Sunday, March 17, 2013

Canyonlands Half Marathon

Once again, it's been another couple of months since my last post! I've mostly been spending my weekends training for my Half Marathon - running about 25-30 miles per week with shorter runs during the week and long runs on the weekends. I've gotten fairly active on MyFitnessPal, an online community for people wanting to focus on health and exercise. Since I don't know too many serious runners, this helped me learn a lot and stay motivated during my training.

In February I did my first "official" 10K (6.2 miles). I run 6 miles almost every Tuesday and Thursday, so I was definitely prepared, but wanted to actually do it in a race format. It was also good to get another timed race in prior to my Half Marathon, just for the experience of running in a race setting. I hadn't done any races since last October, so this was very helpful.

And now, on to my "big day"...

I honestly can't believe how fast it came up! I've been training for 3+ months for this, so it was very exciting for the day to finally arrive! I've ran 12-13 miles every Saturday for the past 4 weeks, so I felt fairly confident going in. My goal was to run the entire race without walking and to complete it under 2 hours and 10 minutes, which would've been just under a 10 min per mile pace.

When we lined up to start, there were so many people and not enough room, so I ended up a little ways behind the 2:20:00 runners. I tried not to let it bother me, and figured I could make it up once the crowd loosened up. And I was right! It took about 3 miles, but I finally managed to catch up with the 2:10:00 pacers, and actually passed them. The next 8 or so miles went just as well. There was even a pretty big hill at mile 9 that I felt confident doing thanks to one of my training routes that takes me up 6800 road in Montrose (killer incline). Unfortunately, right about the time we hit mile 11, I got a terrible side cramp and a weird neck pain at the same time and had to slow down. I didn't walk, but was probably running at a 10 or 11 min/mile pace. When I hit mile 12, I was able to pick up a little momentum due to the mentality of knowing I was almost done, and then when I rounded the corner onto the last stretch and there were people on all sides cheering I picked up my pace a tiny bit more. Unfortunately by this point I just couldn't get myself to sprint or anything though, but still finished with a gun time of 02:03:23 and a chip time of 02:00:51.

Overall I was very happy with myself that I made it so close to 2 hours. With the way I slowed down on mile 11, I didn't think I would be anywhere near that time! Of course, once I finished and saw how close I was, I was immediately bummed that I didn't finish in under 2, but what are you going to do? I am doing at least one more half this year (Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon on August 10), so I now have a goal for that! I'm happy I finished under my original goal of 2:10, which I think is a great time considering it was my first ever half marathon!

My husband, family (mom, dad, and brother), and I spent the rest of the afternoon seeing a bit of Arches National Park, and then we enjoyed a big celebratory dinner! It was a beautiful weekend in Moab! In fact, it ended up being perfect weather conditions - 60 degrees and cloudy for my run, and then upper 60's and sunny during our time in the National Park!

Overall stats from the race:
Chip Time: 2:00:51
Gun Time: 2:03:23
Average Pace: 9:13 min/mile
Overall rank: 1293 out of 3189 finishers
Class rank (Females 20-24): 40 out of 150
Sex rank: 558 out of 1895

Pictures from the weekend:

The starting line (top right)
My bib and finisher medal :)

Hubby and I after the race!
Beautiful blue skies on Saturday afternoon in Arches National Park!

As we get into spring and summer, I'm hoping to update my blog a bit more! I'm definitely planning to add running in with hiking this year. We haven't made too many official plans, but I know I want to get up to Estes Park this summer, do several more races, a little camping, and at least one fourteener!

Flattop Mountain & Hallett Peak

I've been wanting to hike to the top of Hallett Peak ever since I found out it was the gorgeous mountain towering above Dream and Emera...