I got off of work at 2:30 Friday, came home and packed and we were on the road by 3:30. The drive up went really smooth and before I knew it we were already in Bountiful. I called Amy and we met at a gas station and she handed me her packet. She was the sweetest person ever and it was fun to meet her in person. Thanks for cheering for me during the race too Amy I heard you every time. (You were the only person that said my real name.)
We checked into the hotel in Layton by 6:00 and I headed out to do some shopping at target. The hotel was perfectly placed right next to a target and just does not get much better than that. I shopped around for about an hour and ended up buying a tank top for $4. I just cannot get enough of those aisles of clearance racks at target. After shopping I stopped at Jimmy Johns and picked up the same sand which I ate before the 30k. It was just as big and delicious as I remembered it.
After I ate and I laid out all my gear I text Ashley to see what time they were catching the bus in the morning and she told me to meet her, Pam, Josh, and Brittany at 4:30 a.m. 4:30?? I originally had my alarm set for 4:15 and realized I would need to wake up a lot earlier to meet them in time. I set my alarm for 3:40 and then proceeded to roll around in the bed all night long. I haven't decided if it was purely nerves or if I really just HATE sleeping in hotels but I maybe got 3 hours of sleep at the most. I started getting ready at 3:15 because I was sick of laying in bed and by 4:10 we were headed out the door to drive up to Ogden so I could meet my group.
I met up with Ashley, Pam, Josh, and Brittany at their hotel and we walked down to where the buses were loading. I was feeling a little nervous but more just excited to begin the whole journey. It was finally happening and I felt ready! We waited about 15 minutes to load the bus and then we were off. We were really lucky to have the Cliff Pace Group on our bus and they were so fun to talk to and a wonderful distraction from thinking about running back down what took 45 minutes to get to on a bus. We chatted with the pacer and the drive flew by. I ate my Nature Valley granola bar and tried to drink plenty of water on the drive up. Side note: I really wish I would have ran with a pace group. I am an idiot for not sticking with them from the beginning.
We got up to the start around 5:45 and a little over an hour before the start of the race. It was muddy and there was no where to sit because of all of the mud so we were on our feet until the race started. I used the porta potty twice, ate a banana, and 'borrowed' a few Gu's from the stand they had set up. The race started 10 minutes late due to some busing issues but right at 7:10 the gun went off and we were off to the races. I was full of adrenaline but felt like I started out fairly slow and conservatively. There was a huge pack at the beginning and I tried to stay calm and settle into a comfortable pace. Mile 1 flew by and I honestly felt as though it was effortless. I did not even check my garmin because I was focused on not letting my garmin control me and running by feel. I should have checked my garmin because little did I know I ran that first mile in 7:09. oops! Miles 2-3 flew by as well and I finally checked my garmin after mile 3.
22:03- Oh shit I started out too fast. I tried to slow down and make sure I wasn't pushing at all. The first 6 miles were downhill and I just felt so amazing I was not able to force myself to slow down at all. I tried to run a little slower but it felt uncomfortable so I just continued to ignore the garmin and run at a comfortable pace. I met Corrine at mile 3 and she was so fun to talk to. She had just had a baby 10 months before the race and was shooting to run a 3:20. We ran together until mile 7 and then she broke away from me. I ate my first chomps at mile 6.5 and mile 7 was the first relay exchange and it was a lot of fun. The volunteers were dressed up in disco costumes and on roller blades and YMCA was playing over the loud speaker. It really pumped me up and I was grinning from ear to ear. At the 7 mile mark I was at 52:15.
The next 5 miles to the halfway point were rolling hills and had long stretches of gradual uphill and downhill. I was still feeling great but once I hit mile 12 I knew I could not keep my pace up the entire race. I ate my second chomps at mile 12.5 and I hit the halfway point at 1:39:53. For the first time of the race I started to feel overwhelmed and fatigued. I slowed down and was not looking forward to the hill ahead at mile 14. I walked for the first time in the race at the hill. It was starting to get hot, my legs were already feeling sore, and the incline of the hill was more than I could handle. I walked for about a minute and then picked it up and ran was able to run pretty well through miles 15-17. I ate my 3rd Gu at mile 17 and at this point I was stopping completely at every aid station. The heat was really setting in and I was sweaty and exhausted. I wanted the race to be over but knew I still had 9 miles ahead and tried to stay strong. The scenery was really pretty running down the canyon and I tried to focus on it and relax. I hit mile 17 at 2:15:20. I knew I was slowing down but also knew if I kept an okay pace I could still reach my ultimate goal of 3:30.
