Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Erin's SLC 1/2 Marathon 2008

My 1/2 Marathon Recap...

Last week turned out to be the week of anxiety and diarrhea. I wasn't sure if i was ready to run 13.1 miles or not. I knew that Saturday was just around the corner and I was nervous. All week long I prayed and mentally prepared for the most physically demanding experience of my life.

Friday afternoon I got to meet my great friends and examples at the Marathon Mommies, Carb Party. This ended up being so much fun and I was so grateful for the opportunity of meeting everyone. Truly Sisters-Bound by Sweat and Blood

I could have stayed and chatted all night long, but my good sport husband Scott was just driving around SLC waiting for me to finish, so alas, I had to leave. When I dropped off Angela she shared a quote with me.

"There is no substitute for Preparation."

This quote did not make me feel better. As you all know, I procrastinated my training and did not prepare properly. Stupid Erin!

Scott & I then had the chance to check out the Marathon Expo and then we went to dinner to get Scott some yummy carbs.

I really felt like I wanted to drive the course so that I would know where I was at and could gauge my distance. Scott was kind enough to drive me the entire course. With traffic this took us over an hour and I kept thinking to in the world am I going to run 13.1 miles. It seemed so far...and so impossible. I was terrified and scared to death.

I got back to the Hilton and took a minute to read over all of my support emails and blog comments and Kristi's Marathon and then it was time to pack.

I then started laying out all of my supplies.

For those of you seasoned runners, you can skip this part, but I was new to running and I did a lot of research for what I might need. I am also the kind of person that likes to over pack, so take it or leave it, this is what I carried with me on my run.

Fanny Pack ( I loved this. It was not kind to my love handles as it squished everything I had into a muffin top, but I loved having it to carry all my stuff.)

Cell phone (In case of Emergency, and to contact my family after the race. There were 12,000 participants.)

Hat (This I hooked on my fanny belt and didn't even use, but if it had been more sunny it would have come in handy.)

Wedding Rings (I forgot to take these off before I left the hotel, so I clipped them into my fanny pack so that my ring finger wouldn't explode)

Zip Lock Bag ( This has Ibuprofen in it, which I took every 5 miles, and also prenatal vitamins...thought I could use some extra strength vitamins, and Blocks-these are gummy endurance enhancers. I almost choked on them.)

GU (Power Bar gel packs with caffeine)

Ballmania (Oprah's Favorite things list: best lip balm on the planet-yellow ball)

BODY SHIELD (Okay, I owe my race to this stuff. One of my biggest concerns was chaffing and blisters and this stuff is amazing. I like it way better than body glide. It goes on thick and clear and you literally have to wash it off. This saved me the entire race. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Garmin (This GPS device is amazing! Thanks Santa Claus (mom). I wasn't sure if I wanted to use it because sometimes I become a slave to it when I am running. But it proved to keep me on track and helped me set some goals. Loved it. ~This device keeps track of miles, pace and time~

After laying out all my stuff I tried to get some shut eye. Let's just say that I didn't sleep at ALL. I rested and laid on the bed, but I didn't sleep. It was a long night and I was very nervous.

When 5AM rolled around Scott & I got up and got ready. We were then able to pray together and then it was time to split up. I had to walk to Trax to get a ride to the 1/2 Marathon and Marathon start and Scott had to get to the 5K starting line.

I felt really alone as I walked through downtown SLC by myself at 5AM. I was nervous, sick to my stomach and pretty much wanted to just turn around. When Trax finally came to pick me up, it was so crowded I could barely get on. The excitement in the air started to grow and I got to listen to 4 men in their 70's talk about running the marathon, 3 sisters who wanted to finish the marathon together just so they could have their picture taken...and so on. The spirit of the marathon was there.

When I got to Legacy Bridge, there were thousands and thousands of people everywhere. I didn't know what to do. I immediately got in the port-a-potty line, like I had been instructed to do and just waited. Luckily I had success (gross) and was able to calm my nerves.

