The Best Of Times

     You didn't expect to open this page and just find numbers and distances did you?  Where's the fun in that?  If you're in a hurry, they are there, down at the bottom of the page.  Go on, I don't mind. 

     I began running on April 1st of 1998.  Technically, I have no idea what day it was.  However, it was the spring of 98, and it does seem to be such a foolish endeavor, why not make my anniversary on April "Fools" day?  As a new runner, every race is a PR (personal record), and as a new runner, it is easy to see continual improvement for your first few years of running, no matter how old you are when you start. However, once you have established yourself as a runner, and once Father Time leads you past the age of 40, those PR's become more and more difficult to improve on.  I have been fortunate enough this fall to run faster at every distance from 400 meters, to the marathon, and beyond, since having turned 47 in August.  So since I am creating a page to show my running achievements, I am going to add a little context to each of my PR's (I will try to keep it brief). 

     Marathon (26.2 Miles)

     My first marathon was in 2000 at the Top Of Utah Marathon in Logan, Utah.  Not knowing anything about running, I boldly told my Dad that we would run it easy, just under 3 hours.  My Dad was always running well under 3 hours, and everyone knows that if your old man can do something, it will be easy for you to do (I have only came close to that original goal once, and have never done it in 37 attempts).  My first marathon was a 3:50:59, still a PR.  In 2002 and 2003, I ran 3:23 at TOU Marathon.  They were good PR's, but I was fading badly at the end of each of them.  I was just not very good at this distance.  Late summer of 2005, I ran a 3:19 on the toughest course I have ever ran, Mesa Falls.  I was 39, and in the best shape of my life.  After that, I started slowing down a little each year.  Then in the fall of 2011, I ran a 3:04:29 at TOU Marathon.  At age 45, I knocked over 15 minutes off of my PR! (note: I never qualified for Boston in my first 29 marathons. I then qualified for Boston in each of my next 8 marathons. During those 8 marathons, my average time has dropped by over 31 minutes) (I will explain why the big change in a future blog) Then, after a slight injury in 2012, I came back in the spring of 2013, and ran a 3:02:19 at the Ogden Marathon, another PR.  However, my year was not over.  In October of 2013, I ran St George Marathon in 3:01:33 (6:56 pace). It was my second marathon PR of the year, and done at age 47! This was also done despite being at a dead stop, puking, twice over the last 1.5 miles.  I was finally close to hitting my original goal.  This page will be revised in 2014 when I finally achieve that goal.

     Half Marathon (13.1 Miles)

     My first big PR in the Half Marathon came in Tucson, Arizona.  It was December, 2001.  I was young, in shape, and faster than ever.  I ran 1:25:14 (6:30 pace).  It was my first time under 1:30, and a PR that stood for the next 10 years.  In my first race as a 45 year old, I smashed that PR.  At Hobble Creek, I ran 1:19:19 (6:04 pace)!  Like the Marathon, it took me a couple more years to improve on that time.  It came in the fall of 2013, as a 47 year old, at the Big Cottonwood Half Marathon.  I ran 1:18:00 (5:57 pace)!  (Although this was a fast downhill course, I had trained specific for this type of racing, and I feel my 12th place overall finish out of 2109 finishers makes this somewhat legitimate).  I was stoked about how far I had come, even though I had faded bad the last four miles of that race. Hopefully that means I can top that again in 2014.

     15K (9.3 Miles)

     My 15K PR came on what is now my home course, the Freedom Run in Hyrum, Utah.  This race also came in the summer of 2011.  It was a 58:09 (6:15 pace), with a dry heave finish (like most my races). I really wanted to go under 58 minutes, but fell slightly short.  I had it planned out, but couldn't run quite as fast the final mile as I would have liked.  I rolled through the first 15K of the Big Cottonwood Half in 53:43 (5:47 pace).  That was really a fast race for me.

     10K (6.2 Miles)

     My first 10k was a good race for me.  It was in July of 2000.  I ran 40:08 (6:28 pace) on a tough hilly course in Pocatello, Idaho.  40 minutes became my 10K standard to try for.  Although I slipped under that 40 minute benchmark a couple times while I was still in my 30's, it was barely under (39:47, 39:55).  Like my other races, 2011 brought drastic changes to my 10K times.  3 weeks before turning 45, I crushed my old PR at the Deseret News 10k.  There, I ran the fastest miles of my life (at the time), and finished in 36:59 (5:56 pace).  That remains my official PR, although I ran faster from miles 2.8 to 9 of the Big Cottonwood Half Marathon.  I ran that 10K stretch in 34:55 (5:38 pace)!  I still struggle to believe I did that.

     8K (5 Miles)

     I have not ran many 8K's, and none of the ones I have ran even came close to the Alta Peruvian Downhill Dash.  This race truly was "downhill".  The course loses 400' per mile.  Still, there is a knack to truly running fast downhill, and my specific training brought out the best in me.  I ran it in 27:04 (5:24 pace)!  It blows my mind that I did that. (In a future blog, I will detail this race.)

     5K (3.1 Miles)

     The 5K is the only distance that I have not improved on in an official race.  In the summer of 2005, I ran the Grace Fun Run in 18:34 (5:59 pace).  I don't run 5K's very often, but it bugs me that I have not broken that PR yet.  Perhaps in 2014 I will get a chance.  I did run much faster than that during the last 5K of the Downhill Dash this fall (2013).  There I ran the last 5K in 16:39 (5:22 pace)!  I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one.

                                        Funnest Race Ever!

Running PR's

18:34 (5:59 pace) (08/06/05) (age 38) Grace Fair Fun Run
*16:39 (5:22 pace) (last 5K of Alta Peruvian Downhill Dash 09/07/13)

27:04 (5:24 pace) (09/07/13) (age 47) Alta Peruvian Downhill Dash

36:59 (5:56 pace) (07/25/11) (age 44) Deseret News
*34:55 (5:38 pace) (2.8 – 9 of Big Cottonwood Half Marathon 09/14/13)

8.6 Miles:
57:01 (6:38 pace) (07/04/13) (age 46) KVSI Fun Run

58:09 (6:14 pace) (07/04/11) (age 44) Freedom Run
*53:43 (5:47 pace) (First 15K of Big Cottonwood Half Marathon 09/14/13)

Half Marathon:
1:18:00 (5:57 pace) (09/14/13) (age 47) Big Cottonwood Half Marathon

3:01:33 (6:56 pace) (10/05/13) (age 47) St George Marathon

1 Mile:

*5:09 (5:09 pace) (last Mile of Alta Peruvian Downhill Dash 09/07/13)

(Note: * "stared" times came during parts of other races)

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