Scott and the girls drove me up to get on the bus the morning of the race. They really are the best team ever. Getting up at 4:00 in the morning isn't their favorite thing, but they didn't complain at all. My Ellie Bean hung out on my lap and we played chess while I waited in the warm car instead of getting on an early bus and having to wait in the cold.
The first 15 miles of the race were pretty much closed to spectators unless you go up the night before and camp or stay at one of the ski resorts in the canyon,me o I didn't see my little family until just after mile 15. Which was the same time I saw Janae and she started running with me. She ran a seven mile stretch of the race that was a different part of the course this year from last year's course. She went whatever pace I wanted, said all the right things to keep me positive, and even patiently walked with me when I wanted to walk.
Just after that seven miles, Janae headed to her car to go meet me at the finish and I saw my family again. I stopped and gave them hugs and read their signs and drank some Powerade.
I walked for a few minutes several times while running with Janae and then a couple of times during the last four miles. I also walked (very slowly) through almost every aid station. Especially when I GUed (at miles 6, 12 & 20) and took salt tablets (at miles 8 & 14).
I reminded myself several times that I wanted to finish happy and feel good. I went into the race telling myself that I would be happy with anything under 4 hours. After a short seven weeks of training and three long runs (12.5, 16 & 20) to prepare, I wasn't going into it in the best shape or with the strongest legs, so I tried to focus on having realistic expectatiaons. With all my stopping and walking, I still managed to BQ with a 3:38:14 finish time. I got to see my awesome little team, ran with one of my favorite people in the the world, and had the best family and friends a girl could dream of cheering me at the finish. It doesn't get much better than that.
And I had this on my vehicle for the next two weeks (this was toward the end of the two weeks when my Pilot was begging to be washed) to make me smile and remind me of that happy, happy day!
Now I'm off to cheer on everyone running the St. George Marathon this weekend! Happy Friday!!