Deseret News 2020...the brainstorming before...

This event is not for another two months, and I for sure would like to crush it, or at least do a bit better than I did last time. 2018 saw me with a 1:42:04, an average of 7:47 which is actually quite impressive for the chubbette size that I was (and still am). I would love to at least erase the :04  at the end of that number.

The first few miles are wicked fast, but the end can about kill one over. There are some hills in there too, I want to say around mile 7 and 9, that about killed me. I hate hills! They are my fat butt cannot go up them fast enough and they plainly demoralize me. I suck at them so I get bummed when I see them, which gets in my head and prevents me from even trying. It is a vicious cycle! I am 2 months out. I gotta think strategy. I am practicing my downhill and now I will incorporate uphill too on my weekly runs. 

And don't ask me how I get these numbers because I cannot get them during my training runs. My training runs are about a 9:30 pace and I am lucky to get them in the upper 8s. But somehow during race day these numbers appear. Now, if I could somehow channel them for training....interesting dilemma. 

All I want is a 1:41:59 :). Crossing fingers!!! 


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Mt. Charleston 2018

Need this for analysis on how I am going to tackle the same course in a month's time. I didn't realize that it was such a good time. Last year when I ran it, I felt like such a failure about hindsight, that was an amazing time! I don't think I can get within 10 minutes of that time now. Injuries suck! 



St. George Marathon--you get what you put in!


You most likely have heard the saying "you cannot expect to get results when you don't put in the work" well, that is exactly what this racing season has been. Working full-time, mom,  and part-time knitter have its tolls. One is unable to train 60 hour weeks. My training was lacking this season, the fact that I finished in under 4 hours with training weeks of 15 miles is nothing but a miracle. It is also no surprise that I ended up with an injury due to a)lack of training b)old shoes. Despite my lack of training, I was ready to give it my all-like always! I have been told by my ortho that I make the PERFECT runner from my neck up! I have the mental stamina of a Kenyan, but the body of a walrus sliding along the wet sand (if you look at the pictures and then compare it to the picture on the right (my top running shape), I have definitely gained a good 20lbs, sigh). 

Our friend, Christopher, from California, traveled here to run the most popular Utah marathon, St. George! I started the day off quite well until I realized while I was inside the bus that I had forgotten my Garmin! Gah! I wanted to die! I jumped out of the bus and Sam came to my rescue and brought me my Garmin--I am quite attached to it when I run, but, at least, it wasn't my music. Anyways, I had to leave poor Christopher in the bus all by himself while I went to get my Garmin. But thankfully, we found each other at the top by the porta-potties. 

Christopher and I

Although everything started okay, around mile 2 my left foot, around the arch started aching. I thought it was just a minor ache, so I ignored it. By mile 4, it was hurting something fierce so I popped 400 mg of ibuprofen and continued on. I knew the hills were coming and I knew full well that I would be walking up them so I prepared myself mentally for the massacre. The hills went as I had imagined, slow and painful. My foot kept on aching and it wasn't stopping or lessening. The day was warming up, but at least, it was cooler than Huntsville was a week ago. 


Around mile 18, I could barely put any weight on my left foot without it sending shooting pains up my calf and leg. I don't know what was wrong. I knew it wasn't fractured (ha, I am no doctor! For all I knew, it could have been!). I decided to pop the other 400 mg of ibuprofen and continue on. I wasn't going to stop now, I was only 8 miles away from finishing. So, being the very smart runner that I am, I continued on. The dose of ibuprofen helped lessen the pain enough for me to put some weight on my foot, I was happily limping along. I knew that once I got past mile 22 that it would be downhill from there and then I could let gravity carry me down. 

The crowds from mile 23 to the end carried me forward. I truly would not have been able to do it without them. Could I have finished without them-yes! Would I have run without them there-no! They don't come to cheer me walk, so I "ran", I ran with all my heart and smiled as much as I could to them and thanked them for coming out. Near the end, I found one of my close running friends, Adrian. He was struggling with some cramps. I stopped and gave him a quick massage on his calves to see if that would help relieve the cramps. We stayed together for a little bit, holding on to each other and running along, picking up ice and popsicles. We couldn't stick together as he was getting more cramps, so I continued on while he handled the cramps. 


Finishing a marathon is never easy. Well, perhaps if you are super fast and speedy, but I think by that point, no matter your speed/pace, you are tired and want to finish. I was definitely ready to finish. I kept looking for the telltale sign that the end was near--my family. I finally spotted, over by the sidewalk jumping and screaming "mom". I saw my daughter starting to run to keep up with me, which was fairly easy at this point, then my son and my husband. How dear they are to me! I so very much love their support in my craziness. I gave it all I had left, every single ounce of strength and every step brought pain on my left foot. Triumphantly, I finished! I crossed before the 4-hour mark. How did that happen? Miracle! I don't know how I managed to make it to the finish with  6 seconds to spare, but I did it. 

St. George Certificate

My foot: well, it turns out that I had almost a tear in one of my foot tendons. After the race, when I took my shoe off, the entire area on the instep of my foot was completely purple and blue. By next day, the bruise had spread to the entire arch and instep.  Yeah. It didn't tear completely but it was bad enough that I was not allowed to run for 8 weeks on it. I was even threatened by the doctor to put a cast on if I was not careful. I met with him/reported to him every 2 weeks for the 8 weeks. 

20th Marathon: Huntsville Marathon 2015

Writing this while it is still fresh in my is a little raw. 

First: a thank you to my friend Brett. At the beginning of the week,  my running friend Brett offered his bib to a willing runner, I right away raised my hand and was lucky enough to receive it. Thank you Brett!

This was my 20th marathon. I had different expectations for my 20th, but instead, I received probably the very best experience I could ever hope for my 20th. 


What a beautiful course! Perfect time of the year to see the leaves changing color. I was very excited to try out this new, to me, course. I have only heard great things about the race and I wanted to give it a try. The volunteers were awesome and each aid station was well stocked, and every volunteer expressed their concern about the heat and being hydrated. Thank you race event managers for such an awesome event! 

The race has a unique start time of 9:00am, I didn't realize this until a couple of days ago. The late start allows one to sleep in, totally thumbs up on sleeping in, however, it does mean that temperature may be a little higher than usual. This time of year, Utah typically has lower temps, but that was not the case today. 


The race started and just a few miles in, I knew I was in trouble. It was hot! By 6 miles, it felt like I was cooking inside an oven. Training in the early dawn got me used to running at cooler temps, now I see the value of training at 5pm. At mile 10, I started looking at it as a crossfit chipper. The course had aid stations every two miles, on the odd miles. So I started looking forward to the odd miles to get a drink and to cool off. At mile 14, I started slowing down, it was hot, way too hot and I couldn't cool off with the water, so I slowed down to keep my core temperature low. 

