Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hostess Half Marathon RR or holy crap I almost ran a sub 2 with 5 twinkies in my stomach and some powder sugar drool on my chin

On a whim I decided to the Hostess Half Marathon put on by a local runner. He likes to run a half or a full every month (been doing so for something like 2+ years now) and since there was no halves in December he created his own along with his love of Hostess products. The rules were you had to consume one hostess product at every aid station (there was 5) and then try and not throw up as you ran 13.1 miles (although there was an award for the person who threw up the most).

Sounds like fun and just craziness something to get away from the seriousness and uber competitive nature I find myself in all the time when I run. I went Christmas shopping for my wife with my sister who is down from Canada afterwords and she actually called me uber competitive in an unrelated story. I guess they have been watching the Biggest Loser and her husband came up with the idea of if you went on you would have a family member as your trainer and said he would like me as his trainer. My sister laughed at him and said I would be meaner that Dolvett because of my uber competitive nature so haha.

I actually had not even treated this race as like a pr race or a big calendar race at all and was just going to have fun with it and treat it more like a long easy run (my competitive nature totally nixed that come race morning but more on that later). I had done some speed work on Wendesday and did no taper at all for the race so my legs were a little wooden this morning for well over 3-4 miles.

I got up at 6:30am and headed out to Hurricane for the race around 7:20 as its a half hour drive. And boy was it bloody cold again this morning (28 degrees at race start and 39 and the finish). So now I am faced with the darn hoodie dilema again but decided to take the advice that was given here and wear it for the first few miles then tie it around my waist.

The first few miles were crap for me (looking at my splits on my garmin all my worst half mile splits came in the first 4 miles and after that I hit and maintained a steady 9-9:30 pace all the way to the finish after the first 4 miles). I had that foot asleep problem again because of how cold it is as well. It feels like your feet are asleep because of how cold it is and is an odd feeling to run on.

Aid station 1 comes up and I glance over the table of hostess products and decide on one of the little powdered sugar donuts as they seem the smallest. Tie my hoodie around my waist and take off once more. Somewhere between aid station 1 and 2 a chick passes me and gives me the thumbs up as she passes me it at this point I am still struggling to warm up and am really really grumpy about my race as it is not going well at all at this point and the thumbs up just made me so mad for some reason. Like kicking dirt on a wounded man, haha I am passing you and also giving you the thumbs up, I know it was just a good gestured thing but I was severly grumpy at the time at how bad my race was going. After that it became my goal to beat this lady if it killed me. She actually commented to me afterwords that I really pushed her the whole race and she ran a great race because of it.

The hoodie tied around my waist was also driving me crazy as I had to keep pulling it tight time and time again (I wouldn't think to knot it until like mile 10 so I didn't have to fight it) and trust me tightening a hoodie on your stomach with a belly full of processed sugar is not fun.

About mile 4 we come out of the shadows of the hills and actually got some sun and I finally seem to warm up at hit my strides.

Aid station 2 I grab another sugar donut thinking they are small and start my game of leap frog at the aid station with the lady who passed me. She took longer to eat her hostess products than me but was running slightly faster than me so I would hold her off as long as I could between aid stations then shoot past her at the aid stations. I decide to drop off my hoodie at aid station 2 that way at least I can be without it for 4 miles as its an out and back course.

Me and clothes are a weird thing because I was so big at times and how hard it was to get clothes I am like a hoarder when it comes ot them as I had so little of them at times. Heck I still have all my fatman clothes in boxes in the closet. So I don't like loosing clothes and it was hard for to me to leave my hoodie at the aid station but I was tired of tieing it and this decision would cost me later on.

Aid station 3 I decide to go with a twinkie because if you have never run with a powdered donut you would never know that the powdered sugar sticks in your throat and it becomes so nasty after awhile. The twinkie wasn't much better either but at least no powdered sugar clogging my airways.

