Tag: Trail Run

A change of plans …

As I have said many, many, many times — my race schedule is ALWAYS subject to change. And, this week’s race plan wasn’t immune to a change in plans. I’m more bummed about the reasons why I had to make the change than the actual change.

The original plan was to run the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 25K. I love running the island, especially the races that Jim Skaggs puts on. I ran the 25K two years ago with Jill and have done his 50K the past couple of years as well. So I was looking forward to the adventure this weekend.

Due to some unforeseen family obligations I had to back out of the race, pretty much last minute (read: this morning). Part of the reason is that with the race starting at 9am, it would take me a good 4-5 hours or so to do the 25K — and with the obligations I couldn’t be gone pretty much all day.

But, I also didn’t want to give up a race weekend either. I’d have to rework my race schedule AGAIN — and I didn’t want that. So, I signed up for On Hill Events’ Lucky 13 Half Marathon at Gardner Village in West Jordan. Not only is it closer to home, but I’ll be done much sooner than the 25K so I can attended to my obligations.

Sure, I am sad giving up a trail race, but I’ve always prioritized family before running. And, being able to still race and attend to family is a win-win in my book. As much as I am going to miss the Buffalo Stew on Antelope Island, Joe Coles and On Hill Events do a really good job with their races and I am excited to run the course. This is a race I haven’t done yet.

All win-wins!

This is one thing that I really, really love about Utah. We have so many quality race companies, canyons, trails and races. Our calendars are chalk full of them. And, to be able to pull audible like this on such short notice is nice.

I guess you could say we should feel lucky.

Because we are.

And, that was a terrible pun. Please accept my apologies. Seriously. I disappoint myself.

Happy Running! Wherever you are running this weekend — Antelope Island, Jordan Parkway Trail, one of the several local canyons or your neighborhood — enjoy it! Spring is here!

RACES #98 & #99: Hobbler Half and The Dam 15 Miler

IMG_8110Sometimes I feel like I should question by sanity. Seriously. What is it inside me that THINKS running a 15 mile trail run hours after completing a half marathon is a good idea?

I really am of the believe that runners have a built-in amnesia that makes them forget past “horrible” experiences. Because, if I’ve done a feat similar to what I did on Saturday and hurt for days afterwards … why would I want to do it again?

Well … for the bling and t-shirt, right?

Well, okay it’s deeper than that.

One of the reasons why I raced 28.1 miles in one day was because I kinda had to, so I could make the Handcart Days Half Marathon my 100th race over 13.1 miles. I made the decision to make that race my milestone race about a month and a half ago and had to add a couple races to my docket to make it work.

It just happened that I had to do a couple double-double races. A couple of weeks ago I did a night-morning race which honestly felt a bit harder than Saturday’s feat. Fatigue was very much a factor during those races. At least on Saturday I got a nap in between races after a good night’s race.

But, still, that’s 28.1 miles I had to forge through one step at a time. And, it wasn’t easy. Even now as I am writing my review my feet hurt and my calves have been threatening to cramp since I grabbed my medal at the Dam 15 Miler last night. But, I also have a huge feeling of accomplishment that makes those physical pains secondary.

I did a lot of reflecting while out on the road and trail. My mind kept going back to my first few races and thinking of the biggest differences between now and then. The biggest thing is my involvement and friendships I have gained within the running community. To me that has been the biggest blessing in my running. The people I have met, befriended and ran with have all become a part of me and this little journey I have undertaken.

Luckily, I spent a lot of time running solo on Saturday, because there were a number of times I got a tad emotional about it too. I thanked God a lot for those friendships and my experiences. My mind also went a lot to my Grandma. Sunday was her birthday and she passed away just five months ago, if I had a number one fan of my running … it was her. I knew and felt she was proud of my accomplishments not just from Saturday, but in my whole effort of getting to my goal.

Anyways … this post isn’t about that. I’ll be writing more about that later this week actually. So stay tuned.

