Hillene, Randi, Rabid
I'm stewing over how to begin this post. Not sure how to start it. I don't want to brag, I don't want to boast, but seriously, I kill't the Ogden Marathon. Kill't it! I bent that race over and slapped it 'til it cried "UNCLE!" And then after it cried "UNCLE!" I bent it over again.
Did I win? Pfft... no. Did I gain any sponsorships or notoriety? Nope. Did I take my age group? Heaven's no... although if I was just 13 months older, I would have nailed Masters.
I'm just a plain Jane in comparison to the field. But if you compare it to me, to my past experience and/or performances, I did pretty good. A 3:18:53 for a spring marathon in the mountains isn't so shabby. Last year I ran a 3:26. Proper subtraction-math will let us all know that this year's performance was eight whole minutes faster than last year. Eight minutes!
Remember that tweaking I talked about? Yeah, I believe I now have proof that the tweaking worked! Let's hear it for tweakers!
Before you get the run down of this-here run, let me tell you the story of the weekend.
I have this friend. We'll call her Randi. Randi is quite a catch-of-a-friend. Hillene, Randi, and I decided to spend the weekend together. Randi was all trained up and rearing to run. We jumped in the car on Saturday morning, at 4:33am to be exact, and drove to catch the buses. After about five minutes in the car, Randi, all heart-broken-like, says, "NO.... ! NO....! NO....! Please.... You are kidding me." She was on the verge of tears. Hillene and I pulled out our consolation tones, "What?! What?! What?!"
"I brought two right shoes."
"NOOOOOO!" It was collective angst at this point. Then we all put on our problem-solving caps and went to work.
"I have an extra pair of shoes!" said Hillene. Then I said, "So do I!"
Hillene turned the car around and Randi ran in to fetch the extra shoes. From the two extra pairs, she was able to find a pair that might work. And work they did. She ran an awesome race and qualified for Boston. Again. The shoes were a bit small, and she had a few blisters, but she was able to run.
Moral of the story? I'm bringing an extra pair of shoes every time.
Now let's have some race talk. I really like the Ogden Marathon. It's either number one or number two on my list of favorites. First, I love Ogden. I could seriously live in Ogden. Ogden has personality, great eating, and Ogden Canyon. That canyon has it all... mountains, rivers, lakes, ski resorts... everything. It's one of the most beautiful places in the world, and a marathon runs right down it. I could seriously live in Ogden. I think I'd live in Farr West with the Farr-mers though. That's close enough to O-Town, right? Or Eden! I could really live in Eden, but it's a mountain town at the base of ski resorts and therefore costly.
Anyway, the last two Ogdens (2009 and 2010) have been a disaster. I started too fast. This is a serious problem in marathon running. If one starts out too fast, they will bonk early. 'Tis the reason that people use that "marathon" metaphor time and time again. One must pace oneself in order to finish strongly.
So this year, I took my own advice. I kept my sites on mile 17.5. I reigned in the efforts until this mile 17.5. I ran to comfort, then purposely backed off. When mile 17.5 came into view – and specifically, the downhill part of the course – I put a smile on my face and let go. Zoom! From there, I picked off people one at a time. No one passed me after mile 17. Cool, right? Cool!
At mile 19 I walked for about 10 seconds – long enough to pop two Excedrin, which honestly, has become one of the greatest race strategies, like, ever. Try it some time. At mile 19, pop yourself two Excedrin and feel what happens. It's miraculous. One word of caution, however: Do not... I mean, DO NOT try this the first time on a race. Make sure you use a couple of Excedrin on a training run before trying it in a race.
So I zoomed down the Ogden Canyon, all smiley and stuff, and then I hopped on the river trail, all smiley and stuff, and then turned on to Grant Avenue for the last mile, still all smiley and stuff. The last mile hurt a bit, (the last mile of any 26.2 always hurts for some reason.) I finished with vigor, then bent over and began to bawl.
I love to run. Know that? I truly love to run. And I'm grateful that I can run.
Bus ride up... Randi, Rabid
Same bus ride, Docteur Scott (the resident Frenchman) and Hillene
Waiting by the fire. With a tube of Dave's Zabriskie's signature lube.
That's a yawn, not a yell. Just to clarify.
Look Ma, no rain clouds!
Found Tina at the finish!