Friday, July 26, 2013

Deseret News Half Marathon

A half marathon on a Wednesday??  Who does that?  I'll tell you who does that, Utah.  July 24th, 1847 was the day the pioneers came into the Salt Lake valley and declared "This is the Place".  So we Utahns celebrate that day each year with a big "Days of '47" parade and fireworks, and running.  The Deseret News Marathon has been a long standing tradition in Utah.

First run in 1970, the Deseret News Marathon is the oldest road race in Utah and the oldest marathon west of the continental divide. The marathon follows the path that the Utah pioneers followed when they first entered the valley. The race is truly a part of Utah’s heritage and history!
The race takes place on Pioneer Day every year. The Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k routes all join the Days of 47 Parade route as they turn onto 200 East. Once runners join the parade route they will be greeted by over 100,000 cheering Utahns. Running down the parade route is a running experience that can not be duplicated anywhere, so be sure to celebrate Pioneer Day with us this year!

Going into this race from the very beginning I had no idea what to expect.  Having been sick all weekend, I finally got myself some antibiotics and tried to get better fast.  By Wednesday I had been on them for almost 3 days and I was feeling somewhat ready to run.  I was determined that even if I had to walk the whole course I was going to do this thing.

Last Friday, due to being too sick to get off the bed and pillow, I missed my very first race after embarking on this running journey 2 1/2 years ago.  I was so sad but also was so sick I didn't even care at that point.   So now, 5 days later and I was bound and determined I wasn't going to miss another run.

I got up at 2:20 am.  Ewww....that's the worst part of racing.  Got ready and headed to Salt Lake City where I parked at Rice Eccles Stadium and hopped on the bus at 4:00 am.  I met up with my buddy Josh and a friend of his from college.
We took a few photos on the bus in the pitch black darkness, trying to prepare ourselves for the blinding flash by squinting.
Check out Josh's moustache.  He's not sure what he's trying to prove.  It's definitely a new look for him.
I like the girls in the very back of the bus doing a little photobomb action.
My friends Monnica and Cory.  They run a lot of races and it was fun to see them so early on a Wednesday morning.  They were both shooting for a sub-2 today and would probably do it.  They are speedy.
This lady, Joanni Richardson, also runs a lot of races and is a fast little lady.  She usually places in her age group.

After the bus ride to the starting line up Emigration Canyon we meandered around for almost an hour and a half waiting for 6:00 am.  We visited the pacer group pacing today's race.  I did a little warm up running and after dropping off my drop bag and making a final pit stop it was about time to start.

This course is a pretty nice downhill run and I was anxious and ready to get started.  I had no idea though I would be this ready.  My splits were a little fast. You can see by my first mile I was a bit anxious to get going.

Mile 1 - 8:27
Mile 2 - 9:20
Mile 3 - 9:31
Mile 4 - 9:49
Mile 5 - 13:40
Mile 6 - 9:45
Mile 7 - 10:22
Mile 8 - 17:14
Mile 9 - 9:43
Mile 10 - 11:19

Mile 11 - 10:38
Mile 12 - 10:35
Mile 13 - 11:18

Mile .33 - 3:14
Half Marathon Total 2:24:59
Average Pace 10:53/mi

Mile two I slowed up a little bit and each mile after.  Then mile 5 and mile 8 were two very necessary bathroom breaks.  I was so frustrated waiting in lines but what's a person going to do?? From then on it just seemed to go South from there.  I think my energy was zapped even as I was trying to give it my all.  Around mile 11 we entered the parade route where thousands of people were lining the streets waiting for the parade to start.  I took my ear buds out and put my music away so I could hear the spectators cheering and rooting us on.  It really is a nice boost to have people there giving some moral support.  With about a mile and 1/2 left to run I noticed somebody that kept leap-frogging with me.  We were trying to cheer each other on but he was clearly struggling with knee issues and I was clearly struggling with lack of energy.  After the continual back and forth of passing each other he said to me "Let's do this thing, let's race to the end".  I wasn't sure I had it in me but his comment gave me just the little push I needed to get me to the end and so we took off running together.  What a nice guy.  I could tell he let me win.
I crossed the finish line at 2:24:59 after the results were posted.  Definitely one of my slower races but I honestly was just happy to be out there feeling almost back to normal.  I'm sure hoping to be soon.
A nice chunk of medal, to throw in the cupboard with my other medals.  I seriously need to get my hubby to build me a display thing to hang them on.
Kneaders french toast and syrup is absolutely delicious, especially after a run.  After eating and visiting a few more people we headed to the bus pick up area.  This is the first time I had to ride a bus to the starting line and back to my car. 
I seriously love all the facial expressions of people on the bus.  I think I need to learn how to be a photo bomber.
Seriously Josh?  I know he is proud of his stache!

Great race, great day, great fun!  I will definitely run this race again and will look forward to hopefully less potty breaks next year and hopefully no flu bugs.  All I need now is a nice warm shower and a bed.