Jeff and I are still basking in our PR’s from Saturday’s Utah Valley Marathon. Thank goodness both of us exceeded our expectations and ran PR’s, otherwise it could have been a long drive home for one (or both) of us. That is the risk running couples take…. but the reward is AWESOME if both runners in the couple have success! It is so much fun to share the excitement of a PR with someone you love and have trained with. (I apologize for the nerdy sappiness, I will try not to make you gag anymore)
3:30 AM – We had to get up early to catch the 4:15 AM bus to the start. That is way early for me and I was glad I set everything out the night before; I was like a zombie getting ready. We stuffed our faces with bagels and peanut butter, a banana, and coffee before rushing out the door at 4 AM (nothing like cutting things close…...).
(Don’t ask me what Jeff is doing here, but he is thinking “I’m gonna own this marathon beotches!”)
4:15 AM – We were the last in line for the bus and therefore got the only school bus they had, rather than the luxury buses everyone else rode in. We ate the rest of our food (protein bars and GU chomps) and drank some electrolytes on the way to the start. Luckily the school bus had no shocks and every bump encouraged my intestines to get moving and I was ready to empty my bowels by the time we got to the start line (too much info, but I don’t care!).
6:00 AM – MARTHON STARTS!
Jeff and I jumped in a few minutes late and did the typical marathon start dodge-and-weave the first few miles trying to hold back our pace. Jeff and I stayed together and the first few miles FLEW by. In fact, we got to mile 7 and I thought it had only been 5 miles (I LOVE WHEN THIS HAPPENS!). It was about this time the wind picked up and was in our faces, I HATE headwinds. BUT the wind did cool us off because it started heating up at this time.
At mile 7, Jeff took out a GU and reminded me to do the same. Then came the first real hill, I just put my head down and owned it. It was also at this time that I lost Jeff. I love him, but I never looked back and just continued to run my race and my pace. Sorry Jeff…. but I knew you would be fine :)
[BARB] There were plenty of awesome down hills where I just let myself go, although the wind was still relentlessly pushing me back. Sometimes the wind was so bad that I would stumble a bit and I had to crank up my music just to hear it! I concentrated on passing people and made a little pact with myself that I would not let anyone pass me from this point on.
[JEFF] At this point, I decided to turn on my music…from my SanDisk (MP3 player). Yeah, they still make MP3 players. You can get one at Costco for just $59. It has 8GB of space, that’s a lot of MP3s!!! I really was feeling good especially after starting off 15 seconds per mile faster than I had planned. I told myself, let’s just go with this. Why hold back?!?!
[BARB] By the halfway point I hit a 1:39 and was on pace to hit my goal of 3:20. I also was feeling great and decided to increase my pace. I continued to pick people off, especially all the Lululemon-wearing matchy-matchy women. Seriously, I feel like every female ahead of me was taunting me from behind with either obnoxious ruffles or ugly patterned clothing. One female had on disgusting bun huggers with ruffles and her butt cheeks were hanging out. For some reason all of these horrible running clothes irritated me and I just wanted to get in front of them (or push them out of my way). Anger = fast Barb
[JEFF] At 13.1 miles, I looked down at my watch and saw I was on pace to run a 3:19 marathon. I thought to myself…well typically, for most people, the second half of a marathon is slower than the first half… Like 20 minutes slower, due to “hitting the WALL”. So then I said to myself, based on this statistic, I will not even PR today! This can’t be true. This is not good. Maybe I can just maintain my pace, and I won’t hit “the WALL”.
[BARB] I knew the second half of the marathon was going to be easier than the first from driving the course the night before, so I just continued pushing my pace and kept feeling great. The scenery was gorgeous and seeing women in ugly clothes ahead of me were few and far between. I was continuing to pass people and had yet to be passed, woooo hoooo! I took a GU at mile 14 and then again at 20. I also was drinking water at every water station to keep hydrated.
[JEFF] I knew that the second half of the marathon was more downhill than the first, but I still feared hitting “the WALL” or cramping up. But there was a tiny bit of hope in my little pea head, that I kept telling myself, maybe I can maintain and hit a 3:20, or even break 3:20! So I continued to run.. and think... and enjoy the scenery…
[BARB] I can’t believe how great I felt the last few miles. My splits in the last 10K were the fastest of the race. I just saw the finish and went for it. In the last .2 miles someone tried to pass me, the first person since I made the pact to myself at mile 7. Oh no you won’t pass me person…. so I just kicked it in, didn’t get passed, and finished with a PR!
3:17:19 (official), 99th finisher overall, 20th female, 5th in 30-34 age group
[JEFF] I told myself around mile 15…I can’t wait until mile 22.. b/c then I will only have 4 miles left.. well… 4.2 miles left. So I was getting so excited for mile 22!! ?? I know, I’m weird.
Mile 22 came and I was still on pace to break a 3:20 marathon. I felt good, and I could finally say I only had 4.2 miles left in the marathon. And the next few miles seemed to fly by. Every other marathon I’ve run the last 6 miles seemed like an eternity. Not today…not at the UTAH VALLEY MARATHON. I started to become a believer. A believer that I would be able to complete a marathon under 3 hours and 20 minutes… and guess what..?? I DID!!! BOOM! I am so lucky to be have the ability to complete a marathon, let alone in that time frame. WOO HOO!!
3:19:35 (official), 115th finisher overall, 97th male, 18th in 30-34 age group
** I (Barb) could hardly finish this because of the hilariousness of the difference between how I write and how Jeff writes…. and also how different are mind-sets were during the race! I think we should start blogging each of our accounts of every experience, too flipping funny and interesting!**
9:30 AM – WE ARE DONE RUNNING, got some water and a delicious creamy popsicle (don’t remember what it was called) and hobbled straight to the car and back to the hotel. A shower never felt so amazing…..
It was at this time I remembered that I didn’t get the Boston Qualifier shirt that I knew the race was rewarding to BQ-ers. We then checked out of our hotel, loaded up the rat dogs and all our stuff, and headed back to the finish to get my shirt and check out the finish line festivities. I got my sweet long-sleeved BQ shirt and a heck of steal at the California Pizza Kitchen booth ($1 for EVERY ITEM, we ate lunch for $6) before we loaded back into the car for Park City, UT to celebrate our PRs!!!!!
The Utah Valley Marathon is a GREAT race! It has great scenery, is mostly downhill, and is in a city full of ridiculously nice people. The race entry fee was reasonably priced and you get nice technical t-shirts, and if you get a BQ time, you get an additional shirt!!! SO COOL! This particular year was not blessed with great weather as we ran during a wind advisory (up to 50 mph gusts according to the news) and it was warm (60s). But if you get good weather, this race is DEFINITELY PR-friendly!