I Can Do Hard Things

Red Mountain 55k

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American Fork,UT,

Member Since:

Nov 27, 2009



Goal Type:

Boston Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

St George Marathon

2011 - 4:11:52 

2017. -4:01:17

St George Half Marathon

2012 - 1:55:00

2013 - 2:03:00

2014 - 1:46:00

2015 - 1:48:00

Salt Lake City Full Marathon

2013 -  4:23:03 

Salt Lake City Half Marathon

2012 - 1:51:00

2014 - 1:44:01

Ogden Marathon

2012 - 3:58:35

2013 - 4:17:20

2014 - 4:02:51

2017 - 3:55:22**

Hobble Creek Half Marathon

2001 - 1:40:00**

2011 - 1:45:00

2012 - 1:43:00

2013 - 1:43:00 

American Fork Half Marathon

2013 - 1:48:24

2014- 1:53:23 (pacing Tim)

2017  - 1:47:54

Timp Half Marathon

2012 - 1:47:18 

Utah Valley Half Marathon 

2011 - 1:55:00 

Top of Utah Marathon

2014 - 4:09:27

Top of Utah Half Marathon

2010 - 1:48:20 

Goblin Valley 50K

2014 - 5:58

Antelope Island 50 Mile

2015 - 10:10:00

Antelope Island 100 Mile

2018 - 26:53

**Personal Best 



Short-Term Running Goals:



Long-Term Running Goals:

To qualify for Boston


Married for 21 years. I have 16 year old triplets and a 13 year old. I love to sew, garden, and run!

Favorite Running Quotes: 


"Sooner or later the serious runner goes through a special, very personal experience that is unknown to most people.

Some call it euphoria. Others say it's a new kind of mystical experience that propels you into a elevated state of consciousness, a flash of joy.

A sense of floating as you run. This experience is unique to each of us, but when it happens, you break through a barrier that separates you from casual runners. Forever. And from that point on, there is no finish line. You run for your life. You begin to be addicted to what running gives you."  

~Nike Poster

2.           A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.


You’ve no doubt heard this.  And you’ve probably recited it in your mind on a run or at the gym when you’re just beginning to get in shape.  You have a goal in sight and this quote brings you back to the current moment.


But the problem is that many runners forget all of the steps between the first one and the goal.  If your goal is to run under two hours for the half marathon then you need to be honest about all of the little steps to get to that goal.


…and what I’d rather see you do is to get the goal out of mind completely, but rather focus on the process, not the outcome. -Jay Johnson Process orientation, not outcome orientation.


You should have goals, but you should take it one step at a time.  And you should be honest about the fact that you don’t know how many steps it will take to get there. ~ Vernon Gambetta


3.  Human beings are made up of flesh, blood and a miracle fiber called COURAGE! ~ George Patton 


4.   Find the courage to be patient.

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 14.00 Month: 61.50 Year: 645.31
2014 - Minutes Lifetime Miles: 28605.00
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4 easy shakeout miles on the home TM.  Feeling hammered after the fundraiser I help organize last night.  Tired.  TT : 40:00

Red Mountain 55k this weekend.  Last long run before Buffalo!

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Race: Red Mountain 55k (34 Miles) 07:31:37, Place overall: 17
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Red Mountain 55k

TT:  7:31:37. AP:  13:23 Elevation 4262

Kelli S and I  headed down to St George on Friday afternoon.  We had a 4:30am wake up call.  I was trying to check out of the hotel, but there was no one at the front desk.  I called and called and hoped someone would hear the phone.  Finally, the lady came out.  I was feeling a bit flustered.

On the way to the Santa Clara Reserve, I was pulled over for speeding. It’s been 15 years since I got pulled over.  Luckily, I only got a warning.  Now I was really feeling flustered and worried that we weren’t going to make the bus.

But we got there on time!  The race is a lot bigger this year.  I saw the Trail Manners guys and met some really neat ladies at the fire.

The race consists of several loops that all connect at the same aid station.  7 miles to the first AS.  I felt good and ran a lot more of the hills than I did last year.  

A 5.7 mile loop next.  The sun started to rise and I could tell it was going to be very warm (it was in the 60’s....I’ve been training in the 20-30’s).  I shed my jacket and kept taking my salt pills.

