Sunday, March 21, 2010

Running to Chuckawalla

This weeks long run was on location in St. George. It's always fun to mix it up a bit and run somewhere new. Since we were staying with Pete's parents who live across the street from the finish for the St. George Marathon, I decided to run up and back down the last 4 miles of that infamous race.

I left at about 9am and it was so nice outside! For the second time this year, I put sun screen on and wore a hat, but I sure enjoyed that sunshine. I wore short sleeves and capris, and that was maybe a little too warm. I was a little bit worried that I would have allergies because the trees down there are in bloom right now, but it wasn't a problem. It was just really pretty and just smelled nice so I lucked out.

Running the marathon route in reverse was pretty hard on the way out because it's pretty much uphill the whole way out of town. I was also running on the running/bike path for some of it which is much hillier than the road. I didn't really know where the 4 mile mark would be, and I was kind of shooting for the stoplight at Snow Canyon Parkway, but that wasn't it. I crossed the street, and sped up a bit because people were looking at me, and I wanted to actually look like a runner. (I know, I'm crazy like that) There were some pretty hard uphills on the path, and suddenly I was at Chuckawalla! We used to go climbing there a lot. Here's a pretty wimpy looking picture of me climbing there May 16, 2001 - I was 20.

When I got to the parking lot of Chuckawalla, my feet just turned in and I found myself running down the trail towards the cliff. I just wanted to see if people were climbing there and it was fun to have a little change of pace and do a little trail running. There were just two people there, climbing on the easiest route. It really made me want to go climbing, but Pete was sick and we didn't bring any of our climbing gear. Maybe next time.

I didn't run on the dirt/rock trail for long because I hit my 4-mile turn around point. When I got back up to the parking lot I was happy to use one of their outhouses. It was one of the most disgusting outhouses I've been to in a while, but I was still glad it was there just at the right time for me. Then I headed out and started back down to really finish the marathon course. I could have ran on the highway, I saw a couple people doing that. That would have been closer to what the actual marathon was like, but I decided to play it safe stick to the path.

The main differences between this run and last time I ran it were:

  • I wasn't soaking wet
  • I wasn't freezing cold
  • The sun was shining
  • My knees didn't hurt
  • I didn't have a broken foot
  • I didn't feel like crying
  • I got to take advantage of the downhill and run really fast
  • It was much easier after only running 4 miles instead of 22

I really did have fun running back down into town, and I kept around a 7 min/mile pace for a little while. I actually caught up with and passed a guy! I was even almost able to do a whole mile in 8 minutes (see mile 6!). Fun stuff!

I was a little tired for the last mile, but I tried to keep it strong and I finished the 8 miles in 1:13:27! That's 3 minutes faster than last week, and according to my favorite finish time calculator, my projected marathon finish time based on this is 4:00:33. Whew, cutting it close!

Well, I know you can't wait to see my mile splits, so here they are:
  1. 9:44
  2. 10:09
  3. 9:59
  4. 9:54
  5. 8:30
  6. 8:05
  7. 8:34
  8. 8:33
I am good at running downhill! :)

Total Distance: 8 miles
Total Time: 1:13:27
Average Pace: 9:11 min/mile

After stretching and showering and eating, we met our friends and their kids at the splash park on main street. I ran past it on my way home, and thought it would be fun. The kids had a blast, and it was so nice to sit in the warm sunshine and hang out with good friends.

We drove home when we got done there. It was a great trip to St. George, I'm glad we got to go and that I got to do a run there. Pretty soon it will be too hot, but right now it's awesome!

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