Monday, January 21, 2019

2019 Saint George Half Marathon Race Recap - St. George, UT




Official Time: 1:56:47
Placement: 204th out of 580, 117th out of 253 male, 11th in the 45-49 age division
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Upper 30's, slightly overcast. No wind
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2018] [2017] [2016]

Mile TimeComments
18:42Fairly conservative start. Some uphill here.
28:41
38:31Mix of up and down here. Feeling like I might have a good race
48:32Into the residential section.  Holding steady
58:45
69:08Start of the hills here
79:09More hills
88:38Finally crested the hill and head a nice down hill section. Should've gone faster
98:45A little more downhill but on the bike trail now.
109:14
119:33Felt like I was running much faster than this. Mentally fatigued.
129:16Forced myself to really give it all I had...
139:19You can see the finish line, but oh so far away
13.050:27Press towards the final
Total Miles: 13:05 1:56:47



Introduction


For the fourth year in a row I made the roughly 4 hour journey down to Southern Utah.  There isn't much in terms of races in Utah in January and any opportunity to get in a race I'll do it.  

Southern Utah is like a totally different world from the northern part of the state.  It is fairly touristy as there are a bunch of national parks in the area and it is also on the way to Las Vegas.  It also tends to be about 10 degrees warmer and has cleaner air.

I believe the race is also billed as the longest continuous running half marathon in the state.  It does not share the same course as the St George Half Marathon but I believe the race organizers are the same.

I use the race as an early indicator of my current fitness as well.  The half marathon course has a mix of up hills and downhills and while I wouldn't call it a super fast course, it is an honest course in terms of elevation gain and loss.  My race here is usually a clue as to what I need to work on and where I am succeeding at.




The Race


I rolled into the expo on Friday night.  I said hello to my favorite race director people and poked around the various vendors.  They were selling some older shirts from previous races so I snagged a pair for $5.  Why not.... 



I was staying at the Red Lion this time... it is about a mile away.  I could've walked to the race site as a bit of a warmup but had Shari drop me off.  Pretty low stress... some of the roads were closed but she got me close enough.

I went to the Dixie Events Center and socialized with some of the runners for about 30 minutes before the race started.  They had clean (and plenty) of toilets and the time flew by quickly.



Waiting area for the race to begin
The race started at 9... a bit late in my opinion but it makes for a super casual morning.  I can sleep in a bit longer and I even manged to eat a little at the free breakfast buffet at my hotel.  This wasn't my usual pre-race meal, but had a bit of waffle, oranges and black tea.  It worked... I felt like I was sustained throughout the race.




The race started at 9 AM and I made my way down hotel row and hung a right to go east towards the residential part of the city.  It has some rolling hills and I felt okay.  The 1:55 pacer was near me and I figured I'd hang with him and then gain some ground on him. I've run well in the past here and I felt like I could do another 1:53 like last year, or better.  I also felt like the 1:55 pacer started out a bit too fast so I was content to let him lead.

The first 3 miles are a little bit uphill.  I was holding a very steady pace and I was feeling good.  Like this good actually be a nice race.  A lot of memories were coming up at me as I remembered all the times when I ran this race in the years prior.  I was also excited to be running.

For a half marathon, they have pretty decent crowd support and the volunteers at the aid stations were pumped to see us.  I can't say enough good things about this race as the organization is rock solid.

After the 5K point, you enter in a subdivision of some pretty nice houses.  Some of the morning risers will sit on their lawns and cheer you on as you pass by. I like seeing the little kids as well.  

My favorite stretch of the course is near the golf course.  Unfortunately, here, some of the folks didn't get the memo that there was a race and there is a bit of a traffic jam here as the bulk of the runners pass by.  Not fun inhaling diesel fumes but it is fairly short lived.  Although the desert smells of sagebrush were a true joy.

I was really happy with my pace and still felt rock solid.  I was hitting the paces I wanted to and I felt good.  I thought about taking a picture of the course, but wanted to focus on my running.