I pushed forward stopping and walking at the aid stations but other than that running between a 8:15-8:45 pace. As hard as I pushed my body was not allowing me to go any faster. I started thinking about all of my blogging friends, everyone that was supporting me, and Trevor at this point to carry me through. I was worried because I was physically depleted and did not know how on earth I was going to finish this race. My legs were fatigued but starting at mile 19 the leg cramps began. It was excruciating and hard to describe. I tried to ignore it and just run through it. It started only in my calves and I hoped if I just kept running it would go away. I was doing anything to distract myself from the pain at this point. I tried to encourage runners as they passed me, think about anything to get my mind off of the leg cramps and just kept shuffling my feet. I was passed by the 3:30 pace group at mile 19 and it felt as though they were flying. I knew there was no way I could keep up with them and at this point was just hoping for a 3:45 finish. I hit the 20 mile mark in 2:42:16.
I was discouraged but my attitude was not completely depleted. I knew that if I just kept moving forward I would be okay. I met up with the sweetest girl at mile 21 and she was so encouraging. I cannot remember her name but we ran together for about half a mile. She told me how she was running her 15th marathon and how she started running to overcome diabetes. Her story was incredibly inspiring and helped take my focus off of the pain. I was feeling nauseous but somehow choked down another gu at 21.5. And then at mile 22 my upper legs began to cramp completely. Every few steps my legs would completely buckle and I had to catch myself from a few close falls. I hit mile 23 at 3:11:59. I was discouraged an in a lot of pain but I figured it I could run at least 10 minute miles for 3 miles I would finish in 3:45.
|Right before Amber started running with me.|
The pain only got worse and I was cussing in my head as I hobbled forward. At this point I was turning to a run/walk method and walking for 1 minute intervals. I felt like I was going forever and would look down at my Garmin to see I had only gone a measly .15 miles. It was discouraging and I was really just looking forward to being done. At mile 24 my sister was waiting for me and I don't think I have ever been so excited to see her in my entire life. I was still going slow and screaming out loud whenever my legs buckled but she was encouraging and just kept telling me how close I was, how proud she was of me, and that I was running a freaking marathon. She was incredibly patient with me and whenever my legs buckled too bad to run she slowed down to my pace and even walked with me. My pace for the last 2 miles was 10:45 and it felt incredibly hard. Every single step was full of pain but also pride because I was pushing through what I thought was my threshold. When we got to mile 25.75 I told Amber to go ahead to the finish and that I just needed to finish on my own.
|How I felt the last 6 miles.|
The last half a mile was honestly harder than the first 10 miles combined. I knew I was SOOO close but my legs were cramping so bad and I was in so much pain it took all I had in me to even make it to the finish line. The crowd support was great and both sides of the street were lined with spectators. Everyone was cheering and I was somehow able to run strong to the finish line. I crossed the finish line at 3:49:39.
Unfortunately I never had that euphoric sense of accomplishment I had imagined over and over in my head. Something was wrong and I knew it was more than just the usual lightheadedness and muscle fatigue. As I waited to get my medal the paramedics approached me and asked me if I was okay. They said my lips were blue and I was incredibly pale. I told them I would be okay but really I knew that there was something wrong. I collapsed on a patch of grass and before I knew it I was in the medical tent being examined by a Doctor. I was embarrassed and felt bad that I had ruined the moment of finishing a marathon for myself and for my family. My Dad was completely calm and told me just to relax. My vision was blurred completely and the Dr. told me this was because I wasn't getting enough blood flow in my brain. He elevated me and made me stay until I was hydrated, my vitals were stable, and I could stand without without getting dizzy. It was a scary and unfortunate way to finish my first marathon. But the good thing was that I was okay and I was finally able to rejoice in knowing I had accomplished something great.
We hung around for a while and I ate a creamy and a piece of bread. Whenever I got up to walk I still felt unstable and dizzy so my family just sat with me until I finally felt good enough to walk to the car. This was definitely not the finish to my first marathon I had imagined but it was an amazing learning experience and I am so excited to take everything I learned moving forward.
|Me and Amber. My saving grace.|
I placed 481/2368 and 12/140 in my age group. I must admit that I am not 100% satisfied with my time and I hope to achieve sweet revenge at Utah Valley in 3 weeks. I learned so much from this experience and will do an entire recap of what I learned sometime this week. Overall running a marathon was an incredible experience and by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Yesterday I swore I was selling my Utah Valley and St.George bibs, but today I am looking forward to changing up my training and using what I learned to move forward and continue to grow as a runner.