STG Marathon Recap 2011

We headed down to St George on Friday morning. It seemed like it took forever to get down there. Had our traditional bagel from Einstein Bagels and I drank G2 like it was my JOB. Maybe that’s why it took so long to get there… we had to make a pit stop every 30 minutes.
When we got into St George, we headed right to the Expo to pick up our packets (where I got recognized from the blog… crazy!), then ran to a quick lunch so we could catch the “Legends” presentation. As I mentioned before, Paul (our running buddy/coach) was number 7 on the St George Marathon Legends list. It was a cool, albeit long, presentation. I’m still amazed that people can actually run THAT fast. It blows my mind.

the man, the myth, the #7 LEGEND
Paul & Kristie & kidlets

our running crew
Joanna (Jo-Jo), Kristie, Paul, me, Josh (Poshie), Pam (Momma)
My Mom was star struck by Cheryl Harper (#1 Legend) and Kristie made us all take a picture with her.
Too bad we couldn’t get one with all of us looking at the same camera.

are we looking left?

or right?

left or right?!

Too many great outtakes, I had to post them.
sweet jesus…
we are SOOO special
Got checked in to the hotel, set out all my running gear (hello, my name is Ashley and I have OCD). Then we headed to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. My Mom parked in the farthest spot possible and we start walking up to the restaurant and I spot Lindsay. WHOA. I’m like, “HOW CRAZY IS IT THAT LINDS IS IN ST GEORGE AND AT TEXAS ROADHOUSE?!” I turn to my Mom and tell her, “Look! It’s Linds!” and I turn back around and Michelle and Whitney are running towards us.
Cue Ashley’s tears…
Linds, Michelle, me, & Whit
I had no idea they were coming to surprise me!
Apparently, Michelle had been planning on coming down for 3 weeks. I was just to slow to catch her many (?? I guess I don’t pay attention??) slip-ups. Lindsay and Whitney were planning on driving down on Saturday morning, but when Michelle found out she could get a room Friday night, she told them they could stay with her. I was SO excited they were there! SO EXCITED.
After dinner, we made a game plan for the morning and took a last minute trip to Walmart. Had to get more Gatorade, bananas and hand warmers.
I actually slept really well. Probably better than any other race before. I feel asleep pretty quickly and didn’t wake up until my alarm went off at 3:15. (yup, we wake pretty early… gotta have time to drink my coffee, potty, and check, double check, & triple check my drop bag)

yes, we bring our own coffee pot.
yeah, I know it’s weird. whatever… don’t be judgy…
We met up with Jo-Jo, Kristie & Paul and rode up the canyon. I was nodding off and kept snoozing. Not my normal ball of nerves. Everything felt different about this race. I think completely taking off all the stress of a PR or a sub 4:00 race made a HUGE difference in my attitude about the race. I was still excited to run (DUH! I’ve been dying to run!), but I was also excited to NOT be stressed about pace, time, splits. My only goal was to finish. And hopefully, finish without having any Achilles pain. If I could “course PR”, great, just some icing on the cake. Let me reiterate… I was simply excited to RUN. I hadn’t had a good quality run in a month. Dear Lord, I prayed, please just let me enjoy this run, let me be pain free and stay injury free.
After standing in line a few times for the portapotties, and chatting with Rachelle, Julia, Frances, and Candice it was finally time to GO! High fives, knuckle bumps/rocks, wishes of good luck & love you’s and we were off.
Like I said in my other race post, the first 5 miles were amazing. I felt fantastic. Completely pain free, euphoric, and just so calm… I actually had pretty decent splits (go me!). I took a quick pit stop at mile 6 because I was not about to attack Veyo with bubble guts. I took care of my business and headed towards Veyo. The crowd support was incredible. Tons of spectators, lots of awesome signs, and lots of little ones to slap hands with. 🙂
After I slowly got up Veyo, we continued to climb. I swear, I DO NOT remember all these hills! I just kept shuffling up the hills and trying to take advantage of the downhill. Around the half way point ( I think it was around there…) I saw Monica and she ran with me for a bit and got my spirits higher! Thanks GIRL! Around this point I was quickly realizing that my quads and calves were aching. Not worse than normal during a marathon, just EARLIER. Usually it happens around mile 20. So I knew I was in for a wild ride. 😉 Again, I was just happy to be out running. I told myself many times, this is not the race where you are gonna push yourself to the limit, be calm, controlled, and just get the mileage done. I was not about to puke or pass out. No. Thank. You.
I got to mile 14, which I ran for a friend (and her peanut). I’m so glad she chose mile 14, because it was an AWESOME mile. It was gorgeous, down hill, and I had an overwhelming sense of peace when I ran this for her (& the peanut). I kept wishing I had a camera so I could take a picture for her!
The miles just kept passing by. I started taking my Accel gels every 4 miles, starting with mile 5. I just kept telling myself I just had to get to the next “gel stop”. Mile 13 was suddenly mile 17 then suddenly mile 21.
HUH? I don’t know why, but for some reason it HIT ME that I had ran 21 miles. I had gotten to mile 21. My Achilles was achieving champion status for being a trooper and barely aching. But I HAD GOTTEN TO 21. The girl who was battling tendonitis, not running for 4 weeks before the race, not even sure I’d finish…WAS at 21 MILES. I was ecstatic. Just had to keep going.
I was so happy to be getting out of the canyon because I knew we were close! Mile 24 meant, water & Gatorade, stiff as rock-calves, and some icy hot. Mile 24 also had THE BEST race sign I’ve EVER seen.
“Running is a mental sport.
And you are ALL INSANE.”
I literally laughed out loud. SO freaking TRUE.

me & whit (almost there!!)
not sure how I was smiling and waving, considering I thought I was going to puke 5 steps back…
once I saw Michelle (& the camera) I flipped a switch and became happy/chipper chick.