The 4 mile loop.  Lots and lots of climbing.  I filled one of bottles with Gatorade, took more salt, pickles and chips at the AS.  I also took some Advil.  I left the AS before Kelli and told her I was going to walk while I finished eating.  She was having problems with her foot and ankle.  Eventually, she sent me a text that she was going to turn around and head back to the AS.  It was HOT.

This section had a lot of up/down technical switch backs.  I walked all the ups and took a caffeinated GU and more salt.  Once at the top, I was ready to run. I passed several runners during this section.  Finally some clouds rolled in and there was a slight breeze.  More climbing up the other side of the little canyon.  This was a long 10 mile section.

I was really glad to get back to the AS.  I quickly filled my bottle and grabbed some pickles and bananas. Only 5.5 miles to the finish.  I took another caffeinated GU on an uphill. There was a one mile section of road.  Ugh....I felt like I was sprinting at a 11:00 minute/mile.  I was really glad to get back on the trail.  I really struggled on this section last year, but felt really good this time.  

About mile 33, I saw Kelli walking toward me.  Hooray for a friendly face!  I was SO excited to see her.  I had passed this fast local road runner and wanted to make sure I beat him :). I told Kelli my plans and she kept me going.

Overall, I felt good and am pleased with the race!  I felt my nutrition and hydration were perfect!  I felt like I evenly spaced my efforts and were able to work through my lows.  But I felt slow in comparison to everyone else.  I shouldn’t feel that way, but I did.  

This was my last long training run for the Buffalo 100.  I think I’ve figured out that I just need to keep moving.....walk or run....just keep moving.

We stopped at a friend’s house in Washington to shower and hurried home before the snow storm hit.  It was a great weekend!

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20 minutes strength training 

5 easy miles on home TM.  It was a walk, then a jog, and then I felt like I could run.  I felt really good.  The only thing that kinda bugs is a slight twinge of my left knee.  But it went away after a few miles.

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TT: 1:38. AP 9:48. Ran on the home TM and caught up on some shows!  Felt good and was able to pick up the pace a smidge!  Left knee still twingey.

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Antelope Island 25k loop (no Elephant Head) TT:  3:33:22. AP:  13:19. Elevation: 1954

It was a BEAUTIFUL day out on the island today.  48 degrees when we started and we were shedding layers quickly.  There was a lot of snowy/slushy/slippery sections today.  We just gently walked through them...not worth a slip and injury.

We had wonderful conversation!  They were setting up for the 25k race tomorrow.  I felt good today even though I had a slight twinge in my left knee.  Not sure if it is ITB or something else.

The Chick Fil A afterwards was just the cherry on the top!

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TT:  39:54  AP:  9:58  Silo road

Everything kinda hurt today.  Must be time to taper!

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TT:  48:40  AP:  9:44  Easy on the home TM.  Time to start planning drop bags, gear and logistics.

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Another easy 5 on the home TM.  TT:  48:30  AP:  9:42

I haven't been sleeping well all week (dumb daylight savings).  The powder bouy has been predicting snow/rain race weekend (dumb powder bouy).

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TT:  48:30  AP:  9:42

Another 5 easy on the home TM.  Still trying to decide if I qualify for the early start of the 100 mile (10:00am instead of 12:00pm).  


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Finally....an outside run when the sun is up!  Though it was cold and windy.  A storm is blowing in!

MCT - Silo Road-Pioneer House

AP:  9:06. TT:  47:25

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TT:  38:54. AP:  9:43

On the home TM.  Everything kinda hurts.

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TT:  30:00 on home TM.  

The weather is looking so much better for the race.  I have everything laid out and ready to go.  I just need to download some new music and put my food together.  My husband is in London and suppose to arrive home late Thursday .  Not a lot of wiggle room....I hope he makes it!

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Race: Buffalo 100 Mile Race (100 Miles) 26:53:43, Place overall: 5
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Buffalo 100 Mile Race Report

March 23 - 24, 2018

A few years ago, I saw a video of a running friend finishing the Buffalo 100 mile trail race. I was inspired and a small seed was planted in my heart.  I do not have a natural running ability. I run a 3:55 marathon which is NOT a Boston Qualifier. My weekly mileage sweet spot is only 40 miles/week. I do not have perfect running form.  I have had every running injury. But I wanted to see if I worked hard enough and had a big enough desire that I could accomplish a 100 mile trail race Just. Being. Average.

