Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ogden Marathon Race Recap

It was a pleasant enough evening when I arrived in Ogden to pick up my race packet. There was even some sunshine, trying to convince us that perhaps the day to come would be pleasant as well. Silly, silly, sunshine. I didn't believe your lies.

When I awoke Saturday morning, the weather was still deceiving. It was almost warm as I got on the bus to head to the start line.
I could see the dark clouds massing, but I continued to pretend that they meant nothing.
I quickly found Jamie at the start and got comfy by the fire. Everything was still pleasant. We could see the sun come up and if we faced east, we could pretend that those pink hues and blue skies were going to stick around.
Sunshine! Photo courtesy of Jamie Eckles.
Little did we know that that was the last sunshine we would see until Sunday. We lined up and the countdown began. As we crossed the start line, the rain started to trickle down. Just a bit of a drizzle at first, not enough to make me doubt any of my gear choices.

I thought my jacket was much more rain proof than it was. Oops. I thought that tights would be good to keep my legs warm. Oops. I thought my gloves would help. Oops. I packed a clean, dry shirt and some arm sleeves in a ziplock bag in my hydration pack. That was smart. Too bad I got to the point where I didn't dare take off my pack because it was keeping my back dry and slightly warm.

The rain went from drizzle to a steady downpour before I was even to the first aid station. I was thoroughly soaked by mile 5. My jacket was clinging to my freezing, wet arms. My tights just held the cold rain to my freezing, wet legs. My feet were getting pruney and it felt weird to run on them. I was still moving along at a decent pace though, mostly to try and keep my body temperature up.
How I was feeling by the second hour.
I was starting to feel pretty miserable by mile 8 and was happy to take a bathroom break, if only to get out of the rain for just a couple of minutes. But a couple of minutes of inactivity made me very cold. Trying to get some of my warmth back was proving to be difficult. I was starting to wonder if I was going to make it through the race. I began to entertain ideas of dropping out of the race. That seemed preferable to ending up in the hospital and all... But if you drop out, you don't get a medal. So I started scanning the sides of the road for any discarded items that I could use to keep the rain off. At mile 11.5, I lucked out and came across a Mylar blanket, lying there in a heap, but shining like a beacon of hope. I grabbed it up, shook it off and wrapped my shivering body in its heavenly embrace.

The trouble is, it's difficult to run and keep all wrapped up in a flimsy sheet that the wind keeps trying to rip from your fragile frame. So I developed quite a back ache from the way I had to run to try and keep dry. My legs were numb, but the muscles felt alright, so I pushed on.
It was so much wetter than it looks.
I tried to take some pictures along the way. The trouble with a touch screen phone is that pickled, pruney fingers cannot operate it. It took ages to get the screen unlocked and snap a couple of shots.
But I just had to have a picture of the sneaky T-Rex lurking behind the fence.
I was actually on track to beat last year's time on this course, but something in me snapped around mile 23. I just lost my will. The rain and cold had beaten it out of me. So the trudging began. I walked and walked and walked some more, constantly adjusting the Mylar blanket around me. I would only run when I started to shiver. The time and the miles crept by but I finally made it around the corner to the finish mile. I picked up the pace as much as I could. I just couldn't wait to be done and get warm and dry. It felt like I would never be warm again...
I'll never let go, Mylar. I'll never let go.
I refused to take my blanket off as I came into the finish. There was no way I was letting it go until I was well and truly done with the race.
As soon as I stopped running, I just wanted to get out of everything wet. But I had to trek across sopping wet grass that was so saturated, every step brought a new flood of water into my already soaked shoes. I grabbed up my drop bag that had my hoodie and sweat pants in it, thankfully, they were mostly dry. My mom and I headed over to Rovali's, which is one of my all time favorite places to eat. And thankfully, they have a large restroom that made it convenient for me to stumble around whilst trying to pry myself out of my wet tights. I eventually got all the wetness off of me and the dry clothes on. When I made it back to the table, my mom had a cup of hot chocolate waiting for me. Finally, the day was looking up.

As my feet started to dry out and the blisters that I hadn't realized were there made themselves known. I got sharp pains springing up all over the ball of my left foot. Because my feet had gotten so wet and wrinkly, blisters had formed between the wrinkles. It was weird looking and awful feeling. I should have taken a picture for posterity... Oh well. But at least I was getting some warm, amazing food in my body and I wasn't getting wet anymore.
Marathon #10 was tough, but worth it.
So there you have it. I survived. Apparently, there were a lot of people that dropped out of the race. But I have no idea how many because they didn't list the DNFs in the race results. I managed to finish only 7 minutes slower than last year's time, which isn't too terrible, considering. I will have to go back next year to see what I can really do on this course, since last year is when my pants split at mile 10, leaving me with raw, bloody thighs by the end, and this year was a battle against hypothermia. Let's all hope we get ideal conditions for next year's race, mmmkay?

I get a week off from racing this weekend, and then it's the Jordan River marathon with some bonus miles afterwards to make my last long run before the 50 miler in June (which I'm having minor meltdowns about every so often). My training has really been going well though, so let's hope that means something.

Until next time, happy running!


  1. OH MAN!!! That's some craziness right there. Way to persevere!

  2. A real challenge this sounds, well done for working through, hooray for hot chocolate!