Got up at 3:30. We picked up Karen at her parent's. Ate a banana, yogurt, EmergenC and gatorade. Hubby dropped us off south of the finish arch. Got to the tennis court at 4:30 to meet those who wanted to ride the bus with us. It was a pleasant surprise to see Lark there along with Marcie. Called RAD who was still waiting for the hotel shuttle. We (Karen, Wendy, John, Marcie and Lark) were anxious to get going so we got on the bus without her. :( While on the bus ride, got a text from Kelli that RAD got on the bus with Bart Yassoo, HOW COOL is that! :) :) :)
The bus ride always seemed to take forever so it was nice to have friends to visit with. There was no line at the POP when we got off the bus. Marcie and Lark went to the 5th fire pit which was not yet lit, since Karen was freezing so we went further back to the ones that were lit. A crowd quickly gathered. I had my pink glow stick on my visor hoping RAD and Teena/Annie would spot me. Ate a package of PowerBar chews and drank water. We made two more pop stops then it was time to shed our clothes. John took our bags to the truck. Just as we turned away from the fire-pit, Leslie Petersen and Maurine spotted me. We walked to the road together and lined up in front of the 7 hr pace group. It was so fun to see Leslie and Maurine, two great friends who got us off to a happy start. :) :) :)
My training has been dismal, simply surviving each marathon, starting with Park City (9 weeks after the stress fracture at Ogden), Pocatello (11 weeks), TOU (13 weeks); recovered with minimal running, supplemented with learning to swim. I did zero speedwork because of the tachycardia episode and recovery from each marathon. Now 16 weeks post stress fracture, I hope to finish without any injury or heart issue. Based on my 4:18 finish at TOU, figured I'm capable of 4:15 today. It would be sweet to get a BQ (4:10) for 2014. The weather gods were generous with us this morning, start temp in the mid 40s, cloudy sky and a TAILWIND!!!
I printed out a 4:09 pace chart from S. Zimmerman's course tool (pace in parenthesis). But the font was too small for my old feeble eyes so I never looked at it. I'd look at my Garmin occasionally when it beeped at the mile/lap alert.
1. 9:52. (9:49) I believe this is the slowest 1st SGM mile I've ever run, just going with the flow of traffic. It was dark, crowded and simply having too much fun running with my best friends! :)
2. 9:37. (9:38) About half way thru this mile, I found some openings to weave out of the crowd. Spotted Karen's cousin Donna. The four of us stayed together thru the next few miles. I think it's around here that Annie spotted us.
3. 9:13. (9:15) Got a side-ache.
4. 9:12. (9:04) Felt twitches of tightness in the vastus medialis.
5. 9:13. (9:27)
6. 8:47. (9:27) This mile has more downgrade.
7. 8:40. (9:27) Same steep downgrade. Lost Wendy at the crowded aid station. Took the one and only Gu I brought with me. Not sure if the station had any Gu as promised.
8. 10:31. (10:35) Karen pulled away. Donna and I sputtered along. I noticed the people with long legs were walking just as fast as I was running. Darn my silly short legs!!! :)
9. 9:36. (10:06) Kept Karen within sight after the aid station.
10. 9:24. (9:49) Donna and I stayed together and talked about our children's similar career paths.
11. 10:09. (10:12) Karen has now disappeared. She was running strong through this chain of rollers. At the aid station, I asked for GU, but there was none to be found. Donna gave me one of her chocolate GU.
12. 10:22. (9:44) Donna was slowing here as she was telling me about her emotional finish at Boston.
13. 9:02. (9:27) Donna was running watchless which was a good thing. She asked what our half split was. I looked at my watch for the first time which read 2:05:xx, right where I wanted to be. She said it was the slowest half she's ever run. I assured her that it's perfect. We can now run the second half the same, telling ourselves that we just erased all the previous miles! :)
14. 9:20. (9:15) The mile alert starts to come just ahead of the aid station where we'd walk and drink so it reflects the slower pace at the even miles.
15. 8:42. (8:58) Asked for Gu again none to be found. A nice runner, Shauna, gave me one of hers.
16. 9:05. (9:15)
17. 8:52. (9:15) Finally the aid station has Gu. Grabbed a couple.
18. 9:29. (9:15) I think we saw Kathie and Kimmy somewhere around here. Got a quick hug from Kimmy. I missed the sisters terribly. It was so wonderful to see them! :)
19. 9:54. (9:44) First sign of cramps showed up in the shins creeping snake like up and down my lower legs. Took 2 salt caps and iB with a GU at the aid station.
20. 9:24. (9:15) Ran into Lark and his friend Hawkeye who picked up a whip on the road and was being a "task master" to keep Lark going. We ran together for the next few miles. Somewhere along Snow Canyon, I saw/heard a cheer from a biker who turned out to be JonA. Saw Kelly who was having tummy issue and encouraged her to stay strong. She ended up running a PR!!! AWESOME JOB Kelly! :)
21. 8:40. (8:53) These downhill miles are really beating up my quads. Kept my strides short and quick. Tried to relax with each threatening cramps.
22. 9:55. (9:15) Wheels fell off miserably. Lark said I was going too fast so he announced he was going to walk a bit.
23. 10:16. (9:21) Lark caught back up. Hawkeye told us that we would walk and drink at the next aid station. After walking, I dared not pick up the pace like I normally did because Charlie Horse was threatening to seize me; so I got into jog mode.
24. 9:22. (9:21) The cheering crowds were awesome. But each time I tried to extend my arms to high five them, one of my calf muscles would tense up. So I just held out my hand and let it catch some fives along the way!
25. 9:37. (9:27) Somewhere in the middle of this mile, the two guys in front of me came to a complete sudden stop, I collided with them while both my calves nearly went into a vice-grip. I pushed thru between them stomping my feet to chase away the charlie horse. It was very frightening because if both my calves seized up I would collapse and not be able to run the rest of the way! :(
26. 9:50. (9:27) All I could do was focus on not letting the muscle cramps seize up my legs. Kept my arms pumping, singing hymns in my head (We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet, Call to Serve) and praying really hard. At the last turn, charlie horse bite my right calf. I stomped my right foot, stumbled and tried not to cry. Someone said it's just two blocks to the finish, but I seriously could not see the finish arch and wish marathon was only 26 miles! :)
0.3 9:42. (9:27) I did not dare pick up the pace nor turn my head to look at hubby when I heard his cheer...just focus on putting one foot in front of the other and keep charlie at bay. I was so happy to cross the finish and saw my Garmin reading 2:09:xx. It was the hardest BQ I've ever run.
Karen was right there to give me a hug and apologize for leaving me and Donna. She finished in 3:56:20, a 4 min PR, albeit shy of a BQ (3:55). I was so proud of her!!! Donna came in within a min. after me followed by Lark and Hawkeye. I walked back and forth between the mist tent and drink tables until my muscles calm down. Seriously even my feet and toes were ready to cramp up. Teena came over and told us the good news of her awesome PR, RAD's amazing PR, Amber Green and Fritz won the whole thing, and Kelli's 2:58. WOW!!! I was SO SO SO SO HAPPY for my friends and so proud of each of their accomplishments. We stayed there until Lowell, TJ, Annie and Wendy came thru. Then Karen and I went to get our bags and called our families.
Well, marathon #40, 7th of the year, my 8th SGM is in the book!!! I am so so so grateful for the support of all my friends and sweet hubby. I love running!!! I love the challenge and demand of a marathon. What a blessing it is to be able to run...indeed each run is a gift to me.
Jared, my nephew ran his first ever SGM in 2:48:43. Steven's mission president, a SGM veteran, who came home this July, ran it in 4:46:07. :)