Sunday, July 22, 2012

2nd Annual Goody 10K and Y Hike

Tuesday was our 2nd annual Goody 10K.  This years route was changed from last years.  Last year, we took off from the house, ran a route down to Provo Canyon and back for the 10K.  This year it was suggested that the racers be dropped off up the canyon and run down for the 6.2 miles.  I figured out a route that would work, everyone that wanted to go was on board and up we went.

This year we had three runners and three walkers.  Sarah, Rachel and Malinda were our three runners.  My wife, Alison and I were the walkers.  It was a beautiful morning and the canyon is in shade most of the day so it was fun.  We had a good time talking as we tried to make it down as quick as we could.  We got a slight start on the runners and it wasn't long before they came running past us.  We were pushing one of the grandsons in a stroller but his Mom grabbed the stroller and off the runners went.  The came close to their finishing goal and were well under an hour.  The walkers finished up a little over an hour and a half.  It was fun to cheer each other on and I hope this can continue on as a regular tradition.

We finished the day's fun by going to a local pool.  I was enjoying hanging in the shade and trying to get a nap until my oldest grandson came up to me with a big smile on his face asking if I would go down the tallest slide with him.  It was hard to turn him down and I found myself at the top of the slide surrounded by lots of kids who were all at least a foot shorter than me.  The things we do for our kids/grandkids. I am just glad I can still do it.  My grandson went down before me and when I hit the pool at the bottom of the slide, water went all over and my grandson was stifling a laugh.

I wrote a while back about hiking to the 'Y' above Brigham Young University.  There have been plans to hike it every year but something has always taken precedence and the hike never has happened until this year.  Friday night, one of my daughters texted everyone else and said they were going to do it on Saturday morning and wanted to know who else was in.  My wife and I were in for sure and there were 10 of us then ended up hiking the 1.2 miles up to the top of the Y.  It is steep and gets the heart pounding, but the view is nice and the strain is worth it.

Start of the hike at the trailhead
Starts out steep and doesn't let up!
I caught up with the some of the hikers that got a head start.  Here I am
telling a granddaughter about an old man who started after the rest and beat
the grandkids to the top.  She didn't stop after that!
Off she goes, never to be seen again with the lead hikers.
At the top of the Y.
Joined by the rest!
Enjoying the view!

Hope you are staying active and having fun this summer!  Hang in there and I will too!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Amethyst Lake

Some of my out of town kids and their families arrived this week.  July will prove to be a fun and busy month. One of our annual traditions has been to do a hike in the Uintah mountains.  This mountain range is unique in many ways, but the most interesting thing about them is that they are the only mountain range in the United States that run east to west.  I've written about several of my hikes in the Uintahs in the past.
I took Thursday off to go hiking with one of my daughters, Rachel, and her husband Troy.  Much to my surprise, my wife joined in on the hike as well.

We hiked to a beautiful lake called Amethyst.  The hike wasn't excessively hard, but it was over six miles one way and it had a good climb for almost half a mile.  It was worth it though as we hiked through pines and meadows to reach the lake.  Even the steep section was worth it due to the waterfalls that were right along the trail.

We got up to the lake around noon.  As the sun climbed in the sky, we were all getting warmer, but not long after we approached the lake it rained pretty good and cooled things way down.  We even had a bit of hail that caused us to find brief shelter underneath some trees.

My son-in-law packed his fly rod and had a great day of fishing.  Amethyst Lake itself didn't yield him any fish, but the water was choppy.  On the way back, my wife and I decided to stick to the trail and my daughter and son-in-law did a bit of lake hopping to try fishing at other lakes.  They were glad they did as the fishing picked up.   We were glad that we stuck to the trail when they told us of the steep boulder hopping they had to do to get from lake to lake.
We ended up hiking close to 13 miles for the day.  It made for a long day, but we were all glad we went.

Last week I told you about another son-in-law who ran the Freedom Festival 10K with my daughter and I without training and beat us both.  Rumor has it he was so sore the next day that he said never again!  My daughter and I already have talked about future races coming up!  :)

I logged 7 days out of 7 this week.  It is probably one of my best weight management tools.  I need to do this for 2 months.  So far so good.

Tuesday is the second BGoody 10K race with the family.  I think there will be five or six of us running this year.  More to come.

Hang in there and I will too.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Finding the Other Side of Someday

For several years now, when our adult children come into town for a reunion, each of us puts together a playlist of songs based on the theme for that year.  I was listening to a song off of one of the playlist that Rachel put together called Gonna Get Over You by Sara Bareilles.  I like the song because it's great to work out to.  It has a good back beat and drive to it that I like.  The last time I listened to it, this piece of the lyrics caught my attention.
I'll be alright,
Once I find the other side of someday.
If you want to watch a goofy video and listen to a great song, here you go.

