Bryce Canyon 50 miler…

Disclaimer:  Before I dive into this head first, my goal here isn’t to provide a reason for people to say, “that’s not for me”.  My experience, I’m sure, will be different from yours in many ways, so think of this more as a, “I’ll do my best to make sure that isn’t going to be me”.  Done correctly, it could be one of the most amazing adventures in your lifetime.

Until this past weekend, I had never ventured down to the Bryce Canyon or Zions National Park area in all my nearly 31 years in Utah.  If you live in this state, or have the opportunity to visit here, do yourself a favor and add these to your bucket list.  The views will leave you speechless.  The hoodoo’s are so mysterious and incredible, how they stand the way they do is fascinating, simply put.  The mountain goats are fearless as they scale the slick mountain sides and approach the roads to graze with zero cares in the world.

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The day before the 50 mile run, we ventured into Zions National Park for some views, a little hiking (not sure if that was a good or bad idea before a 50 mile race), and an escape from reality, which was desperately needed at the time.  On the way there from Panguitch, UT, we made a stop at one of the many rock shops on the way to the National Park.  They sure do love their rocks down there, as I’m sure they have an abundance of many different kinds in the surrounding area.  We grabbed a couple souvenirs, some for the family, and pressed on to the park.  Needless to say, if all the roadside shops pass you by, and you make it through without stopping at at least one of them, you have far greater self control than us…either that, or I’m very sorry you missed out.

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Zions did not disappoint..besides the $30 entrance fee (which ultimately we’d pay anyway to be able to continue to enjoy things like this for many years to come).  The weather was a little on the hot side, but made for a perfect, clear day to see as far as the mountains would allow.  How some of the sights and formations are created on this earth are mind bending.  The lines, curves, and colors that have been created over the years on the rocks and ranges are gratifying.  At one point, we pulled the car over to snap a couple photos of a small mountain goat family picking some leaves off a nearby tree.  They surely made sure to keep a couple eyes on us while we were there, but after a short while, they made their way back up a steep mountain face and carried on with their day.

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Later that day, we made our way to the race expo by Ruby’s Inn.  The expo had a fire going, where people could roast marshmallows to make one of the world’s best desserts known to mankind.  The drop bag station was lined with everyone’s bags of survival for the following day, and vendors where lined up showing off their products for the runners/spectators to demo and purchase.  Each race entry came with a meal ticket that was attached to the race bib, and the expo had a few different options on how to use your ticket.  We ate, spent a few minutes putting together our drop bags for the next day, and made our way back to our motel room in Panguitch (say what you want, I’m fairly certain our motel has been featured on Cops, on numerous occasions).  That night, we watched the movie “Everest”, which may not have been the best choice, seeing as how it was based on a group of people trying to survive the elements of nature, but in an exact weather opposite scenario from what we were about to run in the next day.

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The next morning began at 3:00 A.M., an hour later than the previous weekend when we got up for the Utah Valley marathon, so that was a treat!  Got ready and made our way to the shuttle buses, where we heard that out of the 212 runners that signed up for the 100 mile run, over 100 runners had taken themselves out of the race, voluntarily and involuntarily, due to the heat and exhaustion.  It left us with an uneasy feeling right out of the gate, but we had pre-race adrenaline flowing so the idea of getting a DNF was at the very back of our brain.

We reached the start line with a little under half an hour before the start, which to me was perfect.  I love not having to stand around and stare at my watch, counting down the minutes until the gun goes off.  Once it was go time, we all spent about the first mile or so in a single file line until the trail opened up.  It was interesting beginning a race this way, and I’ll tell you right now, looking back, I was not 100% mentally prepared for this race.  I was far from ready from having the aid stations spaced anywhere between 8-11 miles apart.  I wasn’t ready for the altitude difference in what I normally trained on, and I surely wasn’t ready for anything the next 12+ hours was about to have in store for me.

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(Above) Course map and elevation of the trail.  Over the entire duration, over 10,000 feet of elevation gain.  This graph makes it look so silly….but was not silly.

