Sunday, March 18, 2012

Canyonlands Half Marathon

March 17th.
Canyonlands Half Marathon in Moab. What a perfect day it turned out to be.......well, almost perfect. The sun was shining, the clouds were smiling, and the wind......well, the was like, Fūjin was toying with the canyon! (Japanese Wind God)

We pasta loaded at the Moab Brewery the night before, then tried to get a good nights sleep.  This would be challenging, as we were Super 8'n it, and the beds...lets just say were not so restful. I don't think I realy got any sleep, I did manage rest my body, but my mind was way too active.

Let me take you back a week before this half marathon, (March 7 - 11).  I was in Federal Way, Washington, with my oldest daughter for Speedo Sectionals Swimming. I was hoping for a 9 mile run out there, but this did not happen. Only a 3-ish mile was in the cards.  Then on Monday the 12th, I had the day off and was hoping for that 9 mile run, only to end up  praying to the porcelain Gods!  I'm thinking it was the lettuce from the sandwich I got at the Seattle Airport.  It hit me so fast and hard, my head was actually spinning. I was sick Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.    Then on Thursday, my youngest daughter was swimming at BYU for State JO's!  So I HAD to get better! 
We headed to BYU, stopping at Maddox for lunch. When I went to start my car it was deader than a door nail!  AAUUGGH! Called hubby, he called me a tow hour later, we are on our way to Provo in my father-in-law's car.

Jacque's swims were AWESOME! So fun to watch. Friday, I stayed with Jacque until about 3:30, then her dad got there, so I headed to Moab to meet my running peeps, Mindy, JoAnna, and Rose. This brings us to pasta loading at the Brewery.  After packet pickup, we headed to find something to eat. Moab was super busy.  All restaurants were packed. At  Pasta Jays, too many  people were waiting outside, and the other restaurant we pulled into was closed. We pulled up to the Moab Brewery and I jumped out to get our name on a waiting list, and to see just how long the wait was going to be.  The wait...20 minutes or so. I told her that we would sit either in the dining room, or the bar, and to my surprise, she said if there was an open table in the bar to take it because there was no waiting.  So I went in, and grabbed us a table.  Was so glad, as we were all hungry and tired.  The only difference from the bar and the dinning area..... the bar had live music, and we sat at taller tables.  Other than that, not much.

Mindy, Me, Brenda
Saturday morning we headed to Swanny Park to load the buses.  We arrived about 7:30 am.  We were transported to the starting line via school buses. At the area where we were dropped off, there was hot chocolate, coffee, water, and gatorade available.  I went to stand in line for the bathroom, and one of my running friends, Brenda, found me. I haven't seen her since I met her at the Halloween Half in October 2011!  I was amazed that she even found me in a crowd of 3-4000 people.

Rose, JoAnna, Mindy, &  Me near
the starting area.
As I said, the weather was so nice, except for the wind!  Man, it was like Fūjin did not want anyone to get to the finish line!  My plan was to run for 4 minutes and walk 1 minute.  Once I crossed the start line I didn't really follow through with my plan.  I did the run/walk schedule a few times, but just kind of winged it.  Which may or may not have been a good thing.  At mile 5 I saw one lady sitting w/the EMT's and her shoe was off. Blister control.  Then this other gal ran over to them, and they immediately put a towel and a blanket around her.  She sat down.  A few minutes later, the EMT truck came down the hill. I wonder what was wrong with her?  I saw another lady running with an EXTREME limp.  I heard someone ask her what was going on, and she said plantar faciatis.  Wow, I thought!  I guess we all have something going on.

The volunteers were great. At one of the volunteer spots, this guy had jimmy-rigged his electric key board and was playing the piano for us.  The reps from Cliff were at mile 6 with cliff shots for whoever wanted them.  Around mile 7 there were these college guys who had set up a table with Hostess powdered donuts, ding-dongs, twinkies, ho-hos, and beer! Beer??? Really?? They were a riot!  But what was really interesting is that some people were actually taking cans of beer?!  Evidence of the empty beer cans that were being tossed to the side of the road.  I wonder what the reasoning is for this.  Carbs? Calming nerves?  mmmm, I'll have to check into that one. Just curious. 

Around mile 9-ish I could hear the beat of drums.  I had heard that the Taiko Japenese Drummers would be somewhere along the route.  Last time I heard one of these drums was in Las Vegas at a Cirque de Soli show.  I remember feeling the vibrations in my body at the performance.  Did not feel the vibrations while running, but it was really neat to hear these drums in the canyon. There were 8 trucks parked behind these men and women. 1 drum per vehicle!  Perfect setting for a drum show! The really big drum is behind these guys, with the red dot on it.

Oh, this is a good one. I have been fortunate to never have had to stop at a porta potty.  But Canyonlands... I had to use the bathroom during this race.  The week before I had been so dehydrated that I had been drinking fluids up the ying yang to try to get my body ready for this run. Anyway, I passed a few porta potties along the route, but there was always a line at them.  So at one little campground just off the road, I saw a guy run over to the bathroom, so I followed. As I got closer, I hear him say,  "I'm in here." That's weird I thought. Why is he telling me that. Anyway, I say, "Ya, I saw you run in." When he came out and I went in......there was NO door!  Yes, you heard me. NO DOOR! Just a 3 sided, wooden fence, around a toilet!  So that was a first!  Anticipating someone litterally running in on me.  But St. Patrick's luck was with me, as no one came in.  Mmmm, maybe I can pee as fast as Doyle Webb!!  haa haa (inside joke)
My official time was not what I wanted.  I was hoping for 2.20.  came in at 2.26.50.  I am not really ok with that time. But I guess I have to be.  Pretty disappointed in my effort.  Going over the race in my head and realizing that I could have pushed it a little more at this mile, or at that mile.  I knew that I had not trained like I wanted to for this race, and I'm sure that ralphing Monday didn't help matters.  No PR's for any of us, but I had a blast with these ladies!  Thanks my running peeps for making a crappy run a good thang. 

We did it!

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