20th Marathon: Huntsville Marathon 2015

Writing this while it is still fresh in my mind....it is a little raw. 

First: a thank you to my friend Brett. At the beginning of the week,  my running friend Brett offered his bib to a willing runner, I right away raised my hand and was lucky enough to receive it. Thank you Brett!

This was my 20th marathon. I had different expectations for my 20th, but instead, I received probably the very best experience I could ever hope for my 20th. 

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What a beautiful course! Perfect time of the year to see the leaves changing color. I was very excited to try out this new, to me, course. I have only heard great things about the race and I wanted to give it a try. The volunteers were awesome and each aid station was well stocked, and every volunteer expressed their concern about the heat and being hydrated. Thank you race event managers for such an awesome event! 

The race has a unique start time of 9:00am, I didn't realize this until a couple of days ago. The late start allows one to sleep in, totally thumbs up on sleeping in, however, it does mean that temperature may be a little higher than usual. This time of year, Utah typically has lower temps, but that was not the case today. 

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The race started and just a few miles in, I knew I was in trouble. It was hot! By 6 miles, it felt like I was cooking inside an oven. Training in the early dawn got me used to running at cooler temps, now I see the value of training at 5pm. At mile 10, I started looking at it as a crossfit chipper. The course had aid stations every two miles, on the odd miles. So I started looking forward to the odd miles to get a drink and to cool off. At mile 14, I started slowing down, it was hot, way too hot and I couldn't cool off with the water, so I slowed down to keep my core temperature low. 

Around mile 17, I wanted to quit. All I wanted was to stay out of the heat. There was a little river running down the side and all I wanted was to jump in it and lay my body down in the water. I knew I couldn't keep my pace, I knew I couldn't achieve my desired time, so I had to choose: finish or DNF. I cannot quit, I don't have it in me to quit, not when I can still walk. So, I continued with a new mindset, finish. Finish the race is better than quitting. Walk, walk to keep the body temperature low and stop at every aid station and get water and gatorade. After mile 18, each mile became a chipper, one at a time, walk for about 1/4 of a mile, then make my way to the next mile, then repeat. 

At mile 20, I had to reach out to my hubby and to my friend Lizzy. I turned on my phone and started texting them, I needed encouragement. I needed a reason to keep going. Both of them gave me the words I needed to hear. I took a picture or my attempt at taking a picture with shaky hands at a mile marker. I don't know why I was so shaky, but I could barely type or hold my phone. 

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Did I mention that my ipod died at this point from throwing water on it? Ya, lucky me! 

I want to call mile 24 the miracle mile, I was hot, I had done a lot of walking at this point and I wanted to encourage those around me, but I couldn't even talk. Then, to my surprise, there was a little table around the bend and a lovely couple had set up an aid station with the red tall cups full of the coldest water I tasted all day. I grabbed two cups, and thanked them for their service. They literally saved me at this point. I drank and drank, then I poured the rest over me. Thank you. I wish I had gotten your names to thank you properly.  Around mile 24.75, a group of girls were handing things out, I couldn't make it out from a distance, I shuffled my way to them, and to my surprise, they were giving away popsicles, yummy, icy popsicles! Thank you to you too darling girls! 

Making my way to the finish was all but a struggle. I would walk and run and go back to walking because I just couldn't run. My body was shaking from head to foot, I was hot but yet, I was shaking. 

I passed the last aid station, around mile 25, then I crossed a street, my garmin said I was around mile 25.4 but the mile marker said I was at mile 25. A mile has never felt so long, as this one. I wanted to run it, but I couldn't. I walked a little, and then far away (about a block) I saw my little Nyahbelle running toward me. I knew then the end was near, but I couldn't see the Finish Line. 

