Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I ran a marathon!!

Finally. After 6 months of training and preparation!

If you want the short version, here it is: I finished! My time was 4:34:47, which was almost 30 minutes quicker than I had anticipated! I finished 4th in my category, and 662 out of 1067.

In case you are really bored, or have a lot of free time, here is the longer version:

I was born March 20, 1975 in Payson Utah....... JUST KIDDING!!

So, the race started at the Olympic Bridge up by the University of Utah, and it was the coolest starting line I have ever seen! They had a gospel choir singing up on the bridge while we were getting ready to start and there were TONS of people. The route was awesome, I would never have seen those parts of Salt Lake any other way. There were people along the whole route, and music at about every other mile marker. I couldn't believe the people who came just to watch, and cheer, and give encouragement! I was feeling pretty darn good until about mile 13 when I realized I had started off a bit too fast and was getting worn out already. My quads were really starting to tighten up, and I have been having some issues with my Achilles for a couple of weeks, but over all, I felt like I was still in it. Until mile 20. Somewhere in here there was a house with a bunch of people and signs that said "Temptation Station" and "If this were the finish line, you'd be done" and "Runners Drink Free" and "Why run when you could drink rum!". They had a huge bar set up right on the front lawn. I have to say I was more than slightly tempted! My feet were so sore at this point, I didn't know how I was going to finish the last 6 miles and I wondered if just one shot of rum would numb the pain :)

By mile 24 or so my pace had slowed down quite a bit and we were heading up State Street towards the capitol. There was what would be considered a slight incline on any other day, but Saturday it seemed like the biggest hill I have ever seen! But when I finally reached the top, and turned towards the Energy Solutions Arena, I checked my Garmin and realized I only had .6 miles to go, and that was the first time I realized I was actually going to finish. The route took us past the Energy Solutions Arena and down the street to the Gateway. We turned into the Gateway and I could see the finish line! But there was one last obstacle. In the sidewalk ever few feet are these cobblestone or brick looking things. My feet were so sore, and running over these was the same as running bare foot over broken glass!! But finally, I was across the finish line and done!

There were so many people, and photographers, it was crazy and awesome! I picked up my bag and was figuring out where to go to get back to my hotel when I heard some one screaming my name. I hadn't expected any one at the finish line, Clark and the kids had stayed home to cheer me on from there, so when I looked up and saw Linda (my friend from work) who has also run a marathon. I lost it! I started crying and laughing..... well, I was a mess! It was so great to have some one there who had experienced the same thing and understood the pain and the feelings of accomplishment. I can't tell her enough how much I appreciated her being there, it was the best surprise!

Clark and the kids had decided to stay home for the weekend, so when I got home, I had a dozen roses and an awesome banner hanging up on the garage! I appreciate them being so patient and supportive with all of my training.

At around mile 20, I had decided that would be my first, and last marathon, but as the days go by, and the memories of the pain fade, I'm re-thinking that decision. Some friends have asked me to sign up for the St George Marathon which is in October, but I'm trying to very nicely say no. I plan on running some shorter races this summer, and then a half marathon in August, but I have my eye on Salt Lake again next year!

This is before the race, at the most popular pre-marathon hangout:

Crossing the finish line! (I'm in the black and white)

After the race, when I finally had the energy to smile again

And here's what your toes look like after running 26.2 miles

Roses from Clark:

The Banner the kids made:


Anonymous said...

you go mandy! that is incredible, no amazing! so proud of you! i can't believe how far you can run!

cheers for chocolate said...

Run, Mandy, Run!!!

The Heaton's said...

What an accomplishment! You are awesome! You are unstopable! Your poor toes:( Hope you feel better quickly! You are so inspiring:)!

Mindy said...

Mandy! I am excited that we found each other on here. I seriously think it has been 10 years since I've seen you, and dang! You look great! I have a good friend who just ran the Salt Lake marathon. Now that I know I have a family member who ran it as well, I need to get my butt moving and run again! Your kids look great,and congrats on the anniversary. Rob and Diane have one that's married?!? And when did he get gray hair?!? I think my mom is cooking up a reunion this summer, and I am going to try to come. I would love to see you again!

carolyn q said...

Just wanted you to know that I think you Rock! I know it has taken a lot of work to train, but now you have the accomplishment of completing it.