I had my first race volunteer experience in February. I went down to Moab to help with the Red Hot Ultra, a 33K/55K race through the red rocks. I spent part of an evening and most of the next day wholly involved in parking logistics. It sounds incredibly glamorous, I know. At first, I was a little disappointed that I wasn't going to be out on the course, helping the runners. But the runners needed their cars parked or they couldn't even get to the start of the race. Besides, helping with parking meant I got to wave neon orange flags around and how could I feel bad about that? I made it as fun as possible, coming up with different dances to do with the flags whilst guiding cars to their proper parking spots. One woman even took a video of me dancing. I was THAT good, you guys.
After the morning parking, we had to head to the finish line parking so that the spectators could get all set to go see their runners finish. That's where I spent the bulk of race day. But the location for the parking was the Goldbar Campground, right on the river. It's a gorgeous spot in a red rock canyon with the lazy river winding its way through, and you can see a couple arches right from there. At this point, I was spending most of the time teaching another volunteer's daughter how to dance with the flags. Seven year olds happen to think that I'm the coolest, just so you know. She was super disappointed when I got relieved to go grab some lunch up at the finish line. When I came back, she made sure to make the guy who covered for me give the flags back so we could resume our car parking dance party. It was a really long day, but the time flew by. And I got a lot of smiles and waves from the runners and spectators for my epic dancing skillz.
|My dancing weapon of choice.|
It was fun to see a different side of the race scene. I ran into the race director last weekend when I went down to run the Canyonlands Half and he said he'd love to have me back. I may just go ahead and make this a yearly tradition, since I'm too much of a baby to run the thing...
That was a really great segue into talking about the last half I ran. Man, I am getting good at this blogging thing. Anyway, the Canyonlands Half Marathon was last Saturday, it was my third time running it, and the 37th half of my career. I met up again with my yearly Moab friends. We only really see each other for this race and no other time but it doesn't matter because we are bonded by the love of running (or something like that).
|For the love of bling!|
The morning of the race started off a little chilly, but not too bad. I knew I would warm right up as soon as I started running. I was feeling good and ready to run. I had taken my running time on the Thursday before and spent it getting a massage instead, time well spent, if I do say so. Feeling fresh and springy, I quite enjoyed the first five miles of the race. I was on pace to smash last year's time by quite a bit. However, Mother Nature and my body had other plans for me. Around the five mile mark, a wicked headwind kicked up. It nearly pushed me over more than once. Not only was it a strong wind, it was bitter cold too. And it did not let up. As I was battling the wind, my body decided that it wanted to feel real sick. Because running against a beastly wind is more fun if you're trying not to throw up while you do it. It got to the point where I basically had to walk the last five miles of the race, just to not end up puking in the bushes. Every time that I tried to run, I would make it about 30 seconds before my stomach started doing backflips. It was a long five miles to the end. At least when we got to mile eleven, the wind was sort of at our backs and almost seemed to be helping at times, except for the massive amounts of dirt it kept depositing in our eyes and mouths.
|A runner's home away from home.|
I ended up with my slowest finish time for this race (not my slowest overall by a long shot though). I was just happy to have finished it at all without tossing my cookies all over the road. I have my own code, if I ever throw up from running, I will NEVER do it again. As much as I love running (I do love it, right? Right?!) I hate throwing up that much more.
Just say no to puking.
I know in my last blog post, I was all excited about the metabolism diet that I was trying. Well, I lost a few pounds, but I also started to feel really awful. I was dizzy all the time, my head hurt, and I was very sluggish. I know my trainer thinks that he knows what's best, but he's not a distance runner and it seems that my needs are different that this diet could provide for. The lack of grains is a problem. Since I've added them back in, I feel much better. It's been a frustrating journey with the trainer. I weighed about 15 pounds less when I started with the trainer. I thought it would be the key that would get me slimmed down just a bit so I could run a little faster. I'm mostly just tired and cranky though. The three trainer sessions per week mixed with 5 days of running are proving to be too much for me, especially since I also work full time. There's just not enough recovery time built in. I hope I can still finish my 50K in June without dying. The problem is that I have a contract that doesn't run out for a few more months and I'm not really a fan of just throwing money away, so I'll ride it out until the end.
I've got a slew of races coming up and I'll do my best to keep y'all posted. Until then, happy running!