Around mile 17, I wanted to quit. All I wanted was to stay out of the heat. There was a little river running down the side and all I wanted was to jump in it and lay my body down in the water. I knew I couldn't keep my pace, I knew I couldn't achieve my desired time, so I had to choose: finish or DNF. I cannot quit, I don't have it in me to quit, not when I can still walk. So, I continued with a new mindset, finish. Finish the race is better than quitting. Walk, walk to keep the body temperature low and stop at every aid station and get water and gatorade. After mile 18, each mile became a chipper, one at a time, walk for about 1/4 of a mile, then make my way to the next mile, then repeat. 

At mile 20, I had to reach out to my hubby and to my friend Lizzy. I turned on my phone and started texting them, I needed encouragement. I needed a reason to keep going. Both of them gave me the words I needed to hear. I took a picture or my attempt at taking a picture with shaky hands at a mile marker. I don't know why I was so shaky, but I could barely type or hold my phone. 


Did I mention that my ipod died at this point from throwing water on it? Ya, lucky me! 

I want to call mile 24 the miracle mile, I was hot, I had done a lot of walking at this point and I wanted to encourage those around me, but I couldn't even talk. Then, to my surprise, there was a little table around the bend and a lovely couple had set up an aid station with the red tall cups full of the coldest water I tasted all day. I grabbed two cups, and thanked them for their service. They literally saved me at this point. I drank and drank, then I poured the rest over me. Thank you. I wish I had gotten your names to thank you properly.  Around mile 24.75, a group of girls were handing things out, I couldn't make it out from a distance, I shuffled my way to them, and to my surprise, they were giving away popsicles, yummy, icy popsicles! Thank you to you too darling girls! 

Making my way to the finish was all but a struggle. I would walk and run and go back to walking because I just couldn't run. My body was shaking from head to foot, I was hot but yet, I was shaking. 

I passed the last aid station, around mile 25, then I crossed a street, my garmin said I was around mile 25.4 but the mile marker said I was at mile 25. A mile has never felt so long, as this one. I wanted to run it, but I couldn't. I walked a little, and then far away (about a block) I saw my little Nyahbelle running toward me. I knew then the end was near, but I couldn't see the Finish Line. 


Nyahbelle reached me and she started running with me, then my son, Bryant joined me. I was in the middle, each one by my side. Each one encouraging me. We made the last turn to the Finish Line and I wanted to cry. It seemed so far away. I had to walk. I asked my children to slow down, I couldn't run. I gave myself a few steps, then we picked it up. My kids kept encouraging me and running, right beside me. They slowed their steps down to stay with me. My son, my little coach, kept telling me, over and over "mom, you've got this! "mom, you can do this". I wanted to cry and curl up on the side of the road, under a shady tree, but instead, we kept going. They carried me with their encouragement through the finish line. I got my medal and then I had to lift my foot for the volunteers to take the chip off my shoe, and I was about to fall, both of my children were right next to me, holding me up. Then, a volunteer came and offered me ice, and we found a chair for me to sit on. Having my children run through the Finish Line with me and helping me get there was probably the very best gift ever for my 20th marathon. 

They (my children and my hubby) have been with me during this entire journey...and they keep being my number one cheerleaders. Even when I ruin their weekend plans with my races. I love them dearly. 


Running a marathon is not easy. It is not supposed to be. It is mean to test our limits, physically and mentally. Today, I was tested. I am pleased to say that I passed (barely).  Today's marathon was exactly what I needed for my 20th. I needed to realize and remember the complexities of a marathon. No, it was not perfect however it made me realize that I have the very best support group on my side. 

I am grateful for the support from my family and friends. For the love, example, and encouragement. 

Time: something around 4:13:xx

Nebo Half Marathon


Getting back into the swing of things it is not always easy. I have been diligently training since about March. By diligently, I am referring to waking up at 5:55am Mon/Wed/Fri and running 4-6 miles, and then throwing a longish run in there on Saturdays. However, I have slacked off on speed-work and hill-work. Lacking these two components in my training is showing its ugly head.

Obviously, my lack of training has been showing and racing days have not been the same as before. Truth is that I am lacking the "umph" to run when it hurts. I am racing, but when it starts being painful as in painfully hard, I back off. I don't want to hurt. I don't want to push myself pass the pain. Something happen between the knee surgery and the time I took off from running. I would like to say that I got "smarter" but I don't think that is it. I lost my racing mojo...hopefully I'll get it back. 


On September 5th, my hubby, my good friend Liz, and I decided to go down to Payson, UT and run the Nebo half marathon. We got down there the night before...with only minutes to spare before packet pick up closed. Thankfully,  our good friend Jorge stopped by packet pick up, in case we couldn't make it to pick up our packets! He is awesome like that! By the time we got there, about 7:55pm, he had our packets ready for us! Yay!


Race morning came early, up by 3:45am. Ya! We are so crazy! The worst part--we pay for this! 

The course was spectacular, beautiful views for about 11 miles of the course. First 8 miles steep downhill, then the course continues downhill but at a lesser degree.  I flew through the first 8 miles, then I hit a wall, my nutrition wasn't kicking in and having been sick for 3 weeks straight beforehand came down hard on me. I try to keep the pace going, but I just couldn't must the energy. By the time mile 11 came, I just wanted to be done. I walked through the aid station, and grabbed gatorade and water, hoping that it would give me the energy to finish. I didn't want to hit any 9 minute miles during this half, so I kept going. I took a mental note of all my aches and realized that it wasn't that I was in pain, my legs were fine, my arms were fine, my lungs felt okay, my gut was hungry but nothing unusual. So, what was going on? I didn't have it in me. Simply put-I didn't want to push myself.


Crossing that finish line, I was grateful for finishing yet I was disgusted in myself for not pushing harder, for giving up. Mentally, I lost it around mile 10. But there is always another race, another day. 

Nebo Half 2015

TOU Half Marathon


My hometown half marathon! One of my favorite races of the year as I get to see a bunch of my running buddies from all over town. 

A few of us from our morning group took part on the event.

Like always, the TOU 1/2 didn't disappoint. Great course, excellent aid stations, and despite the nasty air from the fires around the neighboring states, it was a beautiful sunny day. 

Race wise: I knew it wasn't going to be my fastest. I was sick for two week straight prior to race day. I had severe sinus and ear infections so I knew that I was going to be out there still a bit under the weather. However, I was there to have fun and I did have fun. Even when it got hard, around mile 11, I was still enjoying myself. 

At the end, my friend Adrian met me and he helped me on the last 200 meters. I push hard on that last bit and I crossed the line spent. 

TOU Half crossing line 2015

After I finished, I waited to see my running friends come in. Each one of them gave their all as they were running through the finishing chute. Awesome gals, so grateful to run with them in the mornings. 

