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Hump Day Giveaway: The Ogden Marathon

Today's Hump Day Giveaway is entry into the Ogden Half or Full Marathon on May 20. Why should you run in Ogden? Let this 2011 throwback post below explain it all to you!

(And if you don't win, no worries. AMR has got you covered! Use the discount WELOVEAMR2017 for $20 off your race entry in the half or the full.)

Today, we're going to flash back to one of the few races we ever ran together. Long time ago. Like April 2011.

SBS: Standing at the starting line at the Ogden half-marathon, we stood out slightly. Two tall mommas dressed in matching outfits: our new hot pink “another mother runner” tanks (in our store later today!) and sassy Skirt Sports skirts that coordinated to perfection. Alas, Dimity stood there shivering in the morning chill, while I was quaking internally, wondering if my heel would hold out.

Dimity: I loved, loved, loved the outfits SBS put together for us, but I needed sleeves. Despite my saying out loud, “Don’t forget your arm warmers” twice while I packed on Thursday morning, I forgot them. And I think I was a lizard in a former life: I run cold.

SBS: Some backstory: Tuesday of last week, I was ripping off some last-minute quarter-mile repeats at my local track when my right heel—the one that had been emitting some low-level pain signals in the past few weeks—suddenly forced me to pull up lame. The pain was excruciating, leaving me to wonder if I could even hobble home, let alone race on Saturday. I tried to assure myself my foot had time to improve, but I was scared. Honestly scared. My mind raced to worse-case scenarios (was it my turn—finally—to be the sidelined half of the Dimity-SBS duo?) as I obsessively rolled my foot on a Trigger Point Footballer, then a frozen water bottle. I didn’t decide to race until the morning of, which left me feeling ambivalent and worried at the starting line, despite the dandy duds. I even asked a volunteer what I should do in case I had to bail mid-race.

Dimity: I was definitely not going to bail mid-race. I was (finally) going to run a smart race. I had a couple goals for this race: to go under 2 hours, to negative split (run the second half faster than the first) and to stay present: not worry about the future miles, but enjoy the one I was in. Oh, and to take in the net downhill course that runs through the kind of canyon you see in car commercials.

Yup. The course is that beautiful.

SBS: The snow-covered peaks of the surrounding mountains were breathtakingly beautiful, but it wasn’t the scenery that had me breathing hard within the first 50 steps. It was the altitude: The half started at 5,000 feet elevation—4,869 feet higher than where I live, sleep, and run. The only real climb in the race came near the end of mile one, and I fretted I might have to walk. Thankfully, it was a gradual ascent, and I even passed a few runners. (Probably the race’s only other flatlanders.) On the subsequent descent, my breathing rate made me feel like I was cranking out sub-8:00-minute miles—but my Garmin told me otherwise.

Dimity: Meanwhile, I was sticking to my plan. I live at 5,280 feet, so I was in familiar air. I consciously tried to keep the first three miles as a warm-up, and I wanted to get to mile 6.55 as comfortably as possible. I passed about two more miles chatting with Laura and Tess, a sweet mother-daughter duo. It was hard to keep my pace slow, though, when gravity was literally tugging on me with every step.  Still, because I could easily speak in full sentences, I knew I was running easily enough.

SBS: My exertion level wasn’t producing the desired outcome. It was like some warped scientific formula. A mere two miles into the race, I was a mass of conflicting feelings: awed by the beauty, yet not emotionally invested in the race. Winded as I usually feel at mile 12, but with many more miles to cover.

Thanks to the stunning scenery, though, the miles ticked by. Accustomed to running in an urban setting, it seemed almost heavenly to run though a tree-lined canyon alongside a rushing river and to view a massive waterfall of winter run-off hurling itself down a canyon face.

Dimity: Around mile 7, I saw my doppelganger ahead of me by about 200 yards or so.  SBS was walking. I immediately freaked: I wondered if it was her heel or the altitude. She started running within a few steps, though, which eased my mind—and kept her in front of me for about 3 more miles. My plan was to slowly reel her in, and then around mile 12, I’d catch up to her, say “Hey sister from another mother runner!” and we’d be so excited to be together, the last mile would be the easiest of the bunch.

SBS: My mantra became, “Each step brings me closer to oxygen,” because of the race’s 700 feet of elevation loss, but it was hard to enjoy the aid of gravity when respiration still felt like such a chore. (Did I mention I suck at running at altitude?!) The course’s elevation profile made it look like there was a huge drop-off after mile 9, so I pretty much banked on being able to markedly pick up my pace at that point.

Not the finish line photo I thought of, but a close second.

Dimity: At mile 10, I saw SBS  walk again. I caught up with her. “How’s it going, SBS?” I asked, a bit quickly since I wanted to keep my momentum. “I’m taking a GU,” she replied, which I heard as, “I feel like doo.” (SBS walks through her GU stops, which is what she was doing at mile 7...perhaps the only running tidbit I didn't know about her.) Being the aggressive mentor I am, I said, “Let’s go, SBS! We can finish this!” She finished her GU, and we carried on together.

