Monday, November 4, 2013

Moab Trail Half Marathon

This weekend was my second half marathon and my first TRAIL half. It was an amazing experience and I loved and hated every minute of it. I had the full range of emotions while out there. Excitement at the start. Frustration at the first four miles of intense inclines. (I really need to become better friends with those!)  Relief when I finally reached the top and saw some downhills. I found a new appreciation for even flat spots at that point. At one point I swore to myself I would never do another race and then a while later thought, "next year I'll be able to run this whole hill." I had to fight back tears a when my daughter's favorite song came on and I realized I wouldn't see her or the rest of my family at the finish line.  
There were times when I was too tired to run. Times when I couldn't run because I  had to climb up or down giant rocks. Times when I flew down hills and others when I wanted to, but could sneak past the person in front of me on the single track. 
At about mile ten my feet began to really hurt. And that's when the water came. Due to busy beavers, what is usually a small drainage creek was a decent sized, knees deep river. Almost a mile dredging through the ice cold water numbed my feet just enough to make the final couple miles completely doable. 
Just after the mile 12 marker I could hear the crowd at the finish line and upped my effort. Then we had to take a small quater mile jaunt back into the water, climb up an almost vertical dirt hill and there it was. The finish line!
I had a hard time not being emotional as I crossed. Compared to The Big Cottonwood half (which felt like a piece of cake compared to this half) I really felt like I earned every bit of this finish. I didn't just switch onto auto pilot and cruise to the end. I fought tooth and nail to get there. (And in all honesty, there were times in the race I didn think I'd make the cut off.) 
Amazing day. I still surprise myself sometimes...

Lindsay and me at the start line waiting for wave 5 to start. 
Shadows off the side of the ledge. Down at the bottom is where we had to climb up from to get to the finish line. 

Lindsay flying down a hill. 
The scenery wasn't half bad! ;)

Some of the single track climbing. 

And then the single track down. 
We had to run about a mile uphill on a road. This was my view of a beautiful meadow I really wished I was running through instead!
And the ice bath water. 
Earned this one!

Mileage: 13.1
Time: 3:39
Pace: 16:45