Skunk Hollow Sneaker Chase Race Recap

Really? Is August really starting tomorrow??

How have I done 8 races this year already?

phew…lets get to the race recap!

Last Saturday I was closer to home in Casper racing a trail race on the mountain.

This race and I have a history. Last year I got to run the inaugural race, and I was going back for seconds this year.

You can kind of read about my cool little experience that I had with this race right here!

I was headed up to Casper on Friday evening; and was sufficiently tucked into bed nice and early.

I was up nice and early to give us plenty of time to get up the mountain and get some food in my belly.

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Sadly I have miss placed my pink socks…must find those before my next race.

We met my dad and sister at the start of the race. Mom couldn’t make this race, some excuse about fires. Weird. 😉

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They had a runners meeting before the race and before this meeting the race director saw us and came and asked us what it was all about. Immediately I felt tears well up in my eyes. She asked if I would like to say something and I knew I couldn’t do it. She had taken down some information and then mentioned it and introduced me during this meeting.

As mentioned. I ran this race last year. The course was the exact same. 2 loops of 8 miles. It becomes more of a mental battle than anything to get through the two loops. That whole first loop the only thing you can think of is I have to go back up this hill again?! There is a aid station halfway through the loop at mile 4. I knew that after making it to mile 4 it was more of rolling hills rather than long 1 mile climbs like first few miles are.

The 16 mile group started at 8 and the 8 mile group started at 830.

Miles 1-4

There were 18 of us in the 16 mile and like 90 some in the 8 mile. We spread out pretty quickly with the 16 mile group. I ran with a girl for the first mile and then once we hit the downhill I took advantage and let my legs go, because I knew that mile 2-3 was a nice and steady uphill climb. But once I crested the hill I knew that I could fly down into the aid station.

I pulled into the aid station grabbed a water and gatorade. The oranges were HUGE! I couldn’t believe it. I grabbed an orange slice and took of to finish the second half of the trail.

After about mile 2 I started to see the really pretty and gorgeous orange and black butterflies, Monarch Butterflies, flying around with me. They would zip back and forth along the trail and when one would fly off another would appear right in front of it.

I have always thought of butterflies as proof that somebody was with me. I had 14 strong people helping me through this race every step of the way.

Miles 4-8

I was still feeling pretty good for the second half of that first lap. I caught some 8 milers that must have started earlier than everyone else and they let me know I was the first girl. I felt pretty good about that, but knew that I was being hunted. I got to see Aron at mile 6.5 ish and I knew that I was oh so close to the start of the second loop and another aid station.

I cruised into the aid station grabbed a water and gatorade and headed back out on the trail. I did have my fuel belt with me the entire time and was drinking water pretty regularly from it. It was hot out, not a cloud in the sky. We also had shade from the trees on the mountain.

Miles 8-12

I got to see my sister and Dad right after the aid station and my sister had made the comment that I was first girl and to not lose my lead, but I knew there was a girl hot on my heals behind me.

The hill climbs were my big killer. I’ll be the first to admit. I didn’t train as hard as I should have. Heck, I didn’t run at all between Bighorn and this race. A whole month. Something called fire season had gotten in the way. So I knew that this race was going to be a battle.

The other girl caught me about mile 10 and slowly jogged past me. We started winding back up through the single track and I lost sight of her. I quickly then became the hunter.

I kept getting butterflies left and right with me. When I started to doubt what I was doing I was blessed to see another butterfly. At one point I looked down at a particular rock and it was heart shaped. Then my mind began to wander if I make this stuff up in my head or if these people who I am honoring are really with me. As soon as I had the thought 2 butterflies appeared right in front of me. I thought to myself “ok, ok, you are here. All 14 of you.”

I started to slightly cramp in my legs but nothing too crippling.

As I pulled into the aid station the nice lady refilled one of my water bottles on my belt. I had been dying for grapes since I left the 8 mile aid station and grabbed a handful of them. Also more gatorade and water. The volunteers then told me that the lady was less than a minute ahead of me. Time to get my hunt on.

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About mile 13 I really started to struggle with the cramping. My feet all the way up to my quads would seize up and just kill. I would have to walk a few steps to get the cramping under control. I knew I was in the final home stretch I just had to keep strong and push through the pain.

The second half of this course is my favorite! The rolling hills, the single track, the nice shaded spots.

