|race images: Action Sports|
St. Patrick's day was full of fun! I have bee planning, although not training, to run the half marathon in Moab again this year. It is so beautiful, winding along the Colorado River along the red rock canyon. Quite a few of my friends had signed up to run it as well and I was really looking forward to the social experience. The friend I was planning on carpooling with and sharing a room with had to cancel last minute. I was so happy to be invited along with my sweet friend Tiff and her daughter Elli. It was absolutely so much fun! They already had a room...the last available one in town. The entire town gets booked for this race months in advance. We got to stay in the lovely Silver Sage Inn. What an experience. We drove up and just started laughing. It looked like a modular. The room was like a dorm room. SO tiny! I had brought a blowup mattress and we had to move all of the furniture around just to get it to fit. There was hardly an inch of floor space. It was so cozy and we just couldn't stop laughing...especially since we got all this for $90! Insane.
We picked up our stuff at the expo, headed to dinner, then hit up the grocery store for some breakfast items and last minute essentials:
Oh, so yummy. I was completely stuffed from dinner, but nothing can keep me from a good healthy helping of half baked! I was worried I might regret the decision the next morning. Nope! Felt better than ever.
May I just backtrack and say that I have never been more unprepared for a run...especially a half marathon. I am really not sure what I was thinking. I ran a total of 8 times in the last 3 months. EIGHT times people! When people wished me luck I thought to myself, oh, I am gonna need it! I was definitely doubting myself for the weeks and days leading up to the race. I was this close to changing to the 5 mile race. I decided to just not have any expectations and to try to make it fun. I am so glad that I did it. I loved it and have never felt better in this race before.
The start was freezing and windy. I was packing up my bag to put in the truck and had my glasses on. A man next to me said, "those glasses are cool, but they look really heavy!" I just had to laugh. I love talking to people before the race. Most people are nervous and totally hilarious. I definitely didn't plan on wearing aviators to run in, but it was like a sandstorm and I felt the need for safety goggles. I'm glad I had them because there was quite a headwind most of the way.
The race was amazing. I can actually say that truthfully. I ran alone the entire time, which I hadn't done in years. I started out conservatively and it felt so good. Plus, in a sea of over 3,000 runners, you just have to settle in and wait for the pack to break up a bit. I had taped my arch and ankle that morning and it felt amazing for about 5 miles. By mile six though, my foot was hurting like crazy! I stopped and sat on the side of the road for about 2 minutes trying to get the tape off, but that wasn't going to happen. It was the only discomfort I had, but I was actually nervous I would get a stress fracture. I hadn't felt that pain before (my ankle felt pretty darn good though and compression sleeves are amazing!) I think that since it was hot my foot swelled a little and couldn't expand right when I landed. A tendon rubbed the entire way and that was weird.
Other than that, the miles just flew by. I think the festive green sparkle skirt had power. I loved the costumes I saw. It's so fun when people are creative and full of spirit. I saw a lot of bright green tulle tutus. I especially liked them on the men. As always, one of my favorite parts were the giant drums at mile 10. They echo off the canyon walls; so cool.
The last 2.5 miles are always a beast, no matter what kind of shape I am in. In this race, they are a constant, gradual uphill. The wind was crazy and I felt like I was moving at a snail's pace. Thankfully, that is where all the people are. The cheering and high fives from kids are encouraging. I crossed the finish line and felt so happy. I marched straight into the medical tent to get the tape cut off and a bag of ice. My foot was so swollen! It's still not quite back to normal, but getting there. I was glad to be in the medical tent for such a tiny issue. Others looked like they were dying. I just can't believe how hard some people push themselves.
And probably only of interest to me, and just for my own personal information, according to the Garmin (my new love), my finishing time was 1:53:09. Definitely not my fastest, but way, way better than I had expected. All of the "good lucks" must have helped.
Mile 1: 8:41
Mile 2: 8:28
Mile 3: 8:31
Mile 4: 8:34
Mile 6: 8:36
Mile 7: 8:29
Mile 8: 8:25
Mile 9: 8:20
Mile 10: 8:32
Mile 11: 9:08
Mile 12: 8:59
Mile 13: 8:57
Overall: 646/3240 Age Group: 50/299 Female: 224/1917
I am already looking forward to running here again in May. It will be our second time at Red Rock Relay. I guess Moab is just my destination running place. I'm not complaining; it's beautiful.