I finally have time to write about the race. I went to Vegas for my brother's wedding and decided to do this half while I was there.
I will have to look up my splits later but the race went something like this:
The bus from the Strip got there late, we only had 5 minutes to check in, use the bathroom, put on chip and number, and get to the line. Having been in Vegas the last few days, breathing in smoke, eating bad food, and not getting much sleep, I wasn't sure how this was going to go. I also hadn't run all week because I was so busy with the festivities.
When we started off only one girl started a bit faster than me, so I decided to pass her right away and get into position with some men to encourage me to run faster. That didn't end up working out, as it was a tiny race, and I ended up running on my own through the entire thing. I had devil ears on as my costume but I realized quickly that they were going to be too annoying to run in, so I threw down at the mile marker.
The first half was up and down for me. The first mile I just couldn't catch my breath. I don't know what that was all about. Miles two and three I had pretty bad pain in my shins. I honestly thought I may not be able to finish if the pain kept getting worse. When we switched to the trails I think it helped my shins out a little. Miles four to six felt exceptionally great. It was a gradual uphill but I didn't feel it at all in my legs. My splits weren't super fast, but my legs felt great. They were also my favorite miles of the course, as we ran through some tunnels that were blasted through the mountains. It was pretty sweet, and one of the tunnels was so long that it was pitch black in the center. During the final tunnel I saw a pretty little marathoner in a lady bug costume and it was Smooth. My first FRB meeting!!! I was super excited and screamed her name, and she yelled mine back and we both yelled to each other as we ran in opposite directions.
Then there was a mile of small rolling hills that went okay, followed by the downhill switchbacks to the dam. I don't know what happened here, if I forgot to hit my watch or what, but my split was like 13 minutes. I got confused a little bit on the course, but it shouldn't have added more than a minute, so I really don't get it.
Then I ran by the dam, and honestly didn't see it. I was kind of confused about the course so I didn't even notice I was in front of it. Bummer! The photog got a picture of me all confused in front of the dam, so at least I'll see what I look like in front of it even though I didn't see it. Then it was time to go back up the switchbacks- it was horrible. And the next mile was the rolling hills, which were much, much harder in this direction. My split for this mile was like 10 minutes. I think this actually pretty true, I had a lot of trouble recovering from the switchbacks and following hills.
I was nervous because I saw the second place girl and figured she was only a minute or two behind me. The rest of the race was gradual downhill for the most part, which proved tough on the loose gravel on the trails. But I pushed really hard, and I was surprised how hard it was for me to keep the pace. I was able to get my splits to about 7:05 for the last few miles but it took a lot of work. I won, and once again it was fun to slap Jason's hand as I ran to the finish line, although he knew I wouldn't be too thrilled about the time.
I ended up getting a PR (I haven't run many halfs) so I am happy about that, but I really wanted to be much faster. I was expecting to be at the very least under 1:35. But with my confusion about the course and a few other setbacks, I guess I should be happy with the time. The trails proved really tough for a half marathon- they weren't that great for trying to keep a fast pace. I really slid around a lot on my way down.
It was cool running out west; the scenery was beautiful. My nose bled from the dry air after the race. TMI?
I'll get my splits on here later.