We started the race up Provo Canyon at South Fork park. I loved being at this park because we used to have Sunday picnics up there when Firstborn was a baby. I don't think I'd been up there since we moved about 6 years ago so it was nice to reminisce. The first thing I noticed when arriving via school bus to the start was that there were not very many full marathoners. (I would find out later that there were only 137 of us.) The second thing I noticed- it was really cold! I knew it would be cold (it's always cold in the canyon in the mornings) so I came prepared with gloves, a warm headband and a blanket to keep myself warm until the last second. I soon noticed a older woman who was not as prepared as me and gave her my blanket. I just couldn't stand watching her shiver and shake. She and the two ladies she was standing with were shooting the breeze and waiting for the race to start. It was nice to chat with them for a few minutes. While still waiting for the race to start, I noticed a special needs adult who I'd met before. I met him (let's call him David) last year at the Utah Valley Marathon when I was manning the Train4Autism booth and have seen him since at Sonic, where he works. He is a natural runner and is super fast. Such a sweet guy. He said that he remembered meeting me before and told me that he was hoping to run the marathon in under 3 hrs. Wow! Talk about talent. Amazing! Every time I meet someone like David, I feel so blessed to get to show them a little kindness. My heart has always been drawn to the special needs community. There is so much joy and innocence among special needs children and adults. Needless to say, by the time the race started my heart was already full. I knew it would be a great day.
As the race started, I decided to take advantage of the first downhill mile and lean into it. I don't know how fast I went but I stayed in front of the 4:00 pacer for the first couple of miles. Even after the pace group passed, I still felt like I was running at a pretty good pace. Certainly faster than my marathon pace but I felt good so I went with it. The run on the canyon trail was beautiful! At about mile 7 (I think), we came out of the canyon and ran down University Ave., a pretty busy 4 lane road. This road brought us right to the finish line. Well, not quite. We got to see the finish line but we weren't even close to finishing. Yep! We ran by the finish line and watched the half-marathoners finishing as we started the second half of our run! Ha! Mentally, I just don't think it's good to see the finish line off in the distance when you are only halfway done. So not cool but I made the best of it and cheered the half-ers on as I ran the other direction.
Miles 13-20 were the worst. It was getting hot and there was no shade. I started to notice that I was covered in salt. My fingers were swollen. There was nothing to look at. I was totally on my own and at times I was just praying that I didn't miss a turnoff. From about mile 14 on, the closest racers were about a quarter mile in front of or behind me, with the very few exceptions when I passed a runner or was passed. This section of the race was mentally the toughest for me. Looking back, it may have been a good time to listen to some tunes but I didn't want to miss an opportunity to meet someone new or hear a random cheer. I like listening to music during training runs but not races and (I'm finding) especially not marathons. For me, listening to music during a marathon would take away from the true experience of it all, but I can definitely see the value of it when you hit a tough spot.
When I finally made it to mile 20, I was relieved to find that we would be running the next couples miles on the southern part of the Jordan River trail that I had never run on before. That was just the mental boost I needed. Around that time, I noticed the time was 10:54 am. We had started the race at 7:30 so I knew that if I could finish before noon, I'd be under 4:30. Could I do the last 6-ish miles in 1:06?? I didn't know if I could but I decided to try. Of course, without my Garmin, I had no idea how fast I was going. I decided to push it just a little harder and see how it felt. To my surprise, my legs were renewed and I ran (what felt like) under a ten minute pace for a couple of miles. Sadly, by the time I hit about mile 23 my legs were done. I was doing the finish line shuffle and probably running about an 11:30 pace. I was okay with it, though, because I knew I was getting a PR and that was exciting enough.
The finish- after a good sized bridge at about mile 25.5, I was finally going down the other side and on my way to the finish! I could see it in the distance (again!) and this time it was actually my turn to finish! As I ran to the finish line, I saw my boys running out to me and just felt elated! I was done!
Sorry for the poor video quality. My sweet husband forgot how to zoom the video so he just ran after us.
I love that Firstborn came out and grabbed my hand and ran beside me until he noticed Little Red taking off. It became a real race at that point! Haha! Well, until hubby reminded them to run with me. They are always making me laugh.
|The announcer says, "Good job, Mom!"" Perfect Mother's Day moment.|
Absolutely a race with highs and lows but always a high to finish another marathon! My final time- 4:38:19! A 12 minute PR so I certainly can't complain. So far, this has been the greatest Mother's Day weekend ever! A marathon and lots of relaxation and time with my boys. Can't get any better than that. :)
Happy Mother's Day to all the other mothers out there! Hope yours was as good as mine!