Race Reports

Ironman Arizona 2016 Race Report

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I woke up in the middle of the night before race morning as usual but other than that everything was great leading up to the race. I did all the training that was given to me and for once I really enjoyed every single week. Sure there were a few weeks that I was a bit overwhelmed with everything on my plate, but I knew that if I wanted to meet my goal I had to find a way to make it work. That was my mind set for my training, and it worked.

The goal for the race was to go under 11 hours, place top 10, and preferably place top 5. I only had control over the first one so that was the most important. For those of you that only want the numbers you can find the Garmin data here or see the times below:

Swim 1:07:47

T1 5:29

Bike 5:59:15

T2 2:46

Run 3:42:05

Total : 10:57:22

The swim was excellent! It was a super slow rolling start because they were only letting us into the lake in two single file lines. This meant it was NOT crowded at all. Besides whacking somebody’s elbow with my forearm, there was very little contact. I felt like I didn’t pick the best lines but when I compare my swim distance to others that use Strava I did pretty well.

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Out of the swim and on to the bike. I heard a bunch of people yell my name as I ran to transition. It is so great to do a race where you have a lot of people that know your face! It makes a huge difference! Pretty simple transition as I like to keep it simple. I even had a friend in T1 that helped me so that is a bonus as well.

On the bike the goal was to push 150 watts all day long. I knew I could do that and I wanted to do it so bad. Along with that power goal was the goal of breaking 6 hours on the bike. The course was very windy on the way out but had a decent tail wind on the way back. Each lap was really close to 2 hours so I knew it was going to be really close to break 6. Except for some guys riding in packs and making passing tough it was a very quiet ride. I usually stop during the ride to get water but I knew if I was going to go under 6 I had to keep pedaling, there was no time to stop. This was truly becoming a mind of matter race! I didn’t make the power goal but I did make the time one.

I rolled into T2 and just went under 6 hours!!! YAY!!!! When I got off my bike I could hardly standup straight. I had spent SOOO much of the ride in aero (the best way to manage the headwinds) so my back was super stiff. I trotted off to get my bag, found a volunteer and sat down in the chairs outside the tent. If you don’t need to actually change your clothes you should always opt for this if they have it. It is WAY less chaotic and you can see so much better. I had spent a lot of time before the race planning my transitions and that really paid off. Keep it simple is my motto and it works! I did do a sock change because I have found that lubing my feet a bunch before a run really helps with blisters between my toes. Totally worth it! I ran out of transition with my bag of nutrition and glanced at my watch. The A goal was sub 11 hours. I ran out with 7:15 showing on my watch. That meant I had to run 3:45. While this was a bit faster than I had originally planned I knew it was not impossible. All my training runs were well with in that range.

When I first ran into Stuart and my Coach Jen I was thrilled to see them. I was having trouble seeing out of my right eye (this started on the ride) but Jen reassured me I didn’t need that to run! Thanks Coach! This only was an issue when I had to run on any uneven surfaces. When I saw them a second time (about a mile later) I asked what the pace was to run the 3:45. They did the math and came ran up to tell me it was 8:33/mile. I was really hoping they were going to tell me 8:45! I thought about it for a moment while I was running and knew I had to go for it. I knew that was not an impossible pace for me but I wasn’t totally sure how long I could hang on. I was ready to find out. I kept on top of my nutrition by trying to eat every 4 miles or so and I alternated water with a caffeine drink at every other aid station. I had not used the bathroom since the swim and I knew I would feel a lot better if I peed but there was no way I was going to stop for that! So this was the race I finally crossed over to a person who pees on themselves. Best. Thing. EVER!!! I did smell pretty gross by the end but I did not care at all! Stuart and Jen caught me at a couple of pre-determined spots on course and I had a bunch of friends sprinkled all over the course. Every cheer was heard and helped! I was trying to pass as many ladies in my age group as I could as I was really hoping for a top 10 finish. I kept a careful watch on my time and when I hit 16 miles on the run I knew I had 10 miles left. I had 90 minutes to stay under 11 hours and I knew that meant I only had to hold 9 minute miles to do it! I knew I was going to make it! Just kept running making sure that every mile was still under 9 minutes because everyone that was meant I was going to meet my goal. The last 10 miles were tough but there was nothing that would stop me.

