Sunday, September 6, 2009


A shot of my running downhill on leg 11 in the torrential rain Friday September 4th ,3:30 pm East of Cedar City. I Started at 9200 feet on a dry trail and ended up soaked to the bone running through rain, torrential rain and hail, all for the greater good of the team. Our team van is just to my right.


I had been asked my my good friend Larry Marshall a few weeks ago to join his team on the inaugural Red Rock Relay, starting at Zion's National Park and ending in Santa Clara just outside of St. George, Utah , home of the famous October St. George marathon which I run every year.

Van 1 consisted of Larry, his son Jeremy, and four very fast 20 something girls. This was the Sun van.
Van 2 consisted of 6 older guys ( Kevin through two 53 year olds of varying abilities.) This was the Snow van.

Van 1 started the race for us at 9:20 am at Zion's National Park. Van two left Utah county at 8:30 am and met up with van one at the first major exchange.
I was runner #11 and was thus in van 2.

Grant took off first for our van while van 1 "leapfrogged" to the next major exchange. We each ran 12-19 miles total spread out over three legs.

We finished late Saturday morning having had little to no sleep during the Friday night.

End of leg 11 in the torrential rain.

Three members of team 148 that finished just ahead of us in the race. Stacey is on the left and Rex ? in the middle. The third guy was their leg 11 runner but I didn't get his name.

Deeks and Stacey who overtook him on their third leg coming in to Veyo.

Team 148 handing off to Rex who would extend his lead over our runner Kevin on the way to the next exchange at Snow Canyon

Me at the start of Snow Canyon. the main road from Veyo is closed for the full marathon in early October. This is the point where I turn off the main road after Kevin tags me, and run downhill through Snow Canyon.

Start of my final leg. the girl that passed Kevin towards the end of his leg handed off to the next runner 20 seconds before this shot was taken. I passed him 1 minute later during a 5:39 first mile down Snow canyon and a 6:06 second mile, all part of a 4.6 mile searing descent to tag Paul at the next exchange. I finally had a run with no rain or hail.

First shot of me coming down Snow Canyon on Saturday morning. 5th September 2009 during the Red Rock relay.

One hundred yards from the next exchange,

Just about to tag Paul, our anchor runner.

Handing off to Paul who would finish the race for us. Just look at that red dirt . That's why it is the Red Rock relay.

Deeks near the finish line with the Red Rock formations in the background.

Out team at the finish line : 25 hours 16 minutes and 20 seconds for 185 miles. Easily visible in my trademark lime green shorts.

Group photo with team 148 who we came to know and battle against every step of the way.

Out team at the finish: Jeremy, Kari, Lyle, Liesel, Deeks, Jessie, Larry, Jonathan, Grant, Kevin, Paul ( Abby is with her children during this photo)

The full team at the finish : Jeremy, Kari, Lyle, Liesel, Deeks, Jessie, Larry, Jonathan, Grant, Kevin, Abby, Paul

Another team photo...

Red Rock Relay buggy..

Red Rock Relay official Ford van.

Deeks on his way to helping the team to a 25 hour finish...

Deeks with Cedar City behind him in the valley

Looking down a hilly climb that we had just gone up..

9200 feet up and this is the view.
Normally we refer to "roadkill" as any other team you pass on the way. Bu this was the real stuff, a recently deceased squirrel. We had brought plenty of food so decided to leave it there.

Looking downhill on Grant's first leg of the race early afternoon on Saturday.

Jessie ( leg 6) handing off to Grant (leg 7) at the first major exchange.

This was one of Steve Prefontaine's famous quotes... enough said. His other famous one is, " To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift"

Redrock Heads team: Liesel, Abby, Kari, Grant, Jonathan, Larry, Paul, Lynn, Deeks, Kevin . Team van one is on the left and Team Van 2 is on the right as you look at the photo.

Window decoration on the van of the Diablo Divas team.

As I write this on Sunday afternoon, I am looking forward to attempting to qualify for the Boston Marathon with a sub 3:30 finish at the Top of Utah marathon, my 69th lifetime marathon, in Logan Utah, on September 19th 2009.
Next week I have decided to run a local 5k with Bethany , my 7 year old who is an aspiring runner !

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Top of Utah 1/2 Marathon

It has been a while since I blogged , and I need to do that more often so here goes.