Aid station 4 I am thinking I will go with one of those chocalate donuts because man that twinkie did not go well. But since this is an out and back and the leaders have already gone by as well as most of the stragglers all the tiny little donuts are gone. Crap you mean I got to eat another twinkie or something else. I decide to go with one of those hostess cupcakes not to bad but man they are big. Funny as I am choking down my cupcake someone started asking what all the calories were on everything and the cupcake was 200 calories and the twinkies only 150 crap I should have gone with a zinger maybe.

Take off and got a good lead on the lady again then about a quarter mile out I realize I forgot my hoodie at the aid station so back I go to collect my hoodie. They laugh at me why I am running back to them gran my hoodie and tie it back on (alas I wouldn't think to knot it for like 3 more miles). This wasn't bad because the course was short and my detour actually made it a full half marathon for me at least where had I not detoured it would have been .4 of a mile short. At this point the lady has got a good lead on me but I am doing everything I can to cut that lead determined to beat her (uber competitve me).

As I pull into aid station 5 she is just leaving. The volunteer laughs at me when I grimace at eating another hostess product. I go with a sugar powdered donut because I don't think I can take an other twinkie or cupcake as they are so darn big.

After that its just me trying to cut the lead of the lady in front of me. Trying to close on her, I never caught her in the end but I did give her a good run for her money thats for sure.

12 miles in its like I got a brick in my stomach ughhh a couple burps weren't very pretty and could have gone the wrong way for sure.

I finished in 2:01:41 which amazingly enough would have been a pr back in November before I ran my 1:55xx at Snow Canyon. My worst half mile split for the entire race were 2.5-3.0 and 3.0-3,5 (10:09 and 10:18) and the only time I ran over a 10mm the entire race, hence me being so grumpy. In comparison I ran a 9:00 at mile 11-11.5 and a 9:05 from 11.5-12 talk about finishing strong even with a belly full of hostess products.

I then went shopping with my sister and got some real food in me (we went to Chilis for lunch and I had their salad and soup). I liked the race and would totally do it again but just make sure I take the chocolate donuts next time. One crazy fool had 12 hostess products (you got an award for eating the most) I was happy with my bare minimum I didn't need anymore flair.

Snow Canyon Half Marathon

The short of it I ran Snow Canyon half marathon in the brutal freezing cold this morning in 1:55:31 smashing and shattering my pr from August by 13:16 and beating my time on the same course in a years time of racing by 35:04. The 8:49 mm I ran would equal to a 27:20 5k very close to the best 5k race I have ever run (so time to do a new 5k starting next Saturday :) ).

Now the long of it, somedays I think put a lot of pressure on myself to pr in every race and up this point it has actually worked very well. I have pred or auto pred in every race I have done going 14 for 14 now. So while the half marathon distance no longer scares me (it is still my favorite race to run) I still was feeling the pressure of pring and getting my goal of a sub 2. I was worried I didn't get enough sleep Thursday or Friday as I only got around 6 and half hours each day and I always put myself in a little of a tizzy prerace. But I felt good as I have been runnning lots of intervals the last few weeks (twice a week) to go for my goal half here.

I have also been looking forward to this half since January when I beat my time on a different half by more than 10 minutes on a much harder course. This half was the very first half I ever ran completely untrained on 5 weeks training with two 10's and one 8 as my longs and a week lost because of the flu. So I have been wanting to run this race so very bad for nearly a year now so just some added pressure there too.

I went and got my packet after work on Friday and as I am walking in the door someone commented that they see me running all the time in the neighborhood and how much weight I have loss and how much of an inspiration I am. I somehow evidently became the poster child for weight loss in Southern Utah as I seem to get these comments at least once a week if not more. Nothing too exciting happened at the expo and packet pickup, just walked around got my packet picked up some race brochures for ones I want to run and bought a cliff shot for the race.

Got home and got a good nights sleep even if it wasn't the 8 hours I'd like. Since the half no longer scares me I don't find myself waking up hours before the race anymore so excited and nervous. Got my normal premorning breakfast on (a banana, handful of peanuts) and headed out the door to the freezing cold. I had a throw away shirt again, my gloves and my beanie and I needed them all. It was freezing and a very cold wind was blowing through (it was in the high 20's/low 30's). I was glad it stopped raining in the middle of the night but it was still very cold.

