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September 2012

Big Cottonwood Half Marathon

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On Saturday, Sept 22, hubby and I had the chance to participate in the newest half marathon/marathon in Utah. We were a bit skeptical at first about the entire thing, it was completely new so we had our doubts that it would run smoothly. However, we were proven completely wrong! It was one of the best organized events we have been to.  I just found one thing that was odd but I am sure they will get it under control-there was no water or any type of nutrition (bananas) at the start of the race, usually there is at least water/gatorade along with some first aid stuff-vaseline. Everything else was top notch! Packet pick up was a breeze, bus load up-the easiest ever, volunteers at aid stations-the best (all running events have the best volunteers ever!), post race nutrition-sandwiches, medals-bling, bling, free photos from Zazoosh.com (what race does that, none, ever, this was my ultimate fav part!), and an awesome/fun announcer at the end :).

Zazoosh_990161762-1800On to the race report: the race was scheduled to start at 6:30am which called for an extra early wake up time. The alarm sounded at 4:30am, a total insult to my ears and my little eyes. Seriously, the only reason I would ever back out from a race is the early wake up times--can't I just get my beauty sleep, promise that I am a much agreeable person if I sleep at least 8 hours. We got up and got ready for the race. I was concerned about my back as I threw it out on Wednesday doing "regular" stuff at work. I had gone to the chiropractor both Wednesday and Thursday and even took 2 days off from crossfit to allow my back to heal. Saturday morning, it was still bugging me, especially my right side on my lower back. I took 2 ibuprofen and hoped for the best.

Bus load up was smooth, one of the smoothest bus load ups ever. Usually, we have to wait forever to load up, not this time. We got out of our car, parked about 100 meters away from bus load up, and were almost instantly loaded onto a bus! Nice! The ride up was alright. There are always people talking loudly, either from excitement or fear. It is a bit annoying at times as I have a different way of preparing for the race,  I like to meditate and go into "my quiet" spot and prepare mentally for the race to come.  We arrived to the start line in about 30 minutes and quickly made our way to the porta-johny, another ritual, better go before you have to go-go. Hubby always seems to need it so we just automatically make our way there. After doing the business, we moved down to where all the space blankets were located, I was trying to find water for my little handheld bottle, but like I mentioned above, no water was found :/, sad, thankfully, my friend Bianca had water with her and she shared with me.

Hubby and II have to mention though that the race did go out of their way to provide us with space blankets and gloves for the start of the race. Never have I seen this, at least not for everyone in the race. It was quite outstanding of them to do that for us. Thank you! It means the world to us, being pampered is the number one way to get us, runners, into your good graces ;).

We made our way to the start line, I had a dream goal for this race, didn't know if I could achieve it with my hurt back but I still made my way to the front, next to the 1:30 pacers. Hubby wanted to come in in about 1:25 so he also went to the front. I had no chance of running that fast so I wished him good luck and let him be at the front.

The gun went off at exactly 6:30am. The sky was still lit by stars and the ground was still dark, the shadows from the runners played tricks on my head, putting potholes where there were none and making me run like an idiot, raising my feet high off the ground. As we took off, I saw hubby take off and silently wished him the best. I love this man of mine. He wants to qualify for Boston so badly and the only thing holding him back are cramp issues with his calves. He is fast and he is usually ahead of me on all the races, until we reach mile 18-20, then the cramps come and he has to walk the rest of the race. I secretly wish every marathon race that he will finish in the 3:05 that he needs, eventhough, I know that a 3:05 will put me 30 minutes behind, but he deserves it. He does so much for me and our family. Anways, I am getting all sappy on ya, we took off and off we went down the canyon.

Big Cottonwood Splits
My first mile was super speedy, despite the darkness, my garmin says I did a 6:12, that is super fast for me. I paid for it on the next two miles as my back reminded me that it was out. The pain was harsh, from a 1-10, it was about a 7. I wanted to stop and just cry. It reminded me of the Ogden Marathon in May when my hip was out and it made my entire left leg hurt. I gave myself a pep-talk and addressed my pain level. As I talked myself into continuing with the race, I was being passed by a bunch of girls and guys, I kept saying, there goes 2nd place, there goes 3rd, there goes 1st in AG, there goes 2nd in AG, etc. I was feeling low, I wanted to quit, I considered it for about a minute, until I saw my kids' faces in my mind, especially my boy, I imagined myself telling him that I had quit and I imagined his disappointment. I couldn't. I couldn't do it. I put on my big girl panties and on I went. I wasn't going to quit. I had already ran 3 miles, I only had 10 left. I had suffered more pain in my life before than what I was going through at that moment, I could endure 10 more miles, if I ran fast enough, it would be even a shorter period of time to endure.

