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I was planning on weighing in this week as a baseline, but my weight once again varied a whole bunch this week. I will eat right this week and establish my new baseline next week.
I had a great experience running my first half marathon. Not that it was easy, but I am glad I reached what I thought was unreachable goal for myself. I learned a lot about myself along the way and even during the race.
It all started out early Saturday morning. We boarded buses to take us up to the start line. Barbara was good enough to get up early and drive me there. I really appreciated the support. This race ended up have close to 3,000 people enter. There was a line of buses and I got in the line and got on board. The bus was full and there were many who were excitedly chatting while others were sitting quietly. For me it was a lot more emotional than I thought it would be. It was hard not to cry as we drove on some streets that I had done my prep work on, realizing I was on my way to face a big challenge that I had been training for for weeks. This meant I lot more to me than I had realized.
We got off the buses at Theater in the Pines parking lot, not far from one of the Timpanogos Trail Heads. It was quite cold and there was still a bit of snow around from a storm that had come through earlier in the week. Here I was at the start, but I still had about two hours to go until the starting gun sounded. They had a heated tent that filled up as the morning went on. I found a place near the back and waited. A lot of people wore costumes. This was the Halloween Half and costumes were encouraged. I am not much of a costume wearer anyway, especially not in my first half marathon!
After a long wait, both for the start and the lines for the bathrooms, we were all ready to start. I lined up near the back were there was a pacer for a time of finishing in two and a half hours. That's the quickest I thought I could finish, but I would be happy if I was done by three hours.
Between a late start and all of the runners, I didn't get past the start line until after 15 minutes of when we were scheduled to start. Not far from the start, I could tell that someone had fallen. I was trying to watch out between all the people around me, not to step on the downed runner when suddenly I went down in probably the same big hole she fell in! Luckily, I had my running gloves on and long running pants and averted disaster myself. I got scraped up a bit but was able to get right back up. The girl that went down was being helped off and I heard her say, "I heard something pop!" I knew what that meant having heard that noise come from my own ankle before. I felt bad for her, having to drop out of the race before it even started and was grateful I had avoided the same fate!
The first part of the race was quite steep. I was glad I had put duct tape on my feet as suggested. I think I would have had blisters coming down at that incline if I hadn't. I passed my pacers without much effort realizing that I would slow down later. It was a quick run down past Sundance and to the intersection with the Provo Canyon road.
As many of you know, Provo Canyon is a well traveled highway. They had been stopping traffic to get the runners over to the other side of the canyon. By the time I got down there, they made the runners stop to get the backed up traffic a chance to get my. We waited quite a while until they stopped them again and they let us cross to continue the race.
We ran on the road for a bit until we hit the tunnels. Some of my neighbors were helping at the aid station there and it was fun to see their surprised faces as they handed my water. It was a bit of a lift. We then headed down to Vivian Park to where we were directed onto the Provo River trail for the rest of the run.
About a mile down from the park, I kept leap frogging a runner who would run and then walk. I tried to encourage anyone I passed my telling them they were doing good. We were about half way at this point and fatigue was setting in to many. After passing her another time, next thing I knew, she was running along side me and without saying much we paced each other. After about a mile, I struck up a conversation and found out that she lived just a couple of streets away from me. We stuck together for several miles and chatted which helped both of us take our minds of the pain. With about two miles left, she had to stop and walk, so I slowly went on. I had another conversation for a while with a guy about my age from Heber. Those talks really helped! As I was approaching the last mile, I was really bonking bad and it was all I could do to move my feet, when much to my surprise, the girl that had been running with my pulled even with me. It really helped us both I think to turn out of the canyon and make the homestretch down to the finish line. As I approached the finish line, I became emotional as I could see not only the finish line, but my sweet wife and my youngest daughter. I didn't have the words to explain how much it meant to me to have them there!
Running has become an important part of my life. I have learned a lot about myself and have learned that I can do much more than I thought I could. For me, running is a way of looking at yourself. It strips you down to your emotional and physical limits. You get a glimpse of what you are really like deep down inside.
Thanks for all of your encouragement. I have said this quite frequently, but it has made a big difference for me. More than once during the race, I thought about being able to report back to you all that I had finished the race! It was quite motivating to keep going! Andy and Bill, thanks for supporting all of the runners on the race! It was nice to know that friends we helping to make it happen. Great job Hillary on keeping after it! You look great! Hope the rest of you are doing what you need to to keep yourselves healthy and happy! Hang in there and I will too!
National Water Trails System
1 day ago