I've been doing some hill repeats and physical therapy-esque and so at the half way point when you are hitting the hills, I didn't exactly feel like I was dying.  In fact, I thought  I was handling the hills a bit better than I did the year prior (turns out that wasn't entirely the case).

Fortunately, the hills end at mile 7.25 and from there you are greeted with a joyous downhill.  I wish the rest of the race was like that.  I unfortunately was sort of out of gas.  I ate a gel in hopes that the caffeine would help.

Another favorite part of the run is hitting the bike trail.  There is a beautiful view of the city that one will miss from taking the I-15 north.  The bike trail has a slight rise here and you can see the Virgin River, the surrounding nature area and the LDS Temple and city in the distance.  It is really a beautiful site.  

Normally there is a bit of ice here but there wasn't any this year.  In the past I've had to tread carefully.

I was sort of sad to see a 9+ minute mile pass  here.  I felt like I was running fairly strong.  I wasn't in desperation mode in terms of my pace but I knew I was working harder.  I sort of figured that might be the case because I haven't done many over half marathon distance training runs.  So my endurance was going to be suspect.

Also at this point it is a bit mentally tough.  You can see the buildings of the finish line across the field, but you have to go east and loop back -- so you clearly have at least another 3.5 miles.  I imagined the elite athletes already having finished doing their cool downs while I still had a long 5K to go.

I really dug down deep here.  But try as I might, I couldn't get below 9 minutes again.  There were parts I gained a bit of ground and time, but I couldn't really sustain it.  Mentally I wanted to be done and the 1:55 pacer was slowly disappearing from my view.

It is a nice area and the bike trail has a similar profile to my local bike trail.  I kept breaking down the final stretch -- imagining myself running an easy 3 mile training run.  

As usual, there was a sense of desperation as I looped the final corner to the finish.  You are so close to the finish line but they make you run this crazy little loop....







Conclusion


I was happy that my race was largely successful.  It wasn't a crash and burn situation like Las Vegas and while it wasn't my best race, it won't go down in the record books as a horrible one for me.

I was dismayed, however, to find myself about 2 minutes slower than last year.  Ugh, Father Time and the Internet are my worst enemies.



I was able to walk off the race fairly quickly.  Shari was there and she had a Coke for me.  A Coke always settles my stomach and tastes great after a run.  Sad to say it isn't exactly health food though.

The race finish zone had typical after race stuff.  Muffins, bagels, some incredible tasting oranges, cheese sticks and other snacks.  They also had sports drink and chocolate milk.  

The medal is a big one and heavy-duty.  Pretty much the same design as last year's medal, but very nice and clean.  The shirt this year was a nice blue one with a zipper front and long-sleeved.

Overall the race was well done.  The route was clearly marked were to run and the volunteers were enthusiastic and helpful.  One intersection near the top of Brigham Road was unmanned and could've been trouble for cars passing through.  Also, I think the mile markers were a little bit off.  My Garmin is always hit and miss and the final .1 of a mile to the finish seemed to be an eternity.

I paid about $55 for this race.  Well worth it and professionally done.  I really enjoy this race as the course is scenic and usually I see a few people I know there.  Definitely a good indicator of how my year will go.




Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 Year in Running




Miles Year to Date:  1939.5 (as of Dec 30)


Running Update


Well this year was mixed -- as usual.  I saw my times stay about the same and I was certainly racing a lot.



I had a shot at 2000 miles this year but I sort of realized I was getting close a little too late.  It was a soft goal of mine to hit it, but I wasn't really training for a marathon at all this year.  I started to try and run a 1000 mile week about 8 days shy of the year's end and I did about 2 days of 17 - 18 miles a day and I was like, no way -- not happening.  So I did the smart thing and just settled with coming up fairly close to 2000.  

Right now, I am just trying to stay fit, enjoy the cooler weather and burn some calories.  I need to be ready for the St George Half Marathon in about 3 weeks.  I really enjoy that race and am looking forward to doing it this year.