The busses to the start didn't leave until everyone was loaded as it was even colder at the start and they wanted to let us sit on the busses as long as possible. Now had I known this I would have picked a different seat, I took a seat with the darn tire wheel cover on it sticking up meaning I was sitting at a weird angle for a very long time. Plus we had to be 2-3 to a seat because they weren't making multiple trips. This meant by the time we got the start I was a little stiff from the odd angle I had to sit at. Got to the start and their is snow on the ground, there should never be snow on the ground for the start of a race brrrrrrrrrrrrr. Walked to the portapotties and was glad I got on the first bus because of how late they took us up there wasn't much time before the race started.

Lined up close to the front but not at the very front as I didn't want to weave too much in the beginning. And it always surprises me some of the people who line up at the front, like a lady I talked to in the lines for the portapotties who told me she was walking the entire thing was right up there in the front. The gun goes off and I am so glad to be moving finally. About 500 feet in almost have a head on collision with the moron picture takers who for some odd reason are walking right into the start of the race.

The first mile might have been on of the toughest I have ever run, because I was so cold my foot felt like it was asleep. You know that tingly sensation you get right when it wakes up that is what my foot felt like. Took all my will power to not stop and walk. Hit mile 1 in 8:32 which is absolutly perfect as I wanted to run 8:30-845 most miles as I planned to walk the water stations and those miles would be perfect for the sub 2 finish I wanted with the water station walking.

I finally warm up sometime between mile one and two and decide its time to ditch my throw away. As I am taking off my shirt my beanie comes off my head and I am like that's ok I will stuff it in my pocket. Throw my shirt to the side of the road and continue to run then I go to stuff my beanie in my pocket and realize its gone. Oh crap, I can't leave my beanie because it was a birthday present from my wife. A pr is cool but a birthday present from your wife is more important. So I turn around and start running in the other direction. I check to see if its in my shirt and its not, then I decide I got to just continue running back up the course tell I find it. Luckily I find it in the middle of the road and stuff it in my pocket glad I found it. I probably wasted a minute right there but somethings are more important. I hit mile 2 at 17:50 and realize yep I lost sometime as mile 2 is probably one of the few if not the only mile I run slower than 9mm but I can live with a 9;20 knowing I got some fast miles coming up.

I continue to hit my 8:45 miles and take my first water station walk at mile 4. I am doing really good and feeling great so much better than last year. At mile 6 I followed a very nice looking lady for nearly a mile and the Klown will be happy to know I was not looking at her swing pony tail at all but other things .

Also about mile 7 and the next water station I have a guy say to me hey didn't you run this race last year (going to need to look him up he was bib # 51) and weren't you heavier. I was like yea that was me, and he tells me that we passed each other a lot around those miles playing leap frog for quite a ways. I actually ended up talking to him off an on tell nearly mile 10. Which was cool because I commented you must be a lot faster this year as we are well under a 2 hour pace and he told me his time last year was 2:18 and that he wanted to run it this year in 1:54 as he is 54 (sadly he didn't get that time I am sure).

So we pushed each other for the next 3-4 miles and I kept clocking sub 9 minute miles one after another. We were on pace for the 1:54 tell right after mile 10 and he was like you go on I gotta walk and then I never saw him again sadly. It was around mile 10 I realized sub 2 was in the bank, I don't know if you have ever felt that euphoria knowing you have got your goal beat with miles to go and just seeing how much you can beat it by at that point. I came in to mile 10 around 1:26-27 or so so I knew I had around 33-34 minutes to run the last 5k which I was confident I could do (ran them in 27-28 in fact).

I really felt like a runner I mean a good runner that was reaching their full pontential at this point. There was hardly anyone stopping to walk and it felt like I was with some of the faster people and not so low on the totem pole plus I was picking off people left and right. That felt great to just be picking off runner after runner in the last 5k of a half marathon and with almost no one passing me (I probably passed several hundred the last 5k and got passed by maybe 10 or so).

