Sunday, May 17, 2009

26.2: Spring Run Off

Why I subject myself to this kind of misery over and over again is beyond a mystery. I'll be honest, this is the first time after running a marathon, that I didn't get that euphoric high afterward. I just hurt. EVERYWHERE. I'm glad I finished. But, for 26 miles, my mantra was this: Why on earth didn't I sign up for the half?
I kept saying to myself, Look at all these smart relay people. They only have to run 7 miles. It must be because they haven't fried half of their brain cells, training for a damned marathon.

It wasn't all bad. (I'm trying to convince myself, more than you).

Friday night, I went to the marathon Expo, to pick up my race number, timing ship, and shirt, and got caught up in the excitement of the crowds, live music, and free stuff. (I was a little disappointed that there was less free stuff than last year's expo).
Then enjoyed my yummy pasta dinner from Pizza Factory (LOooooove that place!!) Took a long shower, and went to bed.

Saturday morning, my alarm went up waaay before the butt crack of dawn. 3:30 am to be exact. (It's interesting one of my running friends and I were talking on the bus about how we only got up 1 hour earlier than normal to run.)
I got up, got dressed in my Race Ready shorts (with pockets stuffed to the brim with GU, ibuprofen, bandaids, and my magic muscle-restoring potion Ultragen), my favorite blue singlet, strapped on my shoes, and hit the road.
I met up with 9 of my friends from my running group. We've affectionately named ourselves the LARDS (Layton Area Running Dudes). But Lards has more of a ring to it.
We caught the buses in downtown Ogden, and hitched a ride 26 miles up the canyon.
Then, commence the waiting game. The start was lined with port-a-potties, (trust me you do NOT want to know what that smells like), and fire pits. I bumped into some buddies, shot the breeze, and waited.
Finally at 6:50, it was time to line up to start. I made my way towards the 9-minute pace section. I started out with my running friends, Connie, and Nicole, and my good friend, Christy, who I happened to bump into at a fire pit. We started out strong, the goal being to keep a 9 minute pace for the duration. Running down the canyon, surrounded by thousands of excited runners, it's hard not to cruise. We found ourselves running more like 8:15's or 8:30's. Then at mile 4, I really had to hop of the road to brave 30 seconds (I timed it) in the Port-o-John. I really had to haul arse to catch up to my friends. When I finally did, they were kind enough to slow down to 9 minutes for me to catch my breath. Then, around mile 7, my bum hip started to complain. By mile 8, I was forced to slow down, and my friend sped off ahead of me. I could feel my hip clicking in and out with every step I took. The pain was bearable, but worsening. By mile 9, I found myself, slowed all the way to a 10:30 pace.
I couldn't believe I had hit a wall already. And only 9 miles in to the race. So, at the next aid station, I slowed to a walk, popped a couple ibuprofen, slurped down a GU, then went on my way, running through the pain, and waiting for the blessed drugs to kick in.
All the while, I'm giving myself an out. Just make it to half way. There are lots of buses parked there. You can just quit. By the time I made it to miles 13, the ibuprofen had kicked in, so I sped up.
Around 14.5 miles you meet the biggest uphill climb of the race. I don't know the grade %, but it's pretty steep, and lasts about 1/2 mile. Call me crazy, but when I hit a steep uphill, my instinct is to plow up as fast as I can. So, I picked up the pace. It's moments like those that make me love running. You push as hard as you can, it hurts in places you didn't know you had before, but when you make it to the top, you can say you've conquered one more obstacle. I made it to the top, rewarded myself with a few seconds of walking, and then ventured forward.
I felt pretty good after that for a few miles. When the course started downhill again, I saw it as an opportunity to make up for the lost time between mile 9-13.
I also love running downhill. Because you don't really have to even try, you can just let gravity to it's job, and carry you down. And fast. Before I know it, I was at mile 17, but getting tired, and that bum hip was started to hurt again. I choked down another GU, then at mile 19, decided it was time for my magic drink. I took it at mile 20 in St. George, and felt like Popeye after popping his can of spinach.
Well, it wasn't quite as magical this time around, but it did help abate my muscle pain enough to keep running.
I caught up with my friend Mark around mile 23, then saw my friend Betty right around 25. That was just enough to keep my going. I now had a goal to achieve. There was no way in haites I was going to let Mark and Betty beat me. Mostly because they are consistently faster than me during our training runs. I had something to prove.
So, I pulled back, conserving what little reserve I had left for that final quarter mile. I was right next to Mark, and a little behind Betty as we neared mile 26.
That's when the fire lit under me, and I took up. It felt so good to pass people (since I was being passed for a good 26 miles before that), and I sprinted in to the finish. The clock at the finish read 4:23. But my watch said 4:16. So, I'm guessing once they factor in the timing chip (I can't find where/if they've posted the results), I'll be somewhere around 4:20. Not my best time, but not my worst either. I beat last year's Ogden Marathon time by 8 minutes.
The greatest reward of the day, was not the sense of accomplishment of finishing the race, but the sight of 4 familiar faces in the crowd as I crossed the finish line.
Nothing means more to me than knowing I have the support of my husband and children. And seeing their faces, hearing their little voices yelling "Go Mommy!" is just the kind of refreshment I needed after such a long and grueling race.

