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Monday, November 12, 2018

#143- Revel Mt. Lemmon Marathon!

I had to miss a couple of races this year, but was glad I was able to make it to Revel Mt. Lemmon in Tucson, Arizona! This would be my third Revel race this year. While I probably should have done the half (I am not really in race shape), I wanted to see what the full course was like, so the marathon I ran!

I flew to Phoenix on Thursday and drove the 2 hours to Tucson. I usually stay at an Airbnb to save some money, but I ended up getting a room at the Comfort Inn, for around $50 a night. It was only about 5 minutes from the expo where I would be working the 9:00AM shift the next day. 

I worked at the expo info booth from 9:00AM-1:30PM then decided to got see Bohemian Rhapsody (as it had opened that weekend and was DYING to see it.) Yes, I cried.

Hanging at the Info Booth!

I took it easy the rest of the night and got my stuff ready early as I had a 2:30AM wake-up call to get to the buses on time. The problem was I still had that movie in my head and I started to feel very lonely and sad about some stuff going on with my best friend and I started to spiral into a panic attack which left me up for most of the night. When the alarm went off, I was exhausted.

Flat Angie repping Atlanta United Football Club and Footie Mob as we head into the playoffs for the MLS Cup as I remind people to VOTE on November 6th!

I generally don't ever take the first bus (unless I am pacing), but I found out that there was limited in the heated visitor's center at the start and the thought of standing in the cold for 2 hours did not appeal to me. So I made sure I was on the first bus. 

The visitor's center had chairs and a real bathroom which had long lines, but I had time to wait and really didn't want to go outside. After I hit the bathroom, I sat in a chair and closed my eyes for a bit until more friends started arriving.

Abraham Lincoln made history at the marathon! 😂


Othman and I star struck by Abe Lincoln!

It felt like we waited no time at all before the call was made to get out drop bags to the truck. A couple of buses got up to the start a little late, so the race was delayed about 15 minutes. That was fine with me as it gave the sun a chance to come up.

When we finally went to the start line. I got cold fast as they were collecting everyone's foil blankets before we got to the timing mats. I saw this guy taking off his sweatpants to toss them and I asked him if I could have them to wrap around my shoulders. I was wearing a tank top and was freezing! He gave them to me and laughed as I wore them like a shawl for the first couple miles of the race. 😂 

Great seeing Dan at the race!

Heading to the start!

The start of this race is no joke. I saw the elevation chart and knew that most of the hills were in the first 4 miles of the race. I liked this. The only thing I hate worse than running hills cold at the beginning of the race is running hills after 20 miles if downhill. I felt at least I would have legs for them. I still feel that way, but the first 4 miles were a very long tough climb. I ended up walking a lot more in those first miles than I wanted and I never was able to really make up the time.

The first for miles were brutal!

I had no goal time for the race but thought I would play it by ear. Once we hit some downhill sections, I was able to open it up a little, but I knew my training just wasn't there. In order to run fast, you have to run fast and training for the Yeti 100, I was not doing much speedwork. I also had way too many bathroom stops which made me glad I didn't have a goal to hit as they would have been flushed away! LOL! At that point, I decided to just enjoy the run. The course was so beautiful!

Such beautiful scenery!

I kept plugging along ticking off the miles and around mile 20, I ran upon a girl named Lisa. She recognized me from running the Phoenix/Mesa Marathon earlier this year. We were both a little lonely and bored at this point and decided to stick together. We didn't care how slow we were going, it was nice just to have someone to talk to those last few miles.

This guy was just randomly in the road, but since my bib said "VOTE", I needed a pic with him!

We were making pretty good time, but our legs were trashed and we ran/walked the last 3 miles. The last mile was a gentle climb, but my legs revolted. Thank goodness for Lisa as she pushed me so I didn't walk the entire last mile!

Lisa and I running in the last mile.

Lisa and I rounding the corner to the finish!

Happy to be done!

Fellow Revel Ambassador Nikki finished right behind us! We got a great picture of the 3 of us!

Unfortunately, I had no time to hang out after the race. I had to get back to my hotel so I could get a shower and make the 2-hour drive back to Phoneix to catch my flight home. I was happy to see my friend Stacy at the results tent briefly though. On the way out I realized that I had dropped my debit card somewhere, so on the drive back to the hotel, I had to call my bank and cancel my card. 

I made it to the airport just in time to eat my weight in orange chicken and beef and broccoli from Panda Express just before boarding. That put me in the perfect food coma for my half-empty flight where I had a row to myself for the one hour flight home. It was perfect!

The Mt. Lemmon Medal

I made it home by 9:00PM and my friend Laura had already brought Zoe back home so she was there to greet me. It was a quick trip, but as usual, Revel does a fantastic job. This is a great race. Arizona in November is the perfect time to go!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Haunted Half- Provo

I had a great time pacing the 2:30 group at the Haunted Half Marathon in Provo, UT.

My co-pacer LaDawna, Karen and I with big foot Josher!

Josher's costume was hilarious!

I am trying to fight crime through pacing!

Having fun with our group!

LaDawna and I stop for a Bridal Viel Falls picture!

Running out of the scary tunnel with Marisa (in the orange) I tried to push her to finish ahead of me. She dug deep and killed it! I was really proud of her.

Heading to the finish!

At the finish with my friend John!

Fun race with great friends!


Janet is the epitome of strength. I am so proud of her for getting out handling grief by living life to the fullest. I wish I had her strength.

