The start line. I love seeing the elite runners, so intense. Most of them come in around 1-1:20 minutes. Nuts! Amazing athletes.
Me at 6 1/2 miles, making it to the top of one of the 'hills.' My friend, Leslie, took the pic and cheered me on throughout the course. I know I look a little 'too' excited to be there... maybe I was! ;)
Yesterday was the Hobble Creek Half Marathon. It starts up the right fork of Hobble Creek Canyon in Utah county and ends at the Mapleton City Park. Friday night I drove down to Orem and picked up my packet at the Runner's Corner. I had some extra time so decided to drive the course since I had never been there before, and it would help me mentally prepare for the next morning. I took notes of where the two hills were (one around 6 1/2 miles, and the other around 10 1/2 or 11.) The drive was gorgeous and I was getting excited for the race. I spent the night at a friend's house in Spanish Fork (thanks again, Nancy!) She lives only 6 miles from Mapleton Park, where the busses were picking everyone up. I woke up at 4:50am and was out the door by 5:20am. I found one of my online runner friends, Heidi, pretty soon after I got there and we loaded the bus together. It was nice to have the company and she educated me on fuel and why simple sugars are not great for your gut. (By that point I was wishing I had some hammer gel to try!) When we got to the top we saw Megan with her family and Becky and her husband (2 other online runners.) I also saw Lynette Bowers, a friend from the U's student housing. (Sorry we didn't get to talk very long. Great job, though! 1:36... you're awesome!) Heidi, Becky, and I waited nearly 25 minutes to use the porto-potties and got up to the starting line at 7:10am. (The race was supposed to start at 7:15am). At that point they started separating the crowd into pace groups. I placed myself in-between the 8 and 9 minute mile groups and then we just sat there. The gun didn't go off until nearly 30 minutes later (7:45ish) because 3 busses didn't show up so that meant 3 groups had to wait at the bottom until they were picked up. I was nervous about starting later because I knew it was just going to get hotter and hotter the more we waited. I listened to music and tried to dance a little to keep myself warm. I also talked a lot with these two guys next to me who were funny and seemed to be just as eager as I was. I love people watching, and especially at events like these. So many of us with a passion for the same thing, hearts pounding, blood pumping, ready to push our bodies hard. I saw a 6-7 month pregnant girl in-line for the race. (Wow!) There was a girl with a backpack on, blasting music from a stereo inside it. I noticed one lady with make-up caked on and I thought "Does she not sweat?!" If I wore a lot of make-up, it would be dripping in my eyes and off my face by the end. Amazingly, I saw her after the finish and she looked exactly like she did at the start. Wow. I guess some people are just lucky. I saw one girl wearing just a sports bra and tiny shorts and she had a 12-pack... a tad jealous on that one. ;) Anyway, finally the race started and I was on my way. I felt really good the first 7 miles or so. I was hitting my splits and I knew if I kept it up I would get sub-2. (My last half I got 2:22 but I had IT band issues and I had to walk a mile, so this time I knew I could beat my old time, I just didn't know by how much. I for sure wanted under 2:10 and knew I could do it. I really wanted under 2 but knew the stars had to be aligned for me to keep under a 9 min pace.) I hit mile 1 at 8:47. Mile 2 at 17 something. Mile 3 at 25 something. I was feeling good and kept thinking "Jamie, keep this up and you will do it!" Mile 4 at 35. Mile 5 at 44 something. Mile 6 at 53 something. (My 10K time was 54 min., which beats my last 10K time I did in September '08 by 15 minutes!) At mile 7 I was at 1:03 something so I knew I was right on time, but getting slower. Mile 8 around 1:13. Mile 9 at 1:23. Mile 10 at 1:32. Mile 11 at 1:42. Slowing down. So at this point I knew I had 18 minutes to run the last 2.1 miles. Physically I KNEW I could do it, but I was mentally running out of gas. The course I had driven the night before wasn't actually the full course. After mile 7 it veered off to a bike trail, which was more hilly than I was prepared for and it messed with my head a little. My last two miles were slow. Mile 12 at 1:54ish and my chip says I crossed the finish line at 2:05:57. I was happy overall, but of course, a tad disappointed that I couldn't finish the last two miles strong. Leslie, another online friend who broke her foot doing a triathlon a couple months ago and was our photographer told me at the end how great I did, and next time I will get sub-2. If I work more on my speed workouts and do more longer runs so I can work on my endurance those last few miles, I'm sure I can shave 6+ minutes off my time. So... a goal for next time! I want to experiment with different fuel too and see if that makes a difference.
After the race I actually felt really good, a tad sore, but NOTHING like after the Salt Lake 1/2. (I hobbled past the finish line and was in excruciating pain for days and couldn't run more than 1/2 a mile for nearly a month! Found out I had IT band syndrome and so took time off from running and didn't really get back into it until last month.) I took 2 aleve at the beginning of this race and 2 rapid release tylenol at the end and I never felt a twinge of hip or knee pain. I want to thank Leslie for being there at the top of the hill around 6 1/2 miles. She was on her bike, taking pics of all the online runners. Not having dh and the kids there, it was nice to feel like I had my own 'little family' there cheering me on. Around mile 10 Leslie was there again, cheering and reminding me I 'only had a 5K left.' That was great to hear and get in my brain. I knew I was so close. When I crossed the finish line I felt relief, happiness, and exhaustion all rolled into one.
So this morning I feel fine. My quads are still a little sore but overall my body feels good. No knee pain at all!! I'm really thinking hard about a marathon now. If I can stay injury-free and work up my mileage slowly and get stronger, I know I can do it. Who would have guessed a year ago that I would be loving running so much, plotting out my next races, educating myself on electrolytes and endurolytes, thinking about Garmin forerunners, wondering what's better: Clif gels, shot bloks, Gu, or Hammer gels, and seriously contemplating a marathon?!! I think the best thing about all this is that I actually feel strong mentally and physically, something I can't say I've ever felt my entire life until now. Pretty cool.
This pic was taken about an hour after I crossed the finish line. It's of Vince and Becky (husband and wife), Heidi, me, and Leslie.
Last month some girls I met online through an LDS families forum met and had a playdate. We started a runners thread and we all post about our workouts, races, whatever is on our minds. I've learned a lot from these ladies and really appreciate their wisdom (and of course their friendships). From left to right- Crystal, Heidi, Becky, me, Megan, and Leslie.