Ogden Marathon Recap

Okay… so here’s the recap… finally.
To be honest, I’ve been dreading writing the recap. I wanted to PR. I wanted to qualify.
and… neither of those happened.
but I’ll save the waa-waa-ing for a little later in the post.
The morning started off pretty good. Woke up, got ready to go. Met Rachelle in our hotel lobby and got on the shuttle bus. Ended up sitting behind the CLIF pacers (some of them) and had some interesting conversation. My Mom and I made a (impulsive) decision to start with the 3:45 pace group so we could save our energy for the end of the race and hopefully pick up the pace at the end, or just stay with group, and if all else failed, still come in under 4:00.
The bus ride seemed to go on forever… but we were finally at the top of the canyon. The holding area was super muddy but the weather was actually pretty decent. I had on my sweatshirt, but didn’t even need ear warmers or gloves (though I put them on to start the race-just in case). Stood in line THREE times for the port-o-potties. (complete waste of time… let’s just say my body needs fiber to function and seeing as how ALLย I ate were carbs the day before, nothing was moving. TMI?! oh well.)
As we started lining up for the race to start, Rachelle and Josh headed to the 3:30 pace group, Mom and I headed for the 3:45 pace group, and Britt headed to the 4:30 pace group. As we crossed the start line, I felt pretty at ease knowing we weren’t going out too fast, staying with the pace group made me feel confident that I wasn’t going to bonk out at the end and that I’d still have some juice in the tank so I could finish strong.
For the first few miles we were between the 3:30 and 3:45 pace group, in fact my splits for the first 7 miles had an avg of 8:22/mile. By the half point, my splits slowed down to 8:47/mile. Still on track for a sub 4:00 with some cushion. I do have some beef with the 3:45 pacer… I was watching my Garmin (probably too much) and I noticed that our pace was 10-20 seconds faster than the 8:35 pace that we should have been keeping. And he never stopped at the water stops. No offense, but there are not many of us that can drink fluids while running. I would have had no problem with the increased pace, if he let us walk through the water stops. At mile 11 (or was it 12?) I hadย my first potty stop. After that, I couldn’t catch the pace group again. This is also where my Mom and I split, we figured she’d have to stop at some point to use the potty, so we’d catch back up to each other.
Here she is… stealing my thunder! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just kiddin’
Took my first gel at 5, then at 11 (before the potty), and then again at 14.5 after the main hill on the course.
ย I think this picture was somewhere after the hill and after I had my second (WTF?) potty stop. (I missed my fiber… fo’ sho’). Took another gel around 18/19. And when mile 20 hit… I started to think about my dedication miles:
Mile 20: Mr. P
I’ll call him Mr. P for privacy reasons… this incredible gentlemen is a pt at my office and has been dealing with some serious health issues. From his very first office visit, we got talking about running and he explained that he was a marathon runner, but since his health problems started he’s had to take some time off running. So when I thought about how hard it was to be running… I remembered that Mr. P would literally DO ANYTHING to be out there running again.
Mile 21: Kelly
Read the blog and have a box of tissu
es ready.
enough said.
(My brother went to school w/Kelly’s husband, Manny)
Mile 22: Uncle Jim
My Uncle Jim passed away from kidney cancer about a year and a half ago. He fought an incredible battle and eventually his body succumbed to the cancer. But he fought. He did extremely hard things. He always supported our running and I found myself thinking that he would LOVE this course. It was beautiful. A course Jim definitely would have approved of.
Mile 23: the Ford family
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know our family suffered an incredible loss when my cousin Brad passed away in February. This mile was for his parents, Doug and Carol, his wife and daughter, Tahsha and Leah, and his siblings, Brian, Leslie and Mike. This mile was for them. It was a little emotional.
this is also when Stacey jumped in with me. She was literally right in my face before I recognized her. I started crying when I saw her. I was SO happy to see her. She was the BEST CHEERLEADER I could have ever asked for.
Mile 24: Brad
the second to last mile was for Brad. I just KNOW he was up in heaven (with Grandma Marge)ย watching over me, my Mom and Josh while we ran this marathon. In fact… I think he may have been playing a joke on me. The last few miles of the race were pretty downhill but we had a nasty headwind. More than once I looked straight up to the sky and said “Seriously?! You are blowing the wind the WRONG way! Help me out here, Brad!” Poor Brad got an earful of me going “Help me! Help me! Help me!”.
My Mom later mentioned the hot air balloon that was in the sky the entire race, which I noticed, but didn’t think much of… She put it perfectly when she said it was Brad and my Grandma watching over us during our race. I can literally hear my Grandma’s voice “Brad! Lower us down! I wanna see those kids! oooh-hoo! Look at them go!” And Brad probably just sat there and laughed with a great big smile on his face and did as he was told. ๐Ÿ™‚
