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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

St. George Marathon

The weekend of the race finally arrived.  I went to St. George a couple of days before race day to kind of get myself in a mental state of being ready.  Did an hour swim on Thursday and then a two mile run Friday morning before going to the expo.
My body felt good and as ready as it was going to be for the marathon.  The weather was supposed to be a perfect temperature but the wind picked up Thursday night and did not really quit until Saturday morning.  That worried me a little but once the race started, it stopped.  The rest of my group arrived on Friday afternoon and we had a pre-race dinner at the house.  Steaks, salmon, pasta salad, sweet potato casserole and apple cobbler – it was yummy.  I have really fun and supportive friends who wanted to make the race-eve memorable!
We made a plan on where to meet to load buses in the morning and said an early goodnight.  3:45 am comes really early!  The crew at my house headed to the buses but we didn’t see our friends so we loaded and headed up to the start.  Having never done a marathon before, I was noticing how far we were driving and realizing that I would be running back the same way!   We stood in line for over a half hour for the bathroom and a little more to drop our clothes bag and then the race started so there wasn’t a lot of time to think about anything.  We never did find the others in our group but I was going to run alone so I knew I would just see them at the finish.  My biggest problem is always starting out too fast so I worked hard on watching my pace so I would not run out of steam.  I was running a little under the pace I had planned for but felt good so stayed with my run/walk plan.  The course was beautiful and it was fun to see the sun coming up over the red hills and the beautiful setting.  I failed a little on my nutrition plan but never felt deficient.  I did have a little “bathroom” problem and ended up stopping half a dozen times the first 20 miles.  The weather was about 37 degrees to start so I left sweatpants and a long sleeve tech shirt on for the first hour or so.  They say this is a “downhill” course but there are several little blips on the elevation chart that translate into hills but nothing insurmountable.  Until mile 19 starts.  Coach Lizz and I had talked about this so I was prepared and, as I told her after, “I ran up the effing hill at 18-19!”  I hit 20 miles at about the same time as I did on my training run and still feeling good.  A 10k left – no problem!  My pace dropped a little but I was in familiar territory and knew the end was near.  As I rounded the corner for the last mile, there was my husband taking pictures and cheering me on with our friends.
That gave me what I needed to finish.  When I first registered all I wanted to do was finish in at least 6 hours but as I trained, I thought I could maybe get it done in 5:15-5:30.  My time was 5:19 so I was happy!  I found my friends who had finished before me, we took pics and headed to clean up.
The funny thing about this picture is that there were 5 guys that we were facing that were taking pictures - we should have gotten one of them!

After an ice bath and shower, I felt almost human again.  Unlike some of my younger friends (Candice & Kenzie!!!), I will not return to the gym until Wednesday and even then it will be at half effort.  The sense of accomplishment that I have is enormous – I ran a marathon!  Thanks to all my friends and family who believed in and encouraged me.  Especially to Wes, who delayed his work life in order to be here for me!