If I'm being honest about why I haven't posted anything for two weeks.. or more.. it's all Halloween's fault. Stefan and I made killer Halloween costumes, but never took a good picture of them. I kept waiting for us to get all dressed up again (yes, just to take the picture. these things are important.) but it hasn't happened yet. So for now we're skipping it. Not forever, just for now. Oh and also I was just somehow really channeling my crafty/homemaker side and made these killer Halloween treats that also need to be documented, so look out for that truly exciting and also very after the fact post coming soon.
Moving on. I did document the weekend after Halloween pretty well, so let's go there. Moab!
Over the summer my dad and some of his brother's signed up for the Moab Trail Marathon. I knew I hadn't been running enough and definitely didn't have enough time to start training and run it with them. But I really wanted to do a race before this winter, and I really wanted to go to Moab. I had never been! So I signed up for the half-marathon instead of the full, and only worried a little bit about running my first trail race.
The day before the race was so fun. My dad picked me up, and we took off on our three hour drive south. One stop at Wal-Mart to load up on Dr. Pepper, Gatorade, bagels, bananas, and a long sleeve "throw away" shirt for me. (Totally never threw it away though - new long sleeve running shirt for me! Thanks, Dad! (The first of many "Thanks Dad"s throughout the weekend.)) But also I got to just talk with my dad for three whole hours, and stuff like that is so nice once you're all grown up. Once we made it to Moab we met up with my aunt and uncle at the "race expo." Hahaha, I'm laughing just remembering it. Most big races have their expo/packet pick up the night before at a big hotel or convention center. Tons of companies will come and set up booths to sell running products or hand out samples. I can remember some of the expos we've gone to where our family could easily stay for an hour or two just to look around and sample everything! Oh, Moab. Not in Moab. For this race we picked up our packets on the side lawn of this tiny drive-in burger place. Probably three or four tables set up next to the building, less than a dozen volunteers handing out packets and shirts, definitely no booths with free samples. But even though I laughed and I'm still laughing, it all kind of seemed to fit Moab really well.
After "carbo-loading" with pizza, we all passed on the hotel pool and headed to bed. The next morning went smoothly, except the part where it was pretty cold and my fingers started turning a little blue.. Once we made it into the sun and started running they were fine. All the runners were divided up into five starting waves, but we easily could have been split into ten. Each wave was packed tight at the starting line. And I know at least for our wave it was hard to really run for the first couples miles because it was too crowded. I kept up with my dad and two uncles for about the first three miles, but then I started too lose them in the crowd and just let it happen. I knew I needed to take it slow anyway because I really had no idea what to expect from this race and I didn't want to burn out in the beginning. I had to finish it!
The course was really difficult for me at some spots, if I'm being honest. It really threw everything at you - first you're running on rocks (big rocks, big rocks you have to climb up and jump off), then you're running through sand, then you are basically scaling a huge mountain, then you're running through more rocks along the side of a cliff, then you're running through a rive (slash ice bath). I mean, they really weren't kidding about it being a trail race. Plus! In the next picture you can see the point at about mile nine where we were all bottlenecked for about a half hour. (I'm sure everyone's wait time there varied - mine was roughly thirty minutes.) There was a spot in the course where the only way to get through was to jump down between two huge rocks that any average-sized adult would have to turn sideways to fit through. So it was pretty narrow and a bit high, so for some people it was definitely intimidating. I'm sure all it took was a few nervous, hesitant people to start backing up the line and eventually.. we made it to this. Luckily most people weren't feeling too competitive at this point. And I'm sure that for those who cared, the race officials adjusted finish times.
LOOK at that river! (Creek? Big creek, small river.) Regardless, it was freezing. And so deep at some spots it almost reached my shorts. I remember reading on the race website that the half marathon course went through water at one point, but we seriously had to cross over or straight through this thing a dozen times. Luckily it was during the last few miles, not the first.
Overall, it was a fun race. But of course it's over a week later as I write this, and these kinds of memories always look prettier with time. hashtag girls camp. It was tough, but I think I would do it again. (I'd never do the full marathon here though, I heard from just about everyone who ran it that it was way too brutal. The half was perfect.) Plus as tough as the race was, it was also in Moab so.. the scenery was beautiful. I really felt like I was running through Radiator Springs half the time. Naturally my iPhone pictures do it all no justice.. And it seriously was a constant battle over whether to watch the ground as I ran to avoid tripping and face planting on the rocks or to look up and enjoy the view. Luckily with the non-competitive nature of the race, everyone was stopping to take pictures and look around whenever they felt like it. So thanks for the good times, Moab and everyone who was there with me! Maybe we'll be back next year. Maybe.