Sunday, May 10, 2015

New Half Marathoners and Dinosaurs.

May has more than a few races in it, so y'all will be getting bombarded by race reports for a bit, mmmkay? Just over a week ago was the Provo City Half Marathon, which was also the first half marathon for a couple of friends of mine, Russell and Matt. 

The day went perfectly well for everyone involved. The weather was lovely; the course was pleasant. My friends finished strong (and beat me, of course). I did run well, though, finishing with my fastest time for a half marathon this year. With smiles on our faces and medals around our necks, we were able to watch the rest of the runners come through and the kids race. It's always so fun to watch those little kids run like crazy to the finish line. After a nice recovery lunch, everyone thinks it's a grand idea to run some more of these races. 
Half marathon #63 was a good one.
Yesterday was one of my most favorite races, the Dino Half marathon. It didn't take much convincing to get my friend Jamie to come down to run this one with me. In my excitement for the race, and with the weather always being cooperative before, I hadn't really bothered to check the forecast. It was a good thing Jamie informed me of the rainy weather prediction for the weekend before we headed out so that I could throw some rain gear in my suitcase. 

It was a pleasant drive down over to Vernal and since packet pick up was at our hotel, the whole evening was very convenient. We perused the Vernal dining guide and chose the Quarry Brew Pub for dinner. It was a good choice for a pre-race meal. Getting in to the restaurant involved dodging giant raindrops and cowering from the booming thunder and lightning. That did not give us good feelings for race morning. We obsessively checked the weather reports all night and then first thing in the morning. 

As it turns out, the weather gods decided to be somewhat merciful. The worst of it passed during the night, and left wet conditions behind.
Snowy peaks awaited.
It was a chilly morning, and there was some mist that fell on us as we began the race. 
Not far from the snow.

Heading to the start line, mist falling.
Just before the start, I decided that my plan would be to stay with the 2:40 pace group, since my finish time for this race is usually between 2:37 and 2:42. I didn't want to let myself get too caught up in the downhill of the race. Having a marathon this coming weekend means I should try to be a little conservative or something, right? Sticking with the 2:40 pacers was a good choice. Matt and Cevan made the miles fly by and it was nice to get to run with company. I even got to hold the pacing sign, and I have to say, I kind of enjoyed that part. I should look into pacing some races in my future. 
Having a pace party! Photo credit Cevan Skinner.
The skies stayed cloudy, but the temperatures stayed down and made for a nice race overall. For some reason, around mile 11, I had to let the pace party go on without me. It was like I got hit with a wave of fatigue and it took me a bit to recover from it. I could always see the pacers just ahead of me, so I knew I wouldn't be too far off the finish time I had planned on. I felt a little bit stronger and narrowed the gap just before mile 13 and came into the finish at 2:40:18. 
Running to my ever patient pacers.

 A solid finish line hug and medal bestowing, 
My mom drove down Saturday morning to see me finish and to hang out for some post race adventures. We snapped some sassy finish line pictures with Mr. Mittens, the T-Rex. 
We are loving this whole running thing.

Sweet victory and dinosaurs. 
The medal this year was a T-Rex, so it seemed appropriate for Mr. Mittens to join in the festivities. He was very popular and well received at the finish line. 
Meant to be.

You guys, dinosaurs are my favorite. FAVORITE.
Obviously, I adore this race. You can tell from the copious amount of photos. I was so pleased with the way it all played out, from the weather working out, to the finish time being what I was shooting for, to spending time with friends and family. I will run this race every year that it exists, which better be as long as I exist. 

Stay tuned for the next race report, which will hopefully recap an amazing finish at the Ogden Marathon. Until next time, happy running!

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