The pre-race stuff was fairly uneventful - though the port-o-potties were magically camouflaged (who makes GREY ones? seriously?!) so we had to wait in line for the bathroom, but other than that and my inability to make a decision on what layers I needed to wear, things went smoothly. We easily got to our corral and just before the start looked at each other and gave the best pep talk around: Step 1 - start running...there is no step 2.
The first part felt fairly easy and seemed to go by quickly. Suz and I ended up chatting for parts of it and just kind of running. It was a beautiful morning for a run, and we were just enjoying it. I remember looking at my watch at 5 miles and thinking that it had gone by quickly. Having looked at the map, I knew that the next third of the race would be the most challenging mentally.
|oh - hi Suz peeking over my shoulder|
That section also involved a full loop of the Olympic rowing basin. It was the windiest and most boring section of the course. Just as I felt my myself lagging mentally though, there was the gel station, complete with giant speakers and loud music. Both Suz and I commented to each other that it felt like exactly what we needed at exactly the right time. Just a little mental boost to get our minds thinking differently.
It was near the end of that second third that I started thinking about time. I've known that a 1:55 half marathon is an 8:46 per mile pace for a year now. It was my goal pace for Ottawa last year and my goal pace for the half in the fall. For the first 2 thirds of the race, I knew our pace was hovering around 8:46. I wasn't paying a lot of attention, but every time I looked at my watch, it was close to that "magic" number. And I was feeling pretty good.
|hey look - no heel strike!|
Yes, my legs were a little sore. My IT band was getting cranky and my butt and hips were feeling the race, but I didn't have that dead leg feeling that I often get near the end of a half (I credit my nutrition strategy and the temperature for that). I kept looking at my Garmin, seeing the speed, thinking "whoa there...let's not get too crazy here," and slowing down a bit
The last water station was at 1 km to go and I said to Suz "ok, if I stop here, I'm not sure I'll get up to speed again" she said she would for sure not get going and just reassured me that no, I didn't need water. I think I squeezed the last bit of Nuun out of my bottle at that point and knew that there was just a little bit of race left.
|hey grey shirt - you just got chicked...|
Random things about this race: there were a LOT more men than women who ran this one, I found it really well organized, I found the loops of the course oddly nice because near the end I knew what to expect, and I managed to drink a cup of water while running. I would definitely run this race again.
|I think I'm saying high five|