Vigor Half-Marathon Race Recap!

(Shoesbratankshorts, arm sleeves and gloves that I used for the first 6 miles)

I just HAVE to start this post by saying that this course included 3,000 ft of DOWN.  There were some flats and a few of the tiniest ups. It doesn’t get more downhill than this but I am beyond happy with how the race went!

PS this post was written on my phone in the car on our way down to St. George, ha.

Lauren and I decided to stay the night right at the starting line of the race. The busses for this race were leaving at 4:30 am which meant we would have been leaving our houses at 3:30 to get there in time. A 5 am alarm clock at the hotel felt much better than a 3 am alarm clock at home. I ate two rolls and drank some water and Gatorade before jumping in the shower. I love showering before a race because it wakes me up!

We felt like we were at summer camp with where we were staying. Both of our husbands stayed at home with the kids so we could go and do this and because the race started so early, we did not want them to have to wake up kids early to be there!


I took one gel with caffeine right before we started the race, another with caffeine at mile 5 and my last gel at mile 9. I have never taken a gel while running in the 5:XX pace so that felt really difficult but other than that, I’m shocked over how much I love these gels. They feel like magic.

Lauren and I did a one mile warm-up before going to the bathroom once more and going to the starting line. TMI I was on the last day of my period (yay for hormones that are at their best place for high intensity activities) but my GI is always messed up during my period so I took my first Imodium ever about 30 minutes before starting. It kept me from having to stop during the race! I was so grateful.

The race started off right at six. There was one man (that beat me by about 50 seconds) that went out ahead of us and three of us girls that stuck together for the first 5-6 miles (I wish I could remember better exact details)! The first few miles felt very hard but then my body started to understand I wasn’t going to slow down so it just needed to get used to going that pace. I wanted to be stubborn.

This canyon is so incredibly gorgeous. I kept seeing waterfalls, the river and breathtaking mountains. I wanted to take out my phone to get pictures but didn’t have the energy, ha.

At around mile 7 I pulled ahead a bit and was able to hold my first place until the end.

These shoes are magic.

At one point I was thinking there was ZERO chance I would be able to keep my place or my pace. I chose to stop those thoughts immediately and focus on the moment. That helped me to speed back up again and feel positive. All I could control was the NOW and the best way to do well in the moment is to focus on doing your best then, not wasting time thinking about what will happen in the future.

The last mile has a lot of turns on a smaller running path because you are out of the canyon. It tested my mental game. I didn’t really know where I was or where the finish line was but they did a great job marking everything. I loved being able to hear the music as I got closer to the finish line.

I had my watch set to show my lap pace and not my overall time so I was pretty shocked to see a 1:12 on the clock as I got close to the finish line.

I set a new course record for the women!

My splits were: 5:34, 5:41, 5:48, 5:39, 5:46, 5:29, 5:15, 5:21, 5:28, 5:18, 5:33, 5:39, 5:55.

As soon as I finished, I laid down on the grass because I was feeling very dizzy. After about 30 seconds, I felt better and called Andrew!


I was able to see Lauren finish (1:14!!!) and she looked so strong. I have had the best time training with her. She is so supportive and lifts everyone up around her.

We hung around the finish line for awhile chatting with friends, getting our awards and then we did a one mile cool-down. We went back to our hotel and used the sauna which felt amazing and helped my purple lips return to normal!

Now for some tangents about everything:

*Lauren stretching before we started!

*For the last mile, I kept repeating in my head, ”I CAN.” I said ‘I’ when my left foot hit the ground and ’can’ when my right foot hit the ground. It was so helpful and kept me from quitting when I wanted to so bad.

*My glutes were by far the most tired on my body which was surprising because I thought it would be my quads.

*I really let myself fall forward into the pace. I didn’t want to ’break’ going down the hills and instead lean forward. I pushed my hips forward to engage my glutes (maybe that is why they were so sore) and make my feet have to keep up with my hips.

*At around mile 10, there was one of those digital speed limit signs and it said ‘11 mph’ as I was passing which made me smile!

*Any flats or tiny uphills (very few) felt like Everest after all of the downhill!