It got me thinking that I have been trying to get to the other side of someday for the past several months.  I have done well in my training.  I can't remember a training run that I didn't get in and I completed the Ogden Marathon and just on Wednesday ran my third Freedom Festival 10K.  But my weight and other aspects of my health suffered.  I have made several attempts to get back on track, but none of them sustained for very long as I tried to get to "the other side of someday."  I've had too may Monday's come and go without making needed changes.  While my running continues to be important and I would still like to complete my 7 peaks challenge, I would be better served by getting back on track on my overall weight and health.  The marathon training definitely stressed me out both physically and mentally to the point that my body was reacting negatively to the stress.  I need to turn this around.  This needs to be my focus for a while.
I've taken some steps in the right direction.  Today I started logging my food intake.  This always helps.  A work health challenge is to log your food intake for two months.  I can do this and I will be better off if I do.  I also started Bob Harper's latest book, The Skinny Rules.  I need to finish what I started there and follow through with his suggestions.
Also my Friday run, I really watched my heart rate.  I ran as long as I stayed in "Zone 3" and walked it down if it got too high.  I felt great after the run and felt a lot less stress.  I am going to back things off a bit on the running and get a good base built back up with heart zone training.  If I will do these three things I will be well on my way to the other side of someday.

Freedom Festival 10K Quick Report
I was going to run this race regardless of the circumstances, but my daughter Malinda asked me to run it with her since it was her first 10K.  She trained will for the race and her training paid off.  She made her goal with a few minutes to spare.  My approach to the race was not to push too hard and to finish at about 1h 20 minutes.  My slowest time yet, but it seemed like a good pace.  My training paid off as well and finished at about 1:18.  Malinda's husband entered in on race day, with no training, and beat both of our times!  He came in just under an hour.  Pretty impressive with no training.   Haven't heard how he felt the next day.  Maybe he paid the price then.   It's hard not to be like a bitter Mr. Miyagi after Daniel catches the flies with his chop sticks and say, "You beginner luck!"

Hang in there and I will too!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Have I Got a Deal For You!

The young men and women at our church with a lot of help from the youth leaders put on a yard sale to help raise funds for our various camps. Even though our scout camp is over, we will benefit from this as well so the parents don't have to pay so much for their share of the expenses. I was overwhelmed by the support we got from our church members in donations for the sale. The lawn was covered with more items than I had ever seen at a yard sale. We helped out Friday night by collecting the larger donations and transporting them to the yard sale and then came back early on Saturday to lend a hand for a few hours. It was a success. Hats off to the young women leaders who went the extra mile in organization and mean negotiating skills.

As you may have heard in the news, the west is experiencing a lot of wildfires due to hot and dry conditions. Utah is no exception. I am glad that we went to Scout Camp the week before because this last week at the same camp, they evacuated the scouts as a safety precaution due to a fire in the area that as of last week had burned 70 square miles and was still going strong. Even though we live several miles from most of the fires, the skies have been smoke filled for almost two weeks now. We could use some cool and wet weather. 

I got in my miles this week. I continue to be more tired than usual. Hopefully I will bounce back here soon. 

My daughter Malinda and I went and picked up our packets for the Freedom Festival 10k that is this Wednesday on the 4th. This is her first race. We drove the route and talked a little strategy to make the race a good one for her. This will be a slow race for me, but I am not ready to push in a race right now. I just need to enjoy the race. It is a bit challenging with the hills, but it is a fun atmosphere as you run along the parade route. We will probably head over to the parade after since my son is going to sleep out on the parade route and save us some seats. 

Have a great 4th! Hang in there and I will too!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Scout Camp 2012

As many of you know, I have been a Scoutmaster for a couple of years now.  I have been involved with Scouting on and off for many years due to our church's sponsor ship of Scouting, but this has been my first time as Scoutmaster.  Saturday, I finished up my third summer camp.
You have three choices when it comes to summer camp.

  1. Attend an official BSA Scout Camp
  2. Come up with your own idea for a summer camp.
  3. Pretend like you don't have any idea what a summer camp is and if someone ask you about it, ask them if they could help you by attending camp with you this summer.  It will effectively stop the conversation as they now pretend that they know nothing about Scout Camp either plus they also have something important scheduled for that week even though you haven't told them when it is yet.

