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Monday, July 26, 2010

Deseret News Marathon! I Underestimated You!

OK, this race wasn’t even on my list this year for three reasons: 1) I already had three Utah races on the schedule this year, 2) this race never got rave reviews from people I talked to, and 3) the race is held on the 24th of July! It is HOT in Utah on the 24th of July (temps for Saturday were going to be in the high 90’s)!! But, since I didn’t have another marathon scheduled for another month, I bit the bullet and registered.

I lucked out and was off work on Friday. Pioneer Day is a big deal in Utah (the day the Mormon pioneers settled Utah) and since July 24th fell on a Saturday this year, Friday was a holiday. David and I met Jim and visiting Maniacs, Peggy (from NJ) & Susan (from NC) for lunch, packet pick up and a tour around downtown Salt Lake City. Jim then took them up to Park City for dinner (David and I went home early to prepare for race morning).

Susan (from NC) Me, Jim, and Peggy (from NJ) in front of the Salt Lake Temple.

When my alarm went off at 2:00am, I started second guessing whether this was a good idea! I had some breakfast, got myself together and was out the door by 3:00am. The last bus to the start left from Energy Solutions arena at 3:45am. That gave me plenty of time to drive, park and walk to the bus. That was before I saw the flashing lights of the police car pulling me over! I didn’t think I was speeding, but was not going to argue with the officer. If he was going to ticket me, I wanted him to do it quickly! When the officer approached the car, he saw how I was dressed and asked me, “Are you on your way to the track?” When I told him I was rushing to get to the bus to the start of the marathon, he said “wow!” After scanning my license, he came back and said “good luck out there today” and let me go without a ticket!! Whew! That was way cool!! I couldn’t help but think maybe he was a runner too. I made it to the bus just in time!

When we arrived at the start, it was dark. I could see the lights in the valley and the moon. It was beautiful. Most of the runners were huddled under a big tent to stay warm. There I ran into a few other Maniacs & 50 Staters! Peggy (who was running her 50th marathon), Susan, Larry Macon, John Bozung (who was running his 300th marathon), Don Kern (who was running his 200th marathon) Franz, Bob. K, Jamie and Doug.

 Larry Macon, John Bozung and Don Kern

The race started promptly at 5:30am. It was still dark so I took it fairly slow down. I didn’t want to trip on a bump in the road. I wanted to take some photos of the beautiful scenery, but it was too dark for my phone’s camera. As the sun started coming up, I was so glad I decided to do this race. It was so BEAUTIFUL!

I knew this course had some steep downhill parts, so I tried to run conservatively and not burn down them. This paid off because I felt really strong through the first half. I was trying out my new Safe Sound Sport speakers ( and was having a blast rocking down the canyon.

As I made my way down past Ruth’s Diner, then Rice-Eccles Stadium, I still felt really good. Right after mile 20, I passed two young guys. When I asked how they were doing, they said “Slow down! You are making us look bad!” I pushed on. At around mile 22, my Ragnar teammate and new friend, Chris was waiting for me with ice cold water! It was starting to get hot at this point and cold water was a blessing! THANK YOU CHRIS!!

2002 Olymipc Stadium, now home to the University of Utah!

As I turned down South Temple, I still felt pretty strong. Then right around mile 24, the heat from the street, the cars, the parade and the sun started to wear me down. I was still going, but I was feeling it! Around mile 25 we ran on the parade route with the floats. The channel 5 news float was going by as I passed and one of the newscasters yelled out “Let’s hear it for the runners!” People started cheering really loud! That was a help! It got me around the corner and into Liberty Park and the finish line! I finished in 4:57:02, only 21 seconds off my PR!! Darn that 10 minute port-a potty line! Oh well! I was still happy!

Pulling the Handcart just like the Pioneers!

I totally underestimated this race! It was one of the most beautiful courses I have ever run and it was well organized. They could have used a few more water stops later in the race and the medals are not that pretty, but overall, I highly recommend it!

FYI: If you run over 6 hours, this may not be the race for you. They were pretty strict with the cut-off time. At 6:05 the announcer was gone, the medals were packed up and the timing mats were pulled up!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A "SHOUT OUT" to Team Challenge and My Sister!!!