TOU HALF with Paige 2015

I even got to snap a picture with my sweet friend Paige. We used to work together, she was my advising mentor. I sure miss her at the office. 

TOU 1/2 2015, another great race day!

TOU Half2015


Dreams of 2015

3-30 Marathon

It is as if starting from scratch. I have put on about 15-20 lbs since my knee surgery, though I am still fairly active, running has taken the backseat to it all. Truth is: it is hard. It hurts my knee and because of the pain, I am a lot slower. What used to bring me joy now brings me pain so I avoid it. However, I know that if I train and take it slow, I can be back to where I was two years ago. My dream is to one day finish a marathon in 3:25, but right now 3:30 is more feasible. I was only a few seconds away from a 3:30 and maybe if I train really hard, I can be back around the 3:30s again. 

I know how to get to that point, the problem is that I have lost my mojo-I have lost the desire to run that fast, or to even run marathons. The idea of running for 26.2 miles although fascinating to my personality type, my body just doesn't want to put in the long hours for the long runs. There are so many other things that I much rather be doing that running for 3+ hours on a Saturday. In addition, waking up in the early mornings on Saturdays surely do not appeal to me. 

So with this DREAM: come a few obstacles that I must overcome: 1. My lazyness! I must learn to wake up early again and put in the time necessary. 2. Start off with a base and get back on a training schedule for running. 3. Forget about my "faster" times and learn to be content with what my knee can do. 

 How will I get to achieve my dream:

Base: I am going to run a minimum of 10 miles a week for 3 months, then I will build up. 

Train: I will find a way to train. I'll eventually learn but for now, I'll take my ipod as my partner, unless my hubby or my trusty coach is available. I have always trained solo for my previous 16 marathons, I know I can do it, it is just about getting it done. 

Waking up early: There is no option. I must learn to do it. I have til March to sleep in, then I must put in the early mornings on the weekends. 

Canyon City Marathon-Running on Clouds


What a gorgeous, scenic marathon! Definitely, this marathon takes the number 1 spot in my list for beautiful marathons. 

Have you ever ran on clouds? If you have ever had the experience to run at high elevation and surrounded by mountains, you probably have seen what I experienced this last Saturday. As we descended down the canyon in Azusa, California, the paths were clean, the mountains looked pristine, and then as your eyes looked down the mountain, you could see all the fluffy gray and white clouds. It was a run of dreams! I have never had a chance to go to Peru, but I have seen some of the beautiful pictures of mountains and clouds leaving the top of the mountains exposed, as I was running down the mountain, I was thinking that probably that is what Peru looks like. I loved every moment running down that canyon. If I had had a camera, I would have taken a gazillion pictures. 


Running wise--I did AMAZING considering that I did not train for the marathon distance. I actually came into the marathon with 2 training runs, both of them 5 milers. However, I have been attending crossfit religiously and teaching my Zumba class. I finished in 3:46:26, not too shabby for not having trained. However, I did feel my lack of training up every hill. I typically do not walk up the hills when I train, but the lack of training meant walking every single hill. 


25 things that went through my head during the race and after: 

1.  After getting off the bus--It is so pretty up here. 

2. As everyone around was complaining of the cold--it is so warm compared to back home.

3. Getting ready to start--crap, I am going to run 26.2 miles. I really should have trained. 

4. The first bit of the race--they said it was downhill, this looks like uphill to me. 

5. Oh crap! It is downhill. Hold on knee!

6. Hey, I am running on clouds!

7. Wow, 13 miles done! I feel great!

8. 14 miles...I am tired. I should have signed up for the 1/2. I REALLY should have trained. 

9. I am hungry. Why don't they have real food on this aid stations--steak, steak sounds really good right now, or a taco. Yes, I could go for a taco!

10. All the hills are coming, I can get a break and walk soon.

11. Gosh, I am getting passed on all these hills. I should have trained more. 

12. This water bottle is getting heavy. I am throwing it out at mile 20. 

13. Mile 20 marker! I am almost done! 1 more hour of running and I will be done. 

14. Ok, if I run a 9 minute pace, I can be done in 54 minutes.

15. Passing the Azusa Crossfit--gosh, I wish I was lifting right now.

16. Mile 25 marker--I only have 10 minutes left, even if I walk a little. 

17. I can't walk on the last mile. I must keep running, even if it is at slow pace. 

18. Isela pick up the pace, this is not running, you are barely moving.

19. This mile is taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R!

20. I did it! I finished! I finished and I didn't cry and I didn't vomit and I did it! 

21. I wish they had chairs for us to sit on.  After sitting on the ground for a bit--how in hell am I going to get off the floor?

22. After finding my friend and finding a chair to sit on--I really want to cry now. My legs can't stop shaking, my entire body is in shock and is shaking. I think I am having hypothermia. Thankfully, my friend had already picked up his dropbag and gave me his sweater to wear. 

23. Where is my hubby? Oh, wait, there he is! He looks sore just like me. 

24. We can go to the hotel now...wait, we must walk like 2 miles to the car...shuffle along.

25. Hey, look! We did it! We ran a marathon today!


Thank you Revel series marathon directors, volunteers, and everyone who took a part in this amazing event. Revel Series puts together some awesome events. They take care of the runners, before the race at the expo, and during the race with their outstanding aid stations, and then after the race with the extras--real food, plenty of food, cool washclothes, massages, shirts that actually fit and little printed cards with the chip times printed. And of course, cool looking medals that you want to display :). 

St. George Marathon 2013


St. George marathon, once of my favorites yet one that I totally dislike while running it. You see, I am not very good at hills and despite the fact that this one is mainly downhill, I feel the hills each and every time. This was my 4th St. George Marathon and I had great plans for it, wonderful plans that unfortunately had to be thrown to the side due to my torn lateral meniscus.

Four weeks ago, I was squatting and doing my thing at the box and I heard a pop, just a normal pop and I figure it was just that, just a pop but after a few more squats, my calf just didn't feel right and my knee was hurting, so I stopped and went home and iced it. Next morning, the entire knee was swollen. A year ago, I had torn that meniscus badly teaching at Zumba class at a gymnastics studio and my knee has never been the same since. Well, the injury came back to haunt me 4 weeks ago with it went my dreams for getting an under 3:30 marathon. I knew I had trained well for it and I knew I had it in the bag but life had other plans for me. I missed two races that I really love-Big Cottonwood and my favorite Top of Utah marathon. I hobbled around as my hubby and friends ran these two races. I was able to provide support for my hubby during the TOU marathon and I took tons of pictures of all of them. But it was not the same as running it.

