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Monday, June 28, 2010

I run Marathons and My Husband Jumps out of Planes. Who's More Nuts?

Saturday morning I came home from a fun, but hot 14 mile run with my running club to find my husband waiting patiently for me to get home so we could go to Seven Peaks (a water park in Provo where we have season passes). Not wanting to disappoint David, I got my swimsuit and we were out the door!

While at the water park I told my husband that I might do a trail run Sunday with my friend Teresa. He quickly told me no. I thought he just wanted me to spend more time with him on Sunday (a perfectly valid request), but to my surprise he wanted me to go with him while he went SKY DIVING!! Yes, that's right, my husband wanted me to go and watch him throw himself out of a plane! Of course I said yes.

We met Kevin, Steph, Paul (who was visiting from England) and a few other of Steph's family at a sky diving place in Ogden.

David puts on the prison skydiving jumpsuit!

 Getting all strapped in!

Football anyone?

He's Ready!

Paul and David waiting for the plane!

The Plane, the Plane!!

Hmmm. Where are those life insurance papers again?

Whew! They made it!! Safe on the ground!

Steph, David, Paul and Kevin safe and unsound!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

We Kicked RAGNAR's Bootay!!

Up until about a month ago, I wasn’t even planning on running Ragnar’s Wasatch Back. I did it last year and had fun, but with all the races I had planned to do this year, coming up with a $100 just to get in, then add van fees, gas, food, etc., Ragnar can become fairly expensive. Plus, the Wasatch Back sells out so quick you need you ante up way early to secure a spot. Then I got a call from my friend Liz telling me that a place had opened up on a team that both her and my friend Teresa were running on. The best part was, the team was being sponsored by the good people at Check City and all we had to come up with was $20 for gas! COUNT ME IN!!

Our team name was The “Loan” Racers. So our van (van 2) decided to do a cowgirl theme. I printed out a bunch of cute cowboy/cowgirl pictures and we taped them all over the van. It looked really cute! We only saw our other teammates (van 1) once the whole time, and they didn’t decorate their van (which at Ragnar is a no no- hee hee).

Our van had the coolest group of cowgirls ever!!! Ruth, Chris, Liz, Danielle, Teresa and myself met at 1-800 Contacts at 8:00am to pack our van and head to our first exchange. Liz had the great idea of pulling out the back seat of the van which made lots of room for our cooler of food, drinks, sleeping bags and bags. Once we got packed, we headed towards Ogden!

We got to exchange 6 just in time to get a good parking spot. Within 30 minutes, the place was a madhouse!! We were so glad to see a few friends there as well! Teri and the Marathon Maidens and Korey, Ele and Angie form Team Rush!

Me, Ele, Teresa, Korey & Angie

Super Heros!!

This year, the Ragnar folks paid extra special attention to safety. There were safety meetings, metal barricades lining the streets so people could not cross or fill into the street. Each van was given two orange flags which were to be used any time you crossed the street. These new safety precautions not only kept people safe, but I believe kept traffic running smoothly as well. There were 400 more teams this year, and while we hit traffic at some places, it was nothing as bad as last year. Well done Ragnar!

Teresa & Liz at the safety meeing.

Where's Waldo?

Our van’s 1st legs began around noon. Ruth went first, then Danielle, then Teresa, then Chris, then me, and Liz went last. It was HOT so even though we were all running short mileage, the heat made you feel like you ran more! Teresa had the great idea of keeping a separate ice chest filled with bandanas and ice. These were like a gift from heaven when running uphill in the heat!

Teresa's 1st leg!

After we all finished our 1st leg, we went to this high school in Morgan where we laid out our sleeping bags right next to a river, under some shady trees. We ate some lunch/dinner and took a little nap before we had to start running again. At 9:00pm, we loaded up our van and headed to our next exchange with van 1.

Teresa, Chris and Ruth relaxing before nap time!

