If you follow me (or stalk me … I don’t judge) you know that Emigration Canyon is one of my favorite places to run. It’s truly a magical place. Well, okay, not purely magical, but I’ve had a number of magical moments in the canyon … my first marathon, the Haunted Half, the past two Deseret News Half Marathons and COUNTLESS training runs down the canyon towards Liberty Park. I practically live there.
In April, Sport-Am was planning on having the Emigration Half on April 5th, I got signed up and was running to run it with a number of my friends … Janet, Becky among others. But, for whatever reason the race was cancelled. So, when I saw that they rescheduled for August 30th a couple months ago I was determined to run it. The problem was I was registered for the Porter’s Half Marathon that same day.
With a little bit of ingenuity I swap my entry with a friend. She took my Porter’s entry and then just signed me up for the Emigration Half. It was perfect. Plus, I conned Becky into running with me, even though she was going for a sub-two at Nebo next week. She told me she was going to walk the first three miles, which I was fine with because I was planning on either PRing or at least sub-2:15ing at Nebo next week as well.
The race started near the Mountain Dell golf course at the base of the canyon and dam (Becky forbade from telling dam jokes). There was only one bus driving up and it was a $5 drive from Research Park at the U to the starting line, so instead Becky and I just carpooled to the starting line which was actually pretty nice. Which probably cost us $5 worth of gas. So it really was sixes.
We had about 45 minutes until the race started and Becky ended up falling asleep in the car while I stood in line to the four port-a-potties at the starting line. Then we ran into Brook from the running group at the starting line (she actually parked right behind us) and of course this occasion was marked with a selfie. Otherwise it never happened, right?
The goal of this race really wasn’t speed and Becky and I didn’t have a specific time goal. We kinda planned to walk at least the first three miles and any up hills and then take the downhill fairly easy. We really didn’t want to ruin our Nebo time for next week. Since we’ve been preparing for it since June.
Almost immediately after the gun sounded we were pretty much in the back of the pack. The course almost immediately started with uphill running and did so for the first four miles. We ran the first mile or so, but quickly decided we shouldn’t waste our legs on this much uphill … sooooo … we walked. I felt no shame in walking because I knew once we got to the top of Emigration we had all downhill from there.
Becky and I thought we were probably the last two people on the course because we had a cop cart kind of tailing us. But, we were far from the last runners. There was this little old man in his 80s that was trudging along waaaaaaay behind us. We never waited long enough for his to catch up with us, but we both wanted to adopt him. He wore a red and white singlet, running hat and Texas flag patterned running shorts and just shuffled along. What a trooper.
We kind of felt somewhat embarrassed for going so slow, every aid station we came up to we kinda laughingly apologized because we knew they must of waited awhile for us to come. But, at a few station we stopped to take our time to drink water and take our gel packs. We even stopped and talked to the volunteers for a bit as well, telling them about the little 80 year old trudging along and what not. I even helped one volunteer pickup trashed cups off the road.
Can you see how we treated this race?
I did the same thing last year during the Layton Half Marathon. It was the week before Nebo and I knew I didn’t want to trash my legs because I was running Nebo the following week. Soooooo … I walked a good portion of it, while still pushing it at certain points. I normally hate walking during races, but I am not compromising Nebo.
The downhill of the race was MUCH better. We ran most of the way with a few walk breaks. Stopping again at aid stations and shooting the breeze with the volunteers. It actually was pretty fun.
I also stopped to take a selfie with a dead bird on the side of the road. I felt bad for that little bird. He was just laying there like he must of fallen out of the tree or something? Of course while taking the selfie a group of bicyclists saw me and asked if I was okay. What do you in a situation like that? Oh, I’m fine, I’m just talking a picture with a dead bird? Yep, that’s what I did. Truth always prevails. I can only think about what they thought of me from that reply?
I have problems.
Once we got out of the mouth of the canyon we ran past the Hogle Zoo and This is the Place Monument Park towards Research Park at the University of Utah. We weren’t the last runners in, in fact we passed a few on the way down the canyon. But, once we got to the finish line the “festivities” were pretty much over. Luckily for us they kept the inflatable finish line infalted and we were able to still get some Gatorade, Danish Bear Claws (this is a first at a race … which is brilliant if you ask me) and bananas. It was perfect.
Despite finishing in 3:15 hours it still was a perfect little tune up for Nebo this upcoming week. My legs aren’t trashed, but tired. Which is great for me. And, 13.1 miles is still 13.1 miles no matter how fast or slow you go. I’m just grateful for the ability I have to run, especially with great friends like Becky.
Now the focus is ALL about NEBOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
NEXT RACE: Nebo Half (THIS SATURDAY!!!)
Total Mileage Breakdown for 20142014 Training Miles – 483.25 miles 2014 Walking Miles – 94.5 miles 2014 Race Miles – 280.8 miles
2014 Total Miles – 858.55 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 – 118.2 miles