Howdy, Yes is has now been a month, it is all over, and I feel a great relief. It was really special and a very spiritual thing for me. Here are some exerpts from my journal:
Well it's over- I accomplished my goals- 1: to finish!!! and 2: to finish under 5 hrs! :) My time was 4:46. So that's a great blessing! My right IT band on my knee hurt and the bottom of my foot hurt, but no blisters, so I feel so grateful. We got up at 3AM and boarded a bus at 3:30 AM to St. George (we had a friend driving so we caught a ride). Hopped on another bus and headed to Central, Utah. I feel extremely grateful and blessed that I was able to be with my Handsome Husband on the bus and at the starting line! Yes he ran it too! After many obstacles with his back and knee, he was a rockstar!
When we arrived we went straight to the porta potties...
While we were waiting we tried to stay warm at the fire pits, and met new people! Here is me, Mr. L and my brother, we are all to the right of the fire:
It was time to run so I stripped off one of my DI sweaters, and pants, and started moving, it probably took 5 mins to get to the starting line. I ran with Mr. L and my brother for about 5 miles. Okay WARNING TMI ahead: skip to the next paragraph if you can't take it.... :) So I was trying to hold my pee in, but it was cold and I was really hydrated, so I leaked umm a lot :) . I didn't want to go because I wanted to be with my husband and brother for as long as possible. So after they headed on their way, I headed to the bushes and quickly realized that I had all out leaked myself to a full blown peeing pants, it was pretty obvious. So to my chagrin I got back on the course, thinking, "oh well, these people probably won't see me again." I was pretty wet. So I started running and saw a pacer person holding balloons, I'm thinking it may be the 4:45 or the 5 hr pacer... it was the 4:30, pretty cool- I felt good, so I just kept going, and passed them up, having visions of going fast, but reality hit me reminding me about the pain you feel at the end. I thought "Shoot, while I feel good I'm just going to go."
I went up Veyo Hill, ugh, there I met a man who was pretty heavy. He had a big belly, and I was impressed that he could move so well, and better than me. He told me that he used to be 300 lbs and made a goal to do an Ironman, which he did, and he just did the Top of Utah marathon, 3 wks prior, then an Ironman after that, now the STG Marathon, quite an inspiration. In the meantime, the Veyo Hill, that I was going to walk, I ran with him talking. I just got up the hill and that's when I couldn't get my legs back and run as strong of a pace, the 4:30 pacer caught up with me. I tried to keep up with them, and there I met another mom from my hometown and ran with her for awhile, which I'm so grateful for. My right foot felt like it was on fire... luckily I was able to get through it. Then she started having knee problems and told me to go. It was during this time, I saw a great friend at an aid station, Rennie it was great to see you! I heard her voice and there she was, that was a fun reunion. She's a rockstar!
So there I was running alone, but I didn't feel alone, I had great comfort and peace the whole time. Prayer was the key!! My IT band was starting to give me problems... then I came to a funny sight... A lady was wearing a tank top that said "I'm running from the cops!" and along side her was a Highway Patrolman guy running...
Pretty fun distraction!
So I get to mile 20 and I hear "Andrea!" I turn and there is my cute little running partner, Kim, that I have trained all summer with, just running her little heart out to catch up to me. It was a most welcome surprise. She is a pretty strong runner, just what I needed right then. My legs didn't really want to go and my knee was hurting really bad. Then something funny, I found some glassless glasses on the side of the road and I wore them, it provided a great comic relief. We got to a downhill and we were able go fast, my legs were doing so much better and my spirits were good. We passed quite a few people at this point.
We got to Snow Canyon Drive feeling strong, then we arrived into town, and people lined the streets to cheer us on! All the high 5s and cheering does a lot for a weary runner. Then we turned down Diagonal...2 more looong miles to go. We turned down Mainstreet and there was a wonderful surprise... my brother and my 3 boys, and my brother-in-law all were there like the paparazzi taking all kinds of pictures, I was a superstar! It provided great energy. They were running along side us until they couldn't anymore. We couldn't see the finishline....just when Kim was hurting so bad she needed to stop, there it was, So she got her gumption and we started to book it,there were my parents and 3 girls cheering us on, it was so awesome!
We crossed the finishline! Hurray!! We went through the mister and there were the guys that give us our medals, an old guy just handed me mine, so I gave to another guy to place in on my neck, I just needed that ok. And there was my handsome husband waiting for me, such a wonderful sight.
If you look closely on top of my head you can see the glasses I found!
Here is me and Kim!
I am so grateful for my parents for making this possible, they had my kids overnight and got them fed and ready and wrangled them while we were running. I am so blessed...I run for you. I love you!
What did I learn form a marathon? It's hard...I can do hard things, I will draw strength from it for the rest of my life. When it got hard, someone was always there to help me through it. When Mr. L left a cute gal from Morgan, UT was so fun to talk to and run with, inspiring determination. That guy on Veyo Hill, and that gal from my hometown was there. Then lots of different distractions after that. But I knew I was coming to some hard parts, that's when prayer helped me and then Kim found me. I am forever grateful that she had the health and strength to be with me. What a blessing to run the rest of the race with her. And just knowing that my family was at the end. The tender mercies of the Lord. A couple of my fears didn't happen... I was supposed to start my period and I didn't until later, and I didn't have the horrible urge to have any bowel movements, like I normally do while running. I know TMI :) It was a very spiritual experience, and I was on a spiritual high the whole week after.