Monday, May 21, 2012

Ogden Marathon 2012

We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies-
Marathons are full of factors that are beyond your control- weather, injuries, sickness, sleep, cramping.  You train for months and when you toe the start line you have to stand there knowing that you did the best you could with what you were given.  At miles 6, 13, 20, 23, you are still evaluating hoping that your body will respond in the best way possible, and it's not until you reach the finish line that you realize and can even fully comprehend what you have accomplished.
I ran the Ogden Marathon one mile at a time; checking my splits, putting in the effort, and hoping for the best.  The only screen visible on my Garmin had my current mile pace, distance, and total average pace- I didn't know my total run time until this moment, and in that moment, I let every remaining piece of energy I had left escape.
This was, hands down, one of the most freeing moments of my life.

Know what propelled me across this finish line?  People.

I was surprised by multiple friends and family members across the course:
  •  Darcy and her baby Andi at mile 8.
  • Dallas, Will, Annie, Seth and Sierra at the half.
  • Old High School friends and neighbors that were having their own race experience- Grant Keaton, Linda Callor, and Katie Storbo.
  • My girls- Whitney and Erin at mile 17.
  • My sweet friend Ashley- who started running at the same time as I did- at mile 23.
  • Nothing pushes you across the finish like family waiting:  Cami, Ty, Lauren, Alex, Leslee, Clayton, and Kenny.
These people all mean something to me, and their support and encouragement kept me going.

I had several friends that were running this race, and thinking of them kept me working hard, too.  I wanted them to hit their goals!  With every step I ran, I knew that they would be passing those same points, hitting some of the same lows, and enjoying the grandeur of the valleys and the canyons that I was.  Ashley, Pam, Holly, Kristen, and my best friend Kalie (read her recap!  It's incredible)- you kept me pushing.  Thank you.

And YOU.  All of you "invisible friends"- your thoughts, prayers, and encouragement were felt on Saturday.

As I was running the course I thought so much of the bigger picture.  I had the thought that what if we could see those family and friends that are on the other side; what if we had a glimpse of them and could see how many loved ones are cheering us on without our knowledge- imagine the boost that would give us!  We could get through anything!  Although we can't see them, we can lean on our faith that we know they are there, and they are rooting for us.

I thought often of my friend Dustin whom we lost to overdose 5 years before- I dedicated this race to him.  I thought of his family and of the pain they have had to endure because of his absence.  I thought so much of my friend Angie.  My heart is still broken for her and the loss of her daughter Quincy.  How could I not endure the momentary pain of a marathon when there was so much other real suffering going on so close to me?

The last three miles of a marathon are so difficult- the fatigue really set in for me and I quit looking at my watch and I just focused on keeping my legs running.  I call these miles the prayer miles because I'm in a constant state of prayer by this point- it's 25 minutes of gratitude for the many blessings and opportunities that I'm given on a daily basis.  Running can be an intensely spiritual experience, and the Ogden Marathon was definitely that for me.  I am so very, very blessed.

The last half mile of the marathon I ran to the sides and just started giving high fives to everyone I could.  I needed their energy and enthusiasm!  I don't know if it was just a final kick, or a tail wind, or angels, but I felt my body speeding up even though I truly felt like I had nothing left to give.  It was a feeling I don't think I will ever forget.
At this race, and this moment in my life, all of those marathon variables lined up and I was able to achieve my goal- 3:29:00.  I still can't believe it.  When I got to the expo and realized that I was going to have to pace myself to a sub 3:30 on my own, I kind of panicked!  I didn't know if I could do it.  I don't have a lot of marathon experience, but thanks to some very smart splits on a pace band, smart running and fueling, prayer, and a belief in myself, I was able to achieve something that I would have thought impossible a year ago.  I beat every one of my splits but 4.  My fastest mile of the race, a 7:22 mile, was mile 23, and I beat my projected goal time by 58 seconds.


With hard work, people, and faith, you can do anything.





26 comments:

Amy N. said...

You are such an inspiration! I am thrilled that you made your goal! Amazing!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Congrats on such a speedy finish time! How exciting!

Julia said...

