Fittingly, this article I wrote for Runners Feed about Embracing Fall Running went up first thing in the morning yesterday, just as I was heading out to Bright’s Grove for my first half marathon. I will admit, heated seats fired up in my car, I was feeling a little sorry for myself with the gloomy weather (would this be a half marathon in a hurricane?)…
I’d woken up earlier than I planned (my alarm was set for 7:00am, the race was at 8:30 about 20 minutes from my mom’s apartment) at about 6:00, so I had a coffee and a clif bar. I didn’t want to take too much in just because I’ve had so much difficulty with my GI issues on long runs lately.
My mom snapped a picture of me with my “lucky” bib number before I left…
I felt nervous but okay when I was driving out and luckily, the rain kind of let up and after asking a few fellow runners what I should wear (definitely lose the jacket, they told me), I was ready (I settled on long tights, a tank top, and a long sleeve top with a hat, headband, and gloves that I eventually tossed to my mother along the way), it was almost time to go. I think I “warmed up” by jogging for about a minute, talking to some familiar faces (you know those fellow athletes you connect with all the time at races? perfect distraction from my nerves).
My Garmin was working so I started out at my steady, quick pace (8 minute miles) and settled in. I was feeling comfortable but getting a little bored at about 8km in when a couple of guys ran up behind me. I decided to try to keep up, because they were nice enough to chat, and I ended up running with them the rest of the way! Before you get any ideas, we talked a lot about their kids (so NO, I didn’t meet my future husband) and about their running (one was a pretty established athlete–cyclist, triathlete, etc. turned runner and another had done a bunch of running while the other just started this year with his first marathon in April) and somehow we got to 17km before I realized I should be tired–I’d never ran that far! I had one sport bean, started to feel iffy stomach-wise, and decided to focus on putting one foot in front of the other. I knew I’d blow through my goal of less than 2 hours as long as I kept running, so that’s what I did!
At the final kilometre sign, I was feeling awesome. The other guys were starting to slow down but they insisted I push to the finish, so I did (even though earlier I’d told them to go on and they didn’t–is this bad race etiquette?). I finished feeling strong and I know I can run a faster half next season!
I think the half marathon might be my favourite race distance. The idea of running twice that far is a little intimidating (congrats all you marathoners (and half marathoners) at ScotiaBank today in Toronto–you’re all inspiring) but you all saw my race plans for next year and I know I can get there!
My time ended up being 1:46:23 (about a 5:03 pace–right on track for me!). You can see the results here, but I was second in my age category and I am pretty sure the fourth female overall! For my first half marathon, I am pretty happy!
Today I thought I might swim as recovery or maybe stretch out at a yoga class, but after a little rear ending that I was innocently involved in yesterday…
I spent my morning reporting the damage (I had to work last night and had a much needed beer after work and then crashed), getting groceries (I’m determined to get back on track with healthy, balanced eating because I’ve been struggling a lot at night and I know it’s because I’m not planning ahead for the days, etc.), and cleaning (I did my laundry, unpacked, etc.).
I spent the afternoon with a friend at Chapter’s. Thank god for mocha, and thank god she was there to keep me sitting in one place. I got some mandatory work done–an online course assignment I put off til literally the last day (journalists love deadlines, right?)–and then finally put together my writing-ish resume. Now, on to grad school applications, or maybe on to studying for my next midterm (eek), or maybe onto all the readings I’ve been putting off, or maybe onto an assignment that’s due sooner than I realized, or maybe on to bed…
Sleep it is!
Do you feel more sore after races (I’ve definitely done workouts way longer than 1:45 minutes, but I feel like a wreck today!)?
Do you take a few days off after you race?
What’s your favourite Starbucks drink?