Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's a beautiful day....

November is usually a down time for me. I don't have any marathons planned for this month and I am recovering from my 5 in 7 week binge from August to October. I always tell runners that you need to record and write down your mileage. I purchased a big new calendar last week and started filling it in with all the marathons listed on the RW calendar. I would like to do 18 next year, which is just over double my 2008 total. That means I will have to start early - like January 3rd the Running from an Angel Marathon outisde of Las Vegas. I have heard a lot of good things about Joyce and Calico racing so I am going to take the plunge and enter some of her races. It's about a 6 hour drive from here which isn't too bad as long as we don't get a ton of new snow around the beginning of the year. The race looks well organized, and hopefully I can either take the whole family ( neg. is no sleep before the race) or find another runner or two to carpool with from central or northern Utah.

So I started my November training with a 10.81 mile run Saturday morning with a new group that was being organized at the local Fleet Feet store. There were about 9 who showed up. After a mile we separated into a lead group of 4 of us that ran about 8:15-8:30 per mile and a second group. We waited periodically for the others to catch up. Adam and Kent seem about my pace so I think I will go again and try to keep some longer runs going this winter. I may even do Death Valley in December if I decide to stay on 30+ miles per week for November.

Then last night I did a 5 miler at 9pm . It wasn't too cold but rained after the first mile or so. I ran about 42 mins which was a little slower than normal but I took it very easy the first half then picked the pace up coming south to the Manila chapel.This morning I went to vote at 7am but there were already 250 people in line at the school so decided to come home and try later on . Time to work on the blog and do my situps.

It is a beautiful day... I have already decided that before I do anything.

And Paula Radcliffe is still the best femaile marathoner in the world. 2:15:25 is the record at London. I just wish NBC would show more than 1 hour of the NYC marathon and include footage of the mere mortals in the race.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Part 3 of St George Marathon 2008

The brightest white teeth at the start !

Jodie the Ironwoman triathlete at the start

Most of the field with their bin liners on and ready to run

Here's how a few of my friends did in the 2008 St George Marathon:

Scott Nelson 3:00:00
Bronson Dameron 3:07:16
Andy Jacobs 3:09:54
Paul Thomas 3:11:18
Bill Hiatt 3:15:09
Derek Butters 3:35:53
Dan Coles 3:35:54
Bill Mitchell 3:36:42
Mark Nelson 3:42:03
Laura Gardanier 3:43:20
Lynette Borup 3:44:43
Mike Shelton 3:46:43
Rike Mitchell 3:50:31
Dave Hilmo 3:55:25
Larry Marshall 3:55:36
Kevin Jessop 3:57: 00
Tammy Miller 4:06:06
Cory Borup 4:12:05
Carmen Shelton 4:29:56
Doug Larsen 6:01:37

Part 2 of the 2008 St George Marathon

Here's a shot of my friend ,Laura, and I at the start - her 5th marathon this year and tenth overall. Laura's time was 3:43:20. Great job !

Here is a shot of my friend Cory Borup (4:12:05) His wife Lynette finished in 3:44:43

On the bus up to the start at Central. Not sure what medicine the lady behind me took this morning.

If you have been to Boston this year, well, hey, wear the jacket as much as you can. Great bragging rights here. And a nice pony tail.

I even saw Satan in the portapotty line. If this guy tries to pass you, just say " Get thee behind me, Satan" and the race is yours !

The Start:

A group of us met at 5 am at the southeast corner of the tennis courts by Worthen Park to catch the bus up to the start at Central. As we arrived at Central, the flags were blowing towards the start indicating a 12-15mph headwind. It was raining as we descended from the bus. We pulled out our black lawn and leaf bags, and fortunately I had white running gloves and a black knitted hat, both of which I wore for the duration of the race.

I made a decision on the bus to run with Laura and the 3:40 pace group. The pacer, Andy , was quite a way back in the start pack, and it took several minutes to cross the start line and then we were bogged down with 10 min mile runners in a brick wall ahead of us. Starting with this pace group was looking like a bad decision.... it took 9:30 to get to mile 1, and 9 more minutes to get to mile 2. At that point , I took off on my own, but realized that valuable time was already lost and 3:30 would be nowhere in sight.

Miles 7-8

Going up Veyo, I met a 6'5" BYU student who graciously shielded me from the wind. We ran 8:15's after Veyo and tried to make it to the half by 1:50. After a potty break at 11, I had lost ground, and made it to the half in 1:53, which would have been 3:46 had I run the second half at the same pace.

Nothing can compare to water sloshing around in your shoes, wet socks and cold legs half way through a marathon. With very little body fat, I was cold and miserable. At Snow canyon, I was cheered on by Nick Stewart and his wife sat huddled up in chairs to my right. Many brave souls were helping us to get through a tough race. it took more to be out there sitting than to be running in this nasty weather.

Miles 16-18

The downhills sections from 16-18 felt better, I was able to run close to 8 min miles. I stopped briefly for a kind volunteer to put "icy hot" on both patella tendons at the 17 mile aid station. The hill looming at 18 sapped my strength 2/3 of the way up, and I allowed myself a brief walk for 50 yards. When I resumed running I crested the hill knowing that it really was "all downhill from here".

