Tuesday, January 20, 2009
St. George Half-Marathon Report
Tom and I ran the St. George Marathon On Saturday. We hadn't trained a whole lot, but both of us need to get back in shape. Boston is only 3 months away. So this was a great wake-up call for both of us and we are not in as bad as shape as we thought. We both made it through and we both beat our goals. Albeit, my goal wasn't super ambitious considering the running shape I am in, but hey I still beat my goal.
And it was tons of fun to run with friends. I love these local races because there are so many friends. We all talk after about our race, what race is next etc. Great times.
Here is my report. I always ask Tom to write one, too but he never does. Oh well.
The St. George Half is in January in St. George. You never quite know what the weather is going to be like. It might bitter cold and raining or it might be 60 degrees and sunny. If you sign up for this race, you watch the weather and just hope for the best. And this year, that is what we got. The weather was spectacular. The forcast called for sunny skies and highs in the low 60s. Heaven I tell you.
The race began at 9 am. It was a chilly at the start. I wore running tights, short sleeves, my awesome argyle Garmin-Chipotle arm warmers a fleece, gloves and ear warmers as we waited for 9 to roll around. I shed the fleece just before the start. This year they chip-timed the race because there were over 1000 runners. But the timers weren't the greatest. They started the race ten minutes late and made 1000 runners funnel through an opening of about 15 feet where the timing mats started our chips. But chip timers are better than not, so I won't complain too much.
I started out way too fast. The crowds of runners got to me. I ran my first mile in 7:40. I usually like to make my first mile my slowest, instead it was my fastest. The first couple of miles wind flat through neighborhood streets. I tried to ignore the hoards of people passing me and just run my own race.
After a while we get on a bike path that follows the river. It is beautiful and nice to not be on the streets with cars. I passed a few, got passed by a few, but had found a good groove. I passed a girl who always kicks my butt at the local triathlons. She usually wins them, so it felt nice to pass her. (but she ran 8 minutes slower than last year so I bet she was pregnant or injured or something, but still.)
The 5th mile is uphill and is one of my slowest. I struggled up the hill but felt okay. The next mile is pretty downhill so it was pretty fast. At about mile 7, I am tired and have doubts about my finish. But carry on.
Just before 8 miles into my race, the leaders are coming back on the path at their 11 miles. They give me some new energy, watching them fly by me. I don't even think I could run 1 mile with them at the pace they were running. There were three who passed me on their way back and one was only 17 years old.
The next part of the course is a bit hilly and circles a golf course on the road. My IT band began to hurt but I decided against stopping and stretching it. (not sure if that was wise or not). The
loop is three miles and I just pushed through it. By this point, there are people around me I recognize. I tried to not let any women pass me, but of course some do. When they passed me, I tried to keep my eye on them.
Sometime around mile 10 I took off my arm warmers. I was so glad i wore them and not long sleeves. The last 2.1 miles are back on the path. Now, I got to see some who are behind me still on the path. I was definitely tired and my IT band ached.
Tom greeted me on the path about 1/2 mile from the finish. He ran with me for couple hundred yards and encouraged me. Then came the worst part of the whole course. We had to pass the finish line and run .15-mile further on the path and make the tight turn around (which means you had to practically stop to make the turn-around) and come back to the finish line. The geniuses who mapped the course, mapped it .3 of a mile too short and decided to add it at the end. Don't ask me why they didn't just add .3 of a mile to the start on the straight road that had plenty of room to add, but I was mad, I was hurting and I pushed as hard as I could. I crossed the finish line in 1:44:54 (6 seconds ahead of my optimistic goal).
Someone mentioned to Tom at church that I looked like I was hurting and having a bad race at the end. It's a little embarrassing to think about how I looked at the end of 13.1 miles, but I was hurting and struggling but I made it!
Click here for all the results.