Remember how, when I started this diet, I said that I didn’t know what I was doing? Yeaaaaaah — last Saturday — I had NO idea what I was doing. While running the Run Elevated Half Marathon down Little Cottonwood here in Salt Lake, I totally crashed.
Not the kind of crash where you fall down scrape your knees and whatnot, but physically, mentally and emotionally — CRASHED. It took me almost over a half hour to finish the last miles. It was bad.
But, luckily for you, I am alive and able to blog about my experience. Not to mention to share a few things I learned from my experience, that I will be doing differently this weekend at the Nebo Half.
So let’s start off by identifying what I did wrong …
I didn’t fuel properly for this phase of my diet. I focused on drinking electrolytes the night before and morning of the race, but that wasn’t enough. I mainly fueled with fats and protein.
I don’t think I ate enough food in the morning — I ate some turkey and cheese, some hardboiled eggs, dill pickles and couple slices of pork I cooked the night before. That seems like quite a bit of food, but it wasn’t and I felt that fairly early in my race.
I ate two hardboiled eggs a half hour before gun time. This didn’t settle well on my stomach and gave me some unpleasant gas. I felt sorry for the downwinders. It was a bad decision all around for me.
I didn’t properly refuel with electrolytes during the race. I started taking sips of Gatorade, but to avoid the extra sugar I focused on hydrating with more water. It’s no wonder I crashed at Mile 11 with this game plan.
And, lastly, I didn’t research enough of what I should have done for the half having just started this diet.
Here’s what I probably should have done …
I should have slightly spiked my carbs before the race — like a half banana, half an orange or some kind of carb-filled fruit. Nothing processed, but a whole food.
I should have run with my applesauce packets I am accustomed to running with lately. Each packet has about 13 grams of carbs and if I sipped this throughout the run it would have helped me a lot in the middle of the run.
I should have packed my own Powerade Zero to drink throughout the run. If I was so worried about the sugar — there’s an easy solution to that problem.
I should have read and researched more — and not been so stubborn in not allowing myself to eat a few extra carbs right before and during the run.
And, finally, here’s what I am planning on doing differently this weekend during the Nebo Half …
I am going to read more about what I should doing to avoid a crash during a run while on a keto diet. That’s a must. I need to avoid that as my #1 goal for this weekend’s race.
I am going to eat a half banana about 10-15 minutes before the race — just to give myself the jump of energy.
I am going to run with two applesauce packets. I am going to sip from one as long as I need to, keeping the second as a backup plan.
I am going to bring my own Powerade Zero — either on my waste or on a hydration pack. I haven’t decided yet — I kinda hate both — so it might be a game time decision which one I go with. But, it might be the backpack, belts make me feel weird.
I am not going to eat hardboiled eggs before my run, but I will load up some peanut butter, meat and cheese the morning of the race. I need more calories — lots more. But, not too much where it’ll make me sick.
I think these are good assessments and good directives. I’d like to say that I don’t need the half banana or applesauce, but I feel like right now I do. Plus, it’s unprocessed and not too carb loaded. I hope to ween myself off it completely within the next month.
But, we’ll see?
I just need to listen to my body and take the cues it’s giving me so I don’t have a repeat of Saturday. That’s not going to happen again.
I have decided that running a half marathon ON your birthday is like the best way to not just kick start your birthday, but celebrate it. Originally, I had planned on making this Race #100, but after deciding to move it up the Handcart Days Half in July the plan was abandoned. So it simply turned into a birthday run.
Regardless of the significance, I was still excited to run. It not only was it on my 34th birthday, but I was spending the weekend up in Park City with my family. A great combination if you ask me.
And, if you thought that couldn’t get better, the mere fact that I could burn off my birthday dinner AND cake before eating it made everything that much more awesome! Both of which ended up being a Burrito Pizza and Banana Cake. Gosh, it’s getting better the more I write about it.
But, seriously, birthday dreams come true.
Back to the race.
This was the second time I’ve ran this race. I ran the half marathon back in 2012 when it was the Park City Marathon and Half. But, last year the race was bought by the Mountain Trails Foundation and the marathon was dropped. So now it’s simply the Park City Half & 5K.
In addition to the name and organizers change, the course has changed a lot. It still started and finished in the Newpark development near Kimball Junction, but the course now includes a combination of both road and trail around town. It’s very much a rolling hill course with just a couple hundred feet of elevation change.
