4 AM. We're up and eating our breakfast that we'd planned all week. Everything we need for the day is set out. Our race bibs are already pinned to our shirts. 5 AM. We're loading the buses and waiting to be shuttled up to the Teton Dam site where we'll start the race. Nausea is setting in. I'm beginning to wonder why we signed up for this in the first place and if there's any way to get out of it. Casually Tyler responds, "Well, we're 20 miles from home, so we might as well run back." 6 AM. We're at the start now. We've waited in the 10 minute line for the porta-potty. The vaseline is smeared all over my toes, and we just ate our last little snack. Luckily, they are blaring loud music and everyone is getting excited. 6:29 AM. "One minute!" Everyone lines up at the Starting line. We stay about midway back so we don't get trampled. 6:30 AM. The siren sounds and we're off!! It started out easy. I was thinking, "Hey, this is just like all those other runs. I can do this! This is way too easy!"
That was just the beginning.
One mile down, then 2, then 3, and I'm still thinking this is way too easy. People must be over-exaggerating when they talk about how hard this is. 4 miles, I'm getting kinda hungry. Luckily, I have my Chomps that taste like candy! 5 miles, 6, 7, 8. I can't believe how fast the miles are going by! We already made it to our first aid station. That means more candy! This time is an energy Gel. Montana Huckleberry, yum!! Still so easy. I'm hardly even tired. "Hey, we're a third of the way done!!" We can't believe how nice this is. Mile 9 comes and goes, now we're at mile 10. Ok, I'm getting a little tired. But we've ran 14 miles before, so I know I can do that much easily. The miles are starting to get a little longer. I have to avoid looking at the Rexburg Temple at all cost! It's just a tiny white spec way, way far away! Yet I know, eventually we'll be running right past it. Looking at it makes me think we'll never get there. Mile 12, thank goodness, another aid station. Water and more gel, but wait. "Sorry we ran out of gels." You ran out!? There's like 100 people after us! I guess an orange slice will have to do. Mile 13! This is the half way point!! I expected to be more elated at this point. But instead I'm discouraged. I'm already tired. I'm ready to stop about now, and we have to do that many miles again?! "Wouldn't it be nice if we had only signed up for the Half? We'd be done by now!" Finally we're passing mile 14 and entering unknown territory in our running capabilities. What?? We're turning the wrong way! Rexburg is south, so why are we going north?? Errgg. This is depressing, we thought we were just heading back to some familiar territory. We're just getting into Sugar City. They have American flags lined up every 15 feet all the way through the city along our route! They did all this for us? That is so sweet, it makes me wanna cry! Ok, I can do this! I know at mile 18 we start up the infamous Summer's Butte hill. But we've ran that plenty of times, we're so familiar with it, and it means the end is near. If I can just get there, I might actually finish this race. But that's still 3 miles away. They must have spread out these mile markers, cause it's taking a lot longer to get to them than it used to. "Hey look! It's Alyssa!" Yay! Support! She even has posters! Ok, just get to mile 16, there will be more water and gel. What?! You're out of gel too! What were they thinking!! We need fuel! I guess an orange slice and bite of banana will have to do this time. We've only been running for almost 3 hours with another 2 hours to go, but don't worry, two bites will sustain us!! We keep passing all the Relay transition areas. Man, I wish I was just doing the Relay! It's time to start incorporating some walking breaks. Just 20 seconds per mile. Here we are! Mile 18. Ok, we know the hill will be tough, but once we're over that, it's just downhill to the finish. But those next 4 miles are going to kill. We've got 8 more miles and 2 hours to do them in in order to reach our goal of finishing under 5 hours. Some nice people are sitting in their driveway giving out water. How kind! Mile 19. Alyssa is struggling to ride her bike up the hill! Ahh, comic relief! Our walking breaks get more frequent and longer. The walking feels so good. But transitioning from walking to running is so painful. Mile 20!! Another aid station. And guess what! We got the last two gels! Finally, some energy to push us through the end. We're so close! It's just a 10K now! Mile 21. Will this hill ever end? I feel like someone took my quads and replaced them with lead balls. Are there big bulges in my legs where my quads used to be? Nope, they look normal...how odd. Mile 22. "I think I might just stop here. I'll just sit here for a while." I can't even let those thoughts stew or else they'll take me over! Who cares about that stupid 5 hour goal. It's not going to happen. Mile 23. Only 3 more miles. And we still have 40 minutes to finish. We can reach our goal!! Except that I can't run anymore. Oh, just forget it, we'll walk the rest of the way. Mile 24. It really is all downhill from here! We still have 25 minutes! We can make it! I'm just letting gravity pull me down. My legs are too tired to slow me down anyways. Mile 25!! 12 minutes till we reach 5 hours! "Let's do it, babe!" We take off like never before. Our legs literally felt like jello. Every step hurts so bad. This has to be more than a mile, it's going on forever even though we are running so fast. I try not to cry. I keep thinking we'll never make it. We pass the 26 Mile marker. The .2 never ends. I think I might throw up. We see the finish. Tyler tells me he can't go any faster and we push through a few more steps. Then we hear them announcing our names, we grab hands and cross over the finish line together!
I wondered during the race why they always say that people cry when they finish a marathon. I wondered, do they cry out of pain, like I wanted to at mile 22? Or is it good tears because they did it? I kept thinking, if I didn't cry at my own wedding, I don't think I'll cry for this. But now I understand. We had pushed through so much pain, when nothing in our bodies wanted to move, we conquered the hill, we pushed through "the wall", we endured 26.2 miles! And so, the answer is, they are tears of joy.
School got out last Friday, and summer school start this Monday, you do the math....That's right! One full week of vacation!! We had absolutely nothing planned for the week! We wanted it this way, cause usually it seems like the day we get out of school we have stuff going on and we never really get to relax. Not this time, we made sure we had no responsibilities, no where to go, nothing that had to be taken care of, NOTHING!! So mostly this week consisted of laying outside in the sun, reading, working out, and, of course, running!
Here's some of the more notable events:
Saturday: Celebrated another completed school year by going to dinner at Texas Roadhouse
Monday: Went mountain biking
Tuesday - Thursday: Lots of reading, running, and tanning. I also started this blog: www.theclutchco.blogspot.com. Unfortunately, this was about the time Tyler decided he had had enough of the relaxing stage, and was ready for waking up at 5 am again. Needless to say, we had to come up with some projects.
Friday: The fun begins!! First, we made these delicious chocolate-covered strawberries.
Then, we bought some new running shoes!! It was pretty legit! We got filmed running on a treadmill, and our running forms were analyzed to determine the best shoe for each of us. I'm pretty grateful too, because you're supposed to replace your running shoes every 400-500 miles, which was almost 1,000 miles ago for me! Now I'll have these bad boys to run the marathon in on Saturday!
And lastly, we finally went fishing and camping!
I even made the fire all by myself!
Side note: We made this AWESOME foil dinner. Not just your average beef and potatoes foil dinner, this was Mexican style! In the foil, we put chicken smothered in salsa verde, with cilantro, black beans, green peppers, onion, cheese and thinly sliced potatoes. Then on the side, we heated up rice in a can, and warmed up tortillas over the fire to make burritos! YUM!
Saturday: After coming home from camping, went for a 30 mile bike ride (2 hours in the sun at noonish = very painful sunburn!), then we put up these awesome shelves in our garage! Look how organized!
Well, that was our week of freedom. Next week begins preschool summer school fun! And don't forget to send us good thoughts this Saturday as we run our first marathon!!!