My childhood friend Quincey began running a while ago and decided that the Salt Lake 1/2 would be her first race. I registered too and we both ran it last Saturday. We had tentatively planned on running it together but weren't able to find each other amidst the crowd of other runners. I missed her great race but running/racing alone turned out to be a re-awakening for my running spirit.
I was a total case of nerves the night before for various reasons all related to my numerous insecurities. (When will THESE go away? Sheesh. Grow up already!) I stayed up too late just worrying, crying a little, and hating myself instead of actually organizing my race day stuff and making a plan. I woke up on time (4.5 hours after I went to bed) and drove down to Salt Lake almost obeying the speed limit ;).
Parking, riding TRAX, using the stinky port-o-potties, and dropping my jacket, gloves, etc. at the start all went very smoothly. I actually crossed the start line about 5 minutes behind the official time. I looooove chip-timed races. No pressure to elbow your way through the crowd or stress that you're holding up some faster runner.
I had a little water and Gatorade to drink at all but one aid station and GU'ed (blech!) at miles 4 and 8. I only walked to avoid choking on my drink and my splits were pretty even except for a slow mile 11 which was quite uphill. I finished in 2:13:40 which is a new Personal Record for a 1/2 marathon for me. I was thrilled. Quince finished in 2:06 with her friend and was amazing! (I'm a proud running "mama"!)
This race was so much fun! It was a very nice course--pretty view at the beginning, slightly downhill for the majority, LOTS of spectators, and this year, perfect weather. Other things during the race that made me smile:
- A guy on his front lawn cooking BACON. Dang that smelled good!
- A quartet of women wearing matching 80's vinyl jackets serenading passing runners.
- Lots of little old ladies sitting in lawn chairs ringing bells for the runners.
- Some over-done-cologne guy that kept getting upwind from me. Yuck. He provided motivation to run a little faster and keep up my pace!
- A man with a prosthetic leg. I smiled and yelled, "Thanks for running today," to him and then choked back a few tears.
- Numerous runners were wearing signs honoring people or organizations they were running in behalf of. This always touches me.
- 3 very young girls. The youngest female finisher was EIGHT! What a great road they have ahead of them...no pun intended.
- A t-shirt: "I know I run like a girl. Try to keep up."
- A percussion band with members of various ages (none of whom looked like they could manage to dress or feed themselves) sounding fantastic. Loved it!
- Another t-shirt: "When we're helping, we're happy." Amen.
- Crazy flute lady dancin' around while her homeless-looking drum beater tried to keep up. She was just a little spooky.
- A pile of barf at the top of the long, final hill. Gross and I could sympathize.