Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ogden Marathon 2010

Let me start at the beginning....
Who'd have thought that I would ever run a marathon? If you'd have asked me a year ago, I'd have said you were nuts! So for anyone reading this that says, I could never (or would never) do it, never say never! Running is a challenge for always has been. We had to run the mile in PE and weight training class in high school every Wednesday. I DREADED Wednesdays. My time was usually somewhere between 11-12 minutes for ONE mile! (Just a side note, as I got more into fitness, that was unacceptable to me, so I did improve my time of one mile to 9-10, but never any longer and it was a struggle for me!) Running is not natural or easy for me. I used to get these really bad side cramps after one lap that made it impossible for me to run any further.
So last October, Kyle and I were visiting his parents in St. George. It just happened to be the weekend of the St. George Marathon. We were trying to get across town and everywhere we went, we kept running into road blocks because of the dumb runners! We sat in a line of cars for a few minutes waiting for our turn to talk to the cop patrolling traffic and I watched the runners for a little bit. Don't ask me what crazy pill I took that morning, but as I watched them, I had this real strong impression in me.....I could totally do that! Wait, what? What would make me possibly want to do something so stupid? And you have to pay to get into the race! Who does that? Apparently, I do!
I came home and went to the gym the following Monday morning where I ran into my friend/neighbor Desiree. I told her I wanted to run the St. George Marathon next year. As fate would have it (and I couldn't describe it as anything but fate!) she had also been having the itch to run a marathon. Even more of a coincidence, she also wanted to run the St. George Marathon but had heard it is hard to get into and the more races you have under your belt, the better chance you have at the lottery. Well, she has LOTS of family that are regular marathoners and some of them were already signed up for the Ogden Marathon. So we decided to do it first, then try to get into St. George this October. So we signed up in November and started training. It started slow and short on a treadmill. I'd run a couple miles at like 5 mph and start getting that stupid side ache. I'd hold my side as hard as I could and just push through it. I learned by doing that, it'd go away after like 10 minutes. I don't get cramping at all anymore. Haven't since the first month of training. We started our early morning Saturday runs at 5-6 miles and slowly increased our distance. We got into our real serious training by January. We wanted to be able to run and be home by the time our families were awake so there were some mornings we'd go out at 3 am! (And yes, that means getting up at 2:15 am!) We both found Friday nights to be pretty sleepless in anticipation of having to get up. There were some mornings that were so cold, we had frost in our hair, eyebrows and eyelashes! Training in Salt Lake in the winter is not for the faint of heart!

So fast forward 7 months....Desiree and I drove up to Ogden together Friday night. We went to dinner at Bistros with Desiree's sister, Tami, her step-mom Kathy and Kathy's sister Ellen (both seasoned marathoners....this was number 19 for them!) Kathy's son Jake and his fiancee Becca. Also Kathy and Ellen's friend Eileen, and her husband Mike, their daughter and their friend Don. It's funny how there is an instant bond and friendship between runners. I sat down at a table full of strangers and left with a table full of friends!
We all stayed at the Hampton Inn one block up from the finish line (and right on the street the buses picked us up to shuttle us to the top of the canyon.)Des and me waiting to get on the bus.

The ride up the canyon seemed to take forever! But it was pretty cool once we got to the cow field they dropped us off in. There was so much energy. I could not have been any more excited than I was at that point!

