officially crossed off the bucket list.
the week leading up.
monday and tuesday were great days as far as the marathon was concerned. I went to a friends house for dinner and her roommate had just run a marathon. She told me everything, and got me as excited as could be for the race. She told me things she had done which made the race more meaningful, such as dedicating each mile to a different person and then thinking about that person for that mile and why they are important to you. I was excited and feeling good.
|the shoes Josh found for me. shiny. and 2 sizes too big.|
the next day was better. I was able to eat, but still was apprehensive about the upcoming race. I scrambled that night to get everything set. I ran to runner's corner and stocked up on gu for the race, and got some last minute tips from the worker man. I washed all my clothes, packed, and loaded my phone with music. What I thought would take 15 minutes took 2 hours because of "updates" so rather than getting to bed at 10, it was after midnight.
|I have the bestest hometeachers- who know the way to my heart. They stopped by on thursday with a "naked" protein drink for "pre-marathon" and double stuff oreos for "post-marathon"|
friday morning was full of excitement. my parents were on the plane, everyone at work was wishing me luck. Jessica (the sweetest girl in the whole wide world) had gotten me some marathon necessities including icy hot. and it felt real. 5 hours of work and one class later, I was home packing the car and doing some last minute cleaning. And then we were off. We swung by Matt and Keri's to pick up the rents, gave some hugs, jumped in the back and started the 4 hour drive down to St. George.
The drive was good. Mary and I slept, and talked. Bill told his injury stories, which always bring entertainment. Mary and I discussed how the race was going to work. She had kidney stones and wasnt sure if she would do it, but made me promise if she did I would be honest and leave her if she was holding me back. I told her that she wasn't allowed to say "you can leave me" until she absolutely meant it. honesty. the best policy.
we got to st george and made our way to the Dixie Convention Center to pick up our packets. bib number 8087.
|writing out the "dedication list" before leaving for the race|
|about to load the buses. still scared as could be.|
I LOVE start lines. there is such an energy. an excitement. The St. George Marathon has been voted one of the most organized races and you could tell. It was an amazing starting line complete with music, first aid, bon fires, and porta potties. I still love the line waiting for the bathroom before a race- weird, i know. but it was great. we waited among the crowds- went to the bathroom- and then it was time to start.
|my favorite part is waiting in line for the porta pottys. weird? i know.|
|getting more excited|
It was just another training run. that's what we kept telling ourselves. just take it easy. don't get too excited, don't pass people. just run. the first seven miles seemed to fly by as we talked about the people we had dedicated each mile to (an idea from Amanda Garlock's roommate). We told stories, and why we loved them. We talked about our own lives, and laughed at the signs along the road.
Mile 7 is when the hill started. it seemed to go on forever. 4 miles of uphill. it wasn't awful. we stayed on track to finish in under 5, even though we took a few walking breaks. Mary was an absolute trooper with her Kidney stones... i have no idea how she did it.
We stuck with what we had done training. "gu"s every 45 minutes. taking it easy. and just having fun. we made it to the half way point and Mary wasn't feeling so great. She had heard the idea of run five and walk one, and decided she wanted to try it. We had prepared for this. The moment where we would split. I knew I would go crazy walking- I was feeling great, but could I mentally do it alone? We talked about it for a little bit, and decided the time had come. She started walking and I kept pace. Immediately it was a battle of the mind. I felt overwhelmed thinking of the next hours by myself. I needed Mary- she distracted me... "no, I can do this. you've run a half alone, you can do this" it was a battle. I said a prayer that I would be able to have the strength and will power to finish without Mary. Suddenly she was next to me. Literally. She had the same thoughts, and decided she wasn't ready to break. The next few moments were filled with very cheesy sentences coming out of my mouth like "I missed you" "I couldn't do it without you" etc... we ran the next mile together, and then it was time. We hugged, and separated.
I was okay on my own. I people watched, and thought about life, and what I was accomplishing. I was lost in my thoughts when I heard someone say, "you were an efy counselor." I turned and a girl was talking to me. She had been in Ohio for the last few years and had recognized me. We talked for a bit, updating each other on our lives, and getting to know each other better, and then she stopped to walk. She was a tender mercy, and made that mile seem to fly by.
