September 15, 2013


On Thursday night, my dad flew in from Minnesota to do the Big Cottonwood Half Marathon with me.  His flight kept getting delayed, so he didn't get in until 1 a.m.  It was a bad start to a great weekend!

I took the day off of work on Friday and went to the race expo.  It was pretty small, but we were prepared, so we didn't need to pick much up.  Do you like how we match? :)

After the expo, we picked up a few last minute items (including 5 different ponchos---in case of rain!).  Then, we went to the Foundry Grill at Sundance for lunch. 

After Sundance, we dropped Duncan off at Clayton's parents, checked in at our hotel, watched a little football, picked up some balloons (so I could spot Clayton on the course), and went to bed!  Clayton said that it was the first time in years that he has gone to bed at 8 p.m.  Ironically enough, he was the first to fall asleep!

We caught the bus to go to the starting line around 4:55.  I was stressed that we were going to miss it! The parking lot was full, so we had to go park in a nearby neighborhoodl!!  

I had planned a lot ahead, but I was glad I had my dad there to remind me of a few things.  I was so antsy/slightly nervous that I started forgetting little things.   I almost left my race bag in the car, and one of my earbuds fell off at home.  They were little things, but had I been alone, I think I would have really stressed out!  He really set my nerves at ease.

I went to the bathroom three times before the race started -- two times on the bus and once at the top before the race began.  I did not want to stop during the race if I could help it!

We waited at the top for probably 25 minutes.  It was cold, but not as bad as I remember the St. George Marathon start being (that was in October, though).  I had a lot of layers to keep me warm.  Soon enough, it was race time!

The first fifteen minutes of the race really consisted of me undressing.  I took off my first set of gloves, then my second, then my jacket, and then my arm warmers.  Finally, I pulled my top shirt around my waist.  I'm sure that anyone running behind me probably had a good laugh about the amount of clothing I had on!  Some people were really under dressed though!

I tried really hard to keep myself slow at the beginning.  My goal was to run the first 5 miles at my normal long run pace, but I think the excitement of the race, the hill, and my time goal got the best of me.  I was definitely running faster by mile 3.  

I fueled at mile 5.5 & somewhere around 8 (I had a hard time seeing the mile markers), which turned out to be good. I had just the right amount of liquids.  Had I drank any more, I would have had to use the bathroom, but I needed the hydration.

The first 8 miles really flew by.  Running down the canyon combined with being in a race instead of just training made for some really quick miles.  After the race, I realized that half marathons really are an entirely different race than full marathons.  They are a great length -- so quick!  You get started, set your pace, run for a few miles, and then it is time to push to the finish line!

I was excited to see Clayton at the bottom of the canyon.  Clayton positioned himself perfectly!  He was right in front of me as I came out of the canyon!  We helped him out by getting him balloons to hold (I have to train him how to be a good race spectator!).  I was so excited about my pace that I didn't want to stop to take a good picture.  I probably should have, because this one is pretty awkward.  However, I knew that I was going to be able to finish in under 2 hours, but I didn't know exactly what mile I was at, so I didn't want to risk it by stopping for a picture.

Anyway, once the ground flattened out, I could feel the pace of the previous miles catching up to me.   I just kept thinking, "This is just a 5K. I can do a 5K at this pace."  I was really nervous that I was going to screw it up, though.  I asked one volunteer what mile I was at and he said he thought it was mile 10. 

It turned out that what I thought was mile 9.5 (where Clayton was cheering) might have been closer to 9, but it turned out alright.

I kept going and just tried to keep my form strong.  I knew from my cross country days that I could use my arms to pump me forward, and I tried to keep my posture good so I was getting enough air.  I'm sure my pace was still slower on the last few miles, but I tried to stay powerful.

I ended up making my goal time by 3 and a half minutes, which I was really excited about.  I really tried hard to stick to my training plan, but I also didn't want to set any unrealistic goals for myself and then be disappointed.  I was happy with how it turned out.

My dad did a great job, too!  He is seriously a machine.  He hardly trained at all, because of an Achilles tendon injury, yet he was able to run the whole thing!

We went to Kneaders for breakfast after our run, and then saw a play in the afternoon.  We were a little sore, and it took some caffeine to keep us awake.  I was pretty surprised at how sore I was in comparison to my training runs, but I think it is because I ran harder than I usually do.

Now, I'm just looking forward to my next run.  I am really excited to sign up for another race.  After my St. George Marathon in 2007, it took me 5 years to get seriously into running again, and I do not want that to happen this time!

More about the rest of our weekend later!


  1. Thanks for writing about your race. I was thinking about you on Saturday. I'm glad that it went well!

  2. Great trip report...sounds like you had a great run and congrats on doing so well. Thanks for sharing! Keep up the great work!


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