The Snow Canyon Half Marathon had been on my radar for a while. It was known to be scenic, downhill, and a fairly good size. Add in the sentimentality of the location - my home, the hard part of the Ironman course- I felt like I needed to run it sometime. I wanted to "race" it and try to get a PR, but when I got an email for a discount on the price, I figured I would be pregnant and not able to race. I decided I would run it anyway for the experience. Turns out I was pregnant, so my entire goal was to enjoy myself, run by feel, and finish under 2:00 since I always have. I figured with a downhill that was not going to be out of the safety net of running with a baby.
So, I went out with that mentality. I didn't even wear my Garmin. I could tell how I was doing based on the pacer signs, so I knew I was between 1:45 and 1:50 the whole time. I rode next to a dad of 4 on the bus up and it was cool talking about his running experience. While waiting for the race to start, I met a sweet older lady from Biloxi Mississippi who runs with her friend at destination races. She was dancing to the music and had such a zest for life that it made me feel happy! I ended up speaking with a lot of people before the race. I was quite aware how alone I was for some reason. Usually that doesn't bother me, I think because I have a goal I am pushing for, but this time I was wishing I had someone to share it with. At least I met a lot of friendly strangers to make the start enjoyable. Once we started running, the cold was no longer a factor and the beauty was! It was gorgeous, I felt really good, and with the mindset to enjoy myself it was impossible not to! The snow canyon hill felt as long going down as it does going up in the Ironman course. I could tell my legs were going to be sore, and they ended up more sore from this race than any other I had raced since I finished the St. George Marathon. Different training and the downhill I believe.
I saw Dad first as I turned the last corner, then I was looking for Mom and Amanda. My smile was so big at feeling so happy that I accomplished exactly what I came to do that I missed Mom but got in a five to Amanda before I was doing that last 200 feet to the finish line. With the sunshine and my happiness, it was the very perfect way to end this year of racing. I ended up with a 1:48, which made it that much sweeter.