For the first few miles, I was having some shin pain that made itself noticeable after the Utah Valley Marathon the week before, and as I’m now writing this, I am beginning to realize I don’t always make the best decisions in my life, and my planning skills are sometimes poor.  I probably shouldn’t have logged 26.2 miles the week before attempting my first 50 mile race.  So, fast forward to aid station at mile 22.5, the sun has been doing serious work the last couple hours, and we’re all feeling it.  I had 1/2 a can of Coke, and it was maybe to date, the best 1/2 can of Coke that has ever touched my lips.  But, with the shin pain present, I think I made the mistake of asking if anyone had an ibuprofen.  A kind lady gave me two, and I threw them down not thinking that 3.5 miles later, I would regret it, severely.

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Around 26 miles in, I found myself hunkered in the shade of a bush-tree, feeling incredibly dizzy, which led to me laying down and clearing my stomach in 5 valiant, very aggressive upchucks.  My wife made her way back down to see what I had going on, told her my tummy was a little angry and I needed a rest.  We had moments before, passed a lady passed out on the side of the mountain, who was requiring some help.  As I laid there, a man from an aid station came running down the trail, looks at me and goes, “you’re an ugly girl”.  I looked up and laughed, and he said he was looking for a woman in distress, we told him she was about a mile further down, and he headed back down.

Mile 33 aid station.  The stretch we just ran was nearly an 11 mile gap between aid stations, and if I could put a pin in it, this is where the main event commenced.  Upon arriving at the 33 aid station, I was feeling the worst I’ve ever felt in, almost ever.  Dizzy, exhausted, and apparently, getting dehydrated.  Over the course of the day, my body had taken in over 8 liters of water.  Apparently, 8 liters wasn’t enough, and the heat in the high 80’s, low 90’s, probably didn’t help either.  The volunteers at the aid station made me a cup of pickle juice with ice cubes, and at the time, the worst thing I think I could have drank.  But looking back, it may have been responsible for leveling me out….momentarily.

Well, that didn’t last long.  Mile 34ish, there I am again, in my mile 26 position, laying on the side of the trail.  Up to this point, Lacey and I had ran the entire race together.  But, at this point, without a small break, I wasn’t moving on.  She said we should go back to mile 33 and call it a day.  Now, this just wasn’t going to happen.  For me, I didn’t have a problem with that outcome, but she had logged crazy mileage during her training, and with all that had happened the week prior, with her grandma passing, I know she was there with a purpose.  She had a set of wings on her to help her finish, and I knew she could do it.  I told her to go on, and I would make my way back down to 33.  She didn’t believe me, and I’m pretty sure she knew deep inside, I wasn’t going to go back.  But, she pressed on, and I pressed my lifeless body further into the dirt on the side of the mountain.

As I laid there, I truly thought if I didn’t move, I would pass out.  I had a bag of amino acid powder in my backpack, so I took it out, dumped some into my mouth, and took a few good pulls of water from my Camelbak, and pulled myself together.  Stood up, joined into another pack of runners for the next few miles, and tried to keep my eyes on the prize.

Well, the last 3-4 miles until mile 42 were without water.  Mainly due to me taking those big rips from the bladder back on my trail bed I created back on mile 34.  Every corner I took, I would imagine the aid station on the other side, and for all those 76 corners I feel like I took, the aid station continued to hide.  But, in what I believe was the 77th corner, there it was.  I had never been more excited to see a tent in my entire life.  I reached the station, headed straight to the water area and filled my bag up.  I took a couple minutes to catch my breath, and paced back and forth by the trail.  One of the nurses approached me, and asked if I was ok.  I said I felt awesome, that was a lie, and I told her I needed to lay down for a bit.  As I laid there, I got the mile 26 feeling, which required me to lay back up, found a tree, did my best Tim Tebow kneel impression, and had another upchuck session.  The outcome on this session was much different from the previous, as the previous I stayed alert and didn’t fully come to with an IV connected.

