Sunday, May 16, 2010


Woke up at 3:45am. Steve and the kids were sound asleep as I dressed for the race. I applied my "13.1" temporary tattoo to my arm, braided my hair, used the foot powder that would help prevent blisters, made sure I had my bagel and Powerade and was out the doors of the Marriott by 4:30am and on my way to be loaded on the buses that would take me and the other 2300 Half Marathoners to the start line. That is when you really begin questioning your sanity. The bus just keeps going and going up the mountain and you keep thinking, "that should be 13 miles...shouldn't it?" The bus finally stops and we file off the buses and feel the crisp air. Luckily there are barrels that have fires lit in them. We all gather around and try to stay warm for the next hour and a half until we begin the race. Some people are chatting about past races, PRs, and injuries they have had. Some, like myself is eating a light breakfast while downing some powerade or water and thinking about what the race had in store for us. About 40 minutes before the race the lines at the port-a-potties begins to form and people begin to shed layers of clothing and dropping their gear bags off to be driven to the finish line. Time to wander over to the start line. I don't line up anywhere near the front. I walk/jog and try to stay out of the way of the REAL runners. So I am more towards the back of the crowd. People around me are stretching and it is now that the excitement of what we are about to accomplish can be felt in the air. At 7:00 am the crowd of people lurch forward and then slowly make our way toward the official starting point. As I cross the timing mat, I press start on my Garmin watch and begin my wa-og of 13.1 miles and hopeful that I will better my time from last year.
The first 4 miles I am feeling pretty good. I want to be doing 14-15 minute miles. I am on track. It is beautiful as I am wa-ogging. At about mile 2 I strip the knit gloves off and drop them to the side of the road for someone to collect and donate to DI, but my hands have warmed up and it is silly to carry them along with me. I am still in the "slower" pack of people. I jog ahead of a woman with the green shirt and then slow down to a brisk walk. Within minutes she is jogging past me and I watch her slow down to a walk. Aww....someone I can pace myself with. We both seem to know this and we continue the "dance" of alternating leads for 4 miles. It is then that I pull off to a port-a-potty and when I come out she is gone. This is when the race began to take a negative turn. Something just started not to feel right. I stop at each water station, have a drink of water and visit the port-a-potty(I know TMI)I'll just leave it at that. Put each stop is adding minutes to my time and no ground is being covered. I am watching my goal of crossing the finish line quicker than last year slipping through my fingers. I am trying to remain positive, " least I will finish...remember to run your own race...just doing it is important..."
After mile 10 you are officially out of Ogden Canyon and there is a HUGE group of people to cheer on racers. This feels so good. Kind of the boost ya need to help you go those 3 more miles. I thought it might be enough, along with the messages that have been left by other runner's families, to push me to the end . But shortly after I completed mile 11 I can feel my body aching. Every step brings a new pain along with the discomfort I have been feeling throughout the canyon. I pass by a bench and for a breif moment think, "I should stop and sit there....Steve would come and look for me everntually..." But I don't. I pass by the bench and will my legs to keep going. It is then that my "KNIGHT in SHINING ARMOR' came out of no where. There was Steve who had walked up the trail to walk along with me for the last 2 miles. I was so grateful to see him. I explained to him the troubles I had and my frustrations with knowing I would not attain my goal. He told me I was still making good time considering all the stops I had to make. I know he talked to me as we walked on the trail, but unfortunately I can't tell you what he said. I was focused on finishing. Then we came around the corner onto the street that would lead me to the finishline. That is when Steve left me. He ran ahead to take pictures of me finishing. This, in my opinion, is the longest mile in ANY race. When you can see the finish line, yet it doesn't seem to be getting any closer. I am focused on the music playing on my is then that Miley Cyrus's THE CLIMB comes on. I know, way corny, but seriously I needed it. I was feeling so defeated that I had not made my goal, but then I hear Miley singing,
"I can almost see it
That dream I'm dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head sayin,
You'll never reach it,
Every step I'm taking,
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking but I
Got to keep trying
Got to keep my head held high
There's always going to be another mountain
I'm always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes you going to have to lose,
Ain't about how fast I get there,
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb"
I totally began crying. Not a pretty tear dropping down my cheek, but the full on blubber with the ugly look on my face. I began to run, as much as my legs would let me, until they lead me over the finishline. And as I crossed they announced, "...Nikki Weber just finished..." over the loudspeaker. I get my medal for completeing the race. And that quick it is over. My official time 3:39:26. Definitely not my best time, but I DID IT and I FINISHED!!!


Mikki said...

You are an amazing strong woman. Congrats on finishing

Michele said...

I am soooo proud of are an ispiration! Keep climbing!!