Let’s get to my race recaps.


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I don’t know if I would have been able to do both races if I wasn’t sweeping Hobbler. But, sweeping isn’t easy. And, depending on the course it can be rather challenging. Since my job is to be as fast as the slowest runner that can vary from race to race.

But, sweeping is an easier recover than pacing or just running mainly because you aren’t going to complete exhaustion. There is a fatigue to worry about and for me I need to worry about my feet, because being on my feet for nearly four hours hurts my feet.

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#sweeperselfie

Since the race was in the Springville/Mapleton area I crashed at Jorge and Holly’s place. The original plan was to camp out in their front yard with other pacers. But, since a number of pacers found other places or just drove down the morning of the race, it was just me. So, Jorge and Holly let me crash inside on the couch.

Since the race started at 6:30am (unlike 6am for most summer races) the bus pickup wasn’t until 4:45am. This made for a leisurely morning with a 4am wake up call. Which was nice. Especially considering if I drove down from Bountiful that wakeup call would have been closer to 2am. I am really appreciative of Jorge and Holly’s generosity.

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Doing a little shopping. How does the saying go? One runners’ throw away jacket is another runners’ treasure? Something like that?!

The bus ride up the canyon wasn’t a fun one for me. I didn’t realize how bumpy the canyon was and because of that I started getting some motion sickness. Not fun at all. Luckily, the drive was shorter than other races.

After hanging out at the starting line for about an hour the race was ready to begin. I brought along my back pack as my drop back, but because I was too busy talking with others I missed the announcement to get my drop back to the bus. So, I was forced to run with my pack.

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Yeeeeeeeah … there’s no crowd.

It wouldn’t have been bad if it was my usual running bag, but it’s just a simple back pack with no extra straps or anything fancy like that. Luckily I wasn’t going too fast so running with it wasn’t too burdensome, it was just annoying. But, it came in handy have my full gambit of running supplies because I was able to share some Aleve and salt tablets with others.

Since I was the last runner I hung back at the starting line for the last runners to cross the starting line. This was nice because I didn’t have to wait in line to use the Honey Buckets. This is one real perk to sweeping. Of course that perk also has a downside … aaaaand … it’s safe to say that goes unsaid.

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I have a feeling I’m being stalked.

Once out on the course I kept my distance from the last few runners. I do this on purpose for a couple of reasons. One, I’ll play catch up so I get some good running in during the race (basically fartleking) and, two, usually the back of the pack runners aren’t struggling and more so enjoying the run. I’ll support where and when needed. But, the last thing I want to do is interrupt ones’ race.

For being a canyon race, the course was nothing like a typical canyon race. This meaning, there’s not much downhill. And, in the case of Hobble Creek Canyon, it’s more of a rolling hill course. Which isn’t BAD, just not a typical Utah canyon course.

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When people give you a pan of french toast you document it … with a selfie.

The first six miles of the race were fairly well covered in shade, but once the sun came out it got hot pretty quickly. That’s where my salt tablets and Aleve came in handy. Not just for me, but for a couple others as well. I also focused on water and Powerade at each aid station. The last thing I wanted was heat exhaustion before my second race began.

The last three miles were the toughest. The sagging wagon joined up with us by mile 10 and closely followed me as I ran behind the last runner. The best part of this was the driver was listening to The Newsies soundtrack. I won’t lie, I was entertained and thankful. It was a good diversion.

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YEAH! RACE #98!

During the last couple of miles I ran with the last runner just ahead of me. I could tell she was struggling some as she slowed down quite a bit. It turned out she was suffering from shin splits. Not fun. She was apologetic for being so slow, but I told her this was her race, not mine. My job was to help get her to the finish line.

Which we did.

Since we were the last runners across the finish line I grabbed my medal and beelined it over to get some french toast. The biggest perk being they gave me a WHOLE pan of it which I ended up taking home for my family. Talk about a perk, right?

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SLURPEE! SLURPEE! SLURPEE!

