Friday, June 7, 2013

Since you only run your first marathon 1 time, I figured I'd better put down some of my thoughts before they are long gone and just a washed up memory. Today is June 7th and I am running the Utah Valley marathon tomorrow. Couldn't have picked a better day to put my thoughts down since I am a wave of emotion today.

First, as I reflect at the reasons I started running and have a desire to run I must mention a few people that inspired me to "get going". My step-dad Wayne has to be at the top of this list. I remember for years and years going to marathon finish lines to see him come across. I remember going to the pre-race pasta dinners with him and his friends and always getting asked "When are you going to run with us?" Well, it took me a number of years but I have arrived, now where's the pasta?! As I think back to the finish lines, I remember Wayne breezing across like he just ran 3 miles. Not the case with the majority of the other people and definately NOT going to be the case with me but WOW! Some people would come across as if they were the walking dead (see photo of me tomorrow) but he would finish, go take a quick shower and off we'd go to hit the golf course or continue on with our day. Did I mention yet that he is turning 58 this month?! I've been able to do multiple training runs with him as I prepared for this race and although he is still quite a bit faster than me, it was fun getting out and pretending that I was close to the same running level as the man!

Second, I need to go back to January, 2010 when I ran my first half marathon. I went to St. George with my best buddy Ryan Hill to run the Painter's Half. We had been training for a number of months and decided to give it a shot. What a great experience! Little did we know, not only would this be our first half marathon together, sadly it would also be our last. Ryan passed away later that year and we weren't able to accomplish our ultimate goal to run a full marathon together. I took me longer than I would have hoped to get this done but there are 2 things I know for sure: 1) If Ry was still with us, he'd be running side by side with me tomorrow but I also know 2) Ryan will be with me every stride of the way as I run this race tomorrow. This one is for you buddy!

Lastly, as far as people that have inspired me to run a marathon I have to mention a few other people. Shaun Christian and Marcee Buckley. (I should post a picture of the salon Christmas party date Talia took me too but I won't.) As I look back at when I met these 2 crazy cats close to 10 years ago, no one would have bet money that they'd end up not just running marathons but multiple ultra-marathons in single years. Although I don't have much contact with Shaun anymore seeing where he was to where he is now is truly inspirational. Last weekend completing the Squaw Peak 50 in 10 hours?! Marcee on the other hand had to run off and get married and plan wedding reception in Idaho tomorrow or surely she would have been on the pavement with me! :)

I think of other runners that one might not expect to decide to run 26.2 miles for fun. Names such as Loren Bonnett, Sarah Bradford, Dave Harrison, Mikey Heinz, Kylan Lundeen, Geoff Bird, Jordan Sandburg, Justin Bankhead. Who are you guys and where did you come from? Honestly, why did you decide to run?! It's part your fault I'm doing this tomorrow so if I die on the road carry that over your heads forever!

Special thanks goes out to Ed Eyestone (olympic marathoner) who happens to be in my home ward. Tips and encouragement along the way from a legend like that never hurts!

Now that I have thanked or un-thanked those who have inspired me to want to do this, I must mention the people who helped motivate me along the way to train and feel some-what prepared to do this tomorrow.

Let's start off with the one I hate the most. Scott Hansen. Why did you have to decide to build a house on 720 South years before I decided to buy on the same street?! You should have built in Spanish Fork or something. Had it not been for your OCD, I'd probably be taking 'er easy tomorrow at a pool with my kids.  What happened to the good 'ole days of watching UFC fights and basketball games in your basement with Magelby's Cake, Wing Nutz and Mountain Dew? I think I enjoyed those times more than running at 11:30 PM sprints! There is no way I get through the Hal Higdon training program without this guy dragging me out night after night, Saturday after Saturday putting in the miles. I thank you yet I don't thank you at the same time. Lavendar Days half marathon that about ended my career, Phoenix Half Marathon, Snow Canyon Half Marathon, Spectrum 10k, your beloved Timp Shadows are unforgettable memories that will live on forever.
You are going to crush this run tomorrow. After you get done, go home, take a shower, get us a celebratory Mtn. Dew then come back to the finish line to see me ring the PR bell!

"Yeah, I guess I'm gonna run the Utah Valley marathon in June". Bracken
"You are? I'll run it too then." Trevor Hill
"You what?"
"Yeah, I'll run it. I also want to do the Mid-Moutain Marathon this year".
"Have you been running?"
"A little but I'll pick it up for training"
"Are you serious?"
"Yeah, I'll sign up today"
"Ummmm, ok."

And that was that. The rest is history. Trevor may run one of the fastest first marathon times in the history of man. The only place that makes sense to me where he gets his speed was Sherry and her speed walking while he was in the womb. Best of luck tomorrow Boots! Give me an hour head start and we may finish this thing together. 
*Please note that I did not crop you out this time AND, I added a border around the photo! :)

This blazer takes some of the blame off Scott Hansen's shoulders for the motivation to get me running. I believe it was a midnight talk after a late night movie where he pulled out all the inspirational thoughts. Boy, can he sell it too. If you ever want to get easily sold on running 26.2 miles for fun, let me introduce you to Brandon Dase. One day, I hope to keep up with him on a downhill split with him dialed back at 50% and me giving it my all. One day....

Those are my inpirators, those are my motivators now for the ones who facilitated to make it all happen and certainly not least.

My mother for watching my kids on weeknights and Saturday long runs while Talia was working.
My dad for letting me show up late to work on a few occasions when the training runs happened in the AM. Did you even notice?! :)
My sister Sasha for taking my 3 kids overnight while I prepped and made my last final run. That was the best night sleep I've had in years and probably the worst she's had in years. Wanna do it again soon!? :)
My kids for putting up with me being gone so much during training and for the sweet text messages, picture messages and hugs upon completion. The thumbs up from the car window as they dropped me off in Wallsburg to run home and waited for me a few miles down the road to give me the extra motivation I needed was perfection! I truly have the greatest 3 kids in the world.

Last my wonderful wife. Kudos to all the spouses out there that put up with your husband or wife preparing for a marathon. I don't know how you do it! Minimum hours per week training was probably 5. Maximum hours per week during training was more than double that. I really appreciate my honey letting me spend so much time away from the house training for this thing. She is the bomb! Love you honey and the best part about this is when you are ready to do a full, I will get to stay home and play with kiddoes while you have to go run 20 mile trainers! :)  MUAH!!

Lastly, as these thoughts will forever leave my mind after tomorrow. I am anxious, nervous, excited and ready to get this race here. Hundreds of hours go into training for a marathon and now the hard part is done, it's time to enjoy the prize. Many have asked my goal for the run. My goal is to finish. I'll worry about time AFTER I get the first one under my belt. I didn't want to one and done this thing so I've already committed to the St. George Marathon in Oct. That's what got me thinking about marathons so it's only fitting that's what I need to run. After that, we will see.
I'm excited to accomplish a goal that has been months on my mind. I'm excited to show my kids that you can do anything you put your mind too. I'm excited to show my wife that her chubby husband can run as far as the skinny guys. I'm excited to prove to myself that I am physically and mentally strong enough to run 26.2 miles without quitting. I'm sure that there will be plenty of sweat, tears and emotions that come out tomorrow and I'm excited to see what that feels like. I'm excited to enjoy the journey tomorrow.

I'm excited to come across the finish line and know that ran a freaking marathon.

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