This race was about two things for me. First, respect and take your training seriously. I choose to spend a lot of my time on this so I want to make it count! I am so lucky to have all the tools available to me (an awesome coach, a supportive husband, a supportive team, and excellent equipment) so I better make good use of them! Second, believe in yourself. Because I took my training seriously I really knew what my body was capable of. That, coupled with truly believing in myself, made for a very successful day! I see and hear so many athletes who express doubt in their abilities and make excuses when things go bad. There are many things you can’t control on race day, but you can control all the training you put in and you can absolutely control your mindset! There is nothing special about me except I truly believe I can do this and I can do it well!

Pictures by Stuart and Jen. Having them on course was amazing!!!

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2016 Mountains 2 Beach Marathon Race Report

This was the first stand-alone marathon I completed since the fall of 2011. When I first signed up for it my goal was to have a successful marathon but nothing crazy fast (for me). I just wanted to run a good race and enjoy it. After Oceanside in April I realized that I was actually running pretty close to BQ pace so maybe I should go for it. After that I trained with that goal in mind!

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The race started really early, 6:00 AM, which is really good for me. I do so much better in the cooler temps so the early start and perfect cloudy/overcast weather were perfect for me. I started with the 3:43 pace group (I was shooting for 3:42 or faster) because I wanted to keep myself from going out too hard. My plan was to stick with them until 6 miles and then assess how I felt. But by mile 3 when the downhill finally started I was finding it hard to stay back with them. I let myself run my pace but I watched my HR very closely. The only numbers I was paying attention to were my mile splits and HR. As long as those numbers were good I wasn’t going to push it much harder. Original goal was just to run 3:42 but I had set my watch pacer to get me 3:40.  I knew that if I ran 5+ min under my BQ time I would pretty much be guaranteed a spot in Boston. At mile 8ish I finally looked at the pacer screen on my watch and saw that I was spot on for a 3:40. After that point the goal was nothing above an 8:25 mile as long as my HR was still aerobic.

Stuart was amazing! He found me all over the course. If you want a race that your family can really see you at, this is it.

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Mile 7

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Mile 9 coming in for my first Red Bull

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Mile 10 ish

There was a bit of a hill after 15 but running up felt good for a change. Around 17-18 I saw Stuart again and got my second can of Red Bull. I followed my nutrition plan all day. Water at every aid station, Cliff Shot every 5 miles ish (alternate chocolate and mocha), and Red Bull at miles 9 and 17.

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I want that can!!!

 

By 18 things were getting a bit tougher. My knees were getting a bit angry but I just kept an eye on my pace and HR. I knew if I just kept it up I would have my BQ by 5 minutes. By mile 21 I was starting to struggle but I knew it would be over soon. Luckily/unluckily the road surface of Ventura Ave is kind of crappy so instead of focusing on my pain and discomfort, I concentrated on the road and picking the cleanest and easiest line.

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Mile 21- focused on the bad road surface

The last 3 miles were really tough. I had looked at my watch finally to see how far ahead of the pace I was. I saw I had a 1:20 lead over the pace and I was just hanging on to NOT let that get below 1:00. That was all I could focus on. It wasn’t until Mile 21 that I finally was running in my threshold HR zone. I wasn’t maxing out so that was good!

I was dying for the finish. I didn’t know exactly where it was. Once I knew I was close I really kicked it into the highest gear I could. 3:38:56!!! I am going to Boston!!!

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The race has a net downhill and is very popular for local runners trying to get a BQ. What made this a benefit was there were so many people cheering in their Boston Jackets on course. It really helped keep me focused on the goal. They even have a gong that you can ring if you got your BQ.

