Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Half Marathon

Today I ran my 2nd half marathon....the Halloween Half in Provo. I met up with a friend from high school, Mendy, and ran with her group. We were the Flinstones. I was Betty. The course was very scenic. Loved running past Bridal Falls. I met lots of new friends today.

I met a man named Bart.
His father pushes him through lots of marathons, half's, 5k's and 10k's. I felt very blessed to have met him and his dad.

My friend Mindy and I arrived in Provo about 6:30 pm, and went straight to the University Mall for our packet pickup. I visited with some of the other runners in line. Met a guy from Brigham City, and his first half was the Smithfield Not your Mamma's half! We talked about that, and how it was uphill and a hard course. When I finally got to the area to pick up my stuff and guess who I ran into???? TIMMY!!! The MC swim coach's son. It was so fun to see him, as he graduated last year and is going to BYU right now.
Timmy and his sister Nikki were running this race also.

After packet pick up, we were both starving, so we headed to Noodles & Co. for dinner. I love Noodles! I had the Tomato Penne Rosa with Parmesan Crusted Chicken. mmmmmmm. While we were eating, I received a phone call from Mendy. They were just pulling into town and headed to pick up their packets. We met up with her and her group after we finished eating. It was fun to meet new friends, and to see Mendy again. I haven't seen her for 20 years! She had bought a "lot" of Flinstone costumes, so we went through them and found 2 that Mindy and I could use.

Mindy and I finally got back to our hotel around 10:30. By the time that we got all of our running stuff situated for in the morning and turned out the lights, it was 11:58!! Our alarm was going to go off at 4:30 am, as we were going to meet up with everyone at 5:15 to get on the bus.

Our bus was a really nice one. Not a school bus. It was like a really nice greyhound bus. We were on the 3rd bus, and we started to head up to Sundance at 5:24 am.
So far, so good. I tried to rest on the bus, as I didn't sleep very good, if at all. I took some yogurt and homemade granola to eat for breakfast up at the starting area. I looked out the window every now and then. One of the times I looked out we were passing a resort/hotel area. I figured this was Sundance. Our bus kept going. We were on a very narrow, one lane width, windy road. The tree branches were scraping the bus. I kind of looked out the side windows and the front of the bus, and I see another bus coming down the road. "MMM, are we going to back down this road?" I am thinking.
The bus comes to a stop, and bus driver 1,2, and 3 get out for a "conference." He comes back in and we all get off the bus, and start walking down this really dark road. No moon. No stars. No light to help us see where the crap we are going. We get to the "resort" looking place and wander up a grass hill, and low and behold............there is the "tent." Was nice to finally arrive at the starting tent. There were heaters inside, which was really nice. I had brought a plastic bag to sit on, and a fleece blanket with me. Glad I did, as the ground was cold, so I sat on the blanket. I ate my breakfast about this time.

As more and more runners arrive the atmosphere in the tent was really positive.

There was a costume contest. Two categories, individual and group.
Our group took 4th place. The winning group was dressed up as minions from "Despicable Me." They were really funny looking. They took a well deserved 1st place! After the costume contest, it was about time for the first wave of runners to start, so the tent cleared out. It was this time that I was feeling cold. I am sure with all the bodies in that area it was keeping me warm. We had 20 minutes before our start time, so I started eating my protein bar, drank a little bit of a cocacola, and headed to the honey buckets for my last pit stop.

As I said, there were starting waves of runners. One group for those who planned to finish before 2.10 and the other group. Obviously, I was in the 2nd wave.
My goal was to be better than 2.30. Was hoping for 2.20. I go get in line w/my Flinstone buddies, but I wanted to see what the 2.30 pacer looked like. I wanted to make sure that I was ahead of her. She was wearing a hawaiian outfit. So as long as she didn't pass me, I figured I would be ok. I hear people counting down, and realize that I had not started my GARMIN!!! AAAUUGGHH. I click start, and it is searching, searching, searching for a sattelite signal. FINALLY get it, and then I cross the start line. As I am running, all of sudden my watch beeps and vibrates. What is going on I am thinking. It is supposed to do that at every mile, and I had just barely started. Well, I forgot that last week, I had set it to alert me every minute. So my watch beeped and vibrated every minute, the entire 13.1 miles. I think that this was a good thing, as I was not so focused on the mileage. The miles seemed to go really fast.

I got to the bottom of the hill, and got stopped by the UHP. They needed to let some of the backed up canyon traffic through. As I crossed the 4 lane highway and continued down the canyon, I looked at the cars that were stoppeed. I saw 2 vans that were shuttleing a group from China. The passengers were waving like crazy, so I smile and wave back to them. There also was a little girl, about 5 or 6 years old that had her head out the window and I waved to her and she waved back. It was nice to have some spectators along the route that gave all runners support. Some of the aid stations ran out of water and HEED, which was a bummer.

The race started at an elevation of about 7000 feet. The first 5 miles was a BRUTAL 1600 ft elevation drop!!! OUCHY MOMMA! Total elevation drop from start to finish was 2100 ft!!! I didn't realize how hard downhill running was! I enjoyed the TOU half course, so figured I would be ok. Man my calves are so tight. Nothing that rest and relaxation won't fix. I came in at 2.22.04. I did get stopped at the highway for at least 15 seconds or more, so realistically maybe 2.21?

I waited for all of our Flinstones to finish. Mendy had built a Flinstone car!!!
After our last runner came in, we all got in the car and crossed the finish line, again.

Now this is the funny thing. When I got home, I went into the bathroom cause I had to pee so bad. When I was buttoning up my pants, I see something dark out of the corner of my eye.........and in an instant flash, my car keys go flushing down the toliet!!! All I could do was laugh histarically.
Am I insane? They say that running is mental, ya know.

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