Adventures In Running

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Park City Marathon

The Park City Marathon was held on August 22, 2009. This is my third year in a row running this race. Finishing this race means I am one step closer to getting a guaranteed entry into St. George in 6 weeks. A few weeks back I was seriously considering not doing any more marathons the rest of 2009 - now I am doing 3 in 6 weeks.

I am not going to post my splits because I did not 'race' this race. I went into it as a training run for St. George. This has not been my summer for running between injuries and illness. Even this week I battled being sick Wednesday through Friday and my cough kept getting worse.

Leslie and I decided to start a little after 5:30 and I was going to pace her at a run 4/walk 1 pace through the marathon. It turns out they changed their early start method, so we inconvenienced the RD a bit, but she let us start as a second wave. I think we finally headed out between 5:40 and 5:45 a.m. Luckily it was warmer up there than the past two years (49 when we started) - so on top I had my UVM shirt, sleeves, and gloves and was pretty warm except for right around sunset.

The first four miles were a challenge in the dark, but we found the course okay with headlamps. Gary was running as a bandit and Leslie's pacer. I had planned to stick with Les the entire race, but the first few miles gave me an indication that I was going to move faster than her and since she had Gary, I finally told her I needed to take off at 6 miles.

Continued with the 4/1 schedule and was enjoying getting the legs moving faster after that. The first runner passed me right at 8 miles and was already about 100 yards up on the second place runner, then another 100 yards before the next two runners.

Shortly before that the 4 hot air ballons were up in the air. I always enjoy watching them as I run.

AmberG passed me around 9.5 miles as the second female runner. She was only about 50 feet back from the number 1 female and I hope she won. I saw the former #1 & 3 runners at the turn in Park City and never saw Amber, so hope she was in the lead by then. (It turns out she did win. That is incredible).

Davy Crockett passed me around mile 10 and said hi. I can't believe he ran the equivalent of another marathon on Friday - but up to the top of Kings Peak. He is awesome. I wish I could do the mileage and crazy runs he does.

I was really hungry about mile 11-15, so started popping in a bit more shot blocks. I decided the Park City Marathon course is a bit like having a baby. I only remembered a few uphills, but when you get on the course, you find out most of the first 16 miles is uphill, with a few more thrown in later for fun. I forget about them after the race.

Did a little more walking on the steeper uphills through the backside of old Park City and up to Deer Valley. It is sure nice to get to the top of the parking lot and get some downhills after that. It was starting to get really warm then, but I had a woman offering free showers hose me down pretty good and that helped a lot.

About mile 19.5 I was cruising down the city street when some runner rudely elbowed me. Almost said something not nice when I realized it was RAD, accompanied by a posse of Smooth and Bec. We said hi and then got our picture taken together at the mile 20 aid station (where I was grateful for bananas and oranges).

The legs were starting to feel a bit tired and I had a few tiny twinges in what felt like the ITB area on the left knee, but knew I just needed to keep pushing and get done. Shortly after the old barn, we turn and head through a culvert and I saw my sister up ahead waiting on her bike. She accompanied me the rest of the race and took pictures for me. It was great to have her along and see her looking healthy and having fun with me. She is a great support system (especially since she had to be a nurse tonight from 2-10 and again tomorrow from 6-2).

The mailman from my work, Mike DeWaal caught up to me around mile 22. He pushed me for a mile until Marcia caught up and took our picture and then I dropped my pace again. Mike was running this as marathon number 49, so that St. George will be number 50 for him.

It was nice to pass the final uphill right before mile 25 and get near the end. I had a great kick at the end - which leads me to believe I had more in me than I knew. But - again - this was a training run, so that is how it should be. It was nice of them to give me a medal in my favorite color of blue - and it matched my outfit!

Stood around the finish for a while, then walked back out a half mile to meet Leslie and Gary and run back to the finish with them.

My sister then took me to lunch at the Cottonbottom Inn for their yummy garlic burgers.

I plan to ice bath tonight and then tomorrow do some ultra marathon prep by doing 11-13 miles slow to get my body used to moving on tired legs.


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