Thursday, January 24, 2013

St. George Half Marathon-January 19th

Race #3 of 2013
I've been looking forward to this race because:

*It's in a warmer part of Utah than where I live and I was so ready for a little vacation with the hubby and son, and to just get out of the filthy air and freezing cold temperatures.

*I ran it last year in the rain but still had a great time.  The weather forcast for St. George was to be mid 50's this year.  That would feel like a heat wave in comparison.

*One of my goals for 2013 is to beat my race times from the same races I ran in 2012 by a least a minute, and I was feeling ready and anxious to see how I would do.  The St. George Half Marathon was the first race of 2013 that was a duplicate of 2012.
We got to St. George Friday evening with about 10 minutes to spare to pick up my race packet and shirt and walk through the expo.  Saturday morning I got up in plenty of time to get to the starting line early.  I wanted to be sure to warm up and be ready.  Last year it was a mad dash with being stuck in traffic and then running to the starting line from down the road with barely a few seconds for a potty stop.  This year Mark brought me over and we waited in the nice warm car and then when I had about a half hour left I got out of the car and said good-bye to him.  He would come back later to see me run in.  I told him since I ran it in 2:22 last year to plan on me hopefully coming in at 2:20.

*Spoiler alert* He missed me coming in because I was sooooo off on my guess. I ran like a mad woman and beat my last year's time by 10 minutes by running in at 2:12.
Even though the temps were supposed to get into the mid 50's it was still a little bit chilly at 9:00 am.  A lot of people were wearing hats, gloves, long sleeves, etc. I wore a light jacket and was grateful for it.  I never took it off the entire race. The clean air and sunshine were such a great boost though and made me a happy girl.
The National Anthem was played over a loudspeaker and then a helicopter flew overhead and then away we went. Isn't that clear blue sky absolutely amazing?  I'm pretty sure you wouldn't even be able to see the sky back home, due to the inversion.
I have no breakdown of how the mileage went or a play-by-play of the 13.1 miles.  I just tried to maintain a speed that felt like a push that was slightly out of my comfort zone. If I ever felt like I started slowing down I would keep telling myself to push harder.  It was a constant mind game the whole entire race.  This half marathon had a number of hills to climb and I knew if I looked at those hills as I was running I would get discouraged and slow down and walk.  However, this time I was wearing a visor and decided I didn't want to see the hill and so I kept my head down and watched the ground and climbed those hills not knowing how long it was going to last or how steep it was.  When I would get to the crest and then either get to level out or go downhill then I smiled and felt like I really conquered.  Hills are definitely not my forte. Somewhere between mile 2 and 3 I was done listening to the chatter going on around me and put in my music.  That is most definitely a pick-me-up and helps me run faster. 
I only stopped one time in the race and that was to take pictures of this beautiful lake and the cute ducks chilling out on the banks.
Around mile 5 I ate a gu that was being handed out and then another one around mile 7.5.  I've determined that 2 gu's in a race was perfect for me, especially since they both had caffeine in them. I also wore my water belt for the race and so I didn't have to stop at aid stations for liquids.  That helped shave some time off. 
Running along the Virgin River and being able to see all of St. George laid out ahead of me was a sweet sight.  Getting closer to the finish line there was a lot of dirt to run on instead of the paved path.  I seemed to be the only person taking advantage of the softer landing in dirt.  People probably wondered what I was doing "out of bounds" but I'm a trail running girl at heart and like to take advantage whenever I can.

As I rounded a big semi-circle corner and went under the overpass I started keeping my eyes open for Mark and Cooper on the sidelines.  I got all the way to the finish line and got my medal and timing chip clipped off of my shoe.  I got some delightful refreshments and still couldn't find them.  I decided to head up the sidelines again and see if they were there yet.  Sure enough I found them and stood right by them and pretended to be watching the race too.  They didn't even realize I was standing right next to them for a little while.  It made me laugh.  I threw them off guard by being on the other side of the fence.  
I shared my news of my new PR for this race and how much fun I had.  I also apologized for being so off with my guess of when I would be there.  It wasn't their fault they missed me.  At least they were here now.
My final time was 2:12:53 and I was super happy!
I still couldn't get over what a beautiful day and gorgeous weather it was.  I have such a great hubby who is so supportive of my running adventures.  He likes the little vacation get-aways too.  This running day was not quite over yet.  Cory Reese organzied a trail run with some other running peeps in Zion's and of course I didn't want to miss out on that opportunity. 

Next post I will share the second half of my running adventures out in Zion's and a few lessons learned.

8 comments:

Team Gardner said...

you are awesome!! I looked for you as they were starting the half, almost was going to yell out your name hahah but didnt see you. Cant wait to hear about the run with Cory, I want to do that one day really bad!!

Amy N. said...

You are incredible! Congratulations on that gigantic PR! Way to go!

Cory Reese said...

As always, great review and awesome pictures.

Congrats on your race PR! It's so cool that you were able to keep pushing a little beyond your comfort level. That hard work definitely paid off.

Dixie Mom said...

What an incredible time you had!! Good job! I would have run in that too but I had to work...hiking. I'm glad the weather worked out perfectly for this too. It's been so cold previous to that and now it's rainy and ugly!

Dixie Mom said...

What an incredible time you had!! Good job! I would have run in that too but I had to work...hiking. I'm glad the weather worked out perfectly for this too. It's been so cold previous to that and now it's rainy and ugly!

wendy said...

It is always exciting to hear about how REVED up you get for all your runs.

Kathee said...

Your like the energizer bunny! Someday I hope I can run that much! It's so awesome!

Jessica said...

I loved seeing these pictures...I ran this race both last year and this year as well and love it! I didn't even notice that lake and ducks-I need to pay more attention to the scenery I guess! Congrats on a great PR!