The day of St. George approached and I knew that I wasn't ready to run it. I knew that I couldn't get the under 3:30 I had been dreaming of all year. However, I also knew that I didn't want to sit out on another marathon. I wanted to run/walk if needed. My doctor had cleared me to run after 4 weeks, no, not a 26 miler but he said that I could run. I didn't tell him how long I was going to go, just that I was going to run.

Day before the race came and the whole family piled up in the car and we went down to pick up our packets. It is such awesome feeling to be there with all the other runners, feeling of their enthusiasm and their pre-race excitement. We got our packets and we headed eat dinner and then to the hotel to get ready for the big day. I taped myself up as well as I could around my knee, giving it all the protection I could imagine. That night, as I was falling asleep, I prayed to Heavenly Father to give me the strength to finish the race and not to disgrace myself in front of my kids. I didn't want a specific time, but if I could, I wanted to finish in under 4 hours. I prayed for the pain to be manageable and I prayed for guidance so I could know if I should pull out of the race at any point.

Morning arrived and I laced up my shoes and we headed to board the buses at 4:15am--crazy!!! Hubby was concerned about my knee and kept telling me to just take it easy and to listen to my body. He knows me well and he knows that I will push until I can't do it anymore. We had about 1 hour and 30 minute wait at the top where we just hung out by the fires. It was so cold--not a good thing for my knee as it is now a great weather predictor. I waited to the very last minute to shed my extra layer, was very sad that I had not worn my tights instead of my skirt.

The gun went off and we were still putting our clothing in the truck, gah, running late, good thing it is by chip time. We managed to squeeze in and go out with most of the 3:25 crew. Sam with his wide shoulders was able to carve a little path for me and I was able to get to a not so crowded area. I found my pace and my tunes started playing and I was in a happy place. He was in front of me and I could barely see him as it was still dark but knowing that he was up there gave me comfort. The first two miles went by super fast and I was surprised to see that I had already ran 2 miles. My knee was ok, not great but ok. I was hopeful. Then at mile 3, the pain just came out of nowhere, sharp and I could even taste a bitter taste in my mouth. I want to pull to the side and just stop. Then I looked to the right and I saw a SAG Wagon or what I like to call the SAD ride down. I looked at it and I contemplated for a few seconds just boarding it and letting the pain stop. Then I imagined my son at the hotel waiting for me to finish and to ask me how the race went. I couldn't. I didn't have the heart to ride the wagon. I just couldn't quit so early in the race without really pushing myself. So, I looked up ahead and I kept running. I kept repeating, one foot in front of the other, you can't stop because if you stop, it will still hurt and you won't be moving forward.

The following miles were the same. I kept repeating in my head, it is just walking, one foot in front of the other. Don't stop. I kept imagining the area in my knee where it hurt and I just imagine a big flame of warmth and love around it. I sent all power I had in me to that area.  I don't know if it was all my "imagining" or my pleading but the pain did switch to a dull pain.

After the hills, I was waiting for mile 14-18, typically my fastest miles in this marathon, but by that time my knee had had it. It was at the 13 mile point where I decided that I wasn't going to ride the SAD wagon down. I had already managed 13 miles and I wasn't going to throw them in the garbage. I continued forth, slowly. I tried speeding up down Snow Canyon but my knee didn't want to bend back very much, so I couldn't speed down. Instead, I admired the beauty of the canyon and painted a picture of it in my mind, the beautiful red cliffs with the sun hitting them. I could imagine touching them and feeling the warmth of the sun passing through my fingertips.

It was during the last 13 miles when I realized how blessed I was. I had never really taken the time to admire the beauty of this marathon. I had always been rushing down, never taking the time to see how blessed I have been to have a body that allowed me to do one of the most wonderful things in this world, run! I felt free! I felt happy to be moving. As I admire those around me, I kept thinking of how amazing runners are. We test our limits, not physically but mentally each time we go out there and attempt such a mighty distance.

I had prayed to Heavenly Father to carry me through the first 20 miles and that I could do the last 6 on my own. I am glad HE knows best because he didn't leave my side at all. After the 20 mile mark, things got ugly again and I just wanted to quit. My right calf was tight from the stress and my left leg was tiring of pulling all the weight, hahaha, all 115 lbs of me! I stopped at the following aid station and got some goey stuff put on my leg and grabbed some vaseline for my chunky arms--they were rubbing my armpit area raw! I limped through the aid station and I saw others limping too. I took courage in knowing that they were continuing forth and as such as should too. I shuffled down and started counting down the miles.

At mile 23, I said to myself it is just a 5K, you can do this in less than 30 minutes if needed. The crowds at this point where exactly what I needed. I high fived all the little kiddos who had their arm extended and I took the energy from the crowd and went forth. And then a great surprise, one of my crossfit friends was there, Angie, she came out and ran with me. I think I even hugged her but I can't remember, I was delirious at this point. She looked so happy and had so much energy, it was great to have her next to me and to have her run a few yards with me. I ran a bit more and then I stopped for some popsicles. I needed to give my knee a break, so I walked and ate my purple popsicle. As I was eating it, I was contemplating that it was not paleo and that it was throwing my entire paleo day off. Then I laughed at my thinking, hahaha, what person in their right mind can be bothered with paleo food when running 26 miles. Only me! So then, I thought about my non-paleo meal I wanted to have after the race. I figured running 26 miles was deserving of some Mexican food, so I imagined sitting down and having some sopes and tamales with a side of shrimp. I was going crazy.

The last mile finally came and I didn't want to be walking it/shuffling, so I ran. My knee was screaming but I didn't want to finish the race walking. I sent one last prayer for help. It was as if the heavens opened up but for about 1/2 mile my knee was back to its old self. I could run. I could bend it all the way back to kick back and stride. I ran with all my heart. I crossed that finish line and I knew that it had been the best race I had ever ran. It was not the fastest race I have ever ran but it was the race where I was grateful to be out there running.

I saw a sign twice along the course that I have not forgotten. A  small child held it and it said "When your legs are tired, run with your heart", the heart portion had a little heart drawing in red. I ran this race with my heart and I found out that it is a lot stronger than my legs!

Official time: 3:49:15

When we got back to the hotel, my kiddos where very extied to tell me that they saw me on tv, running to the finish line :). That was the best news ever--they were so happy to see me finish.



Mantua 5 Mile Race

Saturday, I tagged along for a 5 mile race. A few of my friends were going down there to run it and I wasn't planning on doing anything on Saturday, just staying home and doing absolutely nothing. So at almost midnight on Friday night, I decided to just go and run the race.

We ran around the dam, just a beautiful, peaceful morning. It was so much fun. Typically, I worry about my placing and how I will perform, not this day, I just decided to go and enjoy myself. I truly enjoyed the morning with all my friends.

