Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Saints and Sinners Half Marathon Race Report

I had a really great race and I hope I remember to write down everything...

I slept pretty good the night before the race. The baby only woke up once to eat and then she went right back to sleep.  I got out of bed at 5:15am to make coffee and eat breakfast.

For breakfast I ate a peanut butter sandwich (peanut butter, white toast with a little bit of regular butter), and a banana. I also drank a cup of coffee. I was glad that I wasn't feeling super nervous. Sometimes if I am really nervous eating before a big race is difficult. 

I left my house around 6:15am and I arrived at the race site at 7:00am. I'm glad parking was free and I'm glad I arrived early. I hung out in my car and listened to music on my phone.  I had about 1/2 of a Cliff mojo bar while I was waiting in the car.About twenty minutes before the start I went for a quick jog to the port-a-potties and then I headed to the start line.  The temperatures were nice and mild so I ditched my gloves and beanie hat at the last minute.

I lined up a few rows back from the front. My strategy was to hold back in the early miles and try to run a negative split race. The gun went off and we were treated to a screaming downhill. I felt like I was holding back but my Garmin was reading 7:00 pace.  I was supposed to hit 7:45 for the first mile....

Mile 1- 7:08

I tried to slow down some and I also tried to not pay attention to all of the people that went flying by me in the early miles. I kept telling myself to not worry about everyone else.  The real race happens later.

Mile 2- 7:20

The downhill continued and we were going over a long stretch of pavement that was concrete, more runners kept flying by.

Mile 3-7:15

I kind of gave up on reigning myself in.  I just tried to stay as "in-control" as possible while flying downhill. Two girls in tutu's passed me, and I got kinda irritated.

Mile 4-  7:17
We hit a stretch of uphill and I threw it into another gear and flew up the hilly climb. I passed a bunch of the runners that flew by me during the early miles.  I felt like a badass here.  I was also treated to some sweet views of Lake Mead

Mile 5- 7:06
After the hilly climb we went rocketing back down the hill. The runners had become more spread out, I kept looking for female runners to spot on and to try to reel them in. I had no idea what place I was overall.  I was able to pick off a few runners here.

Mile 6-7:11
While passing an aid station I took in a cup of Gatorade. I began to worry because I didn't see any fruit or food on the course as promised on the website.  I didn't bring any gels with me because I didn't have any pockets and I didn't want to carry anything in my hands while running.

Mile 7- 7:35
My calves were starting to burn quite a bit, and I was grateful  to get off of the pavement onto some soft dirt trail. I felt like I was running strong.  I started to freak out a little bit when I saw my pace drop down to 7:50 per mile.  I told myself to just run by feel and to keep my composure.

*****Miles 8-10***** These miles are a bit off because we had to run through 5 train tunnels and then there was a turn around point where we went through the 5 tunnels again.  My Garmin messured the half as only 12.87 miles but, I know my Garmin cut out a few times becuause my stats were really funky. 

Mile 8-7:53

I stopped looking at my Garmin because I didn't want it to mess with my head.  I knew my pace was dropping but, I just tried to focus on catching runners ahead of me.  By this time the lead male runners were coming back from the turn around point.

Mile 9-7:58

The train tunnels are amazing!! It's a surreal feeling to head into the tunnel and be in pitch black and then come out through the other side.  There are a total of 5 tunnels and there is a turn around point and you run back through the tunnels.  The female lead runners started coming back from the turn around point.  I realised that I was probably in the top 15 women overall. When I got to the turn around point I felt good and I told myself.  "Everyone in front of you has a target on their back, Go GET THEM NOW!!!"  I passed several runners going back through the tunnels.
This photo is not from the race. 
I just wanted to show you
the tunnels

Mile 10-7:45 

I remember looking down at my watch and seeing it read 1:13:XX and I tried to do math in my head to figure out what my finish time would be.   I gave up and just tried to run by feel.  We passed the final aid station and I called out for fruit or gel.  There wasn't any fruit or gels but, I snagged a few gummy bears and a cup of Gatorade.

Mile 11-7:40

We were back on the pavement now and the runners had spread out and I only had two guys in front of me.  The wheels were starting to come off of the wagon and I just wanted to finish the race.   I was able to pick off the last two guys in front of me.

Mile 12-7:29

The course continued on a downhill and my legs are dead. Everything hurts!!

Mile 12.87- 6:28 (7:25 average pace)

With a mile to go. I tried to run this as fast as possible.  I was so drained and I knew that I had depleted my glycogen stores.  I turned the final corner and I sprinted to the finish. I remember yelling out loud. I don't know if they were cries of pain or happiness or both.

Final Time 1:36:01

I finished 8th woman overall and 5th in my age group (30-39).  I was also the 30th overall finisher out of a total of 424 finishers.

I'm really pleased with how I ran. If I could have done anything different, I would have carried a gel in my shorts or hat. I also wouldn't have charged up the hilly climb.  I think I wasted some energy there.  But, overall this was an A++ day for me.  I definitely want to do this race again next year.

*** The photos from the race were complimentary!!***


  1. Go speedy mama!

    I'm so glad you had an awesome race day. You definitely worked for it. I bet you'd even win the jogging stroller mother runner division. Also, those tunnels look cool, but I'd probably trip over my own feet going through them. How do you not run into runners who are on their way back?

  2. The tunnels are really freaky and cool. I used to have problems with my ankles (knock on wood). I've sprained my left ankle a few times so I tried to be as light and quick on my feet as possible going through the tunnels. In 2008 I ran a half marathon going through the tunnels at night. We had to wear a head lamp and I could swear that I heard bats squeaking.

    During the race on Saturday I almost ran into some runners that were heading in the opposite direction. I was lucky I didn't.

    Oh shoot!!! I forgot to mention that I'm a #motherrunner!!

  3. YOU. OH MAN. You are awesome!! Man I needed to read this. It's been so long since I've walked away from a race feeling GOOD about it, and I am genuinely so happy to read this. Super solid fantastic race! That's a serious time!

    Also, I totally want to run this race. The tunnels seem like a trip, and a fun way to spice it up. And the free photos are totally nice. [insert joke about bloggers loving photos of themselves here]

    Thanks for finding my flowers! I still don't see them? maybe on my iphone...