So last week, I went down to the town of Springdale, just outside of Zion National Park to run the Zion Half Marathon. I was excited about the race, since it had been an entire month since my last race (gasp!). Plus, I always enjoy a chance to have a three day weekend in a gorgeous setting. We arrived Friday afternoon and the weather was just perfect. And when I checked into the hotel, I was informed that we were in the moose building. And boy howdy, there were moose everywhere! Moose on the door, moose paintings, moose lamps, and even a moose Kleenex box. Right then and there, I knew I was going to have a good race. (For those who are unaware, the moose is my spirit animal. I have had the best runs when a moose has been sighted, or even when there is a moose motif present.)
With the blessing of the moose bestowed upon me, I picked up my packet, had a nice dinner, and got a good night's sleep. I made it to the starting area and found my friend Jamie, who was running this race for the third time. She had found a small group of other Half Fanatics that we chatted with for a bit before the start.
|Ready to run or die. Photo credit: Jaime Eckles.|
The only difficulty I had during this race popped up at mile 8. I felt a hot spot on the side of my right foot. It was the same place that I had blistered the week before on my 32 miler. I had thought it was just a sock issue, but when it happened again, I had to admit that my favorite race shoes had actually hit their mileage limit. I was able to ignore the blisters for the last five miles. It was slightly uncomfortable, but bearable. I really felt great throughout this whole race, which is not the norm. I have only ever had one other race where I didn't have a moment of questioning why I do this.
As I was getting closer to mile 12, there was a long line of cars making their way to the finish line. My mom was in that line of cars and she yelled out the window"You're going to beat me!". I yelled back that I would try not to, but I was still moving along really well. She got the car parked and was walking to the finish line. I passed her just before mile 13. She told me to just go finish fast and she'd just take a picture after. So that's what I did. I was thrilled with my finish time, since the race was pretty hilly. I was expecting to come in about 10 minutes slower. Coming off a big training week and feeling that good was a great confidence booster.
|A successful run of fun and frivolity.|
|Proving we made it to the top.|
|It's quite the view from up there.|
|The sun rising over the red rocks.|
|Getting all set up to run.|
|How could you not enjoy running here?|
|Half number 61, done and done.|
Until next time, happy running!