Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Nebo Half Marathon 2014

Oh how I love this race!  Let me count the ways!!

Nebo is hands down my favorite half marathon course I've ever run.  This would be my third year in doing it and I was looking so forward to it.  September couldn't get here fast enough so I could run down this beautiful canyon.  There is nothing quite like running down a mountain road with beautiful Fall colors and pine trees and rivers to see along your way. 

I got to bed super early Friday evening, about 8:45 pm, for a wake-up alarm at 3:45 am the next morning.  I slept pretty well for a pre-race night and was feeling physically and emotionally so excited!  I got myself ready and headed to the kitchen for a banana and yogurt, and made myself a toasted PB and honey sandwich to eat about a half hour before the race started.  I also drank a little caffeine, which I usually do before races but I think I probably drank a little too much because I was a tad bit hyper on the bus.  Poor Becca and Josh, some of my running buds were trying to rest 
their eyes on the long, dark, drive up the canyon but I was just a bit too chatty and giggly!
Awwwee!  I love this girl!  She ran her heart out!

We got off the bus with just about 40 minutes to spare and stand in the port-a-potty lines and visit with all of our Runaway Friends (FB Group)  We were missing quite a few people in the photo but as you can see we were excited and ready to run!!!

Front: Jonathon Crampton, London Riding, Robert Merriman, Kathryn Massa
Back:  Cathy Twitchell, Becca Wood, Me, Vince Massa

The race started right on time at 7:00 am and my whole goal was to try and stay ahead of my pacer friend Jonathon Crampton here holding the 1:45 pacer sign.  I ran down another canyon a couple weeks ago in another race called Run Elevated that I haven't blogged about yet in 1:48 and I was soooo hoping I could do this canyon in 1:45.  I just wasn't sure though.  I had a friend tell me I could and so I was trusting and hoping.

  I ran this Nebo race the 2 previous years 1:54:35 in 2013 and 1:57:49 in 2012.  

We headed over to the starting area and chatted a bit more with friends and then we were off.  I had lined up between the 1:35 and 1:45 pacer and just took off fast.  I wasn't sure if that was smart or not but I decided to just go for it.  I wanted to run this race without looking at my garmin and just run according to what my body felt like doing.

Stride for Stride
Elbow to Elbow
Shadow by Shadow
I felt someone with me the entire 13.1 miles.
I know I had an angel helping me run this race!
Many times I even felt a little extra push and burst of energy to keep me going. 

I ran this race COMPLETELY with my heart.  I looked at my watch once around mile 6 and then decided I just didn't want to know my pace.  Somebody further along in the race was keeping the same pace as me for a few miles and said we were running slightly under a 7 minute mile and I told him shhhhh.....I didn't want to know!  I let him go on ahead so I could enjoy my peace and joy of what I was experiencing. 

This course was changed slightly from last year with an added half mile on flat ground and around a high school track.  I had stayed within reach of the 1:35 pacers for most of the race and when I got to the track I heard cheering, whistling and the excitement of the finish line and just sprinted with all the energy I had.  I passed the pacers and came in with a final time of 1:34:27.  I was so ecstatic!  

Holy Cow!  What had just happened??  I just wandered around in a daze not really believing this. I got a few high fives and hugs from many running friends who were just as shocked as me.  Does trail running really make you a faster road runner?  Well, if so give me more trails!  That's where my real love of running happens anyway.

 I enjoyed some treats of watermelon, chocolate milk, wheat bread and honey, and a Creamie.  
So delicious after a race! 

Later I checked the stats after they were hung and found this!  What??

 Ummmmm..................that's NEVER happened before, but I sure was thrilled with it.  I've never stood on a podium before!  Yikes!  So glad I didn't fall off and embarrass myself.
 I hung out for another hour or so just visiting with great friends and enjoying the runner's high that happens and lingers for me for a long time. 
 Me, Robert Merriman, Josh Hansen, Becca Wood
 Super, duper fun day and a race I will definitely return to again!

There were so many friends who got PR's today and had a phenomenal experience!  Congrats to all of them!!!


Kathee said...

I am so impressed! You looked great and obviously did awesome! I did not PR but I did better then any race I've done post foot surgery. It was a beautiful day! We should run sometime after my shift in Payson. It's getting cooler and I don't get off until 10:15 am. Of course you'll have to slow down for this old lady. ;) hugs!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Congrats on the win and the course PR! Way to finish fast!

Unknown said...

Just found and read your blog on Nebo 2014for the first time as I was searching for other stuff on google. It was so exciting to see your finish time that day Susette, I was floating all week because of your time and my long overdue PR, but yours was definitely the highlight for sure! So very proud of you!