So, today, I'm tired, achey, and happy.
And I think this will be my last marathon for awhile.
Up next:
Bear Lake half marathon 6/13
Ragnar Wasatch Back Rely 6/19-20 (which I'm running with our awesome friend Melissa!)


SO said...

Way to go! I think it's so awesome that you do this. I hope you are resting well today.

DeNae said...

You're amazing. I'm such a slug. And yes, I think you've earned a day with your feet up!!

2busy said...

I am so impressed! You must have such a sense of accomplishment. Way to go!

Barney Family Blog said...

You are amaxing!

~The Robin's Nest~ said...

I just love hearing about your races-I always feel like I'm right there with you (without all the pain) :)

Good job and way to pass your friends at the end! Whooo HOOOO!!!


P.S. You really do make me want to start running again though I really am enjoying hiking the mountains~!

Peggy said...

Congrats! Good job! I think you're crazy! And awesome for such an accomplishment!

Just a question: what exactly does GU taste like? Is it as disgusting as it looks?

Also, I'm really impressed at your pace. I consider 9 minutes sprinting.

Becca said...

I have been blurking for about a week wondering when to leave a comment. (I'll explain why in a minute) Of course I couldn't let this post go without one--since we share a passion--that crazy thing called the marathon. WAY TO GO! Nothing sucks as bad as hurting all through a marathon--been there, done that. But nothing feels as good as actually finishing despite the pain and everything else you have going against you! So I hope that today you feel great--other than your whole body hurting and going down stairs being nearly impossible.

Now the explanation. I hoped over from Melissa's blog when she told me that she was on your Wasatch Back team. (jealous!) I was shocked to see real life and blog life collide. I totally know your hubby. We were good friends at CEU. We hung out all the time there and for a whole summer when he lived in SLC. I was invited to your reception (couldn't go though). But I do remember my sister seeing your invitation and saying "those two are going to have beautiful children" and she's right, you do. And I guess that's the reason for the delay in commenting. It kind of freaked me out to see someone who I actually knew while I was blog hopping. But I will say that I have loved your blog and I love your music and I probably will be around for a lot longer!

And I'm sorry for the worlds longest comment! Hopefully you didn't get too bored. And tell Clint I say "hi" and then go get a massage.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

K you are amazing... I don't know if I could ever do that! i wish i had that much passion and love for running... it would make the whole maintaining a good body weight easier!

tiburon said...

Woo hoo!!! You are a freaking rockstar! I am exhausted just reading all about this.

I am gonna try me some Gu too :)

Way to go :)

Annette Lyon said...

Good for you--wow! I can't even imagine running a marathon.

I got my Solitude CD, and my kids gathered around to listen to it. My three oldest (they all play piano) are dying to learn how to play some of your songs--although I think only my son's advanced enough to do it.

It's gorgeous!

Sher said...

Peggy--GU is disgusting. But it works, so we gag it down. It's like really really thick gel like pudding. A lot of people really like the Vanilla or chocolate flavors. I've found I like the Orange Vanilla flavor best, and I always chase it down with water.
I don't use it unless I'm running longer than 15 or so miles.

Sher said...

