Wednesday, December 31, 2008

12/31/08 - 10 miles

I got off work early today and was able to run outside again. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous this week and today was no exception. The temperature was in the mid 60's when I started my run and progressively got cooler during the run. I ran along the canal banks which makes for a very quiet and peaceful run. I felt really strong through the first 6 miles of the run but I took a little different route than I was used to and I encountered a steep, short hill at the start of mile 7. Because it was unexpected, I had trouble getting back on my pace and the last 4 miles were slower. In addition, I skipped lunch today in order to get some work complete before the holiday so I didn't have the energy needed for a run of this distance. In spite of these factors, I ran the 10 miles in 1:22:17 for an 8:14 pace and my average heartrate was 167 bpm. I drank Gatorade during the run but I felt a little fatigued afterwards.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

12/30/08 - 4 miles

I was able to run outside today and the weather was great. I was rushed to finish so our family could go to the Mesa Temple and hear the evening concert and see the Christmas lights. Although today should have been a recovery run, I pushed the pace in an effort to finished quickly. I ran the 4 miles in 28:59 which is a 7:15 pace and my average heartrate was 170 bpm. I felt good afterwards even though the pace was quicker than I was comfortable with.

Monday, December 29, 2008

12/29/08 - 8 miles

We had dinner on Sunday night with the Andersons way out in Peoria. Allyson is Camille's friend from many moons ago and it was good to spend time with them and catch up on all the happenings. Dinner was very good but very bad for you nutrition-wise. Lots of pasta and sauces - Allyson's husband Vance served his mission in Italy so we were really treated to some excellent food. We got home late and then Camille and I stayed up even later talking and watching some television.

In other words, I was very tired this morning and didn't really feel like running at all. However, I forced myself to the gym and suffered through it. I'm sure it will all pay off in the end but I just wanted to go back to sleep for several hours. I ran the 8 miles in 1:04:56 for an 8:07 pace. Not bad all things considered. The kids are still off this week from school so I will continue to run in the mornings which usually means on the treadmill. I really don't like the cold weather and I like running in cold weather even less.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rest Day Quote

"Hard things take time to do. Impossible things take a little longer." - Percy Cerutty

Saturday, December 27, 2008

12/27/08 - 13 miles

I had scheduled a basketball practice for 8:30 this morning for Tanner's team so I was in a rush to get my run in beforehand. The temperature this morning was around freezing so I was glad to have an indoor facility. This was my longest run on a treadmill and I actually didn't mind it. I made 32 ozs. of Gatorade and drank some at 4 miles and then again at 8 miles. I never felt tired and I had lots more after the run. I ran the 13 miles in 1:48:16 which is an 8:20 pace. My long runs should be around an 8:40 - 8:48 pace so I'm pleased with where I am right now.

Total mileage for the week: 36 miles

Friday, December 26, 2008

12/26/08 - 5 miles

We had a break in the rainy weather so I decided to run outside today. For the first mile or so, I questioned my decision since it was cold (upper 40's) and very breezy. I felt better after turning and running a different direction and I warmed up after a mile or so. I ran the 5 miles in 37:06 which is a 7:25 pace and my average heartrate was 168 bpm. I had a good stretch afterwards and felt really good throughout the run.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Rest Day Quote

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. " - Charles Dickens

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

12/24/08 - 10 miles

Nothing like a double-digit run mid-week to get you going! I had an excellent run today on the treadmill and the time seemed to not drag as much. I have felt really good these past couple weeks and I am optimistic about the kind of race I can run in April. Today, I ran the 10 miles in 1:22:46 which is an 8:16 pace. No problems of any kind to report and my legs felt great. In addition to feeling good about my running, I have dropped a couple pounds as well which is saying something considering all the junk food available during the holidays.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rest Day Quote

"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."

- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

Monday, December 22, 2008

12/22/08 - 8 miles

With the kids out of school for the next 2 weeks, I am going to try and get my runs done in the morning so I will have the evenings to spend with them. I was successful this morning although I didn't get to the gym until after 7 am. Although completely bored after a couple miles, I had a good run and felt great during and afterwards. I ran the 8 miles in 1:04:20 which is an 8:02 pace. We are expecting rain for most of this week so I will probably be stuck indoors staring at the minature television set or the backs of strangers who are on the treadmills in front of me. Oh joy!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rest Day Quote

The following quote is in honor of Muhammad Ali whom I saw this past Saturday at a college basketball game. In my opinion, he is still the greatest!

