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Saturday, October 25, 2014

St George Marathon

For all the talking I do about marathons, I have a really tough time writing about the actual race.  It always feels so overwhelming to try to put into words a race that was several months in the making.  I finally decided I better get something done to memorialize what was a great race.  I have struggled with getting my speed and endurance back since having Ruby.  I made it through Ogden, but it felt like I barely got through it in one piece.  My training throughout this summer didn't have me feeling much more optimistic about my running abilities.  I finally realized, though, that accepting where I am and my current abilities was not accepting defeat (since it is quite different than where I used to be).  In fact, it seemed like the best way to run a great race and enjoy the experience - my primary goal.  So, as the race got closer I realized I had done my best and that would be enough.  We left for St. George Friday morning and it was not quite a relaxing experience getting there with the two babies.  We made it in and out of the expo only slightly frazzled, and, as always, I started to get really excited about the race.  I tried my best to get some down time that afternoon, but ended up doing way too much and went to bed feeling a little stressed about my exhausted I felt.  The night's sleep was interrupted a few times by Tim who stayed up to watch the BYU/Utah State football game and I woke up feeling pretty anxious.

Loading the buses was a little chaotic, but we arrived at the top with plenty of time to stretch, hydrate, chat and of course, go to bathroom numerous times.  We ended up having a larger than normal group which was really fun: Dad, Sean, Me, Tim, Jarin, Jess, Alicia and Claire the Canadian. The race started late which was strange, but after a lot of nervous energy, we were off.  My dad and I decided that we would start and stay together as long as our paces matched.  As we began running, I started thinking of my training and all of the miles I had logged.  Last summer was the first in about 12 years that I didn't train for a marathon and even though it is time consuming, I was glad to be back. 

My training schedules are usually a little more formal than this.
Sean and I cooked this up for me and Jess one afternoon on the phone.
Before the race I went back and looked at my Ogden time, 5:12.  I decided that I wasn't that concerned with my final time, but I did hope to be able to at least improve on my Ogden time.  My dad and I stuck together for about the first 1/3 of the race and then we got separated and I knew he was going to finish faster than me.  I saw a few people I knew and ran for awhile with my first friend in Santaquin, Heather Lamb Swenson.  It may sound kind of crazy, but I really just enjoyed the whole experience.  I loved the signs, the outfits, the stories, and especially, the people.  I really worked on my mental game and was happy that at no point did I feel defeated or discouraged, even on the hill at mile 18.  As I got further into the race, I  realized that I would definitely beat my Logan time and was thrilled when I finished in 4:58.  I finished with a kick and despite being tired, I felt triumphant.

I felt great about my time, and was excited to find out how well everyone else had run.  Tim ended up with a huge PR at 3:33.  Imagine what he could do if he trained.  Jarin ran a PR and everyone else did better than they had expected.  I was super excited for Jess and Alicia, they ran barely over 4:00 which was super impressive for a first marathon.  Even better, I think they might be hooked.  Overall it was a great day.

One of the best parts of the race was at about mile 24 when I saw my mom and babies.  We are all so lucky that the kids have such a fantastic grandma who makes it possible for Tim and I to run.  As I was running I thought a lot about that and how much effort it takes.  But I'm so grateful they get to be a part of the madness.  I want them to grow up knowing that their mama sets goals and does hard things.  I want them to know how important it is to support family, no matter what activity they choose.  A marathon seems like a pretty great place to learn all of that.  

Thanks St. George for another great race, you were a good one this year.

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