July 28, 2011

"I have met my hero

..and she is me"
(adapted from original saying by George Sheehan).

The. Marathon. Post.
(AKA - 26.2 miles + some of stories, so get ready for a doozie of a post.)

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

To get the full story we need to go back to Friday. The 3 days prior to the race are extremely important on your ability to perform come race day. Krick and I were on a strict no sweets, 60% carb, small but often meals, and drinking lots of water. It amazing that when you have a fear of failure you will stick to anything to avoid the humiliation.

After work, had my last run and then Krick, Randy, and Scratch picked me up to get our race packets. We drove down to the Energy Solutions Arena Delta Center. The expo was shit. No swag. No pasta party. Nothing. It was lame. And this was the first race we entered that didn't have youth t-shirts, so our shirts are slightly big. But I guess that means we were playing with the big boys now. In fact, the 10k race table was 3 church table lengths about 3 ft. high with shirts. The marathon table, 2 tables, 1 ft. high. It was our first indication how small a pool of athletes were actually doing this with us. I really liked our shirts (but the orange of the 10k shirts were better :p). Still, I'll take the marathon pride factor and stick with my shirt.

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Krick and I met up with my mom for garage sales. We purchased $2 camp chairs to bring with us for pre-race waiting, with the intention of leaving them for some lucky homeless guys. Best idea we had, everyone on race day was jealous.

We swam, laid around, and got some final chores done. Then met up again that night for a spaghetti party. Krick hates spaghetti, however, mine is different she says. Yay, I can cook!

We listened the 2 Gomers relay their marathon and watch the Tosh.0 marathon recap clip. Then we split ways, so we could get to bed early.

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

I was so nervous all of Sunday. I wanted to make sure to get enough rest, so I slept in until 9am. I then proceeded to lay around the rest of the day. I tried to nap, but couldn't so I watch Swingers and Arrested Development, Read, and just tried to keep my mind of the race.

Eventually I had to pack my stuff. I know I am a dork for taking this picture. But seriously, when did running take so much gear? And that doesn't even count my shorts, tank, bra, etc....

After I was all packed, I picked up "Run Fat Boy Run" from Blockbuster. Kissed KC bye and begged him for good luck. I met up with Krick for some carb-loading and then we all wound down by watching the movie. After which, Krick and I procrastinated going to sleep by taking inventory and going over everything for the morning. Finally around 10pm we went to bed, setting our alarms for 2:20am. 

Between the fireworks and the nerves, I got probably 1 hour of sleep. Not the best night.

Race Day, Monday, July 25th, 2011

We headed out the door at 2:40am in attempt to get on the first bus up to the start line at 3:15am. We had a panic moment when we got to the parking lot and realize neither of us had brought cash for parking. Luckily we scrambled through my change and found enough.

As we loaded onto the bus we scanned the athletes surrounding us. A man name Larry was announced as he entered the bus, "this man has run over 600 marathons." Everyone clapped. There was a women that sat down in front of us with full makeup on. She proceeded to hit on the boy, probably 20 years younger than her. Krick and I noted that it was our goal to find out her bib number and check her time. And the family to our right were all wearing their Ragnar team shirts and sharing running experiences, like how they ran their first marathon on a treadmill by downloading the NYC marathon course to their machine. Brag a little.

The bus up the mountain was probably the most traumatizing part of the day. Are tour buses supposed to go up Emigration Canyon? I said at one point that if the driver killed us, I was going to re-kill him when we got to heaven. I hadn't trained all this time just to die on the morning of the race.

When we got to the start line, we hit the rest rooms and then set up our chairs. There was not grass area, just gravel and rocks. As people laid down around the tent and in the road, they looked at us like "how did these girls know to bring chairs." Because we're smart. As we waited, I did Krick's hair in French Braids to keep it out of her face. As I did so, a man shouted over to us "this isn't a photo shoot girls." We laughed... it was 4am and we looked far from photo-shoot ready.