Mile 25 to the finish: Grandma Marge
oh… Grandma Marge. All I could think of was her saying “Run faster dammit!”. I’m beginning to think she was the force behind my personal cheerleader, Stacey. She kept telling me to go faster, that I had it in me. That I could do hard things. Run! Go!
It was this mile that Stacey pointed Josh out just ahead of us. I was shocked… I thought he had finished and come back for me. It made me kinda bummed, because not only had he kicked trash, and already finished, but he still had juice in the tank and came back for me. But, I was wrong. Josh started cramping at mile 11 (MILE ELEVEN…) and was still running. Stacey kept trying to push me to catch him… and I was so out of it that I just didn’t get it. We eventually caught him at about 25.5… and I broke down. Cried. Told him my legs freakin’ HURT. I started walking (again…) and he took off. I still didn’t get that he hadn’t finished. At this point, another runner ran up behind me and drenched my back in ice cold water, and yelled “You can walk when you get to the finish line. RUN!” Tell you what… that water had some serious rejuvenating properties. It seemed to wake me up out of my mental fog. My legs still felt like jello but mentally, I knew where I was, knew that I was close.
Stacey and I took off again and she started pointing out people for me to pass. She point at me, then at the person, then back at me and motion that I had to pass them. I have to admit… the first one I passed, I thought to myself “Chick-One”. lol. This went on until we got to the chutes and she said “You got this! Run!” and I ran…
ย and I finished.
4:04:09 (garmin time) chip time was 5 seconds slower
Ran right into my Mom’s arms and started bawling. She had finished about a minute before me, and Josh was just right in front of me.
I was disappointed in myself. I was upset I hadn’t qualified, that I hadn’t come in under 4:00, or even PR’d.
Then I saw Diz and his dad Drew, and started crying again. Diz wasn’t sure if I was ok. My damn emotions. I tried to explain that it was just DAMN hard. And I didn’t run as fast as I had wanted too. I was just upset.
After getting some water and some ice packs for my quads we started watching for Britt. We knew she’d be crossing between 4:30 and 5:00. When the 5:00 mark came and went… we started to worry. We had no way of getting a hold of her or her husband. We weren’t sure if she was hurt, sick, or if she had somehow already crossed and we missed her. Ahh! We hated leaving without seeing her cross, but we had to get back to the hotel and leave for the airport.
ย We ran into Jen as we were leaving and she told us that she had ran with Britt for the first 18 miles but that she was having horrible knee pain. well as it turns out… I think Britt had the best experience of us all, she crossed the finish line with a HUGE smile on her face and just kept telling herself, “I just RAN A MARATHON!”
Trust me when I say… this girl has quite a few valid reasons to not ever want to do this again, to even say she had a good time… and she’s so thankful that she had the opportunity to do it. and even wants to do it again.
**I promise I am almost done…**
I saw this saying on a guy’s shirt at the beginning of the race—
“the COWARDS never started and
the WEAK died along the way”
what does that mean to me? I’m a dang brave person to be doing this! This was my 4th marathon. I’ve had the guts to go out and push myself to the limit to see what my body is capable of (4 times!).ย And even though I struggled, physically and mentally, I DIDN’T quit. I wasn’t weak. I didn’t die. I kept going. I FINISHED.
I have done a lot of thinking about this race in the last few days… and I have come to the resolution that I DID everything I could to ensure a good race. But when it comes down to it, a MARATHON is still a MARATHON. It’s still hard. It doesn’t get easier. It’s 26.2 miles, regardless of uphills, downhills, or flat. It’s tough. IT DOESN’T GET EASIER. It’s completely UNPREDICTABLE. You just never know how a race is going to go. I had great training runs under my belt. I stayed hydrated, I gel-ed, I took electrolyte supplements. It just wasn’t my best race. I have to accept that.
(oh… I’ve forgotten about Boston… in fact, screw Boston! lol. I just want a sub 4:00. and I have another chance in 17 days and this October at St. George. BRING. IT. ON.)
I had a great support system there. My Mom, Josh, my husband, my father in law, STACEY, and my supporters up in heaven, were all there to cheer me on. And even though I wasn’t happy with my finishing time, I was extremely happy to share the moment with my Mom and Brother.
A HUGE shout out goes to Ms. Katie for being our photographer and waiting around for us at the finish line. She even had a little treat for me the night before with a cute card. ๐Ÿ™‚ She was a great support and I can’t wait til she moves her booty out here to Utah so we can do more training runs and get Yogurtland all the time!
and of course… STACEY… my saving grace. My most-awesomest cheerleader. I can’t thank her enough. She was incredible. In fact, she was so great, I asked her to run me in at Utah Valley Marathon on June 11. And even though I was an emotional diva during this race, she agreed!
I’m done!
Hope you enjoy this SUPER LONG post… I feel like I’ve been writing all night long. ๐Ÿ™‚

