Saturday, August 25, 2012

Top of Utah Half Marathon race recap

Top of Utah Half Marathon was one of those late night races that I thought would be an awesome idea, and surely I could fit it into my schedule!  One of my Ragnar buddies even told me she would run it with me.  Well, turns out she never signed up, didn't tell me and the race sold out.  My son and then my daughter were going to come with me (the race was about 80 miles from my house) but then they decided not to and I didn't push it knowing what teenagers are like if you make them do something they don't want to.  I ended up going by myself.  (Matt was out of town - I'm not sure he likes that I race so much, "do you have to run all of them?" I think was the quote)

I had just driven home from Rock Springs and then 5 hours later I left for Logan.  I had decided to stay overnight there so I didn't have to get up at 4am and drive there.  I have to say, the drive was pretty.  I was in Logan for the start of Wasatch Back and had great memories.  I stayed in a pretty cheap hotel but it was in a decent part of town so I thought it would be OK.  For the love!  It was awful.  It was clean though.  All the non-smoking rooms were sold out and so I had to stay in a smoking room and it was smelly.  I opened the window and headed out to the store for some food and Lysol.

The "kitchenette" with my roast in the microwave.  At least that worked out OK.  The plugs behind it could not have been to code..bahahaha.  The first thing I did was pull off both bedspreads and throw them on the floor.  You can see the Lysol on the nightstand, which I had sprayed everywhere.  Hey - I made it work.

Up at 430 to catch the bus and wait.
Hanging out in my Savers jacket.  I had to wait about an hour at the start line and it was cold!  It gave me a chance to pee twice and snack on some delicious energy gummy's and applesauce.  I found that I could sit and pull my knees up in the fleece and stay pretty warm. 

The start.  What a mess!! So crowded.  I tried starting with the 2:00 pacers, but it took at least a quarter of a mile before we were jogging.  I have such a beef with people that start up close and are obviously NOT that fast.  I think I was weaving in and out of people for 4 miles.  Couple that with my run/walk and I was running a lot harder not smarter!!

I didn't have to toss my jacket for over 2 miles and then the weather was PERFECT!  Cool with a slight breeze at my back on occasion.  It really kept me cool and I realized I wasn't going to have many excuses not to beat 2 hours.  The downhill was pretty gradual and didn't bother my quads at all.  My foot ached the whole way and I spent a lot of the race thinking of things I wasn't doing to help it heal, but it didn't slow me down. 

Garmin RECAP:
13.17 miles in 1:59:16

I listed my splits and where I should be every hour.  I was 2 minutes ahead within the first 5 miles and never really lagged behind.  Luckily I was a little faster in the beginning by just enough that a couple of slow miles at the end didn't hurt me.  Imagine my SURPRISE when I hit the finish line and it said:
I must apologize to those that I ran in with when I dropped a naughty swear word when I saw the numbers.  That was super rude and goes against my "this should be fun" attitude.  FORTY seconds..grrrrrrrrr!!!  

Here are my splits:
1 mile     9:05
2 mile     9:13
3 mile     8:22  (Getting my groove on!  Feeling sassy!!)
4 mile     9:13
5 mile     8:57
6 mile     8:49
7 mile     9:09
8 mile     8:25
9 mile     8:58
10 mile    8:31
11 mile    10:00 (the slight hill and I was feeling it!)
12 mile    10:05
13 mile    8:53 (Hello push to the end!  I've never been able to do that!)
.17          1:30

I have tried to extend my run time in between walk breaks.  I am working at about 7 minutes to 1 minute.  When I am running easy I try to go a couple of miles after mile 5.  I'm not absolutely sure but I think I took 8 walk breaks during the entire race.  They are about a minute - but I sometimes take a little more when I'm fueling.  I only used one gel from honey stinger, somehow the taste of honey makes my gagging minimal and a few of the energy beans.  I didn't use or need any of the water stations since I brought my handheld.  I tried to get plenty hydrated the night before and ease up that morning so that I didn't need to stop and pee and it worked.  I didn't feel dehydrated at all during the race, but that wouldn't have worked if it would have been a hot race.  I didn't use salt pills either - again, I would have had it been hotter. For information to runners who hate it when people just start walking, I pull WAY over to the side before I slow down to walk.  I know the rules!!  Although farting should be allowed - we are outside!!  

I really busted it in the end and by the time I hit the finish line I was running a sub 8 min/mile and feeling like I was going down.  BUT, I did it, grabbed my awesome medal and found a place to catch my breath.  I haven't pushed myself like that at the end of a half before.  It makes me feel like I'm pacing myself much better and have something at the end.  I should have stayed up and leaned on something because after my foot had a minute to rest it was almost too painful to walk.  But I forged on just fine and was able to get some after run snacks, my race bag and hobble to my car that seemed super far away.   
New goal:  Make friends with other lone runners.  I was taking this picture when a lone runner asked if I wanted her to take the picture.  I should have taken her up on it.  I noticed a lot of them but apparently I was having a rare moment of shyness.  I know there are lots of fun gals out there that end up at races alone because I saw some.  It would make it a lot more fun!

Back to skanky motel, called Tera with all the details, showered and made it home after taking large amounts of ibuprofen.  

The guy at the race bag pick up saw my bib and had my bag for me and called me by name.  Maybe he felt bad for the gimp, either way - how nice is that??

My foot hurts SO bad.  I should expect it with a run that long.  The thing I didn't expect was the sore toenails.  So frustrating to buy a brand of shoes that works awesome and then when I change models the new model is a tad too short.  Really?  I need to go to a men's size ELEVEN to run in??  I must be smashing my feet longer.  Oh well, all the pain was assuaged by looking up my official time:

I did it!

Blog on............


  1. Congrats on a sub 2 hour!!!! I just started reading your blog. Is this your first sub 2? I remember the first time I ran sub 2 and I felt I was in another league! :)

  2. Yes! My first half marathon was in March and this was my third one. I do feel pretty special and super fast. Which is exactly how I felt when I ran a 10K under an hour. Perspective!