Well, here it is. The verdict you have been waiting for. Let me first say that the profile for the Tetons Half Marathon from Vacation Races will be almost 100% correct. Give or take a few things it was pretty damn close to being exactly what we were expecting. The distance (as you know) Is a half marathon, so a total of 13.2 miles, and as always those races, no matter the location can be ball busters just from the idea of having to run the 13 miles alone, and I never ever recommend running that distance cold.
So with that being said the Tetons half marathon was probably one of my favorite half marathons I've done. The race itself had a small section that was gradual with the rise in elevation and it was mostly a flat paved road. They do say that there is a section that's gravel but it's only the last two and a half miles and really it doesn't affect the running much if at all. Really what affects the running is the fact that you are running at 6000 - 6500 feet of elevation and if you are dehydrated or have the runs or something then that could impact the run itself which I, unfortunately, had the effects of dehydration against me.
See before every race I drink a lot of coffee and this morning was no exception. With getting up at 3 a.m and having to walk lylah around to let her do her business and also be race-ready I was definitely in need of a pick me up. I slept really well by going to bed around 5-6 p.m just to make sure I didn't get dicked with the sleeping situation at hand. Now the race itself doesn't start until 6:30 but the problem is that they close the parking lot (where the race line starts) and 5 a.m and if you are not there then you have to go to Teton village which is pretty far away to just park the car. Once you start the race you are going to the finish 13 miles away and will then be shuttled back to the parking lot or parking area you ended up at. It's quite the spectacle and we wanted it to be as easy as possible. The solution? Be up at 3 a.m to have the first pot of coffee and then make a second pot (to go) in the truck with us and we sit in the parking lot until 20 before.
At this time we're waiting we are drinking coffee but guess what I forgot to drink a bottle of as well? Water. good old-fashioned water and with that decision being made I dicked myself. When the race started it was not only beautiful but the perfect area to push myself. Sadly that was not the case. with any long-distance run, I always pull back a lot. the first half of it I try to stay in the 9- 10 range just to get a feeling for my body and to know what I'm up against. Staying in that time zone is also staying in the orange threshold on my watch (which means I'm pushing but not overexerting myself) but when the 2nd mile went off with a time of 9:40 and in the red zone and max heart rate I knew I had to pull back immediately. I was surprised by this realization of how slow I would have to be but I also knew that it was necessary. 2 miles in and already maxing out is not ideal and you would not make it far if you kept that up.
So pulling back I kept onward slowly but surely. The time range predicted for me was between 2 hours and 2 hours and 15 minutes with the wave I was in and it was not far off in the end. With the fact that I was running slower than normal (due to dehydration) and the fact that by the last leg I had a stitch that was making it painful to run and breathe at mile 12 I still managed to run a pace good enough to get my time at 2 hours and 16 minutes. I placed 61 out of over 200 women in my age group and I loved the views every second of the run. Not only that but I got to experience it with my father. I know that it's not easy to run halves and I know that he did one with me last year but I'm glad he did another one with me. Making memories and running together means a lot and I got to experience such a beautiful course with him. we even ran into each other on the course a few times (he had a few poop experiences, hehehe) and I was glad to see him (for the most part) enjoying the course.
All in all, if you plan to do a half marathon for the first time I recommend this course. It's flat, it's beautiful and it is just an experience so rewarding to cross that finish line in such a miraculous place.
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