Monday, August 1, 2011

Deseret News 2011 Race Report

Monday July 25, 2011

Mile 26 was probably the hardest mile I’ve ever run. My legs were cramping up. I was dehydrated from throwing up. Each step was so hard.

Well let’s back up a little. On Sunday night we took our kids over to April’s sisters house. Jimmy joe and his wife slept over at our house since we had to wake up at 2 am. We got to sleep at a decent time. I probably got a solid 2 hours of sleep or so. With some tossing and turning. Most of it was the usual race day nerves. Part of it was worrying about april. She was planning on running the race after taking the last 2 months off of running due to her knee bothering her. I told her not to run it but she’s kind of stubborn like that. Anyways, I wake up. Get all my stuff together. Take a gu pack and my pinole. Then we load up.

Me, Jimmy joe, April, and Rochelle. We head up to the energy solutions arena where we hop on the bus for the long ride up to the top of east canyon. Lot’s of joking around and having fun. Every once and a while I would start a fake sentence with “when I did my 50 miler” just to see how many heads would turn. The bus driver gets a little bit lost on the way up there, but there were enough know it all’s on the bus to get us up there in good time. We pull up to the starting line with long lines at the port a potties and lots of other people just as crazy as us hanging out and having a good time. We had quite about an hour before race time so we layed down in the weeds and had a good time talking and laughing. There was a crazy smelly hippy runner with a long beard that kept trying to get in front of the port a pottie lines.

Finally with about a half hour to go before race time a say bye to the fam and start my pre race warm up. As we get closer I make my way to the front of the pack at the starting line. Most of the elite racers knew who each other were. I saw the arrogant british guy who ran the freedom run with his british shorts and british flag. What a punk. Also the smelley hippy bearded guy was the very front guy. I wondered if he might be as fast as he was emotionally unstable. Eventually it’s race time. The two hand cyclists take off one minute before us. Then 3-2-1 bang! And we’re off. It’s still real dark with the 5:30 start time. So I wore my sunglasses on top of my head. I could see the first racers for the first few miles then I didn’t see them again. I knew I needed to hold back in the first few miles and not push too hard. But I guess my inexperience kicked in and the downhill and competition was just too tempting. Mile 1- 5:39. I back off a little bit for the 2nd and 3rd mile but not much. 5:46 and 5:52. People are still passing me but I figure I’ll catch them later. Mile 4 rolls along and I’m still feeling pretty good. Just enjoying the downhill and taking advantage of it. The canyon feels great and looks amazing. We would pass through little pockets of real cold air that felt soo good. Around mile 5 I pass a large meadow that I saw some deer prancing threw during one of my training runs up here. 2 Girls pass me which did bother me a little bit. This whole year in all my races I have been faster than the 1st woman. But I let them go and thought more power to them. Finally we hit the 2 mile up hill heading up little mountain. The ONLY hill I was mentally prepared for. I had done 3 or 4 training runs in this canyon so I knew exactly what to expect. I kept a fairly good pace up the hill with mile 7 at 7:24 and mile 8 at 7:14. I also passed the 2 ladies that passed me a few miles back. Which felt good but I was pushing pretty hard up the hill so I didn’t know if I’d be able to stay ahead of them.
At the top of that 2 mile climb up little mountain