Miles 21-16.2

A third potty break at mile 21 took another valuable minute away. I realized that I was overhydrated and did not need any more fluid for the rest of the race. As I scrambled back onto the course, the 3:50 pacer came sailing past, much to my chagrin. "Oh no you don't" I said to myself, and frantically caught up to his group which I then decided to stick with to the end of the race. I found myself from that point overtaking more runners than were passing me, which was very gratifying so late in the race. As we came into town, I passed my good friend Dave Hilmo, who was now walking and looked very weary. ( Dave would finish in 3:55:25)

The pacer was now saying, " Nice and easy, nice and easy". As I looked around, he must have bee talking to me as the 3:50 pace group had completely disintegrated. and I was the only runner with this pacer. I looked at my GPS and decided that I WAS going to break 3:50 to at least get 4 sub 3:50 marathons in the last 5 weeks. The bad news was they were all slower - 3:40 then 3:43 then 3:45 two weeks ago then 3:49:21 today.

As I came across the line , my Dad was waiting at the right side of the finish area with his coat and umbrella. Yes, it was still raining. the other runners int he finish area were frozen, wet and tired. The 6'5" BYU student found me and thanked me for pacing me for several miles and giving him solid encouragement - he finished in 3:55

I stayed long enough to devour a Blue Bunny ice cream cone with 300+ calories and joked with other runners that if we ate 10 of those we could replenish all of the calories that we had burned up in the marathon. I couldn't wait to get back to the hotel, shower and eat a big guilt-free meal at Denny's down the street from the hotel.

As if we had not had enough rain , it poured down all the way back, 4 1/2 hours of rain. Hats off to my Dad who drove the 216 miles from Cedar City to Pleasant Grove.

Let's hope for a dryer and warmer St. George marathon next year !

St. George Marathon 2008 !!

St George Marathon ..... 4 October 2008

Most of us were happy and smiling before this year's St. George marathon. After all, there was a weather forecast of 48 at the start and a 40% chance of rain. hmm.... make that 100% rain from start to finish. I always carry a black lawn and leaf bag in my bag in case it is cold, wet, or windy, and today it was all three of those...

This was the finish line at Worthen park at 4:45 am. Quiet and dark...

I ran into (pardon the pun) a lot of my friends at the bus loading area. ...

Above is Alan Nybo, a fellow physical therapist and long time friend, with his wife Joy.

Alan finished in 5:56:38 and Joy in 5:56:36. Good job guys !

Above is a fast Masters runner Hal Amos who I also met up with at the bus loading area.

Hal finished in 3:16:31.... presumably he opened the other eye before the start of the race

Here is my good friend Bill Hiatt who didn't open either eye before the gun went off as he was trying to save energy for the race. After a 3:17:52 last year, Bill needed a 3:15:59 or better to qualify for Boston. He did it ! Well done Bill..... a 3:15:09. Now open those deep pockets and go buy a plane ticket to Boston !! This is one race you don't want to bandit.

Since I cannot seem to upload ay more photos in one blog, I will close this now and create a second blog with more photos.....

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Top Of Utah Marathon Summary 20 September 2008

The Top of Utah Marathon 2008

I love this race ! The course is fantastic. We start at Hardware Ranch and run through the Canyon downhill for 13 miles then see the first spectators at 14 miles. Over the years I have had some fun races on this course. One year it snowed the entire way to Logan and I wore a black bin liner for 12 miles.

This year was very very special. Why ? Because my big sister Julie, whom I had not seen for almost 4 years was here on vacation and she was there at mile 14 as I came out of the canyon. So was my brother-in-law, Norman, my father , Phil , and my 3 year old, Sadie.

I also had my good friend Bill Hiatt pacing me today. Bill is in the best shape of his life and getting ready to break 3:10 at the St. George marathon this next week. We started off running 7:28's and it felt good. The plan was to run a 1:40 first half and a 1:50 second half, for a 3:30 finish. last year I had run a negative split - 1:50 first half and 1:45 second half for a 3:40. The first half felt too slow and so I thought I could do better this year running faster on the downhill first half.

At the half, we were at 1:44 and I was not feeling too good. It doesn't help that this was my 3rd marathon in 3 weeks and my 4th marathon in 5 weeks.

We held 8 min miles until 16. By 19 miles the wheels were really starting to fall off the bus. I was getting dehydrated and mixing running with walking. 3:30 was gone and so was 3;40. Last week I ran a 3:43 and the week before a 3:40. This was to be a 3:45. That's ok, not bad. To put it in perspective, I was 299th out of 2219 finishers or something like that.

The best part was the finish line. I had promised my sister that she could put the finisher's medallion around my neck. The volunteer passed me the medal, and Julie leaned over the fence and this is the result:

I had waited a long time for this moment, and it was well worth it. The volunteer did a pretty good job with the camera. Thank you TOU !

And thank you Julie for being there at my 60th marathon. If it wasn't for your bad knee, I would want you running one of these with me.

I love you big sister !

