so this one time i ran 26.2 miles

and ultimately, somehow, this happened at the end of it:

oh my gracious. where to begin!?! just over a month ago on june 9th, i ran and finished the utah valley marathon. my first marathon ever. and hopefully definitely not my last!


it was quite the journey leading up to the day of the actual marathon. in regards to the logistics of recording my training, i:

*started training on the 20th of february (president's day!)
*started off really strong with a series of "marathon monday" posts...most none of which were actually on a monday...whoopsie (click to look at week one two three four or five)
*got lazy with my blogging (in general, much less keeping up with the weekly updates), so resorted to posting my workouts on my dailymile page instead (again, when i remembered)
*the one way i kept up with my training 100% of the way was by recording it, old-school style on the training plan that i had created and taped to the back of my bedroom door, so i saw it each and every day, multiple times. i would circle the mileage for the day if i had completed the workout as written; otherwise i would cross it out and replace it with what i actually did. everyone has their own way of doing things, and this is what i found works best for me. something i can see in front of me, written down, each and every day. that's good to know for future racing (:

ps i would have posted a picture of my "completed" marathon training plan, all marked up over the four months (feb-june) of training, but i am in ohio for the summer and my training plan is still on the back of my bedroom door in my apartment back at school in utah. i'll take a picture when i get back next month (if i remember!).

looking back, i have to admit that my training wasn't ever spot-on perfect or anything. i know of many runners that are religious about their training down in very specific detail. however, i missed some runs. i wasn't overly strict about my diet in any way. i probably didn't get as much sleep as i should have. i happened to make the decision to train for my first-ever marathon during what would become the two busiest semesters of school for me so far at byu, with a full credit-load (18.0 for winter and 9.0 for spring), working 20 hours a week at the testing center, and participating in a number of church-, school-, theatre-, and friend-related activities along the way. it probably wasn't the most ideal of circumstances, but that's just life, right? when i look back and reflect on all of this, it all comes down to this basic fact: i ran a marathon. and even though it wasn't a perfect journey by any means, i know it's an incredible accomplishment all on its own!


this post wouldn't be complete without admitting to the fact that a big reason why i stopped recording my training publicly (like how there is no online record of my training for the entire month of may) is because of my frustration due to my injury. i already dedicated my previous post to my journey through running these past two years, discussing in more detail my first-ever running injury that i got in early may (just over a month shy of the big day of the utah valley marathon). so you can click to check that out in more detail, if you'd like.

basically, long story short, i got what was called peroneous tertius tendonitis, which basically meant that this is how i was running:
so, i met with a sports medicine doctor (who originally diagnosed me), and then met over a handful of times with an incredible (current ironman and marathoner) physical therapist who helped me get on on my way to running my first-ever marathon, pain-free. and thank goodness i had an incredible support system of family + friends cheering me on and sending lots and lots of patience, advice, + encouragement my way throughout that tough final month of training.


but enough of all this injury talk. this is officially the post dedicated to the amazing journey that was (all in less than 24 hours), me running my first-ever marathon!! (: (: (:

first things first, my amazing family came out from every corner of the united states (massachusetts, ohio, and wisconsin, respectfully) to cheer me on to victory! and hang out with me the entire week leading up the race, mega awesome. friday afternoon (the day before the race) we headed up to salt lake city to enjoy a couple of hours at the new city creek center (mall)...but not before stopping at the marriott hotel in provo to check out the utah valley marathon registration/expo! eeeeeek!

anxiously awaiting receiving my goodie bag + race tag!!