The sky started to light up and making the race a bit easier to do as I could actually see the road ahead of me and I could run more normal. My back also warmed up and my lower back muscles loosened up enough to almost take the pain away. As I ran down, I kept my nose down and looked at the ground the whole time, I wanted to come in under 1:30 but my back pain had made me slow down so much that I had decided that 1:35 was good enough too.

However, something happened after mile 6, my body decided to finally show up to the race. My legs started going faster, and as other runners were slowing their pace, mine was picking up. My hubby always says that I am nice and steady and if a race is long enough, I can be one of the first ones to finish as I am a consistent runner, when others are falling off, I seem to just keep going. 

My second half of the marathon was in one word: stellar! I was cranking out sub 7 minute miles. I passed a few people who had passed me on miles 2-4. I was feeling good, tired, but good. I kept telling myself to keep going, I was almost there.

At mile 11, there were a few spectators there and it was exactly what I needed. My legs wanted to just stop and my tummy wanted some real food, but the spectators smiles and applause kept me going. They would never know how much their support means to runners, it is as if with each cheer, energy is passed from their bodies to ours. Thank you, thank you for cheering for us, even if you don't know us.

At mile 12, I caught up to the 1:30 pacers, my heart was rejoicing, they even stopped and allowed me to go in front of them. In my head, I had 1 mile left. I can do 1 mile. I can crank out 1 mile in 7:30 even when I am tired, so I dug in for all I had in me. I told myself--Isela, this is a WOD, a 1 mile WOD. Show me what you got in that heart. Little did I know that the downhill was over, we were going into this small trail that looked pretty much flat and felt uphill. But, the heart can do wonderful things. I imagined myself back at the box (crossfit), and my competitive self came out, I ran, I ran as fast as I could with my tired legs, I passed 3 gals and 1 guy in this stretch. As I kept running, I wanted to look behind and see how far ahead I was from the closest gal behind me. Why? Because I was tired and I wanted to slow down, but I didn't do it. I couldn't afford to look back. Every second counted. I wanted to come in under 1:30 and at the pace I was going, I could do it, if I didn't slow down.

I reached the 13 mile marker and I could see the Finish Line, just a little longer heart, just a little longer legs, hold on. I ran. I ran with my heart. I ran for my kids. I ran for myself.  Then, as I reached the finish line and saw my husband's face, smiling and yelling my  name, I ran for him too. I ran for him, for him to feel proud of me, of us. I crossed that Finish Line at exactly 1:28:54. A dream had come a reality in that very second.

As I stopped on the other side of the Finish Line and collected my medal (awesome medal by the way!), I wanted to collapse, my back complained as I bent over. My little legs were tired, I was tired, but my heart was pounding from happiness at my achievement. Hubby came right over and we kissed, just a little kiss, too sweaty and smelly for a real kiss, hahahaha. He told me that he had reached his goal too 1:25:15. A new PR for him too.

To our great surprise, well, at least to me, we both placed in our age groups (30-34). We both got 1st place :). We came home with two little ribbons. Yay!

We made our way to the tents, expecting your regular post race "food", which typically means some fruit and bread. Not at this place, we were treated to some Jimmy Johns sandwiches, delicious raspberry bars, recovery drinks, fruit, and to top it all off massages for the half marathoners as well as the full. Heaven!!! I, of course, got a massage. I am not going to turn down a good body rub, especially when I have just finished a race.

After my little massage, we made our way to the Finish Line again to wait for our friends, Gloria, Bianca, Angie and Jason. We made it just in time to see Angie fly by through the Finish and shortly after Bianca. We missed seeing speedy Gloria come in, I was probably getting my hammy worked on when she crossed. Jason came in shortly after, Bianca. All of them PRed and we all looked so happy :). A PR is a runner's "hope" each time we cross that start line.

Cottonwood Friends

I have to say that I left my heart and soul on that canyon on Saturday. There are days where you show up to a race and you know that you will perform well, however this Saturday wasn't it. I was afraid of the pain, I was afraid of quitting, but the heart is more powerful than we ever give it credit. I have achieved one of my greatest goals in running, to finish a half marathon in under 1:30. With my new PR, I have now qualified to participate in the ING New York City Marathon--one of my dreams, to run a marathon in my hometown.

