Why did I wake up at 3am to drive 2 1/2 hrs to race for only 40 minutes, and then another 2 1/2 hrs back home?
This was a race I needed for the St George Runner's Series (race 2 of the races, and I won't need to wait on the St G Lottery to register). The other St G area race was Snow Canyon in 2011.
After getting my kids in he car at 4am, we headed North. Loosing an hour, because of the time change.
Beautiful morning for a drive. Magnificent to see the sun rise behind the canyon mountains.
The Dam 2 Dam had two distances - 5 mile and 10 mile. I originally registered fro the 10 mile, but knowing I was going to train for 20+ miles tomorrow, I switched distances.
The race began and finished at Sand Hollow State Park in Hurricane, UT - just north of St. George, UT.
Like true Utah weather at this time of the year, it was cold. No more than 30 degrees when we arrived in the parking lot.
Picked up my bib and swag. Instead of shirts, they gave out arm warmers and socks. I was THRILLED! I am really getting tired of shirts.
CrowDs started rolling in for the start. There were about 200 racers total. Nice size. I was told the course was flat. That's all I knew.
My warm up went great. I felt good. Made the decision to not push it (I do have a 20 mile training run tomorrow) - all I need is to finish to qualify for my last St G Runner Series race.
Here are some pictures of the scenery that surrounded us:
As I was warming up, I saw a few familiar LVTC members. Nice to know I was not the only Vegas racer.
I decided that since it was so COLD (maybe 40 degrees at the start) I needed to double up the warmth on my arms. In addition to my long sleeved shirt, I also put on my arm sleeves. Glad I did. The only cold part of my body was my legs, but I knew that would change soon. My upper body gets cold and stays cold more than any other part of my body. (If you haven't noticed, I am quite boney up top).
Gun goes off and within 100 yards we are on a gravely trail. Oh geez, I wasn't ready for this. But, I immediately reminded myself that I love gravely trails (aka 6 Tunnels) and this was not an issue.
The first mile, my head was playing tricks on me (as usual). My brain is so lazy, I swear! All it wants me to do is quit. So, the infamous head-leg power struggle begins.
Finally, we were back on pavement. Still a very flat course. Sand on the road, but nothing to worry about.
At the turn around - I kicked on the tunes and started my run back. Feeling REALLY good at this point. I guess my brain finally decided to give up and let my legs do the talking.
As I got back onto the trail - I looked at my Garmin for the first time and realized I was going to finish real close to 40-41. I smiled. In my head, I was shooting for 47. Not sure why I didn't look at my Garmin during the race, but seeing it at that point was a nice surprise. Running at a 8-8:14 pace was not hard, breathing was great and I really didn't feel fatigued. Unusual, since I hate pushing it at any distance beyond a 5K.
Finished in 41:26
Won 1st in my Age Division and 9th Overall. I couldn't of predicted nor asked for anything better.
The best part? It was a great mental boost I needed. I have had so many breathing struggles the past few races (minus Surf City Half)- I need to have a great FEELING race. This was it.
In addition, I qualified for the USATF Masters 5 Mile Team with this race. I know that a sub50 on a 10K is within my reach, in the near future. All great perks to a fun AM.
My Age Division Award? Received a Sports Store Gift Card. I will use that when I go back to St. G for the Full in October.
My sons and I celebrated at Red Robin - YUM!
Here is the traditional photo with Ladybug's Ball -
One month from today - I FINISH my first Full Marathon in Los Angeles.
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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