Monday, September 19, 2011


I had my doubts that I could ride 206 miles over 3 states in 1 day. I've been training like crazy, but being a mom to 4 is pretty crazy too. And I also had to split my training between biking and tri training. And they are not the same.

The weekend was starting out perfect. My sister decided to come to my house to watch my kids (so she could be close to my brother in ICU and his wife who was about to have a baby). Because of this, we were able to drive up with my riding buddy. We stopped for lunch in Provo and REI in Sandy and made it to Logan with plenty of time to enjoy the evening. I was a a ball of nerves checking in and getting my race packet. It was very real now and there was no turning back.

Race day preparations continued into the night. We went to a catered dinner with fellow VCBO racers. The dinner was not very good and extremely over priced. And to make it even worse there was no dessert. I was trying to carb load. Alicia and I nervously prepared our race day food and put it in bags to Jeff to give us at each stop. He and Marta rocked the support. They were cheerfully at each of 4 stops with our food ready, water bottles filled and encouraging words spewing forth. I couldn't have asked for a better team.

Alicia (one of my besties), Dan (Tom's brother), Steve (Tom'c cousin) and I were doing the fun ride portion of LOTOJA. What that means is that we got to start almost 2 hours before some of the racers and weren't officially racing it. We were still timed and still rode the same distance.

We started the race a 5:55 am in the pitch black of Logan. We were all equipped with front and rear light. The morning was perfect. Temps were in the 50s instead of low 40s. All I needed to supplement my amazing kit, were arm warmers, light vest, and knee warmers. The first 30 miles were flat. The 4 of us just took it kind of easy to Preston where our support met us. I ditched my knee warmers and vest, kept the arm warmers and fueled.

Nutrition for the race consisted of salted steamed new potatoes, gogurts, pb and honey on white, pretzel m&ms, and coke at aid stations. The gogurts were the best. They go down fast and easy and taste great. On the road I fueled on Shot bloks, Hammer gels, and a few bites of Luna Bars. I drank CarbRocket Half Evil (half strength) and Hammer Perpetuem. Both seemed to be fine on the tummy. I also took a few Hammer Anti-fatigues caps. I didn't take them every hour, but I could definitely feel their awesome effect.

Now the climbing began. The first climb was 20 miles. Yep, 20 miles of climbing a mountain. This climb was actually my favorite. It wasn't very steep, just a nice steady climb for a long time. I felt good. Alicia and I rode together. Somehow we lost cousin Steve (I think being from Boston didn't help). We regrouped at the neutral stop at the top. The descent was amazing. Twisty and fast. I loved it. Click here for a fun picture of the descent. We got in a pace line the rest of the way to Montpelier. We were cruising at 25 mph, but felt like we weren't working at all. Here we parted ways with cousin Steve. I feel bad, but my goal was to finish and he was cramping and starting to struggle. I don't think he was too heart broken. He did finish, but struggled with cramping all the way in.

The next section had 2 climbs. The first was a shorter but steeper one right off the bat up Geneva. It still felt pretty good. A very short descent followed and then the worst section of the race. It was windy, it was slightly uphill and we couldn't get in a pace line. everyone was either too fast or too slow for us. So the 3 of us worked together and slogged through.

The final mountain pass followed this section, Salt River Pass. Steep, windy, and just all around brutal. They time the last 4 miles of this climb for king and queen of the mountain bragging rights. I'm not going to lie, I pushed as hard as I could, but I was pretty beat. Dan rocked this climb and I couldn't keep up with him. Also, the fastest female racers caught me on this climb. They started almost an hour after me and 4 caught me on the climb. It's a little discouraging, but they are fast girls. I climbed it in 22:27. The fastest professional girls did it in 18s and the racing women in 19+. I'm content with my effort and time considering it is 106 miles into the race. And among the fun riders I was 70 out 536 and I think I was the 2nd or 3rd fastest fun riding woman.

We refueled in Afton and started the flat section through Star Valley. It was windy, but we were able to get in a few pace lines and the 3 of us worked well together. I was really amazed at how evenly matched we were. And grateful. I hated leaving cousin Steve, but it would have been even tougher to leave or be left by Alicia since we trained 6 months together for this. We were all pretty tired of the saddles by this point. We were all super bloated. Not sure if that is due to inhaling the food at each aid station or the dinner the night before. But we were all pretty spent. Alicia's tummy issues were the worst at this point and she struggled to hold the pace. She did a good job and holding our wheels until she got stuck behind someone with a flat. She lost our wheels and couldn't get back on. But we were able to regroup in Alpine and her bloating was somewhat relieved with GasX and mine with Coke.