"If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize." - Muhammad Ali

Saturday, December 20, 2008

12/20/08 - 12 miles

Since we had a family activity planned at 11 am, I got up early and ran my 12 miles at the gym on the treadmill. I get bored pretty easily on the treadmill and I find myself watching the readouts more than I want but I am able to pace myself much better. I ran the 12 miles in 1:42:00 for an 8:30 pace. My legs felt really good and my breathing was great. I felt like I still had lots more after finishing. No pain in either knee either.

Total mileage for the week: 32 miles

Friday, December 19, 2008

12/19/08 - 4 miles

The weather was excellent again tonight - about 55 degrees when I got home from work and set out on a quick run. I ran the 4 miles in 29:15 which is a 7:19 pace and my average heartrate was 170 bpm. I stretched afterwards and really felt good.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rest Day Quote

"The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win." - Sir Roger Bannister

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

12/17/08 - 9 miles

Tonight I was able to squeeze in a run between the storms of rain that we have been experiencing this week. The temperature was a perfect 58 degrees and a little breezy. I felt great throughout the run and my knee never acted up at all. My legs did not feel so heavy and I didn't feel out of breath at all. I ran the 9 miles in 1:11:09 which is a 7:54 pace and my heartrate was 169 bpm. I felt very invigorated afterwards and was able to have a good stretch. I like where I am at right now and am hopeful that the rest of my training continues on this path.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rest Day Quote

"No doubt a brain and some shoes are essential for marathon success, although if it comes down to a choice, pick the shoes. More people finish marathons with no brains than with no shoes." - Don Kardong

Monday, December 15, 2008

12/15/08 - 7 miles

Today was raining and cold so I did my run at the gym on the treadmill after FHE. This was probably the better choice so as to lessen the impact on my knee. I didn't have any problems with my knee today and didn't feel any discomfort or pain at all but I didn't push the pace either. I ran the 7 miles in 57:00 minutes which is an 8:08 pace. My legs felt a bit heavy during the run but my breathing was very controlled and I never felt out of breath. I had a good stretch afterwards and felt great.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Running Truths

"Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge."

- Dave Bedford, English distance runner who occasionally put in 200 miles a week in training

Saturday, December 13, 2008

12/13/08 - 10 miles

I had some real apprehension about this run since I haven't run anything longer than 8 miles since the marathon. I couldn't start my run until 11 am due to our ward Christmas party but fortunately, the temperature was still in the comfortable range (mid 60's). I felt strong as I started out and I was pacing strong until mile 4 when I began to feel some discomfort on the outside part of my left knee. I felt this same pain during the marathon but only one time since and that was about a week later. However there might be a problem that I need to address medically but I plan to wait first and see how I feel next week. The pain progressively got worse so I backed off my pace which seemed to be the only way to get some relief. Otherwise, the run felt really good. I ran the 10 miles in 1:24:01 for a 8:24 pace and my average heartrate was 170 bpm.

Total for the week: 28 miles

Friday, December 12, 2008

12/12/08 - 5 miles

A good run that I had to cram in between work and a date night with my wife. The weather was cool (mid 60's) but it felt great to run. I didn't push the pace too much because I knew I had a 10 mile run tomorrow. I ran the 5 miles in 38:07 which is a 7:37 pace and my average heartrate was 174 bpm. I want my to get my average bpm down in the 150's and I need to get my eating back on track. However, it does feel good to get back into a regular routine of running.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thought for a Thursday

Usually, Thursday and Sunday are my rest days during my training. I have come across so many great quotes in my quest to learn more about running so I thought I would record some of them on my rest days.

