Park City 1/2 Marathon Race Recap Part 2

Half Marathon #11
State #10

Alison, Ryan, and I set our alarms for 5:30.  Usual routine: bagel with peanut butter while getting dressed and ready to leave.  Linda let us borrow her car to drive to the start which was a few miles up the road.  It literally took 5 minutes to get to the start and park.  The start was at a big shopping center and there were plenty of spots available.  We arrived around 6:05.  It was nice and chilly and Alison and I used trash bags to keep warm!  I met a girl in a RunningSkirts skirt and realized that the skirts without the compression shorts are shorter and cuter (there is point to this later)!  The marathoners were starting at 6:30 and the 1/2s at 6:45. Ryan was doing the full so we sent him off.  Side note-I didn’t feel like running with my phone because of its weight so I have no pictures…you will later see I regret this decision.  The race crew asked if you were faster start at the front and if not, head to the back.  I was shocked that people actually listened!  There were technically 2 waves–I placed myself in the front but not too far up.  And we were off…

Miles 1-8
To sum them up?  They sucked 🙂  I will be honest, I wanted to push for another PR/good time.  I quickly realized this wasn’t going to be an option.  I held my race pace for the first mile and my breathing was off but it usually is the first mile or so.  I didn’t worry too much about it.  We were following a path behind the shopping center near condos and headed into a running path/trail.  My breathing wasn’t getting better and people were beginning to pass me.  I noticed a little boy running with his dad (yes, they passed me) and I thought, “how cute, he’s running for the first few miles” and didn’t think much more of it.

At mile 3 panic began to set it.  I couldn’t breathe at all.  I had already used my inhaler before the race and had to pull it out again.  I was thinking about a DNF and what would happen if I were to pass out.  I had adjusted fine to “being” in the altitude but it was obvious that exerting energy and hanging out were two different things.  How in the hell am I going to finish this race?

The scenery was absolutely gorgeous.  Different than Big Sur but equally as beautiful.  It made me really appreciate the country I live in.  Sadly, I left my camera behind because I was so focused on speed.  Big Bummer.  Miles 4-6 were all along running trails-some parts were gravel-I had read there would be some and was prepared, but it definitely changed up the feel of the race for me.  Gravel, wooden bridges, and concrete.  Lots to focus on, along with my awesome breathing.  My pace was all over the place.  I was actually stopping at water stops (I usually run them but was so out of breath and the cups were plastic and wouldn’t bend so I didn’t have a choice).

We ran under the road and came up to the famous barn in the area and continued on a path to the end of the out and back in a neighborhood.  I ate my GU right before the turnaround (they were also giving them out but I like to use what I know).  We had also been forewarned that the trail might have dogs, walkers, bikers, runners on it during the race.  Little did I know that meant dogs running out and attacking people on the course.  2 big dogs came out barking and showing teeth to a girl right in front of me-I know I dropped an F-bomb because it scared the %hit out of me too.  The owner just said “relax, they don’t bite.” Seriously???  This is a road race.  Leash them or put them away till we are done.  They didn’t bite the girl but I know she was frazzled.

I saw Alison at the turnaround and was trying to tell her the race was sucking for me but I don’t think she realized it.  Within a mile though, I was starting to feel better.  We were reversing the course and my speed was back.  Thank you Lord.  I could breathe.

Miles 9-13.1
This was really a blur.  The course was overall very quiet.  Different than most I have run and I was very thankful that I had purchased a new Ipod before the trip.  I just kept focusing on my feet and trying to slowly pick off different runners to pass.  Since it was an out and back, the scenery didn’t change and I knew what to look for.  I was though excited to get a yell from a volunteer at a waterstop about my RUNATL shirt-he said he ran the Peachtree once.  I’m sure he was wondering what the hell I was doing out in Utah.

I had my head down and was concentrating and looked up and all of the sudden we were at the finish.  My watch came up short.  I was okay with that!!

