Monday, October 3, 2011

St. George Marathon

9 months ago I started Running.
5 months ago I committed to training for a marathon.
2 days ago I crossed the finish line of St. George Marathon 2011.

(This post is going to be long rambling mess – feel free to ignore my scattered thoughts :D )

Days before the marathon I had serious doubts I would be able to run the race.  My hip that was injured on my bike accident was killing me - major confidence downer.  Thursday morning, before the race, I woke up feeling significantly better, packed all my gear, and after work my father and I headed down south to St George.   

Friday things were looking up and we took the day pretty low-key.  6am my dad and I drove the course, went to the expo (which served as the perfect excitement booster), visited with family we don’t normally get to see, picked up a throw-away outfit from the DI (which I ended up not even needing, ‘thank you St. George heat’), foam rolled the shit out of my hip, set out my gear, and finished the night off with an Epsom salt/aroma therapy crystal bath race ritual (Helps me sleep!) 8:30pm, ZZzzzzzz

White paper is a note from my Dad:'Sweet Dreams and Don't let The Bed Bugs Bite.' Remember - Breath in Breath Out. Love YFD (your favorite dad)
I normally don’t post daily food on my blog; but my intake prep for this race seemed to work perfect for me and I want to have it wrote down for next time.  On a day to day basis I stick with a primarily fruitarian diet; but Friday I changed it up a bit. 
·        6AM           Syntrax Protein Shake and Coffee
·        7AM           Banana and Cliff Bar
·        9AM           Orange and some Dates
·        12PM         Apple, Orange, some more Dates
·        3PM           Greek Non-Fat Yogurt and a Cliff Bar
·        5PM           Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Kale
·        6PM           Grapes and Oranges and Apples
I always stop eating/drinking the night before a race a little after 6pm.  Avoids pee stops along the race.  Throughout the day I also consumed 4, 32oz Poweraid Zeros and a ‘bunch’ of water.

Saturday - RACE DAY

Up at 3am.  Ate a Cliff Bar, got dressed, ate an orange & banana, and drove to the buss pick up.  One of my favorite things about a race is the pre-race commotion.  Feeding off of everyone’s excitement is amazing to me.  My dad talked to me to keep me calm and then it was time to leave.  By the time I got to the top, jumped in one of the long ass lines for the bathrooms, did my business, walked to the start line, and we were off.
My Hot DI Throw AwayOutfit!

My game plan was simple: Go VERY slow (high 9’s) until mile 10, then pick it up to  a 9 min mile if my hip was feeling good. I guess I don’t know how to follow a plan.   

At first, I was a little embarrassed to display these results.  No sub 4, awful reverse negative splits, a slow average pace – BUT hell, for my first marathon and with an injury I am proud I FINISHED. 

1 - 9:05.6 Felt Amazing. Realized I had forgotten to grab a piece of gum... damn. Tossed my DI clothes within about .0001 seconds from the start
2 - 9:17.2
3 - 8:56.7 I remember looking down at my watch here and thought, really Christie you did not train for this pace but still sped up – dumb.dumb.dumb.
4 - 8:49.0
5 - 8:49.0
6 - 8:33.9
7 - 8:32.5 Saw the ‘Veyo’ town sign and decided to turn the music on.  Hills do not bother me and I would actually prefer them over major down hill.  The second I turned on the tunes LMFAO graced me with Sexy and I know It.  Flew up Veyo with the biggest smile on my face.  I remember I kept singing with the song ‘I am a Runner and I know It’ and thought I had a Sub 4 in the bag. 
8 - 9:15.8
9 - 9:25.4 Started to feel a little twitch in my hip so I decided to back off the speed a bit. 
10 - 9:32.2 Ate a Date #1 here. 
11 - 10:08.9
12 - 9:56.2
13 - 9:55.1 Mile 12 is where I started stopping at each aid station.  Drinking ANYTHING while running makes me sick to my stomach so I would grab a water, put a bunch of my mouth then spit it out down the road to at least get rid of the cotton mouth feeling. Ate Date #2 
14 - 10:56.9 Hip really started to bug me but I kept trying to tune it out.  My dad was supposed to be at mile 16 with more Dates so I just kept looking forward to seeing his face.
15 - 10:07.1 Date #3 From mile 15 through mile 19 I ran with these two BUFF dudes in black shorts.  I have a sort of infatuation with back muscles… and boy did they have them.  As silly as it seems it helped me take my mind off of my hip pain.  I kept thinking of Melissa's hard core work outs @ Melissa’s Journey and how she would NEVER give up - I will NEVER give up.
16 - 9:48.3 No Dad to be found.  Ugggh.  Not only did I want to see him; but he had the rest of my dates to fuel the second half of the race.  

17 10:00.5
18 11:38.3 Hip KILLING me.  Every aid station that had icy hot I had the volunteers rub it on. (PS THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS FOR TOUCHING ALL OF OUR SWEETY LEGS)
19 11:54.9 I remember thinking about Britt @ ChicagoRunner Girl saying embrace the pain. Between that and the huge ‘LG (life’s good)’ written on my hand I kept running at a very slow pace. 
20 11:33.4 Heat attack! Mile 20 I really remember the heat starting to bother me. Any time I came into contact with water I dumped it over my head.  
21 11:47.5 (I think it was this station) They had water misters to run though. The only bad thing about water in your face is the salty sweat that runs into your eyes, ouch! 
22 11:17.3
23 10:59.0 Ran up the last rolling hill and guess who was at the top?? MY DAD and he was amazing.  He had my dates ready to go which I ate 4 as he rubbed icy hot on my hip, gave me a piece of gum, told me ‘You are Doing Great’, and I was off recharged. (I don't think supporters really know how much they mean to us)   
24 12:00.6 Embarrassed to say I started taking walking breaks here. The hip was not having it whatsoever  
25 12:24.5 Running through the community of St George was amazing.  The support was remarkable. 
26 12:19.1
.29 11:24.5 Saw the finish line and I think I started to cry a bit.
Summary          26.29            4:30:39.0  (Garmin Time) 