Now that I have finished this race, I write this race report to remember.  Remember the training, the feelings, and all the non-sugar coated details. I write it for those who are the average runner wondering if they could finish such a race.  YOU CAN!


I ran 4 days/week for this race.  I ran on the road, treadmill, and trail.  I did the 25k loop on Antelope Island 4 times.  My weekly average was 40 miles/week. I completed 4 weeks of 50 miles/week and hit one week of 60 miles/week.  On my non-running days, I would lift weights and do yoga. My longest run was the Red Mountain 55K three weeks before race day.



The race day weather report showed rain and snow.  Because of the weather, I opted to utilize the early 10:00am start time. My race anxiety greatly eased knowing I had two extra hours.  I also purchased a Patagonia Houdini rain/wind jacket (which turned out to be the best purchase ever).


Race Day:

Tim and I arrived at Antelope Island 8:45am.  It was pouring rain as I picked up my bib. As we headed out to the start line, the rain let up.  I checked in with the race director, made last minute clothing adjustments, and attended the pre-race meeting.  



There was 20 runners that utilized the early start.  Jim Skaggs (the race director) drew a line in the dirt with his foot and at exactly 10:00am, he yelled ”Run, you fools.”   We started out on the 20 mile loop. This loop had the most climbing of the course.



I made it to the first aid station (AS)  with a small group of runners. I was taught to be fast and efficient with aid stations by my friend/pacer Kelli. No dilly-dallying!  The clock is still ticking. During miles 15-20, I started to get nauseous. This is not normal for me, so I walked until I felt better.  Then ran. Walked. Ran.



At mile 20, I made it back to the start/finish area.  My friend and pacer, Melissa was yelling for me! It was wonderful to see a familiar face!  She led me to where Tim had set up all my gear. Melissa gave me some Tums to help my stomach, filled my water bottles, and sent me off with words of encouragement.


Next stop was the Mountain View AS (mile 22) and then onto the Lower Frary AS (mile 27).  This was a long and lonely trail. Tim was the best crew chief. He always had a camping chair set up, my plastic container of gear open, and was ready to get food/fill bottles.  


I started to listen to podcasts and looked forward to seeing other runners along the way (and there were not a lot!!).  I planned to take some time at the Ranch AS (mile 33). I used the restroom, got some food, changed my socks/added more lube to my feet.  This was a longer stop (maybe 10 minutes). It felt good to sit for a minute and see other runners.



As I left the Ranch, I was listening to the Trail Manner’s podcast.  I met the Trail Manner’s guys while running the Red Mountain 55k a few weeks ago.  Right then on the podcast, they gave me a shout out for the 100 miler. I got the biggest smile on my face.  It totally made my day.


My legs were feeling good and I made great time back to the Lower Frary AS (mile 38).  I grabbed my headlamp and charger. It was starting to get dark. It was windy all day, but it was getting windier.  



I saw my dear friend and training partner, Rachel around mile 45.  It was good to have her walk with me for a minute. She gave me details of the other runners.  She was just the perfect dose of sunshine.


It was dark and I had trouble with my headlamp.  I ended up taking both headlamps off and holding them in my hands (I had one for my head and one to go around my waist).  There was a short field that I had to bushwhack. I struggled running through this section because it was hard to see the holes in the ground.  The wind was blowing and I kept having to hold onto my hat. This is the most technical portion of the course.


I struggled over the large boulders and had a hard time figuring out the trail.  I started to hit the panic button….I did not have cell coverage. I was all alone.  It was dark. It was windy. I was SO cold. I could not see very well. I ended up missing a turn off and got lost.  I eventually found my way back to the start/finish AS (mile 50), but I was an emotional mess.


When I came back into the AS, Tim wrapped me in his arms and told me I was going to be fine.  I changed my clothes, got on a winter hat, hand warmers. Kelli (my other amazing pacer) handed me a cup of warm broth.  Manna from heaven.



As I was pulling myself together, Annie Macdonald came over to chat with me.  Annie ran the Buffalo 100 last year. I followed her training and race last year.  She totally ROCKED it and was on my “cool-runner” list. I felt silly for being such a hot mess and tried to pull myself while she talked to me.  She filled my brain with confidence and sent Kelli (pacer #1) and I out the door for loop #2.