Mantua Race

It was such a special day! It was my friend Jo's very first 5 mile run. She did AMAZING!!! I feel so proud of her :). I was able to run beside my friend Angie who recently came back from a back injury. Her energy was so strong and I felt so happy running next to her--indiscribable feeling! I love runners!!! I can say a gazillion good things about each one of these people :).

And completely unexpected, I got 1st in my AG! I was very happily surprised :).

Mantua 1st place AG copy


Drop 13 Half Marathon

Drop 13 2
Had the chance to run the Drop 13 Half marathon this weekend. My hubby was a pacer for the 1:30 group with the American Flyers Race Pacers. I was supposed to pace the 1:45 but since my ankle still is suffering from tendinitis, I decided not to pace. I didn't want to fail my group just in case I couldn't hold my pace. We drove down the night before and picked up our packets. It was awesome to go to the Salt Lake Running Co store, super awesome running store, it is like runners-heaven!!! I picked a little something! That sweet Pearl Izumi cropped jacket! Talk about cute and functional!

Drop 13 Half Marathon

Hunny and I stayed all to ourselves at a hotel, rare occasion, however with a 4am wake up call, no time for romance, hahahaha.

We walked to the bus load up from our hotel and found our pacer friends and my sweet friend Angie from crossfit. We loaded the bus with no problems. The ride up was easy and was able to nap a little. Start of the race was a bit hectic though, not enough porta-potties and the lines were super long. I had to go so I needed to stay in line otherwise I would poop my pants! So I waited and waited and waited. The race started and guess where I was, yes, I was still waiting to use the pooper!!! Both, Ang and I were there waiting. As I waited for the bathroom, and saw the race start, I thought well, it is better to not poop my pants.

Both Ang and I started the race at the same time, we were all alone with another runner at the start line, kind of lonely. However, it was kind of nice to see all the runners as we got closer and closer to them. We were joking while waiting for the bathroom that we could start counting our "Ragnar kills" that very day hahaha. Being at the very back was not what I was planning. I wanted to run with Sam but there was no way I could run fast enough to catch him, I was a good 5 minutes behind him to start off. But, I certainly tried. I kept looking for the Pacer signs to see how far I had to go to catch him. He was the first pacer, so I had a lot of ground to cover. I ran as fast as my ankle could carry me. It did alright but around mile 3 it started bothering me so I took some ibuprofen for the pain. Also, my stupid gut was starting to burn so I took some tums too. I can take the pain from the ankle as that is pain but the burning in my belly is not something I can control or help. As I ran, I kept passing the pacers and they were all so friendly and awesome.

Finally, I reached my friend Josh who was pacing the 1:35 group, it meant that I was that much closer to Sam but my ankle just didn't have it in me for the 6:30 pace I needed to catch him. The entire race really went super fast, I was very surprised when I saw the 10 mile marker. I even doubled checked my Garmin to make sure it was correct. It really felt like time had flown by. But when I saw the 10 mile marker, I knew it was crunch time and time to drop the hammer and leave it all that I had in the tank.

The last three miles were AWESOME. Usually, I am dead tired but not this time, I felt strong and knew I could continue at a good pace. I looked down at my watch and it said 1:29, I knew hubby had already crossed the finish line so I dug deep and ran my heart out to the finish line. I saw my sweet hubby there, waiting for me :). He made my day!

What I found hard about the race: not knowing my place in the field. I started at the end so I didn't know how far back I was from the other women. If I had seen them in front of me or known how far back I was, it could have helped me push a little harder.

I finished the race in 1:30:34. I placed 1st in my age group and 5th overall. Overall, it was a great race. I still love the course as much as I did last September. Drop 13 3

My Track Star Girl


My sweet NyNy stepping out of her comfort zone. She loves track and field, she enjoys everything from it, except the pressure that comes with competing. She doesn't like to lose so she prefers not to compete. I completely understand the feeling. She feels that with losing it means she is not good enough, she feels less than everyone else. We are doing our best to teach her that not winning doesn't mean that she didn't do her best.  She is so little compared to everyone else in her age group that she has to work twice as hard as everyone else--that in my eyes shows me a true winner :).

The above photo is one I took of her 50 meter dash. She was so excited! Look at her beautiful long stride. She gave her very best. She came in 5th with a time of about 9 seconds :). She is a great runner and I am looking forward to seeing her run more and when she sees her potential I see, it is going to be marvellous :).


Our Track Star

Track 002

The calm before the storm! He was exhausted today, he had tennis at 9, then a hike up to the Wind Caves, then we spent the afternoon at the pool, by 5pm, he was exhausted! We got to the track and all he wanted to do was sleep, so he laid down on the green to sleep, thus I call it "the calm before the storm". :)

 This kid is going to district! He did the 200 meters in 32 seconds; the 800 in 2:49 and he had a Standing Long Jump of 6'6". Videos a little later :)

ING New York Marathon

I am in!!! I am in!!! I have wanted to do this marathon since I started running. I never thought I would qualify, however, I did qualify with my Big Cottonwood Half Marathon time from 2012, with a time of 1:28.

When I signed up for the lottery, I really didn't think I would get chosen. However, yesterday, to my great surprise, I received an email letting me know of my status. I had completely forgotten about the application, so it was truly a surprise :).

New York, here we come!!!!


Ogden Marathon 2013

Ogden Marathon 2013 small

Talk about a crappy time for a marathon. The weather was nasty! Just plain nasty! It rained and it was cold and windy. And I wasn't dressed appropriately for the type of weather. I thought my jacket was going to be sufficient but apparently it wasn't :(. Bleh!!!

In addition to the weather, my tummy issues came to haunt me again starting at mile 3. It felt like a volcano was erupting inside my belly, not my stomach (not behind my ribs), it burned and it burned. Pain is something else and I can more or less deal with it but this burning is not something that I am used to. The last 23.3 miles were hell for me. More than once I wish I was dead rather than suffering from the burning in my gut.

Despite the burning in my gut, at mile 8, I was on pace to finish at a 3:3oish pace. I felt confident that if I could just get my GI issues worked out that I could have a great race. However, my body temperature dropped too much, I shivered for most of the race to the point that I could barely open my hands to grab water from the aid stations.

At mile 7 or 8, I met one of my pacer friends and he gave me a Tum for my gut burning. It helped a little and I was able to move along but the burning still continued. I tried to fight it off with bananas but nothing helped.

Then my tendinitis in my ankle started bugging me too, I think the cold just aggravated it more and it became so painful to run. I managed to run til mile 23, then I looked inside me and realized that I was dealing with three things that I just couldn't handle-the cold, the burning in my gut, and then my ankle. I was injured. I shouldn't have been running in the first place due to my ankle but if I didn't run Ogden, I can't get into St. George, so I went and lined up at the start line.

I struggled mentally the last three miles. I needed something to quench the inferno in my gut and I was taking anything the aid stations were giving. I knew bread like stuff will just make it burn more but the cookies they were giving out sure felt good and solid and appeased it at the moment of ingestion, not so very much after.