I had long looked forward to the TOU 1/2 marathon. Speaking of per mile pace, I am a much better 1/2 marathoner than a full. I love downhill running and can keep a pretty brisk pace up for 10+ miles on a good gradient so was hoping for a decent time today. Plus , I have trained a lot on hills this summer, especially the Cedar Hills Trails and I felt confident going in to this race.
I had arranged to pick up one of the elite female runners whom I know - Mary Ann Schauerhammer ( who did a 3:00 hr flat marathon at Utah Valley in June to win the ladies division). Bad news.....she lives in Provo, the opposite direction from where we were headed this morning.

I went to bed at 10:30 'ish but was so nervous that I couldn't sleep. So, close to midnight, I hopped on to Facebook to see that one of my friends had said " good luck" . Yes, I need more than luck, I need strong legs, a tailwind and all the 10 min milers NOT to stand on the front row like so many of them seem to do. ! Back to bed, and I just lay there for 2 + hours looking at the clock every 10 mins. Finally at 2;58 I decided to get up, put ice and water in my cryocuff, load everything into the car and head to Provo.

The off ramp was closed at Center St. so I had to go down to University Ave then come up that way to get to Mary Ann's place. She slept in the passenger seat while I drove, and we made good time on the 2 + hr journey to Providence, outside of Logan.

We parked 1/2 mile way from the Zollinger Park and then walked to where the bus loading was taking place. Holy Cow, there were a ton of runners in the race. There must have been 40 + busses in line and a couple thousand runners. This race has really grown in the last few years.

As I walked over to get in line for my race packet, my best friend in High School in England, shouted my name. Yes, Mike had flown in from Vidor, Texas where he is an emergency room M.D.
He was here with his wife, 3 of the four children and a daughter in law who were all doing the race. Mike is flying back here in three weeks with a 23 yr old son to run the full marathon.
After we collected our race packets, I lost them for a while, hopped to the back of the line where several nervous girls asked me lots of questions. - That's what you get for wearing a Boston jacket before the race. You must know all the answers about marathon running - NOT ! They were all great and wanted to know about pacing, qualifying for Boston etc. I was happy to oblige and didn't feel quite so alone as I did earlier, since Mary Ann had joined her elite racing friends and I wouldn't see her again until after the race.

When I took off my sweats and threw them in the bag on the bus I walked up the hill to the start. It was packed, yes there were over 2000 runners in this race. I decided to start on the 10th row - big mistake there were several 10 min milers blocking my way once the gun went off - girls that would keep you warm in the winter and shade you in the summer if you get my drift.

Even after the announcer said that if you are not running 5 min miles do not get ANYWHERE near ther front nobody moved. . I was planning on 7 min miles for as long as I could so figured that close to the front was in my best interest.

The other problem was that we were 30 secs from the gun going off and my Garmin still hadn't found a satellite. It didn't until 1/2 mile into the race and I was then fumbling to reset the darn thing, then start it, all while running down hill and trying to avoid a myriad of plump females who had lined up way closer to the front than they should ever have been allowed to !!

The first mile I hit in 6:40, 20 seconds too fast so I tried to slow it down bit..

Mile 1: 6:40
2 6:59
3 7:06
4 6:51
5 7:00
6: 7:04 with a 15 second break to glug down two cups of gatorade and water
7: 7:14
8 7:18

then we came out of the canyon at the 14 mile point on the full marathon course. I was dehydrated as usual after this many miles in spite of drinking like a racehorse before the gun went off an hour or so earlier . I took 3 cups gatorade and walked for 30 seconds. Focus, focus, get back on track

9 7:54 my slowest mile split due to the rehydration, now I needed to pick up the pace.

10 7:42 going up the first of the hills, but I just picked my knees up a bit and leaned in. This is a half not a full and I can bear the pain for another couple of miles.

11 7:48 almost to the top of the hill. Now I see a few runners I want to pick off on the downhill portion. I lean in and decide to hammer out two decent last miles

12 7: 22. that's more like it. there is still some gas in the tank

13 7:23 About 1/4 mile from the finish I see my good friend Seth Wold ( who finished 4th overall in an astounding 1:08 and change) running back from the finish. I shout at him " Seth, bring me home) Seth runs with me urging me to pick it up and pass another runner as the finish banner is just ahead like a mirage. Seth peels off to the right and I cross the line....

