Marathon #4 is done. FINALLY! Just a little bit of stress coming up to it. Tapering is so tough. You doubt everything you’ve done. Did I run enough or too little, did I eat enough veggies, did I do enough speed work, did I sleep enough, did I rest enough? Well I must have done it pretty good because I’m super excited about my 17 min PR, 3:28:40. I’ll say it again, three-twenty-freakin-eight! lol

Friday– I dropped the kids off at the bus stop and went to the expo at 9:am! I didn’t want to miss out on any sizes of shirts or anything that I might want. I met Nicole and Treasa there. I just die at this pic- Nicole is hilarious! And I bought a black running top. It was the only top I did like. I do not like the material or fit of the regular t-shirts they have. So I’m happy with this running top!

Then I rushed home to get my kindergartener from school- 10:40, a waste of everyone’s time, why even have school on Friday. But anyways.

Lunch– I had a Grilled Chicken salad from Durango’s, no cheese, no beans. Then I decorated the house with Halloween/ Fall decorations to keep me busy.

I packed and made dinner for the kids and my sitter showed up at 5:pm. I made reservations at Buca Di Beppo for 6:pm. There were 7 of us; Alena, Michelle, Angel, Bob-hiding, Nicole, Treasa and myself. Then we headed up to a cabin in Pine Valley. Michelle found it on Craigslist. Only $33/person and we get to sleep in until 5:am!! If I slept at home and took a bus I’d have to get up at 3:30. Last year I ate at Buca and I PR’d so I even ordered the same thing. Chicken Parm and spaghetti, no cheese. But they gave our spaghetti to another table and forgot Michelle’s pasta. The manager said he’d give us dessert- but knowing we have a race he gave us a discount. We did have a $10 off coupon from the race goodie bag too. So they gave us $30 off the bill. Pretty awesome. But I’m ready for the dessert now…


After dinner we drove to the store for last-minute things people forgot. I even bought a new pair of gloves to throw away after the start. Then the truck we were in had a dead battery. LOL Michelle came and picked us up, drove us to the finish to get my things out of my car, then we headed up to the cabin. I had mentioned on the drive that I hoped it wasn’t a scam, I made them all worry now. haha. We stopped at the start for a couple of pics before we went to the cabin. Just a little chilly and breezy.
 

We arrived, in the dark, empty house, door unlocked like they said. Awesome. 3 bedroom/2 baths + loft.

 

We all go to bed. Michelle & I talked forever (about 1 hour) and finally went to sleep around 11:30. Set the alarm for 5:am. I didn’t want to get up, I was so comfy in bed. I brought 3 different outfits and a pair of new shoes I have yet to run in. That’s what everyone should do, right?? Well I have two other Kinvara 3’s, these are the 4. I also bought calf sleeves I’ve never worn and bright yellow arm warmers to go with my shoes. I was so unsure what to wear because the weather was so cold. It’s usually not like this. The plan was to leave at 5:55, we left at 6:09. 15 min drive to the Fire Station and a 2-minute walk to the start. Why wait in the freezing cold any longer than we have to. It was 35º (but felt like 32º) at the start and only supposed to be 55º at the finish, then maybe 65º at noon. After our pics we dressed in our jackets, robes, scarves, ear muffs and gloves.

Breakfast: 1 bag of maple & brown sugar instant oatmeal an hour before the start. And two anti-fatigue pills. 🙂

I don’t know why my number is pinned so low, usually I pay more attention. Ahhh. Maybe because there were no door length mirrors. lol
 
We arrived at the start and took some more pics. Said bye and good luck to some of the girls, and went and found a bush. Not sure why. I also saw Jack and Shannon- coming from the bushes, not sure why either. Nicole and I stayed together so we wouldn’t get lost within the 5,821 runners (finishers). Our plan was to start together and just see what happens. We did our 18 miler together, we are about the same exact pace.
 

