So I've put this off for long enough. Time to blog about the race, the Utah Valley marathon, that is. I'm not really planning this post out, so sorry to all those who wanted a post that makes sense...I am proud to say I survived, and actually if I knew how it would be, I think I would have been a lot more nervous about the whole deal.
I felt really good on my runs before this marathon (thanks in part to my chiropractor bro-in-law Tyson who helped my hip feel good as new), but I didn't prepare as well as I should have in the other areas. I wasn't eating as healthy or drinking as much as a marathon runner should and I wasn't going to bed early enough. With everything being so busy the month previous, I guess I just didn't focus on it like I should have. The day before the race I ate a bowl of popcorn and at 11pm at night I ate candy (I was low) and a bowl of cereal. I knew it was a bad idea, but I did it anyway. I went to bed a little after 11pm, woke up to Landon wanting to eat at 1am, and got up at 2:45am to get ready. Ryan was a gem and took me to the bus pick up place. We loaded a really nice bus and drove up Provo Canyon. I talked to the guy next to me, and he told me to try to run the 1st half of the race slower than the last so I don't die by the end...I took that bit of info and tucked it into my brain for later use. As I got off the bus, they were blasting the song "New York" by Alicia Keys (right?) and it made me think of all my girls back in Staten Island. I was missing all of them pretty badly! Before the race I unsuccessfully tried to clear everything out, so I was definitely regretting my late night bowl of cereal...which I knew would be coming back to haunt me during the race!
During my second trip to the bathroom, the race had started, so I started with the remaining stragglers. I used to be scared to be last, afraid that's where I'd end up, but luckily there are people slower than me, so for the most part I was passing people. The first seven miles were nice, but I had heartburn and stomach issues (darn cereal!), so I was a bit nervous. At mile 10, I checked my time and realized that I was taking that guy's advice a little too seriously because I was a bit behind where I should have been. I picked up the pace a bit and got a bit closer to where I wanted to be at the half-way point. I stopped here to check my blood sugar and my test strips were all wet, either from sweat or my water bottle, I don't know. That raised all sorts of issues! If I run when my sugar's high, I get nauseous, if I run when I'm low, I could pass I decided just to give teeny amounts of insulin when I ate a gel pack (for energy when you run long distance) or drank some powerade. I met up with a really nice girl named Sarah, and we had the same goal to finish around 4:30, so I ran with her for a bit. After a few miles, I seemed to be a titch faster, so we split up. Then at mile 17, I decided to take a "break", but it wasn't until mile 19 that the stars finally aligned and I was able to make peace with my body.
At mile 21, we were out of Provo canyon and I met up with Ryan's sister Nikki. She was going to run the whole thing with me but hurt her leg a couple months before. It was such a downer, but she was awesome and said she'd run the last five miles with me. That was especially nice since the last five were straight down University Blvd. The first two miles I ran with Nikki were pretty good. We were keeping a really good pace, and even though I wasn't the most sociable running partner at that point, I was feeling alright. (Nikki was awesome this whole time, telling me how good I was doing...) By mile 23 though, I felt like I needed to stop and walk, which I really didn't want to do except at aid stations. When we stopped, I got all sorts of dizzy, and I figured I had hit the wall pretty hard, since we were making such good time the previous two miles. I stopped to think for a moment though, and I began to think I might have low blood sugar. It's hard for me to tell when I'm exercising, since the symptoms are dizziness, lightheaded-ness, and basically how I feel when I'm exercising, hah. I turned off my pump and ate and walked for a minute. Nikki got me to a sluggish jog, to keep me on pace for beating Oprah's race time (4:29, crazy, right?). I couldn't keep it, though. I kept stopping and walking, trying to decide whether or not I was low and needed more sugar or not. Finally I decided I needed to eat, and all I had was that gross gel. I downed two packets with no water. It was completely disgusting...hah! To make a long story short(er), the last three miles included me shuffling, stopping, walking with Nikki pulling my arm, feeling anxious the whole time. (I get really anxious whenever I go low, which actually makes me go lower). I knew I was going to be a few minutes behind Oprah, but by this point I just wanted to finish. Oh, and about 2 miles away from the finish I could see the finish line, which is not how I would ever plan a race. It's not very thoughtful. About .2 miles away, I decided to stop all this wussy behavior and I started shuffling again :) towards the finish line. There was a girl a little ways in front of me who was going pretty darn slow (did I really look that bad?) and I thought, "Well, she's going to beat me." Then I had an awesome moment and thought, "No! No she's not!" That's when I turned on my turbo-blast speed and ran to the finish line. I felt like Sonic the Hedgehog running to the end. (Looking at the video, though, I wasn't really that fast. Hah)! My mom, dad, and Ryan and father-in-law were at the end to cheer me on, but I had no energy to smile or even acknowledge them. (Ryan saw me and said to his dad, "She's low" and headed to the finish line right away). I am proud to say I passed the girl and ran to the finish line. 4:32. Not bad. Not what I wanted, but not bad.
Right after that, I felt the heaves coming on. There was a really nice volunteer who took me to the side while I threw up all the gel packs and powerade I had consumed during the race. I thought she and Nikki were so nice, standing there holding my hair back and patting my back while I did such a thing. Ryan came up to me and helped me get to the medic tent, all the while saying, "She's diabetic". That got me all sorts of attention and I was able to sit and suck on an orange. I was fine a few minutes after and went to see my awesome parents (who drove three hours to support me) and father-in-law.
Afterward we all headed to Ry's aunt's house so I could shower and we grabbed the rest of the family to go out for pizza, and I enjoyed eating all that goodness with out one drip of guilt. The worst part was saying good bye to Ryan after pizza and going home with out him. :(
I was sore for a few days after the race, but I felt pretty good much sooner than I thought I would. I think it has something to do with the last three miles...:) Maybe I should be grateful, right? I'm thinking of running the Deseret News marathon July 25th but can't decide. I don't know of when I'd be able to run another one...we'll see!
Nikki and I after the race. I might just have a crazy was that hard! Hah.

This 'n That

We've been in Utah for a little over a week now. We miss our New York friends, but it's been really great to be with family. We've been doing lots of fun things since we've been here, but I'll let the pictures tell the story tonight. (More to come later).

All of the Allen ladies. Well, me with Ryan's mom and sisters.

Ella and Avery, our neices. Aren't they so cute? Ooh, I could just eat them up.

Ryan's mom wanted to get pictures of all of us. Here's one of me and Ry.

I couldn't resist putting this one up. Ryan said, "I don't think we've ever captured this face on camera." Hah.

This is an amazingly awesome picture for us. Especially considering Carter's track record. He didn't disappoint this night either...I think this is the one picture of him not grumbling and looking at the camera. Okay, so maybe he's grumbling a little.

Our pictures could turn out so well if we didn't have children....:)

This one's pretty good, minus it being a bit foggy...

Josh, Carter, and cousin Hayden. They were making soup out of ice cream and the leftovers of dinner.

We celebrated Ryan's birthday, and a few day's later we celebrated Josh's and Matt's. (Pics to come). The boys got Ryan a baseball bat and gloves for his birthday. It was their idea, and they picked it all out.

Ryan and his brothers, sister, cousins, etc. ran in the dirty dash. It was a 5k with a bunch of obstacles and as you can see--mud. Ryan decided to look ridiculous (or ridiculously good looking depending on your point of view) for the race. He kept saying, "Follow the muffin top, follow the muffin top!" Hah.