I cannot even express how grateful I was to have Kelli by my side.  We have done this 20 mile loop several times during training. It felt like a Saturday morning out on the trails with my friend….telling stories and catching up with life.  The moon was incredible. I had several PB&J quarter sandwiches and chips. I took my trekking poles during this section as it had a few good climbs. I had done a caffeine fast three weeks prior to the race.  I finally took some Excedrin at mile 57. My IT Band was starting to slightly hurt. I figured it was a good time for some pain relief and caffeine.



Kelli and I completed the loop (mile 50-70).  I changed my socks/shoes and added more lube to my feet.  More broth. I headed out of the tent with Melissa (pacer #2 who gave me Tums at the very beginning.  Yep...I have the most amazing friends who hang out all day). My legs were starting to get heavy and my IT Band was still hurting.  Melissa encouraged me to take more caffeine. She told me stories and asked just the right questions to keep my mind moving.



Melissa is amazing photographer.  I told her I wanted lots of pictures and video because I was only going to run a 100 mile race once….and I needed to document it.  She took some amazing sunrise pictures.




We finally made it back to the Ranch AS (mile 83).  Tim had all my stuff ready for a full clothing change.  It was still windy and I needed to get out of my wet clothing.  I got some food/filled my water bottles. I was officially sick of eating.  



The wheels started to fall off.  The exhaustion was overwhelming. I literally needed toothpicks to hold my eyelids open.  I started to get quiet and tucked way into the pain cave. My legs were so heavy. My IT Band was crippling.  I had heard of the “lows” of ultra running. But I had no idea just how LOW this felt.


As we pulled into the Lower Frary AS (mile 87), I told Melissa I needed to lay on the ground for 10 minutes.  I laid on the dirt on the side of the trail. Pack and all. I only lasted 45 seconds. I sat up and Tim crouched down in front of me.  I put my hands on my head and started to cry. Tim kept saying to me, “you only have 13 miles left”. “13 MORE MILES.” This seemed like such an overwhelming distance.  I was mostly walking at this point and this meant HOURS left. Carol Manwaring (ultra runner extrodinaire) knelt down by me and said “You got this Toby”. I know Carol, but in my state of hot-mess, I looked at her and asked her “who are you?”  She laughed and helped me up. Talk about your friends seeing you in a very raw-state. No faking the lows of a 100 mile race.





I guess if I can’t take a nap, I might as well keep moving.  I had been posting periodic race updates on Instagram. As Melissa and I walked, I decided now would be a perfect time to check Instagram.  I had so many comments and well wishers. People are REALLY nice to you when you run a 100 miles.



Somewhere between mile 87 and 90, Kelli and Tim blasted my favorite song from Tim’s truck.  Tim even danced. It totally put a smile on my very tired face. I was grateful for Kelli’s inspiration to remember my song!


Melissa and I made it to mile 94.  I was SO unbelievably tired. Tim took over pacing duties into the most technical part of the course (the part I got lost on the night before).  My IT Band was still crippling...going up and over the large boulders was excruciating. I had a blister on my right foot. This was a very long section of the race.  I was grateful for Tim’s stories of the past two days.


We came across two ladies that asked if I was Toby.  They had been following my Instagram posts and gave me some encouraging words!  We finally came to the long dirt road to the finish line. As much as I wanted to run into the finish, my IT Band said no.  So I made my mile 99 shuffle into the finish line.



I cannot even begin to express the emotions of seeing my two pacers at the finish line.  To hear them scream my name. I crossed that finish line a new person. So many kind strangers came up to me to congratulate me on my success.  I cannot tell you the relief of being DONE. My crew helped me into the tent and Tim took off my shoes. Best thing EVER!



My #1 goal was to finish within the 30 hour cutoff time.  I finished in 26:53:43 and the 5th female.


It was so fun to chat with other runners at the finish line tent.  Swap stories. I am still in awe at how kind people are while these ultra races…..aid station volunteers, other runners, and spectators.  Everyone wants to you to finish. They will help you in anyway possible. I believe that the 100 mile belt buckle belongs to the entire team (crew, pacers and the runner).  If it were not for Tim, Kelli, and Melissa, I would NOT have crossed that finish line. I am forever grateful for their kindness in my very dark moments.


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