Every Mile is a Miracle

FredtheDuck

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 2, 2017
Today's quote:
"Mountains know the secrets we need to learn. That it might take time, it might be hard, but if you just hold on long enough, you will find the strength to rise up." - Tyler Knott Gregson
Have you ever seen Hamilton or listened to the soundtrack? This quote immediately reminded me of the “rise up” segment of “My Shot,” and the more I thought about it today the more I felt like it was perfect to get you pumped for this race. It’s exactly the song I would want in my head while I dominated a hill. You’ve got this!! Can’t wait to read all about it.
 

GollyGadget

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Hopefully I'm not too late to wish you the best of luck!

I love that you went running while your friends waited in line a couple of weeks ago. Brilliant move!
 
  • jennamfeo

    DatRunHo - Powered by Pizza
    Joined
    Aug 25, 2017
    Red Rock Canyon Half Marathon - I AM THIS MOUNTAIN
    There was no doubt about how nervous I was about this race. About half way through my training I sent the course/elevation map to @DopeyBadger and his reply was “OMG! That's a massive climb!” We then wrote off a PR attempt on this course, which was fine. At that point, I was just worried about actually finishing without dying. Haha. But guess what, here I am to tell you all about my race day, so *spoiler alert* I didn’t die!!! ;)

    Packet Pick Up:
    This is a no frills kind of race. The packet pick up was at a hotel on the opposite side of town that we were staying at. We got to the packet pick up about 30 minutes before it ended, then we bolted over to REI because I needed a beanie. Then we were out for pizza and some wine. Pizza carb loading is my favorite hobby.

    Weather Report:
    The weather for this race was going to be the coldest I have ever ran in for sure. The temperature at the start was supposed to be 20*. I popped by the Goodwill on Friday and grabbed some throw away layers to wear. So I started with my running tights, throw away sweats, a tank top, a long sleeve runDisney tech shirt, a throw away sweatshirt, a sparkle skirt, gloves, and a beanie. Plus I was wearing my hydration belt mostly so I had a place for my phone.

    IMG_3401.JPG

    The Race:
    This course was along a scenic route in Red Rock Canyon, so there was really no place to park a car and leave it during the race. They had busses shuttling people from the hotel that they did packet pick up, but I opted to have my husband drop me at the start. I had to walk about a mile to the start from there but it was a good warm up.

    IMG_3381.jpg

    I got to the start area and kind of just wandered around trying to find where to drop off my warm clothes bag. I also had to pee but the line for all the bathrooms was just so long. Finally the bag drop off bus showed up. I took off my extra layer of sweatpants and put them in my bag. I walked over to the start and they gave a shout out to people who had a birthday. They didn’t say my name and I was sad but the guy next to me told me happy birthday when I mentioned they didn’t say my name and that was nice, haha. Then literally all of a sudden they yelled START or something of the like, and we were starting. I luckily was able to get my watch and running apps started, even though I didn’t need them while running because coach had some interesting plans for my race:

    “You ready for this radical idea….. I want you to try and run the whole race blind.”

    Welp, I guess I was running this race blind. The first mile was around the visitor center so we had a good warm up mile before heading up the mountain. Once we got up to the start of the mountain base I remembered how fast I started to walk the last time I was here and I didn’t have that feeling this time. I had a great list of things to tell myself throughout this race and they helped me SO MUCH. But one of the things I kept telling myself was to SLOW DOWN. I was not going to walk at all during this race. I had that set in my head but if I wanted to walk, to first just slow down my run as much as possible. I am sure I didn’t even LOOK like I was running at some points but I did not walk. I repeat: I DID NOT WALK. So many people walked and I felt amazing passing them as I trucked on. I passed the first water station and kept my sweater on. But by the second water station around mile 3 I was toasty so I said good bye to my purple sweater and took off my gloves and beanie at that point too. I embraced the flatter parts of the mountain and gave my sacrifice to the steep parts. Once I got passed 4 I was heading into uncharted territory that I didn’t run on my practice run of the course. This was naturally the steepest part of the mountain. At this point my mantra was “I am this mountain. I am strong and big and steep and only the most courageous will survive.” With every step I felt stronger. I became the mountain. And then… I reached the top with a huge smile on my face. I pulled my phone out and grabbed a picture and took it all in.