we spent the rest of the day just hanging out and eating dinner at the pizza factory (thank you, new official pre-race tradition) before we all went our separate ways for the night. this girl here had to get in some serious snooze time before her 3am (yes, you read that right) wake-up call...! but little did i know (okay, probably could have seen totally saw this coming) all the excitement + such kept me up until probably just before midnight, what with all the talking my roommates' ears off and frantically changing my race outfit last-minute (and deciding to write my name really big on the front of my tank top...best decision ever. more to come on that later (thanks ruth!)). but finally, i slept (well, kept my eyes closed successfully for about three hours straight...whoopsie #1) and then jumped out of bed, threw on my race clothes, and checked my e-mail one last time to find this beautiful little nugget in my inbox:

eeeeeeeeeeeeek!! thanks, meb! how you knew i'd be running my first-ever marathon i'll never know! but it sure did help me stay optimistic and excited, even after i realized that my wee little ipod shuffle had only charged to barely 50% overnight since my computer had gone into hibernation and didn't finish the charge...whoopsie #2. but more on that later, too!

thankfully older sister/famous tv reporter sister anna volunteered to accompany me on my early-morning wake-up call and drag herself out of bed and out the door to drop me off at the bus-loading (right outside the hotel). then whoopsie #3 came along (although i'm happy to say it was the last of 3 whoopsies) when we were running out the door to get to the car and i tripped and the peanut butter toast in my right hand (banana in my left, obviously) fell on the asphalt parking lot ground...peanut butter side down. hahaha. it was really starting off to be quite the morning! but we laughed it off and she dropped me off with plenty of time to spare. i was able to hop right on a bus (where i spent a good 5 minutes picking out flecks of asphalt out of my peanut butter...yummy!) and before i knew it, we were off on our way up provo canyon, to the marathon start!!

i was in such a haze at the marathon start. meaning, not really at all, but it honestly felt just so completely surreal that it was actually about to happen...me. running a marathon!!! ahhheeeekkk!!jfdklafsda just thinking about it is getting me all kinds of excited again. wheee (: okay. so after a beautiful 20ish minute ride up the canyon, they dropped us off in walsburg, utah (aka middle of (beautiful!) nowhere; literally less than 300 people live there as of the 2000 census) aka the race start!! wheeee! port-a-pottied and grabbed a complimentary cup of water and finished off my banana while exploring the entirety of the race start. found andrew fluckiger (aka 1 of only 2 people i knew running this race besides me...that 2041 other people were running...aka talk about tender mercies finding him at the start!) and spent the rest of the 45 minutes or so talking and getting each other pumped up (his 2nd marathon, my 1st)...and taking a few more trips to the HUGE lineup of portapotties...seriously, i think there were like a hundred all lined up. or at least fifty.

so we talked and talked to the other runners (mostly me talking and him laughing, because i couldn't keep my mouth shut about how excited i was) and eventually 6am rolled around and we were all corralled to the race start. then 5...4...3...2...1...(gunshot!) RACE START! I literally screamed (and so did a lot of other people, so don't think i'm too crazy) as i crossed the starting line, said goodbye + good luck to andrew, and went running on my merry little way!
running through the canyon, mile 9
running the marathon itself was seriously like living a dream. like, seriously, one of those dreams when you feeling like you are moving in slow-motion the entire time. but at the same time it felt like it just flew by!! ...okay i just re-read those two sentences and realized that that probably doesn't make any real sense to anyone else...but it totally makes sense to me. because that's exactly what it was like! just take my word on it. (:

but so things make a little more sense to everyone else, here's a list of my favorite highlights from the marathon itself, in no particular order:

