My name is Mike and on August 21, 2010, I ran my first marathon.
I ran for a couple of reasons.
First, I have an uncle who reached a major milestone in his life by running in his 100th marathon. I chose to run alongside him in an effort to celebrate and support this major accomplishment.
Second, as a foster parent, I would like to raise awareness about the foster system and help raise money for the children. Please help support me by donating to the Utah Foster Care Foundation directly using the donation widget to the right.
I have created this site as a platform to keep all my supporters abreast of my training, to raise awareness for the initiatives I am supporting, as well as a way to keep up the motivation.
Thanks for stopping by and please come back often to see my progress.
Hey did you hear I am a two time Saint? But did you hear also, that I am a first time Sinner?
What started out as a year long goal last year, is finally coming to completion this weekend. I am on my way out the door to travel down to Las Vegas to run as Runner 12 of Team Honey Badgers for Ragnar Las Vegas.
The hope last year was that I could do Wasatch Back and Las Vegas in the same year, to become part of a special group of runners who get a special medal for completing Wasatch Back and Las Vegas in the same year. But Vegas fell through due to last minute team member drop outs. Some of the members that were going to do Vegas last year rolled into the my team for Wasatch Back in June of this year.
Wasatch Back this year was a fun time. I enjoyed running with old and new friends. But I really struggled through my runs and ended up getting car sick twice which lead to a vomiting twice. Being Captain was an interesting experience too and was rather stressful. When all was said and done I wasn’t sure I would be doing it again. The Ragnar bug latched onto some virgin runners on the team and they were willing to take the Captain reigns for Wasatch Back 2012. Some of the veteran runners, however were not so sure they were up for another year and then Wasatch Back 2012 sold out in like two weeks after opening to the public. Which means no team run2100.com in 2012 for Wasatch Back.
Then I got the call from our running ringer Zach, he joined a team for Vegas and they had an open spot. Yep, for some reason he wanted me. I guess he wanted to see me puke again. I thought about it for a bit, talked with the wife and finally committed to running Vegas. This running hobby sure is an expensive one, That’s for you wifey. =)
So I have trained a bit over the last month or so. I did a 6 miler the other day up the hill behind where we live and think I am ready. My hope is for a fun time, solid runs for each leg, more exposure for the Utah Foster Care Foundation and that I don’t puke this time. Wish me luck. Vegas here I come!
I have been silent for a while on here regarding much of anything lately. But for those of you that have stuck around and have been anxiously waiting for a new post, enjoy!
2010 was a very big year for me and the family. There were a lot of firsts, lets recap a bit shall we.
- Our family grew by one – when we officially adopted our little man on our 10 anniversary in May.
- I ran my first Ragnar Relay race with good friends and had a great time.
- I committed myself to train hard for my first marathon to celebrate running with my uncle for his 100th marathon.
- I was nominated for and won 2010 Foster/Adoptive Father of the Year for the Salt Lake Valley.
- I ran, walked and hobbled through my first marathon – which made for a very interesting experience.
- I participated in the inaugural Dirty Dash and had a blast
- Our little man had his first birthday!
- My beautiful wife strongly pushed through her first major surgery. An experience all on its own for myself, the little man and mommy.
The list is brief, but full of a lot of emotion, experience and accomplishments and I am sure there is a bunch of other stuff I am forgetting to include. That quick trip down memory lane, takes us into this year…
We are mid August already, and things are flying fast, me however not so fast.
To carry over from all the running excitement from last year I have been quiet in my corner of cyberspace, but I have been out running here and there.
I got to enjoy my favorite running event again with great friends wallowing in the mud. I got to witness a friend overcome a challenge that he didn’t think he could when he started out last year. I was captain of the run2100.com team for Ragnar this year. Tomorrow, I will be running my big official race of the year. Another marathon. No not a full one, just half. Do you think I am that crazy? The marathon bug didn’t bite me that hard.
I have been training with the crew over the last couple of months and feel ready for this 13.1 miles in front of me. Aside from just getting over a very recent bout of bronchitis, I am ready. Nervous and excited, I know what I am doing is not only benefiting myself, but it is getting the word and exposure out there for the Foster Care Foundation. I hope, that with each step I take, each mile I run and each race I am in, that it is helping.
Wish me luck and see you at the finish line…
My fellow teammates,
I wanted to congratulate and thank each of you for a wonderful, memorable time this year for Wasatch Back Ragnar. We were able to accomplish a lot as a team and individually. Be proud! The exposure we were able to produce for the foster system was amazing.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
Scott – Without you our team would not be whole. A volunteer like no other. Thank you!
Paula – Excellent support, excellent volunteer. Thank you!
Derk – You lead us along the way and kicked it off for us very nicely. A true friend. Thank you!
Shayesteh – A Ragnar virgin, provided us an excellent second leg. Even with a late arrival to the team, well done my friend! Thank you!
Ali – Cluck, Cluck. Our third running over packing Ragnar virgin. You brought an incredible amount of determination with you. Thank you!
Matt – Wow man, Wow! Another Ragnar virgin. You ran, until you couldn’t run much more. You accomplished a lot. Thank you!
Rhianna – Runner 5 and you are still alive. Our dusty trail running little lady. With your energy and smile, Avon calling. Thank you!
Travis – Your humor, your style, your running. El Sombrero. Thank you!
Sheldon – Ragnar virgin? Yes. Quitter No! It has been awesome to witness your own personal journey to this accomplishment. Thank you!
Gina – Indeed a great woman. Your spirit and compassion. Thank you!
Tiffany – Your speed, your laughter and your excitement. Thank you!
Katie – Our final Ragnar virgin. Conqueror of RAGNAR. Amazing. Thank you!
Zach – What a pleasure to run with you. You bring speed and dedication to the team and the sport. Thank you!
My little man. Ian, Thank you! Your hugs. Your kisses. Your giggle. Your smarts. Your defiance. I love you!
My beautiful wife, Thank you! Your behind the scene support was and is greatly appreciated. I would be lost without you. I love you!
Thank you for being a part of this journey with me as my final big bang as I passed my crown to the next well deserving foster/adoptive father.
I will cherish the memories.
I can drone on about this in text and you can read it, but this explains it so much better!
You don’t see or hear that at a marathon!
This is why I am Dirty!
More pictures to follow
Saturday afternoon was spent running with four friends in what has to be one of the funnest races around, The Dirty Dash. Our team was “The Dirty Thugs”. Our attire – long baggy shorts, tank tops, bandannas and a couple of squirt guns finished it off quite nicely.
The first mile or more was uphill switch backs and started with an incline hill run in mud. Mass chaos ensued when the race started. Slipping, shoving, pushing, falling and throwing mud just to get to the top. I don’t think many participants made it to the top of the muddy slope without getting dirty.
The herd of laughing, smiling people trotted along the dusty switch backs up to the top for a hairpin turn back down the trail with large hay bail obstacles. One by one we made our way down climbing, hopping, hurdling over each hay bail as they came along, giggling the whole way. There were long pipes to crawl through, others climbed over them. Still with giggles and smiles on our faces. We wound our way up and down the switch backs which led us to the hardest obstacles in the race, coined “the Pig Pen”. We had to climb over flat walls surrounded in mud, while family and friends threw water balloons at us. Let’s just say the walls would have been difficult enough without the mud. The mud just made it that much more fun. Hop, climb, slip, fall, repeat through several of these wall obstacles, until we reached the top of an open hill. At the bottom of the slippery muddy slope, one last wall obstacle remained. But why not add a little more fun to it? I did a belly slide from the top all the way down to the wall. Have I mentioned yet? So much fun? =)
We finished out the remainder of the downhill and wrapped around Solider Hollow towards the swampy edge of Deer Creek Reservoir. Here we were faced with a long run through very thick, black stinky mud. It ended up being a lot of crawling and a big mud wrestling pit with not much running. Everyone that came out of there, that was not too prissy, (by the way it is called the Dirty Dash) was covered from head to toe.
We were in the home stretch now, but we had two more obstacles to go. A hill run back up the hill we had just slid and ran down, only to be rewarded with a huge air-filled slide being soaked with fire hoses.
We got advice from race volunteers for the best way to make it all the way down. The five us lined up and on the word, “go”, we all darted down toward the slide leaping together into the superman body slide all the way down and popping out into another hill of slippery mud. Laughter filled the air. We had a short jaunt down the hill to our final obstacle near the finish line. This was a 2-3 feet deep pool of muddy water. My approach? Belly-flop, of course.
I don’t think I have participated in a race where so many of the participants had a smile on their faces and were laughing and joking the entire way. Lets not forget that this was a 10k race, which equals 6.2 miles. 6.2 miles full of mud, dirt, obstacles, laughter and fun. Definitely a race to be repeated again. Just be prepared for the very cold, hog wash showers afterward for a quick clean up.
Many people have asked how the marathon went. My reply: “It was a very interesting day. Good, but interesting and you can read all about it on my site.” Sort of a shameless plug to drive people and traffic to my site, to learn what it is all about. Usually their next question is, “Have you ran since or are you going to do it again?” Well, those that follow me know, the running has been non-existent since the marathon. And do it again, well, perhaps. Is this the marathon bug that everyone talks about that has done a marathon before?
That is right, I have been on a running hiatus since the marathon. Mostly because I wanted to let my knee recuperate a bit and let the blisters heal, so no running for me. No running until today, that is. I put the running shoes back on the other day for a walk around the neighborhood and realized it had been a while. Something must have triggered when I laced up the shoes, because guess who woke up early this morning to get in a run. 1 mile on the treadmill, run and done, it felt great. The sweat and breathing was a little heavier, but I am trying to not push it too hard. I am going to do 1 mile at a time, to keep the training/running going. Here’s to the next mile and preparation for my next 10k – The Dirty Dash with obstacles and mud – should be a lot of fun.
Hey did you hear? I am a marathon runner! Yes that is right, I have finished my first marathon. I can say that I have gone the distance and 26.2 miles was defeated. Slowly, but still defeated.
Marathon day was an interesting experience from start to finish. The night before, as was predicted, the sleep was not very good. I woke up continually on the hour, every hour. I guess I was thinking I was going to miss the alarm or something. Wasn’t like there was something big about to happen anyway. My little man woke up around 4:30 AM and was not at all ready to go back to sleep. That was OK, because daddy had already been awake for a while.
We all got up and start getting ready. It felt like I was in slow motion and apparently my nerves were heightened. About 20 minutes before the race, right before we headed down to the starting line, my nerves couldn’t take it anymore and I experienced my first vomit attack before a major event. Lets just say if you need to throw up something, banana muffins and cold water, not so bad. The good thing about me vomiting, if you can consider that a good thing, was afterward I felt energized and pumped. I was ready to go. I was ready to get started.
We headed down to the starting line. Found my Uncle and his son-in-law. Chatted a bit and snapped a few pictures. Then game time was on. The Star-Spangled Banner filled the quiet mountain air as the sun started to rise over the mountains. Very beautiful and peaceful, despite the energy of race anticipation circling about. 30 seconds to go, my Uncle tugs on my shirt and said these final words of encouragement, “We are in the front of the pack, a lot of people are going to pass us. Don’t worry, just keep running, it is OK.” The air horn blasted and the herd of people began what was my first marathon and my Uncle Kevin’s 100th. Yahoo, bring on the miles.
When I signed up for this marathon, on the first day of registration as early as I could, I really hoped I would get the bib number 1, to commemorate my first marathon. Well that didn’t happen. Kevin got 100 which was cool, but then my wife pointed out I got 262 which is exactly the miles of a marathon 26.2. So still a really cool way to honor my first marathon.
The herd and I started heading down the pathway onto the first mile. We looked like a huge pack of cows or sheep running towards the corral. Mile one came and went and many people passed me. I ran about .1 mile of the first mile with my Uncle, from there we were on our own pace and would meet up at the finish line. Around mile 2, I had started the first hill climb. I was prepared and it ended up not being an issue at all. The trail twisted and turned its way up the hill and around the neighborhood just east of the starting line. It met up with highway I-40 and I ran through a hidden tunnel that went under the freeway that connected with a paved frontage road. I ran along this rolling road for a bit and then turned south onto a dirt path, “The Rail Trail”, it was a straight shot for several miles.
One by one mile markers would pass, 7 miles, 8 miles, 9 miles. I am really doing this and I feel great. Then, I believe, I hit the wall that many people talk about hitting around the 20 mile marker. I don’t think it was the same kind of wall, but definitely a wall. My knee problem had returned and boy had it returned. Discouraged, I had to stop running and walked the next few miles, just to continue forward. At this point I realized I was making great time because when I stopped running and started the hobble-walking a lot of people passed me by. I must have been in the middle of the pack by this time. I was disappointed, frustrated and sad that I didn’t make it to the half way point before having to stop and walk. Nevertheless, I pushed on and slowly hobbled through it, after stopping to empty my shoes of tiny rocks of course.
Luckily, two EMT’s on bikes peddled by me and I asked if they had some Ibuprofen. Yes, Excellent! Just in time, I had finally reached the half way point. I was thinking to myself do I bail out now or keep going. Either way I still have a long way to go back. I either do the walk of shame back, or move forward through the pain. I set my eyes forward and pressed on. I am in this for the long haul. Mentally I was in it, my knee just wasn’t letting me have it.
The drugs kicked in right before the 2 mile hill climb through old Park City into the Deer Valley loop. I was able to run the entire 2 miles up. Yes, I was back in this, no turning back now. Once I was at the top, I walked a bit around the loop and starting running back down the hill towards the finish line. At this point in the race, I found myself wondering if I was the last guy. I felt alone, dang knee. But as I would turn corners I would see people in front of me which meant I wasn’t that far off. Right around mile 18 or 19, I forget which one now, there was this very steep incline. I found this to be the hardest part of the race, in regards to hills. What the heck was this too, I thought all the hills were done. This steep incline was probably about .1 mile and it sucked. I tried to run it, but only made it about 20 steps up and resorted to walking the rest.
