Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Porter's Half Marathon

When I saw this half marathon advertised on Facebook I immediately knew I wanted to run this race.  I didn't care what the course was like.  I didn't care that it was an inaugural race.  All that mattered to me was the name of it.  I just thought there could be nothing cooler than running a race in memory of my son, Porter.
Doran and Jody came down and stayed with us and on a whim decided to sign up and run too.  That was a lot of fun to be at a race with familiar faces and friends.
Ooops, a little eye-leakage going on already at 5:00 in the morning.   I headed off to Draper City Park where the buses would pick us up.  I needed to get in 17 miles for my marathon training plan and didn't want to run those 4 additional miles after the race.   So I left plenty early to run at the park and get as much done as I could before the last bus took off.   Well, I was doing great and enjoying the cool, early morning hours.  I had a little under an hour to do my 4 miles.  And then about 6:17 am I see the last bus leaving.  The Race Director told us the last bus would leave at 6:20.  I ran as fast as I could screaming as loud as I could to "WAIT!!!  WAIT!!"

The bus driver stopped the bus and opened his window.  I asked him if he was the last bus and he said there were two more buses coming in 5 minutes.  Wow, that caused me a little bit of high anxiety.  So I headed to my car and grabbed my necessary running items and meandered back to the bus loading area.  A few more runners were gathered there as well and we continued to wait.  A few of the race volunteers stopped by to tell us indeed there was another bus coming.  Well, after waiting almost 20 minutes and watching the time getting closer to race start time at 7:00 am I just couldn't stand still any longer.  I asked if anyone wanted to hop in the car with me because I was driving to the starting line.  I knew my friends, Jody and Doran would take me back to get my car after the race.  There were a total of six of us waiting for the last bus and I was able to take three of them.   The other two drove themselves as well.  That darn bus never showed up!  I got to the starting line with a few minutes to spare and found my friends. 
Jody pinned my sign on my back for me and we made a final pit stop and then walked across the canyon road to line up for the start.  This was a smaller race with only a little over 300 participants and I thought it was absolutely perfect.  I got to meet another blog friend, Betsy at this race.  It's always a highlight to read someone's blog for awhile and then finally get to meet them in real life.
The race started about 5 minutes late but it was alright with me.  I was still trying to calm down from my high anxiety moments of missing the bus and driving a little faster than I probably should have to get to the race start.  Jody and I started together and ran the first couple miles side by side.  I love down hills and when they would come I would zoom down them and then she would catch up to me on the flats.  That only lasted another mile or so and then she was gone.  I just couldn't keep up with her. 

As I ran people would turn and give me a sweet look and a thumbs up at the sign on my back.  Although they didn't say anything to me, the look on their face was tender and understanding and I appreciated that.   One man said Porter was also his son's name and I told him it was a great name and he agreed.  Around mile 4 I decided to listen to my ipod and by complete coincidence the first song that came on was Homeward Bound.  It was sung at Porter's funeral and it always makes me cry when I hear it.  I hit repeat on it and listened to it about 4 times.  I also listened to some of Porter's favorite bands: Keane, and Coldplay.  I was enjoying these reflective moments of Porter and just felt his love throughout the entire race.   The course turned out to be absolutely beautiful with mountain views all around.  It was so fun to see the Draper Hills in the distance where I had just run my first 50K the previous Saturday.   I reflected on that experience as well as I ran and remembered what an awesome experience that was and my heart ached to be up there again.

Around mile 10 ish I found my friend Jody.  She's been nursing some aches and pains and needed to do some walk/run combos.  She finished strong and I was proud of her for being brave enough to sign up for this race, especially since we are running Top of Utah Half Marathon only 1 week later. 
The after-race treats were fabulous with bagels, cookies, lots of fruit, cinnamon raisin toast, muffins, bubblegum, oatmeal, and Dr. Pepper.
I finished this race with a final time of 2:14:39 and feel very pleased with that outcome.  It's not my slowest or my fastest but it's a good time for me and my slow self.  We stayed and watched the awards ceremony and by the time they got to the prize giveaways a lot of people had already left.  Each of us ended up getting some nice things that they just started handing out to everybody that was left there.  I got a super cool jacket and a pen.  Doran and Jody got a jacket each too and a few other goodies. 
Jody and Doran took me back to my car (thanks so much guys) and I immediately put my photo of Porter right in front of me so I could continue to look at it and think about him all the way home.
I'm pretty excited to have a shirt now that has Porter's name on it.  You can bet I'll wear it proudly!!


Jen@runfortheboys said...

This is wonderful! Love your pics and smile :-) and you are NOT slow! I would LOVE a 2:1x:xx!!!

Jenny Lynn said...

So special, is this something that takes place every year? Glad you found it and was able to run for Porter.

Unknown said...

That is seriously so cool. I'm so proud of you and your running progress.

Cory Reese said...

As usual, another great race report. Your pictures are excellent. It's cool that this race had so much extra meaning. Way to go!

Julia said...

LOVE this so much friend! It seems like this race was just meant for you!

Doran & Jody said...

SOOO glad we came down and joined you for this race!

Can't wait to see you in a couple of days you runnin' machine!

Jerilee E. said...

Wonderful race recap! Such a perfect, beautiful race to run in memory of your son, too.
You are a running machine- so inspiring!

wendy said...

can't think of a race you probably LOVE running in more then this one.
I am sure every footstep you run, you think of your son.

Jess's Journey to the Land Of Skinny said...

What a great race to run in so many ways.

I am going to have to take some cues from you and hang around until the race is over because it seems like you are getting some great stuff at the end of them! Good luck next week on your half!

Murph said...

Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I did see you running the Porter's Half, I was right behind you when we came off of the footpath, but when we turned onto Fort Street, I ran out of gas and didn't see you again. I thought it was great that you were running in memory of your son.
Run Happy!