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Monday, May 21, 2012

Ogden Marathon 2012

We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies-
Marathons are full of factors that are beyond your control- weather, injuries, sickness, sleep, cramping.  You train for months and when you toe the start line you have to stand there knowing that you did the best you could with what you were given.  At miles 6, 13, 20, 23, you are still evaluating hoping that your body will respond in the best way possible, and it's not until you reach the finish line that you realize and can even fully comprehend what you have accomplished.
I ran the Ogden Marathon one mile at a time; checking my splits, putting in the effort, and hoping for the best.  The only screen visible on my Garmin had my current mile pace, distance, and total average pace- I didn't know my total run time until this moment, and in that moment, I let every remaining piece of energy I had left escape.
This was, hands down, one of the most freeing moments of my life.
Know what propelled me across this finish line?  People.

I was surprised by multiple friends and family members across the course:
  •  Darcy and her baby Andi at mile 8.
  • Dallas, Will, Annie, Seth and Sierra at the half.
  • Old High School friends and neighbors that were having their own race experience- Grant Keaton, Linda Callor, and Katie Storbo.
  • My girls- Whitney and Erin at mile 17.
  • My sweet friend Ashley- who started running at the same time as I did- at mile 23.
  • Nothing pushes you across the finish like family waiting:  Cami, Ty, Lauren, Alex, Leslee, Clayton, and Kenny.
These people all mean something to me, and their support and encouragement kept me going.

I had several friends that were running this race, and thinking of them kept me working hard, too.  I wanted them to hit their goals!  With every step I ran, I knew that they would be passing those same points, hitting some of the same lows, and enjoying the grandeur of the valleys and the canyons that I was.  Ashley, Pam, Holly, Kristen, and my best friend Kalie (read her recap!  It's incredible)- you kept me pushing.  Thank you.

And YOU.  All of you "invisible friends"- your thoughts, prayers, and encouragement were felt on Saturday.

As I was running the course I thought so much of the bigger picture.  I had the thought that what if we could see those family and friends that are on the other side; what if we had a glimpse of them and could see how many loved ones are cheering us on without our knowledge- imagine the boost that would give us!  We could get through anything!  Although we can't see them, we can lean on our faith that we know they are there, and they are rooting for us.

I thought often of my friend Dustin whom we lost to overdose 5 years before- I dedicated this race to him.  I thought of his family and of the pain they have had to endure because of his absence.  I thought so much of my friend Angie.  My heart is still broken for her and the loss of her daughter Quincy.  How could I not endure the momentary pain of a marathon when there was so much other real suffering going on so close to me?

The last three miles of a marathon are so difficult- the fatigue really set in for me and I quit looking at my watch and I just focused on keeping my legs running.  I call these miles the prayer miles because I'm in a constant state of prayer by this point- it's 25 minutes of gratitude for the many blessings and opportunities that I'm given on a daily basis.  Running can be an intensely spiritual experience, and the Ogden Marathon was definitely that for me.  I am so very, very blessed.

The last half mile of the marathon I ran to the sides and just started giving high fives to everyone I could.  I needed their energy and enthusiasm!  I don't know if it was just a final kick, or a tail wind, or angels, but I felt my body speeding up even though I truly felt like I had nothing left to give.  It was a feeling I don't think I will ever forget.
At this race, and this moment in my life, all of those marathon variables lined up and I was able to achieve my goal- 3:29:00.  I still can't believe it.  When I got to the expo and realized that I was going to have to pace myself to a sub 3:30 on my own, I kind of panicked!  I didn't know if I could do it.  I don't have a lot of marathon experience, but thanks to some very smart splits on a pace band, smart running and fueling, prayer, and a belief in myself, I was able to achieve something that I would have thought impossible a year ago.  I beat every one of my splits but 4.  My fastest mile of the race, a 7:22 mile, was mile 23, and I beat my projected goal time by 58 seconds.

With hard work, people, and faith, you can do anything.


Erin said...

I just love you! I LOVED seeing you giving people high fives toward the finish line. You are basically amazing...this race proves it. Thanks for the wonderful recap!

Laura McAllister said...

You rock my socks off. I am totally inspired. I am signing up for a half in October. I love the picture of your back crossing the finish line and you can see Cami and Leslee. Truly awesome. Love you!

marciea casselman said...

Congrats to you! You are such an inspiration.

Andrea said...

I must comment again because you truly are amazing. Congrats Amy. I can't wait to see you kick everyone's butt in the Reunion 5K.

Jen and Chase said...

You are a rock star Amy. Amazing!

Terra said...

You are amazing Amy!! I love ya!

Rachelle VDub said...

Congratulations! You are so amazing and should be so proud!!!

Nate, Cami and Crew said...

You are my inspiration. I will never forget the day you told me you were going to start running and prepare for a Ragnar. I remember thinking really?? But now it seems to me you have always been running. I look to you for advice and encouragement as I am beginning my own running journey. Thanks for your example and love. I will always remember this Marathon as I stood next to Clay, Les, Kenny and the kids at the finish line cheering you on-PURE JOY!