Friday, November 29, 2013

Thankful 13 Half Marathon

Ahhhh!!!! Thanksgiving!!!! One of my favorite holidays of the year.  But to be able to enjoy all the calories I would be indulging in I wanted to run a race to cancel it all out before the damage happened.  I wanted to sign up for the Thankful 13 half marathon but hesitated because I would be hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year and I wasn't sure I could do that and run a morning race.  So, I didn't sign up.  Only about a week before the race I was still really, really, wanting to run this but refrained from signing up, especially since it was now at the full price option.  Well, one of the pace groups that I belong to had just posted that their 2:40 pacer was injured and wouldn't be running.  They asked if anyone would like the spot.  I immediately jumped on it (after chatting it over with Mark to make sure he would be ok with me being gone on Thanksgiving morning).  He was completely supportive and so I took the spot.  

I headed over to packet pick-up on Wednesday afternoon and picked up 10 packets for other running friends who asked.  Hey, it's what us runners do to help each other out, right?  The pacing group also asked up to help out if we could at packet pick-up so I offered when I got there and they told me they had things covered, but that if I wanted to head over to Lehi to the starting line area they could use help over there.  So I hopped back in the car for about a 10 minute drive down the road.  
When I got there they were just barely starting with unloading a big trailer and also hauling all kinds of stuff all over the place.  I wasn't dressed appropriately for heavy labor and so I took the job of punching holes in the tops and bottoms of these 60+ signs which would be placed all over the course.  As I read through some of the things people were thankful for that they had previously submitted I thought it was fun to recognize a few of my running buddies names, so I snatched a couple photos and sent them to them.  They were thrilled.

I ended up also helping with setting up the big blow-up starting line arch, by attaching signs all over it as it was filling with air.  I also hauled big orange cones out of a trailer, and just toted stuff to where ever the people asked me to.  I learned very quickly that setting up races is NOT a fun job and I am so glad it's something I don't do on a regular basis.  I have a whole new appreciation for Race Directors.  Did I mention it was really cold outside?    
Race morning dawned not too early, about 6:00 am for me and I got ready and headed to the starting line around 7:00 am.  Because I was subbing for the injured pacer my bib said her name, so I would be Susanne Martin for this race.  That's ok.  I was just thrilled to be running. Pacing was just an added bonus.
My good buddy Joshua was running this race as well and was hoping for a 2:40 and so planned to run with me for the entire race.  We have only done that a couple times previously, and it's always a good time when we run together.  He must have been in a baking mood because he made the most delicious batch of rice krispy treats I have ever eaten.  They were loaded with caramels, pretzels, and snickers.  What a tasty treat!  He handed a bunch of them out to his running buddies.  There goes some of my calories, and I haven't even touched Thanksgiving dinner yet.   Heck, I haven't even run yet.
Me and the bright green pacing sign I got to hold for 13.1 miles.  (Except when I had to make a pit stop and send the sign down the course with Josh and then catch up to him later) It happens.
The race would be starting at 8:00 am and the sun was coming out and I shed a couple jackets and headed over to the starting line area.  The course was beautiful and weaved through some nice residential areas, golf courses, and along the River Jordan Parkway Trail.  It was truly a perfect day for running and I was just happy to be a part of it. 
Pacing went very well, other than running a 2:40 is a bit of a struggle when I'm used to pacing 2:20 spots. I was constantly watching the time and realizing I needed to go slower.  Each mile I would be over by anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute, so I would take more walk breaks at the aid stations and then continue to try and run slower.  It all worked out in the end when I came in at 2:39:30.  These 2 gals I see often at races and I love visiting with them.  Denise and Melanie always make me smile.
YAY for treats at the finish line.  Pumpkin bundt cakes, hot chocolate and pumpkin pie.  Pretty delicious if you ask me.  Oops, there goes more of those hard earned calories.
What in the world is this photo doing here?  That's exactly what I was wondering.  Then I realized it's what Josh does if you ever hand him your camera.  He's the selfie king. Taking pictures for me to be surprised and find later.  
Josh, me and another running friend, Robert Merriman
More running friends, Becca and her hubby Nate Wood.  She actually ran for the first few miles with me and Josh but must have gotten a little spring in her step because off she went without us.  She regretted that decision later when we found her around mile 11 out of fuel and energy. I gave her a chocolate GU and on we went.  She was able to catch back up and even finished strong coming in before me.  Good job girl!
This race and course was absolutely fabulous.  I would certainly love to run it again next year.  It was the perfect way to start a Thanksgiving morning.  
 I'm loving the turkey medal!  He's a cute one.

As for things at home, I had made most of my food items the day before and had set the table the night before so that when I got home I only had a few little things to do.  Mark had put the turkey in the oven and kept tabs on that.  He did a good job and that turkey was just coming out of the oven as I got home.


Becca Jane said...

Great post, thanks again for the Gu, it saved my race! Hope to run with you again SOON!

Josh said...

Oh, man. That guy who takes all those selfies with your camera is sure annoying! ;)

Such a fun race! I am glad we ran it together and you let me run with the pace flag for a mile!

Josh said...

This made me nostalgic!