Well, I did it! I completed my first official half marathon!
The buses started taking people up to the starting line at 3:30am. Oh my. The night before I tried to go to sleep early, and Sam stayed up until I had to wake up at 3am so that I wouldn't miss everything by accident!
At the starting line, which was up the Provo canyon just north of the Sundance turnoff, they had a bunch of fires started for us to help keep us warm. As more and more people arrived, the fires got extra crowded. They also started dying down so we had to send people up the mountain to find us more wood now and then. Our group was lazy and just convinced other people walking past with wood to give us some.
I saw Bruce Willis and my dad in the 80's. It was crazy! I didn't know Bruce Willis was a runner or that my dad could time travel! I wish that I had a camera with me that I could prove that I saw them.
I had no idea what kind of time to expect. I knew that I could run it in less than 2:20, but I didn't know by how much. I decided to start out with the 2:00 pacer, but would fall back with the 2:05 in case I started lagging (although I doubted that I would even be able to do that). However, once we got started at 6am (after 2 hours of waiting on the side of the mountain), I felt really good and decided to go a bit faster than the 2 hour pace and then maybe just fall back with him if I needed to later.
I felt so good! That massage that I had gotten a couple days before was a lifesaver. I forgot to take anti-inflammatories (BAD news) but I only had a little bit of trouble at mile 5 and mile 11.
The weather was so perfect. I guess the past few years it has been pouring rain for the race, but this time it was wonderful. It wasn't even windy (so my allergies and asthma behaved too).
For the race I made a shirt with printable iron-on transfers. It said "You are stronger than you think" with the Operation Beautiful website URL on the front and back. It was a great reminder to me, and hopefully helped out some other people too. I had several people approach me during the race to thank me for the motivation or say they liked the shirt. During mile 5 when my knee hurt and I had to walk, one woman passed me and said, "remember your shirt!". So I guess it helped me out too! Check out the website- it's a great little project. My shirt was more about more than running motivation. You are more than a body, a face, an achievement, or a reputation. You are stronger, and so much more, than you (or others) think!
For the first half of the race I listened to Harry Potter 2 (thanks Eric), then I listened to my usual running playlist. At about mile 9, as per usual on my long runs, I got all emotional. I just started thinking about my various experiences, and I just want to say that I am so thankful that I have a healthy body that can do so much.
As I approached the finish line, I noticed that the gun time had barely under an hour left on it. I started running as fast as I still could and crossed with a gun time of 1:59:28, and a chip time (so, the real time of crossing the start/finish line) of 1:57:59. Given the fact that I wasn't sure if I would make 2:05, I was thrilled!
Sam was there waiting for me, and it was pretty lucky that he was there on time given the fact that I told him I would probably be over 2 hours. I went and grabbed both of my medals, checked my official time, then got a free massage! I also saw my dad from the 80's! No Bruce Willis, though.
My next race is the American Fork Half Marathon in 2 weeks. I hope that it goes as well (or better) as this one!