Yesterday I ran the Provo City Marathon. Marathon #2 in 2 weeks.I didn’t originally plan to run marathons so close together,but then I won an entry into this Provo City race… and I love free. Just like the Salt Lake marathon 2 weeks ago, I had a plan for this one.Not too fast- nice and even. No marathon PR is going to be attempted any time soon. (I also have the Ogden Marathon in 2 weeks.) For me, I know I can’t full on race a marathon if I expectto be able to run another marathon so soon after… without injuring myself, that is. I did the last marathon a little faster than planned- at 3:45,so my goal was to try and finish between 3:50-3:55. I finished in 3:52:21, so right on target. Here’s the recap… with a lot of words and very few pictures. I decided to get a hotel room for the night before,even though the race was just an hour away. I found a good deal and just went for it :). I drove down, checked in and then headed over to packet pick-up. Super quick and easy to get my bib and get out. By that time, it was 7pm-so I ordered some Olive Garden to go and took it back to the hotel.
I looked through the stuff that they gave out at the expo and found nothing much except flyers-but I did like the shirt… which doesn’t happen often.
I only liked it because they let me get a men’s shirt.I don’t like women’s cut race shirts- they always fit me very strangely. After I checked everything out and made sure I had all my race stuff,I just chilled by myself in the hotel room- eating and watching TV.
It was kind of nice not having anyone coming in asking me questions, etc.I can’t remember the last time that I have been able to sitand watch an entire show without being interrupted ;). (Of course, it only took about an hour before I started to feel lonely.) I went to bed at 9pm and woke up at 3:35am.It wasn’t my best night of sleep ever,but it was very good for the night before a marathon. The buses started at 4:30 and I was on the 2nd bus.I like to get to the race start early to avoid long port-a-potty lines. Once I get up there and use the bathroom, I always start to wonder if getting there that early was worth it.It was REALLY cold up there.Luckily, they had fires going-so a perk of getting there early was being nice and close to the warmth.
THAT was the last picture I took until after I finished the race :). I eventually pulled myself away from the fireto head over and use the bathrooms again. The lines were now huge. They did NOT have enough port-a-potties. Usually, I will wait until right before the race startswhen everyone is hurrying to the starting line. The lines always get shorter when the race beginsand who cares if I start right at the gun?It’s chip timed, right? Well, the marathon and half marathon started at the same place.The marathon started at 7am and the half at 7:10. There were only a little over 200 marathonersand over 1000 half marathoners. So that plan wasn’t going to work. I should have gotten in the bathroom line sooner and I completely missed the start. By the time I made it through the line and got my bag dropped off,the marathoners were running by me and the half marathoners were starting to line up.Oops.The people at the start line were like”We shot the gun off 8 times, just to be sure all the marathoners heard! “Well, I did hear it- but I had to use the bathroom. I finally made it to the start and… started running. I ran a little faster than I planned to at first,but I wanted to find an appropriate pace groupsand they were all well ahead of me by that point.I passed a couple of the pace groups and finally caught siteof the 3:55 sign at about mile 3 and then slowed down.I stayed behind them for a while and just caught up gradually. I pulled up right with them around mile 7 or 8 and stayed nextto them until around mile 20-21. Fun thing about this race is that we run RIGHT by the half marathonfinish- watching them finish and knowing we are only halfway done. It didn’t really bother me as much as I thought it would. The first half was a nice gradual downhill through Provo Canyon. The 2nd half was just flat through some rural areas and neighborhoods.It also started to get a lot warmer and there wasn’t much shade. I felt myself starting to hit a wall around mile 18. I somehow thought we were at mile 19 and that sort of put me in a bad place for a few miles.I pulled a TINY bit ahead of the 3:55 group at mile 20-ishand stayed that tiny, tiny bit ahead until the finish. We ran a few miles on a trail that had some shadeand that was definitely appreciated by my body. Still, I slowed down a good amount the last 6 miles. I knew that I was well within range of my finish goal,so I just aimed to finish without walking (except through aid stations). The last 2 miles were a blur and the home stretch to the finishline seemed to take forever… but I made it! Nothing better than the sight of a finish line after 26.2 miles!
I ended up with 2 medals,because I somehow wound up 3rd in my age group. The nice benefit of running in a small race :). The only way I will ever win age group awards, but I’ll take it!
All in all, this race seemed well organized and the medals were nice. The buses to the start were efficient. As I already said, they didn’t have enough bathrooms at the start,but that really wasn’t a huge deal. They had plenty of aid stations along the way .I wish they would have had water bottles at the finish lineinstead of just cups of water. I need more water at the end. Cups are just awkward to carry around, too. The volunteers were awesome and the police officersout on the course were great and very encouraging. I stayed around the finish for a while to cheer people in. I liked that they had this guy up there calling out people’s name/bib #:
I had to walk along the home stretch of the course to get to my car,so I was able to continue to cheer for those who were finishing. This guy told me that he was finishing his 340th marathon!
Seriously amazing!I had to take his picture- even if it was super far away.I know I will never get anywhere close to that,but what an inspiration. It was also the husband’s birthday,so I hurried on home to celebrate with him :). (He’s such an awesome husband to let his wife run a marathon onhis birthday. I swear I made sure it was REALLY okay with him before I signed up for this race. I may have annoyed him with how many times I made sure he was okay with it.) I feel really good today,except for the top/side of my right foot.It is really sore and sort of throbbing.I am hoping that my shoes were just tied too tightly.(I already skip a few laces on my running shoes) Anyway- I am icing and elevating. Hopefully it gets better! And that was marathon #8.Marathon #9 coming in 2 weeks – Ogden Marathon!Well, as long as my foot is better.