*I’m so excited to keep working with my new coach (running friend). Before the race, his advice was to, ”Run fast in the beginning, fast in the middle and fast in the end.” I did my best to follow that advice.

*I’ve taken 13 days completely off since Boston 4 weeks ago. I think my body was very happy with so much down time.

*In the last few miles I kept reminding myself that I will not die from the pain, I can cope with being uncomfortable until the finish line.

*I cannot believe what strength training/Peloton has done for my running. I feel like a different human.

*Before the race, Lauren and I were talking about how we all are nervous and fearful before races, we just have to learn how to properly deal with those feelings! We can learn how to turn those nerves into excitement and let it fuel us rather than bring us down.

*I realized at the end that I only grabbed water at one of the aid stations. It felt too fast to be grabbing water often but I would have been in big trouble if it had been any warmer out!

*Now to train towards paces closer to these on a flat course.

*I foam rolled and stretched all weekend. I’m going to really listen to my body because I’ve put it through a lot the last month!

*I loved the little charm they gave me for my medal!

*I drove back home and everyone was outside playing and then we packed up the car for a mini St. George trip!

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What was the best part of your weekend?

What is the most downhill course you’ve ever done? Any interest in doing a downhill race?

Q from Andrew—> Do you have any rituals or things you always do before a race?

-I always shower!

When do schools get out where you are living?

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42 comments

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Congratulations on the win!!!! Revel in it, you earned it!!

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Amazing!!! That’s so blazing fast & for that many miles! Huge congratulations on that race!!!

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Congrats! Sounds like an amazing course and I am so excited for you that you set a course record and PR! That medal charm is so cool. How do you display/store your medals?

Schools get out in about a month where I live, but I homeschool and we are pretty much just doing read aloud and outdoor play and nature walks at this point!

Happy Monday!

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Congrats on the win and course record for women! That’s so cool!

I had a huge PR in my half this weekend. I ran a 1:40:43, almost 3 minutes faster than my previous best! I was so excited! I ran in the endorphin speed 2’s for the first time and I loved them!!

Happy Monday! Hope the glutes are feeling a little better today!

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RACHEL!! HUGE HUGE HUGE CONGRATS!! I am so happy for you, happy recovering from your amazing half!

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CONGRATULATIONS!!! That is such a fast race! I love the medal (the running figure on the medal is obviously what you looked like, running that fast) and the charm.
I’m looking forward to hearing about your time in St. George- your pictures from that are are always so beautiful.
And, our kids have two more weeks of school, and then done for the summer!

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What an amazing time!! And I don’t care if people say downhill races are easy- that pace is still AMAZING and it’s hard to run that much downhill at that fast of a pace! You’re amazing :)

Best part of my weekend was a cocktail party my book club had! Everyone brought a drink that was inspired by an author or a book- I took the easy route and did one from Harry Potter. One girl did 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea(gram) (seagram’s is a brand of gin so it was a cute play on words). She added swedish fish and decorated her cups with fish stickers so it look like it was under the sea! It was so clever.

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Good morning Janae!
Phewwww…..those splits are insane! Congratulations, what a race! Downhills are my jam so I now want to do this race. Aside from the downhill at Pikes Peak, I really enjoyed Steamboat Springs marathon for its rolling downhills. I also love races that blast the music at the end and you can hear it far away…it gives me that extra bit to push through.
Q from Andrew—> Do you have any rituals or things you always do before a race?
These days it is meditate and pray, however your question gave me a high school x-country race ritual that my best friend and I always did…have brownies and milk. Pretty sure I couldn’t get away with that these days :-)
When do schools get out where you are living?-good question but judging by the amount of kids on the sea wall in front of my place every day I think some may be out now?
So glad to see you are feeling better and finding some soft foods to fuel your flames!
Have a great day!

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Congrats that’s an amazing race! Especially considering you were down for the count a few days with your gum graft. The best part of my weekend was probably the little block party my friend and I went to on Saturday. A restaurant group put it on and even with the rain it was super fun! Bonus points for a bunch of delicious food trucks because I smelled the BBQ one about 2 blocks away as I was walking and knew I had to have it

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That is an amazing time!!!! I am truly in awe of you downhill racers. I imagine I would just trip and roll right down ?. Maybe someday I’ll have to come try one!
Also the charm is super cute.
I always shower too. It warms me up! Showering and panicking are my rituals.
Have a great week with lots of wanted rest! ?

