St. George Marathon, 2:34:08, 13th place. First half "officially" 1:16:27, really more like 1:16:17 (13 mile split was 1:15:37), second half really around 1:17:51. The foot fussed from the start, fussed more after Veyo, and really did not like the Snow Canyon decent. I considered a DNF around 9-10, but figured the DNF bus was too slow, and the foot would take a month to heal whether I finished or not. Was able to calm the foot down some by pouring water on it at aid stations and finish more or less OK. Details on Monday.
Jeff finally ran a decent marathon and got second after Iain Hunter in 2:22:01. Second half in 1:08.
Finally, the details. I did not want to go to the race due to the foot problems. But I had a few reasons to go. St. George would give me a travel stipend of $150 if I came. I needed to renew my sub-2:30 status, and it would have been possible if the foot cooperated sufficiently. There was a chance of a top 10 finish which gives you a travel stipend for the next year. Jeff needed somebody to take his bottles to the expo by 5 pm, and his work did not allow him to leave in time. Sarah and the kids wanted to go on a trip. Kory prayed for me to run well, and did so in faith.
We stayed at Mike Warren's office. He owns a propane wholesale company. We liked that office a lot. In fact, Jacob did not want to go back home. Half way through the drive home he was saying he wanted to go back to the office.
Brigham Young used to say that you should pray as if everything depended on the Lord, but then work as if everything depended on you. So I said a prayer the night before and then did some work in the morning soaking the foot in cold water one last time before the race. That would give me some breathing room for the first few miles.
We often pray to ask the Lord to remove the consequences of our foolishness. While the Atonement of Christ pays for our sins on conditions of repentance, we are responsible for paying our credit card bill. If we are late, we are also responsible for the late fees, and interest. The Lord will not pay our credit card bill. He will, however, help us find a job and teach us to live within our means so that we can do it ourselves.
In an attempt to find a breakthrough I borrowed against my body by not only running in Five Fingers on pavement, but also doing one-leg hops and hill sprints. I thought I was just using the savings and I had enough. I was wrong. Without realizing it I used the money I did not have, and now it was the time to pay back with interest plus late fees. The Lord was not going to remove the consequences of my mistakes until I had paid the price. If He did I would not learn what I needed to learn.
Saw a lot of friends at the start. Warmed up with Jeff, Steve Hooper, and his wife Kendra. Then the race started.
From the start Iain Hunter took off with Jose Martinez. Jeff and Seth formed a chase pack. I was not too anxious to join them, but eventually did. Warned Dallen and Walter that the pace was too fast. Then figured I needed to make disclaimer that my sense of pace could be messed up. It was not, not in the first mile. We did it in 5:35 and that felt right. The foot was fussing already, and that worried me. But it was not yet altering the form too bad, and I felt comfortable running in the chase pack. Jose came back to us quickly.
Second mile was 5:55 (uphill). Third in 5:29 (downhill started). Seth made a move to go after Iain. At this point I realized that the pace would get faster soon, and I was right. The pack strung out. I found a sweet spot at the tail end right behind Satoru Shimomura from Japan and sat on him until Veyo. Noticed he was conservative on the downhill and aggressive on flat/up. We hit 5 miles in 27:58, 6 in 33:23 and 7 in 38:48. HR was 152-153 on the down, but Saturo would bring it up to 157 on uphill and flat seconds. Jeff Huxhold from Reno caught up to us and joined us shortly before Veyo. The foot did not do too bad on this section. I felt I could maintain good form in spite of the pain.
Then we started the Veyo climb. I fell back. First taking it easy on purpose, but then I realized I was not taking it easy at all. HR hit 160. The quads felt strained. The foot started fussing and when the climb was over I felt I was limping a bit. The form was not good anymore. The Veyo mile was 6:22, the one after that 6:10. During the Dameron Valley climb the foot kept getting worse and the form was deteriorating. I was not able to break 6:00 in any of the miles until 11.
