This race is the second of a personal back-to-back half marathon challenge. I ran the Utah Midnight Run the night before at 10pm and then this race that started at 6am. You read the Utah Midnight Run race report here and the overall experience of the challenge here.
This was the hardest race I’ve ran mentally, physically, emotionally and probably even socially. I went into this race not knowing what to expect doing a back-to-back half marathon so close together. Coming off about five hours of “rest” from one half and then to another is more insane than running Ragnar. But, you know what? I am glad I did this. I needed the challenge.
Initially I thought I was going to get SOME sleep between my races, but that didn’t happen as I went to Village Inn with Becky and Sonja after the first race. Once I got home I had about an hour and a half before I needed to leave for this race. I was a bit worried that if I napped I wouldn’t wake up. That’s happened before and that’s the last thing I would want to happen. Especially considering I was poised to do this feat last year and wasn’t able to do it.
So, I just decided to take a shower, change my clothes and blog a bit before I had to get my stuff together. It really wasn’t that bad, even though I felt a bit of fatigue coming on. I knew the hardest part about my race was going to be getting my legs going during the first couple of miles. But, after trekking back up to Farmington for the race I grabbed my packet and just chilled in the City Hall for about half an hour before the race started.
Mentally preparing for this race was though, because I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, all I knew is that I just had to start running and keep at it. I didn’t really have a goal time until the night before. I ran the Midnight Half in 3:11 and wanted to get a better time than that for Farmington. I felt that was doable … at the starting line. Mid-race that was a different story.
After grabbing a picture with my friend Dave the race started and we were off and … well … running. This was my third year running the half so I knew what to expect and what hills would give me grief, etc. There is a hill that basically begins when you start the race. In the past it’s been doable, but after having ran 13.1 miles on them that day it was the toughest hill I’ve ever ran up. No joke.
I actually just kind of started crying and questioning why I was doing this. The stiffness in my legs KILLED! And, that’s no exaggeration. Right away I just decided to walk the hills and just as fast I was pretty much alone on the course. I was sure by about my second mile that I was dead last. I couldn’t see anyone in front of me or behind me. Being alone on a course is a tad intimidating.
My biggest fear was not knowing whether or not there was a sweeper. The last thing I wanted to do was to get to mile six and being told I couldn’t finish. I haven’t had this fear since I ran my first couple of races. That fear kind of kept me pushing it a bit more and more despite the agony my legs and quads were going through. Mentally, I just told myself I couldn’t stop or I would get picked up. It just wasn’t going to come to that.
After the first aid station and about mile four I was mentally and physically spent. I wanted to quit. I really did. The course came back onto 200 West where the starting line wasn’t that far away from. I was tempted to just stop there, get back in my car, drive home and sleep. It sounded like the best plan I’ve had in years. I really felt mentally, physically and emotionally defeated.
Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. Becky started texting me, because her husband was doing his first triathlon and she was there to support him. So, while he wasn’t making the transition to the other sport she was left somewhat bored. Her texting me helped me a lot. I won’t lie I just kind of complained about everything I just stated. I questioned my sanity and probably my very existence.
After encouraging me through it, I made her a promise to keep her update. Mile 5, 6 and 7 came and I let her know I made it. I also told her how dead I was, especially once the run rose and the heat came out. But, after a few miles I would start only texting her every couple of miles as a game for myself. I wanted to see if that would the miles pass quicker.
But, just knowing there was someone there who was cheering me on and holding me accountable meant a lot to me. I needed that kind of support for this race. Because, it was EXTREMELY tough. EXTREMELY tough.
By around mile eight I would stop at each aid station and just talk to the volunteer table. I had no intentions of leaving until I drank about 10 glasses of water and/or Powerade. I didn’t want to get dehydrated or heat stroke because the sun was making it pretty hot. Not fun.
Beside drinking to my heart’s content I also found about that I wasn’t the last person out on the course. In fact there were about 2-3 other runners behind me. This gave me a bit of relief, because I now knew they weren’t going to yank me from the course. Well, I wouldn’t have been the first one yanked off the course. This gave my confidence a boost and put my mind at ease a bit.
So I just kept trugging along.
The Cherry Hill hill wasn’t that bad. Now before you exhibit awe in this feat just know that I simply walked up it. There was no running involved in it. At that point I was about 23 miles into my journey and I wasn’t going jeopardize in all on a stupid hill.
The rest of the course wasn’t that bad. Once I got back onto the east side of the I-15 I felt better. There was more ample shade and the course had more rolling hills. Both were welcomed with extreme glee.
Even though I wasn’t the last person in the race I hadn’t seen any other runner since mile two. This was really odd for me, because I am such a social runner. I basically stuck to my music and jammed out to MoTab. Well, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I tried starting out with my running mix, but I found a couple miles into my race it was just making me anxious. So, I switched to something calmer. And, MoTab did the trick.
Once I got to the finish line I was surprised to still see the finish line intact. It actually was a welcome sight. I was greeted by some awesome volunteers, some awesome COLD water and a physical therapist who worked on my legs. It was perfect. I was also greeted with a watch that read 3:07 for my time. I might have beat my time by only four minutes, but even if it was was just by four seconds I would have been extremely happy with it.
But, more than anything … I WAS DONE!
I was completely dead. My body was soaked and I knew I needed salt. My sweat was horrible. But, after chilling around the finish line for the remaining people while getting a massage was well worth. My legs were just dead and I swear that my quads were in the process of filing restraining order papers before I stopped.
After meandering back to my car I made a few phone calls and texts and then made my trek home. I stopped off Taco Bell for a quesarito and fries. I just wanted salt. And, while it didn’t necessarily hit the spot, it helped a lot and I felt a lot better. More sane actually.
But, looking back at this feat I am proud of myself. I didn’t know what to expect while running it. I knew I was going to be tired, but giving my legs a five hour break between half marathons was TOUGH. My legs started going into recovery mode and expected me not to run again. I tried to prepare myself for this last week and again during Ragnar, but it’s so hard to prepare for that. So, so, so, so hard.
Once I got home though I ate my quesarito and just crashed. Something I am sure anyone else would have done. I am just glad I am done with the experience and have hardly any desire to try this feat again. I am running two half marathons on the same day in October, but those are also about 9-12 hours from each other. That is doable. Running two within 11-12 hours … is … CRAZY!
But, I did it and that’s what matters.
Total Mileage Breakdown for 20142014 Training Miles – 442.55 miles 2014 Walking Miles – 43.2 miles 2014 Race Miles – 211.9 miles
2014 Total Miles – 697.65 miles Monthly Total Miles for 2014 January – 100.0 miles February – 100.0 miles March – 130.0 miles April – 140.5 miles May – 108.65 miles June – 83.3 miles July – 51.2 miles