Top of Utah Marathon 2010

Okay, let me break it down…

Friday morning, my Mom came and picked me up and we headed to work. I was so nervous all day at work… I was so ready to just get out of there and head up to Logan. My mom and I took off around 12:30 and hit up Einstein’s for a pumpkin bagel. Pumpkin bagels have been a tradition for us for the last 2 years for St. George Marathon… however… we were a lil early for the pumpkin bagels, they don’t start until the end of September. : ( so we settled for Dutch Apple bagels. Fetchin’ YUMMY! And then I got a blueberry bagel and my mom got a cinnamon raisin bagel. (Did I mention how much I love to ‘carb up’ before race day?! Cuz I LOVE IT!). When we finally made it into Logan, we decided before we picked up our race packets we wanted to drive the last 6miles of the course. We had heard they were a little wicked because they just wind back and forth through downtown Logan. Ended up being a little more difficult than we anticipated, some of the roads were already closed off and we kept getting turned around and couldn’t quite orient ourselves. Lol. We saw a few small hills… and kept saying “they’re not that bad… come on… they aren’t that bad! it’s just the location… we’ll be fine!” We headed to our hotel, got all checked in and then headed to the Marriot to pick up our packets. I was a little disappointed in the expo, it was nothing like St. George. But very organized, so that was a plus! We headed to dinner at Texas Roadhouse (remember how I love to carb load… yeah baby!). Got some bbq chicken and pulled pork and a baked potato AND a (loaded) sweet potato AND about 3 baskets of rolls (shared w/my mom). Heck yes… I was in carb-heaven! 😉 Sufficiently carb (over)loaded, we headed back to the hotel room to get our stuff ready for the morning, and wait for Kimmie and Brookie to arrive. My mom and I are a little OCD (putting it mildly) and have to have EVERYTHING set out the night before, down to our socks and undies and everything! LoL. When Kim and Brooke got there, we drove them downtown real quick to show them where they were gonna meet us (Mile marker 25 aka “Burger King and Main”) and where we wanted her to park. Finally got to bed a little past 10pm…

Woke up Saturday around 4am and nervous as hell! AHHH! Got dressed, got more nervous, and then got even more nervous. Lol. Niccole was supposed to meet us at our hotel and ride the shuttle with us and when we headed out to the lobby to wait for the shuttle my Mom ran back to get a bottle of water and call Niccole really quickly. She was running late so we decided to meet at the park. Again, I was pretty impressed with how organized the race was. The park was busy, but not chaotic. We hopped on a shuttle around 5:30 and headed up the canyon. Once we got to the start line we hit up the portapotties a few times and dumped our clothing bags back on the bus… I kept a long sleeve cotton tee on and gloves and ear-warmers to start with and later “donate” to the course.

Good hell… I’m rambling… like, a lot!

Okay, so gun goes off… My momma and I take off and basically the first 7 miles fly by… I was having some issues keeping my breathing regulated. Kept having episodes of literally gasping for air, but finally got my shiz together by the time we were headed out of the canyon. There were medics on bikes riding throughout the course and apparently during one my gasping for air episodes one of them asked my Mom if I was ok and she looks at him and says “she can do hard things!” LOL. I couldn’t hear anything he or my Mom said because I had my iPod turned up so loud. All was going well up until mile 17 when my Momma started getting cramps in her toes! AHH! Bring out the salt packets! It was so hard watching my Mom struggle with cramping. Her poor leg would just jerk up at the knee and we’d have to stop and walk to get her calf muscle to relax. By mile 20, my quads were starting to ache. I’ve never experienced that before with any of my training runs. I mean, sure, sometimes my legs feel “done”… but this was like, every step hurt, not OMG I have to stop, but like… hmm, my quads don’t like this at all, oh well… SHUT UP and DRIVE! 😉

And that takes us to mile 21… OMG, never have I ever been so happy to see someone than when I saw Britt and her hubby at mile 21. Her sweet hubby took some AMAZING pics of us, and I will post them as soon as I get a copy of them, there is one of my mom and I approaching them and our smiles say it all. Britt jumped in and was a HUGE lifesaver for my Mom and me. She was like this little energizer bunny/gazelle/frolicking deer. She just takes off with us, ponytail bouncing. Loved it. My poor Mom kept cramping and she’d grab onto me for support. I finally told her, “Mom, you can’t do that, I’m gonna tip over with you!” lol. Sorry, Mommy. You know I love you! It was weird how my Mom pushed me and got me through the first half of the race and how by mile 20 our roles had completely switched. I kept telling her, ‘You can do this! You can do HARD things!’ If only her damn leg would have listened! By mile 23, she finally convinced me and Britt to take off and leave her. Well not really convinced me, but I knew if I kept stopping to walk, I’d never be able to get going again…

Umm, wait, WTF? I’m leaving my MOM behind? Omg… NEVER, ever, EVER in a million years did I think I’d be leaving my Mom on the course and taking off. SO weird, and I felt horrible. I can’t even describe how bad I felt leaving her. I couldn’t even look behind me because I knew I’d start bawling (again!)… I thought for sure that I’d be telling her to just go, don’t wait for me… ya know. 2010 has been a year of many firsts in my running.

