Many of our members competed in various Ogden Marathon Events in May. Although the weather left much to be desired this year, it’s still one of the best and most beautiful races in the country, right here in OUR Ogden! We had members who ran the Full, the Half and the 5k, others who finished a portion of the course on a Marathon Relay team and even more who were out on the course and at the finish line cheering and volunteering. We had veteran runners who knew this course like the back of their hand and others running these distances for the first time ever.
A few amazing ladies (and one guy!) in our group competed in the Half Marathon with the help of a special group called Women in Motion. For Jessica, Dorie and Christina, this was their first ever Half Marathon! We’re excited to share with you their experience, thoughts and feelings on this awesome training program and the completion of their race!
(Left to right: Donna, Dorie, Jessica, Christina)
Tell me about the Women in Motion Program?
The Women in Motion program started off as Weber In Motion and was tied to WSU. It was a way for sedentary people to get out and moving. The ultimate goal was to get you trained to walk a 5K or the Ogden half-marathon. The program expanded and is now its own non-profit organization.
The group meets each week from January until the week of the half, and then have a graduating banquet the week after the half.
As a group we met on Mondays for strength training, Wednesdays we spent an hour on a lecture/demonstration and then an hour core training and Saturdays we walked as a group. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we followed a walk/run schedule on our own. Sunday was our rest day. The training starts off at 30 minutes and goes up to 12 miles. It then tapers off the weeks before the half. It’s a good way to make sure that you know come May you can do the half-marathon.
Why did you decide to join Women In Motion?
DONNA: Three years ago, A few of Steve’s cousins asked me to do the inaugural Yellowstone half-marathon with them and I said yes. The only problem was I was so unfit I couldn’t even walk a mile on my own. After an auto accident that left me in a wheelchair for a while and then having to learn to walk all over again I began to be a lazy person, someone too scared to do anything in case I got hurt. I didn’t realize how bad I was until I tried to run a mile. I tried, and I failed. I would get shin splints, back aches, my hips would hurt and I’d be embarrassed. I was overwhelmed by how to do this. People would tell me to just go out and run, so that’s what I did, every day. And every day I would hurt, and cry and be miserable. I didn’t know about nutrition, or core training or how to be sensible. WIM helped with this.
DORIE: My dear sweet friend, Donna Hernandez, talked me into it. I originally intended to do the 5k but she convinced me that I could indeed complete the arduous task of a half marathon.
JESSICA: I joined WIM because I wanted to be part of an organization where you’re surrounded by positive, fun and encouraging women. Donna told me how much fun she has had in the past training for the Ogden Half with the wonderful ladies of WIM and Steve. I have always enjoyed group exercise and being part of a team.
CHRISTINA: Donna invited me and I was hesitant at first. I’m not a runner and never thought I would do a half marathon. With Donna, Steve, Dori, and Jess also joining I decided to try it. I was still doubtful about doing a half marathon, but I thought it would help me train from my hiking and get back in shape.
Had you competed in any races prior to the Ogden Half?
DONNA: Ogden half – 2014 & 2015, Yellowstone half – 2014, Park City half – 2014, Revel Big Cottonwood – 2015. (Since the Auto Accident 2 miles was the furthest Donna had gone prior to joining WIM)
DORIE: Does the Dirty Dash count? If so, I did that last June w/Toni and her kids. (3 miles was also the furthest Dorie had gone prior to WIM)
JESSICA: In July of 2014, I ran my first 5k In Lander, Wyoming. (Prior to joining WIM the furthest distance Jessica had gone was 3 miles)
CHRISTINA: Nope, I’m not a runner or very competitive. I like to wander around and explore when I’m walking. I’m not used to racing to a finish line. (Christina used to hike all the time when she lived in California including Berry Creek Falls in Santa Cruz which is 12 miles, however when she got sick she had to focus on finding out what was wrong with her, feeling better and taking care of her health. It wasn’t until she moved back to Utah that she started feeling well enough to start walking, training, and exercising again.)
What was the hardest part about your training?
DONNA: Accepting that I’m not the person I was before the accident. For me the training has been more mental than physical. I’m scared of getting hurt, I’m scared of damaging my knees again. Somehow I tore the medical meniscus and MCL 2 weeks before the Ogden half last year so I had to walk the whole half in the rain (I normally do a walk/run combo). That sucked. I had surgery 2 days after the half marathon. Then as my first half after surgery, I was stupid and chose the Revel Big Cottonwood, which is all downhill. Not something someone just getting over knee surgery should do. So I got hurt again. Now I’m scared to push myself in case I get hurt.
DORIE: The commitment.
JESSICA: The hardest part about training has been finding the time to train the other three days that we don’t meet. We meet on Mondays and Wednesdays for strength training and Saturdays for our long runs. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, while my little buggy is napping, I do my best to get my 50-60 minute runs in. I would rather run outside.
