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Monday, September 21, 2009

Race Report: Top of Utah Marathon


Speaking of lists... I made a list of things I want to remember to include in my race report, but that list is upstairs and my legs are currently not friends with the stairs. I am going to try to remember everything on the list, but I figure anything I forget will just make a good post topic later. So yes, this is my race report. I finished my first marathon on Saturday. And the first item to note is that I did indeed finish. That was my goal. To finish.

My second goal was to finish under the 5 hour mark. I made my second goal as well. My third goal was to finish feeling good enough that I want to do another one. Let's just say I am narrowing down the list of spring marathons.

Now for the details. I spent the night in a hotel about an hour from the race start; that took an hour off my drive, so it was worth it. (It was the closest one I could get by the time I decided to make a reservation.) After waking up about 10 times, I got out of bed two minutes before my 3:45 am alarm was set to go off. I made it to the bus about 5:30, got to the start, went potty, and spent the rest of the time moving to keep warm. I was happy that I remembered to bring a blanket to wrap around my legs! At 7 am on the dot, the gun went off. Several minutes later, I crossed the start.

My goal was to maintain around a 10:00 pace. Other than being cold, I felt pretty good the first few miles. At mile two, I could finally feel most of my hands. My thumbs stopped being numb at mile three. Mile three was also the first aid station. Because of my dehydration experience at the end of my half, I think I was a little too cautious and drank too much (2-3 cups of water or Gatorade at each stop). This resulted in three potty stops before the halfway point. There were port-a-potties every other mile, but I didn't want to wait in a line of even one or two people so my first two stops were in the bushes. Because the first half of the race is down a canyon, finding a quick, discreet place to go was easy. Although someone might want to tell that to the guy that I passed TWICE while he was peeing just a foot off the road. I didn't see anything, but I probably could have if I would have turned around after I passed him.

After potty stop three, I stopped gulping so much at every aid station. My legs were getting a little tired by the halfway point, but it wasn't anything that was slowing me down. I hit 13.1 miles at 2:13. At that point I was pretty confident I could finish in 4:40. I only needed one more potty stop during the second half, and my pace stayed pretty consistent until mile 19. Then my right leg started hurting on the outside, just above and next to my knee. Around mile 20, the pain was shooting up toward my hip and forced me to slow down. At mile 21, I stopped to have Icy Hot rubbed on my leg at the first aid station. By then my knee was also hurting, and I was walking off and on. After walking a few minutes, the pain would subside and I would run again. But then the pain would build up and almost completely stop me. When I could run, I was hitting a 9:30 pace, so I knew I had it in me to make that 4:40 mark. Unfortunately my leg wasn't cooperating. I ran as much as I could and walked when I had to. When I crossed the finish, the clock said 5:02. My Garmin, which I forgot to turn off the autopause feature, said 4:52. I figured my actual time was closer to the clock time with all my potty stops. My husband received a text with my chip time when I crossed the finish. 4:59:12. Goal!!

Now for some marathon miscellany:

  • I need to find a happy medium on the liquid intake. Less potty stops = faster time.
  • I never asked myself "Why am I doing this?"
  • I didn't have any tummy troubles during or after my run. I would like to thank Imodium and all those who advised sticking to what worked in the past.
  • I did not eat a banana at any of the aid stations where they were readily available. No heartburn this time!!
  • I GUed just before the start and at miles 5, 11 and 19.
  • This winter I am going to stock up on cheap mittens that I can just discard during future marathons.
  • I think Apple should sponsor marathons (maybe they do). This thought ran through my mind as I passed iPod after iPod.
  • I ran several miles with my new friend Jon, who was also running his first marathon. We became fast friends on the bus ride to the start. I am excited to follow his progress as he trains for and runs his second marathon next spring.
  • After a lot of computer research, I am pretty sure my leg pain was my IT band. Any thoughts on this are more than welcome!! I would love to be running again by then end of the week...
  • The only time I got emotional was when this version of "Don't Stop Believin" came on my iPod during mile 26.

That's it for now. Enjoy the picture of my lovely post-race glow. I will share more pics once they are posted from the race!

25 comments:

  1. AWESOME!!! That is so great that you accomplished all your goals. Bummer your leg started hurting but incredible that you were still able to finish under your goal time. Love ya!!

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  2. YAY! You are amazing! Seriously, I'm in awe.

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  3. YOu are BEAUTIFUL!! I am so pleased to hear that you will be doing another. AMAZING!! Hey if you have to go, go where you can :)

    I have not had IT band issues but I know Ang has...she said she didn't see you.. BUMMER!!

    Good idea about the toss away gloves.

    That is great that you met a new friend. And that you met your Goal.

