Race Recap: Timpanogos Half Marathon 2018

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Wow, has it really been a month since this race happened?! A lot has been going on lately and I've been getting really behind with these race updates, but I wanted to share a quick recap on how the Timp Half went (short answer: it was amazing!).

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I had signed up for this race solo and so far in advance that I almost forgot about it until I started getting reminder emails less than a month out. On the day of the race—Saturday, July 28th—I woke up early at 3 a.m., ate breakfast and Geof (and Izzy pup) drove me to the bus boarding area at American Fork High School, which was about a forty minute drive away from home. I boarded the bus around 4:20 a.m. and arrived at the start at Tibble Fork Reservoir at 4:50 a.m. It was pretty dark out and there was a yoga session going on to warm up runners for the race. I felt a bit tired so I didn't partake, but instead, sat on the concrete, took a bathroom break, dropped off my gear check bag and waited for the race to begin.

The race started at 6 a.m. and it was just starting to get light out. It was the prettiest running down the canyon, with the most spectacular views of the mountains and pine trees, combined with scent of the dewy morning. I just admired the scenery and wished I had my phone so I could take photos. The first 7.5 miles were all down American Fork Canyon and it was perfect—a little bit of a breeze and no sun. I felt good and with the downhill, it was easy to do fast miles. It felt like this portion whizzed by. I have been doing more trail running and not so much road, so I had no idea how my legs would respond to a road race, but they did just fine!

 Course elevation and my pace overlay.

Course elevation and my pace overlay.

After the canyon, the course leveled out and transitioned to paved trails and neighborhoods. There were flatter sections with rolling hills (and a small stretch with sprinklers blasting, which was fun to run through!). I had never run this course before and liked not knowing where the next turn would take me. I kind of just zoned out until the end and tried to focus on keeping my legs moving at a comfortably quick pace. Once again, going into this race, I didn't have a true time goal in mind, but went into it wanting to run what felt good to me that day. I felt relaxed and happy to be there.

It got more warm and sunny near the end but I was determined to keep up my pace. I picked it up in the last mile and as I was getting closer to the finish, I could hear the music and crowds. That always puts more pep in my step! A few more turns and I was back at American Fork High School and could see the finish ahead. While running down the chute, I heard someone yell "Go Val!" and that made me so happy. I found out later it was Kelsey (a fellow runner and one of my favorite people that visits the store). I crossed the finish line with a new half marathon PR by almost three minutes. Final chip time—1:41:45.

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Mile Splits:
1—7:19
2—7:29
3—7:42
4—7:27
5—7:10
6—7:09
7—7:25
8—7:27
9—8:01
10—8:19
11—8:17
12—8:32
13—7:55
0.22—1:36
average pace: 7:46

I loved this whole race. I felt good about being able to keep a consistent pace throughout and pushing when I was getting tired. With harder efforts, I don't usually enjoy eating right after, so I only had some water and electrolytes at the finish, retrieved my gear bag, watched some more runners come in and met back up with Geof and Izzy. I lined up at the results station to print out my official results (where I found out my chip time and that I was 9th out of 102 in my age group!).

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 Here's Izzy barking at another dog she just spotted. She thinks she's the boss of everyone (haha).

Here's Izzy barking at another dog she just spotted. She thinks she's the boss of everyone (haha).

Though I've been loving trail running more and want to get into more trail races, I would run the Timpanogos Half again. I think a road race is super good to work on your speed and see your improvement. I also loved the weather. Since the race was so early, the temperatures remained in the 60°s and 70°s the entire run (the crisp air and coolness of the canyon in the summer was the best!). The race was also organized so well!

What are your favorite road races?

June Adventures

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I'm getting way behind on these outdoor adventure posts, so this one is long overdue again, but here are some highlights from June!

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Utah Valley Marathon. This was one of my major races this year and I was so happy with the outcome. A goal of mine has been to run a sub 4 hour marathon and I finally did it! Fourth time's a charm, haha. Read the full recap here.

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Local Salt Lake City Trails. After completing the Utah Valley marathon, it was time to refocus on the next big goal and that's my 50K coming up in fall. I've been semi-neglecting road running as of late because my true love is in the mountains so I've been loving being out on the trails more (fun fact: I've already done more total elevation this year than I did in all of 2017 combined! How crazy!). Some of my favorite trails to run are the ones that are close to home. Every time I run them, I get something new out of it and appreciate the unique experience of each individual run. The photo above is from Dry Creek to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

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Black Mountain. Geof and I ventured out to Black Mountain to help familiarize him with the course for Wahsatch Steeplechase, a tough 17-mile race that goes from the Bonneville Shoreline trail above the city, past Twin Peaks to Black Mountain (and then back down through Smugglers Gap and City Creek Canyon). We did a shortened version of the course (turned it into an out-and-back) but it was still a tough climb in the heat. We've never gone past Twin Peaks to see what was further, so Black Mountain was something new and fun for us! I'd love to run Wahsatch Steeplechase next year with it being the fortieth anniversary.

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Saucony Trail Scavenger Hunt. Saucony was in town and paired up with Salt Lake Running Company to do a trail scavenger hunt in Millcreek Canyon. They gave us a list of items to find and take photos of on our run, with an hour to get back to the meeting point to share our photos. There were eight items total and the three shown above were: something from the Utah state flag (we made it out of rocks!), something Saucony (my favorite Peregrine shoes) and something sharp (there was construction on the road up Millcreek and the whole road was torn up; the claws on the CAT equipment were the sharp item). We took the scavenger hunt very seriously and got second place!

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Jacks Peak. This was the next stop on Geof and I's Peak Project. Geof had been dealing with a pulled glute from his Wahsatch Steeplechase race, so he hiked this while I ran. It turns out his glute injury was worse than we thought because after this hike, he realized he couldn't run or hike downhill well and hasn't been able to run since (even through today and we are nearing the end of July now). I'm hoping he has a speedy recovery! I miss my regular running buddy!

Hall Of Breakfast

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Last month, I went to Hall Of Breakfast, an interactive pop-up art experience that celebrates the most important meal of the day. I have some friends who were involved with the project and created murals for the rooms inside. I was excited to visit and see their work, as well as experience the fun exhibit. The different rooms inside each pay tribute to a popular breakfast food and there are a few food samples to try! I loved seeing all of the hard work that went into this. Even though the exhibit is kind of on the small side, Geof and I ended up staying for over forty minutes.

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The exhibit runs through July 31st in Salt Lake City. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Get them here (general admission: $20 / children: $15).