I wa-ogged (walk/jogged) in my 3rd half marathon of the year. I have been a little more nervous than I usually am before a race. My experience in the Ogden 1/2 in May was HORRIBLE and I was afraid of having some of the same problems. I was also nervous about all the steep down hills that you run in Hobblecreek. Needless to say, I still got myself out of bed at 3:30 am and got my running clothes on, taped up my feet to hopefully prevent blisters and got my bagel and banana to eat before the race. Steve and I drove to Mapleton and boarded the bus about 5:15 am and it took us up the mountain. This, in my opinion, is the most nerve racking part of the day. That 13.1 miles seems so much longer when you driving it in the bus. The bus let us out about 1 mile from the starting line, so you walk up a hill to get to the start. Our friends, the Hanceys, had driven their rv up to the camp site, that is located at the start, so we found them and hung out in a warm rv before the race. I kissed Steve good-bye and wished him luck as he made his way closer to the front of the running pack and I headed toward the tail end. The race was suppose to begin at 7:15am, but we did not actually start until 7:55am. I was a little bothered by this...you want to avoid running when it is super hot and those 40 minutes we waited, was eating up that "cooler" running time. Before I knew it, I was off, crossing the start mat and activating my timing chip. I felt GREAT. I would alternate between jogging and walking. I especially jogged on those down hills and took advantage of the momentum you get. I kept pace with my Garmin watch. I was doing awesome (for me). Last year I had finished this same race in 3 hours and 19 minutes, so my goal for this year was to finish in 3:15. But by the end of the 2nd hour I could see I was on pace to get their closer to 3 HOURS!!! I was so excited and not feeling any of the aches and pains I have felt before during a race. When I got to mile 10, I saw Steve. He had finished his race and came back up the trail and found me. I have to tell you have blessed I feel to have such a supportive husband. I was so excited to tell him about how well I was doing and how good I felt physically. I did slow down a little when I got to the part of the course that leads through the neighborhoods (about mile 11 and 12) and it was then I started to feel a blister on the side of my heal, rubbing every time I stepped. I pulled out my ear buds when I saw the sign that said MILE 13 and ran on the grass trail that lead to the finish line. I finished with a time of 3:08!!!
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in the past 3 years of participating in these 1/2 marathons is EVERYONE RUNS THEIR OWN RACE. I am so proud of what I do. I am slow and I walk/jog the whole thing, but I am doing it. I am in the back of the pack, but I am doing it. And this race was neat because I could see improvement. I jogged more than I usually do, I can feel my body has gotten strong from the work I have put in. I love the sense of accomplishment.