On Saturday, I ran the Big Cottonwood Canyon Half Marathon. This was definitely a last minute decision, and I was very unprepared. I ran this same exact race 1 year ago, and had my best 13 mile time (1:44), and was barley even sore! I recovered so quickly because I had run so many 13 mile training runs already. I was getting ready for the full St. George marathon, so comparatively, 13 miles was just for training.
This year was different. After my full marathon in Ogden in May, I was a bit discouraged because I didn’t get the time I was hoping for, and so I slowed WAY down. You would have thought it would motivate me to actually train harder, but it didn’t. I still run/jog/ or walk every day, but I hadn’t run more than 6 miles since June!
So, while I was happy with my slower time (1:49.. which is still SO MUCH FASTER than when I was younger) I’m paying the price for it. After I got home, I threw up because I pushed so hard and wasn’t trained for it. And two days later, I’m still VERY Sore!
But, it was the kick in the pants I need, and I signed up for two more halfs before the end of the year (actually 3 if you count a Moab trail run we are doing as a family).
What I learned from this race:
- The more 13 miles in training I can get in, the better prepared I’ll be. It’s even OK if these are slow miles. They were last year, and it was fine! My training pace is 11-12 minutes per mile, even though I can get under 8 minutes on race day.
- I LOVE the Revel races. They are down hill courses set in a beautiful area. When I really wanted to challenge myself, I tried to convince myself that a fully down hill race was “cheating”, but this year I realized, I have so much joy in a downhill race, who cares!? Plus, it gives me the confidence boost I need to keep running.
- LESS FOOD IS BETTER. When I blew up at the Ogden Marathon, I definitely overate the day before and the morning of. The Ogden marathon where I didn’t get the time I was hoping for, I had some major gastrointestinal issues. But, I thought, running 26.2 miles, I’m going to need lot of food! But, it totally backfired on me. I should have kept the pre-day food and pre-race food to a minimum, and just used some shot blox to keep me fueled. I like bananas and pretzels pre-race, and shotblox during race. But marathon day I had 2 bananas and TONS of pretzels!
- I need to meet up with someone for the race. I don’t love training with people. I like to go my own pace, and not feel like I’m holding someone back. But come race day, it’s no fun to be at the starting line or riding the bus alone. I bailed on a race two weeks ago, mostly because I wasn’t trained, but secondly because I was doing it alone.
- I’m ready to get back on the trails! Last year I was cross trained better (lots of trail running), so while I’m anxious to get back to that, It’s already getting cold in the mountains, so I’m not sure how much time I’ll have left for that.