Sunday, May 26, 2013

HOLY HANNAH HILLS HALF MARATHON and How Many Pieces of Watermelon is Too Many to Indulge In?

Race #15 of 2013
Alpine Classic Half Marathon

Ok, so this race really wasn't called the Holy Hannah Hills Half Marathon but that's what it would be called if I was the race director.  I don't think there is a single flat street in the city of Alpine anywhere.  It sets nestled between a mountain on the East and some more mountains on the North.  It made for a beautiful run as far as scenery goes but my legs and body were screaming at me. There is still snow in the mountains and so that provided a nice lush, cool breeze to the morning run.  It really was beautiful.
Since my drive to this race was only about 20 minutes and there was no bus pick-up I finally got to sleep in a little bit on a Saturday morning.  Well....if you call 5:00 am sleeping in.  It is in comparison to the previous weeks 2 am something wake-up calls.  I drove to the start and got there a little before 6:00 am.  There were only about 8 cars in the parking lot and they were the volunteers waiting to get instructions from the RD.  I took a picture of the beautiful moon as it was going down. 
About ten minutes later my buddy Josh and his brother showed up.  We got our packets from the RD who was giving them out from the back of his vehicle.  Yep....this was a pretty small race.  Actually the inaugural for this particular one.  But I'll admit, despite the hills, everything else about this race was awesome. 
I wanted to get my body a little warmed up and told Josh to go run a little bit with me.  We ran down the street and back for about 1/2 mile.  That seemed to help.  He's game with whatever I propose, still calls me mama duck.  Our goal at first for running this half was to take our time and enjoy a casual easy run.  Then my friend Jonathon encouraged me to try for 2 hours.  Ya right!  He said it would be good training for the Top of Zion Relay coming up next month.  There was also the possibility of going for an age group award with such a small number of runners.  I decided to just go with what my body was telling me.  I just didn't know what to expect with so many hills.
We shed our stuff and stuck it in the car.  It was then I realized I forgot my ipod at home charging on the computer.  Grrrrr.........I was so frustrated.  I've run races before without music when I was pacing but when I have tunes to listen to it sure makes a difference.  I was just going to have to be sure and enjoy the scenery and maybe sing my own songs.  No music definitely meant no PR.  At the starting line I chatted with my friend Cindy and her hubby.  Doesn't she have the prettiest smile and dimples?
We lined up and the National Anthem was played.  Then about 7:03 am we were off.  There was supposed to be about 150 runners for this inaugural race but when the results came back there were actually only about 85 half marathoners.  Maybe the 5K were the remainder.  I certainly didn't run my best race.  In fact those hills were challenging and I would just have to lean into them and pump my arms to get up them. 
At mile 6 I was needing a pit stop and we got a nice treat of GU and Sport Beans.  I've never had Sports Beans but they were delicious.  Just a glorified jelly bean basically with a little caffeine in them.  Josh was back there enjoying his GU a little too much I think.  It was all over his face like a little kid licking a bowl of frosting. I couldn't stop laughing for a few moments.  Good thing I had already used the bathroom.
Races that give away free photos are pretty swell.  Along the course at different points they had a photographers taking pictures. 
Josh and I have tried doing jumping pictures before but have never been successful in being together.  Well, at last it worked!  Probably won't ever happen again.

The course was so perfectly marked (until the end).  The RD said there were 150 signs out on the course and that we shouldn't get lost.  With there only being about 85 people running the half marathon it was a very spread out crowd.  I definitely needed those signs and was grateful for a well marked course.  
Josh stayed with me until about mile 10 and he told me I could take off if I needed to.  I wanted him to hang with me and encouraged him to keep pushing.  He is running another half marathon 2 days later and wanted to be careful about being able to run that so he let me go on ahead.
As I came into the finish line area we were on a park trail and I saw a big white painted arrow on the trail turning left.  I also saw the finish line chute way down the grassy area behind the school where we started.  I was confused but thought I needed to follow the arrow.  As I got further away from the finish line and was running out to the front of the school a bunch of girls doing a car wash told me to turn around and go back.  
I think I probably lost about 5 minutes by making this wrong turn.  Good thing I wasn't trying for a PR.  I headed back and came into the finish line at 2:28:19 according to my watch.
Others had told me the course was short but all they needed to do was make my mistake and then it would have been a perfect half marathon distance.  With my .41 warm up I got 13.5 miles in for the day.  I'm trying to get 200 miles in for the month and any extra mileage I can get at races is alright with me.
As I came into the finish line the RD handed me a pair of socks.  Pretty sweet!  I had told him before the race that I had been trying to talk up his race to running friends and running facebook groups as well as the the race pacers group.  I would like to see his race grow.  He did a fabulous job with aid stations and volunteers.  The course was beautiful (despite hills)  The after race treats were delicious.  I probably ate 5 pieces of watermelon and debated a 6th, wondering how many is too many?  It was just hitting the spot so nicely.
Now after taking all these photos I've realized I wished I would have taken more of the beautiful mountains to the East and North.  All of my photos are taken showing the West and South.  Maybe I'll have to snag some from Josh when he posts.

The rest of these photos are for Josh to decide which ones he wants to keep. We like to share photos.  Go ahead Josh, copy and use.  Or maybe it's just that we are so gosh darn happy to be done and chilling out.


Josh said...

I love our photo shoot! That was a fun and challenging race! Feel free to snag whatever I have on my Facebook!

Heatherlyn said...

Once again you do a brilliant job journaling your race. You are so young-looking and beautiful. Maybe it is all the running? Maybe it just comes from inside. :)

Christy said...

I'm impressed with that elevation map. Holy cow woman! Hills are tough for me since we have none here to train on. You are inspiring!

Are you on DailyMile?

Amy @ Run Mom Run said...

Looks like a challenging, but fun race! I need to come run a race with you and Josh sometime, you guys look like a barrel of moneys. I mean laughs, you look like a barrel of laughs.