Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Top of Utah Marathon

PR 3:26:15

That being said it was tougher than my 1st marathon (Salt Lake April 2008).

My girlfriends and I flew down on Thursday night, I learned from last time that flying in the day before is tough, especially when you are going from sea level to altitude.

The weather forecast for Logan was that there may be snow in the canyon with scattered thunderstorms. This made me a little nervous as I do not do well when I am cold. I made sure to pack lots of warm weather gear and I figured if I did not need it I would just put it in my drop bag.

Of course I had to lay out all of my gear so that I made sure that I had everything that I was going to need and I am type A for sure!

I knew that I would not be able to sleep all that well but we were all in bed by 9:30pm anyway. Of course I was tired, it probably did not help that we stayed up the night before really late. After laying there for a while I finally must have fallen asleep only to wake up every 2 hours looking at the clock to make sure that we got up on time.
We got up at 4am to make sure that we had enough time to get ready, eat and catch the bus to take us to the bus that would take us up the canyon. Oh I did not mention that it was raining, not pouring but a good amount, it was not as cold as I had expected so that was good.

I am not a huge fan of seeing the course before I run because it seems soooo long, it was a good thing that it was dark and I had friends to talk to. When we got to the top it was chilly but not too bad of we got in the port o potty line right away. They has a bonfire at the start line which I of course got nice and close to. I know that none of you know me very well but I like to be warm! It was a sad time when I had to shed my 2 coats and drop off my bag. The sun was rising and it was almost time to start.

We started on time and it was beatuiful. The rain had stopped and the sun felt good. The leaves were starting to change and the colors were beautiful. I decided not to run with my belt because it drives me crazy but I was carrying a water bottle because the first aid station was not until Mile 3. I learned from my first marathon that the altitude change dehydrates me pretty fast so I di not want to get thirsty and not have anything. At about mile 3.5 I started talking to a guy that seemed to be running my same pace. This ended up being a blessing and a curse. While it was good to have someone to talk to I killed my legs going down the canyon. He was a little faster and I did not realize we were going so fast. I had to make a pit stop at mile 11 and never caught up with him again. I amde a deal with myself that I would not plug in until I was out of the canyon (Mile 14). At about mile 15 my legs started huting really bad and I plugged in. Mile 15-26.2 was painful. My legs were screaming at me from going down the canyon so fast. Quitting was never an option but at times I wanted to. I was bargaining with myself and would run from aid station to aid station, stopping to walk through them to make sure thatI got enough fluids. They had bananas and oranges at the aid stations which was a welcome change to the shot blocks that I had been taking. At mile 19 they had a Gu station which previously had not set well with me but I was trying anything at this point. I just needed something to give me energy to push through the pain in my legs. It helped and I was able to keep going. Mile 25 you would think I would be able to keep going 1 more mile but I hit a serious wall and had to run/walk until I had about .2 miles left. The finish line has never been so welcome!

I wasted no time getting a massage and getting my shoes off. No blisters last time some big ones this time. It is so weird how races can be so different.

I waited for my girlfriends to finish their 1st. They did awesome!! We all felt the altitude, at least we think that is why at times it felt so hard.I got a moose trophy for getting 4th in my age group. My kids like it!!

All in all it was a good race, well organized and I learned a lot. Even if it is great to have company to run with, DONT go out too fast especailly downhill. I paid for it and am still paying for it. It is Wednesday and I am still pretty sore.

I am crazy also I registered to do the Portland marathon in 11 days. I know that I am crazy but it also makes perfect sense. If I qualify for Boston at Portland I can do it in 2009, or 2010. I really want to do it in 2010 for family planning reasons and I figured I am already in shape to run it. Am I crazy? Have any of you done 2 marathons 2 weeks apart? I am a little nervous but I know once I mentally get to the point where I can imagine doing it again I will be okay. Let's hope I get there soon! Sorry about the long post!


Mel said...

Wow, that's an awesome time! I can't believe you ran it so fast with a pitstop and walking through the aid stations too. After looking at the photo, I do remember seeing you fly past:) Woo hoo... you're awesome!

Heather W said...

Congrats! What an awesome feeling it is to complete a marathon! While I was reading I felt a tinge of jealousy! I was hoping to run Porland this year but decide to wait due to a nagging knee injury. I hope you post after PDX so we can see how it goes. A few years ago I did St. George and then followed up with NYC a month later. For me personally it was a little difficult. I had not recovered enough in a month to run "my best." That being said, my running partner who was on the same schedule as me had an awesome time in NYC. Honestly, I think it depends on how YOUR body recovers and heals. Best of Luck in PDX!

Kelly(M&M) said...

Hey Steph,

Great report! I am sorry you didn't love the course, but wow, what a time! Congrats on the 4th place finish- very cool.

As far as the 2 marathons in 2 weeks, I say go for it. I have done 2 marathons in 4 weeks, and 2 marathons in 6 weeks. As you said, you have done the training. Just see how your recovery goes. I have heard Portland is a great marathon. I am also encouraging you for selfish reasons- I am hoping to qualify for Boston 2010 also. :-)

You are amazing!

Alicia said...

Way to go! You are super fast. Congratulations!

Robyn said...

WOW, what an awesome PR! Two marathons in two weeks- you rock. I hope you qualify for Boston, that would be great. I did TOU as well and I really liked the course. Too bad my IT band wasn't happy to be running that day. Maybe next marathon I'll have a time closer to yours... ha ha, or maybe not. Good job!

Juli said...

Congratulations. I ran it too. It was my first. I loved it. I thought the rain was pleasant. I never got too hot. I've heard that doing marathons 2 weeks apart is actually good. I took this week off running and I feel really agitated. I need to do another long run, just to get it out of my system. Good luck!

Janice said...

I am missing the awesome fall marathons in Utah this year... :( Great job, you are a speedster.

Aimee said...

Hey there! I lurk around this blog all the time and it was fun to see a (somewhat) familiar face! Congrats on your awesome race!