Monday, October 5, 2015

*Monday Memos* (St. George Marathon Edition)

*MONDAY MEMOS*

    
 (If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge)


dear big cottonwood half marathon custom video, featuring ME!  BiG C has always been the best marathon as far as the perks that come with it.  They allow you to get a refund if you can't run, they let you transfer races, they give you gloves AND space blankets to stay warm before, they have the coolest and largest medals of any other race, they give you all your photos that are taken professionally along the course for FREE, and they make a video of the race featuring YOU!  Other races should take note and try and be as cool as the BIG C!  You can check out mine HERE. 

*(If anyone has a suggestion on how to post videos via embedding them directly on a blog post without having to go to a link...please inform me how!  THANK YOU!)


 dear amazing lighthouse video...I shared this video on my facebook wall with the quote below: 
“To any who may be struggling to see that light and find that hope, I say: Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve. Christ comes to you in His ‘more excellent ministry’ with a future of ‘better promises.’ ” -Jeffrey R. Holland 

You must go HERE and check out this amazing video!

 Beacons of HOPE


dear speaking of hope, yes, once again the end of world came and went and I was a survivor!



dear things seen while running... oh, how this begs the question.... But as Dave's grandpa used to say, "The obvious need not be stated."
Okay, so I didn't see THIS ↑ while running....but I wish I had!  Wouldn't it be cool if those really existed? WOW!


dear birthday lunch, Karen took Linda and I out for our birthday on Tuesday!  We share a birthday and so Karen always takes us together.  No matter that our birthday was almost three months ago!  I actually like doing it late!  It kind of spreads it out!  haha 
 We went to the Union Grill.  My niece Tanae joined us too.  We mostly go there because they have the BEST Caramel Bread Pudding!  OH MY!  It's so good!  We love the caramel the best.  We could drink it!  It takes almost like syrup!
I had called my Mom earlier and we got talking about our day and I told her that I was going to lunch at Union Station and she said she was too!  We both just laughed!  And we were meeting our groups at the same time!  But Linda got stuck in traffic on her way down and so we were not going to meet at that time anymore.  And we all met at a beauty supply store before because Linda has a license and we get her discount... so I was afraid my Mom and her friends would be gone by the time we got there, but they were still there!  She was with about 10 other ladies.  We went over and said hi to them and after my Mom was done, she came and found us and stopped by to chat for a minute.
I sure do love my Mommy!
I made out well on my birthday gift from Scare! (Aka Karen)  I am ADDICTED to Trader Joe's Crunchy Cookie Butter and so Karen gave me two jars of it!  I seriously love it!  Let the carb loading begin!
 
Here is a recipe I found.  I wonder if it is as good!  MUST TRY!

Click to enlarge or go HERE to see it more clearly.


dear mr. cat, this had to be one of the funniest things ever.  Dave had a few minutes between appointments and so he ran home to do some work on the computer.  Well, you were sitting in his chair and instead of moving you out, he scooted the chair over as you slept soundly away and pulled up a hard chair.  You weren't even disturbed at all.  Seriously?!  Yes, seriously! 


dear cat sitting, I got to take care of our friend Troy's cat ZOE again.  She is no longer a kitten and I noticed a huge change in her playfulness since the last time I took care of her.  She is full grown and acts much more mature.  She wasn't really all that excited to see me either.  Waaa....  At least not like she used to be.  Kinda sad.  But I was excited to see her.  She is still more lovable than Mr. Cat.


dear gift from robin, WOW I have made out well in the birthday gift department this week!  Like I said earlier, I don't mind it at all!  In fact it's really fun!  It's kind of like having more than one birthday!  I could get used to this!  My friend Robin dropped by on Wednesday afternoon.  I was in the middle of making chocolate banana bread and in kind of a mess.  It's nice to have friends that you really don't mind if they see your messes.  I really loved her gift! 
 All things purple!  A purple running tank, purple chocolate AND a purple jar that says, "JODI'S PENNIES FROM HEAVEN".  It was the perfect gift and a lot of thought went into it! 
Is that not awesome?  And she already had a penny in it that she found while running down the canyon last week.  Too cute!  She also gave me a sweet card with lots of encouragement for the marathon!  EEK!  That is in three days!  


dear taylor home for dinner, Taylor stopped by for a dentist appt. on Wednesday night and then he was going to a concert in SLC after but he had some time to join us for dinner.  I can't believe I forgot to take his picture!  Dang!  Oh well.  Dinner was great and he ate enough to feed a third world country for a week!  I worry he isn't eating very well at college.  Of course, who does?  hah  I made beef stroganoff with rice, fresh garden green beans, fresh garden cantaloupe, green salad, and rolls.  He snarfed it down!  It was good to see him for a few minutes!  I loaded him up with food to take with him back to college.  Dave got him tickets for General Conference too. 