Mile 16. I got to see my parents. I had called my mom a mile before letting her know I was almost there and to make sure I was on the correct side of the road. She told me where they were, and I tried to talk to her while extremely winded. I was running down a hill, seeing the crowds of families below when I saw a man holding a sign, "may the course be with you" with a picture of yoda. It made me chuckle and I was going to tell him I liked his sign when I realized the man holding the sign was my dad. I have never been so happy to see him. I ran up and gave him a huge hug, before continuing to my mom waiting below. A family friend came and met me, and ran with me the rest of the way. All I wanted was a hug from my mom. She gave words of encouragement and I continued to run. 10 more miles to go. I was feeling good.
|the hill before getting to where the parentals were|
|running in for the hug- gross and sweaty|
Mile 19. Someone at the aid station was broadcasting conference. It was like an added boost of energy and the spirit and exactly what I needed. I felt rejuvenated, even if I only was able to hear 15 seconds of it broadcasted, it was a reminder that I wasn't running this race alone. We had never been alone, we had had the help of our Heavenly Father in training, and he was there with us on this race. I also renewed my love of orange slices. For some reason they taste heavenly during races and I can't get enough of them.
Mile 22. the biofreeze had rubbed off and the pain was back. this aid station had bengay rubs. I ran over, decided it was worth it and hiked my pants as high as I could so they could get to my quads. My black running capris now had some nice white smears, but it was well worth it. My legs felt great, and odd. Where the biofreeze had just numbed, I could feel this go from icy to hot. My legs just felt so warm, but it was good enough (it helped win the mental battle). I finally decided to break out my music. I had my playlist of songs with the word "run" in the title and it was amazing the energy it gave me. "Run Run Run" by Natasha Bedingfield... love. love. love.
Mile 24. They were handing out bags of ice. I grabbed one just to hold. The St. George heat was starting to kick in and i just wanted to be done with the race and in an ice bath. I held the ice in my hands and it did nothing but make my hands cold... it was worth a try
Mile 25. They handed out cold wash clothes. HEAVEN! they felt so wonderful. Also I got to see my parents again. I might have gotten a little teary eyed as I saw my mom. I was so close and I loved her so much.
Mile 26.2. I finished. wanted to throw up when they gave me a popsicle and just wanted to lay down and pass out.
|the finisher medals were the coolest|
cathy is the best and came and talked to me over the fence for what seemed like forever. she told me she was proud of me (probably the best words a daughter can hear). i told her i wanted to pass out. she told me I wasn't allowed to, but that I could lay down. I did. It made life ten times better. I ate food. great harvest bread equals perfection. the "runner's zone" was amazing with the most post raceness that I had ever seen. after waiting a while we decided to try to find mary. we walked back, saw Bill, kept walking and eventually found Mary and Cami Jo walking in. Mary was amazing. She had finished even though she felt awful. She had wanted to quit, but didn't know how to get the shuttles or "wagons of shame" to stop and pick her up so she just kept going. We walked the last 1.5 miles with her, and ran in with her.
|mary still going strong.|
|she looked beautiful! but for real!|
how we really feel after running. our half is on the left, and our full on the right.
all in all, it was a great experience. and it's true what they say- you catch a bug. I am ready to run another one. I thought there would be an amazing sense of accomplishment that came when I crossed the finish line. An instantaneous change in how I felt, and who I was. Its the same feeling that I thought would come when I turned 16, or when I stepped off the plane in Europe. It never comes. It is gradual. The change didn't come when I crossed the finish line, but when I woke up at 5 every saturday to train, when we signed up, when it seemed impossible after EFY, when we would go to bed early on friday nights after spending the evening driving the canyon to make sure it would be okay to run. It came slowly over time. It reminds me of the talk my dad gave at Arielle's baptism. He talked about how she probably wouldn't feel different after she got baptized because the change came as she learned to love the gospel. I still don't feel much different than before- it didn't feel like that great of an accomplishment (my mom said not to say that because it negates others who have run marathons... don't get me wrong it is hard and an amazing thing, but when I crossed the finish line it didn't seem like it was that hard... the reason? i trained, with Heavenly Father's help.)
I was sore that night, and the next day, but by Monday I felt back to normal. I could walk up and down stairs with minimal pain, and the only residual pain were my feet which took a beating. Luckily for me I have a doctor cousin, scotty, who performed surgery on my toe (aka drained a blister).