Sand Hollow Marathon 3/31/125April 1st, 2012
I did it! My first marathon! I never ever thought I would run a marathon. The Sand Hollow Marathon was in my town of Hurricane so I thought why not. My first half last April was in Hurricane and it included the “hill” as well. There was a FB contest to win a free entry into the race. You had to visit the Sand Hollow booth at an expo and take a picture with Jason, well I didn’t know about the contest until after, so I stole Lyle Anderson’s photo and put me in it, 6 times. And I won a free entry! So now I had to run it!! Last year was the first year with maybe 90 runners and this year had just under 200. I’m sure it will get bigger and bigger because it truly is a scenic course with great people.
I found an 18 week training plan from Hal Higdon, which I posted on my last entry. It was a little modified because I did 3 half’s during. My training went pretty well. I got sick during week 3 and the flu at week 15. The flu kicked my butt and I couldn’t run for 8 days or do my 20 miler. So my 18 miler at 2:40 was the longest I had run. I wasn’t too nervous, I loved that I can train on the course and sleep in my bed.
We were just in Lake Havasu for two weeks, got home Monday and some CA friends came to visit Wednesday-Sunday. We camped at Sand Hollow Lake Thursday and Friday night. We went Side-x-Side and Quad riding in the sand. We live 5 minutes from the lake and never have camped there. Tons of fun and the weather was perfect.
Friday night I left to sleep in my bed and I took Evan with me. He had a soccer game at 9. I went to sleep at 11:pm and set my alarm for 5 (and 5:30 just in case) and the race started at 7:30. I dropped Evan off at Peppers at 6:45, Luke’s team was playing Evans team so it worked out perfect! Then I went to the start line.
Last nights sleep wasn’t so bad, I woke up at midnight, 1:am and 3:am. And I dreamt I made a wrong turn during the race..lol. I woke up, had oatmeal and got ready. I decided not to wear my pink tutu, it was a different pink then my top, so it didn’t match perfect. I met Shannon in the parking lot and got my water pack ready and we headed inside the community center. It was warm inside. You could pick up your number if you couldn’t make it the day before. And there was Gel if you needed some. We went outside with 10 minutes to go.
Jason, the race director, made a little speech, they turned up the music and we lined up. Everyone seemed really excited. I met these two girls from San Diego who travel to run marathons in every state, they made these cute shirts. See pic. I said hi to Polli who found my lost Evan at my first 5k, but I actually met her in Panguitch at a 5k and she told me she was the one who found him. Small world.
Were lined up and ready to go. We take one last picture of us smiling before we torture ourselves. We start our Garmins and go. The weather was great, a little chilly. I wore my pink jacket to start and knew I’d take it off at the first water station at mile 3. (but left my gum in it, boo)
Mile 1 – 8:36 / Running with Shannon, a little fast, just trying to get in the groove and around people. She pointed out the mile marker 1. LOL
Mile 2 – 8:49 / Running through Hurricane into Angel Heights with a great view. You can see the orchard and Mollie’s Nipple. Shannon ran ahead of me but I was staying the same pace. I met a guy from Cedar City who was also running his first marathon. He has done every kind of mud run though. And he drives to SLC for work! I should have asked if he drove a Prius, but didn’t really look like the type. We were running about 8:30 pace. He was planning on finishing in 5:30, I said he was running kinda fast, he said hes good for 8. Lol I also think he was on Survivor.
Mile 3 – 8:34 / Dropped off my jacket and picket up a Gel for later. I was wearing an additional belt for my Chapstick and extra Gel, well one fell off fumbling trying to put the Gel away and then my Chapstick fell too. Oh well. I fueled every 30 minutes.
Mile 4 – 8:30 / We’re running through the farm area up to the back side of Sand Hollow. It’s a hill, but not “the hill”. I turn on my music for the first time. I saw Alex Santiago taking pics and he said good job. It’s nice seeing people you know.
Mile 5 – 8:37 / top of nemesis, or Diablo, I knew I would catch Shannon here. I sped up to run with her again. Turned off music. I texted Mike to let him know where I was, the text was already to go, just hit send. Its beautiful here! You can see the lake, mountains, red sand and red rocks.
Mile 6 – 8:46 / I was closer to the camping area and can see our motorhome, I also could see the rhino sitting there. I texted, hello! Then I could see him taking pics and I waved.
Mile 7 – 8:59 / Mike rode up on the inside of the park and was taking pics, he also had our dog who thought he was going to go running with me, I had to yell at him to stay. LOL
Mile 8 – 8:42 / The traveling marathon girls passed us. We were feeling good.
Mile 9 – 8:34 / I told Shannon I was happy, but probably wont feel the same on the way back. (this was true). My mouth seemed like I couldn’t quench my thirst though. Not sure what was up. I wish I had my gum.
