We left Colorado yesterday morning to make the trek to Utah so I could run the Utah Valley Half Marathon again with my mom today. We were feeling good, enjoying our drive through the mountains when our car started making the most awful noises imaginable--like the engine was going to fall out on the road. Yes, this was our good car, not our clunker college car. We pulled off at the Georgetown exit (about an hour and a half into our journey), and found a mechanic. He was entirely unhelpful; wouldn't even look at the car. By that time the car wouldn't even turn on. We had to get towed a couple more miles up the canyon to a different mechanic, only to have him tell us that the problem was with our transmission and we wouldn't be back on the road that day. I was trying so hard to be stoic, but my heart had dropped to my shoes. Besides the obvious financial shock of having our transmission go out (not a cheap fix!) it was becoming increasingly clear that I was going to miss my race. I signed up for this race in October, and I have run over 400 miles in training over the past 5 months in preparation for this. I thought of all that work, now seemingly for naught. Our little family piled into the tow truck (which I have to admit, the boys were thrilled about), and $350 and an hour and a half later, we were back in Parker where we started. I was devastated.
Luckily for me, I have a husband and a father who were both very determined to get me to Provo in time for the race to start. Driving our second car wasn't really an option; we probably would have ended up with both cars in the shop if we attempted that. But Dad and Adam called airlines and rental car companies, trying to figure out a solution for me. Finally, by 12:30 PM, 5 hours after we left the house for the first time, we were back on the road, this time in a rental car. So the trip that should have taken 9 hours took us 14 instead--but we made it!!
I hardly slept at all last night. McKay, overly exhausted, was having a difficult time sleeping and ended up in bed with us. He moaned and cried, thrashed and kicked all night. Then I was up again at 3:30 this morning with my mom to catch a bus that would shuttle us to the start line.
The race started well for me. I ran a quick pace down the canyon--I was on track to finish far faster than my time from last year. Just after mile 9, though, my body just quit on me. It was probably a combination of a 14-hour car ride, no sleep, and terrible nutrition the day before the race. My mind was telling my body to keep going, but my body had just had enough. I had to walk. The hardest, most emotional part of the race for me was watching the 2-hour pacer run by. I knew I had to finish ahead of him if I wanted to beat my time from last year. I also knew if he passed me, I would never be able to catch him again. And yet, I simply couldn't keep the pace.
My mom caught up to me just before mile 11, and we finished it out together at a slow jog. We came in at 2 hours and 8 minutes, 8 minutes slower than my time from last year, and a full 10 minutes slower than my goal time.
Am I disappointed? Yes. Definitely. It's frustrating to spend so much time training and working toward a goal only to have my body fail on race day. And yet, under the circumstances, I still feel I did the absolute best I could. Shortly after my race was over, I puked--I definitely pushed myself to the limit!
Now I am alternating between thoughts of running another half this summer (REDEMPTION!!), or taking a long, long break from racing. I'll have to keep you posted on that.
Mom and Me, Mile 12
It's always a joy to see my boys at the finish line!
My sister was a volunteer at the race again this year
And here's my mom and me finishing it out: