I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself.
Okay, I’m done … I promise.
NEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! (I lied) does and always will have a special place in my heart. I love the race. I love the course. I love the excited behind it. It’s perfectly situated on the race schedule to be a race you can train for a PR on. It’s just perfect on so many levels. It’s like Running Christmas for me. RUNMAS!!!
Going into this running season my goal for Nebo … er … NEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! was to get my ever elusive sub-two half marathon time. That was my goal last year and came SOMEWHAT close with 2:09:25 time. I felt extremely confident that with one more year of training and running I could get that in 2014.
Then those plans kind of got derailed. First, I trained for and ran two marathon which messed with my half marathon training speeds. That’s really more of an excuse though. I feel like I could have reached it with or without running multiple marathons. But, the biggest derailment came with stupid health issues. I was put on testosterone medication that ultimately affected my thyroid medication which tanked my thyroid function. Thus, in the process making me gain weight and just feeling 24/7 sluggish.
So, about a month ago I got a second opinion and was taken off the testosterone to see if that would help. I’ve seen improvement … slowly. But, it’s happening. I am sure I’ll need to get a few things here and there tweaked, but I’m on the right path now. And, that’s where I should be now.
But, while this all happened my dreams of NEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! glory kind of died. Instead of dreams and hopes of a sub-two or PR, I wanted to just give my VERY best and put all my effort into doing my very best. I also wanted to get a year best time of under 2:20. Time aside though my focus was to DO MY BEST. And, that was my mission on Saturday.
The week leading up to the race was somewhat hectic. Work was very busy and somewhat frustrating and then the Salt Lake Comic Con was in full swing and I helped my family with my brother’s booth along with a ghost investigation on Thursday night. Needless to say, I didn’t get as much sleep as I wanted to leading up to Saturday morning. And, it didn’t help that I didn’t get much sleep the night before because of a mixture of nerves and excitement.
I had a 3am wakeup call so I could myself to Orem by 4:30am so Susette and I could then carpool the rest of the way to Payson. Once there we met up with Becky and the rest of our running family for the bus ride up the canyon. A bus ride wherein it was pretty evident that Susette took too much caffeine. Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me if she didn’t take any. But, whatever it was it paid off as she PR’d and won her age division with a 1:34 time. WOW. I’m so happy for her.
The course this year changed slightly. The course started about half a mile down the canyon and then finished on the Payson High track instead of right before the high school. I had mixed feelings about the move because that meant a half mile more of non-canyon running. But, much you can do about the change besides push through it. Besides, I was just happy to be running.
Once the gun sounded and the crowd started I noticed my laces untied. I didn’t know if this was a bad omen or not? So, I let the mass of humanity pass me by as I tied and tucked my laces in my shoe. I didn’t really mind started in the back of the crowd. Besides this was my race and I didn’t care when I started. It was a minor inconvenience to dodge people at first, but sometimes that can be pretty fun. Makes you keep attention.
As I started off I was somewhat surprised that my legs felt so fresh. Especially considering how much difficulty I have getting into a run during speed work at Liberty Park. But, I had no problem getting warmed up into my run. I was extremely grateful for it as well.
The first four miles of the race were awesome. In fact the whole race was. But, around mile 4.5 I got kind of emotional. It was really strange too. I just let the moment, the beauty of my surroundings and grasp of my journey get to me. I got thinking about how lucky I am to run. I thought about how hard it was for me to start the journey and how once I thought 2-3 half marathons were good enough. I am sooooooo glad I have stuck with it. It was just was a culmination of feelings that got to me. And, I had to stop.
I stopped and said a little prayer and just took in the scenery and the beauty of the canyon. And, then I started thinking about my goals and where I want to be physically, spiritually and mentally this time next year. I thought about what it would take to get me there and what the sacrifices I would have to make. It was a neat moment to have. Sure, it cost me a few minutes, but it really helped me shift my attention and focus in a direction I needed.