    *For comparison, look at the picture above. The mountain on the middle/right are the same ones, just farther away.*
    IMG_3385.jpg

    And then I knew it was all downhill from here. Well, kind of. One thing I wasn’t expecting was how hard it was to run downhill. The last half of this race was actually really boring. Without having something to focus on (like the mountain), it was just desert. Around mile 7 I grabbed a piece of RunGum because I didn’t feel like eating any Gu but I needed something more than water and Heed. There were a few more rolling hills and I embraced every last one of them. I found my strength in them. After mile 10 the hills were gone and I struggled with going downhill for a bit. I desperately wanted to look at my watch during these last 3 miles. I wanted to know how much longer I had, how fast I was going, but what I really wanted to know was HOW WELL WAS I DOING. What was my current time. I did not look at my watch. Not even one little peek. So once I hit mile 12, I told myself that THIS mile is the most important mile of my whole race. This mile, to me, determined how well I I actually did during this race. I gave it all I got. I was actual feeling really good! My right knee was killing me but I pushed though. When I got close enough to the finish to finally see a timing clock I was IN SHOCK. I just ran the most strenuous half marathon of my life and it was my SECOND FASTEST HALF MARATHON. I missed a PR by 3-4 minutes. ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME. I was elated — I still am! I did so well on this race I could not be happier with my results. I passed through the finish and cried. I finished strong. I finished. I then went to go find my medal but they said they had ran out, so panic started to happen among some racers. This lady goes and finds a bin of medals and we got our medals. HOWEVER, they did run out of medals. They ran out of the medals that they were giving out for this year and started giving out last year’s medal. I was only a little upset because I liked the medal for this year more. But I would have been really upset if I ran this race last year and got the same medal twice. That is almost enough for me to not do this race again. Afterwards, I grabbed my warm clothes bag, and got some food. I found a spot to sit and drink my beer while I waited for my husband to come get me.

    And that was it. That was my race. It was exactly everything that I would have wanted it to be. It was perfect. I now sit here feeling silly about how scared I was, but maybe I needed that to help me prepare for it mentally. I put in my training and my training made me end this race with a smile on my face. I am thankful and happy, but so glad that is over.

    I am still waiting on my official chip time, but I feel like my time was around 2:25. I will update with an official time when I have it.

    Some other pictures:
    IMG_3388.jpg IMG_3389.jpg

    SNOW! In the desert!
    IMG_3391.jpg

    The medal I didn't get. :(
    IMG_3392.jpg

    Post race beer & medal & mountains:
    IMG_3394.jpg IMG_3398.jpg

    Elevation Profile of the mountain:
    Image-1.png
     
    Last edited:
  • JulieODC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2009
    Yay!!!! Congrats on such a great race! I am so impressed - you were definitely well
    Prepared!

    What a gorgeous course - fun medal - and beer! Sounds like a good time all around, even if it was a little chilly.
     
  • FredtheDuck

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 2, 2017
    BEAST! You DOMINATED that mountain. Huge congratulations on an awesome, awesome race. So much to be proud of. Hope you’re celebrating with a tasty beer (or two). Cheers!
     

    Capang

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2014
    Hi, jumped over from the running thread. I loved your race recap! I've hiked that same area many times over the last 20 years and it is some really intimidating terrain. Running that like you did is just amazing! Congrats!
     

    run.minnie.miles

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2016
    Daaaannnngggg girl!!!!! AWESOME JOB!!! You are so brave for even attempting this race (I would never...) and then you didn't just survive, you conquered it!!

    Also... Happy Birthday!! party:
     

    jennamfeo

    DatRunHo - Powered by Pizza
    Joined
    Aug 25, 2017
    Yay!!!! Congrats on such a great race! I am so impressed - you were definitely well
    Prepared!

    What a gorgeous course - fun medal - and beer! Sounds like a good time all around, even if it was a little chilly.
    Thank you!!

    OMG yay! You did so awesome - congrats! I'm super proud of you for going out there and crushing that mountain!
    Thank you!!
    :worship:

    AMAZING! Such beautiful pictures! Super proud of you and no doubt coming within 3-4 min of PR on that super beast is downright impressive.

    :car:
    Thank you!! I couldn't have done this without you!

    Awesome pictures! Congrats!
    Thank you!!

    BEAST! You DOMINATED that mountain. Huge congratulations on an awesome, awesome race. So much to be proud of. Hope you’re celebrating with a tasty beer (or two). Cheers!
    Thank you!! Oh boy, did I celebrate! I won tickets to a beer festival that was going on a few hours after my race. I went home, showered, and headed straight there. Lots of beer was consumed, then we met my parents for my birthday did where lots of wine was consumed, and then we were in bed by 9pm. It was perfect!

    Hi, jumped over from the running thread. I loved your race recap! I've hiked that same area many times over the last 20 years and it is some really intimidating terrain. Running that like you did is just amazing! Congrats!
    Thank you!!

    Woohoo!! Congrats on a great race! That mountain is no joke! Beautiful photos and fantastic job!!
    Thank you!!

    Wooooooo!!!! Crushed it!!!!! Congratulations!! Loved your recap!
    Thank you!!

    You: 1
    Mountain: 0

    Great job!
    HA! Thank you!!

    Awesome views!

    Great job!
    Thank you!!

    Daaaannnngggg girl!!!!! AWESOME JOB!!! You are so brave for even attempting this race (I would never...) and then you didn't just survive, you conquered it!!

    Also... Happy Birthday!! party:
    THANK YOU!!! I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into but I'm no quitter. LOL.
     


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