My husband has inspired me to get back to writing my blog! He has consistently kept up with a weekly post, partly to keep himself accountable to his training. It’s been awesome to watch him come so far in the last two years. Check out his blog!
Some awesome things have happened since I last was active here and I’ll be sure to share each of those in their own post. The biggest thing to have happened to us as a family is that we were finally able to grow! We welcomed miss Juniper last July and as always with babies, our routines have been thrown out the window!
I was unable to run while pregnant so my energy became focused on helping my husband train for his first 70.3 Ironman in St. George. Since having Juniper, life still hasn’t returned to normal and my training has gone very poorly.
I created a team for the Ragnar Trails that was coming up in May hoping it would kick my butt in gear…and because it would just be fun. Unfortunately it’s been difficult to fit in the time to train how I would like, especially out in the mountain – can’t always take a stroller! So with sub par training in mind, I give you my race report!
We knew that planning our trip down to St. George would be interesting this year. The St. George Ironman and Ragnar Trails were scheduled only a week apart. Juniper hates being in the car for too long and we live 6 hours away. I did not want to drive down twice in one week if we could avoid it. So we decided to leave on a Thursday and came home 10 days later!
Friday we spent getting Shane set up. He organized his transition stations and made sure his mind was in the right place. He wanted to get a swim in the water at Sand Hollow, but ran out of time.
Dennis ran in Ironkids that night and seemed to have an enjoyable time. There were WAY more kids running this year than last – it was like a river of children that just didn’t end. Dennis loved earning himself a medal!
Saturday morning, very early, my father in law took Shane to the shuttle so he could head over for the swim. We were concerned that me leaving would mean Juniper starting her day at 5 am.
It poured. We saw the clouds, they were large and very dark. From a distance you could see water pouring from them. Last year, Ironman was hot. So, so hot! I woried that Shane would be further broken down by the heat and possibly not finish. Somehow he managed to. This year it rained. It rained while he was swimming. It poured while he rode. I’m not sure how dry he managed to get during the run! Overall, this year proved much better for him. He cut his time by over two hours and qualified for an official time. He’s put in a lot of hard work and it showed by his performance!
Later that night I decided I needed to try to get a run in. There’s lots of hills in St. George and I needed to take advantage of them. My longest run in Zions would be nearly 8 miles. I had only trained for 3. That ended up being the only run I was able to get in before my relay.
Later in the week we switched hotels before leaving for Zions Thursday morning. We got through check in and saved enough spots for my other teammates to pitch their tents.
The last time I ran this relay, we got snowed out. I had a total panic attack because I was not prepared to run in the snow. I don’t like cold and wet. It doesn’t work for me. That year I was only able to get 2 of my 3 runs in.
There was no snow or even rain forecast for my relay! Yippee! This made me very happy. I had sun, warm temps, my family, and a thermarest to sleep on. Good feelings all around. I felt ready.
Team start time was at 11:30 am. Runner 1 headed out and we all waited our turn. Each runner came back ready to share how they felt the trail was. I was the first to run the red loop and if I was the cursing type, there might have been several words to fly out my mouth. I was runner #3 and I started right in the hottest part of the day, over 90 degrees! My first run was 7.8 miles and my trail did not have shade. The sun beat down on me through every ascent, descent, and rolling hill. The views were spectacular. Southern Utah really is so beautiful!
About a mile in I realized my watch was not tracking properly. I tried to restart it a few times, but nothing worked. I was going to have to push myself the whole way without knowing how much farther. I also decided at this time that my black tank top was not helping me stay cool. Off it went! Much better!
3 miles in and I finally came to an aide station. I had already been using the water from my pack to cool off my burning skin. I did the same at the aide station – poured water in my hands and rubbed it all over me. That felt good, but not for long.
I had my supplements and my water, but I was running out. I felt so hot but could tell that my body was pushing through the distance just fine.
At mile 6 I came upon a volunteer cheering runners on. He asked if I had enough water and after passing him I realized I probably should have gotten more.
Mile 7 another volunteer. No water offer. Almost there. One foot in front of the other.
Got to the switchbacks. They were horrible but I got up there. I walked and told the campers cheering people on at the top that they had the best view as they watched us climb up the hill. They encouraged me to keep running, I was so close.
So I did. It might have been slow and more of a trot, but I moved my legs. I heard my husband yell some words of encouragement as I strolled into the finisher coral.
It was hot. So hot.
That chair looks nice, I think I’ll sit down a minute.
I then realized how dizzy I was. I gave myself a few minutes to cool off and tried to stand up.
Still dizzy. Gave myself a few more minutes.
At this point I realized I might need some help. I watched all the busy runners going in and out as they switched off. I watched the volunteers and tried to pick out whose attention would be easiest to get. I finally flagged someone down and barely got out that I might need some help. Right away someone came over.
They poured ice water on me. It was so cold it was hard to breathe. They did it again over my head. Breathing pace began to increase. As the cold faded I realized my feet and face were buzzing. How weird. I relayed this to the woman helping me. She gave me another minute and then decided it was time for the medics.
At this point I knew my husband had been waiting outside for me. I figured he was probably wondering if I was still in there or if he had missed me coming out. Took me a few tries, but I finally got someone to let him know what was going on. They tested blood pressure, sugar, temperature. I was doing really well…even though I was now slurring my speech. It was my salt. I hadn’t taken enough on my run and I was completely depleted. I am definitely a salt sweater and usually this is one of the first things I address when I know I am going on a hot run.
Well eventually my body calmed down, the shock and heat stroke went away. I got some strong electrolytes into me. Had a good headache later on but nothing some Advil and loads of water and food didn’t fix.
My remaining two runs weren’t nearly as eventful and I actually enjoyed them! I was concerned I wouldn’t feel better in time to do my second run, but i was determined as well. My 3.9 mile night run was sometime after midnight. I enjoyed the stars and was grateful it was too dark to see the hills that were coming. The run downhill was a rush. I loved it!
My final run was around 10 am. It was still fairly cool from the evening and so I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a lot of climbing as some parts were too steep to actually run, but I enjoyed my 3.4 mile loop the best. It might have just been the conditions that made it my favorite.
Overall, I enjoyed being able to run all 3 loops of Zions Ragnar Trails this year. The first time I did this, we got snowed out and I couldn’t do my third run. This was a very different experience. I’m so glad they moved the date to a warmer time….even if my body wasn’t prepared for the heat. They took injuries and illnesses seriously and were easily able to resolve any questions.
I’ve got some friends considering doing the Trails in the Tetons in September. Maybe that’s something to consider!
Here are some pics from our adventures!