Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Salt Lake Half Marathon

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.
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!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

On my running mind...

When my mom was visiting for my sister's wedding at the end of February, we talked about her running days- a topic I like to get on with her.
I've probably shared before, but my mom was quite the track star.
When she was in high school (in the 1960s in Tucson, Arizona), her school didn't yet have a girls' track team. But when they saw her run the mile during P.E. class, they knew they had to have her.
So they asked her to join the boys' track team. 
She joined and she was good.
She said it wasn't long before a couple of boys quit because they weren't going to be beat "by a girl."
They did eventually create a girls team, so she was a bit of a woman pioneer in that aspect. :)

She ran and trained a lot.
Kind of scary, but my mom said she only weighed 98 pounds her senior year.
She is 5'7".
She said she did not try to be that skinny. She was adopted into her uncle's family (at age 5... she lost both of her parents at that age which is another story for another day and very tragic/traumatizing) and there were 10 kids altogether so they were not allowed to just eat whatever they wanted. She said she had a good breakfast (her grandmother lived with them and cooked for them), every day had a bag of chips and an apple for lunch, and a normal dinner. But they weren't allowed to have seconds of anything except vegetables. Anyway, I just can't believe she was that skinny. No wonder she was so fast!

She practiced every day after school. She was very fond of her coach. (When we were growing up, she took us to the track and the running trails at the park and taught us the running techniques that her coach had taught her). 

In high school and college, she competed in national competitions and against women from all over the world. She once beat a woman who was the national champion from her country (somewhere in Europe, I can't remember which country). She said she had no idea that woman was a national champion and that she was neck and neck with her for most of the race. She was glad she didn't know who she was, because she said she's sure she would have given up. But to her, she was just another competitor and she was going to beat her! And she did.

My mom said her greatest running moment was when she broke the 5 minute mile. I know everybody and their dog beats the 5 minute mile these days, but back then it was a bigger deal, especially for a girl! She was a little disappointed though that it was the first mile of a 2-mile race, so it never got recorded.

One other story of note that I always remember hearing as a kid was a time when a girlfriend of hers on the track team got the idea that they should tie their next race. My mom was much faster than her, but I guess for the sake of friendship she agreed to do it. She stayed with her friend the whole race, and right at the finish line, her "friend" stuck her elbow in front of my mom and pushed ahead to beat her. What a little...!! My mom said her coach was very angry at my mom for agreeing to do that.
The best part though? They took a picture of the finish and my mom has a nice, big crystal clear 8x10 (black and white of course) :) of the girl doing her nasty trick. Busted! Everybody knew what she had done.

And lastly, my mom participated in the Olympic trials for the 1968 Summer Olympics. They didn't yet have her event. I believe my mom's event was the 2 miler and they only had the mile or something like that. So she was out of her league in that race. She didn't make it to the Olympics, but she said being in the trials was an unforgettable experience.

My mom has had a very difficult life in so many ways, and I love that she had this shining moment in her life to hold onto.

The other thing I keep thinking about is a high school track invitational in St. George that Justin supervised last month. A boy from their school ran a 4-something mile and didn't even place. He was like 8th place or something. Can you even believe that?? I couldn't. I really think it was 4:36. Just crazy.

Anyway... just some things I've been thinking about lately and wanted to record!
 That's all. :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Time for truth...

The Utah Valley Marathon is just 8 weeks away and it probably seems weird that I haven't talked much about training. 
And that would be because I'm not running it.
Because at that point, I'll be 23, almost 24 weeks pregnant!
So for the two or three of you who read my running blog, you're the first to know before I announce it on Facebook and the family blog.
We decided it was now or never and so... my marathon will have to wait.
But not for long.
The Utah Valley Marathon gives you the option to defer your race entry to the following year and that's what I'm doing. I was really trying to talk Justin into running it instead of me, and he finally agreed, but it was too far into training and with his crazy job and all the yard work he's been doing lately, we decided it just wasn't an optimal situation for training for your first marathon.
The plan is for me to run the marathon next summer, just 8 months after having my 4th baby.
I'm not so convinced I can pull it off. Really, I don't think it's very realistic but I'm going to try.
Justin really thinks I can, but I kept a good log of how long it took me just to get back to normal after having Kyle and I was just up to a 10k at 6 months. Yeah...
But the good thing about this plan is that it's really motivating me to stay in shape for as long as possible and it's a major motivator to not gain too much baby weight. I just won't have any time to lose extra weight.
I've been running a lot and I'm feeling great. I'm 15, almost 16 weeks, and tomorrow I run 11 miles. I have a half marathon coming up on May 5 in Provo. You better believe I contemplated still running my full since I'm feeling so good, but I just can't... marathons are so taxing on your body. And even though lots of women are doing it these days, if something were to go wrong with the pregnancy, I would never forgive myself, sure that I caused it with all my running.
I have a new OB and she is awesome with a great attitude toward running during pregnancy. She said she's never seen running cause any problems in a pregnancy and she has had many patients who ran all the way through their 3rd trimester!
I won't be doing that, but I'm really glad that I'm feeling so good for now! It takes a while for me to get big, so I'm enjoying that while it lasts. 
I know we said Kyle was going to be our last, and yes I'm aware we will need to change the name of our family blog :), but this was the right decision for our family and we're all very excited! And in case you're wondering, I'm due October 1st.


Update- I did my long run so I wanted to record my miles for the week-
Monday: 8 miles. 9:08 pace.
Tuesday:  Off.
Wednesday: Craziest day EVER. No workout.
Thursday: 3 miles. 8:57 pace. 30 minutes of weights/resistance on arms, abs, inner thighs and butt.
Friday: 3 miler. 9:31 pace. Followed by some indoor swimming with the fam.
Saturday. 11 miles. 9:36 pace. Half of the run was uphill and that really got my pace. But I felt fantastic and so grateful that I can still run!
Week total: 25 miles.