Mile 25 hit and Whit-dawg was there to run me in! WAHOO. So happy to see her smiling face! She was so supportive and let me walk when I wanted and told me I had to start running because we only had a few more turns! When we finally made that last turn I almost cried. The finish line seemed SO far away! I started messing with my ipod to find my song, “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato. I know it’s not a typical race song, but for some reason, it’s the song I wanted to run in with. It got me all sorts of pumped up!
When we got closer to the chutes, I envisioned myself and the runner in front of me attached by a rubber band. I “sprang” towards them and passed them. It was a great motivator to still have something left in the tank and I could still PUSH myself!
I finished the race in 4:42:05!
I am definitely proud of this race. And I think, it may be my most memorable race this year, basically because I wasn’t stressed about my pace or splits, I was just out running for ME. I was simply happy to have finished the race. I had a good, relatively pain free (Achilles, that is), run. This race was a huge reminder of why I LOVE running. I ran this race for me.
I joked all day long that I made St George Marathon my BITCH.
Regardless of my finish time, I didn’t care…
I finished that race and I OWNED it.
St George Marathon…
You. Are. My. BIOTCH.
i OWN you.
Now… of course, after the race there was the promises of no full marathons next year. (DAMMIT, I’m serious. I mean it!) We were planning “the year of the half’s”.
I’ll let you guess how long that lasted…

Mom & Linds right after the finish.
My Mom MADE Lindsay run her in ALL THE WAY to the finish.
“Don’t you LEAVE ME NOW!”

My Mom caved in about 6 hours.
I at least lasted until Sunday night. :/

pretty sure Josh wants to try another full.
we’re all effin’ insane. it’s a genetic thing, apparently.

Registration opens November 1st for Ogden Marathon (May 19th).
Mark your calendars. I plan on making Ogden my bitch, too.
I will get the damn sub 4:00 I’ve been dreaming of.

15 thoughts on “STG Marathon Recap 2011

  1. Lisa says:

    Awesome job! Too bad we didn’t run into each other. Who knows, maybe I’ll see you in Ogden. My friends might be running it and I might want to tag along.You’re faster at recaps than I am. 😉


  2. Julia says:

    you are simply amazing. seriously…love all your pics. you can see it in your face that you are SO happy to be out there running! LOVE THAT! you are inspirational to me…your strength, positivity, determination…everything! so proud of you and so happy for you! you definitely owned the course and Ogden seriously better not even mess with you. just dont try. yeahhhhh!!!! congrats friend!


  3. Ann says:

    Love, love, love this recap. Sounds luke such an amazing experience!!!!!! And I’m SO happy you have such a good attitude about everything. 🙂 it’s wonderful your achilles didn’t hurt you too bad…. I’m just so proud of you, my marathon-running, crazy friend.


  4. Miss Erosion says:

    I was happy to see this recap! 🙂 You are fabulous my dear! SO happy that you were able to have such a wonderful, pain free race. Injuries right before you are about to run are such a bummer… but you obviously did not let it get to you and finished strong. I saw that sign too and it made me smile. Did you see the Humpty Dumpty sign? I cant remember exactly what it said but I remember laughing when I read it. SUB 4 in 2012 is YOURS!!!!!!!!!


  5. Becky says:

    So awesome. You had the kind of race that I think everyone really wants when they set out to run a marathon. You actually enjoyed it! Congrats on such an awesome run. And I hear Ogden is absolutely gorgeous–you’ll love it!


  6. Rachelle Wardle says:

    Love this recap! You are so awesome and I just love your attitude about this race. It is so perfect. I am so glad you enjoyed it and you FREAKING OWNED IT! Love it.Love all of the pictures and yay for Ogden!! I really do think it is the perfect PR course.


  7. Monica says:

    Thanks for letting me run with you for a few minutes, you looked fabulous and I spent the rest of the race mentally cheering for you. I’m impressed that you could turn what could have been an awful experience into something really great. Towards the end of most marathons, I promise myself if I just keep running hard, I never have to run another marathon. Just like you, that usually lasts a few hours. My husband announced his “retirement” after the race, and so far, hasn’t caved. He’s not quite as “mental” as some of us, so maybe he’ll really give it up. Again, congratulations on racing a great race, and looking amazing while doing it.


  8. Jen says:

    I’m so proud of you and your attitude. You really did such a great job! Loved the recap! I remember those hills well. I am going to have to do St. George again just to feel like I can conquer those hills. And I remember the signs. They were awesome! One of my favorites that I’ve ever seen was “Any idiot can run, it takes a special kind of idiot to run a marathon.’ It made me laugh on the course too! So proud of you!


  9. says:

    Just so we’re on the same page…You wanted to run a sub-4:00 marathon, couldn’t run the month before the race and ended up finishing just off of 4:40?I kid you not sister when I say that I think that we were (literally) running side-by-side that Sunday morning in opposite parts of the country because I’m 100% sure that the story I read right there was near-identical to mine.Here’s to killing it over 26.2 and to having the spring races that we’ve earned!


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