I have done options one and two but haven't tried number three yet.
I will tell you a few things from Scout Camp this year to give you an insight of what is involved in Scout Camp.
Mike Terry, Deseret News

This year we attended Frandsen Ranch BSA Scout Camp at Scofield, Utah.  It is about 70 miles away from our city in Orem.  We met at 6 am on Monday so we could arrive at camp in time to set up and get checked in.  You know you are off to a rough start when one of the mother's rushes back with Dramamine so her little scout doesn't get car sick.  On my first trip two years ago, I did have to pull over while one of the scouts puked.  Fun way to start a trip.  This time however the medicine worked.  We traveled for a little over and hour to get to Scofield.
The wind blew hard for at least part of the day, every day we were there.  It made setting up the tents a challenge, but due to our staking the tents well and securing guy wires, our tents all stayed up.  There were several other tents in the camp that ripped and collapsed that first day.
Due to some mixups, we had to guide ourselves around camp and figure out the logistics of the camp, but we got it figured out.  Most of our scouts this year were on their first summer camp and they had a ways to go in rank advancement.  We got them on a program that helps them complete almost all of their requirements for Tenderfoot, 2nd and First class requirements.  This worked out well and most of them now have almost everything passed of.  With a week or two follow up now we are back home, most of our scouts will be at a rank of 1st class which I am really happy about.  Our other scout, worked on merit badges and he was able to get several as well.
It takes a lot of work as a scoutmaster at camp.  Younger scouts are all over the map as far as confidence and comprehension.  Most either doubt their abilities or over estimate what they can do.  If you are familiar with the term herding cats, it really applies in this case.  It is always interesting that you will spend a couple of minutes with them explaining what they need to do and where they need to be and then immediately ask you what they need to do and where they need to be.  It is a scientific fact that their brains are developing so rapidly that all the wiring is not in place.  It takes a lot of patience to help them understand.  But it pays off eventually.
Here is a picture of three scout leaders towards the end of camp.  It runs you ragged!

One thing I enjoy about an organized camp, is to meet other scouters from all over the place.   One of the above leaders (left) is part of a deaf scout troop.  I talked with him a couple of times and found out what an amazing person he is.  He is over a younger set of scouts.  None of his scouts were there.  He was there to help out the older scouts.  He gave up a week of his time to help out these older, hearing impaired, scouts.  He also chose to join the Order of the Arrow, which is a service organization in the Scouts.  You can choose to do it as a scout or as a leader.  Part of the induction involves "The Ordeal."  This requires you to sleep outside, by yourself, with nothing but a pad and a sleeping bag.  For 24 hours, you cannot speak to anybody, you get minimal food and you provide service for the whole day.  Rusty went through this.  The day was hot as we watched Rusty and the others work in the sun, fixing fences and digging trenches in camp.  I then found out on the last day, that Rusty earned the mile swim award as well while he was at camp.  He swam for 1 mile for over an hour in Scofield Reservoir which was a balmy 56 degrees!  This is from a man who is not only hearing impaired, but walks with a pronounced limp when he walks.  Rusty was one of my heroes at camp!
My first few days were a bit frustrating as we tried to figure out what was going on, but as we talked to staff, I understood some of the challenges they were under.  By the time we left, I had a new friend in Colton, the program director, who is a fellow runner.  It was good to get to know him and other scout leaders both on staff and other Scoutmasters who had come up for the week.  The other leader who came up with me has been on all three summer camps with me even though he has responsibility with another
I did get one run in on Tuesday.  It was a good workout, but challenging to do the extra hills and at a higher altitude.  The next scheduled run was the coldest morning.  I could talk myself out of the sleeping bag any earlier than I had to be up.  I ended up being tired and needing the sleep any way for the rest of the week.  I did a ton of walking durning the day to keep track of everything that was going on.
What's up next for me is a lighter week of exercise as I am about 10 days out from the Freedom Festival 10k on the 4th.
Hang in there and I will too!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Late and Short

I arrived at Scout Camp this morning with one other leader and five scouts! We are at Scofield Utah. It has been a long day with much to do and worry about but I am hoping for a good week with the boys. I got all my traing runs in last week and hope to fit in my scheduled training in while I am here. It's well past lights out so I better get some rest. Hang in there and I will too!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Utah Valley Marathon

I know my blog post tend to be a little bit wordy sometimes.  This one is no exception.  I enjoy processing what running and getting back in shape has brought to my life and recording these events helps me understand what I have gained from all of this.  Thanks for following along!