14 thoughts on “Ogden Marathon Recap

  1. Julia says:

    Congrats diva!You are amazing and will always inspire me!I know what it’s like to be let down by a race, you’ve seen me struggle with it for months. DO NOT let it eat you.I’m so teared up right now! Great job! Great job!


  2. Jen says:

    What an emotional recap. Dedication miles is what it’s all about. I know when I think about all the people who would kill for the chance to be running, it makes the suffering a little easier to bear. I was really worried that you’d be disappointed. I’m glad you can see through and see what you accomplished. Sometimes that takes a couple of days. I’ve heard it said that no matter how many times you’ve run a marathon you still need to respect the distance. It’s hard. It pushes your body to the limits. You did awesome and what’s even better is that you have a chance for redemption in about 2 weeks time! I love ya!


  3. Julia says:

    Aw! I Love this….thanks for sharing your story. I know it did not go exactly as you hoped but I know this race made you stronger and I am so proud of you for pushing through this entire experience! you are amazing and an inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚ You will get that sub 4 in 2011! I just know it!


  4. Rachelle Wardle says:

    Ashley I loved reading this. You are amazing and I am so proud of you. I seriously felt every emotion in this post and I can completely relate! No matter what you still finished a freaking marathon!!! I completely agree that the pacers were frustrating. I tried to stay with the 3:30 and he did not seem supportive at all and definitely did not slow down at the water stations. oh well.I am so sad to hear about Josh. I was wondering what happened to him. Isn’t it weird how you can train with no problems and then the race comes and BAM…stupid cramps.Anyway I just love you and know you can and will get sub 4!


  5. Stephanie says:

    That was AWESOME! I got all teared up a few times, it really is so amazing to be able to run a marathon. You did great! I am still jealous that you get to run with your cute little mom ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. The Hungry Runner Girl says:

    YAY FINALLY!!! Girl, you are absolutely incredible. I LOVED your pictures. Your mile people made me tear up. Love what your gma would have said. You will rock Utah Valley. I LOVE THAT QUOTE and I am putting it in my quote book. I need to see you asap!


  7. Katie Anne says:

    Pretty sure I LOVE your recap of your marathon!!!! U did amazing girl!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ This week has been INSANE at work, so I haven’t gotten the pictures put on discs yet!! That is this weekends project!!! P.S. I’m soo ready to freakin move to Utah!!!


  8. Tahsha says:

    I loved this post. I can’t believe that you did this. Thank you so much for thinking of us. I know Brad was there with you. I got so emotional when you talked about him. You captured it perfectly. You’re amazing girl!


  9. Amber says:

    I know I am late on this, but AWESOME JOB!!! I got all emotional while reading… such a great story. Sorry about the 4 mins, I know it’s frustrating, but what an amazing body you have for getting you so strong to the finish!


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