1:34 : 39.9 ..... Not a PR ( I ran a 1:27 at Hobble Creek 8 years ago ) but good enough for 106th place overall out of 1980 finishers. This is top 5%. Not bad for an old man, I think, as I mingle with the pseudo -elites at the finish line rehydration tables. I see Mary Ann - she finished in 1:24, but she has another race this afternoon so she wasn't out to kill herself here.
Mike's son , who is 23 , finishes in 1:42 and congratulates me on a stellar race. Mike comes in much later in 2:24 - pretty hot and humid at sea level in southeast Texas so che an't train well for these altitude races.

So I drove home with a cryocuff on each knee till I couldn't feel anything, then an ice bath, then cottage cheese and french fries, plus fruit and anything I could get my hands on for the next few hours.

I was so tired I slept for 10 hours straight after the half... feeling much better today... 5 days break until the 174 mile Red Rock relay next Friday and Saturday.

Oh, did I mention I ran the Park City marathon with Jill last Saturday ? I will try and post about that this week... bye for now.

This whole race was miles 6 to 19 of the full marathon course. I will be back here in 3 weeks trying to BQ. I need a 3:30:59 or better to get back to Boston for the April 19th party next year with some really cool friends.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kamee's Master's Degree Graduation....

Gunnar on the broken statue of David... mythology !
Kori this one's for you !!

On the way from the parking lot to graduation ceremonies... Jaren with Gunnar on his shoulders, Brianna tending to Larkin, Bethany.

Brianna and Larkin

Bethany wearing kamee's graduation cap... a few more years and she will be there !

The commencement exercises at cal. State Fullerton, 23 may 2009

My ticket for Kamee's graduation ceremonies...

Larkin in her stroller at Kamee's Master's graduation

Bethany, Kamee, Brianna and Larkin 23 May 2009

May 23rd 2009 - Fullerton California. Kamee with her son Gunnar on her right and daughter Larkin on her lap on the campus after graduation exercises. Kamee's Master's degree was in Education from California State University at Fullerton.

Jaren, Gunnar, Kamee and Larkin

Gunnar had just thrown his arms around Kamee and I guess she was a little shocked

Bethany, Kamee and Larkin at the lecturn after graduation ceremonies.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

All in a day's work.....

Nurse Amber, one of my favorite nurses. If you are ever sick and homebound this is for sure the nurse you want treating you !

Do you remember what Johnny Carson said about his career and in particular his days hosting
" The Tonight Show' ?? It was ( and i'm paraphrasing) that he was the luckiest man alive because he woke up every morning doing exactly what he wanted to do and enjoyed it immensely.

As many of you know, I am a home health physical therapist. I spend my days treating patients in their home and assisted living facilities. My patients range in age from 34 to 95. I love helping them regain strength, range of motion and endurance. Above is a photo of my 95 year old patient and I , Grace, at her 95th birthday party in December. Have you ever seen a more beautiful lady ? Since then, Grace has sustained a fall with a broken pelvis from which she is recovering. She loves baseball and is a HUGE fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

I love going to work on a Monday morning. I am always pleasantly tired by the end of the day and in particular by the end of a Friday. But I love what I do. The intrinsic rewards are immense. I practice what I preach. I exercise constantly and try to set an example for my patients. I hope to still be running marathons when and if I am an octogenarian.

Today I had a patient who was very negative. He complained during the whole treatment session. He is a very negative man. He has made poor choices which have affected his health. He chose not to marry and has no children. He will leave this world a very lonely man.

In contrast I have a young amputee patient with two small boys who loves life. She has had all her fingers and thumbs amputated along with her left leg below the knee and part of her right foot. She is always upbeat and positive, grateful to be alive. She looks forward to the day soon when she will have a prosthesis. Today she started walking on her knees with knee pads on. Just a couple of laps around the room, but a huge step in her rehabilitation. I feel honored and blessed to walk this path with her as her physcial therapist. I am one of the luckiest men alive and I love my calling in life.

These shoes are made for running....

I have made no secret of the fact that I like Asics Gel Cumulus ... In fact this is the shoe that I have worn for most of my marathons over the last few years. These are my Asics Gel Cumulus Mark 8 in size 10. I have worn these shoes in 3 marathons this year - Diamond Valley Lake in January, Salt Lake City in April and Ogden last week as well as the Canyonlands 1/2 Marathon in Moab. I LOVE these shoes. I paid $45 brand new for them on Ebay, my favorite shopping site. They have superb cushioning, a large toe box and are very light. I will wear them next Monday in the Los Angeles Marathon and all other marathons this year. Since Feb 2007 I have a metal pin and 3 small screws in my left foot and I would never know it when wearing these shoes. I hope they will power me to a sub-3:30 finish this year and a sweet reunion at the 2010 Boston Marathon next April.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