dear utah homemakers, I ran to our meeting this month even though we were heading out of town to St. George right after.  It was on decluttering and I am really trying to get motivated to do that!  My house needs it bad right now!  Sadly, I didn't feel like the meeting was really worth my time.  I have read a lot of books on the subject and so I didn't feel I learned anything I hadn't already heard.  Oh well, being around the other members is always a boost for me.
I just bought this book and I am excited to get motivated by it!

dear taper week (and marathon nerves), ohhhhh, taper week is hard. 
I have been a little bit freaking out this week when I heard the temperatures were going to be record high this year for the race.  I do not do well in heat and everyone was posting on Facebook how we better start hydrating NOW and to be sure and take salt tablets to take on the course and on and on.  The high this week was in the 100's there and they are calling it a heat wave.  I was pretty discouraged because my back has also been bothering me this week.  It seems something has to start hurting the week before.  I think my body is just done with the abuse after four long months and it's fighting back saying enough is enough!  But I was pretty discouraged because I know if it's going to be that hot, I will not be able to run fast.  The heat just takes it out of me and slows me down.  I was also reading about last Saturday's Huntsville Marathon that didn't start until 9:00 a.m. because it's usually much cooler by now.  This year that was not the case!  Everyone was posting how bad their time was and how miserably hot it was and how it slowed them down so much.  Well, all of this just got to me and I told Dave that I might as well not even run it because there is no chance for a BQ now.  I was pretty down about it all.  Four months of training is no easy task and to think it ALL comes down to ONE day!  One day!  And so much can go wrong on that given day that is out of my control...it's rather frightening.  

Four of the five full marathons I have run have had weather related issues.  Two of my three Ogden marathons were downpours and pretty cold.  And another Ogden was extremely hot.  Big Cottonwood was also hot.  BUT....that's why we train in all kinds of weather and so I just need to quit worrying.  Robin has been telling me that all week.  She does not worry or get nervous at all.  Not sure how, but she never does.
My friend Jen has been sending me daily emails with encouraging words and quotes to help motivate me this week and they have really helped!  She has a lot of faith in me.  It is good someone does because the week before I always tend to get a little crazy.  She is a great friend for doing that because it really helps.

Here's one of them:
"I hope everything is going well.  That you are resting and running easy like the lowest level on the morning aerobics show, carbo loading like an bear before hibernation, and keeping a positive mental attitude like a boss.  You’ve got this thing!"  


Here's a few of the quotes she sent me this week: 

"Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." -Joe Henderson, running coach and author

"Marathons are extraordinarily difficult, but if you've got the training under your belt, and if you can run smart, the races take care of themselves. When you have the enthusiasm and the passion, you end up figuring how to excel." - Deena Kastor

"It takes faith and the courage to risk failure in order to realize one's destiny. Having had my share of failures throughout my career I know that it is well worth the risk. "  -Ryan Hall, American long distance runner and winner of the 2008 United States Olympic Marathon Trials

Those have really helped me to focus and stay positive!
And this is always important to remember!
Haha!  I found this online and laughed and laughed because it's just so true! 



dear trip to st. george, we headed down on Thursday after Dave got off work.  I was surprised how quick it went.  We arrived in under five hours!  Closer to 4.5.  Not bad!  Especially considering it used to take us six hours when I was going to school there.  Speaking of that, I directed Dave right to my old apartment!  Drove right to it!  And it was STILL standing!  Yes, 35 years later and still there!  It is no longer white, but it looked exactly the same otherwise.  BRACKEN #2.

And here I am with Shauna 35 years ago right in front of it....  
 Notice that white car in the background.  We called it the Polyg car because there were/are many polygamists in St. G and we are pretty sure that is what it was for.  In fact, if I remember right, we saw a few in it.

 I found a penny RIGHT in front of it!  Totally awesome!

 Of course, we HAD to stop and take this photo.  I have one of me standing there 35 years ago doing the same pose.  I need to go dig it up!  I only went to Dixie for Spring Quarter when I was a freshman but stayed and lived there and worked for the summer with Shauna.  We weren't quite ready to go home.  Mainly because I had a missionary that lived there that was leaving in July.  Shauna was awesome to stay there with me.  :)  I also had a scholarship at Weber State for fall quarter (for Majorette) and so I didn't want to give that up.  But DIXIE will always have a special place in my heart!  Some of my best memories are of:
  • Program Bureau (aka PB -  a singing group we were involved in)
  • Working on campus in the office, the cafeteria, cleaning dorms (not fun!)
  • Eating baby food, cat food, and dog biscuits.  Don't ask...
  • My roommate Melanie's mom's homemade bread she baked in a juice can
  • Trips to Zion to go tunnel running
  • My modern dance class (feeling the space!)
  • The Miss Washington County Beauty Pageant I was in.  (I got a mini scholarship for that)
  • My roommates Melanie, Tanya, Tina, Janet, and Shauna
  • Trips to Vegas
  • Chocolate frozen yogurt at McWilleys
  • Modeling for JC Penneys
  • Learning to drive a stick shift on St. George hills with the cars we drove home for a dealership
  • Trips to LaVerkin
  • Catering in Zion's canyon (part of our cafeteria job)
  • Killing roaches (okay I really hated this part of Dixie!)
  • Laying out in our tiny backyard
  • Mom's week
  • Shauna serving as RS President in our student ward
  • The administration begging us to stay and go to school there longer and offering us all kinds of perks if we would
  • Institute
  • Trips to the D on the mountain
  • The Gable House/The Mushroom Inn/Gibsons/ the little grocery store we shopped at
  • Max Rose /George White? 
  • Driving home with a maniac driver (boy) that went 90-100 mph! (bad memory!)
  • Mel's air-headed-ness, Janet's boyfriend Dave, Institution Tom who lived behind us and had been going to Dixie for so many years that we named him that, cleaning out the pantry and entire kitchen (ugh)...
  • The bathtub drain
  • Using a large wooden wire spool as an outside table
  • Hauling our couch to the Drive In movie to sit on
  • Lots more!
I wish I were in the land of cotton...old times there are not forgotten!   
Oh, so true!
 It was too dark for this shot, but the temple looks cool!

