Whew...I don't remember half marathons being so hard! It's been 3 years since i've raced one so maybe i've forgotten? Or maybe in the past i've gone out easier and tried to have something left in the tank for the end? That didn't happen yesterday. I pretty much went balls out from the beginning...it's almost like i've forgotten how to race since i missed last season...it's like i don't know what i'm doing...or maybe i'm trying something new to go all out from the start to see what will happen? I dunno, but if i do something stupid like that during the next marathon i run, i'm pretty sure i'll be walking it in across the finish line. Luckily the half marathon is shorter where you can kind of experiment and get away with it to a certain point.
Anyways, here's the break down of yesterday morning. I live very close to the start of the race so I left my house around 6:30am to jog the 10 mins to the start and had a little time to line up for the porta-potty. After that it was time to line up and pretty much get ready to go for the 7am start. It was a beautiful morning...sunny, chilly though at 1 degree C but definitely my favorite temperature for racing!
The gun went off and everyone went nuts as per usual and I spent a bit of time dodging around people. Even though I started close to the front I still had a lot of dodging to do. My first couple of km went by quick and I felt great...then I got to 3 or 4km in and thought, I feel like crap already...i had a terrible sleep of maybe 4 hours total (but not consecutive) and I was tired...and i wasn't sure if i even wanted to do this anymore. All of these doubts started entering my head. I don't know what my problem was but it wouldn't stop! I remember thinking, wow, i would really love to step off to the side right now and stop altogether. I almost feel like the only reason i kept going then was because I'd have to walk or jog back the same distance to get to the start which would suck! Also, i thought, it's going to be so lame if I stop during a half for no real reason other than i feel like crap and i don't feel like racing at this pace...if anything, just slow down and keep running!
Yeah, i had serious negativity going on for at least the first half of the race. I forced myself to keep at it and to try and focus on smaller goals like just getting to the next km marker instead of thinking about the finish and the pain i've still got to go through to get there.
Once the race got off 14th street and turned west onto Memorial I knew we'd start seeing the leaders of the half on their way back. I started counting the women that were infront of me...there were 9 that passed and then 2 just right infront of me so that meant i was sitting in 12th. I was catching the 2 infront and I really wanted to make the top 10. The girl right infront of me was relatively easy to pass once i did, and i never saw her again. The next girl was tougher...i'd pass her, she'd pass me, then we'd run next to each other for a while.
Finally I think the last gel i consumed started working and my legs picked it up and took off. I didn't see her again but i did look over my shoulders quite a few times to see if she was sneaking up on me. Funny, i realized that it's the exact same girl i caught up to and passed towards the end of my 10km a few weeks ago. I wonder if she knew it was me?
I was good then till about 1km to go when the 10km racers that started a half hour after us and had been running in a different lane on the road than us, all joined in with us for the last km as we rolled through the streets of Bridgeland till the finish. It was not fun. Trying to dodge this insane crowd of 10km'ers in my last km when I literally had nothing left sucked and definitely took more out of me than i wanted. There was a tiny "hill" on the way in that i felt like i could barely make up after that. I turned my last corner and finally saw the finish. The clock had just rolled over the 1:30 mark and I hoped that my chip time would get me under but no such luck. I was still pumped with my finish at 1:30:07...a huge PB of 7 mins...and good enough for 10th female overall. Not too shabby.
I've definitely started off this season with a bang and i'm pretty pumped for what's left to come. I have a lot of work to do to get faster...and definitely need to do real speedwork training for these road races. It's been virtually nil so far. Aside from the K-100 relay coming up at the end of this month, i'll be on the trail for the rest of the summer which i'm happy for. It's much easier on the body, there's great scenery, and it's just a lot more fun! I'm still thinking about doing the Victoria Marathon in the fall but will make that decision later on.
Hopefully it won't take me too long to recover...the 50km is just 4 weeks away!!