Ribbons and medals

Big Cottonwood Half--I will see you again, hopefully in 2013 :).

 


TOU Marathon 2012

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What a gorgeous day for a race! Not a cloud over the sky, unlike last year, weather was a bit cool but not too bad for a race. Better to start off cool that way hot.

Hubby and I headed down to load the bus in his little green bug car, it is small enough so it fits anywhere and makes parking a breeze. We loaded up with no trouble and on our way we went. Thankfully, we got a bus that wasn't too loud. I don't like it when you have that one loud guy in the back who "knows it all" and continues either scaring the newbies or trying to impress everyone around. I take my "bus time" really seriously, it is the time I have to catch a few more zzz's or the time to look deep inside me and see what my heart is telling  me for the day.

We got up to Hardware Ranch safe and sound and we made our way to the Honey-pots. Gosh, each year I think to myself that they are going to get more Johnnny's but they never do. There is never enough honeypots for everyone, it is a ridiculous long way, ridiculous as in 30 minutes long wait-in-line-hold-your-pee/poop! One of these days, I hope they realize that they don't have enough honeypots up there and double the number. Or maybe, it is a strategy to keep the runner's minds away from the upcoming ordeal and focus on other matters.

After waiting what seemed an eternity at the honeypots, we made our way to the start line. We had about 10 minutes til the gun went off so we shed our clothes and went to line up at the start line. We met some friends/neighbors there and we made some casual conversation. We waited for the gun to go off but it didn't come, 7 rolled around, 7:05 and nothing, finally around 7:15 the gun went off and off down the canyon we went.

Hubby left me in his dust right away and I found my pace and slowly made my way down the canyon. I decided to carry my on water this time around to avoid the traffic congestion at each aid station, glad I did as I was able to save some time by having my own water.

I was very surprised about how great I was feeling during the race. My legs felt strong, my hips felt good, unlike Ogden Marathon where my hips were not cooperating and made me stop each mile to stretch and agonize about the pain. I was in a good spot!

At the halfway point, I realized that I was doing great timewise and in a little while I would be able to see my friends/cheering squad. I was looking forward to seeing them :). As I passed mile 14, I saw them up  ahead, 4 of my friends-Bianca, Josh, Gloria and Holly. They were all cheering for me and there just for me, to give me energy, to support me. Thank you guys!

The next few miles went by okay, I was getting tired by this point. The road flattens out after mile 14 and from there is pure heart that gets you through, heart and training. As I told you in my previous post, I have had very little training, so for me it was all heart.

I knew before-hand that I would need some help at mile 18 and thankfully my friend Josh volunteered to help me. He joined me at mile 18 and he is like Tiger, bouncy, positive and full of energy--exactly what I needed at this point. Miles 18-20 are usually my "doom miles" in a marathon. I was very glad he was there to pull me out of my gloom. He was cheerful and supportive yet understanding of my slowness, a great coach for sure. Thank you Josh for being there for me.

Throughout this entire time, hubby was just a few hundred meters ahead of me, I could see him, but by golly I couldn't catch him. Another good friend showed up at this point to cheer me, my friend Lee, she pointed out that Sam was just right there that I could definitely catch him. I wanted to catch him, I wanted so badly but I couldn't at this point. Lee, my friend,  I love her to pieces, she is an amazing runner and a superb role model all around.

As we entered mile 19, one of the hardest miles for me, the small uphill almost killed me. Josh kept telling me that I had it, if I just kept moving I would be done with it and I could catch Sam. Sam was getting closer and closer and it wasn't because I was speeding up. I knew he was in trouble, he usually starts cramping up around miles 18-20.  Thanks to Josh's coaching, I made it up the hill and onto the flats of Millville. I know this road, I run it all the time. I felt at home and I felt that I could do it. We kept running, I wish I could remember all the coaching Josh was doing, but all I know is that his words kept my legs moving forward.

Almost to mile 20, we caught up to Sam. He had stopped. The cramps were pounding his calves and he couldn't go on. Josh looked at me and I told him to go, go to Sam. He had done his part in helping me. He probably will never know how much his coaching meant to me that day. He helped me PR on this course. His words of encouragement and his quiet yet assuring way of believing in me helped me through my darkest miles in this marathon. As they stayed behind, I continued on, pounding the pavement, feeling my heart rejoice as I knew that the next 6 miles were the last. I  knew that even if I walked, I only had about 1 hour left in the marathon, even less if I kept running.

