Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Provo Halloween Half

There has been a theme for me this year of not preparing very well for my races. I had been running in the weeks leading up to this one, but not as regularly as I would have liked. With a pretty steep drop in elevation, about 2000 feet over the 13.1 miles, I thought it was going to shred my quads just like the Deseret News Marathon did. That one only had 1000 more feet in elevation drop, but then again, twice the distance. I also played a soccer game the night before, and although that one was too tough, I thought maybe I was self-handicapping too much to have a decent race.

Turns out I was okay. I thought I would come in somewhere around 1:50 or so because I felt less prepared for this one than I was for the Thanksgiving Point Half, and I ended up finishing that one in 1:48. The race started out right next to Aspen Grove with a temperature somewhere around 35 degrees or so. I've learned this past year that race temperatures aren't that big of a deal to me unless they are really cold ( below 30, apparently, for me) or really hot, anywhere above 85 degrees.

I didn't end up having anyone run this one with me, but I did bump into a few people I knew during the race. I ended up recycling an old mad doctor type costume I had used a few years ago and I think it worked out pretty well. Costumes are funny, because there are different audiences for each. There is the funny costume crowd, but there is also a very loyal gross costume crowd that really appreciate blood and gore. Turns out my fake blood splattered all over the front of my scrubs did the trick for these people.

I tried to hold myself back over the first several miles where the descent was steepest, but I still ended up running about seven and half minute miles over the first six miles, which was when we exited into the Provo Canyon.

Sam Cassell hitting the game winning shot: Large Marbles
My favorite: The chicken-walk
High-steppin to the end zone

The race is really spectator friendly as it follows along the Provo River Trail. I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again, I LOVE LOVE LOVE running along the Provo River Trail. It's scenic, downhill, and just wonderful to run on. With so many parking lots scattered throughout the canyon, Amy had an easy time finding me and getting pics of me. As a result of that, I ended up coming up with as many different kinds of run-bys that I could.

Once I finished I couldn't believe how good I felt. I finished somewhere around 1:43. I didn't feel a huge need to stretch or even sit down, which turned out to be good because I had to spend the next 45 minutes sorting through bags to find my own because they were so disorganized. They still don't have race results posted even. It's a very poorly managed race. It's funny, but every time I finish one of these I have very specific complaints and suggestions that I'd like to make. It really makes me want to organize one of these some day to see if I could put together a better race. In any case, I had more fun at this race than I have had in a long time. My energy felt great, legs never gave me a problem, and I just really enjoyed the course. I'll most likely end up doing this one again. Oh! And I can't forget to mention the shirt and medal - two big reasons why I even wanted to run this one in the first place - black, longsleeve shirt with skull and crossbones, and a medal to match it. 

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