Walking for the last three miles was the most humbling experience of my marathon running experience. I have always toughened it out and at least jogged but not this time. With tears running down my cheeks and my heart breaking, I walked, I walked to quench down the burning in my gut and the pain in my ankle. Then, I would wipe my tears away and talk to myself about "crossfitters never give up" and I would run again for a little bit. Then the burning will become unbearable and the tears would start streaming again and I would repeat  the process. I think more than anything, I was mad at myself, mad that I couldn't overcome the burning, the pain in my ankle and the stupid cold weather/rain.

As I was nearing the finish line, the last stretch is a straight away that you can see the finish line for what seems like an entire mile. I was hobbling along due to my ankle, holding my gut with one arm and trying to keep going. I found a new runner friend who was struggling too and we ran together that last bit. As we ran, we tried to encourage each other to keep going to the end, no more walking, just jog it to the end. An older man came running really strong by our side and as he was running, he was talking to himself really loudly saying "I am strong. I am speed. I am powerful" to which I added "I am tired!". Hahaha, that made my new friend laugh and it kept us happy for the next block.

As we were about to cross the finish line, I saw my hubby and some of my friends on the other side, encouraging me to come forward. I was beat. I didn't have anything else in the tank. I had used all my body had to carry me to that blue mat. I was so cold. I was in pain from my ankle. My belly burned. I wanted nothing else but to cry but my friends were all there. My good friend Gustavo right away saw my discomfort and he tried to get me to drink some water and eat something. Hubby wanted to carry me to aleviate my ankle pain. Me, I just wanted to dig a hole in the ground and die! I had finished but I had finished the worst race of my entire running life. I have never hated running more than I did that very day. It wasn't the running that I hated, it was me, my weak body that couldn't handle it, my weak mind that couldn't overcome the obstacles that were thrown at it. It was the first day in a very long time that I realized that perhaps, I am not cut to be a runner. I felt defeated.

My time was a miserable 3:49:40.....19 minutes away from my goal

Daily check in

I am in a great group right now where we are accountable to keep track of our food (she gives us some recipes) and we also tell what we did to stay active. I figured it would be nice to have the stuff recorded somewhere, besides my head!

Here is what activities I did today:

Met with the running crew, which today meant only our Coach, coach Don. He shows up whatever After our 4 mile run the weather, so I have to make sure that I show up! We ran 4 miles. My son, Boyo, went with us, this is his 3rd run with us, he did amazing! he ran 3 miles in heavy wind. Amazing little guy!

After running, we headed to crossfit. There was the regular workout and then the lifting class was about to start. The regular class was packed so I decided to do the lifting class first.


Dumbell Bench Press Burnout (at 20 lbs).

10 push ups.

I ended up with 145 dumbell bench presses.

Then we had deadlifts 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 reps.

We started at 65% of our max, for me that was 145 lbs. So, it went like this 145,155, 165, 175, at the last one, we were ready to put in 185 but coach suggested to go heavier. We, my friend Emma and I, said sure, go ahead, loaded up. He loaded up and I was the first one to go. I did 2 reps, ok, then on my 3rd, I lifted my butt before my legs and I felt my back twinge, Coach Josh saw this right away and corrected me immediately, 4th rep, I lifted it wrong and felt it so I dropped it before I could get it way too high. I knew what I was looking for in the way my legs "felt" so the other two reps were a lot better. I didn't know how much was on the bar and that was a good thing, come to find out that Coach Josh had loaded up to 215 lbs. Stoked!!!

After the weightlifting class, my friend Bianca arrived to do the regular crossfit class and I wanted to stay with her and hang out so I did that class. 15:10 seconds long...freak! It was a sweatfest! The WOD today was:

100 Dbl unders
10 Burpees
75 Dbl unders
20 Burpees
50 Dbl unders
30 Burpees
25 Dbl unders
40 Burpees

My double unders still suck. I still do 1 single after each double, so I end up jumping twice as much. One of these days the "stringing doubles" will come to me and that day will be GLORIOUS!

My favorite races of 2013: Bolder Boulder

One of my favorite races in 2012: Bolder Boulder 10K


We went to visit our dear friends in Denver and it happened to be the weekend of Bolder Boulder. We went without any running gear and as we arrived my friend told us all about the race and was showing us his race packet, I couldn't resist but run it. Last minute decision, we went to TJMax and picked up some running clothes and some shoes to run with. Love last minute decisions, flying by the seat of my pants, hahaha. Registered the day before and picked up a cute visor that reads "Sea Level is for Sissies" :).

The race was awesome. Tons of people, as in 40,000 people! The course was very nice and it was the perfect temperature. The best part--finishing inside the stadium, I felt like a rockstar! hahaha! At the end of the race, we were able to see some of the elites run, and boy that was exciting! Not my best time but surely had the best "running time" of any 10K race. We are planning on going in 2013.

Boulder Bolder

Big Cottonwood Half Marathon

Big logo


On Saturday, Sept 22, hubby and I had the chance to participate in the newest half marathon/marathon in Utah. We were a bit skeptical at first about the entire thing, it was completely new so we had our doubts that it would run smoothly. However, we were proven completely wrong! It was one of the best organized events we have been to.  I just found one thing that was odd but I am sure they will get it under control-there was no water or any type of nutrition (bananas) at the start of the race, usually there is at least water/gatorade along with some first aid stuff-vaseline. Everything else was top notch! Packet pick up was a breeze, bus load up-the easiest ever, volunteers at aid stations-the best (all running events have the best volunteers ever!), post race nutrition-sandwiches, medals-bling, bling, free photos from (what race does that, none, ever, this was my ultimate fav part!), and an awesome/fun announcer at the end :).

Zazoosh_990161762-1800On to the race report: the race was scheduled to start at 6:30am which called for an extra early wake up time. The alarm sounded at 4:30am, a total insult to my ears and my little eyes. Seriously, the only reason I would ever back out from a race is the early wake up times--can't I just get my beauty sleep, promise that I am a much agreeable person if I sleep at least 8 hours. We got up and got ready for the race. I was concerned about my back as I threw it out on Wednesday doing "regular" stuff at work. I had gone to the chiropractor both Wednesday and Thursday and even took 2 days off from crossfit to allow my back to heal. Saturday morning, it was still bugging me, especially my right side on my lower back. I took 2 ibuprofen and hoped for the best.

