This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Thirty things I learned while running the St. George Marathon last weekend:
1 • St. George knows how to throw a first-rate party for runners. A huge high five for everyone involved (with a special thanks to Robert Snow). Three words describe the event: awesome, awesome and awesome.
2 • Running a marathon, oddly, is a lot like writing a novel. The middle part is the hardest.
3 • It does not hurt to have an iPod loaded with B.B. King tunes. (Favorite lyric? "I let you live in my penthouse, you said it was just a shack. I gave you seven children and now you want to give them back.")
4 • Speaking of which, how did people run marathons before iPods were invented?
5 • (BTW, I was the nutball singing along to "Viva Las Vegas" somewhere near mile 19.)
6 • People who cheer you on even if they don't know you make a big difference.
7 • People who cheer you on even if they DO know you make a big difference, too. (Thanks, Ken and Geoff. Thanks, Kim. Thanks, Mom and Dad.)
8 • Running 26.2 miles is as challenging mentally as it is physically.
9 • Still, it is totally, totally worth running that distance just to hear your teenage son say, "My mom is badass."
10 • You should look past the finish line when running the last four blocks. Otherwise the sight of it so near, yet so far away will make you crazy.
11 • Guys and their special guy "plumbing" have a distinct advantage over women on a long run.
12 • Running a marathon is hard. But giving birth is harder.
13 • I liked the advice given to me on the bus ride up the canyon by a woman who has run a number of marathons. "Enjoy every minute of your run the good, the bad and the ugly. And remember that the ugly always makes for a better story."
14 • When this same woman discovered I was a first-time marathoner, she predicted I would be planning my next marathon as soon as I crossed the finish line.
15 • She was wrong.
16 • The bonfires at the race's starting line were a nice touch.
17 • Same for the cold wet towels at the race's end.
18 • Is drinking milk right after a long race actually good for you? I seriously want to know, so please advise.
19 • The race does, in fact, go to the swift. And to the nonswift, too.
20 • People have asked why I wanted to run a marathon in the first place, because running that far is crazy. I had my reasons, including this: I want my kids to know that I can do hard things. And they can, too.
21 • Even though in the interest of full disclosure I also had to tell them I finished in the bottom 10 percent.
22 • BUT COME ON, DUDES! I finished! And not on a stretcher!
23 • However, I do think it's possible I was underprepared for the experience.
24 • But then I am always underprepared.
25 • For everything.
26 • Which is why everything in life always takes me by surprise! Like that hill at mile seven.
27 • One of my favorite sights? A guy running shirtless with the words "Just Married" scrawled across his back like he was a human rear window.
28 • As it turns out, running the actual marathon is easier than training for it.
29 • But still. It's obvious I ain't 23 years old anymore.
30 • Thank goodness.
Ann Cannon can be reached at email@example.com or facebook.com/anncannontrib.