Monday, May 16, 2016

Provo City Half Marathon 2016

Going into this race, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. 
The first race of the season is always that way.
I've lost 10 pounds or so since last year, and I've put on some muscle. I've also been doing some speed work during the off season and averaging 7:40-something miles on long runs. So I was pretty hopeful for a PR but you never know what will happen on race day. 
That's part of the fun I guess.

Justin ran this race, too, half marathon #5 for him. I love when he does races with me, it's always more fun doing those early race mornings with him!

We chatted at the top with friends and family and before long, it was time to line up. I stood by the 1:35 pacers, pretty close to the front. I like to start fast on canyon runs, and I was hoping to beat my 1:39 Halloween Half time. It was fun being that close to the front- you could just feel the adrenaline emanating from the guys right on the starting line- that nervous and hopeful look on their faces.

Here I am right before the start. I actually leap frogged with that photobomber there for the last few miles of the race, but I got him in the last mile. :) He was a pretty big dude, I was surprised how fast he was. I laughed when I saw this picture after the race, he looks pretty intense, haha. My kids think it's hilarious.

I felt great for the first portion of the race. No injuries, although I did feel heavy. I was up 5 pounds from our anniversary trip to San Diego the weekend before (and not being able to get off the gluttony train after we got home). Felt it. But I still felt pretty good. I was cruising for the first few miles, probably sub 7's. Wish I had worn my Garmin so I could see my mile splits.


I was uber focused during this race. More than usual. 
I tell myself a lot of positive affirmations during races that are super embarrassing.
I probably told myself to "leave it all on the course" 20 times. 
I thought of all the training I had done. 
I kept telling myself that later I would just be sitting around at home, and I only had one chance to do this race.
I did get a few mental breaks by thinking about my mom. It was the day before mother's day, but I always think about my mom during races.  I was thinking about how fast she was in her college days, and how proud I am of her... "Speed is in your genes," I told myself, haha. 
Wow, that is so embarrassing.

I had felt strong the whole race, but on mile 10 or 11, the 1:35 pacers passed me. I couldn't keep up with them. It was depressing. I almost walked, I felt so demoralized. And then I was like,"holy cow, get a grip. You've never walked in a half and you're not going to now." So I pressed on.

And guess what? On mile 12 or maybe 13, I caught up to those pacers. And I passed them. I was SO happy. That gave me such a pump at the end of the race! I was going to finish UNDER 1:35. I couldn't believe it!

The finish line in this course is torturous. You can see it forever. For at least a mile, maybe 2. My legs were burning so bad. And I needed a bathroom bad. I had needed a bathroom for miles. But I told myself,"you get a bathroom when you finish. The sooner you finish, the sooner you can poop." Haha. Runner problems.

As I finally closed in on the finish line, I saw the clock was just under 1:34. I pushed as hard as I could. I look SO awful in these pictures but the look on my face says it all. I was exhausted but elated. This is right when I looked up and saw the clock.

Race Stats:

Time: 1:33:56.1
Female 30-34 place: 3 out of 96 
(Yay! I placed third in my age group for the first time ever! I didn't even find out until I was home, I had to book it to my car straight from the finish line to get the kids to their sports in time... Justin picked up my 3rd place medal for me and took a picture of himself wearing it) :)
Gender place: 10 out of 400
Finish place: 51 out of 722
Pace: 7:10 mile

This pace was enough to make me consider going for Boston again, after a failed attempt in 2014. I somewhat rashly signed up for the Utah Valley Marathon, just 5 weeks after this race, to see how close I am. And maybe if all the stars align, I can just get my BQ then. I ran 16 Saturday though and it was pretty ugly, so qualifying with that little training would be pretty miraculous. BUT, running this race will give me an idea of where I am and if I can really qualify at another race this year.

I looked it up and last year you had to get 2:28 under your BQ time to actually get into the race since they had so many qualifiers register. Over 4500 people who qualified for Boston didn't get in. How crushing would that be?!  My Boston qualifying time is 3:35:00. If the same thing happened as last year, I would have to run a 8:05 marathon pace to get in. Yikes. That is fast. I can't ever imagine running a full that fast. So I'll just train hard, eat right, and hope for the best! Race day is June 11, less than a month away! Here goes!