"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." -Teddy Roosevelt

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12/10/08 - 4 miles

Another good run tonight and I'm getting excited about the upcoming training sessions although I know how grueling they can be. However, I also know how necessary the long runs are in training your body to be ready for the marathon distance. The weather felt colder tonight but I think temperatures were in the low to mid 50's. I felt really good throughout the run and my breathing was much better. I'm going to start wearing my heart rate monitor again so I can track that better but I can get a pretty good idea from my breathing. I ran the 4 miles in 29:57 for a 7:30 pace. My last mile was a 7:08 and I felt really refreshed after finishing. I stretched afterwards which always feels good. I need to do better about eating or drinking some protein after my workouts. I think I'll try to come up with a couple tasty protein drinks that I can blend up quickly.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

12/09/08 - 5 miles

Weather was a bit cooler tonight and I wasn't able to start my run until after 7 pm. Temperature was probably in the 50's but it still felt great. I pushed the pace again tonight and could feel the effects of running on back-to-back days (which I haven't done for a few weeks). I felt like I had slowed considerably on miles 4 and 5 but I actually held my pace very good for the entire run. I finished the 5 miles in 37:31 for a 7:29 pace. Every mile was either just above or just below my average pace (no big swings) which is something I have struggled to find outside of the gym. Again, felt great after finishing the run and was able to have a good stretch afterwards.

Monday, December 8, 2008

12/08/08 - 4 miles

Ran a fairly routine 4 miles this evening. It is too cold to run in the mornings (spoken like a true Arizonan) so I am going to try and run after work in the evenings. The temperature was in the low 60's when I ran and it felt great. I tried to push the pace but not anything stupid. I ended up finishing in 29:56 for a 7:29 pace. My last mile was the fastest at 7:11 and I felt great after completing the run. However, because our family was headed to "Reading Under the Stars" at the elementary school, I didn't have time to stretch afterwards.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

New goal - Salt Lake City Marathon

I recently decided to take on my 2nd marathon. This time I will be running the Salt Lake City marathon on April 18, 2009. I had been contemplating this ever since completing the St. George marathon (SGM) but I had to wrap my mind around the thought of training for another one. The pivotal factor was my desire to run a marathon in memory of my sister Shannon who passed away the day after the SGM. Not that I think she would have ever desired to run a marathon, but she would have been happy to cheer for me and encourage me in my quest to accomplish the task. I also requested other family members to join me in this adventure and suggested that we use our participation in this event to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Shannon's husband Paul and my brother Boyce have also committed to run the race and several family members have agreed to help solicit funds for CFF.

My 18 week training program begins next week so I have been getting my weekly mileage up the past few weeks. I am getting excited to see how much I can push my body this time around. I would like to run a 3:40 or maybe even a 3:30 but I'll just have to see how the training goes. I will run a half-marathon on January 31st at London's Run in Queen Creek, Arizona and maybe some other 10K along the way as well.

I am going to try and do a better job of logging my runs on a daily or at least a weekly basis so I can refer back to them when needed. Hopefully, my experience with last marathon will help me to prepare better so I can improve on my time and have a great time as well. Here goes nothing!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Race!

I woke up at 3 am and got prepared to go. The marathon is a point-to-point race so the race starts 26 miles outside of St. George. All racers are required to ride a bus to the start with the first buses leaving at 4 am. The race organizers offer some nice early bird prizes to encourage participants to come early. Camille drove me to Worthen Park again where I boarded one of the first buses. I dressed warmly because the temperature can be a bit chilly while you are waiting for the race to begin. I brought 4 granola bars, 2 bananas, 2 bottles of water, and one bottle of Propel. I got to the start, grabbed a pair of the free gloves they had available for the first 1,000 runners and found a place to sit down next to a fence. I spent the next 2 hours resting, eating my food, and visiting with the other runners seated close by. After about 30 minutes, it started to sprinkle. The forecast called for rain later in the afternoon so this was a bit of a surprise. The race organizers had large trash bags to use for rain ponchos and I was glad to have a little bit of protection from the moisture.

At 6:15, I laced up my shoes, attached my running chip, and headed for a porta-potty. There were dozens of them but every line was already at least 10 deep. After using the facilities, I headed to the start line to drop off my extra clothes in a bag provided by the race. Then I situated myself in the front half of the pack of runners (approximately 6,500 total runners) and waited for the gun. I never heard the gun but the pack eventually started to move and we were off. It was still dark so I had difficulty seeing the actual start pad to know when to start my Garmin. The first couple miles were very crowded but the pace was close to where I wanted to be. Runners began to spread out after that and I was able to settle into a good pace in spite of the rain which varied from sprinkling to pouring. In addition, we were running into a strong headwind for a good portion of the race.

