If you think after reading this recap that I am beyond in love and borderline obsessed with the St. George Marathon—> good job because you understood exactly what I am trying to convey in this post.
One thing that did go so very wrong—> my wireless headphones would not turn on. At mile 8 when I went to turn them on to help me get up the huge hill they just wouldn’t work. I even tested them the night before and made sure they were charging all night. As you know, I love my music. I had the best playlist ever ready to be listened to. I was really bummed but decided I wouldn’t let it bother me and whenever there weren’t people around me I would turn my phone music on just loud enough for me to hear the beat. I missed music dearly but at the same time it really helped me to stay in tune with how I was feeling and focus on the running and not the music.
Rewind to the start. We got on the busses at 5 and got to the starting line at 5:30. They had a bunch of fires to sit around because it was really cold. There was also a pretty strong tailwind which made me pretty happy.
The race started at 7 (15 minutes late which worked out perfect because it made it so my parents got there just in time to watch me finish).
I started out with my friend Amber and then got separated from her and fell into my groove. The first few miles were kind of dark but it was perfect running weather. I was excited when the sun came up because of the views.
I hit the 10k mark at 44:15 and my legs still felt fresh. I started to realize that it was probably going to be a good day for me.
Veyo. This pic was taken in the middlish of the hill. It went on for a long time and I didn’t do a lot of hill training in preparation so I definitely felt this hill. I didn’t pay attention to my pace at all on Veyo and used the same amount of effort on the hill as I did for the first 7 miles to avoid burning out early in the race.
I stayed at a pretty comfortable pace (for me) for the first half and then at 13.1 told myself it was time to get to work (which equalled only slightly faster than the first half but those paces were harder to hit with tired legs after the rollers from miles 7-11).
This is when we came down into snow canyon. True love.
After that mile I stopped taking pictures and focused on keeping a steady pace and loving the scenery. The last two miles are in the city of St. George which I loved because I grew up there and it was so fun to run by some memorable spots (like where my mom used to take me bowling on early out days from school:). I never hit the wall (I think I have finally figured out my nutrition) but my legs were pretty darn tired for the last 2 miles and it was also pretty hot at that time in the morning without any shade.
I finished at 3:12:40.
My splits were: 7:24, 7:19, 7:00, 6:59, 7:10, 6:58, 7:02, 8:18, 7:48, 7:52, 8:04, 7:28, 7:10, 7:17, 7:00, 6:57, 7:05, 7:16, 7:44, 7:15, 7:09, 7:16, 7:29, 7:05, 7:17, 7:25, .2 @ 6:56
The best was seeing my parents at the finish line. I thought they weren’t going to be in town until later in the day (for work) but they left extremely early that morning to make it to the finish line in time. The best. I got an ‘atta girl’ from my dad which is a huge deal in my family.
And Candice watched Brooke the night before the race and during the race. I am so lucky to have her.
Loved seeing all of my favorites.
And of course the post-race treats were delicious!
Eight things that I did differently this race that I think really helped me:
1. I REALLY held back in the beginning. My legs were begging me to go faster for those first few miles but I (for the first time ever) didn’t give in to my own peer pressure. I knew I wanted to really work for negative splits (the second half faster than the first half) and the only way to feel somewhat okay at the end would be to save some of my speed.
-I had a negative split of about 2 minutes and 34 seconds. First marathon that I have ever done with a negative split.
2. I didn’t put any pressure on myself. I was positive with myself the whole time (probably because I was doing better than I assumed I would so I was patting myself on the back instead of expecting more).
3. I WALKED during every single aid station. I was extremely worried about getting dehydrated because it was warmer outside than I am used to so I walked through all of the aid stations so I could really drink up (I did run through the last one ((maybe two, I don’t remember)) though because I knew I was close enough to the finish). I also would dump a cup of water over my head at most of the aid stations and that felt amazing. I always switch between water and gatorade at each aid station.
4. I put ice cubes in my sports bra for the last few miles. Life changing. It felt beyond amazing. TMI.
5. I ate two plain bagels before the race (one 2.5 hours before the start and one 1 hour before start) and 1/2 a Honey Stinger waffle 30 minutes before the start. I had plenty of glycogen racing through my veins (and had 3 gu’s along the course at miles 7, 15.5 and 22).
6. I did way more squats than miles this training cycle. Strong legs/glutes/hips pushed me through and the whole experience felt so much better than any previous marathon because of this strength training.
7. I forced myself to bed much earlier than usual the week of the marathon so I felt really good waking up at 4 on race morning.
8. I definitely enjoyed racing at a little bit lower elevation than what I train at. It felt easier to breathe.
Love the medal.
A few tips for this course:
1. Wear a hat or visor AND sunglasses. You are running into the sun for a majority of the race and unless you want a fun headache from the sun then wear these things.
2. Don’t even look at your watch on Veyo. It is kind of steep (in my opinion but don’t be afraid of it, just train for it). It is long. I turned my garmin around so that I couldn’t see it and worry about how much I was slowing down. I did not want to waste excess energy on 1 mile of a 26.2 mile race by forcing a certain speed on that hill. Just get to the top. There is a downhill after (along with another up but it isn’t as bad). I did the same thing for the hill that goes up under the overpass (mile 18/19ish)… didn’t even worry about pace, just made it to the top and cruised down.
3. PLEASE PLEASE shoot for a negative split. It is easy to go out fast on the first few miles (especially because they are downhill) but you will feel so much better at the end if you hold yourself back a bit.
4. My TWO FAVORITE spots were —> Coming down into Snow Canyon= I have never seen anything more beautiful (besides Brooke’s face) and as you are coming into St. George and the amazing crowds (around mile 23). Crying and smiling was all I could do at those two places. Savor every second of these spots.
5. Do not lose your lipgloss (a brand new one I might add) along the course. It is dry here. My lips were burning by the end. I should have gotten some vasoline at the aid stations (ps they also have people to put icy hot on you if you are hurting along the course).
6. Avoid leaning back on the downhills, your quads will thank you big time at the end. Stay perpendicular to the downhill.
7. If you aren’t going down, you are going up. There aren’t a ton of flat sections so train on some hills.
What is the most beautiful race that you have ever done?
Do you like to run races with friends/family? Or do you prefer to run on your own?
What are some of your goals for this week?
Do you race with music?