Tag: American Flyers Pace Team

RACE #162: Jordan River Half Marathon

One of my greatest learned life lessons didn’t come from my Dad, a grandparent or some guru — it actually came from Kenny Rogers. Back in 1978 — before I was even a twinkle in my parents’ eyes, Kenny Rogers came out with a song called The Gambler with this advice —

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

There’s a lot of life lessons there. Probably enough that could fill a whole blog post. But, that’s not that kind of blog post — this is my race report for this past Saturday’s half marathon. But, it’s very applicable to this race.

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In running you gotta know when to go full force, when to hold back and even when to step away. Which is something I’ve been doing a lot this past year and it’s been very humbling dealing with my sprained ankle, thyroid and whatnot (whatnot is code for depression — thanks largely to my thyroid issues, but that’s a post for another day).

I’ve had to drop races, switched distances and even DNF a race. All in all — it’s been humbling and eye opening to me. It’s made me realize many things about my running, my priorities and life in general. Again, that’s a post for another day.

But, trust me, this is all applicable to this race report.

When I signed up for this race, I actually signed up for the marathon. I planned to run the marathon. I wanted to run the marathon. But, many factors lead me to the decision to hold back and downgrade to the half marathon.

Do I think I think I could have done the marathon on Saturday?

Yes.

But, I knew that I couldn’t. My training wasn’t what I wanted. Not because I didn’t want to put the training in, but my ankle prevented me from many of the needed training runs, long runs and whatnot (that’s not code word for depression, it’s just a filler for everything else you need to do to prepare yourself for a marathon).

Plus, right now the focus is on two long term goals — preparing myself for my 100 mile run in February and get closer to my 180 race goal. I don’t need another marathon right now to get me closer to those goals. Especially since my training plan for my 100 mile run is based on time on my feet and my 180 race goal is for any race over 13.1 miles.

So why potentially ruin both goals?

The answer to that question confirmed my decision.

I am starting to turn longer miles in my training. And, much like other ultra races, the training isn’t much about pace or time than it was about time on my feet. And, because of the relative flatness of this course, my coach and I decided to slow down my pace and really focus on time on my feet. This essentially would be a training run — with aid stations every few miles and a race medal at the end.

Being a somewhat smaller race, I knew I was going to be in the back. And, I was. My friend Julie and Jenni were sweeping the half marathon course — so I basically crashed their party.

I tried to just focus on my pace — not so much the running pace, but the kick in my walk. Transitioning from road to ultra training is a different mentality, because they’re different beasts. I’m excited for the transition — something I probably could have done a few weeks ago? Either way, here I am.

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I had a blast with Julie and Jenni. We fartleked the course, encouraged the marathoners running past and just had a blast. It really was a nice change of pace and mentality. Something I needed.

Somewhere around miles 7-8 my legs started to ache. I’ve had this issue the past couple of month or so. It’s not horrible, but uncomfortable for my long runs, training runs and races. Since Julie has been doing keto since January I used the time to pepper her with questions during the race. She suggested the aches were just the body still getting used to the keto diet — it was teaching my body to not rely on the carbs and insulin to fuel my body.

This made sense.

The transition has been easier in the past few weeks, but recovery is tougher and my mid-week workouts are hit and miss. Some are great and some are just miserable. But, I need to remember that I am retraining my body — a body that has rigorously worked out fueling with carbs over the past 7-8 years.

Patience. Patience. Patience.

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And, really, for me, that’s hard to practice. If I’ve learned anything over the past 2-3 years, especially THIS year, it’s patience. Patience with my health issues, patience with my ankle, patience in my training. There’s a point where you just get sick of it and want to move on — but, there in lies the need for the lesson.

I focused on my fueling the last 5-6 miles. I had my Powerade Zero with me and had to remind myself to drink it a few times. I had no need for my emergency applesauce packet, thanks in large part to the weather. The cloud cover was perfect and a nice change of pace from the heat of the summer.

The last couple of miles we were joined by Jason Henry. Jason is one of my favorite people, we ran our first ultra together a couple years ago at the Antelope Island 50K. He and his wife are just the kindness, nicest people. He’s been dealing with running injuries as well, so I haven’t seen him in a while. It was nice to have those few miles to catch up.

The last half mile I ran ahead of the group to finish with a good strong effort. I finished under four hours, which I was shooting for — nothing to write home about, but for the training and time I needed on my feet — it was what I needed.

The ankle wasn’t horrible either. There was some soreness, but the pain on top of my foot — nonexistent. Which I think kind of confirmed my belief that the ankle pain was more to do with that, than with my previous ankle injury. And, right now, as I write up my race report it doesn’t hurt — so that’s good.

