Monday, October 8, 2012

RACE REPORT: St George Marathon | New PR

Before I registered for my First Full (LA Full) I already had my eye on St George Marathon.  It's been a favorite of some runners.  I had raced the Snow Canyon Half in 2011, which is suppose to be the back-end of St George.

I started my St George Carb Loading on Thursday night.  Marathon Mitch met me, my husband and friend, Rob Erekson at the new Caesar's Palace Buffet.  Here is the picture Rob took with his new iPhone 5 Panoramic View.  I am waiving my hands (movement) - so it makes me look like I have Alien Hands!

Many racers believe that St George is an "easy" course, because it has a lot of downhills. Any experienced racer will tell you that running downhill is NOT easy. I have seen many experienced racers become quite humbled on this course.  As much as I LOVE downhills, I was not going into this race overly confident.  My legs are still not 100% rested and this was only my 4th Full Marathon.

Arrived at the Expo on Friday, October 7th.

Should of put on my Utah culture hat before arriving to the Expo.  I couldn't believe the mass amount of people there with young kids, strollers and LOTS of little kids.  I got SO tired of being run into by strollers or little kids up under my legs.  We left pretty quickly. 

Picked up my bib and swag.  Got my legs KT Taped.  While I was not hurting, I knew I needed it as a precaution.

I saw Rocky and Narine (Pasadena).  Rocky would be celebrating his 100th Full at St George.  Also,met Angie Whitworth Pace and Bart Yasso. 

That night - I took my kids to the All You Can East Pasta feed and I ate a little myself, as my last large meal, pre-race.

Afterwards, I went to Olive Garden to meet up with my Galloway group.  I didn't eat a thing.  Had some sparkling water and was back in my hotel by 8pm.  Once again, Angie Whitworth Pace was there.  Met up with Jessica, who would be running with me. She heads up the St George Galloway Group. Our plans were to run a 3:1 ratio and a 1:1 on the steep climbs of Velo Canyon.  Sounded good to me!

After a short night of sleep...woke up at 3:30am to get ready, eat and load up the van to head to the Finish Line,where we catch the bus to the Start.  Bus ride was fine - but the time we got up there (6am) it was COLD.  Luckily I had a jacket and a blanket.  Met up with Marathon Mitch and Chris Jones.  Connected with Jessica and we started 10 mins after gun time.

Chris, Me and Mitch at the bonfires
Me and Jessica, at the Start
Another Start Line Picture
 It was still dark...but the sun was coming up quickly.

Jessica and I just chatted away for at least 10 miles. The Velo Canyon was not that steep vs the Red Rock canyons I have run. Not easy, but not THAT hard either.  At Mile 8, I said - "when we reach Mile 10, I need to take more fueling" She says, "we just passed Mile 10"

Okay, time went by quickly. 

We crossed the Half Way point at 2:15 - which would put us at 4:30.  Right on target.

It started to get a little warm, but nothing major.  Lots of spectators, popsicles and water along the way.  Although the scenery was wasn't "oh wow!" to me. I found the first 23 miles quite boring, as far as scenery.  Only until we started back into the city, did the scenery interest me.   Nothing beats Red Rock Canyons, so I am spoiled.

At Mile 18, I started thinking about my family.  How running 26.2 miles was nothing compared to the pain they went through without each other for 37 years and what my Mother-in-Law must of gone through in her illness.  I got chocked up and Jessica was there to comfort me.  She was my Angel.  

At Mile 23, I could feel my legs start to fade. The tightness in my glutes came on with a vengeance.  (reminder of ET, but this time at Mile 23, not Mile 3).  Not real heavy legs...but the tightness in my glutes wasn't fun. I told Jessica to go ahead and achieve her goal, I will be there.  I walked it out quite a bit between miles 23-24.5.  At 24.5 I jogged and when I hit the 26 to the Finish, I picked it up a bit. I knew I would PR, no matter what, so there was no need to kill myself.

I earned a 15 minute PR and when I crossed the Finish Line, I cried.  I had felt I had honored my Mother-in-Law the best way I could.  And I used the Galloway method when my critics said it could not be done by using a Run/Walk method.

My glutes and hammies were hurting, but not from injury.  Not at all.  As of this writing, I am still sore, but I expected to be more sore from all those downhills.  Thank you, for giving me great recovery!  

Post Race Pictures:

Me and Jessica.  This is me, after I just poured a bottle of water on myself (I was not that sweaty)

With Ladybug's Ball, Finisher Medal and Mom's Show Charm

Close-up of Ladybug's Ball, Finisher Medal and Mom's Shoe Charm.  Ladybug and Mom were with me the entire way!

Runner Buddies
Chris Jones..another runner buddy
Post race lunch with Chris, Mitch and RockyI love my Runner Buddies

I am glad I ran St George, but I have no aspirations to run it again.  I was rather underwhelmed by the course. I can see why racers like it, but I didn't LOVE it (like I loved LA Full or even ET, despite the 6 hour Finish).  It was on my bucket list and now, it's done.  If I was to recommend a SCENIC race, it would be Red Rock (although the course is much more challenging - the scenery cannot be topped at Red Rock).  St George is skillfully organized and planned, and it shows.  I thank ALL of them for their volunteer efforts and welcoming spirit! 

Yet, the best part was meeting new racers like Angie and Jessica and seeing runner buddies like Mitch, Rocky & Narine, Chris, Martha, Mike and others.  It's the people that always make my race experiences memorable. 

I am done with Full Marathons for 2012.  I have spent the majority of my year training and planning for Full's.  I have exceeded my Marathon goals and will run my next Full at Surf City in 2013 and then return to LA in March 2013.  For now, I will focus on two more Half's and a few 5k's.  My favorite distances.

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-12
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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*San Francisco Marathon Ambassador 2012-13 

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  1. Congratulations on an awesome new PR Charlene! I am a new follower, but am loving reading your posts!

    My first full ever is Surf City 2013 -- excited, nervous. Looking forward to connecting! :)


  2. Thanks, Megan! I love Surf City! I ran the Half last year. The expo, race and post race is so energetic! Hope we can connect soon!

  3. Wonderful race report. You ran such a great race. You inspired me the entire way. I can't wait to see you again in Surf City! It is my favorite.

    1. Jessica, thank you for being along side of me...that meant my highlight! Cannot wait until Surf City!

  4. Congratulations Charlene! Great Race! Follow your blog and read all your posts. When I started my blog 2 years ago I was training for Disney and Long Beach Marathon, but due to medical issues I stopped, but yesterday my daughter walked her first half at the Long Beach marathon. Today I vowed to walk the next marathon with her. I am inspired!


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