Day 12 and 13 (Utah Valley Half Review)

Day twelve can be summed up in 3 words:

Lots. Of. Yelling. 

Also, the first half was boring. Shopping, cleaning, packing, and a stressed out husband. So let's get on with the good stuff. 

Utah Valley Half Marathon! 

This is the least nervous I've been for any race. I knew physically I was capable, I didn't have a goal except to be faster than my Salt Lake Half in April, and I got a girls night away out of the whole thing which I was irrationally excited for. I never get to get away. 

We left early Friday afternoon and ended up getting super lost. Provo, Utah has some way confusing streets/freeway exits/intersections. The only address we were able to get Siri to guide us to was the convention center where the race expo was, which turned out nice. We got to see Ryan Hall, pick up our packets, and browse the expo briefly. 

Next up was dinner, and if I'm being completely honest, this was the thing I was most excited for out of the whole weekend. It doesn't take much to please me. We did our carb loading on pasta and garlic bread and then did some window shopping in the University Mall. The massage chairs also looked like fun although having your body furocioisly kneaded immediately after devouring a huge meal is not a good idea. Take it from the experts. 
I was also really stoked to have a queen sized bed to myself all night without my kids to interrupt me! 
However, the paper thin walls soon revealed (after we tried going to bed at 9:00) that our neighbors had a baby; a very upset baby. They had a baby who was upset until at least 11:00 p.m.  Non-stop screaming and crying. I almost busted down their door and strangled them but I also knew the parents were probably just as pissed off as I was. I finally resorted to smothering myself with my extra pillow to drown out the sound. So after a wake up call of 3:45 a.m. I didn't get much sleep. Definitely not the 7 hours I was planning on. 

We awoke and loaded the buses (way, way, WAY too early) and stood around one of the many fire pits at the start line to try and keep warm. The fire pits were a good idea in theory, but it left each runner smelling like campfire smoke and BO. Quite a fragrance, I can assure you. 

I'm usually over prepared for everything but this time I forgot to bring something warm for the start. But I survived. 
I ran this race with my friend Leticia. We started out at a steady pace and then on the first hill I got a surge of adrenaline (remember, I had a vendetta against this course) and we separated. She's coming off an injury and didn't want to push it too hard so we had discussed that it was ok to go at our own pace if the need arose. 

I enjoyed the canyon part of the course although there were a lot more hills than I anticipated. But I handled them. The Halloween course was on the biking trail and this one stayed on the highway, which meant completely different terrain. There was also a nice wind coming from behind me that seemed to help carry me along. If the whole course was in the canyon I would run it again and again. But there were quite a few miles out of the canyon and I didn't enjoy those. There wasn't anything awesome to look at, there was lots of traffic, and it just wasn't fun. So I'm glad I did this race once, but I'm not sure I'll be coming back. 

But regardless of the much tougher course I was able to reach my goal and beat my Salt Lake time! Yay!! I feel pretty good about how things went even though I'm unusually sore. 

P.s., the new LDS temple (behind us) is looking awesome! 
If you will allow me, I would like to toot my own horn for a moment. 

I am really proud of myself and the progress I've made over the last year. I feel like for the first time in a long time, my priorities are in the right place. I feel happy, confident, and ready to take on anything. As far as running goes, I'm slower than my PR, but that's ok. I'm still a strong runner and these things take time. I'm doing my best at each event and nothing can really scare me anymore. I used to avoid running uphill at all costs and now I enjoy it. I used to panic about long runs and now they're nothing to me. In fact after mile 3 I remember thinking, "Awesome! Only 10 more miles to go!" Only? Who am I? 

Most of this progress has been mental. I've broken through my self-doubts. I've learned what my body is actually capable of; and I know I still have SO much more potential to unlock! I am happy with myself and I am proud of the person I am becoming. I am definitely not perfect, so I hope this isn't coming off as snooty or self-righteous. I just left this race feeling very accomplished and content. 

I CAN do hard things. 

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