Utah Valley 1/2 Marathon recap (aka - blogging for sanity)

I'm feeling agitated today.  I'm in a "I ran big race yesterday, NOW WHAT?" kind of mood. It's my typically post race day mood but I never remember it's going to hit till it HITS!   

Yesterday I ran the Utah Valley 1/2 Marathon.  I had originally planned to run the full marathon but I haven't had time to train up to 26.2 miles. I figured it was better to crush the 1/2 Marathon rather than die trying to finish the  full Marathon. 

Jadon ran the Marathon and  even set a P.R. but he's not in the "NOW WHAT?"  mood.  He's hobbling around the house with sore legs, but fully enjoying the fact that today is a rest day.  I on the other hand feel sore, restless, irritated and lacking a goal.  I thrive on goals so this in not my favorite state to be in. 

However since it's part of the whole process I'm trying to take a chill pill and not stress about anything.  So in an attempt to do that I'm going to distract myself by reliving the race day. 

All the race excitement started Friday night at the race expo.  We went to pick up our bags and look for bargains. 

at the expo with my swag bag

just a few "warn-up" shots

I promise this is not my REAL running form.  It's just as hard to "run" for real for a picture as it is to "smile" for real for a picture.

The 2 best things about the expo were meeting one of the creators of Altras and watching the VitaMix demo.  I've been running in my Altras for about 2 months and I'm convinced they are the most brilliantly designed shoes out there.  Running in them has completely eliminated my IT band issues, perfected my running form and even made me faster.  Oh, and did I mention that I feel like I'm wearing slippers when I wear them?  Ya that's just one more PLUS. So Jadon and I got a chance to chat it up with Jeremy (co-Altra creator) about what how awesome the shoes are. 

Then we went on over to watch the VitaMix demo.  Since doing the "Clean Program" I've been dreaming about owning my very own VitaMix.  So I ooed and awed at the amazing demo and of coursed entered the raffle to win a free VitaMix.

The rest of Friday was spent doing race-prep.  We drove the route from our Motel to the busing location so that everything would go smoothly on race day.  We pinned our bib#'s on our shirts, laid out all our race day clothing, set alarms for 2:45 a.m. decided exactly what time we would eat breakfast (is it still breakfast if you eat it at 3:30 a.m? or does it then become a night time snack?)  After some intense race-prep we decided to go walk around the mall to loosen up our legs from a day of traveling.

 I haven't been to a mall in a long time and I have forgotten how much I hate customer service people asking me if I need help finding anything.  After going into 3 stores and promptly being greeted by a high school aged kid asking if they could help me find something I decided I was done with the mall.  All I wanted to do was browse but everywhere I went I felt like I was being stalked. In one store after tell the guy that I was just looking, he still stood there and watched me as I "browsed"...AWKWARD! 

So 45 minutes of mall time was my max and Jadon and I headed back to the motel to go to bed early.

Saturday morning still came way to soon.  I was in the shower by 2:50 a.m. wondering why on earth I ever decided to run races.  My 3:30 I was slurping back my Bolthouse Juice with Rice Protein.  At 3:45 we left the motel (hoping we hadn't forgotten anything) and I drove Jadon to busing location.  After a quick and a bit sad goodbye  (this is the 1st time we've haven't run together) I hurried to my busing location. 

I was half way up Provo Canyon standing outside in the chilly morning air with almost 2,000 other runners by 4:50 a.m.  The buses dropped the runners off about 1 mile up from the race start.  So I made my way down to the starting line, stopping to at every Porty potty line as I went.  By 5:30 I was at the race start, and I had made 4 restroom stops.  If you're not a runner, I'm sure you are thinking that I have ISSUES.  If you are a runner, you completely "get-it" and you do the same thing.

I wore old clothes over my tank top and CWX tights, so I yanked then off, retied my shoes for the 10th time and got ready to race.  The gun went off promptly at 6:00 a.m. and I took off down the canyon. My feet were numb from standing outside in the cold for an hour, and so I spent the first 2 miles debating in my mind if they were really numb from the cold or if I should stop and loosen my shoes.  By mile 3 I could feel my feet again and I started thinking about other things.  When you run a lot of races you start noticing trends. 