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It was a super successful race. I met every goal I set for myself. When you look at the data here, you will see how controlled my HR was and how even my pace was. I was only 10 seconds slower in the second half over the first! I owe so much of my race to my Coach Jen. She trained me perfectly to meet this goal.

I owe a ton to Stuart for the day! He was everywhere on the course taking awesome pictures and keeping everyone informed of my progress.

Boston here I come!!!

2016 Wings for Life World Run

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This is/was not your typical race. The finish line chases you and the the last one standing is the winner. Oh, and it is happening in 33 countries at exactly the same time! If you ever have the chance to do this race DO IT!!!!

I ran it last year and had so much fun I had to do it again, even though it meant a 2:00 AM alarm and 4:00 AM race start. Quick summary of the format. You start running and then 30 minutes after you start a chase car stars driving after you. When it passes you your race is over and you hop on a bus to go back to the start.

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Last year I made it almost 20KMScreen Shot 2016-05-09 at 10.13.51 AM

This year I made it over 23KM! And I cracked the top 1000 world wide!

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The goal for the race was to run it at my upcoming goal marathon pace of 8:27/mile. You can see by the data that I managed to do that no problem plus I wasn’t even running at my higher HR. I needed a boost to my confidence for the upcoming marathon. This marathon will be my only shot at qualifying for Boston for awhile. I really want to do it. After my run Sunday I really think I have a chance!

Bandit Trail Run Pictures

Everyone likes race pictures, but nobody likes paying crazy amounts for them. Thank you Bandit for taking great pictures AND making them affordable!

30K - Loop 3001 Photographer Chuck Utash  (3)-(ZF-6998-11868-1-003)

30K Coverage 3030 3010 3093   Photographer Chuck Utash  (3)-(ZF-6998-11868-1-002)

Chumash 30K 50K - Photographer Liz Sullivan  (224)-(ZF-6998-11868-1-001)

Bandit gave every person two free pictures AND the others were only $5 per image! If other races and photo companies would follow suit and make the pictures affordable like this, I would be MUCH more likely to ALWAYS buy my pictures!

2015 Bandit Trail Run 30K Race Report

The original plan had been to run  the Sean O’Brien 50 K but once we realized we had missed the sign up we had to find a plan B. I hate to even call this race a plan B because it was a really cool race!

The first thing about this race that was great was the responsiveness of the Race Director. I had emailed him to ask if the race sells out and I heard back from him within a couple hours! Love that! The day before the race they had packet pick up at their house. It was very obvious how much they enjoyed putting the race on and how well they new the course. I usually do bigger races, so I never get any contact with the people putting on the race. Not the case here at all!

It is a local race for use which meant we didn’t have to get up too crazy early to get to the race on time, WINNING!

IMG_5374I got up, got dressed in my new Coeur Sports running kit (Fleet Foxes) and put on my 2015 Coeur Team tattoo (squee) and we were out the door by 6:00 AM.

Stuart was running the 50K so he started at 7:00 and my race went off at 7:30.IMG_5375I saw him off and then got to see him one last time because the first loop of the race runs all the runners back through the start/finish line area so the spectators can see them before they set off. Very cool!

Once Stuart was on his way, I finished getting ready and lined up to start. I had never set foot on the course so I was a little blind to what I would be running but the race website had a LOT of good information on the course. Race directors, if you are reading this, ALWAYS include a Garmin link of the course! ALWAYS!!! Bandit had this for all the courses and it was really helpful.

Regardless of seeing the course details prior the the race, it was harder than I expected. It was quite warm which made it tough, and the downhill sections were a little technical for me so that slowed me down quite a bit. The thought that kept me going was that after this, I get to hang up my trail shoes! I really wanted to trail run all year but once I spent a lot of time doing it I realized that it isn’t for me right now. I need the variety of multi-sport.

