Four critical problems happened in the days leading up to the Ogden Marathon:
1) I invited bad karma by avoiding germs with my No Kissing Policy.
2) My six year old begged to go on a date to McDonalds. The serpent beguiled me and I did eat. A Big Mac Combo meal. Very dumb.
3) The aforementioned six year old started barfing. I panicked.
4) Then, the day before the race it hit me. I'm not sure what IT was. Food poisoning? The flu? An ulcer? I don't know what it was that hit me, but it hit hard.
I knew I was in trouble when it felt like I swallowed a Gremlin. I couldn't eat or drink anything or else I would upchuck. I felt so sick that I almost didn't drive up to Ogden. This was not looking good.
We went to the marathon expo Friday which was exceptional. My favorite part was listening to a presentation by Bart Yasso of Runner's World. He told some amazing stories and showed a cool slide show of some of his experiences. It was a privilege to meet him.
We also bought his book "My Life On The Run" which he signed for us.
I still had a shred of hope that I would get feeling better and be able to race, but the night before the race I still felt disgusting. I hadn't eaten or drank hardly anything all day. I knew based on how I was feeling that a marathon was out of question. My whole body had that yucky weak, achy feeling.
At that point I wasn't discouraged about not being able to do the marathon. When a visit from the Grim Reaper sounds like a good idea, a marathon is the least of your concerns.
Although I knew it was a foolish decision medically, I decided to at least try the half marathon. This was a really special race and I didn't want to miss it. Picture below: brother Kenny, me, Mel, sister Hollie, and brother-in-law Kelly. This was Kenny, Hollie, and Kelly's first race ever.
The weather in Ogden was PERFECT the day of the race (although the downpour of rain the day before worried us). Just looking at the pictures of myself, I can see how miserable I felt. Honestly, I felt like I had hit the wall before the race even started.
There was a big crowd at the beginning as we headed toward the starting line like cattle.
The half marathon started with a few slight uphills before reaching this point where it was a steady downhill for the rest of the race.
We reached the first water station and I told Mel and Hollie to keep going because I was going to walk for a little bit. I didn't feel good.
A few miles later (around the point of the next picture), I came across Mel who was stretching her leg. Apparently her IT band and hip started acting up and she was sore. I was thankful to see her, if only for a minute.
I told her to keep going because this was her chance to beat me. Her leg was hurting though so she had slowed down. Then she told me to keep going and leave her. I told her I wouldn't and we finally agreed "I'll stay with you if you stay with me."
The support for the race was incredible. Maybe the best of any race I've done. There was never any shortage of Powerade. Obviously.
Not only was the support great, but the course was absolutely amazing. The canyon was beautiful. If I could design the perfect course, perfect scenery, perfect elevation changes, this would be it. I felt sad that I didn't have it in me to haul down that road.
The last few miles follow along the river on a bike path under a canopy of trees. It made things a little more congested at times, but the scenery was well worth it.
An area along the last mile was lined with artistically painted horses. They were interesting to look at, and gave us a good chuckle. Clearly we weren't overly concerned with our finish time.
I am so thankful I was able to run with Mel. I think she helped me get through some rough patches, and I helped her get through some. I am so thankful I was even able to run the half marathon. Judging by how I felt the day before and day of the race, I shouldn't have been able to do this. I feel so blessed.
I'll admit, I felt discouraged that after seven months of hard work I wasn't able to do the race I trained for. I had to remind myself that there will be plenty of other races in the future, and in the grand scheme of things, this isn't that big of a deal.
And just in case I did start to complain or feel sorry for myself, we came across this fellow runner in the last mile of the race:
I was so happy to cross the finish line holding Mel's hand up in the air. It was a great experience. I love her so much. We finished in 2 hours & 29 minutes. I think I still look like death warmed over.
Hollie was on FIRE! She cruised through the race, ended feeling strong, and is planning to get another race on the calendar right away. Kelly is incredible. He has had serious knee problems for months. He was in so much pain that I didn't think he would be able to do the race. But he did! I felt so proud. Kenny KILLED the race! He paced well and had lots of juice to speed through the last few miles. And then that night signed up for his first marathon, the Top Of Utah Marathon! These guys are amazing.
In a cruel twist of fate, the finish line was RIGHT BY a Hostess thrift store. It was the first time in days that I felt hungry. But we had no money with us. WHYYYYYYYYY! I considered panhandling.
Despite the disappointments, I was happy with our experience at Ogden. I CAN'T WAIT to do it again next year. (Hopefully another exciting announcement will be coming in the next few days.)
"The distance race is a struggle that results in self-discovery. It is an adventure involving the limits of the self."
~ Paul Weiss