I have lots of notes that I took on my experience (after the fact, of course) and a plethora of pictures that have been taken, as well, so I will try to make this (bullet-pointed, but) as chronological as possible (: ready, go!
PS so you all are aware: the circumstances that presented themselves from 24-hours prior to the race, up until the actual race officially began made it seem like there was no way possible this was going to be an enjoyable/successful experience. But don't worry, this ends up being a happy story in the end. (:
Before the race:
-On Friday (10/7), I woke up later than planned (I still made it to all my classes, parents, I promise!) and didn't have time to shower before class.
-I forgot to switch over my load of laundry into the dryer in the morning, so after I got back from school (circa 3:30pm), I switched it over and had about 80 minutes until that was going to be done...and my race-day outfit was in there, so our departure was delayed.
-After switching out my laundry, I went for my last "training" run of 2 miles, sans-iPod, and actually ran into Kevin Kindred - one of Drew's (brother-in-law)'s intramural friends/my good friend from my ward last year. We ran the second mile together back to my house (:
-Once all of my laundry was done, put away, and I was all packed up, Micaela and I headed off for our "weekend getaway" in Layton, UT...at about 7:30pm at night. Oops.
-I took a friend's advice and we stopped at DI (thrift store) and I purchased a cheap (but warm!) navy blue sweatshirt and matching sweatpants (hahaha) for $8, so I can wear them over my race clothing while waiting the hour outside before the race start, and then I can easily toss them aside.
-The second (and most-important!) stop was then to The Pizza Factory...for fueling up the night before, of course!
Step one: Hydrate (note: this includes lots of ice).
Step two: Eat your entire salad. You need all the nutrients you can get!
Step three: Carbo-load to the MAX. This means ridiculous amounts of delicious bread-twists.
^"BYU" - get it?? hahaha.
Step four: Carbo-load even more by ordering pasta...and adding ridiculous amounts of Parmesan cheese on top. Because that is what Kron kids do.
Step five: Contemplate paying the bill and not just dining and dashing.
Step six: Take a few goofy pictures and then get on your merry way!
-(Now back to the list of "before the race" activities, continued) Leave for Layton around 9pm...oops.
-After jamming out for around an hour and fifteen minutes, we arrived at the Courtyard Marriott in Layton and checked in, then got ready for bed.
-Finally get to bed around 12:30am...after spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out what to wear in the morning from the five outfits I brought with me hahah.
-Wake up at 4:45am to go to early-morning packet pick-up because we missed the expo (obviously) the day before, arrived at Ellison Park to get my packet about two minutes before 5am (aka the cut-off time for the packet pick-up), then got lost on the way back to the hotel because the streets throughout Layton are called different names depending on which intersection you are at....
-Finally got back to the hotel around 5:35, after much praying and acting on promptings (aka turning on Gordon Ave when I really needed to get onto Antelope Drive...but it ended up getting me back to where I needed to be, thank goodness!).
-Found out that I only had about 20 minutes to get ready before the shuttles were leaving from the hotel to the park...soo...just quickly showered but didn't get time to wash my hair (feeling so gross, but past caring by this point haha).
-Made it to the shuttle on time (after they called me on our hotel room phone two minutes before 6am to double check that I was still wanting to run the race, haha!), all bundled up with my DI sweats and two handfuls of Shotblox in hand.
-Made it to Ellison Park and waited outside in the cold for about 10 minutes with a mass of other half-marathon runners for the buses to take us to the causeway (starting line) off of Antelope Island.
-Finally got on the buses and a few of us who were chatting previously outside chose seats in the very back in hopes that that would mean we'd get to stay on the bus longer...
-Found out about .5 seconds into the drive that the seat in front of mine had a window that was jammed and wouldn't go up...so we had freezing cold wind blowing on our faces for most of the 20 minute ride (where they drive all the way to the island...and then turned around, because the driver's "didn't realize" where we were supposed to start hahaha) and tried to stay hunched down and talked to my new friend/seat buddy Carrie about how much we both love to run. (:
-Got off the buses and everyone lined up in front of the porta-potties, then proceeded to huddle around the one tiny space heater they had at the starting line (keep in mind there's over 200 of us at this point hahaha)
-Found out that the start was going to be delayed (originally 7:30am, pushed to 8:00am) because they sent the wrong number of buses and the other half of the runners were still waiting at Ellison Park to be picked up...20 minutes away hahaha.
