|If I ever have a posterity, it will look something like this. (Yes, I know "have a posterity" isn't the correct way to put it, but this is my blog and I do what I want.)|
At the beginning of the lovely month that is May, I ran my 41st half marathon, and favorite half marathon, the Dino Half. It was a perfect spring time day in Eastern Utah. The conditions were ideal. The canyon was in fine form. The bus that took us to the start had to stop at one point to let a small herd of deer cross the road.
This was my third time running this race. My younger brother was also running this one with me, as his third half marathon. He wasn't trained for this one as well as he would have liked to be, but he still did well. I was similarly hoping to do well, and well I did! (For me, anyway.) I had stuck with the 2:30 pace group for the first 3 miles, but I knew that their pace was going to wipe me out and I had more to do that day than just the race. So I said my goodbyes and dropped behind. Even dropping off from the pace group, I was able to sail down the canyon on what felt like winged (I hope y'all are reading that in your heads as wing-ED. Because that sounds fancier.) feet and finish with a new best time for that course. Sure, that best time only applied to me and not the guy who won it by crossing the line an hour before me, but that was his race. I was running my own.
|Mr. Mittens is the unofficial mascot of this race. He's testing the medal's tastiness. It tastes like victory.|
|This race has the BEST medals. BEST MEDALS. BEST. B.E.S.T. Bessssssssst. Now that word sounds weird, huh. You're welcome.|
I felt fresh and happy, which is always an accomplishment after 13.1 miles. And it was fortuitous that I felt so fine, since I actually had to run 9 more miles afterwards at the hotel. When the schedule says 22 miles, you run 22 miles. So, being the obedient, non-resistant gal I can be every now and again, I hopped on the hotel treadmill and did 5 of the remaining 9 miles. I had to take a break to make the most out of my time in Vernal. You guys, there are dinosaur bones aplenty there. And I needed to spend some quality time with them. Also, I really needed to eat something, as I almost passed out in the shower...
|Mr. Mittens was also quite thirsty after his busy morning at the race.|
|This is what happens when you skimp on your training. DON'T SKIMP.|
I finally got myself calmed down and actually looking forward to the marathon. Except for one thing. It was going to be HOT that day. The weather forecast was not looking good. And those weather people were right on the money. It was hot. Crazy stupid hot to be running that far as slowly as I run. It didn't help that the race start time was at 7:15 a.m. when it should have been at least an hour earlier. I have heard this is a deviation from what they have done in the past. Let's hope that they choose to go back to an earlier start next year...
The race went well for me overall, despite the heat. I decided to stick with the 5:30 pace group, since that was the last pace group there was. (If anyone from the Ogden Marathon organization is reading this, please consider adding in a 5:45 and 6:00 pacer. It would really help out the back of the packers, many of whom are running their first marathons.) The pacer was really great. She kept my mind off of the heat, the distance, and all the other negative stuff that can come up in a race. That is, until mile 10 when my favorite running tights came apart at the thigh seam and the worst chafing of my life began to take place.
|Here's a picture of an adorable puppy, because a picture of my chafed thighs is way too gross for me to put up. I would lose all my friends. It's really not a pleasant sight. But this puppy, now that's pleasant.|
I had already figured that a 5:30 finish was way out of my reach, that would have been a PR by 23 minutes and I just wasn't trained for that. And when my pants went, I knew it would be a struggle to to hit the goal that had been bouncing around in my head of a new PR, even if it was just by a minute or two. Between trying to rig my pants in various ways to keep the chafing down, to slathering copious amounts of Vaseline on my legs at EVERY aid station, and at one point having a tiny bit of a melt down in a port-a-potty, I lost about 10 minutes.
Even with the 10 minute time loss to deal with my wardrobe malfunction, I finished with my second best finish time! I was pretty happy with that, almost as happy as I was to stop running and let my thighs begin to recover from the 16 miles of damage that had been done. I'll tell you, the post race shower was a new level of pain. I believe it would be an effective method of torture. Just make people run in the heat till they're all good and raw, then stick 'em in a shower. They'll tell you everything you want to know. And more.
|I'm not only grimacing due to the chafing, my calf also decided to cramp and seize as I fought my way to the finish. At one point, I thought I was going to just fall down. But I made it!|
|The medal is huge. Which is important. Medals matter.|
Until then, happy running!