We made it...

and that's all that really matters. Weather in SLC and Moab, UT was gorgeous! I had packed for freezing temps, but luckily we were met my 50-60 degree temps and gorgeous blue sky. Half of our group flew together and got in late Thurs night. It was dark so I couldn't really see anything until holy crap, I can barely make out these ginormous mountains all around us.

Friday morning I couldn't get over the huge masses standing right outside the city of Salt Lake and the fact that my friend T (and every other SLC resident) gets to see this every single day. Seriously, this girl has seen mountains, but she's never seen mountains like this.

A little after 10 A.M. we were off to Moab with Starbucks in our hands, the road ahead and the mountains all around us. I was in heaven. After checking into our motel, we crammed into one car and headed to Arches National Park. And again, this girl was in awe. We did a little hiking, saw some arches, had lots of photo opps and just enjoyed a few hours with mother nature. After a quick change, we headed to the expo to pick up our race packets and then off to dinner at the local brewery. After setting out my gear for the next morn and a trip to the hot tub, it was time to say goodnight. But T and I stayed up talking for a good two hours about our careers, goals, passions in life and what the heck we're supposed to do with it all. Solution: we have no idea.

6 A.M. came around quickly and we were up for bagels and preparations before heading off to catch the shuttle that would take us up the canyon to the race start. There were six of us, three trained to run it and three trained to some degree to walk/jog the 13 miles. By 9 A.M. (an hour before race start) we were standing in line for the port-a-pots at the race start.

After pre-race photos, chatting, another trip to the pots and a short warm up, this girl was ready to go. My friend J and I run a similar speed so we started together near the 8 min/mile pace marker. In fact, J was the one who convinced me to run long distance track with her sophomore year of high school so she wouldn't be out there suffering alone. And that's really the point in my life where this whole running thing became more a way of life and less just a form of exercise.

The first several miles were downhill so my times were pretty quick and somewhere around mile six I settled in at a pretty even 8. As always, the last few miles were painful. I had to fight myself mentally to not give up and walk and just keep pushing through the exhaustion. I finished in just under 1 hr 45 min, a personal record for moi! I was pretty happy with the time even though I wanted a 1:44 or less. Oh well, there's always next time. I came in 37 out of 378 females in my age category..not too shabby.

A few highlights (and even a "lowlight"*): the course was beautiful (taking us 10+ miles along the Colorado River and through the canyons), training harder afforded me the luxury of not really being sore today (minus a bum knee that is always in some state of pain or numbness), the altitude was definitely noticeable (due to the burning sensation in my lungs at the finish), mental talk really got me through some tough spots ("You're better than this. This hill is nothing. This hill ain't got sh*t on you."), Great Harvest Cinnamon Chip bread with chocolate milk rocks after running 13.1 miles, convincing your friends to run a 1/2 marathon with you will bring you all closer together through all the pain and laughter and finally, *running skirts should not be worn when running, EVER (wear a short, tight skirt when you're out at a club or at an outdoor concert in the summer, but not to a race - I don't enjoy seeing your butt cheeks).

We celebrated back in Salt Lake with dinner and then on to drinks at a popular hangout. Tired and exhausted, we managed to drag ourselves on the dance floor and shake it to some "apple bottom jeans and the boots with the fur" cuz no matter how many miles I've run, nothing can keep me from a dance floor and a good beat.

This afternoon I came back to several notices in my inbox from eharmony that just feel like nagging these days. Do I really care? Who has time to spend on this whole dating thing anyway? T suggested we start an online dating service specifically for runners if it didn't already exist. I googled and there are a few lame attempts, but nothing that really seems like it was made by runners for runners. Hmm...

Comments

Wow! Sounds like a great half marathon...Its posts like these that make me want to continue my training and while I can only run safely run about 6-7 miles right now, I think I could do it.

Sounds like a beautiful place...
Single said…
Congrats on the race. It sounds really beautiful there, which makes me kind of jealous. I was driving back from Tucson last night and saw a million stars, making me think I need to spend a little more time with nature soon.
heatherdc said…
Congrats!! Your time was awesome, and what a beautiful place to run 13 miles. I bet the altitude wasn't fun, I'm experiencing that as I'm running at home during my spring break. We are higher than Denver, ew. And I love that you went out dancing afterwards! :) sounds like you had lots o' fun!
Candice said…
Sounds like you had a great time. I'm so proud of your time, I know you could do it. You have to let me in on your secret of still having energy to shake it after a half?! You are my hero girl.
Candice said…
Yeah, I KNEW you could do it. I think I'm typing challenged today!
magda said…
Congratulations! I've been trying to psych myself into more serious running for awhile. This is an awesome accomplishment, and so fast!

Also, your pictures were awesome :)
Shawn said…
Congrats on the PR!!!!

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