I run because long after my footprints fade away, maybe I will have inspired a few to reject the easy path, hit the trails, put one foot in front of the other, and come to the same conclusion I did: I run because it always takes me where I want to go.
Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

"I run because it always takes me where I want to go." I read this quote after I went running on Friday. This was an rescheduled long run. It was hard to get up, but I knew it was my only shot to get the run in. That run did take me where I wanted to go. Not only did a do one of my favorite routes, but I wanted to see how I would do going the longest I've run since the marathon. I finished the run a bit tired, but really happy that I went and I got a little confidence back. That was where I really wanted to go. To a better state of mind and that run took me there. I feel like I'm slowly on my way back.
Saturday was a great experience for me. I got up early and headed over to the finish line area for the Utah Valley Marathon. We were busy from the time I got there until we left in the afternoon. I drove as close as I could to finish line and headed over. I found a group of volunteers that were unwrapping the finisher medals. There were over 7,000 medals to get ready so I found a chair, seated in the middle of University Avenue and started unwrapping. About the time I started, both the half marathon and marathon had begun, but we wouldn't be seeing anyone for well over an hour. The time went by quickly and all went well except for the minor annoyance of one of the volunteers who took it upon himself to be in charge. He was mostly ignored so it was a little humorous.
The first ones in were the wheelchair and mobility assisted racers. They really flew down the canyon! I was surprised there wasn't much of a fuss made about them. No one from the race other than the announcer even acknowledged that they came through. I talked to one of them when I grabbed a medal and gave it to him. He said that it was not unusual. I guess that everyone is gearing up for the mass of runners and the main event that they get lost in the hustle and bustle.
Next the top half marathoners came through and there was a bit of excitement. There was plenty of attention on them as they came through. Most of us were still unwrapping the last of the medals, but it was fun to see the elite runners come through. It is just amazing how fast some can cover the 13.1 miles in a little over an hour. The top time was:
KYLE PERRY M 28 PROVO UT 1:06:43 1:06:43
I have yet to run a 10K that fast!
Less than an hour and a half after the first half marathoner came across, the first marathoner crossed the line.
KEMBOI, PETER 2:28:56 5:41 2:28:56 1:13:12 32 HEBRON KY
There were several highlights for me. I saw quite a few of my neighbors finish the half and full marathon. Shout outs to all of them! Wayne Y., Tanya T., Carrie J., Barbara H. Chris D. Bill H. , Skip M. and Nancy H.
Bill and Skip were pacers for the half and full respectively. Pacers are an amazing group who run the marathon, holding a sign the whole way, just to help fellow racers meet there race time. They do these distances several times a year! Thanks to all of the pacers. And a shout out to Michelle B, who had signed up to work the finish line and let me know how to volunteer. She hung in there to the end and it was fun to get to know her a bit better.
One person that I didn't see, ended up breaking my heart when I found out what happened. Super Mom Erin, is a blogger who just a few years ago was overweight and not happy with herself. She and her husband Josh have 12 kids! Many of them special needs adoptions. She trained hard for this race and was excited to run hard and fast. The race blew up on her! You just never know when that might happen. Most of us are lucky enough to have it happen on a training run, but she never had any warning what was going to happen. You can read her heartfelt report here. I choked up a bit when I read about how at 3:15 in the race that her husband and kids would know she wasn't going to make her goal and her not wanting to disappoint anyone. I felt the same way when I just about didn't make it across the Pineview Dam for the cut-off time at the Ogden Marathon. I thought how much I didn't want to disappoint everyone either. I came within 1 minute of getting a DNF!

As the focus shifted from the half to the full came on, I hung around for the last of the half-marathoners. who didn't get much attention. I made sure they had someone to congratulate them on making the 13.1 miles and greeting them with the medal that they had earned. The hard work they had put in to be able to finish. I hope it helped them realize what a big deal it was.

After the last half-marathoner came through, I helped out at the marathon finish. The volunteers were slowly disappearing, but I had fun handing out the medals and as it became hot, some of grabbed water cups and got them to the runners as they finished up. Even though the course was downhill, a lot of runners said how hard it was because they had a stiff wind in their face from about mile 7 on.

I also heled a lost kid find his parents, one runner that about collapsed on us and we helped her to the medical tent. Several other runners needed help getting their bearings straight, they had given their all physically and mentally to cross the finsh so we made sure they were ok. I kept my eye on one runner who struggled across the line. I got him some water and poured some on him. He found the nearest shade under a table and sat their looking exhausted. I grabbed him some oranges and talked with him on and off as I grabbed water for the runners coming in. In about a half an hour, he looked much improved.

The last thing I did was to greet the last marathoner in (they closed the finish 6.5 hours after it started). I told her that the last place finisher from Ogden this year, welcomed the last place finisher from this year's Utah Valley Marathon.

As I walked across the closing down expo, I saw a marathoner who was probably in his late teens or early twenties. I remembered him crossing the finish because he expressed so much appreciation to the volunteers. I asked where he was from. He told me San Diego and his goal was to do 12 marathons this year. This marked his 7th completed! I wished him well and headed for the car.

As I drove home, I saw a person with a marathon bib on still on the course and walking it in. They were still several miles out, but I'm sure they were proving something to themselves. I had nothing but respect for that!

