Whew, what a weekend. I am still toast today! So, here's the run down ...
Friday was spent down at BYU for the last of the PTA convention. I snuck out early, since I still needed to pack. At 4pm me and 5 other girls from the neighborhood headed up to Ogden. Though we got stuck in some traffic, we had fun talking about everything under the sun (you get 6 girls together with no kids or husbands ... well you can imagine!) We stopped at Paige's sister's house in Layton which is where we were to spend the night. She has a gorgeous house. All six of us had our own beds (the kids camped out in the living room for us!) We then headed over to Ogden to pick up the race packets. There were a lot of people there and there was definitely an excitement in the air. We picked up our packets with our official racing bibs (my number was 4874) and then got our timing chips and t-shirts. We decided to eat dinner at the Union Station Grill which was right there, since we were starved. We took a picture of the group while we waited. We met Triscia's mom (she was getting ready to run her 31st marathon!) Dinner was so yummy, I will definitely have to go there again.
We decided to drive the course before we headed back. Don't know if it was a good idea or not. It seemed so long while we drove it! But I tried to stay positive and force any nerves out. By the time we were done it was about 9pm. The girls really wanted to go to Nielsen's Frozen Custard. I really wanted to go to bed (knowing we would be getting up at 3:30am) but we were having so much fun and I figured why not live it up?!? So we went and I shared some OH SO yummy ice cream with Triscia and Emmalia. We got into bed around 11pm. I had a room all to myself so I was able to fall asleep right away. Some of the others had trouble sleeping between creaking beds, snoring and nerves!
3:30 came awfully early. There was a certain amount of excitement in the air that made it possible to get out of bed. It did help that I had laid everything out the night before so I didn't have to really think yet. I loaded up on Ibuprofen and made my PB bagel. It was quite a feat to eat so early in the morning, but we needed the fuel. We loaded the bus around 4:20am. I looked around at all the people (there were tons of buses lined up). Everyone was chatting excitedly and I had this surreal moment. I didn't know people did this. I knew people ran races, but to get up at that hour and to be happy about it? Knowing what they were going to be doing to their bodies? To see the shear number of crazies (total there was 2000 running the marathon and 1500 running the half). Then I realized that I was one of those people. I was up at that hour ... I was going to run 13.1 miles! And I was excited!
The bus dropped us off at the starting point where there was a big line of port-a-potties, mini bon fires and load music (mind you it's not even 5am yet!) There were several houses around this area in the canyon ... I am sure they loved the wake up call! Now we got to wait until the official race start of 7am. Because the race comes out of the canyon, you can't just drive up to the start 20 minutes before it starts, the roads are shut down. So if you want to do it, you have to take the bus shuttle. So we camped out around one of the fire pits and took turns warming up next to it (there was too many people there for everyone to be right by the fire.) We joined up with another girl from our neighborhood and her sister along with Paige's sister and her two friends. Somehow that two hours went by fairly quickly. We went to the potty and stretched just in time to start lining up. The had signs of where to start based on your pace. The last sign was for a 10 minute pace. Robin and I run about a 15 minute pace so we just headed to the backish end of the herd.
We could hear the official start, but it was still a little while before we moved forward. This is what the timing chip is for. It goes around the ankle and times the exact time we cross the start and then various intervals throughout the race and times the finish exactly. We almost felt like crying as it started ... the good kind of cry! We started off slow and steady working to get into our pace. We passed the marker for mile 1 and were in shock. Surely we had only gone 1/4 mile. Going into the second mile was the only real incline of the course. We power walked it just as we planned since we didn't want to aggravate Robin's tendon injury. After that we started to get into a jogging groove. Miles 2 and 3 just blew us away at how quickly they came. I noticed that the muscles in my feet were tight and sore throughout the race. This is something I never noticed in training. I think it's from standing in the cold for two hours before the race. Robin and I had our opposite hi's and lo's which is so perfect for us. She pushes me when I can't go any further and I push her through her rough times.