I then was able to get a hold of Julia (my mentor) and meet her for the very first time. I felt pretty dumb because I immediately started crying. I was just so nervous and overcome with emotion. She was so and angel and just told me I could do it. I didn't get to see her for long, I had to go and find my running partner JP.

Seeing JP was like a breathe of fresh air and I finally felt like I wasn't in it alone. Her family was there with her and they made me feel like part of the crew. This was the best therapy for a scared momma. (Make sure if you run a race like this to have a support team-mandatory).

JP, Marathon Erin and I headed to the starting line to line up. I didn't know what to expect and when we were finally able to run...about 10 minutes after the gun went off, I was relieved. It felt good to finally just get started and once I was actually running, all worries and doubts were dispelled.

Finally it was just me, JP and the Road. Within the first mile JP started having breathing problems, due to the altitude and needed to walk. This was hard for me because after all my worry and stress, I actually felt ready to roll. We walked a little and then ran and then walked a little and then ran. We stopped at mile 2 and stretched a bit (which I had completely forgot to do before the race).

Not long into the 3rd mile I had to press on ahead. I felt so bad leaving Jill because I knew that she could run faster than me on any given day, and I really wanted a partner, but I knew that I had to just go. I had to go while I could go and give it my best.

I pushed on and felt great. I know that this is due to some answered prayers so thank you Heavenly Father! I kept a slow and steady pace, but I was able to run and keep running. I was amazed at the support that came out. So many people made me feel like they were there cheering just for me. I slapped hands and thanked everyone I saw. At about mile 5 I saw a woman run past a police officer and totally cut the course. I started laughing and thought about all the times that I'd taken the easy way in life. I promised then and there not to cut even a corner. I was going to run 13.1 no matter what.

At mile 5 I tried to down some blocks, which I choked on, and took some Ibuprofen. Every mile I passed I kept thinking to myself, I feel great, I feel great? What...I feel great? I teared up every time I passed a mile marker because I just couldn't believe that I was 'really doing it'.

I chatted with people here and there. I rocked out to my play list with included crazy songs that I loved and will post later. I love my play list!

When I reached the half way mark I was amazed. I knew that I had to get tired soon but I just couldn't believe how strong I felt. I kept thinking of the quote that Kesli sent me. Thanks Kes!

At mile 9 I started feeling a few blisters. I debated just finishing, but then decided to just stop, take my shoe off, and rub on some Body Shield. This took me a few minutes, but the pain was instantly gone and I feel that this was the right move.

I had set a time for myself to finish at 3:30 minutes. I really thought that I was going to have to walk. But at about mile 9 I set a new goal for myself of 2:40 minutes. Almost an hour faster. (Thanks Garmin for keeping track of my numbers).

This was about the time that the Marathon Leaders passed me. I was so excited that I just stared screaming and cheering as loud as I could. I didn't know what to do. They were passing me at my mile 9 and their mile 22. WHAT? This was insane.

At about mile 10 I started to slow down. I really started to feel my body and 3 more miles seemed hard. About that time I saw JP's family and got a little boost. I just pushed and pushed, slow but steady.

At mile 11 I ran into a girl that had been pacing herself off me and I off her. She started to walk and I started to pass her and I said to her, "don't you dare walk, you are running with me." This proved helpful because about a mile later when I wanted to walk, she pushed me the same way.

When we turned the corner into the gateway at mile 13 I was set. I took off as fast as I could, at a 6.91 mile pace and just pushed through the finish line. I forgot to take out my headphones so I didn't know if anyone had cheered for me, but it didn't matter. I did it! I did it! I finished under 3 hours at 2:50:51. I was so pleased with my time. And amazed that I was able to run the entire way.

I got a little bit sad when I couldn't find my family. But when I finally found them they were shocked that I had finished already! That was a compliment. I totally surprised them, and myself.

