Park City Marathon
(a story of miles and alcohol)
J J J
WARNING: LONG!!! IF YOU ARE ONLY GOING TO READ ONE PART OF THIS RACE REPORT, READ MILE 20! :) :) :)
First, a quick shout out to antibiotics – especially when given intravenously.
Tuesday morning I was pretty confident that I would not be running this race. For those of you who saw the worst of my pics you know what I am talking about. Fortunately, the combination of three different antibiotics worked their magic in about 72 hours. Hallelujah!!
In short, I loved this race. It was definitely not a fast course, and was extremely difficult in portions, but spending time with friends and running in such a beautiful part of Utah made it absolutely unforgettable.
Here's the rundown:
Loved the openness of the first several miles. I could see the leaders off in the distance and tried to feed off of their energy. I had started with Mark (huans32) but soon he left me in his dust. Sadly he had a rough day and I caught up to him around mile 10, which was about the same time that I saw Pres. Smooth and his huge smile! Awesome, I needed that.
The major uphill portions were right around the corner and I tried not to psyche myself out. Ironically, this portion of the race ended up being one of my favorites. I felt a surge of electricity as the leaders came in view. Amber looked SUPER!!!!! I was completely re-energized as she stuck out her hand for a high-five. Seriously, what lead woman (or man for that fact) does that? She seemed to be celebrating life and enjoying every second as she was running supersonic speeds!!! That girl is something else!!!
Next, I saw Slick and Kristi. I was having so much fun that I completely didn’t register the directions the volunteer was giving me to turn up Deer Valley. He had said left, I heard it, I smiled and said, "thank you" and then turned right!!!!! Luckily he ran after me and got me back on track.
Within seconds of my failure to follow directions I saw RivertonPaul running effortlessly down Deer Valley. On my way back down I enjoyed the smile of my SSF. (It was such a relief to see her. She looked so strong and I had been so worried because she was so sick.) Yes, these miles were technically the hardest, but dang they were fun!!!!
(Should I mention the hill up to Empire Street? Nah ... I followed the example of others and walked the blasted thing. Dang!)
MILE 20 – I will NEVER EVER EVER forget this mile. My plan for the race was simple: Just get to mile 20 and Andy will make sure you get across the finish line! True to his word, Andy was there! Our journey together began with a real bang! Let me explain: There was an aide station ahead and I was already feeling the signs of glycogen depletion. I reached for a Gatorade, but two guys grabbed them. So as the station was ending, and after hollering, “Gatorade please.” I reached and grabbed a cup on the very edge of the table. I took a huge gulp. Something was off. Being the hypochondriac that I sometimes am I immediately panicked and started thinking to myself, “Stink! I am entering ketosis, and the burning icky taste I am experiencing is my own protein that I must be burning. I better force down a couple more swallows to avoid dehydration.” My second gulp was just as bad, but I forced myself to swallow. Wait a second, why was there ice in my cup? “Hmmm . . .” I thought, “Since when did they start doing this?” I asked Andy to take a swig. The look on his face was priceless, “This isn’t Gatorade, Teena, this is ALCOHOL!!! It's vodka and orange juice!!!!!!” What in the ...????. I must have grabbed the volunteer’s personal drink!!! Andy was so extremely nice and ran back to his vehicle to grab me something he was certain was Gatorade! Alcohol at mile 20 .... I still laugh each time I think about it!!!!
By mile 23 I was hammered (unfortunately, not by the alcohol). Had Andy not been there I am sure that I would have slowed to a shuffle. He would have none of that. He'd see a woman ahead and tell me to pass her. He knew exactly how to motivate me. Thank you so so so much Andy. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciated having you there to see me through.
In conclusion (this is much longer than I had planned) I have NEVER placed in the top three of my division in any major race, let alone first!!!
I was giddy all day!! :) :) :)
*A very special thanks to all those super fast women in my age group who stayed home so that my dream could come true!!! *