Monday, May 21, 2012

Ogden Marathon 2012- #8

A couple of weeks ago I started seriously thinking about running the Ogden Marathon.  I kept thinking of my name on the list with a big DNS next to it.  You all know how I relate running to life and I just kept thinking that I did not want a Did Not Start to be on my record of life.  I'd rather have a Did Not Finish, where at least I could say I tried.  Rationally, I know I should not have even attempted.  Or I should have just done the half.  Since the stress fracture this winter my training has been minimal.  I've been cautious.  I've been good.  And because of that I worked up to a 6 miler, a 6.5 miler, a 9.5 miler, an 8 miler, and a 10 miler on the weekends.  My other 2 or 3 runs during the week were not over 5 miles.  Granted, a lot of miles have been done on trails which I think are harder than normal miles, but still...this was not even close to adequate marathon training.  Still my heart has really tender feelings for the Ogden Marathon and I did not want to miss out.

I started making plans for how I could run it.  I promised myself that if I felt ANY ankle pain at all, I would immediately quit and get a ride down to the finish line.  I promised myself that I couldn't have ANY expectations of even finishing and that I would have to be o.k .with that.  I told myself that it was going to just be fun to run with a bunch of other people in a beautiful part of the world. I knew I was going to hurt.  Marathons just do that to you.  But I didn't want to miss out on that hurt.

Two days before the marathon I got this quote in an e-mail, "Your mind will quit a thousand times before your body will.  Feel the fear and do it anyway."  I thought it was perfect and knew that it would be my mantra going into this run.  Kind of like "Embrace the Suck".

I woke up marathon morning seeing that finish line.  I wanted it.  I kept telling myself that it might not happen but the part of me that was o.k. with not finishing was slipping.  I really just wanted to finish.  I still was firm in my mind that if I had any pain that felt like an injury I would stop.  But nothing else was going to keep me from that finish line, no matter how long it took me.

I had lots of little gifts along the way.  First, I met up with Mel, who bought her bib the night before and was using it as her last 20 mile training run before Utah Valley.  I didn't know if I would see her in that sea of people, but saw her as soon as I crossed the street to load on the busses.  I got to ride up with her and chat the whole way.  I got to stand by the fires with her and stand in the portapotty lines with her.  It was such a blessing to have a buddy.

It was in the 30's- very chilly.  There was frost on the ground and there was a fog over the river.
Despite the cold, it was beautiful.

I got to see Ashley around the fire pits as well and it was a welcome sight!  It was also nice not to be really nervous.

The next huge gift was that Mel and I got to run together.  She is a speedy bunny and so we don't get to run together very often.  But since she had already put in a lot of miles during the week, she was o.k. with hanging with me for a bit.  It ended up being until mile 18.  What a huge blessing.  I can't even say how great it was running with a friend, getting to know her better, and having a partner for that long.

I had one real goal going into the run.  I wan't to run up the hill at mile 14.  The first two years I ran this marathon I walked at least a part of it.  Last year I walked with someone else who needed to walk.  This year, I wanted to conquer that hill for me.  And I did.  And it felt SO good.  After that point stopping would have almost been o.k.  Almost.

Next gift, my body was doing great.  I was careful to take it easy from the beginning.  I was slightly concerned about my right rear end.  I strained it doing handstands on the front lawn with the kids earlier in the week and it was just working itself out.  I was worried that after all those miles it would tighten up again.  While it did a bit, I was able to stretch it out a couple of times and it was good.  The calves started to cramp just a bit around mile 20 or so but a quick walking break seemed to help.  The worst thing I suffered with was a side ache that would never completely go away. It moved from side to side, up and down, but bugged me off and on throughout the race.  I'm still sore from that today and my abs will cramp if I get into the wrong position.  Crazy.

Another gift was talking with an amputee about his accident and the marathons he has run since then.  He was inspirational and our conversation came during the last mile.

After Mel and I separated at mile 18, I knew I was going to finish.  And I did.  5 hours and 5 minutes.  And though I didn't have anyone at the finish line for me, by a little tender mercy, there was Ashley and her family.  I got to sit with them and eat ice cream and drink chocolate milk on the grass.  It was a beautiful day.  A good day to be alive.  

 I'm still pretty sore today but I love it.  More pictures and lessons learned and frustrations to vent, later on in the week!


susette said...

Beautiful recap. You're an inspiration. You make running a marathon seem so easy. I WILL run a marathon someday. That is so cool you saw people you knew. Running alone and being at races alone is no fun for sure.

Good job on your time.

Penny said...

Congrats on getting to run Odgen Marathon. So very happy for you. Awesome that you got to talk to alot of neat people that were very inspirational to you to.

Rachelle Wardle said...

Whaaaat? Jen you are incredibly! wow, wow, wow! I had absolutely no idea you were running this but I must say I am not suprised. You are so strong mentally and physical. Wow I am completely inspired right now and don't even know what else to say. Congratulations!!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

That's great that you were able to finish the marathon! Great time!

Ashley McKenna said...

Congratulations! That is fantastic! Hope you're taking good care of yourself today :)

Running In Boise said...

So awesome! Congrats!

Tasha @Healthy Diva said...

Loved your pictures and recap. Congratulations on your finish. I don't care what anyone's marathon time is, it is an accomplishment to finish no matter what.

Laura Boll said...

Wow! Congrats to you! I'm so glad you got to run it, and had no pain (other than the usual soreness). Beautiful recap, too!

Cory Reese said...

You are incredible! Glad you got to meet up with Ashley.

Last year I ran Ogden with much the same apprehension. I actually read your blog right before the race and wrote on my hand "Embrace the suck".

Fortunately for me, there was 5 hours and 42 minutes worth of suck to embrace. (

Your reminder helped get me through. Congrats on another awesome race!

Missy said...

Congratulations! You did great!

Alma said...

So inspiring. I love that you woke up wanting the finish line. Congratulations on marathon #8!

Coy Martinez said...

Great race report!! You went out with a great mindset and had a great finish!! That's so important! Plus, you ran the hill at 14!! Congrats!

Scallywag said...


By the way I got my laces and gum and crystal light, thank you so much! I'll send you photos soon :D

Katie said...


Julie Arts said...

Ohhhh!!! I'm so happy you got to run it!!! What a blessing to finish when you didn't even know if you were going to start it!!

ashley & sundance said...

OMG... I got a little teary eyed reading your recap.

I wish I was as positive as you were during this race!

You are such a HUGE inspiration to me!

SO SO SO SO glad I saw you pre & post race!


Mel said...

I really really enjoyed running with you! Thanks for putting up with all my bathroom stops and never-ending chatter. You are an amazing person and I admire you in many ways!

Michael said...

Hey, I just read this now. I must have been knee deep in training in May to have missed this great post. Congratulations on number 8. You have such passion towards running, towards life. Yes, it is a good day to be alive. Mike