American Fork Half Marathon Re-Cap

I keep putting this re-cap off for some reason and I think it is because I am not 100% happy with my performance yesterday.  I want to be happy because I ran a good time and set a new PR which is great. But the truth is I know I could have done better and in the end I feel like I let negativity and self doubt get the best of me.
I loved the course, I loved the cause, and I loved the downhill elevation but I did not love the way I felt during this race.  I never had an “aha” moment or a “runner’s high” during this race and I am hoping I can learn from it and move forward.  Luckily for me I am running a nearly identical course in 35 days and will have a chance to redeem myself.

Anyway the day started early at 3:30am.  This time is actually becoming a norm to me as I have been awake in the middle of the night on Saturdays for the past three weeks.  I woke up, threw myself together, and was out the door by 4.  I got to American Fork High School by 4:30 met up with Rochelle and her friend and it was off to the races.

We got up to the top around 5:30am and after a quick trip to the porta potty it was time to go.  I really cannot say enough about how well organized this race was for being the first year.  This is definitely a race I will do every year because it was incredibly well put together and for such an amazing cause.  The gun went off right at 6am (in fact it was a little before 6 on my garmin) and I was excited to get going.

Although this race was a downhill course which I love I truly never felt strong the entire race.  I kind of felt like I was pushing myself, and breathing hard with every single step. 

Mile 1:  6:31Mile 2:  6:52Mile 3:  6:56
I knew I was running okay but people were passing me and I felt like I needed to speed up so I decided to push it a bit.
Mile 4:  6:41Mile 5:  6:23Mile 6: 6:31
I started to get excited as this was definitely a 10k PR for me and thought I would just keep pushing myself and see if I could run 9 miles in an hour.  I ate 3 chomps and just decided to go for it.  This was such a stupid decision because I pushed myself too hard and ended up blowing up because of it.
Mile 7:  6:23Mile 8:  6:55
After mile 8 the course flattened out and I was exhausted.  Every single muscle in my body ached, I felt like I was gasping for air, and I just had no idea how I was possibly going to finish this race.
Mile 9:  7:16Mile 10:  7:36Mile 11:  7:53
I was struggling mentally after mile 11.  I knew I only had 2 miles to go but those 2 miles felt harder than the entire last 6 miles of my marathon.  I was turning to a walk/run method at this point and slowing completely at the water stations.  I tried to think about all of the cancer victims I have lost in my life and then I started thinking about how cancer patients never stop fighting their battle and that they are not quitters.  I was able to pick it up when I though about how hard cancer patients fight every single day for their lives.
Mile 12:  7:36Mile 13:  8:03Mile 14:  1:23 (6:50 pace)
Finishing Time:  1:32:57, 7:02 pace

I was so incredibly happy to be finished and so excited to go back and cheer my friends on because I knew they were going to knock their PR’s out of the park and run great.  They all did awesome and I honestly think my favorite part of the day was cheering on all of the half marathon and 5kers.  So many of them were cancer survivors and it was so exciting to see them doing something so hard.  It helped me to put things in perspective and remember the real reason I was running the race.  I held my sign up for them, cheered for every single runner, and found myself overwhelmed with emotion when a few people were chanting out loud “we can do it” our mom fought cancer and we can fight this race.  It was so emotional and so great!

Overall this race was an amazing experience and I am so glad I did it and so excited to have set a new half marathon PR.  Although I am somewhat disappointed with my performance I still ran a great time and set a new PR.  I also think that this was a major red flag that my body needs a break from racing.  I push myself really hard when I race and racing 4 weekends in a row was probably not my brightest idea. 

Sometimes I forget that my body isn’t a machine and I ask too much of it.  Racing is definitely a passion of mine and I love it but I also realize that it takes a lot out of me physically and mentally.  My next big race will be Saturday July 30th.  I may or may not sneak a few 5ks in between that time but I definitely am not going to push myself.  The worst thing I could do is risk an injury before I start St. George training.

Ever ran a great race time wise or even PR’d but just weren’t feeling it?

Besides this race my Turkey Trot 5k (which was a PR for 5 months) was very similar.  I hated every second of it but somehow still ran a best time.