Weekend Wrap Up: 18 “Running with the Hugging Race Bandit”

June 15, 2015

Race Weekend!  
Saturday was my first half marathon of the summer! The Utah Valley Half.  

Since I’m kinda crazy and signed up for the Utah Valley Half and the American Fork Half which are two weeks apart, I decided I would just see how this one went.  I didn’t need to push it, just run and have fun.

I managed to make to Provo and through the running expo with all five crazy kids to pick up my packet that morning…without me losing it (too much).  I kinda feel like that deserved a medal in itself.  My older boys are old enough to stay home most of the time, but sometimes they have to go with me places, and they are the worst out of all 5 kids. Yes.  I’m running a circus sometimes.

I really like the running shirts.  I love that they are race specific.  

I didn’t think I was nervous about the race, until I needed to go to bed the night before, then I just could NOT sleep. Ask my husband, I generally have no problem falling asleep.  Usually he finds me snoozing away with my kindle next to me by 9:30.  But not the night before the race.  I was so nervous about getting there!

Long story short, I slept horrible and 3:00 came way too early.  My neighbor (who is AWESOME) picked me up at 3:30 and drove me down to the mall and dropped me off.  Who get’s up for their friends at 3 in the morning?  I am one lucky girl to have a friend like her.    I jumped on the first bus I found and then we headed up the canyon.

We got bused up the canyon and it was SO cold and SO dark.  They had fire pits lining the road. That was really nice.  I need to remember to take a silver emergency blanket with me to the American Fork race, because lots of people had those and you totally need it!  Standing around in the canyon for an hour in the dark gets cold! I walked around, played on my phone, used the porta-potties, listened to other people’s funny conversations, talked to some people who came from Texas to run.  You know, made some friends.I forgot my friend Kate was running, I should have found her!  I started and canceled my watch a couple times and it always picked up the signal right away so I wasn’t too worried about it taking a while to find me when I started running.  

Then it came time to line up!  Woo Hoo! I picked a spot pretty close to the 2:10 pacer.  And with 5 minutes till start I tried to start my watch….and nothing. WHAT?!  It was stuck loading. and loading and loading.  Finally the race started and I tried a couple times to start it again during my first mile, but at mile I decided not to worry about it anymore and turned on my phone. 

In the end I think this was a good for me.  I ran without looking at my pace the whole time. I ran what felt good and comfortable.  

This was SUCH a pretty course.  We ran past Bridal Veil Falls and down the canyon.  There were a couple small hills, but nothing too crazy.  And the downhill was so nice.  The first mile was really slow because it was pretty crowded, but then it seemed to get better.  I kept the 2:10 pacer in front of me for a while and then passed her and then kept her behind me the rest of the time.  There was a cute Boy Scout Troop passing out gu and drinks at the mile 6 station.  They also had dutch oven treats!?!  I’m pretty sure I could’t eat anything from a dutch oven and keep running, but they were cute.

Now…getting to the heart of the story….
 ”Running with the Hugging Race Bandit

Around mile 7/8 I started running besides another runner and we stuck it out to the end together.  I’ve decided I’m such a social runner.  I didn’t have music during the course either (long story).  So anyway, I made a friend. I’m such a talker.  I make friends almost anywhere I go. 

And I’ve been teased over and over about this all weekend, because yes, the runner was a guy.

FYI: my husband says he is used to me making friends with anyone, anywhere, he said it really didn‘t bother him, but he loves to tease me.

Also FYI: I did try to run with another girl, but she stopped at a water stop and took a long break and said she was hurt.  So yeah…I ran the last 5/6 miles with a guy runner (who’s name was Dave), that I met.  He was pretty nice, he said he had run the course before and he had run a couple Ironmans.  So I figured he knew what he was doing.  He was really good at coaching and encouraging.  I told him I really wanted to come in around 2 hours and he helped me do that. 
After a couple miles I don’t know how it came up, but he said he hadn’t even registered for the race! Maybe I should have clued in to the fact he wasn’t wearing a bib, but I wasn’t really paying attention to what anyone was wearing.

What?  He told me he does this stuff all the time, he just jumps in and runs.  I asked him how he got on the bus, since we had to show a bib.  He said he just drove his car up the canyon as far as he could and then walked the rest of the way.  I asked what he did at the end…he said he still takes a medal! What!?  What!?  My mind was completely blown over this.  (But I guess not too much because I kept running with him, but seriously, it was around mile 9-10 and I couldn’t just run away from him at this point.  I had to stay at my pace to finish)

So yeah…I was running with a running bandit.  But he was a good coach. So give me a hard time about it all you want.  I was able to give it all I had at the end and I felt really good coming across the finish line.

Then at the finish line the running bandit gave me a (SIDE) hug and said good job.  And BOY did my husband and all our friends have a good time giving me a hard time about the hug.  I haven’t stopped hearing  the jokes.  I might not ever.  Maybe my husband should take up running. Then I wouldn’t have to hug strangers. ha!

My official finishing time was 2:07:09.  I would have loved to be around 2:05, but I still feel really good about 2:07.  I had a 9:42 average pace and ran mile 4 in 8:38, which is so good for me!

I wore my Arches Foot and Ankle shirt…tired to drum up some business, but I was only able to drum up side hugs from strange runner bandits instead.

My sister (and running mentor) showed up to cheer me on.  She stopped around mile 8 but had missed me, but I saw her around mile 10 holding up the most awesome sign I’ve ever seen.  

Run Fast Debbi…There is Diet Coke Waiting!!!

Even my running bandit friend thought that was funny.

She’s a pretty good sister to come and cheer me on!  She was waiting at the finish line…and yes, she really did have a nice cold Diet Coke for me.  Because she’s an awesome sister like that.

And no joke…I needed a lot of diet coke too that day…because the day was full.  After the race the boys had to mow lawns, my oldest daughter had a dance recital and then on 2 hours of sleep we went on an ATV/Ranger ride with some friends that ended up all night.  (no kidding).

But it was all worth it and I got a small nap on Sunday after church.
Now I get some easy runs in the next couple weeks and get to do it all again!
I can’t wait until the American Fork Half in a couple weeks!

And the best part?  My husband is coming to the finish line of that race…so no awkward hugs with any strange men running bandits!

11 days and counting.  Can’t wait!

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