My best marathon ever!!
The last time I ran St. George was 2001. My time was about 4:51. 10 years later, I ran a marathon in South Jordan (SoJo). It felt like the worst day of my life. I think my time was around 5:20, but worse than that, I didn’t enjoy it at all. I decided to never run a marathon again.
But then, my kids started getting older. I had more time to run, I had podcasts and books I couldn’t wait to listen to, and my runs started getting longer and longer.
Everything has it’s season, and I don’t think 20 years ago was the right time for me to make long distance running work. But now, I’m definitely in a new place…. Now, I want to run all the time!
So, I loved every second of this weekend. The run felt amazing and I finished at 3 hrs 51 minutes.
Eliece (my running partner) and I drove down to St. George on Friday morning. We stopped for a rice bowl with chicken in Cedar City. I had increased my carbs to 70% of my total calories for the last few days, and was attempting to drink 24 ounces of gatorade on Friday.
We arrived in St. George, checked into a hotel, and then headed to the expo to pick up our race packet. I loved the energy there. We bought a few things (race shirts from years past for just $1 that I could wear and toss during the race). And lots of Clif Shot Bloks because they were only $1.
We went to get some dinner (I had chicken and quinoa). I was trying to keep the fiber and fat low, to not have any digestive issues on the run)
We got to bed early,, about 7pm and lights out by 9. I slept VERY well! Hotel beds are my favorite.
We woke up at 3:45 and drove to meet the buses. It was drizzling, but not pouring, so that was good. We sat at the starting line for about an hour, and used the porta potty several times. We kept warm with extra clothes, mylar blankets, and just waited.
When it was time to line up, I lined up with the 3:45 pacer. I knew that if I could break 3:50 that it would be a boston qualifying time, so I figured, why not?!?
The gun went off about 20 minutes late, but I headed out. The first mile I stepped in a puddle, making my sock wet for the entire 26 miles. I got a blister from it, which was new to me, because I had never gotten a blister before.
The first half of the race is basically flat or uphill. While challenging, I did not slow down. I went out hard and tried to keep ahead of the 3:45 pacer for as long as possible.
I was diligent in my nutrition effort (3 shot bloks every hour), and tried grabbing a sip of water at every aid station. I never stopped running. Even on the 1 mile hill of death at around mile 8, I kept running.
The last two miles were tough. I kept trying to talk myself into a “more reasonable goal”, but I also knew that was my brain trying to dial down the effort. I tried to break through it. I tried to tell myself I’d regret it if I couldn’t beat 3:50. But then I kept justifying things like telling myself my watch might be behind, but true chip time I’d be good. LOL. Either way, I think the last two miles could have been faster if I didn’t have that self talk of making it OK not to beat 3:50.
After crossing the finish line, I thought I was going to throw up. Pure exhaustion. I laid down for awhile. I tried to eat, but it didn’t sit well. I got my clothes from the bag pick up so I could warm up (it was still cold and wet). And then I tried forever to find my chip time, thinking that I MAY have broken 3:50. BUT- in the worst news ever, after a few emails to the race timing people, they told me my chip failed at the finish line! WHAT??!?!?!? I’m so sad. I sent him the screenshot of my garmin time, and He literally just copied it exactly as my chip finish time. The other times did register, so at least I can see where I paced the rest of the race.
I’m so excited to do more races! I feel like I’m just beginning. Now, my training will be for speed!!