Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ogden Marathon 2011 - Embrace the Suck

I did it. I finished. And it was a great day. Not a PR day, but it felt just as good.



Finish time: 4:56:07. I'm a really happy girl.

It really started the night before with dinner and carb loading with Ashley and her crew. We met at a little restaurant and after we had waited about 20 minutes of the hour wait we decided to get take out instead. I ate a really yummy turkey, bacon, and avocado sandwich. The bread was to die for and I already plan on going back there sometime soon.

Brittany, girlfriend to Ash's brother, Ashley's mom, Ashley, me, and Heather

I got 4 hours of sleep but slept a good 8 the night before that so I wasn't too worried. I had a bath, shaved my legs, took my time getting dressed and ate a waffle with peanut butter and jelly. I usually don't eat before a long run but this was 3:30 a.m. and we were running at 7:00. I figured I was going to need something. I got all my gear and headed out the door. But not before finding a sweet note from my hubby.

I picked up Mel and we met her running group at 4:30 to get our bus ride to the start line. Heaven knows why we had to be there that early because we waited 1 hour and 20 minutes for the start. The field where we waited had fires but was a big muddy mess. It was pretty cold. I did get to use the long line of porta potties twice before the start. My feet were freezing though. Mel kindly let me wrap them in her sweatshirt for a while. I wore my gorilla feet and they just don't keep you that warm while you're standing still or are wet.

The race finally got started and we were off! I felt like it took me a while to get warmed up and comfortable but after the first mile I felt good. I didn't feel like I was pushing the pace and just felt good. I ran into Brittany from dinner the night before and we ran together for quite a while. I didn't listen to music until we parted ways at mile 17 or so. I just listened to the race atmosphere and everyone's conversations. People are interesting. The scenery was beautiful as well. I could kick myself for not taking a few photos along the way because we passed old barns set in fields of bright green dotted with yellow flowers against the backdrops of tall, snow-crested mountains. The opposite side of the road was the reservoir, a nice biking trail, and fields of horses that were curious about what was going on. The spectators were awesome, the volunteers amazing. I was drinking in the experience and loving every minute of it.

I felt so good. Like really, really good. And I did until about mile 19 or so when I entered the second canyon. Things were starting to get a little tight and started to suck a bit. It felt like a long run. From miles 19 to 23 I smiled. Things were to that sucking phase and I was going to embrace it and love it. I reminded myself that if I was hurting it was because I was alive. Alive and running a marathon. I used my mantras a little more and focussed on good form. I stopped and stretched a few times. My hip flexors were what was starting to bug me a little. My calves were getting tight and my feet were starting to ache. Just tired though, no pain.

Mile 23
Just before mile 23 I got out of the canyon and there was Heather cheering for me. It was a really good mental boost and I knew that there were only 3 miles left. Those last 3 miles were sucktaculous. I took that little boost that Heather gave me and ran those last 3 miles really well. I hurt, but I had a smile on my face and felt good. Really, really good. I knew I wasn't going to PR but didn't care. It was a great day.

One more block!


Heather and I. She was my support crew. During more than just this one marathon.

Heather, me and Jodi (she ran the half and stuck around to cheer me on!)

Ashley and me. This girl is amazing!

This race was a big experiment. Experimenting with shoes. Experimenting with form. Experimenting with mental exercises. Experimenting with fueling. Experimenting with carrying a water bottle for 26.2 miles. And I'm so pleased to say that all that experimenting went well.
I had a Hammer gel right before the race started and then at miles 5, 10, 15, and 20 as Angie Bee suggested. I also used Nuun in my water bottle. I liked being able to drink whenever I wanted and gu whenever without waiting for an aid station. I also think I got more fluid in me than I normally do. I refilled 3 times. I practiced in training and I think all those push ups made it so that my shoulders didn't even get sore. I worried about that and switched hands every couple of miles. I had no stomach issues whatsoever which is a first. I think I have that part figured out for me. I also took my peppermint/ginger oil before the race thanks to MissZippy and I think that's another reason why my stomach did so well. Plus when I weighted myself as I got in the shower, I weighed the same as the morning. I hydrated well and was pleased about that.
I had a tinge of calf cramping but came upon an aid station that had bananas. I ate one and made an effort to drink a little more and didn't have any other problems.
One thing I do need to work on is proper running form while going downhill. That's hard to do and I find that I take it slower than I normally would. I just can't cruise down like I used to be able to do in normal running shoes. That being said, my quads are not sore at all. The last two times I've run this marathon I've had to go down the stairs backwards for 3 days. I think my new running style has something to do with this.
Mentally, this was my best marathon. I was happy the whole time. I never went to a dark place in my mind. I smiled the whole way. I used my finger rubbing technique whenever I felt tightness or felt tired. I thought about each child in my church group that I have charge over. I thought about Janae. I thought about Nora. I thought about all of you that support me. Miles 7-17 were dedicated to Heather. She knows why. Paying it forward, baby. Miles 18-23 were for Mike. I embraced the suck for you. Miles 23-26 were for myself and my family. I needed to know that I could finish, and finish strong and finish happy. My poor husband has really been there for me when I've struggled. He's worried about my health. Sometimes more my mental health. He's always been my best cheerleader. He couldn't be to this finish line. It was the first time. He was taking care of running the kids around. And it was hard for him not to be there. And my kids think I'm pretty awesome for simply doing it.
"It was a great day to be alive."
I took a walk last night when things started getting stiff. Today was a much better day. I'm walking pretty normally. My list of things that hurt are: my calves, but not unless I flex, my hip flexors, the tops of both feet are tender right above the big toe, and my achilles tendon on the right side is tight. Not too shabby and nothing feels injured. Just sore. I'll be icing and rolling and trying to decide whether or not I'll be doing this again in less than 3 weeks time.
Thanks so much to all of your for your thoughtful comments, e-mails, and texts. Running a marathon really shows you that you are loved. It's one of the things I love the most about running.