I spent the next few hours cheering on the Marathon Runners. I was right by the finish line and had fun trying to get the runners to cry. One woman heard me cheering and almost had to stop because she got so emotional. So fun!

I proud of myself. Yep I am. I can't wait for the next race.

Kimm and Scott After the Race!

There is still life left in these bones!

Amber & Erin

Scott & Erin


  • Meeting my Mentor Julia in person...she took me under her wing and developed a 5 week training program for me so I could run the SLC 1/2 even after skipping 7 weeks of training.

  • Carb Loading with the Marathon Mommies who probably thought I was a psycho, but I just couldn't contain my excitement. I loved all of them so much! Way to go ladies!

  • Starting the race with my partner in crime JP, AKA Thing 2, Lightning Jill, or Turtleneck

  • Running my first 1/2 Marathon in beautiful Utah on a course that had a great downgrade

  • Running on a beautiful day with a great wind (I think a lot of people hated the wind, but I trained in Blackfoot, so I welcomed it, I stayed so cool the whole race!)

  • Passing every mile post and thinking to myself, wow...I'm still running and I feel great.

  • Seeing JP's family at mile 10 and hearing them cheer for me!

  • Thinking about all of my friends and family as I ran and wondering how I got so lucky to have so much support

  • Passing Sugarhouse park (where I had my horrible Beat The New Year Run) and thinking to myself, SEE YA SUCKER!

  • High Fiving all the kids that were out cheering on the racers

  • Being a Participant and not just a Spectator

  • Seeing the frontrunner's in the Marathon Pass me at my mile 9 and their mile 22. They were so awesome!

  • Finishing with no one at the finish line for me because they weren't planning on me finishing that soon. I love a good surprise.

  • Crossing the finish line sprinting at 6.94 mile pace because I still had some juice left.

  • Having my Sister-in-Law Amber at the finish line cheering me on and telling me she felt like she was my mom, she was so proud!

  • Finishing something that I started. I actually reached my goal!
Thank You's:

  • To Julia for believing in me and taking the time to write me thoughtful, encouraging emails to get me through my training.

  • To Scott for supporting me and for letting me buy all the little gizmo's that I was sure would help me on the race. Oh, and for swapping me ipods so that I didn't have to run with my big dog!

  • To my mom, for helping me get over the cold that hit me on Friday. You worked a miracle and I felt great on Saturday.

  • To my alarm clock, for going off right on time, even though I never fell asleep the entire night. Good job!

  • To my muffin top and my cankles, for working harder than you have in a while and for carrying me through to the end.

  • To my blogging friends, for posting words of encouragement and support that I thought about through the entire race.

  • For my sore muscles, for still being sore and being a constant reminder that I am awesome because I did something this cool for you to be sore.

  • For Suzie P & M&M, and Sarah's Mom, for entertaining all of us Marathon Mommies and providing delicious Carbs!

  • For JP & Sarah...for making me laugh and for liking me and taking my picture. (Feel free to edit out the above mentioned muffin top and cankles)

  • To my Mom & Dad, for watching my little ones...which can be so HARD. Thanks for taking them for me! I couldn't have done this without you.

  • For The know who you lovely family that ran all sorts of different races this all believed in me.

  • To my Dylan who asked me on the phone after the race...Did you Win? I of course replied...YES! And then he said, wow, you beat dad!

  • To my sport shield, for no chaffing and preventing blisters!

  • To my bladder, for holding it through the entire race.

  • To my Heavenly Father...for hearing my prayers and answering all of them...Thank you!

Jana & Jeff and Family Plus Lindser who I love!


foxontherun said...

Congrats! I'm glad you stuck with the training. Sounds like you had a great time.

Anniebananie said...

YEAH! Great Job! I love your race review and I will never forget your cheering for me at the finish line, Thanks! I am proud of you!

Erin said...

It was so awesome feeling a part of the event! I'm so glad I got to cheer you on Annie!

Julia Wade said...

