I DID IT!!!!! 1:44:33!!!!! 7:58min/mile average pace!
^Just crossed the finish line and I couldn’t believe it!
During taper week I was really doubting if I could beat my previous PR 1:52 of 7 years ago!!! I can’t believe it’s been 7 years ha! I attempted to beat it back in 2014, but I failed. Then I had 3 babies in 3 years, and I haven’t trained till now. I really wanted to break 1:50, so throughout training I was doing speed work at an 8:20pace. This race is downhill for 7 miles(as most UT races are to compensate for the high altitude) and then rolling hills for 4 miles and then flat for the last 3ish miles.
I had an early alarm of 3:15am. I got dressed, pumped milk for Cooper, and headed out the door. The race was about 30 min away, then the bus up the canyon was about 40 min so I had a little over an hour to hang out in the cold till the start at 6am.
I knew the canyons were cold, so I wore sweats, a sweatshirt, and a fleece blanket and made a friend while I waited. They did yoga at 5:10, raffles, and had drinks, bathrooms, bananas, and energy gu’s. It was such an amazing race. So organized, so many volunteers, and for a great cause. All proceeds went to local cancer research and patients. There were SO many volunteers, it was incredible.
We started on time and I was in the second wave. I made sure to start my watch on time so I could stay on pace. The first 3 miles I was trying to warm up, my face and body were pretty frozen. I didn’t want to go crazy down the canyon, so I just went by effort. I wanted the pace to feel effortless so I went with that. I also took my first energy bean at mile 3.
Miles 3-7 were all downhill with a few flat spots and gorgeous. I still hadn’t turned on my music, I was soaking in the beautiful scenery; the river, mountains and the sound of my own feet pounding the pavement. It was wonderful. I was so grateful to be there with a healthy body. At mile 4ish I ran into my childhood best friend who lives out of state. It was such a great surprise. We chatted for a bit and then separated. I was passing people and at mile 7 saw a pacer that said 1:55. I passed them and never saw them again, so that gave me reassurance that I could chase my goal. I stopped and walked through every aid station and got a good drink of water and gatorade. Every aid station gave me just the boost I needed. I took another energy bean at mile 6.
Miles 8-11 I started to feel a bit fatigued and the rolling hills along a golf course were another obstacle, but I wouldn’t let myself quit or walk. All those hills Megan took me on during our training runs really paid off. I started to just think about the mile I was in. I didn’t want to get overwhelmed, so I just kept thinking to myself, ” I can keep this pace for 1 mile.” I also turned music on right about now, but I only put 1 ear bud in because I like being able to hear myself run and not lose control.Oh and I also kept reminding myself, ” If I could run this pace on the treadmill while entertaining my kids, I can run it now with no distractions.” I took my last energy bean at mile 9 and continued to walk through each aid station drinking both water and gatorade. The aid stations were perfectly placed, I was so grateful.
^my face when I saw a pacer in front of me but I couldn’t read it! I thought it said 2:05 but really it said 1:55! The twins behind me we’re trying to see it too haha
Mile 12-finish I started pushing the pace. There was a bit of downhill and I just gave into it and ran hard. The last straight away I was sprinting and a guy cut me off to high five someone on the sideline and I ran into him. He was SO sweaty and it was pretty gross ha. But I kept running and finished in 1:44. An 8 minute PR! I was so happy and got emotional. I told my husband and kids not to come to the finish since it was so early(I crossed before 8am and it’s 30 min away) but I called him right away. They were all cheering and telling me congrats over the phone.
But then I walked around for 40 minutes because I had NO IDEA where my car was. It was so dark when we parked and I wasn’t familiar with the city. Luckily I found it, it was a good mile from the start haha
Overall, this was a GREAT half marathon. I would definitely run it again. Great swag, organized, awesome medals, gorgeous course, free photos, free Kneaders French toast breakfast at the finish, and all for a great cause.