Sunday, November 8, 2015

Another triple race report.

I know you're all wondering, did she survive the Javelina Jundred?! I did, gentle readers. But I am not quite ready to write about my experience yet. It will take a while to process what happened to me out there.

Instead, y'all can read about the three half marathons I completed in the 2 weeks leading up to Javelina. I decided to do another back-to-back race weekend, because why not? So on the slightly misty morning of October 17th, I toed the line for my 70th half marathon at the Lake Powell Half.
We wound through some neighborhoods for the first little bit, but then we turned a corner and saw this sweeping vista. I hadn't ever spent time in Page, Arizona, and I was glad that I remedied that. The town is surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
My favorite part of the course.
We got to see even more of it than the race directors had planned. The lead bike pacer took a wrong turn and we ended up going about a half mile more than we were supposed to. I know this really upset some people, but for me, mileage is mileage and I'll take it.

I hadn't done much research on the course and was pleasantly surprised when we took a turn onto some glorious red dirt single track. I started passing people like crazy in this section. I think of myself as a trail running newbie, but I must be better at it than I think I am. It felt like I was flying through this section while other runners were standing still.

I took a break from flying along the trail to get a runfie.
When the trail section ended, we got to run over the bridge right by the dam. It was pretty dam cool (Get it? Dam? Ha!). 
The weather was really nice for the run. There was only a little drizzle around mile 8 and it didn't last long. The clouds enhanced the already stunning scenery. 
Phone cameras can't quite capture the glory of it all.
I was focused on running this race nice and easy, and with the added distance, I finished right around 3 hours. I was happy with it, considering that I was going to do the same thing again the next day.
I had enough energy left to kick it up a notch for the finish.
The shirt and the medal are superb. 
I finished with enough time to make it back to the hotel and shower before we had to check out and start our drive to Moab for the Other Half. As it turns out, it's quite a drive from Page to Moab. So I was good and stiff by the time we got there. I knew the race was going to be tough. It's already a hilly beast of a course, and stiff legs weren't going to help. Oh well.

At least I would be sharing the course with some great running friends. Jamie was there, as well as Jill and her husband, Wade. We goofed around before the start, taking pictures and enjoying the morning. 
Photo credit: Jill Lynch
Jill just told Wade to take his shirt off so that we would smile really big for the picture.
Jamie and I were wearing our Three Amigos outfits and she decided that she would run the whole thing with me, because "Amigos stick together!". I'm glad she did, because I was going to have a tough time. It's such a lovely course, it's nice to go slow and take it all in. 
Enjoying chatting with Jill. Photo credit: Jamie Eckles.
I was having a rough time from the first mile. Jamie and Jill kept me distracted pretty well, though. As much as my stiff legs didn't want to do this run, it was a great day to be out there with friends. 
Amigo pose. Photo courtesy of Jamie Eckles.
The best part of this race is the Taiko drummers that are at the top of the last big climb, around mile 11. This is my fourth year running this race, but it was the first time that I stopped to take pictures of the drummers. After I had snapped a few pictures, one of the ladies brought over a pair of drum sticks and told me to give it a try. I was geeking out. I had always wanted to bang on those big ol' drums. 

Letting us live the dream. Thanks, drummers!
Another drummer handed Jamie some sticks, and we started giving it our all. It was so amazing to get to do this in a race, a truly incredible experience. Being able to do something so cool gave me an instant burst of energy and endorphins. The fatigue I had been dealing with went away for a good mile and we made up a little time. 
I somehow found the energy to make a decent spring to the finish.
We came in right behind the 3 hour pacers, and I was good with that. My finish time for this race has always been within 2 minutes of the three hour mark. 
Good friends, great location, fun times. 
The Other Half never disappoints. The weather is always pleasant, the atmosphere of the race is fun. And the swag is fantastic. 
I love the pint glasses.
Having successfully completed another back-to-back weekend, it was time to start my taper for Javelina. Not that I had been doing all that much running during the week anyway. With the injury from September, working all the time, and trying to have a life, my mileage was way off what it was supposed to be. I decided that I was at the point where I needed to just focus on some cross training and only run for the next half on the schedule. So that's what I did.

The last half that I did was the Haunted Half, in Salt Lake City. I didn't want to like this race, because I spent 3 hours stuck in the car just getting to and from packet pick up. The race wanted me to like it though, and it won. 
The Headless Horseman was there to start the race.
The race started up Emigration Canyon, a place I had never run before. The grade in the canyon is really nice, not too steep. I was feeling very well rested due to not running all week leading up to the race and I was cruising right along. 
I did stop to take a picture of this glorious sky.
I was able to run strong through the entire race, which doesn't happen much for me. The course was a great one to move along at a decent clip. I knew there was a super sweet medal waiting for me at the end, too. I somehow managed to get my fastest finish for a half in 2015. I hadn't finished in the 2:30s all year, so it was exciting to come in at 2:37:54. It's not an overall PR, but I was quite pleased with it. 
Two sweet medals, actually!
What's not to love?!
There you have it. Three half marathons in two weeks. I'll try and get myself pulled together enough to write up my Javelina report soon. 

Until then, happy running!


  1. You are amazing. Seriously. And I love those pants. I must know where you got them. One of the best parts about running is being able to wear loud colors and/or patterns. My husband always looks at my running gear and says "that's.. bright." :) Anyway, great job on these races! I can only hope to be that strong one day. Amazing.

  2. I get most of my running clothes from What I don't get there I get from Old Navy. Their compression sports bras are surprisingly effective.