Alright, so here is my marathon report. :-) (Warning, it is long. You can just scroll down to the bottom to see the time)
Suzie came over around 11:30pm. The plan was to go right to bed, but of course as tired as we were, we were too excited to sleep. We compared our pink clothing and talked about what we needed for the morning. Our hubbies were great as they discussed when we would see them. I thought it was cute that Zook surprised her by coming out to Ogden(I will let Suzie say more on that topic.) He insisted that he drop us off in the morning. So, at 12:30am we finally went to bed and set the alarm for 4:30am. Beside a 2am screaming session from my darling Emily, I actually slept great in that 4 hours. In the morning we showered to wake up, and then put on our matching shirts. They were light pink and said "Marathon Mommy" on the back and our names on the front. Hopefully Suzie will post a picture. We were supposed to be to the bus between 4:15am and 6am. We arrived a little after 5:30am and there were a lot of people, but no buses. I started to get a little nervous as we walked around and waited. Finally, we asked someone and they said nobody showed up at 4:30 (Duh!) so the first bus didn't actually go out until 5:15 and then 21 buses followed. So, we had to wait for those buses to come back down the canyon. I felt a little better, but realized there was no way the race was going to start on time. We had no cell phone with us, as the plan was for the boys to meet us at the halfway mark around 9am. When we got to the starting line, we met up with Ted, which was cool. He had been there for a while and was ready to go. Okay, so on to the race. :-)
It finally started around 7:30. I had realized my battery was dead in my mp3 player, but I knew I could make it through the first half and had to hope the boys would have one with them. We met up with Ted and when the cannon went off, we started with a very slow walk. It was kind of anticlimatic. :-) The first mile felt very slow, but I knew it was faster than it felt, and it was- 8:28. I felt really good and my heart was doing fine, so we just kept going. The aid stations were awesome so we stopped often for water and powerade. At 5 miles we were still averaging about 8:30 minute miles and we stopped to stretch and have gu. This was still mostly downhill and when it flattened out with a little uphill, we slowed down to about 9 minute miles. I felt pretty good and Suzie was cute and kept checking on me. The shirts were a hit, and poeple kept asking us how many kids we have. We were kind of quiet, I think due to the tiredness! I thought I was doing fine. I was definitely looking forward to seeing Jeff and then the canyon would be soon after. I slowed down a little so Suzie and Ted were up ahead at the halfway mark. I think we crossed the halfway mark around 1:56. It was great to see Jeff! I gave him a hug and told him I was fine and was not going to bring my belt with the cell phone. The aid stations had plenty of gatorade etc and I felt good. Plus, I knew the canyon was in four miles and I would sail at that point. Well, it didn't exactly happen like that. We came to the big hill and Suzie and Ted were ahead of me. Typically when we run hills, Suzie is stronger on the uphill and I am stronger on the downhill. I had every intention of catching up with her in the canyon. Unfortunately, I thought my heart rate was doing great, but as I approached the canyon, I hadn't been paying attention to it, because I was so excited, and I felt it happen. My throat started closing up, my chest got tight, and my heart was pounding. I tried to calm down and almost laughed as I thought, "No, this can't be happening." Sure enough, I looked down at my watch and it read 214 beats per minute. I slowed down as I headed down the canyon and tried to bring my heart rate down. I had rehearsed this in my head and knew I had to walk and relax and try to start all over. I walked slow, stretched, looked down the canyon with the longing to go for it, but waited for my heart rate to come down. When it read about 177, I thought okay, I am ready to try again. I started a slow jog, and it immediately jumped back up to over 200. And this is pretty much how the rest of my race went. So, no, I did not get to enjoy my favorite running- downhill. But, the good news was, at this point I knew I was close enough that I would finish well before my time from last year, and I also knew there was nothing I could do. I kept walking to get my heart rate down, hoping that after a couple of miles I would be fine, but I never really was. A nice man let me borrow a cell phone at mile 19 to call Jeff and let him know what was happening. I just really tried to enjoy the scenery and run when I could. The canyon really was beautiful, and the Ogden parkway was too. Runners kept encouraging me, and asking if I was okay (I was WALKING downhill, so I am sure that looked strange.) The hardest part was not being able to run the last mile on the street. I saw Jeff's mom and dad and my niece, and that was wonderful! A thoughtful volunteer said to me, "You are crossing the first stoplight and the finish is at the 5th." She didn't realize how far 5 stoplights felt at that point. Jeff's mom had told me that Jeff would be at 23rd and Grant, which was the 3rd stoplight and that was awesome. I could see my little angel, Dallin, reaching his hand out for a high five and saying, "Go Mom." I gave him a big hug and then kept going. Suzie's family was also there with a sign that said, "Go Kelly" which was a fun surprise. (Thanks for being there! I hope I get to meet you next time!). I only had .2 miles to go at that point and thought surely I could keep running for that long. Unfortunately, my heart was still over 200, so it was very slow and I had to walk every once in a while, but when I saw Suzie at the finish, I knew I could do it. I was looking at the big clock to see my time, but I felt like I was in a dream because there were no numbers. As I crossed the line I was too tired to push the stop button, but I saw my time-
4:38!!! A 33 minute improvement from last year. (I was so out of it yesterday, I kept think it was a 40 minute improvement- oh well.) I cried when Suzie gave me a hug, and then I was fine. I was so happy I finished, especially given the circumstances. I am so ready to take a break from the extra long distances. I am also even more determined to figure out my heart.
Okay, so what I learned. I feel I had an epiphany. Last year, I was so bummed with my time, that there was nothing I could do to feel better. I cried a lot and all I could think about was the next marathon where I could redeem my time. I got so tired of people saying, "But aren't you proud you finished?!" I knew I could do better than I did. This year, I am kind of in the same boat. I still know I have better than a 4:38 in me, but I am choosing to focus on the positive fact that I did it!! I listened to my body and raced my best, according to what my body could do that day. I am very happy with the result. I am so thankful for a supportive husband and great friends who have been on this journey with me and who will hopefully continue to be. I am happy for Suzie and that she had an awesome race. (I will let her tell you about it.)I still have my sights on Boston, and I will just keep improving a little at a time. Meanwhile, I have a 5k on May 20th, so I need to get back to work. :-) Okay, I will take a few days off.