2009 Ogden Marathon Recap.

2009 Ogden Marathon - Lifetime Marathon #65

Today was the Ogden Marathon which was located about 30 miles North of Salt Lake City. I have run this race 5 times previously with finishing times ranging from 3:39 to 3:50.
My goal this year was firstly to run sub 3:40, and hopefully to run sub 3:30:59 to ensure an early season qualifying time for the 2010 Boston Marathon and take some of the pressure off the rest of the marathon running season.
This event and others like to is not possible without the enormous sacrifice of hundreds of volunteers including the amazing bus drivers who get up in the middle of the night to take us to the race start. So here is a picture of our smiling and helpful bus driver whose name I forgot to ask. But thank you for taking the time early on a Saturday morning to drive the runners up the canyon to the race start. You are sincerely appreciated my friend.

This is the scene at the starting area as the sun starts to come up. The race start was 7 am.

My good friend Leon Dietlaf, aged 50, veteran of more than 130 marathons and a recent SLC marathon finisher last month with a time of 3:25. Leon offered at the last minute to pace me through the first half of the course as close to 1:43 as possible. ( which he did.. exactly 1:43 at the half ....thanks Leon)

Ellie my "seatmate" on the bus. Ellie kindly agreed to pick up my race packet at next year's expo so I don't have to make two trips to Ogden and can just drive up early on the Saturday morning and meet her at the bus loading area.

The several thousand runners converging at the start of the race. Note the endless line of porta-potties in the field at the back.

The Race begins:
Perhaps I should give my mile splits and a brief narrative here :
Mile 1 7:31 downhill start, a little too fast
Mile 2 7:42 put the brakes on, a little too slow
Mile 3 7:29 next 3 miles felt just right
Mile 4 7:39
Mile 5 7:38
Mile 6 7:59 need to pick it up a bit here
Mile 7 7:38
Mile 8 7:47
Mile 9 7:52
MIle 10 7:57 took my first pain pill here
Mile 11 8:22 stopped to pee at portapotty.. clear and well hydrated ...took an endurolyte salt tablet here
Mile 12 7:56
Mile 13 7:53
First half : 1:43 right on schedule with a 2 minute cushion for a 3:30 finish

The first half was nice and easy downhills, with a tendency to go out too fast as I have done in other years. Having a pacer helped immensely this year.
Second half of the race:
Mile 14 8:04
Mile 15 8:12 in spite of the big hill, I dug deep to keep the pace
Mile 16 7:56
Mile 17 8:16
Mile 18 7:46 steep downhill and the pain pill was working here. Caught up with Leslie, a good female runner from the Sojourners Running Club in Orem who toasted me at the Moab Half marathon the other month !
Mile 19 9:10 Took in a lot of fluids at the aid station to avoid dedydration as it was starting to get warmer now.. mid 60's I believe.
Mile 20 7:49 Leslie faded away behind me
Mile 21 8:19
Mile 22 8:23
Mile 23 7:57 At this point I was exactly on pace for a 3:30. If only I had taken another salt tablet at mile 15 as the calf cramps were starting to hamper my running now and I allowed myself brief periods of walking and stretching
Mile 24 8:52 Lost valuable time with calf cramps. This is not looking good. Behind schedule by 1 minute
Mile 25 9:02 Starting to become very emotional as I realized my dream of a 3:30 was fading and 3:32 was looking inevitable
Mile 26 8:24 Tried desperately to pick up the pace but the calf cramps were severe and I just could not get on an 8 min/mile pace. This part of the race I don't like as we are away from the trail and on the road for the first time heading South to the finish line which is looming in the distance.
Last 0.34 miles.... 2:41 ......yes the race was indeed long and added about 1 minute to my total finish time. Perhaps if the course had been correct I could have made up that 16 seconds somewhere in the last mile and reached my main goal.
Final finish time : 3:32:16 This is actually my best time in the last 2 1/2 years of marathon racing bettered by a 3:30:57 at Park City 2006 and a 3:30:19 at St George 2006
I was very emotional at the finish. I called home to give the finish time to Brianna then put the cryocuff on my knees and started driving home after a visit to the Wasatch Running Club 's "Grand Slam" tent to pick up some schwag which included a race cap and a cool water bottle.
Now I have 8 days to rest and recover before I tackle the Los Angeles Marathon which will be held Monday May 25th - Memorial day 2009