Snow Canyon Half Marathon Recap

Running = invigorating, nostalgic, peaceful, simple, joyful, energizing, challenging, rewarding…..always a constant in my life.  Life is busy, life is full of highs and lows, life can be difficult.  Running helps me to grow, running makes me a better person, running has taught me that I am capable of more than I ever imagined possible.
I am forever thankful for running in my life!  I am back to my little corner of the internet today with a race recap.  I’d like to start blogging more, I’ve always got so many subjects on my mind.  I’d like to share more of my knowledge and thoughts about running, about life, and about finding that running and life balance.  But I’m not making any gaurantees.  My life is very full right now — I am happy!***

Cliff Note Version:  1:17:55, 5:57 pace, 2nd place female finisher.  The report below is a direct candid copy from my training blog.

I am really happy and proud of the way I raced on Saturday.  I’ve ran some decent times this Fall but I haven’t really felt fluid racing since July, so most importantly it felt good to feel good!  Times on the clock are arbitrary…but what I always remember most about races is the way I felt.  Even if the time is good or I win the race it doesn’t mean as much to me if I felt like crap and finished feeling in a hole (Huntsville).

I had a rough week going into this race.  My brothers 4 year anniversary was hard on me this year, I always hate Halloween because it is the day Trevor was buried, and driving down to St.G makes me cringe every single time because that is where Trevor’s accident happened.  I was in a weird place emotionally and felt off.  I was also way more nervous about this race than I normally get for races and I let that get to me which is normally my strong point.  I’m usually good at staying calm and handling pressure but I needed to do well at this race for myself, I needed that monkey off my back, and I psyched myself out a bit–which is odd for me!  Anyway none of this really has anything to do with anything besides to point out that life/running do collide and I think all of this going on in my life makes me even more proud of my ability to channel that energy, focus, and mentally prove to myself that I am stronger than I realize.

Nutrition:  32 ounces fluids (mostly Gatorade) pre-race and a banana.  1 gel during the race and a little bit of water.

Splits:  6:07, 6:03, 5:54, 5:26, 5:17, 5:26, 5:33, 6:19, 5:54, 6:02, 6:14, 6:15, 6:16, 1:10 (5:37 pace)

Finish Time:  1:17:55

Race Strategy:  Run off of effort.  Take the first 2 miles easy and then go for broke.  Hold nothing back.

I stayed in Mesquite Friday night and my boyfriend gave Christie and I ride up to the start.  We got there in just enough time to use the bathroom and get a little warm-up in.  It was a little chilly but pretty perfect for racing.

Get in a groove miles 1-2 :  Started out running with JeffL and just tried to focus on staying relaxed and easing into things.  There was no reason to push these first 2 miles.

I believe I can fly miles 3-7:  Whoa…..whoa these miles were FAST!  I could not allow myself to even glance at my watch because the pace I was running was flipping frightening to me.  I was passing a lot of people and keeping my sights on AmberG up ahead.  Being so close to her scared me.  It was freaking Amber Green my running idol….what in the heck was I doing running so close to her?  In all honesty I felt great and ran off of effort.  I know this sounds nuts but I was not really pushing at all.  Just racing on effort, I felt really strong and was enjoying the course.  I knew the fast miles would either lead me towards a massive blow up or a huge PR.  I wanted to take the risk, it was worth it to me and heck it was kind of fun!

Back to reality miles 8-13:  Mile 8 was really, really hard for me and I was afraid I was toast.  Transitioning from flying to climbing was not welcomed and I really had to focus to get through that mile.  I took a gel and felt really fluid again by mile 9.  The last 3 miles you wind through Entrada golf course and neighborhoods and it is pretty monotonous.  It was tough and I really had to fight hard to stay on pace but I never once lost focus and I never once questioned my ability to fight to the finish.  My feet really bothered me the last 30 minutes of the race.  I am getting so used to the pain but gosh it is just incredibly frustrating and unfortunate.  I tried my best to kick it up once we hit the track at Snow Canyon HS and was completely elated to reach my goal.  In hindsight I knew all along I was capable of my goal but to actually execute such a strong race and finish 30 seconds behind one of my running idols was incredibly exciting to me.  Also exciting to me was that I didn’t settle for just running sub-1:20 once things got hard…instead I pushed outside of my pre-concieved idea of what I thought I was capable of.

I was very happy to break 1:20 and run a 3 minute PR but times aside I’m really proud of the way I held it together and raced until the finish.  Running is great and I am continually thankful for the way it enhances my life and makes me a better person.  There is always someone faster than me, there is always room to improve, and there is never a ceiling on my capabilities.  I know I’m cheesy but I am forever grateful for the personal growth I achieve through running.  It is a great sport and I am so thankful for the many amazing influences I have and the positive way it has changed my life.  It was really great to hang around after the race and watch all of the runners finish.  No matter what time you run there is just something magical about running and seeing people achieve the goals they set for themselves. 

I am ready and excited for a break from racing.  I need to rest, recover, relax, take a step back, enjoy running, and focus on other areas of my life for a bit.  I can’t even count the amount of times Saturday I said “holy crap I finished 30 seconds behind Amber freaking Green.  She is such an amazing runner…she’s won St. George marathon like 3 times!  There is no way I was actually that close to her…What does this mean?”  It is very overwhelming to me to accept where I am at with my running.  It is scary and I need time to wrap my head around it and figure out what I want moving forward.  There is one thing that I know for certain and that is that I am not done.  In running it is not easy to continue to improve but it is always possible and at the end of the day I have the desire.  That desire has gotten me to where I am and will cotinue to propel me moving forward.