All the runners preparing for the race!
Our group waiting for the race....Ellen, me, Desiree, Kathy
Eileen Tami
This picture does not describe the sight I wanted to capture.
You look ahead and all you see is racers.
You look behind and see the same sight!
When we first started, there is so much adrenaline. I couldn't stop smiling I was so excited! The scenery was just gorgeous! We absolutely rocked the first 7-8 miles. I ran faster than I've ever run in my life and didn't even notice. After that my legs started to hurt. We'd done training runs with hills, but I'd say the majority of what we ran was pretty level or a real slight incline/decline. This was non-stop up down up down from beginning to end. There was one HUGE hill at about mile 12 and one big downhill around mile 18, but the rest was constant rolling hills. My muscles were not prepared for that. Desiree really started to pull away from me around 8 miles. I could see her for several miles and then she was gone. I ran my best personal 13.1 (half marathon distance) and even stayed right on track to reach my goal time of 4 1/2 hours for most of the second half. I had been warned, but did not quite understand how hard that last 6.2 miles is! (We never ran longer than 20 in training.) It didn't help that I ran out of water right at the halfway point. I'm the type of person who only performs well if I can constantly sip water. Chugging water every 2-3 miles doesn't cut it for me. I carried my Camelbak to be able to drink whenever I wanted, but didn't fill it, assuming that with all the water stops along the way, I wouldn't need as much. Wrong! I've heard of hitting a wall around 22-23 miles. I never really experienced that. I had moments through out the whole race where I'd start to feel tired and slow a little, but then I'd get a burst of energy and take off again. But at no point did I ever feel like I couldn't finish. My last 6.2 miles was SO slow, it destroyed any chance of reaching my goal. I was running between 4-5 mph for most of it when the rest of the race I was running between 6-7. I did get one burst of energy around mile 23, but it didn't last long. I sped up a little once I got off that stupid running path (the most boring part of the race which also happened to be in the end!) Then I saw Chase and Mike with half a mile to go. I gave Chase my Camelbak and got my final burst of energy to get to the end. It was pretty emotional! (To be honest, I thought I'd be a bigger boob than I was, seeing as how my eyes would get misty every time I pictured myself crossing the finish line!) I got teary eyed, but I kept it together. I was lucky enough to be greeted at the finish line by Kyle with my kids, my mom, Melissa, Mike and their kids, and Chase and Kristi. Chase and Melissa decided to keep it a secret that they were coming. I asked Chase if he were coming and he started whining about it being his birthday and why would he come up. Melissa just always avoided the subject. Kristi was even supposed to be out of town, so it was a good surprise! My final official time was 4 hours 47 minutes and 53.3 seconds. Guess I'll just have to run another one and do 18 minutes better! I am so elated to be done and to be able to say "I've run a marathon!" I do have to admit....although it consumed my life and I haven't slept in on a Saturday in over 7 months, I am a little sad it's come to an end. I've thoroughly enjoyed all of it.....even if it was one of the hardest things I've ever done! I've decided running a marathon is like growing and delivering a baby. Almost as many months of grueling training that leads up to the big day of 4-5 hours of hard intense labor for a moment that is SO rewarding and gratifying!
What I wasn't prepared for is the pain afterward. I was always sore after our weekly long runs, but nothing like this. It hurt to walk the day I did 20, but I went shopping that afternoon. All I wanted to do Saturday was sit with my feet elevated. Every waddling step is pretty excruciating in my quads! I have to hang onto the banister with both hands to climb stairs. I'll be "walking" and my muscles will just give out and my knees will start to buckle. I can not do anything that requires the use of my quads. And go soon as we got home, Kyle left to go dirt bike riding the whole rest of the day. This morning he had to go meet someone at work, so I was left to get the kids ready for church by myself. And this evening, he had to fly out to Washington leaving me to try to take care of the kids alone. It's been really hard to tend to their constant needs! But the pain will fade and the glory will last forever....totally worth it!
Right after finishing, catching my breath!
Getting my medal. (Sexy backpack sweat!)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

And the worst blogger award goes too....

My excuse for not blogging more often is usually that I don't do anything worth blogging. But lately I've gotten to do lots of fun things and still no recent blog entries! No excuses....I just haven't done it. So here is a summary of the fun things I've gotten to do. Most recently, I went to Hogle Zoo with my two sisters-in-law and their kids and my mother/father-in law. It was good to get the kids out of the house and get a little sunshine....the weather was so perfect! Spencer was fascinated by everything. He's a curious one! Kyah just enjoyed being with her cousins.
Who needs animals? This thing is good for hours of entertainment!

Of course the kids got soaked, but the weather was nice...they didn't care!