So, me and Britt are running… my legs HURT. And I tell (aka: whine) to Britt, and she goes, “yup, I know, keep going!” Britt, I love you for being so tough with me. You really, really, really helped me get through this race. Anytime I would stop to walk, she’d get me going again in a few seconds with a “we’re almost there, come on, let’s go!” omigosh! I wanted to scream! “MY LEGS HURT!” but I just kept going. So Britt… again, LOVE YOU! When we left my Mom, she made me promise I’d send Brookie and Kim back for her. So as we approached mile 25 I yelled out to Kim and I could tell I had shocked her. let’s be honest… it should’ve been my mom coming in first, not me… and I told them “you gotta go back for my MOM! She’s cramping, go help her!” I thought for sure I’d get emotional when I saw them, but I was so worried about my Mom that I kind of forget to cry! Lol.

Am I still rambling?? Yeah… I know… almost done (kind of…)

FINALLY, I look at my watch and realize that I really am almost there, (Britt wasn’t lying!) lol. When I know I’m only 3 blocks away, I can feel that spark in my legs… like, Okay girl, time to dig deep, and GO! When I made the last turn and FINALLY saw that finish line, I started to sprint. There was only one lady in front of me, and I made sure I kicked her ass… lol.

4 hours and 3 minutes!!
(that’s 42 minutes, 42 MINTUES!!! off my PR from St. George)

And then I started crying, AGAIN. I was so effin’ happy to be done, but at the same time I was sad that I wasn’t able to cross with my Momma.

A few people were like, “omigosh, you beat your Mom! Way to go!” and I was like, “NO! IT’S NOT LIKE THAT! I didn’t want to BEAT her! We were supposed to cross this finish line together!”

When I finally got my emotions under control, Britt and I started to head out to wait for my Mom to cross and just as we get to the exit they call her name out as she crossed… cue… my tears AGAIN… I started bawling to Britt… I missed my Mom crossing! She came in at 4:07! (she wasn’t that far behind me!) Oh my Lord… only a runner can understand JUST how EMOTIONAL you get before/during/after a race. I waited by the chutes for my Mom to exit and once I see her and she sees me… again… tears! Lots of them. Lots of swearing up and down that “Dammit, I’m serious! We’re not doing this again! I’m DONE! NO MORE MARATHONS!” Then we go find Kimmie and Brooklyn, and more tears. Lol. We were just a big bunch of babies. Then there was lots of pictures, meeting up with Niccole and her family, more pictures, more tears, etc.

Now on a more serious note, something I didn’t mention before was that my Mom and I always decide to dedicate the last few miles of our races to loved ones who have passed away or are currently battling cancer or some other hardship. I’m not going to list everyone here, but mile 18-26 were run for very special people. The last mile has always been for my Grandma Marge… and I have to be completely honest, that when I was running that last mile, she never crossed my mind. I was so consumed with just putting one foot in front of the other. But here’s the coolest thing… after the race, my Mom and I were talking and I admitted to her that I forgot to think of her on that last mile… and she mentioned how on mile 14 there was such a strong wind coming down the canyon and she thought of her mom (my Grandma Marge) and how it was her “pushing” us down the canyon, telling us to keep going. I was like, “OMG, I was thinking the SAME DAMN THING!” I was having a “gasping for air” episode and all of sudden this BURST of air is literally PUSHING me closer to my Mom, (I was a few steps behind her) and ALL I could think of was that it was my Grandma helping me from heaven. It was so odd that my mom and I didn’t mention it to each other until AFTER the race. But I love that my Grandma was a part of this race and helped keep us together.

Again… tears…

(if you are still reading this… I love you! This is the longest post of my life!)

Remember how I was swearing up and down that I would NEVER do another marathon? Yeah, that lasted about 24 hours. My mom and I were talking on the drive home… and we want to do a marathon next year. She’s pushing for St. George… I’m pushing for Top of Utah again. 🙂

me and my momma
me, my saving grace, Britt D and my momma
kimmie, momma, brookie, britt D, and me

4 thoughts on “Top of Utah Marathon 2010

  1. Kellie Knapp says:

    I’m jealous, and not jealous all at the same time that you got to/had to run that long… the only time I’m running is if I’m being chased by a bear, or there is a sale of some sort. YOU KICK ASS ASHLEY! 🙂 <3<3<3


  2. Julia says:

    you.are.amazing!CONGRATS on all the above! What an amazing acommplishment!Gawdness gracious, I’m so stoked to run mine now.I got chills reading about your grandma and the wind, such a neat idea to dedicate mileage. Definitely something I’m considering.<3j


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