Yup, this post might be a little late. And by a little, I mean 9 days.
Last Sunday I ran half marathon #7, and I survived!
The morning started pretty well, got an amazing sleep and woke up energized and hydrated and ready to run. The only thing I was really worried about was what to wear. The weather was somewhere between -2 and +2 (Celsius) and the rain was on and off, and the wind was strong (although not too cold). So I kind of debated between wearing one layer plus a jacket or two layers and a jacket. I ended up decided (in the bathroom 10 minutes before the race started) on two layers and a jacket. I changed my mind AGAIN at mile 2 where I got the chance to give my mom my jacket.
The run started at 9am, and I think me and the two other girls I went with (co-workers) got to the start like at 8:59:30. I think we waited for 10 seconds before the start gun went off. Oh well, we weren't late and didnt have to stand outside too long without moving.
From the very first step I knew it was going to be a difficult run, only because the first 2 miles were up and down hills. This was not my biggest concern though. The short run I had the Friday before the race I had gotten pretty dizzy and nautious about a half a mile into my run, so I was kind of expecting the same thing in the race, but I managed to run through it. My Dad saw me around mile 3 and said I looked pretty off and unfocused so I definitelly wasn't 100% but I was able to get through it without passing out or quitting.
The course was not fun. I am not exaggerating when I say that you were either going up or down hill the WHOLE time. It was all hills, and really hard ones too (it felt like they never ended). Along with the hills there was wind. For the first 6.5 miles it was at your back...and then you had to turn around. For the last 6.5 miles of the half marathon there was ridiculous wind blowing straight at you. It was insane. I wasn't running competitively (well...I never do) but I had no goal pace in mind so I had a smile on my face and just slowed down and got through it. Everyone I know that had a goal time, came in at least 10 minutes behind it. Unfortunate, but when you sign up for a half marathon in February in Nova Scotia, its a definite risk.
My biggest goal of this run was to finish in a semi-respectable time and not injure myself (I had to work that afternoon at 2) and I did it. I think my final time was around 2:25 (just under it maybe) which is yes, my second slowest half marathon time, but I was so happy about it. Honestly my last 5 miles were spent walking more then running (well not really, but it felt like it. It was probably 3 minutes of walking every 10 minutes) and cursing the wind. I managed to drag my tired ol legs past that finish line and it felt beyond great to do it. Something about finishing a race is so beyond magical, even if it is your 7th half marathon, Im always just so very proud.
I wasn't too sore afterwards, I could have used a nap but I didn't have time. I worked, then went out for a beer afterwards and then came home and slept. I went for a run on the wednesday (treadmill) and it felt pretty great (I only squeaked out 2 miles) and after another short (3 mile) treadmill run on Friday, I got my long run in for the week on Sunday. After having a few beers and a poutine on Saturday night, I got up bright and early (8am) on Sunday and pounded out 10 miles in -15 degree weather. The first 2 miles were with my sister and then I felt surprisingly good for the next 6 miles. Last 2 were difficult but not impossible and I finished with something like 11 minute miles.
All in all, its been a great week for running.