When I hit mile 11 and my watch was showing 1:36 its like holy crikey I got 22 minutes to do the last 2.1 miles then you hit mile 12 and it shows 1:45 and your like wow now I got 15 minutes for the last 1.1 miles. I mean it is such a great feeling and at that point I just embraced the pain cave and was like let see how much I can shatter my goal by and how many people I can pass.

Best race I have ever run (even with losing a minute to go find my beanie and the freezing cold), I raised my hands in triumpth as I crossed the finish line having shattered every goal I set out for. This race is the closest I think I have ever run to my full current pontential in the 14 races I have done and I think it might be hard to beat for a little bit and my stop my streak of pr's the next time I run a half. Despite the comedy of errors and the bitter cold I ran my single best race ever and it's an amazing feeling.

Stuck around and cheered on the late finishers as I had a coworker who ran it and I wanted to cheer her on. But it was so cold and at around 2:40 on the clock I gave up as I was freezing and needed to get out of the cold even though I hadn't seen my coworker yet (she said she hoped for sub 3 but not sure if I missed her or if she just hadn't finished yet).


Run Run Reindeer new 10k pr.

Just like Tebow who all he does is win all I do is pr wheeeeeeee

The short of it, holy crap it was cold I mean like dear lord cold, hard course and finish time of 51:11 (first in my AG although there was only 4 people on my AG).

The long of it, I had been a little worried about this race because I started to ramp my base for 2012 this week and did two days of hill repeats with the increased mileage as well. I took it easy on my Thursday run though lowering my pace to closer to 10mm versus the 9mm I had been running lately as my easy pace and nixed the hill repeats and then took Friday off. Even with the easy day on Thursday and the day off on Friday my calves were sore Friday and a little this morning too.

It was a race day packet pickup with the race scheduled at 9:15am. So sadly it meant I had to get up at 7am ~internal groan~ as I was still tired from last weeks Black Friday craziness and a long work week and increased miles. I crashed hard Thursday night and was sound asleep before 10pm which meant I wasn't as tired Friday meaning I didn't fall alseep tell midnight. A couple snoozes later and I was up and ready to go. I got out of the house at 8pm and got a mile from my house before realizing I forgot my toy. It was a toys for tots race and along with your race fee you were supposed to bring a toy. So I swung back and picked up my toy to donate.

Got there around 8:25 and picked up my bib and it was freezing arse cold. I mean it was probably on 28-30 degrees but there was this bitter bitter cold wind blowing that just chilled you to the bone and froze you to death. I have found since I lost all the weight that I freeze somedays and just can't get warm (only time i ever miss my fat). So I decided to go pin my bib in the car as I am too cold to want to stay outside for 45 minutes. Funny thing is they only gave me 3 safety pins and one broke but being a runner I have extra pins in my car which made me laugh. I also got bib 55 which made me smile as I was like ok gotta run faster than my bib number.

I pin the bib to my shirt under my hoodie planning to do my normal ditch the hoodie in the car prerace. But when I get out of the car at 8:45 and I am just shivering I change my mind and decide to pin my bib to my hoodie and wear the hoodie for the race. I have never ever run with my hoodie normally I warm up on my runs and I sweat a lot so I never worry about such things. I usually just run with gloves and a beanie and ditch the beanie a couple miles in when I warm up. Just before the start of the race I start thinking maybe I should pin the bib to my shorts instead in case I want to take my hoodie off but by that time its too late to make another change.

It's one of those moments when you start running you are so glad to be running. You are so cold it feels so good to finally start moving. My shoelace came untied like a quarter mile in and I had another one of those runner moments as I had double tied them having learned my lesson in my first 5k to always double time them so you don't waste time retying them. So I ran with the shoelace loose the entire race. Which is funny as this older gentleman who ran with me almost the entire race commented that my shoelace was untied like 2 miles in. I did kick it the last mile and beat him by like 30 seconds though.