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Nyahbelle reached me and she started running with me, then my son, Bryant joined me. I was in the middle, each one by my side. Each one encouraging me. We made the last turn to the Finish Line and I wanted to cry. It seemed so far away. I had to walk. I asked my children to slow down, I couldn't run. I gave myself a few steps, then we picked it up. My kids kept encouraging me and running, right beside me. They slowed their steps down to stay with me. My son, my little coach, kept telling me, over and over "mom, you've got this! "mom, you can do this". I wanted to cry and curl up on the side of the road, under a shady tree, but instead, we kept going. They carried me with their encouragement through the finish line. I got my medal and then I had to lift my foot for the volunteers to take the chip off my shoe, and I was about to fall, both of my children were right next to me, holding me up. Then, a volunteer came and offered me ice, and we found a chair for me to sit on. Having my children run through the Finish Line with me and helping me get there was probably the very best gift ever for my 20th marathon. 

They (my children and my hubby) have been with me during this entire journey...and they keep being my number one cheerleaders. Even when I ruin their weekend plans with my races. I love them dearly. 

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Running a marathon is not easy. It is not supposed to be. It is mean to test our limits, physically and mentally. Today, I was tested. I am pleased to say that I passed (barely).  Today's marathon was exactly what I needed for my 20th. I needed to realize and remember the complexities of a marathon. No, it was not perfect however it made me realize that I have the very best support group on my side. 

I am grateful for the support from my family and friends. For the love, example, and encouragement. 

Time: something around 4:13:xx


Nebo Half Marathon


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Getting back into the swing of things it is not always easy. I have been diligently training since about March. By diligently, I am referring to waking up at 5:55am Mon/Wed/Fri and running 4-6 miles, and then throwing a longish run in there on Saturdays. However, I have slacked off on speed-work and hill-work. Lacking these two components in my training is showing its ugly head.

Obviously, my lack of training has been showing and racing days have not been the same as before. Truth is that I am lacking the "umph" to run when it hurts. I am racing, but when it starts being painful as in painfully hard, I back off. I don't want to hurt. I don't want to push myself pass the pain. Something happen between the knee surgery and the time I took off from running. I would like to say that I got "smarter" but I don't think that is it. I lost my racing mojo...hopefully I'll get it back. 

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On September 5th, my hubby, my good friend Liz, and I decided to go down to Payson, UT and run the Nebo half marathon. We got down there the night before...with only minutes to spare before packet pick up closed. Thankfully,  our good friend Jorge stopped by packet pick up, in case we couldn't make it to pick up our packets! He is awesome like that! By the time we got there, about 7:55pm, he had our packets ready for us! Yay!

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Race morning came early, up by 3:45am. Ya! We are so crazy! The worst part--we pay for this! 

The course was spectacular, beautiful views for about 11 miles of the course. First 8 miles steep downhill, then the course continues downhill but at a lesser degree.  I flew through the first 8 miles, then I hit a wall, my nutrition wasn't kicking in and having been sick for 3 weeks straight beforehand came down hard on me. I try to keep the pace going, but I just couldn't must the energy. By the time mile 11 came, I just wanted to be done. I walked through the aid station, and grabbed gatorade and water, hoping that it would give me the energy to finish. I didn't want to hit any 9 minute miles during this half, so I kept going. I took a mental note of all my aches and realized that it wasn't that I was in pain, my legs were fine, my arms were fine, my lungs felt okay, my gut was hungry but nothing unusual. So, what was going on? I didn't have it in me. Simply put-I didn't want to push myself.

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Crossing that finish line, I was grateful for finishing yet I was disgusted in myself for not pushing harder, for giving up. Mentally, I lost it around mile 10. But there is always another race, another day. 

Nebo Half 2015


TOU Half Marathon

TOU HALF 2015

My hometown half marathon! One of my favorite races of the year as I get to see a bunch of my running buddies from all over town. 

A few of us from our morning group took part on the event.

Like always, the TOU 1/2 didn't disappoint. Great course, excellent aid stations, and despite the nasty air from the fires around the neighboring states, it was a beautiful sunny day. 

Race wise: I knew it wasn't going to be my fastest. I was sick for two week straight prior to race day. I had severe sinus and ear infections so I knew that I was going to be out there still a bit under the weather. However, I was there to have fun and I did have fun. Even when it got hard, around mile 11, I was still enjoying myself. 

At the end, my friend Adrian met me and he helped me on the last 200 meters. I push hard on that last bit and I crossed the line spent. 