CHRISTINA: I’ve been hurting in ways I never did when I used to hike and walk before. The first 2 miles I feel like I have a knife stabbed in my leg and I want to stop. But I keep limping along. I’ve wanted to give up so many times because of the pain and doubting I could over come it.
What has been your favorite part?
DONNA: The camaraderie of the group. People let you vent when you need to, they will build you up when you need it. When we’re out walking, and you overtake them, or they you they will cheer you on. It’s one big family! And then the core training on a Wednesday evening is usually fun. I’m so excited to have Jess, Dorie and Christina do this with me this year. Even though our program officially ends the week after the Ogden half, we keep in touch on FaceBook and will still get together to walk/run on Saturday mornings.
DORIE: Meeting women who were in my shoes at one point and seeing how far they have come. These women blow my mind with their accomplishments.
JESSICA: My favorite part of WIM has been meeting the amazing people in our group. They are so fun and I just love it!
CHRISTINA: Being part of Women in Motion has been fantastic. Everyone has been so supportive. And when we have an exercise that hurts or is hard to do, I can look around and see everyone else struggling but fighting through it. It’s not like a class at the gym where many in the class are trying to compete and be the best and show how fit they are. That makes me feel like I belong, and I can fight right along with these women to make through these exercise challenges.
Prior to the Ogden Half, I asked how they were feeling about the upcoming race. What were they excited or worried about, what were their goals, etc:
DONNA: I’m excited. While I have some concerns over my left knee, it’s nothing serious and again it’s more a mental thing for me. I’m not concerned about my time, Steve doesn’t care about his time, so we’re going at my pace. We’re going to stop and take photos, have a couple of beer breaks and just have fun! This year I don’t have a time goal. I just want to prove I can do it on my terms. And I want to have fun, and then stay at the finish line to cheer on the rest of the WIM people as they finish the half and then cheer on OPR’s who’re doing the whole marathon (those doing the half will have finished before me)
I also want to say a HUGE shout-out to Steve. When Weber In Motion became Women in Motion, he was still willing to come along and do this with me. Rachel made an exception for him and even though he’s the only guy in the program, he still does this for me. I think he’s a keeper. I love my pool boy 🙂
DORIE: I’m feeling nervous and delighted. I’m worried about my legs turning to jelly and giving out on me AND turning into the Exorcist once the fatigue sets in. *Note: Please forgive me for anything mean said while I was hot, hungry, or tired. I’m most excited about the finish line and the strong possibility of getting sponsored by Nike. My goal is to get to the finish line on my own two feet and not in an ambulance.
I am amazed at how far I have come since we began training in January. I never thought I would say “Oh, we are ONLY doing 3 miles today?” No joke. As of right now I have no intention or desire of doing another half marathon. However, I don’t like the taste of crow so I never say never.
JESSICA: I am feeling a wee bit nervous about the race but I think that’s normal. I’m a little worried because I have a small tear in my plantar fascia so my new goal is to finish the half without blowing it out. Originally, my goal was to shoot for a 12-13 minute mile, perhaps I can shoot for that next year. I am excited because it is my first half and it feels good to check it off my bucket list.
I have really enjoyed being part of WIM and OPR too. If it wasn’t for OPR, I wouldn’t have meet Donna and Steve and I probably wouldn’t be training for my first half. Both OPR and WIM are full of wonderful, fun and inspiring peeps!
CHRISTINA: There have been times, when I really doubted I’d be able to do the half. I’ve thought a lot about failure. Now that I’ve done a 12 mile walk, I know I can do this. I’m excited to get out there and walk down the canyon. Not often do I get a chance to see the Ogden Canyon in that detail. I’m excited to go and do it and get across the finish line. I know that I’ll have the other Women in Motion and my OPR friends will be there to help me celebrate when I cross.
I’ve been battling with injuries and pain. Even though I believe I can do it, I worry I’m going to get hurt or hurt too badly that I can’t finish the race. I also think about coming in last, which is a real possibility for me. But even if I am last and I cross the finish line, I did it and I’ll be excited. My goal is to finish. I know I’m not fast, so as long as I make it before they close the canyon and cross the finish line I will be a happy camper!
I owe a huge amount of thanks to Donna for all her support. I’ve struggled with feeling like an imposter and not being an athlete, but she’s been there to cheer me on. I didn’t want to tell the OPR group that I was doing the half because I’m not a runner, I’m not chasing a PR, and there has been a good chance I would fail. But finally with her support, I admitted it and everyone has been so encouraging. I know I’m still not runner, but I’m going to walk the crap out of the Ogden half. It is super helpful to have a group of friends to go through the Women in Motion program and do all the training. It made it easier to not feel alone. So thanks to Dorie, Jess, and Steve who’ve made this journey the best.
Even with all the love I have for OPR and their, I’ll be wearing my Women in Motion shirt on race day. Without this training program and support of the fabulous women and Steve involved, I’d never even think I’d I have a chance at crossing the finish line at the Ogden Half.