 We carb loaded that night at the most amazing restaurant!  It was called AHI and it was right across from out hotel.  Mmm.....  After dinner and driving around some more (we were right by Wilding Wallbeds - Dave's cousin runs it so we stopped in for a short visit), we hit Nielsen's Frozen Custard.  Bountiful's is better.  But it was still good!  We stayed at the Comfort Inn at the convention center.  It was a really nice place. 
 The next morning Robin talked me in to going on a short shake out run (2 miles) with her and Grant while Dave went and played Pickleball.  The scenery of our run was gorgeous!  There was a nice trail right by our hotel.  Then we met at the Expo to pick up our race packets.
We got this GREAT shot of us.  It is one of my faves!
I am sure poor Dave was bored out of his mind, but he was very patient.  We ran into Marci and a lot of others from Brigham.  I talked to a woman who has ran it several times and she gave me some pointers.  She said it's a tough course and more hilly than you think. I told her I was trying to qualify for Boston (BQ) and she was very encouraging and sweet.  I bought a few things and then we headed to drive the course even though everyone told me that was a really bad idea.  But, Dave wanted to see it. 

 A few more shots from the Expo
 Same picture - different background.

Before we drove the course, we stopped to look at a house one of my friends has for sale.  It was in Little Valley and it was a condo and really nice.  We thought it would be nice to have a second home down there.  I was thinking for sure until I asked about cockroaches and they said they have them and everyone does because you can't get rid of them. That really put a damper on my excitement!  It was fun anyway, and we still are thinking about it.  I just want something a little newer.

Then we drove the course.....
 We got to the start and it was all set up and ready to go for tomorrow!  It was amazing!  They had flags from every state and many countries!  They had the bonfires all set up and lined up ready to go, they had a million porta potties! 
Check out the PURPLE PORTA POTTIES!  Totally cool! 
 It was awesome but it also started to make me nervous!  And then we drove the course the way I will be running it and my friends were right.  NOT A GOOD IDEA!  I was very depressed after that.  There were SO many flippin' hills that I KNEW there was NO way I was every going to get a BQ on that course.  I was very discouraged!  I had no idea it was so hilly!  Everyone talks about Veyo hill and they say it's really the worst one but no tells you the course is loaded with many more big hills. Not as big as Veyo, but there were just so many.  The elevation drops a lot but there many hills along the way to get there.  Even the last six miles which I was told was all downhill was not!  I hate hills. I suck at hills!  I love downhill and I was expecting a lot more of that. Oh well, too late now to back out!  We saw a lot of signs on the way down too....
 A picture at the Start Line and the Finish Line. Hopefully, I'll be in both places tomorrow.
We went to The Pizza Factory to carb load.  We ran into Tasha Tilley from our city.  She came and sat by us while her and Dave tried to make a plan for Pickleball tomorrow and still get to the finish line in time. They were both missing a tourney in our city to be at the marathon.  Her sister was running it.  It was fun to see so many people here from our town.  I was starting to feel the nerves.  


We drove to the finish line again and tried to find a spot where we could meet since it was going to be chaos after the race.  They were giving out free cotton candy and so I carb loaded on that!  Mmm....

We headed back to the hotel and I got all my running gear set out and tried to focus on what I needed to remember.  Dave went to the store to grab me some baggies for my Blox.  He was gone a while and I was grateful for the quiet so I could gather my thoughts.   I tried to get in bed by 8:00 (talk about a pipe dream!) but made it in bed by 9:30 and didn't shut my eyes until after midnight. I was way too keyed up!  It was a long night!  Though too short as well.  My alarm was set to go off at 3:56 a.m.! 


