It all started last year when I registered for the race. After some issues with my pregnancy I had to bail out before the race and transfer my registration to this year. After lots of emails in attempts to contact someone who works for the race I finally got it confirmed that my registration would be transferred. Which brings us to September of this year. In an attempt to verify that my registration was transferred I tried contacting through emails, the website, and then finally facebook before it was confermed that my registration was transfered.
Soooo... Now, it's the day before the race around 1:45 I drive an hour down to Provo (through INSANE traffic) to find the mall full of cars. After finally finding a spot I go inside and see (picture #1) a line stretching from one end of the mall to the other (I'm talking at least 2000+ people in line). This mall isn't tiny, so, I know I'm going to be waiting for a while. It's a good thing I had my phone cause I kept checking their facebook page to find out what was going on. I waited in line for an hour and a half before reaching the doors to registration only to find the room completely full of people trying to get their packets. A friend of mine tells me where to go and I make my way in only to find my packet isn't there. After talking to 5 different people, looking through the registration boxes 10 times and coming up empty I ask a guy for a new bib number. He points me in the direction of the bib checker who's having a rough time. She informs me that she can't give me a new bib unless she has the old bib. Well, that helps... I DON'T HAVE AN OLD BIB!! So, she looks me up in the computer only to find that I'm not actually in there. The guy didn't transfer my registration like he said he was going to. The lady was so stressed out with everything she just gave me a bib and took my info. I just had to cross my fingers my info I just gave her wouldn't be lost in the shuffle and it'd work in the morning. After spending 2 hours in the mall I start to go back home only to find that I-15 was a parking lot and I'd have to take State Street as far as I could. Well, yada, yada, yada... it ended up taking me FOREVER to get home and I ended up spending 5 1/2 hours round trip getting a packet that didn't exist.
Finally, it's race morning (Picture #2). I'm up at 3:45 and the race doesn't start until 9:20. (Which is CRAZY! Who starts a race that late?) I didn't want to risk traffic and any more organization problems on their part, so I made sure I had plenty of time to get on their first bus at 5:30. I forgot to grab something for breakfast other than a banana and I knew I'd have a TON of time to eat, so I got some McDonalds oatmeal and a hot cocoa (picture #3). I got to the bus pick up in time to get on the first bus. It was a nice bus, heated and comfy. The bus driver did well, until he passed the start line and went too far up the mountain. He started hitting the switchbacks and the back tires started going off the edge at one point which started freaking everyone out. Rather than go up the rest of the way with the driver about half the bus (including me) got off and walked a half a mile back down to the start. It was pitch black, but a few people used their phones as flash lights so, that helped. Oh, and since it was SO dark you could see the stars SO clearly. It was pretty cool! We made it down to where the start was supposed to be only to find no one there and no lights directing us where to go. There was supposed to be a BIG heated tent for everyone to hang out in.
After standing around for 15 minutes a runner comes and lets us know he found the tent. (Picture #4) It was still cold inside, but I was sure after more people came it'd warm up. I sat down on the cold ground and started playing on my phone to pass the time. (Picture #5)
After getting bored and not warming up enough I made my way through a TON of people (Picture #6) to the front of the tent where the heaters were (I should have gone up there in the first place!) I'm glad I moved to the front cause that's where all the entertaining people were. There was one chick dancing around and the more the music played the more people joined in. (Picture #7) It was really fun to see everyone dressed up. At one point my bro called so I had to make my way through all the people outside where it was FREEZING! It was 27 degrees out there. Burrrr! I saw a couple friends which was nice cause I rarely race with anyone I know. I made my way back into the tent to the front and had to step over a couple people who were asleep on the floor. Talk about crazy, it was shoulder to shoulder standing where they were laying. Not the best idea...
Finally after waiting forever it was time to race! One last potty break (Picture #8) with a beautiful view and it was time to make my way towards the start. Another quarter mile walk to the start and we were good to go. (Picture #9) There were so many people there that they had to start in 2 groups. I was in the second group because I wasn't sure if I could finish before 2.10 which was the cut off for the 1st group.
I headed out and it was ALL downhill for the first few miles. About an hour in Jason calls to see how I was doing. I love that he calls!! It makes it so much easier when people talk to me while I run. I was really amazed with myself. I reached 6 miles before an hour! I was feeling good when my sister called around mile 7. She thought I was holding my phone up to my ear the whole time. No way! I keep my headphones in and I can still talk and run at the same time. So, she stayed on the phone with me for a couple of miles and played some song requests from her kids. There were some funny ones like this one. It was nice talking and listening to her cause my right calf was cramping up some and it helped me not focus on that.
At one point, about mile 10, I think, I passed a dad pushing his son in a wheelchair. Talk about amazing! They didn't say anything to me and I didn't say anything to them, but in just passing them I could feel the pure love of theirs. It gave me goosebumps all over and made me tear up some. Talk about amazing! What a wonderful father. It helped me to keep going. I made it until there was a half a mile left and I had to call someone to talk me through the last little bit. I had pushed so hard for so long that my mind wanted to stop. I called my bro, Adam, and he talked me through it. I finished strong in 2.22.39! (Picture #10) Almost a PR.... That's ok, next time I'll totally smash it.
The medal for this race was pretty cool. (Picture #11) It's one of my favorites. I have 7 medals now... It's so hard to believe that I've run 5 half marathons and 2 marathons in the past 2 years. I can't wait to run more!
When I got home yesterday I was rolling out and icing my muscles, but for some reason I couldn't position myself right to get my calf rolled out right, so I handed a rolling pin to my oldest and she got to work. (Picture #12) She thought it was fun. Haha! It felt good when she was rolling it. I may have to get her to do it again today cause....today.... OUCH.... That's all I gotta say.... I hurt. My right calf is sore and my left hip muscles are just aching. My butt hurts too, down hill races are killer. I didn't feel this bad after my marathon and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that it wasn't down hill. Oh well, it's a good kind of pain. Jason laughs and says that I do it to myself. True, I do... and it's all worth it. :)