|Strava Pace / Heart Rate|
After having a great time at the 2015 race, I knew I wanted to return and run the 2016 St George Half Marathon in January. I thought about it all summer and fall but did not commit to registering. It was one of those "you never know" commitment moments. As January approached, I kept thinking about the race and keeping my training up so I could have a decent race. THEN I got sick, along with half of Park City it seemed. From Thanksgiving through Christmas I was down! After a month of barely being able to run 5 miles a week, I thought the race was doomed. The week after Christmas though, I felt better and decided to see how fast I could get some fitness back in time for the race in just a few weeks. Between a few outdoor runs, the treadmill, and the indoor track, I trained the best I could and signed up!
Long story short, it was a great race and I came in 8th in my age group! This year I made sure to start closer to the front of the pack so my chip and gun time would be closer. The mistake of starting in the back of the pack last year cost me over two minutes! My plan was to go out at a warm-up pace for the first 1 1/2 miles before a right turn up a hill, and use that time to get my lungs working and coughing out of the way. After that, it was to cruise to the mid-point, race down the big hill, then press to the finish. All of that worked great and I followed my plan until mile 10. At mile 10, my right hip flexor literally decided to stop working. No cramping, but it just didn't want to raise my leg any more! This was suddenly a bigger issue than residual coughing from being sick! I had to stop to a slow walk right before the final stretch of the loop out and back to the finish! I stretched out the crazy hip flexor, did some deep breathing to loosen the psoas, then took off again. It worked, but I could not accelerate and seemed stuck in 8 minutes per mile where I should have been able to go faster on the downhill into the finish. So be it! I kept pace and finished as strong as I could.
Seeing the results though completely blew me away. 8th in my age group in a large race after being sick was awesome! I only took one gel during the race but plenty of fluids. It was never above 40 degrees, so it was a bit chilly of a race. My hat and lightweight gloves stayed on pretty much the whole time, but wearing shorts felt like the right approach. My time of 1:43 has me thinking seriously about pursuing a 1:30 race as a big goal for 2016. Snow Canyon Half might be the attempt.
Shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GTS (one week old, which may have contributed to some hip issues)
Gloves: Cal Ranch $0.99 value pack! The are perfect and can be ditched if necessary.
Watch: Garmin Forerunner 15
Hydration: Did not carry anything due to the plentiful aid stations and great volunteers who stood out in the cold!