Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Top of Utah Half Marathon 2012 Race Recap

 I only pay for 2 or 3 big races a year.  With my family situation right now, I have a hard time justifying anymore time or distance or moula.  Someday that might change, but probably not anytime soon.  And it's kind of a pain having to sign up for races months in advance.  Maybe if I was better at checking my schedule I wouldn't have signed up and paid for a half marathon and my trail marathon only a week apart.  I debated even running the race knowing that I would have a hard time keeping myself in check.  And since my hip has not been 100% since my 18 miler I knew it really wasn't smart.  But...I have run this race 4 years in a row.  Not running it was going to be hard.  Luckily I remembered that one of my friends was running it who finished just behind me last year.  I knew if I could stick with her that I wouldn't push myself to that sub 2 half that I've been coveting for so long.  So...I texted with her to make sure it would be o.k. and felt much better knowing that I had a plan.

That morning we waited in line for what seemed like an eternity.  The line just never seemed to end.  We ended up being on the last bus to the start line.  It was perfect timing as it was pretty chilly and I didn't want to freeze just standing around.

Jodi, me and Heather


If this picture doesn't show it, it WAS really cold.  I knew we'd be glad though as soon as we started running.  Truthfully it took about 3 miles to feel my toes and for my hands to warm up.  
It was a great race.  I felt great the whole time.  I was able to run beside Jody and Dawn the whole time and just had a great morning.  We finished in 2:13 and even though my hip was a little tight, it wasn't bad.  And I know it would have been so much worse if I had pushed it.  And bonus:  Heather got her sub 2 with her husband!  I was so happy for her!

I got to see Suzette again and run with her for a bit.  She is amazing and it was fun to see her again.

At the end we talked to my idol, Julia McCabe.  She's 81.  They had to create an age category just for her last year.  She started running at the age of 40, ran her first marathon at the age of 49, and has run over 140 marathons.  As she says, "it's never too late to start."  Seriously cool lady.  I want to be like her someday. 

The crew from the neighborhood:
Cheryl, Josh, Heather, Heather, me, Rob, Jody, Doran, Dawn, and Jodi.
I live near awesome people.

Next up:  in 3 days I'll be running up and down and up and down a mountain.  I'm basically scared out of my mind and more than a little excited.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Adventures in Trail Running

I feel like this has been the summer of trail adventures for me.  Which has been a wonderful change from my typical routine.  I haven't been obsessed with times and races.  I've really just been enjoying myself and some beautiful new places to run.  Never mind that I have my toughest marathon challenge in about two weeks.  I'm choosing fun on the trails over everything else right now.  I'm running the Grand Teton Marathon on September 1st.

 I got the privilege of running on some of the trails that I'll be running on during the marathon a couple of weeks ago.  It was gorgeous to say the least.  It's in Idaho and the temperature is at least 20 degrees cooler than here which was a breath of fresh air.  It got me really excited and made me feel less anxious about the run.  I decided that no matter how long it takes me, I will be on new trails, in a gorgeous part of the world.  That sounds really good to me.

One of the "fun" parts of running in this part of Idaho is that you really shouldn't run alone.  There are bears.  Lots of them.  I bought bear spray after talking with my brother who lives there and reading a scary news article and talking with the local guy at the running store.  He had seen a bear the day before on his run.  I guess it's just part of your arsenal when you run there.  I'm hoping that the marathon will have enough people to scare away any bears.

We also got to run the Snake River with my family while we were there and had an absolute blast!  The views were fantastic!

This is the view from my brother's back porch. It is a perfect view of the Tetons.  We all felt like he was so lucky.  He said it's just part of the background now.  Sad.  

We camped a few days in Montana and I got to run with my brother and my dad one morning.  More beautiful trails there.

yes, my dad is running in jeans.  sigh.

After we got back I tackled the hardest and longest trail run to date.  My brother and I ran up to the top of Ben Lomond Peak and back.  We ran a mile towards Willard Peak and back once we were at the top to make it 18 miles.  It was beautiful and hard and a great day.  I was surprised at how good I felt even at the end.  

Mel and her husband Carl ran with us for an hour to show us the way.  We started bright and early at 5:30 at the trailhead.

My brother, Tom

The views were incredible!

We saw 3 large herds of mountain goats.

At the top!  There were some boy scouts up there that took our picture for us.

I did get frustrated towards the end of the run with all the rocks.  It just got old avoiding them and trying not to trip and fall.  It was a really great day and a run I'd like to do again.  Just not any time soon!

My favorite picture of the day that my brother took.  We less than two miles from being down but it looked like we were still really high up there.