Ruth started her run around 10:00pm. These legs were longer and we were running in the middle of the night. The temps had dropped quite a bit, so if you were not running, you were freezing! I think we all really enjoyed our night runs though. Running down a highway at 3:00am is quite exhilarating! Hats off to Teresa! She ran almost 10 miles at 1:00am!!

We handed off the slap bracelet to van 1 just as the sun was coming up. We stopped at another high school where a few of us took advantage of the warm showers. They felt sooooooo good! Then we all took another short nap, a quick trip to McDonalds and before we knew it, it was time to meet van 1 for our last legs.

Ruth headed out and we could feel the heat was going to be an issue. We revived the bandana cooler and after Ruth handed off to Danielle, we made a pit stop to 7/11 for ice. It was a good thing we did because next up was Teresa and she was hitting Baby Ragnar!! 3ish miles of the steepest hill you would ever want to walk let alone run! Teresa did AWESOME!!! Next up, Chris took over where Teresa left off and battled RAGNAR!! 4ish miles of that horrible hill!! Chris was actually running that bad boy!!!! I was blown away at the way these two got up those hills!! I would have cried the whole way! AWESOME!!!!!

Chris handed off to me and I took off on what I thought was a 5.5 mile leg. I was glad that this leg was mostly downhill, but I was not prepared for how steep it really was! The first 1.5 miles was very hard to run. I had to do like a shuffle down the hill so I wouldn’t land on my face! Then the course changed to trail running. I was in heaven! I was running through pine trees and it was shady. I loved it! At about mile 5, I was wondering why I hadn’t seen the “One Mile to Go” sign. I mentioned it to a girl running next to me and she told me that they added 1.5 mile to the leg!! I was a little mad at first, but I looked around and I felt great, and thought this is so beautiful, it would be fun to run a little more.

During Teresa’s leg, Liz who was sick at this point, got a bloody nose. We were all wondering if she would be able to run her last leg. We kept good thoughts, as the thought of running an extra leg was not something anyone really wanted to do! I was so glad when I got to the exchange I saw Liz standing there! Way to cowgirl up Liz!! She was sick and tired, but she did a great job bringing the team home! We battled the traffic and the crowds just in time to run with the rest of our team through the finish line together!!! It was AWESOME!!!! We got our bling, took a team photo and spent a little time at the finish area.

Our Team!

The Bling!

The Wasatch Back was so much fun this year thanks to our GREAT team!! Bring on Hood to Coast!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Utah Valley 1/2 Marathon

On Saturday, June 12, our running club ran the Utah Valley 1/2 Marathon!! It was a great day!

I ran with two of our new runners, Jessica and Nancy. They did an amazing job!

Some of our group at the finish!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How Do I Celebrate My 10th Marathon, With a PR of Course!- Casper Marathon Race Report

About 5 months ago when Teresa Baker and I started talking about running the Casper Marathon, the planning was pretty easy, but as we got a week out, things started to unravel for me. Between other’s last minute cancellations (which doubled my expense) and other personal issues, it looked as though I might have had to bag Casper this year. In order to save my liver (which I would have eaten out with envy if I couldn’t go), I got resourceful and was able to make it work. Whew!

Sue, Teresa, Lindsay, Skyler and I met at Teresa’s house at 6:00pm Friday night and we headed out. Sue drove 3 hours to Rock Springs where we stayed the night, then got up and drove the remaining 3 ½ hours to Casper. We went right to the host hotel where we got all checked in, dropped our bags in our rooms and headed down to the packet pick up. The short sleeved tech-shirts were really nice and our bibs had our names on them (which was nice later in the race). We also received a Casper Marathon timing chip. The great score of the “expo” was the nice terry cloth robe with the Casper Marathon logo embroidered on it for $10 and the long sleeved tech shirts (also with the logo printed on the front) for $5!! Sweet! We all loaded up!!

After we got our packets we walked out to the lobby and saw a huge line of marathoners checking in. It was there we saw our friends and fellow Maniacs from our sister city of Sarasota! It was so great seeing Greg, Mary, Paul, & Donna again after Tacoma!! After they got checked in, we all met at the hotel bar for beers, diet cokes (for me) and appetizers. We were still awaiting the arrival of Bob B. and Franz, who started out early Saturday morning to drive straight to Casper. In our calculations they were only about an hour or so behind us.

