Day 81 and 82 – Flashback Friday

Yesterday I had planned on doing a TBT about my first half marathon but a busy day in work and a chance to check out our new climbing gym got in the way. I did manage to get my carbs in though.

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And the new gym was awesome – although all the holds are so new that they were pretty rough on my hands.

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I also managed to get in my last training run – 2.1 miles at 8.55 min/miles. That’s a total of 271.8 miles for the entire training program. Except for the 13.1 miles I have to run tomorrow. I think I’m ready. Taking a complete rest day – except for icing and foam rolling. Heading to the expo after work and then ready to hit the start line at 7 AM tomorrow. Expect updates all weekend.

As I’ve mentioned a million times already, this is my second half marathon. Last May I ran the Ogden half marathon. This was pretty much the reason I got into running. After hitting the big 3-0 I set running a half marathon as one of my big goals for 2013. I had heard good things about Ogden – scenic, downhill and fast – and had a couple of friends who were thinking about running it. It was a lottery entry system but you could enter as a team (so either your friends were all in it together or you needed to find something else to do that day). The only downside was you paid $5 to register and this was not refunded if you didn’t get in (LAME!) – although they changed that for this year (D’UH!).

So my entry was confirmed in November 2012 and I started running in fits and starts until Feb 2013 when my 12 week race plan  was about to begin. Training went surprisingly well and come race day I had my A, B and reach goals. Finish under 2 hours, under 1:50 if possible and sub 1:45 if all the stars aligned.

A week before the race we got an email warning about temperatures in the 80s for race day. Hot! But you can’t trust long range forecasts because the night before the race it started to rain and did not let up until long after everyone was done.

I collected my bib on Friday night and luckily had a friend who lived near Ogden who let a couple of us spend the night. A lot of races in Utah run down canyons. And they are stunningly pretty. But they require an EARLY bus journey to get you to the start. And lots of waiting around. I was up a little before 4 AM and caught the shuttle to the start around 5AM. So that meant a little over 1 1/2 hours waiting around. They did provide a ton of portapotties and had a bunch of fires to keep warm but that is a lot of hanging around. And then there was the rain………

It was a consistent drizzle while waiting for the race to start. And then with 10 mins to go the heavens opened and did not let up. I reluctantly put my jacket in my gear check bag and headed to the start line. I was soaked through in minutes. Oh well I guess I was running this wet…………

The race itself went by pretty quick. There was a tiny hill right a the start and after that it was downhill for about 11 miles before you came into town via a trail and finished on the main street. Running wise, it felt pretty comfortable and because of the rain I didn’t bother looking at my Garmin.

But I was cold – no gloves and red hands. My shoes were squelching from about mile 5. At first I tried to run around puddles but then gave up. I was soaked to the bone and couldn’t possibly get any more wet. Because the canyon road was closed, the only spectators were the awesome volunteers at the aid stations. I wasn’t running in a large group but had a girl in front of me that I was focused on.

At mile 11 the first blip. My shoelace was undone. This has never happened to me on any training run ever. And because my hands were so cold it was actually quite difficult to retie. And even more difficult when that same lace became undone about a mile later. But I managed to make up time and catch that girl so we crossed the finish line at 1.42.01. When I saw the time I was ecstatic and a little emotional. All that time and dedication and I smashed my reach goal.

Unfortunately, that also meant that J wasn’t there to watch me cross the line. He arrived about 5 minutes after I was done. I went to get some food and then find my gear bag.

I get very cold once I stop running and this was amplified by being completely soaked. I started shivering and could not stop. On top of that the gear check was a complete clusterfuck. They had started to sort the bib numbers but most (and I mean over a thousand) were randomly piled together. We had to wade through the sea of bags hoping to pick out our own. Luckily this only took 5 minutes for me and by that time J had found me.

He immediately guided me to our car and I got changed into some warm, dry clothes. And thank God for car seat warmers! They need to be on every car. And after a hot shower I eventually warmed up.

I looked back on the race website looking for a link to the photos but apparently the company that took the photos went out of business. You can picture how I looked in your mind: Long sleeve pink top (completely wet), with my black sports bra showing through, wet hat, wet blue shorts and wet green shoes. Looking miserable. With giant red hands.

This is why I got so excited when looking at the weather forecast for tomorrow’s race. 50F and dry. Dry! Although part of me wonders whether my time was due to the overwhelming desire to get out of the rain and into some dry clothes. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

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April mileage: 60.2 miles/96.9 KM

ATWRBR mileage: 182.1 miles/293.1 KM

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