TOU Half crossing line 2015

After I finished, I waited to see my running friends come in. Each one of them gave their all as they were running through the finishing chute. Awesome gals, so grateful to run with them in the mornings. 

TOU HALF with Paige 2015

I even got to snap a picture with my sweet friend Paige. We used to work together, she was my advising mentor. I sure miss her at the office. 

TOU 1/2 2015, another great race day!

TOU Half2015

 


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.


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


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


TOU 1/2 Marathon 2012

Isela Phelps TOU Half 2012
First fall race of the season arrived! I was not prepared for it at all. I had done a total of two training runs for it, a 5 and a 3 miler, besides the short runs we do at crossfit. Yes, I ate a piece of humble pie that day as I miss my PR by just 20 seconds!!! Did I want to kick myself about it, no doubt! I still keep thinking "if just maybe I hadn't stopped at the aid stations and walked through them" if I could just have pushed that last mile from a 7:30 to a 7:10 pace. The truth is that I didn't look at my previous time so I didn't know how much faster I needed to run than last year. Now, I have regrets and I need to wait one entire year to try again.

Having said the above, I cannot feel totally bad. My time was quite respectable still 1:39:57 which is totally okay, especially for only two training runs. Also my recovery time was practically zero, I felt really, really well that very same afternoon and the previous days I was just a little tired but not enough to slow me down any or to make me skip any WODs or to miss work.

During the race, I felt secure about my steps, I didn't once feel like quitting nor did I feel that my hips were about to give up. My hips felt strong, like they could handle the pounding. During halves and especially fulls, my hips start "dipping" towards the front and I need to keep pushing my tush back so that I can give proper steps. Not the case during this race, I remember thinking around mile 11 that my hips felt strong.

The race itself, I feel that I had a strong race, not a fast race by any means, as I remember going down the hills and saying "maybe you should push more" and I would answer to myself with "don't want to get too tired, this is a training run for St. George Marathon, that's it!".  

OVERALL: I am satisfied with the race. I am not happy with myself for missing my PR but there is always next time. I am happy with the fact that I didn't die on the course, that I did run a 7:30 on that last mile and that I felt very good after the race.

Splits and elevation map:

TOU half splits
Tou half elevation

 


The Pink Series 5K

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I had a dream! A dream that I will run a 5K around 20 minutes. I never thought I could be that fast, thus it was a dream. I am slow, remember, I was the Chubbette for awhile, the one that ran 13minute miles and puked a lung each time I had to run more than half a block.

But my dream became a reality on April 28th at the Pink Series 5K event. I am a big fan of the Pink Series events, they surely know how to make a gal feel special. From packet pick up to the welcoming "hunks" they keep at the Finish Line waiting eagerly to place our medals around our necks, to the awesome awesome food at the other side of the Finish Line. If you haven't had a chance to do one of their events, take a day and sign up for one and run it, you won't regret it ;).

The course was all downhill and when I say downhill, I truly mean it. 400 feet loss in 3 miles--it is sweetly fast! So fast that my legs couldn't keep up with the turnover. Heck yeah! Being a marathon runner seriously makes me appreciate short runs like this one even more.

One of the funnest parts about this race was our "token" runner, Pleasant Grove City Fire Chief Sanderson, anyone who crossed the Finish Line before him, would receive a gift card as a prize. I didn't think I stood a chance, he is an ultra runner and superb runner all around, so when I made it to the Finish Line just a couple of seconds before him, it made my day. I think he was just being nice and let me get there before him so not to break my heart so close to the finish line.

The race was over before I could realize that I was getting tired. 20:34, my fastest 5K ever! And the course was actually a little longer, many garmin's clocked it at  3.21.

5k top 5
Here we are, the top 5 and Fire Chief, Sanderson.

Thank you The Pink Series for an awesome time and an awesome event!

 


Canyonlands Half Marathon

Canyonlands big picture

On March 17th, I had the chance to participate in a spectacular race in Moab, UT, Canyonlands Half Marathon. The views on this particular half marathon are outstanding! I wanted to stop and simply take in the view various times, and it wasn't because I was coughing up a lung cuz I was so out of shape, no, the beauty of this magnificient area is just lovely! The beautiful red rock and the rock formations are a beauty to the eye.

