Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Glorious Ogden Half Marathon (by: Kristin)

This race is dedicated to:
Mr. Hottie McHotterson

I barely slept the night before the race- lots of tossing and turning and checking the clock.  I have decided I hate race mornings with their painfully early hours and endless to-dos (up at 3:30, drink water, bathroom, Glide, belt, outfit, chip, bib, drink water, winter clothes, bathroom, sunscreen, hair, face, shoes, map...).  Matt took me to the buses where I met up with D, S, Amber, Rick, and Julie.  The bus ride up took forever!  I wondered if they had mistaken us for the full marathoners.  The drives are always humbing,, helping you realize just how long the race actually is.  The race starts up lovely Ogden Canyon in a charming city called Eden.  There we racers waited for a looong time (the other thing I don't like about race morning). 
The temp was a little cold at the start, but I must say that the weather throughout the entire race was absolutely perfect.  It was nice and sunny, yet cool with a slight breeze.  We keep getting lucky in our races, weather-wise. 
As we all kindof got into the groove of our paces, Danna and I paired off, and within a mile or 2 Suzy caught up to us (6 months pregnant, might I add?) and we ran together for a while.  D and S knew I wanted a PR this race, and I was determined to run alone if needed.  They tend to have to make bathroom stops often.  When aid stations were coming up they would sprint ahead and make a VERY speedy bathroom visit.  I would slow down a bit and we'd get together again.  At one point I realized that I really needed to speed up if I was going to make my PR.  We were having so much fun chatting and it was just like the old training runs we 3 used to do together (we haven't had a really long 'long run' together in ages).  
Then I had an epiphany.  Why was it important for me to beat my PR?  I'm not a fast runner, I'm not trying to qualify for anything.  What I like about running and racing is the experience of it.  A PR is nothing but me competing with myself and possibly not enjoying races as much.  I decided to stick with the girls and love the race.  And seriously, this race was just pure joy!  It's so nice to feel good, run with fabulous girlfriends, and just take it all in.  
The aid stations for this race were every single mile!  And they had the genius idea of letting local businesses run the aid stations.  Every station is basically an ad for that business, and they compete which each other to have the coolest station.  It's ridiculous how full our belt pouches were by the end of the race.  They gave away such things as...a whole pack of Five brand gum, every flavor of GU and Clif Bar at every station, otter pops, hard candies, skittles, twizzlers, pretzels, fruit, other candy, and every first aid item imaginable (Icy Hot, Vasoline, Sunscreen packets, etc.)  How fun is that.  Danna, for example, had over $15 worth of GU in her belt at the finish line.  Funny!
As for the course itself, it was absolutely gorgeous!  We ran through the beautiful canyon, always next to either a big pretty lake with boats and ducks, or a lovely river with charming little houses all along it.  And the hills were green and gorgeous.  Then we run through this charming little series of parks on a running trail- under trees, under and over bridges, through tunnels.  The race ends on Historic 25th Street with a huge crowd. 
A few other pluses for this race:
None of the aid station bathrooms had a line!!  Ever!  And this is the only race I've ever run where all the spectators actually cheer for you!  (Not just for their loved one.)   I mean all of them!  And all the volunteers had cow bells or music or something.  They were scattered all along the course and constantly cheering.  So great!  I have nothing but utter praise for the Ogden 1/2.  We may consider the full next year it was so great!  Oh, and the drop bags?  Perfectly organized and ready for you to pick them up yourself.  I know you were all wondering.
Okay, so at about mile 10.5 or 11 we were running along happily, and Matt called my cell.  He told me exactly what time I had to finish if I was going to make a PR and told me to pick up the pace!  I did the math and realized a PR was possible, but only if I ran faster than I ever run.  I was feeling so good, I figured, what the heck!  Danna and Suzy agreed to do it with me (the babes) and we kicked it into high gear.  We were furiously passing people and started even getting annoyed that they were constantly in the way (so not our usual style).  We were constantly shouting, "On your left!" and weaving through the people.  Thanks to their Garmins, we were ever aware of our speed too.  After a while, as you can imagine, we got veeery tired (I remind you again, Suzy is 6 mos. pregnant)!  We were doing over 2 minutes per mile faster than our norm.  
We began to groan and complain around mile 12.5.  We were desperate to see the finish line. The closer we got the more we panted and grimmaced,  Adam was there taking our picture at one point and possibly thinking, "Wow, I've never seen them like that.  Did they hit the wall or something?"  We soon caught sight of the finish line and were outright whining (except Danna, who was the faithful cheerleader.  You see, she's been speed and distance training diligently.  We saw the pay-off here as she endured much better than we).  At mile 13 we were in sheer survival mode.  I was doing mantras in my head like never before.  Just when I was near despair, the huge Ogden High School band (right next to us) started banging their drums to the perfect, intense beat and their big brass sound willed me forward.  I heard Matt scream my name near the finish and had only enough energy to smile at him desperately and blow him a kiss.  Danna, Suzy and I finished holding hands!  And then it was straight to the mist showers for a loooong turn.  
Then someone generously doused Suzy with their water bottle.  (She was suddenly way overheated.)  Danna took her to the shade and she was soaking wet.  Then she suddenly got way too cold and started shivering.  Luckily my cousin Jen was a first aid girl there. Long story short, we took Suz to the medical tent where she got such fun medical treatments as this:

