I am so happy to report that my half marathon this morning was FABULOUS. I wanted to start off by saying that just so you know that you don’t have to read
another a whiny post about how much pain I am in and how many miles I haven’t been running 😉 I think I should run a lot more races like the one I did this morning – stress-free, easy-paced, and enjoying every single second of it. My face is getting sore because I have been smiling since 7:06 am this morning (1 minute after the race started).
I picked up my race package on Thursday, way earlier than I normally pick it up, so I wasn’t super hyped up yesterday with the package pick-up and seeing all of the other racers and the course and such. I didn’t even watch what I ate yesterday, especially my vegetable intake and such, because I honestly had NO goals for this race except to try and finish it. The t-shirts for this race are SO nice – I love grey shirts and the pink RunWild logo is adorable!
I don’t think you can even guess at what the weather will be like May 4 in Alberta. Last year it was 20 degrees or warmer apparently, and this year it was below zero and snowing. It was appropriate I guess because I have been (kind of 😉 training in winter conditions for the past 12 weeks, so I was used to running in the cold. I dressed in a lulu tank top, a long sleeve Nike running shirt, and a wind-proof MEC shell jacket. I also wore lulu winter running tights and I was the perfect temperature for the entire race. I was cold at the start which was good because if I was warm I would have known I was going to be too hot on course. There were flurries in the air for about 97% of the race but they helped keep me nice and cool!
The course for the half marathon was completely on my regular running routes. It took us on the riverside path and then out on the country roads and back to the paths. Everything was super well marked and there were tons of smiling and enthusiastic volunteers on the course – bundled up in their winter layers of course! My mom reviewed the course map and was planning on meeting me at mile 2 to run with me for a while. She knew I was going to be going slow and that my pace might match hers today! She missed me at mile 2 but caught me in a different spot during mile 7. She ran with me for about a mile and a half and then cut back up to our house. She came at the perfect moment and was just the encouragement I needed for the rest of the race! I was seriously SO excited when I saw her!
I was hyper aware of my body for the entire race and not once did I feel pain in my glute, just a bit of soreness during the middle of the race. I saw a friend at the beginning of the race and we ran the first mile together – in 8:10 – and I knew I shouldn’t start out like that with cold muscles so I slowed it down and ran my own race. He continued on ahead and ran a wicked awesome race time!
I took it really easy the whole time because I knew that one sprint or one wrong downhill landing could tear my glute again and I DEFINITELY did not want to be back at square one with my injury recovery. As I warmed up and felt good, I ran a tad faster, but always keeping myself in check and making sure I wasn’t hurting anywhere! My mile splits ended up being 8:11, 8:23, 8:30, 8:26, 8:21, 8:26, 8:17, 8:22, 8:15, 8:20, 8:10, 8:01, 8:08 and 7:54 for the last 0.17 miles. My Garmin gives me an 8:17 min/mile average but I couldn’t figure out how to stop it at the end (rookie, eh?) and so my chip time might be slightly faster.
I was aiming to finish the race, even if I had to walk the whole thing, which was actually what I had planned on doing if I didn’t feel up to running today. When I started to run and felt great I decided to try and do about 9:00 min/mile for the whole thing and treat it as a training run. As my watch clicked off 8:XX minutes for each mile and I felt great and wasn’t breathing hard at all, I just kept pace and took it easy. It was a huge confidence booster to know that after not running for 5 weeks and only having run a max of 5 miles straight this week, I could run a half marathon at an 8:17 min/mile pace and feel great the whole time and not even feel like I was stressing my body!
The medals are SO pretty at this race. They are adorable and I am wearing mine ALL day today 🙂
I finished the race and hit up the food tent for some orange slice, banana, muffin, cookie, Doritos, yogurt tubes, granola bar, juice boxes, and a bottle of water. I ate the orange slice, half banana, and water… but somehow when I got home, all of the other food disappeared? 😉 My mom and I went to Starbucks for some celebratory drinks. Starbucks never tastes as good as it does after a race… so delicious!
Even though I was feeling great after the run, my right hamstring immediately started to tighten up and it reminded me to do my stretching and icing. I loved this race and I didn’t put any pace pressure on myself which meant it was stress-free, fun, and enjoyable (other races are enjoyable and fun, but I get so nervous about my goal times :). I was so aware of my body and I just based my effort on how I felt at each moment which is probably how I should run all the time, ha!
After not running for an eternity, I finally had a confidence boosting, super awesome, pain-free run and it felt great! You can probably tell this post was written on a post-race high. I didn’t even care that it was cold and snowy today, that is how happy I was to be running! I ran a total of 30.27 miles this week!! I am taking it easy for the rest of the day today and remaining as comatose as possible. Hopefully my mom is willing to get me food and drinks all day while I do nothing 😉 Here is a review of my training week!
If you were racing today, tell me about it!
Do you RACE every event or do you “just run” some?
How was your Sunday?!
Previous Training Recaps:
Week 1 Training Recap.