So without further ado, let's look at last year's goals and what I accomplished in 2018:



Race Totals

I ran the following race distances:

Marathons:  0
Half Marathons: 13
10 KMs: 6
4 Mile: 1
5 KMs: 19

Race Miles: 270.4 in 39 races.

I really took my racing up another notch this year in sheer volume.  It was fun...  I tried some new races as well and I really did a ton of racing in the spring -- particularly the half marathon distance.

I did discover that the half marathon is starting to wear my down more than usual.  In the past, I could mail them in.  This year, they seemed a lot harder.  My hunch is that it was a bit of fatigue as well as the fact that I am getting old / heavier and going that kind of distance is going to need more recovery as well as understanding my new pace.


Cat Update


I still have my beautiful cat I found on the bike trail from last year.  She is beautifully behaved cat and we love her to bits.  

However, this year I have befriended another cat.  My history with this other cat goes for just about 3 years.  I started seeing her across the field and I'd drop food for it.  Eventually I figured out where she hung out and I'd drop food for it there.... and every day the food disappeared.


As time went by this "feral" cat would allow me to look at her and feed her (I am presuming it is a her) but not actually pet her or touch her.  She'd back away if I approached.

When I moved to Arizona this past summer I arranged to have her fed.  And when I came back and spotted her she came running up to me, meowing and rubbing against me.  It was awesome.

Since then, she lets me pet her and waits for me every day.  

I've tried twice to take her home but she has escaped my efforts.  I am hoping soon to see if she'd be happy living with us. She is a bit ragged looking now, but I bet she cleans up nicely.  Nice thing is that she is well fed and no longer looks hungry all the time.

Goals from End of 2017


Here are my goals that I made at the start of 2018.  How did I do?

Get Faster -- Take at least 1 minute off my 5K time


Mostly fail on this one.  I didn't drop the weight and my speed workouts were much on hiatus most of the year.  I started off the year running about 24:30 and finished around 25 minutes.  I did, however, do some speed work from time to time and I did a lot of shorter races.  I also did NOT lose weight this year.

Do at least 3 races I haven't done before and at least one new state

Score on this one.  Since I moved to Arizona in the middle of the summer, I was easily able to do new races.  Even if I hadn't moved, I would've done new races.  However, I did not explore one new state. 

Have some restraint at buffets


For the most part, success.  I did do better in showing restraint and I rarely left buffets feeling so terrible I thought I was going to be sick.  I also watched calories, but as I age, my metabolism is slowing down, so this year I wound up gaining a pound or two.... which further slows me down.

Cross Train

Mostly success.  I did a lot of hiking this year.  I did not join a gym -- although when I was living in Arizona I had access to a gym at work and I definitely took advantage of it.

Run Numbers

I wanted to run 2000 miles, I'll hit close to 1950.  Close enough...  I think if I really had set my mind to it, I could've worked in a few extra miles and accomplished it.  But it wasn't super high on my list.

Run a marathon:  I just didn't have the heart for it this year.  Even going out and running 18+ miles didn't seem to interest me.  I think the longest I ran all year was about 16 miles (in one shot).

Race Performances


Favorite Race: Ruby Mountain Relay  I really enjoyed this race.  It was beautiful and held in one of my favorite places in the world.  I didn't necessarily run well and the race was grueling, but I really enjoyed it.  When I think back on 2018, this race comes to mind.  2nd placeSaints and Sinners

Best PerformanceSaints and Sinners ... Naturally this race was downhill, so I am going to turn in a good time.  Overall though I felt like I ran really well and wasn't dying too badly near the end.  2nd Place: Night Fury #2 -- Surprisingly, I had a good race in 100 degree temperatures.  Looking back, this was kind of fun and a new experience.  

Worst Performance:  Too many to mention.  Some of the worst include: Jordan River 5K, Green Eggs and Ham 5K, and the Riverton Half Marathon.  I just remember suffering through them and just barely being able to finish.  Not a good day for sure.



Life in 2018


Life in 2018 was "interesting".  