When the hour turned into two, we started wondering what happened to them. Then they walked in. Bob and Franz were both sporting huge cowboy hats! OMH!!! The table ROARED with laughter when we saw them!! Seems in order to save some time they decided to take a “short cut” which took them on some dirt roads for like 2 hours! Bob’s Lexus was now an off road vehicle! Hee Hee!! After lunch, we all headed to our rooms for a little nap before the pasta dinner.

The pasta dinner was great. Not only was the food good, the room was full of Maniac and 50 Staters!! We were a bunch of newbies compared to this crowd! We all sat around laughing and having a great time with all of our new friends! After the pasta dinner and a quick trip to the store, we headed up to our rooms to prepare for race morning.

The race began at 6:30am so we were out to catch the bus to the start at 5:45am. The shuttle bus was a little yellow school bus which didn’t hold very many people, so we hung out in the lobby until it was our turn. Skyler and Lindsay were running their first marathon so Teresa, Sue and Franz were going to try and pace him, while Bob was going to pace Lindsay (they were sooooo cute in their matching father/daughter shirts). We made it to the start just in time to hit the bathrooms one more time, take some photos and we were off!

While I really wanted to stick Teresa, Franz & Sue for a while, I didn’t want to go out to fast and bonk, so I said good bye at mile 1 and got mentally prepared to run the rest of the race alone. Now, I have run many marathons alone, but only in races with 25-45,000 people! This marathon had 175 people, big difference. But, I put on my big girl panties and tried to run a smart race. I was happy to find some awesome folks and fellow Maniacs to run with as well!

The course got hot a little sooner than expected. I had shed all my layers by mile 1. I tried to stay focused on hydrating and felt great for most of the race. The course was really beautiful.

We ran along this river path which reminded us all of the Jordan River Parkway where we run our long runs. I loved that part of the race because the big trees created some much needed shade. There were more hills than expected, but nothing like Tacoma! Even with the heat, elevation and hills, I felt pretty strong until mile 18, when I started to feel the wall approaching. I slowed my pace, took extra walk break, ate some trail mix and tried to get my head back in the game. I stayed steady until mile 20. I took my last GU and I felt once it kicked in, I felt like I could finish. By this time in the race it was HOT! The aid stations were tremendous with ice cold water and sports drink. I drank ½ my water and poured the other ½ over my head. It felt sooooo good!

Between mile 22-23 I caught up to Teresa. When I came up behind her I asked “want some company?” and she replied “yes please!” I was so happy to see her! Running with someone the last few miles can really help take your mind off the pain. We continued until mile 23 when we picked up this young guy named Joseph, who was running his 1st marathon. He was having a hard time so Teresa asked him to stay with us and he did. Right before mile 25 Teresa looked at her watch and said to me, “At mile 25 you need to leave us. You are strong and could easily PR!” I said, “What if I don’t want to go?” She said, “Tuff, you’re going!” So at mile 25, Teresa said, “Angie, get going!” So I did. As I came around the corner to the finish, I could see the clock and I knew I did it!! One month after my PR in Tacoma, I took another 2 minutes off my time finishing in 4:56:41!!! The best part was having Franz standing there to put the medal around my neck! AWESOME!!

Teresa and Joseph were right behind me. It was really sweet to see him give Teresa a big hug and thank her for helping him. That to me is what running the marathon is all about. Even if we run alone, there is always someone to help you meet your goal of getting to the finish!

As we finished we got the GREAT news that Lindsay had finished her 1st marathon in 2nd place and Skyler had finished 2nd in his age group!! WAY TO GO!!!!! It was so great! We had a great time waiting at the finish line, cheering our new friends in, drinking Diet Pepsi and eating cold fruit and hot pizza!