The next few miles went by swiftly, my cheering squad following me around, dancing to Zumba music on the streets. Each time I thought I was done for, they would be there, laughing and cheering me. What awesome friends I have!

Mile 23 showed me even more support, my FB friends, the NERCs, had an aid station there and as TOU mile splitssoon as they saw me, they started cheering for me. My friend Ann was there and ran with me for a little bit, cheering me on, telling me I had it in the bag.

Mile 24 went by in a blur, I was passing people, again, I didn't stop at the aid station as I had my own stuff with me, and as other runners stopped, I just kept going.

Mile 25, one of the hardest ones in this course, uphill, you just want to stop and just finish it already but no, you still have to keep going and the cruel joke is that you have to pass right in front of a Burger King. Yes! I am always hungry in a race.

To the end...have you ever realized how long a mile really is. A mile for a runner doesn't seem that much really. We are used to talking in terms of double digits most of the time, when we say singles we use usually preface it with "only". Not when it comes to a marathon, that last mile is monumental, especially when you are so close to a PR. I looked at my Garmin and saw that I was pretty much PRing if I didn't walk at all. I ran, I ran and I ran. I looked at my Garmin and it said 26.2 and yet I was nowhere close to the finish, I still had more than a block to go. Crap! The course was longer. I finally turned on the last corner and looked one last time at my Garmin, if I gave it all I had, I could come in under 3:33. I ran like I was being chased a dog and I crossed the Finish mat at 3:32:12. I had set a new PR by 2 minutes and 33 seconds. I was 8th in my age group and 34th in gender placing overall.

Finishers corral: I went in and right away I was congratulated by a few running friends. Our running community is tight up here and we know one another from all the different events. I got some food and stretched for a bit then I headed out to wait with my cheering squad and cheer for my hubby.

I was so proud of him as I saw him come in. I know how much it costs him to run those last few miles. It pains me to see that he is behind because of those darn cramps. He is so talented and yet those set him back a good 30-40 minutes. Yet, he still came in with a big smile on his face. I love that man! He finished in 4:02:47, not bad for walking the last 6 miles of the marathon.


TOU Marathon Countdown

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Tomorrow marks 4 years since I began running marathons. My very first was 4 years ago, this very same event. I remember being so scared that day. As I loaded the bus by myself, I kept shaking and telling myself that I could do it, that my chubby little legs had it in them to run and walk to the very end, plus it didn't matter if I finished last, all that mattered was that I finished. I did finished and I finished about 1 hour and 10 minutes ahead of my "goal" time. I remember crossing the FINISH line and the tears just rolling down, not due to pain, but to the happiness that inundated my heart, I had accomplished one of the biggest goals in my life. My only regret that day was that my hubby couldn't be there to witness it, as he had to be at Firefighter training.

Tomorrow things are a bit different, I have 10 marathons under my belt and this will be my 4th time running TOU. I know what to expect, especially on this course, I know what I am even going to be thinking at certain points and I know that there is a certain area where I struggle the most and just want to quit every single time, and I also know where I get my second wind and where my legs want to say no more-please-no-more. And my expectations of myself are a bit different, I have a goal time now and with all my heart I hope I can make it.

Nevertheless, despite my experience in the course, I am afraid. I am afraid because I haven't trained like the previous years. My longest run in the past 2 months has been 13.1 miles. I am banking on my Crossfit training and my two marathons and the 22 miles I put in in Ragnar as my long runs, heaven help me, I am going to need all the passion from my heart to carry me through the FINISH line.

I have the heart, will my legs cooperate, we shall see.

My goal, to beat my time last year on this course: 3:36:30. My dream goal to PR in a marathon, which means I have to get better than 3:34:45.

It has become tradition that my awesome BFF does my hair before each race. She braids it nice and tight so that I don't have to deal with it coming undone during the race. Today, she did a little something different in the front and her signature snakey braid on the back.

Love my shirt by the way, it is my Crossfit USU shirt that says "FACTA NON VERBA", very appropriate for tomorrow.

TOU full hairstyle

And a very last minute change, hubby registered at the very last minute, as in day-of-registration.

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Thoughts...

