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Sunday, May 18, 2014

#74- The Ogden Marathon!

This was my 4th Ogden Marathon (in 2009 I did the half and volunteered at the race in 2010) and it still remains to be one of my favorite spring marathons. If you are looking for a race with great organization, nice weather (most of the time), beautiful scenery, and a perfect course for a first time marathon runner, Ogden is for you.
With all the races in Utah, St. George and Ogden are the only races that registration is done via lottery. St. George in my personal opinion is (while nice) a little overrated, but Ogden, is amazing! It is much more convenient to Salt Lake City, the course is fast and the scenery is just beautiful.
Last year we had cold rain but this year promised to be warm and I was looking forward to running in some nice weather.
Before the race even started I knew I would probably not have the best race of my life as I had been waiting 16 years to see Morrissey in concert (last time I saw him live was in 1997 in NYC) and he was going to be playing in Salt Lake City the night before Ogden! I didn't care if I came in last place, I was not missing MOZ!!
Thanks to Teota for offering her place downtown to crash at which would save me 30 minutes of my 60 minute drive to Ogden. THANKS GIRL!!
Our friend Polli from St. George was staying there too, so when I finally rolled into Teota's at around 11:00pm, we chatted for a while and went to bed at close to midnight.
The alarm was set for 3:00am but between my still riding my Morrissey high and the excruciating headache I had been nursing since Thursday night, I didn't fall asleep until around 1:00am and was up just before the alarm went off.
Polli and I were out the door at 3:30am and hit Ogden in plenty of time to find parking and catch the bus to the start at 5:00am.
I was getting a little worried on the bus ride to the start. My head was hurting so bad and I was feeling nauseous. I had forgot to take the Tylenol that Teota had offered me before we left her house and I was already regretting it. I just put my sunglasses on and closed my eyes for the entire 30 minute ride up the canyon. I was hoping that once I started running, my headache would go away.
when we got to the start, Polli and I found a fire pit and stood near it for a bit. It was 40 degrees at the start, which is much warmer than I have ever remembered.
Polli and I hanging out at the start.
Two of the nicest running guys around. I am glad to know Jeff Galloway and John Bozung!
Greg and Cheri at the start. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHERI!!
One thing I love about being a Marathon Maniac is the way we help each other. Fellow Maniacs Greg and Cheri had plane trouble and would not make it in time to pick up their race packets. One post on Facebook was all it took to get help. I had just left Ogden, but got in touch with my friend and fellow Maniac, Tim Gill and he not only picket them up, but drove them over to their hotel.  It's nice to be a part of a group that has each other's back!
Polli and I found Gumby!

Jeff Galloway addressing the crowd!
10 minutes before the start Jeff Galloway took the mic to give the runners a pep talk and the few Maniacs we could find gathered for a quick photo and we were off!
A few Maniacs at the start!
More Maniacs!
 The run started out great. I settled in with the 4:30 pace group which felt really comfortable and I hit the half feeling really good.
Then right before we started up the hill, I could feel the tendinitis in my right foot (that plagued me all of last year and just started hurting a bit during training runs in the last couple of weeks) start to flare up. I had to stop and loosen the laces of my shoes before it got bad. I ended up loosening them too much and my shoe fell off, so I had to stop again and tie it again. I could feel the pain getting worse, so I popped 3 Advil and that took the edge off before it got too bad, but I lost the 4:30 pace group with the two stops and didn't want to waste the energy it would have taken to catch them again.
No worries, I took my time up the hill and enjoyed some of the funny signs!

Once I got to the top of the hill I settled back into my pace and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.

Such a beautiful course!
At about mile 16 it started to get  a little toasty and by toasty I mean HOT! I just wanted to get to the dam at about mile 17.5 as I remember once we hit that nice downhill section there were some nice shaded areas which I was hoping would cool me off. I am no good in heat.
 Unfortunately, the shade was on the wrong side of the road or there was just not as much as I remembered. I was starting too get too hot and my pace slowed a lot. I had hit the 7 mile split at a 10:04 pace, but by mile 18.3 my pace had slowed to a 10:51 pace. 
Once we hit the bike trail at mile 22, even though I was being very careful about my hydration, my legs began to cramp up. There was a little more shade in this area, but when I hit the unshaded sections, it was just so hot, I felt like I was going to pass out and I would just stop and walk before I fell out or spontaneously combusted!
By mile 25.2 I was at 11:00 pace.. That last mile was the longest, hottest mile I've seen in a while. You can see the finish line, but it seemed like it took forever to get there. I was so hot that once I finally crossed the finish line and stopped, I needed the medic to walk me over to the misters as I thought I would faint right there! Once I got cooled off, I was fine.
I collected my medal and waited for Polli to finish. There I chatted with a few other Maniacs, kicked off my shoes and found a shady spot on the lawn where I saw a few folks from the Run Aways come in. It was neat to see Becca Wood finish her first marathon and hear that Jonathan Crampton finally snagged the BQ he has been working hard for.
Ogden Marathon Bling
When Polli finished, we sat for a few more minutes and headed home. My headache had stopped while I was running but started up again once I got home and at this point the no sleep and heat caught up to me. All I wanted to do was take a shower and sleep!
I still love the Ogden Marathon. I was so impressed with all the aid stations this year! They really stepped it up with the creativity! Every aid station had a different theme and they went all out. I was pretty bummed that my phone died and I didn't get more photos. All the volunteers were great!
Thanks for a good time Ogden!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Utah Healing Field® 9/11 Remembrance Run (9.11k) to be Held at dusk on 9/10!