At this point I knew that 2:30 was not happening, and even 2:40 was in serious question. When things start going bad around 10 they only get worse as the race progresses. I considered a DNF. I thought of my family and friends praying for me to run well, and thought it would be a shame to not even try. I thought of the $150 stipend waiting at the end. I also thought that the foot would need a month to heal regardless of whether I finished or not. I thought about the doctrine of enduring to the end and the spiritual benefits of enduring adversity. But what gave me the final push to keep going was the realization that if I waited for the DNF bus I would not make it to the finish before 12:00 pm. That would make Sarah worry excessively and I would miss the first session of the General Conference. In trouble with the Lord and your wife at the same time. That is much worse than foot pain for 16 miles!
In spite of running slowly I got passed only once before the half mark. A collegiate-looking runner with good form passed me very quickly. I think his name was Jason Griffiths. Had a decent mile from 12 to 13 in 5:45. Reached 13 miles in 1:15:37. The half split was 1:16:28 where the clock was, but it was in the wrong spot, about 10 seconds ahead. Maybe even more than that.
Greg Harris passed me shortly after the half mark. At this time I also passed Dave Holt who was jogging waiting for his brother James to catch up after he had decided he did not want to suffer the all pain to run only 2:35. I find it rather interesting that even though James ran 2:47 Dave had to stop at mile 19 and wait for him after all of the jogging. I guess he could not quite jog as in "jog" with all of the adrenaline from the race.
The next two miles were bad. I could not use the downhill very well. Mile 15 which I normally run in 5:10 was 5:45. I became very concerned. Still 11 miles to go. Will my foot make it with all of the downhill? Then I thought of a trick. Pour water on the foot at aid stations. Sometimes it was Gatorade. Who cares, just get as much moisture on the sock as I can. I wished for the last year's weather. 1:27:22 at 15 miles.
Around 15 Walter caught up to me. Walter was too fast to latch on, but he brought me a gift - Ryan Ripley from Oklahoma. With the downhill grade reduced to about 2% and some cooling on the foot I was able to latch on to Ryan. The grade stayed reasonable for a while and after about a mile I realized that Ryan was going too slow. I passed him, and thought for a moment that I could catch Walter. But then Winchester hill started followed by a steep decent. My foot could not do it, either up or down. I could run decent on between flat and 2% down but fell apart on anything out of that range.
1:57:13 at 20 miles. The good news is that I am not having any fuel issues and still plodding along at around 6:00 pace. So I will probably break 2:40, and maybe even 2:35. That is better than nothing even if I do get passed by a troop in the last miles.
With some water on the foot I was able to speed up to about 5:30 in the next downhill mile. That was exciting. At 22 I passed the smooth runner who I thought to be Jason Griffiths. He asked me what pace we were on - I told him we were headed for about 2:33. I did not have the time to explain that somebody who got there who was not dying was headed for 2:33. But he was still disappointed.
2:08:38 at 22. 2:14:31 at 23. Still sub-6:00. In the 24th mile got passed by Jose Martinez. The downhill was too steep - could not latch on. I think 2:26:38 at 25. Made a mental note that I just passed myself at the Top of Utah two weeks ago. 2:32:49 at 26. Not a whole lot left for the kick.
Done! 2:21:03 for Iain, 2:22:01 for Jeff, then Seth 2:25:52, Pepi 2:25:58 (new PR), Satoru 2:26:10, Chan Ye Woo 2:26:28, Fritz 2:26:46 (new PR), Jeff Huxhold 2:28:19, Greg 2:30:39, Justin Park 2:31:01 (new PR, I think), Walter 2:31:43, and Jose 2:33:20.
P.M. Drove back. Listened to General Conference. The foot was bad. Could barely walk when fueling up. The kids ran with Sarah. Benjamin ran 2.1 in 14:33 around the block. Jenny did 2.1 untimed. Julia ran 1.75 untimed. Joseph ran 0.5.