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?|
|left or right?!|
Too many great outtakes, I had to post them.
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!”
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.