After stretching out some and coming to, Jorge and I went and got our Slurpee for National Slurpee Day and I started to physically (meaning I took a nap) and mentally prepare for my next race.


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I will admit, coming into the race I was a tad unprepared. Part of it was my fault and some of it was circumstantial. But, it turned out well.

After taking a nap at Jorge and Holly’s place and getting some food in me, I was ready to tackle the second leg of my adventure at Deer Creek Reservoir near Heber City. Even though I was rested and refreshed I was still worried about this second race because it was a 15 miler … on trails.

Not a good combination for speed in my book.

But, I knew I could do it and would do it.

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Jamie and I right before we headed out early for our trail race.

The race began at 6pm and I had checked in at 4:45pm. But, since this was a low key race I didn’t really want to wait around for an hour. So I asked if I could start early. Which I was given the go ahead to do so. This made a lot of the anxiety I felt about being the last one on the course go away.

Jamie and I started out together and got the jump start. It might have been a little bit hotter starting at 5pm. And, it took me a little bit to get acclimated to that with salt tablets, water and some gels. That wasn’t as bad as when I almost stepped right on top of a snake. Luckily, it was just a gopher snake and not a rattler, but … still … it was a snake. And, if it wasn’t for Jamie’s keen eye I would have stepped on it for sure as it looked like a twig or divot in the middle of the course.

Ugh, I hate snakes.

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I was trying to come up with a witty caption for this picture. But, the only thing that comes to my mind is … I hate snakes.

It took Jamie and I just under two hours to get to the turn around point with about 3-4 runners who started at 6pm ahead of us. Jamie went ahead of me while I stayed at the aid station stretching and refueling. By this point the majority of the runners were catching up at the turn around station.

It was fun to run into a number of my friends along the course. Both as they were heading to the turn around point and back. I ran with a few of them for as long as my legs would allow it. But, after 20+ miles of running during the day the only thing I was going to be able to catch up with was a lethargic snail with a cold. And, I was fine with that.

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HOT STUFF!

My preparedness for this race was ruined with two things. One, I forgot my hiking pack. I could have sworn I had packed it, but alas it was right on my bed when I got home later that night. So I was forced to use my back pack again. Not comfortable.

And, two, my head lamp was dead. I tested it the night before, but when I went to use it at dusk I noticed it was completely dead. I think it may have accidentally turned on and ran out of battery? Luckily, I finished around 10pm when there was still a sliver of light left. Enough to see if I was going to step on a bunny or horse poop.

This just made me more grateful that I started an hour early.

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Me and Ruthie! I am pretty sure it’s physically impossible for this woman to frown. Impossible.

The last couple of miles of the race were EXTRA tough. By this point I was above 26.2 miles, the most I have ran and I was just sore. I was tired. My race plan for this course was to walk up the hills and then run the down hill to give me some kind of consistency. But, mile 13-14, I was so tired physically and mentally that I forgot that game plan and I swear I was starting to run up hill and walk the down hill.

But, it was also during this time that my heart and mind seriously began to reflect upon the breadth of what I was doing. I started getting super emotional about it too. I am glad I was running alone because I have no doubt I would have looked like a hot mess.

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I literally swept Janet off her feet. But, what’s most impressive … I didn’t drop her after had run about 24 miles.

I guess you could have called this HITTING the wall, but I am pretty sure I hit that miles earlier. This was almost like I went back to the wall to get hit again? It was a crazy experience to say the least.

But, once I got to the home stretch and saw the lights of the finish line … I was done. Just like that.

I lingered around the finish line for a while kind of bemoaning my hour or so long ride home. I won’t lie, I wish I could have called a cab to drive me home. But, after getting some water and bananas down me I mustered the strength to get myself back to my car.

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I’ve got 99 race medals and this is one of them!

