On Friday afternoon, Josh and I took off (KID FREE!) to Rexburg, Idaho (about two hours away). We enjoyed the ride (KID FREE!) although Josh was definitely nervous. I used a variety of techniques to keep him calm... "stroke the ego", "distraction", "suck it up buttercup", "story telling", "advice giving", etc. :) The packet pickup was at a junior high school, and we got there just as they were setting up.
The Teton Dam marathon is really small. There were less than 100 marathoners, about 300 half marathoners and then a bunch of runners doing the 5K and 10K races. Instead of a pasta dinner they were doing a potato bake (gotta love Idaho!), which actually smelled great, but since we were KID FREE, we decided to go out to a real restaurant instead of eating potatoes in a junior high cafeteria. :)
There weren't a whole lot of dining options, so we ended up at Applebee's. We don't have any of those chain restaurants here where we live so we do enjoy them when we are out of town. And to be honest, ANY meal that I don't have to cook, serve to a small herd and clean up off of the floor instantly tastes 100 times better. After dinner we drove a part of the course so Josh could see it, and then went back to the hotel to enjoy a quiet (KID FREE!) evening with an early bedtime. I had fun going through all the papers in Josh's swag bag and he got everything laid out for the morning.
I have to say that when I was looking through the race program and saw that the course record (including the guys!) for the 5K was only 22 minutes and change I was REALLY tempted to try and find a way to sign up and run it! But, I was determined to be a super fan for Josh no matter how tempted I was to race. (trust me... I was really, REALLY tempted).
Josh got up around 3:15am on Saturday, ate some Cream of Wheat and half of a bagel and got dressed and ready, and I got up about 4:15am. He had to be at the high school by 5am to get on a bus to the starting area for a 6:30am start. I dropped him off, then went back to the hotel and got showered, ate a quick breakfast and made a plan for when and where to see Josh along the course.
Anyone who knows me knows that I don't like to drive, and I REALLY don't like to drive when I don't know where I am or where I am going. I had never been to Rexburg so I was a little nervous about getting around, but I pulled up the race course on Map My Run and wrote myself out directions on how to get to different parts of the course to see Josh. It was tricky because the course itself was on the only main road in a lot of the areas and it was closed to traffic. But I made a plan and hoped for the best.
Armed with my instructions, Josh's bag for after the race, my cell phone, my camera, etc. I was on my way. Josh was planning to be running about 9 minute miles, and I got to the 6 mile marker just ahead of when I thought he would be there. I waited just a few minutes and sure enough, I saw his orange shirt coming towards me. I ran out to him, told him he looked awesome, asked how he felt and if he needed anything, gave him a kiss, told him I would see him in a few miles, and then sent him on his way. He looked great!
I jumped in the van and found my way to the next point that I could see him, which was at mile 10. When I found a place to park I got out and recognized some people from our small town who were there cheering on some of their family members. It was fun to have someone to hang out with and chat with.
At the mile 10 point we saw the leaders go by, which was really awesome. It is a small marathon so there were not super elites, which made the leaders even that much more inspiring to me. Josh came along just as I expected... still looking good! I ran out to him and then ran with him for a short while and did the same routine..."need anything?" "want me to take anything?" "how are you feeling?" "you look awesome!!!" "smooch" "see you in a few miles". "I love you!"
Back into the van, and then on to Mile 15. More waiting, lots of cheering on my part (I cheered for every single runner that went by!) and then along came Josh, just as I expected. He still looked great at mile 15 and was right on pace and right where he wanted to be. I was so excited for him and so proud! I ran out to him a third time... same routine... then told him I would see him at the finish, as the rest of the course there was no way to see him without driving on the course, which wasn't supposed to be allowed.
I found my way to the finish line, and got a seat on the bleachers just a few feet from the finish. I was QUITE proud of myself for finding my way around and getting to see Josh and each of the spots and getting to the finish line all by myself. :)
I can honestly say that I could sit at the finish line of a race ALL DAY LONG. The 5k runners and 10k runners were finishing when I first sat down, and then I got to see the marathon and half marathon winners come in too. From there it was a mix of finishers from all four races and each one had their name and race announced. I was a total boob.
I cried for the 80-something year old man finishing the 5K and the way the crowd all stood and cheered him in like he had just won an Olympic medal. I cried for the very overweight woman who finished the 5K crying herself, and also had the crowd on their feet. Couples finished holding hands... moms finished being escorted by their kids...grandmothers finished with bunches of grandkids cheering them on... a retired police officer finished to huge cheers. The fast, the slow, the super athletes and the "just starting to get into shape" runners ALL worked hard, and all crossed that finish line to big cheers. I love it! I seriously could hang out at race finish lines and never get tired of it (although it SURE did make me want to go run RIGHT THAT MINUTE!). If anyone ever wants some motivation to run, go sit at a finish line for a little while.
As it started getting to the window of time that I expected to see Josh in, I started getting nervous. I hadn't seen him since mile 15, and I know that it is after that that things in a marathon usually start to get really hard. And I knew he had some big hills to conquer. I was so hoping he wasn't hurt or struggling. I watched and watched the corner where the runners were coming around to head to the final stretch and every time I saw orange I got excited.
I knew it was Josh though the second he rounded the corner. It was just after 4:00 on the time clock and I was SO happy and excited. I was so glad to see him and so relieved he was still running well and was finishing with a great time. I took off down the grass along the road until I got to him, and then I ran in with him, cheering all the way.
Josh's official time was 4:03:33
29th overall out of 87 finishers
20th out of 48 male finishers
7th out of 14 in the 30-39 age group
Some of the things he said -
It was harder than he thought it would be.
At around mile 23 he hit a mental wall, but he never hit a physical wall.
The only thing he would do differently is that he would have worn his toe socks instead of the compression socks. He got a NASTY blister under his toes on one foot.
He would run another marathon. :)
Everything was run very well for such a small marathon, however he doesn't think he would run this race again.
Josh did a great job at fueling. He took his first Hammer gel at mile 4 and then took one every three miles after that, and he drank Cytomax and water and stayed well hydrated. The weather was perfect... a mix of sun and clouds, with starting temps in upper 40's and temps at the finish around 60.
He got some of the yummy food they had out (really nice set up) and then we went back to the hotel and got him in an ice bath. I am a believer! Then a hot shower, a nice lunch and we headed home. Upon arriving at home he fell asleep on the couch for a four and a half hour nap. :) He was pretty gimpy for a day or two but today he feels awesome and is moving around great. He is a rock star!
Here is Josh resting before we left on race morning. Not sure why the pic is so grainy... the lighting kind of sucked in the room.
Yeah... he doesn't smile for pics until I yell at him.
Here is Josh (in the orange) coming in to mile 6. Yay!
Mile 6 aid station
This is him coming in to mile 10. Yay!
This is almost at mile 15. The city lined the street with these flags and it looked really cool.
And here he is all done!
Have I mentioned how proud I am of this guy and how much I love him? Yeah... he is the greatest.