All of those alarm times have been set for running...
The earliest is 2:53 a.m.  That was when we had to be out of town by 3:30 for a marathon.
~~~

Get ready for a marathon post!  Literally!  
On your marks, get set...
GO!


dear st. george marathon (the race!), morning came way too soon, but I was also ready to get this show on the road!  My back was bothering me when I woke up and so I did something I never do.  I took a Celebrex before the race!  Robin and Grant picked me up at my hotel at 4:45 a.m. (much later than we have to leave for most marathons because we were so close to the buses).  We got in line for the buses and then took the long ride up.  I was pretty nervous, but doing okay.  I did wish I had taken my granola bar.  I ate a piece of bread with peanut butter and yogurt (courtesy of the hotel breakfast) and then a banana on the way up.  Once we got to the starting line it was porta potty priority!  (Twice!) The lines weren't bad at all.  The bonfires were blazing and I saw lots of peeps I knew.  We didn't really have much time up there when they announced it was time to line up.  NERVES!   Robin was as calm as a cucumber.  I chalked it up to inexperience of running a full when things go wrong. Her only other full was a perfect race.  I hoped this one would be for her as well, but my nerves were raging because I have a few more under my belt and I know so many things can go wrong in that distance.  You must always respect that distance.  It is a long way!
It was dark!
Hard to see but that's me and Marci at the start.  The second photo is of the wheelchair racers.  They are so inspiring! 
With Robin and Grant near the bonfires.
With Clark and Sam and Robin and Grant right before race start!
We ran into Clark and Sam right before the start. This was Clark's 21st time running this race. They announced it was time to line up.  Oh the nerves!  Robin was searching for her son Andrew when I ran into Marci and while we were chatting I lost Robin in the chaos.  I was madly trying to locate the 4:00 pacers and was having a hard time finding them.  I finally found them but as I crossed the starting line I saw they had crossed way before me. I have never been to a race start with so many people just trying to cross that line.  It was pretty cool!  Speaking of cool, it was a little chilly which was a good sign!  The high was expected to be in the mid 80's which is perfect!  That means I should cross the finish line when it's about 75.  My fears of high temps were for nothing!  We all joked that it's because 7800 people were praying for it to be cooler than the forecast had predicted all week. 

I crossed and it was so dark that I couldn't see my Garmin.  I panicked a little because I had NO idea what my pace was and I knew I had to be diligent in pacing if I had any chance of a BQ.  That's why I needed to start with the pacers.  I finally got my phone out and held it in my hand so I could see on my running app what pace I was going.  My phone had a light and my Garmin didn't.  It probably does but I have no idea how to turn it on.   When I saw I had been running an 8:30 pace I slowed down.  But then I could see the 4:00 pacers way ahead of me and so I stepped up my pace to try and catch them.  I was running an 8:30 ish pace and they were supposed to be running even 9:10 splits, but I still didn't catch up with them even after three miles.  I figured they were running way under their pace.  I was just flying and I knew I needed to slow down so I won't bonk at the end.  It's always easy to go out fast in the beginning but you pay for it at the end. 

I was running with a guy named Chubba for quite a long time.  He was very nice and told me to not let him hold me back.  I was afraid I was doing the same to him and I finally looked at my watch and knew I was going way too fast and tried to slow it down to a 9:10 minute mile.  I was surprised how hard that was for me. I couldn't do it.  I finally just forced myself.  He ran ahead.  Then I ran the rest of the race alone.  There was continuous chatter for the first seven miles but once we hit Veyo Hill things quieted down fast.  You can't talk while you run up that thing or you will die!  I was wondering how I would do.  It was as brutal as they have said, but I actually did really well.  I didn't walk one step and just kept pushing and pushing.  I didn't think it would ever end, but it eventually did.  After five miles!  I am not kidding!  Veyo ended around mile 8, but then there were four more miles of uphill!  Wow!  That was a lot of uphill with no break.  I was sure I was going so slow but every time I looked at my time, I was in the 8's and 9's.  It was great!  But that was the slowest part of my race.
Photo on left you can see us approaching Veyo Hill.  Photo on right is fun to see the sunrise in the distance and all the cups everywhere. 
Our first spectators were at Veyo.  They were all very nice and it was fun to have cheering crowds along the course.  The next group was Damaron Valley and they were handing out licorice, gum, jolly ranchers, etc.  Bubble gum sounded good to me and so I grabbed some and made the lady's day because I guess no one was taking her stuff.  haha   Then Diamond Valley was next. I had been looking forward to Diamond Valley because Dave's Uncle Bob and Aunt Moira live there and told us they were coming back from their trip so they could be there to cheer me on!  I heard Bob yell out my name.  I was excited to see them!  I gave them high fives and told them I was doing well and right on my pace and then off I went.  My pace was actually way under what it needed to be but I still wasn't believing my Garmin was right at that point. That was around mile 14.5 and right after that is where the downhill comes!  It was great!  I was more than ready!  But then once again, another hill!  I'm talking large hills.  Not Veyo large, but significant enough that I was wondering where the talk comes that this was a downhill course.  It was a rolling hills course!  The elevation does drop a lot but you run up a lot to do that!   When I saw that hill, I said, "Another hill!?" and the guy next to me said, "That's nothing, wait until mile 18!"  I was not thrilled to hear that.  He also said that hill doesn't show up on the elevation charts but it's a killer.  He was right.  But once I got up it, there was some sweet downhill!  But once again, more hills interspersed. I was really shocking myself how fast I was taking all these hills!  I usually suck at hills!

