Sunday, September 21, 2008

Goal Accomplished-- Top of Utah Marathon

."I did it! I actually ran a marathon. It is one of those things that you would say you would like to do, but cannot possible fathom in reality doing it. But I would have to be honest that if it wasn't for all the help and support from friends and family that I would not have been able to do this. I finished the marathon in 4:05:34. This is a pace of 9.25 minutes/mile. When I looked at the results after they were posted, there were over four pages of women in my age group and the marathon wasn't even over yet. So, I finished 35th in my age group out of a lot. Thanks to all the people who came to cheer me on. Greg, Chalisse, Liz, Josh, Mom and Dad, Teep and Grayce, Jake and Bella(the dog), Kaleena's family. And a big thanks to my in- laws for taking Jensen to his soccer game that morning, for watching my kids the night before for a sleep over, and watching them during the marathon. Thanks to Kaleena who encouraged me to do this in the first place.

Some questions many people ask.

How did the race go?
Well, I had a lot of energy the first 15 miles. About mile 19-20, I started to feel my legs cramp up, and by mile 22 I had hit a wall. For the next 4.2 miles I alternated between running and walking with the thought in my mind to just finish the race.

Who did you run with?
For the first 6 or 7 miles I ran with my sister- in- law Kaleena. I thought she was just a step behind me and then about mile 7 I turned around to ask her a question about our pace because she was timing our miles, and she was gone. I wasn't sure if I was ahead of her or if she was ahead of me. It wasn't until mile 19 when I saw Greg, Josh, Liz, and Chalisse that I asked where Kaleena was. Liz said that she was behind me.
The last 2 miles, my other sister- in- law Grayce ran with me. This was absolutely the best thing that could have happened to me in the race. I had hit a wall at this point and she just kept motivating me to keep going. Whenever we came to an aid station she would say, "Cheryl, what do you need." At mile 25 she told me that I needed a banana and an orange quick. Even though I didn't feel like eating anything, I agreed to eat an orange. I ate it so quickly and it tasted so good. This gave me a little bit more energy to have a good finish. One thing that I thought was funny is that every time we came up to a person that was walking, she would grab their arm and say, "We are not finishing this race without you." So not only was she running with me, she had three other guys running with us also. During the very last stretch when you could see the finish line down the road, my brother Teep (Grayce's husband) joined in with me and said, "Come on Cheryl this is it. Push it Cheryl. You can do it.

How was the weather? and Did you get rained on?
This was my biggest fear about the whole marathon. The weekend before I wore my cold gear and I still froze and was so cold that I was miserable. I kept changing my mind about what I was going to wear the whole week. Finally the night before I decided with the weather predicting a 30% chance of rain to wear my tights, running gloves, and jacket. About 1:30 in the morning I was awakened by thunder showers and of course since this was my biggest fear could not sleep any longer. I kept trying to think up solutions for not being cold like having Greg bring my first pair of running shoes so when I came out of the canyon at least I would have dry shoes. Anyway, by the time we got over to Logan, it wasn't raining and it was kind of cloud covered and warm so I changed into my shorts in the car. I ended up wearing shorts and shirt and ran with hand warmers in my hand until mile 4 so I could just throw them away when I was done instead of running with my gloves. I did get rained on though, It was at mile 26. By this time it felt good and I didn't even care about the rain running off my face.

How did you do all this training being a mom and working as well?
This is where I owe a lot of thanks to all the people who helped me. My oldest children Chalisse and Jensen watched the younger two kids while I went early morning running at 5:30 or 6:30. On my short run days, I usually could get home before the younger kids could wake up and on my long run days I came home and the older kids had already started on their chores and had the younger two with them. I have great kids. My husband Greg, was also a huge supporter for a number of reasons. First of all, running gear is not cheap and he went with me to shop for all that stuff. Next, he encouraged me to run in different races because running outside for exercise is one thing. Running in a race is completely different. He also did all the cross training with me and many times he rode his bike along the side of me even on long run days. Another one of my training buddies was Colleen Tolman. She is truly an awesome friend and an iron-woman herself. She ran with me several days a week as well as running half of the races with me. Another one of my friends at work Nan Checketts also helped me with a lot of pointers of how to keep my energy up.

What training program did you use?
I followed the Hal Higdon Intermediate level I. It is on the Internet.

What did you eat the night before the race?
It was chicken and pasta with Alfredo sauce, and bread sticks. It was delicious.

What did you think about the marathon?
I thought it was well organized. The course was beautiful. I remember running through the canyon(the first 14.2 miles) and seeing the leaves on the trees changing colors and a beautiful rainbow over the mountain. It doesn't get any better than that. There were port- o- potties at the front and at the end and two at each aid station. Not that I had to use them, but it minimized the amount of people peeing off to the side of the road. They had all flavors of Gatorade and handed out GU along the way. They also had fruit at the appropriate times. And I would probably do it again.

What would you recommend after the race?
Well first of all I better tell you that my friend at work handed me a present and said you will need this for after the marathon. It was a pair of slippers. She was right. Even though I love my running shoes, I wore my slippers the rest of the day. A wet wash cloth to wipe all the stink and sweat off you and a blanket for people like me who chill after they run. Make sure you rehydrate.

Did you lose any toe nails?
Nope, and I am certainly happy.


Bonnie Sorenson said...

Congratulations! I am not only extremely proud of you, but I am totally amazed that you even wanted to run a marathon. It just seems impossible to me. In my thirties, I ran only 3 miles a day, but one day it was so pretty that I ran 5 miles. I could maybe see a half marathon, but what you did is incredible.

You are such a great example to your kids, cousins, and everyone in the family.

I love you, Cherilee.

wally the walrus said...

good job, way to get-r-done! THAT IS A LONG RUN! You are like a gazelle running through the lush prairie of Africa. Lets just hope that you are not running away from any lions or hippopotamuses. you would have to book it, then again, you were booking it through the long tortuous roads of black smith fork canyon and through out cache valley. At a girl cherilee!

Andy and Mallory: said...

Awesome! You are my hero.