I paced a bit faster over the first 7 miles but the course was mainly downhill and I felt like I was not pushing things so I just went with it. We encountered Veyo Hill at about the 8 1/2 mile mark and I took it very easy going up it so as to not burn myself out. Miles 10-12 were a steady uphill climb but I still felt good upon reaching the halfway mark and I was a good 2 minutes ahead of my expected pace. It was about this time that I started to feel my left knee. I have had problems with this knee over the years but it usually bothers me when I play softball or basketball. I wasn't too worried but I did wonder how it would effect me down the way.

I don't remember much from the next 7 miles except for the rain. My clothes were absolutely soaked which caused my shorts to hang a little low. While I didn't think they would fall down, it was just something else to bother and distract me. It is things like this that really wear on you when you are running long distances. When I got to mile 20, I knew that I had paced correctly and that barring some major problem, I would reach and exceed my goal of running the race in under 4 hours. However, about a mile later, I developed a severe pain in my left hip. I'm not sure where it came from but it might have been due to me favoring my left knee. In either case, it was very painful and I slowed my pace to see if it would work itself out. No luck. I just figured I would endure it the best I could and not push the pace anymore.

The last 4-5 miles were very long, slow and painful. However, it was about this time when we came into St. George and the streets were lined with well-wishers who shouted encouragement and cheered all the runners on. I was surprised to see so many people out considering the rain but it motivated me to keep running and finish. I knew that Camille would be waiting at the finish line to greet me and empathize with my injuries and that also spurred me on. I pushed through to the finish line completing the race in 3:58:24! Camille came right up afterwards and congratulated me and took some pictures. I got some food and drink and enjoyed a post-race massage. My hip was so sore that I could hardly walk for a couple hours but after icing it, it felt much better.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pre-Race Activities

On Saturday, October 4th, I ran the St. George Marathon. It seems a little unreal now as I think back on the event but what a great sense of accomplishment. I trained for 22 weeks and didn't miss a single workout. Here's how the race went:

Camille and I left early Friday morning and drove to St. George, UT which is about a 6 1/2 hour drive. We arrived and went to Worthen Park (the finish line of the marathon). I had incorrectly assumed that the expo associated with the marathon would be at the park but we were told that it was being held at the Dixie Center, a few miles away. We quickly went to the Dixie Center where we were able to hear the keynote speaker, Rod Dixon. Mr. Dixon is a world class runner having won a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics in the 1500 meters and winning the 1983 New York City Marathon in 2:08:59. He had a great deal of useful information and his comments were very motivating. Following Mr. Dixon, they held a first-timer's clinic. Again, excellent clinic with useful information concerning the race and the course.

We then went to the expo where I picked up my race packet and we visited many of the booths set up by various stores and companies. It was a smaller expo than we expected but it was well done and well attended. The race also sponsored a pasta dinner at the Dixie Center. We enjoyed salad, spaghetti, bread, and cake. They also provided some fruit and water. The dinner was well organized and the food was good.

Our good friends from our days at BYU, Conley and Kari Gali, now live in St. George and they were so gracious to let us stay with them. We went to their home and got settled into the guest room that they provided. The Gali's were attending the local high school football game so Camille and I watched the BYU vs Utah State football game. Afterwards, I set all my gear out for the morning and got to sleep.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Final 20-miler

This past Saturday, I ran my last 20-miler before the St. George Marathon on October 4th. I have now officially entered the 3-week taper period for the SGM. I wasn't sure how I would fare on this final test considering some of my other long runs but I was anxious to see how prepared I would be for the actual race. I wanted to at least pace around my goal of 9:09 and I'm happy to report that I actually paced 8:55 for the entire run! I felt pretty good after completing the run and my recovery was good.