And then I asked how they felt UPON COMPLETION…
For those of us that ran, you’ll remember how miserable this race was. 50+ mph winds, torrential downpours and super cold weather. Likely the worst conditions that many of us have raced in! So, for those of you who raced in this weather for your first, it only gets better from here!
DONNA: Now that the race is over I’m happy about the outcome. It’s not based on a time thing, or how I performed, just that I finished! The first year (2014) I was out to prove to myself I could do hard things. Last year I wanted to improve my time etc. and at the same time I was excited to have Steve do this with me. I tore my medial meniscus 2 weeks before the half, and had surgery the Monday after so while I completed the half, it was walking the whole thing, in the rain and it was miserable.
I was excited for this year, Steve and I were trained, we were good to go and we wanted to just have fun. I’d talked up how much better this is when it’s good weather, how people are lined up even in the canyon, how bands are playing and you just have a good time. I finally persuaded Steve to do it again, one more time so we could finish together. Then the rain came. We were between mile 8 & 9 when that 52 MPH wind and hail hit. No fun at all. We couldn’t run in it and even turned around and walked backwards to try and protect our faces. Steve was so cold, his hands were blue, he was shock white and he didn’t look good. He found a mylar blanket and wrapped those around his hands and we plodded on, slower.
We finished though, and even though it was the least fun I’ve had in a half, I’m proud of the fact we finished. I feel guilty that I talked Steve into giving it another go, I feel guilty that Dorie, Jessica and Christina all joined us and then the weather turned so miserable. But still, it was a great experience and one I’m proud of accomplishing. A couple of people asked me how many times I thought of quitting during the race and I honestly can’t think of one time I thought that. Yes I remember thinking “well this sucks” but not once did I even think about quitting. I’m kinda stubborn like that 😉 .
Oh well here’s to next year! Maybe it will be sunny this time! I do plan on completing the WIM program. I love this group (but not as much as my OPR family). My goal is to not meet any of the criteria for applying so I can be a healthy alumnis for the program.
DORIE: The day of the half marathon, after the race, when Dorie was asked, “So, what would you do differently next time” she replied with “NOT DO IT” but by the celebration party the next afternoon she was already considering doing another!
JESSICA: I was sore for like three days. The Marathon was tough but I still had fun. It’s an event I will never forget. Now, I’m hooked and I want to run another half. The WIM ladies and Steve were so awesome and fun to train with. I look forward to training with them again next year. Hopefully, next year I can improve my time.
CHRISTINA: I did not finish the Ogden Half, but I ended up on an adventure that will be with me for the rest of my life. It was terrifying, but I kept my calm and made it through. Here’s my story…
Christina went on to complete her first half marathon “Hairbrained Half” with the WIM, OPR members and friends by her side! Just fantastic, Christina!
When did you join and how did you find out about OPR?
DONNA: I joined OPR October 17, 2014. Steve began running with me in July 2014 and we’d post stuff on FaceBook. Our friends Marc and Jaye would see those, and invited us to come run with the OPR kids. We did. At the time a good crowd was 8 – 10 people, now look at the OPR crowd!
One thing I absolutely LOVE about the OPR crowd is that no-one has ever made me feel like I’m not good enough to be with them. While many OPR runners can run circles around me, and for most of them an 13 min mile (my best PR) half would be slow/nightmarish race, they don’t make me feel inferior to them. When I finished the Big Cottonwood half, I was hurt, came in limping and even though the OPR people had finished an hour before I did, they were still there to cheer me at the finish line. I had no idea they would be there. What a great thing for them to do. It’s things like that (and of course the fabby swag we can buy) that make OPR one of my favorite events to go to each week. OPR rocks! They accept everyone and that’s a great thing!
DORIE: I joined OPR in March of 2014. I joined OPR to drink beer. The lovely Jake and Leslie Johnstun introduced me to OPR.
JESSICA: I joined OPR in 2014. I joined OPR with my husband because we wanted to hang out with fun people. I found out about OPR somewhat through Facebook. We’re friends with the Johnstuns and I asked Jake about it that year when we went in for our taxes.
CHRISTINA: I joined OPR when I moved back from California. I knew many of the OPR founders since I went to St. Joe, but it was Marc and Jen Garcia who really got me to come. OPR made my transition back to Ogden so much easier because I made so many fabulous new friends. It’s such a welcoming and supportive group to be part of. I was accepted even though I wasn’t runner.
Way to go, you fabulous ladies and Steve! What an accomplishment in absolutely horrendous conditions! We are all so proud of each of you and blessed to have each of you as members of OPR. We’re looking forward to celebrating your future accomplishments with you!
We regularly feature our awesome members! Do you have an Ogden Pub Runner Member that you think deserves to be a Featured Member? Nominate them! Email nominations to INFO@OGDENPUBRUNNERS.COM or use the Contact Form.
We can’t wait to hear who inspires you.
Until next time,