Had a conversation today with an athlete/crossfit trainer/runner. I was sharing my achievements in certain areas of fitness and lack of progress in my running. As we continued talking and sharing stories and tips, he said something to me that I knew but I had been putting aside because I was listening to some other type of advice. You all probably know it and I am sure that if you have been training for awhile you already live it--if you want to be good at a certain activity, you must practice that activity. Example, if I want to be a great Zumba instructor, I should go and practice dancing, especifically Latin rhytms. However, if all I do is spin, there is no way that is going to help me in my dancing choregraphy wise. The same goes for my running, if I want to be a great runner, I am going to have to RUN, lifting weights and cross training will help me become stronger and will allow time for my legs to get a break from the pounding, however, if I want to be a runner, simple, I MUST RUN.

But running for the sake of running is not going to cut it. I need to put QUALITY runs. I can go to town doing Slow Long Runs and it will make me a Slow Long Distance runner. But, I don't want to be a slow runner anymore. I want to play with the big boys/big girls and to do that, I must get off my pretty plum bum and hit the road and hit it hard and fast.

And I leave you with this picture...yep, I have a marathon in 5 days. It is going to kick my trash because I haven't done a single long run since Ogden Marathon back in May, except for half marathons.

Tou 5 days

 


Wellsville 10K

In which I decide to run another race just a day after running walking the crazy Bear Lake Monster! Nyah and Riley What in heck was I thinking when I signed up, no idea! I must have been dreaming of qualifying for Boston again because that is the only way that I could have willingly signed up for another race.

Crazy!!!

Morning of the race came and frankly all I wanted to do was roll back into bed and put my eyemask on til the clock striked 2pm, instead I got up at 6am, alright, it may have been more like 6:15am. I hate mornings! I am not a morning person and I don't think I will ever be. I have always thought that I should get a graveyard job, I would be the most diligent worker ever! 2am rolls around and I am happy and full of energy.

Anyways, morning came and we went to the race. I was half asleep and cold but it was time for work. I wasn't expecting much from myself that morning. My legs were shot from the Monster on Saturday and I was feeling tired.  My son lined up at the 5K line and my friend Bianca took my little girl to the 1 mile start line, hubby, our awesome friend Josh and I headed to the 10K line.

The gun went off and it was time for my legs to start working. I still remembered this race from last Iphone september 187year and I remembered the uphill in it after mile one and my legs and brain were NOT looking forward to it. I took off with speedy Josh and quickly dropped off after the first block. I ran as best I could. My legs felt tired and sore. I kept telling myself that they would warm up and that I would be ok.  Got to the first aid station at mile 3 and my legs were not feeling any better. I knew at that point that I wasn't PRing this time around, my legs were just not there. They didn't feel like lead but they didn't feel happy either. I kept running the course hoping for my legs to get their speed but they never did. On the last descend I pushed as hard as I could and realized that I had just missed my PR and I still had a block to go. I kept telling myself "this is just a training run for the marathon" but it is still hard on the ego.

I finished in 47:20 (I didn't pause my garmin til 10 seconds after I was done running). Hubby finished in 44:50. My awesome boyo finished his 5K in 23:45 and my darling little Ny finished her mile in 9:03. Wellville picture

10K elevation map and splits

Wellsville 10K elevation map
Wellsville 10K splits


Almost into the Olympics!

I don't meddle nor post much about politics, but this one I cannot let go. It is just too much fun!

According to Paul Ryan, I am only a few minutes away from being selected into the Olympic team.

My Paul Ryand Adjusted Marathon time is a whooping 2:35!!!

Now, that's what I am talking about!!! I knew I was Olympic Team material all along, I just didn't know how close I was. If he is in charge of the BAA in the years to come, he may have my vote ;).

 

Paul Ryan
Clickity on the picture to calculate your awesomeness :)


Bear Lake Monster Half

Hubby and iHubby and I participated in another half marathon this weekend, the Bear Lake Monster Half Marathon. We were excited about this one, it had a completely different terrain than what we are used to. The Bear Lake Monster Half is all on dirt roads/ATV terrain, and it included climbing 1,100 feet of elevation. Usually, our races include dropping 1000-2000 feet of elevation but no climbing unless is like 200 feet.

The night before the race, we prepped all our stuff for the race and went to bed, around midnight, we started hearing the sky rumble. Oh no! I don't like running in rain, it gets quite cold up here when it rains and the last time I ran a race in the rain, the sky decided to drop some hail on us and I didn't want to repeat it again. We went to sleep and when we woke up the rain was still going :/ bummer. We got in the car and as we drove over to Bear Lake, I kept praying for the rain to stop. It took us about 45 minutes to get there and the rain was constant.  We got to the race start and we got our packets and the rain still continued. 45 minutes to start of the race and the rain started slowing down, then I looked over the mountain and I could see the sun and a hit of clear blue sky. I got hope in my heart. 10 minutes before the start of the race, it was like a blanket was pulled away from the sky and the sky turned a brilliant blue. It was a beautiful morning for a race!

