The two days before the race were basically chaos. I had to pack both of the girls for an entire week and then myself for Hawaii along with my race stuff. I was trying to get all of the laundry done and the house cleaned so we would come home to a clean house. I felt like my list was a mile long and it wasn't ever going to end. I was pretty tired.
I took the girls with me to packet pick up Friday morning where we grabbed my packet and then found a few $2 shirts from past years races. I grabbed 2 long sleeves for Kelsey and I so we would have shirts to wear and could drop them roadside on the race. Then we made our way to Trader Joe's for some snacks and treats. I had everything packed and ready to go that evening and my sister Ayrika and her husband Matt came over around 7 to stay with the girls.
I drove up to our hotel in Middle, the Crystal Inn. I checked in, went and saw David and Kelsey in their room and then put myself to bed at 9. Bob had a conference in Colorado that day and he flew in that evening. The shuttle picked him up and he got there around 10:30.
My alarm was set for 3:20 since we had to meet the shuttle outside the hotel at 4:00. I woke up at 3:00 to noises from the room above us. They were getting ready early and loudly and I was too nervous to go back to sleep. I went downstairs and filled my water bottle with ice and water. The hotel provided a race day breakfast which was super nice. I had part of a bagel with cream cheese.
I finished getting ready and met Kelsey downstairs. We got on the bus and chatted about our nerves, the race, & Hawaii as we made our way up the canyon. It was awesome that the bus took us directly from our hotel to the start. Our bus was having some serious engine issues though. We pulled off to the side and about 10 other busses whizzed past us. I'm not going to complain though, because when I got off the bus, it was freezing. I had to part ways with Kelsey as she made her way up the canyon to the Marathon start.
I made my way to the bathrooms and then found a spot to sit down. I had my tank, a long sleeve t-shirt, and two sweatshirts on. I was still freezing. I had planned on buying a cheap fleece blanket and bringing it up, but spaced it with everything else I had going on. If I ever run again - I will definitely bring one. I met a couple other ladies who were running the race and we talked about previous races we had run. It helped the time to go by much quicker.
About 20 minutes before the race I spotted Bob's cousin Cory and his cousin Mitch's wife Stacey. I knew they were going to be there, but they didn't bring their phones up so it was a miracle I found them. We lined back up for the bathrooms and then before we knew it, the race was about to start. I didn't have my watch ready and I felt like I was starting unprepared. I was still freezing and decided to wear the long sleeve t shirt.
I ran the first half mile with Cory and Stacey and then decided to take off. My game plan was to take it easy and listen to my body. For the last couple weeks my right foot has hurt under my arch. But the couple of times that I did go running, it didn't hurt. My first 2 miles were slower than my normal race pace and I felt great (9:25 & 8:57). The canyon is pretty steep, and I started to pick up speed and just went with it.
Did I mention that I was still freezing? In the crazy of the race starting and me not totally being prepared (which is crazy since I sat there for like an hour...) my gloves ended up in my drop bag. My hands and legs were so cold. I wore the ugly hat that they gave out at the expo and was glad to have it for the first few miles. I made sure to walk through all of the aid stations. I always go for water. I felt sick when I drank gatorade during one race and since then haven't drank it. I like the Honey Stinger chews and started eating them at mile 6 along with a few jelly beans.
Miles 5-8 were very fast and probably the fastest I have ever ran in my life. When we came out of the canyon I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't warm at all, and I continued to run in my long sleeve shirt. I also enjoyed that once we left the canyon it was flat or had a slight downhill. The course was beautiful and fast. I put my headphones in at mile 10 and was starting to get warm. But I didn't want to mess with slowing down to take my shirt off so I just dealt with it. It was crazy to be running down the middle of a busy road, but it gave me something new to distract myself. There were police all over directing traffic and families cheering on the side of the road. I was definitely dying the last mile and ready to be done. As I ran down the street with people cheering, I looked for Bob but didn't see him. But I found him quickly after. My pictures from the finish line are anything but smiles. I was dead and even though I was happy to see the end, I couldn't muster a smile. I was very happy with my time, as it is a new PR. I ran the race in 1:43:30 and my average pace was 7:56.
It was so fun to stay at the race afterwards - usually I run home to my kids. This was also Bob's first time being at the finish of one of my half marathons. The best tasting thing there was the Kodiak pancakes which I am already a huge fan of. But I had never tasted their syrup before and wow - I am sold. The pizza did not look appetizing after running a half - but after sticking around for an hour I made my way back into the food area and had a piece. We were able to cheer in Stacy and Cory and then a little while later Kelsey as she finished her first marathon. I am so impressed with her as she qualified for Boston on her first marathon. She put in a lot of time and hard work, and I knew she could do it. We were both so exhausted and excited to be on our way to Hawaii. The shuttle system back to our hotel was pretty much awful. There was so much congestion and it took a very long hour. We literally had 15 minutes to shower and then we had to leave. The cleaning ladies were knocking while I was finishing getting ready.
Unfortunately I woke up the next day and when I tried to walk - I realized that my 'minor foot pain' was bigger than I thought and I definitely hurt it running the race. I'm not sure but I am thinking it's a stress fracture. It's not swollen or bruised, but it hurts every time I step. The entire time we were in Hawaii I was hobbling around on a very sore foot. I am so sad that I am going to have to stop running for a while. I am giving myself a week of rest at home (since that wasn't on the agenda in Hawaii) and if it still hurts, I'll see a doctor. I am super bummed to be ending this year of running because of an injury. But I am proud of the progress I made this year in running.
Last October, I ran my first half in 2:07 - less than a year later I ran the Big Cottonwood in 1:43. I definitely have goals for the future (they do NOT include a marathon) and hope to be running again when my foot is completely healed.