One trend that irks me is when runners wear their race t-shirt to race in.  The way I look at it, you haven't earned the right to wear a shirt that says, "Utah Vally Marathon" on it until you've actually completed the race.  But far too many people don't seem to see a problem with it.  So there they go racing down the canyon advertising the very race they are running in.  Another trend is the token shirtless man.  This man has been doing P90X for the past 3 months and tanning just in order to run "shirt-less" in his upcoming race.  He doesn't care if the temps are boarding on freezing, he's going to show off the physique he's worked so hard for.  Most big races also have a group of high school boys from the cross country team.   They always run together and you notice them because they smell like a locker room.  The wonder of these adolescent boys is that they look and smell like they've already run 2 races before the race even starts.  TIP - try and stay upwind from these boys. 

Those are a few of the things I was thinking about during the first 6 miles of the race.  I was also taking in the beautiful scenery of the canyon, blasting a little hip-hop into my eardrums, contemplating the beauty of my stride (due to the Altras), eating fruit chews (the only thing that doesn't make me sick when I run), drinking water as needed from my "Audrey-sized-hand" water-bottle & checking the Garmin to see how fast I was going.  The first 10 miles I ranged between a 6:41 pace and a 7:14 pace, my average was 6:54. 

There was one guy who I kept passing on the downhills and then being passed by on the uphills.  Around mile 6 he pulled up next to me and commented that I was keeping a good pace.  I thanked him and told him, "so was he".  Our pace was identical so I figured I might as well chat with him to help the miles pass.  We talked about PR's, training, running injuries, races, cross-training, and all the other "runner-talk".  It really helped the next 4 miles to fly by.  I think we were both relieved to have someone to talk to for a little bit.  I know, I for one was majorly missing running next to Jadon like I'm used to, & so having a guy to talk to made everything seem a bit more normal. 

At mile 11 the whole race changes.  You're finally out of the Canyon and the race course heads UPHILL into Provo.  It's not a huge hill but after running primarily downhill for 10 miles, it feels like a mountain.  My running-partner of 4 miles decided to pull ahead and at the same time I quickly lost steam.  My legs started to feel like lead, my calves cramped and I just couldn't keep that 6:54 pace any longer.  I slowed to an 8 minutes pace and just attempted to endure the last 3.1 miles. 

I kept telling myself I only had a 5K left to run, but that still seemed too far.  I also ran out of water and so I stopped for the first time at an aid station at mile 11 to fill my water bottle.  I didn't want to completely stop (for fear I wouldn't start again) so I filled it on the run and hastily twisted the cap on.  I ran no more than 10 steps past the aid station and all the water sloshed out and all down my left side.  I hadn't screwed the lid on - oops. I wasn't about to take the extra 10 steps back to refill, so I plodded on to the finish, thirsty and wet. 

During the entire race up to this point I had only seen one other girl and I passed her at mile 3.  I was feeling good, like I might place...etc.  - all that good stuff.  Well as I slowed down all that went out the window.  4 girls passed me within the last 2 miles :-(  BOO!  Oh well, you win some you lose some. 

Finally, those last 3 painful miles came to an end and I crossed the finish line. 

13.1 miles - 1:35:26
6th place in my age division (out of 282 runners)
71st overall (out of 1,949 runners)
19th female overall

I felt good about those results, even if I did crash and burn those last 3 miles.  It's good in a way because looking back I know what to change so that I don't bonk at mile 11 next time. 

After cooling down and drinking some water I took a shuttle back to the motel so I could shower before heading back to the finish line to watch Jadon cross. 

Let me just make a note here: The guy who drove the shuttle back to where I had parked that morning was one of a kind.  He did many strange things, not worth writing 2 more paragraphs about, but still worth noting.  One of the most ridiculous was raising and lowering his seat the whole time he drove.  Honestly it almost made me sea-sick to watch.  I wished Jadon was with me SO BAD, so that I had someone to laugh at him with. 

Ok, onto the best part - I made it back to the finish line just in time to see Jadon finish the Marathon in 3 hours and 35 minutes, now that's HAULIN'.  I was SO PROUD OF HIM!!!!

Jadon - racing to the finish line

you're allowed to look like this after tearing through 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 35 minutes
Jadon and I had so much to catch up on after the race.  I had to hear every detail of his race and he had to hear all about mine.  We got all caught up during lunch at PF Changs.  I'm telling you egg drop soup  is the perfect post race food.  It tasted amazing! My stomach is queasy after running hard, but a huge bowl of that fixed it all. 

Now that I've relived all the race I'm feeling less irritable and restless, it's time to check the calendar for my next race and make a running plan.   


  1. Wow, ya'll are amazing with this running business. Not sure I will EVER get to anywhere near that point but it's good to see what's possible! (if you're young & in good shape... )


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