Given this exhausting pace, it's no wonder I end most days feeling like I've run a marathon. Last Saturday, however, Jason and I literally ran 26.2 miles in the Utah Valley Marathon. It was long. It was hard. And it was GREAT.
Here we are shortly before our 6:00 am start. We had to load the buses at 3:45, so if we look kind of sleepy, you can understand why.
Fast forward four hours and here we all are, approaching the finish line near the Provo Tabernacle.
|Jason had finished his race 25 minutes earlier, but still helped me through the final stretch. It was so delightful to run through the chute with my family by my side.|
|Proudly ringing the PR bell.|
|Jason smiles widely after a terrific finish.|
This amazing man ran the course in a mind-boggling 3 hours and 25 minutes. It may not have been his fastest time ever (hard to achieve when you've run so many marathons), but he finished strong and had FUN, cheering on the crowds as much as they cheered him. Jason, we're so proud of you!
If you want the splits, you'll have to read the fine print. For me, racing is much more about the process and experience as opposed to any specific finish time. Even so, it's nice to keep track, even if just for bragging rights since I may never run that fast again.
8:46 overall pace, 8:28 for the first 13.1; mile splits of 7:49 (squee!), 8:03, 8:13, 8:12, 8:20, 8:24, 8:39, 8:45, 9:21 (big hill here), 7:56 (cruising back down), 9:07, 8:17, 8:34, 8:51, 8:57, 9:13, 9:09, 9:00, 8:44, 9:04, 8:50, 9:00, 9:04, 9:25, 10:08 (including a long pause at the water station for a stern mental you-got-this pep talk), 10:23 (don't forget that includes the last .2--my legs certainly didn't!)
Here's my number one supporter!
|Gosh golly gee, I'll do anything for a kiss!|
So for a woman my age to qualify for the Boston Marathon, she would need to finish the course in 3:40. While I may not have qualified, I'm positively elated (and stupefied) that I came within ten minutes of that lofty goal. Here's what I think I did right:
1) I trained.
2) I trained.
3) I trained. Call it consistent, call it compulsive, but I never missed a run. Sure, I swapped days occasionally and got creative with my running locations, such as when I ran during lunch in Cheyenne during our car ride out to Utah. At the end of each week, however, I made sure that I'd gone the whole distance.
At least at this moment, I really don't see myself ever trying to beat my marathon record. However looking back, there are a few things that I suppose could go better, should I ever want to improve my time.
1) Eat healthy foods. I discipline myself to run--why can't I discipline myself to cut down on sugar?
2) Don't race with a virus. The week before the marathon, each of our kids came down with a strange fever/nausea. It wasn't until my "runner's tummy" lasted for two days after the race that I figured out that my pre-race stomach queezies were probably the first symptoms of a bug instead of nerves.
3) Wear all parts of my shoes.
|Notice anything missing? I didn't...|
Even though it's not advisable to race in new shoes, I had to get a new pair ten days before the marathon because my cheapies were falling to pieces (sigh). I was initially feeling rather disgruntled that my new racers gave me blisters; now I'm hopeful that they will be fine as long as I wear the shoe in its entirety.
|Believe it or not, this never hurt. Wish I could say the same for my quads!|
The family at the finish line.
|The kids' medals are from their 1K Fun run.|
A proud mother-daughter moment with NomiAnn and Kara.
Eli, Kara, and Talia relaxing at the finish line.
Many thanks to everyone for all of your support in helping us through these marathon days, both big and small. You all deserve a medal!