I don’t do very well on flat and rolling hill courses. Well, I should say I don’t prefer them as much as I do canyon runs. But, that’s a whole other post for another day. But, more than that … I don’t do very well in heat. That’s evidenced from this year’s Ragnar Relay after I got heat exhaustion. Not fun.
So when I found out that the race didn’t start until 8am, I was a bit worried. I didn’t need a repeat of Ragnar, especially on my birthday. Normally races around here in Utah during the summer start anywhere between 6-7am. Ideally, it would be around 7am at the latest right now in August.
And, 8am was TOO late, especially when the temperature got to nearly 90 degrees later in the day. By mile 6-7 I was spent. Most of my time spent at the aid station after that was used drinking Powerade and water, while pouring water over my head. It was just awful. Which was unfortunate, because the course was gorgeous.
In fact, I enjoyed it a lot more than I did the first year I ran the race. Plus, the combination of road and trails were fun and somewhat refreshing. It was a good introduction to trails for roadrunners. A good transitionary race if I can say so myself. Something of a transition I am in the process of making.
Since I was having such a difficult time with the heat and terrain I resorted to Galloway-ing a lot of the last 5-6 miles. I tried to stick to a minute of walking and a minimum of a minute of running — if not longer as the body allowed me. I know the last two miles it was more like three minutes of walking to one minute of running, but I tried to time it so I wasn’t walking too much.
Fuel wise I was okay, I brought my favorite Gu packets and I brought some salt tablets for mid-race. This helped me tons. And, they had gel chews at every stations along with water and Powerade so it wasn’t that bad for me. I did wish I brought a mid-run banana along with me because I needed something on my stomach.
The last mile was horribly hot and I started actually getting a little sick. I was worried because the last thing I needed was an ER trip on my birthday. I took a Gu packet which helped, but I just wanted to get done. I knew I wasn’t the only one struggling with the heat as I passed a number of other runners in the last mile. There were a good 20 other runners behind me after I crossed the finish line.
But, the finish line made up for all of that. My family was there at the end to cheer me on, including my Dad. This was the first time he has been at the finish line of any of my races. It meant a lot to have him there. He has a hard time getting around because of his double knee replacements from last year so I know what kind of sacrifice it was for him to be there.
Once I finished and I got rehydrated and ate a banana we took some pictures and left. I wanted to stay for the raffle, but I was feeling the affects of the heat I knew I needed more liquid and substance in my body. Namely … a Slurpee.
And, if that wasn’t good enough, it was almost like 7 Eleven knew it was my birthday, because they had banana Slurpees at the Park City location. Happy Birthday to me, eh?
Anyways, after getting showered and changed we headed out the door to have fun around the Park City area that included Park Meadows, bowling, pizza and swimming. Oh, and of course cake. What’s a birthday with cake? Especially banana cake.
What a great weekend of running, family and birthday fun! It definitely gives a boost going into 34!
A photo posted by Joshua Snow Hansén (@mejosher) on
RACE #104: RUN ELEVATED HALF MARATHON
This has turned into one of my favorite races here in Utah. This is their third year doing this race down Little Cottonwood Canyon … and my third year doing it as well. It’s a fast course. It’s a fun course. And, it’s a challenging course, especially for those not ready to let gravity pull you down one of the steepest canyons in Utah. Plus, I love the convenient factor for me, it’s close to home, easy to get to on race day and not expensive at all for a great race.
I am hoping it doesn’t snow at the starting line like it did last year. I won’t lie, it was hard to get bumped for an AUGUST race while snow came pouring down. But, I guess that’s the nature of a race in Utah, especially down one of the premiere canyons. Luckily, the snow was gone before mile one was finished.
But, this is a great race, great course and I am looking forward to letting go and letting my legs take me down the canyon. Especially since I am not pacing or sweeping.
YEAH RUNNING! YEAH CANYONS!
MONTHLY MILEAGE 2015
Total Mileage Breakdown for 20152015 Training Miles – 193.0 miles2015 Walking Miles – 256.15 miles
2015 Race Miles – 280.0 miles2015 Total Miles – 729.15 milesMonthly Total Miles for 2015January – 78.8 milesFebruary – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May – 97.4 miles
June – 131.15 miles
July – 101.65 miles
August – 55.7 miles
WOW. What an experience. What a race. What a moment. Even after a couple days as I write down my thoughts and feelings I am in awe of the support and celebration I received throughout the race and at the finish line. It really still feels surreal.
I don’t really want to rehash a lot of the feelings I had going into the race, I pretty much did that on Friday’s post. But, the morning of the race as I met up with Tim and Elsha the reality of what I was doing was really starting to sink in. I had emotions of excitement, humility and MAJOR reflection on the previous 99 races.
