When I last left you I had finished the Bear Lake Idaho Marathon and was contemplating the next day's Bear Lake Utah Marathon. I was already signed up for the half, but since I missed the Utah Valley Marathon the weekend before it just made sense to do the marathon. Well sense to someone certifiably insane and in denial about their current level of fitness. My tummy was not feeling good after the Idaho race! After a week of being on vacation and not eating my normal diet, there was all kinds of bad stuff happening in there.
|Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that's over!|
After the Idaho race, KG and I got back to the KOA and went straight to the pool! It felt amazing to move around in the cool water! After cooling off and stretching a bit I decided to just go ahead and do the marathon the next day. What's the worst that could happen? DNF? If I felt that badly I had an easy out around mile 12 and could just head back to the start/finish and at least maybe get a half marathon finish.
|Had been in UT all week so this was NBD|
The day started off early again since I was definitely doing the 5AM early start. I didn't know what the shade situation was going to be for this race and I needed all the extra time to beat the sun. The race started with a 12 mile out and back along the east side of the lake. My stomach was still very angry with me and I took an early bathroom break that seemed to help immensely. After the bathroom break I started in on my run/walk intervals and kept them going for awhile. We had a good amount of shade for the first 10ish miles which helped a lot. Although we had the lake right next to us, this course was not nearly as scenic as the Idaho race.
|Pretty much what we saw for the first 6ish miles out........|
|So many large bones on the road. Didn't like to think for too long about what may have feasted on them.|
Somewhere around mile 10, the sun was too high in the sky for the mountains to provide us with any shade. This is when my life started to suck. So sunny! Around mile mile 12, I made the right turn to continue on to the second half of the marathon instead of just heading back to the start/finish. I was committed. The next few miles were along a straight dirt road and they were a sucky bugfest! I've never seen so many mosquitoes! I kept my head down and soldiered on. I stopped at another port-o-potty and was eaten alive by the little blood suckers!
|These were fun to run over.|
Once out of the bugfest, we ran a few miles on the road along the southern part of the lake. The lake was of course beautiful but the sun was slowly killing me! My neck was on FIRE!!!!!
|The southern edge of the lake|
After a bit we turned onto another dirt road and this is really where I began to hate my life. No much sun. So little shade. This was the start of the longest loop ever! I was doing well at keeping my run/walk intervals but somewhere around mile 15 I just said eff it. I'm walking to at least mile 20!
|The loop that seemed to never end.|
Somewhere around here I caught up to fellow Maniac Heidi. She was also walking so I joined her for much of the rest of the race. She and her hubby were my saviors! Her hubby was driving the course and meeting her every couple miles with ice, fresh water, and WATERMELON!!!!! OMG! Nothing ever tasted so good! I cannot thank them enough for sharing their ice and delicious fruit with me!
|My watermelon savior!|
The Utah race is supposed to the "main" race of the series, but I really think the Idaho race was much better. The aid stations were not as good in Utah. A few of the later aid stations were low on (or even out of) water or sports drink. I also did not see any bananas at the aid stations. There were however gels and other goodies. The course was pretty, but I think the Idaho course was much better.
|Completely exposed for miles and miles|
|More of those pretty yellow flowers|
|Not even gonna try to run for the camera|
At some point I decided that I should run so I could get out of the sun faster (with "faster" being loosely defined). I never thought I'd see the finish!
|OMG I thought I'd never see this sign.|
I finally came to the final stretch and just decided to walk it in until I was about five feet from the finish line. For the past few miles I was dreaming of jumping in the pool at the KOA with all my sweaty clothes on!
|Fake running for the camera|
I finished with my second worst marathon time, only topped by the Bataan Memorial Death March. Totally didn't care though. A finish is a finish and I finished my 39th marathon in my 29th state. Utah was done!
|Another double marathon weekend is in the books!|
In conclusion, this was a suckfest of a race for me. There was no shade the last 16ish miles and it was pretty warm. If this had not been the case, this may have been a pleasant race for me. It is rural and small (and somewhat scenic) so it's my type of race. Just would have liked more shade. And fitness. I would have also liked more fitness. That may have helped me. I was definitely not even properly trained for one marathon so it was a miracle that I finished two in two days. All in all I would recommend this race series to someone else. It is an easy double logistically since you don't even have to change hotel rooms between races. We stayed at a cabin at the KOA in Garden City and it was cheap ($190 total for three nights split between two of us). The location is also top notch. Bear Lake is absolutely spectacular. The Salt Lake City airport is just a beautiful 2.5 hour drive away and I got a great rate on a car ($100 for Fri-Mon also split between two of us). My flight was a bit pricey ($383), but what's new for me. Next year I will likely not have to pay for any flights with all the points I'm getting this year from paid flights! The races are also insanely cheap! I paid $27 for the Idaho Marathon and about $37 each for the Utah and Wyoming half marathons. The RD did not charge me to upgrade to the marathon in Utah. I decided pretty quickly that the half in Wyoming the next day was out for me. I felt fine physically. I was just drained from all the sun exposure.
So next for me is Vermont in a few weeks. Another summer race. I can't wait.