When I hit the 1.5 mile mark to go I knew I was home free I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

My dad met me with like .25 mile to go. I was a hurting unit at this time, but I of course couldn’t let me dad outrun me (but somehow he did). As I neared the finish line he pulled off and told me “Finish strong for them.” I gave the best little sprint my cramping calf muscles would give. With every step they seized up and would relax between strides.

I crossed the finish like 10 minutes slower than last years time.

But for not training or running. I’ll take it. I knew I was second overall female and I was pretty pleased with that. I was mad at myself that I had the lead for more than half the race, but I was pretty happy with my finish.

As I crossed the finish line I bent over in pain. My legs were shot. I almost even fell flat on my face. The race director made a comment about “it hurts so good, doesn’t it Ashley?” No, no it doesn’t.

I hobbled up to the aid station to get some grapes, water and gatorade. Then proceeded to hobble to the food spot. I wasn’t hungry at all. I took my shoes and socks off almost immediately and my feet did start cramping hard core. I just had to sit through the pain until it finally went away.

They were doing awards shortly after and to my surprise I won my age group…again! I surprised the heck out of myself and won last year also. So now I have 2 really super cool giant cow bells! 🙂

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I know, though, that I couldn’t have done it without those strong and courageous 14 men and women pushing me the entire way. They were the reason I was out there on that trail. They were most definitely the reason I had finished this race. They were part of the bigger picture of Two Little Feet.

Thank you for your continued support!

Tomorrow starts a new month. A new race to look forward to. More fallen heroes to honor.

Have you donated? 

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Running for the Fallen – July Edition

Goodness. I can’t believe it really is July already.

This year has just been flying by!

Yesterday was a tough day across the wildland fire community. We had made it to the 1 year anniversary of the tragic loss of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots. They will forever be in my thoughts and prayers. I feel extremely honored to be able to have ran not one, but two incredible races in their honor in June.

Unfortunately a week later we are honoring another tragic loss.

These individuals have continued to be remembered for 20 years now and I am honored to run for them on July 26th in Casper.

The 14 lives we lost in South Canyon on that fateful day in 1994 will never be forgotten.

I remember being younger and making the hike up to the site with my family. I didn’t totally understand the whole situation at the time. Today, I look forward to the day that I can make that hike again and really spend time at the site and fully understand the hows and whys of it all.

We are still learning from the accident 20 years later and I truly feel like we will continue to learn.

I want those 14 men and women to never be forgotten.

I want their families to know that we, as a wildland fire community, are still standing by their sides. We are still praying for their healing.

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Kathi Beck
Tammi Bickett
Scott Blecha
Levi Brinkley
Terri Hagen
Bonnie Holtby
Rob Johnson
Jon Kelso
Jim Thrash
Richard Tyler
Doug Dunbar
Robert Browning
Roger Roth
Don Mackey

Please think about their families as the 20th anniversary approaches.

Please think about donating in their honor.

Celebrate their lives.

Bighorn Trail Run 30k

On Saturday I got to run in my backyard in the Bighorns. I have spent time on the trails I was going to be running on.

I left Rawlins Thursday night and was able to have a very low key day on Friday.

Saturday morning I was up at 520 to get dressed and make sure I had everything before we started the drive to the start.

We were headed up the hill about 615ish and made it in plenty of time to watch the 50k race start at 8am.

I had plenty of time to get food in my belly and just relax before the race.

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This race was the 2nd one for June and I was honoring more of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

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My husband and little sister took me to the start and we patiently waited for Mom and Dad to show up.

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As we clicked closer to 9 am, I was getting worried that my parents weren’t going to make the start, but they pulled into the parking lot with about 15 minutes to spare.

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It was looking to be a pretty perfect day for a run through the trails. I only wish now that I had put on more sunscreen.

I had little to no expectations going into the race. I just wanted to have fun! I knew I wanted to finish and I had a goal of 3.5 hours. I would have liked to be under 3 hours, but that was only if I was feeling really good.

Miles 1-5

There was a brief downhill before you started a little climb. I knew I just wanted to take my time climbing. I kept telling myself that I had to save some for the road out of the canyon. I knew if I felt good coming out of the canyon I would be pretty satisfied. I wanted to race smart. Once you crested the climb you hit a 4 wheel trail that was slightly downhill. It was a really good road to spread out on and just cruise through. I think I hit my fastest mile of the day on this portion. It was just nice to stride out and not have to watch every step. After the road we were on single track pretty much the rest of the way.