Mile 10 – 8:40 / I saw a kid dancing on the roof of his car cheering for his people. I told him to dance for me too and I took a pic. Then we saw the two leaders coming towards us, holy crap theyre fast! I took a pic. I also cheered for them but they were in a groove and not going to crack a smile. Lol
Mile 11 – 8:40 / I met Chris from Hurricane. I’ve seen her and her superstar 14-yr old son at all the local races. She was really nice and is now in the 10-year club for the St George Marathon. I also saw the first place female. She was running with a guy and they were in 5th/6th place overall. She looked like Amber Buksa. I had to take a double look. Lol
Mile 12 – 8:55 / I’m feeling good. I see the half way point and it was farther than I expected. I like seeing all the people pass by. We are running by the golf course that has perfect green grass, against the partly cloudy blue sky and red rocks, no wonder it was voted #1 golf resort in Utah. Some golfers were looking at us, probably thinking we’re crazy.
Mike 13.1 – 8:55 / 1:53 split – Shannon’s husband and kids were at the turn-a-round. I had the cap of my bottle off, grabbed a water cup, and did my first walk. I filled up and then Cheri Santiago yelled at me like a drill sergeant. “AMBER- stop walking right now!” So I did, continued running and lost Shannon here.
Mile 14 – 9:22 / heading back, I seem okay. It is hot though.
Mile 15 – 9:31 / I’m really hot and I can’t quench my thirst, my mouth is just dry or something. I’ve poured water on my head. All the water stations had cold water! I take a short walk break up the hill by the dam.
Mile 16 – 10:39 / Kinda over it now. I see Mike riding around in the rhino taking pics. He has Connor now. I yell Hi Connor! He saw me. I thought its only this mile and its hard. No way am I doing this again and it’s hot during the St George Marathon. No way would I ever qualify for Boston. I just like half’s. Never again. Who does this, on purpose.
Mile 17 – 10:39 / I see all our friends we’re camping with. I stop and take a pic of them with the lake behind them. I continue running and I see our camping neighbors from Canada out cheering for me. How nice! I see Shannon ahead of me walking and I run to her. We run together.
Mile 18 – 10:55 / The hill is here. I’m really slow and taking lots of run/walk breaks. So is everyone else. Aimee drives up and says only 7 to go at the top of the hill. My average pace was 9:11, not for long though.
Mile 19 – 13:33 / Made it to the top. But have no desire to run. This guy walks with me and says good job, we made it to the top. I said I wish I had a popsicle. He gave me high 5. I run to the water station and fill up, eat an orange piece. Tastes so good! I was hoping there would be some. This is downhill and my slowest mile!! WTH??
Mile 20 – 10:20 / Everyone says 20 is their wall. Well that hill and the heat kinda killed me. There was a girl standing at the 20 mile marker. I asked her if she was waiting for a friend to pace, she said yes. That is so sweet!
Mile 21 – 10:08 / I met another girl, she was from Kanab. Everyone has told me their name, but I can’t recall any. She was running this just for fun. She gave me a couple pretzels hoping the salt might help my mouth issue. She said shed even help me run, push me, etc. So nice! She said we would finish at 4:10. But then I needed another walk break.
Mile 22 – 11:48 / My body is feeling pretty sore now. My upper abs were super sore while running, then when I walked my lower back muscles felt really tight. I decided to stop and stretch for a second. I felt my legs and they were so salty! While standing I went to lift my leg to scratch my shin, and I couldn’t lift it. LOL it hurt. So I continued my run/ walk. A couple of girls from St George passed me and I ran with them for a bit. I’ve seen the one girl with long hair at all the races. I told them, and everyone else, that this is my first full.
Mile 23 – 12:39 / Water station. I tried some Gatorade. I took a pic – everyone is walking. 3 miles to go- super easy right?? Ha. I told pepper Id text her when I had 3 left- it was ready to go, but I added the word slowly. Lol Then I realized I forgot to refill my bottles and I had no water left! And I thought there were no more water stations. I saw the paramedics just before we cross 700 and waved them down, I asked if they had water. Ice cold. He filled my bottle and I thanked them so much and said they were the best. He said this is the first thing they’ve done all day. I was surprised.
Mile 24 – 12:13 / Running (and walking) through Angel Heights. Still hot. Shannon pulled ahead, I saw her husband and he cheered for me.
Mile 25 – 11:12 / I ran by Aimee’s house and she had a popsicle for me. It was the best thing ever! It probably took a 1/2 mile to eat it. Then I ran past these two guys and one was from the hill, he said you got your Popsicle!
Mile 26 – 9:36 / I actually felt pretty good now, my legs and abs didn’t hurt so much and I was able to actually run and not walk and keep a 9:36 pace. The announcer was naming everyone coming in, I heard Pepper cheering. A fire ladder truck held a big American flag over us. I ran hard at the end.
I crossed the finish line and got my medal. WooHoo I’m a marathoner! I get to put that 26.2 sticker on my car. I walked over to Pepper and Mandi and all the kids. Then I walked inside the center for refreshments and to sit. I was moving very slow and my legs were really sore. There were pretzels, peanut M&Ms, gold-fish, bananas, huge muffins and not sure what else. There was no chocolate milk. I grabbed some goodies and sat next to Shannon. My legs were very sore. The guy sitting next to me was a physical therapist from Pleasant Grove, but originally England, still had an accent, even after 20+ years here. He said to sit in an ice bath for 15 min.
