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 ALL 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 had 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! 😉 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.
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.
Read the blog and have a box of tissu
(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) 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. 🙂
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…
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.
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!). 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. 🙂 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!
Hope you enjoy this SUPER LONG post… I feel like I’ve been writing all night long. 🙂