Bandit Lap

Coming through on the first loop

As the race wore on I did my best to just keep running whenever I could and walking with a purpose when I couldn’t. The top 4 50K runners passed me and were all super polite and friendly! Very cool! I was playing cat-and-mouse with one runner. She caught me at one aid station, then I caught her at the last one. I did everything I could to keep her from catching me again and she was really close when we turned down for the last tricky descent. The descent was so tricky that I just did what I could to move as fast as possible and not fall. Once on the home stretch I ran as fast as I could. I didn’t want to get caught at the very end; and I didn’t!

Photo credit @jesseluna

Photo credit @jesseluna

Photo credit @jesseluna

Photo credit @jesseluna

I had had high hopes of placing at this race but it was much more difficult than I had anticipated. I finished 10/16 in my age group in 4:33:14 and 19/52 in my gender. I was a little disappointed but I know I did all I could out there. You can find my Garmin data here.

I would highly recommend this race to anyone looking for a challenging trail run. The scenery was beautiful, the course was challenging, the volunteers were amazing, and the organizations was great. The only minor bobble was there a section of the run where you had to run into a neighborhood before you got to the back section of the race. It wasn’t marked and a few of us were very confused until someone who knew the course told us the way. But other than that it was awesome! When I get more pictures I will post them.

Yes, my watch tells me how many beers I ran off

Yes, my watch tells me how many beers I ran off

My focus now switches 100% to Ironman to prepare for Ironman Boulder in August! I am very excited to have my coach back to help me prepare for Boulder.

2015 Tour of Sufferlandria Race Report

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What a way to get back on my bike! I had only ridden a bike twice since Ironman Arizona in November but I wouldn’t dare think of missing the Tour of Sufferlandria. How could you possibly miss a virtual staged bike tour though a mythical country that takes pride in making you suffer? I know huh? Sounds amazing!

Honestly, this is a pretty amazing experience. Through the use of the Sufferfest videos and the amazing application TrainerRoad we rode with over 2700 others all over the world and raised over $100K for the Davis Phinney Foundation without ever leaving our homes!

The tour lasted over 9 days and you essentially had 50 hours to complete each stage. If you didn’t complete the stage during the window it was open you were dropped. Everyday we would log on to see how many people didn’t make it on. For us, the best part was there was no question we would finish the Tour which actually made it easier to get on the bike day after day; quitting wasn’t an option! The crazy part for Stuart and I was we had to fit a 50k trail run in the middle of the  Tour! Luckily, due to the 50 hour window to complete each stage, we started the tour as soon as we could which allowed us to fit in the race. You can get an idea of the effort from the picture below.Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 9.33.18 AMAs you can see the last two days were a doozy!

If you haven’t looked into The Sufferfest or TrainerRoad and you use an indoor bike trainer YOU ARE TOTALLY MISSING OUT! This is truly the best way to make good use of your time on a trainer for very little money.

Calico 50k Race Report 2015

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This was only my second time running a 50k and the first time was over 3 years ago!  Stuart and I got up a hour and a half before early at 3:00AM. We had done a good job prepping the night before so we were in the car just a few minutes after 3:30. We had chose to not get a hotel to save some money and make it easier on the dogs. If we ever do this race again I think getting a room in Barstow would make a lot of sense! But we got there on time so it was fine…just really early!

My only complaint about the race was check in. It took much too long to check people in. An alphabetized list would have made things go MUCH faster. Once we got checked in, made a potty break, and finished getting ready we had about 2 minutes before the gun went off!

I had told Stuart if he felt well he should run his own race and not hang back with me. We ran the first 2 (downhill) miles together and then he started pulling away. After the first two miles you start to climb. It is very gradual but you can tell by your pace that you are climbing. The running surface was really hard for me. It was very sandy and it made the running hard. I wasn’t expecting that. Once you start climbing you are essentially climbing until almost mile 18. You get a little bit of a break here and there but it is essentially up!

