Legacy Midnight Run- Farmington, Utah
Half Marathon #35
low 80s high 70s at start (NO humidity), cooled down throughout the race and was high 60s, low 70s by end, slightly chilly
Overall Place: 39/358
Gender Place: 12/100
Age group: 4/40
Due to out of the blue knee pain that occurred during my 18 miler last weekend, I was having difficulty walking pain free and didn't know if I'd be able to race this weekend. Through extensive icing and keeping anti-inflammatories in my system all week, the pain was starting to die down and I could walk slightly normal. I went to a sports med orthopedic and he told me I had Plica syndrome- which in short means uncomfortable and painful inflammation in my knee. If you can tolerate the pain, you can push through it as it generally doesn't cause damage. Those words were music to my ears and I went ahead on to SLC the next day.
Over the last couple of years reading blogs, I've drooled over a lot of the Utah blogger's photos of different restaurants that are local to them. I remembered there was a restaurant, Pizza Factory, with crazy breadsticks, pasta and all you can eat salad bar- that seemed light enough to eat on race day... how do you even fuel for a same day race?!?!
Both Laura and I were stoked about the parmesean garlic breadsticks that we each got two, then for dessert we were going to split the cinnamon & sugar breadstick. (we were over ambitious)
Between the all you can eat salad bar, the pasta we ordered, and the size of the breadsticks, I was unable to finish my helping so we decided to save one for when we picked Kim R up at the airport. They give you to go bags to put your bread in, but you're supposed to leave the stick at the restaurant. I think the stick is part of the appeal, so I secretly took it out in hopes Kim would appreciate "bread on a stick"
After picking up Kim we retreated back to check in hotel and relax for a few hours. Despite the race not starting till 10pm, packet pickup was b/n 6-8, so we had to leave our hotel at 7:15 to make it there on time.
Kim was sad I wouldn't be matchy match with her, but since it was a night race and that meant bright colors, I had to take advantage of wearing my sweet "animal print pants outta control" spandex again - carpe diem!
Glow sticks galore! Every runner got 1 necklace and 2 bracelets. Later the half marathoners got LED bracelets which were AWESOME
Podium finishes (or pretending to be)
- Half marathon started at 10pm- it was a point to point so the half marathoners were shuttled to the start line where as the 5kers and 10kers did an out and back at the finish line.
- Naturally our bus driver got lost and everyone on the back of the bus was growing anxious and yelling how he needed to turn around- made for annoying introduction to the race, but we got there by 9:30 so still had time before everything kicked off.
- As said earlier, all half marathoners got LED bracelets in your choice of red, green, or blue... I took green and blue.
Before walking to the start: Kim, me, Laura
We all walked up the hill to the start line together, but Kim and L didn't want to be near the front, so we parted ways. I'm not big on having a "plan" for the race, but I told myself I would just go out like normal and adjust pace / stride as necessary based on my knee... maybe bank some time in the beginning with anticipation that I would have to stop and walk / stretch. (at the very least I just wanted to break 2 hours and finish before midnight)
First mile I felt like I went out strong and fast... maybe too fast as my breathing was getting a little heavy- when the first mile clicked by it said it was a 7:59 pace... what?!?! I could have sworn it felt like 7:20s, 7:30s slowest, but a 7:59 first mile- there is no way I should be tired with that. Then it dawned on me, elevation change. I train at 500 ft, and here it was around 5000. Back when I ran the River Platte 1/2 in CO, I didn't have any problems with elevation due to running at someone else's pace, so it didn't occur to me to "take it easy" to allow lungs to acclimate, awesome.
First mile was a really good indicator of how the rest of the race was going to go--- working way too hard for sub par times. The only other mile that was sub 8 was the last mile, everything else ranged from 8s-8:30s. My mile splits are off due to losing satellite in a tunnel, otherwise I'd do the breakdown.
Knee wise I was very aware of how sensitive it was--- every step I took it reminded me to "take it easy", but I guess my pain tolerance is getting higher --- luckily the race was in the dark otherwise I'm sure I would have received a lot of strange looks / comments with my "adaptive stride / hobble" to lessen the pain. I was surprisingly one of the few people that wore a headlamp- it was definitely needed on this course as there was minimal if any lighting majority of the way. A few times people would sprint up to me and then get in front of me to share my light--- it was kind of annoying but at the same time it was motivation to eventually pick up pace and pass them (my light did save someone from stepping in a HUGE pile of horse poo, so that was my good deed for the night)
I noticed I was taking much shorter but quicker strides. I seriously felt like I was sprinting, yet it seemed the more effort I exuded, the slower the split was--- how aggravating. I walked and stretched at all the water stops which enabled some temporary pain relief as well as being able to play leap frog with a few fellows who chose not to stop. I love smaller races because chances are you'll find someone around your pace, AND its a great game to try to catch someone in the distance.... especially when I see a blinking light up ahead.
The course was flat as pancakes which some people love, but my muscles get tired with that much repetition and I was starting to feel it. By mile 10 BOTH my IT bands (despite my stretch attempts) were toast and my right calve was getting tighter and tighter trying to take more of load off my knee. I'm not sure if the fact that I've ran so many halves my mentality can get me through them, or if I was just ready to be done, but my last mile I turned it ON. There was a girl who looked to be my age in the distance ahead and I made it a goal to just catch her. It took the whole mile to do so, but when I turned the corner to the last straight away I blew right by her. (it also helped that the last .1 was all big gravel and I had my headlamp to get my footing and she didn't) As I'm approaching the finish line I hear Ashley U cheering for me, how awesome is that to be in a foreign place and have someone cheering for you! (reason #434390 why I love blogging) I was elated when the clock read 1:49:07 because I knew that meant my official time was in the 1:48s. (my garmin doesn't show total time on the first screen, so I do everything by avg pace now)
Immediately upon finishing I walked over to talk with her and her friend Jess--- Ashley was there helping Jess complete her first 10k in preparation for her very first half marathon this fall, what a supportive friend. Ash and I were SUPPOSED to be on the original blogger Colorado Ragnar Relay before they changed the dates, so this was actually my first time meeting her. ( she is now the 3rd blogger that I was looking forward to meeting from the relay that never happened- Kara T and Rachelle are the other two)
After chatting with Ash and Jess for 20 or so min, I said goodbye in search for some ice to strap on to my knee and then call my mom. Yup even though it was about 12:20am mst, it was 2:20 est and she wanted a call to make sure I was okay and see how everything went... thats love right there ;)
L and Kim made their way over to me, we grabbed some food, then were ready to get a shower then much needed shut eye
Kim- State #10, L- repeat state, Me- State #31
Overall I'm glad I made the decision to come out. Race field was small, which I generally prefer, and it was fun to do something different. When you're racing the states, it can get repetitive, so anything to throw some uniqueness into the mix is always welcome. With that being said, I just now found my stash of glow sticks back home, L and Kim said that means I have to do another night race soon :)
State #31- Utah done.
Next up is DOUBLE header over Labor Day: Iowa, and Nebraska- 2 boring states, 1 swoop.