I again had that your foot feels asleep for the first mile moment again i was so cold. It almost feels like running on extra cushion or a foot that is all puffed up. I admit I went out way too fast the first mile as it felt so good to be finally running and the first and last miles were the only downhills in the course the rest was bloody and relentlessly uphill. I hit mile 1 with a 7:13 time and I was SOB where was that mile time for the first mile 2 weeks ago when I ran my 5k. I am always a little of slow starter and really kick it into gear like miles 3 and 4 normally on my runs. It actually wasn't hard to ease back after this because after the first mile the next 4 were relentlessly uphill

It was at about mile 2 I got really hot and so wanted to take off my hoodie but because of my bib I could not. So I ditched my beanie instead and that helped a little but I was sweltering the rest of the race.

The course was kind of boring it was what I would call a typical incity suburb run. It was all pretty much done in neighborhoods and since there was only like 40 10kers for the race it was me and the older gentleman and lady I got chicked by as she really flew from miles 4 on. Mile 2 was my mirage moment I thought I saw the water station ahead of me and it kept getting further and further away then I realized it was runners ahead of me I was seeing. Also I saw a guy that made me think of these forums at mile 4 too. I hadn't seen him all race and he comes up on me at mile 4 and passes me and then proceeded to beat me by 2 full minutes. He had one heck of a negative split for the race easily running the second 5k way faster than the first 5k.

Mile 4 was the toughest for me as it had the steepest climbs and at this point I am like dear lord do these hills ever end. I had looked at the elevation chart and knew we had a little of dropoff at the end and I kept looking for that dropoff like darn hills please end.

Once I did hit that downhill stretch I took off and this is where I lost the older gentleman (who had a pretty good time for a 54 year old I think like 52:xx so he beat his age in the 10k). Passed a single 5ker on my way to the finish as they were mostly done.

Got my pr by over 8 minutes and was a little disappointed I didn't get the sub 50 I wanted but the course just beat me up. I had a chance around mile 4 or so when I hit mile 4 at like 34 minutes and knew if I cranked out sub 8 minute miles (gotta make up for the .2 at the end) I could get it but I just didn't have that kick at mile 4 and that is where the worst hills were.

Happy with my 51:11 though, loaded up on donuts and ice cream haha I also won a $25 gift certificate to the local sports store and as I was leaving the guy asked me if I had won anything and I told him the gift certificate. He said well here you go you won these too because the person didn't pick them up so I also got a pair of reindeer sports socks (who knew they made reindeer sports socks).

Ok I may do the hostess half marathon in 2 weeks for pure fun (you have to eat a hostess product at every aid station to earn a medal) and if I do that may end my pr streak as I would do it more for fun but I am now 16 for 16 on prs in races. I like the 10 distance this is only my 2nd one and the first was when i was struggling with ITBS my next one will be in March.

Turkey Trot new 5k PR

The short of it, I ran 23:05 good enough to beat my race day pr by 3:11 and beat my pb by 12 seconds. This actually was the first race I ever ran sub 30 coming in with a 29:49 last year.

I forgot how much I hated this 5k in a years time though and the only reason it seems I sign up for it as its so cheap and close to home. Last year it was just 3 cans of food, this year 3 cans of food and $5. I think I need to swear it off next year as it is easily my least favorite 5k I have done.

This is only the second race I have ever done more than once (the first being the Snow Canyon half I ran 3 weeks ago) so I was at least familar with the course. And I like that it is a STG race meaning it is measured accuratly something that wasn't done last week.

My son didn't want to go to sleep Thursday night probably because of all the excitement and the Tebowmania that was going on in the house (yes I am finally sold on Tebow and asked the wife to get me a Tebow jersey for Christmas). Lots of screaming at the tv was to be had and a riled up 2 year old who wouldn't go to bed tell almost 12:30. So I got less than 6 hours of sleep all night and was so tired at work Friday. This did mean I went to bed early on Friday and got a nice 9 and half hours of sleep being so exhausted from the previous day.

Woke up around 7:30 and had the usual morning breakfast, banana some peanuts and leftovers from the fridge (spaghetti pie). Left the house around 8:30 and got to the race just a little before 9. Signed up and then chilled while I waited for the start. I realized on the drive over I had forgot my ipod but was ok with that as I wanted to set a pr and honestly a 5k is less than 25 minutes I can run easily without music for that short of time.