As I began to think a little more clearly, I was covered in a blanket, sitting in a folding camp chair, with 3 aid station members watching me.  I was shaking, supposedly my color was poor, and they kept saying the word “dehydrated”.  I laughed.  I was so confused.  They asked if I had anyone there I knew, and I said yes.  Normally, I wear glasses, because I’m practically blind.  But, I saw a girl with the same calf sleeves Lacey was wearing, and I was surprised, because I thought Lacey was way ahead.  I was like, “right there, that’s my wife”.  The aid station worker called her name….which was Emily, and told her to come over.  As she approached, I realized Emily was actually Emily, and not Lacey.  With all these facts in front of us, this wasn’t looking good for me.

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Once the IV was nearing it’s end, I asked the crew if I could make my way to the finish line.  Their reaction time in telling me my day was done, there wasn’t a delay.  My bib was pulled, and I ended up taking a truck back down to the finish.  Game over.

Lacey was able to finish the day with her first 50 miler under her belt.  How excited and proud I am that she was able to accomplish such a crazy feat on a day like that, was amazing.  She probably could have ran farther, she says she couldn’t have, but I’m sure she could have.  She’s the toughest girl I know, and will continue to be a running legend in my eyes.

It sounds so ridiculous at first, but even though I didn’t cross the line, I got to see and experience so many different things that I never thought I would ever see or do.  An ultra marathon on any resume is impressive.  Any run, ANY run, is impressive.  Whether a mile around the block, or 42 miles until you pass out by a tree, enjoy every mile.  Look around and see all the things you’re running by.  Enjoy it.  As bitter as I am about not finishing, I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to be there with my lady and all those other crazy runners who thought that day was perfect for another run.

A DNF is an interesting addition to my highlight reel, one I’ll never try to forget, and to be quite honest, I wish I remembered more of it.  God bless the volunteers at aid station 42 for bringing me back to life, or for keeping me alive, either way, I’m grateful for each and every single one of them.

I had a riot, and I’ll make my way back to conquer that monster soon.  Until then, I will cherish every drop of water I have readily available, and never take it for granted for as long as I live.

Pacing for Utah Valley Marathon 2017

Had the chance to get my very first pacing experience yesterday for Beast Pacing @ the Utah Valley Marathon in Provo, UT.  I was the 4:25:00 pacer, and it was quite the experience.

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I’ve had some memorable experiences with pacers in the past who have kept me on track to meet/exceed my goal time for a race, and I thought the world of them for it.  The mind will tempt and tease you at parts in a race, thinking if you just go a littler fast for X amount of miles you’ll finish WAY ahead of your goal, and you end up huffing and puffing and walking because your body overdid it way too early.

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Being set on a specific time was at times pretty tricky.  I told everyone at the start, that at each mile mark, I would be calling out a number (ex. -4 or +2) and the meaning behind the minus and plus was we were either over paced (-) or under paced (+) and the next mile would reflect those numbers.  Started with about 22 people in the cluster, so for those first few miles, it was pretty packed together.  There were about 6 guys and 3 gals that hung by me pretty good the duration of the marathon, which made it more enjoyable being able to converse with them to make the time go by.  I had an extra salt tab about 15-16 miles in, and one of the 50 year old’s running with me was mentioning he thought he was beginning to cramp.  I passed the salt tab his direction, hoping it would ease his possible dreadful home stretch later on.  About 2 miles later, he was saying the symptoms were hardly noticeable now, and whether it have been mental or the salt tab was actually doing work, he was feeling better.

The views throughout the canyon were incredible.  I’ll never get sick of our mountain ranges here in northern Utah.  You just can’t beat them, anywhere.  I’m very biased, having lived here my entire life, but show me a flaw in our views if you can find it.  The day was a little cold at the start line, but once the race started, the cold didn’t exist any longer, and it surely didn’t take long to wish it was still cold either.  The sun would periodically hide behind the ranges, but about 80% of the race was in the sun, making for a few extra cups of liquids throughout the stations and the internal prayers to the higher powers to be gentle and prolong any cramping/exhaustion until post race.

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The last 2-4 miles are the killer on this course.  Not so much the elevation +/-, but the way it plateau’s and goes on, forever.  You stare down the road of the finish for easily at least 2 miles, wondering if the sights you see are truly even existing.  There is a building right before the finish line, with a huge banner on the top, that says “Finish Strong”.  If you are finally close enough to read it without squinting, and can see the logo of the Utah Valley Marathon on it, the overwhelming feeling of relief sinks in, knowing you did it.

