So after plenty of gentle ribbing to complete a post about MY marathon experience, I managed to find a night where I can't do any homework (I accidentally left it at school . . . I have NO idea what I'm going to do to finish it, but hey, I'm enjoying the moment!).
Before I begin, I should state that given a choice between Naomi's and my experience . . . I would take mine ANY day. Not only did she have to deal with getting
Brooklyn up super-early, but she had to ride in a car while Liz was driving! (that's a life-pass-before-your-eyes moment if I ever knew one! hehehe Liz you crack me up!)
So my version of the story began at 3:30 AM Saturday morning, a morning not unlike any other Saturday morning, except for one tiny thing . . . insanity was in the air. Jennie and I walked from my grandparent's condo in St.
George, right next to the LDS temple, to the finish line of the race, where we boarded the bus that would take us to the start line. Now, and incentive to board the first bus of the morning (4:00AM) is that you're given priority status in the massage line after the race, and one wicked-cool smiley sticker on your tag. Did I mention the cool sticker?! Oh yeah, it was sure worth it to get on that %#^$% 4 AM bus!
At the starting line, we settled down for the 2 1/2 hr wait until the start of the race. I was actually pretty cool! They had literally about 100 bonfires going on the side of the road to help keep you warm while you waited (we were grateful; it is COLD in the desert at night). This was also the time that it started raining, and it didn't stop until well after the race.
I was completely in awe at just how many people there were! I think a good metric of how many people there are in a race is how many porta-potties can be found lining the road at the start-line. I couldn't count them, I'll leave it at that!
Well the race started out great, and I loved it! Now the rain has its pros and its cons during a long race like this.
Pro: It helps cool you off while running so you don't over-heat
Cons: After running for over 3 hrs with wet feet, it turns your poor abused feet into soggy raisins! This actually caused problems for quite a few people. Luckily, I didn't realize how sore it made my feet until after the race.
So for the first 21 miles, I did great! I kept up a very even 8 min/mile pace, while kept me right at my goal of finishing the race in 3 hrs 30 min. It was actually very enjoyable. It's fun to chat with other runners and get to know people. There's plenty of people who run "for a cause" and advertise their cause with pictures on the t-shirts and such. It's fun to talk to these people and find out their stories.
Well, the fun ended at mile 21. There was a conversation that went on between my right leg and my left leg that went something like this:
Right leg: Alright buddy, I've had just about enough of this, what do you say we end this?!
Left leg: Yup, I'm with you! 3 hours of this torture is enough for me, let's get back at this schmuck!
Right leg: Right! Al right, I've got a plan, and the count of three we'll both sieze up and lock all the muscles we've got in these legs!
Left leg: Hehehe I like it, that's a great plan! This is going to be awesome!
Right leg: okay, this is it! on 3, 1....2.....3!
And of course, at this moment, every single muscle in both of my legs completely seized and locked at the knees and the ankles. I sure this was humorous to people who saw it, as I looked a little like the Young Forrest Gump trying to run. To me though, it was PAINFUL! I've actually never experienced pain quite like that before; it's not something I can describe. It was the hardest thing in world to have my brain convince my legs to actually keep going. I had to stop and unclench my legs several times by stretching them out, but I did end up making it. The law of diminishing returns definitely applies, as that last 100 yards into the finish line was the longest 100 yards of my life!
But I did cross the finish line, just 10 minutes shy of my goal, which is not too bad I'd say! It was awesome, painful, extremely worth it and I'm going to do it again the next chance I get!