Around mile 16-17 my IT Band started to hurt.  I was not expecting that.  I haven't had issues with it for quite a while.  I was pretty discouraged because it was really painful.  I was wishing I had thrown in my knee band.  I really didn't want to have to run the next 10 miles with it hurting like that.  So I did the only thing I could do.  I prayed.  I was running this race in memory of my friend Davaleen and I said a little prayer to her asking if she could possibly help me find a way to ease some of the pain so it wouldn't slow me down too much.  About mile 19-20, just as we were getting into the aid station and I saw all the volunteers rubbing Icy Hot on people I asked the girl next to me if she knew if Icy Hot would help IT Bands?  She said she didn't know, but a guy behind us said to me, "Do it!"  I asked him if he was sure it would help or make it worse, but he once again said very convincingly, "Do it!"  I had to wait until the next aid station, but I thought, "What the heck?" and had them rub it on my knee where the pain was.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but about a half mile later, the pain was bearable!  Thanks Davaleen!  I knew she was up there cheering me on and helping me out.  

Then the fun miles hit.  Fun is a relative term mind you!  Fun meaning that there was only six more miles left!  In most marathons I've ran, that seems formidable! And is the hardest part hands down.  But this one, it felt so doable!  I was feeling pretty good.  I felt like I had fueled well.  I took a gel on mile 6, mile 13, mile 19, and around mile 23.  At least that's what I think I did.  There is a chance the last one was at mile 21 instead of 19 and I only did three.  Things get a little lost in my head at that point in the race.  I was tired.  I wanted to see that finish line, but I was also feeling really good about my time.  At mile 23 I knew I would BQ and I was beginning to wonder if I could do a sub 4.  
We were in the town now and there were many more spectators.  It's amazing how complete strangers can help you so much!  I heard one yell my name and tell me I was doing great.  It helps to have your name on your bib for that reason!  Then about mile 24 my friend Tracy yelled my name so loud and started jumping up and down and yelling my name again over and over.  I think she was the most excited spectator of the race!  She was so sweet and jumped in and ran beside me for a good quarter of a mile at least.  She had much more energy than I and though I tried to keep up with her pace, I couldn't.  I was still running an 8:30 at that point and so I didn't feel one bit bad she was going faster.  I was really questioning if my Garmin was working right because I have NEVER maintained my pace in a full like I did in this one.  I expected to be doing a 9:30 something at this point.  I was seriously in shock at my pace!  I knew I would be running a negative split!  First time for that!  For non runners that is when you run the second half faster than the first half.  Tracy told me good bye and good luck and that ice chips were up ahead and that sounded so very good!  I grabbed a bag and just sucked on a few at a time for the next half mile or so.  It took too much energy to carry them or worry about them so I chucked them.  Right after that I saw the people handing out Popsicles. I had heard about them from so many people and as I grabbed one I said, "I have been waiting for these the entire race!  Thank you!"  They were really happy to hear that.  I grabbed a blue one and it was so good.  I couldn't eat the whole thing, but those few bites were perfect. 
Love that sign!  People handing out Popsicles on top right! 
As I turned a corner around mile 25, I heard my friend Susan yell out my name.  She was there cheering on her husband Clark and son.  It was nice to have people you know to cheer you on.  It really does help.  Then we kept making turns here and there and I was so wanting to see that finish line.  Then... I saw it.  It was way too far away.  But it always is.  I have never ran a marathon when the finish line seemed right there and reachable.  At that point in the race, it's always just too far and it seems like it takes forever to get there.  

Oh my, the crowds were the loudest I have ever experienced!  They were yelling SO loud and it was so exciting.  I felt like I was in the Olympics!  I had enough left in me to sprint to that line.  I finished strong and happy and was soooo relieved.  
Getting close!
Almost there!
I can taste it now!!!

DONE!  I did it!!!
As I grabbed my chocolate milk, I got a call from my niece Natalie.  She had come from Cedar City to cheer me on!  She is going to school there.  I was so happy to see her!  Then Dave came over.  They wouldn't let them inside the runner area and so I stood there and chatted with them for a long time.  I kept getting light headed and so I went and got some water and that helped. 
