This race seems like an eternity in waiting. I can’t believe it’s been over two months since my last half marathon. For most that doesn’t seem that long, but when you’re running on average 2-3 a month … that’s eternity for me. So on Saturday I was really excited to run. Very excited.
One thing I love about the Riverton Half Marathon is that it starts at 9am. Once June and July comes gun times are at 6am which means you’re usually on the road at 2-3am to get to a 4am bus departure up the canyon. Those races virtually wipe out your Friday night because you’re in bed before the sun has time to set (there’s something about being a runner that makes you feel like an 8 year old all over again). So a 9am gun time is something I don’t take for granted.
Since I am training for the Utah Valley Marathon in June I decided to put a few extra miles in on the treadmill before the race. Well actually I did 1.9 miles, so it’d be easier to compute after running 13.1 miles (this behavior is called OCD). I didn’t go fast, just fast enough to get something out of it and save my legs for the race. Plus, the mileage helped work things through my system. Because there’s nothing worse than being stricken with fear for the need of a Honey Bucket five minutes before gun time. Trust me. It’s happened to me plenty of times.
I carpooled down to Riverton with Becky and met up with everyone else from my running group before the race. I absolutely love my running friends and it has definitely made a WORLD of difference to my running, especially the past six months. I’ve written a lot about them, but their positivity, humor, love for running and reasons to run just motivate me to keep running. Each has a unique story and reason to run and I draw a lot of strength from that.
Once the race began I felt like I probably jumped off a bit too fast? My first two miles were under a 10 minute mile. I really was just a bit too excited to run and it was a total rookie mistake on my part. And, come about 4 miles into the run when we got onto the Jordan River Parkway my legs felt the strain. From about then until the end of the race my quads were just screaming at me and I soon regretted every bad decision I’ve made in my life.
Luckily around mile six I ran into my friend Elvia and we ended up pacing each other for a good six miles including up the largest hill of the race. It was a neat experience. We kind of just looked at each other and dug in and climbed up the hill. I swear we were the only two actually running up the hill as a number of other runners just walked it to (smartly) save energy. But, once we got up the hill we turned around and started giving out high fives to the other runners behind us. Then, naturally we also took a picture of us CONQUERING the hill. It was a moment that really saved my run.
After getting a little downhill moment it was back to pretty much a flat course. We got one last nasty hill, but that was about it. I just didn’t want to tank my race. Having Elvia there for most of it really helped me from getting discouraged and walk portions I really could have ran. It really was a tough hilly and flat course, not my favorite combination. But, doable. The course just made me more determined to do more hill training. I really have no excuse not to, especially living in Bountiful. Running on the treadmill is great to a point, but now that the weather is getting warmer I really need to find more time to run outside.
But, I just kept going and finished in 2:35:18 which is about where I kind of expected being my first race of the running season. I was hoping for 2:30-2:40 knowing what kind of course to expect. But, at the same time I also went away knowing I could have done MUCH better. I think that’s kind of a catch 22 of running. Sure you hit your expected time, but at the same time you know there’s more inside you to push further. I think that’s the key to running hungry. You’ve got to find that voice and listen to it.
Anyways, as soon as I stopped my quads screamed even more at me. Like, curse word screams. I knew I didn’t pull or tear anything it was just that general ache of … crap, I should have done more hill training. I tried to stretch and massage them out myself, but I knew that wouldn’t have been enough. Luckily there was a PT booth at the finish line so I ended up getting a massage and stretching from them. It was perfect. It hurt like no other, but I’ve learned that temporary pain is almost always necessary to get relief when dealing with injuries or sore muscles. There’s probably some life lesson in there as well?
But, I rolled out myself out as well on the way home and throughout the day. I’m still sore, but I’ve been popping Ibuprofen like PEZ and I’ll take a rest day on Monday. I was hoping to get 3.25 miles on the treadmill, but I think a rest day is the best thing I can do. Then come Tuesday and Wednesday I’m doing some hill training before my 18 miler on Saturday.
My hope is to get myself ready for the Salt Lake City Half and I think with the proper training and preparation (ie-run them ‘thar hills) I could run a 2:15-2:20. Especially on their new course. There will be a few hills in the first half of the race, but the finish looks much faster. I am excited to run it next month. It should be a lot of fun, especially with the proper training.
Oh, the joys of getting ready for the running season!
FOR ALL OF MY RACE PICTURES CLICK HERE.Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014 2014 Training Miles – 240.35 miles 2014 Walking Miles – 20.25 miles 2014 Race Miles – 46.4 miles
2014 Total Miles – 307.00 miles Monthly Total Miles for 2014 January – 100.0 miles February – 100.0 miles March – 107.0 miles NEXT RACE: Salt Lake City Half Marathon (April 19th)