I just wanted to congratulate my twin sister Angel! Not only is she the endurance manager for the Georgia chapter of Team Challenge which brought a team of 10 to the Napa to Sanoma 1/2 Marathon, she and one of my high school friends, Charles Purdy,  for both ran the race and raised thousands of dollars for Team Challenge, a charity program devoted to finding a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, a chronic and often debilitating digestive diseases that impact 1.4 million Americans.


My Sister and Charles at the Start!

If you would like more info on Team Challenge 1/2 Marathon Training Programs, follow this link:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Earned the 2010 Phidippides Award!

The Phidippides Award is given a lot like stars are given to a Marathon Maniac. The award is given to members of USATF who earn points for every USATF certified race completed over the calendar year. The longer the race the more points you earn. The more points you earn, the higher level award you earn.

There are 3 levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold). With all the races I have run this year, I qualified for the Gold level by June! It's nice that USATF honors us old folks no matter how slow we go! Hee Hee!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Missoula Marathon! #11 Done!

When the Missoula Marathon was voted “Best Overall Marathon” in the 2010 marathon issue of Runners World, my friends and I put it on our list. It was only an 8 hour drive from Salt Lake City and we could check Montana off our 50 State list. But, as the months went on and schedules (marathon and life) changed, it seemed that we would not have our usual crew of Utah Maniacs heading to Missoula. David and I planned to make it a family vacation, but when his work schedule didn’t coordinate, it looked as if I would be driving to Missoula for my 11th marathon alone.

Teresa, Jim and I leaving SLC!

About a week and a half before the trip my good friends Jim Levy and Teresa Baker were able to move their schedules around and join me! Now it was a party! Then like a snowball, Franz, Sue, Doug and Trina were running too! From looking at the Maniac race calendar, we knew there would be a lot of Maniacs there and none of us wanted to miss it! Saturday morning Teresa, Jim and I loaded my car up and made the long drive.

We made good time, stopping in Dillon, MT for a bite of lunch at Sparky’s. When we got into Missoula we headed right for the expo to pick up our race packets. Teresa and I were happy to see that our hotel was right there next to the park which would also serve as the finish area!

Teresa at Sparky's

While at the expo, we met a few fellow Maniacs as well as a lovely group of ladies (50 Staters) from Waco, TX. We all were noticing how warm it was and were all hoping for a cooler day come race time.

The Expo

After leaving the expo Franz & Jim had headed off to their hotel, and Teresa, Sue and I went to ours. There we ran into our BFF (and Maniac) from Casper, Patrick Finney. Of course we stood around chatting forever and when Teresa and I finally got into our room, we only had 15 minutes to get to Ciao Mambo’s for dinner! We dropped our bags, changed our clothes and were out the door.

Ciao Mambo’s was packed, but we managed to get a few tables and have a nice pasta dinner. There were tons of Maniacs there so we floated around to other tables, meeting people and socializing. After dinner we Teresa and I went back to our hotel to prepare for race day and get some rest. We were meeting our crew at 4:30am!

Our crew at Ciao Mambos for dinner!

The busses for this race were easy to find and we loaded up and headed for the start. It seemed like we were driving forever. The bus driver was very friendly so we all started joking with him about being on the “Ultra” bus or him taking us out of state. When we finally got to the start, there were lots of friendly volunteers to show us where to go. We went straight for the potties then settled on a patch of grass, where we saw Patrick and a lot more Maniacs! We even met one maniac, Kelby Marks, from Bogota, Columbia!

Maniacs at the start!

We headed to the potty one last time and made our way to the starting line. On the way back to our pace group, we saw Maniac #1 himself, Steven Yee and stopped to take a photo. I minute later, BOOM! The University of Montana cannon fired and we were off!

Teresa, Steven Yee (MM #1), Jim and I

The weather was cool as we started, but heated up quick, Jim was already pouring water on his head at around mile 3. The course was so pretty and flat, which was great for the first 12 miles. It was at that point I realized that unlike our Sarasota brother Greg Goebel, I am not a fan courses that are too flat.  Without any changes, my legs felt tired and stiff sooner.