Somewhere towards to end of the canyon, two marathon wheelchairs passed us. It was cool to see them. not too far behind were the first two male marathon runners. Each time they had a police escort asking us to move to the left of the lane to make room. So this is what we would would do as the came our way ... head to the left. Well, there was a group of three young guys that were probably about 7th overall, so doing pretty well. I told Robin they were coming so we moved to the left. At the same time, they moved to the left as well and ran into her. One of them shouted, "You suck ... keep your lines!" Well we felt horrible. We didn't mean to do that and were only doing what the previous police escorts had asked. Robin was about to cry. I told her that we had every right to be there and even though they had run more miles, we have been running just as long and are just as tired. So then a few minutes later another guy comes up and I was like, "Crap Robin, here's another one." We scrambled to get out of his way. Well, he was so nice and says, "Hey don't worry, it's your race too." We thanked him for being so nice and told him what those guys had said. He told us to ignore them. I told him that I hoped he beat them all! I am so glad that he came by at that point because it helped us shrug off those meanies!
We came out of the mouth of the canyon with about 5 miles to go. Taylor, Aubrey and Braden were there to cheer me on. I stopped for a second to pick up Braden and give them each hugs and kisses. It was SUCH a boost to see them. We then started to run a trail through a park. It was a pretty trail and there were people cheering us on more often since this area was more accessible. Another couple miles down the trail I saw Taylor and the kids. At this point I could only wave and blow kisses and I ran past. There was no stopping. I just felt the pull to get it done! With about two miles left to go, Robin said "Let's run it all, no walking!" I really wanted to, but my lungs were just burning. Normally the thought to run two miles is not daunting, but I just was dying. I pulled out my ipod and put on Josh Groban's "Don't give up" and took off. I got out of my head and just ran. As the song finished up I started feeling bad that I was not waiting for Robyn. I decided to take off the headphones and stay with her. She said I could keep them on, but I felt bad withdrawing from her when we were so close to the end. Every time I ran, my lings burned and it just killed me.
On the final one mile stretch, I couldn't do it anymore. I started walking while Robin kept her jog. I kept a fast walk so I never got too far behind her. I tried running a few times and it was just killing me. I decided to run the cattle run which is where all of the people were. I honestly don't know how I did it. It was like when you are learning to swim, and your mom keeps walking backwards. I felt like every step closer to the finish line that it moved two steps further. People shouted out encouragements like "You're almost there! You can do it!" I wanted to shout back but couldn't even do that. I didn't even have it in me to look for Taylor. It was all about one foot in front of the other. I just about burst with tears as I crossed the finish line. A paramedic came up to be and I told her I was fine, I was just going to cry. Someone handed me a water bottle and someone else put my medal over my head. Everybody was so nice and I was SO PROUD. I had DONE it! There was a misting station which I paused under for a minute. Then I remembered my ipod and didn't want to ruin it. The rest of our group was huddled together. I cried even more when I saw them. We took a group picture with our medals (can't wait to see how lovely we looked!)
I knew I needed to eat something, even though I wasn't hungry. They were giving out Jamba Juice (small ones) and wheat bread. So I grabbed them and started eating. The flavor of the smoothie was so good compared to the yucky GUs! I found Taylor and the kids and got down to stretch out. My body felt surprisingly good. Definite exhaustion and muscle fatigue, but my shins, joints and bones felt good. I was even able to make the walk to the car (very slowly!) I thought I would crash in the car on the way home, but I couldn't sleep. In fact I had a hard time resting even after getting home a showered. I would doze off and dream that I was still running. I didn't do much on Saturday besides stretching and kneaded the muscles. Yesterday we all went to church. We compared war stories and aches. Today I feel good, but am still sore. My right calf gets really tight, and it's hard especially on the stairs.
Robin signed up to do another half towards the end of August. I am thinking that I might do it as well. There is about as much time from now until then as there was from when I started from nothing. It might be neat to see the difference in what my body can do in these three months. I still have to look at the dates and see if it will work.
I will get some pictures up here sometime this week. I don't have access to them right now.
5/17/08 - 13.1 miles!!!
Saucony shoes - 83.35 miles