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Race day re-cap!

So yesterday was the big day.

I’ve been thinking about the day I would run my 10th half marathon for quite a while now.

I wanted to do it last year, but I ran 6 half marathon’s last year and didn’t quite have the energy left at the end of the year to run a 7th. Besides, I thought there would be something poetic about running my 10th half marathon on the same course as my first.  2 years ago, I didn’t think I would ever cross the finish line of my first half marathon, and here I am now with 10  under my belt!

 

I didn’t sleep well the night before the race.  This race had kind of been an after thought in the middle of marathon training. It hasn’t been a focus.  Then, when I woke up, I couldn’t stomach breakfast. I forced down a few bites, but my stomach had no interest in food.

So I hit the road at 8am and headed north.  It was about a 2 hour drive to the race and I wanted to be there with plenty of time to spare.

Being up at that time of day without coffee is not a good idea for me, so I made a Tim Horton’s stop in Ladysmith. I grabbed a mocha & a bagel.  My stomach still wasn’t loving the idea of eating, so I just nibbled on the bagel for the rest of the drive.

I totally lucked out on parking when I got there, someone pulled out of a spot right outside the door just as I pulled in to the parking lot.   I was standing in line to get my race number when @hopebombs popped up right beside me.  We found a place to leave our stuff and headed outside to the start line.

Neither of us were really feeling like this was race day, until the crowd started to gather at the start line, then the race day nerves set in.

I had bandaged up the toe that was damaged on last weekend’s 29K training run  before leaving Shawnigan in the morning, so I was good to go.

All of a sudden, the crowd started to move forward… I guess it was start time.

This race wasn’t about setting a PB. It was simply a celebration of the fact that I was running my 10th half marathon on the same course I had run my first on 2 years earlier.

I settled in to my 10 & 1 routine pretty quick. Tuning out everyone around me.  It wasn’t long before I started to notice the same people passing me on every walk break, only for me to pass them again when I started running.  It started to become a little joke. Each of us saying “hello again” each time we passed.

Somewhere around the 12K mark, I ended up running beside another Running Room runner I knew.  We started to chat about our goals for the race.  I said that I was hoping for 1:55, but would be happy with anything under 2 hours. She said she just wanted to finish.   Pretty soon, I had a walking break, and she kept on running.

The back half of this course is mostly down hill, so you get a chance to give your legs a break and let gravity assist you down the hills. This is where I clocked a few of my faster kilometers.

As I was nearing the 5K to go mark, I started to feel some discomfort in my shoe.  I can best describe it as the feeling of a course grit sandpaper being rubbed vigorously against soft skin.  In other words, the body glide between my toes had worn off, and the bandages protecting the toe that was damaged in last weeks 29K run were basically rubbing my toe raw.

At this point, all I could think about was getting this run over with faster so that the rubbing would stop, so I just kept moving forward, trying to ignore the pain.

Between the 1 mile to go & the 20K  markers, I caught up with the girl I was chatting with at the 12K mark.  She told me that we were at 1:48 at this point.  So, after some quick math in my head, I realized that I had 6 minutes to beat my previous Half Marathon PB.  Well, that was it. As I passed the 20K marker, I took a deep breath, gathered my focus, dug deep and picked up the pace.

When the clock came in to sight at the finish line, I could see it said 1:53:__ on it. That’s when I just gave it.  I dug up every last ounce of energy I had in my body and pushed as hard as I could through that finish line.

Somehow, I managed to run that last 1.1km in 5:18, which brought me in for a chip time of 1:53:26.  43 seconds faster than my previous PB of 1:54:09, set back in October at the Goodlife Fitness Victoria (half) Marathon.

There was a photographer in the finish chute, with a big assed camera lens capturing finish line photos. I DREAD seeing the picture. I am sure I look like death.

 

All in all, it was a great race, and great day.  @hopebombs & I stuck around for the awards & draw prizes.  We didn’t win either.  Turns out I came in 11th in my age group.

 

If you’re a stats geek like me, you can check out my run details here:

Comox Valley Half Marathon by iamthenewme at Garmin Connect – Details.

 

Now it’s time to re-focus on training for the BMO Vancouver Marathon & get mentally prepared to run 32km this weekend!

 

<3 K.

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Congratulations! Nothing like the feeling of beating your personal best! And you’re competing with the only person you really should compete with!

  2. Wendy McElroy (@wendymc) says:

    Nice work on the PB! It sounds like you had fun on the race, too.