We started at 5:30am with the walkers and other strollers because I knew we were going to be somewhat slow. I didn’t want to have Elsha out in the heat for too long because it was suppose to get hot … fast! And, with Tim and I nursing some small injuries it just seemed smart to start early.
We started with about 20 or so other people just as the light over the mountains started to emerge. Besides the small amount of people the start was just like any other regular race, but as I crossed the starting line I took a DEEP breath and gave a small prayer of gratitude for this moment. Not just running race #100, but sharing this moment with my close friends Tim and Elsha.
We got about four miles into our run before we started getting passed by the runners who started at 6am. It was kind of a fun experience, because as we ran along and saw the leaders go pass we all kind of judged each runners gait and posture and predict whether or not they were going to maintain that pace or slow down. I’ve never paid much attention to that aspect of running before, but I won’t lie … it was actually kind of fun.
The course was pretty much flat and hilly. Not an easy course. But, Tim, Elsha and I kept each other laughing and having a fun time. About mid-way through the race as the sun started to rise fully above the mountains we started to do more run/walking between bus stops.
The heat was becoming an issue, especially to me. I think part of that was from my experience at Ragnar with my heat exhaustion. I’ve noticed I am a bit more susceptible to the heat as of late. But, I kept the water and Gatorade flowing and took salt tablets when needed. That seemed to help some.
Even with making sure I was hydrated and properly nutritioned I was a little frustrated with how I felt speed wise. I know a lot of factors went into it, but I wanted to go and FEEL faster as well (this wasn’t just a dawning thought, but something I’ve dealt with for over a year with my thyroid issues). Whenever I push Elsha or someone else I usually plan on an extra 5-10 minutes, the heat was also an issue and the flat course. But, really my current fitness level was where my frustration was felt.
I’ve struggled with it over the past year with my thyroid issues and having gained an unwanted 40lbs. because of those issues I felt it every mile. I’m not going to rehash those frustrations here, but I felt more of a motivation during the race that I wasn’t far off from regaining the form I had a couple years ago. I have and know all the tools to get there, which I have been working on the past few months.
But, during the last couple of miles as I ran towards the finish line and reflected on my journey, it’s been a journey of ups and downs. And, I appreciated those moments even more. Whether it’s been dealing with thyroid issues, injuries or emotional family issues (ie-My Mom’s cancer, family deaths, etc.) running has helped me get through those difficult times. Whether it was out on the course or through the friendship of others I’ve met within the community.
I won’t lie, the last couple of miles were rather emotional thinking of all this out on the road.
About less than a mile from the finish line I was greeted by my friend Jim out on the course. I was a little surprised to see him out on the course as I didn’t really expect to see him there. He had made any indication he was coming. I wondered if something was up, but kind of dismissed it.
About a quarter of mile later a couple of runners showed up to cheer us on. They were carrying bananas with them and encouraged me on by name. I didn’t know them and that’s when I wondered what was going on. I wasn’t expecting anything special out of being greeted by my family and some friends at the finish line.
But, as I turned the corner to the finish line I saw a MASS of people lined up on both sides of the sidewalk cheering and yelling my name. Not only that … they were ALL holding bananas in their hands. As I passed through this tunnel of people holding up bananas I got a bit overly emotional. I couldn’t believe it. The PA announcer called out my name and congratulated my accomplishment as I crossed the finish line.
I was blindsided by the reception.
As soon as I crossed the finish line my family was there and I was greeted by my mother who then promptly threw a pie in my face. All out of love, mind you. This wasn’t the first time she’s done it either.
But, after I took a deep breath and licked the pie off my glasses I just tried to take it all in. I really hadn’t expected such a reception at the finish line. And, compared to my first half marathon at the same place four years prior it was COMPLETE opposite. That first race I simply crossed the finish line, got my medal and then some water.
I had later found out that Jim was instigator of putting this whole thing together. He went out and bought 100 bananas to give me a “100 BANANA SALUTE” at the finish line and then worked with the PA announcer to recruit runners to wave the bananas. He wrote on the sidewalk with chalk motivating signs for me and really just went OVER THE TOP. I am still very touched by what he did.
What can I say … I have awesome friends.
I am still processing the love and support I received at the finish line. It just means the world to have friends like Jim and many, many, many others that stuck around to cheer me on. It really gave me a lot of positive energy moving forward to my final 80 races (which I will blog about later this week).