Hang in there and I will too!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Starting Over

I had two main fitness goals from last week. I was going to start running again a couple of times and go on a hike. Well, I did go running, but only once on Friday. It wasn't until then that I felt ready to give it a go. The run went well and I really feel that the rest did me a world of good.
Over the weekend, I came up with a plan to prepare for the Provo Freedom Festival 10K on July 4th. This will be my third year running this race. I am on a short training schedule, but I went running this morning on the new plan. It was a bit aggressive after laying off for a couple a weeks, but it wasn't overly hard. If I keep on schedule, it won't be my fastest 10K, but I won't come in last either.
Gordon was game to go hiking so we did a 6.75 mile loop close to home. I have done the loop before and it had enough elevation change and distance to be a challenge, but not overwhelming. We got up early but it was already warm and muggy. The sky was lite up as the sun was coming up with splashes of orange all over the clouds. It was all but gone in the 10 minutes it took me to drive to the trail head so no pictures of that.
We did get a few pictures of the hike. It is still early enough in the year that everything is still really green and beautiful. We started off on a fire road for a little over a mile and then took a trail which took us up towards "the altar". As you can see, we had pretty good views as we climbed.

I even snapped a panorama view. I caught Gordon by surprise when I shot the last few and told him to hold still. I have taken a few panoramas with my iPhone lately and the AutoStitch program does a great job of piecing them together.

Here is a picture of "the altar". So named by the rocks that have been stacked up at a trail junction.

From here we headed up and over and took the adjoining Dry Canyon back down.

From that trail head, we took the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, back to the first trail head where we started. 
We were both a bit tired. Gordon is in better hiking shape that me so I need to keep after it.

Right after the marathon, I weighed myself and I was at the highest I have been in some time. I have gone on about how stressed out the training was on me. I think I was right about the stress because after weighing in this morning, I am down 9 pounds in the little over two weeks since the race. I still have a lot to take off, but at least I am headed in the right direction.

My son-in-law Mike ran a fast half marathon over the weekend. His training and weight loss really paid off as he came in under two hours! Way to go Mike!

I was also glad to hear that Michele (one of my blogging friends) completed her 62 mile bike goal at the Tour de Cure. Great milestone for her!

I signed up to be a volunteer at the Utah Valley Marathon which is a fairly new race, but has grown quickly to 7000 runners total. This includes the half and the 10K runners. I will be working the finish line. Just a little payback to the running community. I'll report in on that next week.

Hang in there and I will too!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Left Overs and the Return of Bob

I took a planned week off of running this week.  It has been nice and necessary.  I was pushing my limits in many ways.  I did miss running sometimes though and am ready to ease back in.  I had a few random items left over from the marathon.

I thought this quote from Runner's World reflected a lot of how I am feeling about the experience.
The biggest reward of marathon training is confidence. A 20- or 22-mile training run cannot be purchased, and it can't be rescinded. You are the owner of that strength, and it is a powerful force when life tries to knock you down. You have evidence of your tenacity, your ability, and your passion. - Laura Saladino, Runner's World Challenger of the Week 

I am still trying to process all of my thoughts and emotions following last weeks marathon.  It affected me in so many different ways that iris hard to describe.  I am still getting so much positive feedback on having finished.  Thanks to all of you.

I thanked one person for doing me a favor when he knew I was tired the day after the marathon.  He said something to the effect of, "No problem!  I'm glad you're still alive!"

Bill posted this helpful advice the day before I ran.  It helped me going into the marathon and getting through it.
Good luck this weekend at the Ogden Marathon!  Stick to your plan & enjoy every mile of it!
I read a couple of Jeff Galloway's books in preparation for the marathon.  He said that there are mind tricks that you can play on your self that sound a little weird, but seem to work.   I employed this technique during the marathon when things got rough.  I started chanting, "You can do this!",  in cadence with my pace and it allowed me to keep going a little longer and faster.  It helped me get across the dam!  I know what my family thinks about that!  Your chanting Ray!, it's a little long so start at about 1:15 and see why we laugh about chanting.

Finishing last perspective.  Here are the stats from the race:

Overall: 2402 out of 2402
Men: 1215 out of 1215
M 55-59: 69 out of 69
Age/Grade: 35.01% Place: 2389
Finish: 6:57:04 Pace: 15:55
Tag Time: 6:57:04
Gun Time: 7:02:45

Looks pretty dismal until you consider that 3129 people registered.  2402 people finished.  That means 729 people for what ever reason didn't finish the race!  That's 23%!  I'll take the finish!

