Halloween Half Marathon Recap

First of all I want to sincerely apologize for my absence the last 4-5 days.  I feel terrible that I have been such an awful blogger, commenter, reader, and friend.  I have been crazy busy and hope to catch up on everyone in the next few days. 

Saturday I ran the Provo Halloween Half Marathon.  This race was kind of a big deal to me because last year it was my very first half marathon.  Not only was it my first but it was also exactly one year after the death of my brother Trevor.  In 2010 this race was such a monumental and life changing experience for me and I was so excited to run it again in memory of my brother.  I wanted to remember that sense of accomplishment I felt 1 year ago and the closeness I felt to my brother that day.  I wanted to celebrate my brothers life and how far I have come in the two years since his passing.  I have an entire post in store about surviving the past two years without my best friend Trevor and how running has literally saved my life so I will talk in more details about that later.

This race is all about having fun, dressing up and celebrating Halloween. Going into it my only real goal was to have fun, beat last years time of 1:36 and maybe sneak in a sub 1:30.  I got a ride up to the top with my friend Julie and when I got there I met up with my cousin Travis.  We tried to stay warm, observed all of the crazy costumes, and jogged around a bit before the start of the race.  The race started at 9am and off we went down the mountain literally!
Miles 1-2 (6:16, 6:14):  Extreme decline down the mountain.  I did my best to control my pace and make sure my breathing was incredibly relaxed and the effort was easy.  I just enjoyed myself looking at all the costumes, and soaking in the beautiful fall colors down the canyon.  It was relaxing.

Miles 3-4 (6:09, 6:08):  Met a girl named Raquel and decided to stick with her.  She was going a little faster than I had planned but she was fun to talk to so I just decided to go for it.  My cousin Travis was about .25 miles ahead of me and I kept trying to keep him in sight.  I was incredibly impressed with how fast he was flying down the mountain.

Miles 5-6 (6:35, 6:53):  The first mile out of the canyon is always the toughest and I remember thinking that the downhill had lasted longer last year.  Oh well I was determined to keep up my pace and run as hard as I could for as long as I could.  I was also greeted with a familiar face as soon as I hit mile 6.  My friend Julie was waiting there and asked if I wanted her to run with me.  I happily accepted and was so excited to have her by my side and pacing me to the finish.

Miles 7-8 (6:58, 6:35):  Julie and I caught up in mile 7 and chatted for most of it.  I also ate a chocolate #9 gel.  The gel kicked in at mile 8 and I was feeling really good.  We were passing people and I kept repeating in my head “smooth, strong, fast”.

Miles 9-10 (6:39, 6:37):  Still feeling good but definitely glad I had Julie there to push me.  We kept a consistent pace and I felt strong.  Julie asked me about my plan and I said “I just want sub 1:30”.  Luckily she knew that I was capable of better than that and continued to push forward.  I stopped at the aid station at mile 10 and ate half a gel.

Miles 11-12 (7:02, 6:43):  Mile 11 was really tough.  We had to run around the parking lot and through a gravel pit.  I am using that as an excuse for my slow mile but it really did mess with my head.  I was able to get back on track for mile 12 and we picked up a new person for our little group.  I did not get his name because I was way to focused on keeping up with Julie.

Mile 13-13.1 (6:52, 6:25):  The last mile of the race was probably literally the toughest mile I have ever ran.  Physically I was toast but I just kept pushing.  I ran past my uncle and then my family and that gave me the mental boost I needed to stay strong.  I really really wanted to slow down or stop and walk but Julie wouldn’t let me and just kept encouraging me.  At one point I was screaming out loud “fight, fight, fight”.  And that is exactly what I was doing.  I was fighting with everything I had for every single step I took.  I kept reminding myself that this race was for Trevor and that he never quit fighting and either could I.  When I hit the mile 13 mark I kicked as best I could and ran into the finish line incredibly proud.

Crossing that finish line was such a euphoric and proud moment for me.  I felt every single sense of accomplishment, pride, and gratitude that I had felt just 1 year earlier. 

I am so thankful and grateful for the talent and ability I have to run.  I feel incredibly fortunate that my body allows me to do this and I promise to never take it for granted.  I vow to always put my heart and sole into this passion and to continue fighting every single day of my life in everything I do.  Running is hard but at the end of the day I want to strive to finish every race and every obstacle in life knowing that I have given it everything that I have.  I truly feel that way about this race.  I pushed harder than what I thought I was capable of and I am proud to say I gave it my all.

Finish Time:  1:26:24, 6:36 average pace.  Exactly 10 minutes faster than my time last year.  8/2363 female, 2/444 age group.

I would like to post more on my feelings about this race and how I overcame a personal barrier with the help of my friend Julie but I will save it for another day.  Julie is an Elite runner and could have ran this race much faster but I am so thankful that she stuck by my side and helped me realize my true potential.

I would like to express how incredibly thankful I am that I have such an amazing family that always goes above and beyond to support me no matter what.  My sister was awesome and ran with me for half a mile.  My Dad drove home Friday night at midnight just to be to my race Saturday morning and my Mom is always my number one fan.  Whether I come in first or last my family does not care but they are always there to cheer for me and support me no matter what.  I am so incredibly lucky.

And lastly how could I not mention my amazing friends.  So many of them ran this race and I wish I had pictures with each of them.  They all inspire me and make me want to be a better person and I am so thankful and grateful to be surrounded by such encouraging and supportive people.

Sorry this post got so long but this was just such an amazing experience for me and I never want to forget it.  If I had to sum the day up with one word it would be GRATITUDE.  Gratitude that my body allows me to run and gratitude that I am surrounded by such amazing friends and family that continually support me.  I am one very lucky little red devil!