I've always wanted to run the Salt Lake Half Marathon.
But since it is so much pricier than other races, I always pick something else.
But this year, the Sunday before the race, my sister (who had bought the spot from a coworker) got shingles (shingles! what the...) and couldn't do it.
So that is how I stumbled into running the Salt Lake Half at a reduced price... which was still way more than I've ever paid for a half, but whatever.
There were five other girls from my ward running the half as well, so Friday night we all went downtown together to pick up our bibs (which was a scary experience since they were being really strict about i.d.'s... and my bib was for Pamela Hansen, age 50... but I got lucky and the kid in my line was like oh well, whatever). Whew!
Then we drove the course.
Then we drove the course.
I never want to do that again.
Isn't that dumb? Aren't you supposed to train on your course, know your course like the back of your hand and all that? I didn't like it. It seemed SO far. Call me crazy, but I love the element of surprise in not knowing your course. Maybe you just call that inexperienced, but whatever, I like it. I don't want to hold back because I know a hill is coming, I want to just give it all I've got no matter what's next.
After we drove the course we went out to a fabulous Italian restaurant called Brio and I got the best variation on spaghetti I've ever had (chicken pomodoro something or other.. had marinara on angel hair and LOADS of garlic).
We got home pretty late and I went to bed at about 11:30, a lot later than I like to on race nights.
Saturday morning I got up at 4:45 and we all drove up together. The jitters and giddy butterflies we were all having the night before had turned pretty serious. We were all ready to get it done. I found myself in a bit of a hydration pickle because I knew I had to hydrate like crazy, especially being pregnant, but that would also make me pee like crazy! I decided to still just drink a lot.
We parked our car downtown and headed to the TRAX station (you had to ride TRAX to the start at the University of Utah). I had to pee. Bad. So did one of my friends. It was still dark out and she ran across the street and peed behind a Taco Bell. She came running back and said there was a perfect spot with bushes and that was all I needed to hear. Totally peed outside a Taco Bell. So worth it.
We got on the crowded TRAX train and happened to sit next to an older man that one of our girls knew. He was talking about his recent 100-mile run and his upcoming Ironman. He had white hair and his wife was gray and they had both been racing forever and looked fantastic. I so admired them. :)
We got to the start early and I was able to pee again before the race started. Perfect.
Pretty soon the race started and I started off like I usually do, somewhat aggressive on my pace.
I don't know how fast I was going, but I do know that when I hit mile 1 and the little clock at the mile marker said "00:06:08" that it was wrong. No way were we going that fast. I figured it was more like an 8 minute pace. Mile 2 said "00:11:26" and I almost laughed. I hoped no one thought that was correct. By mile 3, they had it right and I think it said about 24 minutes. There we go!
Also, by mile 3, I realized that my legs had their work cut out for them.
A lot of running comes from your core and when your core is slowly turning into a pregnancy belly, you lose some strength. So my legs had to compensate. They actually started burning on the first mile. The rest of me felt fantastic, but feeling my legs that early in a race was a new one.
Nothing notable happened for the first half of the race. I did have to stop and pee around mile 5 or 6. Had to wait for a port-o-potty, too, which kinda stunk (hehe), but it was worth it.
I also BARELY noticed at the end of the water table that they had gels so I grabbed one and saved it until about mile 7 or 8, I think.
Right at mile 9 was when things started getting exciting. For the entire race, I kept telling myself, "It would be so cool to do it in 2 hours. Or even just under 2 hours." I thought if I got 1:59:59, I would be ecstatic, because the 1st half I ever did was 2:00:06, so if I could beat that pregnant, that would be awesome.
At mile 9, the little clock said 1:15:00.
I did some math in my head and that's when I knew it would be almost impossible for me to not finish in under 2 hours. And I knew it would be faster than 1:59, too. I was happy. Especially because I didn't feel like I was pushing THAT hard. I was pushing, that's for sure, but not to the point I usually do in races.
Right at that moment was when I saw Justin and the kids for the first time.
So much happiness all in one moment!
There is nothing greater in a race than seeing your husband and kids cheer you on.
This next photo is about mile 11 or 12. It was starting to get hot.
You can see Jarom waving to me, he was so cute. I'm kinda being blocked by the policeman here.
And no photos of the finish because it was super crowded, but I was definitely happy to be done. I found this patch of grass right outside of the finishers chute and just laid down. Also helped myself to three Creamies, which the kids were pretty stoked about. :)
And here I am showing off my 16w5d prego belly!
And here's the wrap-up.
I finished 753rd overall out of 3496 finishers, 276th out of 2132 females, and 12th in my age 50-59 female division, haha!
Chip time was 1:52:28.
I was thrilled about that because that is only 10 minutes more than my Halloween Half and this race didn't have nearly the downhill that the other one did. Plus I'm pregnant and weigh 10 lbs. more, so I couldn't have asked for a better race.
Had to drink LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of water and whatever other liquid I could get my hands on afterward (chocolate milk, gatorade, even soda)... I was so thirsty. So in my next half on May 5, I don't care how many times I have to stop and pee, I'm gonna drink a lot more along the course. I have nothing to prove to myself in that race so I'm going to take it way easier. So don't expect any sub-2 hour times on that one!