I have been planning for this weekend for 6 weeks! In 6 weeks I have gone from thinking that the furthest I could run was 3 miles to believing that I can run over 13 miles in a single shot!!! My brothers and sister were always the long distance runners. I was the musical one. It never entered my mind that I could do something like this. The training has been intense but perfect, in that I feel fit and strong so that I won’t injure myself.
Jared came home an hour early from work, we packed one bag with pajamas and toiletries and headed out the door for St. George. As we were driving north on the freeway I could see the snow-capped mountains ahead. Right outside of town the rain started falling and it didn’t let up all night long! That threw me for a loop! Up until about three days ago the weather has been gorgeous. We’re talking 80’s, maybe mid 70’s at night. Three days ago we started getting a bunch of wind and the temperatures dropped about 30 degrees. Luckily (and this is hinting at the future of this post), I brought along some gloves and a jacket.
We stayed the night with some very dear, very old friends from back when we only had 1 1/2 kids 😉 . They lived in the same apartment complex and we did game nights almost every week. It is an amazing and precious thing to create friendships that withstand the test of time. It’s been 6 years since we saw them last (right after I had Emma) and to reunite for even one night and still feel so close like not a day had gone by is completely amazing to me!
Unfortunately, I broke the cardinal rule!!! I didn’t take a single picture while we were with them 😦 ! It boggles my mind as to how that happened. You’d think I was preoccupied or something like that! So, if nothing else came from this marathon trip I’d still be happy because we were able to reunite with dear friends!
So, I had to be to Snow Canyon High School by 7:00 in the morning and of course with the time change its pitch black when we get there. I had to jump out of the car and have Jared pin my number to my tank and I just about froze! I’m so glad that I brought my jacket at this point. So my clothing at this point consisted of ankle socks, knee-length shorts, a running tank, the long sleeve Snow Canyon shirt they gave me when I registered, my jacket, and gloves!!! Who’s insane??? MEEEEE!!!!!!
In a group of over 2,000 runners it was a pure miracle that I found a single person that I knew. In fact, I was supposed to be running with a couple of friends from my ward who backed out at the last-minute. I had asked my sister if she wanted to do this with me but then last week she couldn’t get the time off work. I was going there expecting to be entirely alone (not the best morale booster) and ran into Charlene Ragsdale. We ended up sitting on the bus together and starting the race together. At some point she branched off and it became a very solitary affair but that part I didn’t mind so much especially since I had trained for it to be that way.
When the buses dropped us off there was snow all over the frozen ground. I think I was already in shock that this day had arrived so it didn’t really register until the race had ended that the temperature had to be at least 32 degrees.
By mile one my body was working and I was sweating and so I dropped my jacket off. I wore my long-sleeved shirt until the aid station at mile 4 where I ditched that on the side of the road. By that time I had a rhythm going and the sun was out probably adding 5 degrees to the temp.
Before I left the car my parents had called to let me know that they were on the road heading up to watch the race. Not that you can really sit and watch the race from one point so they said they’d see me at the finish with Jared and the kids. Imagine my surprise when I came around the bend to see my family standing there, cheering me on!!!
It was only mile 4 but it was such an amazing lift to see them there, almost irrationally so! I remember wanting to pick them up and squeeze them but I knew that wouldn’t be a good idea. I was so afraid that if I stopped for one second I wouldn’t start again 🙂 . Knowing that, I can honestly say that I ran the entire 13.1 miles and didn’t stop and walk once!!!
The kids seemed to enjoy themselves by being moral supports for all the other runners as well. I’m really glad that they all decided to come up with me!
Something that Charlene told me as we were at the starting line was to try to enjoy the run. She said that it was common, especially on your first race, for runners to not realise what and where they just ran. With that in mind, I slowed down a bit so that I could take a quick snapshot of the beautiful mountains of St. George.
The scenery was quite distracting. Some people probably appreciated that, but for someone who trained around nothing but boring dirt that makes your breathing and pacing all that you really focus on- it was a bit distracting 🙂 . I couldn’t tell if it was the cold or if it was the fact that I was looking around so much that made me feel like I was crawling. When I crossed the finish line I was sure that I had finished in over 3 hours. Come to find out, I managed to keep my 10 minute mile pace and finished with a time of 2 hours 15 minutes!!!
It was unbelievably emotional to cross that finish line and see my children, husband, and parents there cheering me on!!! A few days before I ran this race a friend had me watch this short video that compared life to that of a marathon. I didn’t quite grasp the concept of it all until I actually ran and completed this race! After watching the video again after the race I can’t tell you the immense emotion that overcomes me when I think about what I’ve accomplished for myself and all in such a short amount of time. It makes me wonder what other works I could be capable of if I just put my head down and get to work.
I will forever be grateful to my amazing husband for supporting me and helping me out over the last month with housework and the children. I hope that I can run my race of life as well as I did this race and earn the reward of his eternal companionship at the finish line!!! I love you, sweetheart!