The aid stations were amazing! Very well stocked and the volunteers were super nice. I managed to eat real food all day; potatoes, PB&J, and oranges. They aid stations were about 6ish miles a part for the first part of the race and then once it got tough they were more frequent. I am not sure that was intentional but it really worked well!

We hit the high point of the run around mile 18. We then ran down the craziest bit of running I have ever done. I heard some people ran down that section. I have NO idea how that is even possible. I scrambled my way down on hands and butt very carefully. The rocks were sharp and hard and I didn’t want to take a tumble there. I made it to the bottom and took a moment to empty the rocks out of my shoes. This had been a problem all day. Gaiters would have made a lot of sense for this run. I had rocks in my shoes all day long.

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Total gain 3,957 ft

Once out of the steep bit we had a really nice 3+ mile down hill on reasonable surface. Of course this is where I fell! I was cruising along really enjoying the run when I just tripped over some rock and went flying. I scratched up my knees, hands, and arms pretty well. There was nothing majorly wrong with me so I got up right away and just kept moving. A few tears were shed but I just wanted to get moving so I could finish.

The next 10 miles got tougher and tougher. The terrain was hard and we had to climb a bunch again. I was pretty good until mile 24/25. I was passing a lot of people at that point but I was starting to get discouraged. It was a good thing I wasn’t running with Stuart because it kept my complaining to a minimum. The last 5 miles were brutal but I just kept moving forward. That was all I could do. I spent the last couple miles rehearsing in my head what I was going to tell Stuart when I finished. I had realized  that ultra running is not for me. I am good for the first 20 miles but after that I am not enjoying it anymore.

I got to the finish and fell into Stuart’s arms in tears.

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I am pretty happy with where I place in my AG. I got 4th and the first three women in my AG were the first three women to finish!

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I don’t think I am cut out for this kind of running. It is so hard that I stop enjoying it. Maybe it will get easier the more I do it but I am not sure I want to keep doing it to find out.

Even with that said, I would HIGHLY recommend this race. The views were amazing, the support was incredible, and  the people on the trail were so nice! The footing is difficult and the last five miles are extremely hard in my opinion. But it is a very cool race!

I am incredibly proud of my finish and I feel like I can finally call myself an Ultra Runner. But, I am not sure if I will continue to run like this. I have two more Ultras planned for this year, Sean O’Brien 50k and Leona Divide 50 mile. I am not sure I will be doing either of them at this point. Ultra running is WAY harder than Ironman training!

You can click here for the Garmin details.

Kit for this race included:

Paramount Ranch 2014 30K Race Report

Saturday was my first race as I enter a year of trail running. The race we chose was a local race put on by a very reputable race director, Keira Henniger. We signed up for the 30K because it  fit perfect into my training plan.

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I was very nervous the night before. This is a new arena for me and I wasn’t 100% what to expect. Night before I laid out my kit. I had picked up a pair of arm warmers from Coeur Sports which were way better than I had expected! Not only did they have thumb holes they also had little mittens to cover my fingers if it was colder. Alarm was set for 5:30 AM and off to sleep I went!

The race started promptly at 7:30 AM. The course was three 10K loops all over Paramount Ranch. I really wasn’t sure what the course would be like but I didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 1.47.05 PMScreen Shot 2014-12-22 at 1.57.33 PMIt was a  lot of up and down and very little flat. Plus, we had had a fair amount of rain over the week so it was pretty muddy. But what made it hard was the whole course was pretty much runnable. None of the climbs were so hard that you had to walk the whole thing so you just pushed through the whole course. My goal was to run each lap as even as I could. I wasn’t going to worry about my place in the race until the last lap. I knew that if I could run each lap as close to even as possible I would have a good race.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 1.43.29 PMMission accomplished! As you an see above I ran all three loops with only a 2 minutes spread! (see the Garmin Data here) Plus, I ran the last loop the fastest! I was so pleased with my run. I worked really hard the last loop to catch a couple people I had been watching during the race. Once I caught the first one I just kept looking ahead to the next. This really helped me focus on consistent running and kept me from easing off on the hills. I found that most of the other runners were walking the hills so I made it my goal to run as much of the hills as possible.