Before the race.
Eventually, after 3 bathroom breaks, 1 hair-do, and two 26.2 fake tattoos applied, we found ourselves throwing our bags and chairs into a budget truck and walking over to line up for the race. 

This was the first race that I wasn't jumping up and down anxious to get started, ready to bolt out of the gate. I was nervous for sure, but actually calm and ready to take it slow. We definitely didn't look as athletic as the other runners. We stood out to be novices. I was okay with that. It wasn't a competition against them. 

Now before I delve into the details of the race. I found this saying and I believe it rings true.

"To describe the agony of a marathon to someone who's never run it is like trying to explain color to someone who was born blind."- Jerome Drayton

I am going to try my best to give you some insight into the race. But it won't do it justice. There is no way to explain the mental exhaustion, the physical pain, or the feeling of triumph you get during a marathon. I won't be able to explain the reason behind my tears or smiles. It really is something you can only experience for yourself. And honestly, I would tell every single one of you to go for it. It was a life changing experience and I hope you get to go through it one day, if you haven't already.


After the gun shot, Krick and I walked toward the start line. I grabbed Krick and suggested we let the others go past, since I knew we were planning on walking after 5 minutes in. Also, once we crossed the mats our time would start ticking and I hate wasting time on the starting line shuffle. So we waited for 30 seconds and then started our race.

We were pretty much dead last. The cops were following us, bringing up the rear. It was kind of humiliating, but we had a training program we were going to stick to. Our marathon mantra was trust your training. We weren't going to stray from it. So rather than get defeated, we enjoyed the time. We made friends with the cop. We chatted with a fellow slow runner, a guy named Brian who had run 10 marathons, including one in antarctica that cost him 8 grand. But as soon as Krick said something about having a husband, he wished us luck and declared he was going to hang back. HA!

Our plan was to take 11 minute miles for the first 6 miles, taking out 1 minute walk breaks every 5. We knew that we had a steep decline followed by a mile and a half incline at mile 6. We wanted to go into that hill as if we had the same energy we did when we started the race. I didn't break a sweat until the hill. It was a great plan and I believe it made our run what it was. 

Another factor that helped was Barefoot Todd

Courtesy: BarefootTodd.com
When we started down the mountain we noticed Todd, you couldn't miss him...he was running barefoot. Very gracefully, running barefoot. He was in shape and clearly a pro at this. We noted to ourselves that if that guy was hanging back, we were probably doing a good thing hanging back too. Eventually we decided to see what this guy was about. So we asked. And over the next 2 hours we got to become friends with Todd. He is a running coach, marathoner (over 250 marathons, over 100 of those barefoot), and a USATF Course Certifier. And honestly a completely cool dude. Totally humble and genuinely friendly. Did you know that most marathoners actually run up to 3/4 of a mile more than the 26.2 distance? You can shave of distance and time simply by knowing how the course is certified and running it according to how you believe it have been calibrated. And did you know that Todd said that we did the two best things you could do in a that race? 1) stick to our training program 2) take the downhill slow. I could have talked to this guy for hours. Such an interesting man. 

We hit our half mark at 2:30:00. And then at mile 15, when we came out of the canyon near Hogle Zoo, Randy was waiting with ice cold water and towels. We waved Todd on and stopped to fill up and wipe off our sweat. Then continued forward.

At mile 17, I started to tear up with amazement at how on tune Krick and I were. How great the run was going. And how much fun I had had up to that point. Meanwhile Krick started to go to a dark place. But before our emotions took control we looked up and on the next block corner we saw my Mom and brother, Joff, waiting anxiously to join us. So at mile 18, the race took on a different life. We had the support of runners and each other up to that point, our families carried us the rest of the way. 

A couple blocks in Kelsy, Emily, Vicki, Randy, and Scratch were screaming and cheering! We could hear from far away, and assumed the cheers were for other runners. As we got closer and realized it was Kelsy and the rest of the group, Kristin was like "They are for us!" 

