Half Marathon Recap

Yesterday I ran the Salt Lake City half marathon, my eleventh half!

The morning started with temps in the high 40’s, perfect for racing. I had a protein shake and toast roughly 2.5 hours before the start time. We left for Salt Lake by 5:50 AM.

I made it to the start fairly early and was able to take advantage of no bathroom lines! I waited around with Troy and his parents. Unfortunately, 15 minutes before the start, I had to pee again. This time the lines were really long, and I knew I needed to get my layers into my gear bag so I could get ready to run. I figured I’d use a porta-potty somewhere along the course. With a few minutes to spare, I was ready to go.




The course started with an uphill section that narrowed right off the bat. We were forced to walk due to the bottleneck for a bit. I was fine with it since I wasn’t racing for a PR, but I felt bad for those who were. Once we cleared the narrow section, there were no other hiccups as far as congestion went.

I ran my first few splits in 11:15, 11:59, and 10:12. By this point we were on the downhill section in Memory Grove. It was here that I saw a woman trip and fall, landing on her face. A couple other runners and myself stopped to help her. She had a really nasty cut on her nose that bled like crazy. I was a little worried she broke her nose. Another runner had a Kleenex and we stayed with her to make sure she could walk okay. She decided she could walk and would walk to the next aid station, those of us who stopped decided to run ahead and alert a race official. We made our way down, and one runner caught an official before me, I saw she was giving the name and number of the woman who fell, and he was passing the message along on his walkie. I figured that was the best we could do, I hope that woman ended up being okay!

The next couple mile splits were 11:53 and 10:38. Then we hit the uphill section on South Temple, and after that I couldn’t keep up my pace. I still had to pee, but had not come across an aid station without a long line at the porta-potty. My mile splits during this were 12:50, 11:37, 12:50, and 12:24.

The weather was still pretty great. It was mostly cloudy, but by now the sun was peeking out more. I really couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather. Between miles 9 and 10, I finally found a porta-potty without a line! I briefly considered holding it until the end, but I had been drinking a lot of water and thought I would be more comfortable if I relieved myself. I’m glad I made the stop.

I ran the last few splits at 13:14, 11:41, 12:29, 12:26, and the last 0.32 miles in 3:14 (according to Garmin I ran 13.32 miles, not 13.1). My average pace was 11:55 according to Garmin, and 12:06 according to the official results. There was a 1,362 ft drop in elevation, but also a 768 ft gain throughout the course. My average heart rate was 178 beats per minute, and my maximum heart rate was 198 beats per minute.

My primary goal for this race was to break 2:40, my reach goal was to break 2:30. Overall I was pretty satisfied with my performance yesterday. Spring races are always slower for me, and the fact is I’m starting out this year running slower than I was at this time last year. I have a couple ideas why that might be: 1) I haven’t done any speedwork since last Fall, and 2) my weight last year was in the 125-130lb range, whereas now it is in the 133-137lb range.

I went into this race knowing it would be slow for me, so I’m glad I now have a baseline measurement of my current fitness level. I am running the Twin Cities Marathon in 24 weeks from today, and yesterday’s half really crystallized the things I’m going to be working on this year: getting my weight back down to racing weight, weekly speed workouts, and of course, running more miles.

Physically, I’m pretty tired. I wore compression socks all day yesterday after the race, and today I have no soreness in my calves or thighs. I now swear by compression socks and will be getting more for marathon training.
However, my left hip flexor was tender last week, and I think it caused me to run a little off. My left knee has been in pain since finishing the half. Luckily, this is a familiar pain, and I know the cure. Ice, rolling, and glute strengthening. I’ve not been consistent in my glute strength training, but I’m going to resolve to do glute exercises everyday. No more knee pain! (Hopefully!)

Today was (obviously) a recovery day. Troy’s parents are visiting, so we spent the morning at the Sundance resort for their Easter brunch buffet. It was spectacular! We were so stuffed, we needed naps. We relaxed, spent some time in the hot tub where Troy’s parents are staying, and ended the day watching 12 Years A Slave. All in all, it was a great day!

Oh yeah, I also got a haircut on Friday 🙂



Week In Review:
2 runs, 15.32 miles
2 climbing days



16 thoughts on “Half Marathon Recap

  1. Yay, great job!!! You did awesome!! Congratulations on finishing your 11th half!!! Spectacular!!! 🙂 I love your hair, too!!! You look beautiful!! 🙂 XOXO!!!

  2. Awesome job on your half! Having to pee during a race is so uncomfortable! One if the downsides of races in the city…on a trail race I’m so not above dashing into some bushes!! Haha love your haircut! Absolutely beautiful and fresh for the spring!

  3. Nice work – congrats! I’m crossing my fingers that running will be in the cards soon – your posts always make me hungry to get back out there! Also, super cute haircut!

  4. Nice job, Irene!!! That was so good of you to help out that lady who fell down. I can’t believe you held your pee that long! I think I would have peed myself. 😉

  5. First of all, your hair looks fantastic. You are so pretty! And that medal is super cool.

    Now I seriously think you might be one of the sweetest people ever. How wonderful of you to stop and help that woman! I feel like if I had seen something like that around here no one would have given the time of day (I’ve been knocked over in a race and no one helped me so I’m pretty sure that’s standard around here). She is so lucky to have been helped by such kind people such as yourself.

    Great job in the race!! Winter weather definitely makes training for spring races tough!

    • Thanks so much for the compliments! How crappy that no one helped you when you were knocked over in a race, not even the person who knocked you over, sheesh! You’re right about Spring races, they are tough to train for.

  6. Yay, congrats!!! Pretty cool medal! I’ve been to SLC once and I remember it being fairly hilly, but sounds like you handled it fine! That’s scary about the fall. Glad you were able to alert someone. The other year I was running in the Dallas Marathon (as a training run – not official) and I saw a lady sit down at mile 3 holding her chest. She had a man with her, so I decided to run until I could find a medic/aid station, but I never found one!!!! I hope she was ok!

    • Thanks! SLC is pretty hilly, luckily we were mostly going downhill. Scary to see that woman holding her chest during the marathon! Sounds like she had company though, and you probably would have heard if it turned out really bad. I did Twin Cities marathon in 2006, I saw a guy passed out around mile 7 and paramedics were there. I read later he passed away from a heart attack, sad stuff.

      • Oh wow, that’s crazy! I actually saw a guy a few years ago who died as soon as he crossed the finish line at RnR Dallas Half Marathon. It was scary watching the paramedics work on him. Turned out he was a friend of a friend. Scary!

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