Friday, May 24, 2013

Ogden Marathon

Race #14 of 2013
Ogden Marathon
What in the world am I doing running a marathon?  
Half marathons are the distance I love. 
I questioned this decision of mine for many days.  

Well, my friend Josh won himself a half marathon entry into the Ogden marathon after he had already purchased a full entry and decided he would rather run the half marathon.  He offered the full entry to anyone that wanted it on Facebook for a couple bags of jelly beans.  I watched as day after day went by and nobody took it.  I was so surprised.  This is a big marathon and takes a lottery to get into.  After a few days  I decided I would step up and take it off his hands. What are running friends for anyway?  He was rewarded with a nice big basket of goodies along with the jelly beans and I think he was pretty happy about that.

I have run a number of races longer than a marathon but in reality this marathon would only be my second one done on the road.  I prefer trails for longer distances and find that my body does too.  My first road marathon was ran last year in September with a time of 5 hours and 6 minutes.  My goal for this marathon would be to break the 5 hour mark.  So I got onto and printed me out a pace band for 4 hours and 55 minutes.  I thought if I tried for 5 minutes quicker than the 5 hour mark that would help me reach my goal. 
Race morning dawned bright and early.  Wait......let me take that back.  It wasn't bright yet, in fact it was still the middle of the night as I got up to my alarm at 2:45 am.  I ate a bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and honey before I headed out the door.  Who eats at 3:00 in the morning?  That was just a little challenging but I knew I would need the fuel.  I toasted a bagel and put cream cheese on it for eating closer to the race start and grabbed a banana as well.  I was picking up Hollie and Josh about 35 miles away and planned to get them by 4:00 am. Last bus was at 5:30 and we were still another 35 minutes away.  I knew I could get us there in time.  I have some mad driving skills.  Just ask Josh.  He wants to hire me as his chauffeur.
Here we are, chipper as can be! Josh, Hollie and me. at 4:00 am.
Parking was a breeze.  
The walk to the bus pick-up was easy, although I've never seen as many buses in my life as I did this morning.
The morning was just flowing nicely.
It was just still dark outside though and there was moisture in the air. 
Raindrops coming down!
The weather forecast was calling for rain.  Sheesh!  

Josh had to ride a different bus for the half marathon so me and Hollie said good-bye to him.  He was going to wait around at the finish line for me since I was technically his ride home.  What a good guy.  I'm not sure I would wait an additional three hours after a race for a ride home.
We got on the bus and got a front seat.  I like to watch the road as I'm traveling to the race start.  That's probably not a good thing to add to the nerves.  Watching the road all that way just shows how far you really have to run.  When we got off the bus they immediately handed out 2 grocery sacks to everyone to tie around your feet.  The meadow we were meeting in was wet and muddy from the rain.  Surprisingly enough though it wasn't a frigid bitter cold morning. Hollie told me all about how great fig newtons are for pre-race fueling.  She dislikes them but eats them anyway.  She insisted I eat one and I happily did so.  I like fig newtons.  

I didn't mention yet that Hollie is about 9 weeks pregnant and has been sick.  I am so amazed at her being here and running a marathon.  She has been such a great support and friend in this running effort of mine.  She's always so positive and you would never know she's suffering or sick herself.  She definitely had her own challenges to deal with today as she ran and we actually see-sawed back and forth throughout the course.  I was grateful I got to see her so much, but it was only because of her struggles she was having.  Otherwise she would have been long gone!  She came into the finish line about a minute or so before me and once again I was so happy and pleased for her!
We plopped ourselves down in front of a fire pit all covered in our rain gear and shoe sacks and just started chatting with people.  It's now about 6:00 am and I eat my bagel and banana.  The race still wouldn't be starting for another hour and 15 minutes.  I always wonder why we have to get to a race start so early to only wait....wait....wait.....Just a little frustrating. 
I saw Mike Porter, a blogging friend I met at the revolution run this year. I was too lazy to get off the ground after being all wrapped up and motioned him over to chat and get a photo.  He was running his first marathon (I think) for Team in Training.  He did a write-up of his experience and you can read about it here. He's a good guy.  Anybody with the name Porter has to be a good guy in my book.
When the skies started to lighten up we headed to the pit stop lines, then to the drop bag area to get rid of all our unwanted stuff.  We found some more cute friends out and about to visit.  Runner Jen is the sweetest ever.  I love her blog and I just love her!
Seeing Galen and Angie at a race is always a treat!  It just wouldn't be a race if they weren't there. They are members of the Marathon Maniac Club.  I just don't understand how people run so many marathons and still love it. 