This is how Spencer was with every animal all day. Just stared in awe.

He especially loved the little monkey boy!

Kyah and Missy

Naturally, they were completely spent and fell asleep within 5 minutes of leaving.

A couple weeks ago, Kyle had to go on a last minute work trip to Chicago. I'd never been, so the day before he was to leave, he asked me if I wanted to go. Of course! So we dropped the kids off with grandma and grandpa and had a weekend getaway. Several months ago, Kyle and the machinery department did a show in Chicago. They brought in a very large machine straight to the show in hopes of selling it there. They didn't. Rather than spending $18,000....yes, $18,000, to ship it to Salt Lake, he's been paying to store it in a warehouse in Chicago. He had some interested buyers, so he had to fly out to meet them there. We flew in Thursday night, had a nice steak dinner and took a walk along the path of Lake Michigan. (Our hotel was right on Michigan Ave.) He spent a few hours with the customers while I ran along the lake and the rest of the weekend was ours to be tourists! We took the tour at the top of the John Hancock building....learned a lot about Chicago! Then we went to the Field Museum. That didn't really do it for me! Since it was only 3 1/2 miles from our hotel, we decided to walk back. It was one of the best decisions we made. We got to see so much of the city by walking. We stopped to see the most major piece of art in the windy city....the silver bean!

I'm not much for art, but this thing is pretty cool. We came home Saturday, but not before a day filled with more site seeing. My favorite thing we did was go to the Museum of Science and Industry. We were sort of short on time, so we didn't get to spend nearly as much time there as I would like to have. I could go on and on and on about the amazing things they have there! I would go back if I ever get a chance to go back to Chicago. My favorite thing (which was also heartbreaking to see!) was the fetus displays. Actual still born fetuses preserved from about 5 weeks to 38 weeks and 5 days, with a description of what's going on developmentally. Kyle's was obviously the actual German sub that the American's seized in WWII. It was massive! We really wanted to take a tour, but they were sold out.

Kyle standing next to the sub....this doesn't even do justice for the size of the thing! They actually had to break the thing into 3 pieces, dig a hole next to the museum, assemble it in the hole and build a building around it!

The 21 week actual fetus. There were about 30 or so of these cases lined up to show the progression. The last one made me teary eyed!

And of course we couldn't leave Chicago without trying the pizza they are famous for. By several recommendations, we decided to try Giardano's. I have to didn't do it for me. We attempted to go there twice and the wait was an hour each time and it's not like we were there at peak times. I didn't hate it, I just prefer other pizza. Although their tiramisu was DIVINE!
It was a really great, much needed getaway. (On a side note, Kyle got the purchase order for the machine last week....YEA!)

And March, Mom, Stacey, Ryan, Kaylee, Kyah, Spencer and I piled into my car and drove to Southern California. Glendora, to be specific, where my Grandma, Aunt and cousins live. It was a packed trip! It was Grandma's birthday, so we all spent Saturday doing yardwork for her. That was all she wanted. It was a lot of work, but it looked really good when we were done! And I didn't mind doing a little labor in the gorgeous March California weather. I had a pretty good tan going until I came home! We decided to take the kids to Disneyland and since we had family that are CA residents, they were able to buy us two-fer passes in advance. That way we got to go to California Adventure one day then Disneyland the next. The kids LOVED every minute of it. Kyah's pretty obsessed with several princesses right now and didn't get to see one live princess. I was pretty sad about it. However she was absolutely thrilled to walk through Aurora's castle. She can't watch a single Disney movie without yelling "Aurora's castle!" in the opening. The first day my Aunt Jeanine got to go with us and the second my cousin Lauren and her husband Matt (who happens to work at Disneyland.) We couldn't have done it without their help with the kids! It was such a fun trip!
She didn't quite understand the concept of Disneyland before we got there, so we kept telling her "big park" and that got her excited enough!

Bug's's a real stomach wrencher!

Ryan and Kaylee getting ready for the Bug's Life movie.

Spencer's favorite....Nemo! He was wide eyed and smiling the whole time!