Wednesday, September 10, 2014

And the training has come to a close.

   I can't believe I am saying this, but I am 57-ish hours away from starting my first marathon! How did this happen? It seems like just yesterday I was watching other runners from my running group training for Ogden, thinking they were nuts for wanting to run a marathon. Then I drank the Kool-aid, and here I am, a hop, skip, and a jump from my very own first marathon. 
   The training has been hard. It has also been an incredible experience. I have ran 4 half marathons. I ran countless miles down Emigration and Big Cottonwood canyons. I have bonded with Joshua over so many miles while discussing life's deepest topics and drinking Slurpees. I met many new friends along the way that each motivated me to be a little better. I am thankful that so many friends made training runs for us to tackle together. When I struggled, they were there. When I had awesome runs, they were there. Honestly, I couldn't ask for better people to have surrounded myself with. 
  As I reflect over the past few months of training, I keep thinking of those snapshots in time that really define this running season for me. Here is some of those pictures running through my head this past week.

Joshua and I finishing the Salt Lake Half Marathon in Slurpee style. The race was hard, but Shelley and Joshua really made this race a special one for me. 

This is the running trail that Mark and I have pounded out many miles on. It is mostly flat, mostly boring, but always there for us. One special 12 miler ended with us sprinting miles out in the rain. 
The Famous Idaho Potato Half Marathon. This race is special because it was my first half ever in  2013 and this year it was my brother's first half.  While he beat me in by a good 30 minutes (darn his long legs and natural athletic ability), I did set a new PR for myself on this challenging mostly flat course.

Christy is AMAZING. I have ran with this girl a few times and this particular "run" down Emigration Canyon was  walked by us. I was recovering from a nasty infection that took me 6 weeks to really kick and she was  recovering from IT Band issues brought on by her first marathon (Ogden Marathon). She is so sweet being willing to come walk with me.

One of many group shots I have. I love that every week we meet up either to race or train together.
A special run done with our great friend Sonja (taking the picture) on the Ogden River Trail. I was still sick and recovering and that sweet lady was willing to run at my pace (bless her sweet fast heart). 

The run that HAD to happen. After running for 2 years I finally got to run in my favorite place in the world, Las Vegas!  We ran up and down the Strip while there for our anniversary trip. Still one of my favorite training runs all season. 
My first run down Big Cottonwood Canyon. We had a great turn out and I learned a lot about the need for ab training when running down a canyon. 

Another run down Emigration with my favorite guy (other than my studly husband!) Joshua and I have  ran so many miles together, I do not think I could name all of the runs.

One of those times we ran to (and probably around) Liberty Park with some awesome friends.

The Hobbler Canyon Half was probably the hardest half I have ever ran. It was supposed to be a downhill race. It turned out to be downhill turns into a hilly mess and I was not prepared for that at all. I was so overwhelmed I actually started crying at mile 12! However, I made it in and the race motivated me to take hill training more seriously (like actually doing it once in a while).

Last minute I got the chance to run the Timp Half and thanks to Joshua, I finally broke 2:45! It was hard and awesome and such a great learning experience for me as a runner.  

The run/walk that happened in my home town. I got to see my town in a whole new way I never noticed while sitting in the car. 

The last time I ran with this guy. It was a hard run for me (16.5 miles) and I seriously questioned why I would be so stupid as to sign up for a marathon. Luckily, Joshua is a saint and not only took my cussing in good humor, but he made sure Mark took us to Denny's for biscuits and gravy, hash browns, and bacon. His first question to me  when he called to tell me he had taken Mark to the car and would be back soon was "Are you hangry? Do we need to feed you soon?" See, that is why we are friends.

A long run on the Legacy Parkway Trail. Mark, Joshua and I ran this trail in a night race in July 2013 and this time Mark and I decided to tackle it during the day so we could meet our friends nearby for an after run  IHOP breakfast. The trail is killer, but the scenery is awesome.

My last run down Big Cottonwood Canyon. Lots of us going varying distances, but the run  for me was amazing. I hope my marathon goes as great as that run did.

There was this one time that we went to Logan to run a race only to have a mix up about the bib. Then it was raining cats and dogs. So, we did what any normal couple would do: a kick-butt cardio session at the hotel gym finished off with weights. 

This is the hill right by my house. I have taken to running around my "block" which is about 1/4 a mile then running up and down this a few times before lapping the block again. I can see I am getting stronger and hope that this workout helps me slash my minutes per mile.

My last long training run. We ran up Emigration and back down. On the turnaround the heavens opened and drenched us all the way back. A fitting way to end the training, sprinting down a canyon.
   I can't believe that I am so close to be a marathoner. This moment is both humbling and exciting. I am so ready for the challenge and know Isabel is right there ready to cheer me on.



    1. Seriously, though, it's been EXTREMELY humbling running and training with you. You. Are. Ready. This is a moment you're going to love, hate, bemoan, but cherish. I am excited to be there every step of the way. Even when you swear like a drunken sailor. ;)

    2. I am so thankful that I met you. I never would have taken this path without your remarkable example. You have taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to, and for that, I thank you.

  2. You've so got this, Jill. And you will do GREAT!!!

    1. Thank you! I have enjoyed training and racing with you. Thank you for being willing to walk with me when that was the best I could do.

  3. You're awesome, Jill! And I'm glad I finally got to run with you and be part of your marathon journey! Enjoy it! Like Joshua said, there will be parts where you'll negatively self-talk yourself, but think about all you'll be accomplishing when you cross the finish line!

    I'll be with you in spirit as I'm running my first 70.3! So excited and nervous! Good luck and cheers to us! Can't wait to read your race recap! ;)

    1. Thank you, Miss Half Ironman! You have taught me a lot in the short time I have known you about perseverance. You are an amazing example to me.


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