Monday, March 23, 2015

2015 Canyonlands Half Marathon Race Report

I did not plan it this way.

Back in the frosty darkness of January, I signed up for the Canyonlands Half Marathon. I was coaching a group with Fast Forward Sports, most of whom were trying to get PRs at this race. I drank the Kool-Aid and figured what the heck I would go for a PR too. After all, it was supposed to be a  fast course (if you are a believer that any half marathon course could be fast). My PR is 1:47 something, so I figured I’d shoot for a 1:46:59 and call it good.

But then this little opportunity called the Jerusalem Marathon came my way and all was shot to hell. There was no way I could run Jerusalem, then a week later run a PR at Canyonlands. I wish I could pull that kind of trick out of my ass, but it was highly unlikely.  Add in jet lag and a lovely head cold that makes me sound like I really do live in Colorado and smoke weed every hour on the hour, and it wasn’t looking good.

What was looking good was the scenery. Good Lord I knew this was going to be one of those scenic races I had ever run. The road trip to Moab told me so.

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I found this gem in Glenwood Springs, CO. My inner ten year old can never resist taking a picture with a “no dumping” sign. In college I even stole one of these signs and proudly displayed it in my apartment.

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Everyone knows, however, that the best scenery is really my long finger toe (shout out to my friend, Sammi, who has the same toe. We are starting a support group called “TA.” Most people thinks that’s “Tits and Ass,” but it’s really “Toes Anonymous)”.

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No, I’m not giving birth

Our hotel – the Red Cliffs Lodge – sat at the top of the canyon where the race would start – about 13 miles outside of Moab. I don’t know what I loved more  the views or the Bath and Body Works toiletries in the room. I am a sucker for quality toiletries. It’s the little things, my friends!

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View from our room (yeah, so I just learned how to do pano on my phone):

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Another view from the room:

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After we drove the course and stopped by a local brewery for a beer (where a lovely older fellow from Alabama wished me all kinds of luck on my 16 mile half marathon and advised me that running does trash the knees. Thanks grandpa!), we had pasta dinner with the team and just one more glass of wine (this race was already shot to hell, why not push my luck?).

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The gorgeous 37 degree race morning was the perfect chance to sport my sexy throw away sweater dress thing. It was actually my daughter’s at one point. I’m pretty sure you are supposed to wear pants with it.

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The race started and so did I. Like a bat out of hell. First mile I was like, “Damn. I am on fire. I feel great. I might PR this mother f*&ker.” At the mile 2 marker I felt like dog shit and wondered how I would make it another 11 miles. That is not a good feeling.

I really had to dig during this race. I had nothing in the tank. I kept moving on and my splits weren't bad (8:30s mostly), but I had no pep whosoever. My legs simply did not want to go. Ever felt this way? It was ridiculously gorgeous, though. I mean, really.

I walked through every aid station and took a Clif shot at mile 6. This was one of those races where I kept setting goals. Get your ass to mile 6 and you are almost half way. Get to mile 8 and you can walk for a second and drink water. Get to mile 10 and it’s only 3 miles, less than 30 minutes. Get to mile 12 and hell, you are practically there. For the last photo op I tried to do one of those leprechaun heel kicks and almost killed myself. True story.

I was hurting by the end. In the last mile I could see the finish line and I was so dead I actually stopped and pretended to tie my shoe. Pride. I couldn’t have run any further that day.

I met my goal of finishing under 2 hours – 1:56. I could not believe this was good enough for 10/110 in my old lady (45-49) age group! My friend Sylvie won our age group with a speedy 1:40! Girl’s got some wheels.

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Another reason to love this race? Moab Brewing is at the finish. You get not one, not two, but THREE beers (I only had one or I would have face planted in the banana pile).

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Another race in the books. If you are looking for a fast race with amazing scenery and gorgeous weather, this is the one for you (although I hear we lucked out on the weather. It can be cold and windy).

Funny story – last night Ken was asking me what time the winner did the race in. I looked it up on my phone and told him the guy did it in 1:09 and was from the city of Moverall. Where the hell is “moverall,” I asked? Moverall is nowhere because it stands for MALE OVERALL. Haha. I crack myself up at how dumb I am sometimes.

Now I am full blown sick. That’s what I get for over-extending myself. Totally 100% worth it.

Did you race this weekend?

If not, when is your next race?

What’s the most scenic race you’ve ever done?

