Sunday, October 5, 2008

Marathon Day

The St. George Marathon was quite an experience. It started with my watch alarm going off at 3:10 am. I probably didn't even need an alarm because I barely slept. I got ready, ate a bagel and a banana, and headed off to catch the 4:00 bus to take me to the starting line. I hadn't mentally prepared for the 2 hours that I would have to wait for the actual race to start. I really wished that I'd had a book but when it started raining I realized that wouldn't have worked either. The marathon organizers were so prepared and had garbage bags that we could use to make impromptu rain coats. Some people wore those garbage bags the whole race. I really thought that the rain would let up after a little while, so once the race started and I had warmed up, I took my "raincoat" off. I think it was after mile 19 that I thought, "Oh, the rain has mostly stopped." It was on and off again after that.

The first few miles, I was thinking, "What the heck am I doing? I'm going to catch pneumonia." We started at 6:45 and it was still dark, so here we (more than 6000 crazy runners) were, trying to run without tripping over each other, in the dark, and getting wetter by the minute. I really was questioning my sanity. Little by little though, my attitude started to change and I was enjoying myself. When I ran the SLC Marathon, I kind of crashed at about 18 miles and the last part of it was pretty hard. This time I tried to conserve my energy a little and I was able to really enjoy the last part of the race, especially the last 3 miles. I was hurting, definitely, but I was able to pick up my pace just a little and feel really strong. It was awesome. I finished in 4:19:05 and beat my last time of 4:32:00, so I felt pretty good about that since I didn't feel as prepared for this one. St. George is a better, easier course but it still feels good to beat my previous time. It was raining, after all. :)

The crowd support once we got into town was great and that made the last few miles funner, too. There were three signs that I saw sponsored by the mortuary that were particularly cool. The first one said:

Metcalf Mortuary 3 Blocks Ahead
The second one said:
Mortuary 1 Block Ahead
And then finally on the corner at the mortuary there was a sign that read:
We'd rather wait for you,
Good job, marathoners
From Metcalf Mortuary

Another one was pretty funny too but you have to have some background. Gunlock is tiny little town on the race route that has a population of no more than 500, but probably much fewer. It's towards the beginning of the race. So I saw another sign that said:

Gas $3.99

Running Shoes $100

Running Redneck from Gunlock... Priceless

Maybe that's only funny after you've run 23 miles but I was quite amused by it.

Anyway, it was a great day! I'm so glad I did it. I am very, very sore today and I have a few spots of chafed skin where my wet clothes rubbed too much but over all I'm doing well. The knee I've been having trouble with feels pretty good, so I'm very grateful for that. The race organizers where amazing and I'm especially grateful to all those volunteers who stood in the rain for hours giving us water, Gatorade, bananas, etc. I'm taking a break from marathon running for a while but I hope to go back to St. George within a few years. It was awesome!


LD said...

Amazing, absolutely amazing. I'm not kidding when I saw that I am in awe. Your attitude, your ability to run an insane amount of mileage, and your memory with all those signs. Congratulations!

Eric said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the second time around and I think part of the reason you enjoyed it was because it was the St. George. It's an awesome course and even more awesomely organized. How did you like Veyo? Did it almost kill you 7 miles in?

Tamara said...

That is a great story to tell. Way to go! I am very impressed. That is a lot of hard work and it paid off. Congrats on beating your previous time. That's what it's all about.

Ammy said...

Hi Kim~
I was blog surfing today and found your blog (via my sister, via her sister-in-law, via her daughter, via your cousin Melissa....yes I know, I am a blog stalker) good to see you! Visit my blog sometime...
Maybe we can keep in touch...
Ammy Scheibe Moore

Julie J. said...

Holy Cow! I am so proud of you. I can't even imagine the desire, let alone pulling it off. You are amazing! I think I need to call you right now!

Jenn said...

How exciting! Congratulations!!!

Becky said...

DANG KIM! You are amazing! I only dream of running a marathon. No really I do...maybe someday I'll be disciplined enough to train. You're my marathon running hero!

And, I'm so glad you remembered what those signs said and I'm glad you shared them...funny!

Jeanna said...

Kim, I still can't believe I know someone who did this! Congrats! I always picture marathoners being so completely crazy, and you are so normal! I really do dream about being a runner, but only 3 miles at a time. I would love to get my exercise done in 20 to 25 minutes instead of the 45-50 it takes me to walk 3 miles. :)