I have never been this excited for a race before. I knew my training was solid for what it could be (all runs were low heart rate and no speed work). I was just excited to be physically able to run.
Tim, Georgia and I left for St George around 3:30pm. We ate dinner on the way down and headed straight to the convention center. We stopped by the Crane’s house to say hello to all the kids. We had such a good time playing with them.
We spent the night at the MacDonald’s house. My bus time was 4:30am, but none of my friends had the same bus time. But I chatted with a dad/daughter from Dallas on the bus. I found Smooth and her daughter Larissa at the start. We chatted for an hour while waiting. It was definitely chilly.
I saw Heather B and her friend Cami in the potty line. Poor Cami was a wreck with nerves. I ditched all my warm clothes and found the 4:20 pacer. The gun went off. They were playing a great song at the start and I started to get teary eyed. I was just so happy to be there.
I stayed with the 4:20 pacer for the first 2 miles. I saw Susan Roundy and chatted with her for a mile or so. Then saw Bradley Johnson and a gym guy and ran with them till Veyo. I finally turned my music on. Veyo wasn’t as bad as I remembered and actually ran it very strong. Same with Dameron Valley.
My legs were starting to get a little heavy around mile 13 and I took some Exceedrin at mile 15. All my fueling/salt/water intake had been perfect thus far.
Around mile 18, I felt so good. We hit the downhill at Snow Canyon and I started to pick up the pace. I never looked at my watch, but I definitely found another gear. I still walked through every aid station and was jamming out to my playlist.
I found Heather’s friend at mile 20 and she was in bad shape. I grabbed her hand and told her to come with me. It’s hard to explain to someone what that first 20 miles feels like. I was feeling so good, I just decided to go for it. My last 6-7 miles were all in the 8:00 range (and considering all my training was in the 10:00 range, I was feeling very excited).
I saw Rachel at mile 22 and knew something must be wrong. Her hamstring was acting up and her stomach was sick. I was totally feeling for her.
I saw Tim and Georgia around mile 23 and that gave me a HUGE boost. The last 2 miles, my stomach started to get sick. I think it was too much caffeine. I slowed down a tiny bit to try to not vomit. I took a bag of ice and switched it from hand to hand. The temperature wasn’t hot, but being in the sun for so long was starting to take its toll.
I saw Tim and Georgia again near the finish. I was all smiles and felt so good about my efforts for the day.
I crossed the finish line and immediately felt like I was going to barf. I sat for a long time and the nice volunteer kept asking if I wanted to go to the medical tent. So I moved to a cooler by the water table. I saw Rachel come in and we talked for awhile.
I eventually found my family but had to sit as I felt so sick. We made it to the car and back to the MacDonald’s house. I quickly showered and we headed home. I felt sick until Beaver, then my stomach subsided.
One of the things I’m most proud of regarding this race was my mental game. My training had been OK, but my head game was so strong. This gives me hope. Hope that maybe someday I can earn my unicorn.
AP: 9:15 (9:50, 9:52, 9:22, 9:28, 9:30, 9:18, 9:15, 9:54, 9:41, 9:42, 9:41, 9:36, 9:19, 9:28, 9:12, 9:15, 9:01, 9:21, 9:19, 8:52, 8:22, 8:28, 8:32, 8:11, 8:48, 9:09)