The weather has slowly begun to cool down which makes running much easier. In fact, one day last week, I actually felt a little cold at the start of my run. I started my Saturday run at 4 am to make sure I missed the heat and I ran along the banks of one of the canals in Mesa. I couldn't see much at all for the first hour or so - I could only make out the bank of the canal. In spite of the darkness however, I thoroughly enjoyed this time because it was so quiet and peaceful. Very little traffic noise and smell and no one around but me and the stars. I ate one Shot Blok every 5k or so and felt strong through the entire run. I have come to realize that what I eat a few hours before the run is the most important thing to my success and how I feel during a long run. I hope that the past several months of training and learning what works and what doesn't will all pay off at St. George.

I'm hopeful that I can lose 5-10 lbs in the next couple weeks before I begin carbo-loading for the race in the last week. Of course, Chase's birthday is today so we celebrated early last night with dinner at Outback Steakhouse followed by the mandatory cake and ice cream. If I could only say no to ice cream...and cookies...and cake...and, well you get the point. Still, its a goal so I'll give it a shot.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Home Stretch - 4 weeks until St. George

The past couple weeks of training have been great. My schedule called for a 20 mile run on August 30th. However, Camille and I had planned a cruise to Alaska and we were scheduled to leave for Seattle on August 29th. So I skipped my rest day and ran the 20 miles on Friday, August 29th. I tried to eat some food before my run but I need to eat sooner so the food has a chance to settle before I run. I also ate Clif Shot Bloks during the run which seemed to have a positive effect on me especially my recovery after the race. I completed the run in about 3 hours which is was a 9:03 pace - not too bad but I feel like I should be able to go faster.

I was a bit apprehensive about how my training would go during the cruise. Our ship had a small gym with several treadmills and an outdoor track. I thought the outdoor track would be a good option but not only were many of the people walking on the track, but it was also pretty cold to be running outdoors. So I opted to run on the treadmill and it was great. I find that it is much easier to run on the treadmill where the temperature is great and my pace is controlled. The only problem was making sure I went to the gym when it wasn't too crowded since the gym limited your time on the treadmill to 30 minutes when it was busy.

It was great to run while looking out the window of the ship and seeing the beautiful scenery of Alaska. On Wednesday, I completed an 8 mile run while the ship was navigating the Tracy Arm Fjord. The water was a murky green (due to sediment deposited by the glaciers) and filled with icebergs. The shoreline was only a few hundred yards away on both sides of the ship with steep mountain peaks that reach up to 7,000 feet, green vegetation, waterfalls cascading down the mountain side, tidal and hanging glaciers, and the occasional bald eagle perched in a tree by the shoreline. I could not imagine a more picturesque running opportunity! This is what it looked like:

We are now back home and back to the reality that I have another 20 mile run scheduled for this Saturday. I'm cautiously optimistic that I will be able to pace a little better than last time. However, I have to keep reminding myself that this is my first marathon and I've only been running seriously for a few months. My pace on the last 20 mile run puts me right on track for my goal of finishing in 4 hours or less. I just need to be more patient and stick with the training schedule because it has worked thus far.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A bit of progress

The past couple weeks have been interesting and educational. I ran 17 miles on August 9th and was extremely disappointed in the results. I was able to get more rest the night before and start my run earlier in the morning when it wasn't so hot but after mile 12, I was spent. I struggled to complete the final 5 miles and my average pace for the run was 9:43! I was feeling very discouraged and yet determined to figure out what I was doing wrong.

I started searching online and reading blogs of other runners and I had a serious Eureka! moment. During my long runs, I have only been drinking water and I never eat before or during the run. I don't know why I didn't consider this sooner but I realized that I need to be taking in the proper food and fluid in order to maintain my energy levels during the race.

So this past week my running schedule was as follows:

Monday - 5 miles
Tuesday - 8 miles
Wednesday - 5 miles
Thursday - rest
Friday - 8 miles
Saturday - 18 miles
Sunday - rest

I purchased some food and drink items for my long run on Saturday. I replaced the water that I normally drink during my run with Gatorade. I also set out a Cliff bar to eat at about the halfway point in my run. The run went much better with my average pace coming down to 9:04 and I felt much better after the run (usually my long runs leave me pretty exhausted for a couple hours). I am continuing to gain new knowledge regarding marathon nutrition and I hope to have it pretty well figured out come race day.