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I get goosebumps just reliving all my finishes across those timing pads.  Being able to work and train so hard to accomplish your goal, something you at one point never, ever would have thought you could do, continues to be a reality, finish after finish.  All the cheering, the crowds, your fellow runners and your supporting cast, without all of them, the experience just wouldn’t be remotely close whatsoever.  The volunteers, the race directors, and the law enforcement monitoring the streets while the race moves on, there are so many hidden factors going into your big day, that I tend to overlook when I’m sitting on my couch, saying forget today’s run, I’ll just run tomorrow.  They are out there, while they could be doing anything else in the world, but they are there helping people enjoy a day they worked incredibly hard for, and they are there supporting, ensuring you have the best possible experience you can.

Many thanks to everyone who has, continues, or considers volunteering for one of these events in the future.  Ultimately, it couldn’t be done without so many moving pieces coming together.

Finish time:  4:24:04

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Loved every single minute of it.

2017 Ogden Marathon with my better half

What a beautiful day in Ogden, UT for a marathon!

A race, that last year was easily one of the worst marathon experiences of all time, to yesterday, being one of my favorite marathons ran to date.  The morning was pretty chilly after we got off the bus at the starting line, but it was less crowded in the waiting area around the fires than in previous years.  Might of had something to do with the last few years weather being unpredictable, cold, rainy, and very comparable to the Armageddon.

My wife and I were able to start and finish this marathon together, finishing with a time of 4:04:01.  We stopped and took a few pictures along the way, ran at a pace to hold a conversation, and were able to actually enjoy the views without huffing and puffing and hitting a wall while attempting to set a PR or BQ.  At the finish line, we jumped into the air and landed on the finish pad at the same time.  Hopefully the photographers at the finish line were able to capture this special moment for us.  Below is the photo our family was able to take of the two of us finishing.

Home run Ogden, thanks for the memories.

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REVEL Big Cottonwood Canyon marathon 9.10.16

The 2 minute bathroom break that will haunt me..

Well, had this one on the radar for a few months now, sure came up fast.

First glance at the elevation chart, your knees begin to ache just thinking about the initial drop for the first few miles.. but like most elevation graphs lately, when the hills rear their ugly head, they are unexpected and you pay for it dearly.

Race gun time was 0645 today, little bit of a chill, but perfect start to a race.  Bigger pool of runners than the races we have been running lately.  When the clock started, just watching the crowd flood the gate was the kind of stuff you get out of bed for in the morning.  What a rush!  Hundreds of people with the same exact goal, run the fastest time their body will allow them to run.  Around mile 4, I was running by a fellow who called out my name, turns out it was a buddy I went to preschool all the way through high school with, named Bert.  Bert ran this race last year and ran a 3:03, but he was hoping to sub 3:00 this year.  We chatted a bit, caught up, talked about how horrible the Ogden Marathon was this year, but I told him I was going to start slowing my pace down because I was getting kind of greedy with my average pace. . . but actually I was getting winded from talking ha.  He took off, and I didn’t end up seeing him again til about mile 21-22.  I never checked, but I’m sure he hit his mark for the day.

Miles 22-25 were horrific.  I was fine on air, fine on hydration, but my body was trying to call it quits on me.  My legs were tightening up, knees cooling like concrete, and then my brain began attempting to take over and convince me to walk.  I was watching my watch tick away minutes faster and faster every single step I took, and my goal time of a sub 3:05 was getting dimmer and dimmer.  It wasn’t until about mile 24 that I began to realize the time I seeked before the race started was out of the question, but with an old PR of 3:32, I started to talk to myself and dropped all the woes and sorrows on the side of the road and picked the pace up to finish strong.

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Running through the finishing gates was exciting, having set a new PR, a PR that years ago I never would have thought I’d be able to run what I did today, was enough to put a smile on my face.  I was pretty pissed off for a bit while I waited for Lacey to cross, knowing I was SO close to getting my BQ time, but when I saw Lacey cross @ 3:27 and achieving her goal and getting her BQ time, I was overcome with joy and happiness, knowing how thrilled she must be with her progress and accomplishing a goal that months ago was a wish, and today became reality.