After the hour long drive home I stopped by my Subway for a foot-long sandwich because those bananas and couple of cookies after the race didn’t cut it. I needed serious food. Luckily, my local Subway is a 24/7 location (how did my hometown get so lucky?) and I enjoyed myself a midnight footlong (that sounds questionable) before crawling into bed for a nice long sleep.

And, yeah, so that’s the story of the time I decided to run 28.1 miles in one day over two races.

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My FitBit numbers for the day. I calculated that 481 minutes is just over 8 hours of active minutes. EIGHT HOURS!

And, the worst part about it all? I think I talked myself into running a 50K in November. Yes, a 50K. I’ve been wanting to become an ultra marathoner and of course I decided this around mile 18 or so of my miles.

I really have a problem.

But, I love it.


NEXT RACE: HANDCART DAYS HALF

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THE GOAL! Well, not THE goal, but a HUGE milestone towards that goal. And, this was been a goal I’ve been leading myself up to this summer. It’s only fitting to hit my 100th race over 13.1 miles at the race that started little adventure, right?

The race is turning itself into a little party. I am pushing Elsha during the race and this past week Tim Gill signed up and is planning on running alongside us. There are also a few other friends who are planning on signing up as well. I am not sure if they’re planning on running with me. But, it’s going to be a party pre-race, mid-race and post-race regardless.

I am just really excited about this milestone for many reasons, but more so that I get to share it with my friends. The last time I ran this race I did so all by myself and by doing this with many of my friends is just a testament of how the running community has affected myself.

YEAH RUNNING!


THE BUGOUT RUN! THIS WEEKEND!

Bugout Challenge Logo

There is still time to register for The Bugout Run this weekend. The event will be held in somewhere in Davis County on Saturday morning. Here are some more details about the run.

Register now so you don’t miss out on updates.

Oh, and did I mention that the race is FREE?!


2015 MONTHLY MILEAGE

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 188.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 209.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 213.65 miles
2015 Total Miles – 610.65 miles
 
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  97.4 miles
June  131.15 miles
July  36.6 miles

MONDAY MOTIVATION

Yes, I am a scheduling this far out …

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Okay, first off, yes, the following is every Saturday from here until the end of November. And, secondly, yes, I am planning ALL of my runs/races this far in advance.

I don’t know if that means I have problem … or … if I am just THAT good of a planner? I’d like to think it’s somewhere in the middle. Because, seriously, who plans their November races in March?

I mean really?

I have a number of goals or mile markers I want to reach this year. Of course my long term goal is to run 180 races over 13.1 miles. By the end of the year I SHOULD be at around 114-115 races. I feel good about that.

Secondly, I want to reach my goal of a sub-two half marathon. I would really like to do that at the Nebo Half on September 12. But, I have some work to do before I reach that milestone.

Mainly, I need to train and train hard for it. But, I also need to get my body where I need it to be to achieve it. Namely, I gotta lose my winter coating. I wish it wasn’t there, but now I’m just working on getting rid of it now that my thyroid and testosterone are FINALLY (hopefully) balanced.

So my thinking is from now and until mid-June the focus is losing weight, getting stronger through weight lifting, core strengthening and running. And, then mid-June the focus is speed work towards Nebo in September.

I am going to push hard to get my sub-two at Nebo, but honestly would be happy giving my ALL and getting a new PR (2:08:25). But, I don’t plan on settling for that, because I am going to fight for that sub-two.

But, with as much running as I have planned this year and especially this fall after Nebo I decided to come up with a game plan for each race. Some races I am going to push myself at, others I am planning on pushing Elsha, Josh or Reese and then a number of them I am pacing or sweeping the course.

This really is something I could do in my own little journal and keep to myself, but I thought it might be better putting this here to kinda give you an idea of my method to this running madness.

So, here you go … if you’re planning on running any of these races let me know by commenting below. I’d love to know!

