Monday, September 23, 2013

Big Cottonwood Canyon Half Marathon

Big Cottonwood Half Marathon
Race #30 of 2013

The Summer is winding down and racing season is starting to slow down.  I'm actually looking forward to some Saturdays coming up of sleeping in.  I forget how much energy these 3 am wake up calls take out of me for the rest of a Saturday after I run a race.  I'm not sure if that's due to my age or due to the energy expended and lack of sleep.  Probably a good combo of both.  

The Big Cottonwood Canyon Half Marathon was on Saturday September 14th and it was a good one.  I look so forward to the races that have a lot of sweet downhill in them and this was certainly one of them.  I got up super early and met my buddy Josh at the parking lot of Cottonwood High School.  He gave me my race packet and we headed over to board the buses.  We arrived to the starting line area with about an hour and a half before the race was to start.  We saw another running friend and visited.  

What else is there to do at a race start at 5:00 am but head to over to the portapotties and count them?? Seriously, that was quite the sight to see. So many of them!!  We (me, Josh, and Robert Merriman) decided we would count them and see if we got the same number.  Haha!! We all got a different number:  82, 83, and 84.  Anyway, it was a lot of portapotties!  Probably the most I have ever seen at any race ever in all the 3 years of running I've done. 
Since we walked the entire distance of 80 something portapotties to count them I decided to step into the last stall after counting them and was quite happy to see this. The blue tape on the rolls meant this stall hadn't been used yet.  And sure enough it was clean and nice smelling.
So now what to do but just meander through the crowd and plop down to try and stay warm and wait for the gun to go off.   The race provided us with silver blankets and so it was a sea of silver as far as the eye could see.  I Didn't get a photo but you can picture it I'm sure.  About 15 minutes before the race started we walked down the mountain road a little ways to the starting line and to throw our drop bags into the truck.  I lost Josh in the crowd and so I didn't get our traditional pre-race photo with him.  Robert was able to stay with me and so I got a photo with him here.  He runs pretty fast so I knew I wouldn't see him again untill the finish line.  
Last year as an inaugural race they had less than 1000 people.  This year it capped at 4000 for the full and half marathon.  That's a lot of running peeps. 
Uhhh....creepy girl making creepy eyes behind me.  We'll just hope it was pre-race jitters she was experiencing.
OH LOOK!!! Josh found me and just barely in time before we started running down the mountain.  That was cutting it a little close.  I'm not sure what a race would be like without his happy smiling face.

The race started and we were off.  Not much to share about the race, other than I ate kind of a big dinner the night before and so I was a little worried about how my performance would be today.  It was Porter's birthday and we still celebrate even though he lives in heaven now.  He would have been 22 and I will share about his party in another post. 
So despite having a big dinner and only 3 hours of sleep I felt alert, happy, and just thrilled to be running down a canyon road with a big cheesy grin on my face.  I ate a gu right before we started running and then got some shot blocks around mile 7?  I didn't feel the need to eat them and so I played with those little babies for the next 6 miles, molding them in my fingers and mooshing them to keep my hands busy.  
I also enjoyed listening to the crowds around me and never put my earbuds in to listen to music.  That was a strange thing for me to do for sure.  Usually at some point I tire of the chatter around me and listen to some tunes.  It never happened today.  I ran all natural as some would call it. 

As we exited the canyon around mile 9 we still had 4 miles of a somewhat flatter course to run.  This is where I had to dig deep and just keeping pushing myself forward and possibly where the lack of sleep came into play.  My garmin stats at the end of the post show how I really slowed down. I probably should have put some music in my ears.

Coming into the finish line area I checked the time and was little surprised and happy.  I ran the full marathon last year and so I didn't have a comparison of the half to go with. I can't complain at all. 
The medals are pretty sweet.   A little spinner in the middle and super heavy!  That's the way a medal should be made.
Josh ran a good race too and was only a minute or so behind me.  I found him in the crowd and we headed over to get some delicious after-race treats.  We also found Robert who ran a 1:45 ish or something.  Only in my dreams.
Chocolate milk with veggies inside??  Never heard of it before but I was quickly delighted and intrigued.  I'm not sure I would ever buy this but it made drinking chocolate milk a little less guilty feeling.
Ummmm............this is just gross.  Mr. Josh saw somebody drop a raspberry oatmeal bar on the ground after just getting it at the food booth and hated to see it go to waste.  I think he was proud of the "waste not want not saying"?
After eating our treats, picking up our drop bags, visiting a few other runners we said good bye and I headed to the car.  I was so incredibly tired and wanted to get home for a shower and hopefully a nap before I had to head to another family party.

And for your viewing entertainment, I had to do a little heading bopping and jiving to some music to keep me awake on the car ride home.  This is about as good as it gets on 3 hours of sleep, but it worked. Yeah, I decided I'm pretty much a goof after watching this but I was seriously struggling to keep my eyes open.

My Stats:

Mile 1 - 9:06
Mile 2 - 9:09
Mile 3 - 8:31
Mile 4 - 8:04
Mile 5 - 8:43
Mile 6 - 12:41 (potty break)
Mile 7 - 8:27
Mile 8 - 9:35
Mile 9 - 10:47
Mile 10 - 11:18

Mile 11 - 10:39
Mile 12 - 11:09
Mile 13 - 12:05

Mile 13.10 - :59

Half Marathon Total 2:11:19
Average Pace 10:01 min/mile

With racing season almost over and only two official races left that I'm signed up for I will probably be doing a little more of everyday life posts on the blog.  That's originally what blogging life for me was like before I found running.  Posts about birthdays, family, and random thoughts will most likely be what the future holds for this little old blog of mine.  I'm still trying to figure out my running desire as of late too.  I have been finding a lot of real joy and pleasure at the gym lately but there's not a lot to post about that.  Just lots of sweating and grunting.  Carry on my friends.


Gina Horkey said...

I can't believe how many races you've run this year; wouldn't be surprised if you're just a little burnt out and you've temporarily lost your running mojo...I'm sure it'll come back, especially if you take a little break. I love that you celebrate Preston's bday:-)

Amy @ Run Mom Run said...

Let's do a race together. Seriously.

How was the full marathon course? I might choose this as my return to marathoning in 2015. I know I said I wouldn't be back, but I think that 9 seconds told us all that it was a lie.

Renee said...

I LOVE the video, but am disappointed there was no singing! ;) Congrats on yet another awesome race! You are awesome!

Unknown said...

Awesome post!!! Love all the photos!!!

Cory Reese said...

Great race report and pictures. That definitely looks like a fun one. Congrats on yet another awesome race! #30???? Wow.

Michael said...

Hmmm...eating someone else's food bar off the ground...not sure I could have done that, but good for him if he truly didn't want to see it wasted...though I imagine the animals would have eaten it :)

Congrats on another race! Holy Cow you've done a ton this year!

Love the medal! That's really aweseome