I ran the 2011 St George marathon as my very first marathon and had a horrible experience. It was my first 26.2 mile distance, it was hot, and everyone said it was all downhill. It took me 6 years to run it again.
My summer training cycle leading up to the race was just ho-hum. I ran all the miles, but no race specific workouts. My heart wasn’t in it. It was also a very hot summer. So I had no real goals for this race other than just to survive.
I met Smooth, Lowell, and Rachel at the busses. It was so fun to have friends and catch up. The race started 15 minutes late and we were freezing. I lined up at the start line with the 5:00 pacer. I really wanted to start slow (maybe that was too slow). I didn’t listen to any music for the first 7 miles.
I took my first GU and salt pill at mile 7 (right before Veyo). I forgot how big Veyo was! But I kept my head down and tried to keep my breathing under control. Then came Dameron Valley.
I turned my music off for awhile and just enjoyed the beauty. It was fun to listen to other people’s conversations. The miles just clipped by and I was feeling good. I was surprised by this. At this point in Ogden, I was already to feel labored.
I was really consistent with my GU’s and salt pills. I stopped all caffeine intake for 3 weeks prior to the race. I saved my caffeinated GU’s till later in the race. I also took some Advil at mile 18. All of this nutrition planning worked so well.
By mile 16, I felt like I could really start to pick up the pace and not have the wheels fall off. I hate the wheels falling off because the tears come and I hate running. I just kept picking up my pace. I stopped once for an icy/hot rub down and once for a potty break.
At mile 20, there was a lady that I had been leap-frogging with. She was walking through the aid station. I came up behind and grabbed her arm. I told her I had been following her and she had to keep moving. We ran together for a few miles. We talked a little, but it was just nice to have the company. Eventually, I lost her at another aid station.
At mile 23 in 2011, Tim had just finished running a few mils with me. He told me all I had left was a 5K. NO BIG DEAL! I literally thought I was going to die. 3 MORE MILES. This year, I just got faster and faster. I have never felt so good during a race. I looked at my watched at saw 8:20’s. I’ve never run that fast at a marathon finish.
It was so encouraging to see spectators. I knew my family would be coming up soon and I couldn’t stop smiling. I was so happy and felt so good. Finally at the finish line, I saw my son and daughter holding up a big sign. I gave them the pump fist and relished the moment.
I have never felt this good during a marathon. I’m sure starting so slow didn’t help my time, but I the wheels didn’t come off. The tears were replaced by smiles the entire way. I call that a HUGE success. And my time was pretty good considering my training.
TT: 4:01:17 AP: 9:10
9:47, 9:38, 9:02, 8:53, 8:52, 8:47, 8:43, 9:33, 9:33, 9:21, 9:28, 9:25, 9:03, 9:29, 8L52, 9:01, 8:58, 9:42, 9:56, 9:10, 8:55, 9:02, 9:45, 8:18, 8:40, 8:39, 2:36