-Walked over to the starting line and made friends with Dan (and a few others) after the sign fell down and we all walked over to put it back up since there were no volunteers in sight. Cool fact about Dan: he has only ever run 5ks before (3.1 miles) but just a week ago, his sister found out she had a big hip problem and wouldn't be able to run the half marathon (13.1 miles), so he decided to run it in her place. A WEEK ago he decided this. So crazy!!
He took this picture for me while we were waiting for the start (note: please try to not be too jealous of my matching navy blue $8 sweats/sweatshirt from DI (; ):
-Took off my DI sweats and put them in the back of a truck that was going to be driven back to the finish line at Ellison Park.
-The other runners finally showed up about 7:50, so we all lined up at the porta-potties again and then finally started (!!) right at 8am, all at the same time (because the timing company forgot to send us the starting timer pad to run over to "start" our timers officially...oops!), while the sun was rising all around us (:
During the race:
-LOVED. EVERY. SECOND.
-I ate so many orange slices (anytime someone at a drink station was handing them out, I grabbed as many as would fit in my hand...even though it was usually only one or two since the oranges were so huge!).
-Bathroom break at mile 4 (I was paying for having been drinking so much water the past few days hahah).
-A little boy was holding a sign that said "touch this sign for energy" right after mile 4 and I ran right up to him and touched his sign and it totally made his day!!
-There were signs ALL along the way that were motivational - some held up by family members/friends of certain runners, but some were just attached to street signs and were very generic in just motivating everyone to keep going and telling us how awesome we were. (:
-There were like three different places along the 13.1 mile race where there were professional photographers...I look so awkward in my pictures because I was SO happy but also SO tired hahaha but the link to see them is here: http://www.zazoosh.com/events/searchPhotos/465?evtId=465&query=85&x=0&y=0
-I dropped my Shotblox at least fifteen times during the race, because I was trying to carry them in between my race belt and my body...they just got smooshed and then fell out of the loop (literally, haha).
-All throughout the run, I was just thinking about how awesome this was...my new playlist combined with running between 8:00-8:50 minute miles the entire time (+ my overall adrenaline from running on so little sleep, I'm sure) made for just the best run of my ever life. I LOVED every moment, seriously!! Even though I could definitely feel myself getting tired at the end (this is evident by my longer split times in the last couple of miles)
-At the finish line, I was SO happy to see so many cheering friends (well, only Micae was there, but they all felt like my friends!!) as they announced "Here's Sarah Kron, from Dublin, OH!" as I crossed the finish line -- how cool is that!? I was just BEAMING, and not just because the last song on my playlist before I saw the finish line was "Party in the USA" (: haha.
(PS kudos to Micae for being there for me at the finish line and snagging this video of me in one of my proudest moments...even if you did miss me running for the first couple of seconds hahaha (: )
So with the delay in the race start (all of us starting at the same time in one solid chunk, all 400+ of us), I just started my Garmin as soon as I crossed the starting line (about a minute or so after everyone else) and stopped it right after I crossed the finish line. So my "official" Garmin time/distance says I ran 13.20 miles in 1:50:27, but the marathon website says that I ran 13.1 miles in 1:51:45. So...both work, I suppose. (: Although I know for sure that my Garmin never lies (he is a satellite watch, after all!), I think I will go with the longer time (that way a PR is easier to get, right? (; )
SO here is my Garmin info (you can click any of the pictures to make them bigger!):
The map of the course:
The details of the run:
And my personal splits (times for each mile):
Wahooooooooo!! And so then we get to...
After the race:
-I found out my "official time" and how I placed!!
The most exciting thing was finding out that I medaled!! I finished the half marathon second in my age group (20-24 females) out of 36 runners!!
I also found out (later) that I finished the half marathon as the 20th female out of 245 other female runners!
And overall (out of all of the males AND females that ran the half marathon), I finished 72nd out of 423 people total!!
SO, none all too shabby for my first half marathon ever, considering I wasn't even going in with any goals whatsoever - except to finish. (: PS for those of you who didn't know - I was originally training for the full Layton Marathon (26.2 miles), but I got pretty sick and my training suffered a bit (and then I hurt my knee when I tried jumping back into it too much, too soon) a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to just run the half marathon instead, since I had never run one before and it was a more reasonable idea in the first place. But don't worry, a marathon is definitely in my future. (:
OKAY. So. I will continue with the post-race highlights:
-I ate a TON of pb&j sandwiches, slices of delicious wheat bread, bananas, and (more!) oranges, and then drank my weight in Powerade.
