Wednesday, June 13, 2012

2012 Utah Valley Half Marathon Report

Friday night I rode down to Provo with my friends, Amber and Cheryl, who were doing the race with me. We met my sister at the expo where, despite the crowds, we were able to get our packets really quickly. I went to dinner with my sister and 2 of her friends at Macaroni Grill. We all got fettuccine alfredo, and I was the only one to finish more than half my bowl. Plus there was bread, and Katie and I split a piece of cheesecake. Talk about carb loading! :) It was a fun night!  We went back to Heber to sleep at my Dad's house since it's closer to the race than mine.

I got to bed at around 10, I think. I had a hard time falling asleep because I was starting to get nervous. I wasn't worried about the distance, but I just didn't know if I'd be able to reach my goals. I must have slept, though, because I had some stressful dream about the race. Something like we started at mile 6 so we had to run up to the start of the race before we could start. Crazy! Anyway, my alarm went off at 3am and I thought, "Who's calling me in the middle of the night?" Another sign that really did sleep. I ate some oatmeal, and wrote my spits on my arm. Then Katie's alarm went off, and I thought it was set for 3:15 so we had plenty of time, but then she was like, "I'm going to go get in the car." I still had to put my contacts in so I did that and met her in the car. I was confused about why it was already after 3:30 by the time we left. Turns out, she had set an alarm for 3:25 too so we would know when to leave. Silly me! We didn't make it in time to meet Amber and Cheryl at the buses, but my friend Shannon was also running a little late so we were going to watch for her. It was cool driving by the race start where there were a ton of bonfires set up.

When we got to the buses, there were just so many people and so many buses! We saw a huge line of people waiting for one bus, but no one waiting for the bus behind it so we just went on it, and I decided I would just look for Shannon when we got up there. We stepped onto the bus, and guess who was sitting in the front seat! Shannon! It was funny! So I sat with her on the ride up and had a nice time catching up with her.

We found Amber and Cheryl right away when we got off the buses too, so that was nice to have our little group to hang out with while we waited for about an hour for the race to start. We used the port-a-potties then walked down a ways to the start line where we dropped off our bags with our jackets and stuff in them.

It was dark when we got there, but it got nice and light by the time we started. Here's the moon shining over the start line when we went to drop off our bags. 

All excited and ready to go!

Me, Katie, Shannon, Amber and Cheryl

We walked back up to use the port-a-potties again then walked back down and said our goodbyes before finding our respective places in the crowd of 3,000 runners! I lined up right by the 2:00 pacer.

I had written my splits on my arm, and I was determined to keep my pace. I really need to work on pushing my limits even when it hurts. I tend to just slow down when things get uncomfortable. My plan was to be a little bit uncomfortable the whole race to try and finish in under 2:00. I also painted my fingernails all pretty and sparkly which is a rare thing for me. Mindy actually did my right hand so it was nice to have that to look at and think of her.

 Looking at this plan scared me to death!

Here is what my actual splits looked like:

  1. 9:10   (9:11 pace) Dang it, started off 6 seconds slow! I was right with the pacer here and he was just trying to do 9:09 miles. That was probably my first mistake, but it was nice to be in that little group, feeling like I belonged somewhere. Also, the pacer was a triathlete and had just done IM St. George this year, and one of the ladies running with us was training for her first IM so it was fun to just hang on to their pace and listen to them talk about Ironman stuff.
  2. 18:14  (9:05) Ah, this one was better! There was also this kid in camo cargo pants and a backwards baseball hat running with us who said this was his first half marathon and that he didn't train for it. I was interested in seeing how he did!
  3. 27:31  (9:17) Quick aid station here. I got a sip of water, then we hit the hill, and it was long! Just because your race has a big loss of elevation, does NOT mean there are no hills! At least not in this one. I tried to hang on but just had to slow down for a little bit. I looked at my heart rate and it was 174 (Zone 4). I slowed down a little and got it down to like 163 (Zone 3), then I think it stayed around there. I don't know since all I looked at was pace from here on out.
  4. 36:41 (9:11) Feeling good again, and I start to try and catch back up. I can still see the pacer's flag not too far ahead of me.
  5. 45:37  (8:56) Yay, a really good downhill! I was able to catch back up to my pace group! This was the funnest mile!
  6. 54:53  (9:16) I couldn't believe how fast I got to mile 6! I think that's the fastest 6 miles I've ever done! I was pretty much on pace here so I was really happy and feeling good! I was kind of frustrated that they put this aid station in the middle of the downhill section. I would have liked to keep going, but knew I needed to take my GU and water, and I thought I'd stop at the port-a-potties here. The Ironman lady had stopped, but she was second in line so after standing there for a second, I decided it wasn't worth it and kept going. This put me a little behind my pace group, though, and never caught back up. Sad! The Ironman lady passed me a little while later, and I should have tried to stick with her. I don't remember why I didn't, I just must not have had it in me.
  7. 1:04   (9:24) Hmmm, this mile is a blur. I think it was around here that I just started trying to keep my pace under 10:00.
  8. 1:15   (11:18) I stopped at the bathroom at this aid station which made me realize just how hard I was breathing, and I also started to notice the bottoms of my feet hurting. I tried not to take too long, but obviously, I did.
  9. 1:24   (9:19) I was now 3 minute behind my plan. I tried to keep my pace up, and told myself to just make it to the aid station.
  10. 1:34   (9:43) Here was the aid station! There were aid stations every mile from here on out. I would run to the aid station then allow myself to walk while I drink my water until the last garbage can, then I'd run again and try to keep my pace under 10:00.
  11. 1:44   (10:04) Run, walk, drink, run! It's nice that we're in town now and there are starting to be a lot of spectators to cheer us on.
  12. 1:54   (10:08) Feet are really hurting, but I can still keep a good pace between aid stations, but still stopped and walked while I drank.
  13. 2:04   (9:36) I couldn't believe how much I wanted to stop and walk when I had half a mile to go! But, NO! I would not let myself do that. Instead, I sped up.