Sun + space blanket + new clothes.  I'll let Suzy or Danna tell the rest of that story, but bottom line- Suzy and the baby are ok!  I also went into the medical tent and got iced (my co-worker Michelle was working there too and wrapped the ice for me).  Matt may not have gotten a volunteer shirt this time, but he did sneak into the finisher fair with me.  Races must bring out his mischievous side.  

Ams finished magnificently too- and at a sweet pace, might I add.  We went to look at the chip times and mine was the exact same as my previous PR.  I was pissed!  All that work for nothing!!  But, there is a good ending to this tale my friends.  When the official times came out online, mine was ONE MINUTE faster than my previous PR!  Hahaha!  Yessssss!  And it was all worth it.

Ice ice baby.
Also note the unusally tan legs (if you know my white self at all).  Thanks Clarins.


PS: My finish time: 2:31:57


Mindy said...

You need to run the Top of Utah {full or half}. Strangers cheer for you the entire way! LOVE IT.

Krissy said...

Great post! LOVED IT.
I had an awesome experience running the Ogden Marathon and you helped me relive it. Like you said it's so amazingly beautiful and so serene. I wish it were normally safe to run down Ogden Canyon. I'm glad you stayed with your friends - it definitely makes it way more fun, and it helps to have support and makes the time go by faster too. And like you, I hate the night before a race and race morning. My nerves are ridiculous - it's like Jr. High track all over again. I hate it so bad. As much as I know outwardly that it doesn't matter - I still can't shake the nerves. It's one of the reasons I don't really like to run organized events.
- Congrats on your best time! I'm proud of you! You should def run the full next year!

Karin said...

Oh, man, I wish I had been there! For real Whey to go on beating your PR!!! Yeah baby. I can't believe your friend ran at 6 mos preggo. I would never be able to do that ever!

Karin said...

Oh, man, I wish I had been there! For real Whey to go on beating your PR!!! Yeah baby. I can't believe your friend ran at 6 mos preggo. I would never be able to do that ever!

Davis Family said...

Loved all the're writing is so enjoyable to read. Yea for beating your PR! Such a runner you are.

Irene said...

What a great idea to have the local business sponsor the aid stations! It sounds like you came away with a lot of stuff!

Congratulations on you PR!

Heyhay said...

I wish I could've been there but I thought about all of you that morning. The race sounds like it was way fun. Congrats on your PR!

Tanya said...

Good for you girl! I'm so impressed! So, this is like a life thing for you, not just a stage? You're seriously a marathon runner now!

Angie said...

Remember how I love your blog??! I ran 5.5 last weekend! Crazy right? Remember when you told me in October I should run a marathon and I laughed at you? Hm... maybe not a full, but a half is for sure within reach- right? Thanks for being so inspiring!

Tink said...

It is a small world. I ran the Ogden Half Marathon with my friend Sue, We are run/walkers and when we would get behind Amber Prince we would make scary noises she would run faster. We talked to her while we were on our walk breaks. Next thing I know I'm ready your blog and there is a picture of her on your blog.

nyla Gregory said...

Hey...way to go Kristin. Sounds like a beautiful run. Congrats. Wish I'd been there. Thanks for the pics.

pam said...

You are wonderful! I really enjoy these blogs--yeah, I know illiterate computer person that I am, I hadn't heard of "blog"
I thought about you when the Ogden marathon was announced. Good that it was a nice one, and it seemed to be much more organized. Good for the pepper spray; however, have you thought about wasp spray? It has a very good effect on the attacker, plus if you get the kind that sprays 20 feet away (some spray 40), then you don't have to be so close to the attacker. True, they are a bigger can; but I have seen them come in small cans --like for camping.
Keep me updated!!
Loves, Pam