Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Race Report Salt Lake Marathon 2011

Running Goal number one-finish a marathon June 12, 2010
Running Goal number two- finish a 50 miler October 21, 2010
Running Goal number three - Qualify for Boston April 17, 2011
Running Goal number four - Run a sub 3 hour marathon April 17, 2011

Race Report So let’s start with Friday. I did my best to do some good carb loading on Friday. Something I’d never really tried before. Spaghetti for lunch. Lasagna for dinner. Even taking some carbohydrate shakes during the day. Went to bed around 9. I wasn’t able to fall asleep for quite some time. I get real nervous for any type of race or competition. This one was no different. I even threw up on my last recovery run on Friday cause I was so nervous. I set my alarm for 4am. I really didn’t need to wake up till 4:45am but I needed to get 200 calories in me 3 hours before the race. (recommended by my book advanced marathoning) So I woke up took two gu packs and tried to go back to sleep. No good. So I got up. Got everything together, made my pinole (cornmeal, cinnamon and honey) just like I do before all my runs, and headed downtown. Parked at the Gateway. It was just starting to rain. I wasn’t too excited about rain cause I didn’t bring any of my rain gear. I was there pretty early and I didn’t want to be too early to the starting line so I sat in my car, trying to relax and envision crossing the line sub 3 hours. Finally I headed over to the shuttle which was trax. I just missed the last one so we had to wait out in the rain for like 20 minutes or so. The ride up took like 25 minutes. On the ride up I was sitting next to two ladies and a guy all running the half marathon. The subject of the Book Born to Run came up. One of them asked what It was about. I proceeded to tell them about how American runners are always getting hurt even though we have the best sports medicine and the conspiracy of nike selling bigger and bigger running shoes just to make a profit, not to benefit the runners, by the time I was talking about the tarahumara Indians and their road races in thin sandals the whole place had quieted down and there were like 30 people listening to what I was saying. It was pretty funny. Nor sure if they were intrigued by what I was saying or if they wanted to beat me up cause I was insulting their running shoes. Finally we arrived. I planned on going to the bathroom one final time before the race started, but over the intercom they started telling everyone to get up to the starting line.

Over 8 thousand people were starting with the half and the full combined. I saw a few familiar faces. A kid I went to high school with, who was running the race off of a bet and had only run 10 miles up to this point. I saw Demetrio Cabanillas, who is a local running legend from mexico who still holds the record for the deseret news marathon. I try to do some warm ups as the national anthem starts. Then I saw a kid that I recognized from the Ogden valley 50 miler. I asked him how he did he said he took 3rd and finished in 8 hours. Pretty impressive considering it took me 10 to finish. I made my way, almost to the front of the line, and before I knew it the race had started. The kenyon and a few other white guys took off pretty fast. A good downhill to start the race. I knew I had to be careful to not burn out early in the race. A few minutes into the race and I looked at my garmin and I was at lite a 5:45 pace. So I slowed down to the 6:40 pace that I was shooting for. Lots of runners passed me. Mostly half marathoners I’m guessing. The first few miles I worked on getting into a nice running rythym. I focused on my breathing. Around mile 3 I found 2 guys that I could use as pacers. They were going about the pace I wanted to be running. But they kept on going faster. Finally while we were making our loop around sugarhouse park I decided to let them go.

Around mile 5. I found another guy that was going about my pace. I kept being overcome with excitement, just knowing that this day that I have worked every day for since December was finally here. And I was doing it. I was running my 6:40 or so splits. No injuries. Good weather. Things were going good. The half marathoners split off from us and the runners really thinned out.
Every aid station I got to I would walk and drink the powerade, after about 10 seconds or so it was back to work. We pass the 13.1 mark with a split of 1:27.

Right on schedule. After the halfway point is when the real mentally tough part of the race started happening. I couldn’t think about the distance I had left. Mile after mile. All I would think about was that mile. Run in the now. Just get to that next turn. Or that next aid station. Every aid station I’d stop and walk and my running buddy would keep running. After about a quarter mile more each time I’d catch him till the next aid station. We talked a little. He was trying to qualify for Boston as well. This was his 13th marathon and his last marathon he finished in 3:10:45. Missing qualifying by 45 seconds. He’s also run some ultramarthons as well. Lots of people cheering us the whole way. It’s amazing how much somebody you don’t even know cheering or clapping or ringing a cowbell can give you energy. My two favorite posters I saw were “toenails are overated” and “ Chuck Norris never ran a marathon” Made me laugh. It helps so much along the way to have these people rooting for you. By mile 18 or so it started warming up a bit so I disposed of my beenie and cheap gloves. Ran a few more good splits. Mentally and physically it’s starting to get real tough. We meet up with the half marathon again. By this time it’s the walkers. It was kind of fun passing tons of people but also hard making our way through the 5 people walls they would form taking up the whole road. I was planning on eating whatever gu the race provided but they never gave any. The only thing I brought were some sport beans. After two hours I started eating those at the aid stations. By mile 22 we reach liberty park.

The end is starting to feel closer. Just gotta keep moving. As we enter the park I pass the two guys I was trying to keep up with earlier in the race. I’m not gonna lie it felt pretty good passing them. We round liberty park and at this point in the race the specators are really cheering for you when they see you are doing the full marathon. Each person gives you little burst of energy. From mile 24-25 was real tough. We headed up state street. It was awesome seeing the capitol and know the finish was so close. At this point I pass the guy I knew from the 50 miler. You know the guy that finished 3rd and two hours faster than me. Not gonna lie. It was even funner passing him. Finally we make it to the top of the hill and head down south temple. My buddy is about a half mile ahead of me. I start picking up the pace. Dodging all the half marathon walkers.

Finally I catch my buddy and try passing him. He picks up his pace as well. I’m getting real excited now. My goal and dream is now becoming a reality. Right as I turn on to 400 w I see jimmy joe and Joanna. So good to see a familiar face.

I get some more energy. Jimmy joe runs with me for a bit. He tells me I’ve got 10 minutes to qualify for boston. I say I’ve got 3 minutes to beat 3 hours. He stops and calls the family .2 miles away to warn them of my coming. We start picking up speed. We round the corner. I look down at my garmin and it says 26.1. Then a complete runners high kicks in and I start sprinting.

I leave my running buddy behind and he says go get ‘em. I break into a sub 5 minute pace. Overwelming excitement and gratitude come over me as I cross the finish line at 2:58:41.

I made my way through all the food and stuff. I find my family. Tears are streaming down my face. The emotions are real strong when you are physically exhausted. I see my dad and we are both too choked up to really say anything. We hug. We go meet up with everybody together.

Chatting and taking pictures april says my lips are blue. She gives me a jacket and I’m shivering pretty good. And I have to go to the bathroom. So we go inside old navy. I go sit down in the bathroom. And I think that was the moment when the full reality of what I had just accomplished really sank in. I started crying like a baby. Partly from complete exhaustion, partly from gratitude for having completed my dream. I said a silent prayer thanking my Heavenly Father for allowing me to run. And staying with me throughout my training and through the hardest parts of the race. What an amazing experience.

I love running so much. And I appreciate so much my family and friends that are there rooting me on whether it be in person or not. It helps a ton to have all that support.