We had our birthday party. It was a lot of fun and the kids had a great time. Combined birthday parties are a fabulous thing.... one day... one mess (even if it isn't at my house)... one cake... and only 3 hours of complete chaos :)
With the party being done that must mean we were only hours away from the baptism. I can't believe how grown up Hunter has gotten. It feels like it happened over night.
Unfortunately due to the accident Granny and Pappa couldn't make it, but we still had a wonderful day. Sunday morning Bart's grandma passed away which caused our plans to change drastically for the next week. So Sunday morning we made the decision to take all of us to Salt Lake for all of the weekends events that would be taking place. Tickets booked... teachers notified.... primary class sub found.... Bart sent me the flowers below... processed 256 ribbon orders... packed for 4 instead of just myself.... finished my last training run... and we were off!
All of us finally staggered into my parents house by 10:00 Thursday night. Friday we did packet pickup (which was kind of a let down after the hype made about the expo) ate lunch at Hires (yummy) went to the University of Utah book store ... (you know new cars need new red stickers) drove the race route.... ran back to grandma's house and headed up to Aunt Kims and the Marathon Mommies get together.
If you haven't clicked on the link to the right for Marathon Mommies go click on it as soon as you are done reading. These women are amazing, inspiring women. I am so lucky to be able to be part of this group. It was so fun to be able to meet all of them in real life. To laugh together and know they all had the same concerns and fears for the next day was so perfect and exactly what I needed.
After a great get together Bart and the kids and I went to Spaghetti Factory to get my favorite Mizzithera Cheese as my carb loading dinner (not like it really takes a reason for me to carb load). After a quick stop by Grandma Bailey's house we finally headed back home. After laying out all my marathon stuff... going through it 12 times to make sure I got everything.... laying out all the kids stuff for the morning - they would be going to the funeral with Bart - setting my clock and Bart's clock for a few minutes later... just in case you know... repeating direction to my dad a few times I finally climbed into bed at 11:30!!!!!
Now how many time do you think you can check your clock between 11:30 and 4:45? WAY TOO MANY TO COUNT... TRUST ME! I have never been that nervous before a race!
Good news... didn't sleep through my alarm. Got up, got dressed, double checked all the other things I layed out for everyone the night before. Off we went. A very uneventful drive to as close to the start and off I went. Wandered around for a little looking for at least one familiar place.... and then I hear... 'is that the other marathon mommy Erin?' That was just what I needed. Turned around and saw the other Erin and JP and her family! Off to the start... there goes the gun and the really exciting 9 minute wait! For those of you who have never done a race 12000 people can't cross the line right after the gun so you get really excited to wait!
And we were off.... The first 5 miles felt great but I knew I was going a little bit fast. All i could hear in my head was Heather reminding me to not go too fast at the start. She was right and by mile 22 I really understood her comment. Regardless felt good through Sugerhouse Park. Saw the girls from Will Run For Designer Jeans cheering and Kera running on our way out. Next 5 miles still felt good... the wind was awful and would for at least 6 or 7 more! Crossed the half way mark at 2:11 and really thought I was in great shape to get my 4:30 I was hoping for. So along my way here comes some old guy with no shoes or socks on! He was crazy! Saw Kera a few more times... that was so great. We would have a little chat, check on each other and keep running. She was really fighting with her knees and at one of our little check ups i told her it was better to go slow and finish than to have to give up. Those words would be so true later into my own race too. At mile 18 I had developed the worst shooting pain in my right hip I have ever felt. So the last 8 miles were a very tough obstacle but I was going to finish. So the last eight miles were made up of 1 mile run (if I was even going fast enough to call it running) .25walking. I got to the start of the 5K in Liberty Park and just kept on telling myself only 5K to go... I can do that... it is only down to McKamy and back (where the 5am crowd goes on short days) .... I can do this. I found my play list so lovingly titled 'hill hell' and I was going to finish.... way slower than I expected but I was going to finish. From the sounds of all the other race reports we all were so happy to see the guy right before Gateway helping all of us to the end with great words of encouragement and hope. I turned the corner and started looking for someone... anyone I knew to help me get to the end and a few yards in there he was.... my little big brother. He was just what I needed! He hurdled his 6'2" self of the gate and with his jeans falling off and his open can of coke he ran with and pushed me through the finish. Oh yea and whoever it was that yelled 'hey there is a marathon mommy' thanks I heard you and i loved finally having someone yelling for me even if it was at the end :)
5 Hours 13 Minutes and 5 Seconds! I know I can run 26.2 miles in that amount of time.
A few things I learned from this?
1. I know I can do things that are hard, physically, mentally and emotionally.
2. I will decide more than 7 weeks before my next marathon to do it.
3. Even when life gets in the way and changes the best laid plans, you can learn some of the most amazing things about yourself.
4. Surround yourself with people who will support your crazy dreams and ambitions..... kind of like the people below :)