Seeing an aid station on a trail run has got to be the best feeling ever. The first aid station was right after mile 5 and right before “the haul.” I walked into the aid station, grabbed some water and pretzels. They had so much food I didn’t know what I wanted, but knew with my game plan to take any kind of calories at every stop. I did carry gels with me, but actually only ended up eating a whole one of them for the whole 18 miles.

Miles 6-10

You still cruise downhill for a little bit after the aid station, but then you hit “the haul.” Which is basically straight up the mountain from one canyon up and over into the next. I knew this would probably be the toughest part of the course and once I was up and over it was all downhill from there. Little did I know that I would need the guys’ strength on the downhill more than anything. Those downhills are no joke. I was not physically ready for them. I jumped off the side multiple times to let people pass (only to later catch them on the road). Numerous times I called upon the guys for strength, but I think they let me know they were there but also let me know this was something I was strong enough to do myself. Every time I needed them, every time I asked for something from them I got it. Numerous times on the trail I just wanted to know they were there. I knew they were the breeze in my face, the flowers blooming along the course, the birds chirping like crazy in the distance. A couple times coming off the mountain I had a black and white butterfly fly right in front of me and keep pace with me for a little ways before it would take off into the sky. I knew that was them telling me that I had to use my own strength to get myself through this, but they were there cheering me on the whole way.

I knew exactly where this aid station would be as the hubs and I spend dang near every spring in this canyon getting our hiking legs back under us. I again walked into the aid station. They had fruit and sweets. Anything you could want after being 10+ miles into a trail race. I grabbed some fruit and water and enjoyed my little rest. I knew I had just over a mile until I was to the county road.

Miles 11 and 12

I had never seen this trail so green and filled with the spring colors. It was gorgeous, but on the flip side it was definitely a little toasty. These last few miles also paralleled the river running down the canyon. I had to do everything in my power not to jump into the water.

At this 3rd aid station, I had some more fruit, water, and heed (similar to Gatorade). They also had a nice little spray station and I made sure I was soaked before I left. They also had a little soda station set up and I figured Pepsi sounds really freaking good right now, so why not. As I left the aid station one of the volunteers said it was 3 miles to the next station. I was thrilled when I was told that because I thought the next “station” was the finish line.

Miles 13-16

The road. I was excited to be on the road because that’s where I felt most comfortable, but when I realized the road had NO shade coverage I was wishing I was back on the trail. People had began to bonk and slow down. I started noticing the people I was passing were people that had passed me on the downhill and good 5 miles ago. I just kept my eyes to the front and my head held high. I had to stop and get a rock out of my shoe at one point and as soon as I started to put my foot back in my shoe I felt it start to cramp along with my whole shin starting to seize up. I knew that I had to keep moving in order to keep the cramping at bay. I knew that the finish line was getting closer with every step. Along this road was one house that had encouraging signs in front and a boom box playing Eye of the Tiger. If that didn’t make you want to run with every last bit of energy you had I don’t know what would have.

The closer we got to the aid stations there were kids running up to runners handing them popsicles. Freaking popsicles! That thing never tasted so good. The ice cold goodness and the amount of sugar in that thing was exactly what I needed to get me the last little bit into town. Once I reached the official aid station I took some more water and again another swig of Pepsi. Surprisingly enough I never had any stomach issues.

Miles 16-Finish

I had driven this stupid county road so many times I was ready to see the bridge at the highway. I kept praying that it would appear. And I finally did. I saw off in the distance a purple shirt and heard the cowbell. As I got closer I realized they were waiting at the corner for me. It was my dad! As I reached him he said “you look good” and I simply responded with “I feel good.” I did. I really did feel pretty good considering I was nearing 18 miles on probably one of the toughest courses I have ever ran.

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I ran into the finish with my head held high and my arms raised. I had conquered the 30k of the Bighorn Trail Run.

I was damn proud of myself.

Official time 3:17:44
96/340 overall
50/212 females
9/43 F20-29

I collected my finisher t-shirt and hobbled my way to the side to meet up with me family.

Ok readers this is where it gets really fantastic. Are you ready? Might want a chair and some tissues.

An older gentleman came over a handed me $20 for the Foundation. He told me about how he had to pop his shelter years ago on a fire in New Mexico. He also told me that he fed the Granite Mountain boys dinner days before they died. If that right there doesn’t prove to you that those boys were there with me on Saturday. I don’t know how much more proof you need.

