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My first race after having Skye is done and done. I’m so excited to kind of know where I’m at now and to have a better idea of what I need to work on mentally and physically for my next race.
Let’s rewind to Friday’s run first—> My four miles with 4 x 15 seconds fast (overall average pace of 8:48 for the entire run) felt like heck. I refused to let myself think that the race was going to feel like that because this same thing has happened too many times in the past. I actually have started to take a really crappy run before a race as a good sign for race day because that usually happens for me before a good race.
Skye slept for pretty much the entire ride down to Vegas on Friday so she was ready to party all night long that night. We usually just share a room with her when we travel but at about 11:30 I peaced out and went to the downstairs coach to get some sleep. Thanks to Andrew for taking over kid duty completely because he was up a good chunk of the night with her.
I got up at 3:40 a.m. and started pumping right away and then got ready for the race. Candice and her husband picked me up at 4:15 and then we drove ten minutes to the start. Then we sat in the car for a few minutes and talked until we got out and jumped in line for the buses. The line went by pretty quickly and I was excited to see that we would get the nice buses (way more comfortable than the school buses that a lot of races that I do use).
Candice and I have spent many race mornings together and I foresee MANY more to come. I love it because I don’t even have time to worry about the race with her because we are too busy talking about everything else.
I made sure to wear my good luck sweatshirt… I use this sweatshirt pretty much every race morning. I hope I never lose it because heaven forbid I use something different.
On the bus I ate a bagel from Einstein’s with jam and half of a banana. I also brought my pump on the bus and managed to pump a few more ounces. I did not want to feel full while running so that definitely helped to bring it with me in the bus. I definitely took a gamble with bringing my pump (I should have just brought a hand pump but I didn’t decide to bring a pump until that morning) but luckily it was totally okay (I have the one in this post—> it is very small for a pump) and survived the race ha. I also drank two water bottles on the bus because I woke up feeling really thirsty so I knew I needed to get in a good amount of water before I started running.
We made it to the start at about 5:30 and then got in line for the porta potty.
The sunrise was pretty gorgeous.
I applied a THICK layer of lipgloss on my lips because dry lips is the absolute worst in my opinion and then I made sure to double knot my shoes (shoes coming untied during a race = I get angry).
The race gave us these blankets and gloves to use at the start because I think it is normally much colder at the beginning of this race than it was on Saturday at the start. When I took off my jacket and blanket to drop off my bag it actually wasn’t cold at all… I felt bad for the marathoners because they started at the same time that we did but they were out in the sun for double the miles. There definitely isn’t very much shade during this race so if I do it again, a visor will be a must (along with my sunglasses).
Let’s talk about the most exciting part of the day first. My brother. PS don’t we look alike? I think we do.
This was his first half-marathon and he absolutely rocked it. His goal was to do it in 2 hours and he finished in 1:54! He has been working so hard with his training and figuring out what works best for him (gear/fuel/clothing etc). I saw him before the race and then right before the finish line and he looked SO strong. I hope he catches the racing bug because I would love to keep coaching him and seeing him do so well!
He is writing up some thoughts about his race that I’ll post tomorrow morning.
This is a photo that I took on accident but let’s just go ahead and use it. As you can tell I had a lot of lip gloss on and my eyelashes are very fake but I think I look ready for that starting line;)
We actually missed the starting gun going off because of the porta potty lines and then getting from the gear drop-off to the starting line was probably about a .25 mile walk so we were late. Once we got to the starting line it was about 6-7 minutes after the gun went off so we started then. I’ve never started a race late that I can remember so that was a little bit different than usual for me but maybe it helped me to avoid going out way too fast thinking I could keep up with the faster girls. It definitely helped me to run my own race and just focus on what effort I needed to do for me vs what everyone around me was doing.
This course is fast, especially those first few miles! At mile 2 I thought, ‘oh no… my quads are already sore.’ I felt a little out of control with my body those first few miles because I didn’t want to put on my brakes and lean back on the downhill but I also felt like my body was doing paces that they were not used to normally. Downhill running can be so tricky.
My splits looked like this: 6:42, 6:47, 6:49, 6:51, 6:53, 6:55, 6:49, 6:54, 6:56, 7:04, 7:30, 7:12, 6:41 & 5:57 pace for the last .1.
Miles 1-7: Pretty uneventful and I just tried to let my body go downhill without getting too crazy. I listened to music, tried to take in the scenery and searched for turtles. At the expo they had you sign a paper saying that you wouldn’t touch any turtles if you saw them so that made me really want to see one. The miles ticked by fast and I felt good but a little nervous that my muscles were already feeling pretty tired. I always get excited when I get to 6.55 miles on my watch because it is half-way. I tried to focus on keeping a quick cadence to avoid overstriding during the downhills. I started to feel pretty warm at around mile 6 and questioned why I wore black and sleeves.
Mile 8: We were back to main roads and that is when the headwind started which actually felt really nice and cooled me down because I started to feel hot.
Miles: 9ish-11ish (I think): There were some small uphills (that felt like I was crawling up a mountain after going down) during those 7:xx miles. I feel like I kind of pulled back mentally during those miles so I need to work on not slowing down when things get tough but overall I feel like I gave my best effort for the day. I started counting palm trees at this point when I was feeling really tired because we went down a street with a bunch of them lining the middle of the street. Usually I count steps but counting palm trees was more fun yesterday and kept me distracted. Oh and during mile 10 I wanted to quit SO bad and kept tempting myself with the idea to stop but I just kept telling myself my brain was giving up, not my body so I couldn’t quit because my body wanted to keep going.
