RACE RECAP #70: DesNews Half Marathon

DesNews

If I have learned anything this year, it’s that races come in many different ways. Some are for speed, some are fun, some are for you, some are for others and some are just for the challenge. I’m sure that there are others I could add that list. But, this run was just perfect. It was sublime. It was a challenge. I felt like it was a great push towards Nebo as well.

It was just perfect.

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I won’t lie, I was kind of bummed that they didn’t use an actual newspaper for the race bib.

The Deseret News Marathon will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first marathon two years ago. What that signifies in my weight-loss running journey has been HUGE. It will always be a hallmark race for me. It will always hold a special place in my heart. There is so much I could say about that experience, but this isn’t the place for it. Just know, I really don’t have plans on missing it anytime soon.

Besides the personal significance behind this race, I also really love this course. Like, really, really love this course. The half marathon starts up Emigration Canyon (one of my favorite places to run), past the zoo, down Sunnyside, right onto Foothill, past the football stadium before meandering onto 1300 East and onto South Temple where you then take a left onto the Days of ’47 Parade route towards Liberty Park.

(GASP)

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My new favorite friend group selfie (a new one is always made each week).

It’s a mouthful, but really, one of my favorite race routes. Especially when you turn onto the parade route and have thousands of people cheering you on (or jeering you on, because they want the parade to start). It’s an awesome experience. And, next year I am totally bringing candy out to throw to the kids. I just feel like that needs to happen. It really does.

My original plans for running the race were actually quite simple. I didn’t have any plans on running with anyone. I had a few friends running it, but no plans on pacing anyone or running with them. I was going to run, linger a bit at the finish line before heading home and getting ready to head up to Wyoming for the weekend. Nothing fancy. Just a really good run to kickoff Pioneer Day weekend for me.

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Running the parade route on 200 East in Downtown SLC!

But, then things changed the day before. One of my running friends got injured and decided to bow out of the race, so she gave Becky her bib. It was then that Becky and I decided to pace each other throughout the race. We are both planning on sub-two’ing at Nebo in September so training together has helped a lot. Our group does speed training on Wednesday at Liberty Park so that helps, but getting to run a race with each other is always a treat because we always have a blast running together. Always.

We’ve both been treating a few nagging injuries so we just really wanted to be consistent and push it, while not giving into the nagging little aches here and there. My foot had been bugging me (bunion!) and it had been bugging me since Timp. I knew the BIGGEST enemy wouldn’t be the stupid bunion, but the stupid heat. When I ran my marathon I practically died once I got out of the canyon. Why people (including myself) run in the middle of July is beyond me? I’ve done it now four times this month. It doesn’t get any easier.

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Meeting Ruthie at the finish line!

So my plan was that during the race I would walk every aid-station and drink at least three things of water or a combination of water and Powerade. And, if I needed to, I’d just park myself there at the aid station and make hay with the volunteers. Luckily it never got to that point.

Even with a little nagging bunion the race was actually quite sublime. I have ran Emigration dozens of times and with that coupled with what this race meant for me really helped make this race sublime. Plus, I ran the whole race with Becky. Which made it even doubly sublime. It was just a perfect race.

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These were sublime.

Physically, I did great during the race. My legs felt great and really the only pain was my stupid bunion. But, I found out fairly early in the run that if I ran just a TAD faster while on downhill the pain was fairly nonexistent. Which I loved and somewhat hated. But, it worked for me.

Becky and I kept a good pace, but knew we would slow down during some stretches of the race because of my foot and Becky’s calves. We kept up with our friend Katheryn who was pacing the 2:30 group and we tried to keep ourselves around her as much as we could. We knew about half way through the race that we’d probably end anywhere between 2:30-2:40 because of our pace and the fact that we started several minutes after gun time.

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Just lingering at the finish line. FUN, FUN, FUN!

One of the best parts of the race was the aid station on Foothill near the U. Becky was originally going to volunteer at this aid station with Christy and others, but traded with Meridith after her injury. Regardless, it was a great pit stop and of course we celebrated it with a selfie (naturally). It was the boost that we needed to carry us the rest of the way.

My favorite part of the race was running from South Temple onto 200 East which also happens to be a part of the parade route. All the way from South Temple down to 900 South you get nothing but people cheering you from both sides of the street. It was fun and exhilarating. I even saw a couple people in the crowd that I knew which made it even more fun. When I run this again next year I want to throw candy to the crowd. It just seems like the right thing to do. Sure, I might not PR during that race, but it’s the right thing to do. Plus, it’d be fun.

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Becky and I two medals away from making a wagon.

Once Becky and I crossed the finish line we were immediately greeted by friends. I got to meet my new friend Ruthie in person for the first time when she was the one to give me my medal. Then we just kind of lingered around the finish line and watched runners come in one by one. It was really rewarding watching many of the marathoners come in, especially the first time marathoners. Just knowing what it takes to get there you can’t help but honor that.

Additionally, it really inspired me to spend more time at finish lines. One thing I want to next year is just camp out at one of the major races and take pictures at the finish line of runners crossing or about to cross the finish line. There’s so much emotion, determination and sense of accomplishment that I’d want to capture and share. Honestly, I just think it would be awesome. It’d also make a great coffee table book.

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My awesome crazy running friends.

Anyways, in retrospect this race was sublime. It was a great way to start the Pioneer Day weekend, but also a great way to keep my training on course for Nebo. Plus, spending time with Becky and others at the finish line was perfect. It was a perfect race and morning. It was a perfect way to celebrate the runniversary of my first half and full marathons.

Perfect, perfect, perfect.

Oh, and then after the race I hurried home and went and did this in Wyoming.

You can view more pictures of my running adventures during the DesNews Half Marathon here.


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 444.55 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 47.2 miles
2014 Race Miles – 238.1 miles
2014 Total Miles – 729.85 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 – 83.4 miles

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