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After that I sat down and had the hubs do what he does best after each race, the removal of the compression socks.

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Remember how I was dying to get in the river too? Yup, that happened also.

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The hubs asked for my best “Bighorn Trail Face” and this is what he got.

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Thank you for all the encouraging words and continued support along this crazy journey!

I couldn’t ask for a better support crew in my corner!

Mickelson Trail Half Marathon Race Recap

I love race weekends, but really hate them. They just go by so fast and I never feel refreshed coming back to work on Monday.

My mom and I ran the Mickelson Trail Half Marathon this past weekend in Deadwood, SD.

I ran this race last year and thought this would be the perfect race for my mom’s first half since its on a gravel/sandy trail most of the way and its a heavily downhill course.

I left Rawlins on Friday night. If you would believe it I was out of here a little later than normal because we got a few new IAs. Nothing major, but nice to have some activity.

Made it to Casper and crashed at my sister’s house for the night. Then, her and I were up nice and early for the trip to Gillette to meet up with Mom, Dad and the hubs.

Once, we met up with them we had an hour and a half drive to Deadwood.

We had no problem picking up our bibs and then it was off to downtown Deadwood to gamble all our money away.

Since last years disaster of getting food was fresh in our minds we made sure that we were on top of it this time around and were sitting down to eat dinner by 5 that night.

We were tucked into bed nicely by 9 with our gear ready to go.

We didn’t have to ride the buses to the start, thankfully. It was really a breeze getting up to the start.

We drove through an absolute downpour and I was suddenly concerned I was not prepared for the day.

The farther we drove up the hill the rain disappeared. Thankfully. I knew the rain was a sure sign from the guys that they were there with us.

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We hung out at the truck for a little bit before making our way to the start. We had about 15 minutes to go before the start and we left all our warm clothes in the truck. I was doing ok until we stopped moving around then I started to shiver pretty bad. Then again, the Granite Mountain guys made their presence known and the sun broke through the clouds. It was so nice and warm. The skies began to clear off and I was certain we would be able to finish this thing without the threat of rain.

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We were headed down the trail at 8 o’clock!

I told my mom I would run this whole race, from start to finish with her. It was so cool to get to experience all of this with her! It was her first half marathon and every step after mile 12 would be a personal distance record for her.

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Within the first mile we got to see Eddie, Dad and Aron all cheering for us. Its always a good boost when you see your own cheerleaders along the course.

The Deadwood trail is absolutely gorgeous! It winds through the hills and gives you some pretty spectacular views of the Black Hills National Forest.

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I knew there was a hill at mile 5ish and I warned Mom to eat a gel before getting to the hill so it would have time to get through her system and help her up the hill. I also wanted her to get something in her system so she didn’t feel completely zapped after the long hill.

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Of course I had fun with this race since I carried Mom’s phone the whole way!

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Mom was strong the whole stinking way! Of course towards the later miles she felt slight discomfort, but said that it hurt less when she ran so we just kept on running.

We came upon mile 10 and I told her we only had a 5k left to go and her response was “I don’t know if I can make it.” Right after that it started to lightly sprinkle on us and then grew to a little more steady rain. My immediate response back to her was, “this is just the boys telling you to get on your pony and finish this thing. You aren’t alone. They’re here.” She giggled and said, “that’s a little hotshot humor for ya.”

The miles 10-12 were probably the toughest mentally, but after we hit that last aid station we were flying into town and ready to finish this thing!

I knew that family members were waiting for us at mile 13 ish.

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Mom was smiling ear to ear as we inched closer to that finish line. We were going to finish this thing!

We ran into the finishing chute with our hands and heads held high!

I was so proud of my mom! I’m sure she was happy to be done.

For her first half marathon she finished with a time of 2:37:30.

Thank you to everyone who sent us well wishes the days leading up and even during the run.

Thank you to the Granite Mountain guys for showing me that they were with us the whole way and never gave up on us!

Running for the Fallen – June Edition

June is set to be my busiest month for running this year.

I have 2 races scheduled 3 weeks apart.

My first one comes on June 1st in Deadwood, SD.

The second ones comes June 21st right in my backyard of the Bighorns.

It just worked out perfectly to have two races in June.

At the end of June it will be 1 year since we lost the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots on Yarnell Hill.

I know the 19 guys will be with me when I toe the line of both races.