My mileage drops down this week but the following week, I will be running my first of two 20 milers before the actual race. This process of getting accustomed to long distance runs has been enlightening and there are many analogies to life. I have been able to gain some perspective of the dedication and time commitment required to become an elite distance runner and I have a great deal of respect for the men and women who participate in this sport. In watching the women's marathon in the Olympics, they showed the background and training of one of the Chinese women. They mentioned that during her intense training, she runs approximately 750 miles per month which equates to about a marathon per day. Wow!! Looks like I still have some work to do.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Treading water!!!

I was just starting to think that my body had finally surrendered and agreed to put up with this whole running thing. However, my 11 mile run this past Saturday has me convinced otherwise. I had anticipated a fairly easy run on Saturday since I had run 15 miles the week before without too much trouble. But it was more difficult than I had imagined and I think there were lots of factors that played into the final result.

First, I was up late on Friday night due to our softball game being scheduled at 10 pm. So I didn't get home until around 11:30 and didn't fall asleep until after midnight. Second, I wanted to get up around 4:30 am to begin my run in an effort to avoid the heat but I didn't get on the road until closer to 5:30. It had been a really hot week so the temperature even at 5:30 am is still very warm and not conducive to running at all. And finally, I think my initial pace was too quick. I keep telling myself to take it easy the first 4-5 miles but it's difficult because I really feel strong during those miles. I ended up pacing 8:49 for the entire run because my last few miles were very slow and laborious.

My run this Saturday is 17 miles and I'm really hoping I can show better than I did last week. I am contemplating running on the treadmill where I can better control my pace especially during the first half of the run. In addition, the gym doesn't open until 6 am on Saturday so I can sleep in a little bit and not have to worry about the heat. The disadvantage of this method though is that it doesn't prepare me for race conditions especially properly pacing myself. Plus it can get a little boring running on a treadmill for 2 1/2 hours. I'll see how the week goes and make a decision on Friday.

Race day is coming up fast - less than 9 weeks left to prepare!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Right on Track

My training program has picked up the past couple weeks. My long runs are getting longer and my total mileage each week is increasing. I am both excited by this and a bit apprehensive since this type of training is completely foreign to me.

Recap of this past week:

Monday - 4 mile run
Tuesday - 7 mile run
Wednesday - 4 mile run
Thursday - rest
Friday - 7 mile run
Saturday - 15 mile run
Sunday - rest

My Saturday run was made more interesting because our family decided to go camping on Friday night. We didn't get back into town until after 6 pm and the temperature was still above 100 degrees. After unloading gear and getting things settled at home, I headed to the gym to try and log as many miles on the treadmill as I could before they closed at 9 pm. I was able to complete 12 miles and then I headed home where I grabbed my GPS and completed the last 3 miles on the road.

I am a bit concerned about a slight injury I suffered this week when I was working out with my son Jordan on Tuesday evening. We were running suicides or ladders at the local junior high school and I strained a ligament behind my right knee. So far it hasn't been too much of a hinderance but I do feel it from time to time on my runs, primarily during the first half-mile. I'm hoping that it will heal while still allowing me to continue my training runs. This getting old thing is for the birds!! I get injuries that I've never experience before and they seem to take forever to heal. C'est la vie!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why Dad??!!

Last night, my son Tanner asked if he could go running with me in the mornings. I told him that it probably wasn't a good idea because I run a lot of miles each day and it might be too much for him right now. Tanner then asked why I was running so much. I said, "Don't you remember? I'm training to run in the St. George Marathon in October. It's a race that's 26.2 miles long and so I have to practise running longer and longer distances." Trevor, my six year old, then asked, "WHY Dad???!!!" (Imagine him using a total "What are you. . . crazy or something?" voice.) Very funny!!

I tried to explain the history of the marathon race thinking that might help explain why someone would train to run a race of this distance. After I concluded my story, one of the kids asked, "So WHY are you running in this race? The race that some guy died in?" I have to admit, there have been moments that I have asked the exact same question!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pat's Run

On Saturday, April 19th, I was able to participate in the 4th annual Pat's Run held in Tempe, Arizona. This race is held in honor of Pat Tillman who was killed while serving our country as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan. Pat spent his college years at Arizona State University and later played for the Arizona Cardinals. He turned down a contract extension with the Cardinals, choosing instead to serve in the military with his brother. Because Pat wore #42 when he played for the Sun Devils, the race is 4.2 miles (participants were separated by those who wanted to have a timed run and those who wanted to have an untimed walk/run) and the finish line is on the 42 yard line of Sun Devil Stadium.

