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!