Having Some Fall Fun!

I LOVE THE FALL!  This is my favorite time of year.  I feel like I can slow down and really take things in that get away from me in the hub-bub of the rest of the year.  I finished up my racing season this year with the St. George Marathon (with a Boston Qualifying time of 3:37.44…..Yippeee!!!!).  After this race I began my recovery and slothfulness that takes me through to January 🙂

This post-season, I decided to race a few smaller local races that I had always overlooked.  I stuck the two kids in the bike trailer (converted to a double jogger) and hit the start line of the Save-a-Sister 10K on October 23rd.  I was so proud of Sydney (my almost 5 year old daughter) who ran about 1.25 miles of this race and we still finished in a competitive 53 minutes.  Can I tell you how much I love to hear other people’s comments as I push 100lbs of kid and stroller?  It is hilarious and inspiring.  Slowing down a bit shows me that we all work equally hard out there on the race course.  We all have ups and downs and we all eventually get to the finish.  This race reminded me that it doesn’t matter where you place, just get out their and be inspired by others.

My favorite Fall workout is my yearly ride in Zion when the Autumn colors are peaking.  My good friend and favorite training partner, Chanda, met me in LaVerkin on October 31st for a 50 or so mile ride to the Temple of Sinawava (the top of Zion Canyon).  Chanda and I ride this course each year in remembrance of our dear from Clair Jensen, who passed away far too soon 3 years ago.   He was the man who taught me to truly appreciate what I could accomplish.  He always showed me that boundaries were limitless and that stopping and smelling the roses every once in a while wasn’t a crime.  This ride never ceases to disappoint.  Even though we were a little early for the full beauty of the fall foliage, the hours of girl talk was well worth it.

On November 6th, St. George hosts their popular Snow Canyon 1/2 Marathon.  I ran this race back in 2007 with a great time, but paid for the downhill course all winter long.  I decided to sit out this year hoping to spare myself from injury and just ran the 5K with the kiddos in the trailer (my kids love to race!).  The 5K proved to be a difficult course (at least with a heavy stroller) with many sharp ups and downs.  I don’t believe I will race this one again without brakes on the stroller 🙂  We (the kids and I) did well and even took home a 3rd place medal in my age-division.  Sydney really wanted a silver, but what can I say……I was pretty happy with a bronze under the circumstances……I promised to do better next time.

The best part of the Snow Canyon events was watching one of my clients finish her first 1/2 marathon.  Less than a year ago, her doctor told her that she would not be able to run due to injuries to her lower legs and other underlying conditions.  I watched her push herself this year and accomplish a 5k, 10k, 10 miler and 12 miler.  WOW!  I really don’t have the words to express how proud I was.  She made it all the way to the end and in beautiful fashion.  Finishing just over a 2:18.  Impressive!  Once again, I believe I’m more inspired by those who are just seeing their potential in these types of events, than the pros who have been doing it for years!

Though I finished up my triathlon season the last weekend of August with the Utah Half Ironman, I put on the quick- laces and broke out the new wheels for the SHAC Turkey Triathlon, November 13th.  Both of my kids came down sick the same week and my racing status was up in the air right up until the night before, but I made it with the help of a kind Aunt who was willing to babysit all the hacking and coughing.  This is one of my favorite short courses (there is a sister race in the Spring which I have done twice before).  It is fast and challenging.  It is one of the best speed workouts $35.00 can buy.  I think I also love this race because it brings out new athletes!  It is short enough for those people who have never attempted a triathlon before.  NEWBIES ARE THE BEST!  I tip my hat (well helmet in this case) to all of them!  Triathlon is not the easiest sport.  There is a lot of training and set-up that goes into preparing and executing this type of a race.  It is fun watching someone find the joy that comes at the finish line.

The only problem with this race (both Spring and Fall) is that it is notoriously FREEZING!!!!  That morning in transition there was actually frost on the grass.  YIKES!  Do you know how cold it is to run out of a 83 degree pool and ride a bike soaking wet at 20 mph?  Brrrrrrrrrrrr.  Because this was a pool swim and only so many people can swim at one time, my strategy was to hang back and let the sun come up for as long as possible before I had to take the plunge.  This worked out beautifully.  I didn’t need a jacket over my jersey and was actually fairly comfortable on the bike (at least I didn’t get frost-bite)

I felt that I had a strong race, but was unsure of my actual time.  Timing was a little difficult because they had not attached my name to my number.  Once I resolved that problem I was pleasantly surprised with a PR (personal record) for the course.  In the Spring I had completed the race in 1:00.07 and this time came in at 59:45.  Breaking the hour mark was a big accomplishment for me.  The race is a 400 yard swim, 10 mile bike, and a 3 mile run.  I was happy with all aspects of my performance and even more excited that the rest of the female field was 6 minutes behind my time.  Going into this race, I didn’t really know what to expect because my training had been sporadic and I was christening a new racing bike.  I am off-season and enjoying it……too say the least.  I’m just glad that my summer fitness seemed to stick around for this race!

Thanksgiving is next week and Adam (my husband) and I have decided to attempt to stay off the phones and away from work for the majority of the week.  It will be great.  I’m looking forward to some long workouts, good food and lots of family.  I think Thanksgiving was given to us as an early Christmas gift.  Bring on the holidays and don’t forget your Black Friday ads 🙂

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