Met up with my usual stalker lady from my local races (not sure if its me stalking her or if she is stalking me) that I see in almost every 5k I do as well as a few halves and the one 12k. We talk for a bit and she tells me she is not going for a time. It seems so odd a year ago she smoked me at a 5k when I flamed out the last mile and had a 31:xx and now I am beating her by 14 minutes (stayed around and cheered her at the finish and she came in at 37:xx).

They announce for us to line up and they are doing a 5k and fun run 1miler and they are both starting at the same time. This means the entire front of the lineup was all kids running the mile. Inner groan goes off but I know most kids will flame out soon enough and I can get past the mob soon enough. Sure enough I did pass every kid before we hit their half mile turn around.

This is an out and back course and about a half mile in you hit the area that makes me hate this 5k so much. It's a farmers dirt track road for a half mile (and of course a half mile on the way back too) that just makes my shins ache running on it. I am city runner all streets and sidewalks for me I hate trails and dirt tracks. I just never seem to be able to kick it up on these dirt tracks and I know that while a pr is going to be in the bag I am going to have to kick butt on the rest of the race to insure a pb as well.

I am so glad when get back to the street just before the mile marker and I notch it up a little. I clocked a 7:45 mile for the first mile a little slower than I wanted to go. The first mile would actually be my slowest mile of the day as I would end up averaging a 7:26 pace for the day. Being back in the city streets I kick up the second mile to a 7:30 and come in to the 2mile mark at 15:16. Still a little slower than what I want to be knowing I have to deal with the darn dirt track once more.

When I hit the dirt track just shortly after mile 2 I so wanted to walk, I really hate that thing and it just makes my shins scream. But I deny that urge really wanting to run my first 5k without any walk breaks (I can't count last week as it was not a full 5k and I actually did stop for 15-30 seconds at the water station trying to see if I needed to turn around). I am glad the galloway walk thing is behind me as I also didn't walk at all in my half three weeks ago.

Once we get back on the road again with half a mile to go I decide to take off once more. That whole half mile I could hear the guy behind me urging someone else on. It was almost like a drill seargeant screaming at me the whole time. And I am kicking it up a notch to not let this guy pass me or whoever he is urging on either. I think we might have kicked it up several notches that last half mile stretch and it was easily the fastest half mile stretch I ran all day. Sadly he did catch me just before the 3 mile mark but I held off the person he was urging on it seems he left her to finish strong himself. Saw her cross the line and she looked to be about 12, cmon ya gotta let the 12 year old beat ya if your pushing them (not me I am glad I beat her). That guy trying to pass me easily made me run what had to be less that a 7mm pace the entire way to the finish I just didn't want to let him pass me so I kept kicking it up.

So I got my new shiny pr and pb which is good as I have no 5ks in sight tell at least March or May (next 3 races are a 10k in 2 weeks, a half in January and a half in February). I thought I ran a much better race last week which sucks as they didn't measure it right. If I run this race again next year it will be because I forgot once more how much I hate that dirt farmers road and only look at the price again. You gotta take what you can get and a pr is always nice when you have to fight for it.

I did a 5k cool down when I got home to get my miles for the day and yea the second 5k was much harder than last weeks second 5k. Felt like I was dragging wooden legs the entire time.

Saint George Matathon

The short of it oh dear lord I thought I had the electrolyte issue down but the last 6 miles taught me otherwise. Best thing on the day was my smiling son's face at the finish line so happy to see me (I didn't get to see him at all yesterday because for the short time I was home he was napping). Best sign I saw of all the signs was a little 8 year old girl holding a sign somewhere between miles 23 and 24 that said "you're not almost there" made me laugh and smile. Time should be somewhere around 4:58 or so as I forgot to start my watch and stop it and it read 4:58, the clock said 5:07 but it took us more than 9 minutes to get across the start line, so I got my sub 5. Oh and the heat hammered me I didn't expect that what moron dressed me all in black today oh that's right it was me. Final time ended up being 4:58:55.

