Saturday, June 14, 2014

Utah Valley Half Marathon

June 14, 2014
Utah Valley Half Marathon

I was a little nervous about going into this race since I had just ran the Squaw Peak 50 mile mountain trail run the previous Saturday.  Blogged about it here. Mentally, I had just decided to just go do it and whatever happens, happens.

I went to the expo to pick up packets for myself and a few other friends.  I was able to also collect my trilogy medal for running 3 races with Runtastic Events.
Inside this runner's guide/magazine that was being handed out at the expo was this photo of me and Josh from the previous years race for ringing the PR bell.  It was because of this photo they took that I had earned a free entry into their race for 2014.  Yeah, totally worth it.  
I was a little surprised to find they were handing out Red Bull in the runners packets for a half marathon.  It serves a purpose though for some.  I find it very useful in ultra marathons way further into the race when energy needs to be amped up. 
The night before the race a few running friends got together for some carb loading at the Pizza Factory.  I was in heaven getting to hold a brand new little baby girl of Ty and his wife.  Oh, I just love little babies and could cuddle them all day.
A few friends from up North decided they wanted to come down and spend the night so they didn't have to get up as early and travel.  It was fun to have Becca, Josh, Christie, and Ella hang out here.
In the morning we got up early and headed off down to Provo for bus pick up.
Josh was struggling to get his timing chip on and so the mother instinct in me kicked in and I had to help him.
We got to the bus loading area and hopped on with some more friends.  I was so happy to see my friend London.  We rode the bus together to the starting line.  My other friends who stayed at my house were running the full marathon and so they had to ride different buses.
Now, imagine my surprise as we are sitting in the front seat of our bus directly behind the driver just chatting and laughing and minding our own business when all of a sudden the bus driver brakes instantly and swerves the bus and then we hear and feel a big THUMP!!  He had just hit a deer.  Wow!  Poor bambi........sigh.  It made me sad.  He pulled over and radioed his bus garage to report it, and then we went on our way. Since he was driving the route of the course we would be running, I did see poor bambi on the side of the road later.  I was hoping somebody would have removed his little body, but such wasn't the case.  
Ty and Nathan saw the whole thing!! Yikes!!  Glad I wasn't sitting where they were.
Getting off the bus we were pleased to find toasty fires to stand by.  We didn't hang out long there because the weather was actually not too bad this year.  I was very grateful for that.
I also had a little blanket I had brought to keep my legs warm and then throw into the drop bag.  We found some more runaway friends and chatted and mingled until time to start.
The gun went off and away I went.  I decided to not look at my watch and just run with all the heart and energy I had.  My body felt good and my mind was excited and ready for this challenge.
About half way down the canyon I decided to see how I was doing.  I was running a little faster than I had anticipated and then my brain started kicking into miles per minute mode and what I could accomplish on this course.  I determined around mile 10 that maybe I should try for a sub 2 half marathon, something I had only ever done once before on an all down hill course.  Could I do it?  I decided to throw it all out there and push hard and try for it.  This meant no casual running but only focused determination from this point on.  I ran my little heart out!!!
Did I do it???
According to my watch I did it with one second to spare.
I was ecstatic and thrilled!
Well..........then I went to the official results table for a print out and the actual timing was 2:00:01 GAHHHHHH.  There was a 2 second difference and I didn't make the sub 2.  So crazy!  I guess this just means I have to come back next year and try again.
I did ring the PR bell because this was definitely a new PR for me for this specific course.
Celebrations at the finish line for a lot of people who were having PR's was quite enjoyable.  
The Utah Valley marathon and half marathon is a great event!