St. George Marathon
October 3, 2009
Final Time: 4:10:17

I’ve never considered myself a Real Runner. Real Runners wear overpriced Nike gear, drink “goo,” and run marathons. Well, last weekend I did all three and though I still won’t put myself in the Real Runner category, I’ll certainly stake my claim as a very excited wannabe. I ran my first marathon, and what an experience! I could write pages (as you surely know), but I will restrain myself and give you the highlights:

No injuries: My knee miraculously healed, and I ran like a dream. I felt fantastic the whole way, except for the last two miles when my body decided it was done. I pushed through it, though, and finished with a smile. I was so excited!

Perfect weather and unparalleled scenery. Anyone who’s been to Southern Utah knows that the world turns pink when the sun comes up, which is when we started our run. We had front row seats to the desert’s best. Breathtaking.

Accomodating staff: Maybe I was just a doe-eyed newbie, but boy, did it feel like we were in good hands. The runners were provided with water, gatorade, fruit, power bars, muscle cream, vaseline, and even goo along the way (although that was more of a punishment–imagine having your throat injected with a cup of rotten caramel while you’re panting for air). We were met at the finish line with misters, medals, flowers (if your husband’s as sweet as mine), and a parkful of free goodies. Who said Real Runners were healthy eaters? Everyone went straight for the free soda and ice cream. That’s when I knew I was among friends.

Good–no, great–company: In addition to the thrill of running the race, I got to do it with my good friend, Wendy Sunderlage, whom I haven’t seen in years, and her sister Kerry and good friend April. What a fun and encouraging group of gals to sweat with! We talked and laughed and almost cried together. Wendy’s sister provided us a huge, lovely home to stay the weekend in with enough beds for everyone–the most important thing pre-race! Her parents were also in town and were so generous, cooking for us and helping us get ready. After the race we showered and layed around for awhile, then went to “Five Guys” burger joint for dinner. Either it was the post-race appetite or that was about the tastiest hamburger I’ve ever had. Wendy’s husband, Rob, is a good friend of ours, too, and does alot of climbing with Derrick. Laughing and hanging out with these generous, funny friends was as meaningful as finishing the race. I’m so glad we’ve kept it touch over the years.

I was scared silly about this whole thing but, as everyone who’s ever run a marathon promised me I would, I now just feel giddy. And grateful. I feel thankful, thankful, blessed and lucky and thankful: for health and strength and dear friends and red rock and no blisters and misters and free ice cream and hot showers. But mostly for my husband, who’s listened to me obsess over this for weeks and has not only endured it, but has treated me like royalty through the entire experience.

And, yes, I’m also thankful that it’s over. Now you don’t have to hear about it anymore, and I can go back to blogging about the things I do best: watching bad movies and forgetting important stuff. No posing there!

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