Also here at the TOU party was my high school friend, Dr. Mike Crossley who had flown in from Houston to run the race with his son Keith and his fiancee. they all broke 6 hours and the whole family plans to complete the course next year.

It was great to see Mike again. last year was his first marathon. well done Mike I am proud of you.

Now I have a two week rest until the St. George marathon. The biggest marathon in Utah at 4500+ finishers. I am not sure of strategy at this point. Maybe I will run with my neighbor Mike who wants to break 3:30 and go to Boston. maybe I will run the entire race with the 3:30 pace group. I won't make my mind up until 30 mins before the race starts on Saturday October 4th !

I am happy for Mike and his wife Carmen. They were planning on running last year but each was in a bad bicycle accident and had to recover and wait until 2008. Good luck Carmen on your first marathon and good luck Mike - I hope you can qualify for Boston.
I saw many friends who seem to run the same marathons each year - John Bozung - who runs one per month year after year and is a great inspiration to me - was there along with runners from Sojourners.

I met up this weekend with my great friend Laura who stayed in the same hotel and had shared the course with me this year at Boston, Ogden and Park City. Laura had run 5 marathons before this year and now was running 5 in a year. After St. George she will have 10 full marathons under her belt. Laura ended up with a 3:55. Way to go Laura, see you at St. George next week.

After the race we put back the calories with a hearty meal at Wendy's and then drove back home. What a great day !

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Little Grand Canyon Marathon


This was to be my third marathon in four weeks which most of my neighbors consider to be insane. My previous best was four in eight weeks which wasn't really that bad in the end, but since I am trying to get my numbers up to 100 marathons as quickly as possible needed spicing up a little. Of couse when I thumbed a ride to the start of the Deseret News Marathon on July 24th, little did I know that my driver and soon to be friend would be none other than Dane Raushenberg who a couple of years ago ran 52 in 52 weeks. Having chatted with him that day about the feat, I decided that 5 in 7 weeks was definitely " doable " for me.

So, at 3:00 am I arose, dressed and hopped in the Honday Odyssey minvan for the 2 hour drive down to Huntington City Park to catch the bus two miles to the start of this brand new marathon put on by the intrepid Duane and Jared from Mammoth marathons - don't you just love their name and logo ?

I collected my goody bag and bib number and waited in line to be driven out in very comfortable non-school buses to the starting line. The poor bus driver didn't know where she was going either, but duly followed the other two buses and off we went into the darkness. Soon we were on a country road with about 70-80 runners and three portapotties for last minute pitstops before we started the race. I met Dane at the start and he seemed really pleased to meet me again - I was too. I met his friend from Virginia and then a tall young BYU student who informed me that this was his first marathon. "What time are you looking for?', I asked.

"Sub 3 hours" was his reply. He looked pretty fast and said that he had trained. I pointed to Dane, and said, " there's your winner - he has a 2:51 PR" I found out later that this BYU student was Bronson Dameron - we are now officially "friends" on FACEBOOK.

Well, this fellow ran well until 20 miles then hit the wall and finshed in fourth overall. Dane had a comfy victory in 3:05.

I ran carefully at first, finding myself in 16th place after a couple of hundred yards. I tried to keep the two girls ahead of me in sight and maintain an 8 min/mile pace. I had a salt tablet at the start and took two after 7 miles, as they really helped me at the marathon last week when I ran a 3:40 and change.

After two miles we turned onto a hard packed trail that was easy on the legs and didn't really kick up much dust. I kept my position for most of the race. At 13 I had to lose some fluid if you get my drift. While I was doing that two other girls came past me. I caught up with them after a mile, then at the next aid station, one dropped back and the other one (Chrissie from Heber), and I ran the next 9 miles side by side. We passed the two girls ahead of us, and several more guys who were slowing down. At 23 miles, she needed a pit stop and we didn't look back to see who was behind us. Bad mistake - the girl that was with us at 13 had a second wind and came past the portapotty. When my friend came out, the other girl was 100 yards ahead and stayed that way for the last two miles.

I was feeling a little tired at 23 and decided to just limp in at a slow pace, checking behind to make sure that nobody was going to pass me. After all, I have another marathon next Saturday, so I have to keep some juice in the tank.

So, my opinion on the race ? Exellent first time race, great course, pretty good people. The really bad thing was the timing and results. We had to wait forever for the men's age group results at the City Park. Oh, and the bus ride back from the finish to the city park would have been better had the driver been willing to put on the A/C. She kept opening the door to let air in, but that was the best we had.

Two unique postive things about this race

1) the mile signs went backwards ...26 to go,...25 miles to go etc. What a brilliant idea. Why didn't I think of that ?

2) A warm meal with pulled pork, boiled rice and fruit salad
back at the park ( after fruit drinks etc at the finish)

3:43:43 was my finish time, ok.. 3rd place in my age group. I have done a lot worse.
I think that I was in the top 20 overall. But I came home with two medals - a finsher's medal and an engrave dage group medal. That means 82 medals are hanging on the wall in my gym now.

I really want to do this race again next year. Hopefully I can carpool with somebody and avoid the lone and dreary ride in the wee hours of the morning.