We kept running and at mile 19 met up with Crystal, Josh, Kian, and Gabby. Crystal brought gummy bears that tasted so good! Crystal and Gabby ran with us for probably 3/4-1 mile. Gabby said she wore her "fast shoes" and she really did, that girl can move! We couldn't keep up with her...she's gonna be a track star someday. It was fun to have those two join us. 

Then we continued on Foothill up and around to the University of Utah, where a spectator hollered "beautiful girls, keep on moving, good job!" My mom swore the man didn't even see our faces. Yikes. (What is it about running and catcalls...yuck!). Shortly after, we saw my Dad and Debbie at Rice-Eccles...they cheered and smiled and motivated us to keep on going. 

After we passed them, Krick started to hit a wall. We knew that Hilary would be at mile 23. 2 more miles away. We used techniques that sounds nuts, but actually work. Like using an imaginary rubber band to hook onto a runner in front of you. Letting the other runner pull you along, rather than you having to push forward through the pain. 

At this point Joff asked me what we felt like. The example I gave him was that my legs felt so numb and disconnected from the rest of my body that it was as if I had barbie legs that I could pull out of their sockets and discard. The forward motion was no longer a choice, even if I wanted to stop, my legs probably would have kept moving on, leaving the rest of my body behind.

At mile 22.5, after Kelsy drove past for the 10th time hollering out her car window, Vicki drove past shouting out her cheers, and then KC, Randy, and Scratch drove past. And as they did so, Scratch's little hand hung out the window with his little thumb pointed to the sky. As if saying "Thumbs up, Mom. Thumbs up, Bieve." And it was my first time seeing KC on the route. Needless to say, both Krick and I got choked up. We love our boys.

We came to mile 23, on South Temple. Derek cheered as he sent Hilary away to run the next 2 miles with us. So at this point we had, me, Krick, Joff, Mom, and Hilary running along. It was fun. It was awesome. I later found out that it was the furthest Joff had run (8 miles), the furthest Hilary had run and fastest my Mom had run. We were all accomplishing something more than we had before. 

At Mile 24, we see a handsome guy holding a bright yellow sign. KC. It made me laugh. It made me smile. It made me want to make him proud and finish strong. KC took pictures, while Asher ran along side of us for the next block. 

KC's sign.
At Mile 25, Hilary met up again with Derek and they dropped out to go to the finish line. Shortly after my mom dropped out to start her way to the finish line. 

We moved over to the parade route and got a high from the crowd. But as we left the gospel choir float singing and the thousands of people, my high quickly went to a low of low of low. I looked at my watch. About a half mile to go. And we were coming close to 5 hours. We could make it. We'd have to push it. But we could do it. Krick's wall had broken down. I was hitting mine. I starting beating myself up. I starting letting Kristin's faster pace make me want to give up entirely. But just as we had gotten Krick through her wall. Her and Joff got me through mine. We passed a sign that said 0.471865 miles left. And I thought to myself, anyone can run a half mile. I can do this. We decided to forego our 1 minute walk and just give are last energy reserves to the end. 

As we turned the corner to the finish line, Joff dropped out. And Krick and I looked at the clock. It displayed 04:58:59. 1 minute. 2 blocks. We could do this. We looked to our right and saw all the family and friends that had come to see us. Paul and Terri, Will and Millie, Dad and Debbie, Kelsy, Emily, Josh, Crystal, Gabby, and Kian, Derek and Hilary. (Mom and Joff were still making there way over, but they were so amazing to run so far with us and be a huge part of our journey). AND there was our boys. Randy and KC cheering. This race was a huge sacrifice on their part. They were our biggest supporters, whether they chose to be or not. And Asher, who got so excited he ran out to us. He was so proud of his mom. (Thank you KC for giving up wife time so I could do this. Thank you Randy and Asher for giving up Krick time so I could do this. I owe all three of you!)

And even though that moment felt so slow and I was able to see everyone. It all happened so quickly. I looked a Krick and said "RUN!" We picked up our pace to as much of a sprint as we could give. We really were there. And we were accomplishing not only our goal to finish, but our secret wish to finish under 5 hours. 

