Utah Valley 1/2 Marathon Recap!

On Saturday, I could tell in the first mile that I was feeling off. I kept telling myself that each race is a roller coaster of feelings and that things would change after a few miles (there were a few points where I did feel a bit better, though!), but I never felt like myself during the race. Bad days happen to all of us, so it’s part of the sport, but I also think my body is asking for a bit of a break… I’ve been going a little crazy (and having great races!) the last few months between Antelope, Boston, and Vigor. I need to look at the big picture of what my body needs and take it back a notch this month with mileage and speed. I’m thrilled with my time and place, but I can just tell my body wants a break from running for a few days and big speed workouts/races this month!

SO happy to see Andrew and the kids and to be a few steps away from the end:

(Top bra, shorts, shoes, glasses, jacket)

Things started bright and early with Megan, Jo, Courtney, and Kiley. I woke up at 4:20 and took a shower before eating a bagel with jam and drinking a bottle of water. We got to the race at 5:20, and it was chilly in the canyon before the sun rose. This race makes sure to have fires for runners to huddle around before the race starts.

A crazy story that Megan told us when we were waiting—> She lived in Boston at one point, and her older brother decided to rollerblade the Boston Marathon (not just the course, DURING the race) in the 80s. He got arrested at mile 4, so I guess that means we shouldn’t try that ourselves;)

Jo and I used the restrooms, and then we did about a half-mile warm-up before going to the starting line.

The only fuel I use now! I took a gel 10 minutes before the race started, at mile 4 and mile 8. I don’t know how I went so long without these, they just work for me.

I should have brought little water bottles because my mouth felt dry at the starting line. I grabbed a cup of water at each aid station, the race volunteers were the best.

The race started at 6:18 (18 minutes late because barriers weren’t placed correctly), and within the first mile or two, Jo and I looked at each other with an ‘OH NO’ look. Usually, we all try to chat a tiny bit in the first few miles of a half or marathon, but neither of us had any chatting in us. The beginning felt what I usually feel like during the last mile, but I did my best to stay positive and cheer for myself. I focused on staying in the mile and not contemplating anything ahead of the mile I was running. I tried smiling during each mile to release happy hormones (smiling also helps to get in more oxygen and relax your body during the run) and focus on the things that weren’t hurting. I felt a lot of gratitude in those final miles that even though things were hurting, my body allows me to do what I love.

My cadence was lower than my last few races, and my stride felt like I was just trying to hang on and leaning back! I should have slowed down a bit to fix my form and get on top of my stride. The course is net downhill, but those first 8 miles of rolling hills felt quite challenging, and then the last 5 miles are a straight shot that feels flat, but they are a slight downhill for four of the miles. The one problem with running a race in your area is that you know exactly how far away you are from the end by the landmarks along the way, ha. We have run the final 5 miles of this course so many times, and it is a straight shot that feels like it lasts forever when you are hurting.

When Jo took off her sweatshirt in the morning, I realized we were matching ha. We did not plan this; it just happened!

I took 3rd place overall for the women and won a $250 check! 1st and 2nd place both told us they were shooting for under 1:20 and finished in 1:21:xx. We all felt so off for the day. Onward and upward!

The splits from my Garmin—> very positive splits that probably would have been even splits if I went out more conservative:). 5:57, 6:01, 6:19, 6:10, 6:05 6:03, 6:10, 6:12, 6:15, 6:20, 6:30, 6:19, 6:20 , 5:53 pace for the last .25.

I looked at my watch probably 3-4 times a mile and realized I don’t like doing that. *Note for next time… I love racing more when I don’t look at my watch much and just go mostly off of feel.

Another tangent—> I was in the late luteal phase of my cycle, and I prefer racing in any of the other three phases. I wish I could plan my cycle around the races I want to do, ha.

Okay, one last tangent—> the official race chip time results were 1:22:35, so that is my official time, but I started my watch right at the starting line, never touched it during, and then stopped right after crossing the finish line?… Is something weird going on with my watch? I’ve never noticed the timer on my watch to be off, just the distance sometimes.

The after-race felt like a party. We ended up being there for a few hours, cheering on the marathoners and talking. My coach (the friend that writes my plan!) ran a 2:30 and took 3rd for the men!

Makena and her dad… I spent a good chunk of my high school years at their house hanging out. They brought me this crown too. Makena’s brother is Tristen, if you saw him on Shark Tank!

Post-race kisses!

I saw Emilee and Jenn at mile 10, and they gave me the biggest pep in my step. There is just something about seeing your people in a race that gives you a boost of energy.

The kids then had their race! The Utah Valley Marathon always puts a free race on for all kids. They get t-shirts, medals, and goodies at the end of the race (popsicles, pancakes, smoothies, chick-fil-a, etc.). I love what this race does to get kids outside and to move. There had to have been a few hundred kids running.

Skye wasn’t feeling great, so she didn’t do the race and went home with Andrew and Beck… She was so bummed to miss the race, so I will create one for her when she is feeling better.

It was hot out by the time they started, but they ran so well. I love seeing them in this environment…

The kids’ race was a 1k, and they were all talking about how they want to do it again next year, so I’m calling that a huge success.

Time to recover and reset!


Do you pin your bib on your top before putting it on or once it is already on?

Does your area ever have any races for kids?

What race have you spent the most time in the pain cave?

Tell me what the highlight was of your weekend!

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