I sat in the misters for quite a bit and I just kept thinking: I did it. I did it. I did it.  I know many of you have done numerous marathons at much faster speeds but crossing that finish line felt AMAZing.  I did not even care that the time was over 4 Hours, I had finished.  Grabbed 2 bottles of water and downed them.  Grabbed a plate of oranges and headed out to find my dad.  He helped me do some stretches then headed back to our condo for a much needed ice bath and a mug full of my protein shake. 

(Now wishing I had Abs like Nicole or Teresa or Melissa would do! Want to share your secrets??)

-        Still so dehydrated as of today.  Sunday I drank countless amounts of liquids and I still feel SO thirsty. 
-         Volunteers, plain and simple, you FREAKING ROCK.
-     Heat SUCKS.
-         My father is the most amazing person ever.  His support is unsurpassed.
-         Excessive amounts of protein right after a race does wonders for muscle recovery. 
-         Running gives me confidence.  I feel like a different person when I am running and I love that.

So now, Olympic Tri in 3 weeks & I am looking for a marathon before the end of 2011… 
1 more for the year would make me one happy girl.   
I now know I will start out SLOW and I now know I can significantly improve my time, 


  1. Great job at the marathon! I did the exact same thing on my first: started fast then died. But you finished which is awesome. Way to go!

  2. Christy!!! aaaaahhhhh!!! YOU DID IT!!! and you deserve to feel AMAZING!!!! 4:30 is a great time for afirst marathon and someone who started running 9mos ago! holy geez!! this is just the beginning for you girl, you should feel so proud and satisfied! so many people will never do what you just did in their LIFE! way to go! so so so happy for you!!

  3. UMMM.... I saw the two hot guys in black shorts! ugh. makes me think we may have crossed paths MULTIPLE times at the race. I was 4:42... I must have been close to you the entire time.

    bummed we never met up!

    but CONGRATULATIONS on your AMAZING first marathon. You did awesome!! so so so proud of yoU!

  4. 4:30 for your first marathon!!!
    Congratulations Christie so proud of you. This is a wonderful achievement for someone who only started running not too long ago :)

  5. CONGRATS girl!!!!!!! um, given the hip injury, you should DEFINITELY be proud of that time - finishing without re-injury is definitely a great goal in and of itself! :) agreed, protein is a godsend after a long hard race like that haha. I definitely can't wait to run my own first marathon after reading this! (patience patience lol)

    I love reading your race recap and all about your training - any future races planned?

  6. Girl you should be PROUD! No shame allowed. You finished a freakin marathon!! (and your shoulders look amazing!)

    Marathons are tough. No matter how much you prepare for them (or think you prepare) they are still a unique battle each time you toe the line.


  7. CHRISTIE!!! i KNOW i saw you. creepy right!?! haha. i can't remember when but i as soon as i saw your pictures i was like "ahhhh i remember her!" which is even more crazy because i remember so few details from the race...just the big picture. ha! 1. sexy and i know it = best song in my life right now. i listened to it on repeat packing for the race. 2. mile 20 was where the heat kicked in for me as well...finally got enough brain cells together around mile 23 to realize DUH i can pour water on my head. that helped tremendously just as you said! Mile 23 was a turn around point mentally for me as well. I saw my friend's fam and the crowd increasing at mile 23 was just what i needed. 3 or 4...not sure where i am at ;) but you are AMAZING. you pushed through pain and finished strong! SO awesome! and i can totally relate to your relationship with your dad. it meant the world to me to have my dad at my first back in june. not having him at st. george was tough so i can totally understand how you felt at 16! overall...a great race friend! I am running the Vegas full in December...if you end up choosing that one let me know...we should meet up :) Although, sounds like on most could kick my butt runningwise ;) Loved what you said about running giving confidence. ahhhh. having running in my life has been the best thing ever! hope we can meet up at some point and not in the creepy "i think i saw you at the race" sort of way! haha!

  8. Wow, amazing job on this marathon... what an accomplishment! You should be so so proud, enjoy your great athletic abilities :)

  9. first off - congrats!!! second - you can only go up from your first marathon! the first one is just about finishing. i went from my first at a 5:17 to my last at 3:48. just think - you are starting with a 4:30!!!! you should be so proud of yourself. congrats again!

  10. Wow! You did FABULOUS!! Hip problem, no fuel at expected points, no drinking, heat, and still a GREAT first marathon. Be very Proud! You will take a HUGE chunk of time off that next marathon.

    Love that you had your dad as a supporter; mine means SO much to me too.

  11. I somehow missed this here's a belated CONGRATS ON YOUR FIRST MARATHON!!!

    I am so proud of you for sticking through with it, through the pain. I hope everything is feeling better now :)

    I have my first marathon next month, it makes me a little nervous to think about.

  12. gah! how did i miss this!!!! GREAT JOB!!!!! i love your recap! so proud of you for finishing your first ever marathon!and now an olympic tri in less than 3 weeks? youre a beast!!!!! thank you for the shout out btw!!!
    i do hope your injuries heal up soon and you can have an awesome triathlon experienace!!!!!