The first marathon I ran was in 1992 (Desert News Marathon in Salt Lake City--10 miles uphill and then 16 miles downhill). I have always been a runner and thought it might be fun to run one. About a month before the race I sent in my application and starting "training". The farthest I had ever run in a workout before the race was 10 miles. I had never tried to take fluids while running or any supplements (I don't think Gu packs were around then?). I decided last minute to buy some new shoes for the race the next day. The night before the race I heard that I should carbo load. What was that? I ate a half a loaf of Wonder bread and drank about a half gallon of water. The other suggestion I heard was ... put Vaseline everywhere and put band aids over your nipples. So with that advice I was off.........
My somewhat supportive wife (she knew I wasn't properly prepared for this--and didn't want to be a single mom raising 6 month old Austin) dropped me off at the "drop off point" at 4 AM. She asked when she should be at the finish line. I had no idea--so 9:30 sounded good. The race began at 5 AM near Park City. I was nervous to drink water while running (for fear of a gut ache) and didn't want to ever stop running (my only goal of the race--plus fear of not being able to get going again). And so I never had more than a sip of water every 2 miles and no carbo gels.
I was in fairly good shape but "hit the wall" at about 22 miles and could only run about 12 minute miles the last 4 miles. Luckily the last 3 miles were along the Days of '47 Parade route and there were lots of people to cheer the runners on at the end--a little boost of needed energy!
I finished the race with a 3:07. I didn't realize until later when I was told that I qualified for the Boston Marathon that this was a pretty good time.
At the finish line I looked dehydrated so I was sent to the medical tent where I was told to drink 20 cups of water. They kept me on a cot to observe me. This is when my wife showed up. Her first thought was that I had been scooped up along the way and brought to the tent. After being able to explain that I finished the race and was just "resting"--all was well.
So an idea was planted in my mind....run the Boston Marathon. This wouldn't happen for a number of years (after school and military service) but was added to "The List."
It would be 14 years before I would try it again. But, my 40th birthday was getting near and Boston was still on the THE LIST. This time I decided 2 months before the race to run the Top of Utah Marathon to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I ran some 350 miles in prepartion (including a 1:27 at the Spanish Fork Half Marathon). I needed to run under 3:20 to qualify. At the Logan race I ran a 3:17 and qualified to run the Boston Marathon in April 2007!