    So proud of you!

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  4. Congratulations on finishing your first marathon! And under 5 hours! Well done! I have struggled with IT band issues, and those hills are killer.

    If you do a spring marathon in Utah, Ogden is one of my favorites! It is well organized, "small town," and pretty.

    Enjoy your rest, you deserve it!

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  5. CONGRATULATIONS on your first marathon, mine is only 2 weeks away and I am so nervous!!! My goal is also to finish under 5 or mabey just to finish. I enjoyed your post and it gives me a idea of what it will be like and what to expect. Thanks for the pointers!!!

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  6. Awww girl I am so excited for you! Your post gave me goose bumps... 3 more weeks for me! Great job pushing through the pain and getting it done!!! I highly suggest you invest in a foam roller STAT for that ITB and start R.I.C.E.'ing ASAP!!!

    Congrats again girl! You ROCK!!!!!

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  7. Congrats on reaching all of your marathon goals (even with leg pain)! Great!

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  8. You are amazing!! I am so happy for you :) I thought about you on Saturday and wondered how you were doing! Way to go on finishing before your goal... I gotta tell you, I am probably not even going to make a goal on my first... I just hope I finish haha! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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  9. Love the post-race glow! Congrats on your race. Way to go!

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  10. Way to go!! So happy you have a race report up already. I have been wondering how your race went. I was totally looking for you! I even wrote down your bib number in sharpie on my arm. *sigh* Maybe at the next race I will be able to find you. :)
    I have IT band troubles as well. I have learned that stretching is my best friend! Basically any stretch that stretches out your hip/glutes is what you need to do. Also, I ran the marathon in Asics for the first time and this is the best my IT band has felt after a marathon.

    So I'm wondering if you live really close to me. I'm in Orem. Are you close????

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  11. Awesome!! Congrats on finishing under 5 hours! I do believe that is an IT band issue, but I have no idea how to fix it. :(

    Stop by my blog for a giveaway!

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  12. Yay! You did it and under goal! Great job! I had no doubts that you would do it!!!

    As for the IT Band, haven't had that issue yet but I hope you are back on track soon and the IT Band is feeling better!!!

    Way to Go!!! You rocked it!!

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  13. Great job sticking it out through the IT band issues. I haven't been plagued with that problem, but it seems to be real common. I'm sure you'll get some great advice on how to heal it up.

    I've been worrying about bathroom breaks during my marathon too. As much as I don't want to wait in line for the porta-potties, I don't think people want me whizzing on their front lawn during an urban marathon.

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  14. Congratulations on your first marathon and completing all your goals!! I'm running my first half marathon in November and really appreciate all your thoughts. :)

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  15. Congratulation on your first marathon!!! You are the inspiration I needed today. You Rock girl! I am doing St George next week & pray that I can push thru the pain :)

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  16. CONGRATULATIONS!!! You did an amazing job in your first marathon ever! You are awesome! Just reading your post makes me want to go out for a run right now. :) Can't wait to hear more!!

    All I can say on the IT band is stretch, stretch, stretch - ALL the time, after every run...not just when it's bothering you. And think about picking up a foam roller and rolling that thing out a few times a week - it's painful as all get out but I try to be fairly religious about stretching/rolling my IT bands and I haven't had problems (knock on wood).

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  17. omgosh CONGRATSSSS!!!! you are a marathoner!!! isnt it the BEST feeling?!!? soak it all up this week and enjoy the battle wounds :) they are well earned! yayyyyy :)

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  18. great race report, and congrats on meeting your goals and becomming a marathoner!

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  19. Congrats! I've heard that race is beautiful. I'm impressed you were so mentally strong even when you were in pain!

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  20. Congratulations! Next summer think about the Park City Marathon or the Mid Mountain Marathon. I'll probably do one of them. Awesome time and I'm delighted you want to do another one. Great job! :-)

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  21. GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAL!

    Good show! Can't wait to hear what you're doing this coming Spring.

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  22. I enjoyed your race report! Congrats on a great race... you're so awesome!

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  23. You are amazing! And inspiring!
    I've recently got this deep desire to start running. But I don't know where to start. I don't even have a pair of running shoes! Do you have any advice on where to start and what shoes to buy? I'm going to go read some of your older posts and see what else i can learn from you!

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  24. Yeah! That's a good strategy, I also drink less water when I'm in a race, but still I still go often to porta-potties so I always finish a 30k race almost 6 hours...

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  25. Just found your recap thru Tall Mom and I gotta say it gave me goosebumps. I don't think I will ever tire of reading first time recaps! Congrats on becoming a Marathon Finisher! You did great and I hope you are STILL basking in the afterglow.

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