how do you know if someone has run a marathon?

October 28, 2013

Here I go!

Over the summer when my parents came to town my dad, sisters, and I ran a 10k down in Provo. Then my dad registered for the Top of Utah Marathon that happens in Logan every September and suggested my sisters and I might want to run the 5k or something. 

the starting line with my favorite dad.

So that's when I reminded myself I wasn't going to be in school all summer and I would have plenty of time to train and I had always wanted to run a full marathon and, well.. this might as well be it!
So I told Papa Smurf I wanted to run a marathon with him! He helped me set up a training schedule set up a training schedule for me, and checked up on me I called him all the time to ask about potential injuries and where I should run and how to reset the mile counter in my car and what website he uses to map out trail runs..

i'm so happy we did this together!

Then my roommate Lindsay decided she wanted to run a marathon, too! Turns out our summer schedules were completely opposite, so we never had a chance to train together. But we still trained! Some weeks I fell behind and at one point her knees started really hurting, but I think it always helped to know the other was training at the same time and that we were in it together.

i don't know why these don't work
but this is pre-race lindsay.

Race week! It finally came! My dad had of course been keeping up on his training, but Lindsay and I had both slacked a little bit.. But no backing out! I think I ran maybe twice during the last two weeks leading up to the marathon.. whoops! I was pretty sure I had a stress fracture in my foot, so what can you do? The only thing I did do really well was carbo-load. Pasta every night the week leading up to race day. Sometimes I made it, sometimes Stefan made it for me, and Thursday night my parents even took Stefan and me to Gloria's Little Italy! (<<ooh, look! my parents met my boyfriend!)

i thought i cropped these? whoops. emmetts!

Well both mine and Lindsay's cute boyfriends wanted to come cheer us on. We didn't even have to beg! It really makes things nice, the fact that they're best friends. So the day before the race we all drove up to Logan and met my parents, Grandma Emmett, Molly and Austin for dinner at Beehive Grill. Linds, my dad, and I kept on with the carbs, and we all drank too much homemade root beer. After dinner we went to the (..less than impressive) expo to pick up our race packets and some cute legit, hardcore, pro-status TOU Marathon socks. Then back to Norda's basement for the best night's sleep of our lives..! heh.

this was running past all the burnt bushes. it was really important. i'm sad these aren't working.

I never have trouble waking up on important days, so when 4:15am rolled around I was wide awake. I took a shower, put on some mascara - sue me - ate a bagel, a banana, and swallowed some cold medicine. (because of course, why wouldn't I have come down with a cold that week?) By 5:00am all the runners - my cousin Kristin, uncle Bill, dad, Lindsay, and I - were pulling out of the driveway headed toward the shuttle buses at the park waiting to drive us waaay up the canyon.

the best picture we've ever taken. we're having fun!

On the forever-long bus ride to the starting line Lindsay and I talked about how there was no backing out now because we both have "pride issues." haha. It was freezing at the starting line! Good thing we had all our extra layers of clothes - courtesy of DI - because the huge tent they had to keep us warm smelled super freaky and no one wanted to stand inside it with me. (I had a stuffy nose and therefore.. didn't care about the fumes. tender mercies.)

no one has ever been happier to have a mouth full of gummy bears.
We chatted and took pictures and by the time the race was about to start the sun was on it's way up! We started out toward the back, near the five hour pace setter. The first six or so miles FLEW by. I credit it to the fact that I rarely run with other people, and now all the sudden I had all these neat people to talk with! It made those first miles go so fast. And it was so fun. Lindsay even kept yelling about that. "This is so fun!" And she meant it! And it was!

this is my cute boyfriend.

It wasn't until about mile twelve that I started to notice my foot hurting. I credit that to the fact that I was too cold up until then to even really feel my foot.. Once we hit halfway the volunteers started handing out real food (bananas and oranges) at the aid stations, which was so helpful. That's also when we really started popping some pain medicine AND when I realized we were close to my pace from my one and only half marathon way back when AND that that meant if we wanted to, we could definitely break five hours. oooh.

seriously, the cutest.

At mile fourteen the course is finally out of the canyon. And that means.. support teams! Right when we started needing them we saw our support team - my mom, Molly, Austin, Taylor, and Stefan - on the side of the course, complete with motivational posters and gummy bears! It was so fun to have them there! They had mapped out a few places to meet us - every three or so miles from mile fourteen to the end - but ended up adding even more as we went. (Lesa must have that course pretty well memorized or something..) We also ran into my uncle Bob plus my uncle Tom's whole family along the course! Not to mention all the tons of people out supporting who would cheer for everyone they saw. 

"we're going to get shiny medals!"

By the time we hit mile seventeen or so, it was getting warm. Once we were up around mile nineteen Lindsay and I realized this had officially become the longest run of our lives, and that felt scary and really tiring. We had still been chatting for most of the race, but that was slowing down. I remember Linds and I both saying at mile thirteen, "Halfway done? We've got this! I definitely have another thirteen in me!" ..that was gone by mile nineteen. After that we kept telling ourselves to just take it one mile at a time.

the runners and the boys? sure.

I can't say enough about our cheerleaders. Hands down they are what kept us going! And even though my dad was running with us, he's definitely included in that list. The last few miles of the race he started telling all the people watching, "This is Lindsay and Erin! They're running they're first marathon!" So then all those people felt obligated to cheer for us, and uncomfortable obligation or not that still felt pretty good. Our favorite was the sweet, older Hispanic lady who cheered for Lindsay in her thick, thick accent. "You can doo it, Lindsaaay!" 

paparoni and go cubs!

I'd say the most helpful/most embarrassing thing that happened the whole time was when we started.. cheering for ourselves. Just about the time we met the kind Hispanic woman we also started shouting about/for ourselves. "We're running our first marathon! We're almost done! We're having so much fun! It's pretty tough though! But we're going to get a big, shiny medal! We've got a football game to get to! (..we did. BYU-Utah. I don't wanna talk about it.)" The yelling went on for the last.. three or four miles. We needed to keep talking to distract ourselves from the heat and the pain, and that was the easiest, funniest way to do it. 
finish line hugsss

On the last few hundred yards of the entire course, Lindsay cramped up with a baaad charley horse in her calf. And then like a total champion finished the race, running. My dad ran ahead of us a little bit at the end, and then I made Lindsay hold my hand as we crossed the finish line. And while some people might tell us we looked like lesbian lovers, I don't even care. Crossing that line was one of the top five best feelings I've ever had. I don't know if I've ever felt more accomplished! We might have shed a few tears. I wanted to hug someone so badly I almost hugged a volunteer, but then I found my dad and hugged him instead.

i don't know what's funny, all i know is i couldn't bend my legs.

We forced our sore legs to crawl over to the grass where our biggest fans were waiting. We took a bunch of pictures, and ate a bunch of food. Right when we were getting our big, shiny medals this adorable older lady came up to us to tell us how proud of us she was! She said she had seen us at the starting line and seen how excited and enthusiastic we were, and she was so happy that we had finished - and were still excited and enthusiastic! We talked with her for a few minutes - Sue has run 60+ marathons, plus a ton of half marathons, and even ran in Boston this past year. She was so sweet, and I definitely wouldn't mind running into her at another race someday.

sue! 67th marathon. woof.

Afterwards we headed back to my Grandma Emmett's house for lunch, and then made our way back to Provo for the football game. It was such a fun weekend, and honestly I can't wait to do it all again! 

"here come the lesbians lovers from san francisco!"

1 comment :

Jake Emmett said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Running doesn't get any more enjoyable than this. Thanks for letting me tag along. I had the time of my life.

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