Sunday, October 2, 2011

St. George Marathon

We had a pretty interesting marathon race weekend down in St George, Utah.   After a nice pasta dinner followed by a miracle BYU football game, we got to bed early for the 4 am wake up call.  I was so nervous/nauseous the morning of the race I could barely get a few bites of muesli down.  Minimal breakfast. . . not the best way to start your marathon day.  I met McKesha at the finish line and we rode the bus together up to the starting line in the dark.  Our bus only arrived 10 minutes before the starting time, so we hurried to the bathrooms right away.  Like all distance races the lines for the jon were terrible and I was literally sitting on the pot when I hear the starting horn go off.  Oh well, so we missed the start, we then took our time eating a shot block, downing a few last gulps of water, and ditching our sweats bag.  There was still a huge line of people waiting to get to the starting line so we were cool hopping in with the 4:30 pace group and starting about 8 minutes after the horn. 

It was nice and cool and we felt super fast passing people nonstop for the first 16 miles of the race.  Starting several minutes after the horn is a good confidence booster.  Erik came up to cheer at Veyo and it was super cool to have a fan so early in the race. 

I felt really great for the first 7 miles, then we hit the hills.  I am not the best hill runner but I tried to muscle up the big hills to stay with McKesha.  Bad idea, after busting my best effort up the next 4 miles of hills I was toast.  My hamstrings and calves were done by 11 miles, and the rest of the race was spent just getting from aid station to aid station.  I was really upset, it is one thing to hit the wall with 3-5 miles to go, but to hit the wall with 15 to go! I was hurting to say the least.  I tried to stay as positive as possible and feed off of the many cheering fans and waving signs.  I knew if I picked up the pace I would cramp so I had to just keep shuffling along like a snail.  There were ups and downs were I would start to feel a little bit better, but they never lasted more than a mile at a time. 

After turning the final corner in town I was never so happy to see a finish line in my life.  I crawled over the finish line at 3:48, about 20 minutes slower that I projected I would run even on a slow day.   I got a little emotional at the finish, but not for typical reasons runners do.  I was just so happy that I got to stop running.  Erik was at the finish and gave me a hug.  I felt pretty horrible for the next few hours but after a while I began to see the joy and positive in what I accomplished.  I was proud that I ran through that much pain for that long in stead of quitting or walking, and I was proud of choosing to run despite some physical circumstances I was in.  You have to always be proud of just finishing a marathon even if the time was not anything to be proud of.  It was the worst and best thing I have ever done at the same time.  And thus is the insanity that is distance running. 


Tera said...

Oh I think your great! What a great accomplishment.

Malinda said...

Holy crap Nicole! You're such a stud!!

Emilee said...

still pretty sure you would have kicked my running butt. i ran 9 that day in your honor! you rock! good work regardless! man! AND i had taken a 5 hr energy, i hated it, gave me tons of stomach cramps and gas the whole run! yuck!

Kevin and Mindy Sagers said...

You're crazy!