.m. start is KILLER! I think we should all find each other while we’re shuttling/waiting at 3:45 a.m. and talk about food. 🙂 Can’t wait to meet you!

  13. Michelle says:

    I’m a longtime reader, first time commenter. I’ve been running for 10 years now, off and on (off when I’m pregnant, on when I am not) and have a few tips.

    1. Go to the bathroom before you race. Seriously! The lines for the ports potties start getting shorter around mile 6/7 and you don’t want to have to hold it too long!

    2. Take Tylenol or ibuprofen before your race when you eat breakfast. It will make your post race recovery much faster.

    3. I always have problems with my toes bleeding when my toenails get too long. Even if they don’t seem long, they start cutting into my other toes by 10 ,lies. Cut your toenails shorter than you usually do before your race.

    4. For the next two weeks while you are running, visualize the race. Visualize how you’re going to get through those hard moments, what your plan is if you have to walk and most importantly, what it will feel like to cross the finish line! Keep that amazing picture in your head and you’ll be crossing that line in no time.

    Good luck! You will do great!

  14. Dana says:

    The Utah Valley half is a beautiful and fun run! Don’t believe the people that tell you it’s all downhill-it’s not. Luckily, I live in Provo in the Rock Canyon area so I trained on hills, but because of people saying that I had it in my head that it would be easier. I later found out that the many, many people that told me this had never actually ran it, they said it seemed downhill when you drive it 🙂 I agree with the the other commenters about taking ibuprofen. I took two before I started and two more at mile 6. Also, it’s cold up the canyon at 4:00 in the morning. Take a hoodie that you don’t mind never seeing again. We put ours on the back of the truck that they have to bring your stuff down and we never saw that truck again. Good luck and have fun!

  15. Angela says:

    My sister and I are running the Utah Valley half and we’re looking forward to meeting you! Good luck on race day!!

  16. Jamie says:

    Oh I love reading your running updates! I ran my 4th half marathon a few weeks ago. The feeling you get once you cross the finish line is like no other. I’m also an emotional runner – even the groups who were in charge of the water stations made me get choked up, especially the military men in uniform.

    It’s tough getting the training in when you have a family. Just remember that it’s not going to ruin your race if you have to tweak your training plan a little. Life happens. The adrenaline and rush you get during the race will help make up for the miles here and there you missed while training.

  17. Laurel says:

    I live 20 min up the mnt from heber and saw the signs up for all the races starting. My first thought was you. I’m so not a runner but I want to come down for the meet n greet. I’ll even bring the ice cream 😉

    • Mel says:

      I would LOVE to meet you, Laurel! You have been such a loyal reader/commenter over the years. I’ll take you even without the ice cream (although I’m not one to turn ice cream down, either…) 🙂

  18. Amy says:

    Good luck this Saturday!! You’ll be amazing! My sister and I are running with you and look forward to meeting you!

  19. Katelyn says:

    You’re getting so close! Way to be! I won’t be running in a race (due to birthing a baby 6 weeks ago) but I am training for a 15k in a month so I’ll totally stop by while I’m out running and say hi! I might even wear my “I am a kitchen rockstar” apron if I really feel like embarrassing myself. 😉

  20. Rachel says:

    I love reading these updates! I feel you on the long run–my last long run went AWFUL, and totally destroyed my confidence. I had to stop and walk multiple times, and it just felt so much harder than any other run (even longer runs!) have felt during this training. Really made me worried about race day, but I’m trying to tell myself that it was just a fluke, and that the energy and excitement of the race will make it feel easier. I hope that’s true, for both our sakes!

    I’m excited to meet you! My husband teased me that I would nerdily rattle off all my favorite recipes from your site as soon as I see you, so if someone comes up after the race, huffing and puffing and mostly dead after that long run, but all you can make out are the names of recipes from your site . . . that will be me.

    • Mel says:

      I’m so excited to meet you, Rachel! You better find me! I’ve loved knowing you’ve been training right along with me and can’t wait to see you. We’ll do great! Right? Right! I think? Yes! {I’ll keep repeating the positive self talk…}

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