I started off the year with life as normal.  However, at some point I felt like switching jobs.  I don't remember exactly what my motivation was at the time.  I think I was getting pushed to move to Arizona 

The job market for software developers (which is what I do for a living) is pretty hot and I was surprised at how quickly I got responses.  I felt like I did an okay job interviewing and actually had a few prospects.

I wound up taking the job in Arizona.  At the time, I kind of didn't want to move.  But I was trying to make other people happy with my decision.  I really LOVE Utah and I loved my life and the setup I had.  I had a job that I am pretty well respected at and for the most part I enjoyed going to work.

My experience in Arizona wasn't that great.  The job was more or less a mismatch for me and once the "hot as hell" summer kicked in, I decided that life got worse for me.  I love being outside and sitting by the pool and burning my feet off just wasn't happening for me.

Luckily, I was able to move back (I still had my house here) and my job was thrilled to have me back.  So in theory, it was a 60 day "leave of absence".

It certainly made me appreciate all the fun things I have here going on.  Yeah it gets cold here but generally I can find something to do all year and it is nice to have a strong community of runners / racers.

The other fun thing I did in 2018 was I finally did the Highway 50 drive.  I didn't do all of it, I am missing a stretch from the Utah border to Ely (which I have never driven) but I can say I've driven from Ely, NV to Lake Tahoe on Highway 50.  And I loved it. 

At the time I drove it, I kind of knew I was leaving and it was sort of a farewell to Northern Nevada.  To appease me, I was told we'd take vacations in northern Nevada, but I knew that wasn't likely to happen.  It would be a hard sell to get Shari to go and I just didn't see it happening as much as I'd like to have.  In fact, it was one of the things I really longed to do when I was sitting in an air-conditioned apartment in Phoenix in the dead of summer: visit Northern Nevada.

The Highway 50 Trip was a trip of a lifetime and it seemed to trigger my interest in seeing more of it -- in more detail.  

Other than that, 2018 didn't have any major revelations for me.  I still have the same job, live in the same place and I still run nearly every day.  

Life is pretty good right now.

Upcoming Races


It is nice not to have any races in the queue right now.  I am still training somewhat hard and need to keep my miles up for some spring half marathons.  I certainly wish there was an occasional 5K to keep sharp though...

01/19: 2019 St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/09: 2019 South Davis Recreation Center Sweethearts 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
02/16: 2019 Saints and Sinners Half Marathon - Boulder City, NV (Confirmed)
03/02: 2019 March Madness Half Marathon - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/09: 2019 Sand Hollow Half Marathon (Flat and Fast) - Hurricane, UT (Confirmed)
03/16: 2019 Lucky 13 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
04/13: 2019 SLC Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
05/05: 2019 Reno Half Marathon - Reno, NV (Confirmed)
07/26: 2019 Legacy Midnight Run 10K - Farmington, UT (Confirmed)
11/17: 2019 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

Saturday, December 8, 2018

This Month in Running 11/8 - 12/8




Miles Year to Date:  1786


Running Update


Well as I write this, I think I am done running races for 2018.  I did a quick count and I figure I have run 39 races, which is likely a new record for me.  I started off 2018 with a bunch of half marathons. And once I moved to Arizona (albeit briefly) I rekindled my interest in doing 5K and 10Ks.

So as I start the winter months I am torn.  Do I continue to train hard or do I dial it back a bit and recover?

In years past I've dialed it back and I come out flat in the spring.  Plus running, is more or less my life, so when I do "rest" it usually leaves a bit of a void in my life.  However, in looking back at a few of my weekly totals, I have reduced my mileage about 50% -- hitting about 20 - 30 miles per week.



I do have a half marathon in January -- about a month away and I need to keep some speed as well as endurance to finish that.  So that is my key race and one I like doing well in.  It sort of sets the year off on the right foot when I can run well there.

In the next few weeks I'll be posting a year end wrap up.  

Marathon Dreams


2018 was the first year since 2009 where I did not do a marathon.  Since 2009 I've done about 27 marathons (I've lost count, but more or less it is in that range).  