While I am now moving on to focus on my next race, I will never forget this race. I will never forget this moment. I will never forget the love and support I received from my friends and family, even from my mother’s pie. I will never forget it how I felt. It will always be a cherished moment for me. Always.
And, with that I thank ALL of you who had a hand in putting that celebration together. Even those that weren’t there and have been a part of my journey, thank you! I felt all that support and love out on the course and at the finish line on Saturday!
NEXT RACE: Timp Half
Race #101 will be this weekend. And, I am going to be sweeping the course while pushing my friend Josh. This will be our third race and first since the Lagoon Half in April. I am excited about this race for a number of reasons. Mainly, because I LOVE running American Fork Canyon. It’s such a gorgeous canyon.
EPISODE 01: THE UTAH RUNCAST
If you haven’t heard the pilot episode of The Utah Runcast, you can here …
MONTHLY MILEAGE 2015
Total Mileage Breakdown for 20152015 Training Miles – 188.0 miles2015 Walking Miles – 233.45 miles
2015 Race Miles – 232.95 miles2015 Total Miles – 654.4 milesMonthly Total Miles for 2015January – 78.8 milesFebruary – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May – 97.4 miles
June – 131.15 miles
July – 80.35 miles
I really am a sourpuss when it comes to the weather. It comes more from a hatred to the snow. But, I should be happy that the weather this past week has been ridiculously awesome here in Utah. But, I won’t lie, I miss the summer.
But, mostly I miss the longer days. I miss being able to get home from work and going running outside without it being dark. These months here in Utah I could still go running outside, but as fun as night running is there is the whole obstacle thing. Namely, ice and snow. Or wild deer and feral geese.
That’s why around this time of the year I yearn for a vacation to places like San Diego, Hawaii or anywhere with a warm sunny climate. Oh, and you can’t forget about Disneyland either.
Speaking of Disneyland, I haven’t been since September 2012 and I feel like that needs to change. I feel like a horrible Disneynerd for admitting that, but it’s true. I need a Disneycation soon. Like, preferably tomorrow?
Anyways, where was I going with all of this?
Oh, yeah, sunny climate weather.
I’m looking forward to come March and April when the cold and snow is gone. I have this feeling though we’re going to get dumped on come February. I mean, we have to right? Our weather has been so mild that something has to give, right? Well either that or we’re going to bring a wider smile to Al Gore’s face come spring.
But, in the meantime, I am going to run with what the weather gives me. I’ll still run on the dreadmill in the evenings and take every opportunity to run during the day that I can. But, that doesn’t negate my need for a warm weather vacation either.
Come to think of it, I haven’t been to Sea World for a while either …
But, I am going to stop there so I don’t go on another tangent. But, here are a few other things that caught my attention this past week …
I’m looking forward to the Super Bowl, but this whole “DEFLATGATE” cracks me up. Talk about getting awkward.
I am still a cat owner and the kids are doing great. I am worried because I am VERY allergenic to them. It really doesn’t seem like medication or bathing them is working. I break out in hives after handling them. It’s kinda sad. I don’t want to give them up, but I am not sure what else to do?
I have this strange obsession with tattoos. Especially BAD tattoos. In fact I think if I ever had a coffee table (or a Postum table since I am Mormon) I would want a book of tattoos and the meaning and reasons behind them. I love the art, but the meaning is behind them is probably what I love more than anything.
I love labradors. We used to have one when I was growing up. His name was Mickey and his story was actually quite odd. My brother was taking his dog outside to use the bathroom and while he was outside Mickey snuck inside the house and jumped on our kitchen table to eat something left behind by my brother. So it was a surprise to my brother when he came back to see this black lab standing on the table. Needless to say, after posting signs and ads in the paper we ended up keeping him for over the next 12 years.
When I am in a situation to get a dog, it will be a black lab. Not only are they loving and caring, but I want to make a running dog out of it as well.
This is actually a pretty cool house. I’ve said this before, but I have aspirations of becoming a minimalist in my life. A small little house like that would fit quite nicely into that lifestyle.
So, um, this is part of the reason why I am afraid of the ocean. Well, this and the fact that everything that lives in the ocean also poops.
Welp, yep, that’s about it for me this weekend. No big runs planned. I am actually going to probably just run the hills of Bountiful by myself. Anyone is welcome to run with me. I am thinking of running a nice nine miler from Eaglewood Golf Course, past the temple and then back down to my house?
Well shall see.
But, as usual, have a fun weekend and … HAPPY RUNNING!!!