Krick and I on the home stretch.
Running into the finish line.
Clock time. Chip time was 04:59:11.

After we ran through the finish line, we were handed our medals. And then we hugged and cried. And let ourselves finally feel overwhelmed with pride and awe at what we had just done. For this is why I titled the post as the quote about me being my hero. Because 10 years ago when I set out to run a 5k, this was an impossible dream. And I've now done it. I felt like superwoman as I looked at my medal. I had become the hero I had admired for all these years.

Krick and I hugged after we finished.

Krick and I. "We did it!"
We gave everyone sweaty hugs. I still can't believe they would take them. Sorry guys. Hope you were able to wash it off. The only smart ones were Will and Millie who barely gave us high fives. Will even looked at his hand afterwards like "yuck, sweat." So funny!
Krick and I icing up after the race.
Favorite photo! We freakin' rock. Sisters in charge!
All for this medal???!!! What were we thinking?
KC and I.
He should have gotten a medal too!
Scratch, Krick, and Randy. 
We got oranges and water, then started to ice. I definitely was cramping up. I started to think I had completely tore my IT band through. My hip socket was ready to make me collapse. I was in pain. But we relayed the events of the past 5 hours to our family. Then eventually picked up our stuff and headed home for an ice bath and day of laying in bed.

Our medal.
Do you like the typo? [fist]

Three days later, I am finally feeling recovery coming to an end. I can mostly walk down stairs. My IT band is completely healed as far as I can tell. But I am not in any hurry to run. (Although, I am packing some running gear for our St. George trip this weekend.) Running is definitely part of who I am. I finally feel like I can consider myself an athlete. Running is part of my past and future. Not quite present...but it will be again. I can't say I'll do another one. But don't be surprised if I do. 

How did we compare?

Lance Armstrong (2:46:42)

Dana Carvey (3:04:21)
Natalie Morales (3:31:02)
Amélie Mauresmo (3:40:20)
George W. Bush (3:44:52)
Edward Norton (3:48:01)
Ryan Reynolds (3:50:22)
Kerri Strug (3:56:06)
Will Ferrell (3:56:12)
Sarah Palin (3:59:36)
Bobby Flay (4:01:37)
Sean Combs (4:14:54)
Alanis Morissette (4:17:03)
Oprah Winfrey (4:29:20)
Shia LaBeouf (4:35:31)
Al Gore (4:58:25)

Krick and I (4:59:11)

Jared "Subway Diet" Fogle (5:13) 

Valerie Bertinelli (5:14:37)
Katie Holmes (5:29:58)
Mario López (5:41:41)
Ali Landry (5:41:41)
Freddie Prinze, Jr. (5:50:49)
Meredith Vieira (5:59:00)
David Lee Roth (6:04:43) 
Al Roker (7:09:44)

Stats from Nike+

I told you we took it slow. But mile 23? That was our fastest mile. Wow! That's nuts!

26.2 = been there done that!

I just want to end on this note. Krick, thank you! Monday, you helped me cross an item off my bucket list, accomplish one of my dreams, and become a different person. I am so proud of us for sticking to it. And not only did we become part of an elite club (.1% of people to run a marathon, that's right!). We also became better friends and sisters. Thank you for letting me drag you along. I hope you can forgive me ;)

(PS- we did beat the makeup girl. Yes! She came in at 5:04. Ha-ha! Just had to throw that in there.)


  1. love, Love, LOVE this post. I read every word and choked up several times.
    You're a hero for sure! Congrats!

  2. So glad I wasn't the only one who had tears in my eyes while reading this. You and Kristin are inspiring. Loved KC sign!

  3. Wow you and Krick are truly amazing and inspiring. I look up to you guys so much, thanks for the cry. Great post!!

  4. Great Post Gen!! I really enjoyed it, you guys did GOOD!!
    An inspiration for all of us...