After 2017's Las Vegas debacle I haven't really felt the need to do another marathon.  But part of me doesn't want to end my marathon "career" on that note.  Will 2019 have one?  Perhaps.  I am not feeling a super strong desire to do one, but we shall see how my training is coming along.  I don't think I'll do a giant race -- but more or less a small more intimate feeling marathon.

As they say, stay tuned...

Looking forward to some destination races this spring.


Upcoming Races


I've definitely been taking advantage of the race discounts.  Cyber Week and of course the upcoming Christmas "deals" means I should be able to save a few dollars   I am being mindful not to run too many half marathons in a row.  I truly burned myself out last spring...

01/19: 2019 St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/09: 2019 South Davis Recreation Center Sweethearts 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
02/16: 2019 Saints and Sinners Half Marathon - Boulder City, NV (Confirmed)
03/02: 2019 March Madness Half Marathon - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/09: 2019 Sand Hollow Half Marathon (Flat and Fast) - Hurricane, UT (Confirmed)
03/16: 2019 Lucky 13 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
04/13: 2019 Slc Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
05/05: 2019 Reno Half Marathon - Reno, NV (Confirmed)
07/26: 2019 Legacy Midnight Run 10K - Farmington, UT (Confirmed)

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Gardner Village Santa Run 5K Race Recap - West Jordan, UT




Official Time: 26:19
Placement: 1st in the 45 - 49, 26th overall
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Low 30's, no wind
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: New to me

Mile TimeComments
18:14Off to a slow start. Crowded and a little icy. Did virtually no warm-up
28:28Definitely feeling it.
38:31Ugh. No second wind on this one.
3.091:05Just cross the finish already....
Total Miles: 3.13- 26:19



Me before the race in the required running outfit

Introduction


Well, I should point out I rarely do themed run -- let alone fun runs.  But with the race calendar winding down (this should be my last race of 2018) I decided to put this one on my calendar.

It wasn't a super cheap race, but it seems to be all the rage to do these dress-up races and run.  For your entry fee you get a Santa suit, a supported 5K and refreshments at the end.  In addition, the race was practically in my backyard -- a mere 2 or 3 miles down the road.

I think I got in right before a price increase and got a guarantee of a medal.

Packet pick up at Gardner Village


I wound up picking up my bib on Friday night, which was probably a pretty decent idea.  It gave me ample time to try out the suit and see what would need to be tweaked before running it.  I found that the pants did NOT fit right at all and that the best option was for me to wear my shorts over them.  I know this is kind of a fashion faux pas, but you know what -- it kept my pants up.



The Race


The race started at 9 AM and I rolled in sometime after 8 AM.  It was chilly and I found myself there WAY early.  Luckily time flew by pretty quickly and I managed to use the bathroom and do a few drills to get semi warmed up.

I was hoping for a decent race, but given the potential for ice on the bike trail and running in a bulky Santa outfit, I sensed that this was going to be a fun run in the truest sense.


I've run this race's route several times and if memory serves correctly it was my first 5K in Utah when I moved here in 2012.  I only wish I could run what I ran back then....

It was chilly but the Santa suit kept me warm.  Under it, I had underwear and a regular shirt.  I also wore sunglasses because it was intensely bright out.  

The race started at 9 AM and immediately I regretted not doing a warm-up.  Almost from the get go it seemed hard to run.  Usually once a race starts my adrenaline kicks in and I am able to take it up a notch, but this morning ... no such luck.  

It was crowded at first and I think there were some folks that were jammed up at the front that probably shouldn't have been there.  Also there are a lot of turns at the start and it was icy under a bridge.  So I lost a few seconds to that.  But 95% of the Jordan River Bike Trail was in decent shape.



The first mile felt hard.  Nothing was responding very well and I was hurting too much at the start.  My legs just didn't feel fast.  I hadn't used any beet juice before hand and I was using a heavier shoe on account of potential ice.