Bob Harper Returns

Many of you remember that I am a fan of Biggest Loser.  I have purchased and endured many a Biggest Loser / Bob Harper Workout.  I like Bob's attitude, work ethic and training style.  The only advice I haven't heard a lot about is Bob's nutrition philosophy.  He has recently released a book called The Skinny Rules: The Simple, Nonnegotiable Principles for Getting to Thin
I've read the first couple of chapters and started following a few of the rules.  So far so good.  I will let you know how things go on this.

Goals for the week.  Read more of the book and follow each rule as I finish.  Run twice this week and see how it goes.  Thinking about throwing in a short hike as well.  You in Gordon?

Hang in there and I will too!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Last Was Best of All the Game

I knew when I decided to do a marathon that I was biting off more than I could chew!  The half marathons I had run in took all that I had, but for some reason I got the courage to sign up and see what I could do.  After four months of training and one long day on Saturday, I found out what I could do.  I have written about what I learned during training.  Saturday was the day I had done all of this work for.  I knew it would be hard, but I didn't know how it would test my limits and how rewarding it would be.

I am not going to give all of the details, but there is still a lot to report on.  I haven't even been able to process all of the experience myself.  I am going to give the highs and the lows and let the pictures do most of the talking.  Thanks to my brother Gordon and my wonderful sister-in-law Martha, I have several pictures to share.  I got very few, but they were taken during extreme conditions.  But before the pictures, I gotta say.  I DID IT!  I finished the marathon!!!!!  WHOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!

Here's a little bit about how it went.

No pictures from Friday, when Gordon and I drove up to Ogden, got checked in, got my Bib number, ate pasta, went back and did a walk through at the runner's expo.  It all went smoothly.  The packet pickup was great.  I walked right up, got my number, race shirt, check that the timing chip worked and got out of there quickly.  I got a good nights sleep with only one brief night terror when I woke up and thought, I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS!!!!.  I rolled over and went back to sleep.

I got up Saturday at 4am.  I ate a light breakfast, got ready and headed out the door.  Gordon drove me over to the busses by 4:45.   This was really well done as they got the busses loaded quickly and we were headed up Ogden Canyon to the starting line.

As soon as I got off the bus, I headed over to the porta-potties to avoid these lines.

We waited at the start of the race for about an hour in 30 degree weather.  They had fires going to keep people warm, but it is hard to have enough fires for the 1000 plus runners.

The first 7 miles were mostly downhill.  I kept on my pace during this time.  I talked briefly with a runner.  I asked why she decided to run a marathon.  She said she was 44 years old, had a son with a disability and wanted to take care of him as he grew older.  I thought of my brother and sister-in-law who where there with my nephew Mark who you will see in a picture later on.  Already I was inspired by others during the race.

Miles eight through fourteen were a real challenge.  There was a lot of hills, contending with traffic and being out in the sun for long stretches.  Thankfully the temps stayed cool.  As I was trudging towards mile 10, Gordon pulled up in his truck and asked how I was doing.  It lifted me up just seeing him so I could truthfully say ,"OK!"  He went on a head to a pull out by the next aid station.   Here are a series of pictures of me approaching the mile 10 aid station.
The pair you see behind me were not a pair for long.  In about 2 miles, I ran by as the wife told her husband she couldn't go any further and told him to go on.  After a couple of exchanges, he passed me and I didn't see him again.

I was glad that Gordon was able to meet me on this part of the course.  Most of it was closed to traffic.  I was able to get rid of an overly stuffed fanny pack which made a big difference.

A got a great reception from the aid station at mile 13.  All of the volunteers started chanting my name which they saw on my race bib.  "BRUCE, BRUCE. BRUCE!!!"  I couldn't help but stop for a second and give them a WOOF WOOF WOOF and then we all cheered.  The enthusiasm was repeated at each of the aid station.  I can't give thanks enough to all of the volunteers who gave water, sports drinks, Clif Shots, Blocks and Bars, orange slices and even Otter Pops! They took the time to make you feel the race was there just for you!

Here I am leaving the aid station.  There was traffic to content with during this part.  I had a semi pass really close to me at one point and I was off the road a bit.  It came to an abrupt stop behind two runners that were unaware the peril behind them.  He then figured out he could go around them instead of running them down!