I had turned north at this point, ran/walked/hobbled through the streets of old Park City. Passed the hotels and shopping centers near the Alpine Slide area. Wound down the neighborhood near the golf course, turned east again and looky, looky what do we have here? Mile marker 20. YES! Finish line is a mere 6.2 miles away. Estimation 1 hour.
Slowly, I worked my way down. Passed the barn, ran/walked/hobbled through another hidden tunnel and around the last mountain into the Swaner Nature Preserve. Mile 21, 22, 23, 24. I think I could start to see the finish line area around this point. My new race buddies, helped me along the way as we played leap frog with one another. Mile marker 25 and another small hill, WHAT!
I made it to the top and thought to myself I can push through to the end. Jen, one of my new race buddies, suggested “Eye of the Tiger” for the iPod song. Funny and great suggestion. I turned up the music and started running. Was just about to turn a corner and who do I see? “This is Bill”, a.k.a. “Coach Bill”, my brother-in-law. I couldn’t hear what he was saying, because the music was up loud and I was focused. I turned the corner and worked my way closer and closer to the finish line. Eye of the Tiger ended, and U2′s “With or Without You” shuffled through. Not really a fast paced song. So I went back to “Eye of the Tiger” for one last time. Started running hard again, passed a few people, dropped the iPod, turned around picked it up, started the music again, turned the corner, 26 mile marker, .2 to go! Turned another corner and could hear the finish line. I came around the final turn and could see my support group smiling and cheering me on. I crossed the finish line in a run with a smile on my face. TIME: 5:46:49.0 Yes nearly 6 hours later, I made it across the finish line and I felt great. I finished 393 overall and 29 in my age group.
Certainly not the fastest marathon, but a marathon all in all. I completed it running, walking and hobbling with my head held high.
Thanks Jen from Wyoming and Nadine from St. George for being my race buddies. You gave me encouragement and goals to meet as we worked together to push and pull each other to the finish line. It was nice to get to know both of you and share in this accomplishment together. Congratulations to Jen on completing her first marathon and Nadine for completing her third marathon this year.
Thanks to Dan Webster and the Utah Foster Care Foundation. Thanks to all my supporters, friends and family. Thanks to all those that donated on my behalf. The story is not over. The marathon was just the first chapter. Running to help… continues. After I recuperate that is. =)
Marathon Day! Running to help… I just started, see you at the finish line 26.2 miles later.
Well. Well. Less than 24 hours and I will be done with my first marathon. Sleep last night was not so good. I woke up early again, so I decided to do one last training run before the big day. I ran 1 mile on the treadmill and it felt like nothing. I remember when I started my training, that 1 mile was really difficult. I have come a long way and only need 26.2 miles left to call it good.
After finishing my 1 mile run, I met up with my Uncle for an early morning strategy breakfast with him, his son-in-law and a friend of my Uncle’s. 3 of us are running the marathon and the other was there for support and advice. It was a good time, we talked about the race, religion, war and variety of other topics. Eventually we circled back to the race and that was when I started getting a little nervous.
On the way home my Uncle called me and asked if I was listening to the radio. He was all excited, because they were talking about him on the radio. I found this article on KSL.com.
100 marathons is quite an accomplishment and I am proud and honored to be a part of it. To run along side you, OK maybe not along side of you, but behind, far behind you, is an amazing thing. Look for number 100 to cross the finish line that is my Uncle. I am number 262.
Tomorrow is going to be an amazing day. 100 marathons for my Uncle. My first marathon. And did you hear my wife is speaking after the award ceremony about the Utah Foster Care Foundation? Amazing, truly amazing.
Two days and counting…
I must be getting excited. OK, I admit it is not excitement is nervousness. I am up way too early today, couldn’t sleep. Race day jitters are setting in. Yesterday I was pumped and ready to go. Today I am nervous, but still ready to go. I hope I can sleep better tonight, because come Friday I don’t expect to get much sleep. My Uncle told me it is the sleep that counts two nights before the race, because you don’t really sleep the night before. I agree. Here’s to one day closer to marathon time.
Bring on the donations. Bring on the running. Bring on the sleep.
Three Days and counting…
Utah Foster Care Foundation
2010 Utah Foster Father of the Year
Marathon Mileage Count: 326.2
- Tyler on Vegas-Ragnar
- desiree on Vegas-Ragnar
- Shelly on Vegas-Ragnar
- Angie Millgate on A list of firsts
- betty guercio on A big THANK YOU!