This was my 5th Big Cottonwood Marathon! That's right folks I am a legacy (I have run every year since the beginning) and I was excited to host our Marathon Maniacs team again this year! There was only one problem (or two). My flight from Kauai was delayed so I did not land in Salt Lake City until 5:00pm Friday night.
I had one hour to get to the Romano's Macaroni Grill for the team dinner I had planned. My friend Stacy and her husband Daniel drove up from Denver and happened to be staying at a hotel near the airport with my other friend (and RR100 pacer) Andy. They were nice enough to pick me up and let me change clothes at their hotel before rushing over to the dinner. Of course I had no time to get to the expo or pick up the trophy for the Project Throwaway winner, Stacy picked all of that up for me too! THANK YOU STACY!
We had a great turnout for the dinner and the Project Throwaway contest was great regardless of the number of folks participating!
Fun group of Maniacs for dinner!
Gabriel and Stacy both had AMAZING Project Throwaway outfits, but Stacy came out as this year's champion!
The other problem was that, if you read my Kaua'i Marathon post, you know that I took a pretty hard fall while on the Kalalau Trail and did some real damage to my elbow. I was worried that I had actually broke my arm and didn't think it would be a good idea to run if it was broken, so right after the dinner I rushed to the Instacare to have it examined and x-rays taken.
Good new was it wasn't broken, bad news was, it was infected. I told the doctor that I was supposed to run a marathon in the morning. He gave me two choices:
- No running if I plan to run fast; or
- OK to run if I promise to run easy.
He said running hard would only use the energy I need to heal and it would take longer. Running easy would still take energy, but less energy. He said running the race at all would prolong healing, but if I promised to go easy, he would not tell me I couldn't run. The fact that I had close to no sleep on the flight home and would not get to bed until at least 10:30PM (with a 2:30AM wake up call) running easy was already a part of the plan!
I got home at 10:30PM, but since I was still on Hawaii time (6:30PM there) I could not get to sleep. It was 1:00AM before I dozed off. When the alarm went off at 2:30AM, the thought of not running was more than a possibility. I was exhausted and in pain, but I sucked it up and rolled out of bed, got ready and made my way to the buses to meet our team.
It was freezing at the start. I was so glad I brought warm clothes as we sat up at Guardsman Pass (close to 10,000 feet up) for about an hour before the race started. At 6:35AM all of the Maniacs met for a picture, we threw our bags in the gear truck and the race started.
Maniacs at the start.
I started running with my old friend Galen. I don't know if being in Hawaii for a week at sea level affected me or I was just tired, but I had to stop and walk in the first mile! I was nauseated and I could not breathe. Like I was having altitude sickness. I told Galen to keep going. I questioned whether it was a good idea to try and do this when I just wasn't feeling good, but I kept moving forward.
I stopped a port-a-potty around mile 4 and felt much better after that. I was going easy, but the nausea stopped and I carried on.
It was pretty cold! I kept my long sleeves and gloves on the entire way down the canyon.
Once I got my groove, I was feeling pretty good and running under 3:55 pace, but for some reason running down the canyon plays havoc on my stomach and I had to stop for bathroom break #2. This sucked as there 8 people in front of me and four potties. This would not have been an issue if two of the potties occupants were setting up house in there and by the time I got in and out 13 minutes had passed, but I had no choice. I HAD to go.
It took me a while to get my legs back after that long break, but I was feeling good trying to save enough for the out and back on Wasatch Blvd.
When I came out of the canyon, I still had some turnover in my legs to tackle the out and back. I felt pretty strong considering, then one more potty stop took the wind out of my sails and I struggled to get my legs back until the last 3 miles where I just cruised into the finish.
5th Big Cottonwood in the bag!
I ran a much slower race than I usually run at Big Cottonwood (4:14:13). The bathroom breaks killed me robbed my sub 4:00, but to be honest, the 4:14:13 even felt hard. The fact that I even finished given how tired and in pain I was, was a miracle.
After the race, I grabbed a shower and met a few Maniacs and we drove up to Snowbird for Oktoberfest!
Enjoying a cold one after the race!
Andy broke out the Maniac Lederhosen!
Andy and I playing a dancing game with a boiled egg between our foreheads. We lost!
I had finally hit the wall after we left Oktobetfest and I went home and crashed. I wanted to get a good night's sleep before meeting Cade and Dan at my place at 8:00AM.
I wanted to show people something unique, so I planned a drive up to the Fifth Water Hot Springs in Diamond Fork Canyon. We did a 2.5 mile hike up to the natural hot springs and had a nice soak in the hot water. It was a lot of fun!
Dan and I in the hot springs!
Cane, Dan and I having a soak!
Even though I didn't feel that great, I still had a great time at Big Cottonwood. We already have a Maniac team for next year! To join our team and save up to $10 click here!
I also got the Revel Tripler for doing 3 Revel races this year!
Revel always does a great job, but Big Cottonwood is AWESOME!