RACE RECAP #71: Provo River Trail Half Marathon

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It’s kind of hard to imagine that I am 71 races into my 180 goal. I remember the detail to each of those 71 races like they happened yesterday. Each one has taught me a certain lesson, introduced me to new friends and inspired me to keep going. Running has ALWAYS given me more than I expected and sometimes, quite frankly, than I put into it.

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This is the race director cutting up Clif Bars on the hood of someone’s car before the race. All I can is … I LOVE THIS GUY!

But, racing and running never ceases to inspire me and motivate me. No matter my mood or current circumstances. And, this race provided me that needed lift. The past couple of weeks after I ran the Deseret News Half have been rather trying for me. I’ve been dealing with a number of stupid little health issues. There was the whole diabeetus scare a few weeks ago, but it’s also been taking my body some time to get used to the steroids I am taking for my low-testosterone. Then I’ve had my thyroid meds tweaked a bit.

Basically, these little things have added up and my body has taken it’s toll reacting to it all. I’ve gained about 15-20lbs. I never wanted to find and I’ve just felt … blah. A tad discouraged and a tad worried that I won’t hit my sub-two goal by Nebo. But, I won’t go more into that, because I am going to share more about that tomorrow. I shared that basically to show you my current frame of mind.

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I was a little skeptical about using this port-a-potty? On wheels? Oy. I can just picture myself rolling away on one of these with disastrous results.

I needed this race.

I signed up for this race a couple months ago knowing I was probably the only person from my running friends that would run or pace with me. Looking back now I kinda felt that was inspired, because I needed to be by myself during this race. I needed to be left alone with my iPod playlist, my thoughts and myself. Not to necessarily figure things out, but just to reenergize. Self-reflection has always treated me well and it was great being able to enjoy that during the race.

Now, I’ve had this race on my radar for the past couple of years. I’ve seen it on numerous race calendars and everytime I am tempted to sign up for it … I kinda pass by it for a number of reasons. For one, the website that’s associated with the race is a mess. Being a communications major there are many things on the site that put you off (dead links, old information, etc.) and make you somewhat skeptical of the legitimacy of the event. It really feels like the site is maintained by someone with little to no knowledge about HTML or website knowledge.

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#bridalveilfallsselfie #awesome

I hate criticizing seemingly little things like that, but as a runner you want to know that if you sign up for the race they’ll hold it and not run off to Costa Rica. Public image is important. BUT, after talking to a couple of my running friends about the race they informed it was a good little race and that the race director has been doing it for the past 20+ years. Reason enough for me to do it, I guess?

The race itself really is one without any frills. The race director is exactly what you would picture based off the website. He’s doing this race more for the love of running than to just make money. He’s very laid back and just a great guy.

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Bridal Veil Falls without me in the picture. I must say it’s very photogenic.

If I didn’t get that sense of his personality I would have been a taken back when he grabbed a box of Clif Bars, cut them in half and dumped them on the hood of a car (not his car, but some random car at the starting line) offering them to runners who wanted them. I snobbish runner within embraced the moment and just laughed. I loved his character and reasons for doing this race. If this happened at a bigger race like Salt Lake City or Big Cottonwood then I would a tad unimpressed.

But, really was, what it was.

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Here’s a nice little picture of people running with Timp in the background.

The race wasn’t chipped time, which wasn’t a problem for me. I just went off my Garmin. I was also somewhat familiar with the course because the Provo City Half Marathon follows much of the same course. The whole course follows the Provo River Trail with a little jaunt back up past Bridal Vail Falls to make sure you get the 13.1 miles in for the race.

It really was a beautiful run and one that was perfect to kind of zone out and get lost in thought. The aid stations, which I was worried about, were well staffed and provided both water and Powerade. I brought a couple of gel packs as well which worked out perfect. I was really impressed with the quality of the race based on my incoming perceptions. It was actually quite perfect.

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My friend Katie snapped this picture of me crossing the finish line. Thanks Katie!

I finished the 13.1 miles in 2:31:08 which I am happy with. I really just wanted to push it. I knew I would probably struggle a bit (which I did), but I just wanted to give my best (which I did as well). The result gives me hope as I work towards Nebo. I feel like my goal isn’t so much a sub-two then it is to do my best. And, if my best is a sub-two, a PR, a sub-2:10 or a sub-2:20 then I will be extremely happy with that. I still have no doubt that one day my best will be a sub-two. It just might not be in a month.

But, I’m going to prepare for such.

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Me and the Hansen Clan after the race. We’re related somehow? Probably through polygamy?

After the race I was also able to meet a few new friends from my running group, which was a great way to end the race. I love meeting new people and making new friends. That to me is the essence of running for me right now. It’s not so much of the mileage as it is the relationships. But, that’s a post for another day as well.

There weren’t any race medals for the finishers, but they did have a spread of pancakes, watermelon and bagels waiting for us which was MUCH appreciated. We did get a cool t-shirt at the finish line and a framed picture of Bridal Veil Falls. I must admit I’ve gotten anything like that after a race, but I really didn’t mind, I was just happy to enjoy the run.

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My awesome t-shirt I got from the race. I think it’s a troll? Either way INSTANT AWESOME!

Looking forward … I am excited for the next month of running. This week our running group is running down Big Cottonwood for our last long run for the Big Cottonwood Marathon. Then I am racing the Run Elevated Half Marathon (August 23), Emigration Half Marathon (August 30), Nebo Half (September 6) and then the Big Cottonwood Marathon (September 13). It’s going to be fun and I know with constant racing I’ll also be more consistent and get stronger. Maybe I can get that sub-two sometime in one of my four races in October? We’ll see?

But, instead of getting ahead of myself, I need to remember that it’s one foot in front of other.

(SORRY HAD TO)


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 464.75 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 56.65 miles
2014 Race Miles – 254.3 miles
2014 Total Miles – 775.7 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 – 93.75 miles
August – 35.5 miles

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