Monday, April 19th 2010: Rest.
Tuesday, April 20th 2010: 4 miles @ 9:14 per mile pace. I headed out early in the morning. There were some cool-looking clouds in the sky that I thought might make for a cool sunrise when the sun started to come up. So I went back inside to grab the camera for my running companion.
I was cruising along at a pretty decent pace when the sun finally started to rise. I had to stop to take pictures. The beams of light shooting out of the sky were amazing.
This incredible sunrise lasted only a few minutes before the clouds covered up the sun. I was so thankful I brought my camera.
Wednesday, April 21st 2010: 4 miles on the dreadmill @ 10 minute miles. Pure misery. I'm convinced that in Hell people just have to run on treadmills all day.
Thursday, April 22nd 2010: Rest.
Friday, April 23rd 2010: Rest. We had a carbo-loading party at our house with lots of friends. I even tested my stomach with Powerade which is remarkable considering last week's near-vomit experience.
Saturday, April 24th 2010: Hurricane Half Marathon - 2 Hours & 8 Minutes!!
Our alarm went off at 4:45am (ouch!). After getting to bed late (thanks to NBA Playoffs) and getting 5 hours of sleep, I'd imagine this is what a serious hangover feels like. We were on the bus for the starting line at 5:40am.
The new course for the Hurricane Half started near Sand Hollow Reservoir. It was chilly as we waited for the race to start, but lots of friends were there which helped to distract from the shivering.
The race started at 6:30am. You could not have asked for a better day to run a race. The sky was clear and the temperature was perfect. I ran the first four miles with Mel. We had an incredible view of the sun rising over Sand Hollow. I was happy I brought my camera with me.
At mile 4, Mel and I paused for a quick self-portrait, gave each other a fist bump, then I headed out on my own.
Soon I arrived at the hardest hill I've ever run up. This beast has been nicknamed "Nemesis".
I slowed my pace and took a few short walk breaks but finally managed to get to the top. The hill is brutal and should be reserved as a punishment for convicts and creators of bad music from the 80's (Yes, Michael Bolton, I'm talking to you.)
This hill is insane. It's a mile long and feels like a vertical climb. Here's the elevation map from my watch. Even looking at this picture is painful:
But in mile 7 I got into a groove. I just put my head down and ran. I knew I was going faster than my normal race pace, but I felt so good that I didn't want to hold back. It was freakish. I was going fast but didn't feel exhausted or worn out like past races.
My last mile was the fastest and I ended feeling strong. My time for each mile was:
Mile 1: 9:47
Mile 2: 10:34
Mile 3: 10:07
Mile 4: 9:35
Mile 5: 9:50
Mile 6: 12:29 (My amigo Nemesis)
Mile 7: 10:09
Mile 8: 9:13
Mile 9: 9:12
Mile 10: 9:33
Mile 11: 8:35
Mile 12: 9:11
Mile 13: 8:25
I averaged 9:43 minutes per mile. This race was a whopping 12 minutes slower than my fastest Half, but I felt better after this race than any other. Being able to pick up the pace at the end gave me some much-needed confidence for the Ogden Marathon in 3 weeks. I could not have asked for a better outcome from the race.
Jackson did the 5k race, so now we all have another running shirt to add to our closets. It was a great week for running!
"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about."
~ PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian