On the morning of my 29th birthday, I woke up at 5am, drove down to a starting line at 6:50am, and started running at 8am. I ran 6.45 miles, high fived Dani to run the second 6.5 miles, then took a bus down to the finish line to run the last .05 miles with her through the finish chute. We ate pretzels, cookies, and donuts at the finish line, then left and got more donuts at Friendly Donut House in Henderson. I ate more donuts, drank some beet juice, showered and napped. Then Seven Magic Mountains and a delicious dinner.
But more about that race, shall we??!
First off, I realize that running AF Canyon as my first half marathon has made me kind of a snob about half marathons. All money going to charity, a beautiful course, AND really great swag? Such a good race.
That said, the Saints and Sinner Half Marathon is a BEAUTIFUL course, at least the half that I ran! (And the bus ride to the finish line, in which I saw the last 2 miles of Dani’s run along Lake Mead, was incredible).
Dani and I ran the race as a 2-person relay, so we each took a half. I chose the first half because it included a hill, and I wanted that hill training for another upcoming race. Dani’s half included running through huge tunnels that were used to transport materials while constructing the Hoover Dam! Pro: History. Con: Dirt trails and very dark tunnels. From what I heard from Dani and another runner I chatted with at the finish line, it was dusty and warm, and not their favorite. BUT, those last two downhill miles by Lake Mead, they agreed, were beautiful!
One unexpectedly awesome part of the race: the title wasn’t only referencing the “Sin City” aspect of Las Vegas— members of the Latter-day SAINT church were involved in running the race! Haha! It was awesome. A lot of the volunteers were missionaries for the church, and were awesome with holding signs, directing runners, and passing out water cups. The only other run I’d done that missionaries helped with was the Temple to Temple 5k in Provo, Utah, which made sense. This was a fun surprise!
Now, let me tell you about MY run:
I went into this race telling myself it was a training run. For various reasons (including I had just signed up for the race literally 2 weeks prior, if that, when Dani suggested it), my training wasn’t where I would want it to be going into a 6.5 mile race. So I told myself (and others) that I was just going to take it easy.
But secretly, I did have a couple of little goals: get under 1 hour for the 10k, and pace myself well. I haven’t always paced myself well in races, so I really wanted to practice that mindfulness and awareness during this race.
The results: I not only hit personal records for both my 5k and 10k distances (!!!), but even more importantly—I paced myself exactly as I had hoped to, I listened to my body and adjusted my pace/breathing/form as needed, and I did NOT stop ONCE on the hill. I felt incredible about my run because I LISTENED to myself, and I pushed myself (with learned wisdom). Those are more important to me than any number.
…but if you wanted to know the numbers (because I’m sure excited about them still!):
According to Strava (a running app I have, that syncs with my GPS watch):
Best estimated 10k effort (54:12)
Best estimated 5k effort (26:14)
So I hit my best 5k and 10k times within that 6.5 miles I ran!
I worked hard for those times, both in the race and also in the preparation I did outside of it, by spending the last couple months working to heal my body, build strength, and improve my hydration and race nutrition (more on all of those things in future posts). I can’t think of a better way to start my birthday and a new year than by pushing myself and showing myself what I can do!
Thank you for all the birthday wishes! And thank you so much Dani and David for letting me spend the weekend with you guys! I LOVED my birthday!!
Next races in March and May! Can’t wait!