  • MARCH 28: Big Cottonwood 10 Mile Run
    • GAME PLAN: Fast pace 10 mile run down Big Cottonwood. No set pace, but I would like to average BELOW an 11-minute mile.
  • APRIL 4: Lagoon Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Goal time is under 2:45. I am planning on running alongside my friend Chandra who is pushing Josh. The course is flat so heat could have a lot to do with the outcome.
  • APRIL 11: Bountiful to Salt Lake Temple Run
    • GAME PLAN: Planning on about an 11 mile or so group run from the Bountiful Temple to the Salt Lake Temple via Bountiful Blvd. and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. No set pace and I am anticipating it to be rather slow once we hit the trail.
  • APRIL 18: West Mountain Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: The goal is to run this sub-2:40. I am not pacing or sweeping. I might be pushing one of my friends and if that’s the case I still want to hit that same sub-2:40 goal.
  • APRIL 25: Five Mile Run
    • GAME PLAN: I have an all-day commitment this day so I am going to have to sneak in a VERY early morning fast run around the neighborhood. No set pace, just FAST.
  • MAY 2: Provo City Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Stick with the 2:20 pacers as long as I can. That’s the goal … simple as that. I know the course well enough that I know what to expect. But, I’ll be happy with a sub-2:30 half marathon time.
  • MAY 9: Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am pushing my friend Josh Twelves during this race. I am not sure what pace to push for with him, but I feel comfortable that we could keep a good 2:30 pace at this point, especially considering that it’s a FAST course.
  • MAY 16: 5 Mile Run
    • GAME PLAN: I am not sure where or when I am going to be racing? I have a campout the night before and I would like to cheer on my friends running Ogden … but … I might just need to do a nice speedy five around the block due to timing and circumstance?
  • MAY 23: Alpine Classic Half
    • GAME PLAN: I am sweeping. It shouldn’t be any longer than three hours hopefully.
  • MAY 30: Jordan River Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am planning on pushing my friend Josh on this course. It’s a flat course … sooooooo … I am thinking around 2:40-2:45 would an ideal goal time. We’ll see, this might be reassessed by race time. For something faster hopefully.
  • JUNE 6: Emigration Canyon Group Run
    • GAME PLAN: One of my favorite courses. The plan is to run from the top of Emigration Canyon down to Liberty Park. I would like to go for speed on this one. Hopefully around 10-11:00 minute mile?
  • JUNE 13: Yellowstone Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am pacing the 3:30 group on this race. It’s a mix of road and trail. Just hoping I don’t get eaten by a bear.
  • JUNE 20: Big Cottonwood Canyon Group Run
    • GAME PLAN: I will set the goal pace once I get closer, but the pace should probably be around a 10-11 minute mile. I am only planning on a 10 miler. No need for anything longer to wear me out for the following week.
  • JUNE 27: American Fork Canyon Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am running this one at a fast clip. This will be my test run to gauge where I am at going into my training for Nebo.
  • JULY 4: 13 Miles of Freedom Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am planning on pushing one of my friends during the race. I am going to hold back a little bit on speed, but still go for a sub-2:40. Then again this all depends on where I am physically. If I can comfortably go faster, I will.
  • JULY 11: 7.11 Slurpee Run & The Dam 15 Miler
    • GAME PLAN: This will be a two run day. I am planning on running the 7.11 miles down Emigration at a fast clip (if only I could run a 7:11 pace). I will set some pace goals once I get closer and set my training schedule in stone. The 15 miler I won’t push, it’ll just be fun miles.
  • JULY 18: Corner Canyon Trail Group Run
    • GAME PLAN: Ideally about a 7-10 mile trail run around Corner Canyon just to get re-introduced to the trail. No real set pace, I’ll do that work during the week. I want to enjoy this run.
  • JULY 24: Handcart Days Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am pushing Elsha during this race. This is a special race for me considering it was my first race four years ago! I am going for a 2:30-2:40 goal time for this one. There isn’t much shade along the course so I am hoping it’s not TOO hot.
  • AUGUST 1: Timp Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Sweeping with Jill, I am anticipating that this race should be around 3:30-3:45 long. Depending how many people we have in the back, I might do some fartleking around to get a good workout in.