I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks. I don’t have a race this upcoming weekend — it was suppose to be the St. George Marathon, but that’s not happening. So, I am planning on doing some time on the trails up here in Bountiful on Saturday. I am going to hike Mueller Park with my friend Lizz. To add some miles, I’ll probably run to the park and back home (which should add about 5-6 extra miles to the hike).

But, after that I am pretty much a running fool up until I leave for Greece. I have The Haunted Half in Salt Lake on Oct. 14th, both the SoJo Half and Howloween Half on Oct. 21st, The Haunted Half in Provo on Oct. 28th. And, then in November I am running both the Snow Canyon Half and Joshua Tree Half on Nov. 4th and then the Mt. View Trail Half on Nov. 11th.

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So, yeah, lots of running before I leave Greece on Nov. 15th.

I am looking forward to it. I am sweeping a couple of those races, so it will be great training for my 100. Especially on my double race days. I think those days will be great training, better than a marathon or 50K could do for me right now.

I’ll blog all about that training and my upcoming races in the next couple of weeks. But, I have 162 races down and 18 more to go!

The end is ‘nigh!


MY NEXT FIVE RACES


Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 6.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 22.72 miles
TOTAL MILES — 41.82 miles
Races This Week — Jordan River Half.

September 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 22.0 miles
Race Miles — 49.75 miles
Walking Miles — 106.19 miles
TOTAL MILES — 177.94 miles
Races in September — (4) Revel Big Cottonwood Half, Huntsville Half, Timp Elk Run & Jordan River Half.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 381.55 miles
Race Miles — 375.17 miles
Walking Miles — 1027.43 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1784.15 miles
Races done in 2017 — (23) New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Provo City Half Marathon, Jordan River Half Marathon, Drop13 Half Marathon, Bear Lake Trifecta — Idaho, Wyoming & Utah, AF Canyon Race Against Cancer, The Hobbler Half, Handcart Days Half, DesNews Half Marathon, Elephant Rock Trail Half Marathon, Run Elevated Half Marathon, Nebo Half, Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, Huntsville Half Marathon, Timp Elk Run and Jordan River Half Marathon


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It’s not too early to be looking towards 2016, right? RIGHT?!?!

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Working with finances I’m already in 2016. It’s been just over a month since the turning over of the new fiscal year and I’m already writing August 2016. So, I think, mentally, it’s okay for me to now start planning for next year’s races, right?

Well, even if you didn’t agree with me, this is my blog … sooooooooo … I’m going to write about it anyways.

Over the past few months I’ve stated my intention of slowing down in 2016. This mentality hasn’t changed. I’m still going to run and race, but the focus is going (well more so starting now actually) to be about balance.

Balance between running, strength training and core strength. Back in 2012 and 2013 when I was running my fastest that was the focus of my fitness. This is one reason why I have gone back to Firehouse Fitness this past week. That focus is in pretty much every workout.

I need that.

I am doing this for two reasons. One, I want to get faster and finally get that BLASTED sub-two half marathon time. But, more importantly, I am hoping that will really help me with my thyroid. That’s been a headache and a half for me the past year and a half or so. Finding balance has felt dang near impossible.

At times I’ve felt that I’ve been on a seesaw with a feather at one moment and then a rock the next. It’s been extremely frustrating. But, the only thing you can do is fight throw it, do what you can and plan for success.

And, that’s my goal for 2016. I’m planning for success.

I am not going to share my whole fitness regime here. That’s a whole post for another day. Plus, I change my regime up every 6-8 weeks to help forge through plateaus and drudgery. And, it works fairly well for me.

But, my focus right now is just the running aspect of next year.

Ideally, I want to no more than 12-15 or so races during the year. Basically a race a month. I don’t plan on necessarily doing one a month, I am planning on having a couple months where I race twice. Especially in the summer when there are TOO many awesome races.

In addition to running my races, I have also started a fun run series of free runs around here in northern Utah. It’s a Facebook group I started last year, but it never got off the ground as I had wanted it to. Mainly, because I was racing so much.

The goal for the run series is to just have a monthly fun run (with emphasis on fun) for local runners who are training for the many marathons, half marathons and other races around here in Utah.

The idea real came to me three years ago when I was training for my first marathon. I basically did it alone, including my first 20 miler. And, let me tell you … that was NOT fun. Having someone to run with makes such a difference on your long runs.