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Good morning, Janae! HOLY COW!!! What a race you had – CONGRATULATIONS!!
Best parts of the weekend were two gatherings with different groups of friends. It made for a full weekend, but a nice one :o)
I’ve never done a race that was significantly downhill and it doesn’t interest me either. I really like varied terrain! There is a local half I’ve done that is a net downhill, but the grade difference is so small, you don’t even notice it LOL.
I’m not someone who lays out my clothes the night before for work/everyday life, but for races – ALWAYS. The other thing is a specific pair of tiny dragonfly earrings that my mother gave me years ago as a gift. I’m not exactly sure how they became my “official” race earrings, but they did.
Grade schools get out around the third week of June in this area. The local college is starting exams now, but they don’t actually graduate until early June. I miss having mandatory summer vacations!!! Have an awesome start to your week, Janae!

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Amazing Janae! Congrats on a win and a course record. You are such an inspiration!

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You are an inspiration! Congratulations on such an amazing race – you ROCK!

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Congrats! It’s so awesome to see you really coming into your own with running. Way to go!

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Congrats!!
How much does this make you think you can obtain the new marathon OTQ?!!
A few of your race comments made me think of The Office. When they run past the speed sign and then Pam’s 5K race plan of running fast in the beginning, middle and end. Did you eat fettuccini Alfredo for breakfast is the real question though!
Best part of my weekend was my husband coming home from Belgian-with lots of chocolates and speculoos in hand!

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Amazing!!! You flew down that mountain. And a new course PR to! Congratulations!!
I would love to try a downhill race. I’ve done a half marathon that was mostly uphill until the last couple of miles, and I hated that, it was so hard. I know running downhill for that long is hard too, but I would love to try.
Keep foam rolling and have a great Monday!!

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Wooooot! Congratulations! You are amazing! You set a new record after a surgery?! I hope you have a blast relaxing in St George!

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Way to go on the half!!! The cabin you stayed in looks so cute!

A downhill race sounds fun, but I am sure it hurts more than I think it does. Also, a side note. I have had many friends run a half marathon 3-4 weeks post marathon and they have PR’d. I might have to try out this madness sometime;-)

This weekend, I ran 10 miles on Saturday and 20 on Sunday and feel fabulous! I ran way too many years under-fueling my long runs. I also cheered on a friend who ran her 1st marathon and she rocked it!

School here is done the Wednesday after Memorial Day, but I am done the Friday before because preschool ends a few days early.

Have a fabulous Monday Janae and rest up those legs!

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You are amazing !!! I am so impressed that you took 8 minutes off your already insane pb.!! I have friends who run 1:2xxxx and they have told me how hard sometimes it is to shave seconds let alone a minutes off so wow!!

My weekend was full of running..long trail run with group Saturday.. a shorter run Sunday and then on the couch and bed the rest of Sunday lol.

Have a great Monday and enjoy your well deserved recovery!!

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Oh and onemore thing..I hurt thinking about how fast you ran lol. Amazing!! Congrats !!!!

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OMG, you got dizzy? I got dizzy just reading your split times, lol!! Fabulous job for both you and Lauren.

The only ritual I had before races (when I was competitive in my age group) was to get ridiculously nervous prior to the race! :)

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Congratulations on an amazing race!! I love reading about your mental practices. So grateful that you share them with us!

Today is my oldest’s LAST DAY of high school. I think she was in 3rd grade (?) when I found your blog. And today she’s *meeting me* at Panera for a celebratory lunch.

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Hi Janae! Congratulations!!!! That’s an awesome win and I think you’re too humble about it!
Your positive self talk really inspires me! I’ve been saying some of your mantras to myself during hard things for me (running and non running related). It really helps.
Have the best time in St. George!

