August 7th, 2011
This 1/2 Marathon was just 3 weeks after the Bryce Canyon 1/2 Marathon. And I saw a lot of people wearing the shirt, as I was too, but just while waiting to start. It was super windy and cold in Parowan. Cool, cold air is such a treat after having 80 degree mornings in Hurricane.
Pepper and I decided to sign up for this race together. It was only $35 and the pictures on their Facebook page looked awesome. And it had a 2700′ decent! Bryce only had a 1700′ decent. Parowan is 60 miles North of my house, just at the base of Brian Head. This was also a first annual race with 179 entries.
I set my alarm clock for 4:15, got ready, ate oatmeal and left for Peppers. We left at 5:am. We weren’t sure exactly how long it would take to get there, Google said 1 hr 20 minutes. The buses were leaving at 7:am and we needed to get our packets. We got there exactly at 6:am so we drove the final 3 miles of the course that led us to the fairgrounds.
We arrive and it was WINDY and a little cold. The facility was awesome at the fairgrounds, real bathrooms and everyone was nice. We put on our numbers, checked out our shirts and went back to our car. I ate a banana, then the buses showed up. We got on the last bus of 6.
We drove up the hill to Yankee Meadow Reservoir. When we drive to the start it always seems forever and I can’t believe we are going to run back down. We get out of the bus and no wind! The start is at 8:am.
The reservoir is super nice and there are people camping up there, there is a Hurd of cows mooing, people fishing and then there is a huge line for the camping bathrooms, 1- men and 1- wmn, so we decide to go get our timing chip, which is a huge thing we velcro around our ankle. The line for the (1) porta potty was also huge. So we go get in line for the semi- real bathroom. Meaning it’s just like a porta potty but bigger and maybe smells worse. lol Eventually we end up moving to the guys line because it’s shorter and we are running out of time. But we remember we have a timing chip so it shouldn’t matter what time we start right? Well wrong. Apparently, everyone starts at the same time and the chip will just tell you your finish time.
So we finally get to the start and we are in the back- literally the back of the pack. I usually like to start on row 3 or so. We start running and I barely remembered to start my watch, maybe 20 seconds late. The first couple miles are on a hard packed dirt road with hard rocks sticking up, so you have to watch your footing. A lady even fell on the side when we were all packed together, someone stopped to help her. It was really tight and narrow in the beginning. But then it opened up and everyone found their pace.
They had water stations about every 3-miles. I carry my own water so I never have to stop or slow down. Pepper and I were running together. Just after 3 miles there was a small uphill, that I really wanted to walk, but it was short and Pepper keeps me running and it was only 3 miles.
I forgot my iPod! Pepper didn’t. I know this because I was talking to myself for a while. She never heard me talking to her. lol. At about 4.5 miles I was feeling a side stitch coming on. A little worried. Then my shoelace came undone! Ahh- So I had to stop and tie it. I also slowed to try and stretch out my diaphragm, rib area, breathing better – anything to help the stitch. Pepper was way up ahead. I stopped to take one photo and to lift my arms and stretch. So after a half mile the stitch was really bad and we were on a super steep downhill. But after about exactly 1-mile of having the stitch is was just gone. I don’t get it. Well I do, I think. I think I need to practice running faster more often. And I know I’ve said that before. The course was so steep it so easy to go faster than usual.
So I finally get going good again. The first 7 miles were awesome on this small road with trees almost covering the road and a small stream following us the whole way. I loved it! Then we turned right onto the main road and I almost caught up to Pepper again. I passed this Vegas girl we met and the two Mesquite ladies. But then around mile 8 I was getting tired. Usually that happens at mile 10. I took my first walk break and ate some Gu Chomps. But that didn’t seem to help me. I was hoping to feel like I had all this extra energy hiding somewhere. But I didn’t! And it doesn’t help when I see a guy stop for a walk break either. I tried to stay with this other girl in purple shorts. Her pace was too slow for me but then I would take a walk and she would pass me. And she beat me in the end.
I looked at my watch and saw 4 miles left. That’s so easy, right? Then a 5k left! Well that was my hardest 5k ever! It flattened out at the bottom of the hill. We ran through a neighborhood and people were outside cheering. One lady yelled, “go pink socks!”. Usually, I never want to walk when I see people and I don’t want anyone to see me walk. But I was just so over it! I was soo tired. Then I thought well if I just at least run slow that is faster than my walking pace, but I still had no energy. Then we turn right and the last mile is uphill. Ugh! My slowest mile. There was no sprinting to this finish line. I did run faster at the end. I didn’t even feel like I needed a cool down. The last 3 miles was my cool down. lol. I even let a lady spray me with a hose during the last mile. That felt good. It was hot!
My pace at the bottom of the hill was 8:35 then it got slower and slower. I tried to keep it at 8:45 which was my Bryce finish. I didn’t even realize I was that close. Once I started with my walk breaks I didn’t even think about my time. And the last mile was so bad. I finished with a 9:03 pace. But that is still under two hours! With all that walking it seemed like a 3-hour race.
I finally did make it to the finish line! 1:58.44. Exactly 4 minutes slower than Bryce. (1:54.44) Pepper did awesome and finished in 1:53. WooHoo! They gave the girls a pink bandana and the guys a white one. (no medal)
We went to breakfast after at Parowan Cafe. My diet coke tasted great and eggs, hash browns and toast were good, do not order chicken fried steak. Not good. At least I didn’t get back the 1450 calories I lost on the run by eating all the steak and gravy. lol
The aftermath one day later: My quads hurt, my right calf hurts and all my back muscles hurt. Once I’m moving around I’m okay- but after sitting for two hours watching a movie it kills to get up and move! lol
So why did I not have a great new PR?? Well maybe because I raced Bryce Canyon 3 weeks ago, maybe because I started my period 1 hour before the race (TMI I know), maybe because my core fusion class on Tuesday killed my legs for three days! Or all the above. Who knows.
I can’t wait for next year to run it without stopping! =)
They need to have more bathrooms at the start and more food options, like blueberry muffins. There were only oranges and bananas. The ice cold water was so refreshing though!!! And they need to start it no later then 7:am.
Disneyland 1/2 Marathon is next! Labor Day weekend. I can’t wait! 4 weeks!! I get to see my mom and friends from my hometown of Anaheim. That will be 1/2 marathon #5 in 5 months! And don’t forget I just started running March of last year and never farther than a 5K in 2010! And now I have new pink shoes, I’m excited to go run in them tomorrow or the next day!
PS. Mike was in Delta working a Rock Crawl event. I had the neighbor, “Grandma June” come over and watch the kids from 5-8 then I had my babysitter come over from 8-1. So really the $35 race cost $70. lol The things we do just to run!!
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Posted via iPad ~ Amber