Sunday, May 8, 2011

Provo City Marathon and Half

I've been dealing with a nagging hip (I think I've mentioned this before) thanks to a lower back that's a bit out and running on the roads does not help it, at all. That being said, I had committed long ago to running a half marathon with my wife this past weekend. At the same time, only a week ago my mom decided to try her hand at a full marathon. Lucky for us it was the same race my wife and I were running.

However, a few days ago my wife confessed that she was not going to run the race since she is expecting our next child and these early weeks have not been good to her. She has been extremely tired and ill. Looks like I was going to be on my own. I had no intentions of going for a PR, not with my hip aching and even if it was in good condition I don't think I could do it on that course.

The Provo City Marathon starts up Provo Canyon and runs down into downtown Provo. They they run past the start/finish of the half marathon and run the half marathon course, or in other words, the half marathoners run the last half of the marathon course. The 13.1 we ran was extremely flat with many turns in and around the west of town. To say there were no hills is actually a mistake as there was a viaduct we had to run over in the first mile and subsequently again during the last mile. Also, the last two miles are gently uphill; something that a person wouldn't even think was uphill during a normal training run, but when red-lining on race day it feels like Everest. So yeah, Saturday would be all about easy and fun.

Any of you buying this? Yeah, me either. I toed the line with several friends, most (that's a lie - ALL) of whom are faster than me. I figured I would just go out and see how things felt and if my hip hurt I'd slow down. If I blew up because I don't know how to run a road race, I'd slow down. And if I just got bored, I'd slow down. When the gun went off I jumped out with the 7:15 pace and it felt pretty good. As we went over the viaduct and down the other side a 7:05 felt good. And kept feeling good. In fact, my hip really never hurt that bad and a pace between 7:05 and 7:15 was pretty much my comfort zone till about mile 11. Then the gradual uphill came and I just couldn't keep up that pace. I dropped to a 7:22 in mile 12 and then a 7:31 on mile 13 going over the viaduct again. I tried to put on a surge to the finish, but could only must a 6:50 pace the last quarter mile. But hey, it was good enough for 1:34:49, a nearly 2 min PR and 30th overall and 3rd in my age group. Who knew I could be so fast? I certainly didn't.

Now to the good part. My mom and her friend Dianna hit the half way point at about 3 hours. Their goal was to just take it super easy and have fun, even if it meant they came in last place. The RDs said they were pulling support after six hours, but my mom and Dianna didn't care. They RDs said they would still have a finish line for them, even if it took longer than the cap. During the time they crossed the half way point and ran the 2nd half of the course I drove all the way back to Lehi (my parent's place), showered, played football in the back yard with my kids, went out to lunch at CPK with the family and headed back over to the finish line to watch them come in. Even with all of that we had to wait an hour. There were, in fact, the very last two on the course.

The RDs stuck to their commitment though, they took down all the booths, the sound system, the timing mat, and even started taking down the finish line arch. Besides the very few volunteers left cleaning up there were only us and Dianna's parents there to cheer them home. As they came in view the RDs raced to re-inflate the arch and we welcomed them in with cheers, hugs, and tears. They looked and felt great, but were so happy to be down.

My mom, Mary Kay Fortie, ran her first marathon at age 62. She ran a 6:56:00, tied for dead last, and still came in 1st in her age group (she was the only one in it). Hahahaha. I'm so proud of her. Here are a couple of photos of her and Dianna finishing.

Crossing the finish line. 

After getting their medals. My mom is on the right.

Mother's Day flowers

Thanks to Run13 for putting on a great race and supporting my mom and Dianna in their great accomplishment.

1 comment:

TheHeapsToe said...

Sweet! I was totally there! I ran a 1:40.38, which is my PR because it was my first half-marathon ever. I did about 10 minutes better than I thought I would.

Glad to hear your hip didn't bother you too much during the race and congrats on the PR, dude!