The lessons in running and racing never stop! It doesn’t matter how many races I do, I learn a bit more about myself at each one. I love that about racing, even if the lessons are a bit painful.
Andrew and I stayed up at the Marriott Hotel in SLC. That energy drink of his was very needed.
I woke up a bit before 4 a.m. with about 6 hours of sleep which felt pretty good. I ate a bagel in bed, took a shower, and then got ready. Andrew and I met my friends in the lobby at 4:25 and then jumped on the bus that picked us up at the hotel. My time at the Vigor Half-Marathon earned me an elite spot, including the hotel room/bus pickup.
Lauren and I are riding a lot of buses together these days.
We got to the starting line at 5 a.m. We used the porta potties, talked with friends, and did a mile w/u @ 10:00. I made the silly decision to not put a bag of ice in my bra at this time and dump water over my head instead, which was a terrible decision. I should have taken the bag of ice with me.
The race started at 6:01, and I jumped right into my fastest mile of the day (5:31), but that was also because it was the biggest drop in elevation during that mile. It was fast.
At mile 2, I realized that I was really hot already but tried to distract myself with anything and everything that I could. I kept my miles at around 5:45-5:57 (plenty of downhill) and saw Andrew right as we got out of the canyon (mile 7?). Once we were out, I just kept getting hotter and hotter.
I focused on pumping my arms, staying present, and having mini goals of getting to the next stop-light rather than thinking I had x more miles to go. I think that is the key for running with me… as soon as I think about how much further I have to go when I hurt, the sooner I want to stop and quit. If I can focus on doing the NOW (right foot, left foot, right, left), I can chip away at the course.
I felt like I was in survival mode for that last 5 miles, but weirdly was having fun too. I don’t know how those two things go together, but I truly love races even when they hurt.
We have to welcome the pain because we know it is coming.
I took a caffeinated Maurten right before the race started, another at mile 4, and then another normal Maurten at mile 9.
The two trickiest parts of the race were that I didn’t get water from miles 7 on, and it was hard. For some reason, a few of the water tables were not there, and then when I finally came across one at mile 12, a group of people in the 5k stopped right in front of me, and I twisted my ankle pretty bad. I forgot about the water at that point because my ankle was all I was thinking about. It didn’t injure me, luckily! I don’t think I’ve ever felt so dehydrated at a race… I only had water twice at mile 3 & 7 (only one other water table at .3 but I had dropped the cup there). The other hard part is when you hit mile 10; you join up with the 5k and that was pretty packed for about a mile and caused a lot of weaving. I will bring a bottle or two with me next time and prepare for the weaving and know that things will spread out again for the last two miles.
Do you know those finish lines that feel like an optical illusion? When I turned the corner to this street and ran towards it, the finish line seemed to be farther and farther away. I was lucky to have Andrew there riding with me and then my coach jumping in and running with me too but it felt like the last .5 mile lasted for two miles. My last mile was 61 seconds slower than my first mile…. definitely not the best way to race, but it happens:).
Counting steps for that last stretch also helped me not to stop and walk to the finish when I wanted to.
They make it easy to get your results right after you finish the race. This race is incredibly organized from start to finish (minus the water mishap). Not my goal but I am so happy I didn’t quit–> 5:31, 5:44, 5:49, 5:51, 5:57, 5:48, 5:51, 6:19, 6:02, 6:19, 6:10, 6:12, 6:32, 6:34 pace for last bit. Positive splits for positive people, as Ali would say;)
Is there a better post-race treat after feeling fried on a course? I think not. I chugged two big water bottles within minutes of finishing. I felt dehydrated, so I need to just plan on bringing a small water bottle or two with me on hot days because I can’t always rely on water being there when I want it.
It was so good to catch up with friends! PS I don’t wear the Runner’s Corner top anymore because I didn’t make the team this year! It stung initially, but it has been a good thing for me to teach my kids that you don’t always make the team, but that can’t stop us from reaching our goals. The RC team is amazing this year! (Lauren (new PR!), Tawny, and Alison below)
*Emo ran a half pr! We went to high school together, and everyone called us twins back then.
A few more items to talk about:
*I did this 10k course in 2019 (the last 6.2 miles of the half I did) with a 6:11 average pace and did the half this year with a 6:03 average pace. Big things are going to happen in St. George (and I’m so happy I’ll be able to have bottles at that race)!
*For the first time ever, I put my phone in the drop bag. I didn’t want to run with it but wanted it to take some pictures before the race. It was a good decision; I loved only having my gels and chapstick on me.
*Andrew had the idea that I start doing a run or two a week in the middle of the day. An easy run but something to help me to get stronger with the heat because it is my arch nemesis with running.
*I think I DO like running a mile or two or three the day before a half-marathon. I go back and forth on this, but I think I will try it for my next half.
*Just my paparazzi photo of Jared Ward… he ran a 27:53 in the 10k and won. He told Andrew at the expo he loved his mustache:)
*Andrew went further on his bike, trying to see me all over the course than I ran. It was so nice to see him so many times and so nice of my in-laws to stay with the kids so we could have a race getaway.
*The two times I had water to drink I also poured some on my head. It was like an INSTANT relief the second the water touched my skin. I need to send a thank-you card to the man at mile 11 with a fan spraying water on the course. It felt heavenly.
*This course had signs up about .25 miles before the photographer to let you know they are up ahead. Let’s see if that translates into more smiles in the race photos than usual.
*I ran over the timing mat during the warm-up and was a bit stressed that it would start tracking my time then; luckily, it did not.
*I came in 5th place and was passed by 4th place at about mile 7. It was the cutest thing because her dad was on a Vespa and kept coming up next to her (in the proper lane drivers needed to be in) and cheering for her. It was really sweet to watch.
*We finished with a 3.44-mile c/d @ 8:24 pace –> 17.64 miles for the day. A Cubby’s (my current favorite Utah restaurant) burger and sweet potato fries (with extra salt) tasted so so good.
*Pretty dang excited about this today… we are all running together for Utah’s largest race! It was Utah’s holiday yesterday, hence all of the festivities.
Does anyone else heat train? Give me tips, please. I want to get better at it!
Ever been cut from a team?
Andrew is ready to shave his stache, and I want him to keep the mustache. Shave it or keep it (obviously, he can shave it if he wants, but we are just kidding around with each other on this:)?
Does anyone else live in the same area they lived in during high school? Do you run into people from your school often?