Right before mile 14 was the gut check.  It was a half mile climb.  There were only a couple of us getting up this hill by the time I got there.  It was getting warm, and I had to focus on the near term just to get up.  Much to my surprise there was an otter pop waiting at the aid station which really helped cool me down.  I also dowsed my head with water at almost every aid station from mile ten on and poured one down my back.
Ogden Marathon Facebook Page

Last week, I wrote about my fear of 17.3 miles and the time cutoff.  I was looking good time wise, but the hill took a lot out of me.  As I approached the dam, a car drove up and the driver said, "You have three minutes to get across the dam. If you hurry, you can make it."  Below is a picture of the dam crossing taken by someone from the marathon.  The car drove up where you see the cliff face meet the road.  It wasn't a short distance.  I started to worry.  All I could do is say a quick prayer and move as fast as I could.  As I reached the end of the dam, the race official started to approach.  Was it good or bad news?  He smiled broadly as he told me, "Good job!  You beat it by a minute!"  I was one minute away before being taken off the course!  I waited until I turned down the Ogden Canyon road and gave a quick thank you prayer before I cried a bit.  

Ogden Marathon Facebook Page
Here is a picture of what the course looked like coming down Ogden Canyon during the main part of the race.
Ogden Marathon Facebook Page
This is what it looked like when I got on it about a mile down after crossing the dam.

And this is what I looked like.  I think I wanted to smile, but forgot how!

About Mile 18
I had until 1pm to be out of the canyon.  I could see two other runners ahead of me, but wasn't in any condition to try and catch them.  I had a van come up to me with a race official asking if I was ok.I was at mile 22 at that point.  I am pretty sure I was the last one out of the canyon.  I had 5 minutes to spare!  :)

From here, we were on a multi-use path.  By the time I got to mile 23, (and another enthusiastic greeting!), I had been on the race course for 6 hours.  I was greeted by the Ogden Police on bikes.  One of the policeman struck up a conversation with me and said what a great name I had.  Of course, his name was Bruce as well.  He stuck with me all the way to the end, keeping me company, telling me stories and I felt no pressure at all.  I was being treated like the whole race was all about me.

As I turned onto Grant Avenue, I could see the finish line about a mile away.  Gordon rode up on a bike and was able to go most of the last mile with me until he took off to grab a camera for the finish.   All of the Ogden Police who were on parade duty escorted me in.  I didn't feel like a last place loser, but a true marathoner.  I was given the hero's welcome as I approached the finish line.    

Coming down the finisher's shoot, I was amazed how many people had stuck around to see one tired runner coming in.  I can't count how many high fives I got.  The cowbells being rung just for me were just great!


The fist pump I gave may have seemed a little over the top, but it represented a feeling that rose up in me as I had done something that with a lot of hard work, over many years and had seemed impossible was finally coming to pass.  It was overwhelming to cross that finish line and hear my name announced over the speaker that I was a marathoner!

 These great volunteers gave me such a welcome as they made a tunnel with their arms and gave me a victor's welcome.
 I received my finishers medal and on the other side I was greeted by Gordon, Martha and Mark who I referred to previously.  They will never know how much it meant to me to have them there.  Then much to my surprise, my cousin Teri greeted me as well and told me how proud she was of me.   

I knew the marathon would be hard.  I also knew it would be a great accomplishment when I finished, but what couldn't have known was how overwhelmed I would be by how much the support of family, friends, the Ogden Police and the great Ogden Marathon crew and volunteers would add to my experience.

And thanks to all of you who have followed me along!  I got a lot of comments, emails, Facebook shout-outs, handshakes, phone calls and hugs the days leading up to the run.  Any time that little doubt if I could do it would come in, the thoughts of not letting you all down pushed them out and I dug a little deeper.  I have gained a lot of friends both as runners and fellow bloggers.  My family has been great and my running advisors have all added to the courage to complete the task.

What's next?  Rest up a bit and easy stuff for a couple of weeks, but there is a summer full of adventure ahead.  I will need to gear of for those adventures!

Hang in there and I will too!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Taper and Marathon Training Experience

This week is a taper week. That is if you don't count Saturday because Saturday is anything but a taper. It is the marathon! I'm glad my brother is willing to go up with me. It should be a good experience for both of us. We will head up to Ogden on Friday afternoon. Friday is the only day you can pick up your packet. Rather than drive the 150 mile round trip twice, I booked a room. I am naturally nervous and excited all at the same time.

My son-in-law asked me about training for a marathon. He is considering running one and wanted to know what my experiences have been. I will bullet point some of my experiences.
  • It's the hardest thing I have ever tried to do physically.
  • It is just as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one.
  • It is HARD work!
  • You face your doubts every time on every long run. This is important training to finish a long race.
  • Every time on the long run, the last few miles is sooooo hard.
  • Every long run I go in nervous and come out grateful that I got the mileage in.  They keep me humble
  • I have learned a lot about myself.  I can do more than I think I can.
  • Training is just more instructive and character building than the actual race is.  The race is the official payoff.
My biggest fear for the marathon is this statement:
For safety reasons, runners that have not entered Ogden Canyon by 11:30am will be required to board the bus and be transported to the finish line - No Exceptions!
If I can make the 11:30 cut off, I should be able to get it done. It is 17.3 miles. The race starts at 7am. You think I should be able to make it, but there are two big problems. Even though the race starts at 7, I need to be at the back of the pack since I am doing a run/walk approach. I can keep up between a 13- 15 min per mile pace. I'm not sure when I will actually hit the starting gate. Being towards the back will delay the start and eat into the 4.5 hour time limit. But at the same time, if I do the math and based on my longer runs I should be still be fine. It's just a nagging doubt.

