It’s because I’m DONE!
This was how happy I was after running 4 hours, 35 minutes and 25 seconds. 🙂 Oh, and the massage helped too! But I pretty much had a silly grin on my face the entire weekend in Salt Lake. (yes, even during the marathon!) I had a wonderful time and was able to spend lots of quality time with loved ones!
I had been anticipating this trip for so many reasons and it really did work out better than I had expected. Between the worrying over how my training was going and the worry over the marathon getting rained or snowed out, I just needed to get it over with! I may get a little antsy that I will not be training as intensely as before, but I don’t have any injuries so there is no reason for me to take a break from running. I am very pleased about this. After my marathon 3 years ago, I couldn’t run over 2 miles without my knees killing me and that lasted almost two months. This time is completely different. But I’ll get into those details in a minute. First I’ll give you a quick overview of other things non-marathon related.
I arrived in Salt Lake late Wednesday, and was able to spend most of Thursday with my parents. My dad and I rarely get a chance to hang out and I was very pleased that he was willing to tag along to pick up my race packet and didn’t complain when I proceeded to drag him and my mother all over the city. I have always loved downtown SL and I was able to walk around and see all of the changes going on in the city. A lot of buildings are being remodeled or have been torn down. Some areas look like a war zone.
I used to work in a building that used to be right where I was standing to get this picture, that now no longer exists. Very strange. So was that last sentence, but that’s okay. Benihana used to be hidden behind a big building, but now…
…it’s not! We ate lunch in the basement of the Benihana building at a restaurant called The Blue Iguana. If you are ever in Salt Lake, and like Mexican food, you should go there. Seriously. It’s really good and very filling! I could only eat one of my two ahi tuna tacos and they were tasty!
After lunch we wandered through the Temple grounds and I took many, many shots of all of the beautiful flower beds and trees that were in bloom. You would think that I had never experienced spring in Utah before, but I really couldn’t help myself. The beauty was overwhelming. Here are just a few of my favorite shots:
I had to add one of the pansies. I love their little ‘lion’ faces!
Friday consisted of my sister and I spending most of the day shopping for 2 baby gifts, 3 birthday presents and a new visor for my race. My family is so large that no matter when I visit there is at least one wedding, baby shower or birthday to attend. This visit I opted out of the baby shower for my niece, as it was scheduled to be the afternoon of marathon day, but ‘K-sis’ and I made this beautiful diaper cake to send to the party.
I was pleased with how it turned out. The star on top is a cute little baby rattle toy-thingy, and there is also a bib and a onesie tucked inside of the blankets with the diapers. These are really pretty easy to make and we got all of those cute brown and pink blankets and shoes from Target. (just fyi)
Friday night my whole family got together for dinner. We made something called “Spaghetti Bertucci”. It involves a lot of chopping and about an hour of stirring, but it is SO worth it! I think it’s a secret family recipe from my husband’s grandma, but I’ll post it anyways this week because I like all of you so much!
That’s me “stuffing my fat gob” as Jspin would say. Carb-loading before a big race is a must! I was just doing my duty. And very happily if I say so myself.
My cousin was nice enough to let me crash at her house that night and I was very thankful. Her house was only 10 minutes from the starting line, and the extra 40 minutes of sleep that I got that night was much appreciated!
I knew that a storm was coming in, but at 6am it was already 60 degrees and I was very pleasantly surprised. I had packed a beanie, a fleece jacket and gloves just in case, but the only thing I ended up wearing were the gloves. Those and my long sleeved shirt were both ditched well before mile 5. It was warm and sunny but I struggled running head on into the wind. Luckily for me there is a lot of downhill in the first 12 miles and I think that helped me keep going. I really don’t like to run in the wind, but I was determined to ignore it and keep my mind occupied with good things.
My father-in-law met up with me at the half-way point on his bike. It was so great to have someone there to encourage me and make sure that I was well fueled and hydrated. He met up with me every few miles after that and would call my family here in AZ to update them on my progress. It was right about this time when I felt a big blister on my right foot. I was bummed, but there is not much you can do about it in the middle of the race. It must have been all of that downhill!
The halfway point is also blocks away from my old neighborhood, so I had lots of familiar sights to keep my mind off of the foot pain. I was still feeling pretty strong and kept thinking how happy I was that I had my iPod shuffle. I can’t believe that I ran a marathon without any music before! I couldn’t have done it now. A couple of times during the race I would turn it off if there was a band, or if another runner wanted to chat for a minute, but my lungs were having a hard enough time with the altitude change, so I saved my breath and didn’t talk too much.
By the time I got to mile 20 I really had to push myself to not stop and walk. I had to keep thinking “only ___ more miles, you do that easily every day k”. That seemed to work until mile 24 when my legs were really starting to feel they were no longer in my control. They were only moving because that’s all they had been doing for 4 hours. This is when I could hear all of my blogging friends cheering in my head, and it gave me that resolve to push a little harder.
I remember my last marathon when I hit a wall at the 20 mile mark and pretty much walked most of the last 6.2 miles. My knees had swelled up and stopping to stretch only made me go slower. The last few miles were where I could see that my training had indeed helped me. I don’t think that anyone can go over 20 miles and not feel some amount of pain or fatigue, but this time I felt better when I kept moving (though it was hard to), and the only pain I felt was in my lower back and foot. I’m not sure if that was from leaning into the wind or not sleeping great, but my legs actually felt pretty good.
At the 25 mile mark was when I decided that I would NOT be running another marathon this summer with my friends. One every couple years is probably enough! My mom and father-in-law both ran/biked with me for the last half mile and I was grateful that they were giving me something to think about besides how much I wanted to stop! My sister and her family, my dad and my grandma were all near the end cheering me on. It was so nice to have family there to celebrate with me, and though it would have been nice to have my husband and kids there with me, this was one race that I had felt that I needed to do on my own.
As I was running down the cobblestone street to the finish I was all smiles even if the clock showed ten minutes later than what I had hoped for. I had accomplished what I had set out to do many months ago, and was finally able to see how my hard work payed off. I know I will think back to this trip and race for a long time to come, and have nothing but happy thoughts. And of course a really cool medal too!