Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top of Utah Half Marathon and a $4.00 Bath

What a fun and crazy race this turned out to be for me.  I had my adrenaline pumping high before I even got to the bus pick up.  My marathon schedule has me doing 18 miles for today and since I knew I didn't want to run an additional 5 miles after the race I got up at 4:00 am to get them done before.  But I'll back up to the start of this little vacation.

Me, Mark and Cooper headed up to Logan and stayed at the Super 8 Friday night.  We enjoyed a light dinner in the car on our drive up and got to Providence where the packet pick up was taking place.  We made it with just a little bit of time to spare and then headed to the motel.  We drove by a Maverik and I knew I needed some frozen yogurt.  I was very careful about my food intake this time because I learned my lesson after eating too big of meals the day before running the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon.
After getting my yogurt we went to Walmart for something to do and to get Cooper some healthy snacks.  That cute boy of mine has been working out so hard to P90X and eating so good.  He's lost about 20 pounds now and is feeling so great.  I'm secretly hoping he will run a half marathon with me someday.  That would just be the greatest thing ever!

We called it a night and headed back to the motel.  I set the alarm for 4 a.m. and got maybe 5 hours of sleep if I was lucky.  After a few pre-race rituals I headed out to run up and down the main street of Logan.  I was amazed at how many cars were already out and about at 4:30 in the morning.  Some friends of mine from Runner's Anonymous knew I would be out there and offered me a ride the day before but I had to turn them down because I would be running to the bus pick-up area to get my mileage in.  Well, they saw me and honked at me as they drove by.  One girl said she recognized my bright orange shoes!  I do love my shoes:)  At this point I had completed about 3 and 1/2 miles.  The bus pick up was 1.2 miles away and so I headed back to the motel for a final pit stop and to make sure I had everything.  I kissed Mark good-bye and headed off again to get at least 4 1/2 miles in before the race.  I was almost there and all of a sudden panic hit!  I had forgotten my race bib back at the motel.  I knew I couldn't get on the bus without it and I knew I didn't have time to run the 1.2 miles back and then get back to the bus in time.  Plus my timing chip was attached to it and I just plainly NEEDED it.  The race people said the last bus was leaving at 5:45 am and at this point it was about 5:35 am.  AHHHHH.........I didn't know what to do.  I didn't have my cell phone and there just wasn't time for anything. It takes me longer than 10 minutes to run a mile and even if I did run back and have Mark drive me I would miss the bus.  I thought about sticking my thumb out and seeing if somebody would drive me back.  Then all of a sudden I see three angels walking toward the bus pick up.  I ran up to them and told them my dilemma and asked for a ride back to my motel. 

Meet Crystal, Jennica and Hillary Stevens.  Hillary, the girl I'm sitting by on the bus, was the driver and she was absolutely so sweet to help me out.  Her and I jumped in the car and the other two girls headed to the bus to stand in line.  Hillary was so funny and ended up driving up the wrong side of the street not once but twice because of the weird intersection where our motel sits.  We were both laughing and freaking out at this point. It's just a good thing all the police officers were helping out at the race and there weren't any around right now.  I ran in and grabbed my bib and back to the bus pick-up we went. She was parking a few blocks away at the Macey's grocery store and so we were booking it as fast as we could on foot.  I don't think I've ever ran so fast in my life.  We found her friends saving us a place in line.  We had plenty of time to get on the bus.  I had panicked over nothing!   When I finally got sat down and the bus got moving my heart rate slowed down and I finally relaxed a little.  I may have even closed my eyes and said a little prayer for these cute girls rescuing me and letting me ride with them on the bus.  When we got to the starting line I thanked them again and said good-bye.  I wanted to find Jody and Doran, my friends from Brigham City who also ran last week's half marathon with me.
Now meet Shannon and Melanie.  Out of the blue I hear someone calling my name and then I see these two cute faces.  I had no idea who they were.  They told me they were blog stalkers and enjoyed reading about my adventures.  They asked for photos with me and of course I wanted one too.  I told Shannon to leave me a comment so I can follow her blog.  Melanie said she doesn't blog but she has a grandson named Porter.  Oh yeah, of course we are friends now! It's so much fun meeting new bloggy friends. These gals just totally made my morning!

I wandered around looking for my Runner's Anonymous Facebook friends but there were so many people I couldn't locate them.  That made me a little sad because we had talked about finding each other up there and starting the race together. 
I found Jody and Doran, on the far right, Jen whom I've run with at Draper Canyon, is next to me and the other two gals I don't know, but they are friends of Jody's. We squeezed our way through the crowd and tried to get to the 2:00 hour pacer area.  It was so packed with people that we just stopped where we were and waited for the gun.
We were off and I was cruising down the canyon!  I love downhills and tend to go a bit faster so that when the flats and the uphills come I can slow down.  Mile 1 came and went and then mile 2 hit and all of a sudden my right hand went tingly and then my arm felt funny.  My left hand and arm did the same thing just a few minutes later.  This concerned me and so I slowed way down and ate a gu packet and drank some water.  I was glad I had worn my fuel belt.  About mile 4 I felt fine and so picked up the pace again.  I still don't know what that was all about but my guess was the high adrenaline morning I had experienced along with the nearly 5 miles I had already run may have made my system a little out of wack. 
Meet Elise and Kevin "Papa" Kunz.  They are the very kind souls that brought me chocolate milk on the day of my 50K ultra race.  They are the founder's of the Runner's Anonymous group.  I never actually saw them on race day but just got this freebie photo that Top of Utah took.  I love the smiles and the energy.