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When I finished and finally caught my breath Stuart and I went to look at how I did…4th 😦 I really wanted 3rd. But I knew I had run a really smart race and had done all I could. I was happy!

IMG_4910We got home after a smoothie and picking up the kids. I had developed quite rat’s nest in my hair while I ran! I will be running with braids from here on out! Yikes!

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Today I finally found the complete results on line and got a nice surprise! I actually got 3rd after all and was the 6th overall woman! WOOT!

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 2.40.31 PMI am so glad that I have two more races on my calendar that will be run by Keira. The race was wonderfully run and it is pretty cool to have the race director cheering for you when you come through! Also, it is great to be running races with Stuart! This race was great because we crossed paths a few times. It is always great to see a familiar face and get a few words of encouragement from someone you love!

Ironman Arizona 2014 Race Report – #IMAZ

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After I completed St. George in 2012 I wrote my report the very next day.  It has taken me two days to get to it this time because I don’t want this race to be over. I have a feeling the post race blues are going to be bad this time… Anyway, on with the report! For those of you that just want the numbers I will give you those first. You can see my Garmin data for the day here. Here are my official splits from the race. Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 6.01.36 AMScreen Shot 2014-11-18 at 6.01.50 AMOverall I am totally amazed with the day. I met my goals and I am so proud of the race!

The Swim

Swimming is one of my stronger disciplines so the only part about this that I was nervous for was being in the water with 2500+ others! I got in early so I could start up front. I was only about three people deep back from the start line. I was so happy to bump into a couple of fellow Tower 26 swimmers and felt like that was a very good omen for the day!. Canon went off and we were swimming. The first 5 minutes was very congested but then I had a really nice patch of open water. That didn’t last long. It varied on and off like that until the first left shoulder turn. After that it was smooth swimming. I felt good and just wanted to get it done. The water wasn’t too cold and even though you couldn’t see ANYTHING it wasn’t yucky tasting/smelling water. I made it to the dreaded steps and was out of the water! My best case goal was 1:05 but I knew with the extra people it would be somewhere between 1:05 and 1:10 so I was happy with the swim.

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I got my wetsuit stripped, ran for my bag and into the tent. The AMAZING volunteers helped me get sorted quickly and I was off to the bike without anything special to report. I did eat a Power Bar smoothie quickly in the tent and loaded myself up with my food.

The Bike

The course is a three loop out and back. It is relatively flat except for a stretch up the Beeline Hwy. The problem was the wind. There essentially was a head wind on the way out and a tail wind coming back. The splits below pretty much sum it up!FullSizeRender Overall I was thrilled with this. Anything between 6:00 and 6:30  was a victory on the bike for me. I did get a drafting penalty and spent 6 minutes in the tent at the top of the turn around. People would pass you and then not keep moving. With the wind, passing was tough and I didn’t want to burn all my matches trying to get around people. I was too close and I won’t deny that; but I wasn’t drafting on purpose. Honestly I was so happy to have a chance to get off my bike for 6 minutes! I stopped two other times to fill up my water bottle. I am not that comfortable to do that while riding. I kept on top of my nutrition and water and just get pedaling! At some point during the bike I pushed a button on my watch that switched my view to the overall time. That actually was really helpful. There was nothing I could do about the conditions with the wind so I just rode at the effort I felt was right. I had done the training and I knew how I should be riding. I trusted that and just kept at it.

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I very happily got off the bike and gave her a kiss goodbye. Not a single bike issue for me! Thank you Win’s Wheels! I took off my shoes and ran for my bag. I handed both things to a volunteer and peed. Into the changing tent I went. The volunteer helped me get sorted and I was out as fast as I could.