 I saw my one of my runner friends (from our city) finish and he didn't look too well.  Then I saw Adrian come in, he also didn't look too well.  He was also trying to BQ, but had a bad race.  Bishop Tucker came in and looked great but wished for a better time.  Then Clark and Sam came in.  They looked pretty good and were happy with their time.  It was Sam's first and when I asked him how he liked it he said, "Wow, those last six miles!"  I didn't tell him that those were the best last six in any marathon I've ever ran.  haha  I'll let him figure that out for himself.  :) Dave later told me that he watched at the finish line for about an hour and saw three people literally collapse right before the finish line.  He said it was very touching and inspiring. Other runners had to help them up and across the finish line. He said it was crazy watching everyone at that point in the race. He said so many were in such bad shape.  He said you could tell the ones who trained hard and the ones who didn't.  I told him sometimes even hard training isn't a guarantee for a strong finish.  26.2 miles is a very long distance and anything can happen.   
I kept waiting and waiting for Robin to come in, but she never did.  Finally, I headed over to grab my clothing bag and get some bread.  I'm never really hungry right after a marathon, but I knew my body needed some fuel.  I wandered around trying to find Dave.  He didn't meet me at the tree we had designated as our meeting place if we lost each other.  I finally had to call him.  I talked to my running friend Rendi and then Tasha.  It was nice to see so many familiar faces.  But still no Robin.  I went back in the runner coral to look for her.  I finally found her.  She didn't have a good run.  In fact she said she had never been so miserable in her life.  She had issues with her hamstring and IT Band and a few other things.  I felt so bad for her.  But she finished!  She got a 4:40.  Grant finished in 3:33 so he got his BQ! 
My training buddies!

SO...
DID I or DID I NOT QUALIFY FOR BOSTON??
Is the suspense killing you?  hah!
I decided to drag the answer out because I wanted to simulate running a marathon while reading this post.  That is why it is so long...(and painful!) and why you just want to get to the finish. 
YES...YES I DID!!!


It's true!  I really am going to run the Boston Marathon!  My pipe dream is now a reality!  I am not sure it has sunk in yet, and I am still a little bit in unbelief! Somebody pinch me!!!  


I qualified for BOTH 2016 AND 2017.  In both age divisions!  A 4:00 (or under) for age 50-54 and 4:10 (or under) for 55-59. I was under in BOTH!  The only catch is I can't run it until April of 2017 because registration for the 2016 race is already closed.  In case you aren't aware, you don't just run Boston just because you want to...you have to earn it.  In order to qualify you must run a full marathon that has been approved by the USA Track and Field Association as a Boston Qualifying race and run it with a time that is within the rigid standards set by the Boston Athletic Association.  Running the Boston Marathon is like the Super Bowl for runners.  The Holy Grail.  To me it always seemed completely unreachable and one of those pipe dreams, but now here I am a BOSTON QUALIFIER!  During my attempt of reaching this goal, they set the standard even higher in 2013 by six full minutes.  I have been trying for many years to get a BQ (runner term for Boston Qualifying time) and I finally did it.  It has taken a lot of hard work and training, but now I can say it was all worth it!  Every step, every hill, every sore muscle, every ache and pain, every Yasso 800, every tempo run, every freezing cold run, every scorching hot run, every trip down Sardine canyon and up airplane hill, every rising before the sun to run, every going to bed early on the weekends, every injury, every plank, every. single. mile was worth it.

My time for the St. George Marathon was 
3:58:45!!!
A sub 4:00! 
I honestly NEVER thought I would run a sub 4:00!  

I... was... ecstatic!  
Stats and my Garmin at the end. Looks like I ran even more than a 26.2.
My splits
The pace band I wore (on the right) that I trained to run it in.  The one one on the left is more like what I ran it in.
The best thing is now I have almost 12 minutes in the bank which is really good because just qualifying within your time standard does not guarantee entrance into the race.  They take the fastest of each age division and accept until it is full.  They will start registering those who ran it 20 minutes faster, then 10 minutes, then 5 and then everyone else.  For 2016 you had to be about 2:30 faster than your BQ time.  If not, you got turned away.  How sad is that?  I think if you actually qualify, you should get to run it.  But it's becoming too competitive and so now only the fastest of the fast get in.  And it keeps getting harder each year.  Next year, they say you will most likely need to be closer to four minutes faster, maybe even five. So I am very happy I am almost 12!!!!!!!!!  Now I can relax!  Well, relatively speaking that is!  I still have to train hard for the next year and a half if I want to do well at Boston!  
This guy is my biggest fan and greatest athletic supporter...(sorry couldn't resist!).  He was so proud of me.  He is one of the reasons I was able to do this because he doesn't complain when I spend four plus hours on Saturdays doing long runs and he is the one that gets up at the crack of insanity to drive us there! 

Anyway, it was a great race.  When I finished I was thinking, "WHY is that course everyone's favorite?"  It was tough!  It was loaded with so. many. hills!  MOST of which you can't even see on the elevation chart!  
