I ran the Provo City Half Marathon today — my 118th race in my 180 race journey. I won’t lie — it was tough. I was emotional. I was sore. I was a lot of things. But, I finished above my expectations and I gave it a strong effort. And, some day that’s all that matters, right?
Here are some snapshots from the race. I will have a full race review back here on Monday. So make sure to come back!
Running is so rewarding — it’s inspiring — it’s motivating — and, yet it’s hard. It’s easy to forget that. But, running in all it’s simpleness — is tough as — you know what.
Sure, it would have helped if I went into the race fully trained. But, that wasn’t the goal. I mainly did it to get my race wiggles out and to use it to gauge where I’m at with my training. There was no goal time or certain pace I wanted to attain — I just wanted to give my best effort and see what happened.
And, I feel like I attained that.
It was a humbling experience too. It’s been my longest run since the Revolution Run in January. I had lost a lot of speed and stamina in the later part of last year, just from complications to my thyroid/testosterone issues. So I wanted to use the first few months of the year to build up towards a half marathon.
As evidenced today — I can still run … or complete, a half marathon. It hurt. It was painful. But, I did it. But, I don’t want to simply finish a half marathon, I want to run a half marathon like I know am capable of running it.
Obviously, easier said than done.
So the goal has been to lead up my training to the Provo City Half Marathon on May 7th — so far, so good. Well, despite a couple weeks of non-running because of illness. But, I’m still on track to be trained by race day.
But, I needed this challenge — I needed this race. I needed a physical and mental challenge for me and this just seemed perfect. It was a small race — relatively cheap — and between my last race and Provo City. So I signed up — of course with no expectations.
From all indications this was a first time race — I didn’t see it on the race docket last year — so I am assuming it’s new. And, so going into the race, I was expecting a small runners field — which was the case.
So I expected to be the last runner going into the race. Especially since it was a flat course along the Legacy Parkway Trail. But, I actually wasn’t … I was third to last. Which makes me bummed that only the first three finishers get medals — I think us in the back deserve them too!
There were a few familiar faces along the course — which is always a treat. And, from miles 3-8 I was able to run with my friend JoAnna and Michael. That was much needed. It helped me stay on pace longer than I think I mentally could.
Around mile eight is when my body started to tank some — which I kinda expected. Even at mile eight. Usually I hit that wall around mile 10-11, but since my longest training so far has been five miles — I was expecting it.
So, after sending JoAnna and Mike ahead of me — I just focused on the nitty gritty last five miles. It was tough. It was hard. I might have cried. But, it wasn’t from pain — I had dropped my opened uneaten Gu on the ground.
But, I just focusing on moving forward. I did a run/walk method, but that quickly turned into a shuffle/walk — which than turned into a shuffle three steps/walk method. Needless to say, there was NO juice in my legs. None.
Yet, I was okay with that. I was expecting it. I just put my music on, zoned out and tried to get lost in my thoughts. Which worked for the most part — though I’d get the occasional biker yelling “to your left” — which totally broke my zen moments.
Anyways, once I was on the home stretch — I was just happy to be done. I found a huge plate of oranges and just sat there munching them down while drinking down water. It was pretty much the nearest to heaven I’ve been while running. I could have eaten the whole plate.
And, so I survived race #117 in my 180 race journey. It was everything expected — tough, ugly, difficult and nothing to really write home about. BUT … it was very rewarding. It gave me time to get lost in thought, experience and process what my body was telling me and be a part of the running community.
Now, excuse me while I walk around funny — looking like I have been riding horses for two weeks straight.
I may or may not have the saddle burn to prove it as well. But, that’s another story for another day.
Now to focus 100% of my effort on Provo!
MY NEXT RACE: PROVO CITY 13.1
As noted above — this is the race I am training for currently. This isn’t my goal race for the year, but obviously want to give it my best effort.