Bus load up was smooth, one of the smoothest bus load ups ever. Usually, we have to wait forever to load up, not this time. We got out of our car, parked about 100 meters away from bus load up, and were almost instantly loaded onto a bus! Nice! The ride up was alright. There are always people talking loudly, either from excitement or fear. It is a bit annoying at times as I have a different way of preparing for the race,  I like to meditate and go into "my quiet" spot and prepare mentally for the race to come.  We arrived to the start line in about 30 minutes and quickly made our way to the porta-johny, another ritual, better go before you have to go-go. Hubby always seems to need it so we just automatically make our way there. After doing the business, we moved down to where all the space blankets were located, I was trying to find water for my little handheld bottle, but like I mentioned above, no water was found :/, sad, thankfully, my friend Bianca had water with her and she shared with me.

Hubby and II have to mention though that the race did go out of their way to provide us with space blankets and gloves for the start of the race. Never have I seen this, at least not for everyone in the race. It was quite outstanding of them to do that for us. Thank you! It means the world to us, being pampered is the number one way to get us, runners, into your good graces ;).

We made our way to the start line, I had a dream goal for this race, didn't know if I could achieve it with my hurt back but I still made my way to the front, next to the 1:30 pacers. Hubby wanted to come in in about 1:25 so he also went to the front. I had no chance of running that fast so I wished him good luck and let him be at the front.

The gun went off at exactly 6:30am. The sky was still lit by stars and the ground was still dark, the shadows from the runners played tricks on my head, putting potholes where there were none and making me run like an idiot, raising my feet high off the ground. As we took off, I saw hubby take off and silently wished him the best. I love this man of mine. He wants to qualify for Boston so badly and the only thing holding him back are cramp issues with his calves. He is fast and he is usually ahead of me on all the races, until we reach mile 18-20, then the cramps come and he has to walk the rest of the race. I secretly wish every marathon race that he will finish in the 3:05 that he needs, eventhough, I know that a 3:05 will put me 30 minutes behind, but he deserves it. He does so much for me and our family. Anways, I am getting all sappy on ya, we took off and off we went down the canyon.

Big Cottonwood Splits
My first mile was super speedy, despite the darkness, my garmin says I did a 6:12, that is super fast for me. I paid for it on the next two miles as my back reminded me that it was out. The pain was harsh, from a 1-10, it was about a 7. I wanted to stop and just cry. It reminded me of the Ogden Marathon in May when my hip was out and it made my entire left leg hurt. I gave myself a pep-talk and addressed my pain level. As I talked myself into continuing with the race, I was being passed by a bunch of girls and guys, I kept saying, there goes 2nd place, there goes 3rd, there goes 1st in AG, there goes 2nd in AG, etc. I was feeling low, I wanted to quit, I considered it for about a minute, until I saw my kids' faces in my mind, especially my boy, I imagined myself telling him that I had quit and I imagined his disappointment. I couldn't. I couldn't do it. I put on my big girl panties and on I went. I wasn't going to quit. I had already ran 3 miles, I only had 10 left. I had suffered more pain in my life before than what I was going through at that moment, I could endure 10 more miles, if I ran fast enough, it would be even a shorter period of time to endure.

The sky started to light up and making the race a bit easier to do as I could actually see the road ahead of me and I could run more normal. My back also warmed up and my lower back muscles loosened up enough to almost take the pain away. As I ran down, I kept my nose down and looked at the ground the whole time, I wanted to come in under 1:30 but my back pain had made me slow down so much that I had decided that 1:35 was good enough too.

However, something happened after mile 6, my body decided to finally show up to the race. My legs started going faster, and as other runners were slowing their pace, mine was picking up. My hubby always says that I am nice and steady and if a race is long enough, I can be one of the first ones to finish as I am a consistent runner, when others are falling off, I seem to just keep going. 

My second half of the marathon was in one word: stellar! I was cranking out sub 7 minute miles. I passed a few people who had passed me on miles 2-4. I was feeling good, tired, but good. I kept telling myself to keep going, I was almost there.

At mile 11, there were a few spectators there and it was exactly what I needed. My legs wanted to just stop and my tummy wanted some real food, but the spectators smiles and applause kept me going. They would never know how much their support means to runners, it is as if with each cheer, energy is passed from their bodies to ours. Thank you, thank you for cheering for us, even if you don't know us.

At mile 12, I caught up to the 1:30 pacers, my heart was rejoicing, they even stopped and allowed me to go in front of them. In my head, I had 1 mile left. I can do 1 mile. I can crank out 1 mile in 7:30 even when I am tired, so I dug in for all I had in me. I told myself--Isela, this is a WOD, a 1 mile WOD. Show me what you got in that heart. Little did I know that the downhill was over, we were going into this small trail that looked pretty much flat and felt uphill. But, the heart can do wonderful things. I imagined myself back at the box (crossfit), and my competitive self came out, I ran, I ran as fast as I could with my tired legs, I passed 3 gals and 1 guy in this stretch. As I kept running, I wanted to look behind and see how far ahead I was from the closest gal behind me. Why? Because I was tired and I wanted to slow down, but I didn't do it. I couldn't afford to look back. Every second counted. I wanted to come in under 1:30 and at the pace I was going, I could do it, if I didn't slow down.

I reached the 13 mile marker and I could see the Finish Line, just a little longer heart, just a little longer legs, hold on. I ran. I ran with my heart. I ran for my kids. I ran for myself.  Then, as I reached the finish line and saw my husband's face, smiling and yelling my  name, I ran for him too. I ran for him, for him to feel proud of me, of us. I crossed that Finish Line at exactly 1:28:54. A dream had come a reality in that very second.

As I stopped on the other side of the Finish Line and collected my medal (awesome medal by the way!), I wanted to collapse, my back complained as I bent over. My little legs were tired, I was tired, but my heart was pounding from happiness at my achievement. Hubby came right over and we kissed, just a little kiss, too sweaty and smelly for a real kiss, hahahaha. He told me that he had reached his goal too 1:25:15. A new PR for him too.

To our great surprise, well, at least to me, we both placed in our age groups (30-34). We both got 1st place :). We came home with two little ribbons. Yay!

We made our way to the tents, expecting your regular post race "food", which typically means some fruit and bread. Not at this place, we were treated to some Jimmy Johns sandwiches, delicious raspberry bars, recovery drinks, fruit, and to top it all off massages for the half marathoners as well as the full. Heaven!!! I, of course, got a massage. I am not going to turn down a good body rub, especially when I have just finished a race.

After my little massage, we made our way to the Finish Line again to wait for our friends, Gloria, Bianca, Angie and Jason. We made it just in time to see Angie fly by through the Finish and shortly after Bianca. We missed seeing speedy Gloria come in, I was probably getting my hammy worked on when she crossed. Jason came in shortly after, Bianca. All of them PRed and we all looked so happy :). A PR is a runner's "hope" each time we cross that start line.

