Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Back in Utah with Family


My social media hiatus is over, for now.

This weekend was my family's annual get-together in Utah for the Salt Lake City Marathon. It's a fun tradition for us because it's a reason to get together, it's affordable, it's productive, and we're all runners and so we love it, something I totally take for granted.
Friday afternoon/evening my siblings and I began arriving in Salt Lake for Saturday's race. I was feeling a bit under the weather but it was manageable.

Once in Utah we went to the race expo. For those who don't run, big races have an expo the day before a race where you pick up your bib (paper with your race number on it that you pin to yourself during the race), race shirt, and other fun goodies. You can also buy race attire and accessories, so it's pretty fun.

Jolie's flight got in later so she wasn't there for the expo part of the adventure.

After the expo we ran to the store to get some cheap sweats to throw off at the beginning of the race. For those who are unaware, at races where it's cold, runners will come to the race bundled up in cheap warm clothes and will later throw them off right before or during the race. Afterwards the clothes are collected and donated.

Race Morning

I woke up at 4:15 AM (3:15 AM AZ time, so yeah), took a shower, got dressed, bundled up, and headed to the race. Jolie was bundled up in some hoody she inherited from some service project, and a garbage bag. We wear garbage bags to reduce the wind chill and keep heat in. Jolie looked like a pumpkin.

We arrived in downtown Salt Lake and parked in the Wells Fargo building. We got lost in the parking garage and couldn't find an exit lol, and since we had a tram to catch -- stress.

Once freed from the parking garage we went to the wrong Trax station, and gun time was approaching, so... we ran, and -- stress.

But we eventually made it to the Tram :)

We arrived at the top and instantly ran to the bathrooms because time was running out and and there's are always long lines for the porta potties. We ran to the furthest away porta potties (shorter lines) and then met up near the track to take our pre-race photo.

We took the same photo two years ago in the same spot. Dallin was on a mission, hence he's not in the photo.
Our family photo two years ago taken at the same place (2014). It wasn't as cold on this day. Utah weather in April could be anywhere from 0 - 100 degress F, like seriously. Here Christy was pregnant with Bentley!

I headed towards the starting line. Since I knew I wouldn't be as fast this year (I've put on 40 lbs) I stayed back a bit, but my sister Jolie and bro-in-law Ben went ahead of me. My sister Christy was somewhere near me, but I didn't see her.

The Salt Lake Marathon is interesting in that the gun goes off and you're instantly running up a steep hill lol! It's not too long, but the first mile has several steep hills, both up and down. Since it's the beginning of the race most runners tackle the hills swiftly only to kill their stamina later on in the race. I take them very slow. On the longer hills later in the course (mile 6) runners are always passing me at the beginning of the hill, but towards the end of the hill I'm passing them because they're dead.

Then I decided to take a mid-race selfie.

Mid-race selfie taken during one of the more boring spots of the course. That's probably why I decided to take a selfie.
Runners need to fuel up in our races. Many choose Gu, but I've never been a fan of it, though it's quick if you can stomach it and if you don't accidentally inhale it.

My choice of fuel are called Shot Bloks. I eat one just before gun time, and then one every even-numbered mile marker for the entire race. They're nice because you can bite one off, shove it in your cheek and slowly eat it. It's hard to not inhale it sometimes, but it's never been too big a problem for me.

The rest of the race was blissful (so was the entire thing really). The sun was out, but the air was cool. Perfect for running.

During the race I never saw my sister Jolie, nor did I see her as I ran past the finish line. Was she ahead of me or behind? Meh.

As I ran past the finish line I saw my mom, brother-in-law Ben, and cousin Keisha, but no sisters.

I ran past the finish line and proceeded to grab my medal and some snacks. I felt great! Then I heard my sister Christy's voice, "Hey James!" Christy was right behind me and I had no idea until then. She finished just 14 seconds behind me. Crazy. We made our way to where we saw our family cheering for us and we saw Jolie there. Apparently she was just a little bit ahead of Christy and me. We essentially ran the race right by each other yet were completely oblivious of the fact. I find that funny.

My brother Dallin hadn't trained at all for the race, so he was a little bit behind us. We watched as Dallin and my dad ran past the finish line. My sister Christy set a PR, which is awesome, especially since she ran way more conservatively than she can actually run.

The back's of our shirts have our nicknames at we give each other. My family calls me "Lands".

I love the post-race festivities, though this year there weren't and vendors. There was live music though, which was great, so we stuck around and listened to the music and danced a bit.

And of course my mom.

Afterwards we went to Chili's, but we forgot it was still early in the day despite having been awake for several hours, so Chili's wasn't open yet. We went to Paradise Bakery instead and it was fantastic.

We spent the night at my mom's house which was a lot of fun. She has this massage chair that we especially loved since we were sore from the race. Here's a picture I secretly took of my brother Dallin using the massage chair.

It's pretty amazing.

It was a pretty stellar weekend, and overall we felt good about the race. My family is amazing. 

Heading to the airport to fly back to AZ 


  1. I love our starting line outfits. lol! And that mom is holding a BQ sign. hahaha Epic times.

  2. Great blog about a wonder time together (even if I was waaaay behind everyone).

  3. You look good with the forty pounds filling you out.

  4. Sooooo how'did you get over your gastroparesis? I got diagnosed like 7 months ago up here in Logan, and I feel like I have a never ending flu that'll kill me. Was your doctor amazing?