Last year in July, I ran my first trail race. It was a 16 miler on Casper Mountain and I was terrified to say the least. I had no clue what I was getting myself into.

On the drive down to Casper we rode our motorcycle and you don’t really have too many conversations while you’re riding a motorcycle on the interstate. So I had a lot of time in my own mind.

It had literally only been a few weeks since we laid the guys to rest. I thought a lot about them. I prayed to them a lot on the way down. Just to let me have fun and to let me learn from it all. I prayed that they be there with me when times got tough, because I knew damn well it was going to be tough. I prayed that they give me the strength that I needed when I wanted to quit. I just wanted every single one of them right there next to me when I crossed that starting line and again when I crossed the finish line.

We went to bed that night and got up the next morning to drive up the mountain. I, again, just asked for their protection, guidance, strength, and toughness as I ran this race.

Those 19 guys were with me for all 16 miles that day. I felt them when I was at my lowest on the course and I felt them when I was at my highest accepting my award for 1st place female of my age group.

I was second overall female that day. Only 2nd to the high school track coach who was truly a beast!

I am extremely excited to have the chance to honor those 19 men.

I will run for 9 on June 1st and I will run for the other 10 on June 21st.

It doesn’t matter which race I am running I know all 19 will be right there with me for both races.

The race a week from today is also pretty special because I will run this race with my mom. She made the mistake of telling me that she wanted to run a half marathon once in her life. Before she could change her mind we had her signed up! She’s been training her little booty off and she’s ready to go. I’m excited to be with her every step of the way!

My honorees are as follows.

June 1st:

Andrew Ashcraft
Robert Caldwell
Travis Carter
Dustin Deford
Chistopher MacKenzie
Eric Marsh
Grant McKee
Sean Misner
Scott Norris
Wade Parker

June 21st:

John Percin
Anthony Rose
Jesse Steed
Joe Thurston
Travis Turbyfill
William Warneke
Clayton Whitted
Kevin Woyjeck
Garret Zuppiger

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Please think about donating in honor in any of these 19 men.

Please pray for their families to continue to heal from the loss of their loved one.

Family Weekend at the Foundation

We went to Boise for more than just the marathon.

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation hosts Family Weekend every year.

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It’s a chance for families of the fallen to connect, to remember their loved ones. To celebrate their lives.

Of course we went to honor my uncle.

I also had a few people to meet at the Foundation since all anyone knew who I was was Two Little Feet.

It was truly a weekend I won’t forget.

I was truly touched that some of the family members knew who I was and knew my mission.

I had the privilege of meeting a few parents of the fallen I have honored, including some of the fallen that I had honored that day in the marathon.

I can’t put into words what being at the Foundation truly meant to me.

The best I can do is share some of the images I was able to capture while there.

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I took a couple minutes to find the markers of the fallen I have honored. I spent a few special moments with them.

I added purple heart rocks, because I truly only saw it the way it had to be.

We also let butterflies go, but since it was so chilly they weren’t in too big of a hurry to leave the area.

I was extremely honored when the Foundation presented me with an award for my efforts for Two Little Feet. I had to explain to everyone what Two Little Feet was all about and it was hard to keep the tears in.

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I am going to put it on the shelf that will be put right above my medal hanger. I absolutely love it. I am truly touched and this was something I was not expecting at all.

I will be back to Family Weekend, and probably the marathon for that matter.

I feel honored to be part of this family, to be part of the wildland fire community.

Famous Idaho Potato Marathon

Hello from warm and sunny Boise, ID. We all even have sunburns to prove it!

After a day full of traveling yesterday we made it safely into Boise by early afternoon and headed down to pick up packets.

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I never really felt too nervous yesterday. I even went to bed feeling excited for today. Ready for the challenge that awaited me at 7am on Saturday morning.

I set my alarm for 445 and was trying to fall asleep by 9 ish. I had to get up at 10 and go to the bathroom. I guess at least I was hydrated.

Since every one else didn’t need to be ready until 8ish, I was on my own for the pre-race morning photo.

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Dad and I were leaving the hotel at 515 and I was on the bus headed to the start.

It was a breezy 50* at the start and I’m glad I had a few extra layers on.

We were delayed getting off because we were waiting for the people in line at the bathrooms. What race does that? Apparently the Famous Idaho Potato does.