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I’ll find that BQ someday soon.  But until then, I’ll enjoy the moment and remember my personal journey and how hard I have worked for moments like this.

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Finish time: 3:09:46

Epic Relay 2016

What the Hill?!

What a weekend!  We were able to be a part of the Epic Relays series that goes from Cache to Teton Village in Wyoming.

Our journey began in Preston, ID @ the high school that “Napoleon Dynamite” was filmed.  Our van, which had 6 individuals including myself, consisted of Lacey, Taylor, and 3 people we just barely met 2 weeks ago named Kyle, Ryan, and Mackenzie.  Our van was actually quite fun right from the get go, so I was pretty excited for the adventure ahead.  Kyle had the first leg, which we basically showed up right in time for, kind of too close actually, because Kyle is a red head, and he barely had enough time to apply sun screen, and one thing you never should do, is rush a red head while they are applying sun screen.

After Kyle finished, it was time for my first leg of the relay.  It was a little under 6 miles if I remember correctly, about 4.5miles of it was a climb.  I ended up only passing one person, chalking up 1 kill for the van.  As I passed the girl, I apparently frightened her as I passed by and she screamed pretty loud then started laughing.  I apologized and went about my way.  I found a license plate on the side of the road, I wanted to hold onto it as a souvenir, but I decided it was not mine to take, and I left it on the road so maybe the owner of the plate would be able to find it later on.  I passed the bracelet off to Taylor after my leg was completed..I did happen to notice as I passed the bracelet off, that he was wearing a headband..which I had never seen him wear before.  Made me 😀

Lacey’s leg was after Taylor’s, and while we waited for Lacey to take a corner, we fixed the sign that said “Left”, to direct the runners up a hill instead of taking them straight down the road.  We all got our photo taken by Omar, who was the social media guy for Epic Relays…he did happen to mention he got some photos of Lacey, and that she probably thought he was some weirdo snapping random photos of her (later on we heard from Lacey about some creepy guy taking photos of her, and we let her know it was Omar, who was supposedly an event photographer).

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Photo above from left to right: Taylor, me, Kyle, Ryan, and Mackenzie.

During Ryan’s leg, while we waited for him to make it a few miles in, we heard a slight meowing sound, which ended up being a little kitten underneath the Sequoia we were riding in.  It…was pretty adorable, but all kittens are..it’s when they grow up that they lose the cute appeal and become a menace to society.  Picture of it below.

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Mackenzie’s leg was a disaster.  She went the wrong way right from the get go, and ran about 2.5 miles before we got in touch with her to tell her to stop and we would pick her up.  Then, after she started again, she became dizzy, but claimed she was ok, which made zero to no sense..so we told her to shade up and if she wasn’t feeling up to running in the heat, one of us would finish her leg up.  She insisted on finishing, which I don’t blame her, if I start something, I have a hard time giving up.  But, as she approached her next challenge, a 300ft climb, she instantly slowed her pace and got to a slow walk.  We all felt bad, especially when she said she had only ran a max of 3 miles consecutively while training for the relay.  It was far from what she had trained for, that was for certain.  It took some time, but she finished up and we passed the rights back to Van 1.

We grabbed lunch at a Subway and headed to the next exchange point to catch some rest while Van 1 did their legs.  We got out the sleeping bags and napped in the shade in some weird park/rv hook up place.

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At first it was quiet…then everyone else started showing up, and it got very loud and crowded.  Van 1 arrived as it got dark, so we started on our way for our 2nd legs.  It very well could have been my most favorite leg of the relay…but my 3rd leg was quite crazy itself.   Anyways, it was dark, no pavement, zero light besides what the moon was putting off and the INSANE meteor shower above.  I could hardly pay attention to the path in front of me while the sky was putting on the show for the runners.  This leg was a pretty intense up hill climb, but I almost paid little to no attention to the gain while my eyes and mind were concentrating on the heavens above.  A lot of the other vans and runners were out of the vehicles staring up at the sky as you would run by them.  Made me feel really small, but in a good way, completely lost in the moment. The experience took over,  I was 100% absorbed into a certain high that could have only been achieved in that exact place, at that exact time.  If a runner’s high is actually a thing, that was the closest to or spot on to what or how I would imagine it.  The incline, the dark Caribou National Park forest surroundings, the slight chill, the dust kicked up from the vehicles passing by, it was all background noise to the experience that left me saddened once I passed the bracelet off at the end of the 8.53 miles.  For 1hr 5minutes, I was completely lost, and I didn’t care.  Over the duration of the run, I was able to chalk up 5 kills for the van.  Not a bad way to spend a Friday night.