The Run

The goal was to run at least a 10:00/mile pace and hopefully get a 4:15 overall in the end. I felt great. The first mile clicked off at 8:44ish and I knew I had to watch it and not over do it. I wanted to run every step and really wanted to shine at this point. I had a feeling I could do it after a really successful monster brick I had done in training. Usually I am a pretty chatty runner out there but I was not talking very much. Not because I was running too hard but because I was so focused on the goal. Up until now I had stopped worrying about the overall time for the day. I thought the wind and penalty may have squashed my sub 12 hour goal. I didn’t want to over do it early in the run because I was trying to race the clock. I wanted a smart and controlled race more than the time. I did notice that if I held the 10 minute pace I was very close to the 12 hour time but I wasn’t looking too closely early in the run. The miles were clicking off between 9 and 9:15 and I felt totally fine. Others around me were dripping with sweat and breathing heavy and I felt totally fine and 100% in control. I planned what I wanted before each aid station and yelled it out to the volunteers as soon as I  got there. I mostly drank water, Coke and Red Bull. I had a couple bananas, some Gu chomps, one Cliff Gel, and a Power Bar smoothie but it was mostly liquids during the run. The thought of solids was not working for me. The crowds were amazing! There is nothing better than hearing your name while you are running. It helps SO much! I had seen Stuart out on the bike a couple times but I finally got to see him up close on the run. He brought me a chapstick because I lost mine on the bike. Usually I would have talked to him but I was so focused on the run all I could get out was “thanks” and “I love you”. Our friends from Arizona Thomas and Laura were out there as well. I kept giving them stuff I didn’t need anymore like extra food and then my sunglasses. It was so great to see friendly faces out there. By the end of the first loop I finally looked at my time to start doing the math. I realized that if I held a 10 minute pace I would be coming in under 12 hours!!! That was the goal. Keep running like I was and get it done. I felt totally fine. I never hit the “wall” and the only dark moments were those running under the bridges…because they were dark! I didn’t walk  single step and I never stopped. It was amazing! FullSizeRender-1I made it to the finishing chute and enjoyed my last few steps and crossed the line! It was close to a 5 hour PR over St. George! I was so excited! I got my medal, shirt, picture taken and went to find Stuart. I crumpled down on the grass and spewed out all the things I had wanted to tell him about during the day. He is always there to listen to me no matter how many times I tell him something! I have a few more posts to come regarding the race. I want to do one about the gear I used, a nutrition one, and of course a thank you one. Below are a few pictures from the day. Thanks again for going on this journey with me. Knowing there were people who were tracking and supporting me from afar really carried me through the race more than you can imagine!

Santa Clarita Half Marathon 2014 Race Report

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The numbers for those of you who don’t want the fluff:

Time 1:53:01

Overall 264/1449

Women 62/782

Age Group 15/133

I wasn’t originally planning on running this race but since Stuart was going to be running the full marathon I asked my coach if I could run the half. This race is dear to me because it is the first race I ever really trained for and ran back in 2006. Coach said I could race this so I was excited to go for a pace of 9:00/mile, a full minute below my goal marathon pace for Ironman Arizona. If it felt good I was going to push it a little more. Well, the first couple miles felt pretty good so I just kept going with the pace. Originally I just wanted to break 2:00 but once I got to about mile 5 I was hoping to catch the 1:50 pacer. I couldn’t quite catch him but I ended up running just over 1:53. I will take that!

After the race I jumped on my mountain bike and chased after Stuart who was still running. I found him right before mile 18 and made sure he had everything he needed and checked on how he was feeling. He was in the zone and needed nothing so I hung back on the bike and just followed him. I started meeting other running the race who really needed someone to talk to them to help get them through the last 6 miles. I ended up spending a chunk of time with one woman who was in from out of town to run. I essentially talked her ear off for the rest of the race and helped keep her aware of how she was in relation to other runners. I had so much fun!!! It is such a small and quaint marathon! I may have to go back and run it again next year!

Below are some pictures from the day…the perfect day!