Amazing recap friend! seriously an incredible race and i am so proud of you and excited for you! i squealed when i saw your time over the weekend! absolutely amazing! congrats again:)

Hannah Neville McMillan said...

you are an inspiration!!! I love you.

Brian and Amber said...

congrats Amy! what an accomplishment!

Ali Mc said...

Ahhhh, I LOVED reading this :) it is just so amazing! You have quite the support system, and that says a lot :) you are such an inspiration to me Amylee. I love every ounce of love you put into your running :D xo CONGRATS! I am so proud of you.

Mandy said...

What a great recap! Congratulations on meeting your goal!

Christie said...

You are freaking amazing. I honestly sat and looked at that first photo for while... so powerful and inspirational, it projects the true inner bliss of running! You should be so proud of yourself :)

Sweet and Savory by Sarah said...

I got chocked up reading this. Wanna know my favorite picture? The one of you crossing the finish line where you can look at all the expressions of peoples faces watching you. Some are SO excited for you. I LOVE that!

abbi said...

That is the best finish line photo every. A big, huge congratulations to you. Awesome!

keynan thomas said...

Love this and love you!! Amazing.

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

Amazing! Congratulation on surpassing your goal and having such an incredible time!
:)

kalie said...

Before I forget: Will cracks me up.

This post is so amazing. I've read it three times now, and every time I read it, I am more and more sure that running is a gift you are giving to others. Christie is right--that picture is so completely raw and touching. I wish so much that I had been there to watch you cross the finish line.

It is such an incredible birthday gift you gave yourself: the power to suffer and conquer your demons. I am honored to be your friend and your number one fan. I love you so much.

Mile 23 at 7:22? You are a BEAST. :)

Ashley said...

Oh my, I am so proud of you!!! I had to read this post to my husband. You are a total inspiration to me Amy. I cant stop thinking about running a marathon and that ENTHUSIASTIC smile on your face!!!

Shelby said...

This honestly made me cry. That is AMAZING! I loved this post. Good job, my friend. On the race, and in life.

Coy Martinez said...

Look at you!!! Look. at. YOU!! So amazing!! I don't ever remember reading a race recap and could feel as happy as the person inside the pictures but this was it! I'm sending you a virtual high five and a hug for accomplishing what you set out to do! This is great in so many ways!

MR DETERMINED said...

Best finish line photo! Looks like a great race. Congrats on such an amazing time.

Andrea said...

I'm sorry I'm late to the party here but AMY! YOU ARE AMAZING!!! I can't believe you ran so fast. I honestly got tears in my eyes looking at your pictures and reading your story. You're such an inspiration- I can't believe how well you did with everything you've been battling. I'm so glad your IT band made it. Congrats!!! I can't wait until you get to go run the marathon in Boston someday.

Ann said...

Love, love, love, LOVE!!! Crying at my desk. SO HAPPY and SO PROUD of you!!!!! :)

MotherRunner said...

Oh my gosh - I teared up when I saw that first picture of you. So happy for you - you earned it. :)

Cory Reese said...

I am speechless. This review gave me goosebumps. That first picture sums everything up so perfectly.

It just goes to show that all the hard work you did really paid off. I'm so happy for you! You are seriously incredible!

Rachelle Wardle said...

Yep I cried....I knew I would! I could feel every single emotion with you as I read and I am just so incredibly proud. You executed a perfect race and I am beyond thrilled for you. It is one thing to plan your race and how you want it to go but it is such another to actually make it happen. And you...you made it happen!! Not many can say that. Congratulations you are simply amazing!!

Aaron Gelter said...

Great recap! I am so excited for you, what an amazing experience. You're an inspiration and motivation. I am more excited than ever to go for my own sub-3:30 in a few months!

Suz and Allan said...

Congratulations!!! That first picture of you is absolutely amazing. You look so strong, determined, and happy!

jclay said...

Haha! I LOVE IT!!! Another incredibly inspiring marathon picture! I swear you take the best running photos ever!!!!! And that time!!! You're absolutely incredible, Amylee! Congrats! Ps you are probably my running mom idol. :)

Katie said...

Bravo!! Congrats on your awesome experience!!