Blue Sky Marathon

So, is it just me, or do I seem to have more "learning experiences" than other runners I know?

There was the time I learned a tough lesson about eating enough on the run. And a really uncomfortable race that taught me a lot about training & hydration, and staying cool in the heat.

Overall I enjoyed yesterday's Blue Sky Marathon, but made some pacing errors early on that I hope not to repeat. I'll narrate the story mile by mile. Here goes:

Mile 1: "So cold! Must speed up a little to warm up."

Miles 2-3.1: "I love this trail. I feel soooo good. This is gonna be fun."

Miles 3.1-5: "A big steep hill! My favorite thing! It'll feel twice as good to push up it even harder Bring it on!"

Miles 5-8: "Downhill! Wheeeeeeeeee!"

Mile 9: "Uh-oh... did I really clock that last mile in 8 minutes? I should slow down or I'll pay for this later."

Mile 11: "Eek! Another 8:00 split?! I need to slow down. SLOW DOWN!"

Mile 13: "Here comes another hill. Bring it on! Yeah!"

Mile 13.5: "Uh-oh... this feels tougher than the first hill, even though it's less steep. That fast start must be catching up to me."

Miles 18-20: "Ouch! This slickrock is... well... hard as rock. Feet starting to get sore. Heat starting to get a little uncomfortable."

Miles 20.3-22: "I could swear this hill was a lot shorter on the way out than it is now, on the way back..."

Mile 25: "Just a mile more. Just a mile more."

Mile 26.2: "Wasn't the race supposed to be over at this point?!"

Mile 27: "Whew! The finish line!"

I'm not usually one to go out too fast, but I did yesterday, and it caught up to me later on. It's good to, as so many people say, "listen to your body" when you're on the run. But your head needs to be in control of the race plan, and yesterday my head should've taken charge earlier on, so that the part of me that was saying "let's FLY!" could be reined in by the part of me that would say "let's be a little more strategic here about how we use our energy resources."

The volunteers at yesterday's race were amazing, and the course marshals made a point of cheering for every runner by name as they jotted down our bib numbers. "Go Ashley!" is so much more motivating than "Go, runner 100!" So thank you, volunteers!

The BEST part about yesterday's race had nothing to do with me - it was seeing my friends who had just finished their first half marathons (yes, I mean YOU, Ali and Andrea!) as well as Heather, who ran a very strong race, and Sarah, who paced Andrea in the half. Running isn't much fun by yourself, and I am incredibly lucky to be a part of such a rockin' group of runners.

Best running team ever! Nice work today, ladies!

Best running team ever! Nice work today, ladies!

See you on the trail!