1. although i had literally perfected my running playlist for this race specifically, four months in the making, i realized that not having my ipod shuffle charged all the way was seriously one of the best things that could have happened to me. because i was so worried about not having enough push from my music to keep me going (most of my training consisted of me listening to my ipod while running), i decided to go without music for the first 13.1 miles of the race, and leave the music for the second half (when i thought i'd need it). thanks to that decision, i was able to really embrace what was going on during the race (like the fact i was running a marathon! eeek!!) and enjoy the literally breathtakingly beautiful nature all around me as i was running through the canyon.
1a. i actually didn't even turn on my ipod until mile 15, and only then because i realized i could probably easily push myself to run a bit faster if i had some music to listen to. that lasted until about mile 21 when i ran into my family cheering me on on the sidelines and turned off my ipod as ruth joined me in running miles 22-25!
2. putting my name on my tank top = so awesome. literally at just about every drink station (every 2 miles along the race course), volunteers and spectators alike would cheer me on by name. that was so much more motivational then just hearing a generic "you can do it!" i highly recommend it.
3. because the race start was at 6am, the sun was just barely rising and, as we were running through farmland for the beginning of the race, i legit heard three roosters "cock-a-doodle-do"-ing within about five minutes. so cool!
4. i also heard a mountain lion roar. not going to lie, that one was slightly terrifying. but at least it pushed me to run a little faster so that's good, right? (:
5. before starting the race (aka while waiting in the lines at the port-a-potties with andrew) i would strike up a conversation with literally everyone around me. and each time i'd ask how many races/marathons/ironmans they had completed and when they would tell me i would get so star-struck + overwhelmed by how incredible they were and could not stop telling everyone "omg, you're a rockstar!!!" i was like, completely high on life. and then once all these people realized this was my first marathon (it probably wasn't hard to guess after how completely crazy energetic i was) someone would shout "it's this girl's first marathon!!!!!!!" and a bunch of people would clap and cheer. SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS. i love running/runners/everything about this sport. case. closed.

running through the canyon, mile 17...and yes i promise we paid for these pictures but they haven't come in the mail yet so i had to resort to stealing borrowing them from online until they arrive. promise.

6. running in utah is GORGEOUS. especially through the canyon!! i've driven through provo canyon dozens of times and passed by deer creek lake the same amount of times, but running by it seriously was a memory i'll never forget.
7. it was literally (i'm probably overusing this word by now, but i just want you to all know how serious i am!) a perfect day for running. not too hot, not too cold, and shade in all the right places. the only bother i had was around miles 9-11 when the wind was blowing so strong in the canyon my hat (literally) flew off my head and i had to run after it. true story.
8. because we were running in a frequently-used canyon, we ran by huuuuuuuge lines of cars on the other side of the road just waiting for the race to be over (sorry, guys!). but mostly the awesome part of that was the fact that all those cars were waiting on a running race...and not the other way around (for once)! i just love when the whole world (provo) shuts down for a race. makes my heart smile. (:
9. i made a list of 26(.2) people that meant the most to me and put it in the front pocket of my hydration belt. at each mile marker, i took out the list, made a mental note of who the person for that mile was, and imagined them cheering me on through the entire mile. it was the perfect motivational tool and i am so glad i did that! so thanks to all you imaginary people for cheering me on (;
10. the race volunteers handed out otter pops at mile 23. okay...no explanation needed. literally hit. the. spot.
11. while chatting it up with my seat buddy on the bus on the way up to the marathon start (holy prepositions) i found out that she had a friend there with her that had literally never run a race in her life...and today was going to be her first race ever - a marathon!! talk about inspirational!
12. literally did not hit "the wall". or any wall. of any kind. at all. they had a big sign post thing up that you could run right under that said something to the effect of "DON'T HIT THE WALL", with loud music playing + the like at mile 20. i literally (ha) laughed when i saw it, kicked up my speed a little bit and "whoop-whoop!"-ed out loud as i ran underneath it. what wall?!
13. i kept running THE. ENTIRE. TIME. apart from two bathroom stops along the way (still have yet to master the whole peeing-while-running deal, i'll leave that one to the pros). i was so happy to be moving forward on my own two feet for almost 5 hours straight...yeesh!

14. okay guys...MY ENTIRE FAMILY WAS THERE CHEERING ME ON (and made the best sign of the race). let's. be. real. best race highlight by far!!

preparing the sign in the hotel room my parents+dk were staying in
being awesome and cheering me (and all the other runners) on!!
best sign of the race. by far.
okay so seriously, best group of fans award goes to my family for sticking it out in that hot, hot utah heat to cheer me on!...especially when i just like literally zipped past them because my legs were just programmed to keep moving forward by this point hahaha. sorry dk!

then on ruth + i went to run the last few miles of the race!!

ps most adorable fan award goes to this little guy...who danced the night morning away while he anxiously awaited the return of his mother (ruth) aaaaaaand seeing his favorite aunt (anna + i are tied for favorite aunt, thank you very much) cross the finish line!

the last little sprint i had left in me...!!!