The forecast looks good. 75 degrees for the high. Just a bit warm at my projected finish, but it could be a lot worse as we are scheduled for 80's the next couple of days.

Hope you all had a great mother's day. We had a good time with family at our place. I enjoyed cooking fajitas for both my Mom and my wife. They are both great mom's.

Hang in there and I will too!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Bandit and Coach BGoody

I ended up having a great week but for different reasons that I would have thought. One of my son-in-laws was registered to run the Columbus Half Marathon on Saturday, but a death in his family had him fly out west to attend the funeral and spend some time with his family. He asked his sister-in-law, my daughter Rachel, who lives close to Columbus, if there was anyone that she knew who would want to use the registration. After several unsuccessful calls and a comment from her husband, she decided that she would take the registration and run it herself. She has been running and is in great shape, but she has not specifically been training for a half. I believe her longest run lately has been somewhere in the 4-6 mile range. Normally when training for a half, you would at least work up to 10-12 miles on your long runs.
I caught wind of this as part of a Facebook conversation. I thought I might have some good suggestions for her from what I have learned in my couple of years of training, but at the same time, I struggle with getting better and I am not that fast. But I have read, trained and seen what others have done so I thought I had an idea of how she could pull this off.
When I called, she was very open to my suggestions. I asked how fast she could run a mile and how some of here recent runs have gone. I was impressed by her running speed distances so I knew she had a shot at being successful. So I went to Jeff Galloway's site, plugged in her mile rate and it calculated that she could run a 10 minute mile during a half. I then looked up what her run/walk ratio should be and it turned out to be 3 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking.
Like I said she was very open to the idea. I told her to start at the back of the pack, keep to the side so when she stopped and walked that she would be out of the way. I also told her to not go out too fast. It is better to be a bit slow at first and if you still have extra energy at the end, to finish strong. I told her how I do my nutrition during a longer run.
She did great! She followed my advice to the letter and she finished at about 2:11 which was about 20 minutes better than her previous half. She was exited and now knows that she can do well at the longer distances with the training she is now doing. I was very happy myself. I was glad to be a part of her great race!
So now you know where Coach BGoody fits in. What about the bandit? In racing jargon a bandit is someone who runs in a race without paying. Guess who became an unintentional bandit on Saturday? Your's truly. Let me explain. I was scheduled for my last long run which was a 14 miler. As I explained before, it is good to not only practice your nutrition and pace during your long run, but anything you can do to simulate the course is of great benefit as well. All three of my half marathons as well as the upcoming Ogden Marathon are downhill races. To get used to the pounding, it is good to run a lot of downhill to get ready for what is coming. A good standby for me is to get dropped of up Provo Canyon somewhere and run down to home. I had a good route all planned out to go down South Fork and then catch the trail down from Vivian Park. I woke my son up and we drove up the canyon but found that South Fork was closed due to the Provo City Marathon. I knew the race was Saturday, but forgot that the route started up South Fork. Runners were just pouring down the road! I decided to just start running from Vivian Park where the top of the Provo River Trail is and run down, but that meant running with the half and full marathon runners. Holy cow! The trail was so crowded with runners that I had to carefully merge onto the trail. I tried to keep out of people's way and didn't take any water/sports drinks at the stops. I had my own water and after a couple of miles the crowd thinned out as the faster runners got ahead. So here I am both the bandit and the coach!
I had to readjust my route after I got out of the canyon. I parted ways with the runners when they funneled them all onto the road as I stayed on the trail. As I paralleled the runners before turning and heading west. I saw an older runner plugging along. He couldn't even stand up straight. It was inspiring to see him just keep on going despite an ailment that would be an excuse for most of us to throw in the towel. It was about this time that my daughter texted me and said she had about 1.5 miles left to go and was going strong. It gave me a surge of strength and I got a little teary eyed knowing how happy she was going to be crossing that finish line.
You'll have to squint really hard to see the older runner up ahead.

Long post, I know, but one last story. As I was running along I saw two young runners with shirts on that said, "We're expecting.... and expecting to finish." I couldn't help but catch up to them and tell them that I had one daughter who just had a baby, another who is expecting twins and a daughter who was running a half marathon in Columbus. There were smiles all around!
Hang in there and I will too!