YAAAAAAAAAAAY ERIN!!!! i love the idea of "what's next?" you are a rock star and an inspiration ... i absolutely loved, loved meeting you. :) can't wait to see you again soon. maybe next year, right? ;)

Cotter said...

way to go!! you were so prepared... i should have found you and jp at the beginning! i would have loved the company. next time!?!

Ang said...

Yay Erin! You are so awesome. Now that I'm moving to good ol' Provo, we can do more races together! You did so amazing!

Roxanne said...

I have been looking forward to your post. I am so sad I didn't get to meet you. You totally did it and should be so proud. I love your high spirits and energy for the sport. I can tell you are on fire. It will be fun to run together sometime...we are fellow Idahoans you know. Good Job!

JP said...

YOU were the highlight of this run for me, my friend. I can't even tell you how much it meant to me that you were there when I finished.

We WILL do this together lower elevation. :)

Jessica said...

That's awesome! Way to go!!!

Team Hanni said...


Look at what you have done! I feel so bad we weren't ready for you to finish...... You were so speedy!

It's so funny to me to see pictures with me in it from that day. I was just so happy, I look out of control goofy. It was just such a great day.

I can't express how proud I am of what you have done. I can't wait to hear about your upcoming races.... How about Teton Dam in June??? We could do the Marathon relay! It is so fun! We want to put a team together and hopefully no one will be tooo worried about our finishing time. My belly will be mighty big by then :)

Jeff, Scott, Kimm, you, and I or whomever would make a really fun team...??? I want so bad to do a leg of that race. Let me know what you think?

You have inspired us all!!!

Team Hanni said...


Look at what you have done! I feel so bad we weren't ready for you to finish...... You were so speedy!

It's so funny to me to see pictures with me in it from that day. I was just so happy, I look out of control goofy. It was just such a great day.

I can't express how proud I am of what you have done. I can't wait to hear about your upcoming races.... How about Teton Dam in June??? We could do the Marathon relay! It is so fun! We want to put a team together and hopefully no one will be tooo worried about our finishing time. My belly will be mighty big by then :)

Jeff, Scott, Kimm, you, and I or whomever would make a really fun team...??? I want so bad to do a leg of that race. Let me know what you think?

You have inspired us all!!!

Erin said...

Hey I'm totally in! Email me dates and more information. That sounds fun!

Where is Teton Damn anyway?

M&M said...


I am so happy for you!! How great to meet your mentor and have a fantastic race. You are a superstar and one of the nicest people I have ever met. I am glad to know you and can't wait to hear more plans of yours!!

Kera said...

Awesome report. Congrats!!! And I did see (mostly hear) you cheering for me!!! Thanks so much. See you at the next race. :)

Anonymous said...

This was just fun to read! Now that I see pictures of you and what you were wearing- I totally remember seeing you a ton. After my bathroom stop, I saw you stopping to put the Body Shield on your foot...if only I had recognized you! I remember kicking myself for leaving that in my pack instead of bringing it on the race.

And beating your goal time like that- wowza! I am so impressed. It was because you shared your training from your mentor that I even made it to the race- THANK YOU! You did so great!

Erin said...

Hannah, that makes me so happy! I'm glad that the schedule helped someone besides just me!!!

Jen said...

I am so proud of you! You rock, girl! Way to go, and please let's run a race together! If Mr. Dancie-Pants could see you now:) Yeah, you know who I'm talkin' about...

Chelle said...

Three cheers for you, Erin. You are a delightful creature. Seriously. I hope to know you for a good, long time. Congrats!

Team Hanni said...


Teton Dam Marathon starts at Teton Dam (just north of Rexburg) and the race winds through little towns and ends in Rexburg. It is a beautiful run next to the Tetons. It is June 14th. Here's the link:

Julia said...

Great job! So jealous you have a garmin.

everything pink - kristi said...

way to go. i loved reading this!
many life lessons learned in under 3 hours - is that not just amazing!