Those who know me know the deep connection I have with New York City and the events of September 11th, 2001, so I was honored to be asked to be on the board of the Utah Healing Field (Utah's 9/11 Memorial) to help them in creating a remembrance run to kick off the opening of the field this year. As I watched the opening of the 9/11 Museum this morning, it made me even more determined to make this a success.
With the exceptional support of area residents and businesses, the Colonial Flag Foundation has established the Utah Healing Field® massive display of flags as a cherished Utah tradition. This year, Homes for Heroes® stepped forward to host this breathtaking event produced on the grassy lawns in front of the Sandy City Hall. The Sandy Promenade, home of the Healing Field® display since the event's origin, is the perfect site to post more than three thousand United States flags as area residents remember and honor not only the victims of the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks, but those of our military, first responders and their families still with us.
The 9.11k run will be held at 6:00pm on Wednesday, Sept. 10th, finishing as the opening ceremony begins.
Registration will be open as soon as we get the run website up, but I would love you all to "save the date" on your calendars and help get the word out!!
WE ALSO NEED SPONSORS! If you would like to sponsor this event, we have sponsorship opportunities at all levels. Please contact me if you would like more info becoming a sponsor for this wonderful event.
I hope to see all of you there!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Provo City Half Marathon!

I don't run many half marathons unless I have been asked to pace, mainly due to the fact that half marathons are becoming just as expensive as running full marathons and for some insane reason I feel like I am getting a better value (price per mile) to do the full 26.2 miles.
The last time I ran the Provo City Half Half Marathon was when I was asked to pace at this race with the Utah Race Pacers about 3 years ago and the course has totally changed (for the better) since then.
I didn't have anything planned this weekend, but knew I would run somewhere on Saturday, May 3rd. I was really happy when I got some Groupon junk mail that caught my eye. "Run the Provo City Half Marathon!" I opened the Groupon and was happy to see I could buy a registration for $37! That was about half of what the normal entry fee was so I jummped on it!
Race morning started early. I woke up at 3:15am, got dressed and waited for my friends  Ibana and Renee to meet me at 4:00am. We headed to Provo to catch the bus up to the starting line by 5:00am. We almost didn't make it as Renee and I got to talking and I drove right past Provo! Wasn't until I saw a sign for Spanish Fork that I realized what I had done and flipped the car around toot sweet! Luckily we got rock star parking right on the street and made it in plenty of time to get the bus.
The starting area was freezing and there was not enough port-a-potties, but we luckily did not have to stay up there too long before the race got underway.
I started off right behind the 2:00 pacer and settled into a pace that felt good. I had no goal time for this race, I just wanted to run a nice training run so I didn't feel bad when the 2:00 pacer took off. I just did my own thing and ran when I wanted too, walked when I wanted too and took a few photos of the beautiful course.

Provo Canyon is just beautiful!

I had to get a selfie at Bridal Veil Falls!
I was going at a pretty good pace (average 8:37) around mile 6 and just had the feeling if I kept that pace I would eventually blow up, so I backed off a little and just started chatting with other runners around me (shocker right?).
The last mile I ran into one of my pals from "The Run Aways" and we chatted, ran a little and walked a little. When I got about 200 meters from the finish I looked at watch and saw I was close to a sub 2:00, but with the 2:00 pacer nowhere in sight, I second guessed myself and just kicked  it in the last 100 meters just in case. I finished in 1:59:32! 

I'll take it!
Me at the finish!
After I finished, I had some french toast, chatted with other friends and waited for Ibana and Renee to finish.
One really cool thing was seeing McKay Matheson and his cute family, whom my friend Galen and I helped pace through his first marathon at the Salt Lake City Marathon. We chatted for a bit and Ibana and Renee came in.

Renee, Ibana and I at the finish!
I had an appointment right after the race, so I had to get back before lunch, but was really happy to get to run a great race on such a beautiful day!
I highly recommend this race and it will be on my list for next year for sure.