This past Saturday I ran the Cedar Half Marathon in southern Utah. The race starts at nearly 8300 ft elevation and drops to 5800 feet. Meaning… fast, fun, downhill run!
So of course, two days before the event I start to come down with a cold. Not a severe cold, a cold that was just annoying enough to need a decongestant so I can breathe, a slightly scratchy throat and a headache.
On Friday, I drove north with my kid in tow. It was our “girls trip” and I’m pretty sure she thought I was her personal request-line DJ. This cute little voice in the backseat kept piping up, “Play Let It Go now!” and then “First Time Forever please!” I kept trying to tell her we need to listen to the soundtrack straight through; I can’t switch that much while driving. But she didn’t agree with that. “You can do it, Mommy!”
We arrived in Cedar City, picked up my packet and then went over to the Relay for Life event happening in town to see my mom and her husband. We walked a few laps around the track and looked at the luminarias that were lining the track for those who have battled cancer. And my daughter got up her courage to try a big bounce-house-slide. It was pretty steep and tall for someone as little as her… it took about five attempts walking up to the slide before she did it!
Saturday morning I woke up at 4:30 AM… that’s 3:30 AM my time! I ate a Yummari bar, ate an applesauce pouch. Those two things have been pretty bulletproof for me for two races and all long runs for several months now. Then I took my mom’s car and drove to the finish line to catch a school bus to the start line.
It was chilly in town, even colder up the mountain. There were several fire pits around for runners to stand around and stay warm. I immediately hit the porta potty line, because that’s what you do at races! I milled about, shivered a little as the sun came up, before the group started to make their way up the canyon road a little ways to the official start line. I took my sweatshirt off, they told us all to GO, and we were off. I carried my sweatshirt with me for a little ways until I got back to the ranch where we hung out with the fires so it was easy for volunteers to grab and take away with them to donate.
I love this race; I’ve run it once before. I was supposed to run it last year, but flash flooding washed out part of the interstate between here and there and it would have more than doubled my drive time, and I wasn’t doing that. So I missed last year’s race, and I was eager to run the race again. But in the days leading up to the event I had a bad attitude. I was annoyed I caught a cold, I was annoyed thinking about what a hassle it is to do a race out of town and the associated arrangement. But it was fine. In fact, it was a better mommy/daughter road trip than any other I’ve done with her, and she loves the opportunity to play with her grandma.
A few weeks ago an episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls aired, where he took James Marsden up a canyon. This is the canyon where the episode was shot. So sometimes you can see the road we ran down in that episode!
The race went pretty well. I ran smoothly; fueling was fine. The only trouble is that I was soooo…… thirsty…. the…. whole…. time…. A side effect of cold meds, they’re dehydrating. And the extra drinking made me require two pee breaks. That kind of sucked!
I crossed the finish line about 30 seconds slower than I ran the Parowan Half Marathon a month ago. It’s a good time; I should be happy with it but I just keep thinking the “What if I didn’t have a cold? What if I didn’t have to pee so much?” I hate that “What if” brain. So overall I am happy with it. And I just hope that someday the stars will align or everything will click or it will all come up smelling like roses or whatever cliche fits here… but someday I will have the perfect race.
Or I won’t, and this is the universe’s way of messing with my perfectionist’s brain and giving me a big HA HA!
The weeks leading up to this race I was feeling “Okay, just get through this race and you can take a break.” and I finished feeling like “More! Give me more! When’s the next one?!”
My child was happy to see me at the end, but she wasn’t that interested in staying around to snap photos!