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Canyonland Half Marathon Race Report

Posted Mar 26 2009 3:04pm

I ran the Canyonlands Half Marathon in Moab, Utah over the weekend. It was my 4th time running this race. My PR there was a 1:50 in 2006, and I was hoping to at least match that this year (I did the St. George half in January in 1:54). The weekend started out pretty crazy because my family had a commitment on Friday afternoon, so we didn't arrive in Moab until about 9:00 p.m. Luckily, my brother was down there, so he was able to pick up my race packet. By the time we got the kids settled, and I got my race gear ready, etc., it was 11:00 p.m. I never sleep well the night before a race, and this was no exception. I tossed and turned all night. Normally, this would not be a problem for this race, because it has a late start- 10:00, but this year I was scheduled to volunteer loading busses (my running club [locomotion] always volunteers with the race). I had to be at the busses at 6:45, so my alarm went off bright and early at 5:30 a.m., so that I had time to get ready and eat before I had to be there. It was fun loading the busses, but it made it a little difficult to prepare myself for the race. The late start makes it difficult anyway trying to plan what and when to eat and drink. The volunteers hopped on the very last bus, so we made it to the top just in time to quickly go to the bathroom, throw our bags on the truck, and hustle to the start. Not exactly my ideal race start- I like to have some time to chill. Anyway, I found my starting spot- somewhere between the 8:00 and 9:00 minute pacers, and proceeded to get my music ready. I put in my ear buds and pushed the button to turn it on. To my horror, it said "connect to power". My ipod was DEAD!!! Note to self: always check ipod the night before the race!! Mind you, I have run races without music, but I was PLANNING on having music for this race, so when it didn't work, I was sooo bummed. Oh well, I didn't have much time to be upset, because the race was about to start. I decided to do my best to not let it bother me. I managed to maintain about an 8:35 average pace for the first 5 miles, then I started to feel like I needed to pee. I was so annoyed, because I had gone right before the race. I kept running, but it became more urgent- I felt like I was going to pee my pants. Reluctantly, I pulled off to the nearest port-a-potty, and took my place in line- their were 3 people in front of me. When I finally got my turn, to my dismay, NOTHING CAME OUT!!! I couldn't believe it. I was literally standing in line with my legs crossed because I felt like I was going to pee my pants. Maybe I need depends. Or more Kegels. Anyway, like I said the late start kind of messed me up, I think. Maybe my bladder was just nervous, I don't know. So it felt like I lost 10 minutes, but when I looked back at my splits, I think it was more like 5 or 6. My next mile was an 8:30, and then the heat started really getting to me. It was about 80 degrees, and I have been used to running in Salt Lake early in the morning at 30 degrees. My body was not ready for the hot temps. I slowed down to around a 9:00-9:30 pace until the last 2 miles. If you've ever done this race, you know how awful the last 2 miles are. You come out of the canyon and then run slightly uphill on the highway with cars driving by, and it's usually windy, for about a mile. The course then turns onto a neighborhood street, then turns again to the finish. You can't see the finish line right when you turn the corner. It's about a half a mile away. It seems like forever. My stomach was really feeling awful when I it mile 11, so I ended up walking for a bit. I was able to start running again, and maintained about a 9:20 pace to the end. I ended up with a 2:05 (average 9:30 pace). Pretty far off my goal, but I figured with the lack of music, unexpected potty stop, extreme heat, and stomach issues, not too bad. I was so happy to be done. I felt like I was either going to hurl or pass out after I crossed the finish line. Once I walked around for a bit and then sat down, I was o.k. Despite everything, it really is a beautiful course, and one of my favorite half-marathons. Hopefully next year will be better!

Did any of you run this race? How was it for you?
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