Friday, October 09, 2009

St. George 2009

What can I say about this race? It was beautiful! Up until the day before I was only planning on running until mile 16 but after looking at the course I figured that I could probably do the whole thing and if I had to walk to finish I would. I told my husband and friends that they should just go to the finish line and I would get there somehow. If I was feeling good I would run, not so good walk, injured I would borrow a cell phone and have them come and get me. I had no expectations for this race and there was no pressure since I was already qualified for Boston.

It is a tradition for me to take a picture of my race gear all laid out the night before.
Race day started out great, I got about 5 hours of sleep (more than before my other marathons). My baby woke up to eat right when I needed her to which was a bonus because I was sitting down to pump.
This is me with my bowl of oatmeal in my warm clothes ready to head to the buses. I sat by a nice guy from Phoenix on the bus who was running his first. It was a beautiful morning with an almost full moon, I had not realized that we would be running the first part of the race in the dark but I welcomed it.
When we go to the start line the bus driver announced that it was 35 degrees, luckily I had layered! The atmosphere was amazing, there were so many runners and volunteers. I headed straight for the port-o-potty lines which weren't too bad except for the face that many of them were out of toilet paper. Luckily someone had a roll and was passing it around. Obviously someone had run this race before. I had just enough time to push my way through the crowds to the bag drop and make it up to get in line for the race when the race started. I was grateful to be running because without my sweats and coat it was pretty chilly. I kept my long sleeve tshirt (not shed until mile 17) and gloves (shed mile 9). They would be my companions for quite a while!
I told myself to enjoy the race and I did. After the first few miles I found myself hanging around the 3:30 pace group and the pace was feeling really good, so I decided to start chatting with the pacer and those around me. I am a chatterbox during long races, it helps to pass the time and the miles. I will admit that I had not studied the course much which was good for me. At the base of Veyo hill (mile 8) I swore that I was running next to fellow MM Cal but it turned out to be her sister. I chatted with her for a minute but then had to get down to business on the hill. I kept expecting to hit the wall but I never did, I think that through my marathons I have learned to fuel better and that has made all the difference. I also kept my baby in mind and took fluids at every aid station. I must say that the aid stations were very impressive. Out of my 4 marathons by far this was the most organized and had the most volunteers. I also loved that the port o potties had a silver mylar balloon high above them. While I never had to use them during the race it was nice to know that another mile marker was approaching. The miles passed by fairly quickly, my quads were starting to burn when we hit more downhill but the pacer Vince and some other seasoned runners were giving me some great advice that seemed to be working, as I was feeling good. I had shared with them that in my previous marathons I had died in the end and I really wanted to finish strong and feel good after. I remember passing mile 16 and still feeling so good. This had been where I initially planned to stop. I was really glad that I had changed my mind because I would have felt bad if I had everyone meet me there and then I went on.
At about mile 23 we came into town to great crowds! I was a little ahead of the pace group and turned to look back to see where they were. Vince said, " Don't look back, if you have it go." So with that I left the pace group. No wall and I was at mile 24, I might actually finish strong. A cute little bpy was passing out popsicles, I took one. Another good distraction! I decided to put on earphone in and put on a really up beat song for the last mile. I loved how they had a marker at 25.2 not at 25. It is amazing what that .2 can feel like. I turned the corner and saw the finish line. I sprinted and it felt great! I saw my hubby and baby. My others kids, friends, and parents were in the stands so I did not see them then. I crossed the finish line at 3:28:18. I felt great and was so happy that I had decided to run it all. It was a great experience!
Me, Mike and Lily
Mom, Dad, and me- They were on their way home from Palm Springs and were so nice to stop and stay in St. George so they could see me race. So nice!!!
Me with all the Blue Bunny ice cream. I went to get a few for my kids and they told me to take as much as I wanted so I took a lot. I got some really strange looks when I was walking back to my fam.


Cal said...

Wow!!! I can't believe how great you did! I wish I were that strong of a runner. Congratulations!!! I'm glad that you met my sister. She is excited to be going to Boston. Hopefully I'll be there too...cheering you guys on :)

EricaH said...

with out fail every time I read a marathon race report i am amazed Congrats, glad you had a good race :)

Kim said...

You really are amazing! It was so fun to meet you down there. Congratulations on an incredible race! Your baby is darling.

Jenny said...

Great post, I ran St George last week (my first marathon!) and had a great experience. I'm hoping to qualify for Boston someday, I was proud of my sub-4 time for my first :)

Sarai said...

wow! that is impressive time. I'm planning to run m first marathon next spring. I love reading about other women's experiences and being inspired. You have inspired me today!

Can (Cal's little sister) said...

Way to go, Stephenie! =) I still can't believe you finished in 3:28 after just having a baby! You go girl! I was a few minutes behind you - finished in 3:32:33.

And you neglected to mention that you were running backwards talking to the 3:30 pacer and he asked you if you were showing off. LOL =)

I'm glad you loved the race - it's my favorite marathon and I'm always happy to hear that others love it as well.

I'll have to look for you in Boston. I won't know anyone and realized I'll feel lonely out with 25,000 other runners!

Heather said...

That is amazing! I am interested in hearing your fueling techniques. I bombed out at mile 20 and am looking for different ways to get past it. Any suggestions you can make would be great!

Keekee said...

Congrats on your recent marathon. Congrats also on Boston. I too am running in 2010 and just
re-registerd myself. I was supposed to run this year but feel two weeks out and busted my ankle. Happy training, I live in WI and have another long and cold training season ahead.
Best of luck,happy running and maybe I will see you at Boston!


Croughwell said...

Great marathon! I run my first in two months!

Nicole Feliciano said...

You are an inspiration.

Mrs JP Chaos said...

Wow and Wow!

You are a superstar, Girl!!

Laura said...

Congrats on Requalifying for Boston. You must feel really cool. Amazing. What training plan did you use?