I did it! A couple weekends ago (October 13th to be exact) I ran the Utah Half-Marathon in Salt Lake City. But my story begins much earlier than that...let's rewind.
In August I got word that my work, Ken Garff, would be one of the sponsors for the Utah Marathon, and by doing so all employees could sign-up at a discounted rate. My manager Becca is a bit of a running-freak and encouraged all of us to sign up for the 5K portion of the race. I contemplated the 5K thinking "I haven't ran 3 miles in years...but I bet if I trained I could maybe do 3 miles." Well...I got to thinking and figured there would be no better time in my life to train for something a little more....challenging. So, I signed up for the Half-Marathon the last week of August and set up my own personal 6-week training regime.
Those first couple days of running were pure hell. My first couple runs were only 2 miles and I had to take several breaks. Wow...was I really so out of shape that I couldn't run for 30 consecutive minutes?! How is this possible? I do Cross Fit 3 times a week...my cardio should be much more sustainable than this! I kept at it though and slowly worked my way up the mile chart. I did my "long runs" on the weekends and the first time I ran 4 miles I really didn't think I would be able to do that 3 times.
Low and behold, 6 weeks later I was standing at the Start Line of the Utah Half-Marathon with thousands of other people. I was nervous...what if I am the very last person? What if I forget the course route and get lost? I've only trained up to 10 miles, what if I can't finish? BANG! It was go time.
The first 4 miles of the race were straight up-hill. Like straight up to Immigration Canyon up-hill. It wasn't fun. I found, though, that there were certain people who ran about my same pace and if I could just keep up with them I was OK. It started to level out around Mile 5...6...7...and then I remember being so happy at Mile 8 when the volunteers were handing out orange slices! I hate those nasty Goo packets so that blessed orange slice was my only refuel (beside some water) the whole race.
Mile 9 was pure heaven-sent. Just look at that view as we ran into City Creek Canyon! Yes...I did whip out my phone for pictures during the race. This distracted me for a good mile until we came out around the Capitol. Then I started to really feel it. I had never ran farther than 10 miles when training so this was really where I had to push myself. Around mile 11 our course merged with the 5K course that had just began. This totally threw me off because suddenly there were these really fast, really energized people whizzing right by! I felt like such a slow poke, but I had to remind myself that I was at mile 11...not the beginning like they were. Anywho...mile 12 was just a blur as I ran through the streets of Downtown SLC, dragging my feet, wondering if the finish line would ever show up! Then there it was...
Most people probably pick up their pace and sprint to the finish line. Not me...the race was over the second I saw that blue arch. I just thought "Finally! I am DONE with this." I saw my mom standing on the side lines cheering me on taking photos (bless you mom for coming and being my moral support). I crossed the finish line just under 2h11min. Which I have no idea if that's a reasonable time or not...I just wanted to finish.
I finished just in time to see all of my co-workers who ran the 5K cross the finish line! I work with some amazing people! Let's go "G Team". I'm glad I can now cross that half-marathon off my bucket list. I'm not sure if I'll up the ante and run a full marathon some day. The thought of running that race all over again exhausts me! 13.1 miles complete and I am juuuust fine with that.
My sweet mother insisted I get a "Rocky" photo. I've learned not to argue with her about such things...