At the top of the hill I walk for a bit to rest my muscles for a bit. Then it’s off down little mountain. Mile 9 was 6:14 then mile 10 was where I slowed down a bit with 6:53. Mile 11 was 6:13 but I was working pretty hard to maintain that pace on a steep downhill. Then I have 4 consistent miles of 6:22. Which is pretty close to my goal pace but this was the downhill part. I was starting to realize that once I got out of the canyon I wasn’t going to be able to keep up my pace. We got out of the canyon and ascended a little hill around mile 17 which I was prepared for as well. Mentally. Hit mile 18 with a 7:17 pace. My legs were real tired. I had read online about a pretty steep hil around mile 18 so I thought if I could just get by that I’d be good. But mile after mile there were some downhill’s mixed in with uphill’s which I was not ready for. I hit mile 19 with a 6:54 pace. A few racers have passed me since the canyon in fact the 1st female runner had been ahead of me for about 5 miles. At mile 19 I took my gu w/ caffeine and kept pushing on. It was real hard to get down. Anything during a race besides liquid is hard to swollow. Around mile 21 I choked on my own spit and started throwing up. I had Gatorade coming out my mouth and nose. I’m sure it was quite the site for the cars and spectators. After I finished that little episode I yelled out “I’m Ok” to the people watching me and started moving again. That mile was 8:33. After that I felt a little better. Mile 22 was 6:45. The whole race my mind wanders off to wondering how april is doing. Is she laying on the side of the road. Is she crying. I have to stay focused on my race then find a phone and call her when I’m done. Miles 22-25 were real hard. Just trying to move forward. My legs are completely shot. Walking a once or twice each mile. With 8:05, 7:27, 7:22 for miles 23-25. I was able to pass the 1st woman in this section who was struggling real bad leaning over on her legs. I wanted to give her some motivation as I passed her but I didn’t have any to give. Finally in the last mile we get to run on the parade route. I was expecting this to be the funnest part of the race. I pictured all the people cheering us on and giving me energy the way they did a few years back when I skated the 5k in a spiderman outfit. Well it wasn’t anything like that. Everybody was just waking up. One teenage boy had a star balloon and kind of sarcastically said you’re a star. Zero energy from the crowd. Then with about a half mile left my thighs and my calves start cramping up. Which is something I’ve heard about but was something I’ve never experienced. At this point each step is so hard and that mile took sooo long. But I just kept moving. Thoughts kept going through my head like this is so hard. I don’t know why anybody does this. I reach liberty park and make my last turn. I felt completely different from my sl marathon finish. There was no sprinting. Barely able to move forward at a jog. I fought the canyon and the canyon won. I see my family and get a little emotional. As hard as the race was that’s still the best part. Seeing all your loved ones smiling and cheering you on. Regardless of how you performed. I end up finishing the race in 2:58:53.
About 10 seconds slower than my sl marathon time. But I was happy to find out that I finished 11th overall and beat the top woman. I didn’t get the time I was shooting for but it was an extremely hard course. In the finisher section I ate some oranges drank some water and sat down by a little swimming pool they had full of ice water. I kept dunking my head in it and it felt so good. My dad and brother were over talking to me and I wanted to get up to go see If jimmy joe was close. But the first time I got up my legs seized up and I wasn’t able to stand. I waited another 10 minutes and finally with some help I was able to get up and walk over to the massage table to get rolled by some foam rollers
this is how I really felt
this is me acting not tired

I found a phone and called april on her cell phone and she was at mile 17 or something and was tearing up and in a lot of pain. Which made me start tearing up. I was so worried about that stubborn crazy woman. My legs were still pretty cramped but I made my way over and ran my little brother in the last mile.
Barely able to stand.
Me and some of the 10kers
Then Rochelle came in around 4:50 and then I started walking to find april. I made it back about a half mile and found her. I was so happy to see her. She had found a running buddy who she said was heaven sent. They both had the vibram 5 fingers on and was their first marathon. I jogged in with them to the finish line.
After it was over I found her in the finishing gates and she almost collapsed in my arms and cried and said I’m never doing this again. She sat down and revealed her huge blood blisters. I couldn’t believe how bad they looked. The guy sitting next to me just kept saying how tough she was and that I shouldn’t mess with her (which I don’t’) I was so proud of her. What an accomplishment. She has never run in her entire life and here she was at the end of her first marathon. What an inspiration. Anything is possible if you just set your mind to it.

The whole day was an amazing experience. It was so neat to see our family out there running again. My dad( who hasn’t run a race in over 20 years) and my mom and older brother and little sister were all out there to run the 10k. The experience of running races is something you only understand if you do it.

Oh and just a sidenote, that crazy bearded hippy runner that started at the very front. He finished just under the 6 hour mark.