I am so glad that I found a bib for this year’s Ogden Half Marathon. Sure it rained and was fairly difficult physically, but I love community events like the Ogden Marathon. In that regard it’s very similar to the St. George Marathon. It really isn’t JUST a race, it’s a community event. And, I love that combination.
This is definitely one of my favorite races in Utah. Sure, I say that a lot, but there are a lot of great races here in Utah. It’s pretty easy to find a race to run here every weekend. I love that.
There are a number of reasons why I decided to sign up for the race. The main motivation was that I had to drop my race this upcoming weekend, the Alpine Classic Half, because I am filming an exercise video (I’ll blog about that later this week). And, since I am trying to make the Park City Half on my birthday my 100th race I had to replace the race. So, Ogden worked perfectly.
Even when I knew that it was going to rain during the race, I didn’t let that dissuade me from finding a bib. Mainly, because I knew what to expect running Ogden in the rain, since I did exactly that two years ago. Heck I even ran in Eden (where the Ogden Half begins) last year in the rain and NOTHING could have been worse than that. So mentally I knew what to expect and how to physically prepare for it as well.
Wardrobe wise I wore my stretchy pants, a long sleeved tech shirt with a short sleeved tech shirt over that, my hat and my gloves. That was about it. I brought a garage bag to make a poncho for myself, but I never put it on mainly because I hate the feeling of plastic on my skin.
Plus, I was smart enough to pack a complete change of DRY clothes in my drop bag. I didn’t do that back in 2013 during the rain and it nearly killed me. So instead of my drop bag looking everyone else’s I threw my back pack in a large black garage bag along with my hoodie and tied it up tight.
The morning of the race started early. I woke up at 3am and was out of the house by 3:45am to make sure I was in Ogden to catch the bus ride up the canyon by 5am. The bus ride up was great, mainly because I somehow got my own seat to myself which afforded me a light half hour nap.
Once we got to Eden Park I met up with a number of my friends, including Shaylee. We were planning on possibly running together, because she was going to take it easy due to some blisters and last week’s sub-two half and I wanted some push. But, we got separated after I found the Weber in Motion ladies. I had the opportunity to share my story with them last year before the Ogden Marathon and it was AWESOME that I got to see them again. I love these ladies.
So much ENTHUSIASM!
After waiting for the mass of humanity to move across the starting line I leisurely walked up to the starting line. It hadn’t started running yet, but I knew it was going to start shortly as there was a partial rainbow in the horizon. I was just bracing for it.
Since I had been experiencing IT band issues since Provo City three weeks ago, my plan for the race was to shoot for 2:44 or better (my time last week at Vigor), but once it started to rain in the middle of mile two, I knew I was going to be pushing that goal. My IT hadn’t started bugging me at that point, but like the previous three weeks it hit me after mile four.
Once I got to the Pineview Dam and the course started going downhill into the canyon I just pushed through the pain. The annoying thing about the pain is that the faster I went the less the pain bothered me. Talk about unfair. Running should be kinder than that, right?
By this point the rain wasn’t getting any lighter, quite the opposite. The roads were full of puddles and I was just soaked. I wanted to walk, but every time I did the IT would bother me more and I just got colder. So I just carried on.
I really just tried to focus on the positive during the race, especially in the latter miles when I was cold, sore and hurting. I easily could have justified myself into having a miserable race. But, I lost myself in thought, enjoyed the view and just ran.
Once I got out of the canyon and worked myself towards the home stretch I tried to push myself a bit harder. I had passed my time goal of 2:44 and now was trying to just make it in under-three hours. I knew it was going to be close, but in the last mile I was completely spent.
No Pollyanna-ish thought could save me. My IT band was on fire, I was tired and just trying to make it across the finish line. But, as much as I tried to run the worse I felt, so I conceded myself to the defeat of walking across the finish line. The pictures might seem like I am running, but I’ve mastered the illusion of running in pictures. Don’t be fooled.
Once I finished I talked to Elsha’s parents for a bit before beelining it to the drop bag pick up to grab my bag. The cold wet grossness almost immediately started to set in. Once I grabbed my bag I found a handicap port-a-potty and changed. I won’t lie, it felt rather luxurious. I might have also contemplated taking a nap in there. It was pretty nice.
Once in dry clothes I took my time wandering around the finish line area. Like, I walked almost non-stop from one side of the finish line corral to the other. This was in part to keep myself warm, but also to help in the recovery of my legs. Get that lactic acid flowing.
After grabbing a hot chocolate, getting a massage and sitting under a heat torch I walked to the corner of Grant and 24th South which is one block from the finish line. There I just started cheering on runners while waiting for Team Reese so I could help run Reese in for his 100th marathon. It was a lot of fun to cheer on strangers and friends.
There were so many miserable faces. I kinda made it a goal to make those people laugh. I succeeded maybe half of the time. I swear most of them were silently cursing me because I was too dry. But, it was a lot of fun to see my friends giving them high fives and hugs. Best part of the race if you ask me.
Once Team Reese got to the intersection we waited for Reese’s mom, Carla, so she could push him across the finish line. It was only fitting. I won’t say much more and will just let this video say the rest …
Such an awesome moment and I was BEYOND honored to be a part of it. I’ve had the opportunity on a number of occasions to run with Reese and it’s helped change my perspective and love for running. The simple joy he has for the running shows every time he’s out on the course.
Such a great moment.
Overall it’s hard to view my experience solely on the race. It was moment’s like seeing friends at the starting line, pushing myself to the best I could do given the circumstances, cheering on friends and strangers and then experiencing Reese’s moment that made it one of the most memorable races I’ve had in a while.
Races and experiences like the Ogden Marathon are why I love running so much. It’s so much more about running. It’s about the community, it’s about the celebration of hard work and the moment that all meets.
Gosh, I could write a love letter out of all of this. But, I shan’t.
But, count me in for being here again next year. And, this year it won’t be a last minute decision. I’m signing up early.
YEAH RUNNING! YEAH OGDEN!
NEXT RACE: Jordan River Half Marathon
After running three half marathons in as many weeks my schedule lightens up some in the next month. This should help with my IT recovery. My next race is the Jordan River Half Marathon on May 30th. I am sweeping the course which will be good for the leg.
My next race, race is the Drop 13 Half on June 13th. But, in the meantime I am going to focus on shorter runs, lots of swimming, weight training and other forms of cardio. I am still trying to drop weight and with the change of thyroid medication that part is getting easier.
The road to 180 is simply one foot in front of the other.
MY 2015 MONTHLY MILEAGETotal Mileage Breakdown for 2015 2015 Training Miles – 164.5 miles 2015 Walking Miles – 123.0 miles 2015 Race Miles – 119.05 miles 2015 Total Miles – 406.55 miles Monthly Total Miles for 2015 January – 78.8 miles February – 72.85 miles March – 115.3 miles April – 76.3 miles May – 63.3 miles
Over the weekend I took (totally stalked) some of my running friend’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and put together the below meme from their Ogden Marathon pictures. I love the quote, because to me it’s what running is ALL about!