Cottonwood Friends

I have to say that I left my heart and soul on that canyon on Saturday. There are days where you show up to a race and you know that you will perform well, however this Saturday wasn't it. I was afraid of the pain, I was afraid of quitting, but the heart is more powerful than we ever give it credit. I have achieved one of my greatest goals in running, to finish a half marathon in under 1:30. With my new PR, I have now qualified to participate in the ING New York City Marathon--one of my dreams, to run a marathon in my hometown.

Ribbons and medals

Big Cottonwood Half--I will see you again, hopefully in 2013 :).


TOU Marathon 2012

TOU small

What a gorgeous day for a race! Not a cloud over the sky, unlike last year, weather was a bit cool but not too bad for a race. Better to start off cool that way hot.

Hubby and I headed down to load the bus in his little green bug car, it is small enough so it fits anywhere and makes parking a breeze. We loaded up with no trouble and on our way we went. Thankfully, we got a bus that wasn't too loud. I don't like it when you have that one loud guy in the back who "knows it all" and continues either scaring the newbies or trying to impress everyone around. I take my "bus time" really seriously, it is the time I have to catch a few more zzz's or the time to look deep inside me and see what my heart is telling  me for the day.

We got up to Hardware Ranch safe and sound and we made our way to the Honey-pots. Gosh, each year I think to myself that they are going to get more Johnnny's but they never do. There is never enough honeypots for everyone, it is a ridiculous long way, ridiculous as in 30 minutes long wait-in-line-hold-your-pee/poop! One of these days, I hope they realize that they don't have enough honeypots up there and double the number. Or maybe, it is a strategy to keep the runner's minds away from the upcoming ordeal and focus on other matters.

After waiting what seemed an eternity at the honeypots, we made our way to the start line. We had about 10 minutes til the gun went off so we shed our clothes and went to line up at the start line. We met some friends/neighbors there and we made some casual conversation. We waited for the gun to go off but it didn't come, 7 rolled around, 7:05 and nothing, finally around 7:15 the gun went off and off down the canyon we went.

Hubby left me in his dust right away and I found my pace and slowly made my way down the canyon. I decided to carry my on water this time around to avoid the traffic congestion at each aid station, glad I did as I was able to save some time by having my own water.

I was very surprised about how great I was feeling during the race. My legs felt strong, my hips felt good, unlike Ogden Marathon where my hips were not cooperating and made me stop each mile to stretch and agonize about the pain. I was in a good spot!

At the halfway point, I realized that I was doing great timewise and in a little while I would be able to see my friends/cheering squad. I was looking forward to seeing them :). As I passed mile 14, I saw them up  ahead, 4 of my friends-Bianca, Josh, Gloria and Holly. They were all cheering for me and there just for me, to give me energy, to support me. Thank you guys!

The next few miles went by okay, I was getting tired by this point. The road flattens out after mile 14 and from there is pure heart that gets you through, heart and training. As I told you in my previous post, I have had very little training, so for me it was all heart.

I knew before-hand that I would need some help at mile 18 and thankfully my friend Josh volunteered to help me. He joined me at mile 18 and he is like Tiger, bouncy, positive and full of energy--exactly what I needed at this point. Miles 18-20 are usually my "doom miles" in a marathon. I was very glad he was there to pull me out of my gloom. He was cheerful and supportive yet understanding of my slowness, a great coach for sure. Thank you Josh for being there for me.

Throughout this entire time, hubby was just a few hundred meters ahead of me, I could see him, but by golly I couldn't catch him. Another good friend showed up at this point to cheer me, my friend Lee, she pointed out that Sam was just right there that I could definitely catch him. I wanted to catch him, I wanted so badly but I couldn't at this point. Lee, my friend,  I love her to pieces, she is an amazing runner and a superb role model all around.

As we entered mile 19, one of the hardest miles for me, the small uphill almost killed me. Josh kept telling me that I had it, if I just kept moving I would be done with it and I could catch Sam. Sam was getting closer and closer and it wasn't because I was speeding up. I knew he was in trouble, he usually starts cramping up around miles 18-20.  Thanks to Josh's coaching, I made it up the hill and onto the flats of Millville. I know this road, I run it all the time. I felt at home and I felt that I could do it. We kept running, I wish I could remember all the coaching Josh was doing, but all I know is that his words kept my legs moving forward.

Almost to mile 20, we caught up to Sam. He had stopped. The cramps were pounding his calves and he couldn't go on. Josh looked at me and I told him to go, go to Sam. He had done his part in helping me. He probably will never know how much his coaching meant to me that day. He helped me PR on this course. His words of encouragement and his quiet yet assuring way of believing in me helped me through my darkest miles in this marathon. As they stayed behind, I continued on, pounding the pavement, feeling my heart rejoice as I knew that the next 6 miles were the last. I  knew that even if I walked, I only had about 1 hour left in the marathon, even less if I kept running.

The next few miles went by swiftly, my cheering squad following me around, dancing to Zumba music on the streets. Each time I thought I was done for, they would be there, laughing and cheering me. What awesome friends I have!

Mile 23 showed me even more support, my FB friends, the NERCs, had an aid station there and as TOU mile splitssoon as they saw me, they started cheering for me. My friend Ann was there and ran with me for a little bit, cheering me on, telling me I had it in the bag.

Mile 24 went by in a blur, I was passing people, again, I didn't stop at the aid station as I had my own stuff with me, and as other runners stopped, I just kept going.

Mile 25, one of the hardest ones in this course, uphill, you just want to stop and just finish it already but no, you still have to keep going and the cruel joke is that you have to pass right in front of a Burger King. Yes! I am always hungry in a race.

To the end...have you ever realized how long a mile really is. A mile for a runner doesn't seem that much really. We are used to talking in terms of double digits most of the time, when we say singles we use usually preface it with "only". Not when it comes to a marathon, that last mile is monumental, especially when you are so close to a PR. I looked at my Garmin and saw that I was pretty much PRing if I didn't walk at all. I ran, I ran and I ran. I looked at my Garmin and it said 26.2 and yet I was nowhere close to the finish, I still had more than a block to go. Crap! The course was longer. I finally turned on the last corner and looked one last time at my Garmin, if I gave it all I had, I could come in under 3:33. I ran like I was being chased a dog and I crossed the Finish mat at 3:32:12. I had set a new PR by 2 minutes and 33 seconds. I was 8th in my age group and 34th in gender placing overall.

Finishers corral: I went in and right away I was congratulated by a few running friends. Our running community is tight up here and we know one another from all the different events. I got some food and stretched for a bit then I headed out to wait with my cheering squad and cheer for my hubby.

I was so proud of him as I saw him come in. I know how much it costs him to run those last few miles. It pains me to see that he is behind because of those darn cramps. He is so talented and yet those set him back a good 30-40 minutes. Yet, he still came in with a big smile on his face. I love that man! He finished in 4:02:47, not bad for walking the last 6 miles of the marathon.