First race of the season done and done! I’m excited to know where I’m at and now know how I can work to get stronger for the next one. I will say this race completely trashed my legs. It was good for me though. It got me out of my comfort zone by running a race that I knew was going to be really difficult and pushing it.
According to my Garmin we climbed 764 ft in just the first 4.5 miles. It felt like a never ending hill/mountain (plus there was a headwind for those miles). It took some willpower to not just call it a day when I first saw Andrew at mile 5 but I didn’t so I’ve got to be proud of that.
PS WARNING… I have a blister picture at the very end of the post so scroll quickly over that if you don’t want to see it.
We stayed at Andrew’s parent’s house Friday night because they watched the kids while we went to a concert and then put them to bed there. I fell asleep that night around 12:02 a.m. and slept until 6:28 when my alarm went off. I had all of my gear out and ready so we could leave by 6:45!
I ate a bagel first thing along with a little bit of juice and loads of waters. I decided to try this race without any of my supplements that I usually take to see if it really does make a difference (normally I take caffeine and beta alanine or sports legs)… and my findings report that I do think they make a difference but that could be also the fact that this course was pretty difficult for me.
I also had this about 30 minutes before the race started and it was delicious. Stomach problems avoided —> always a happy thing.
We picked up Josse and her sister where the finish line was and drove to the starting line together. Photo bomber;)
It was bright outside and I had my normal sunglasses on but then decided the bright/crazy ones that Brooks gave me a few weekends ago would be better for the race. They actually worked really well.
Thank you Andrew for being our chauffeur and stopping to see me at least 5 times along the course. We were also able to stay in the car until about 6 minutes before the gun went off. It was in the 30s so this was nice because I knew I would warm up really fast once I started running. I cannot stand being hot while I run so I was by far the most undressed one there but I was very happy with how I felt temperature wise in shorts and a tank. I had a biker ask me along the way if I was freezing, nope.. it was perfect.
Also, I was worried there was going to be snow at the starting line so I was very happy to see everything cleared.
Waiting at the starting line for everything to get started!
I also attempted a jumping picture before we went. Progress over perfection is my motto in life.
The race was small and had about 400 runners total between the 10 miler and half-marathon. The roads weren’t closed off so we all just ran on the shoulder but felt incredibly safe the entire time. There were few cars and police officers all over the place making sure that we had plenty of room and guiding any cars away from us that were up there driving.
I knew the first few miles were really going to test me and they did.
Mile 1- 7:39 196 ft elevation gain
Mile 2- 8:39 255 ft elevation gain
Mile 3- 7:15 56 ft elevation gain
Mile 4- 8:11 203 ft elevation gain
Mile 5- 6:53 54 ft elevation gain (and at .5 miles we started going DOWN).
At mile 4.5 we reached 6254 ft. We were HIGH after all of that climbing.
Total of 764 ft of climbing in that first 4.5 miles. My legs were shot at that point but I just kept reminding myself that I wasn’t alone with that, everyone else running felt the same hills. At that point I just started congratulating my winter treadmill/flat surface running legs for surviving those miles. I’ve found that being your own biggest cheerleader during a race is the key to a happy race for me.
I attempted to throw my gloves to Andrew at this point because there was no need for them anymore, I was sweating a lot.
At this point we went down a lot. A ton. With some small rollers thrown in too. My goal was to make up for the lost time during miles 1-4.5 and just try to find a steady groove. The steady groove didn’t really ever come just because my legs were feeling so tired. Also, something I didn’t mention but this last week I was on antibiotics for something (my doctor said I was more than okay to keep running and to race this weekend) but I did feel some depletion/felt flat from the antibiotics but that is okay… life has never been one to plan around our running schedules right (like how I always seem to start my period the morning of a marathon;)
The canyon was stunning and miles 6-the finish line looked like this—> ranged from a 6:23 (really pushing it on a downhill to make up for previous miles) to a 6:45 (my last mile). We also had a really nice tailwind on the downs which felt heavenly. I had some shot bloks (going back to my roots yesterday… what I started out with in the very beginning) at mile 6 and water at most of the water stations. I even poured a cup of water on myself at one point because 54 degrees felt hot to me for a second ha. Summer is going to be a wake up call;)
The beautiful finish line:) I finished in 1:31:13 (6:58 average)! I was REALLY hoping/dreaming/wishing/crossing all of my fingers for under 1:30 but once I finished I was really happy with how I did. It was a tough course for me and a great one to start out again. My next half in May is a much easier course so with some more work and training I’m excited to see how it goes.
I was exhausted by the end of this race, exhausted. It was hard but fun at the same time. I wanted to stay in the moment but there were hills where I was craving the finish line badly. There were times I wanted to quit and times I felt like I could hold the pace forever and could not believe the beauty of the canyon. The mind games going on during a race are something else but I keep on doing these races because I love proving the ‘quitting voice’ wrong. I love digging into the pain and seeing how long I can last with it. Running is a strange thing that we do and I don’t see me stopping doing this until I’m 90.
I had a nice runner’s cough once I finished (anyone else get those after a hard workout or race? I swear the second I stop, I start coughing uncontrollably for about 2 minutes… it happens every race so if you ever see me at a race and wonder why I am secluding myself at the finish line, that is why:).
I listened to music the entire time, tried not to look up on the uphill (because it scared me) and tried to cruise down the downhills. I love small races because it is so easy to get in and out of the race. Andrew was parked about .1 mile from the finish line which made my tired running legs happy.
They had some awesome juice at the finish line.
And an AMAZING breakfast from Ruth’s Diner (a famous diner in Utah)! Biscuits and gravy, eggs and bacon. Probably the most elaborate/homemade feeling post-race meal I’ve ever seen at a race!
I might always be really hot during a race but I’m usually really cold afterwards. Jacket in the car for the win.
I had a negative experience with my socks though. i really don’t know what I was thinking. It was one of those moments where you question where your brain was. I definitely wore the wrong kind of socks… I thought my feet were going to be cold (which they definitely wouldn’t have been… which I realized once I got there) so I wore some thick cotton socks that I wear on my shorter runs in the winter. Not a pair that I wear with my hyperions… lesson learned. They tore my feet apart. This is just the back of my foot, the bottoms and even the tops are much worse… I think the uphill/downhill combination really exaggerated my poor sock decision.
You live and you learn… each race I learn something new.
Overall, it was a really great race. I made some awesome deposits into my running bank account and learned some new things… excited for the next race!
Yesterday was spent making sure to refuel properly:)
My Race Playlist Yesterday (very similar to some of my previous race playlists but these are my favorite running songs:)
24K Magic by Bruno Mars (MY FAVORITE)
Who had a race this weekend? I want to hear all about it!
What have you been eating during your races lately?
What was the best part of your weekend? Have any APRIL GOALS… what about APRIL RACES!!!
Best food that you have seen at the finish line of a race?