Deseret News Half Marathon Race Review

I am such a bad blogger!! Before this year ends I want to record these past 3 races I’ve participated in!

This was an interesting race for me mostly because I didn’t ‘train’ for it. Normally I set a race and get a training plan together, pretty much down to the day, and go from there. This race was totally different. There was not one drop of that!

I did do a 10 miler and ran 13 miles before the race, I may have done another 10… see I can’t even remember.

I do remember running my 10 and feeling just fine, surprised, actually that it felt so good, even without me running as often. The 13 was ok, I do remember that day was crazy hot so I ran the second part of it on the treadmill.

ANYWAY. I haven’t been running quite as much because I have added other things into my routine like boxing at Level Red, weight training at The Hurt Locker LLC, Orange Theory, and B.O.M.B. Squad. It takes a lot of planning to get all those things in AND running too!

What I did rely on is the knowledge that with all of the things I’ve been doing, I was conditioned to work hard and go for 2 hours. All of the extra stuff has added to my strength. It has made me stronger! The result of that was a very nice PR for me in this half marathon.

deseret news half marathon

It was a dang good race and I felt fantastic at the finish! Not all races feel like that! I wish they did!


13.1 miles ~ 1:33:23 ~ 7:08 pace ~ 54 overall finisher ~ 10/408 overall woman finisher ~ 2 place AG and 2 place women’s masters

Old PR: 1:38:32 (7:30 pace)

SPLITS: 7:05, 7:00, 6:59, 6:56, 7:03, 6:56, 6:58, 7:07, 6:52, 7:17, 7:01, 7:07, 7:24

deseret news half marathon

I wasn’t quite sure what my goal was going into the race. I thought I could at very least hit my prior PR. Then, as I began to think about my earlier race this year (Shamrock 8K), on the bus ride up the canyon, and how I’d been running, I thought a 7:15 pace would be achievable. Goal set.

I felt very relaxed prior to this race. Another reason I loved this particular race so much. That is a rarity for me.

Something I’ve wanted for myself this year are positive race experiences. I don’t love the torture I (we) put ourselves through prior to a race! Anxiety is normal, but sometimes I just get myself all worked up. It has done a number on me at times! (that’s a different post)

I have run this course two times before, participating in the full marathon. One thing that I don’t love is the crazy early time! I get it, but don’t love it!

It’s a summer race, in UT, and you have to be bussed up the canyon for the start. The hope is to get everyone finished before the heat hits. Again, I get it, but that makes it tough to get good rest.

Fortunately this year I was still on East coast time so the crazy early wake up time didn’t kill me! I felt pretty normal, like I was getting up at my normal 4:30 am time.

**Insert IG video here!! I still have them in my IG highlights. Click over there for the pre race chat, and post race happy!**

half marathon pr

Getting to the race was smooth, parking was smooth, getting bussed up the canyon was smooth. I chatted with an older gentleman. That is when I solidified my race goal and plan for myself. I’d run the first 5 around 7 pace, then pull back to my ‘tempo pace’ of 7:15, then go back up for the final 3, potentially hitting 6’s.

Something that has caused me anxiety in the past is the whole diet, GI, hydrating stuff. The day before, the day of, during!!! I feel like I am finally at a place where I know my body, I know what I need, how I operate, what is comfortable. There was no anxiety about any of this. Again! So fabulous. That is something to jump for joy about!

The race start for the half marathon is a little bit crazy. You literally start at the halfway point of the marathon, which is just a random place up the canyon road! It’s a little strange smooshing to the sides so the busses can get through as they bring all the runners up.

There is an official start gate though, and porta potties! Can’t forget those! I do like that it’s all close together. There is no running half a mile to the potties, then another sprint to get to the start!

deseret news half marathon
half marathon racing

I was feeling ready to go. Gun went off and we were too. There weren’t so many runners that you had to people dodge, I like when there is enough room to run, for all of us, the quick, the not-so quick, the walkers too!

Now the fun begins. I was behind a group of girls for the first couple of miles. We were all running at around a 7 pace. I felt relaxed and the pace felt good. I am getting better at starting at more of a moderate pace. I have been known to start too quickly.