When I hit 13 miles, I started sprinting for the finish line. I could see it, and people were cheering for me, but man that .1 is really far! I felt a little bit like I was going to throw up, but I didn't let myself slow down. 

I finished in 2:06! 

I didn't quite make the under 2:00 mark, but I did cut 6 minutes off of last years time, and I really felt like I gave it my all so I was happy with it! I was actually so happy at the finish line that I almost started crying. I felt good! The bottoms of my feet hurt the most. I made the dumb mistake of wearing different socks for the race.

I walked around and looked for Shannon, but couldn't find her. Later I found out she had done 1:33 and finished 5th in her (our) age group! Wow! There were so many people at the finish line. Luckily the finish area was really big, but this also made it harder to get out and around to watch for people. I didn't want to miss Amber and Cheryl so I stayed in the finish area. Cheryl finished in about 2:20 I think so I walked around with her, and we sat in the grass to stretch a little before going back in to look for Amber. When Amber finished, I hung out with them for a little while, then made my way around to the finish line to watch for Katie. I got to see the first marathoners coming in, and collapsing at the end. It was the woman who won's 37th birthday so that was cool for her! I watched for a while, and was just starting to worry that I'd missed her when I saw her coming in. She didn't look happy. It had taken her about 3:30 to finish. When I went around and found her and gave her a hug, she just started crying and I felt terrible for talking her into doing this race! She said she had huge blisters on her feet so she just wanted to go sit down.

We had kind of planned on going out to breakfast while we waited for Pete and the kids to come. The kids were signed up for the kids k which wasn't until 11:30 (Katie finished at about 9:30) so he wasn't going to get everyone up early to come watch me finish only to wait around for 3 hours for the kids race. This ended up working out better any because then I didn't have to worry about them being bored or anything while waiting for me. Neither of us felt like eating, or really moving, so we decided to just stay there and wait. We laid in the grass for a while then went over to get a massage. Actually I got the massage, and Katie took a nap in the grass. 

I usually don't do the free post-race massages because there's usually someone waiting for me, but since we were just going to be hanging out here for a while anyway, I went ahead and got in line. Boy am I glad I did! I thought they'd just do a quick rub down of my legs, but it ended up being a pretty awesome massage! He spent a good amount of time on each leg, and did some stretching too so that was really nice! 

Pete got there while I was getting my massage and it was so nice to see him! Then we went over to the start of the kids race and got ready for that.

Here's George with my medal. It was very popular with the kids because that little orange circle spins!

The kids race was free. Each kid got a shirt and race number at the start and a ribbon at the end.

We waited around much longer than the actual race lasted. It was half a mile, and took us about 7 minutes. It was cool because we looped around so the kids got to run through the same finish shoot as the marathon/half marathon runners with the big crowd cheering them on! I went with them, and Ethan held my hand the whole time. Mindy took off and finished way before us. Elle also took right off and did little spurts of speed then would wait for us to catch up before taking off again, weaving in and out of all the other kids. She finished right with us.

I love this picture of Ethan!

Here is Elle, Ethan and Me running towards the finish line. Mindy was too fast, Pete didn't get a picture of her.

But here she is with her post-race creamsicle which was the best part, of course!

Or maybe it was the chocolate milk!

George got a creamsicle too even though he didn't run. But look how cute he is!

