This is the biggest marathon I’ve done–this year they had over 7000 people running (all US states except Vermont, as the announcer regularly reminded us)… but I get ahead of myself. I must lay out the whole, long epic:
I took Friday off so Rosanne and I could get down in time to get my race packet (racing bib, etc). My parents took the kids for us, so the trip down there was MUCH quieter than our other trips. However, we both noticed that we missed the kids more than usual, and throughout the whole trip we both kept finding ourselves saying things like, “Oh, the kids would have loved that!”
We got into town and got my packet and wandered the expo. There were some fairly clever shirts–Our favorite was the picture of the turtle captioned “I AM running!”; Another one had text on the back of the shirt: “Dear God, please let there be someone behind me reading this.” I found (and bought) the only geek-running shirt I have ever seen: “May the course be with you.” It was simply too cheesy to pass up…
So after that we went to the St. George LDS Temple, then to Brick Oven for a huge plate-o-pasta, and finally to bed…
…not sure why I rushed to bed, as I was so hyped up I couldn’t go to sleep for almost two hours. On top of that the air conditioner in our room sounded rather like a lawn mower, so whenever it started up during the night, so did I.
I met Emily at the bus pickup at 4:00 (yes… AM), and we headed up to the starting point. There we chatted with each other and other runners while standing around a pile of wood that someone was supposed to be lighting… soon. Although I was cold, it was not nearly as cold as the other marathons I’ve run, which worried me.
…And I should have been worried. I was sweating pretty good before the first mile marker. Not a good sign. for most of the race, I didn’t feel like I had the energy I was used to (due to the heat), and my legs weren’t as strong as they should have been (due to not training enough). I ended up taking a few walking breaks to help my get through it (about 2 miles total, I think).
It was a pretty well organized race. In addition to having the usual stuff at the aid stations, starting from around the mid-point I noticed that each aid station included a couple people with Icy-Hot. You just went up to one of them and they asked you where you needed it. I ended up needing that, as my knees were starting to hurt around mile 17–it helped a lot!
It was also very pretty–especially the second half. around mile 14 you go around this bend and find yourself looking at Snow Canyon, and you run along side of that for quite a ways.
I finally dragged myself to the finish line (and yes, it really felt like dragging) at 4:11:06. While that is certainly my worst time, all things considered, I’m glad to have gotten what I did. Rosanne gathered up what was left of me and we headed home.
On the other hand, Emily did amazing! Her time was 3:49–which is even more amazing considering the hot weather. seriously, the shuttles and even ambulances were pretty common on this race. She was going for a Boston-qualifying time, but was smart enough to rest for a bit when she almost blacked out. Way to go Em! (About the race time, not the blacking-out thing…)
Now, here is the secret to why we semi-crazy people run marathons. The accomplishment of something that really is borderline-impossible is not the only reason (although that is part of it). Another part of it is the next day. We ended up staying the night at my parents’ house. Rosanne let me sleep in and took the kids in the morning. Dad made a superb hot cocoa (one of my weaknesses), and then they made us the most wonderful breakfast-for-lunch EVER! Thanks a ton!
Would I do it again? For a breakfast like that, absolutely!