49 comments:

Connie said...

Great post! You looked like you were running strong and I love the big smile on your face! Congrats!

Alma said...

Nice job with your run!!!!

So great to see you running a full marathon in the barefoot shoes.

THanks for sharing how you felt - it's inspiring to see you have such a positive race after so many ups & downs during training.

What's next?!!

Scallywag said...

So impressed! And enjoying yourself always, always matters more than the time on the clock! x

Erin@gosupermamago said...

Great job! It sounds like such a gorgeous race. I just love you attitude and your mantras, I'm going to have to still some for my upcoming race!

Another marathon in three weeks? Wow!!

Could you tell me more about the peppermint/ginger oil you took? I tend to have stomach issues, maybe I should try taking it.

Teamarcia said...

I am so happy to read this! You took control and made everything come together for a great race! Holding it together mentally is so hard and you did it SO well!
Congrats girl! Be very proud. I'm loving that bling too! :D

Laura said...

Congrats! Sounds like you did everything right and 'smartly'. Just awesome...

Tri-Living...Together said...

I totally agree with listening to people around you, I too enjoy that at times during the race.

I actually can run faster downhill now than I could in regular shoes.. You'll get it. It sounds like you did everything right.. and to me a beautiful experience of being alive! What a great race and accomplishment you have done! YAY Jen!!!

ATTrio said...

Woohoo! Nice job! I feel ya with the downhill. I find it way harder to go down than up. I don't want to go to fast because I loose my control or form and I feel like too slow is harder on my knees. Some day I will figure it out.

Now sit back and enjoy the week of rest after an awesome marathon :)
Sarah

PS Doing a giveaway today on my blog!

Sarah said...

Thanks for such an inspiring race report! Congratulations on a great job!

Sarah

Sarah said...

Thanks for such an inspiring race report! Congratulations on a great job!

Sarah

Julie said...

I am so happy with every word of this post!! You did awesome! I am JUST SO HAPPY it was such a great race! You looked super cute, too!

Jessica said...

Congrats on your Run!

The Hungry Runner Girl said...

You thought about me?!?! That made me tear up!! THANK YOU!!! How do you look so so beautiful after running a marathon!! I am jealous of your carb loading dinner:) YAY FOR 26.2 in your TOE SHOES!!! You really are my hero and I am SO happy that the weather was beautiful and nothing feels injured. You are amazing and I hope you had a burger on Saturday:) LOVE YOU!!!

Wendy said...

I love this! I'm so glad you had such a great race!!

So, were you also experimenting w/no hat? Don't you usually wear one? I ran without one the other day, and it really bugged me. :)
Good to see the braids made an appearance. Maybe I will run in them in honor of you again?! :)

Julia said...

Jen! you are truly amazing. I just love this post...it made me SO excited for UV. I can only hope to have half that smile you have in your pic :)

Your pics are amazing and you look GORGEOUS after running a marathon :)

I am seriously loving the "embrace the suck"....I gotta hold on to that!

CONGRATS! I am so happy for you and just so excited for you! What a great feeling!

Elle said...

Look at you with your happy smile and your race medal.

Amazing. Love the story and so happy for your good experience.

Doran & Jody said...

WooHoo!!! Great job!

Sam {fitnessfoodandfaith.blogspot.com} said...

congrats on a fabulous run! you are an inspiration to me. great race report.

Running Ricig said...

AWESOME! I love the idea of writing a mantra on your hand for motivation (especially one that makes you laugh!). Congrats on your race!!!