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Way to go! You kept calling your stuff magic, which makes me think of the “You are the magic” song! School gets out Friday here, which I wish I would have noticed before last week, I would have skipped the expensive spring break trip for something next week!

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Janae, Congratulations!!! I am sending huge hugs to you because this is an amazing feat–>setting a record for the course! Wow!
You are continually an inspiration for what we can do if we put our mind to something and stay positive (and train well and recover well :)).
Have a WONDERFUL week.

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Congrats Janae!!! Way to get after it!!

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Congratulations, Janae! What an incredible race!!

I ran the Revel Canyon City Marathon in 2015 – over 5,500′ of elevation loss. I remember after about 15 miles the road turned up and it was SO painful!

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Congratulations on your race!! Amazing!

We spent a good amount of our weekend sanding a table that my bff’s husband made and we are re-staining for our house. And we hosted dinner for kids going to prom, there is sooo much glitter still in my house, ha!

I’ve done a Revel race in Big Bear, it was fantastic! But I was definitely sore in ways that I have never been before.

Rituals before a race: I always set out my clothes the night before, and then on the morning of I drink coffee and eat about 200-300 calories with some water.

The high school I teach at gets out on 6/3 but we have to go in on 6/6 for an inservice :(

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YOU ARE AMAZING!!! I am so impressed!!

Best part of my weekend was watching my son play baseball! He is doing a traveling league this year – so it has been fun going to games! Oh – the other best part is the coconut cream cheesecake from cheesecake factory. YUMMMM> My husband brought me home a piece after one of my son’s tournament games!

Enjoy St. George! :)

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I’m so proud of you!!! YOU’RE AMAZING!

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AHHHHHHHHHHHHH SO FAST. Please lend me some of this speed for my race this Saturday. Even if it was downhill, you still set a course record!!! Amazing.

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Wow, you are so impressive! Question: I’ve seen you refer a few times to your cycle and how it impacts your training/racing. Would you ever consider saying more about this? I am in my late 30s and JUST starting to realize how much my energy and motivation is tied to my cycle (was pregnant/ breastfeeding most of my 30s so I didn’t really have a consistent cycle plus babies=basically exhausted all the time :-) I know it’s kinda personal but if you have the inclination I’d love to read about how you think about this!!

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YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!!!!! Such an inspiration Janae!!

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Congrats on first place!!! Amazing!!

Best part of my weekend was prepping for my parents to visit this week for my graduation! I still have a few weeks left of school, but the graduation ceremony is Wednesday!

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I cannot believe your pace! So amazing! Also, I feel like this “coach”/friend of yours is very mysterious. ;) He just appears in your blog a few weeks before you nailed Boston and now here you are setting PR’s and COURSE RECORDS! Am I the only one who is curious about this possible secret genius?? Also haha his advice for your race strategy was the best!

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Congratulations!!!! What a race, you (and your friend!) did so good! I love the medal as well. Hope you celebrated your victory :)

The kids still have 7 more weeks of school over here!

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Way to go on setting the new course record!

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Congrats!! You are amazing! First place! Course record! PR! wahoooo

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Hi Janae!

I’m trying to BQ this year and thinking about adding more strength work to my routine! Currently I run 5-6 days/week, do body pump once, and yoga 1-2 times. A few questions (sorry in advance if you’ve already answered these in a previous post):

-Could you share what a typical week looks like in terms of running/strength workouts?
-What are your favorite workouts on Peloton?
-What weight sets do you recommend? I currently only have 5lb dumbbells!

Thanks so much:)

Kerry

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HEY KERRY!!! You can and you will BQ! I cannot wait for you, and strength has made the biggest difference in my running. I use 10, 15 and 20 lb weights for my workouts and I am ALL about the Peloton app strength workouts. If you follow me (janaebaron) on there you can look at my calendar and see exactly what strength workouts I do! Here is a post with the training I did before Boston, I hope it helps! Have a beautiful day:

https://hungryrunnergirl.com/2022/04/my-boston-training.html

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Congratulations! That sounds like such a fun race. You must have really strong quads to be running such a steep downhill. Blazing Fast time!

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This is 100% unbelievable for so many reasons.
I would like you to pace me at my next race to prove this.

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