  • AUGUST 8: Park City Trail 10K
    • GAME PLAN: A nice little reprieve from long distance running. And, my first trail race since the Buffalo Run 25K. I want to push it on this race to see what I can do on the trails. Should be a fun challenge.
  • AUGUST 15: Park City Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Totally excited about this race. Not only is it on my birthday, but it is also my 100th race over 13.1 miles! I plan on running this at a moderate pace with some family. I still would like to sub-2:30.
  • AUGUST 22: Run Elevated Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am going to run this at a full effort. I would like to PR at this race (basically sub-2:08:25) to gauge where my body is physically for Nebo.
  • AUGUST 29: Murdock Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Sweeping this course. I should be in around 3 hours or so, so depending on the crowd I might do some fartleking around motivating others. I love sweeping.
  • SEPTEMBER 5: Volition Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Run at a moderate pace. Don’t push for time or speed. But, come in around the 2:30-2:40 range. Just don’t risk injury or spending too much energy. Really I want to have fun during this race. Hopefully I can push one of my friends during the race.
  • SEPTEMBER 12: Nebo Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: BALLS TO THE WALL!!! SUB-TWO CITY!!! What else do I write here? DON’T STOP!!!
  • SEPTEMBER 19: Park City Trail Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: The transition to trail racing begins. I don’t plan for a certain time on this race, mainly just to not get swept. I am anticipating that my legs will need some loving post-Nebo.
  • SEPTEMBER 26: The Burn Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: The same game plan I had last year running this race. RUN UP as much I can, walk if I must and then at the turn around RUN DOWN as fast as my legs can take me. I blame this race for all the crazy challenges Jill and I have been doing this year. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • OCTOBER 3: Antelope Island Trail Group Run
    • GAME PLAN: Get to know the terrain better and run the trails to hopefully work out some of the pre-50K jitters.
  • OCTOBER 10: Pink Series Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Sweeping the course. Just have fun. This is a woman’s only race that I paced last year. I loved it a lot, awesome ladies and awesome stories. I look forward to it again.
  • OCTOBER 17: Corner Canyon 25K
    • GAME PLAN: Since the Buffalo Run was done in 6 hours, I really want to finish this race in sub-six hours, other than that I just want to have fun. I ran this trail three years ago with Susette it’s a great canyon.
  • OCTOBER 24: The Haunted Half & Howloween Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: A double run day! I am planning on sweeping The Haunted Half in the morning in SLC and the running the Howloween Half in Davis County in the evening. No goal time for Howloween Half, but I’d love to push it a little past easy so I can get some good fatigue training in, which would be perfect for the trails.
  • OCTOBER 30 & 31: The Haunted Half & Howloween Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Similar game plan like the week before. Both races are in Provo. The Howloween Half is on Friday night and then the Haunted Half is in the morning on Saturday. I am going to run at a good moderate pace for the Friday race and then sweep the Saturday race. Should be fun. Another great fatigue challenge for my upcoming 50K!
  • NOVEMBER 7: Saltair Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am planning on pushing one of my friends during this race. I’d like to get under 2:40 mainly to push myself because it’s an easy race to tank because it’s flat and out and back. But, with my 50K the next week I should take it slowly.
  • NOVEMBER 14: Antelope Island Buffalo Run 50K
    • GAME PLAN: Simple game plan. Run, keep going, don’t give up and don’t get gored by a buffalo. Sounds reasonable enough, right?
  • NOVEMBER 21: Five Mile Run
    • GAME PLAN: I put this down as a five mile run, but we’ll see after my 50K is done. I might just doing something active in the pool?
  • NOVEMBER 26: Thankful 13 Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Sweeping the course! Have fun! Earn my turkey! Make friends and wrap up the running season with race #115!

Okay, now that I have everything from here until December planned out … who’s running with me? YOU … KNOW … YOU … WANT … TOO …. !!!!