The long of it stick with me here.

Strangest thing yesterday and today is I never really got nervous, I had this manic energy about me all day yesterday but I never got nervous. I am ADD and OCD so I am always a little manic but I just had this palpable energy all day yesterday like I wanted to run circles around the building and everywhere I went I couldn't help but speed or get frustrated if things too long. I am sure tagalong or happyutahrunner some of the people I met from Runners Wolrd who went to a couple clinics can attest to my manic persona haha.

I had arranged for yesterday to be a half day so I could attend a couple clinics, go to the expo and meet some RW peeps. It seemed like I was running behind all day, I swear I was cursing the sonic people and my wife for wanting sonic for lunch for taking so long as I wanted everything to be quick quick and snappy. I got to the clinic around 2:45 and me and JordanLee walked around and checked some of the merchandise. I got not 1 but 2 26.2 stickers so haha there (ok one came with our packets but I bought another so did Jordan). I also bought me a short sleeve STG marathon shirt as I find it hilarious that they do a long sleeve shirt when in STG you can wear that for like 3 months.

Had the hardest time getting my bib as we went to the one guy who was doing the 3000 range bibs (your bib number was assigned by your projected time so the higher up the slower you are, giving people complexes I see at the marathon expo). He then sent us to the Washington County area for bibs who then again sent us back to other guy saying sometimes they file them wrong. Then they sent us to the weight division as I had signed up as a Clydesdale. I then promptly failed the weight test for being a Clydesdale so they put me back in the regular divisions.

Me, Jordan and Happyutahrunner went to the first timers clinic after that, which was pretty much fun but since I had run two of my training runs on the course it really didn't tell me anything except allowing me to make snarky comments. Tagalong joined us at the end and then her and Jordan left to get some dinner. Happyutahrunner (please forgive me if I got you and tagalong mixed up I remember your real names and am not sure if you want those posted her but can't remember your online names as well) and me then set through the pace group meeting which was useful but since I didn't use any of the info again just allowed me to make snarky comments.

After that I went to the all you can eat pasta dinner and said hello to runningute who had a table of ice cream, I mean that is the way to party in style. Runningute was like a ghost he was hard to track down, I did see him at the finish line and know his time but I will let him tell you his story. After that I went home and actually for the first race ever set out all my running stuff for the morning so I didn't have to do anything the next day. I picked my old fatman shirt for my throwaway and made it into bed around 8pm.

Surprisingly enough I actually slept ok, I think because of all the manic energy I had going on all day I was just plain exhausted by the time it was time to go bed and I just crashed. Alarm was set for 3:15 and got up pretty easily and grabbed all my stuff and headed for the 4am shuttles so I could be entered in the early bird prizes. I was suppose to meet up with a few of the others to ride shuttles with them but didn't see anyone so I got on the second bus heading to the start line and let me tell you that was a great decision. If you do that there isn't many people there when you get there and no lines for the portapotties and you can pick out a sweet spot on the fences to lay down on so you don't have to stand around for two hours.

Had the breakfast I had packed last night around 5:30 and was actually glad I brought some throwaways as it was a little cold but not cold enough for the bonfires. Did get back in line for the portapotties around 6 again and they were taking photos of people in the line for the crappers. I mean seriously who is going to buy a photo of themselves in line for the crapper made me laugh. I then lined up with the 4:30 pace group where I ran into happyutahrunner again (again sorry if I am mixing you and tagalong up I remember your real name though so forgive me). She was going to stay with the 4:30 pace group and we started together for the first half mile or so and I thought about staying with them too but decided to run my race and not the pacers race. I actually didn't see either of them tell I started to cramp around mile 19 and was doing great up until that point.

I don't remember a lot of the miles and actually was just enjoying everything around me while just running my race. I took the first couple of miles slow like I wanted too which was easy as it's like a cattle call at the start. It took us 9 minutes just to hit the start line from the 4:30 pace group in the back. I didn't want to waste a lot of time in the beginning playing the weaving game and wasting all that energy trying to weave in an out so I just took it casual until it thinned out.