After showers, we said goodbye to Bob, Franz, and Sue (who are real maniacs and drove the 7 hours home after the marathon), we went down to the bar where the race directors had set up a spread of fruits, cheeses, crackers, hot wings and baby hot dogs! There we met up with our new friend Patrick, who told us that 3 years before, he was in a wheelchair suffering the effects of MS!!! Now he is a crazy Marathon Maniac! WOW! What an inspiration! We of course also met up with our awesome Sarasota friends and had a chance to get to meet the race directors and marathon committee. We had a blast!

Later Teresa, Lindsay, Skyler and I took a drive up Casper Mountain, got dinner and headed back to the hotel for some much needed sleep!

The next morning, we went for a lovely walk along the river where we had run then went to this great 50’s diner for breakfast. We came back to the hotel, packed our stuff and hit the road home!

We all had such a great time! Thanks Casper!!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!!

I love and miss your coolness everyday!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Running of the State Capitol 1/2 Marathon

This was the inaugural running of the State Capitol ½ Marathon here in Salt Lake City, so I had no past experience in this race to draw on, so it was going to be an adventure! What I did know was that it was going to be a small race (about 250-300 runners) and that about 1/6th of the course was going to be on trails.

Liz and Marilyn picked me up from my house at 6:00am and we headed to the start which was at Olympus Hills Mall. There we met up with Stella and her nephew Mike (who was running his 1st ½ Marathon). The weather was perfect for running. A little chilly at the start, so we sat in the car until it was time to hit the “Honey Bucket” one last time and line up to start.

Before we started, there were volunteers handing out American flags if you wanted to run with one. I took one of course! My thought was that if I could run 26.2 miles with a blow up guitar, I could run 13.1 with an American flag! The race director was also giving instructions, most of which I could not hear, but what I did hear was that the course was challenging and that you should add 20 minutes to your best ½ marathon time. Hmm, I wanted to go easy on this race as I am running the Casper Marathon only 6 days later, so I thought a 2:30 would do just fine on this course.

The race began with us running about 1.5 miles down Wasatch Boulevard. We then crossed over 1-80 on this bridge which landed us on the trailhead of the paved trail system to Foothill Boulevard. As we crossed the bridge, I thought I was getting light-headed. That was until I realized that it wasn’t me, it was the bridge! It was moving with the weight of the runners bouncing up and down on it! The guy next to me said he thought he was having a stroke for a second!

The paved trail was pretty hilly. I mixed it up a little timing wise. While I was doing 3:1’s, I took advantage of the downhill sections when they when they came, running through walk breaks when they occurred on a downhill section (I knew I would make them up later). At the 3 or 4th water stop, I saw Teri out there handing out water (great job Teri and thanks)! She told me that Jim was at the bottom of the trail waiting to run a few miles with me. Cool! I was pretty much running alone and my iPod lasted about 30 second in my ears before I couldn’t take it (I can rarely run with music). I saw Jim at the bottom of the Pioneer Trail State Park. We started up the hardest part of the course. This section was very reminiscent of the Antelope Island 25K. It was very hilly and rocky and sometimes we were running in gravel (not a fan). I walked/hiked a lot of this part. We passed the “Native American Village” where I had to stop for a photo next to the tee pees! When the trail evened out and was not so rocky, we had a blast! I love running on the trails! It was there that we connected to the Bonneville Shoreline Trial, running past the University of Utah, Red Butte and the JCC.

Once we hit 11th Avenue, I was excited! Jim turned off at the cemetery to head home (thanks for the company Jim!) and I felt great as I cruised those familiar last few miles! As I came down the canyon I could see the State Capitol! It was a nice steady downhill so I opened up and let fly! It felt so good as I came across the finish line waiving my flag in 2:19:33! Not my best time, but good for that course.

I waited a while for Stella, Mike (Congrats!!), Liz, and Marilyn to finish, then we all got the shuttle bus back to the start. From there we went for Brunch. There is nothing yummier (or more deserved) after a race than Café Rio (plug- hee hee), but we settled for yummy BBQ bacon cheeseburgers! It was a really fun day!