Sunday, November 2, 2014

A busy October

October was a busy running month for me. I scheduled myself five half marathons in one month. Really, it was more like three weeks. I started with the Mountain View Trail Half out on Antelope Island. This was my first ever trail half. And I have to say, it was pretty darned fantastic.

Running around with these guys? Very neat.
It was such a beautiful day out on the island. I was thrilled to see herds of bison just roaming around the trails. It turns out that the faster runners would have to break up a herd to continue on the trail. Being slower, I missed all that excitement. I took a very leisurely attitude towards this race. I carried my phone to make sure I could get pictures and I ended up stopping for a lot of photo ops.
Moving right along.

Bison herd! 

I probably should have tried a little harder in this race, I finished second to last... And my slow finish lead my mom to think that I had been trampled by a rogue bison. I didn't have any close calls, I was just enjoying my jaunt around the island. Next year, I'll step it up a bit.
Before the race, exited to be here!

After the race, still excited to be here!
My second race for the month was the SOJO half marathon. I ended up liking this race more than I thought I would. After enjoying the trails so much on Antelope Island, I was less than thrilled by the prospect of running though the suburbs. But the Daybreak area is filled with interesting architecture and I was pleased with the course. I ended up running a nice, strong race. I was trying to run conservatively, since the next day I would be running another half down in Moab. But sometimes, you just feel so good, you can't hold back. 

Finishing strong!

With my brother afterwards, he did the bike tour.
After I got cleaned  up from the SOJO, we hopped in the car and headed straight to Moab so I could get my packet for the Other Half the next day. The Other Half is a tough course, but I love it. This was my third year running it. I did all I could to recover my legs once we got to the hotel. I did an Epsom salt soak, foam rolling, and some yoga. It must have worked, since I was only three minutes slower than my time last year. The hills didn't seem as daunting this year. Maybe that's because I feel like I know the course now or maybe I'm just getting stronger as a runner. Either way, it's always phenomenal to run in Moab. 
Moaaaaaaaaabbbbb! Whoooo!
Then it was recovery time. I spent most of the next week on the spin bike at the gym to take it easy on the legs. I had a big weekend coming up since I scheduled two half marathons in one day. It seemed like a good idea at the time I signed up. I managed to convince my running friend, Jamie, to join in the madness with me. She jumped at the chance. We were both excited and I was still pretty optimistic when race day arrived. The first race was the Haunted Half. It was a nice run down Provo canyon. Since it was down a canyon, I ended up running faster than I had wanted to. But again, I was feeling really good, so it was difficult to dial it back. I just hoped that the 5 hours I had between races would be enough to make the second half go smoothly. 
Just a couple of spooky skeletons, running crazy miles.
I recovered with a Beto's breakfast burrito and an hour and a half nap. Perhaps the nap was a mistake... My legs had stiffened up during the nap. So I spent some more time with the foam roller and hoped for the best. 
Ready to run! Again.
As you can see, we used awesome gear to keep us motivated for this two-a-day. Our outfits got a great reaction from the other runners. Our spirits were high as we set out on our second half marathon of the day. I was a little stiff at first, but then I settled into a decent rhythm. The night was perfect for running. The temperature was ideal and the sunset was incredible. There were quite a lot of spectators out and the little kids were the best. They loved seeing all the costumes and they all wanted high fives. I actually felt pretty good until mile 9 (mile 22 for the day), so I counted that as a sign that I had trained well enough. I even found the strength to dig deep and have a nice sprint to the end. Although, after the race, I sat down and then had a difficult time getting back up again... I will say, it was worth it to take on this challenge. 
A gh-gh-gh-ghost!

In my opinion, two halves with a break in the middle is more difficult than just running a marathon all at once. The fatigue that settles into your legs in between the races is the big obstacle. But it was still such a blast! Plus, I got to level up in the Half Fanatics and we all know how much I love medals. Two in one day? That makes it the best day.

I have a nice bit of a break before I head to Tulsa for the Route 66 Half Marathon. And then training gets serious. I have two 12 hour races scheduled next year, with the first one being in February. That means my winter will be filled with much running. But hey, that's going to help burn off all that good holiday food! I eat, therefore I run. 

Until next time, happy running!