The last section of the race is up Alpine Canyon following the the winding Snake River. This section is spectacular. I did wish I was floating down the river instead though. We had some good company to share the pulls. Until some crazy guys decided when it was there turn to pull to bump up the pace dramatically. I couldn't hold it, but neither could most of the group we were with so we let them go on ahead and we regrouped and continued to take turns pulling.

The last 10 miles through Jackson and into Teton Village were tough. At this point I just wanted to get done, so I just dug deep and pedaled hard. However, I soon realized Dan and Alicia were not on my wheel. I stopped and we regrouped. I wanted to cross that finish line with my team. We all just suffered through those last few miles and crossed that line together. Click here for a finish line photo.

I was so ecstatic to cross that line in 12 hours 21 minutes. We really didn't have a finish goal other than to finish. Our ride time was 11:02 and 18.4 mph. We had over an hour of stoppage. To put this in perspective Tom had 32 minutes of stoppage and that included a 15 minute break where he was contemplating quitting and a long 8 minute rest stop to refuel. We definitely can improve on our stoppage time.

I am definitely planning on doing it again and would like to race it and try to break 11:30.

Highlights of the race include: Amazing support (thank you Jeff and Marta!), Strawberry Climb, riding and finishing with Alicia and Dan, perfect temps (lows in 50s and highs in probably 70s), sitting in a jacuzzi tub after in an amazing condo (thanks Mary!), and watching Tom cross the line.

Lowlights include: having to eat, Salt River Pass, crazy long line to get our medals (luckily Marta saved us this hassle), seriously sore bum after sitting on a saddle for 12 hours.

FYI: Tom rocked it even after bonking hard halfway through, but came back. He finished in 11:11 and 15th place in his start pack (which were a bunch of serious guys.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Funny Man Giveaway

If you want to win a seriously awesome giveaway, head over to Fast Cory. Cory is the second funniest guy I know, and writes a very clever blog about his running and hostess eating endeavors. His funniness has even been featured on Runner's and inspired a cult following of jumping racers. So check him and his blog out.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

2011 in Races

Here is my updated schedule and results thus far. There are a few additions.

January: St George Half Marathon (1:41:54)

February: Death Valley 10K (44:52), Dam 2 Dam 10 miler (1:17:17)


April: SHAC Sprint Triathlon (1:04:18), Salt Lake City Marathon (3:35:54), Hurricane Half (1:48:20)


June: Utah Valley Marathon  (3:30:55), Utah Summer Games Cycling

July: Hurricane Trails River Run (4 mile trail run) Helped, didn't run

August: Utah Half (half iron distance Tri) (5:00:36)

September: LOTOJA (206 miles, 3 states, 1 day on a bike) (12:21)

October: St. George Marathon, Las Vegas Ragnar (200 mile, 12 person relay)

November: Butch Cassidy 10K (although deep down I want to try the Snow Canyon Half, maybe next year I can convince Tom to change the date of Butch Cassidy), SHAC Turkey Tri

Decemeber: Hostess Half Marathon

There is still room for a few races. Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Salt Lake City Marathon Race Report

On April 16, Tom and I ran the Salt Lake City Marathon. The only reason we ran it was we didn't get into Boston. We decided back in October when we didn't register quickly enough for Boston that we would be sad the weekend of Boston if since we weren't running the coolest marathon ever, so we decided to run SLC since it was the same weekend.

I felt prepared and faster than I have for previous marathons. I had gotten in speed work and hill work and lots of tempo runs and long runs and long runs with fast finishes, and I had high expectations. My fastest marathon to this point was St George 2009 (3:30:54). And I felt great at the end of it. I expected more from myself in Salt Lake. I wanted to break 3:28 so I would have a good chance of getting in to Boston 2012. To do that I would need to run just under a 7:56 pace. I figured I had it. My training said I had it, my mind told me I had it, Tom told me I had it and the pressure of Tom's dad telling us he already has the condo reserfved for Boston told me I had better have it!

The morning of the race, we woke up early drove to the start to drop off Tom's dad for the bike tour and the rain started to come down. I panicked. I don't run in the rain. When it rains, I run on the treadmill. Tom, on the other hand did 3 of his 4 long runs in the pouring rain. He didn't care that it was pouring. I did so I prayed. I'm not really sure if that is an appropriate thing to pray for, but I've run 1 marathon in the rain when the pressure to qualify for Boston weighed heavy on me and I didn't think I could do that again. So whether it was appropraite or not, I did it and my prayers (and probably many others') were answered. The rain subsided. Phew!