Super fun face! Thanks again to RYR pacers for the opportunity! Pacing is so much fun and it makes me really happy to give back and help others reach their goals!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Corner Canyon Trail Run 25K!

On August 11th of 2012, my good friend Galen Garrison convinced me to do my very first ultramarathon at the Corner Canyon 50K. Not only was this race on the beautiful trails not 5 minutes from my apartment, but this race was also a fundraiser to help John Maack (aka Johnny Runner), who was battling a rare form of Cancer called Mantle Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Beautiful trails and a great cause to help someone? I was in! It was the most challenging race I had ever done to that point and to this day is the toughest 50K I have ever run!
John Maack won his battle with cancer and for the past seven years, Troy Robertson and John have held this race and used 100% of the proceeds to help other sick people in our community. This race (which consists of a 50K, 25K and 5K) really is a labor of love.

This year's recipient for the 25K and 50K was Olaf Questereit. Olaf is currently on an artificial heart waiting for a heart transplant.

This year's recipient for the 5K was Karie Attwood Huzzie who was recently diagnosed with Radical Sclerosing Hodgekins Lymphoma. 

I have been out of town or volunteered at this race since my 50K debut, and thought I would be out of town this year as well. After the Yeti 100 two weeks prior, I decided to stay home instead of traveling to California for Revel Big Bear. My legs were not quite recovered for a marathon and money is tight, so it was the right decision. I thought a nice 25K would be just the thing to get the legs moving again.

By the time I decided to do the race, online registration had already closed, but since this is a fundraiser with every cent brought in is going to a person in need, they allowed race day registration (you were just not given a t-shirt if you waited).  I got up at 5:00AM and drove over to the Andy Ballard Equestrian Park, registered for the race, chatted with a few friends running the 50K (which started a 6:00AM) and drove home to get dressed and gather my gear quickly so I could be back for the 25K start at 7:00AM. 

Great to see Monte and Kandi at the start!

The mother/daughter rockstars, Karen and Lisa!

Just before the start, John Maack gave us the course instructions and just like that we were off!

It was still a little dark as we started and I didn't bring a headlamp as I knew the sun would be up within minutes after we started. Like at the Yeti 100, I forgot to put in my contacts, so running before the sun was fully shining was hard as I couldn't see well. I went slow and cautious so I wouldn't fall. 

Going slow was my only speed as not even a mile into the race (which seemed to be uphill forever), my legs felt heavy and tired. Early on I started wondering why I was doing this, but I pressed on. 

The view was getting better and better the higher we climbed.

The snow already on the mountains made for a nice view as runners made the climb up.

Fall in Corner Canyon is BEAUTIFUL!

Lots of cute single track trail.

The weather was cool and there were pockets of wind which had me taking my outer jacket and gloves off and on. I was either too hot or too cold at various times of the race.

After a few miles, I pretty much thought that I was going to have to hike the whole race! My legs just were just not feeling it. I ran into my cute friend Kandi, who even with an injured ankle, was like a little mountain goat! I stayed with her and her friend for a while until we reached this long steep climb that I haven't run on in years. I don't even know the name of that section of trail, but it was tough!

Climbing up to Ghost Falls (I think). (Photo Credit: Kandi Rasmussen)

Kandi, her friend and I took a photo break! (Photo credit: Kandi Rasmussen)

We were getting close to the top!

Finally to the top!

I lost Kandi and her friend before we hit the top. When I finally did, I was looking forward to making up some time and getting more running in, but the downhill was as hard as the uphill! Not physically, but mentally! I love trail running but I still am terrible when it comes to running over trails with a lot of loose rocks. I see people full on hauling down the mountain and every step I take feels like I am running on marbles! I need to know their secret to going fast and still staying in one piece!

I went slowly down the mountain and by this time lots of runners were flying past me. I was tired an really ready to be done. Then out of nowhere, in the middle of nowhere, three little Pomeranians came running out and started chasing us! I thought maybe I had dropped dead and was in heaven (as being on a beautiful trail surrounded with Pomeranians is as close as heaven could be for me)! Then the owner came out a little shocked to see so many people. I told her that we were in a race and she said that she never sees anyone up there and apologized as her cuties were still chasing runners down the trail barking away. I ran down and scooped two of them up and snuggled them as I walked them back to her. One was named Pom Pom!! CUUUUUTE!!!

I was at the bottom of the hill thinking that there was only one hill left that I knew about as I saw 50K runners coming up it on my way down, so I knew we were going to have to go back up. I was wrong. We had yet another long climb before that steep hill.

I could find myself getting annoyed, but in a split second, I looked around and changed my attitude. Yes, it was hard. Yes, I was tired. But it was a beautiful day and I was on a beautiful trail running/hiking to help someone who would probably love to be healthy enough to be out here. From that minute on, I didn't care how fast or slow I was going, I was going to have a great time and I did.

I made those final climbs and with a little more than a 5K left, I was running down a trail to the aid station. I filled my bottles and had the best running of the race in those last miles.

There are some nice roots under those leaves, but it sure is pretty!

I hit the finish line with a smile on my face! I was so happy to have made the decision to run. It was tough, but it was so worth it!

Race Directors Troy Robertson and John Maack at the start/finish.

This was not an easy 25K, but probably my favorite. I look forward to getting back out on some of those trails again. A lot of them I didn't know existed and I live close!

The Johnny Runner medal is so cute!

This is a fantastic race for a fantastic cause! If you would like more info on this race and how you can help go to their website