Nicole and I found a spot on the outside in-between the 3:25 pacer and 3:35 pacer. My deep down goal was 3:30 (8 min pace/mile) but really anything in the 30’s would be nice. 3:40 is my BQ time. We were cold, but it was tolerable how we were all bundled up. The two guys next to us were friends from Canada and Las Vegas. The race is supposed to start at 6:45, I think it started 5 minutes late. The hand-cyclist start at 6:40. We took off our robes and were ready!! I kept my scarf and jacket on, but it wasn’t really that cold once we started running. I took off the scarf right away and my jacket at maybe mile 2 or 3. I took off my gloves at about mile 6, but at the top of Veyo it was a little chilly and I wished I still had them.

Liz Dansie found us right away and the three of us chatted away for 7.35 miles! I almost thought we were talking too much, but I was in a great mood and it kept us from running too fast those first couple miles. Veyo Hill came and the three of us separated. Liz past me on the hill last year- but this time I could see her the whole time and I caught back up to her for a little bit. But she’s speedy and ran a little faster.

Maybe next time my friends will tell me my sunglasses are crooked. lol

Miles 7.35-11 are uphill. I was so looking forward to the top of the hill. My hamstrings were feeling a little tight and I’ve never had hamstring issues. Nothing hurt so I didn’t worry too much. Then we have some rolling hills until mile 15. I was thinking first timers from out-of-town were probably thinking, where is the downhill? I thought this was a downhill race? lol I’ve run it before and was wondering again where is the downhill.

On Veyo hill I passed a guy pushing a wheel chair. Then at the Ledges he past me back. Holy crap. His shirt said, Never Give Up. I cheered for him both times. He is awesome. You can also slightly see the parachute in the same pic. There were a couple of them flying around. Pretty cool.

I also met this girl Elise. She was wearing a yellow sparkle skirt and pink visor like mine. Well, she is actually part owner of the Sparkle Skirt company which is in Orange, CA, where I was born. Small world! I said I wanted to get a pic of us after the race for my blog, so here you go!

For the first 17 miles my pace was 8:05 average and I was a little worried I wasn’t going to have any cushion at the end of the race. I had no room to slow down, so I tried to take advantage of the steep downhills and just run what was comfortable. I took a gel every 5 miles and an anti-fatigue pill every hour. I took two an hour before the start. I also had gum the whole race (2 or 3 pieces), my temples hurt the next day from all that chewing. lol But my mouth never got dry. The weather was perfect. I only drank 20 oz of water, I ran out at the very end. I grabbed one water from an aid station at the end and it just got all over me. lol

On diagonal street I grabbed an otterpop and thought the sugar would be nice. I wish she would have cut it open though. It was kind of a pain to open and it got on my hands. Usually I hate diagnal, it just seems to never end, but it went by fast! Haley Hammons was ahead of me the whole time and I just tried to stay with her. I also took a wet towel and put it on my head for just a little cooling down. And I tried to throw it in the basket and I was way off!

My hips didn’t hurt, my legs didn’t hurt, I actually felt great! Two miles to go and I was like only 16 minutes, Cake! I can do this, don’t give up. So I pushed a little harder. My fastest mile was 24! Wow! There was about 200′ elevation loss there though. That was a 7:35 pace. I loved all the people lining the streets too.

I made the last turn and was excited to see the balloons. Once over the little hill I pushed a little harder. There were two girls in front of me and I past them. I heard the announcer say my name and heard some people cheer for me and I was so excited to finish sub 3:30, I raised my arms and crossed the finish line. I walked out-of-the-way a little and just bent over, hands on knees to rest. I was so happy to be done! I saw Shannon right away and asked her time- 3:14, holy crap!

They handed me orange soda, I drank a little. I got a chocolate milk and loved that. I found friends and sat down for a little while. We took pictures, ate buttered bread, drank coke and just sat down for a while. I felt great! Loved the Bomb Popsicle! When I left the runners area I took some grapes and cantaloupe.

