Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pain You Enjoy ?!?!?!

Monday, May 23rd 2011: My legs were CRAZY sore from the Ogden Marathon. I'm talking crazy. After a marathon, Monday is usually the most painful day and then the soreness starts easing up. Not sore like an injury. Sore like someone is slicing your muscles with a dull meat cleaver. I had those "Who in their right mind runs 26.2 miles?" thoughts.

Tuesday, May 24th 2011: Muscles started easing up and I didn't walk like Frankenstein quite as much.

Wednesday, May 25th 2011:
I gave in and went to see the sports medicine doc about my knees. The good news: he didn't even remotely try to talk me out of running the Utah Valley Marathon in two weeks! It's weird - the pain is right on my knee caps. Kind of like if you fell and bruised your knees, although more sore when I run. He didn't think it was runner's knee or jumper's knee so I'll continue to keep an eye on things.

Thursday, May 26th 2011: 16.3 mile bike ride in 1 hour & 4 minutes (15.3 mph average). I rode with friends Shelly, Logan, Tom, and Darin. Even though I usually prefer running or riding by myself, I had fun on this ride.

Friday, May 27th 2011: 1 hour walk to loosen up the legs. I also did a fun 8 mile ride with Mel that night. Can I tell you why I get antsy when I'm not running as much? It bugs me because I know my body is capable of doing more. My miles certainly weren't fast, but I built up some pretty good endurance.

Back when I was younger (younger = 2 months ago) I ran 206 miles in a month. 206 miles! I'd go run a half marathon before work. I did a 34 mile training run. And I really loved the challenge. I'm looking forward to continued improvement so I can get back to that time when I felt so good.

Saturday, May 28th 2011: 3 miles in about 36 minutes. (I'm still in my anti-Garmin phase.) I told Mel I needed to find some dirt to run on, and convinced her to come on a section of the JEM trail with me.

I was wearing my Utah Valley Marathon shirt and my youngest daughter Kylee came up and started sounding out what the shirt said. Then she got to the part that said "Pain You Enjoy".

She got the most puzzled, confused look on her face. You'd have thought I told her my name was Celine Dion and I made really crappy music for my occupation. She said "Pain you enjoy? Like having a baby?" I said "Well, yea, I guess it's kind of like that." She was dumbfounded.

Even though it was in inferno outside we still had a blast on our run. The muscle soreness from the marathon last week is gone and this was one of the best runs I've had in a few months. And.....I'm happy to report that after about 10 tries, we finally got THIS!

"There are few experiences in life in which my physical and psychological abilities are as sharply defined as they are during marathon training and racing...The training and racing experiences have shown me sides of myself that I never knew existed. I've found perseverance, an ability to focus, stubbornness, compulsiveness, bravery, organization, a sense of humor, and a capacity for unbridled joy."
~ Gordon Bakoulis Bloch, How to Train for and Run Your Best Marathon

Don't forget to enter the awesome free contest - only 2 more days left!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beware Of Meat Loaf

Yesterday I had one of those "It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time" moments. I made two critical errors during my lunch break:
1) I went to the hospital cafeteria for lunch.
2) I ordered meat loaf. Yes, meat loaf.

I honestly can't explain why this happened. I don't really even like meat loaf. Let alone from the hospital cafeteria. I went there because it's right by my work, it's cheap, and sometimes it actually tastes okay. But not on this day. Meat loaf? Seriously? I willingly ordered meat loaf from the hospital cafeteria?!?!

I know what you're thinking Captain Obvious. You're thinking "Duh, you fool! If you chose to eat hospital meat loaf, you deserve that feeling in your stomach like you swallowed an angry badger."

I am so disappointed in myself for my poor choice of food. If one of my children had made this decision, I would have scolded them and proceeded to ground them for a week. I am so ashamed.

I can assure you that I have learned from my mistake. This error will not happen again. Next time I will pass on the meat loaf, no matter how tempting it may seem at the time. Go ahead - threaten me with my life. I still will not eat hospital meat loaf.

(Only 4 days left to win the awesome prize package! Enter Here.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Free Prize Package Giveaway!

Are you in the mood for something free? If so, you are in the right place. I would like to award you this Awesome Prize Package:

You could win......
  • Enough Clif calories to get you through a marathon
  • A Run Or Die bracelet
  • A copy of my piano CD "You Will Soar" AUTOGRAPHED
  • The hardcover book "Once A Runner" by John L. Parker, Jr. AUTOGRAPHED by Cory Reese. Did I have any part in writing this book? Nope. Which makes this such a valuable gift. This is the only "Once A Runner" book in the whole world which has been autographed by Cory Reese.
  • AND a free entry into the Hostess Half Marathon in December.
I hear you saying "Holy Moses, how can I win that sweet prize package?" Let me tell you how:
1) Click "Follow" on the right side bar = 3 entries. (Add a comment to let me know you did it or are already a follower.)
2) Add a comment about your favorite race or place to run (or any other random thing) = 1 entry per comment.
3) Mention this contest on your blog or Facebook = 3 entries.

