UTAH VALLEY HALF MARATHON
Well I knew this might not be a great race for me with how sick I've been all week. It's funny if you asked me Thursday to predict my time I would've said 1:15. But, this morning I convinced myself I could do 1:07. So it ended up being in between those two. But, I had to go in with confidence or else why even race? I decided I would run as if I were not sick and just see what happens. Worst case scenario I would fade and just get a decent workout out of it.
So, I went out with the mindset of trying to win the race. That was my goal before I got sick, so I still wanted to see if I could do it. I thought I could manage sub-5:00 pace for the first 8 miles or so (with the exception of mile 3) if I was feeling well. Well, I didn't get a single mile at sub-5:00 so I knew pretty early on I was maybe in for a rough one.
We started the race and I found myself in front solo for the first 1/4 mile or so. That really surprised me, considering the depth of the field. Then Nate Hornock came up alongside me and we chatted for 200 meters or so and then Jon Kotter showed up as well with Josh McCabe. Nate fell back before the mile mark and Jon, Josh and I formed the lead pack for the first 4 miles. During mile 5 on some really good downhill, Josh picked up the pace and he and Jon pulled away from despite me running 4:31 pace down that hill. I caught back up briefly on a slight uphill but only managed to stay with them for 200 meters or so and then just started to really "lose it". I felt really sapped of energy and slowed down subtantially.
I looked down at my watch and saw I was running 5:13 pace downhill. I shook my head is annoyance and thought to myself, "Surely I'm going to get passed here pretty soon if I don't get moving". I didn't get moving and I did get passed almost immediately after that by Jake. I was now running in the 5:20s and felt like garbage. Even though I was still in 4th place I was almost ready to step off the course, I really felt weak.
For the first time ever in a half marathon I took some form of fuel. I knew before the race that I might have low energy levels this morning, so I packed some clif shot blocks with me. I took two of those at this point, and I think it helped me finish the race. At least that combined with the slower pace helped me keep going despite feeling pretty awful.
Once we got out of the canyon I was just really holding on. I just tried to take it one mile at a time and remind myself that I do 8-mile tempos at this pace almost weekly no problem, so just try to keep moving.
I kept getting slower and feeling worse and I thought surely someone was going to pass me soon. That fear kind of kept me going. With two miles to go I glanced back and couldn't see anyone, which was a relief. The problem is it also takes away my fear and "need" to keep running hard, and mentally I just gave in a bit and slowed down even more. That's the problem with looking back and why you shouldn't do it!
So I finished up in 4th and still on the podium in just over 1:10. Just like everyone else I had like a ten second discrepancy on my watch time and official, but at this point it really doesn't matter.
So, it wasn't a wasted day, but man it wasn't pleasant. I kept wondering why I talked myself into running when I knew deep down it was going to be a struggle. But, now that it's over, I'm glad I did. It should serve as a great workout for Duluth in two weeks. Plus I think trying to run hard when you feel horrible is great practice mentally to stay tough and hopefully that will pay dividends in the future.
Splits: 509 505 518 504 500 513 521 523 525 527 537 530 539 54 (last .17)