My dad didn't make it in time to see the kids run because he had to drive down the same canyon the race was in, and the traffic was terrible because it was only one lane and then the cars couldn't turn when they got out of the canyon because of all the runners. I felt blessed to be part of something so big that messed with the traffic so much! :)

We went to Chubby's for lunch, and Elle said George must be the owner with a name like that! It was great, we had some good burgers and fries. Then we headed back to Heber to spend the day with my family, and we were all quite worn out!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Half Marathon Hopes and Dreams

The Utah Valley Marathon is tomorrow! I'm running the half with 2 friends and my sister, and I'm really excited! I have a few goals. I honestly don't know how realistic they are since my long runs have mostly been half uphill and this race is mostly downhill except the last 3 miles or so where it flattens out.


A: Finish in 2 hour or less!

B: Finish in less than last year (2:12)

C. Finish the race and HAVE FUN

I'm really going to try not to get depressed if I don't meet my A goal. Like I said, I really don't know how realistic it is. I'm really excited to put myself to the test and see what I can do! I totally should be able to do it faster than last year. I feel like I'm in so much better shape, plus I haven't had any injuries and I 'm not sick today so that should help. Mostly, I'm doing this race for fun so I need to remember to have fun!

Friday, June 1, 2012

For Mariah

I feel like a big slacker because I haven't posted about the cause I'm currently running for yet. My friend, Mariah, has started a team and is raising money for the Salt Lake City Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis walk which is tomorrow! (Yeah, told you I've been a slacker!) I'm on her team and we've also committed to walk/run 10 miles each this week and to ask people to donate $1 per mile.  I actually ran a total of 11 miles this week so if you want to be technical and donate $11 that would be wonderful, but I'd be very happy with $10 if you can spare it!

You can do $1 a mile for me or you can do $.10 per mile for our whole team. Either way, it's just $10.

Click Here To Donate

This is what Mariah has to say about the fund raiser:
"For 12 yrs. I have struggled with U.C. and Crohn's disease, including 7 surgeries and MANY hospital stays. I have decided to take charge of my health and raise awareness for these diseases. This Sat. June 2, I will be walking for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. My team "Guts Who??" and I will be walking 100 MILES together this week, and are looking for donations of $0.10 per mile, which is $10! However ANY donation, even $1 helps. Please log onto, and help me make a difference. Donations are tax deductible and go to finding cures for these diseases. You can donate under my name, or my team name. Thanks!!!"
Go to Mariah's blog to read about her journey to take back her health. She is an amazing woman. I am always amazed by her good attitude and love for life. She has 3 children, about the same ages as my oldest 3 and I can only imagine how hard it would be to have to spend so much time in the hospital away from them. She had her latest surgery in December I think and as worked up to walking/running 6 miles so far! I am super impressed by her! She also has set her sights on running a half marathon so I'm excited for her!

Click Here To Donate to help cure Crohn's and Colitis.

I don't know a ton about these deseases, but I realized it's fitting that I would get my period this week while I'm focused in on raising money for this cause. I am completely usless during my time of the month. I just want to curl up in a ball on my bed and eat cookie dough. I get severe cramps and also headaches, nausia and feel just plain tired.

According to Crohn's Online these are some of the symptoms of Crohn's Disease:
Crohn's disease symptoms may vary over time and from person to person depending on what part of the intestinal tract is inflamed. The most common form of Crohn's affects the ileum and colon. Symptoms may include diarrhea, cramping, or abdominal pain. Or if inflammation occurs in the stomach and the first part of the small intestine, loss of appetite, weight loss, and nausea may occur.

So this week maybe I got a small feel for what people who suffer from this disease go through every day. It was a hard week too and my lowest training volume in a LONG time.

Mondy I felt great, but didn't really train. I did get to hike and climb which was awesome, though!

Tuesday I did my easy run and Pilates, but felt sick the whole time so opted out of my bike ride.

Wednesday I could not get myself out of bed, ended up missing my track workout, and didn't do anything else except make cookies.

Thursday I managed to get myself out on a bike ride early in the morning, but I kind of felt like I was going to puke for a lot of that ride, and just couldn't get my speed or heart rate up.

Today was my long run, and I was determined to have it be a good one! I still didn't feel good, but I made myself get up and get ready to go. Getting out the door is sometimes the hardest part! My first 2 miles were good, I did them in 20 minutes, but I just got slower after that. I had to stop at the bathroom twice and, again, I kind of felt like throwing up for a lot of the run. It was not really fun, and I was tempted to stop at 6 miles, but I wanted to at least make my goal of 10 miles for the week for Mariah so I had to at least do 7.5 miles. I ended up with 8.5 miles in exactly 90 minutes so I was happy with that!

As I said, the walk for Crohn's and Colitis is tomorrow, and my half marathon is next weekend. I'm not officially running for any cause for this half marathon, but I will sure be thinking about Mariah a lot, and I hope you can help her reach her fund raising goal by donating whatever you feel like you can here. Thanks!