This will be my fifth time running Provo — which sounds SO weird saying. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been running over five years now. It all seems so new to me sometimes — and I guess some of it is, like the ultra marathons and longer distances. But, still. Five years?
I don’t have a goal time for this race … yet. I am thinking about 2:30-2:40 would be ideal, but I’d be happy with anything under 2:45 right. Since it’s mainly a downhill course I feel like that’s doable.
Anyways — PROVO OR BUST! (never thought I’d be typing that)
A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on
If you haven’t listened to the latest episode of the Runcast USA — give it a listen. We’re talking about winter running. Sure it’s now March and the weather is decent — but, you never know when a freak spring snowstorm could happen … right?
Anyways — give it a listen and let us know what you think …
So last weekend I binge watched Season 1 of Fuller House — lots of feelings on it. Nostalgia was there — writing? Not so much. But, still I’ll be watching Season 2 whenever that comes out. And, according to this BuzzFeed quiz my Fuller House spirit animal is … Danny Tanner. Not sure I feel about that? Was kinda hoping for Stephanie Tanner.
This is an interesting list of the richest sports owners — the first on the list is Steve Ballmer, owner of the L.A.Clippers. What do you even DO with $23.5 BILLION? Sure, buy an NBA team — but what else do you really have to do with your life besides weekend trips to Fiji and a personal chef?
Can you believe that I am officially HALF way to my goal? 90 races is A LOT of races, but at the same time I feel like I know each one personally. This is one reason I know I was born with the hoarder gene. If these my races were cats it would be safe to assume you wouldn’t want to step inside my house. But, I digress.
Really though, I feel like each race has become a part of me and my journey. This was my fourth time running the Provo City Half and I must say, it has progressively become one of my favorite races. That wasn’t always my case. The first couple of times I ran it I kinda hated it. The wait up the canyon was too long and cold and then it was too hot on the course once you got out of the canyon.
This race wasn’t any different. But, the biggest difference has been the people. As sappy as that sounds it’s true. The more my running circle has widened the more enjoyable that long and cold wait up the canyon has become. It’s hard to stay cold when you’re laughing too hard. Again, that sounds totally sappy. But, it’s true.
Plus, the more I run, the more I appreciate and love downhill races. Provo Canyon is beautiful and I love the paved trail that winds itself down to University Blvd. It really is gorgeous. Plus, it’s one of the first races of the running season and there is a fun energy about it. I love that aspect. I love that energy. I need that energy.
Since bus pickup was from 4:30-5:30am I decided to stay with the Gabicas in Orem since Mark was running the race as well. It worked out great, because in the past I’ve had to wake up at 2am and then drive from Bountiful to Provo to hop on the bus. As it turns out, it really does pay to have friends in Utah County.
I met up with them and some other friends at TheOld Spaghetti Factory after work on Friday. I won’t go into much detail, but I absolutely LOVE pasta before a race. Not just any kind of pasta. I just want spaghetti and marinara sauce. As simple as that. I think it runs in my blood, because my Dad is a pasta man as well.
But, I digress.
After carpooling down to Provo with Mark on Saturday morning we met up with our running friends to take pictures before loading the busses. Once we got up the canyon the party continued. I love these larger races just for these occasions. I love the starting line party atmosphere. There is an excitement in the air, it’s as though everyone’s nerves add to that scene. It’s something I will never get tired of. Never.
Going into the race I wanted to push myself. And, on a downhill course that’s a bit easier for me to do. Last year I got about a 2:20 finish time and though I know I wasn’t there yet this year, I wanted to finish somewhere between 2:30-2:45. I felt that would be a good finish time, especially since I didn’t get much mileage in the week before because of PrepperCon.
When I got to the race I still felt this range was doable and since my friend Cevan was pacing the 2:45 group I decided to just run with him and see how I was feeling. I am glad I ran with him most of the way, because 2:30 would have been pushing it a TAD too much for me I think? It’s been a frustrating past couple of months with my thyroid and testosterone and I have a lost a lot of my speed. But, that’s a post for another day.