But after thinking it through, even though it is a tough course, for whatever reason, I did my best time ever and I felt the best at the end of it than at any other marathon so far!  I was a little bit light headed after crossing the finish line and stopping and a volunteer did have to hold me up for a few seconds while I attempted to turn off my phone app.  But I think I was just a little dehydrated.  I am still trying to figure out how I did so well on such a hilly course because I truly suck at hills.  I am not sure if it was my training or if maybe the altitude had something to do with it, or if I was just getting lots of help from the other side.  Whatever it was...I am grateful!  And...

I'm going to BOSTON!!!



Here is the .2 of the post (like in a marathon just when you thought you were done...this is supposed to be the MOST painful and longest part and always seems totally useless so skip it if you want!) 

Dave got permission for me to shower at the hotel if we were there by noon. We rushed back and when we got there someone else was in our room!  So they gave us another one that had been cleaned already.  I hurried and as we were leaving a housekeeper showed up and was not happy because they said the room was already cleaned.  We explained.  Neither of us had any cash or we would have tipped them.
I got a blister!  And it's heart shaped! How cool is that!??  After this photo, it grew to 4 X this size. This is actually my first ever marathon blister!  I am kind of proud of it!  It's like a badge of honor! 
And then we were off!  We stopped at Jimmy Johns for a #12 (turkey and avocado) and I inhaled it.  I was starving by then.  We drove for about 3 hours and I had to stop and walk around because my legs were screaming.  It started to just pour and we saw the most incredible rainbow!   We listened to General Conference and I heard them announce that Gary Stevenson was one of the new apostles!  WHAT!!!  I was stunned!  I am good friends with Lesa his wife.  He has been serving as the Presiding Bishop, but an apostle!  WOW!  I can't even imagine what she must be going through!  I love her to death and she will be great, but the poor woman!

We arrived home in five hours.  It was good to be home.  I was not walking too well.  Rigor mortis had set in on the drive home.  I walked (hobbled) in my house with my medal around my neck!  I always wear it for the entire day.  I earned that baby and so I am going to wear it!
This medal will mean a little bit more to me than most of my medals.  It represents achieving a dream I truly never thought would come to pass.  It means hope and faith and overcoming.  It means hard work and perseverance and sticking it out when wanting to give up.  It means another year and half of pushing myself to stay trained for the Boston Marathon.  Did you just read that?  

THE. BOSTON. MARATHON!!!  

I am really going to run Boston!  Seriously somebody pinch me!
I added some arrows in this photo because the looks on those two ladies faces are priceless!  I about died laughing when I zoomed in.  The one on the right looks like she's ready to cry and can't believe I would be jumping after that.  The one on the left looks like she is stunned.  Funny stuff!
Okay, you finally crossed the finish line! No DNF for you!  I think reading ALL of this had to be more painful than a marathon. GOOD JOB!!!  You deserve a medal!  Or at least some chocolate!  I owe you!


Adding these from the PROOF photos. I now have PROOF I ran it!


dear bryce, while we were in St. Geezy, Bryce went to Strawberry Reservoir with his boss Sonny for four days.  He had a lot of success as you can see here!
Glad I didn't have to clean them!  OR...eat them!!!


dear mr. cat, you were SO happy to see us when we got home.  I am pretty sure I have not heard you purr that loud or had you rub my legs as much or heard you meow with such happiness when we arrived home from a vacay quite as much as this time.....(yeah that's what I am claiming you did - NOT just because you wanted a treat).  It was awesome.  And you wanted to stay near us every minute.  Here you are sleeping in a chair that you never sleep in but you did tonight so you could be close to us.  Awww....  maybe you are one of those lovable kitties after all.  We just have to leave you alone for a few days to get you to appreciate us.



dear sweet friend julie, I found this when I got home from my friend Julie.  She gave it to me to congratulate me for getting a BQ at the marathon.  How thoughtful is that?
It's the picture that President Uchdorph used in his talk at the General Women's meeting last week.  It was a great talk about hope and happiness titled The Summer With Great Aunt Rose.  It can be found HERE.


dear general conference...as we were driving home on Saturday, we heard the announcement of the three new apostles.  I was so surprised to learn that my dear friend Lesa Stevenson's husband Gary was one of them!  WOW!  He has been serving as the Presiding Bishop of the church and a GA before that and a mission president before that.  He is a very successful business man as well.  He and Lesa are the middle ones below.  The other two are Elder Rasband and Elder Renlund. 
 Lesa looks as if she is in a bit of shock in this photo.  I can only imagine!  They will be the youngest ones of all the apostles and wives.  Gary is only 60!  JUST. SO. COOL!  They are the most amazing people and so down to earth.  Which is hard to believe because they have done really well for themselves.  Gary started the ICON FITNESS company, but they are just so real and so humble. I have know Lesa for over 20 years from American Mothers.  I have been to her home in Providence several times and it is amazing.  They have an indoor basketball court, as well as an amazing outdoor pool and guest home. I took the boys swimming up there when they were little.  They still remember it.  Lesa is one of the most creative and talented women I know and I have always admired her so much.  She is so amazing and always added a flair to every AMI event.  She was the Search Chairman the year I was nominated for Young Mother of the Year and she was so wonderful to work with.  That was the start of our friendship and I have never met another person that has the standing in life that she does that is so down to earth and so real.  When my first son went on a mission she gave me a children's book that I have treasured and loved because it was such a comfort to me (after it made me bawl like a baby!)  I think we were instantly bonded because Lesa has four boys.  I also love her mom.  She is a very classy lady too.  I look forward to being able to watch her now in this new role.  Wow.... what an incredible thing for her. I can't think of anyone better qualified for the job.
