I completed my 7th marathon on Saturday! Woohoo!
While the course was much more challenging than I had anticipated, the scenery was stunning (especially for the first 13 miles) and the race was organized by some Type A people (this is a good thing!).
I arrived at the expo on Friday afternoon after some shenanigans in Park City, Utah. Let me give you some backstory.
I took a very late night flight into Salt Lake City (SLC) on Thursday evening arriving in SLC at midnight (2am eastern time) and stood in the rental car line for 45 minutes. I finally checked into my hotel at 1am (3am eastern time–I keep saying this because if you know me at all, my bedtime is usually before 10pm!) and promptly fell asleep within 15 minutes. On my flight to SLC, I was sitting across the aisle from an elderly woman named Joan–it was Joan’s first flight! She asked the flight attendant to tell the pilot to be extra careful on this flight. Of course, the flight attendant being as outgoing as he was announced this not only to the pilot but to the entire plane. Joan got applause.
Anyway, I woke up Friday morning and decided I didn’t want to spend all day in Pocatello stressing about the race, so I decided to drive to Park City and take the chairlifts to see some of the scenery. One of the chairlifts took me to Bald Mountain which is over 9,000 feet in elevation. The area is just gorgeous. I really want to go back with A someday!
I had lunch at a delicious hole-in-the-wall deli called Backdoor Deli before getting on the road to Pocatello.
The drive was about 2.5 hours but wasn’t too bad.
*****End of Backstory*****
So, I arrived at the expo on Friday afternoon after these shenanigans in Park City. The people running the expo were so friendly and helpful. Every participant received a bookbag that was already filled with your t-shirt (it is a neon yellow shirt–A knows how much I love neon yellow…SMH), race information, safety pins, etc. Since I was by myself, the volunteers even took a picture of me to send to A with my bib and bag of potatoes. Yep. They gave each participant a bag of potatoes.
I then talked to the pacing team for about 15 minutes. They made me feel much better about how the change in elevation would affect me (minimally), and convinced me to go big or go home.
My original strategy was to go slow for the first half of the race, see how I felt, and then pick it up for the second half. Deciding to “go big” meant running with the 3:35 pacing team.
I checked into my hotel, found a light sandwich for dinner, and was in bed by 9:15pm. The race started at 6:15am, and the buses left the hotel for the start between 5 and 5:30am. It was going to be an early morning. Early mornings don’t bother me. I was up, dressed, and on the very first bus to the start line.
The bus literally drove straight up the mountain. The mountain that we were about to run down. It was also significantly cooler at the top of the mountain, but I had prepared for this–throw away pants, long-sleeve shirt, and gloves. And some nice person on the mountain let us stand in her barn for warmth until the race started! A few of the marathoners were even petting the goat!
The gun went off at 6:15am. I decided to start with the 3:35 pace group. Go big or go home. It was still fairly dark since sunrise wasn’t until after 6:30. It was also serenely quiet with just the sound of footsteps for the first couple of miles as you watched the sun rise behind the mountains. The sun rise was just beautiful.
Several miles in the chatter amongst the pace group began. The pacers did most of the talking telling about their professions and other races they had done. It kept your mind occupied. Before I knew it we had descended 1,500 feet in elevation and were about to cross the half-marathon point. (The race started at 6,000 feet of elevation.)
The race not only consisted of the marathon but also a half-marathon, 10K, and 5K. The half-marathon start was the half-way point for the marathon. The 10K start was the 20 mile point of the marathon, and the 5K start was the 23.1 mile point of the marathon. I really like this idea. However, I wish they had started the half-marathon about 15-30 minutes earlier than they did because when the half-marathon started, my pace group was about a quarter mile behind them so we ran into congested streets and had to dodge people to stay together.
My half-marathon pace was awesome (I thought): 1:45:39. That was an 8:09 pace. A little faster than I had intended but we were running downhill for 13 miles. I was feeling good!
At this point, there were only 5 of us left with the pace group. Most of the others had fallen behind and one or two people ran ahead. At Mile 15 I felt the ache start in my left hip. I mentally told myself to suck it up, but I knew it was from the downhill running. I pushed through with the pace group until Mile 17, but then I, too, had to drop off. They were down to 3 people in the group.
The last 9 miles were more of a struggle than I had hoped for. I had anticipated a fairly flat second half of the race, but the course was rolling hills with a mega hill at Mile 21. The rolling hills would have been nice if I had just been doing the half-marathon but rolling hills after running downhill for 13 miles was torture on my hips, quads, and lower-back. I had to walk up part of the hill at Mile 21. And I ended up walking through the water stations for the last 4 miles gulping Gatorade like it was my job. (It was the blue kind which I hate even more than the other flavors.)
At Mile 22 I passed another girl from our pace group–the group was down to two! She started running with me for a bit when she recognized me but then fell behind. (She had taped a Ziploc bag to her capris to hold her nutrition and her nutrition had fallen out at some point, so she was complaining to me about it. I was polite, but I wanted to say, “Why in the world would you tape a Ziploc bag of nutrition to your pants??” And she wasn’t a first-time marathoner! SMH.)
I finished the race in a respectable 3:47:28. Not my fastest time. Not my slowest time. It actually ranks 3rd out of my seven marathons. I was very pleased with my finish considering the course. I finished 101st of 346 marathon finishers overall. I finished 35th of 163 women marathoners. And I finished 5th of 20 in my age/gender group. Not too shabby! (The picture below was taken before all of the marathoners had finished.)
Oh, and after looking up race results online, no one finished with our pace group. Crazy, right?
The smell of food at the finish line did make me nauseated. I couldn’t eat anything they had for us. I walked around for a bit to shake out my legs. Then boarded the bus back to the hotel. I will leave the bus story for another day.
I want to say thank you to all of my family and friends! I received so many virtual cheers–it is amazing to know you have that much support. I couldn’t have done it without you. I am certainly blessed.
Quote of the Day:
“At the end of a marathon, it’s going to hurt whether you’re speeding up or slowing down. You may as well push.” -Summer Sanders
Go big or go home, right? 🙂
A was wonderful the other night and made dinner for me while I worked on agility with Envy. He made this Tomato and Asiago Frittata that turned out really tasty!
Tomato and Asiago Frittata
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 1.5 ounces Asiago cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
- Heat a medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots; saute 3 minutes or until translucent.
- Add egg mixture to pan; cook 5 minutes or until eggs are partially set. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons cheese. Arrange tomatoes over egg mixture. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons cheese over top.
- Place pan in oven; broil 2 to 3 minutes or until top is lightly browned and eggs are set.
- Remove pan from oven. Cut frittata into 8 wedges.
Courtesy of Cooking Light