OFFICIAL FINISH (chip) TIME: 4:50:23.

aadfjaslafseeeeeeeek!! i literally...LITERALLY screamed as i crossed the finish line. i did it!! i was OFFICIALLY now a marathoner(!!!), and had finished PAIN-FREE, and no one could ever ever ever take that away from me!! eeeevvvveeeerrrrr!!
meeting up with roommate debbie, who was the first person (that i knew and loved) that i saw post-race!!
after taking an entire table full of snagging some extra snacks, i headed on over to meet my family...the first time seeing them since i had finished!! i was only slightly out of it (okay, just ran for the past 5 hours straight...cut me some slack).

me with all my treats...can't beat that chocolate milk for refueling post-run!
aaaand, in true krondashian fashion, we snapped just about a million photos post-race. eeeeek i love love love my family so much!
me with my mama.
showing off the bling!!
dk, best little brother-of-a-fan award goes to him for suure.
mr. photographer/videographer himself, daddy!
the whole family (ruth + anna...i still need the pictures you two took of us post-race!!)
aaaand the wonderful daniels clan (the mr. + mrs.) came out to cheer me across the finish line, too...even though they had just finished their long run themselves. how great are they?

basically. SO. great. i finished and was a marathoner (eeeeek!). so here's the breakdown in case you care about all the specifics and times and splits and all that jazz like i do (as always, click to make any of the pictures bigger so they are actually readable):
OFFICIAL overall stats.
just me...no frills. (:
placed 61st in my age group (F 19-24, out of 101)
aaaand with much thanks to my handy-dandy beautiful garmin, here's the (un)official breakdown of my run!

ps i love this because it takes into consideration the average pace (overall) AND the average moving pace...aka it factors out the times when i had to stop (i.e. to go to the bathroom, fetch my flying hat, etc.) and tells me what my average running pace was - which came out to 10:32!! totally can live with that for my first marathon! (:
the map/course of the run, from the wee little town of wallsburg, all the way down + around the canyon to provo!
and here are my split times for each mile! mile 6 is so long because that was my first bathroom stop (and we had to wait in line for about 7 minutes because there were so many of us and only three port-a-potties...shame shame), and mile 18 was my second bathroom stop. so overall i think that puts me as my slowest (running constantly) mile split being 11:47.8 (at mile 9, probably because i was too busy focusing on making a hilarious pose for the race photographers) and my fastest mile split being 9:38.2 (at mile 15, when i finally turned on my ipod! it's crazy what a difference that made!). 

ps my official split time was 2:28:40...which means that i technically ran negative splits (running the 2nd half faster than the 1st), which came as a complete surprise but is totally awesome to notice as well! i'm sure a big part of that is the fact that (a) in my 1st half i had that crazy long stop waiting for the port-a-potties, and (b) in my 2nd half i had my two fastest mile splits (at mile 15 in 9:38.2 and at mile 19 in 9:40.5...aka the first being when i turned on my music finally and the second being when i saw the "don't hit the wall" sign and powered right through it!!). so great!!

ps this is kind of fun to look at as well. when i initially uploaded my garmin info online, the elevation showed up as this:

but then, when i expanded it (to show it's "true" elevation) it looked like this:

gotta love utah's high elevation. always good for a laugh when you realize how high above sea level you were running!


so, as i'm sure you're all so curious to hear, upon reflection, there were probably only a few tiny things that i didn't absolutely love about the marathon. they include:

1. the fact that my bladder couldn't handle all the water i drank before the race start (even though i went to the bathroom THREE TIMES before the race started) so i had to wait standing around for almost 10 minutes at my first port-a-potty stop...at mile 6 (rude).
1a. the fact that i had to stop again to pee at mile 18?!...seriously bladder, please learn to grow sometime before my next race. xox, me.
2. the fact that my hat flew off my head because i hadn't tightened it enough in the back. but that was actually kind of hilarious and kind of made me feel like i was in a movie or something (because clearly that kind of stuff only happens in movies). so really i actually loved that. made the marathon that much more intense.
3. the fact that i really wanted more than just one little otter pop. but didn't have the willpower to turn around and run back to the aid station to steal a few more and then re-run what i had already run by the time i realized that i wanted more than one otter pop. that one otter pop really did just taste perfect though, honestly.

okay. so i guess basically I LOVED THE MARATHON. i just didn't love having to stop during it (for reasons mostly beyond my control), because i wanted to just keep on running!! go figure. (:
my amazing fan club at the finish, with the future provo tabernacle temple in the background
wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee. so! after we finished taking a billion pictures the excitement died down a little bit, and i realized my knees felt like they were going to fall off, i headed back to the medical tent where my very own favorite sports medicine doctor (the one who had initially diagnosed me with my injury) helped me to get my knees all iced up! it was SO great to see him, now that i had come full-circle on healing from my injury. 

however, i do want to take a second to emphasize - i know i was so lucky to be able to run this race at all. i have lots of friends who have gotten injured (even gotten a form of tendonitis like i did) and had to drop out or miss races that they had spent months and months training for. i am so grateful that, for whatever reason, i was able to be healed in time (thanks to lots of $$$ from my medical-bill-paying father, lots of time in the physical therapists' office, and lots of patience and prayers from my huge support team). i don't expect things to always work out as perfectly as they did this time (since they were certainly anything but perfect along the way), but i am eternally grateful for the chance to compete and finish happily. okay, rant over. now back to the good stuff!


once i was all taped up, dk + the parents + i hobbled (okay okay, i hobbled, they walked) over to the car and we drove on back to my place.

...after dk happened to spot a particularly awesome license plate en route to the car...

and as i grandma-walked we were greeted by this when we arrived back at my apartment...

the best part (besides my grandma hobble up the stairs) is my mom's "okay daniel, you know what to do" which i found out was definitely referring to the fact that earlier in the week my family was locked out of my apartment while i was in class and they needed to get little d down to take a nap...so they broke into my apartment through the first-story window. hahahahhaa. luckily, roommate deb ended up being across the street at our neighbor's house and she saved the day by running over and unlocking the door to let us in. the next few hours consisted of me eating a huge bowl of special k and cheerios (again, totally hit the spot), hobbling my way up two more flights of stairs to get up to my bedroom, and crashing asleep on my bed until dinnertime.

once i woke up, we dashed on over to yland (did you honestly think i was going to let a chance for froyo pass by while my entire family was in town?) and dined to our heart's content (don't worry, we ate real dinner afterwards).
little d, next poster-child for yland. seriously, is there anyone cuter?!
the whole krondashian klan (+ emily!) at yland...and yes, i am proudly sporting both my race shirt + finisher's medal.
the rest of the night consisted of lounging around and chatting, just enjoying the last few hours we had to spend all together as a family (since anna was going to be the first to have to leave utah, bright and early the next morning).
all of us...just slightly exhausted by this point.

soooooooo long story short? i fell in love with running. i got motivated. i started training. i got lazy. i got injured. i picked myself up, had a HUGE support team cheering me on and helping me through, and was able to overcome all the odds and become a marathon runner. and i can't wait for my next one. but, don't worry mom + dad...i will. at least for a little while. (:
the best support team + family in all the land!

1 comment:

  1. hah i think baby d overpronates too ( :

    and just love that you almost broke into your house. hilarious...

    do i need to say how proud i am again? i feel like it's getting repetitive.

    <3 <3 <3 <3


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