Approximately 15 years ago I ran my first marathon, Top of Utah in Logan. The plan for the marathon was a "one and done", check it off my bucket list and move along with life. Funny thing is, I haven't been able to get it out of my blood. This lead me to the starting line of Ogden Marathon, 2014, it would be my 17th marathon but I felt less prepared than I had for any other marathon and was actually quite nervous. When I signed up for the lottery (kind of hoping I wouldn't get in), I realized that Ruby would only be 7 months old at the time of the race but thought it would be plenty of time since I ran St. George when Luke was 5 months old and it wasn't too bad. Unfortunately, two babies in two years has really put a lot of stress on my body and it has been much tougher to get back to running - especially distance - than I had expected. My training runs were tough and slow but I just kept reminding myself how fortunate I was to even be capable of the training. Tim was super supportive, encouraging my progress, and being willing to watch the babies during my very long training runs. As race day got closer, I got more and more nervous. However, I just kept reminding myself that I knew I could go the distance and that there was no pressure to hit a certain time. So, Friday morning we packed up and headed to Ogden. It has always taken me a long time to pack for a marathon, but this time packing for a marathon, and the two babies, it may have taken me longer than the entire race.
We met up with my parents and Sean at the expo. I was a little out of my element and feel like I missed half of the booths, but we both picked up our shirts and packets and made it out in time for dinner. Erika had made reservations for us to eat at Pizza Pie Cafe where she works so we ate, stopped to pick up last minute drinks and headed to the hotel. My parents were super sweet and offered to have the babies sleep in their room. I resisted because I was worried that they wouldn't sleep well. Little did I know. They convinced me they wanted a sleepover and Sean, Tim and I went off to sleep in peace. We didn't find out until after the race that Luke was up puking all night. My poor parents were dealing with vomit, changing sheets, giving baths, and Ruby up and playing throughout the night. Talk about amazing grandparents.
So, on to the race. We got up super early and headed out. Tim went to a separate set of buses for the half marathon and Sean and I got on the bus to go up the canyon. We arrived at the staging area with about an hour and a half before the race but the time went quickly -a lot of time in the bathroom lines and chatting with friends, old and new. Part of me could hardly believe I was at the starting line of another marathon.
Before I knew it, the gun went off and it was finally time to run. My plan was to "race my pace", try to just run according to how I felt. I started off feeling fantastic and felt so blessed to be a part of the whole event. I was running faster than most of my training runs but the effort felt pretty good. This lasted for about the first 10-12 miles. From there I started to feel a little more tired and my pace slowed by about a minute per mile. A marathon gives you a lot of time to think, I reflected on how much has changed for me since my first marathon and what my goals are for the future. I also thought a lot about how nice it would be to have a cold coke. It was a hot day and as I got more dehydrated I started to get quite nauseated. Most of the aid stations had oranges so I tried to eat a few of those in addition to lots of gatorade and water. The further I went, the happier I was with my progress, but that came with a price of pain and I really started to hurt. Sean has been running fast and his plan was to come back and find me for the last few miles. He called and checked on my progress and ended up meeting me a little after mile 23. It is always nice to have someone run you in but I was especially grateful in this race. I wasn't in a condition to be pushed but it was just nice to have someone to talk and listen to me whine. Erika and Clark jumped in with me for the home stretch, they were so sweet and encouraging the I found the energy for a small kick.
Crossing the finish line felt like such an accomplishment. I'm so grateful that despite all the changes in priorities, my time, my body, etc, I can still do the things I love. And the ice cold coke at the end, never tasted better! My time was a 5:10, not fast, but about 20 minutes faster than my expected/goal time.
He is and has always been one of my biggest supporters,
So fun to share another marathon with Sean.
Tim ran a fantastic half marathon,
Took care of the sick babies,
Then was at the finish line to cheer and welcome me home.
It took a village of support to get me through this marathon
And I couldn't be more grateful and appreciative.