The contest will end on Tuesday, May 31st at midnight and winner will be determined using a random number generator. On your mark. Get set. Go!!!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ogden Marathon Review - 2011

I was excited to even be able to run the Ogden Marathon this year, considering that last year for the race I traded carbo loading for barfing in a garbage can. That pesky flu/food poisoning forced me to drop down to the half marathon. This year I avoided any pre-race vomit. Bonus!

At the marathon expo the day beforehand we picked up our packets, taste-tested Clif Bars, and tried this fancy training contraption. When nobody was looking I did my best Karate Kid impression:

We had lots of fun with our friends the day before the race. This is Micah, Braydon, Michelle, Melissa, Mel, some nerdy dude, and my brother Kenny. Notice the fact that everyone is smiling. This is because we had not yet been rolled over by the train named Ogden Marathon.

We boarded the bus for the starting line at 5am (5am = ouch). At the top we met this guy who was a clown two years ago, a ballerina last year, and a bumble bee this year. That is basically awesome.

As me and Kenny were waiting around for the race to start, I saw a notable figure exit the bus - Mr. Pony Tail!

We saw this same guy when we ran the Top Of Utah Marathon last year and since then our pre-race strategy has always included "Follow the pony tail!" Seeing him again was certainly one of the highlights of the day. Here is a picture of the same guy from last year:

If you look far in the distance you will see the starting line of the Ogden Marathon. (Just ignore the guys on the side by the fence who didn't have time to make it to the Port-O-Potty before the race started.)

A few miles into the race I heard someone yell "Cory Reese!" I looked over and saw my friends from graduate school, CJ and Annie Anderson who I haven't seen in many years. Simply nuts. This was CJ's first marathon, and considering some health issues, this was an absolutely amazing accomplishment! (I award 73 points to the guy in the background who photo-bombed the picture. Well done.)

Let me tell you something - the volunteers at the Ogden Marathon are beyond incredible. Honestly, every single volunteer I saw was so happy and friendly and helpful. I could have hugged each of them. I appreciated them so much, and made sure to tell them. One aid station had loud 70's music pumping and all the volunteers were dancing around in hippie costumes. Here's your proof:

The amazing scenery of the Ogden Marathon ALMOST takes your mind off the fact that you are running 26.2 miles and your legs are screaming. Almost.

Isn't this a cool waterfall? It very well could have been tears of the runners who passed before me.

With my knees still recovering, I knew this wasn't going to be a PR race so I decided to take all pressure off and didn't even bring my Garmin. My only goals were 1) to finish, and 2) to have fun. I stopped to take lots of pictures along the way, talked with other runners, and made friends with a horse on the last mile of the marathon.

I finished in 5 hours and 42 minutes (which is approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes longer than any human being should be running). I'm hoping to win my age division in the Most Awesome Jumping Picture category. I got a jump in at every photo spot including the finish line. Please, hold your applause. This will likely lead to lots of awkward photos but hopefully a few keepers.

It was so fun to get race reviews from my friends and brother at the finish line. Many of them even got PRs. We ignored our angry legs for a few seconds to get a group photo:

I joked that by the time I got to the finish line all the food would be gone and a volunteer would stand there with a sheepish smile and say "Um....sorry.....most of the food is gone.....but we have these left-over banana peels." Thankfully the Hostess store is right by the finish line! And thankfully I remembered money in my pack this year! I can think of no better post-race meal than cup cakes and raspberry filled donuts.

I wish I hadn't been in injury-recovery mode for the race so that my time would have been better. But I think as runners we realize that there are ups and downs, and we just need to take what we're handed and do the best we can. I feel happy with myself knowing that I took what I was handed and did the best I could do. I'm looking forward to doing the Ogden Marathon again in 364 more days!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Best Mile Of The Week

Last Friday I had the opportunity to leave on a lunch break and go have lunch at the elementary school with my daughter Danica. (Note to self: make sure to eat lunch at the school on days when they serve cherry Cutie Pies. Many kids don't like cherry Cutie Pies and will offer theirs to you. And cherry Cutie Pies are simply scrumptious.)

After lunch they had their last fun run of the year. This awesome program started by the awesome Mrs. McCombs and the awesome Liz Dansie lets the kids do a mile run once a month on the track. They get a stamp on their hand after each lap, and once they have finished a mile they get a Cougar Paw.