I wasn't surprised to see the first mile go by in 8:15.  It clearly wasn't what I wanted because I was hurting.  On the plus side, I didn't see too many folks my age around me.  There were a few younger folks leading the pack, but very few middle-aged guys.

About 1.25 miles into the race the trail got shady and there were some slick spots.  I had to turn it down a notch to make sure I didn't fall on my face.  There were a few spots where my shoe literally skidded a bit.

Also it was at this point I realized I was warm.  The cotton material of the Santa suit certainly didn't breath and I was feverishly trying to roll up the sleeves.  I was also wearing a Santa hat which also capped the heat.

The turnaround was marked by a water stop and there were about 20 or so runners in front of me.  There were a few other runners behind me, but the majority of the race were what appeared to be casual runners and families.  It was cool getting lots of cheers and greets from everyone as I returned back to Gardner Village.

Santa Finish Line


I was hoping I'd get a second wind on the way back but there really wasn't any luck.  I was chasing down some of the top female runners.  Occasionally another runner would pass me, which is always heartbreaking.

I kept looking at my Garmin hoping the distance would magically be short, but this course always measures accurately on my watch.  In fact this time it ran a little long (strange).   Either way, I didn't have a lot of speed left as I ran through the finish line.


Conclusion




I was really disappointed with my time.  26:19 is one of my slowest times ever for a "normal" 5K.  Granted, though, I was wearing a bulky Santa suit and the conditions were less than ideal but still, I was hoping for at least a 25:30.

In the long run, it really didn't matter.  I placed first in my age group, but there weren't any age group awards, so sadly this was a fun run in the truest sense.  



There was water, cookies and candy canes at the end.  Since I had registered early, I managed to snag a finisher's medal which was kind of cool.  It is nicely designed.

The race was fun.  It got me out of the house and the weather conditions were mostly good.  You also get to keep the Santa suit, so I am sure at some point I can put it to good use somewhere else.

I was disappointed with my race result.  It was a flat course and from the get go it was just a tough race for me.  While I wanted to run hard, it just wasn't there.  More than likely I sort of had written the race off mentally on account of the bulk outfit and less than desirable trail conditions.  Also, another minute or two wouldn't have made any difference other than to my ego.





Saturday, November 24, 2018

Ruby Mountain Relay Turkey Trot 5K Race Recap - Lamoille, NV




Official Time: 26:09
Placement: 1st in the 45 - 49, 12th overall
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: 32 wet / slightly slippery roads with mild wind from the south and west
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: New to me

Mile TimeComments
18:36Sucking thin air.  Slight uphill
28:47More uphill here.  Challenging running
38:08Downhill and a bit of a tail wind.  Just what I needed.
3.090:37Cross the finish line in one piece.
Total Miles: 3.09- 26:09




Introduction


For a while now I've wanted to run the Lamoille / Elko Turkey Trot 5K.  And most years I just let it pass by.  I am usually close to the race site -- it is a yearly tradition for me to go to Wendover (half way there from Salt Lake) on Thanksgiving.

This year, however, the fine folks at Red Lion threw me a nice offer for their hotel and I decided to take them up on it.  I also got into the race for cheap since I registered early.  I just needed the weather to cooperate.  Getting to rural Nevada in the winter can be dicey... a passing storm can strand you.... or worse put you into a ditch where cell reception is spotty.

We've had a mild fall, and I figured I'd be good.  However, upon making the trip on Friday afternoon from Wendover, I found myself driving in rain.  Luckily it was over 40 degrees so it was just rain.  If I had been driving in 32F degree weather I'd be really really sorry.

It rained most of Friday and the temperature dropped.  Luckily the combination of the two didn't happen.  The roads were slick on Saturday morning but definitely not bad.  However, getting home might've been an issue.

The race starts at 10 AM, which was super nice.  It allowed me to wake up at a reasonable hour, loaf in bed and by the time I got to the race it was reasonably warm out.



