Friday, June 10, 2011

Fight For Air Half Marathon - 6/4/11

Unlike the weather I woke up to for the memorial race I ran six days earlier, when I woke up for the Fight For Air Run, it was clear and the sun was already starting to peek out. I was excited to run this race because it was right in Salt Lake City and finished at Sugarhouse Park located a few blocks from my sister and brother-in-laws house. Being that it was a point to point course, the shuttles departed from the park and brought you to the start line. I was running the half marathon and my sister was running the 10k. My race started 45 minutes before Kim's, so I woke up a bit earlier, started my pre-race morning routine, and walked to the shuttles by myself. Kim would do the same 45 minutes later after she made sure Colton had a full belly.

The bus dropped us off in Holladay and the majority of us went to stand in line to use the portos before the race started. Like the previous race I had just run, this was a very low key benefit race. Proceeds of this race went to the American Lung Association. There were only 114 of us when the announcer yelled out a simple "go" to signify the race had begun. For the first seven miles we ran mostly along Wasatch Blvd and through some residential neighborhoods. The views of the snow capped mountains were incredible. I found myself in the top four females during this stretch and ended up talking to another girl for a mile or so who had just moved to SLC from the East Coast. It's always nice to have a distraction from the fast pace, and have someone to talk with.

The first few miles were much more challenging than I had anticipated. There were a lot of rolling hills, some with fairly decent grades, and at some points, I found myself running uphill directly into some pretty heavy winds while we ran along a ridge. As we came to the top of one, there was a water stop. I chugged down the water much too quickly and had some serious craps for the next two miles. A little beyond mile 6, I couldn't take it anymore and had to come to a complete stop. And then the miracle burp came and cleared up all my cramping issues, and I continued on my way. The cramps came and went, but weren't nearly as bad as it was before the miracle burp. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of time during these few miles and was passed by a number of females. I was slightly bummed, because while I knew this wasn't a PR course, I did think I could possibly place overall, not just in my division.

The 10k'ers were to join us as we ran through Olympic Hills, but it wasn't until I was running through Parley's trail, that the leaders of the 10k caught us. At one point on the trail we were confronted with a short hill that was a 20% grade. That was brutal, and I was just happy I made it up without having to walk. Exiting the trail, we wound our way down passed Tanner Park, a big dog park, where we'd taken my sisters dog, Zella, on a previous visit. From there it was only about four more miles to the finish.

(my sister and I after the race showing off our fingerstaches. The best part is that the sweat washed them off and that they're off center.)

We ran along roads I was familiar with, which told me we were getting close. Soon enough, we came down a street that ran parallel to my sisters house, and on the corner I saw Sully and crew out waiting for us to run by. Sully looked like such a cute dad, with Colton in the baby bjorn, and their dog, Zella, at his side. I dropped off my windbreaker, and headed to Sugarhouse park. As I entered the park, I was nearing mile 11, and had two long laps around the park to do. I was very familiar with these laps, since this is where I was doing my morning runs. It's a great park with a big pond, lots of geese and their babies, and rolling hills. As I rounded the hill to start my second lap, I saw my sister heading the other way running straight to the finish. She was looking good, and I could tell by the runners around her, that she was finishing in a great time.

As I completed my second lap, I turned into the finish, and ran the straightaway. I heard Sully and Kim cheering me on as I crossed the finish. My official time was 1:47:29. About five minutes slower than the race before, but the course was much more challenging, and I was happy with my time considering all the running I'd been doing without much rest. We all hung out at the park, enjoying the sun, waiting for the results to be posted. My sister ended up taking third in her age group, and ran her 10k in a pace faster than her 5k a few days before. Hard to believe she just had a baby three months prior. I ended up taking first in my division, and was pretty pleased with my overall race performance.

Having just completed two races with my sister while in SLC, I was reminded how much I miss having my her around to run races with. I'm lucky though that I live close enough where a quick trip to SLC to visit her, Sully, and Colton is possible, while giving me an opportunity to get my sister races in at the same time.

(this would be much cuter if my eyes were open)

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