Monday, October 11, 2010

St. George Marathon 2010

What an experience.   I’ve wanted to do a marathon for a couple years now.  This year I signed up really wanting to do it.  Unfortunately that desire didn’t translate so well into training.  This summer was busy.  I was sick quite a bit, we traveled a lot, and then school and work started.  I kept thinking I’d do it eventually.

It’s embarrassing really.  I didn’t train a lick.  The most I ran all summer at one time was the 6.2 miles I did in the mud run. And that was in June.

Crazy. I know.  What was I thinking? 

I was thinking that my entry cost money I didn’t want to completely waste,  I didn’t have anything else to do, and I wanted to see how far I could go. 

Mark and I joked the week prior about the Marathon on Saturday.  I told him there was absolutely no way I was going to finish, and I hoped I could make it half way.

After a terrible night’s sleep, I woke up at 3:45 to load the buses at 4:15.  (why is it when you really need to go to sleep, you can’t – drives me crazy)   I was hoping I wasn’t forgetting something really important that is just common knowledge to the typical marathoner. 

I took my phone with me, and was so glad!  I was able to text Mark the whole time.  Since I had no clue how it was going to be, It was nice to give Mark updates.   He was so encouraging too, It was almost like he was with me.

So I ran. 

It was really nice until around mile 11.  My calf started cramping really bad.   Mile 14, my knee screamed at me.  I texted Mark and told him I didn’t think I could keep going. 

I’ve been congratulated a lot, and it reminds me of the Nephites in 3rd Nephi when they boasted in their own strength,  when the Lord spared them.  I don’t feel good about taking the credit, because I prayed quite a bit during this race, and I know that I was blessed. 

By mile 16, my knee felt fine. 

Mile 17 I got to chat with my sister Lisa, who was working at an aid station, and I had an energy boost.  

Mile 18 my energy boost died.  But I came so far, I just couldn’t stop.  I would walk the rest of the way if I had to.

I walked and jogged on and off the rest of the way.  My calves gave me the most trouble.  I just focused on the next aid station where wonderful volunteers would rub Icy Hot on my sore muscles.

my dad, giving me water.Dad giving water 10-2-2010 10-53-17 AM

The last six miles, my feet really hurt.  I curled up my toes to keep them from hitting the end of my shoe.  I didn’t know what was going on with my feet, I just knew they hurt. 

Even though it was painful, it was exhilarating too.  Enjoyable even.  I like this sort of thing.  I like really hard workouts.  I like to push myself. 

The hardest part was the last 300 yards because I refused to walk.  All my muscles screamed at me, but I finished with tears of pain and relief in my eyes.   It took me 5 hours and 14 minutes.

The most enjoyable part was hugging Mark afterwards.  He was encouraging and supportive at a distance and it felt so good to be with him again.

Now I can say I’ve done a Marathon, but I don’t feel like I really did it.  I didn’t put in the training hours, and it was honestly a miracle I finished.  It was a very spiritual experience which I am grateful for. 

The recovery was hard.  I was too tired to take care of myself afterwards, and I was so incredibly sore.  I couldn’t walk normal for 3 days.  My toenails were black, and have now fallen off.  I feel great now though, and it’s all a memory.  One I hope I never forget.   I look forward to actually training and completing a marathon.  I think it will be much more enjoyable and satisfying.

my poor toes 10-2-2010 7-19-39 PM


Mark Ward

It was surprisingly spiritual for me as well. You're amazing Sara.


Congrats on finishing!!


I'm glad it was a spiritual experience. You are a brave, tough soul!

The toenails falling off thing scares the beejeezees out of me.