Becca-are you THE Becca, who was like Clint's best friend at CEU? I think we've met a few times, and I think we went to your wedding reception. I'm so glad you de-lurked! I'm going to go over and check out your blog now!
Here's to getting reconnected on blogs! Yeah!!

p.s. Becca and Peggy--this is my plug for you to put your email on your profile so i can reply to your comments in your email instead of here where you'll probably never read it.

susette said...

Sher you are my idol! I wanna be just like you with all your determination and stamina.

I got your cd in the mail yesterday and look forward to enjoying that very soon!!

tammy said...

Way to go!! You and Melissa almost make me want to take up running.

wendy said...

Oh Sher --I am so gosh dang proud of you. Way to go. from now on just sign up for the --I don't know 5 mile something . I can't even imagine what 26 miles would feel like -and the sense of accomplishment afterwards. That is great that your little family was there cheering you on. It is wonderful that you are in such good health to allow you to do these things --remember and embrace that. Someday you'll be old like me and the only marathon you'll do is "making it through the night with only getting up ONCE to go potty!--seriously."
I---Am---Proud ---of ----you

veronica said...

WooHoooo! Way to go!

Melissa said...

You are AMAZING!! Really! And I'm gonna need to learn all I can from you to have any hope of even just finishing.....

Thanks for the inspiration friend!

Dede said...

Oh wow! How do you find time to train for an event like this? I'm just SO impressed...perhaps one day I'll train for a 5K now.:-)

Allred Family said...

WAY TO GO!! Makes me want to go out and run a marathon tomorrow. I forgot how much I love that feeling of crossing the finish line. Congrats, get some rest!

Cynthia said...

I'm so proud of you! You're amazing! It's a surefire guarantee that I'll never run a marathon but I enjoyed imagining what it's like by reading your post. I even got a little teary when you talked about seeing your family at the finish line. Way to go!

Terresa said...

Marathon mamas rock. I'm sadly not one of 'em, but still, I stand in awe. Enjoy a bubble bath or massage now!

Lara said...

You are totally amazing. I just can't even put into words how awesome I think it is that you do this. And hello? I think that I can maybe do a 12 minute mile on a good day, and I'd collapse after one! :)

Rebecca said...

You go girl! Your posts are so fun to read.

Jillene said...

All I can say is that you ROCK!!

wonder woman said...

Way to go!!! I know the hip-popping feeling -- my hip used to pop out of place all the time when I was a cheerleader. I can't imagine running on it though. You're awesome!

p.s. If you see a 12-hour visit on your stat counter, it's me. I got here last night, then got distracted with the kids' bedtime. My computer was asleep and I forgot to get back on it. You got 10 more comments from the time I opened the page to the time I clicked on comments!

p.p.s. my VV: jigeli. I imagine you were feeling a little jigeli after the race! Ü

Angela S said...

Awesome Sherrie! I hope your recovery from the race is going well! I did the Susan G Komen breast cancer 5K and about died... pregnant women should NOT be doing athletic events, as "fun" as they can be! Way to push through to the end.

Jo said...

You are an inspiration! We saw some runners on Sat. As we were heading to the movies and some nachos.

Kim Felt said...

Hi Sherrie. I do remember you. The only women to survuve brandons carpool. (poor thing). I think you knew my brother..Doug Rose too. Small world. Actually, I think I might know your hubby, did he go to roy high? Is he related to a mike? Funny. How are you? Your kids are soooo cute!!! Brandon says 'hi'. Good to hear from you and way to go on the marathon. The thought of running that far makes me tired. Actually, the thought of running at all makes me tired. :)

Mikki said...

Sherrie! You are so Awesome!!!! Way to go. I got all choked up at the end there, when you wrote about seeing your family in the crowd. So sweet!

Cadance said...

AMAZING!!!! WOW! That is a LONG race....that is great you were able to "run" into some friends...that has to make the running go by a lot faster! Great Job!

Tink said...

You go girl! I have several friends who run marathons and I have to tell you I admire those who DO run them. It takes a lot of tenacity and strength to run them. My stepson runs them and does triathalons too. I will play "Achy Breaky Heart (Legs)" for you while you recuperate.

Natalie said...

What a great story. You are amazing! I love the part about your kids yelling go mommy. How cute.