Mile 1: 9:10 Mile 2: 8:25 Mile 3: 8:29 Mile 4: 8:10

I saw a good family friend at mile 1. I was so excited to see him! I wasn’t expecting to see anyone until ~mile 6ish.

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I couldn’t believe how fast this first part of the race flew by. It is probably because I knew I wasn’t ending at 13.1 so I wasn’t counting down the miles as soon.

Mile 5: 8:11 Mile 6: 8:08 Mile 7: 8:13 Mile 8: 8:22

I knew running with all the half marathoners was a bad idea. I felt great keeping up with every one. Only to have it eat my lunch later. At mile 6, I knew to look for a twitter friend and I’m so glad he yelled at me and cheered me on. Thanks Andrew! Just the pep I needed.

This race was downhill, flat and fast. It was on a trail system in Boise for the most part. A lot of the trail was heavily shaded. It would have been pretty perfect weather for the half marathon.

Mile 9: 8:28 Mile 10: 8:27 Mile 11: 8:45

I knew that I would get to see my parents and sister around mile 10. So I just kept trying to make it to that point. I still looked (and felt) good at this point.

Mile 11 ish I decided that I needed to taste the pavement and took a digger. Skinned up my palm and knee. But popped right back up, tried to get my adrenaline under control and continue on. I have no idea what I did. I don’t remember tripping over anything. Just simply fell.

Mile 12: 8:53 Mile 13: 9:40

I found a porta potty at 12.5 ish and decided to take advantage of it.

The half marathoners turn right before mile 13 and head in to the finish line. It wasn’t a very good feeling to watch them turn and listen to the party going on and still have a half to go. But I dug deep and headed on.

The amount of racers thinned out pretty good too at this point. It was nice for a little silence to think in my own mind instead of worrying about if someone was passing when I was trying to pass.

I could feel the guys with me on and off all morning, but when it turned into the second half of the course I could really feel their presence.

I got to see Aron at this point. I was pretty excited to show him my battle wounds.

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Mile 14: 9:07 Mile 15: 9:09 Mile 16: 9:39

I was still chugging along and was feeling pretty good. Until about mile 20sih. I hit that wall every marathoner warns you about. It was a dog fight to find the inner strength. I had to call on the guys to give me some energy. I had started walking through aid stations about mile 14. Also started taking water and gatorade about mile 16. That, I should have started sooner, because I started to get some serious cramps a little later on.

My pace had slowly started to drop, and I know it was partly because I tried racing those damn half marathoners. I was also dealing with warmer temperatures than I have trained long runs in. Plus the second half didn’t have as great of cover in the shade as it did in the first half.

Mile 17: 9:34 Mile 18: 9:33 Mile 19: 9:38

When I hit mile 17 I kind felt a jolt of energy and thought 9 miles. I can do 9 more miles. I was still happy with my times, even though a little slower than hoped. The turn around point was after 19. This is where I slowly started to hit the wall.

Mile 20: 10:07 Mile 21: 10:51 Mile 22: 10:38

I was just trying to keep a fairly steady pace.

Then I started to cramp in the fronts of my calves and one quad. The only thing that helped was walking, so that’s what I did.

Mile 23: 12:25 Mile 24: 12:06

Right here was the toughest part mentally for me. The cramps in my legs were getting the best of me. Even though I continued to take water and gatorade, but I think I wasn’t far enough ahead of it.

Then I suddenly caught a second wind.

Mile 25: 10:10

I knew were I was. I knew that I was almost to the home stretch. I knew my family would be there.

I finally got to cross over that same bridge that the half marathoners got to 2 hours ago.

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Usually I am the one waiting patiently at the finish line for everyone. But today, everyone was waiting for me.

Dad ran with me from the corner into the finish line. Mom joined in at the final turn for home.

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Some how, Dad even talked me into a “happy dance” at mile 26.1. OUCH!

I ran into the finishers chute looking at the clock showing 4:07.

Goal #1 going into this race was to finish. Accomplished.

Goal #2 was to go sub 4. That goal will have to wait.

I have a new PR for the marathon.

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This is the face of a rookie marathoner. It really does hurt that bad.

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Official time: 4:07:11
9th out of 23 F25-29
39th out of 115 females
108th out of 260 for the marathon

I learned a lot. I grew a lot as a runner. I came from someone 4 years ago who thought she could never run a marathon to being a 4:07 marathoner.

I’ve got some work to do before my next full in August, but you bet your ass I’ll be ready for it. I’m going sub 4!

