Salt Lake Half Marathon Death March
There was nothing beautiful or lovely about this race. It was a 13.3 mile suffer fest.
I've been really nervous about this race. I knew that if I ran a 1:44 at the race today, I would be close to my BQ plan for the Ogden Marathon. I guess the anxiety of that 1:44 goal put me over the edge. And I wasn't sure how my body would hold up. It's getting worn out and semi-broken and I still have 4 weeks to go.
I left home at 5:00 am and found a great parking spot close to the finish area. I took Trax to the starting area. I found a few friendly faces, Josse, Ericka, Paul, Tiffany, and Allie.
I found the 1:45 pacer and had plans to hang with him for awhile. The gun went off and immediately, I knew this race was going to hurt.
The race started uphill and was followed by several more rolling hills. My heart rate was already going crazy and my breathing labored. My stomach felt sick with anxiety. I still had a LONG time to suffer through the streets of Salt Lake.
I hung with the 1:45 pacer for awhile but eventually left him during the Memory Grove down hill. I was able to pick up some speed during this section, but felt like I was still putting forth a lot of effort.
Tim and the kids were waiting for me at mile 5. It was SO wonderful to see friendly faces with a big sign!
Eventually, I saw the 3:25 marathon pacer and ran with them for several miles until they split off at mile 9. I still felt like I was exerting a lot of energy and had a long ways to go.
After the pacer turned off onto the marathon course, I tried to stay with the half marathoners that were with that group. My wheels started to rapidly fall off at mile 10. I felt like I kept pushing the gas pedal harder and harder, but the speed was not coming.
My calves were cramping and my mental mojo was trickling away. I was in shuffle mode and was just trying to hang on for dear life. The numbers on my watch kept getting slower and slower and my stomach was growing angrier by the second.
I kept thinking to myself, "This is SO hard. This isn't fun. My body is going to start revolting." I felt like I was going to burst into tears. This desperation was not part of my race plan.
I knew I only had less than a half mile to go. I turned the street corner and could see the finish line. But the more I pushed the pace, the further away the finish line got. It took forever to complete that last .5 miles. There was no euphoria or singing angels when I finally reached the balloon arch. I stepped off to the side right in front of the camera man and tried to keep my breakfast together. Tears started to form in my eyes....I have never had a race experience like that before.
My body hurt in ways I didn't know was possible. I had exerted so much mental and physical energy that I didn't care about anything else. Pain was the only word in my post race vocabulary.
But then I saw my beautiful family. My kids were cheering and the pain subsided momentarily. I was so glad they were there. I wanted to make them proud. I told them I ran the race in a very horrible 1:44:01....which was exactly my goal. A 7 minute course PR (the race director changed the course and it was way more difficult than last year in my opinion).
I said a quick goodbye to my beautifuls and all my grumpies returned. I left the race shortly thereafter to get home for a soccer game and egg hunt.
(Good to see Ericka at the finish line....she totally rocked her race!)
I was hoping to have a mental boost from running this half marathon today for my big race in May. But I'm unsure of what to think of the situation. I'm not sure I can handle that kind of excruciating nonsense for another 2 hours in a marathon. I felt like the harder I tried push the pace, the more I mentally and physically hurt. There was no adrenaline to take off the edge.
I hit my goal today so I'm not sure why I'm so hesitant and not feeling the "high". I may have entered into that next level of physical discomfort.
And it is really painful.
AP: 7:52 7:59, 8:00, 7:21, 7:37, 7:20, 7:57, 7:49, 8:12, 7:58, 7:52, 7:43, 8:26, 7:57, 1:46