We got to the start in plenty of time and I started looking for my training partner Aimee. She didn't want to get up as early as we did so she was going to ride TRAX to the start. I never did find her, so that was a bit disappointing but I figured I could still do it with out her.

Tom and I started right at the start line because the start consists of 1500 marathoners and 6000 half-marathoners. I did not want to get stuck trying to maneuver around that many people. It was fun to start at the front and be among the real racers. There were a couple of Kenyans and some really fast looking girls with really nice legs. I not ashamed to admit I love to look at runners' legs and envy them.

I kissed Tom and the gun went off. I anticipated Aimee catching me in the first few miles so we could run the rest of the race together. I gave up on that about 10 miles in. The pace felt great for the first 10 miles. The course is a little annoying in that you run with the half-marathoners until Sugarhouse Park (mile 4 I think). They skip the park and the marathoners run a loop around the park. You rejoin the half after the park, but now instead of running with those who are about your pace, you are running with some who are a mile behind you. It was difficult to keep pace. I learned to identify the marathoners from the loop in the park and we kind of stuck to the center of the road and I just paced off of them and tried to ignore the half-marathoners.

We left the half again and I was feeling good. I was ahead of pace, but not by too much. I found a few runners with whom to keep pace. I hit the halfway mark in 1:42:40 and felt pretty strong. I had been taking Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem Solids and they seem to be working. I drank only water at the aid stations because I hadn't trained with Powerade. I knew there wouldn't be any solid nutrition at the aid stations so I brought 6 Perpetuems and 3 Clif Bar Shot Bloks with me. Potential of 300 calories over 26.2 miles. Not a ton, but I always have stomach issues so I figured this would be all I could handle.

The faster and slightly downhill first half started to get to me by mile 16. My quads were starting to feel the strain of the downhill. I just told my self to keep pace to 17 and then a 5K to 20 and then the last 10K to the end would be easy since many of my long runs I picked up the pace for the last 10K.

Mile 17, average pace 7:50. A little fast, but hopefully enough buffer to get me thorough.

Mile 20, 7:54 pace, I'm not sure I could do it. My legs were killing and I just kept telling myself I trained for this. Whenever the words "I can't" entered my head, I replaced them with "dig deep". It didn't work. I was spent mentally and physically. I pathetically watched my pace on my Garmin as my goal slipped out of reach. Each mile got harder and harder. Miles 21 and 22 were around 8:30 pace. Goal still in reach. I hear Aimee yelling for me from behind. She caught me in Liberty Park and looked strong. I tried to keep with her but that lasted about 100 yds. "I'm done," I told her. She tried to encourage me, but obviously she had her own goals and my run turning into a shuffle wasn't going to help her. I watched her slowly disappear and told myself, my original goal of 3:27 was gone, but I could still get 3:29:59. I only had to run 7:59s.

Miles 23 and 24 were just over 9. That goal out of reach now as well. I had to stop and stretch and walk. I was so grateful for awesome fans to cheer the runners on and set up their own aid stations with bananas and oranges. That helped a bit. I also succombed to some Powerade. I had to work hard to get down any more Perpetuem, they are a bit chalky.

Miles 25 and 26: pathetic. I'm run walking now and really struggling just to get to the next block or the next light. My pace is over 10:00. I try to ignore the watch and just finish, but deep down I still want a 3:34:59. I do my best. I recatch a girl who ran with me pretty much the whole race. "I wondered where you were," she said. "I'm done," I said. I tried to keep with her when she passed me again, but really I had nothing left in the tank. My legs were on fire. I was digging as deep as I could.

At this point we are running with the half-marathoners again (the slow ones). I had to dig deep just to pass them.

Before mile 25, at an aid station, a volunteer informs me I only have a mile left. Really? I think. My watch is telling me I still have 1.5 miles and the difference between 1 and 1.5 miles at this point in a marathon is huge. It is like the difference between and sprint tri and an Ironman. I didn't put much merit in her words, but deep down I hoped she as right. She wasn't. The last half-mile was brutal to say the least. I don't know downtown Salt Lake very well and I know the finish is close, but don't know exactly where it is. Finally I enter the Gateway, and I can see the finishline. I muster as much energy as I can to get into that line in a blistering 8:30 pace for the last 2-tenths. I'm a little embarassed to admit it, but I couldn't just let a 3:30+ half marathoner sprint past me into the finish chute. But I made it. Not in my goal times 1 or 2, but at least I made it under goal 3. Official finish time: 3:35:54.

