I have always said I am a fair weather runner and St. George has a great climate and always has nice weather in October. It was 1983 the last time it rained during the St. George Marathon. And this year it rained again, all day.
My friend Leslie and her family stayed with us the night before the race and we were able to ride the bus to the starting line together and hang out there before the gun went off. I have to say, Leslie is an incredible athlete! This was her second marathon and she did amazing! It was nice to be able to talk with her and feel her energetic attitude.
When we got to the start line, the marathon organizers~they really do think of everything~ had garbage bags for those of us who were unprepared for the downpour. I wore mine for the entire race! I really think it is a good look for me!
As we were sitting by the fires, trying to stay warm, we met a man from England, who actually had rented his home to the missionaries in my mission. It was fun to talk about places I haven't been in 15 years, and the rain was very reminiscent of that as well!
When the gun went off and I started out onto the course, to my surprise, the rain didn't seem so bad. It was cold, but it felt familiar, like a long lost friend. I know, that sounds so dumb, but I really was enjoying it. It seemed like we were running in the dark for a lot longer this year. There were a few people right out of the gates that slipped and fell. So I kept my eyes on the ground and just kept going, and tried not to worry about the slippery conditions.
At mile 7 I ran up the Veyo hill like it was nothing. Now I need to preface my week before the race here; I went down to St. George on Monday and spent the week there. My Mom had to have surgery, so the kids and I went down to help where we could. I didn't eat well all week, lots of sweets and even a trip to, dare I say it, McDonald's. (YUCK!) But I was really surprised by the way I felt, normally when I eat junk, I can really feel it in my running, but it didn't seem to make a difference on Saturday. By the way, my Mom doesn't have to have chemo! YEAH!
I was really sticking to my schedule for my Accellerade/Gatorade/GU and everything was going great. At mile 13 I was right on schedule for a 4:30 time, sounds familiar doesn't it?? By mile 16 I was feeling great and was using Janice's mantra of "Run Strong." (Thanks). The spectators on the side of the road were great, as they always are in St George. When I saw Snows Canyon I got a little weepy. It is an incredible sight on a sunny day, but I have never seen it in that light before, with the freshness of the rain.
At mile 23 I called my family to tell them where I was, so that they would be there at the finish line. I always seem to have a hard time those last few miles in town, but not on this day. I started counting (in my head, of course) the people I was passing. I wasn't nauseated at all and I just felt great! As I turned that last corner, I started getting more and more excited and I could see the finish line. I saw my cute family and ran over the finish line! My personal best! 4:15! I'm sure to a lot of you, that doesn't sound like a great feat, but all year long I have been trying to get a PR of 4:30 and have not been able to pull it off for some reason or another. But I finally did it! And it felt so good to surpass my goal!
I love the St. George Marathon. It is my all time favorite race! They just know how to do it! Their organization is awesome, the aid stations are awesome, the post race venue is awesome. This was my forth time running it and I loved it just as much, if not more, this year than in the past!
Things I learned from this race:
*Be prepared with a poncho/garbage bag.
*I need to wear better socks. I have always worn cotton, I know, I know, I learned my lesson.
*I am not necessarily a fair weather runner. Rain is NOT a bad thing!