I ate a banana and had a Mountain Dew since it was cold. The Pepsi werent cold. Pepper came in and Evan and I slowly walked to the car. It felt so good to sit down on my comfy seat. I called Mike. He said they were loaded and ready to go back to the house, I have to tow the rhino and quad back. They suggested the lake as an ice bath. Good idea! I drove down the course to go back to the lake and honked and cheered for people.
Mike made a small sandwich for me and I walked to the lake. I put my feet in to mid calf. It was freezing! My feet ached. I stayed in maybe 5 minutes. Then decided to try it again and went just above my knees. Maybe for 1-2 minutes. There was no way I could sit or go deeper. Though my hips were sore, but it was too cold!
We loaded up and drove home. I think it’s a 10 minute drive. I ate a marathon snickers bar. After a shower and ibuprofen I felt pretty good. No aches. We went to dinner in St George. Texas roadhouse wouldnt seat eight until 8:30, so we went to Chuck-a-Rama buffet. No wait.
The guy behind us in line had a Red Rock relay shirt on and he said he was on the Classic sports team. I said we were team Wild Things and he remembered us. He was also helping with check-in this morning at the race. While getting food at the buffet he asked if I knew what tomorrow was. April Fools Day? First day to sign up for The St George Marathon. Haha
Then I saw another guy in a Ogden Marathon shirt and asked him if he ran this morning, no – but his father-in-law did. I said good job and he told me it was his 250th marathon!! And he did a 50 miler last weekend in Moab and he has five 100-milers planned this year, and he’s done 67 50-milers. Geeze! I said he didn’t look old enough to run that many. He said the first time he did the St George marathon was in ’78, I said I was born in ’78. LOL
So I was feeling good, moving around good, walked a little at the SG town square and let the kids play in the water a little. Connor was standing in the middle of the splash pad and all the water turned on and he screamed, was scared. It was the funniest thing! Mike ran in and grabbed him. What a good dad. I tried calling for him, but he just screamed. It was too dark for video and we would have won AFV. Haha
Connor wakes me up at 5:45 today and I can’t go back to sleep. I pick up my iPad to maybe write this and thought, hmm, 6:am, SG Marathon opens up. Since I know my CC number by heart I didn’t need to even move. I signed up at 6:am for my next Marathon. Oct 6th. Oh boy!
So, I felt the worst for about two hours after. Mostly just my legs and hips hurt. I was never nauseous and never had any direct pain anywhere. Awesome. I felt pretty good (today) the day after. I even went to Wal-Mart. Then I have been sitting on the couch, my quads are pretty sore. I’m surprised my feet don’t hurt. Oh, I did get a blister on my right big toe on the top/left. But didn’t notice it until after the lake and it had already popped. Not bad though. But, I just tried to bend down to clean up after my kid, oh no, quads are so sore! No Zumba tomorrow.
I can’t wait to see the pictures from the event photographers. But for now I’ll post what I have. 4:18 was my time. That is a 9:50 pace. I’m pretty happy. Whose idea was it to make this a sport and a distance to run. Darn Athens! It should have just been 13.1. I absolutely love that distance and can’t wait for my next half, because it will probably feel too short. Haha. Though I think the Hurricane Half is next. Gotta love that hill!! It does feel good to finish a challenging course though. I had a great time, all the volunteers were super nice. The water stations were great with all the goodies. But if I don’t run this next year for some reason, I will be at the top of the hill passing out otter pops to everyone. For being such a small race I was surprised how many people I was able to talk to during the race. I wasn’t by myself that much and I think that helped a lot. Some people suggested we start an hour earlier to beat the heat. But maybe 7:am. It’s too dark at 6:30. And chocolate milk after would be great. Thanks for a great race!
Thanks for reading!
Good job Amber! You are amazing. You will love the St. George Marathon. It’s the best ever!
Loved reading. I had a lot of the same thoughts you had when I ran mine. Why am I doing this? What am I trying to proove? Lol!
Great job and from what I remember hearing on “The Biggest Loser” less then half of a percent of America has ran a marathon. So you are now a part of an elite group. Whoohoo! So proud of you. What an adrenaline rush a few days after. The day after I said never again. Then a few days after I could hardly wait to run again. Remember to give your body plenty of recovery time. Great job! You look really good too.
Good job Sis!
Well Amber, you did it! You passed a milestone in your marathon running and broke through the 26-mile barrier. We are so proud of you! Way to go! I really enjoyed reading your race report, it is so thorough and entertaining, I feel like I a right there beside you feeling the excitement and the pain. Really liked the pictures too. A marshmallow man? Really. How about those caped marvels? Boy they really go all out. Again, we are so proud of you, please keep up the good work!
You are amazing, we are so proud.
Mom & Dad