SUAR

46 comments:

  1. Um wow! Have I mentioned how amazing you are? Next race is a half at the beginning of May. You need to come out to Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada - our races are fast… prairie fast!

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  2. Anything under 2:00:00 is a win! Sometimes we just have to put it in cruise control and enjoy the ride.

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  3. Anything under 2:00:00 is a win! Sometimes we just have to put it in cruise control and enjoy the ride.

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  4. Feel better, Beth! Glad you had a good run---especially coming off of that marathon! Thanks for the awesome photos----as always!

    Sarah
    www.thinfluenced.com

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  5. My next race is Saturday. It's Run the Bluegrass in Lexington, KY, billed "America's Prettiest Half Marathon." But...my hips have been hurting a ton, and I'm doubting my training :(. I'm hoping I can just go, enjoy the scenery (horses, farms, etc.) and finish without needing a stretcher...My mental game is taking a beating right now, though!! Good job this weekend!!!

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    1. You have a great attitude. You've done what you can, now just settle in and enjoy the ride. Sounds gorgeous.

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  6. Sonoma Half in Az is really scenic it's one of the few I've actually bothered to stop and take photos!

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  7. Enjoyed your report and photos. I am currently in a running slump. Have yet to sign up for anything this year. Last half was last Nov.

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  8. Wow gorgeous views! I just ran the LA marathon last weeknd and I couldn't imagine getting out there and doing a half a week later, kudos to you! Take care of yourself now! Gonna do another marathon it the end of May but haven't decided which one yet.

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    1. How did LA go? I heard it was stinking HOT!!

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  9. I love your humor even though your schedule and racing didn't quite end up as you planned. The scenery looked amazing!

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  10. Great recap (as always) :-)

    I double-dipped in the racing...a 10K on Saturday (with some extreme wind) and a Stair-climb race (Fight for Air Climb DSM) on Sunday. Turns out, I placed 4th (out of the 34 "old ladies" in my AG)...93 flights of stairs, post 10K...I'm good with that :-)

    Thanks for always keeping me laughing!

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    1. Seriously...93 flights of stairs??? You rock.

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  11. as usual I am in awe. Jerusalem and now this one. You know how to live.

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  12. You should check out the Moab Trail Half/Full in November (maybe October?) I did it last year and am headed out that way again this year. Seriously, the course is ridiculously beautiful and the trail itself is awesome. Very adventurous and tech-- tons of fun!

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  13. I am seriously jealous of these pictures!! And I'd love to finish a half under 2 hours one day!
    www.momontherunsanity.com

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  14. Most scenic race so far has been the HOT run 5k/10k in St Petersbug florida. The course runs along the beach the whole way.
    My next race is in May. It's the Miles for Moffit. Charity race for cancer research. The course is through my school campus, University of South Florida where I am currently spending a crap load of $$$. I may leave a little "offering" on campus during the run. Just kidding, I love USF and I'm all about cancer research.
    Hope you feel better soon.
    Are you planning to run the Bolder Boulder this year? I hope so. I want all the details.
    It's on my wish list for 2016.

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  15. i totally have a finger toe too. that view from your room is ridiculous.

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  16. Wow, looks beautiful!! I did a 10K this weekend and set a PR, which I was super excited about! Good for you for pushing through even when you are not feeling 100%. Runners never give up :)

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  17. I'm pretty disappointed I missed Moab this year after 4 years in a row. It's unique. But it's bullshit that it's fast. I mean, the competition is fast, but the course is a friggin roller coaster. And it begins with a huge drop that you should take slow.

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  18. That's truly amazing after the Jerusalem marathon. Moab is beautiful, but I've never run there. Sounds like you had a great time, even if you did have dead legs.

    To answer your query - Boston - 4 weeks from today.

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  19. That scenery is fantastic. One day you should think about the half marathon in Dingle, Kerry, Ireland. I know it might be a bit of a flight, but the scenery is wonderful and you get to drink pints of cider at the finish line.
    Get yourself a hot whiskey for your cold (loads of cloves, sugar and lemon). It's magic. It'll work, I promise

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    1. The entire Dingle Peninsula is absolutely magnificent. I was there twice, in 1965 and in 2001. Run, walk or just open your eyes. It's an amazing place.

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    2. Maybe its time for another visit? Dingle itself might have changed a bit over the years but the coastline will hopefully always remain as stunning.

