Monday, February 14, 2011

Sedona Marathon... I freakin' did it!!!!

I know, I know. It was a month ago. But I had to document. This may have been once in a lifetime. I sure hope it's not, but you never know. If you want to skip the text and go straight for the pics, feel free. Just want to write it our for the record...

I ran the Sedona 2011 Marathon! I did it! I still can't believe that I actually did it. It has been a goal of mine since I was in high school. When I finally created an actual bucket list in college, it went on. And that's where it stayed for six years. Until last August. While enjoying a big ice cold diet coke, relaxing next to the pool, I told my friend Megan about my little bucket list goal. To run a marathon. She said, "I'm in." And before you knew it we were "training". Our first "run" was 2 miles on the treadmill. Ok, one mile, stop for a break and water, and then another. I thought I was going to die. I don't know why we didn't just quit there, but we didn't. We had to run super early to beat the deathly AZ sunshine and to get to work on time. We ran long runs on our days off and spent hours and hours on the pavement, chatting away, sharing secrets and gossip. Meg became one of my best friends. Every run I always said, "I can't believe we are doing this" or "What the hell are we doing" (that one only came out on the twenty miler)... And we always said how excited we were for race day!!!!
We picked a good one. The Sedona Marathon. I lied. I've heard since that this marathon is one of the hardest in the U.S. With half of it up hill. They weren't lying. It was definitely UP! As we were training, everyone asked us what we were thinking. To be honest. I have no idea. I knew it would be hard, I knew it would be a beautiful run. I knew all I had to do was finish, no matter how long it took. It was so so so hard, but so worth it. When it finally came, we were so excited. Meg and I started talking right off the bat and by the time we hit the first hill, we couldn't talk and breath at the same time. And so we went silent. We stayed that way pretty much the rest of the run. With a few, "How ya doin' "s and "how many miles till the next aid station". We actually did awesome, the first half was a breeze. We were smiling the whole time. The second half got tough, but it was invigorating to know that I was actually getting closer to my goal. It was so so beautiful up there. It was actually a spiritual experience, seeing what Heavenly Father created for me, the beautiful mountains and red rock. The warm sunshine and the cool breeze. And a body that can actually run 26.2 miles. As we got closer to the finish, my quads started to cramp up and about mile 24 I thought they might cramp up and fall off. We pushed through... And... We finished!!! We did it!!!! As we rounded the corner and saw the finish line, with our cute hubby's and my awesome mom, tears ran down our cheeks. I have never accomplished something so hard, something that I put so much time and effort into. It was the most amazing feeling in the world. Addicting. I want to run another. We'll see. It was so so fun. I loved every second of it and I'm a little sad its over. A little. :)

Here's a little about the Sedona Marathon:

RaceDistanceGraded Dirt RoadPaved RoadTotal Elevation Gain
Full Marathon42.195 Km40%60%1800 feet

This graph is an approximate depiction of the elevation gain/loss of the overall race course as planned. It cuts off on my blog but its a turn around. You get the idea.

Here's the map of the course:Well, half of it, again, cut off by the blog
40% was on a rocky, dirt road. It was just the two of us and the desert. I felt like I was in Fivel Goes West and I was going to see a mirage at any second with the tumble weed rolling through...
marathon race course map, Sedona
Here are some pics from the weekend:

My mom flew into Phoenix on Friday morning. The two of us drove straight up to Sedona while Gabe finished up at school. We had to get our shopping and ice cream eating in. It was fun to be up in Sedona and talk with a few of the other runners. One lady asked if I was running the 5k. I told her no, that I was running the full marathon. She asked how many I had run. I told her this was my first. She said, "You picked THIS as your first marathon?!!! Wow! You're brave!!" Thank you. And so the butterflies began.
We learned about our native neighbors and become one with the Sedonians.

We actually stayed up in Flagstaff for free with our Marriott points, but had to drive into Sedona on Saturday for the race. We woke up BUM CHEEK early to make sure we got there on time. Its a good thing too. I of course forgot a sports bra. Of all the things. And had to find a Walmart at 5 in the morning. Thank you Walmart. For saving me the aches and pains that would have entailed.
After our Wally run. Happy once again and excited for race day!!!
This is why we love Sedona. Yes my friends. That is an Suburu outback. And for one day and one day only, these were my people.
Trying to stay warm in the freezing cold 33 degree weather. At the starting line!
Don't they look freezing and counting down the seconds till they get back in their nice warm car? I love you both! Thank you for supporting me!
See what I mean by beautiful?!!! Such a gorgeous place for a run! 26.2 you ask? I think I might!
With my beautiful mom. I was so grateful she came!
The pre-race stretch. Gotta make sure those legs and bum cheeks are happy.
My private massage guy I hired for the occasion. Just kiddin'. He was passin' out free massages like candy. And of course I never pass up free.
And here we are. Just crossed the starting line. Of course we were dinkin' around and didn't hear them call for the marathoners so when we heard the gun shot we had to push through everyone to get to the start. We're so awesome. We were the last marathoners to start. But not the last to finish. And thats really what matters to me ;)
Here we are. The last shot of our bum cheeks for 5 hours and 57 minutes. They only photos we have on the course are memories.
Running for the finish line. My eyes were so full of tears, I could hardly see it. It was awesome!
My cute husband, waiting for me at the finish. I was so glad to see him.
And my mamma. Thank you for being there!
I was so lucky to have such awesome fans!
Meg. Couldn't have done it without you. Thank you for helping me cross it off the bucket list. Such a fun 6 months.
The beautiful flowers from my fans.

The Marathon Run Down
Months of Training: 6
Approximate miles run with Megan in training: over 250
Approximate miles run on my own: over 70
Amount spent on running shoes: $100
Amount spent on my second pair of running shoes: $77 (half off! Wahoo!)
Amount spent on gu chomps: $50
Amount spent to run the race: $100
Amount of carbs eatin' before each run: tons. I loved it
Amount of In-n-Out double doubles during training: at least 4
Hours spent running the hills of Sedona: 5 hours 57 minutes and 23 seconds
Amount of tears lost when seeing the finish line: who even knows
The feeling I felt when I crossed the finish line:
Priceless, can't explain it. It was amazing.