Lacey’s leg was some decline through the National Park, she basically ran the fastest she ever has over the distance she covered.  It may or may not have been linked to me howling like a wolf out the window as she had about a mile and a half left on her run.  She got mad at me, and she had every right to do so, it was not kind of me, but she achieved a level of speed that she says she has not ran in quite some time.  Do I feel responsible?  Yes.  You’re welcome dear.

That night, well, morning ish 3:30am, after the exchange back to Van 1, we headed out to the exchange where we would start our last legs after van 1 finished up theirs.  Upon arriving to the “camp site”, it was pretty cold.  The site, looked like a landfill, broken cement, poles, tires, wood beams, garbage, all over the place.  The ground, was dirt, zero to no grass, and full of rocks and divots.  At first, I thought I will just sleep in the car, but Taylor would most likely sleep in there again, and it was looking like Mackenzie would sleep in the middle seat of the car.  I wasn’t too excited about sleeping outside, but the moment I climbed into my sleeping bag, shivering, within minutes I was warming up and the next thing I knew, it was 8:03am.  It was a weird 3.5-4 hours of rest, but it was enough charge for my batteries to finish strong.  Van 1 arrived between 9-9:30 if I remember correctly, so there wasn’t much time to sit around and bask in the amazing scenery of the landfill campsite much longer.

After Kyle finished, I was up again.

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Picture above is Kyle finishing up, with me awaiting the transfer of the runners right’s to accumulate kills via passing the slower contestants.  Below, me hitting the go on Runkeeper to track the event.

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This leg was clocked at 3.22 miles, and I told myself even before this relay began, I would go as fast as I possibly could on this leg.  There were two people in front of me that were within kill distance, and within the first half mile, I had the first fatality of the leg.  But, the next kill was making me work for it.  I slowly began catching up to him, to the point that I turned a corner and finally saw his white shirt.  It was go time.  The first mile was a 7:21 pace, which was a slight uphill climb, 2nd mile turned into a 6:52 when I had finally caught sight of him, and the 3rd mile was gone in 6:01.  I gave it literally everything I had to try to catch up to this guy.  Sadly, I never passed him, but the competitive nature of that leg was a memory I won’t ever forget.  Both parties of the van’s were out awaiting the finish of our leg.  I laughed after and gave the guy a high five, told him he had some wheels and I just couldn’t close it up.  It definitely was one of my favorite parts of the whole weekend.  Below, is me finishing the leg, with the guy I was trying to catch on the right of the photo.

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It was an event I truly didn’t think I would have enjoyed as much as I did.  The time spent with Lacey, my little brother, and a new group of running friends was time I didn’t take for granted and enjoyed every waking moment.  I hope it won’t be my last relay, but if it is, it was an adventure, a rush, and a memory I’ll hold onto for the duration of my existence.

North Logan Half Marathon 7.16.16

Leave the water belt at home.

This morning started at 0400, which on a Saturday morning after a busy work week, was an eternal struggle.  The drive to Logan was a little over an hour to make things worse, but once we got there, it was smooth sailing.  Well, besides the fact that Lacey was given the wrong packet/ bib number when we got there, but we will touch on that later.

How the morning went was how I wouldn’t mind every race to go.  We loaded onto the buses at 0630, drove to the start line, warmed up the joints for 15 minutes, and then the race started around 0707.  No sitting around, no wasted time, just right to the point.

