My 1st Half Marathon
13 week program, 273km of training runs, rotating between 3 pairs of Nike Lunar Glide 2’s, numerous amounts of Clif bars, Clif shots, and Gatorade, has lead me to the 5th annual North Shore Half Marathon on Thanks Giving Monday, Oct. 10/11.
As hard as it may be to believe, all my training runs took place without a drop of rain, but cue the Vancouver weather for race day and rain, rain, rain.
My Goal ‘A’ was to break 1:45:00, but after suffering a knee injury exactly 1 week before the race and dealing with a nagging cold starting 5 days before the race (which I still have) I decided to go with Goal ‘B’ which was to break 2 hours and no walking. I worked hard with my Chiropractor (Thanks Aaron from Impulse Sports Therapeutics) and rehab exercises to get my knee into running form because I was determined to complete the half and achieve my goals.
They changed the course this year which included an 800m section of Baden Powell Trail about 4.5km into the race. I thought this was odd including a slightly more technical downhill boardwalk and single track trail on a road race but what do I know?? I did enjoy that section of the race.
As I made my way to the half way marker my split time was 61 minutes. I was not on pace to reach my Goal ‘B’ and I knew I had to somehow pick up the pace. I focused on the next 5.5km to the next aid station to run faster than I have been thus far. As I passed by the 2nd aid station around the 16k mark of the race my split time was 1:27:00. I had made up some ground but with only 5.1km left I started to struggle. All I had to do was finish the remaining distance in under 33 minutes. A task that seems extremely easy, but at this point my knee was starting to bother me and my calf started cramping up. I actually started to doubt that I could finish in under 2 hours.
I went into the tank and gathered all that I had left inside to finish the race strong. I’m not sure if the volunteers staggered throughout the course saw me struggling along with a grimace on my face but their positive words of encouragement definitely helped me to get through the agony I was dealing with. I was also motivated by the runners passing by me saying things such as “great job, you’re almost there,” and “keep up the good work and finish strong.” If I could have seen myself running this last part of the race I would have pictured myself as a car slowing down on the road, pulling off to the side, as the gas tank was almost at empty and other cars just passing me by.
At the last 100m of the race I was greeted by my friend and Kintec run clinic group leader Jason (also doing his 1st half marathon and finished in a time of 1:40:38).He ran with me as I hobbled across the finish line with a huge smile on my face in a time of 1:57:38. I did it! I finished my 1st half marathon and reached my goals. I look forward to the next year and the many races from now till then.