Tom and Aimee await me with huge smiles. I get to them and collapse. As much as I love Tom he was not very sympathetic to my pain and agony. He makes me get up, walk through the refreshments (and it is a long walk). He keeps offering me food, but all I want to do is lie down and die. Probabaly 5 people come up to us and ask if i'm ok. "No" I want to say, but politely I smile and say "I'm fine." Finally we get out of the food and I think I can lie down and die. But No, Tom won't let me. He makes me walk more to find a chair. Really? I don't care if I am dying in the middle of the festivities, please just let me die in peace and not on my feet. As we near some tables and chairs, an essentail oil lady asks if I want a rubdown. Yes Please!! I collapse into the chair and she rubs my legs with oil and explains it'll help the inflamation, pain etc etc. I hope it does something.

10 minutes of sitting, and I am actually feeling like I might survive. I stomach a little bit of food. And am able to get up to talk to Aimee (who rocked it in a time of 3:27!!).

Tom tells me his bittersweet story. He PR'd, but missed breaking three hours by less than a minute. Darn bathroom stop in Sugarhouse Park. I'm still so proud of my man. 3:00:51 and 16th overall!!

All I can think at this point is I need to find another marathon to do so I can get into Boston. I am seriosuly fretting about it. Luckily the 10 minutes in a porta potty gave me plenty of time to fret in peace. (The rest of the bathrooms visits during the day weren't as relaxing, but I will spare you the details, but I have got to figure out something. It is worse than childbirth).

Just a few days later, I signed up for the Utah Valley Marathon on June 11. It is supposedly the fastest Boston Qualifier in the state. Wish me luck!

Click here for some glorious pictures (please explain why they chose to photograph us at mile 23?)

Monday, April 4, 2011


So i think I finally went crazy (or just a little crazier).

I decided to commit to a few crazy athletic endeavors this summer, and it turns out they are all very close to each other. And to make it even crazier, Tom is doing them all as well. i don't exactly know how we'll train, but I am excited.

And maybe I can document some of my crazy training again. 

  • Utah Half. Half-iron distance triathlon. Swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles. I've done this before and it's not as bad as it sounds. The bike and run courses are flat. The last 2 years have been super windy. I am excited because Tom is doing it. This will only be his 2nd open water tri.
  • 2009

  • LOTOJA. 2 weeks after the half, I am going to attempt to ride my bike 206 miles from Logan to Jackson Hole. In 1 Day! This means I have to climb 3 giant mountains, face lots of wind, and probably dig deeper than I ever have. Tom is "racing" it and I am just doing the "fun ride." It's the same except I get to start earlier and don't have the pressure he does to do well. I am excited because 1 friend from down here decided to join me for her birthday and I hope I can ride with Tom's brothers as well.
  • Tom at mile 80 in 2009

  • St George Marathon. 3 weeks after LOTOJA is the marathon. I am not going to stress too much about it, assuming I qualify for Boston in the time I want at SLC Marathon in a week and a half.  

I ran it in 2010 with my sister 3 month post baby.

I'm not sure what I am getting myself into, but hey I'm not doing an ultra marathon or an Ironman like many of my friends so maybe I am little more sane than I thought.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Day After the Marathon

The St. George Marathon is less than 2 weeks away. Woohoo! Just wanted to share some humor before the race. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

6 weeks to St George Marathon

August 22-30

Swim: 0. Bike: 1 hour spin, plus 15 miles pulling the trailer. Run: 32.4.

Monday: Rest. I've decided 2 rest days in a row are good.

Tuesday: Track workout. 1 mile warm-up. 4 x100 striders. 2 x 200s (:45, :48). 6 x 800s (3:15, 3:16, 3:14, 3:15, 3:14, 3:17). 2 x 100s double accelerators. 1 mile cool-down. Felt pretty good, surprisingly. They all felt very doable.

Wednesday: 1 hour spin. I was fatigued, but got a good workout.

Thursday: 5.4 miles pushing James. I did the first 3.1 with Cherie and I tried to push her harder than she is used to. We averaged 8:57. I did a second shorter loop, and just wasn't feeling it. I guess it is harder to push, than i thought. Overall average, 9:08.

Friday: Lazy. I should have gone for a ride, but didn't in anticipation of Saturday's long run.

Saturday: 19 miles of hilly hardness. 8:37 pace. 2:43 minutes. I ran with the running group from the new Walmart to the Washington Rec Center and back. Wow! there are a lot of hills in that section. I started with Ashley, Ty and a new girl. Ty turned around at the 5 mile mark and we continued. Ashley and the new girl definitely had a bit more left by the end, I was really struggling the last two miles up the hill. I would have liked to have run 20, but I was beat. This may be my longest run before the marathon, so hopefully it is enough. The new girl just ran a half in 1:39 and wants to run St. George between 3:30 and 3:40, so I think I can make that same goal.