Around mile 3 as they began to slow a bit and I ran ahead I heard one of them comment on my tank matching my tank! I gave a thumbs up and the girl was surprised I heard her… and said she was glad she didn't say anything mean! I laughed to myself. Would it be appropriate to trip her if she had! Kidding.

My confidence built as those who started quick faded and I felt like I was just getting warmed up. I was cautious as I saw those couple of miles in the 6’s. I felt good, but wanted to make sure I could hold my pace and finish just as strong as I started.

half marathon pr

As I continued to run, and saw familiar spots on the course, I kept thinking to myself that I was so glad I wasn’t running the full marathon!!!

As I hit mile 5 I felt really good and made a revision to my plan. I decided to keep my same pace at least until mile 9ish where I’d see my family. Then I’d see how I felt.

Funny memory was around mile 7 aid station. The dudes behind me made me laugh as one of them took Gatorade and asked if Gatorade in the eyes makes you run faster, or makes your eyes see better!! I laughed because I too had just spilled it all over myself, although not in my eyes, thank heavens!

I ran through all the aid stations, slowing a little to take one or two sips of Gatorade at miles 4 and 7, or was that 8? Anyway, doesn’t matter.

Here I am seeing my cute family! They had some of their own funny stories, which included seeing a man who may have messed himself, a woman they called mom, who was not their mom, and then seeing me!

I love seeing them, even for just a second! I felt good and decided to keep kicking butt, aiming for 7 pace until I hit mile 10, then see how I felt. This was the slight uphill mile. You can see my pace drop a little.

After that mile I decided I wanted to finish the rest at 7 or faster! I saw my fam again here around 11 or 12. Yahoo!

That cute lady right in front of me was in front of me the whole race. Here is where I started to pull ahead. I didn’t have plans to run ahead of her. I always try to keep at my own pace, run my own race, no matter what other runners are doing. As I pulled ahead I gave her a cheer. She was rocking it!

*Side note* I got to meet her after! She was the 3 place finisher in our age group! We chatted the whole bus ride back after the race… and now we are FB friends… and her friend not pictured, who also is a Rockstar runner!

utah half marathon

I must interrupt this glorious race experience to insert a very large complaint about this race! I hate the last mile of this race!

The half, 10k and 5k all go down main street and finish together. I say ‘go’ instead of run, because we are not all running!

It is an extra challenge to keep pace that last 1.5 miles. This is where all the people dodging happens. There are people walking all over the place, unaware of those that are coming up behind them! I’m sorry, but I am running a half, quickly! I don’t want to run around you and your balloons and your leisure!

Literally a guy in front of me got hit in the face with a balloon by a 5k walker messing around hitting her balloon while she enjoyed her 5k! Can you sense the feelings! There should be a lane! Really.

There are a ton of people down that road, waiting for the parade, so you’d think it would be fun and festive and there would be cheering and support, but no, they are all just waiting for the parade to start!!

Just be aware of that. I don’t remember that with the full marathon finish. It has been a few years, maybe they have changed it. Anyway, should you ever run this race… noted!

deseret news half marathon

The last .75 were killer! That last bit always is!

This cute gal was in front of me the whole race. She started to fade that last little bit. As I passed I gave her a cheer and she turned it up to stay with me. Then I slowed and she gave me a cheer to keep up with her. I love this! Comradery and sportsmanship, a lift right there at the end to be sure the finish is strong!

And then I see them, my cute kids! Our tradition started at this race, the first time I ran the marathon. They jumped out to finish with me. I love so much! My big kids won’t do it anymore, but I love that these two will. Hopefully its a memory and feeling they will hold on to and want for themselves. It’s a good feeling to cross over that line!

There it is! Done and done.

You know what makes a race feel like a success for me? To have a plan and be able to execute the plan. I have learned that the plan needs to fit where you are and what you are trained for to be executed properly.

Again, this is for another post, but the past couple of years have been a bit challenging for me, as far as racing goes. I hope to tell you all about it soon!

This felt like a win for me! Not because of the place I took or any sort of accomplishment, but because I wanted to hit something specific for me and I did. Really, I did better than I hoped, which feels even more amazing!

I have been running for so many years! I started young. I am still learning, still growing, still failing, still winning, still planning, still reaching, still running! I love that this sport, this movement has been the tool for all of that. I love it!

perspective running