After that moment I resolved to book it the rest of the way. About half way through the race I was on pace for about a 2:15-2:20 time. I felt happy about that. I knew it was going to be difficult, because mile 9-11 are a few tough rolling hill miles after booking down a canyon at full speed. I resolved before hand that I would just not stop there. I might be slower, but I wasn’t going to stop running because of pain or fatigue. So I didn’t.
And, once I got to mile 10 I kind of started yelling. Good things, not obscenities. But, I love yelling around mile 10 of half marathons to try to motivate those around me. Because those last three miles can be a BEAST. I can’t remember exactly what I yelled, but it was along the lines of my running mantra of …. “YOUR BEST IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU! CHASE IT!”
It was fun.
But, I dug in a bit deeper and just tried to have fun. Around mile 12 though is when I really started feeling fatigued. The course was pretty flat and the shade of the trees in the canyon were not there any more. It was around here that I seriously questioned my decision of wearing a black shirt. Actually, I was wearing black shorts too. It was a bad decision all around.
I just wanted to finish. I sweating buckets. I was just mentally and physically exhausted. Around then is when I was greeted by Dulci from my running group. She had been running others in and she was a godsend. She kept me going and motivated by telling me how close I was. I needed her at that moment. And, a number of other friends echoed those same sentiments.
Once I ran past last’s year finish area I felt a tang bit of nervousness because I knew I was getting close to my goal of a sub-2:20, but I couldn’t gauge the distance or timing. So I just ran as fast as my legs would allow me. The last quarter of a mile or so was on the high school track and as soon as I hit 13.1 and crossed the finish line I realized I got my goal … 2:18:45! I was beyond happy!
But, that happiness lasted less than 15 seconds when I realized that I needed to sit down and drink water. I was BEYOND exhausted and knew that I had to hydrate quickly. Once I got myself situated and back on my feet I then realized I was pretty well chafed as well. Even though I had bandaids on my nipples I somehow ended up chafing around them. Pretty bad. I also chafed on my belly button and Adam’s apple? Go figure on that one?! It wasn’t very fun, especially during my post race shower.
After the race a few of us went to Guru’s in Provo and got breakfast. I of course got a breakfast burrito that was worth every dollar. It was perfect. I could have sang love songs to my burrito and it still wouldn’t have been enough expression of the love I felt for it. It was what I needed in my life.
Enough about my burrito though.
I am just extremely happy with my time. And, seeing a number of my friends get PRs made me excited for 2015. Susette got a 1:34! This was after two years ago running a 2:01 on the course. She is a beast. The same with Becky, she got a PR of 2:02 even though her goal was to get a sub-two. Both were awesome along with the many others. I am just happy for them.
They all really planted a seed of inspiration within me to get myself ready for NEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! 2015. My goal is to PR on the course, but I want the course to be at least my SECOND sub-two half marathon. I feel like that’s going to be an attainable goal with the right kind of training and dedication. I will write about my game plan a bit later this week. Just know I’m still planning on going from cow to cheetah for 2015. No more moseying around. I’m ready to run.
But, seriously for those that have never ran NEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Do. The course really is awesome. Even if they moved it down a half mile or so. The course is steep. The course is beautiful. And, the course is inspiring to the mind, body and spirit. This is the race to test yourself on.
I can’t dwell too much on NEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! though as I now am mentally preparing for the Big Cottonwood Marathon on Saturday. I will be running it with my friend Jill. This will be her first marathon. But, I am pretty sure that this will be my last marathon for a while. It will be my third marathon since May and I just feel like my focus from next Sunday to at least next NEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! or October will be running half marathons and getting faster in the process. Marathons take too much out of me.
But, that’s a post for another day. I am just excited to share this moment with Jill on Saturday.
Anyways … NEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
NEXT RACE: BIG COTTONWOOD MARATHON (Saturday)
Total Mileage Breakdown for 20142014 Training Miles – 486.25 miles 2014 Walking Miles – 100.7 miles 2014 Race Miles – 293.9 miles
2014 Total Miles – 880.85 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 – 93.75 miles August – 118.2 miles September – 22.3 miles