The event was well-attended; I think they had over 15,000 people who participated in the run and walk portions of the race. My brother Shad also participated in the race - he works for State Farm and they sponsored a team so he was able to run for free. (In the above picture, you can see both of us crossing the Start line. We are both wearing dark shirts and red shorts.)
As you can imagine, the start of the race was really packed - I don't think we moved for the first couple minutes after the gun sounded. I ran a pretty good race although most of the time was spent navigating around slower runners (next year I'll try to get closer to the front). I finished in 32:48 which was 733 place out of 7,448 runners. Shad finished a little behind me and we met up with Camille, Tanner and Trevor who came out to cheer us on to the finish.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


March 8th - today was the day!! Several of my family members, at the invitation of my brother Boyce, decided to run the Canyonlands Half-Marathon in Moab, UT. I had wanted to participate in this event but our family had some scheduling conflicts which prevented me from registering. So I decided that I would train and run a half-marathon at home while they ran in Utah. The one advantage was that I had some nice weather for the run. I set off on my run after Camille had taken Tanner and Trevor to Primary Activity Day. Camille decided that she wanted some photographic evidence of me running so I told her my route and she drove off and took some pictures of me.
At about the 9 mile mark, Camille again drove by after picking up Tanner and Trevor. They waved and shouted encouragement so it was almost like being at a race with some fans cheering you along. Mile 11 was probably the toughest stretch but I wasn't about to quit then. I struggled through to the end and completed all 13.1 miles in 1 hour and 53 minutes. My goal was 1 hour and 50 minutes so I was fairly pleased with my results considering it was my first half-marathon.

About a month ago, Camille purchased for me a Garmin Forerunner which allows me to run outdoors and keep track of my time, distance, heartrate, etc. Prior to that, I had primarily trained indoors using a treadmill so I could gage my pace and distance better. The picture here shows the Garmin with my results from the run.

The more I run, the more I am contemplating running a full marathon in the near future. Training takes up a lot of time but I enjoy the athletic nature of it and the fact that you are competing against yourself as well as others. You aren't relying on other team members who may be more or less committed than you are. There are many times that require you to dig deep and only you know whether you have given your all. I love the quote by Steve Prefontaine - "A lot of people run a race to see who's the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts." I look forward to the next running event - not sure yet what it will be but I'm sure it will be fun!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

London's Run

Yesterday, February 2, 2008, I was able to participate in my first 10k road race. This was a test of sorts to see how my training was progressing for my next goal of running a half-marathon. My brother Shad told me about London's Run a couple months back so I decided to enter. I almost didn't make it due to coming down with a sinus cold on Thursday but I figured I would try to tough it out.

Saturday morning was cold and it was even colder at Schnepf Farms where the race was held. My car thermostat said that it was 37 degrees at race time (around 8:30 am)! I know that isn't all that cold if you're in Utah but my blood has thinned out living in the Arizona desert. I was also a bit intimidated by all the serious-looking runners that I encountered Saturday morning. Most of the runners looked the part and I only hoped to not embarrass myself.

Due to various conflicts, my family was not able to attend this event and cheer me. So at least I could make up a good story if something weird did happen. I ended up finishing 49 out of 410 runners who competed in the 10k race running the course in 51:02. My goal was to finish in the top 50 and to be under 55 minutes so I was pretty happy with where I finished considering I had been sick and I hadn't run any races before. You can see a picture of me running at the following web page.

So now to the next goal: the half-marathon. Some of my family members are running in the Canyonlands race in Moab, UT next month. I would have liked to join them but we had a schedule conflict so my plan is to find a local race to run in or to at least run the distance in the gym. I have really begun to enjoy running. I especially like being able to set goals and then see how I match up to those goals. It is very rewarding and motivating so I plan to continue.