Sunday, August 28, 2011

Who needs sleep when you can run?

I think everyone knows by now that I ran the Mesa Falls Marathon last year. Or that is, I survived the Mesa Falls Marathon. When it came down to it, I was really undertrained and unprepared. But I'm stubborn and I did it anyway.

This year I made the decision to only run the half marathon for multiple reasons. One of which was the fact that I knew it was the weekend of Cody's homecoming celebration and I didn't want to be trashed for all of the family, friends and festivities.

Anyway on Tuesday when Cody got home, I told him I was running the race and asked (somewhat jokingly) if he wanted to join me. He said he wasn't up to a half, but he'd run the 5K. Now first you need to know that Saturday was a full 30 degrees warmer than the same weekend last year. (I'm not exaggerating look it up.) And secondly, not one of us has had much sleep all week. With all of the fun and running around with the family (pictures forthcoming) I think I've only been getting around 4 hours of sleep per night and I know it's the same for Cody. Friday night was the worst night of them all, when Travis was driving home through the night and my house guest ended up with heat exhaustion and was so badly dehydrated that it required a midnight trip to the Urgent Care clinic where they pumped her full of 3 bags of IV fluid. (There was actually some good that came out of all of that, but I'm not going to blog about it at this point.)

So all told I think I got maybe 3 hours of sleep Friday night and Cody was running on less than four.

Still we were up early and on our way to Ashton in plenty of time.
Cody's race actually started before mine, but I didn't get to stick around and see it because I was on a bus to the half marathon start line.

Now I know he's done a little running on the mission, but we need to remember, he hasn't actually trained in two years. Still it looked like there were a few experienced runners in the 5K pack that morning so he made a decision just to stick with them.

As it turned out, even the experienced runners couldn't stick with him. in the last mile he caught up with the kids (and a few parents) who were just completing the 1 mile fun run.

Not only did Cody win the overall 5K, he was a full 6 minutes ahead of the 2nd place finisher.

His pace was still about 2.5 minutes or so off his personal best from back when he was running Cross Country and he said he could definitely feel the altitude getting to him. But somehow he still creamed the rest of the pack.

After his finish, he & dad came up the marathon route to wait for me and cheer me on.

(No, my father isn't glowing, there's something on the camera lens.)

One thing I will say, Mesa Falls is one of the most scenic races I've ever done. It really is a gorgeous area! I figured out within about the first 2 miles that a good, long run in the beautiful morning sun will clear my head as well as anything. Even better than a full night's sleep. (Hence the title of this post.)

I'm hunched over here because I'm eating an orange slice and holding a cup of water.

Cody ran with me for a few minutes (Love that missionary tan line!) I was feeling pretty good at this point, about 4 miles in and Cody said he needed to go home and work on a few things, so I congratulated him on his race and told him to go. He peeled off and stormed up the hill to meet my dad, to which I got plenty of comments from the runners around me who said things like "wow that guy's an animal! Look at him go!" And that's not counting the whistles and catcalls from the girls.

While I was pushing my way up that ridiculous hill, Cody was back in town collecting is medal.

It was roughly six miles in that things got tough. The heat, and sleep deprivation really started to get to me. My pace dropped dramatically in the last half of the race. But then again, by this time the temps were in the upper 80's. I don't consider myself a wimp when it comes to heat, I mean after all I did grow up in Texas, but as a runner anything over 80 is miserable to race in! This was honestly the first race where I've ever had to strip down. I started using my shirt as a rag. Every time I'd pass a sprinkler (thank you to all the locals who put their sprinklers out they were a lifesaver!) I'd soak my shirt in it and the wrap it on the back of my neck to try and keep my body temp down a little. I'm not sure it worked, but it definitely felt good for a few minutes at least!

I finished about 15 minutes off my goal, but at that point I was just happy to finish. It was hot. And I was tired. I just wanted to go home, check on our sick friend and spend time with my family.

I've never regretted any race I've ever done, and this one is no different. I'm very glad I did it, although it is a little disappointing to have another mediocre race to add to this summer's list.

1 comment:

Darryl and Cindy Cunningham said...

You will do better when you go to the race in Utah!