Last weekend I ran the Canyon to Canyon Half Marathon for my first and last time! It should have more appropriately been named Rollercoaster to Rollercoaster Half Marathon, or Mountain After Mountain Half Marathon. YIKES! If you want to A) get a serious hill/mountain workout for 13.1 miles B)Get an extra tight bum from said hill workout or C) torture yourself, then this is the race for you!!
I however was not privy to this information BEFORE I ran the race. The website said "gently rolling hills." Ummmmm OK. Not even close. There was no elevation map on the website either. (That should have clued me in!) You get the point right, it was super hilly! INSANELY hilly!
So the first mile actually wasn't too bad. It was "rolling hills" on a road. After one mile you turned onto a dirt/gravel road that ran through the mountains and that's where the real craziness began. My watch beeps at every mile. I thought for sure I had missed the mile 2 beep. I looked at my watch and couldn't believe it said 1.56! WHAT! I was hitting the WALL at 1.56. WOW. I knew at that point, this race was about survival! Apparently hills are not my forte. They suck the life right out of me. This course was an out and back, so there was no getting excited about going down hills. I knew my buns would eventually be turned around going up them. Luckily I had my neighbor Kristi running with me. We kept each other going. We started naming the hills cuss words so that we wouldn't technically be cussing. (I'm not proud of my actions, just telling it like it is :>) When we got to about mile 5, we started seeing people coming back at us. We were deliriously tired and that made us act as if we were drunk or something. We started cheering like mad women for the runners coming at us yelling the most crazy/obnoxious things. At the time, we thought it was HILARIOUS! Looking back, people probably either loved or hated us. Some things I remember yelling, "It's all downhill from here." "I love hills and so do my buns." "You're almost there!" "Keep going, you're kicking my butt!" "You are the wind beneath my wings." "You are my hero!" "You're awesome!" "YES! Calorie Up ladies(three ladies were frantically taking gel packs around a garbage can)" That's just what I remember. So we made it to the turn around and got a drink and started to head back. We actually felt WAY better on the way back then on the way there. We got in a good groove and went with it. I decided to count hills on the way back, but at mile nine I went up a HUGE hill and forgot that I was counting hills. I was at 14. At this same time, Kristi got ahead of me about 20 yards. So I put on my iPod and worked to catch back up. I caught her at mile 10.5. I took out one earbud so we could still talk. We finished pretty strong. We split 6 minutes faster on the way back than on the Way there. Nice huh. Toward the end, I just wanted to beat the girl wearing the same skirt as me. (Why am I such an idiot???) I totally did it! When we crossed the finish line, I grabbed Kristi's hand and raised them up in victory. :)
Our official time was 2 hours 10 minutes 5 seconds. Yikes. My personal slowest. But I really don't care because I conquered Mt. Everest that day, like 50 times! OR MORE!
P.S. My buns have yet to recover!
P.S.S. The car in front of us hit a dear on the way up the canyon! CRAZY. Ummm, glad it wasn't us.
Waiting in the car for the race to start. We are so clueless.