We had a family reunion this past weekend, and on Monday several of us ran the Freedom Half Marathon and 5K. I signed up several months ago because I thought it would be fun to run with the family and because I was sure that my knee would be better by then. Obviously, I was wrong about the knee thing, but at least I had fun.
I knew I was in trouble from the start. It wasn't just my lack of running over the past month. I felt dehydrated, too, and because Baby Elliott had had a few rough nights throughout the week, I was exhausted, too. Also, the intestines. I used the porta-potties before getting on the bus, and again before the start, but I still felt like there was trouble brewing.
When the race finally started (ten minutes late), I set out at what felt like an easy pace and quickly found myself settling into 7th or 8th place. After only a few miles my legs were killing me. It was a weird feeling--my lungs were fine, but my legs could not handle the pounding as we ran down Emigration Canyon.
I kept plugging along as my legs and my pace steadily deteriorated. By the time I passed the zoo and turned onto campus, I was trashed. This was convenient, because it was here that the course started to climb.
I struggled through what would normally seem like a gradual rise but instead felt like a mountain. I think my pace dropped to something like 8:30. And as I climbed, my intestinal concerns came back with a vengeance. I saw a porta-potty at about 8.5 miles, an I realized that if I passed it without stopping, things could get real ugly real fast. So I stopped.
Two minutes later I felt much better, although my legs were still trashed. It was the first time I had stopped mid-race for a number two, and it was pretty much the end of my race mentally. I struggled through the rest of the race at what should have been a mellow pace, eventually crossing the line just under 1:28. Considering I was able to run just under 1:22 at Antelope Island, I know I'm capable of much better.
After the race I met up with Catherine, who had finished a couple of minutes before me. We hung around and waited for the rest of our family. While we were there, we saw Allie and Fiddy. It was good to see Allie again, and nice to meet Fiddy. He's fast. Maybe someday I will be.