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.
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.
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)”.
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!
View from our room (yeah, so I just learned how to do pano on my phone):
Another view from the room:
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?).
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.
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.
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).
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?