06 October 2009

St. George Marathon Race Report

Last Thursday afternoon, I flew to Las Vegas, met Tim there and then we drove to St. George for a weekend involving a marathon, General Conference, family, friends and In-n-Out cheeseburgers. The drive to St. George was uneventful, although we did stop in Mesquite for a water stop. I was mostly just SO happy to see Tim after a month apart.

Friday morning, we woke up to my dad making waffles with homemade peach syrup which was delicious! We headed to the expo, where I bought all sorts of stuff and even found my favorite sunglasses. I needed a replacement pair after my other pair got all scratched up during the branch to the lip incident at Zions. Tim bought me a very cute hat and my parents tried out all of the "healing" muscle balms. By the time we arrived at the car, my dad smelled like old people. We headed to see my friends, the Perkins, and then had lunch with my grandparents. Of course, my grandma had all sorts of questions for Tim. We stopped at the bike shop for some nutrition ($8 for 3 clif blocks) and then headed back to the condo. (THANKS LARRY AND NYLA FOR LETTING US STAY THERE!) My dad and Tim snagged a quick nap and my mom and I headed to Harmons for some steak, shrimp, chicken, and other meat for dinner.

My pre-race meal consisted of a baked potato, steak, shrimp, and grilled zuchini. My dad is such a fantastic cook! Oh, and my mom brought some homemade salsa which made the meat even better! After dinner, we dropped some chips and salsa off to my Illinois friends, Howard and Sherry Hill and Danny and Carolyn Trancoso. We talked with them for awhile and then headed to Nelson's Frozen Custard for the best ice cream ever. Can you tell that food is important to the Hansen's? Tim and I shared a tin roof sundae concrete and then it was time for the hot tub and bed.

The alarm went off at 4:20am, but I had been awake off and on since 2am. You know...the whole I hydrated for the race and then had to pee all night sort of deal. I planned on eating a bagel for breakfast, but apparently sundried tomato bagels do not even sound or smell sort of appetizing at 4:30am. I ended up eating a banana. My mom and I drove over to catch the bus to the start and bumped into all of our friends. We all got to enjoy a long bus ride to the start, which was a great help to all of the wonderful hydration.

It was FREEZING at the start of the race. My mom, Sherry and I got to shiver in the portapotty line for about 30 minutes. My mom drank some hot chocolate and was bumming clothes and foil blankets from people. After the long stand in line in the freezing cold wait for a portapotty with no toilet paper, my mom and I headed over to stand next to the campfires. I finally started to get warm and then it was time to jump into the start. We bumped into Howard, Danny, and Carolyn and chatted for a minute and then we were off.

I felt like crap from the beginning of the race. I knew that I hadn't eaten enough for breakfast and so I started eating my clif blocks from mile 1. My mom and I decided to do a 5:1 run/walk strategy which worked well for awhile. I should probably also mention that my mom has a broken toe and was running along just fine. I got rid of my throwaway shirt after about 3 miles and was a little chilly, but was tired of feeling hot. I hit the portapotty at mile 6 and was noticing that my stomach was not digging the all.

We hit the hill at Veyo and decided to do a 1:1 run/walk because that hill is HARD. It's 1 mile up a 5% grade. Killer... We got to the top and I noticed a seriously gross man. I think he pooped his pants because his shorts had all these brown streaks around them and he had brown splatters on his legs and socks. He was carrying a huge backpack (why?!) and talked to himself. Creepy... I said in my head that I needed to beat him...just because he was yucky.

After the hill, I started having some difficulty breathing. Nothing serious, but if I took a deep breath I started coughing. I couldn't believe we were only at mile 8 and I was ready to be done. I knew that my dad and Tim were waiting at mile 16 and that was all that kept me going. That and the fact that my mom was running too. I mean, geez, if she could run a marathon with a broken toe, I could run too. Did I mention that the last time I ran was July 24? Note to self: Never ever run a marathon without doing at least some training.

While my mom and I were suffering through the race, my dad and Tim were taking pictures of people they knew. Here are some of Howard and Danny. Sorry Danny, no idea why your picture is so overexposed.

We saw my dad and Tim at mile 16. I mostly just wanted to cry and be done. My legs were killing me. I had a bloody nose. My back was spasming and everytime I ate anything my stomach started cramping. It was oh so much fun! Note the look of joy on the man on the right side of the picture.

