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The Ogden Half Marathon was definitely a success!
Ok, so I finally remembered to take pictures during this race. Taking pictures is something I’ve been historically terrible at…so I really made an effort to take photos this time. And there will be a ton of pictures in this post!
Ogden Half Marathon Race Goals
I didn’t have a time goal for this race. This feels weird to say, but honestly my goal was just to finish and enjoy the race!
If I’m being completely real with you, I did NOT feel like running a half marathon this weekend. I’m used to the big training build-up before a race, peaking, and then tapering. And…I kinda did that with this race. Well, actually I peaked by running/walking a half marathon that went terribly the weekend before. And then I got a couple short runs in this week. After that, I took Thursday and Friday off to “taper” for the Ogden Half Marathon on Saturday.
There is such thing as racing too often, and I think I’ve hit my limit. Well, for half marathons at least. Now I’ve done 3 half marathons in the past 5 weeks and…I’m tired. Thus, my next half marathon won’t be until September, and I’ll talk about that more at the end of this post.
Must-Have Half Marathon Gear
There are several items I wouldn’t get caught without during a half marathon. Because today was raining, I added a couple extras on the end of my must-have list.
This is my must-have gear for a half marathon:
- Bib Number! (And safety pins)
- Comfortable Running Tights
- Long-Sleeve Shirt (For cold races, such as today)
- PRO Compression Marathon Socks
- Saucony ISO Triumph Running Shoes
- Reliable, Comfortable Sports Bra
- Body Glide!!!
- Honey Stinger or Huma Gels (I used both for this race)
- Generation UCAN Sports Drink
- URPOWER Running Belt
- Bose Soundsport Headphones
- Custom Oakley Half Jacket Sunglasses (I usually run with these, but I didn’t actually bring them today because it was raining and cloudy.)
- Phone Armband
- For the rain: Brooks Jacket Waterproof Shell
- For the rain: Nike Dri Fit Running Hat
Race Morning Routine
The morning of the Ogden Half Marathon, I ate my usual favorite pre-race breakfast of oatmeal, peanut butter, Nutella, and a banana.
Since we only live about 15 minutes away from the starting area, my husband opted to just drop me off by the bus loading area, and then head back to sleep for a few hours…I can’t say I blame him one bit!
It was really freaking early because we had to ride buses up to the starting area. If you miss the bus, you don’t have another way to get to the starting line because they close down the road through the canyon. We arrived at the starting area about 45 minutes before the start. And it was raining pretty good…so we all got soaked.
About 15 minutes before the start, I shed my extra layers, put my race gear on, and checked my gear bag with the volunteers.
Inside the Ogden Half Marathon: Recapping the Miles
It rained. A lot.
It was basically raining the whole time until maybe the last mile when we got into Ogden. Through the whole canyon though, it was raining. At the start, it was raining.
The forecast clearly predicted rain. And it rained. The whole time.
Ok, I’m going to move on now…
Ogden Half Marathon Start through Mile 4ish
The starting area wasn’t super organized…it seemed like everyone waited until the last minute to pull away from the little bonfires and covered areas to get soaked before the race started.
There weren’t any corrals like in Salt Lake, the pacers just spaced themselves out and stuck their signs up in the air. I worked my way about halfway between the 2:00 and 2:15 pacer and figured that was about good enough for the start.
When we crossed the chip mats, I started the stopwatch on my Fitbit, and Map My Run on my phone.
I don’t know what the heck happened to my GPS signal, but maybe ¼ mile in, my GPS said 3 miles and I was like “Aw hell no, not even close!” So I pulled my phone out, deleted that session, and started a new session so I could at least get an idea of my split paces.
Although at that point, my GPS was off for the total distance and time. Great, so that’s useless for predicting my overall time.
The first few miles were a few small ups and downs, with a net elevation gain being about level. My splits were right around 10:10 per mile.
Nice and easy, I thought.
