Thursday, August 22, 2013

Park City Half Marathon, Utah

What a great week! Hectic, but great!
Utah is absolutely spectacular!
Such a fun state!
Good Morning!
We flew into Salt Lake City & had lunch at Red Rock BrewPub! Utah has some odd drinking laws. All tap beers are 4%. Even a Belgian White Ale (my favorite beer) has only 4% alcohol!
Interesting fact: The Great Salt Lake is 10 X saltier than the ocean!
We took a short tour of some major sights in the city. Wow. Lots of churches!
Random Shot
Next, we were off to southeast Utah: Moab!
Moab is a blast! We went horseback riding ...
Mini-man, Girlfriend, and me!
Drove ATV's in the desert ...
Thankfully the guys at Moab Tour Company were pretty cool about everything!

Of course Sidekick rode a dirt bike!
Okay, we found Uranium Arch, but how do we get back?
Utah has some beautiful National Parks. We visited two: Arches and Canyonlands!
Climbing up Balanced Rock @ Arches!
The arches were amazing!
And Canyonlands was incredible!
Now you know how I got grey!
I was scaling back all week, but I ran three days out in Moab. There ain't nothing but road there.
It just goes on & on!
There's no need for MapMyRun. In New Jersey, I haft-a use MapMyRun to try to plan my runs along the most quiet residential streets because cars will literally pass right next to you (I think some people like to play chicken with the runners). You can imagine how surprised I was when people waved and drove into the other lane when they passed by (around those mountain curves, I went with the flow of traffic. I was scared not to know what was around the bend).
People Waved!
Next stop: 
Park City, Utah. 
Side-kick is a huge skier, so he's been to Park City before. By the time we got there, the Friday before my race, we were already exhausted. We tooled around the city. What a great little town. The galleries and handcrafted art and furniture reminded me a lot of  Vermont.
We had pasta at Grappa - so I could carb load.
When we were finishing dinner, we saw George Lucas, the director of Star Wars! 
We were all pretty star struck! 
It was a good distraction' cause after dinner, I got a little nervous about the half. I kept thinking, 'I only live a couple of hundred feet above sea level, how am I gonna climb to 7,000 feet? There was one point in the day, before packet pick-up, that I actually started to cry, wondering how I would complete the run. My goal has been to come in the top 10 in my age group for these halves - and so far, I have in all but three. I often think I should run them again. There was no way that I was going to want to run at 7,000 feet again! Sidekick, and my two kids were cheering me on.
You can do this, Mommy!
I can do this, I can do this, I can do this!
When we drove to get the packet, everyone was really nice. I got a great big Lululemon bag. It's nice and sturdy! When I came out, Sidekick said, "You have nothing to worry about. I think someone is trying to send you a message."
Mustang with three 3's
Now if you know me, you know I kept my late husband's car, the 35th Edition Mustang Convertible. I call her RADRLUV. I learned how to drive her after 9/11 - I was determined! And if you know my story, you know that John used to call me up from the 104th floor of the World Trade Center to rush out these words, before he'd hang up and get back to that insane job:
"It's 3:33. I love you, I love you, I love you! I gotta go. Talk to ya' later!"
There we were, after packet pick up in a parking lot full of Mustangs. All different kinds. And then there was the one with the three 3's! Wow! A sort of calm came over me and I heard in my head,
"You got nothing to worry about. You're gonna do just fine" 
And for the rest of the day, every time I got nervous, I just repeated,
"You got nothing to worry about. You're gonna do just fine." 
The race started on Saturday morning, a bit late, around 8am, on a beautiful day about 60*F.
I'm somewhere in there!
Looked a lot different during the race, with runners &
little children handing out water & PowerAid
Without the humidity, I climbed, a steady 1% for the first seven miles - all the way up to 7,000 feet. I felt myself trying to catch my breath and suck in as much air as possible. We ran passed this barn, and kept climbing up steadily. I heard strange huffs & puffs from my mouth, like my suffering had a voice of its own. I was feeling it. After the turn around, when we started to come back down, my legs felt like rubber. Worse than I've ever even felt on the track. I felt like my legs had a mind of their own, and they were just flailing out from my hips. I kept thinking "Core, Core, Core. Stabilize your core" I didn't want to go home with a hamstring or knee injury - or another tendon injury!" Thanks to Kat at Sneakers and Fingerpaint's and her August Core Focus Challenge, my core felt strong.
And, I just kept running ....
The best part? 
Seeing my family at the end cheering me on! 
It's great to hear your kids shout, "Go, Mommyyyyyy. Gooooo!"
Mini-man, me & Girlfriend!
And it's great to fall into your best friend's arms,
and hear him say,
"I'm so proud of you!"
Side-Kick & Me!
So PC was not my fastest half (duh!), but I did manage to place in the top 10 in my age group, 5 minutes off of third, taking #8!
But this trip & race ranks up there as one of the best!
If I didn't train so hard leading up to this race, and I didn't watch what I ate, making sure I ate enough lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains & a variety of fruits & veggies (which is really hard to do on vacation), I doubt I would have done as good as I did.
Cheers to half #17, and my 16th state!
Train Smart Today!
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