Saturday, November 05, 2011

Snow Canyon Half Marathon

Two months ago I watched my wife finish the Top of Utah Half marathon. I was sidelined with some medical issues and hadn't run in almost a year. But watching her finish made me want to get training again. We signed up for the Snow Canyon Half marathon, and I started to run.

Today was the big day. Last night we traveled down to St. George, sat in the hot tub while a freezing rain pelted the tops of our head, and went to bed hoping that it would be warmer by the start of the race.

Race day came early. Doesn't it always? I want to find a race that starts at 2:00 in the afternoon--so I can sleep in.

We rode the bus to the starting line. The rain from last night had cleared, but there was snow on the ground. SNOW ON THE GROUND. Seriously? This is St. George. I thought it was in their city charter that they can only have sun. I stepped off the bus and pretty much felt like this.

Only colder. Much colder. I walked around, beating my shoulders, and stamping the ground with my feet, trying to regain the feeling in my legs and arms. At 8:30, the race began.

I had a jacket and gloves on. As soon as I began running, and as soon as the sun hit me, I went from feeling cold to feeling like this:

That's right. I'm a sissy. It was cold the whole race. But not an uncomfortable cold. In fact, all jesting aside, I think it was just about perfect. Running kept me warm, and the frigid breeze kept me cool. It was fantastic. And as far as the scenery . . . I can't think of a more beautiful run than Snow Canyon. If you drive through Snow Canyon, this is what you'd see:

And if you were to bike through Snow Canyon, you might see this:

And if you're me, and you're running through Snow Canyon, this is what you see:

That, and a pair of shoes hitting the pavement about a million times.

I've been having leg problems for about two weeks, but while my leg bothered me the whole race, I never had to stop. In fact, I felt pretty good. I think I slowed down a little toward the end, but for the most part I was pretty consistent. I don't have a watch, so I can't be certain.

I've only run in one other half-marathon, and I beat my previous time. So all in all I'm pretty pleased. It's by no means an impressive time. In fact, they were already starting to hand out the awards by the time I finished.

My time was 2:08:42 (I'm particularly pleased with the 42). That is an average of 9:49 per mile. I never would have guessed I could run sub 10 minute miles for that long.

The only downside to that time is that it's so close to 2 hours, now I've got to try to break the 2 hour barrier. I guess that will be the goal for the Ogden Half next spring.

I didn't bring a camera, so I don't have a shot at me at the end of the race. I more or less looked like this.

Okay, okay. Maybe more like this:

And now . . . nap time.


Small Town Shelly Brown said...

LOL! That is commendable.
I'm a cold sissy as well.
And when I run I look like that last guy.
A lot actually.
In fact that might be a picture of me. I own those same white sneakers.

Congrats Marion!

Josi said...

I'm so impressed--under 10/min miles is my goal for my next race. I don't know that I could have done the cold. Way to go. Sorry about the food at the end, it was pretty good last year--though I've never seen food at 1/2 marathon stops, only water and gatoraide and some GU so I think you're being a bit of a Diva about that part. Way to go, glad the legs held out.

Marion Jensen said...

I prefer the term "pampered connoisseur", Josi. I guess I've only been in one other half marathon, and they had oranges and bananas. Is a little potassium too much to ask for? :)

Lacey said...

So fun to read! That is an amazing accomplishment! (I am getting a cold just reading about the snow!! By the way I don't think the correct term for not liking to be cold is a "sissy", I am pretty sure the correct term is "highly intelligent":0)