Debated whether to post this as race report since this was done as a long run. But, I am pleased with how it turned out considering it's only been 8 weeks since my return to running. I am still 8-10 lbs overweight. I know it would be alot of work. And yes, I'm S-L-O-W!!!! My goal is to finish this thing under five hours to minimize the suffering and ill effect of the heat.
Got up at 3:15. JoEtte, Amanda and I were all ready to leave the house at 4:15 (a time agreed upon by Lowell last night) to catch the 4:30 bus. But Lowell was NOT ready. By the time we got to Lone Peak HS, the buses have already left and a huge line of Half runners were waiting for the returning bus. The organizer chastised us for not getting there earlier when I asked if we could get on the bus (cut in line) when it finally arrived. Needless to say, we got to the start with no time to spare. The race was starting (5:30 sharp). Lowell and I rushed to the start-arch and realized we still need to drop off our bags. We walked back (too crowded and dark to run) looking for the clothing drop bus then ran back to the start mat (for the second time) and started the race all by ourselves. It was quite comical except I was bummed about not able to see my brother-in-law, Gary and other friends. We could see the blinking "fire-fly lights" that Lowell had clipped on Amanda's belt in the far distance. We soon passed the Half walkers who started with the marathoners.
It was still dark and temp was comfortable the first couple miles. At the first aid station, mile 3ish, Lowell had to use the port-a-potty, while waiting for him, I visited with the volunteers (members of a High School Ballroom Dance). When we resumed running, Lowell started to pull away talking to other runners, oblivious that I was trailing behind. I was already sweating profusely and the make-shift-phone-holder was really bugging. I texted Karen to let her know I just passed the mile 5 marker and again at the mile 6 marker. The first Half runner came flying by. He was blazing fast. :) Karen and Leslie were waiting (with Lowell) at the mouth of the canyon to run with me. The trail was so narrow that we could not run more than two deep. Pretty soon I lagged behind and started to wheeze on the first incline. I pulled out the inhaler, only to find that it had separated from the mouth piece. I messed around with it and managed to take a puff. My pace slowed even more on the Cedar Hills trail. Karen waited for me at the "farm roads". I was feeling very tired!
I would've missed the turn off from the Half course if Karen and Leslie weren't there to guide me. All sorts of negative thoughts crowded my mind: "I am tired!!!! My quads hurt! I am SO fat! The fuel belt and phone become cumbersome! I am chaffing everywhere! It is getting so hot! I am sweating profusely! My breathing is shallow! I bite off more than I can chew! I wanna quit! I wanna go home! I am so slow! Why am I feeling this way at mile 10? It's only going to get worse!"
I told Karen I was struggling so badly that may be I should quit as I walked up the Canyon Rd tunnel. She said her car was parked close by and she can take my fuel belt and phone to the car. So I removed everything off the belt (inhaler, salt caps, Gu, tissues and put them in my short pocket and pin the bib on my shirt. After Karen ran my belt and phone to her car, I decided to take 2 salt caps with Leslie's water, took another puff and put the inhaler in my shirt's mp3 pocket. Within couple minutes, I felt revived. Soon Karen got back and the three of us started running like we've always done over the last three weeks.
They kept me distracted by updating me on their kids' happenings. I ran into some friends on their bikes. One of them offered me his bike....if only I knew how to ride! :) We started to see the leaders running on the opposite side of the trail so I cheered them on and began to look for Gary. I started to worry when the top 10 guys and 2 girls have passed and no sign of Gary (who's a sub-3 marathoner). Finally I saw him and he told us that he had missed a turn somewhere and ended up running all over Highland for extra four miles. That stinks!!! I can see how easily one would go off course as it was not well marked and there were no volunteers to direct the runners.
We saw Lowell about half mile to the turn around. We had to stop and take a selfie. I saw a very cheerful smiling Filipino volunteer giving out Gu at the mile 17.5 aid station/turn around. I yelled out: "I know you...from BYU-Hawaii!" "I'm Ruth!" "Yes, Ruthie! You look the same, still beautiful and radiant!" WOW!!! we haven't seen each other for almost 40 years!!! So, of course we have to take pictures and exchange informations, where do you live, what's your married name, your husband, children... What a joyful reunion moment!!!! :) :) :)
The first few miles after the turn around went by quickly. Can't believe I made it to mile 20!!! I started to worry how I'd be able to finish the last 5Ks knowing Karen and Leslie would leave me at mile 23 as they did not want to run more than 15 miles. It was getting hot and the aid stations were running out of cups. I asked to have water dumped on me...ouch! my skin sting all over!!! After that I only wanted water on my head. Karen was kind and smart to figure out how to run 1.5 more miles with me. Leslie would take the car and drive it to the tunnel on Highland Dr. and meet Karen there which is at around mile 24.5. Then they would drive to the mouth of the canyon to pick up Leslie's car. That made me feel better. I have such GREAT friends!!!
Soon after mile 23 we saw Lowell walking/running ahead. We caught up to him and the three of us ran together, stopped at the aid station where Lowell insisted that I eat one of his bacon because my shins started to cramp. I refused because I had consumed 4 Gu's which were just sitting in my guts making me sick. I had also taken 2 more salt caps at mile 19. Somehow stopping at the aid station to dump water on the head helped. We also stopped to help a guy put his shoe back on and Lowell offered him a bacon which he ate. Karen left us at the tunnel. Then it was just Lowell and I running on the lonely stretch. I had to ask some biker which way to go when we reached bunch of cones without direction. Lowell called his son Jeremy at the mile 25 marker. I could now see the high school so I picked up the pace. I waited for Lowell just before entering the stadium so we could run around the track together. As we entered the stadium, I could hear my sister-in-law shouting my name. I saw Wendy, Lily, Jessie, Taylor, my mother-in-law cheering excitedly. Then Jeremey and his son Ty were on the side of the track. Lowell and I grabbed Ty's hands and ran together. Then Amanda and JoEtte grabbed our hands with 100 ft to go and crossed the finish arch with our arms raised feeling like a million bucks while the announcer broadcasting: "Here comes Lowell Hawkes, from Pocatello, Idaho, finishing his 98th marathon at the age of 74 (he's actually turning 72)! What an accomplishment!!!" ALL SMILES!!!! :) :) :) :)
We got a huge medal 6"x5" and a nice jacket. I found out that I took 1st in the female 50-59 division. There were only three of us and the fast ones must've stayed home! :) Not bad for a training run on a HOT HOT day (the car showed temp at 90 when we finished). After breakfast at McDonald's across the street, we drove home where we chilled, visited with families in the afternoon. Hubby came home from dialysis and we all went out to dinner at Little America and the MoTab Pioneer Day Celebration concert. FUN day! :)