The course was BEAUTIFUL!!

Me at mile 6!

At around the half, I let Teresa and Jim go. I thought I would finish better if I slowed down. There was one big hill we had to run and it was a welcomed sight (I never thought I would say that)!

Jim heading up the hill!

I stopped and took some photos conserving my energy on the hill, as I was not feeling too good. I was having some stomach issues and felt at times like I was going to barf, partly because of the heat and partly because my stomach wasn’t feeling well before I started, but, a nice lady on the course had a bag of ice and was offering it to runners. I took some and put it in my cap. It felt sooo good!

So pretty!!

I got a second wind and headed down the hill. It felt great! As I was running, I came across a throng of Maniacs and in the center of the throng was Larry Macon (Maniac extraordinar and cute little old man). As I ran up behind him, I yelled “Look at all these good looking Maniacs”! He turned around and gave me a hug. I stayed with the throng for a short while, and then we all splintered off.

When I ran over this bridge, I saw a moose crossing the river!

As I got to about mile 16, I started feeling nauseous again. I pushed through to about mile 18.5, when I saw Jim walking with Maniac Christine Girtz Adams. They were a welcomed sight. I decided to stay with them and walk a while (at that point I would have been fine walking the rest of the race). During that walk break, we picked up a guy named Mad Dog and Julia Kocubinski, who was running her first marathon. At mile by 19.5, I was feeling 100% better. It was sooo hot out, but Jim and I decided to start running easy again at mile 20. Jim and I had both accepted the fact that not only were neither of us going to set a PR (personal best), but we just might set a PW (personal worst) time wise, but we didn’t care, we were having a BLAST! Singing, dancing, walking, running. The back of the pack was FUN!!

My Favorite Mile Marker!

For the final 6 miles we all stuck together as we ran through the neighborhoods of Missoula. The people of Missoula were GREAT!! It was hot and about every house had people cheering and/or out with their sprinklers for runners to run through. I don’t know how any of us would have gotten by without them!
We look happy!!
Juila and I running!

As we came around the last turn over the bridge the finish line in site, Julia (as with most 1st time marathoners), recognizing her amazing accomplishment, started to cry. It was so sweet!! We had just met her, but we were all so proud of her!!

Jim and I headed for the finish line and since we were breaking no records, we stopped just short of the finish line and rocked the robot (something Jim, Teresa and I had joked about in the car on the way up), before crossing the timing mats!! Then we waited and cheered as Christine and Mad Dog finished. It was AWESOME!

Jim and I ROCKING the robot!

Christine, Mad Dog, Me, Julia, and Jim at the finish!

After the race, Teresa was meeting up with an old friend, so Jim and I went to pick up our free photo at the finishers area. The line was super long. While there we saw Steven Yee (Maniac #1) and Chris Warren (Maniac #2). We chatted for a bit and then saw Franz and Sue. We all chatted some more and I finally went back to the hotel room to shower.

Patrick, Teresa, Jim and I all ended up at a really good Mexican restaurant for lunch before Patrick had to catch his flight out (thanks for lunch Patrick)!! Teresa, Jim and I walked around a little farmers market, stuck our feet in the river and then headed back to our room to watch a movie (of course, I dozed off). Then we took a drive around the University of Montana campus, dropped Jim off at his hotel and Teresa and I headed back to our room to watch a movie and/or crash! It was so relaxing!! The next morning we headed home!

Jim soaking his feet in the river.

Teresa and I soaking! It felt sooooo good!!

This wasn’t my best race (time wise), but it wasn’t my worst either. As my fellow Maniac Greg Goebel posted on my Facebook page, “They all can't be PRs, and as long as you have fun, THAT is what counts!” Well, we had FUN!! In fact, we had a BLAST!!!! THANK YOU MISSOULA!!

SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to Teresa! Missoula earned her 4 Maniac stars!! You ROCK Teresa!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Maniac Chat Experience!