Another friend from Runner's Anonymous whom I've never met I recognized from our Facebook group.  She had posted a picture of what she would be wearing and I remembered her bright flashy skirt.  When I saw it I hollered to her "Hey you are Lori from Runner's Anonymous". We ran together for a little bit and liked the fact that we both were wearing bright orange shoes.   

The rest of the race was just fun.  There were always so many people around.  I heard constant chattering of people no matter where I was at.  Eventually I needed some music and popped in the earbuds.  My friend Jody was being paced by her friend and neighbor Jen.  I tried my hardest to stay up with them and the 2:10 pacer group but just didn't have the zest and zip to do it.  That whole adrenaline rush was gone and my energy may have been a little bit zapped.  I ate oranges and bananas at the aid stations and made sure to drink plenty of Gatorade and water.

When I came down out of the canyon between mile 6 and 7 I remembered how fun it was last year to see my cute family cheering for me.  I told them they could just see me at the finish line this year and not to worry about driving around to find me.  The rest of the run was just a matter of staying focused and determined to get this finished and hopefully with a better time than last year.

As I got about a mile away from the finish I decided to pour on the speed a little more.  I was worried I wouldn't beat my time.  When I got closer I could see the clock and knew I had to hustle.  I came in at 2:14:29 which is a minute and a half faster than last year.  Whew!  That was cutting it a bit close but I'll take it considering the extra 4 1/2 miles run at 4:30 a.m.
I found these cute girls again who had come in right around 2 hours.  Good job ladies!! I will never, ever forget Hillary and her goodness to me!
Doran did awesome as usual coming in under 2 hours, Jody and Jen did great too.  Somewhere around the 2:13 area.

I found the after-race goodies which were a bit of a let down this year.  More Gatorade, water, oranges and bananas, which I had already consumed during the race. The only other thing they had in addition to that was bread bites and mini fat boy ice creams.  Yup, it was disappointing.  Now that the race was over I still had 1/2 of a mile to run to complete my total 18 miles for the day.  Me, Mark and Cooper started heading to the car and I told them to pick me up down the road by the Maverik.  Well, by the time they found me I had completed a total of 18 1/2 miles and you can better believe I am counting all of it in my training book. 
We stopped off at Walmart and Cooper ran in and bought 2 bags of ice for 4 bucks which I happily placed on my lap for the short drive to the motel.  I quickly got in the tub of cold water and Mark added the ice.  I think Logan has colder water to start with than we do here at home.  It was absolutely the coldest ice bath I have ever taken.  It took forever for those ice cubes to melt.  I think my toes were getting a little nip of  numbness and my legs were turning bright pink. But ice baths really do the trick for me and helping with soreness and the little bit of discomfort for about 20 minutes was totally worth the $4.00 dollar bath today.
Top of Utah Half Marathon is a great race in a beautiful canyon and will probably be a race I'll run each year as long as I keep up this running adventure.  I'll have to say the most fun for me this time was meeting new people and enjoying friendships of old friends as well.  I would much rather get my training miles in with others around me than out on my own.  Next Saturday will be my longest run yet of 20 miles and I will be heading to the trails to do that at the Bear Lake Half Marathon.  I just have to figure out where to do the additional 7 miles so I won't get bored.


wendy said...

I am not sure what I'd dislike most...the running...OR....sitting in Ice.
I have lots of friends it seems who love to run.
My knee won't support me in that endevour. BUT, I do love to power walk. (until my knee aches so bad I can't do it for another 3 days)
It is good to find things that keep our Adrenelin pumping.

Doran & Jody said...

I KNOW I would pick the running over the ice baths, for sure!!

You did awesome! I so wish I could keep up the stamina that you have.

I came home and said...welp, I'm done running now that we have that out of the way. I guess I need to pick another race just to keep me going.

Cory Reese said...

Wow, you are like a machine! I think after all the training you have done, that marathon is going to be a piece of cake.

I love TOU. Those are great medals.

Josh said...

Awesome! It looks like you had a great race. I wish I could have been there! NEXT YEAR!

Good luck on your 20 mile training run. I can't wait to hear how it turns out!

Melanie said...

It was so great to see you, that was a great run, but I wouldn't have been able to add 5 miles to it. You're pretty amazing!

You will do great on your marathon, I'm excited to hear how it goes.

Cynthia said...

So proud of you! And Logan is a lovely place for a run. I also noticed that you made sure the backs of your knees were covered this time! LOL!

Yo Momma Runs said...

First, I love your black and yellow outfit. Second, I would have totally flipped out I I forgot my bib. I got nervous just reading about you leaving yours. Thank goodness for the nice people! Great run by you too. You're obviously getting stronger, pulling off a PR with 5 extra miles before the race. Great job!!

Christy said...

I really like your outfit, you look so cute! You are my hero to be able to run and run and run, and never get injured. I love reading all your race recaps. So do you take winters off from racing, or travel to the warmth??