Mile 12-end: JUST KEEP GOING… I kept thinking about the fact that I was just minutes away from seeing Andrew and the girls. Josse was at mile 12 (thanks for the picture) and she PUMPED me up big time and got me to move faster again. There is a short little u-turn type turn right before the finish line. Seeing Andrew and the girls right before the finish line was awesome. They made me feel like a rockstar ha and I love when they get to see me doing something I love to do so much.
I love doing new races but I also love doing races that I’ve already done before too. I love doing a new course because it keeps me guessing what’s next but I also love doing a race I’ve already done before because then I do know what is next and what to expect. I think I’m a little better at pacing myself when I do a course that I’ve done in the past but time goes by faster when I’m seeing a new area. So, I guess it is a win-win situation whether or not to do a new race or one I’ve already done before.
The thing that I am most proud about as far as my race went on Saturday was my fueling. I am really happy that I am figuring this out finally. I took 2 huma gels (apple cinnamon) during the race and water at every aid station along with some Powerade at 3 of the aid stations. I somehow managed to get the before mentioned Powerade everywhere from my head down to my ankles while drinking it though… I need to do a better job funneling the cup to drink it easier. Also, someone was handing out otter pops at mile 12ish which I thought was really nice. My stomach felt really good and I felt like I was able to keep up on my energy with the gels and take them easily. I took one at mile 4 and one at around mile 9.
Oh and I am also proud of my last mile being my fastest mile.
I took a tip from Deena’s book that I think is my new key to running happy and I think you should try it if you need to do this too:
When a negative word/thought popped up I tried to replace it with a more positive word as quickly as possible. The word tired became grateful, hard became challenging, quit became push etc. Taking the negative word and using something positive instead changed how I felt at the moment big time. I’m sure you already do something similar to this but those negative words we use during a run can so easily be replaced.
Also, when I was tired I kept thinking about my brother and that helped me to feel better. Thinking about how hard he was working to go the farthest he has ever gone gave me energy.
This was the most beautiful thing to see at the end after I finished. Freezing cold towels. I grabbed one of these right away!
The final results. At first my results said 1:37 because my chip didn’t work in the beginning but they can look you up on their camera to see what time you started to verify your time. They were super helpful getting it fixed for me.
You could not pay me enough money (yes, I’m being dramatic) to do a squat after this race.. my quads were spent! I’m looking forward to a week of very easy running. Brooke was pretty thrilled that they handed out cowbells for everyone
Thanks Josse for getting me moving for that last mile and I can’t wait for us to start racing together again soon.
Kim absolutely CRUSHED IT. She is such a supportive person that is constantly cheering on everyone around her.
All I wanted after the race was ice and then a banana once I got to the car. Food sounded awful but this ice tasted like heaven. The hunger came about an hour after we got home so we got some Cafe Rio:)
The race had lots of pie and pizza for everyone afterwards. My cute nephew was pretty happy about it. My brother said he wished that they had a diet mountain dew machine at the end and I agree, for some reason soda always sounds SO good after a race. A diet coke and apple fritter were my go-to race reward for many years.
Picking up my gear after the race was so easy. A volunteer near the gear check came over to me and saw my number and went to get my bag and then bring it out to me. The race was very organized and ran very smoothly. At each mile they had huge mile markers which I love because I really want to see if my Garmin is on at each mile ha.
I think Skye was happy to experience her first race and be involved in all of the excitement.
We went to the park right by the finish line so that Brooke could run around and play while we relaxed on the bench.
My sweet sister-in-law is a great cheerleader (and I want her shirt—> she got it at Target)!
Pretty sweet finisher’s medal.
If you do run this race (which I think you should if you get the chance), I would recommend a few things:
1. Train downhill. Do at least a few of your long runs downhill. I personally don’t love doing too much downhill training because I think it ups my chance of injury BUT a few runs going downhill leading up to this race would have helped me out big time. I would have understood better how my body does on the downhill and built up some downhill muscle.
2. WEAR SUNGLASSES. I almost didn’t bring mine but when Candice told me she was bringing hers, I brought mine too. For the majority of the race, the sun is right in your face. I would have died without my sunglasses and if I do it again I’ll wear a visor.
3. Train in some warm weather if you can (or on the treadmill in a hot room ha). My body was not used to 75 degrees for those last few miles after training through the winter/spring in Utah. I think if I do this race again I’ll try to run during the warmest parts of the day a bit to get used to running in warmer temps (ps I am a wuss with running in the heat so 98% of you can just disregard this information).
I can’t wait to see where I go from here. The thing I love about running the most—> seeing improvements and working towards them! Now I know where I’m at and we can build from here. PS I am VERY happy with using Mary as a coach. She has been fabulous. She called me the day before the race and gave me an excellent pep talk too, I can’t wait to keep training with her.
Thanks for reading my novel and I hope your Monday is an amazing one!
Do you prefer new to you race courses or the ones that you’ve already done before?
What usually sounds best to you (food/drink) after a race?
What was the best part of your weekend?
What is one of the most annoying things that has happened to you during a race?
-For my first marathon I put my lip gloss in my sports bra (terrible idea) and the chafing that occurred because of that was terrible. I also get really annoyed when my shoes come untied during a race, my lips are chapped or when I get sticky Gatorade/Powerade all over my hands.