This last weekend I ran the St. George Marathon, my 17th marathon since I started this crazy journey. Kind of funny since I was clear that I was going to run "one and done"just to prove I could do it. Looking back, running has brought me so much; physically, emotionally, and especially socially. I've had so many different experiences at the various races I've run - some better than others. This year was interesting, I've never gone into a marathon with such low expectations and felt completely fine with it. When we signed up for the race in April I was just about to have Luke. Running a baby five months after having a baby didn't seem like a big deal at the time: this is where all the women who have had children laugh at my naivety. I followed a loose training plan and really worked to make sure I got in my long runs, but it was hard and I was slow. I got frustrated with myself sometimes but had to just keep remembering that I had spent the last year growing and having a baby and that this race would just be about enjoying the journey.
We headed down to St. George Thursday night and met up with my family. That is one of the best parts of this race, the fun of being with family. This year it would be my mom and dad, Sean, Jarin and Jami and kids, and me, Tim, Luke and Erika. In all we had five runners and the best supporters ever. Friday we went to the expo early and I tried to spend most of the afternoon resting. It all seemed a little surreal and I don't know if it really hit me that I would be running until we boarded the buses the next morning. Based on my training runs, I thought it would probably take me about 5:30 to run the race although I secretly hoped it would be a little closer to 5:00 hours. Because I knew I would be slow, I said I would take my phone to keep everyone updated on where I was. The bonus is that I got a few photos to document the journey. As soon as we got off the bus we snapped a good photo then got in line for the porta potties - where I do my best stretching. We saw several people we knew and before I knew it, the gun went off and we were running. I spent the first mile or so without music, just enjoying the sights and sounds then it was time for the I-pod. For most of my training I listened to books so it was really motivating to have music, and I had some really great songs this year. Saturday turned out to be a good running day...I felt prepared and remembered why I love to run. I was really happy with how I handled the hills, especially the one at mile 18 - I walked some but it was a fast planned walk, not one of the mentally defeated. I talked to a lot of people, saw some really cute outfits, and drank gatorade and ate every orange I could find. Towards the end when it was getting tough I was encouraged by the thought of seeing my family - including my sweet Luke - at about mile 24. That was just enough to keep me moving. As I ran the last few blocks I got really emotional. I just felt so grateful to be running, so amazed to have Luke and so blessed to have so much support. I crossed the finish line at 4:53...not even close to my fastest time...but for me, this was sweet victory.
|A few of the songs that fueled my fire:|
Heart of a Champion
|While running up Veyo and the never ending hills:|
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
|As we got to Snow Canyon I was overwhelmed|
With the beauty and at how well the race was going:
|Mile 24 and beyond:|
This one's a fighter
|We all look pretty good here, but for the final push:|
Till I collapse
|We've run a lot of marathons together|
But this year I was so happy to have Sean
Leave me in the dust
He was smoking!
|My best friend and greatest supporter|
He ran a lot of training miles by my side...
|My parents have been there for ever one of my marathons|
Sooo proud of my dad for his 20th marathon
|The entire crew|
|Thanks to these ladies both Tim and I could run,|
Knowing Luke was in the best hands
|Grandpa's fan club|
|This was my inspiration|
Worth every slow mile