Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Medicine Bow 1/2 Recap (WY state #41)

State #41
Life time half--- the big 50!!
13 in 2013 progress- 8/13
Finish Time: 2:03xx

Wyoming races are few and far between AND not the easiest to get to as most of the towns are hundreds of miles apart from one another.  When I was looking for one to choose for Wyoming, I was sold on the fact that I could fly into Denver airport and it was only a 2 hour drive to Laramie- sign me up.  All excited I reached out to Kim who was 100% on board and then B and L since they live in Colorado. B’s response was “Read my recap from Last year” which I did and can be found here. What is absolutely hilarious is the comment that both myself AND Kim had left a year ago when first reading about this race. 

Despite the challenges we knew we’d face, the logistics were perfect and thus a girls weekend was born between myself, L, Kim and Becca, BH as I will refer to her since B is already taken. 

Early race start at 6am + our hotel 30 miles away = a 4:30 am wake up call.. We arrived at our destination ext 323 off of I-80 ext ( a rest stop) with 30 min to spare. We cycled through the bathrooms, picked up our bib and shirt, and BARELY had time for this photo before the gun went off. (I think the girl was in a rush to take it, thus not bothering to zoom since there was no chip timing and she wanted to get in good position.)

We walked over to the start and although I *thought* my Garmin had a full signal, when I pressed start after the gun, it picked up and started building on the last run I did and I wasn't able to stop in and start over.Since I had no goals for this race, I wasn't too upset about turning my watch off and running the whole race without a clue on where I was pace or mileage wise... just using what I remember from the elevation chart to give me some guidance based on the hills. 

  • As you can see above, the altitude was over 8700 ft.... I train at 500 ft, so to say I nervous above being able to breath is an understatement. I'm no expert by any means, but I have found that your first mile makes or breaks your breathing at altitude, so I knew If I went out easy it wouldn't be as taxing on my breathing. That "plan" coupled with the fact that the first 4 miles were downhill, it was manageable to keep it in check and just enjoy the scenery. 
  • The only crowded part of the course was the beginning-  bobbing and weaving people while running down what felt like a mountain, all while on dirt trail, after that it was very spread out
From this in the beginning 

oh look actual people

To this the rest of the race- reminds me of Nebraska (stolen from Kim)
  • Once we started the climb around mile 5, I finally saw another female- not that I had any concept of how I was doing or had any goal in mind, I could’t help but wonder where I was in relation to the other females. I kept my eye on girl in grey (who after the turnaround I realized was in 2nd place, putting me in 3rd) There was not a chance to catch up to the first place girl, but going down those hills on the way back I could surely open up my stride and catch grey. That’s exactly what happened probably about 30 sec or so before passing Kim, BH, and L heading back 
doing airplanes. 
  • Running the steep and windy downhills for about 2 or so miles after the turnaround was actually fun and great practice for SD which is ALL downhill and luckily starts at 6,000 ft elevation. It was so awesome to have the other runners cheer and say "You're in 2nd!"- put a little smile and pep in my step as well. 
  • After that 2 or so miles leveled out and the climb began, the wheels came off and the rest of the race was BRUTAL. Imagine 4-5 miles of continual climb, on gravel, constantly having to watch your footing so you don't hit a divot  and only having 1 person in front of you the entire time- that was me. At one point I caught up to man in orange during one of his frequent walk breaks and asked him what mile we were on, hadn't even reached mile 11 yet and I was done. 
  • We ran through where all the 5k participants were lined up, they 'parted seas' and allowed me, man in orange, and one girl who came out of no where to run through. It was neat to have them all form a tunnel and clap and cheer. The adrenaline from that was SEVERELY short lived as I walked within 20 sec of passing them (and continued to walk pretty much the last mile). Girl from no where passed me and patted me on the back and said to keep on going- I laughed and said for her to go on as I continue the non stop climb unsure of where the finish line was.
  • Finally see the camper at the top of hill and managed to jog in at a 2:03 and change (no official times are posted) What's hilarious is shortly after a few more girls came in and one of them said I was super speedy (obviously they were no where around me the last 4 or 5 miles or they would have been impressed with how much one person could walk in the last mile of the race) 
  • Upon completion I couldn't stop coughing and only then did my lungs burn, surprisingly the altitude did not bother me at all during the entire race--- dumb luck 
  • After dropping off some items at the car, I was feeling pretty good so I decided it would be fun to jog the course until I came across the trio and run in with them. Turns out Kim separated from  BH & L so we ran for a bit, but pretty much walked the last 3/4 of the STEEP mile and managed to jog in the last 20 yards or so.
proof that we finally DID "run together" 
  • B & L finished about 7 or so minutes after Kim and met up with us for the obligatory Abraham Lincoln photo

Even zoomed in I bet you can't tell that B and I are wearing Sparkle Hearts and Kim and L are wearing Superstar- both Runningskirts... sneaky sneaky

As a group, we all ran slow times, however none of us were that upset about it. We went into the race knowing it wasn't going to be easy, and man I tell you what- just having that mindset ahead of time completely made the race more enjoyable. I'm not going to lie, this was the hardest half I've ever done thus far, but I wasn't hating myself the entire time... just the last few miles. 

Thanks for not completely sucking Wyoming, however I have no plans to visit any time soon! 


  1. Oh my gosh, did I get the "money" shot of the course or what? It was even prettier after the sun came out!

    I wish there was a special award for your third place finish. That is such a feat on this course!

    SD starts at 6000 ft? Dang. Can't wait until August.

  2. Wow...I would have died with elevation like that! lol You did great, though...and I love the pictures! :0) Congrats on another finish!

  3. TOUGH!! but looks so pretty. and that shirt is HILARIOUS! glad yall had a good trip.

  4. Woohoo! Way to cowgirl up! Great job LJ & too funny about your comment's on B's post last year...famous last words.

  5. Way to cowboy up!!! I think unlike you I can say I will NEVER run this race...and actually mean it! Not a fan of hills let alone scaling the side of a mountain practically! Great job!!!

  6. I finally learned that your mindset going into a race really can make all the difference in the experience! What a beautiful place to run.

  7. Yep. That's pretty much how I remember it. While I'm bummed I didn't get to see you, I am NOT bummed about missing that course. TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH last few miles.