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  20. Stunning photos! Seriously breathtaking. And that might be enough to get me there for a race! Congrats on keeping your cool and finishing as best as you could...running a race when you feel like shit totally sucks. -Christine

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  21. The Double Dipsea from Stinson Beach to Mill Valley and back to Stinson Beach is about as scenic as it gets. And you get to enjoy the spectacular scenery in both directions! It's 14.2 miles of spirituality on the run. http://www.doubledipsea.com/racemaps.html

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    1. Love the sound of this one - "spirituality on the run."

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  22. I'm still laughing my arse off at this post. The image of you doing that leprechaun leap...I'm dying!
    Congrats on a great race, considering the jet lag, your cold, and, oh yeah...just a little 26.2 miles through the hills and cobblestones of Jerusalem a week before! Very impressive!

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  23. Hey SUAR, I am running the Twilight Ultra this Saturday night from 7:00 PM to Sunday 11:00 AM. I am inspired by your writing and your amazing times. Come to Singapore and run 16 hours all night, 100 % humidity, lots free bananas and noodles. You can stay with us!!!

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  24. I just started my training for my next "race"... I've decided to kick old age in the keister and run my first marathon on my 40th. 26.2 on june 26th. No official race found yet so I'm just going to do my own!

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  25. Very beautiful place to run. Nothing that scenic where I live. Running hasn't ruined my knees but it has done a number on my feet.

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  26. I have to read blogs like yours to dream about scenic races! This southern Lowcountry girl runs flat races with the occasional glimpse of a salt water inlet or a historic downtown area. I was supposed to run the Skidaway Marathon in Savannah, Georgia next weekend but was forced to drop out when I realized too late than running two marathons and then a half marathon just a few weeks after the last full is a sure-fire recipe for OVERTRAINING! It stinks to run two PR's, BQ in both and then be forced to rest and cross train, and almost 6 weeks later, still be struggling to run even just a few miles at marathon pace. Be sure to rest and recover!!!

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  27. You should run the Mt. Everest Marathon in Nepal!

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  28. AWESOME BLING! AND YOU, MY FRIEND, ARE A MACHINE!! Ever wanted to run Cabot Trail Relay? We're looking for runners. Totally awesome race and maybe the snow in Cape Breton will have melted by then. Riiiiight...

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  29. I was in Moab over the weekend for work (I know I have a tough work schedule) but it killed me to see everyone with their race shirts and stuff while I was working. So not cool....

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  30. Loved this post... and wonder if I can join the toe club.
    I raced this weekend - a wee 8K I registered for at the last minute after being offered free entry. Ran a 41:49 which was a 3:25 PB for me. More importantly, it marked an end to a loooong trend of missing my time goals by the equivalent of 2s/km. Next race is Yakima Skyline 25K in April. Most scenic race: Whidbey Island Marathon. BMO Vancouver Marathon is a close second.

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  31. Oh, how I love your sense of humor. Nice job on the halfer -- especially since you felt like a turd at mile 2. Been there, done that. I'm doing a 15k this Saturday as prep for Boston. The most scenic race I've done was a 50 miler around Canandaigua Lake in the fingerlakes (upstate, NY). I need to get out more.

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  32. The "Avenue of the Giants" half and full marathon are by far the most beautiful I've ever run and maybe the most beautiful ever! The whole race is through old growth Redwood trees, outside of Arcata-on the coast in Northern CA. Flat to slightly rolling-when I ran it, the sun drifted down through the clouds. It's beauty almost brought me to tears. 3 enthusiastic thumbs up!

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    1. It is utterly amazing. I ran Avenue of the Giants in 1979 and again in 1985. After all these years, the memories are still vivid in my mind. I also ran the Humboldt Redwoods Marathon four times. This October marathon has the same start/finish line as Avenue of the Giants. No matter which race you choose, you can't go wrong.

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  33. I really have to learn not to try to read your blog and eat a snack at the same time. I almost choked three times! Congrats on your run. I had a few friends racing there, too. Big Sur is by far one of the most beautiful places for a marathon. So beautiful that I'm going back again this year. In 32 days, actually. Crap! Aahhh!!!

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  34. I felt EXACTLY the same - splits look fine, but the "overall feel" of the legs was absolute crap. And I don't even have the "I ran a marathon last week" out. Huge props to you for busting this one out!

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  35. I ran my first half marathon this weekend through a winery in Bryan, Texas! I love reading your blog! It has given me some great advice and lots of laughs!

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