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Race Report: Utah Valley Half Marathon 2011

I have put this off because I don't know where to start. I guess I'll go with the Friday night blogger meet-up. It was fun to meet some of my favorite bloggers in person, and I was surprised how many bloggers were there that I didn't know. So now I have even more great blogs in my reader! I have more to say about the meet-up, but it could really be a post of its own and this is about my race, so I'll just finish this part with a pic of all the girls and me:

Saturday morning, I got up just after 3 am and got ready for the race. I ate LUNA Bar and drank some water. After debating whether or not to carry my handheld water bottle, I finally decided to fill it with Powerade and take it. The only flavor I can really handle is White Cherry. I'm sure that is valuable information to you.

Just before 4 am, I picked up my neighbor who was running it was well. It was her first race. And in case I forget to mention it later, she did great. Finished in 2:10 with a smile on her face.

Between then and the start of the race, there was the usual bus ride to the start, retying the shoes, two port-a-potty visits, and stripping off the unnecessary clothing.

Then the race started at 6 am on the dot. Gotta LOVE a race that starts on time! As I began to run, I thought about Farrah, Alicia and my bloggy buddies starting 13.1 miles behind me. And I knew my neighbor and my cousin (in-law) were somewhere in the crowd with me.

The weather was perfect. It was partly cloudy once the sun came up and the course has a lot of shade. I felt really good and consistently stayed between the 1:50 and 1:55 pacers for most of the race. I drank water at every other aid station and sipped my Powerade off and on. I had planned to use my energy gel around mile 6, but I couldn't imagine stomaching it once I got that far so I never ended up using it. I really need to figure out something I can handle before I attempt 26.2 miles. But I am happy that I figured out the hydration thing, so one step at a time.

About mile 10, I tried to clean my sunglasses because they were ridiculously smudged from my sunscreen, but all I managed to do was pull out a lens. Apparently I need to practice cleaning my sunglasses while running. Then while I was trying to (run and) put the lens back in, I managed to make the other lens fall out. So while I was stuffing both lenses in the little pocket on my handheld, the 1:55 pacer passed me. After a little mental pep talk about running my own race and not letting that get me down, I put my sunglasses frame on my head and kept on running. I had a weird stomach cramp for a few miles, but it was more like a side ache. It didn't feel like the kind of cramping from dehydration, which wouldn't have made sense anyway. And it actually was pretty tender after the race and all day yesterday in that spot on my stomach. That made it hard to keep my pace for a few miles, but I managed. And then I saw the finish line. You could see it for about the last mile, which was good and bad. It made me push a little harder, but it also made that last mile seem really long.

I knew as I started that last mile that I could PR, but I also knew it wasn't likely that I would get in under 1:55. And while one unnamed person that lives in my household thinks it's funny that everyone was congratulating me for my PR even though it was only by 1:09, I'll still take it. Just think, if I keep chipping away at my half marathon time like this, I'll be killing it in five years. Or something like that.

So my chip time was 1:56:09. Which, like my last race, was only 1 second off my Garmin time (1:56:10).

Here are my splits:

  • Mile 1 - 8:52

  • Mile 2 - 8:50

  • Mile 3 - 8:56

  • Mile 4 - 8:37

  • Mile 5 - 8:30

  • Mile 6 - 8:32

  • Mile 7 - 8:42

  • Mile 8 - 8:54

  • Mile 9 - 8:49

  • Mile 10 - 9:07 (dang sunglasses!)

  • Mile 11 - 9:11

  • Mile12 - 9:02

  • Mile 13 - 8:50

  • Mile .1 - 1:12 (8:27 pace)

As I crossed the finish line, I saw my cousin-in-law waiting for me. He rocked the race, his first half, in 1:28:15, which got him third place in his age group. My girls and I (the hubs had to head to work after my race) cheered as loud as we could when they called his name at the awards ceremony:

And the other good news, which you already know if you follow me on FB or Twitter, is that there was no puking. There were also no emergency trips to the potty after the race. And I was able to put something in my stomach - chocolate milk, a banana Creamie, lots of water and even two bites of pizza - right after I finished. This is a first. I usually can't even handle the thought of food for several hours after a race.

Then my girls were mostly patient while we waited to see all our marathoning friends finish. While we waited, I noticed Sam from Operation Jack standing next to me and decided to bug him. I knew he went to dinner with Alicia the previous night, so I asked if he had seen her yet. After a few minutes of my stimulating conversation, he decided to go run Alicia in. And it was awesome. He helped her get in just under 4:20! But you should hear the details from her, so go read HER BLOG (after you finish reading mine though).

Farrah crossed just after Alicia. Like within a minute. And it was her FIRST marathon. She totally rocked it too. So there was lots of sweaty hugging (the best kind) and a few pictures taken and tons of smiles. I am so proud of both of them. And inspired by them.

My Princess was so excited to see Farrah. I don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but Farrah and I bonded over running after she had been my girl's preschool teacher for over a year. Now Farrah is not only one of my girl's favorite people, but she is also one of mine!