The race's headquarters were situated at the base of the Ruby Mountains at the Presbyterian Church of the Crossroads.  This church was completed in 1905 and much of the building is still in its original state.  It is a historical treasure as well as a fairly nice place to start the race.

I knew a few people at the race and I wound up getting my bib / shirt pretty quickly and socializing.  I did a short 1 mile warm up as well and declared myself ready to race.


The Race


The race started out on time.  I was wearing shorts, two shirts, and throw away gloves.  I felt I was adequately dressed and by the end of the race I was rolling up my sleeves because I was so warm.

I started off okay and settled into what I thought was my 5K pace.  I found myself breathing hard almost right away.  For the uninitiated, Lamoille sits at about 5800 feet.  So the air felt a lot thinner.

I thought the road was going to be slippery, but it actually was good to run on.  Anything that was painted, however, was slippery.  But footing really wasn't a concern despite the snow and slush.

The race heads west from the church along the main drag.  There was some traffic, but Lamoille is a sleepy little village and most of the cars passing by where nice (the speed limit is also 25 mph).



The first mile went by quickly enough but I wasn't too surprised to see an 8:30-ish appear on my watch.  I rarely ever speed up on a 5K, and I settled into the fact that this wasn't likely to be a breakout race for me.

Entrance to Lamoille Canyon


The next half mile wasn't any easier as we turned into the entrance of Lamoille canyon.  There was a bit of a breeze coming through the canyon and it was a very tiny uphill.  It felt like I was hurting more than I should be.

I was so thankful to hit the turn around, which I reached at 1.54 miles on my Garmin.  It felt so good to be running downhill with a bit of a tailwind.  Hopefully I could make up some time.



I was running solo at mile 2.  No one was behind me for quite some time and I was chasing down a woman and a young kid.  It was funny to see him look at me every now and then trying to keep ahead of me.  I tried to work off of him and make an attempt at passing but I was pretty gassed.

The final mile, of all things, was my fastest.  It was primarily downhill and I had a tiny tail wind to push me along.  I was counting down the 10ths of a mile until I reached the finish line.  I was so happy to finish.



Conclusion


I wound up finishing with a time of 26.09.  My time wasn't too unexpected.  Running at thinner air on a more difficult course then my previous 5K definitely made a difference.  Still, all things considered it wasn't too bad of a race for me.



I changed into some dryer clothes and hung out in the church.  Post race refreshments were chips, bananas and water.  Pretty basic fare for a fairly cheap 5K.



I snagged a nice t-shirt and since I won my age group, I got a ribbon.  It was also a special treat to hang out in the church.  I've photographed the outside of the church before but it was nice to be able to sit in the seats and admire the stained glass.

Overall, it was nice to do this race.  It wasn't a simple one to get to and in the long run it set me back a bit of money, but like all my travel races, I try to pair it with other fun things: like food, gamblin' and buffet eatin'.

I've run most of the course before in some capacity but it was still pretty -- although I had a hard time appreciating it since the 5K tends to be painful almost from the get go.

If my travels take me to Elko again next year, I'll definitely run this one again.  I always enjoy seeing my Elko friends and doing a low key 5K.












Thursday, November 22, 2018

2018 South Davis Recreation Center Thanksgiving Day Race 5K Race Recap - Bountiful Utah




Official Time: 24:53
Placement: 2nd in the 45-49, 60th overall, 51st male
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: mid 40's, slight wind from the west and then to the east
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2017] [2016] [2015] [2014] [2013] [2012]


Mile TimeComments
17:45Right on target.  Good start here although hampered early on
28:17Back to reality.  A little bit of climbing here
38:33About 75% of this mile is a grind uphill.
3.050:17Crush the last bit
Total Miles: 3.05- 24:54




Introduction


Every year since I've been in Utah, I've done the South Davis Recreation Center's 5K race on Thanksgiving morning.  They hold a series of races throughout the year and they are usually very affordable and professionally run.  There are a ton of choices in the Salt Lake Area for Turkey Trots, and this one is one I will continue to do. 

