13.1 Miles

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I ran it! I finished it! I can't believe I did, but I did!

The race started at the top of Snow Canyon State Park in St. George. We wound down through the park, then back up a gravel trail for a couple miles, then back down through residential neighborhoods to end at Snow Canyon High School. (Here's a link to the course map)

It had a lot of hills (please, never believe people when they say it's "all downhill") but, in general, it had slightly more downhill portions than uphill. Gorgeous run and the weather was perfect. Not too cold, not too hot - perfect. I would recommend this race to anyone - beautiful scenery and weather to distract you and terrain that was challenging but not discouraging.

We ran in the morning, so it looked much better than this, but I ran over this bridge.

The trail as we descended from the top.

More of the trail.

You can see here where the park hits up against the residential neighborhoods. Isn't it beautiful? This is what the day looked like.

Buses met us at the high school and then took all the runners up to the top of the course. There were 1200 people participating, but it didn't feel crowded at all because the race staggered everyone really well.

Below are some of the girls I trained with. We were waiting for the buses (we did miss my great friend Annie [you may remember her from my 5k pictures] - sadly, we didn't get a picture together, but she was one of the key people to keep me going in my training and was the one who originally told us about this half).

Showing off the numbers (yes, my bravado was all a show - I was a little nervous).

Great friends from my ward, Rondi and Meesha, came with us to support. They couldn't get up in the park but once we were in the residential neighborhoods, they started taking pics..

Laura and Heather around 10.5 miles

Meesha's on the left. She's running with me to hand me water. She and Rondi just came up with us to support us - they were selfless.

This is blurry of me (and Bryce asked if I was walking at this point - but I wasn't, I swear, I just have a small stride and was going up hill : )), but I thought I'd include it to show the beautiful background - and that was in the residential neighborhoods.

Me around mile 10.75

Crossing the finish line! And overall, the race felt very hard but not torturous. I kept a steady pace, which made the last few miles doable (but still challenging!).

My legs felt very unstable and wobbly as soon as I stopped running. I kept moving, but I think I leaned on random strangers as I walked through the crowd. I was a bit out of it for the first few minutes post-run!

Proud finishers!

We were waiting in line for complementary massages.

They were working on our hips - so sore! (And yes, I'm very sore today. Heather, Laura, and I are in the same ward - you should've seen us hobbling around the building!)

So happy I finished!

I ran it in 2 hours 32 minutes - kind of slow, but considering I was out of commission for a few weeks of training right before the race (achilles tendonitis, strep throat, then cold), I feel good about my time.

And I felt blessed to have been able to run it - that I have a body that can run. I thought about Caroline and my grandma C (who can walk but feels a lot of pain when she does walk) during the race when it got difficult and thought "I can run this for them - I am representing them." It was a spiritual experience.

This running thing started off as a whim. One of my New Year's resolutions was to get in shape and run a 5k, and THAT seemed far-fetched to me. I've never been a runner, I've never liked running, and I never thought a half marathon was even possible (let alone something I wanted to do).

So, I'm amazed that I ran a whole 13.1 miles. Despite several rough setbacks, I trained for it (ex. got up every Saturday in the summer for 6:00 am runs, which I think pretty much all of you know is unheard of for me) and my preparation, and the faithful support and encouragement of my wonderful husband and stalwart training friends allowed me to cross the finish line.

It reminds me that the only limits I have are the ones I place on myself - I can do anything.

(Cue Rocky music : )

Now the question is - what to train for next?....


  1. I'm so proud of you! And Caro and your Grandma are too I'm sure! Good job!

  2. Seriously, you did awesome!

    Oh, and you know what we are training for next.....Jan 23rd!!!!

  3. I am in awe. Way to go Erika!!!

    Congratulations on setting a difficult goal and then achieving it. You are an inspiration in many ways.

  4. Way to go girl! Look how babolicious you look! Hot momma!

  5. Way to go! I am so excited for you that you've turned over a new leaf! The pictures are great, you look great, you did great. Nice work and keep it up!

  6. Ummm, a full marathon of course. You can run that one for me if you need some inspiration. :-) Seriously though, congrats!!


  7. Wow awesome Erika! Someday we'll have to meet up in Saint George and run one together.

  8. WAY TO GO!!!! I just started training for the Carlsbad half in January. I did my first long run last Saturday and wanted to die... sure hope it gets better! You look great, btw!!!

  9. Congratulations!!! and how did you look so amazing doing it?

  10. Awesome! I want to run this race with you next year! Half-marathons are the best distance...long enough that you have to train, but not 4 hours of running like a marathon would be.

    I am so proud of you! I have already signed-up for the Seattle Rock-n-Roll Half in June...just 10 weeks after I will be able to start running post-baby. A bit ambitious, but I will need something to motivate me (or scare me) back into shape. You should come run it with me!

  11. Erika, you are such a sweetheart. I love your determination, goal setting and goal completion! I am the least goal oriented person I know so someone who is this kind of person is high in my esteem!

    I enjoyed the pictures. You do look wonderful. I read the whole blog about the run and enjoyed every minute of it. I started crying when I read the part you tucked in there about me and Caro. Even as I move slow, I can still get there. I hope I never see a wheelchair. Guess that is my goal, to stay out of one. We have been going to the gym again and I have to admit I feel better when I do. It is true our only limits are the ones we set up for ourselves. Dr. said If I could loose wt that would be the best thing I could do for myself. Goal impossible! Not so, but so it seems. End of rambling.

    See why we wanted to move to St. George. I think from your description, that is where we were serious about a house and even had a down payment on a lot.

    Love, Grandma. Nobody ever had a better granddaughter and that is a Carneal Fact!

  12. Congratulations. Our little ones do bring us such inspiration. Beautiful pics!!

  13. Yahoo! Erika! Amazing! My longest run is 4 miles so far...I can't even imagine 13.1! Great job! You are an inspiration!


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