The great Utah Valley Half Marathon. There are so many thoughts about this race for me. It was my VERY FIRST half marathon ever run 2 years ago in 2011. This would be my third time running it this year. If you're interested in reading about those previous experiences go here for 2011 and here for 2012. So in a way this was kind of like a runniversary (as my friend Josh calls them). I got up UBER early at 2:50 am and got myself ready to go. Josh came down from Bountiful the night before and slept in our basement. We ate oatmeal with cinnamon and honey for breakfast and then my sweet hubby drove us down to the freeway exit to meet up with cute Hollie at 3:40 am. I was digging the sunglasses she modeled for us but she thought they made her look like an alien with big bug eyes. There may have been a little head bopping going on. Hey, they were cute. I would have worn them. (They were her mom's sunglasses. We were in her mama's car) She drove us down to the Provo mall where we met up with another runner friend, Mike Talbot.
Bus pick-up was easy and we didn't have to wait long at all to get on a bus. Driving up the canyon was a tad scary at one point. The bus driver put on her brakes to avoid hitting a car ahead of her and we all went flying. Nice adrenalin pumping for a few moments. When we got to the starting line area all the people were on the opposite side of the street and down in an area I didn't recognize. The race people changed the whole route to be ran on the other side of the 4 lane highway this year. It actually was a good change which allowed us to run in the shade of the mountains and trees for a longer period of time once the sun came up. I was happy about that change for sure.
We arrived here about 4:40 am and once again had to wait way longer than I like to at a race. The good thing about being with friends though is you can visit and be silly and not care. It would help the time go by much faster. We would then see other friends and call them over to chat with. London and Monte Riding are two friends we met at our made-up canyon run last week. It was sure fun to see them again. The sky started to lighten up and we had used the porta potties and were getting lined up for the start. 6:00 am sharp and we were off!
Josh and I both decided last night that we wanted a PR for this run. I was going to be happy with anything faster than last year which was 2:26. Josh wanted to try for 2:17. I know that's an odd number so you can hear about his decision for that timing on his blog. Anyway, we made pace bands and decided to try for 2:17. That meant we had to keep a 10:38 minute/mile. Josh doesn't run with a Garmin. He just likes me to lead the way. I guess that's why he calls me "Mama Duck". I lead and he follows. Maybe I should start calling him "Little Duckling?" Anyway, we have a good time.
Since I had a little bit of pressure to keep to a certain time I decided to just turn on my tunes right from the beginning and focus and GO, GO, GO! No chatting, no laughing, no playing. Just get the job done. I was running quite a bit faster than I was used to and didn't want to tell Josh because he was keeping up nicely. I also wanted to see if I could stay slightly ahead of my pace band time. We had one big hill climb which slowed us down a little bit around mile 3 but then we continued pounding it out.
Around mile 6 Josh needed a potty stop and I had some good tunes pumping and continued pushing on down the road. I was hoping he would catch up but sadly that was the last time I would see him until the end.
About this time a song came on my ipod called "Sugar We're Going Down Swingin". I have no clue what the song is about, and even after looking up the lyrics I'm still not quite sure. A little naive I am. Anyway....the beat of this song just absolutely lit a spark inside me, actually more like a bonfire!! The beat and cadence were perfect for my stride and I was running on a whole new level. I tuned out the rest of the race and ignored any challenge I was feeling. It was like I went to a different world for the rest of the race. As the song would come to the end I would hit the back button and start it over again. This happened all the way to the very end right before I crossed the finish line. I probably listened to that song 25 times. I didn't dare change it to a new song for fear of losing my stride and speed.
Sugar We're Going Down Swingin' has now become my new motto for the Utah Valley Half Marathon. Shoot, maybe I should incorporate that song and motto for every race I run from now on. Wait.....I think I would get very sick of this song if I listened to it on repeat for 13.1 miles at every race I run. Never mind......bad idea.
But I did it. Came in with a huge PR from last year by knocking off 21 minutes with a 2:05:47. This would actually be my 2nd fastest half marathon to date.
So here I am at the finish line ringing the PR BELL. This is a new tradition set-up this year by the Utah Valley Half Marathon people. I love this new addition. I don't know if we were allowed to ring it for a PR on this course or only for a PR in general. I didn't care. This was the fastest I had ever run this race and by golly I was going to ring that bell proudly. I've only ever run one half marathon faster and that was an all downhill race with a drop in 3800 feet. So to run a slightly downhill/somewhat flat race and get my second fastest half marathon pace makes me slightly happy.
Mile 1 - 9:25
Mile 2 - 9:17
Mile 3 - 10:02 (hill climb)
Mile 4 - 9:56
Mile 5 - 9:10
Mile 6 - 9:08
Mile 7 - 9:32
Mile 8 - 9:21
Mile 9 - 9:23
Mile 10 - 9:40
Mile 11 - 9:50
Mile 12 - 9:32
Mile 13 - 9:43
Half Marathon 2:05:47
I'll take it!
Still hardly believing this. It's amazing what a good song will do for my determination! I need to find more of them just like it.
3 years ago