I've run this course a bunch of times.  They use it for the Valentine's Day run, their Handcart 5K and their half marathon in the summer finishes along the back end of it.  It is run along the city streets of Bountiful.  It isn't too scenic but the course really doesn't need to be.  It is a short and quick race.



The Race

I rolled into the race about 45 minutes before the start.  Getting their early is always a smart thing because the parking lot fills up.  There's plenty of parking though but you can always spot the newbies as they scramble to find a spot to park.


Packet pickup was located in the gym.  They have it down to an art form there and I had my bib, shirt, goodie bag and a validation that my chip was working in under a minute.  As usual, I got a nice shirt and cloth bag filled with promotional items.


The forecast was for rain but other than some dampness on the ground it was smooth sailing.  In fact, as the morning progressed the weather got better.

I wound up stretching, using the restroom a few times and getting warmed up for the next 45 minutes.

A lot of people were really bundled up for the race.  I was in shorts, t-shirt, and throw away gloves (I hate cold hands).  I was perfectly happy with my setup.

One of my complaints in the past is that this race starts late.  Like 10 - 15 minutes late.  The last few times, though, they've started on time.  And this time -- they started on time.  Thank you!  I time my warm-ups, nutrition, etc down to the second on when the race starts.


As usual, a lot of walkers / kids were in front but I only lost a few seconds overall I figure before jumping out onto the street.  I was quickly able to get up to speed.

The first mile or so is a delicious downhill.  It is really easy to get off to a good start and while I held back a little, I was pretty pleased to see the first mile go off at 7:45.

I was still feeling pretty good but I knew I had to stay strong as the race gets progressively harder.  After about 1.25 miles you turn on a side road.  There is a small hill here and it always seems to take the starch out of everyone's stride.  It isn't a bad hill, but it just looks steep.  This is usually where reality sets in for me.

I blew through the water stop and made another right to begin the journey to the back entrance of the recreation center.  This is another gut check because it is just a straight line for the next mile and you can see a distant street light at the top of a hill.  It is tough running here.

This is also a busy street but it is early in the morning and the course marshals did a great job of dealing with traffic.
I hit the 2 mile mark at 8:15.  I figured I was going a little slower so I was reasonably happy with that.

I kept working up the hill and while I wasn't in a death march, I was definitely hurting.  Before the race, another guy in my age division said he was going to be watching for me.  I saw him ahead and I really wanted to catch him.  I could see his knee high socks and brilliant orange shirt.  Every now and then I'd gain on him but I'd fatigue and he'd pull ahead (I think he wound up beating me by about 30 seconds).

I had done a lot of passing in the early miles but on mile 3 I was starting to get passed a bit.  I am a fast starter and I tend to fade at the end.  But it wasn't like millions of people were passing me, but those with a kick at the end were moving past me.

The nice thing about a 5K is that it is over pretty quick.  The final mile blew by and as I crested the hill, I really dug deep.  I wasn't going to set any personal records, but I certainly wanted the best time I could possibly get.

I hauled it to the finish and saw the clock starting to hit 25 minutes.  A good time for me these days is under 25 minutes and for a minute I was bummed.  Then I looked at my Garmin and realized that I had about a 10 second cushion as that is how long it took me to cross the starting line.

I was thrilled to see a 24:54 on my watch.


Conclusion

As stated above, I was pretty happy with my time.  And it turns out I came in 2nd in my age group. 

I didn't have a lot planned for the day but I sort of didn't want to hang around for awards.  I wound up socializing and the time went by quickly enough.  By the time I was starting to think about leaving they started up with the awards.  They were quick about announcing them this year and I managed to snag a cherry pie for my hard work.



For the $25 I spent for this race, I got a fully supported race, a nice shirt, finisher's medal, swag bag, and post race refreshments (your standard post race fare).  I also got to see a bunch of friends too so it was just a nice way to spend Thanksgiving morning.

I plan on being there next year.... and this was a nice race to tie in with Thanksgiving.


Age group award plus ribbon