At this point I ditched my rain poncho, coat, gloves, camera etc. in the drop bag.  There were big black garbage bags available at the truck and so I took one of those so I could ditch it along the route if it stopped raining.  Well....that never happened.

The race started at 7:15 am and we were off.  My plan was to start out a little bit faster so that I could stay ahead of my pace band.  I knew I could run a faster mile than what it was telling me but I didn't know if I could maintain it for 26.2 miles.  So I wanted to bank some time for a large, long hill I had been warned about.  I only had to make 2 potty stops and at the second one my watch got bumped and paused.  I didn't know for how long and so I had to take that into account as I ran. (couldn't have been more than 30 seconds)

The weather was awful.  
I've never heard so many garbage bags and rain ponchos rustling at the same time.
I like to listen to the chatter of people talking around me in the early miles of a race but after a couple miles I was tired of the garbage bag sounds so out came the ipod.

The course was beautiful though. I didn't have my camera and have no pictures of the beautiful valley, lake, canyon and gorgeousness everywhere.
Around mile 14 the rain finally eased up and I took my garbage bag off.  A kind gentlemen on the side of the road cheering for runners asked if he could take my bag off my hands.  I looked at the skies and told him I better hold on to it.  Sure enough about mile 17-18 the skies opened up and down it poured again until about mile 26.  I think I got to enjoy no rain for the last quarter mile.
Josh was there at the finish line waiting and I gave him a hug and told him I hated him.  I don't like marathons.  PERIOD.  We both share that same thought and vowed we don't want to run them anymore.  Granted though....I am running a 50K next month and another trail marathon in November but those don't count because I will have soft cushy dirt under my feet and that's a whole different experience.
Because my watched got bumped off I didn't have a clue if I had actually made it under 5 hours.  I looked all over the finish line area for race results and could never find them.  It wasn't until I dropped off Josh and got home an hour later that Josh texted me and told me I had four seconds to spare before the 5 hour mark.  I was THRILLED! That's all I wanted to do and it happened.  4:59:55 Done!


Josh said...

We should start the "I LOVE RUNNING, BUT HATE MARATHONS" Club.

I'll make t-shirts.

Proud of your time! You did great filling in for me! LOL!

Murph said...

Congrats on the sub-5 finish! That's awesome! It was great running into you at both the start and finish.

Yo Momma Runs said...

Awesome! I love that you totally nailed your goal. And I wish my friends were handing out marathon entries. I would totally take them up on that. The rain here lately has been crazy, and I'm wondering when I'm finally going to buy a rain jacket for running. They are just so expensive!:/

Jerilee E. said...

I don't know how I keep missing you at these races!
Great job hitting your goal! That rain really was awful- it started pouring right as I finished and the cold really set in :).

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Great job on the great race in spite of the rain. I've ran quite a few of them and never had to endure what you did. Way to go trooper! Congrats.

Cory Reese said...

Way to go! I say you celebrate with a few Fig Newtons.

Kathee said...

That is awesome! You make it all look like it's nothing but easy!! Congrats!

tammy said...

You are amazing!

Hollie said...

Oh, what a wet day that was!! Although you've confirmed that marathons are not your preferred distance, I am SO, SO, SO glad you were there for this race. I honestly never would have finished if it weren't for you. When you were ahead, I'd push myself to catch back up to you. And when (much to my happiness) I finally would, you'd push me on ahead, even though I just wanted to stop and hide under a spectator's umbrella. You were such a motivation during this uber-challenging race!! THANK YOU!! And congrats on the sub-5-hour finish! WE MADE IT!! :)