I had a blast running with Danica and her friends. It is so fun to see the kids scampering around the track effortlessly while I'm trying to coax my old bones around the loops. I even earned myself a cougar paw.

I am really proud of Jackson for earning a cougar paw for every month of the year. This was something he decided to do on his own and he has a cool keychain full of paws. Not too many kids did all the fun runs.

This was easily the best mile I ran all week.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My New Favorite Place To Run

Monday, May 9th 2011: 3 miles, easy pace. Mel and I went out late at night and made some loops around the block. I walked most of the time but ran a few stretches with her. We haven't run together for a while and we had lots of fun.

Tuesday, May 10th 2011: Rest. (Hydration = snow cone.)

Wednesday, May 11th 2011: 4 miles @ 11:41 minutes per mile pace. This was my first visit to the Grapevine Trail in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve and I think it became my favorite trail ever. It more closely resembles a rugged dirt road than a trail, and I appreciated the absence of ankle-twisting rocks.

This is the most beautiful time of year when the wildflowers are blooming. I couldn't help but stop a ton of times to take pictures.

At one point a huge bird flew over my head. A hawk? An eagle? Possibly a pterodactyl? I heard it before I saw it. I wish I had my camera ready faster because that sucker was HUGE!

I had a blast. My only regret is that I was limited on time, otherwise I would have loved to go farther. If you're a trail runner or mountain biker, this trail is a MUST.

Thursday, May 12th 2011: 17.4 mile bike ride in 1 hour & 7 minutes (15.5 mph). I rode the back side to the top of Nemesis and back home. While I was riding, something large smacked into my chest. I didn't see what it was. A bumblebee? A grass hopper? Rack of lamb? Whatever it was, it was HUGE. I pulled out my phone for a picture while I was riding:

Friday, May 13th 2011: Rest.

Saturday, May 14th 2011: 6.5 miles, don't know the pace. I intentionally didn't take my Garmin and I'm considering leaving it at home for the Ogden Marathon next week.

I like to run and ride by myself and I enjoy the time alone. I really liked this group run though (aside from the 4:20am wake-up call). We went on a dirt road / paved trail in Washington but I'm not sure what it was called. Most of the run was with Mel and Braydon. It was beautiful and I'm anxious to go back again.

Here, my friends, is one of the coolest quotes I've come across. I will certainly try to remember it during the Ogden Marathon next week!

"It's a long, hard road and it's going to have its bumps; there are going to be times when you fall and times when you don't feel like going on anymore, times when you're just crazy tired but it takes focusing on that one step you're taking. That's what I'm trying to do with the marathon; I don't think about the miles that are coming down the road, I don't think about the mile I'm on right now, I don't think about the miles I've already covered. I think about what I'm doing right now, just being lost in the moment."
~ Ryan Hall on running a marathon

Sunday, May 8, 2011

St. George Ironman 2011

We had an incredible day yesterday spectating and volunteering at the 2011 St. George Ironman! I told my wife that I feel like each Ironman participant is like a celebrity because of what they've accomplished. The more I've gotten into each sport, the more I realize how absolutely amazing it is that a human being can swim 2.4 miles, THEN bike 112 miles, THEN run 26.2 miles. It is indescribable.

We arrived at Sand Hollow Reservoir and the crowd looked bigger than when we came last year. It was beautiful to watch the sun rising over the water:

I was happy to be hanging out with my son Jackson and my brother-in-law Kelly who came down from Bountiful:

In the evening my sister Hollie, Mel, and I volunteered as catchers at the finish line from around 7:30pm until midnight. We had the best seat in the house helping the Ironman racers as they finished the race:

We had a bunch of friends doing the race and it was great to talk to them afterward. Our friend Ashley did the race last year and was crazy enough to come back again!

My sister Hollie is a race volunteer expert and had lots of fun. The first person we helped after our shift started wasn't feeling too good. We had to dodge some projectile barf, but that's definitely understandable considering the 95 DEGREE heat! I helped a guy who has completed many Ironmans including the World Championships in Kona and he said this was the hardest course he has ever done. Add that course to an unusually hot day and you have yourself a challenging race.

Mel and I helped a lady who was so happy and enthusiastic as she crossed the finish line. Then I looked down and saw that she was wearing CROCS! Yep, Crocs! We talked for a while and I found out that her name is Lorraine Gersitz and she is an official Crocks Ambassador with an AWESOME blog you can check out HERE. (She has run 161 marathons and LOTS of ultramarathons!) She was so friendly and kind.

Some of the professional athletes came to watch the end of the race which was so cool. It is awesome to be with people who excel at one of the hardest things someone could ever do. I was able to talk with Heather Wurtele who won the female division last year, came back this year, AND WON AGAIN! Simply incredible. She was so nice (and walking so good considering that she won the women's race earlier in the day!).

