Sunday, March 19, 2006

Canyonlands Half Marathon Report - long

This will be really long. So I'll start with stats on how it went, feel free to skip the rest if you'd like :)

This was my second half marathon, my first didn't go so well. My time was 2:35:55 officially and I wanted to beat that. I had three goals 1. beat my PR. 2. Finish strong. 3. Break 2:20.

I finished in 2:22:42, but finished strong. I'm very satisfied with my time and performance. I feel I did the best I could do and for me it was great! :)

Saturday I woke up pretty well rested yet worried about the weather. The forcasters had predicted rain and thunderstorms. I like running in the rain, but haven't for a distance over 4 miles. I was worried about blisters and chafing. I went outside to check the weather so I could decide what to run in. It was gorgeous out! I should've taken a pic of the sunrise. Anyway, I decided to go with my skirt, a tanktop and my t-shirt over the top of that. I wanted to be able to take off my shirt if need be since I hadn't trained in any temp over 40 degrees or so in the last several months.

We head out (I was traveling with my friend Sheree) to the bus for our ride up the canyon. I gotta say, porta poties are nasty yet wonderful for those times that the need arises :P. Sometimes I wish I were a man and could just go pick a tree to pee on, tee hee.

Once up the canyon it was pretty chilly but not horrible. We wait in the giant pack of runners for the gun to sound. It was so exciting standing there with that many runners, my biggest race so far. Though thats not hard to do since it was only my 3rd race ever, lol.

The gun goes off and people start to cheer, we start moving and then stop again, lol. Finally we cross the start line. I kept telling myself to slow down, don't go out too fast. First mile was around 9:40, oops there goes my planned 11 minute mile, haha. The 2nd mile was slightly better at about 10 minutes even (yeah, I got a fancy watch that records split times but I can't figure out how to get the times off it, hahaha). So I settle down into a nice groove, I find a couple that look to be running pretty even times and try to keep them in my sights. I kept losing them at aid stations though, so I found a girl with a yellow tanktop and followed her. I felt really good until about mile 8, yikes nature is calling and not going to be ignored.

I find a port a potty at about mile 9 and try to make it quick so I don't lose much time. I lost my pacer and had to try and keep the pace on my own. I didn't mention the strong, strong winds that were in our face the whole time. I don't think we got a break for more than a few seconds or a minute at most, for the whole race.

At mile 10 a woman comes running up to me and we make small talk, her husband meets up with us a little after that and we make introductions. Her husband is a much faster runner than us but is injured so he couldn't run the whole race. He wanted to run with his wife for the last few miles to keep her company, how sweet! He asks me my time goal and I tell him, he could tell I was really struggling, this wind was taking a lot out of me. I guess the too fast miles at first could be getting me back too, hehe.

Jim, the one running with me and his wife, Donna. We so awesome supporting me and encouraging me. I don't think I could've kept going that fast without them. In the excitement of meeting new people, I forgot to take my Gu, so I'm sure that had something to do with my lack of energy as well. I realized it at about mile 11 and figured it was too late anyway, so I continued on the best I could.

We came out of the canyon and the winds were really bad, right at our faces, I had to bend over a bit to keep from flying backwards, fun fun. We got hit by a ton of sand at the 2nd to last turn. I remember thinking "do I really want to race or do I just want to finish? I can just walk, who cares if I don't meet my time goal?" then I snapped myself out of it and said "you can do it, get your butt moving!" A few volunteers yelled out "1/2 mile to go" I was so sad "what? I was hoping it was 1/4 mile, you are killing me" Donna laughed and said "the last is the worst". And luckily the next volunteer said "1/4 mile to go, you look great!"

We turned the last corner and I said "I can't do this anymore, I gotta get this overwith" Donna said "I'm going to jog it in, you go for it. You can do it!!" I smiled and said "thank you so much" her husband, Jim said "Meadow, you are so strong, you are doing great. Go Meadow, Go!" so I did. As fast as my beat up legs could go. I saw Sheree and contemplated stopping and cheering for everyone else instead of running another step, but decided that would be lame, lol. She ran ahead to get a picture of me and that made me laugh. I couldn't decide if I should slow down for a nice pic or just keep chugging along to get it done. I chose to get it done, luckily the pic looks good so its all good.

I finished in 2:22:42, an almost 13 minute PR. I'm proud of myself considering the challenges I met along the way. No running for 4 weeks and then only being back at it for 3 weeks when it came to race time. Even if training went perfectly, I would still be happy since I did better and felt much better after this race than I did after my last one. After a few minutes of stretching and resting I felt great!

I'm already planning next years race :)


Lee said...

You did great Meadow!! I am proud of you.

Alissa said...

GO YOU! Please never challenge me to a race. I'd probably just cry.

The Constant Gardener said...

I don't think I could ever do anything like that! You are awesome!!

QueenMeadow said...

Liss, you win in the flexibility contest. I can barely touch my toes, lol.

Thanks girls :)

emlouisa said...

Wow. I totally look up to you, girl.

Lei said...

Wow Meadow... I admire runners! Such determination!