Everything went to plan and I just enjoyed myself looking at the signs people had made and enjoying the crowds and my other runners. 2 miles in I saw my first runner head for the bushes instead of the portapotties and this was a bold runner too as there was no bushes or trees so basically he pulled of the road and said screw it don't look people. Saw my first cell phone at mile 5. Saw road kill at mile 6 and me and two other runners joked the elites must have come through pretty fast to squash that squirrel or raccoon like that.

Veyo surprised me as they had a marching band and tons of people out to cheer you on it was pretty cool. I did exactly what I wanted on Veyo I had decided miles 7-12 would be taken easy and walk breaks if I needed them so I could save energy for the fast downhills at the end (I flew through Snow Canyon) and I could make up anytime lost if I did so.

I kept resisting the urge to pull over to a bush and pee but somewhere just after Snow Canyon and mile 14 I came up to the portapotties and saw no line and was like sweet. But then some jacktard cut in front of me, is it illegal to commit homicide if someone cuts in line for a portapotty because it shouldn't be. So I lost a minute or two there, I really should have just used a bush but there was no line until I got cut in front of.

I ran a positive split, I came into the half way point around 2:20 but more on that later or right now for that matter. Like I said everything was going pretty good until mile 19 or so, I stayed in front of the 4:30 pacer but then I started to cramp. I had taken gatorade at every aid station but it just wasn't enough. After mile 21 I started to take two gatorades at every aid station which actually got me to the finish line but just barely. It became that run as far as I can go before I started to cramp then walk tell the cramps went away and then rinse and repeat for the last 6 miles or so.

Mile 23 aid station was pretty odd and sureal, last night during the first timers clinic the guy mentioned how the aid station at 23 had people on a waiting list for 6 years to man it and that everyone on there had been manning it for years and years. Well I take an ice water and all of a sudden I hear a Hi son, my mom was the one who handed me the ice water and I was so out of it at the time I didn't even notice. I guess she volunteers every year and is at the coveted aid station.

The last 6 miles hurt so bad but I just powered through them. I knew my goal of 4:30 was gone because of the cramps and only being able to run in spurts but I was he!! bent on getting the sub 5 at all costs. Best mile marker ever had to be mile marker 25.2 they even told you it was the best mile marker, funny they did a 25.2. There was also a mile marker for 26 and I tried to sprint in and did my very best I probably looked like a wounded duck as I was cramping severely but I am sure I got my sub 5.

I saw runningute at the finish line, grabbed an ice cream bar that I had no appetite for and walked around for a bit. I did win an early bird prize a STG marathon tech hat which is cool and worth getting on the early bus for. And then headed to the car as my wife waited longer than I told her (didn't expect the slow time to get started and then i finished 28 minutes later than anticipated). My dad brought me a gatorade best gift at the finish line as it wasn't a lemon lime gatorade I never want to drink that stuff again as long as I live. I was downing it like crazy after mile 21 taking two at a time. I would have drank ditch water over lemon lime gatorade at that point.

Even though we walked around a bit I found I could not sit in the car as I cramped up something fierce the moment I sat. So I downed the whole gatorade my dad brought me and a gu and walked around some more. Plan was to get up to Smiths to get another gatorade and apple. But because all the traffic was diverted it was slow as heck. At one point I had my wife let me out and I walked another block as I couldn't sit in the car any longer or I cramped. Funny thing is a lady stopped and offered me a ride while I was walking which made me smile. Finally got to smiths where the cashier gave me this dude is crazy look as I had already drank an entire gatorade before I checked out and asked her to charge me for it and throw it away. I did still have my medal on so that counts right.

Things I learned, A work more on the electrolyte issue try some other solutions than gatorade and GUs. B marathons are fun and crazy and for crazy people as I can't wait to do another even though I spent the last 6 miles in utter misery. C the heat was more of a factor than I thought it would be sure 91 doesn't seem that bad when you trained in 100's but put 20 miles in front of you before you hit that 90 and it sucks monkey balls. D a smiling baby boy is the best thing at a finish line ever.