So, with that said, here is how my 2016 race schedule is shaping up thus far (dates are subject to change and some are just estimated guesses) …

January
1 – Run Revolution; Kearns, UT

March
26 – Buffalo Run 25K; Antelope Island, UT

May
7 – Provo City Half Marathon; Provo, UT
14 – Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon; Salt Lake City, UT

June 
11 – Drop 13 Half Marathon; Salt Lake City, UT
25 – AF Canyon Run Against Cancer; American Fork, UT

July
23 – Deseret News Half Marathon; Salt Lake City, UT

August
6 – Timp Half; American Fork, UT
20 – Run Elevated Half Marathon; Sandy, UT

September
3 – Nebo Half; Payson, UT
13 – Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon; Salt Lake City, UT

October
8 – Pink Series Half; Park City, UT
29 – Haunted Half; Provo, UT

November
5 – Saltair Half; Magna, UT
24 – Thankful 13; Lehi, UT

Now, who wants to run with me next year? Or has anyone else planned this far in advance like me? Because, if so we should probably go to a meeting of Over-planners Anonymous together.

RACE RECAP #89: West Mountain Half Marathon

89-westmountIt’s funny the difference missing a few things can make in a race. On Friday I took my gym bag to work with me, but forgot to take it home. It just completely slipped my mind. I had my Garmin, Imodium, my gels, salt tablets and my lucky hat. All crucial to my running, especially that lucky hat.

Well, okay, more like the Garmin. I haven’t raced without in a Garmin … since … well … when I first got my Garmin. It really has helped me keep on pace and motivated during races. I can gauge my distance and really push through those “walls” much easier. I love my Garmin.

I thought about leaving earlier than planned so I could stop by my office for the bag. But, that really didn’t seem like a good idea, because since I work on the University of Utah campus and that’s where the Salt Lake Marathon begins … I didn’t want to be trapped in the traffic and/or closed roads so I decided to just run without it.

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Me and the Twins before the race. I raced Joycelyn and actually won by TWO minutes! WOOT!

I wasn’t going to tank the race, but I decided to just go by feel. I guess “zen” run it? So after having about an hour long drive to Genola from my house I decided that was going to be my game plan. I was going to take what the course gave me, give it my best and go by feel.

I also threw out my time goal, because it’s kind of pointless to hold yourself to a time goal without the means to gauge your time. Right? Going into it though I wanted to be around 2:35-2:45 considering it was an out and back race (and at the time I thought flat … um, totally not flat!)

So, yeah, not a very solid revised race plan.

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West Mountain in the background of the first mile of the race.

One thing I loved about this race is that my race didn’t start until 9am, so I got there around 7:30am and had time to hangout with a few of my friends who were running as well. I love having a relaxed starting line. And, by relaxed I mean … no, busing me up a canyon, huge crowds or adverse weather. You don’t get that with Extra Mile Racing events (well, they don’t control the weather … that I know of …) which I love. It’s very much a small-knit community.

The half marathon course was an out and back course. For some reason I was thinking it was going to be like the Saltair Half … flat. I don’t know why I thought that, because the race even has the word MOUNTAIN in the race title. It was definitely hilly and there were a couple of hills that really challenged me. But, to say I was disappointed it wasn’t flat would be a lie. I’d rather have hills than flat, not just for the challenge, but also for the sexier legs.

If you’re wondering … YES … hills make sexy legs. I am pretty sure it’s one of the back page rules of running.

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RULE #38 OF RUNNING: Don’t give a thumbs up three miles into your half marathon, because it WILL back fire.

The first three miles weren’t that bad for me, but after that we had to climb our first challenging hill towards an apple orchard. You would have thought the terrain would have been pretty de-script running through farming country, but it was quite opposite. It was beautiful. And, when I took my ear buds out at the second aid station all I could hear were the buzzing of the bees in the orchard. It was unreal!

I never felt more like a city slicker in my life.

The course turned around on the opposite side of West Mountain between the mountain and Utah Lake. The roads were open, but there were VERY few cars along the route. In fact I am pretty sure I saw more tractors than cars.

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THE WAN AND ONLY!

I did have a slight mishap around mile 8 or so, I was carefully walking over a cattle guard making sure I wouldn’t twist my ankle. Well, I made it over the cattle guard unscathed, but then took two steps and twisted my ankle on a rock. I am fine now, but it affected my speed some afterwards.

Around this time also, I was neck in neck with a 70 year old runner. He was a nice guy and we talked a little bit, but deep down inside me I knew I couldn’t let him pass me. I couldn’t for all the pride in me. So, with a sore ankle and nice gradual hill in front of me I pushed it harder than I should have.

But, I put enough distance between the two of us that for the last three miles I didn’t have worry much about him anymore. My pride could be restored for at least another race. But, at this time the heat was starting to really get to me. Luckily, I was in all white, but that didn’t stop me from feeling famished after every half mile.

