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Monday, November 2, 2015

St. George Marathon

About the only thing better than running a talking about running a marathon!  Right?There has been a video/parody making the rounds with a fake story about the only girl who has ever run a marathon without talking about it.  The clip is hysterical and clearly is rooted in some truth  I found it ironic that the first time I saw it, I was in the process of writing this post about my most recent race.  Seeing the video might have shamed me a little, but not enough to actually fail to talk about the race.
When I first broke my wrist, I didn't really think it would impact my running at all.  Once I realized how serious the injury and surgery were, I started to worry that I would not be able to even participate in the marathon.  For several weeks I didn't run at all and even once I started, it was very slow/more like a walk and I only went a few miles.  Given my general decline in fitness, I was a little worried whether or not I could make it the full 26.2, and how badly it might hurt.  I saw the doctor a few days before the marathon and got clearance to run. I fully expected that it would be a suffer-fest and hoped I could make it in before the cutoff, but decided that I might as well run and see how it went. 

Dreaming of a weekend getaway, we packed up the kids and headed south.  We arrived in St. George on Thursday night which meant that we were able to get to the expo fairly early on Friday.   It was so great to have so much support there with us.  And the cheerleading signs, top notch!

Race day morning arrived way too early, and included a lot of hassles with the bus lines, but we finally arrived at the starting line where everyone appeared pumped and ready to party. I was so happy to be there with Tim, Sean, Jessica and Sean - just a little sad to be missing my dad.  After some last minute preparations, we all wished each other look and then said our goodbyes since the only people who planned to run together were Sean and Jessica.  Given the quality of my training, I had decided that my only "plan" for the race was to run when I could, walk when I needed to, and try to not get mentally defeated when it got tough.  The race started and I was surprised to feel as good as I did, and was happy to be a part of the crowd.  I didn't do any type of formal walk/run pattern, but instead, just walked the water stops, and any other time that I felt like my body really needed the break.  As I ran, my arm throbbed a little and was definitely more swollen, but surprisingly, did not hurt too bad.  I chatted with other runners and enjoyed the spectators whenever I found them.  The feeling I felt most often throughout the race was gratitude.  Despite what I had been through, I was so grateful to be as healthy as I was and have the physical and mental strength to be out there running.  I realized how much support I have always had from family and friends at these races and that made me feel especially lucky. At one point where the view was especially beautiful I just stopped for minute and cried, not because of pain, but just because I felt so blessed. 

The last few miles of the marathon were really so much fun.  I got excited when I realized that not only would I finish, but my time would be much faster than I expected.  Without about two miles left I saw my mom, Jami and all the kids - the best cheerleaders ever.  That gave me such a boost which only got better when I saw my dad who ran the last mile and a half with me.  Years ago I would have been really disappointed with such a "slow" marathon, but when I crossed the finish line at 5:25 this year, I felt nothing but joy.

Without the support of these beauties, as well as Jami, there is no way Tim and I could run and enjoy this experience together.  They are simply the best!

One of the biggest motivations in running this year was that it was my tenth year to run the St. George Marathon as well as my twentieth marathon overall.  The ten year club is kind of a big deal because it means that you never have to apply for the lottery again to get into the race.  It's also just kind of cool to be a part of such a group.  They have a big banquet and read out the names of all the new members.  I was a few years behind my dad and Sean, but I'm finally one of the gang. 

And now, to the non-running fun...
One of the best parts of the trip - pool time!

As much as I love this annual trip because of the marathon, I especially love all the time we get to spend with family.  Cousin starts early in the morning and doesn't end until they all go to sleep.  To make it even better, we usually get to celebrate the birthdays of Miles and Ruby while we are there. The memories are the greatest and I'm glad my family gets to be a part of it. 

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