No need to rush this, I just need to make sure my knee can hold on longer than last weekend. It is SO HARD to hold back at the beginning when everyone is passing you and the adrenaline is pumping. But I held on…
I was able to check my stopwatch against the mile markers, which confirmed that I was averaging a 10:10 pace.
At mile 4, I pulled out my first Honey Stinger Gel and downed it.
Mile 4ish through Mile 10ish
I say “ish” because my memory is a little skewed between listening to incorrect mile markers on my phone and seeing the actual mile markers on the side of the road. Some of these miles just blend together.
After mile 4, I started to speed up a little bit as the elevation also started dropping. This was the point where I just got into my “cruising” speed where I zoned out to my music and let the miles tick by.
I kept on cruising through the miles. Another one down, another one down. I downed my second Honey Stinger gel at mile 7, and then saved my Huma gel for mile 10. At each aid station, I took water and drank a few sips quick before continuing on.
Mile 10 through Mile 12
It was around mile 10ish that I realized my time wasn’t that bad, and I might have a chance at getting close to my personal record even though I hadn’t planned on coming anywhere near it on this race. Even though my legs were tired, they still felt pretty good.
They must’ve felt pretty good…because I started passing people left and right. I wasn’t really even trying to at first, I was just trying to keep my cadence quick and shoulders tall.
Keep pushing through to the end and finish strong. Push that cadence, keep it quick, focus on form. Keep pushing.
Once I noticed how quickly I was passing people, it became a little bit of a game. I kept pushing and turning my feet over, and I’d pass a few more people.
This is an intoxicating experience, and I highly recommend it. When you have the strength and conditioning to keep pushing at the end of a long race when everyone else is fading, it gives you so much adrenaline and compounds the effect even further.
Mile 12 Through the Finish
I turned onto the last mile, and I could see the finish ahead. The sun even came out for the occasion! Even though I knew it was the last mile, the finish line still seemed so far away. Too far to sprint. Just keep the cadence up. Keep pushing.
Finally, when I saw the 13 mile marker, I knew it was time to give it my all, and I pushed as hard as I could into the end, passing 6 more people on the final stretch!
The clock said 2:12:something as I crossed the timing mats, but I really didn’t care what it said.
I felt so great at the end that it didn’t matter what my time was. What mattered was that I had conquered the half marathon distance feeling my strongest yet, especially after suffering a painful race the weekend before.
With that satisfaction, I collected my obligatory post-race free snacks, grabbed my gear check bag, found my husband, took a few quick pics, and headed home.
After we got home, I looked up race results. I finished in 2:10:02! Less than 2 minutes away from my half marathon personal record. Not bad!
I did some stretching as we walked around after I crossed the finish line, plus some more when I got home. Even though I had a few post-run snacks including a delicious slice of honey wheat bread at the finish line, I still grabbed my Generation UCAN post-run recovery shake to help my muscles get started with the healing process.
After I got home, it was All-I-Could-Drink Nuun for the rest of the day! Nuun is so nummy…you have to try it!
What’s Next for Me?
As I mentioned above, I’m going to take a break from the half marathon distance…at least for the summer. I’m signed up for the Air Force Half Marathon, which is mid-September. At that race, my goal is a new half marathon personal record, and hopefully to break the 2-hour mark.
Other than that, I’m signed up for a 10k on Memorial Day, because I really need to update my 10k personal record. I haven’t tackled this distance since my not-so-great Thanksgiving run last fall, so it’s about time that I set a new PR for this distance. After that, I’ll probably do a 5k on the 4th of July before I put my head down and start a dedicated half marathon plan leading into September. I need to update my 5k PR as well, so I’m hoping this summer is a great time for new records all around!
Have you ever run a race without a specific time goal? How did it feel?
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About Me: I’m Alexis, Founder of RunningMyBestLife! I am an avid recreational runner, half marathoner, wife, dog mom, busy professional, downhill skier in Northern Utah. My mission is to help new enthusiasts fall in love with the sport of running. I believe that running is a catalyst to taking control of your life and living your best life by design. Learn More –>