Race Results

90/589 overall 
31/385 females
6/73 30-34 year old females
Yes, it was a small race. But I am very proud of this time and placing.  That altitude is no joke!  I realized after finishing that even if I would’ve hit my goal of 1:45 I still wouldn’t have placed and that is okay.  
Garmin Results
My pace has NEVER been more off than this race! I was all over the place!

made sense once I saw it here!
Ahh.  Elevation.  
Post Race
I received my medal and grabbed an awesome finishers tray of food.  Fruit, cookies, pretzels, a powerade, water (they had chocolate milk but I somehow missed it).  I ran to the car and grabbed my phone and waited for Alison.
Finishers goodies
Finish Line
As we were stretching and hanging out at the finish we saw the little boy that was with his dad…and he had on a medal!!  I went up and asked him how old he was and when he finished.  He told me he was 10 and finished in 1:49.  I told him he smoked me and how awesome it was that he ran.  His dad explained that he was training for a marathon and his son just loved to run with him.  I thought that was so cool.  
Alison and I grabbed some coffee heard the announcers call out the first marathoners.  I realized that the girl in the RunningSkirts skirt came in as the second place female overall.  Unbelieveable!  It was time to head out and find Ryan.  After running the course I realized we could catch him at his mile 20, the barn.  Perfect spot and time of a race to see him!  
I took the opportunity to get some pics of what my course was like…
the view headed in-mile 9 of the 1/2 

pointing to running in the tunnel
yep, in there and onto the barn

yes, this is a marathon water stop.  awesome!
We saw Ryan and he was exhausted.  He said the course was harder than Big Sur and he has breathing issues similar to mine so he was struggling.  We ran for a few minutes  and then headed back to the finish line to wait him.  
He was not happy when he finished because it was harder than expected.  We headed back to find some lunch and ended up at a quick burger place.  A little boy waved to me and I realized it was the boy from the race.  I went over and asked for his picture and if it was okay with his dad if I shared it on the blog (obviously they said okay).  So this is Michael. The insanely cool, and fast, 10 year old that I met.

Turns out they live in Charlotte, NC, ran the Peachtree in July (and he beat me there too) and Owen (the dad) and his wife will be running Big Sur in May.  Small, small world.  Makes you really appreciate the running and blogging community.

Post-Post Race
We ended up on the lake that afternoon and I had my first experience paddleboarding.  Very fun upper body workout.

Linda cooked us dinner and we spent the rest of the evening relaxing at their house.  The next morning before our flight we went and had bloody mary’s at the St. Regis and the view was stunning.  I love, love, love Park City.  She drove us back to Salt Lake and we made it home on time with no problems.  🙂

Ryan, Me & Alison on the patio at the St. Regis
we stopped so I could get a few barn shots with my good camera 🙂

The scenery
My hosts in Park City
Small Race
The medal and shirt
ease of the start
the race entry fee (only $40)

Not to so much:
The altitude

The bling:
Loved it.  Probably one of my favs.  The glass medals are custom made each year by a local artist.  I love that the lanyard was detailed with the race info too.  The marathon finishers medal was very similar, just a little bigger and a different color.  I also loved the shirt-it’s a fun color and has the famous barn on it.

The Bling

Final Thoughts:
I would highly recommend this race.  Park City is a cool place to visit with plenty to do (had we stayed longer I would have gone hiking and fly fishing).  Obviously if you don’t train in high altitude this race will be hard but worth it.  I probably wouldn’t do it again, only because I have Utah checked off.  If I lived near Park City I would definitely drive to each year.

If you read all of this, thank you :):)  Still waiting on the race pics and hopefully they will be up this week!

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  • The pictures of the race look amazing! Sorry to hear you struggled so much in the beginning with your breathing, happy to hear that you got it under control and it didn't wreck your whole race! I freakin hate plastic cups!! WHY??? And don't get me started on dogs…

    So what's up with the runningskirts??

  • Nice job on that race, altitude is no small thing when you're not acclimated! Look forward to seeing photos + you gotta show us a picture of the BLING, Ms. Running for Bling!!

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