This race starts at 7:30, which is way too late for August in Utah, but I guess the race directors have to do what they can to get everyone up to the start. It took a good 20 minutes to get up the canyon and buses started loading at 5:15 am. Cathleen (my friend that trained with me, this was her first half marathon, she rocks!) and I ran for about 1/2 mile or so for a warm up, it was pretty chilly up there. We stretched out and then chatted for a little while. We tried to get in the middle of the pack for the start, but it was pretty packed.
The "gun" goes off, it was a police siren sound, kind of weird but whatever. And we don't move, it took about a minute and 20 seconds to cross the line, dang it. Then it was so crowded that we couldn't get into a good groove until about 1.5 miles in :S. I started cramping almost immediately, in my abs, but toughed it out until the 3 mile aid station where I walked and drank water. I decided to start munching on sports beans to see if that would help, it really didn't :(. I was well hydrated and thought I ate well the days prior, so I don't know what was up.
After the mile 3 aid station I decided it was time to just push it as much as I could since this was supposed to be the best downhill part of the course. I passed many many runners through here, which was pretty motivating. My one complaint is the campfire smoke, it kind of just hangs out there in the canyon, but didn't last too long which was good.
I took a Gu at mile 7 or so with the Heed sports drink, man that stuff was gross! I forced myself to drink it because it was getting hot and I was still cramping! Luckily it calmed down just a bit so I could ignore it fairly well. There were quite a few hills through mile 10 or so, which was a surprise to me, no one said anything except for the hill around mile 10.5-11, though it is Utah I should have known ;).
At the mile 11.5 water station, the person in front of me stopped completely, so I had to do the same, I was never able to recover fully and my pace suffered :(. I had been following blue shorts girl for about 2 miles, her pace was pretty even, which was really helpful but I lost her here and had to settle for passing other people instead.
Now, before you all think I'm a big jerk, I was tired and had to pick any motivation that I could. I know people have different ailments and or philosophies when it comes to long distance running, so I don't fault her for what happened, I just used it as motivation. Ok, disclaimer done. There was a woman that was running with a friend and she kept peeing her pants, I passed them at mile 8.5 or so, not wanting to get splashed, it was that bad. But they caught me after the 11.5 aid station, I kept them close, as she went again! And at mile 13 I passed them one last time, I didn't want to be behind her in the photos, I know! I'm so mean.
I really wish I would have had someone to run with, I think I could have done even better, oh and the cramping didn't help either, I forgot to say that I had to stop and walk for about 20 seconds while I tried to stretch the cramp out, that was at mile 11 or so.
Overall I'm pretty pleased with my performance and I'm sure I'll give the race another chance, see if I can run more even splits. I usually remember a little more about the course than I do this time, I guess the fender bender knocked out some of my memory, hehe. Though this report is long enough, so I guess that's good that I don't remember.
Here are my splits, I lost my signal on my Garmin through the canyon, so my mile splits are off a bit.
Mile 1 - 10:25 very crowded at the start
Mile 2 - 10:10 still trying to get my groove
Mile 3 - 10:38 water stop and stretch the abs
Mile 4 - 9:42 nice downhill
Mile 5 - 9:56
Mile 6 - 9:42 found someone to pace with, but he drops back at the aid station :(
Mile 7 - 10:10 aid station and out onto the main road
Mile 8 - 10:11 mean hill
Mile 9 - 10:06
Mile 10 - 10:33 aid station
Mile 11 - 10:48 aid station and walk to stretch again
Mile 12 - 10:43 it's hot!
Mile 13 - 9:08 Garmin reads 12.92 miles, so this is a 9:56 pace
Per Garmin 2:12:16 :). Official results still aren't up yet, so I don't know the seconds, just 2:13:xx
I guess my thoughts that I can't hold a 9:xx mile for more than a mile are wrong, hehe.