Saturday I ran my third (and final) St. George Marathon!! Woot!
Last year's marathon was super hot. Like 95 degrees at the finishline. FYI - the ideal running temp - 55 degrees. So yeah, way too hot. I spent all year praying that the weather wouldn't be like last year's. Well... it wasn't. It was worse! hahaha!
When I was walking to the bus at 4 am, I heard someone say that it was 80 degrees. Right then. I pulled up the weather on my phone. Guess what. They were right. !!!!!!!!!!!!
When we got up to Central, Ut, where the starting line is, I stepped off the bus and my heart sank. It wasn't cold. In fact it was down right pleasant. The announcer guy at the starting line announced that it was the warmest starting temperature that we've ever had. Which is exactly what he said last year.
At that point, I had a little heart to heart with myself. Okay, so it was going to be hot again. So what. As this is my last, I was determined to enjoy it no matter what. And as a benefit, I had actually done some specific heat training, so the heat shouldn't bother me as much as it did last year. And the fact that I dropped a frying pan on my foot the night before wasn't going to bother me either! (yes, this is true. It was weird, and I felt it the whole time, but it wasn't really a problem!) I had brought a camera with me this time and that brought a bit of fun as well! :)
Here's us loading the bus (at 4am)
Anyway, the race. It was fun. Ever wonder what it looks like being in the middle of the pack of a marathon? It looks like this:
I ran a stellar first half, but - as expected - I slowed when things started heating up. There were thick clouds in the western sky, and even though I was cheering them eastward all morning, the sun seemed pretty determined to burn them off whenever they got too close. So, the clouds didn't really help. They just made it more humid. lol!
But the heat really didn't bother me too much. The thing that was really bringing me down were sudden and frequent cramps in my calves, that started at about mile 14. I had to stop virtually every mile to stretch out my calves. I have never had this happen before! It was awful! But, I kept on keeping on. It was interesting. The usual spot for my legs to start getting sore didn't bother me at all. The entire run. But my calves? Nightmare!
Here's me at mile 20. Good times. (You know, every time I took a self portrait, some other runner offered to take a picture. How nice...)
Considering all factors, I decided that I would be happy with just beating last year's time. I didn't know if my calves would allow such a thing, but that was what I was hoping for! The single most liberating moment came at mile 24, when I realized that I could literally walk the last two miles and still beat last year's time. I came in 6 minutes under!! Even with added adversity and extra heat, I managed to improve. That was awesome!! I managed to run across the finish line, waving to my sweet family, and see a good friend who was volunteering, who greeted me with a big hug! It was a great ending to the race! (ps - I made a video as I crossed the finish line. But it is so bumpy that I can't really post it...)
This is Chelsea. She's awesome. And, my neighbor, came with her kids and cheered me on at the finish line too! It was so so sweet! Then, on to pictures with the family!
Me and the sweet hubby!
Me and the kiddos!
Me and my sister!
And me and my mom!
And so, thus ends my marathon running career. On a hot but happy note. Although, next year's race isn't until October 7th. I'll bet that one will be cooler...