Rachelle Wardle said...

You are amazing Jen!! I am beyond proud of you. I totally saw you running into the finish and you had the biggest smile on your face. It totally melted my heart and I wanted to cry tears of joy. You are such an inspiration to me and I am so glad you had a great race.

We must get together at UV marathon. I am so sad I didn't get to see you.

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

Amazing job on this race! Love what you wrote on your hand. Awesome!!
:)

Lindsay and James Cotter said...

oh I was thinking about you this weekend, praying it all went well! this makes me happy. The nutrition, the body, everything! God had his hand on you Jen!

theAlmostRunner said...

this is an amazing post. CONGRATULATIONS!

katie thompson said...

awesome job!!

Missy said...

Congratulations! You look great in your race photos. I see that you had a handheld bottle...I was wondering what brand you recommend? I have been thinking of maybe getting one for my next half marathon...

marathonmaiden said...

you look amazing in your photos! great job on that ;) and great job in the race

Deanna@MilesToRun said...

I love all your photos, you look so happy!

Your recap was great. You stayed so positive throughout the race and I loved your description of the scenery.

You did an amazing job! I'm so proud of you!

Joanne said...

What a great marathon you had. Congratulations!

misszippy said...

Awesome Jen! Congrats to you. It sounds like you were really happy out there, even when embracing the suck! That's what it's all about. Be proud of yourself!!

Nelly said...

Awesome job! Sounds like overall it went great!

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Jen, You are so so so strong! You embrace your suck and did amazing...if you can really call that suck!

I'm so thankful you finished and felt good!

You'll have to pass on your fueling tricks...I have heard more and more runner geling before the race, and peppermint oil to ease the stomach? Awesome!

SO PROUD OF YOU!

Jill said...

Nice job! Glad you had a good experience.

Audrey said...

WAY TO GO!!!! & I absolutely love you motto! Brilliant

Candice @ I Have Run said...

"Sucktaculous" - I'm going to remember that!

Awesome, awesome, awesome! So happy your experiment went so well. Congrats on another marathon! And ysy for the weather cooperating!!!!

Katie said...

Congratulations! It sounds like you had a great time! I impressed that you could run 26.2 in vibrams . . . I have only made it up to 7. I am inspired by the fact that you had such a great time and you relaxed and did not care about time! BTW- you do look so happy running!

Heather said...

yes you did it!....I knew you would. I'm so glad I got to be a little part of it!

Holley @ Lunges and Lashes said...

way to go! and in your vibrams too! i am so glad all you girls got together before the race to play!

Michael said...

Sucktolicious... what a great word! I am honoured beyond words that you ran miles 18 to 23 for me. Them's some tough miles. I'm delighted that "embrace the suck" worked for you. Thanks so much for that. What a kind person you are. With much, much gratitude, Mike

PS As with the above comment... "in Vibrams too! Totally impressive.

anna jo said...

embrace the suck!!! ahhh, I LOVE it! and I loved your race recap. this is truly inspiring. what an accomplishment!! :)

Muncher Cruncher said...

AMAZING Jen!! I absolutely loved reading this post! You are so inspiring and I am SO proud of you!! I love your "embrace the suck" motto. You really are incredible! xoxoxo Megs

KT80 (Running Like a Girl) said...

Awesome post! Great job!

Coy Martinez said...

I was floored when I saw that you ran in VIBRAMS! This is a dream of mine! I really wanna be able to do this! I'm only up to 6 miles so far in them!

You did FABULOUS! Great time! Be proud of yourself! I am. You've done what few attempt!

Emz said...

Jen. You. Are. So. Awesome.
Fav part...."From miles 19 to 23 I smiled"

I love smiled.
Embrace the suck.

Awesome.

Stephanie said...

Oh. I love that mantra. Don't hate me for "borrowing" it in 2 wks for my 20k, ok? :) I love that you were able to smile through the suck.

wendy said...

Great job Jen!!!

Sarai said...

COngratulations Jenn! Now I want to get out and run. Glad to know you had a good time. Congrats again!

katie thompson said...

just got some vibrams. you need to fill me in on the must knows of these shoes.

Amanda@runninghood said...

oh Jen this is wonderful!!! I am so glad I'm having a chance to get caught up on blogs and so glad I didn't miss out on this! You are wonderful! And you look beautiful doing it! seriously! Oh, I am still so unsure about what to do about water, GU, etc. Yikes. I need to figure this out! Congrats to you!! Is that a kid in the background running a marathon?! woah. Congrats again. xo

bobbi said...

I am so freking BEHIND! Not sure how I missed this...

You did AMAZING! What a great day! You should be ridiculously proud of such a SOLID mental and physical performance. Congratulations!