My 8th half marathon is in the books. I have done three races in 5 weeks so I didn’t know what to expect for this race. I had no time goals except to beat the time we had in Banff two weeks ago, which was a really hot race. I was really nervous for this race because I am getting slower and slower in my race times and I really wanted to start getting faster instead! The half marathon had a perfect 7:30 am start time. Typical porta-potty pre-race shot.
I have been having some stomach/digestion/cramp issues on my last few races (remember Calgary?) so I switched up my entire pre-race food routine. I didn’t eat spaghetti. I didn’t have lots of carbs the night before the race. I had a bun-less veggie burger with tomatoes and pickles and mustard, some pumpkin tortilla chips, and come cucumber and carrot sticks. Random, but delicious, and easy to digest. I also switched up my pre-race breakfast. Bagels with peanut butter and banana are my go-to but they have been feeling really heavy and undigested when I start running so I used my pre-run meal from last Sunday which didn’t give me the least bit of trouble… a Clif bar and a banana. That little volume of food has enough caloric energy to sustain me but doesn’t leave me feeling full. We got to the start line about 7:10 am and before I knew it we were off.
After 10 days of holidays, not so much exercise, and not so healthy eating, I felt like I had made a huge mistake signing up for this race. How I felt about starting this race:
I just had to put my head down, dig deep, and put one foot in front of the other. I wore my wrap-around-the-ears headphones and they are ahhhh-mazing. I was really skeptical after my first couple of runs with them because they didn’t stay on quite like I wanted, but after adjusting them and tightening the ear piece they fit perfectly. I didn’t have to adjust the headphones the ENTIRE race.
While I was running the half marathon, my friend Shawn had come down as well to run the 10K. He brought his daughter Annika so we had the best little cheerleader!
In case you didn’t know, this is how you pose for photos.
It was a HILLY race. I mean, not crazy hills, but fairly rolling and then ONE. BIG. HILL. I managed to keep running up the whole thing but most people (probably at least half) stopped and walked. The run was around Calgary’s Glenmore Reservoir and it was absolutely gorgeous. There are some stunning homes that back onto the reservoir and it was so green and luscious. We were running on a path for most of the race and it was wonderful. A total of almost 500 ft. of elevation gain.
I started out too fast… doesn’t everyone… with a 7:36 minute mile. I tried to keep an 8:00 min/mile pace but the hills kind of did me in. I managed an overall pace of 8:08 min/mile and the course, according to my Garmin was 13.21 miles long. The last little piece of the course was around a track.
1:47:11 was my chip time. Not super speedy but I was happy with that time. I was the 34th woman and 14th in my category. There were about 700 half marathoners in the event!
Happy to be done and the sun was still hiding behind the clouds so I was even happier. It spit rain for about 10 minutes which was the perfect cool off. The race was very well organized and there was 6 aid stations on the half marathon course, all with Ultima (electrolyte), water, and Hammer Gels. I stopped and walked and drank water through 3 of the air stations. I cannot drink and run… it’s just not possible.
Considering it was the STAMPEDE Road Race, they had really appropriate medals. There was a stampede pancake breakfast set up at the finish line but the line was huge because all of the races, the half marathon, 10K, and 5K were all kind of finishing at the same time and everyone wanted their pancakes. I couldn’t see any other food options, like typical bananas or juice, so that was kind of disappointing, but I grabbed two bottles of water to rehydrate on the drive back to my Aunt’s.
I ran two miles with my mom when we got back to my Aunt’s. She had yet to got for a run and I wanted to try and loosen up my legs before I did some stretching. They were ~9:00 min/mile and the sun had come out from behind the clouds so it was scorching. I needed a cool down from my cool down so I walked a mile.
Overall, it was a fairly hilly race, pretty well organized with a beautiful course, not a ton of food at the end besides the pancake breakfast with a HUGE line, but it was fun. 1:47:11. Maybe I’ll work on a PR one day but probably not this year! I am happy with an 8:08 min/mile half marathon pace for now 🙂