Fact 1: Running races usually hurt pretty good especially when you try to go hard
Fact 2: Running races usually aren’t that much fun until the post-race satisfaction fun
Fact 3: Walking down stairs or doing much at all is particularly painful the day after a pavement pounding race!
Despite all of the above, I still toed the line here at home in Calgary for the annual Policeman’s Half Marathon with about 1300 others yesterday morning at 8:00am just as the kids were getting up and having pancakes with the babysitter. I have done this race two or three times in the past and the weather has never been great. Last time I competed in this race it was a full on snow storm!
Yesterday, it was maybe 4 degrees C at the most when we started with a rather chilly wind kicking up. I was started to regret my choice to wear shorts as we lined up. I thought I might try to stick with my coach, Cal off the start but he took off like a bat out of hell and later told me he went through the first mile in 5:35! Good choice by me!
Although I did see him up ahead several times during the race I could never quite close. A few miles into the race, there were a few other women still around me but soon it felt like no (wo)man’s land. I bridged up to a guy in a bright green shirt and decided to stick to him and hopefully get some draft into the headwind sections. He was running super relaxed and thanking every group of volunteers we passed. Wish I had the breath to do so as well! Turns out bright green shirt guy was named Mark St Amant about to set a PB by 12 minutes!!! Awesome!
Despite doing a short warm up before the race, my legs felt much less like ice-cold bricks and I finally did start to feel warmer overall by about the 8km mark. The sun sort of came out for a bit as we ran on the bike paths around the south side of the Glenmore Reservoir. It was awesome seeing all my CSR training buddies not racing out on course cheering too. At the 12-13km mark I finally decided to try taking a gel during a running race and not gag. To my surprise my Clif Chocolate Cherry Gel (new flavour this year!) with caffeine went down pretty well and hopefully gave me a bit of a boost to get through the finish line at the 1:23:38 mark for 11th overall and 1st female – a PB on this course for me and a good test to give myself a bench mark before my next half marathon run race one month from now!
Congrats to everyone who came out and all my CSR training buddies who set PBs as well! Grabbing the kids for some pancake brunch after rocks too! Winning a few free pairs of shoes from Foranzi’s Tech Shop was pretty sweet too!