When we hit mile 10.5 or so, though, the downhill course suddenly became very less downhill. We went under a couple bridges, hit a few rolling hills and I couldn’t hang anymore. The energy I thought I had conserved was nowhere to be found. So she trotted ahead, and I told myself I’d slow for a bit from 11 to 12, and then turn it back up and catch her.

SBS: I knew Dim's plan was to run the final mile the fastest. But I knew I didn't have a finish sprint in me, so I tried to bank some distance on her. Yet explaining my plan to Dimity--heck, even thinking it--took more energy and effort than I had left in me. I knew if I tried to talk, I'd sputter on every level. So I tried to channel my thoughts back to her, as I kept pushing forward, wishing for a sudden downhill with every turn in the course.

Dimity: We hit 12, and she was still 25 steps in front of me. I closed the gap a little, and yelled, “Sarah. I really want a finish line picture with you!” Backstory: I am pretty weenie-ish when it comes to asking for what I want, and SBS is much more forthright. I’ve often heard her say, “If you don’t get what you want, you probably didn’t ask for it.” So I asked for it, and I did my best to speed up more. She slowed a bit, and explained to me that she was ahead of me because she thought I had more stored up than she did. I most definitely did not.

We turned down Grant Avenue, with about .75 left, which seemed as long as a marathon. I could see the finish line, but it was about 6 (very widely spaced) stoplights apart. We were side by side, and we alternated telling each other, “This is all I’ve got.” Translation: Please--please--don’t go any faster.

What I really wanted to say was, “Can we just walk for 10 steps?” Instead, I counted 10 steps on my left, 10 on my right, 10 on my left, and just hung in there tighter and harder than I ever have. I must have been breathing in the fumes of SBS' mental toughness.

I pictured a finish line photo, us hand in hand or high-fiving or looking at each other smiling, but neither of us had any extra energy to give. We crossed the line in 1:58:16.; I made both my goals and SBS got her Half-Fanatic status. Most importantly, we made one of the few times we got to run together really count.

To enter our Ogden Marathon Hump Day Giveaway, comment and answer this question: When did you last make a run really count?

The fine print: This running giveaway sweepstakes is open to those over 18 and residents of the United States and Canada. Part of a series of weekly running giveaways, it begins on 4/12/17 and ends on 4/18/17. We will announce one random winner on our Facebook page on 4/20/17, as well as notifying the winner by email. One entry per person. The value of this prize is $99 for the half-marathon or $119 of the full marathon race entry. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.

41 responses to “Hump Day Giveaway: The Ogden Marathon

  1. Today was my most recent run where I made it count. It was rainy and a little cool, but I had speed work on the calendar, so I had to get out there. I parked near that track and headed out to the nearby neighbourhoods for a couple of warm up miles. When I got back to the track, I discovered it was closed. So I added another warm up mile and headed to a park that was relatively flat and did my intervals there. It required a little math on the fly to figure out the 400’s and 200’s that were assigned. Thank God for Garmin that makes this possible. It ended up being a great workout despite my early thought it was ruined because of the closed track.

  2. Every time I run with my BRF I make it count! We aren’t able to get together much outside of running twice a week and whenever we haven’t run together in a while I find myself mentally storing up everything I want to talk about on our runs! She is such a role model for me in my life and she really keeps me grounded. It’s not just the running that counts when we get together, it’s the conversation that really counts.

  3. That’s a great question that makes you think! I’ve been injured the past month or so, and have just barely been able to put in a mile or so on a treadmill. The mile I did today felt like it really counted because when you can’t run, every time you can is a gift! I’m hoping to be back to running without pain by the time Ogden rolls around. Thank you for a great giveaway!

  4. I know it sounds corny…but right now I make every run count. Last year I had two surgeries and complications have made
    Recovering so hard! I joke that each surgery took a minute off my run pace. Slower than ever. Heavier than ever. And still running. Every one run counts…especially on my daily step goal. 🙂

  5. I like to make it count by giving a great effort in all types of weather including, snow, wind, rain, hail, or sun. I try to remind myself that it is a blessing that I am able to run, although not easy with Fibromyalgia. When I get up in the early mornings and push myself, the rest of the day seems better. I would love to be selected. Thank you for the chance!

  6. Lately, I have been making every run count and really pushing when I can. Life has been really busy with 2 littles, my mom recovering from hip surgery, and working full time. Most days I am just lucky to not fall asleep before the kids. So, I make use of my hour lunches to get miles in and I cherish every mile! Hard or gazelle like easy, windy, rainy, warm, or cold. Gotta do it.

    This race would be a great addition to my 50 state goal.

  7. You know the saying, “Every day above ground is a good day.” Well, I now feel the same way about a run. Every run, no matter how crappy, is a good run. Injuries have taught me to be grateful for those times I can run, and now I relish them.

  8. I always find that wherever the run finds me physically or emotionally, that I’m there in that moment, be it good or bad and that it’s my moment to remember everything and everyone that makes that moment worth it no matter what. Every run is a time of reflection and remembrance for me and it’s been even more so now as a mother of two kiddos both under the age of 3.

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