I also met Mathias Hecht who won the St. George Ironman this year and set a new course record of 8 hours and 32 minutes!

We had so much fun being involved in this event. It was great to spend time with Hollie and Mel. I admire every person who crossed that finish line and became an Ironman!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fun In The Desert

Monday, May 2nd 2011: 20 mile bike ride in 1 hour & 19 minutes (average 15.2 mph). It was a beautiful ride out to Sand Hollow Reservoir and back. The road had recently been re-paved so I got lots of junk in my trunk. (Junk = rocks, trunk = gears.) I slowed down to take a picture while I was riding:

Tuesday, May 3rd 2011: I'll let you in on a little secret: I had been considering registering for the Utah Half Ironman in August. My experience on Tuesday changed my mind. The deciding factor: going to the swimming pool. In considering the half Ironman, I minimized the fact that you need to swim 1.2 miles! Don't get me wrong: I can swim. I wouldn't drown if my boat sunk in the lake. But this is totally different than being able to cover a significant distance in a limited time.

I know that my problem is form. I'm slow in the water and I get worn out quickly. But here's the thing: I don't care. I don't want to get better at swimming. Everyone in my family knows that I'm not a fan of swimming, or water for that matter. If it was something I enjoyed, I would be interested in improving. But I don't enjoy it. I loathe it. So I decided to forgo the half Ironman and stick to what I like: running and biking.

Wednesday, May 4th 2011: 1 hour in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. This was my first attempt at "running" since taking 10 days off after the Red Mountain 50k. My knees are still achy but I feel improvement every single day. I walked most of the time, but did a few bursts of slow jogging. I am being very cautious to make sure my knees recover as much as possible before the Ogden Marathon in a few weeks. I did parts of the Cottonwood Hills Trail and the Prospector Trail. The scenery was incredible:

The Red Cliffs Desert Reserve is a.....wait for it.....desert reserve so the area and animals are well-protected. I came across this fella walking right across the trail:

Thursday, May 5th 2011: Rest. If you don't count the 50k race, I have run a total of around 40 miles in the last six weeks since my knees started acting up. During my peak training a few months ago, I was running 40 miles a week for my rest week. I realize this may make it difficult to PR. If I'm not feeling good on race day I'll just take it easy and shoot for a PR at Utah Valley a month later. It's all good.

Friday, May 6th 2011: 12 mile bike ride in 55 minutes.

Saturday, May 7th 2011: Volunteering at the finish line of Ironman St. George! Pictures and report coming soon.

"There's no magic to running far or climbing Everest. Endurance is mental strength. It's all about heart."
~ Bear Grylls, Host of Man vs. Wild

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


My knees are feeling much better after taking a week off running. There is improvement each day. They're not 100% though so I'm just going to take it easy for the next little while to make sure they are feeling good before the Ogden Marathon.

I had lots of fun volunteering at the finish line of the Hurricane Half Marathon this weekend. I decided it would be a good time for the hideous bright orange pom-pom hat to make its second appearance at a race (click here for the first).

Right after a guy crossed the finish line, he walked past me and proceeded to barf all over the place. My first reaction was that it was pretty disgusting. But my second reaction was that it was pretty darn awesome. When was the last time you REALLY pushed yourself to this point during a race? For me, never. (It seems like other achy body parts start acting up before I can really push to exhaustion.) I thought it was cool.

The best part of the race was when my co-worker Melinda Caron crossed the finish line of her FIRST half marathon! I issued a challenge to co-workers last year to start a training plan to prepare for this race and she took up the challenge. She has worked hard for many, many months. It was great to see her cross the finish line and it reminded me of my first half marathon two years ago. Way to go Melinda!


I was at a conference all week for work. It was inside the MGM Grand Casino conference area. I was sitting in cramped chairs for days on end. I was breathing lots of smoke. I drank much more Diet Mountain Dew than water. And the food options were very limited. No fruits, no vegetables. I did not eat good. Case in point: this nasty hot dog combo:

But I discovered a glorious morsel straight from heaven: the chocolate croissant. I pounded six of these big muthers while I was there.

By the end of the week I felt utterly disgusting. I had no energy. It felt like high fructose corn syrup and trans-fat were flowing like sludge through my arteries. I'm no health food nut (obvious if you've read this blog longer than 1 week), but this was the extreme of crappy eating.


I'm certain that a few more weeks living like this would have had a drastic effect on my appearance.

I am so thankful to be back home and back into my normal routine. Long meetings + crappy food wore me out. If I never eat a hot dog again, it will be too soon.