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Remember last year's miserable experience? I was determined not to have a repeat! Everything I thought might have been a factor in getting terribly sick last year, I changed this year. That said, the most significant difference was not feeling under the weather before I even left Flagstaff. I got lucky. With one kid in kindergarten and one in preschool there are always more than enough germs being spread around but somehow I was able to get away unscathed this time.
I left Flagstaff at 9:30 on Friday morning after dropping off the kids and loading up the car. I was so excited!!! Sometimes I feel (a teeny tiny bit) bad about getting so excited to leave home and family for a weekend. However, overall I think it is a valuable experience for all of us. I get a well-deserved break, the boys get a lot of quality time with Papa, and KJ learns to handle the kids and household by himself. Ok. I know. Truth is: I don't deserve as many breaks as I take, the kids spend quality time with Papa almost every day, and KJ already knows how to handle it all. I am just darn lucky to be married to a very kind and understanding man. But then again, we all get to choose who we marry, right? Although I am quite certain Karl did not realize what he was getting himself into but is nice enough to stick around and put up with me!
I really don't like driving. I hate it! But there is something to be said for cruising through beautiful country by yourself while listening to Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette. Who knew that I still, 15 years later, have most of the lyrics memorized? I had a blast singing out loud and dancing in the car. (My kids don't allow me to dance in the car. I can't even move my little finger to some tunes or they will yell at me.) Good times!
We discovered this great little hike on our way home from Utah after Christmas and I could not help it; I had to stop and run up the sand hill and take in the amazing view on the other side. We really live in a beautiful place! I can't wait to explore the Grand Canyon a little more this summer...
I got to St. George around 2:30. First stop was the Washington Community Center for a swim. It feels so good to be moving after sitting in the car for 5 hours. Coming down from altitude and swimming in a 25 yard pool for a change was so nice! I was able to breathe and saw numbers I usually only dream of. Unfortunately, I missed the HT Training group because I was already chowing down dinner at Cafe Rio. Say what? I chose food over a training session with HT? It was all part of the plan: swim early, eat dinner early, go to bed early. I was able to talk my friends, Carlee and Amber, into eating early with me and it was so nice to be able to catch up! Now that I think about it, the only thing we caught up on was training and racing. We have 7 kids altogether and 3 husbands (one each!) but who cares how they are doing? It is kinda sad but very refreshing to pretend like we are nothing but athletes. Reality will catch up soon enough...
Almost to St. George (and Zion NP)
Packet pick-up: Very uneventful. Where were all those hundreds of runners that I know were racing and wanted to run into? Apparently not where I was. Maybe this was a good thing since it gave me the chance to actually follow through with going to bed early. But I should've known better. Staying at Colleen's house is just way too much fun and such treat that I seem to be unable to drag myself upstairs and into bed at a reasonable time. The good news is that running races are so low-key and require such little preparation compared to triathlons that I slept in longer than I usually ever do!
Woke up to rain in the desert. Love that smell! Ate 4 pieces of bread with a hint of almond butter. Yes. I know. That's a lot. But I was still hungry after 2 and I hate uneven numbers, so I had to eat 4. I am laughing at myself as I am writing this but it did not even occur to me why I had 4 until I was worried I had eaten too much and tried to figure out why I did not eat just 3. Hopped in the car and got to the start with 30 minutes to spare. So nice! I like to get to the start of a triathlon at least 2 hours early but at a running race - there is nothing to do but run in circles for a little while before the start! Oh, the simplicity of running. Sometimes (quite often, actually) I wish I could be a runner!
There was not really a race plan. Coach M said something like: Run fast! I wanna see where you're at. That was about it. Sounds good to me! Running has been going ok lately. Nothing super exciting but no major issues either. I had not raced at all or run longer than 10 miles since Vegas in September, so I was kinda curious to see where I am at myself. Since I am not a runner I feel absolutely no pressure in running races. Don't care if or where I place. Don't care who is behind me or in front of me. I just run my race and listen to body. Very refreshing!
My main goal was to:
- Run well, smart, and strong.
I also did not mind to:
- Negative split the race.
- Go sub 1:30.
- Set a PR.
In the back of my mind I wanted to PR. Why not? Aim high - right? If I were to run well, smart, and strong but not meet any of the other goals, I would be happy.
It seems like I may have been able to recover a few too many brain cells over the weekend, so I am going to have to postpone the actual race report until tomorrow. I guess this is what happens when you have not raced for 4 months...