I know I couldn’t have done it without carrying those guys with me. When I started to cramp I wanted to give up, but they were right there telling me to get on my horse and finish this thing strong. That’s exactly what I did.

Of course, what would be the Famous Idaho Potato Marathon without a picture with the Famous Potato?

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The Final Countdown

I am finishing up my last day of work with my current employer today.

I am (hopefully) packed for the 6 months in Rawlins and for the weekend.

I hate the anxiety of race weekends. The what ifs. What if I forget something? What if I sleep in? What if I totally bonk? See….stressful.

Aron and I are loaded up and ready to begin the travel time to Boise.

We will stay in Cody tonight and then rise and shine with the birds and roosters and head the rest of the way on Friday.

Saturday as you know I will be at the start line of my first full marathon.

Nerves have fully set in.

Aron was up and headed to work around 445 this morning and typically I sleep until 6ish. This morning, my tummy was full of knots. I just laid in bed, snuggled up with all 3 pups and just enjoyed being lazy. I wasn’t going back to sleep to save my life.

The last 20 weeks of training come down to this weekend.

Catch you guys on the flip side.

As always there is still time to donate.

Homerun for the Homeless 5k

This last weekend was pretty full of excitement.

But no long run was necessary.

You see, I run my first FULL marathon THIS Saturday!

Am I nervous?

Yes.

Am I scared?

Yes.

Am I excited?

Yes.

Do I feel emotional?

Yes.

Am I ready?

You bet your sweet ass I am!

There has been some change occurring in the world of Two Little Feet, AKA me.

I recently took a job in Rawlins, WY with the BLM. I will be a dispatcher in the wildland fire dispatch office. This is beyond exciting for me! I’m excited to be entering back into fire. I have worked in dispatch on and off since I was 16, and I am so ready to be back in fire.

The hubs and I spent the last week getting my new “home” ready for the trip to Rawlins.

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Since I will only be in Rawlins for summer months we decided that this was the best option, and a good learning experience for me.

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Once I was all setup in my new quarters it was off to Denver for us for the rest of Saturday and Sunday morning.

We were signed up for the 5k that the Colorado Rockies put on Mother’s Day.

The cool thing about this race (besides it being on Mother’s Day) is that you finish with a lap around the warning track on Coors Field.

Unfortunately that lap around the warning track only happens with the weather is nice. Colorado (and Wyoming) weather had a minor meltdown and decided that it needed to snow again.

It was snowing, sleeting, raining, and windy.

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The temperature was hovering right around 40*, but it was super wet and soggy.

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Luckily we were only running 3.1 miles and it was over before I barely even got warmed up. I was soaked from the outside in from all the moisture in the air.

It was nice to take it easy. I didn’t want to burnout the legs too much with the marathon coming up on Saturday.

After the race we showered and were on the road for home. The roads were fairly favorable with some hit or miss drifts in Wyoming. We made it home at a decent hour.

We were greeted by the pups and had enough time to relax a few hours.

Now, time to focus on the task that comes at the end of the week.

Here’s to nothing!

There is (as always) still time to donate!

I hope to see some of you out there on Saturday! Whether it be the 5k, 10k, half or running the full! Be sure to get a hold of me so I can look for you!

The last one.

I am in taper mode now.

This morning I headed out for my last long run. Thankfully I had a running buddy this morning to keep me accountable.

I had every intention of running yesterday morning.

I woke up and fueled.

I dressed to head out.

Then I stepped outside. Overcast. A cooler 40*. I was dressed for the weather, but was immediately cold.

I thought that I would give it a little bit and see if it cleared or warmed up any.

Neither happened. So I bagged my run.

But immediately rescheduled it for this morning with hopes of having better weather.

I even managed to rope a friend, who ran a tough half marathon course on Saturday, into running the whole thing with me.

If it wasn’t for said friend, I don’t know that I would have ran again today. It was the same as yesterday. Cool and overcast. Actually pretty perfect running weather.

So we were out the door at 8 am sharp with 16 miles scheduled.

After last weekends iffy 21 miles, I was eager to see how I felt after these 16.

We managed to get 16 done with no major issues. I felt like I could have done another 10 miles if I had to.

Again, my confidence feels on the higher end. Tomorrow may be a different story.

I just have some shorter mild runs this week and next week to keep my legs awake and alive.

We are on the final countdown to THE marathon.