-I was literally jumping for joy at the chance to stand on a stage and receive my medal in front of everyone (note: everyone who finished the half/full marathons received a "finisher's medal" - the red one; the blue one is the "second place" medal) (double note: I was so excited to get my medal that I jumped right up on stage as soon as they said my name...and I was made fun of for not picking up my medal first, so they had to bring it to me hahaha).
-Then before leaving (and as the sun was finally coming out! Did I mention it was PERFECT and overcast the entire course of the race??) Micae and I took a few more "post-race" photos to celebrate what an amazing journey this has been (:
-We made it back to the hotel by around 11:30AM and thought that check-out was at 12:00PM and I was in desperate need of a shower and a bit of R&R at this point...so we asked the manager if we could have an extension of fifteen minutes past check-out and she told us we were clear to stay until 1:30PM, if we wanted! So we took full advantage of that. (:
-Tried to take a nap but Micae wouldn't let me since she wanted to go home...shame on her.
So she read me a bedtime story to make up for it, while I took a three minute nap. And then she made me get out of bed haha and thennnnn...
-...I went immediately into the shower. I know you that everyone reading this is probably relieved to hear that at this point (and Micae, I'm sure, was quite relieved herself hahaha).
-Came out of the bathroom after like a 30 minute shower and was finally all nice and clean (: so I got changed and ready to check-out and head back home while Micaela watched the Kardashain's version of "ET" on my laptop and episodes of Spongebob on the hotel tv simultaneously.
-I decided to celebrate and wore my medals the ENTIRE REST OF THE DAY. Because I was just that happy. (:
-We checked out of the hotel and then stopped at Micae's elementary school friend's parents' house in Layton and she got to say hello to some of the family.
-But not before we passed by a GAMESTOP and, of course, had to pull over into the parking lot so we could keep up the family tradition and get our picture taken in front of it. (:
(PS isn't the race shirt so cute?? It's a short-sleeved and brown technical race shirt...SO COMFY. And wearing the extra Underarmour underneath it that I packed for the trip made it even more comfy!)
-After visiting her friend's parents' family, we realized we were starving (it was like 2pm by this point) and headed back to GameStop because guess what was next door...?! I'll give you one guess:
-YEP! Zupa's it is, to celebrate 13.1-miler and fill up on salad, soup, bread + a chocolate-covered strawberry. Oh! And a slice of cheesecake to share (:
PS yes, I totally got something other than the tomato bisque for once...I don't remember what this was called exactly but it tasted like what is inside a chicken pot pie, with peanuts added in...can you say mega yummy?!
-After filling ourselves up, we stopped at Temple Square in Salt Lake City on the way home to:
*Take in the sights/take lots of pretty pictures
*Tour the visitor's center
*Learn more about the Salt Lake City Temple
*Watch the "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" movie for the second time
*Talk with handfuls of sister missionaries about missions and missionary work (: (: (:
*Fill out referral cards
*And overall enjoy the rest of our day away from school and stress in my favorite place in Utah (:
The following are all of the Salt Lake City Temple (click on that to find out more about this and other Latter-day Saint temples!) at different angles...I just think it is breathtaking, no matter which way you look at it. The last picture is definitely my favorite, though. (: (PS none of these have been edited in any way - the temple is JUST that gorgeous on a regular basis!! (: )
I just love the church. It is so true. I am a proud member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I know the principles it teaches are true with all of my heart. (: You can click here to find out more about the church: http://mormon.org/ - or feel free to ask me any questions you may have about the church or Mormons/temples in general (either as a comment or you can e-mail me at email@example.com)! I promise there are no dumb questions (:
As nightfall crept upon us, Micae and I were getting more and more tired, so we left Temple Square around dinnertime and made it home with just enough time to unload the car, unpack, finish up some homework in the library, and then (finally!) go to bed just before midnight.
I am so happy and so lucky to have had the opportunity to run this race!! 13.1 miles is my new favorite distance, by far (: Aside from just a few minor aches and pains that come after a long-distance run, a slight bruise around my middle from wearing my water-bottle belt too tight (whoops haha) and a minor headache (probably due to my running 13.1 miles on only 4 hours of sleep...double whoops!), I feel fantastic. And I cannot WAIT to run my next half marathon!! But (to mom and dad especially): don't worry, I'm taking a few days off to let my body recover. So for the next week while I'm not running, at least I have a nice little reminder of a job well done: a reminder that hard work and dedication (as scattered as your training/nutrition/sleeping patterns may have been) really does pay off in the end. And for now, that's enough.
At least until I'm back out running in the crisp, autumn air next week. (: