Saturday, October 12, 2013

St. George Marathon Report



Last Saturday, I ran the St. George Marathon. Coming in at 4:35:01, it was one of my slowest races, but because I wasn't even sure if I'd be able to finish because of some previous leg pain, I'm especially happy to report that I did indeed finish.

Plus, among the five marathoners named Tina, I came in at second place!

Course: You've probably heard the course is a net downhill, but there are some uphills. The uphills in the second quarter of the race did me in. By the time, the easier section came along with lots of downhills, I was worn out.

Weather/Clothes: At the start, runners were wrapped in foil blankets and stood around fire pits. I wore arm warmers and a jacket that I could bag up and throw to the side of the road during the first 6 miles of the race and pick up after the race. At the beginning, I carried hand warmers. Towards the end, people were handing out cold wash cloths and popsicles. I was never uncomfortably warm in my running skirt and tank top.

Volunteers: The fluid stop volunteers were always ready with a cup and I was glad that a volunteer smeared my legs with Icy-hot around mile 22.

Spectators: Although there were a few places that were hard for spectators to get to, it didn't bother me. I was too busy taking in the beautiful Utah scenery. It was great to see so many spectators towards the end of the race. They were so encouraging!

Parking: On race morning, my husband easily dropped me off where I hopped on a race bus to go to the top of the mountain where the race started. We ran down the mountain (on a road) into the town of St. George.

Expo: I'd call it a medium sized expo. They had samples of the Clif bar gel flavors that would be offered during the race.

Fuel Pre-run: First, I ate some homemade banana bread and a Powerbar bar. Then, I took a GU gel just before the start.

Fuel During Race: Gu (salted caramel) or Clif gels (raspberry) at miles 7, 11, 15 and 19 (usually with water). Gatorade from mile 13 and later.

After the Race: Pie!

Post-marathon Food: They had lots to eat after the race, but I just ate an ice cream sandwich - one of the best post-race foods ever! I wanted to save room for pie with my husband. After I cleaned up, I ate some chicken pot pie and blueberry pie from Croshaw's Pies in St. George. I'd love to know how to make a flaky crust like theirs!

Unplanned Occurrences: The last 10 miles were painful. With each step, the pain went from my feet right up through my thighs. Because I had hardly run in the last 7 weeks of training due to leg pain, I was not able to get in enough hill work. Of the 15 marathons that I've run, this was my most difficult marathon to finish.

To Improve: The race was well organized all except that the gels were handed out at the fluid stations directly before the water hand-out. I missed a water cup after the first gel hand-out. From then on, I ate a gel just before running through the fluid stations. Problem solved!


What Went Well: It's a lot of fun to include races in vacations with my husband. Besides driving to Utah from our home in Texas, we had many other travel adventures on this trip, but I'll save the rest of my stories for my upcoming posts. Thanks for reading!


34 comments:

  1. your finish time is one i long to aim for! :) you did awesome given the circumstances! way to push through and overcome the obstacles. that's what the marathon can be about! what a great idea to have ice cream sandwiches at the finish line!

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    1. Thanks for the encouraging words! I really had to push myself on this one!

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  2. I followed you on my iPhone app! I was praying for you the whole way but especially during the second half when I didn't see your 1/2 marathon split. I was SO glad to see you finish! John did a 2:41 and is super happy about that :)

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    1. Thank you for praying! I thank God for the strength to finish and I'm so excited that John finished with such a great time!

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  3. Congratulations! I know you were not sure about this one, so am so happy you were able to finish! And i loved the "2nd Tina" finish :)

    You sure do travel/race in some great places!! Wish you a good recovery of that leg so you can think about the next thang....

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    1. Ha, ha! I even placed in the top three in that competition!

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  4. That is awesome that you were even able to do this race after the leg pain you have been having. Congratulations for another completed marathon!

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    1. I'm really thankful that I was able to cross that finish line! Thanks!

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  5. Congrats on finishing another marathon, especially with your foot pain. I hope you recover well!!

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    1. Thanks, I'll take it easy for a bit, but I was able to hike during my vacation - a fun recovery walk!

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  6. Glad you were able to do it. Crazy temps it sounds like.

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    1. Yeah, from fire pits to popsicles during one race!

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  7. This is one of my bucket race lists and even when someone says it was their worst race, it still sounds cool! I hope you are feeling better soon and running more comfortably. Congratulations! A finish is still huge!

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    1. Thanks and I'm happy to hear I haven't discouraged you! It's a great race!

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  8. Congratulations! I commend you for running the race even though you already knew that your training had slowed down and things may not go as you would have liked them too. Congratulations!!! You are an inspiration!

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    1. Thanks! So excited for you with your recent fast marathon time!

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  9. So happy you were able to run the race. Look at the positive side! I hope your recovery is going well.
    And, I absolutely love the idea of looking up how many people with your name ran and then comparing yourself to them. Unfortunately, Amy is a popular name with fast runners. But I may have to try that sometime :)

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    1. When I searched for my finishing time after the race, I just happened to see that some other runners were named Tina. I'm pretty sure you'd be first if you searched for other runners with your last name or maybe you could branch out to everybody whose last name begins with Z!

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  10. Great job! I may have to add this race to my bucket list!

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    1. Glad to see that I haven't seemed to scare anyone away from the St. George marathon even though I didn't PR on this mostly downhill course!

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  11. Congratulations, Tina! I'm sure finishing felt all that much better after battling through leg pain. Good for you for going out and having a good race despite that! I had never heard of this marathon before reading your race report. Just looking at the pictures on the website it looks like a gorgeous backdrop for a race. Was this your first time in Utah? What did you guys think of the area?

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    1. Thanks! I've visited Utah a couple of times before. A couple of nearby places that I love to visit are Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park because of the beautiful scenery. Here's a link to a post about my hike in Zion in 2011: http://gottarunnow.blogspot.com/2011/11/zion-national-park.html

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  12. Thanks for the tip on the Hot Hands. Here in FL/GA I am only ever cold at the very start of the race. These seem like a low-cost easy option for some temporary warmth!

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    1. It's great to have something warm in my hands when it's chilly outside!

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  13. Wow! Congratulations Tina...considering the lack of training and the pain, you did amazing!!

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  14. Congrats on getting it done! It's so hard to run a marathon let alone finish it when you are injured. That's something!

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    1. And getting it done became the main goal during those last miles!

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  15. Sorry it was such a rough race for you. Congrats on pushing through!

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  16. Excellent job pushing through a tough run. Recover and get ready for another :)

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  17. I'm glad you were able to finish the marathon! And that it inspired you to travel through such a beautiful part of the country

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  18. Congrats on your finish! Way to be tough and stick with it. Having issues while training is always challenging, but it's exciting to know mental strength got you through it!

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  19. Congrats on completing another marathon! I am glad you were able to finish with the previous leg pain. God is GOOD.
    I have wondered how St. George would be since it's supposed to be a fast course, but is at altitude. Did the altitude bother you at all?
    Hope you are recovering well now!

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    1. Thanks! I didn't notice any problems with altitude during the race. I did notice it a little when I went for a long hike in Durango, CO, though.

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