 (These ↓ were taken with Lesa this year at Women's Conference before she spoke)
Elder Rasband, Elder Stevenson, Elder Renlund
Dave worked with Elder Renlund (right) while he was in his residency at LDS Hospital.  Elder Renlund was the attending physician.  The world seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

 And then there is this woman.  Carole Stephens.  She spoke in the Sunday afternoon session.  Her talk was simply amazing.  She is simply amazing too. When we moved to Farr West after I graduated from high school, I was in her ward.  My parents weren't active then and so I attended alone.  I always tried to sit behind her every chance I got so I could observe her as she mothered her five or six children alone.  Her husband Marty was in the Bishopric and on the stand.  She was the most patient and loving mother I had ever seen and I wanted to be just like her someday and so I watched and tried to learn.  She was always so kind.  When my parents started to become a little more active, she and Marty played a role in their reactivity.  Then a few years ago, I was in charge of the Mother of the Year search for American Mothers and Carole was a nominee.  Dave was one of the judges that year and Carole was selected to represent Utah as the Mother of the Year.  A well deserved honor.  It meant that I got to work with her that year and get reacquainted with her.  We had a couple of meetings at her home in Farr West for AMI and she was just as delightful as ever. Marty had been serving as Mayor for Farr West and then as the Speaker of the House for several years.  Soon after that year ended she was called to be on the General Women's Board.  And now she is serving as a counselor in the General Relief Society.  No surprise there.  Like I said, it seems like the world is getting smaller.


And conference wouldn't be conference without the tradition of German Pancakes!  They really are the most delicious thing!  Dave made these for us.  It was just he and I this time. Weird. So weird.  We watched conference alone and ate alone.  Weirdness.  We sat on the couch and had zero distractions from anything.  Even Mr. Cat was asleep in the other room.  This is going to take some getting used to.  The good thing was I did get a leg massage out of it, but it was oh, so painful!  It hurt so good.  I think it helped to loosed up those stiff muscles and I was walking a little better after that.


Taylor and CJ with their dates taken at conference.  CJ is with Sadie who took McKay to a dance in high school.  They are the same age. 

I think my favorite talk was Elder Holland's titled Behold Thy Mother.  Wow!  Just wow!  You can listen or read it HERE. But then again, my favorites usually are his.  He speaks with such power.  I will never forget 18 years ago when I had just brought McKay home as a newborn baby from the hospital (possibly even that very day), that Elder Holland gave a talk on motherhood titled Because She is a Mother and I just sat there and sobbed and sobbed.  It was so perfect to what I was feeling at the time and so powerful. You can read or listen to that one HERE. 



dear happy birthday mr. cat!  Mr. Cat turned four on Sunday!  He was super excited for his canned food "cake", but not too thrilled with the hat thing.  It appears from this photo that he is not much of a party animal! 
Once he got to eat his "cake" he was much more willing to let me put the hat on.  He takes after the other boys as far as not liking to get his picture taken!  :)



dear randomness, how cute is this? ↓
I made myself...well, myself!  Or I created myself myself!  I thought it was adorable. 


I made this and I thought it turned out cute so I wanted to save it on here. 


Looking at these shoes makes me happy.  I'm a sucker for shoes!  They are just so beautiful.  Beauty can create happiness in our souls.
This is Dave's new fruit fly trap.  It worked much better than any other one we've done.

I came home to find this.  Bryce's way of drying his shoes.  Hmm....

A few Facebook quizzes:
Yep, I'm still a sucker for them too!  Even though most of them are bogus! hah



dear quotes, there were some good ones this week! 

4 comments:

Audrey said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I have never seen anyone work as hard for something as you have for this marathon. What an amazing journey!

Nancy Mc said...

A sub 4:00 AMAZING!!! Love the mortuary sign at the marathon.
My hubby and I are wondering about the fruit fly trap. Our vinegar one didn't work. Enjoyed reading about Carole Stephens. We were in the same stake as them before the moved to the SLC area.

Jodi Wilding said...

Thanks Audrey! It has been a long road to get to Boston, but I made it!

Jodi Wilding said...

Thanks Nancy! I loved that sign too! hehe

For the fruit fly trap we put in a piece of cantaloupe that was mostly gone but with the rind still attached along with some apple cider vinegar. We covered it with Saran Wrap and poked several very small holes in it and we had almost 200 inside within hours! It worked so much better than Dawn soap and apple cider vinegar one we tried.
That's awesome Carole was in your stake! I just love her!

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