Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hobbler Half Marathon Race Report

As I’ve mentioned before, a challenge was made at work for anyone interested in completing a running race. The distance could be 5k, 10k-ish (half marathon relay), or the half marathon. A running coach would be provided to help people get to everyone to their goal. About 40 people signed up, but fewer completed the challenge.

The race was the Hobbler Half in Springville. I didn’t think about it until after the race was over, but running this race helped me check off another Utah town in my goal to run in every town/city in the state. Also, it didn’t dawn on me until the evening before the race that I would be running 13 miles on 7/13, 2013 by a company called Run13. 13/13/13/13. (If I could have PR’d by 13 minutes, that would have been completely cool. But, I didn’t.)

I fell off my training wagon right around the time of the arts festival, and I never really climbed back on. Therefore, I knew that I would struggle a bit.

The week leading up to the race was comprised of 4am mornings and 10:30pm nights. I was TIRED, so the prospect of getting up at 3am to drive for 1.5 hours in order to catch the bus to the start line just did NOT seem appealing to me – at all. Not even a little bit. In fact, I was fairly certain that I would fall asleep while driving if I even attempted it. Sleeping over in Springville/Provo just wasn’t in the cards due to our upcoming family vacation, so I did what any crazy runner would do. I drove to Springville at 10:30pm – arriving at midnight – and slept in the parking lot! Hey – at least I wouldn’t be late for the buses!

Upon waking up, I moved the car (I was parked in the bus loading zone), and hit the porta potties. Then, I brushed my teeth in the parking lot and met up with Carol and Carolyn. As we were walking, we also met up with Dave. Eventually, we hopped onto a bus and headed to the start line where we proceeded directly to the porta potty line again.

In the starting area, Dave made his way to the front because, well, he’s fast and we’re not. Then, we met up with Mindy. Carol hasn’t been feeling well, so she already decided to hang back and do her own thing. Carolyn and I were thinking that we were about the same pace. Mindy wasn’t sure. My goal was a 2:20 finish which was a 10:40mpm pace. We started together, but within two miles, we were all spread out.

Mile 1: Carolyn, Mindy, and I ran together with the pack. It felt a bit fast to me, but Carolyn assured me that it wasn’t. 10:05 pace. Yes, it was. I admonished us to hold back.
Mile 2: Still feeling good, but fast. 10:05 pace again. This time, I just let Mindy and Carolyn go. I knew that if I tried to keep this up, I would lose it at mile 6 or 7. Run your own race, right?
Mile 3: Feeling good. The canyon was beautiful, lush, and green. We ran past some big ranches and homes. Horses and lots of trees. I started to slowly pass people who had sprinted out. 10:14 pace.
Mile 4: Just another beautiful mile with the exception of the water stop where they had already run out of water! I got ONE swallow in my glass. I wasn’t really happy about that…. 10:31 pace
Mile 5: I don’t know what happened during this mile. It just felt really good, and my pace increased to 9:59 (the only sub-10 mile that I would have for the entire race). I took my first Clif Shot at this point.
Mile 6: After seeing a sub-10 pace, I knew that I should slow down or bonk. 10:47 pace. I slowed just a smidge too much, but much closer to my goal time.
Mile 7: About this time, we converted from the canyon road to a paved trail that ran alongside the road. Very nice and well maintained. (I wish that we had trails like this in Tooele!) I think that the gel kicked in for a 10:18 pace. I think that it was around here that I passed Mindy.
Mile 8: More trail. More sun. It was starting to warm up a bit. 10:23 pace.
Mile 9: I was going to take my second gel at this marker, but I missed the marker. My watch doesn’t show the lap time like my last watch did. It just shows the cumulative time until I hit the lap button, so I had no idea where I was at in reference to time. It seemed like a REALLY long mile, and it was because it was actually two miles!
Mile 10: The time for the two miles combined was 21:39. I know that I slowed more during mile 10 than 9, but I just averaged them and am giving them the exact same pace: 10:50. Yes. I slowed that much. I finally took my second gel at this marker. The first swallow made me want to hurl. It was almost the entire mile before I was done with the gel.
Mile 11: Here’s where I start to really lose it. It was now officially hot. I was tired (that four hours in the back seat of the car just didn’t cut it). I was ready to be done. The whole family had been fighting a weird little cold all week, too. Bub got the worst of it and actually lost her voice. I just got a bit gravelly sounding and was coughing up some phlegm here and there. Well, during mile 11, I had to cough up a bit, but I was so spent that when I did, I also tinkled ever so slightly in my running tights. Oh, great. 11:52 pace for this mile.
Mile 12: We were now going through Springville streets, making our way to the Arts Park. At least I was consistent a couple of times during the race. I could see Carolyn a couple of times during this mile, but I knew that I wouldn’t catch her (although I tried). Again, an 11:52 pace.
Mile 13: I was SO going to have enough energy to run the entire last mile. Really, I was. That lasted for about a block. There were so many walk breaks during this mile that it’s not even funny. Finally, I decided to run to the next orange cone and then walk to the orange cone after that. For the last quarter mile, I managed to run for two cones and walk for one. The finish line was set up very well as the runners turned onto the grass and finished amidst bounce houses and a pretty good crowd of people. Here, I received cheers from my co-workers Mindi, Alicia, Leslie, and Darlene. I was running about two steps behind a kid who appeared to be 12 or 13. I let him beat me. Really, I did. After all, I wasn’t going to win any prizes, and how cool for him to beat someone who had been on his heels for a quarter mile… And, truth be told, I would have been hard pressed to pass him and stay ahead. I think that I could have passed him, but staying ahead of him would have been difficult as he had lots of little surges still left in his legs…. 14:30 pace for this final mile.

After sucking down a bottle of water, I quickly got some French toast and a snow cone and then headed to my car. I had to rush home to get the boys to a birthday party by noon. So, I didn’t get to hang around with all of my coworkers and cheer everyone on.

This really bummed me out because I wasn’t there for Carol’s finish. This was to be the last race that we run together, and we didn’t get to do it together. I didn’t get to see her finish. Sad faces all around.

In all, I enjoyed this race. It was a very nice course, and it was well organized. The buses were on time; the parking was plentiful. They had lots of age group/division prizes and lots of giveaways.

Stats: 13.1 miles in 2:22:18 for a 10:52mpm pace (just over my hopeful 10:40) and a 5-minute PR!
I was 522nd (out of 689) overall, 282nd (out of 412) gender, 28th (out of 44) age group. I was just shy of being in the top half of my age group! UG! Had I only trained better!
I finished 3 minutes behind Carolyn and 5 minutes in front of Mindy.
Here's a photo of a bunch of participants/coworkers:

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