Had a nice dinner with the Beestons at Oliver Garden at 5:00pm last night. Went to bed around 10:00pm (earliest I've been to bed in the last two years). My son called at 11:30 (so much for trying to sleep). Woke up at 2:30am. Karen picked me up at 3:30am, parked at the Ogden Marriott to use their facility. I ate a mini bagel, Greek yogurt, banana. Lined up at the bus at 5:00am and saw JohnnyV, and Dana. We got on a plush tour bus and sat on the first two rows. My seatmate was from France, love her accent. Wonder what people think of my accent? :)
Got to the start with an hour to spare. At the PoP line we saw the Pocatello gang, so we hung out with them by the power pole. Then it was time to shed our warm clothes for drop bags. A light snow started to fall with immenent rain ahead. I put a rain poncho in my flip belt, kept my gloves, running cap and head band. I have two hair clips to keep the poncho hood secured on the brim of the cap (two years ago in the rainy Ogden marathon, my hood did not stay on my head and collected quite a bit of rain water). Gave Karen a good-luck hug and went back to the pole to find Lowell and use the PoP one last time.
I love running in the rain as long as it's not cold. The swishing of the poncho was annoying at first, but I soon got used to it and I was kept pretty dry and comfortable. Lowell and I sang and chatted with fellow runners. The mountains are lushy green with low hanging clouds. It reminds me of New Zealand where I visited in Sept as part of my mission. I'd sing a Maori song and phrase when I ran upon someone who looked miserable. We ran into CindyF. The last time I saw her was Boston 2013 so it was fun to catch up on what's happening. Had to use the PoP at the half but there were only 4 PoPs next to the course with a long line. So I ran off course to the other side of the park. I was carrying Lowell's wet gloves while he changed to dry ones so my right gloved hand got a bit wet. So other than one wet hand and feet, I was dry and toasty wearing long sleeve top, capris w/ compression sleeves, light headband to cover the ears. We'd see other runners with red freezing hands and Lowell would offer his dry gloves to them. Temp was in the high 40's, rain and calm (until mile 21-23 with headwind at the mouth of the canyon). We caught up to the 4:45 pace group and hung with them or leaped frog with them most of the way.
Gu'ed 4 times (mile 7, 11, 17, 21) and ate the bacon Lowell gave me 3 times. Running so slow in the rain plus eating the bacon made me drink more which resulted in numerous PoP stops. We also stopped to take pictures at aid station with "Elvis", a cute family of little kids holding the sign "We LOVE you!" and the guy dressed like he's going snorkeling wearing swim shorts, swim goggles with snorkel and a beach towel hung around his neck. All he needed was some flippers! :) I got to run with TJ and his grand daughters a few times. SO FUN!!!! Had to use the inhaler on the uphill and again at mile 22 where the headwind was wicked. I ducked behind Lowell bending down at my waist and coughing and wheezing. Our last PoP stop was off course before heading down into the parkway trail. Lowell's body must've decided that it's quit time after that stop. My body on the other hand was like "a horse smelling the barn and just wanted to git'er done". Once out of the parkway, I was ready to cruise to the finish picking up roadkills; but the memory of last year doing the Half after a year of no-running and I was cramping up and Lowell waited for me; I decided to return the favor and waited for him. We stopped to take pictures for a mother whose 9 year old son was running her in. Then they would take our pictures in front of the temple.
Karen and her husband waited for us at the finish. I was so grateful for her and so proud of her giving her all out there. She ran a courageous race! I was heart-broken for her when she told me she was 2 min shy of a BQ. She had trained so well and so hard; but caught a nasty cold couple weeks ago, with a lingering cough. She also had stomach cramps and the headwind at the mouth of the canyon toke its toll. On a better day, she would've PR'd.
I had heaps of fun, dejavu of Ogden '13, dancing and singing in the rain. Marathon #56 in the book!