If you haven't donated to our Train for Autism team yet, it's not too late. Alicia has worked so hard for this effort and is such an amazing person. I am so lucky to call her my friend!

One of the best things that came from staying and watching so many marathoners finish was the confidence it gave me. During my race, I was doubting my ability to run a good marathon and to reach my goals. After standing at the finish line for over an hour, I was able to remind myself all the things that will get me through it: the pain is temporary; it is worth it; my body will be ready; so much of it is mental; and I've freaking got this. That last one went through my head more than once during my race (thanks Emz!).

Then as I was heading to the car, I ran into
Julia. I had watched for the blogger girls, but hadn't seen any of them finish or wandering around, so I'd pretty much given up on seeing them. But Julia knew where a few of them were, so I got to give the Rachelle a BQ congratulatory hug and say a quick hi and goodbye to Janae (aka The Princess' new best friend) and her sister and to Ash. I was bummed that I didn't see Jen, but was so happy for her seventh marathon finish!!

And so another half marathon is done. I accomplished my goals and learned a lot about myself in the process.


  1. Wow how fun to meet up with so many other bloggers, I have yet to know of any in my area! Great job on the race, dang sunglasses. have you tried chomps or shotblocks. they seem easy to swallow down.

  2. Congratulations on your 1/2 marathon PR! That is awesome!

  3. Yay for your PR and getting through the sunglass troubles!

  4. Blogger meetup - awesome!

    New PR - Super awesome!


  5. 1:09 PR is plenty huge to me. Congrats! Looks like a super fun weekend all around.

  6. You are the biggest inspiration on this planet!! I could have not done any of this without you! Congratulations on your new PR. And i love the picture of me. I look like my smile is going to fly off of my face. I still havn't come down from the marathon high yet.

  7. Nice recap! The blogger meetup did look fun!

    Sounds like except for the sunglasses incident the race went perfect! Congrats on the PR!

  8. Congrats on your PR! that is fantastic!
    a meetup also!! looks like a lot of fun!!!

  9. Great race...and congratulations on a PR!! I wish I knew bloggers in my area. :)

  10. Congratulations on a drama-free race, and big congrats on a new PR. Hope the Foo Fighters helped you out along the way. Pretty amazing collection of bloggers and friends. What a great support group you've got.

  11. Good job on your finish. I saw the pizza truck, but no pizza. I was probably in the process of turning in my pacing sign and shirt when you were finishing. I should be at timpanogos around the same time areas so stop over and say hi.

  12. yayyyyyyy!!!! ummm 1:09 is a PR in my book. 1 second would have even been a PR. any time we knock off is HUGE :) So glad you saw me and knocked some sense into me for not recognizing you at first. I am so sorry about your sunglasses...I do not even know what I would have done in that situation...haha! Probably been a lot more uncoordinated than that! ;) CONGRATS though! you ran an awesome race with a GREAT PACE! so glad you hung around at the finish! Can't wait for St. George!!!!

  13. Well done, great run and super time! I used to have problems with nausea as well. Over time it sorted itself out as I ran more and more and longer and longer. I do still get it after some longer runs or races but usually only if I run more than 6 hours. I also use Powerade during runs sometimes. It works well and doesn’t make me sick. I sometimes take motion sickness tablets before ultras and this helps too.

  14. Dude, 1:09 is a big deal! Way to go! Yay for finding a buddy with the preschool teacher! I love when random conversations brings folks together!

    What kind of sunglasses are you wearing? My contacts are getting ruined out here in these wind/dust storms, so I need to find some other option.

  15. Awesome job!!

    Your cousin is so speedy!

    That cracks me up about your glasses because it sounds like something that would totally happen to me. I'd probably just end up scrapping the whole thing and then being mad at myself later for "losing" them.

  16. Ha! It IS valuable information. I've never tried white cherry and now I want it!!!

    Awesome on the blogger meetup! I had so much fun with my one and only experience with that!

    Congrats on the PR!!!! 1:09 is awesome!!!! Loved the report and all the pictures! Laughing at the sunglasses frame!! Hope you had a great celebration afterwards!!

  17. Congrats girl! I loved reading your re-cap. Holy cow your splits are seriously amazing and so consistant. Can you teach me to pace better?

    I love meeting you in real life and am so proud of you and so excited to run St. George with you! You are simply amazing!

  18. Congrats on a great race and a new PR! That is a great time! It was so fun meeting you in person and your darling little girls. Seriously, they are so cute! I only wish our little meet up could have been longer so I could get to know you better! I guess there's always a next time, right! I love all your mental quotes that you used to get yourself through. You really are amazing!

  19. Congrats on the great race! (three days late)

  20. Great job! A PR is a PR and should be congratulated even if it is only by one second! Way to go!

  21. The McMillan Calculator is smiling at you with each PR.

    Your races are all the more impressive because you train so much on Millie. Most people couldn't apply that training so well towards a road race.

    And continuing with the impressive theme, your marathon training didn't skip a beat. Way to stay committed and run a great race.


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