At the beginning, Lacey and I were sizing up the competition like we normally do, you know, just looking at people and by superficially looking at them, you can get a pretty good idea just how well that person will do that race.  Some people, just have that, “I’m fast” look to them.  So the gun goes, and right from the get go, I had one guy in front of me.  The pace he was running was far faster than I’d normally run, but I thought I’d give it a go, even though the first little bit of mileage was some downhill that I probably got a little carried away on (my Garmin said my fastest mile was a 6:20, which is a pace I haven’t ran since I was in elementary school I’m sure…if ever actually).  A little after mile 2, a guy with a water bottle belt passed me, and I’m sorry, but if you have a water belt on a aid station supported race..I just have a hard time with that.  So I already was in disbelief this guy was passing me, so I just continued to truck along and keep the 1st place guy on my radar.

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Mr. water belt didn’t last long, right after the mile 2 marker, there was a very steep hill that lasted about a mile and a half, and Mr. water belt was unable to continue running the pace he had been.  So, it was back to following 1st place again.  He stayed in front of me by about .15-.20 of a mile a good majority of the race, until about mile 11 or 12, then he just laid it on and kicked on those after burners.  I couldn’t finish as strong as he did, guy had some serious wheels.  He finished in 1:32, I ended up with a 1:34:19, which would be a PR for myself, on a course that was FAR from easy.

The last few miles, telling myself I was sitting in 2nd and still scooting along was exciting.  That in itself was already hard to believe.  I’m still in disbelief that I’m at where I am now, from where I used to be with my running a few years ago.  I will swear on the training programs I have been following, that as long as you make a conscious effort to follow them and put the mileage in, you’ll literally watch yourself evolve into a runner you wouldn’t have guessed you could be.

I still have a very long way to go, but this was inspiring, humbling, and motivating all in one.  I cannot wait to see where my running journey takes me in the future.

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P.S. that gal next to me, my “freak show” wife as she was referred to as by the lady who finished behind her..Lacey finished the race as the first female overall with a 1:39 time.  At the packet pick up, she was given someone else’s packet and bib number.  So, race is over, she takes first in women’s, award ceremony underway, the race director is calling out the winners overall, and calls out a much different name for the first female runner.  Lacey and I both looked at each other, confused, then the race director notices my wife and says, isn’t that you?  Nope.  So she had her name called out incorrectly, in a shining moment of glory, in a race she ran her heart out in.  We laughed about it, saying she got Steve Harvey-ed.  She got a $100 gift card to Altra footwear on a pair of shoes, which I’m sure she won’t have any trouble spending in the very nearest of futures.

It’s such an honor to be affiliated to this “freak show”, as she continues to compete, support, and motivate me to strive to become a better person, athlete, and husband.  Watch out ladies, she’s a freak show.

July 4th, 2016 5k & July 9th 13.1 miler

Whats more American than running a 5k bright and early on a day off from work?

Lace & I went up to Park City to run a 5k before meeting up with her family for a bike ride from Kimball Junction to Park City main street to watch the 4th of July parade.

There were 980 people who ran this 5k, which was probably the biggest 5k I personally have ever been a part of.  Right before the race started, the lady standing right in front of Lacey and I, decided right then and there, was the absolute best time for her to pee.  In front of everybody.  Directly onto the ground right under her.  Lacey and I both looked at each other in awe, and I’m pretty sure my brain gears didn’t sync back up for about 2-3 minutes into the race.  I even forgot to start my watch to time the race.  When you gotta go…

I ended up taking 38th overall, which I felt very good about since 3 days before that I had ran 30 miles to celebrate my 30th birthday.  The kid that finished in front of me threw up twice the moment he crossed the finish line.  Classic end of race puke-sprint.

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Today, was a half marathon length of distance for our long run.  Got this going at about 0715, felt great for about the first 9 miles, then I started to have just a little bit of knee pain.  The sun was quite stout this A.M., I always say I should have started the run earlier, but that never happens.  I watched a turkey get scared as I was coming down the street, he made a break for the field, but a stationary fence blocked his path and he ended up running into it and couldn’t jump high enough to clear it.  Gave me a good laugh, but I truly hoped he wouldn’t seek revenge and chase after me.  Perhaps he’s saving that for next time?

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