Today me and two of my fellow Marathon Maniacs (Greg Goebel and Mike Moore) were a part of the first "Maniac Chat" on "The Marathon Show"! It was a really cool experience. I will admit I was nervous because this is radio and all of us were calling from different places, it was a kind of strange to have a conversation with 3 other people over the phone.

I did have one OMH moment! At one point in the show, I lost focus for two seconds as my dogs came into the room. I shooed them out just as Joe (the host) said "What do you think of that Angie?". I had no idea what he was talking about!! The last thing I heard was something about stretching! Luckily, Joe was great and got me back on track! I was slightly mortified though.

It was really fun doing this. I hope I didn't make a fool of myself too much.

To hear the show, download the podcast on iTunes or follow this link:

Happy Birthday Zoe!

My sweet little Zoe is 3 years old today!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!!

Since July 4th is on a Sunday this year, here in Utah we celebrated on July 3rd. This means fireworks and other celebrations were celebrated yesterday including the Freedom 1/2 Marathon.

I decided to do this race kind of last minute for three reasons:
1) Our club was only doing 6 miles on Saturday and I needed to run longer.
2) Quite a few members of our club were already running, and;
3) I ran for FREE! The race director does a really great thing. He will give you free entry to any of his races if you volunteer at one. So Teresa and I volunteered at the packet pick up on Friday and ran Saturday for free!

This was the inaugural Freedom 1/2, so things were a little disorganized. The packet pick up was a nightmare in part due to the 200+ registrations that came Friday. Some people didn't get their bibs or timing chips until race morning. When we ran out of t-shirts, people had to stand around and wait for an hour until the t-shirt guy could bring more. But, overall people were excited to run!

Diane met me at my house at 4:45am and we headed to the State Capitol to catch the bus to the start at Emigration Canyon. We were on the first bus to the start so we also got first crack at the port-a-potties! Clean and no lines!! About 10 minutes later, they were packed!! The canyon quickly filled with 450+ runners. 

Start time was scheduled for 7:00am, but due to some bus problems the race was delayed 30 minutes. This usually wouldn't be a big deal, but Utah in July can be hot, so the earlier we start, the less we have to worry about melting in the hot sun.

At the Start

At about 7:30 the race started, and we were off. Diane and I lost Teresa from the start. She was doing great! We headed down Emigration Canyon enjoying the scenery and chatting to other runners along the way.

The course was beautiful. Running down the canyon, into This is the Place, then onto the Bonneville trail.

Me on the Bonneville Trial.

We headed back into the city passed Red Butte. There was an oil spill there a few weeks ago and the re-opened a section of the area for us to run through. There were still crews there working on the clean up.

As we headed down 11th Avenue, the course was familiar and I knew the slight down hill to the finish was going to be nice. The temps were warm but not overly hot. Diane and I relaxed and rounded our way down to the Capitol and the finish line. This was Diane's first 1/2 marathon in Utah and she was looking for the finish. As I had run the State Capitol 1/2 on Memorial day (ran by the same race director), I knew to look for the red, white and blue balloons. Happy to be done Diane and I crossed the line in 2:10! A PR for Diane!

We got our medals and met Teresa (who took a nasty fall, but still managed to run a great race), Bob.B, Bob K., Earl at the finish.

Diane, Teresa and I at the Finish!
Earl, Bob B. and Bob K. at the Finish!

After the race we all went to the Corner Bakery for a nice breakfast. It was a great way to celebrate, but my legs are sore today!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hey! I am a Featured Marathoner!

Not only was I asked to be on the "Marathon Chat" panel, The Marathon Show asked me to be their featured marathoner!! I feel pretty honored since there are way faster and more experienced folks out there! Thanks!

To see the Featured Marathoner page, click on the link below:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Join Me and My Fellow Marathon Maniacs for a "Maniac Chat" on July 5th!

The marathon world will never be the same again!! The Marathon Show will be having it's first "Maniac Chat" show and guess who the 1st panelists are? Greg Goebel (our good friend from Sarasota), Mike Moore and myself!! - the topics we will discuss are: our favorite races, choosing a race pace, nagging injuries and much more!

You can call in and whoop it up with us on July 5, 2010, 1:00 pm eastern, 10:00am pacific!! or on iTunes!!