As we neared the end of term, the kids got busy finishing off or correcting assignments to try to get their grades as high as possible. It was a long week, and they worked hard, but sweet notes likes this (which I found on my bed) make it all worth it! I love being a mama! Hard? Yes, but oh so worth it!
I did not like that you have to exit through the gift shop. You end up with things you never intended to buy, or with crying children who refuse to leave the premises. Well played Aquarium owners!
They had some small sharks and some huge stingray and we watched them as they fed the sharks...watched but actually didn't really see anything. They fed them way up high at the top of the pool and you really could not see a thing, but that's okay, it was still fun to see all the big fish and listen to an employee speak in a microphone and tell us all sorts of facts about the creatures swimming around.
Here we are the day before the race at the expo center where I had to pick up my bib and I also bought a kangaroo pouch thing to hold my Glukos liquid gels. The expo center was pretty awesome and they had so many different running stores and other vendors from around the area selling and giving free samples of running foods and drinks, there were clothes and lights and shoes and water bottles and all sorts of fun things. I could've stayed for hours!
After we went for a drive on the race course. We started with the finish line where I got out and walked down the that last .2 or so of the course to the finish. I like to visualize so this was important for me to do. Then we drove 26 miles out to where I would begin the race:
Within the first couple of miles I put on my sunglasses as the sun started to come up and I was so grateful I had remembered to bring them because it really helps when you're not having to look down or squint forever. I also packed my mp3 player in my water bag I was wearing on my back, just in case, though I haven't used it in months, and I didn't end up using it for this race. A cool story: ABout 5 months ago we had a stake 5k and there were only about 20-30 people that showed up on that cold morning. During that run there was a maybe 45 year old man and his 22 year old son, both of which seemed to be pretty strong runners. The dad ran about at my 8/750 mile pace so I tried to stay with him. I loved how cheerful and encouraging he was to everyone around him. He'd continually yell out encouraging words or just shout things like, "Yeah! You go girl!" Now fast forward again and we're back to the St George Marathon. I lined up near the 3:35 pacer (not hard to spot as they're holding balloons), and I tried to stay close, but like I said, 7800 people. Around mile 2 or so I'm in my mode and keeping a steady pace and I can hear this guy cheering on runners and saying, "you go girl!" as they pass. Then I hear this guy telling someone else that he is there runnign with his son, who is pacing him. I looked over and saw that it was them, from my stake 5k! So once he stopped talking I asked him if he was from our city and he said yes and I proceeded to explain how I knew him. His name is Thomas Portlock and his son is Hyrum and not only is he in our stake but he is in the same ward as my running friend Kim! We ended up staying together until around mile 19 (Hyrum took off around mile 13 and Thomas suggested I go with him but I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up and I felt like I needed Thomas' presence, and it's not like he was going slow, he was doing low to mid 8's and low 9's on the hills) when Thomas finally made me go ahead so I could finish a little faster. I loved having him there, and told him he was 'my own personal bottle of sunshine', as he lifted and encouraged me and others the whole run. It was so good fro me to have him there adn I knew that the Lord knew, that I need him. The Lord knew where I was, and where Thomas was and he put us together among those 7800 people and I'm so grateful! I honestly don't know what would've happened if I didn't have him there on my first marathon, but I feel like he was good for my health, mentally and physically...perhaps I would've pushed myself too far and gotten hurt was he not there to help me pace myself, especially during the first half when you're feeling so fresh and good. Thomas had run this particular marathon 13 times, he's done the Boston a couple of times (it's a qualifying time marathon) and it was nice to have an experience runner with me reminding me to slow it down on the hills and to wiggle my toes and shake out my hands and arms for better circulation etc. Later I found out that this was also an answer to Scott's prayer. He had been praying that I would find a friend on the run, as it's such a long distance and we all have heard of stories of people really suffering on these long runs. Isn't this quote below perfect?
I love this quote as well: "Heavenly Father has many resources, but often he uses another person to assist him. Daily He gives us opportunities to lead, guid adn walk beside one in eed. We too must be about Heavenly Father's work." Joseph Brough, 2nd counselor Young Men's General Presidency
Around mile 13 I needed to make a super quick stop in the potty and as I shut my door, the door next to me slammed and I heard a guy puking, a lot. My heart went out to him as I knew we still had 13 miles to go. Scott waited for me near the finish and he said he got there around 20 minutes before I came through and that he saw this 20 year old guy collapse to the ground; an ambulance came for him...we think he was very dehydrated. It's a little tricky on these cooler runs because you don't get as thirsty so you tend to not feel like you need water, but you do. Mile 18-19 was the last hill and once I got up that hill it was mostly down for the next several miles. It was gorgeous! My legs and feet were tired, and I felt like my hips would't allow my legs to stretch out as far, but I was still keeping good time. Once we got into St George we still had about 2 miles to go and they are mostly flat which is not hard normally, but when you're on mile 25 and 26 and you've just been coming down, it feels a lot harder. My watch and auto paused when I went to use the bathroom which was not good because now I didn't know exactly how much time I had til the 3:40 time I was hoping for but I knew it was close. So those last two miles I just gave it all I had. They were my fastest two miles, in the 7's, and I felt like I was going to throw up, but I made myself think positive, and I kept reminding myself that I do this distance every day and it's no big deal. Scott ran up to me during my final mile and run next to me for maybe 1/4 or 1/2 a miles which was nice as I was exhausted and I grabbed onto his arm for a minute and let him help me move forward as he gave me words of encouragment, 'you're almost there. You've come so far. It's just this last turn and then you're home." I was grateful right then that we had driven the course the night before, walked the finish, because I knew he was right and that it was so close. Then he was gone and I was running alone again, running fast, passing people, I passed a 20 something girl who was bent over in half, a volunteer on three sides of her, her legs stiff, she could barely move, but they were guiding her along to the finish line that was .1 of a mile away. And then I was there! I crossed the finish and slowed to a jog, and then walked through the misters they had out at the end. It was hard but it was beautiful and I'm so glad I did it. I didn't quite make the 3:40 time, I actually came in at 3:41:49, which is a 8:28 mile pace, but that's okay, I feel good about the race and how it all played out and grateful that I was able to have this positive experience.
"For I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." Doctrine and Covenants 84:88
"See that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order." Mosiah 4:27
"I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom..." 2 Nephi 28:30 Yep, sounds like marathon training.
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7
"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." St John 14:18
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phillippians 4:13