Nicole and I ran our 4th marathon, but next year she’s going to kill it with the Utah Grand Slam. Four Marathons! Ogden in May, Utah Valley in June, Park City in August and SG in October. I might try it one year- not sure when. lol I am signed up for the SG Ironman 70.3 in May.
Michelle ran her first marathon! I’m so glad she moved to Hurricane and became my neighbor. Last year she was at the finish line watching. That was me two years ago. Everyone should run a marathon!
After Michelle came in I got my medal engraved for only $5! I paid $20 at a San Diego Rock-n-Roll. Then I drove us up to the start to get her car. I ate a banana but then I was starving and stopped at In-n-Out for a large coke, fries and hamburger animal style. Oh it tasted so good! I rushed home- paid the sitter some good money, showered and headed to a BBQ at Highland Park that Shannon organized. I did stop at my neighbors first to say hello at their BBQ that they invited me to. My neighbors kids came in town from CA and Colorado- it was great they all got in from the lottery. One guy already qualified for Boston and ran with his brother who had a 15 min PR of 3:35. Another friend of theirs was the 4:45 pacer and it was her 65th marathon and I think 35th as a pacer. Something like that. Pretty impressive.
 
So, all the kids want to wear my medal as soon as they see it. It almost gets dropped on the ground, and then Connor hands it to me in two pieces. I asked him how the ribbon came off. He said he pulled really hard on it. Okay then. I can fix it. lol
 
The potluck at the park was great. The kids all ran around and had fun while we all talked about the race. I still felt pretty good. I knew the next day I was probably going to be miserable.
Saturday night I finally went to sleep at 11:30 and was looking forward to sleeping in. 6:45 I woke up. Darn! Every time I rolled over my muscles hurt. I got up and surprisingly wasn’t too bad. My mid back muscles hurt, of course my quads a little and my calves. I don’t remember my calves hurting this bad ever from a race. I decide to take the kids and dogs for a 1 mile walk. I felt great, I even ran a little to see if I could. After lunch I asked the kids to please let me take a 30 minute nap- 2 hours later the house was still standing! But after waking up I felt like I was starting all over again with pain. lol. After moving around again I felt pretty good. But squatting down to clean up spilled milk, not so much. Thanks Connor. hehe.
Here are some fun facts from the race results. Last year I was in the 30-34 class and finished 1587th place o/a..
 
My watch was only 3.6 seconds off from the race clock! My slowest mile was 11. Last year it was mile 19. And I thought that the whole race, I did not want that to be my slowest. I think I took a short walk break last year at The Ledges hill I believe. It seems like Veyo should be my slowest but it wasn’t. At mile 11 I remember being over the never-ending hill. lol
My first half of this race – 13.1 was a 1:46:13 (8:06 pace) and my 2nd half was a 1:42:27 (7:48 pace). Both are faster than any of my Half Marathons! Can’t wait to do another half!
 

Coming into this race I had already decided I only want to do the SG Marathon next year as my only full marathon. I felt I did a lot this year and didn’t want to train for both the SG Ironman 70.3 and a marathon at the same time. But the day after this race, I messaged a bunch of friends to see if they want to do the Utah Valley Marathon in June. Ahhhh! I did the UV 1/2 two years ago and said I would never ever do that race again, we had a rare headwind the entire way and it was miserable. But, I’m ready now. 🙂

My next race is either going to be the Snow Canyon 1/2 Marathon or the Butch Cassidy 10K in Springdale Nov 2nd. Two years ago it snowed for the 10K and I loved every minute of it. I haven’t done Snow Canyon before and I would love to PR as it’s a fast downhill race. My husband is out-of-town that weekend so we’ll see.

I LOVED the SG Marathon this year, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. I look forward to next year. Thanks for reading!

Amber 🙂

We look so happy crossing the finish line- must be the 6:59 pace! hehe