October 20, 2012
- Official time: 2:33:05.7
- Average pace: 11:41.2 min/mile
For my training plan I turned to Runner’s World Smart Coach. They allow you to tell them what you are training for, what your best recent race was (to help with time goals), and how much you want to run on a weekly basis. I love the plan that they gave me and I loved the workouts they had me do each week. I knew that the time goal that they said that I could run was too fast for were I was physically/mentally even though I hit all the runs and paces that they set out for me but knew that I couldn’t run 2 hour 15 minute half marathon.This was my one goal race for 2012. When I had to defer my Utah Valley Half Marathon entry to 2013 I was immediately on the hunt for the “one” race that I wanted to train hard for and beat my last half marathon time. I found a few races that would work out in the time frame I was looking at but I really liked the elevation profile of this race and it was a fairly small race.
I also started using a heart rate monitor in August and at the beginning it felt like I was moving backwards but eventually I started moving forward again and began to build my endurance and got a little faster in the process.
So now to Saturday Race Day morning….it was a very early morning. I caught the shuttle bus to the start line @ 6:40 am and it felt like a lot longer that 13.1 miles from where I got on the bus, at the finish, to the start line where I got off! It was also really windy at the start. They had set up a tent with the patio heaters and it was warm enough if you were in the tent. If you were not in the tent it was cold! I had a little over an hour to wait for the race to start so I wandered over to the porta potties, retied my shoes, dropped my bag off to be taken down to the finish line, ate a few energy chews and tried to stay warm but I didn’t drink any water and hadn’t drank anything since before I left the house @ 6:00 am. This, it turns out, was a mistake.
The race started right on time, at 8:00 am, and I pressed start on my garmin. The only problem with that was I had used my garmin to monitor my heart rate at the gym on Thursday and didn’t ever reset it, so I started the race @ 40 minutes with 0 miles! I noticed a half a mile into the race and freaked out a little but quickly rest my garmin and would add 10 minutes (since I wasn’t sure how long I had run and wanted to err on the safe side) to the time each time I looked down.
The race course was gorgeous! We started out in daybreak and ran along the river for a bit, made a couple of turns and a serious hill! I couldn’t see it at the bottom but once I got close to the top the Oquirrh Mountain Temple came into view and it was spectacular! Quite unfairly, at the top of the hill a race photographer was lurking So, I quickly found my smile and pretended that the hill was no big deal.
The middle portion of the race felt mostly down hill and I felt great throughout mile 10. I spent the middle miles “tying” a string around a runner ahead of me and pulling myself past them and doing that over and over again.
For distraction I had planned on starting the race without listening to anything, then listening to my audio book for as long as it was entertaining and then switching to my playlist for the last miles when I really started feeling sorry for myself. It was a good strategy to have a couple of different distractions.
After mile 10 I think the lack of water consumption that morning was catching up to me and I started to get tired. And by 12 I was ready to lie down and take a nap! I grabbed a Gatorade at the aid station at mile 12 and it seem to help quite a bit. At least I made it to the end, it wasn’t pretty but I made it.
After I received my metal I grabbed a banana, a bagel and a bottle of water and stumbled over a soft patch of grass and sat down to stretch. I didn’t stay long because I realized that if I hurried I could get home in time to watch most of The Boss’ last soccer game!
Here are the spits our of my garmin…
This really was a fantastic race. I don’t know if I will do it next year if only because there are so many races in Utah I might want to try another!
Biggest lesson learned = drink more water the morning of the race. I will have to find the balance between being hydrated and having to hit every porta potty along the race course.