This is the 3rd year that I have done the Deseret News Marathon and 10k.
I love this race! I love the course, and the I love the crowds! Even though last year I wasn't pleased with my results, I totally felt like I could do better this year.
It's held annually on Pioneer Day in the cool early morning hours. The start line is up at the University of Utah Research Park and winds it's way down hill into the city, winding around the parade route and ending at Liberty Park. It's about 95% downhill. It's FAST, and once you hit the crowds of people lined along the parade route, you get an adrenaline rush that's incredible!
I was going solo for this race even though I had mentioned it to a couple of my runner friends. I slipped out of the house early, stopped at the Sev for a Monster and made my way up to the U.
I found a parking spot, and as I was getting out of the car, I realized that Splenda had no idea what time it started and I wasn't sure if he was going to make it to the finish line or not. I realized I would be running with my cell phone and car keys. I did the only thing I could........ tucked them into my sports bra and walked a few hundred yards to the start line.
The gun was set to go off at 6am, and it was now about 5:30 but a crowd was already gathering. All of us with running shorts, tanks, ipods, and bib numbers pinned in various places on ourselves. I tried not to draw any attention to the fact that I now appeared to have a square boob and some odd growth in my cleavage on account of the cell phone and car key ish.
I lined up right at the front, since I'm weird that way and began warming up. Getting my legs stretched, warm and loose. I had already set a goal to beat my best time, which was 2 years ago. I posted a 46:39 and I wanted to best it by at least 2 seconds. I was shooting for 46:37. I felt good, felt ready, and completely confident I could do it.
The gun went off, and away the crowd went. For the first time, I was actually JOSTLED around a bit. A little more bumping of bodies than normal, but I knew I was going to be roadkill for many people at the beginning and psychologically, that is totally fine for me. I would rather start right at the timing pad/start line and get passed by hundreds than start at the back of the pack and feel like I have to play catch up the whole race.
I hit a nice stride and pace and felt fantastic. About mile 2.5 is when I started to pick up a few roadkills. That definitely helps to add some speed! I hit the water station at 3 miles, took some nice long drinks on the run, and pushed hard.
As I turned onto the parade route, the people and their cheering is something to behold. Many are standing, clapping their hands, yelling encouragement and even offering food and drink. I like to look around to see if there is anyone I recognize and try to slap hands with the little kids that like to stand out there hoping for a "high five" from a runner.
At mile 4 I was getting a little worried about the "extra's" I was carrying. I was starting to sweat profusely and didn't want a ruined phone. The key was holding on okay, but I'm sure I was quite the spectacle as I groped around every so often to make sure it was still there. I knew some friends would be on the parade route (they sleep out for a spot every year) and I was hoping they would be in their usual area. Sure, it was on the home stretch, but I figured the sooner, I get the "extra's" out of my hiding spot, the better.
At this point, the route, is fairly flat with just an ever so slight downgrade. I tried to keep my pace, and felt pretty good. As I passed one family, the woman held up a sign to me that said, "Pain is temporary, Pride is Forever." I LOVE THAT!! I could not help but smile at her - give a thumbs up and push even harder.
I rounded the corner, and started the last mile or so. I began looking for my friends on the south side of the street, ready to pull out the "extra's" at any second. I finally spotted them, slowed enough to yell, "HEY - TAKE THESE!" as I hucked my phone and key in their general direction. I saw the teenage son catch my phone (mind you - grossly sweaty) and then grab my car key from the street. I'm pretty sure he is disgusted and will need some therapy to get over the fact that he had to catch my wet "extra's" that came from my cleavage. Poor kid.
I pushed a little harder and tried to maintain a hard sprint for the last half mile or so. I could see the finish line, I was racking up roadkills, and desperately wanted to see the clock.
FINALLY, I was within seeing distance of the clock and the chip pad, I pushed as hard as I possibly could and looked at the clock. 48 and some change. 48 something. 48............
BUMMED. Instantly BUMMED! What the heck man? I felt good the entire run. I felt like I was really kicking it! And yet, 2 minutes slower than my goal. In fact a whole minute slower than last year. I've gained a minute every year I have done it! I get older, I get slower. Sucka-rama!
I knew Splenda wasn't there, so I walked through the finishers area, grabbed a banana and the free Jamba Juice they were handing out. I started walking the route backwards to find my friends and retrieve my phone and key.
The walk back was painful. Not physically, but mentally. I was stuck on that stupid 48 and some change. I didn't understand what happened. I felt as good as ever. I just couldn't figure it out. I did see a friend/coworker run past so I started screaming and hollering and cheering his name. Of course he was plugged in so he didn't hear me, but I think I was highly amusing to others watching me carry on. Being someone else's cheerleader actually made me feel better.
I found my friends, apologized for the grossness factor and then figured I would be walking back to the U for my car. As I made my way east, I saw a text on my phone. Poor Splenda. He had woken up and didn't realize the race had already started. Did I want him to still come down? No, I texted back. No biggie. But then, my phone rang and he was already on his way.
We met up on the street, I hopped in the 'stang, he dropped me off as close to my car as he could get (the marathon runners were coming in) and I walked the final few hundred yards to my car. I was starting to stiffen up, and the day was starting to get hot.
After some stretching, I headed home and as I sat in traffic, I got a chance to watch some of the marathon runners come by. I was insanely jealous! That's it! I gotta do the marathon next year! I realize I will never be a speed demon. And I think I am okay with that. I just love the feeling of having actually finished the event. Finish and post a respectable time is all I can ask for. I am going to learn to be happy with that. That's my new goal.
48:29.8 - 7:48 pace
16th in my age division
174th overall women (1233 total)
628 overall (2343 total)
Finally got a picture after I got home, and of course, Sissy needed to pose to.
My favorite part of it all? Besides the awesome sign?
Sissy: "Mimi - what you do?
Me: "I ran a race this morning."
Sissy: "Mimi - you da runner"
Me: "Yup baby, Mimi's a runner."
Sissy: "Mimi - I be a runner too."
I can only dream she will love it as much as I do!
**Right before I published this I went back and read last year's post. I sound like a total whiner about my performances. I am determined to become happy with my self. DETERMINED I SAY!**