This race was totally last minute and awesomely spontanious!! It was the Wednesday before the race, and someone on facebook was selling her spot for $60. She said they would transfer it over to my name for free, which is practically unheard of! I thought running down Big Cottonwood Canyon would be a really fun long run, and that this was a pretty good deal for a half marathon so I took her up on her offer! It was crazy! But crazy awesome!
Friday night I set my alarm for 3:30 so I could be at the busses before 4:30 to pick up my packet. I pretty much, got up, got dressed, made some oatmeal and packed it for the bus, then hurried out the door. I made it with plenty of time, and even had a lot of time to stand around at the start, and go to the port-o-potties twice.
It was really cold up there on the mountain, but it was also so peacful and the birds were singing in the trees. I was just happy to be up there.
"Wow, that's too fast!" I told myself, but myself didn't listen and just continued to keep having fun and letting gravity pull me down the mountain. By the time I got to mile 5 my feel were burning, and I just knew I had big blisters on the bottoms of both my feel. Every step was so painful, but I just kept telling myself, "This is superficial. It's just skin. It's not going to leave lasting damage...." etc.
Like I said, I'm crazy.
Even with all that positive self talk, I did try to adjust my stride a bit so that I was landing on more of the middle of my foot, not so much the ball of my foot - which is how I normally run, and I really think that saved my knees. I'd rather have blisters than hurt knees.
Anyway, at almost the half-way point, I decided to stop at a port-o-potty, and I snapped this picture. It was really a beautiful run!!
Ok, so I went into this race saying that I was just going to have fun and no pressure and everything, but inside I knew that this downhill run would be the one where I woud break 2 hours. So I just couldn't have that pacer pace me. I just couldn't.
So I jumped out of line and started running again. I caught up to the people I had been with before pretty fast, so that gave me confidence to try the next port-o-potty (because, if you know anything about anatamy, if you don't go, you still need to go 2 miles later...) so that's what I did. This time the line went a little faster! Again I was able to catch up to, and pass the people I had been with before so I felt like it was worh the stop.
My feet were really hurting, but I tried to ingore them. Then luckily at about mile 11, one of the blisters burst (I know, gross), and it felt SO MUCH better! That really helped me be able to keep the pace up and finish strong and happy!
It was such a good feeling to run under the finish line and see the clock be under 2 hours!! They even gave out extra medals if you got a PR!
PS - I was really worried about how my feel would look when I took my shoes off, and I was totally expecting bloody socks by the way it felt. But when I got home, I was shocked to find my feet looking normal! There are blisters, but no blood and they aren't as bad as I thought they would be. See? Superficial! :) BUT I was much more sore after this race than St. George 70.3. Go figure, running faster hurts more.