The 2012 Utah Half is almost here and for those who you who are signed up – you are going to do great! For those of you you who are fence sitting, here’s a great post from an amazing woman who did it and finished strong. Way to go Colleen!
I was given permission to repost this by the author, here is the link to the original http://fasterthanpete.blogspot.com/2011/08/utah-half-ironman-2011-race-report.html
By Friday I was feeling pretty much all the way better from my cold which, in turn, made my stress level go down too. It was also nice that I had already picked my packet up at the swim clinic so I didn’t have to worry about that. I was now able to just be excited! (mostly)
I got in the water and swam around for a little while, and it felt really nice so I felt good about my decision not to wear my wetsuit. Then I got out so I could see when they pointed out the course, and I started to get cold. I got back in because the water was warmer than the air, but I still felt cold the rest of the time while I waited for my wave so I began to question my no-wetusit decision again.
All females were in the last wave, along with the relay and some of the men, and we started at least 15 minutes late. Normally I wouldn’t care about this, but I couldn’t help thinking, “That’s 15 more minutes George will have to wait to eat.” But he was in good hands, and I felt pretty good. I knew he would be ok for half a day without me, even if he got sad. I just tried to not worry about him, and focus on the task at hand. I think I did a pretty good job!
SWIM 1.2 miles – 40:10
I didn’t wear a watch so I had no idea what my swim time was. I just didn’t want to get depressed and dwell on my swim time for the rest of the race. I’m really happy with this time, though since it’s right on what I was shooting for (not counting the longish run to transition), and realistically I thought it would take me 45 since that’s how long it took me to do one loop in my Ironman!
Right away I found myself cruising at 20mph, but I didn’t feel like I was pushing too hard so I kept that up. I figured it was a false flat so it would be harder on the way back. I watched my speed the whole time and made sure it was at least 18, but it was usually higher! It was such a flat, fast, fun course! It was awesome, I loved it! I passed a lot of people and only a few people passed me. Mostly men. I noticed the lead guy coming back when I was about 20 miles out, and spotted the first woman 12 minutes before I got to the turnaround. I don’t know why but I counted how many women were ahead of me, and I there were about 10. I could have missed a few because, I hate to say it, but sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s a boy or a girl…
Anyways, like I said, the bike ride was really fun. We rode through corn fields and by a dairy farm (which brought back memories of when I was a kid growing up right by a dairy farm…ah, the smell!), through trees and along the lake which was really pretty. The road wasn’t the best, and I saw many ejected water bottles, but thankfully I didn’t lose anything. We did have special needs bags at the turnaround, but I didn’t need mine. I just kept going, which was awesome! For the last 20 miles or so my back started to hurt and I started to feel a little more sluggish. I kept waiting for that false flat to come back and bite me, but it never did! I was able to keep my average speed up at 19.9! Wow! I looked at my time as I came into transition and about started to cry, I was so happy!
I couldn’t believe how fast that was! It almost took me 8 hours to do the bike at Coeur d’Alene so I was going to be happy with 3:30. Cutting almost an hour off that made me ecstatic!
I texted “T2 baby!” to Pete and knew he’d be surprised too. He called me back right away to tell me sorry he missed me, he was getting breakfast. I told him it was ok, it was faster than I had planned, but that I had to go. I still had a half marathon to run! I was so glad my bike was so fast because I knew my run was going to take forever.
Like usual, a LOT of people passed me on the run so it was kind of tempting to try to run faster at first, but I had to remember that I needed to run my own race and that meant going slow so I could run the whole thing. I didn’t want to go out too fast and end up with my knee or hip hurting too bad to run the last few miles like I did at the Utah Valley Half Marathon (speaking of which, I passed one guy on the bike wearing the shirt from that). Pete appeared right after the first aid station and said I looked good. I grabbed his hand for a second, but didn’t want to stop and talk. He said, “I’ll see you in an hour.”
The run course was 2 loops with 2 out and back sections so you really got to see the other athletes around you a lot. It was fun to smile, say “hi” and “good job” to people I recognized like the lady who was in T1 with me with the purple tape on her leg who always had a smile or a thumbs up for me as well. The run was also really flat, and thankfully most of it was along the river or lake on a shady path. This, along with dumping a cup of water on my head at each aid station, kept me pretty cool. I actually didn’t really notice the heat that much so I was kind of surprised by how concerned Pete was when I saw him again. He asked me if I’d been walking much and I told him, “No, only at aid stations.” I told him I felt good, and he asked me if I could do 4 more miles. I was like, “Yeah, I can definitely do 4 more miles!” I really did feel pretty good! But a few miles after that, I realized he must have been mistaken about that number, and my legs started to hurt. I made it to the second turn around and the girl there told me I was at 10.5 miles so I had less than 3 to go, but I felt so bad for the girl who turned around with me who was still on her first lap. Ouch! I was really hurting, and I started walking for longer at the aid stations, and a little not at aid stations, but not for long. I made myself start running again even though it was really hard! When I had about 1 mile left, my knee started to hurt, but I was like, “Just one more mile!” and just made my feet keep moving forward.
I saw Pete just before the finish line and he commented on what a good pace I was running at, but I hadn’t been running that fast the whole time! I averaged 11:42 min/mile for the half marathon.
This was when I noticed the heat. It was scorching, and I practically burned myself when I climbed into the back of the truck to put my bike in! Pete reached in his pocket to get the key and said, “Oh crap.” He didn’t have it! The though of walking all the way back to the finish line and searching for a single key in the grass in this heat was just overwhelming to me. Luckily, Pete just told me to wait there and ran off to find it while I tried, and failed to get ahold of my dad to see if he had an extra key. Even if he had an extra key, though, he’d have to drive all the way down there with the kids and we’d have to wait around for 45 minutes so I really hoped Pete would just find the key! I was also really hot and my knee hurt. We were parked right by the river so I just went and sat down in the river while I waited. It was like an ice bath, it was so cold!Then Pete texted me and said he had found the key!! Wow, what a miracle! When he got back he said he wanted to jump in the river too, and I told him, “No, you don’t. Just wade in and you won’t want to swim in it.” He did, and that was enough for him. I dipped myself in one more time, then we headed back.
We stopped at Wendy’s on the way home and ordered enough food for 3 people! To be fair, one of those things was a salad that I ended up eating for dinner so it wasn’t really that crazy. But I did get a cheeseburger and a frosty with fries, which I hardly ever do.