So, 2:45 was it.
I started the race alongside Cevan and since he was the last pacer of the bunch it was definitely THE PARTY IN THE BACK! Cevan brings a lot of fun (and irreverent) energy which works perfect for the 2:45 group. Starting off the race we had a fun little group of energetic runners following us. It was fun.
After a couple of miles things spread out some and I found myself running with a first time half marathoner, Shaun. He was struggling some with his breathing and rhythm, so I kind of stayed with him to help him through that and help get him back to Cevan.
I saw a lot of myself in Shaun as we were running. He was doing this because he wanted to improve his life and make his family proud of him. Thinking back to my first half marathon I really wish I would have had someone I knew to help me through a lot of those small things that don’t come up until race day. And, with this being my half way race, I had a lot of my past races on my mind … especially that first race.
After running the first half of the race with Shaun I went ahead to catch up with Cevan because he had to slow down with some foot issues. But, after the race Shaun and I touched base and I know our connection benefited both of us for different reasons. Sure, I helped him with those little things, but seeing his determination to run catapulted my thoughts throughout the rest of the race to ALL of my races.
My mind raced (all puns intended) throughout all 90 of my races. It ran through all the difficult races that I pushed myself through the hard, I thought of all the accomplishments of new distance and speed accomplishments and then of course all of the friendships. I won’t lie, around mile 10 I kiiiiiiiiiiiinda lost it thinking about that. I am not a very emotional person, but I guess when I am in the middle of a race left with my thoughts and craving a Slurpee and nachos I tend to get that way?
But, seriously, I just felt an immense gratitude for this journey of mine. The goal really hasn’t been about the number of races. I don’t feel like it’s that big of an accomplishment, but those races have given me 90 opportunities to make new friendships, inspire other people and share my love for life and running.
I’ve had a number of opportunities to be a part of other people’s journeys and some of their firsts. Whether that’s being a small part in Shaun’s first half or running alongside Jill during her first marathon. I feel lucky to be in a situation where I can share those experiences with friends new and old.
Gosh, I might be getting a TAD emotional right now just writing that.
I’ve just been VERY VERY blessed.
Anyways, back to the race. Once I got within two miles of the finish line I just tried keeping a good pace. I tweaked my knee around mile 9ish and I was having a hard time stretching it out. I wasn’t too worried about it, it was just more uncomfortable than anything. But, it was around this time I kinda lost sight of Cevan and knew I wasn’t going to be coming in at 2:45, so I do what I usually do in those situations.
I looked for someone to run with.
I found one of the runners, Katie, who was running with Cevan at the start of the race. This was her second half marathon and, really, was a breath of fresh air during the last couple of miles. She was energetic and enthusiastic which kept me laughing. She was also pushing for a new PR which she beat by four minutes!
My official time for the race was 2:53:40. It was eight minutes off my goal, but fittingly less than thirty seconds off my time for my first half marathon back in 2011. I am now officially half way there.
NEXT RACE: VIGOR BIG COTTONWOOD HALF MARATHON (THIS SATURDAY!)
Now that I am officially on the downside of my goal, I guess it’s fitting that I am running a downhill run next week, eh? I ran this race last year with Susette and it’s one of my favorite races … mainly, because I love Big Cottonwood Canyon … a lot.
But, I am excited about this race too, because this will be my second race pushing Wheelz (aka Josh Twelves). This should be a faster time than Lagoon … mainly because it’s all down hill, but it should be a lot of fun. I am half tempted to buy myself some Heely’s and just roll all the way down the canyon while holding onto his cart.
This really doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
But, it totally is.
MY 2015 MONTHLY MILEAGE
Total Mileage Breakdown for 20152015 Training Miles – 161.5 miles2015 Walking Miles – 104.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 92.85 miles2015 Total Miles – 358.35 milesMonthly Total Miles for 2015January – 78.8 milesFebruary – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May – 15.1 miles