Monday, May 5, 2014

Provo City Half Marathon

2 half marathons within a week of each other?  It was done!

During last week, I had a sick little boy.  Like fevers every day since Monday night.  
By Friday, I was tired.  And ready for my Bubba to stop with the sickness!
Little did I know, he was blessing me with the lovely fever!

Friday, I originally planned to be at the expo right when it opened.  
I don't know why, but I always LOVE picking up my race packets!!
But because our day was crazy busy, I had to rearrange things to get there.
The race bib always gets me so excited...

Friday night, I knew I was in trouble.  
I started feeling the body aches.  When I took my temperature, I saw this:

I know I've joked before about thinking about sleeping in.  But I can honestly tell you, I was ready to just bag this race!  I ended up going to bed EARLY.  (I never get to bed early the night before a race!)  By 3:30am, I woke up (without an alarm) and was ready to start getting ready.
I still wasn't feeling 100%, but I was ready to give this race a go!

So there I was, awake at a time no sane person should be, feeding Madison, getting dressed, making breakfast....getting ready to head out the door.  Early mornings are probably what I hate most about running races because I am NOT a morning person!!

By 4:30, I was out the door, ready to pick up my neighbor and head to the race!
By the time we caught our bus and headed up the mountain, I was feeling crummy.  I popped some Ibuprofen and tried to distract myself.

At the top of the canyon we FROZE. 
Yep, I decided I didn't want to deal with bag drops so I took a garbage bag and figured I'd be alright standing by the fires.  No.  I was not alright.  I was freaking cold!  But I got to meet some interesting characters.  All of the big fires were completely surrounded, so we looked over and saw a smaller fire with hardly anyone near it.  As we joined the small group, we learned that we were joining some random campers who hiked up and decided to make their camp at the very spot that hundreds of runners were going to show up at early in the morning.  I'm still a little confused with their story...I use the term "campers" lightly.  These 2 had no tents, no sleeping bags.  They had an ax and a window squeegee.  


The fire was small, but we were making it work. 
That is, until some genius tried to get too close and ended up burning his running shoes.  The smell was TERRIBLE.  I came home from the race smelling like his burnt shoes.

Eventually, it was time to line up at the start line.
The sun had finally come up.
Race start time was 7am. 
It was still a little chilly, but I knew once we started I would warm up fast.

As we took off, I was near the 2:20 pacer.
I knew there was NO WAY I'd be finishing with this pacer.  But thought I'd see how long I could keep her in my sight.  I started the race with my neighbor as well, but told her I was sure eventually I'd need to pull back and slow down.  (Which I did.)

However, the first 5-ish miles I kept a close pace with the 2:20's.
I was feeling great, little did I know how great I was actually running.

Mile 1 and 2 were a very good downhill grade.  
I rocked those miles with a 10:20 pace and then a 9:55 pace.  
Seriously, 9:55!!!  I haven't ran that fast in maybe ever!?

Mile 3 I slowed down some.  At this point we were on the trail and I knew I was starting off way to strong if I wanted to have the energy to see 13.1 miles.

The course for the first 6-7 miles was all in the canyon.  I LOVED it.  
I was nervous knowing that the course in the canyon was all on the trail, but I ended up loving it!  Plenty of room to run and not feel bottlenecked.
Honestly, it was probably one of the prettiest runs I've been on!
The temperature was perfect too!
(MUCH better than last weeks race!)

Once we left the canyon, they closed down part of the road along University Avenue.  This was a straight run for the last part of the run.  There was traffic along the side of us, but I felt the city police officers did a great job at regulating turns for the cars in between the runners.  I wasn't stopped at all.  While I thought it was great, the drivers were probably annoyed because traffic was a mess along University.  

Note to Utah residents...especially Utah County residents:  avoid University Ave  during the Provo City Half Marathon, you'll thank me later!

Much of these miles blended in.  I was really just feeling a groove and going with it.  I knew I wasn't as fast as I was in the canyon, but I was okay with it.  

Mile 9 I pulled off to use the restroom.  (At least I think it was 9) 
My stomach felt so heavy all morning.  
Unfortunately, it didn't help.
That was my slowest mile at a 13:00 pace.

After that mile, I knew I was going to set a PR.  I just didn't know how much of one.
I kept looking at my Garmin, trying to calculate how fast I could finish.
My legs were TIRED!
And my hip, OH MY HIP!  
But I didn't want to stop, I tried not to walk.
I felt like I really did the best I could possibly do.  I didn't wimp out and walk just because I was tired of running.  The only times I walked were because I really needed it!

During the last 3 miles, the 5k-ers came zipping by.  
I hated them.
They had fresh legs.  And they only had to go 3.1 total miles.
But as much as I hated them, it was an energy boost I needed!
I downed about 7 energy beans and began trying to pick up my pace.
It was hard.  And I wanted to just walk to the finish.
But I knew I would be so disappointed if I didn't leave EVERYTHING out on the course.

So on I pushed.  And ran.  And pushed.

I remember seeing the finish line and thinking it was a lot closer than it was.  
I kept thinking, "Oh!  There it is, now I can run the rest."
Nope.  Had to walk.
It felt like I could see the end, but that it was never going to end!

As I looked at my watch, I realized my time was far better than I thought it could be.
You see, last week, I BARELY finished in under 3 hours. 
And my best half was a 2:50-something from when I was pregnant with Madison.
So honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect of myself...especially after running a half the week before.
I hoped to set a PR, and I even through out the number 2:45.
But inside, deep where I don't let people in, I thought:  
"What if I saw 2:30...wouldn't that be amazing!?"

As I was coming down those last 1.5 - 2 miles I realized I could do something amazing.
I realized that if I gave it my all, I could maybe finish under 2:35.

As I thought about that, and about how hard I worked out on the course I wanted to cry.
Except I couldn't.  Because I was too excited and tired.
But I spent the last part of my race reflecting on how amazed I am at my body.

You see, I may not be at my goal weight.  And I may not even be where I hoped to be in my journey of losing this baby weight.  I may get really frustrated with the scale.  

But Saturday, I was proud!
I was proud of myself and what my body was able to do.

Never, NEVER did I dream I could finish 2 half marathons within a week of each other.
But I did.
And I finished in 2:33:42.
I was so damn proud.
And amazed.
And shocked.

I realized I am much stronger than I give myself credit for.  
And what a beautiful birthday present that was to myself!
After finishing, I couldn't help but smile.
I knew I was stronger and better than I thought I could be at this moment.
I ended my 31st year on an amazing high, and look forward to my 32nd year being the best yet!

After crossing the finish line, it was such a party. 
I've never been fast enough to be around when the party was happening.  
I soaked it all in!
So many people!  So much fun!

My cute neighbor even waited in line with me for a post-race massage!  
(For an hour an a half!!!!)
(But the massage was so gooooood!)

This race was a big moment for me.  
This race helped me see that I am usually too hard on myself.
I usually don't give myself enough credit.
And I need to be kinder to me.

That is my resolution for my 32nd year.
To allow myself to be proud, even when I'm not where I'd like to be.
Because Saturday blew my mind!  
And I can't wait for another race like this one.

My only criticism about the race:
They needed more liquids at the finish!
They only had dixie cups for us that were half full.
Please, Run13 race directors, next year splurge on the bottles of water.  Or even chocolate milk!

Will I run Provo City Half Marathon again?

(Race 6 out of 14 is now complete)


  1. You are so awesome and such an example to me to keep pushing and never give up…its what I've always loved about you!


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