Wednesday, July 24, 2013
I want to say a big
to all my Spark friends who inspired me to sign up for this race. For a long time I thought this distance was impossible, but then finally I made it a dream to run one someday. I live in Utah and we celebrate the 24th of July as Pioneer day with fireworks, parades and races. I was browsing through races a couple months ago and saw the Deseret News Half marathon and for some reason it just jumped out at me. I kept thinking about how much I wanted to sign up for it and finally did a month ago. At that point my longest runs were only 6-8 miles.
I only had a month to train and I just gradually added a mile to my long run every Saturday. My last long run was 11 miles on 7/13. I then scaled back the running so I could rest up my body. I did a 5K race on the 20th and then gave my legs a rest. What surprised me about my training was that my injuries did not really bother me. It was probably because I was listening more to my body. I really paced myself on my long runs and actually ran slower than I am used to. I'm so amazed and I know I'm blessed to have a healthy body that can do these things. I'm doing my best to take care of it so I can keep this stuff up.
I slept like garbage the night before my race. I kept thinking about everything I needed to do when I woke up. I had to get up at 3am so I could make it to SLC to catch a bus at 4am to make it up Emigration canyon where our race was beginning. It was freezing and we actually had to wait 90 minutes before the race was going to start. I have no idea even right now why they had to bus us to the starting line so early. If I do this race again I will remember to bring a blanket while waiting for the race to start.
The race started at 6am and the majority of it was downhill. It felt awesome to just run downhill, at least for the first half. After I hit mile 6 I still had energy but my thigh muscles were starting to kill! I really focused on pacing myself during the whole race, even telling myself to cut back several times. I don't remember ever feeling too tired. The thing that really slowed me down was the pain in my legs! The last mile was pure agony. We actually ended up running the last 3 miles on the SLC parade route. There were lots of parade goers there to cheer the racers along. I kind of felt like a celebrity, even if I was dragging my legs with me. I think the last mile was literally the longest mile of my life, but I kept going. I ran the whole half marathon. I feel really good about this accomplishment. I'm sure there will be more half marathons in the future! Maybe I just need to train my legs more for downhill running. During training I practiced going up steep hills and down, but maybe it wasn't enough to prepare myself for a pure downhill race. I don't know my official time yet, but the clock did say 1:46:46 as I crossed the finish. My goal was just to beat 2 hours and I think I did a pretty good job!
My legs are totally killing me right now, but it was worth it!