PhotoWe lined up at the start line and there were just a few of us, probably a total of 50 people in the half marathon, 5 of them my friends, 2 of them crossfit athletes. We took off and we went out, about 1 mile was paved and as we went out, I was one of the first women out. Hubby quickly got up to the front of the pack and I stayed behind at my own pace. We passed the first aid station, then the hills and dirt roads began, unpaved territory for me, no pun intended.  The course description mentioned hills then downhill, well I was counting down the miles to the downhill. Up and up and up we went, some little downhill only to be confronted with another hill. I tried to run them at the beginning, but quickly I realized that my legs couldn't handle it, so I started walking. I felt guilty walking, I rarely walk, unless I am feeling sick and I wasn't sick so the guilt was eating at me. But, I swallowed my pride and walked. I walked most of the hills and ran whenever I could. I decided that if I couldn't run, I would at least walk, definitely NO STOPPING, but walking was okay.

I stopped at the aid stations and got plenty of water and took advantage of the tables to simply lean on them and rest up. I continued with the challenge of climbing up the hills. My legs are so not used to hills, I totally suck at them, and they get in my head and break me. But, whenever there is downhill, I can totally own the course and I took advantage of each of those dowhills.  After many hills and rolling baby hills, I finally reached the aid station between mile 6 and 7 and the volunteers told me that the downhill was finally coming. I believed them, but first I had another major uphill, so I walked it and then finally the descend started and my little legs took off.  There was another gal in front of me and we kept going back and forth, either she was in front or I was and we kept at til around mile 9, then I was ahead til we reached mile 10.  We arrived at the last aid station, around mile 10, and I rested, took two full cups of water a nasty GU, and the gal caught up to me and we both were at the aid station for a few seconds.

In the last 5K of a half marathon, I like to tell myself, you only have less than 30 minutes, you can do anything for 30 minutes.  Well, except this half had another small uphill for me, the other gal passed me at this point and I wanted to kick myself for not being able to keep up but I just found my comfortable pace and kept going. The other cute gal was just a few steps ahead of me for the next mile, her being in front helped me tremendously as the road had a lot of rocks and the road was narrow so wherever she stepped, I stepped.

On the last 2 miles though, she slowed down a bit and I passed her, I looked at my Garmin and I was excited to be done.  The road was downhill and I decided to take those last 2 miles as a WOD, I pushed and pushed. The first aid station/last aid station was up ahead and I took off my sweater and gave it to my friend Lori from the NERC FB group. I knew that I had only about a mile left from the aid station so I told myself " the road becomes pavement, it is a WOD, no stopping!". I took off, no prisoners, it was just me and the road, Eminem's song 'Til I Collapse came on my iPod on cue and it was time to work straight from the heart. The moment of truth, the moment where I could be either 2nd place or 3rd was to be decided on the last mile of the course. I wanted to look back and check on the other gal, but I didn't want to lose time, so I pushed and pushed, I could see the gal in first place about 1/2 a mile ahead of me, no way I could catch her, but I had a chance at keeping my second place if I just kept going. So I did. I pushed. It hurt. My lungs were burning, my legs were screaming in pain to stop or at least slow down.  We had to take a left hand turn at the end and I had just enough time for a glimpse behind me, but it was enough to see that I had gained at least 1/2 mile on the other gal, but I was not done yet. I had to keep pushing to the end then I saw my hubby already at the finish line, he was wearing his medal and he had a big smile on his face and he yelled "go Isela" and it was just enough to get me through the Finish Line. I had it! I conquered the Bear Lake Monster and I came in 2nd overall, it is my slowest time ever, but it was good enough for second on this challenging course.

At the end of the race, the other gal and I chatted for a bit. I thanked her for pushing me throughout the course for being there when I needed her,  she did the same. It was a tough course but I am so glad that I did it.  The views coming on the way down were spectacular. The lake looked so blue and it truly mesmerized me. I can't wait to do it again next year! Hubby finished 9th overall. He is such an amazing runner! See you next year Bear Lake Monster!

Official time: 2:03:05. 2nd place overall in the women's.

Elevation map--just because it was the hardest darn half I've ever done in my life! It must be recorded in internet history that I did run walk this half!

Bear Lake Monster Half Elevation Map