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:
*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!
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?