Canyonlands view

This was my very first Canyonlands Half and I didn't know what to expect. I knew it was down the canyon and I have ran down canyons but not this particular one. As we made our way up to the start line, we didn't know what to expect. It was a little chilly and I was wearing shorts. What we didn't expect was the wind, lots and lots of wind with small particles of sand all around. I remember breathing at one point and getting a mouthful of dirt in, hahaha, I quickly learned not to run with my mouth wide open on this one.

The course is pretty gentle downhill, beautiful views, and a very, very small little uphill, nothing to be afraid of, then it flatens out at the end.

I did however find the last 3 miles of this particular half to be the hardest, not because I was tired, rather due to the wind factor. It was fierce out there! I always wear sunglasses and this was a day that I was truly grateful for them, the dirt was flying everywhere! The wind was so bad that at points I felt I was running backwards. Thank goodness for my spare tire as it helped kept me on the ground, 10 pounds lighter and I am sure I would have been flying like a piece of candy wrapper. At one point, I found a taller gal than me and I just ran behind her, everything was cool until she decided to spit and well due to the wind, I got a big chunk of it on my arm and my shirt--serves me right for trying to hide from the wind behind her.

It was my first race of the season and the wind factor was brutal, and although I should take those two things into consideration, I still felt badly about my performance, it is one of my slowest marathon to date in my short racing life. I clocked in at 1:47:58. I know, I know, I shouldn't beat myself up about it as I did give it my all but still, one always likes to perform better not worse. My kids just tell me that I am getting old...and I guess they are right, hahaha.

Moab 2012 001

My awesome little cheerleaders were waiting for me at the end with big smiles and hugs and ready to tell me that I was a "stinky" mom and needed a bath fast! Aren't they adorable? Yes, I keep them cuz they make adorable cheerleaders, especially when one of them wears tiny little socks that have St. Patty's days all over!

Moab 2012 063

Overall, I loved this race. The views alone make the entire 13.1 miles worth it! I will definitely do it again if I have a chance.

And another picture because it just shows my awesome muscles, alright, I just want to show you how spectacular my little treasures are, one of them on each side of the road just waiting for me to give them high-five :). I sure love them both to pieces ;).

Moab 2012 034



The Pink Series 10K, Report

Pink10K 007 I love when I can run for a cause and this race allowed me to do just that! The proceeds benefit UCREW (Utah Cancer Resource and Education for Women). It was the first all-women's 10K in Logan and we had a great showing for the first time, over 120 women came to support the cause.

The day started perfect for a race, low temperature and we even had a little bit of wind to push us through the first mile. A sea of pink welcomed me as I arrived to the starting line with only 10 minutes to spare, hubby decided to drop me off at the starting line rather than me loading the bus one hour before. I love that man! I was able to sleep in an extra half hour :).

  As the race started, the sea of pink started dispersing here and there Pink10K 088but on this day you could see pink every few minutes out on the road. It was a beautiful sight!

The volunteers were amazing too! They were cheerful and full of energy as we passed and they just screamed and supported us all along the way. Yes, even our male volunteers were tough enough to wear pink in support of our cause! LOOOVE it!

My family rode along the course snapping pictures and cheering me on. I took off a little too fast at the beginning but gave it my all during the entire course. I went with a goal time of 45 minutes and according to my Garmin, I came in at 45:03--close enough to make me super stoked! And fast enough to place me 3rd overall! First time ever that I place in the overall standings.

I loved the race so much that I registered for the next Pink Series event--the Half Marathon. I probably won't have much in the tank to run it as it is just a week after St. George Marathon but I am doing it for a greater cause than just me.

OPink10K 041fficial time: 45:28 (Garmin 45:03)

Place: 3rd Overall

 


Spudman 2011

Spudman Logo When it comes to fun, there is only one thing that comes to mind--Spudman Tri! I love it. It is one of those triathlons where I meet a ton of people whom I admire and inspire me. I love seeing them each year as they come together and do this race just for fun. I love their camadeire, their support, their charismatic personalities and most of all, I love that I can be a part of this great event.

