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I do it for the bling…

Running up a harsh hill in the Fort Rodd Hill Historic Half Marathon.

I said I wasn’t going race as much this year.

The marathon took a lot out of me last year. It took a lot of time, focus and energy.

I didn’t want to do that this year. I wanted to enjoy my summer, so I decided to focus on the Half Marathon at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon 10-10-10.  It will still take a lot of time, focus and energy, but Sunday runs will be about 2 hours at the longest, not the 4 hours I became familiar with last year!

My plan for this year was to first build my speed and distance back up after having to take 6 weeks off over the winter due to injury. Then I was going to run a couple of key events that were important to me, so I could compare myself to last year, then focus on my October goal race.

Well, then something happened. Back in January, I ran my first race of the year, my first race back from injury & I knocked a minute off of last years time. Then the next race I knocked a minute off, and then 90 seconds came off of the next race… I was on a roll. This was my year!!! Well, my level of competitiveness with myself took over, and before I knew it, I was on a mission.

Well, that went well until the crazy time of year at work took its toll on me, and seriously cut back my time available for running for the last 2 weeks of April… and we know how well that went when I ran the Oak Bay Kool Half Marathon on May 16th, and if you don’t know yet, then you need to go read that blog post.

Man, that was a heart breaker. The first race this year where I didn’t beat last years time! But man oh man, that medal at the end of the race that says “finisher” mostly made up for it!!! Oh the medal, how I love the medal!

See, the great thing about distance running is the pure and simple fact that you don’t have to be the fastest, or the strongest, or the youngest to get a medal, you just have to do it, you just have to finish, and you get a medal! It makes you forget all that hard work and pain and reminds you that what you just did is something most people can’t do, something that is worth a medal!

Isn't it blingtastic?

But, if I was going to stick with my plan, that would mean no more medals until October! YIKES! Could I go that long without a medal? Apparently not.

I had heard some chatter around the running community about this ‘inaugural’ race coming up. The first year of a brand new race, a brand new half marathon, and the route ran right through my neighbourhood. How could I not run it??

How could I not run the inaugural Fort Rodd Hill Historic Half Marathon??

Well the answer to that was pretty simple. There was no way I could run it, the route was WAY too tough!! You guys should see some of the hills on the route, and it was a loop route that had to be run twice!! Are you kidding me?? Wait, what’s that? There’s a medal at the finish line? Oh, well… now you’re talking my language.

Well, after thinking it over and tweeting about with @briwifruit (aka: Bri), we both decided that a medal was worth it.

Damn you medals and your irresistable draw!

Photo credit the Dale Langdon from the Times Colonist website

So yesterday was race day, and I woke up at 5:30, anxious to get out there and get it over with.

I have to admit, I got oddly emotional driving to the race, as I passed my elementary school, and I saw the ‘caution, race in progress’ signage. Then I got nauseous remembering that it wasn’t just a race, it was a 21.1km (13.1mile) race.  Then I got nervous when I passed the fire you see pictured here at another point on the route!

The fire ended up delaying the start of the race by about 15 minutes or so, while organizers tried to figure out how to get us around it. The detour ended up shortening the route a little, but we won’t talk about that, because if we did talk about that, we would have discuss the fact that, had the race been the complete distance, this would have likely been my worst half marathon ever.  But, I’m not stressing that, because I didn’t go out there to run a specific time, I went out there to finish it, and get another medal to add to my collection!

The course was pretty harsh, a long uphill stretch to start, then some undulations, then a short uphill, followed by a long downhill and a flat stretch… then do it all over again!!!  I had hoped that the long downhill runs would compensate for the harsh uphills, but that wasn’t the case.

So, what did I get out of yesterday, other than a shiny new medal?? Well, I got inspiration to continue my quest to set a half marathon personal best in October, but on top of that, I got the realization that I need to work on my hill training.

But on top of all that, I got to meet @briwifruit (aka: Bri) face to face!! I think I need to start running with that girl occasionally… she kicked my butt, and there’s nothing like training with someone who runs faster than you to make you run faster!

Now it’s on to ‘official’ training for the half marathon in October.

Wish me luck, I’m gonna need it.

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  1. briwifruit says:

    Yaaaay! It was great to meet you too! We should have a Twitter running club or something and do short runs and end with coffee or something! That’d be fun an motivating!

    1. iamthenewme says:

      As long as you promise to run just fast enough that I can keep up with you, but it’s not easy… I don’t want you running 6 miles ahead of me!! 😉