Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wall? What wall?

Yesterday I ran the Top of Utah Marathon.  I got plenty of sleep and ate lot's of yummy pasta the night before so I was ready.  I had to be at the finish line a little after 5:00 a.m. so I could catch the bus the starting line.  It started up Blacksmith Fork Canyon by Hardware Ranch.  It was very cold.  About 10 minutes before 7:00, I had to put all of my extra layers that I didn't want to wear while I was running into a bag and throw it in a bus.  Then I went and got a cup of water.  The water was splashing all over because I was shaking so bad.  Did I mention it was cold?

Here is a cool picture of the beginning of the race.  It is a bit blurry because it is hard to take a picture with an iphone while you are running.

The canyon was absolutely amazing.  The leaves were already changing and the clouds were all wispy and beautiful.  I was glad to be running on a flat road so that I could take it all in without worrying about tripping.
We came out of the canyon around mile 14.  They had closed the canyon to traffic so that was the first place people could come and cheer for their runners.

Imagine how excited I was to see this:

I switched out my water bottle that was filled with Perpetuem (liquid calories so I wouldn't bonk), handed off my arm warmers, grabbed my sunglasses, told the K-boys that I loved them and kissed Mr. K.  Then I was off again.

I had been battling some pain in my right IT band since about mile 5 and had to keep stopping to stretch it but my muscles felt great and I was doing well at keeping my goal pace. I was kind of frustrated because I had been so diligent in my training and had no problems whatsoever, even on my 20 mile training run.  I am not sure if I tapered too long before the race or what.  I followed a reputable training program and I know others that have done the same taper schedule with no problems.  Anyway, the pain came and went but progressively got worse.  I said little prayers that I would have the strength to finish.  I kept checking my posture and form to make sure that I was not limping because I didn't want to make it worse or injure my other leg.  I had an index card with inspiring quotes on it that I would pull out when it my  knee was really hurting.  It helped me to realize that I could do anything.

Now that I am done complaining, I have to say my run was awesome!  I had so much fun.  I laughed out loud many times during the race as I watched people who were running near me.  Some reminded me of people I know and characters in books I have read and some were just funny.  I really enjoyed the beauty and the fact that I have a healthy body that can run.  I thought a lot about my family and how blessed I am.  I thought about how I can triumph over anything if I smile and look for the good.  It was pretty zen.

Just before I hit mile 25 there was a little hill.  I love hills.  This is the best hill I have ever run up though and here is why:

Look how happy I was to see them.

They were just the boost I needed to get to 26.2.  I sprinted ran a little bit faster and crossed the finish line.  My unofficial time (according to my watch) was 4 hours 35 minutes and ? seconds.  I am so happy with that time.  My goal was between 4 hr 30 min and 4 hr 45 min.  I beat my Park City marathon time by 50 minutes!  OK, I will admit that I did spend some time sitting on the side of the road crying in pain during that first one, which could have accounted for some of the extra minutes.  ;)

Starr Power!!!

After I chugged 2 chocolate milks and ate a handful of goldfish crackers, I did some stretching and then headed out of the runner's only area to find my awesome cheerleaders; only I got sidetracked by this amazing little gutter full of amazingly cold water that felt amazing when I peeled off my socks and shoes and plunked my amazing feet into it.  Luckily, the K-boys found me.

So today I am walking rather well.  I can actually go up and down stairs without using the hand rail.  I did a short (15 feet) test run and I can still totally run. We will see how my run goes tomorrow...

One last picture for your viewing pleasure:

"Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through obstruction."  -William James

Just call me Starr.


racing dawn said...

Starr that is so awesome! I totally saw your cute boys with their chests painted! So fun. I thought what a cute family to come out and support their mom! I loved it and they weren't even my kids. :) And yes this race was a zillion times better than Park City! I wish I could've run into you in Logan! I'm so glad you had a great day and a new PR! You did so great! Enjoy your recovery week! You earned it big time!

racing dawn said...

btw - I've had IT band issues in the past too. Lay sideways on one of those big foam rollers on the floor and roll right over that IT band - back and forth with all your weight. It hurts like crazy but totally releases and stretches that band out. It will help so much - I promise!

Ali said...

That is so great! I love the picture of your boys with the "Go Mom!" I'm so glad you met your goal time too. I think having some quotes to read to keep you motivated was a good idea. Good luck with the durty dash this weekend!

Mindy said...

I love that quote - really awesome! Way to go on the marathon!!!