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MY BLESSED BOTTLED HOLY WATER!

I went through my two gels, two bananas and 2-3 cups of water at the aid stations in the last three miles. No joke. The sun made me all salty and soaking wet. I really couldn’t get enough water. And, it was around this time that a little girl was standing outside her farm (remember we’re in farm country) and offered me a cold water bottle. I was so thankful. I didn’t know how to thank her so I handed her one of my GU Chomps I got at the last aid station. I really don’t think she knew what to make of my gift? Especially considering they were basically caffeinated fruit snacks.

But, I was VERY thankful for that water, if not just for the giving gesture.

Once I was finished I was famished. I guzzled down water, Powerade and … more bananas. I didn’t even look at my time until the day after. I laugh about that now, because I really though I ran somewhere around 2:45 or so. Well, I got that “or so” … try 3:04 hours.

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Not sure why … but … I chafe on my back fat. Go figure?

I really wanted something faster. And, I won’t lie, I was slightly disappointed. BUT … you know what? I still did 13.1 more miles I would if I stayed at home. And, after a week where I wasn’t feel my best, I consider it somewhat of a victory. Even if it was a victory over not pooing my pants while running … that’s still a victory, right?

I have plenty of other races and I am really looking forward to the Provo City Half in a couple of weeks. I really, really, really want to shoot for around 2:30-2:40. I’ve ran the course enough that I know the technicalities and terrain of the race. But, this time I am TOTALLY not leaving my Garmin at work.

Well, that and my Imodium. Both are equally important …

VIEW ALL OF MY RACE PICTURES OVER ON THE FACEBOOK.


CELEBRATING THE MARATHON

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After my race I stuck around the finish line and helped pass out medals to the finisher. I did this for a couple of reasons. First I am an Ambassador for Extra Mile Racing and I wanted to lend a helping hand, but, secondly, I wanted to also stick around and watch my friends finish their races.

Two of those friends were Ryan and Heather and they were both running their first marathon. I won’t lie, I have a special place in my heart for first-time marathoners. Having been there some three years ago I know how HARD it is to train, train and train for one, but then to have that all come down to THE RACE itself it can be a very emotional experience. Not just for the runner themselves, but for all those connected to them.

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That’s why I love being around first-time marathoners, because for me that’s the PURE love of running. That’s the spirit of the marathon. Seeing their joy keeps me going and “IN TOUCH” with what running should be about. I’ve made a vow to myself to celebrate that as much as I can, no matter how many marathons I have under my belt.

But, I can just say it was an awesome experience seeing Ryan come in with his Dad and son there to greet him. Not to mention all of the other runners cheering him on. I was even able to hand him his medal. That was a great moment.

I was also able to be cheer in Heather along with Joycelyn and Angela as she crossed the finish line for her first marathon. I handed her a medal and gave her a big sweaty hug. Knowing some of what she has had to overcome physically and mentally to get to the point and to that finish line … I have the upmost respect for her. She’s a fighter.

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And, she was fittingly wearing Wonder Woman gear for the ocassion. I am BEYOND happy for her!

Though I might not be running marathon this year, I want to celebrate them more and I sure got a great dose of that on Saturday!


NEXT RACE: PROVO CITY HALF MARATHON

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The next race won’t be until May 2nd. I toyed with the idea of running the Tulip Festival Half or a redemption running Winter Circuit 30K, but since I am will working PrepperCon all weekend long … I really don’t have time to sneak in anything longer than a 5 mile run in the morning. But, that’s fine, because I will be running the Provo City Half on May 2nd, which happens to be one of my favorite races (mainly because its’ downhill!)

But, this race will also be somewhat of a milestone as well. This will be race #90! Which means I am HALF way to my goal of 180 races! It’s really hard to believe that I am half way to my goal, but considering this will be my fourth time running the Provo City Half … I guess it’s not that hard to believe.

Still, that’s a lot of running.

YEAH RUNNING!!!


MY 2015 MILEAGE

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 152.5 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 97.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 79.75 miles
2015 Total Miles – 329.25 miles
 
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 62.3 miles
 

MONDAY MOTIVATION

Since today is Boston Marathon Monday, I wanted to share a few pictures that capture the spirit of “Boston Strong.” That day two years ago affected me and thousands of other runners. Though, I will never qualify or reach Boston, it was attack on my community, friends and country. The loss or harm of life troubles me no matter who or where it happens. I hope that as we celebrate the marathon today, we celebrate life, freedom and those affected by the happenings in 2013.

BOSTON STRONG …

Boston Marathon Bombing Artifacts mebBOSTON-STRONG