Let's start with the best part of the race, everything before the race. Friday afternoon Jesse and I headed up to Ogden and to the race expo. It was fun to have a little mini girls trip even if the only shopping we did was just for race gear.
After the expo we headed to Pizza Pie Cafe for dinner. Erika was sweet and had reserved us a booth so we could walk right in and eat. We were feeling pretty loaded with carbs when she showed up with the most amazing cookie and ice cream, it was even better than it looks. Once we finished Erika wished us luck and we were off to Wal Mart for a few last minute purchases.
We arrived at the hotel and started the pre-race nesting. The weather was set to be bad/unpredictable so that made it even tougher to decide what to pack. After a lot of organizing and fretting, I finally decided there was nothing more that could be done. We were chatting with Sean about the preparations and had to send him a shot of the race shirt. It was extra fancy because it was the ten year anniversary of the race. Nothing like a little hotel selfie.
Jessica is one of the few people I know that is even grumpier than me in the morning - lucky no one else was with us. We got up and dressed and took a picture to send to everyone so they would know what to look for at the finish. Honestly I was hoping we would be tank tops by the time we got to that point. Ha! Talk about wishful thinking.
The gun went off, we told each other good luck, and we were off. The first mile or two were great. It is always exciting to get started and I was ready to just get moving. Unfortunately, I only made it a few miles before things started to go downhill - and not in a good way. When the rain started at about mile two, it was a slight sprinkle and didn't seem too bad. I was concerned though about my legs - they felt super tired and I could tell this wasn't going to be a great running day. Within a few miles it started to pour, the temperature dropped and the wind picked up. I put my hood up, my head down, and just settled in to try to survive the rest of the run. It was really quite miserable and I kept trying to remind myself that I was lucky to have the chance to run, no matter the conditions. For most of the miles I wasn't too convinced.
After most races I have a pretty clear memory of the mile markers, the experiences, the music I heard, etc. Honestly, this entire race is kind of a blur. I just know it was hard and took everything I had to keep putting one foot in front of the other. The only song I remember that came on was "Madness" because it seemed so appropriate. I do remember a spot at about the 20 mile mark where the wind was blowing the rain in my face and I got so discouraged that I actually stopped and allowed myself a little cry. There were no tears to wipe because I was already wet, so after a minute of feeling sorry for myself, I decided I better get moving again. Somehow having a cry helped a little.
By far the best memory of the race was at about mile 22. Tim had told me he would try to be close to where the race moves onto the running path. As I got closer, I thought it was unlikely he would be there since he had the babies and the rain was so bad. I kept trying to mentally prepared myself for him not to be there because I wasn't sure I could handle the disappointment. But I should have known that he would make it. When I came around a corner and saw Tim running to me, I decided that everything would be ok and I would probably make it. It was so sweet to see my babies and be reminded of all the support that I have. It really was the best.
With about a mile left Tim found me again and then my dad joined the party. We were quite the procession down the stretch but I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Jessica finished before me and clearly was excited to make it to the finish. I really was so proud of us for finishing such a tough race. My time was awful, 5:30, my worst time ever, but I feel like one of my proudest finishes.
So, a month later I have finally dried out and warmed up. I took a few weeks off of running - more than normal but I definitely needed it. I am still struggling with my hamstring but I will keep stretching and doing my PT exercises and hopefully get it back to normal. Just six months till St. George Marathon.