This year, I decided to go in the Elite wave, not because I am "Elite" but because some of my friends told me I would enjoy the experience even more. They were right, partly, I loved the less crowded swim portion. It was quite pleasant to swim in the open water without too much of splashing around me, I actually moved away from all the other swimmers just so that I could have a nice comfortable swim. At one point, I spotted something orange and I thought it was the end of the swim so I started swimming towards it, only to find out that it was a kayak with orange paddles, hahaha! It wasn't much of a delay though, I was back on track soon enough and feeling quite happy with the swim.

Finished the swim in: 17:49.35

The bike was a different story all together. I knew I was going into the race with only 3 previous Spudman2011 036 bike rides on me this season (each one of them a previous race), so I knew I wasn't going to be stellar! But, going in the Elite wave meant that I was up front and I wasn't prepared for what that meant in the cycling portion of the Tri. Peloton after peloton of riders passing me and making me quiver on my bike was not part of the plan. A few times, I thought I was going to pee from the scares they gave me, yelling on the left on the right, on the left, on the right. Seriously, I thought I was competing in Tour de France and I was the bread lady on her cruiser bike! Those elite people can definitely bike! Don't get me wrong, I am not a complete moron on the bike but my 18-19mph did't compare to their 25+mph speeds.  Around mile 18, I told myself that I hated my fat butt (which I don't have) for not training on the bike a bit more. At this point, I found a friend, another girl cyclist that had started in the Elite wave too and was feeling a bit left out. We rode a couple of miles together and that made me feel a bit better. Misery loves company...right?!? After awhile, she took off and I stayed behind. I was doing my best on the beast, spinning as well as I could and trying my best.

Finished the bike portion in 1:22:44

RunningSpud
Soon enough, I got to the running leg and I was much too glad to get rid of the bike. At one point in my life, I was really happy with my bike and the great times we had, but since I learn to run, the bike and I don't do very well. I much rather be on my feet and run that sit on the saddle and spin. I feel like I have more control when I am on my feet. Sure enough, I felt confident while on the run, I got out of transition and soon enough I was passing people. I felt great. I knew I could run and I knew I had enough in the tank to get me to the end. The miles flew by and next thing I knew I was at mile 4, at this point something weird happen and I started having some heart palpitations/cramps on my upper chest. I slowed down a bit and concentrated on my breathing, and tried to analyze the pain. I breathed in and out slowly as I continued running, it passed after a few minutes and I picked up the pace again. I love the ending on this race, it is a little grassy downhill where you can sprint to the end and catch those in front of you...always love to give my all to the very end.

Run: 48:30

Total time: 2:34.05, about 30 seconds slower than last year...yah, I know, I am a slacker.

The race was phenomenal! I love it and I am looking forward to participating again next year. I actually came home with just one wish--one day, I hope to bring home a little Spud of my own :).

Spudman2011 078

 


Blacksmith Fork Freedom Run 15K Report

Summer! It goes by super fast! One of my favorite seasons just because I keep super busy doing the things that I LOVE to do.

One July 4th, we went and ran the Blacksmith Fork Freedom Run 15K. It is my second year running it and I really wanted to go out there and give it all I had. It is just 9+ miles so I knew that I could push my body and see if I could place--yes, I admit it. I went to the race with high hopes on placing.

Freedom Run

Hubby, my niece and I went up and gave it our all. It was my hubby's second time running it and my niece's first. It was actually the longest run she had ever ran to that date! She did so awesome too! I love her to pieces! :)

  Sam Freedom Run
Hubby was ahead of me the entire time, I could see him but his pace was a bit too fast for me to keep up. About mile 6.5 he had to use the Johnny so I was able to catch up and pass him. At this point, we have the only uphill of the course, it is a killer after going from all downhill, definitely a shocker for the quads.

  Freedom Run1

I came in at a time of 1:10:04 and for the first time ever, I placed in my AG--4th (they go 6th deep in the awards). My very FIRST ribbon! :)

Cache Valley Sprint 001

Blacksmith fork