I think this may have been the only real smile I had during the race.

Here's how I was really feeling.

My mom and I talked with my dad and Tim for a minute or two and then headed off for the rest of the race. Mostly, I just wanted to stay there with them and ride in the car back to the finish, but I sort of forgot to. I also forgot to give them my ipod which was driving me nuts.

The last 10 miles of the race were SO hard for me mentally and physically. I was tired and thirsty and hungry. I didn't want to be running. My stomach was feeling awful. My legs were in pain and I couldn't wait to take my shoes off. There were a few times that I stopped to stretch my back and really just wanted to sit down and be done. My mom asked me if I would be ok if she left me and I said yep, I'm fine. At one point, we were running down a hill and noticed the shuttle van slowing down and asking people if they were done and wanted a ride. I turned to my mom and said, "That's the perfect visual lesson of temptation. Here, come get on the bus, we'll take you to the finish line, it will be so easy and fun. We have air conditioning. You won't have to hurt anymore." We both laughed a little and then continued on.

We made it down to the Diagonal and my mom left me. I was in tears and just wanted to be done. I knew I wasn't going to make the 6 hour cutoff and then I started seeing people with medals and realized they were very similar to last year's. I thought to myself, "Geez...why would I keep running. I already have a medal like that." And yet, I kept going. I passed a man sitting in a very comfy chair and asked him if I could trade places. He was snacking on something and he said, "Sure, I've got an extra chair right here." I kept going. I think the only reason I kept going was because I knew that Tim and everyone else would be at the finish line. I knew that if I stopped, they would worry and not be able to find me because of the course being shutdown. So, I kept going. I made it to mile 25 and wondered if I had anything left. Apparently, I did because I kept going. I was literally talking myself into running to different points. "If I can just make it to the yellow sign, I can stop and walk."

Tim was at the finish line taking pictures. Here are a few of them. He missed Sherry because she is so super fast!

This is the back of Carolyn finishing.

Here's Howard.

Here's Danny.

I finally made it to the road with the finish line. I could see the finish line. I wanted to run in, but wasn't sure if I could do it. I was plodding along and then I saw Sherry. She told me I looked good (yeah...right) and said that Tim was up ahead. Then I heard Howard and saw him and then I saw Tim. I'm not sure if I smiled or not. Mostly, I just wanted to be done.

When I crossed the finish line, I stopped, took off my shoes, threw them in a trash can, much to the amusement of the first aid people. I took off my socks and threw them away too. The lady handing out the medals said, "Where are your shoes?" I just looked at her and said, "in the garbage." I don't think she knew what to think. I was so hungry that I went to the Blue Bunny truck and got 3 ice cream sandwiches and then downed a yogurt in record time. There was no water to be found though. That was annoying.

After wandering around looking for water, I got out of the runner's area and found Tim. I handed him my ice creams and then we walked over to the gear check to grab my clothes. We were walking along and I just sat down. I was so tired of being on my feet and I just wanted a drink of water and I couldn't find anything.

We found Howard and Sherry and took a few more pictures.

Ice cream after a race is delicious! Although, I'm sure I have food in my teeth and on my face in this picture.

After the race, Tim and I headed back to the condo. We stopped and got some ice which felt so so good on my legs. He also bought me some yummy salty potato chips which were yummy too. I was so hungry after this race. I sat in an ice bath and then grabbed a quick shower and then ate yet again. My dad made some yummy grilled chicken sandwiches and we had chips and homemade salsa again. Then, we settled in for an afternoon of General Conference. I was seriously achy and couldn't walk too well, which Tim found highly amusing.

Yep, I look so attractive in my shorts and 3 layers of clothes and Tim's grey socks.

We spent the rest of the day gorging ourselves on cheeseburgers from In-n-Out and visiting with the Perkins and just relaxing. Sunday morning was a quick wake up and clean the condo (Yes, we did vacuum the stairs Larry!) and then my parents and Tim headed back to Logan, and I drove to Vegas to fly back to IL.

During the marathon, I was pretty sure that I would never ever do another marathon in my life. However, by Sunday I was back to making plans to do the Top of Utah marathon in Logan next September. Anyone want to join me? I think my mom and Tim are in!


Barb said...

You awesome woman! I am so proud of you.

MEB said...

Way to tough it out! I didn't realize you hadn't really trained at all, just though you hadn't trained much. That takes guts!