If you've been reading lately you'll know I've been feeling a bit meh about the half marathon today. I had signed up for the full meal deal, but after a brutal winter and inconsistent training I dropped down to the half.
A digression here, kudos to the race organization for allowing this! It's so sensible and straightforward I don't understand why every race doesn't allow it. There is no way I could have faced a full marathon today.
The important part of the day for me was to meet up and hang out with buddies before the race. I knew I'd be running alone, so some company first was good. My legs weren't hurting, but neither were they thrilled and ready to go on a perfect day for running.
I started fine, planning to take periodic walk breaks when I felt the need. I was a bit dismayed to find the first break happening about 3 K, on the bridge over Memorial going into Bridgeland. From there on the walk breaks happened much more frequently. It was a bit odd. Nothing was actually hurting, and I had lots of wind, but my legs did not want to run.
It was a bit of a suffer fest going through downtown. Long port-potty lines and beginning to feel the need. Walking lots. About 11.5 K (14 St and 12 Ave) the line was short. While waiting the police escort cleared the way for the marathon leaders. Wow, just wow.
There was a spring in my step getting out onto the course again. Maybe losing a Kg or so had something to do with it. I started running, and most astonishing for me, passing people. Lots of walking people, but lots of running people too. From there I ran the entire way to the finish line with only two really short walk breaks of a few steps each, mainly to slurp fluids when my bottle got low.
The finishing chute isn't that wide, and it curves. Two women decided that was a time for a side by side walk, and getting around them without tripping was a bit of a challenge. I crossed 2:42:33, which avoids a PW by a few minutes. When I consider that race was in Fernie, cold, raining, up a mud pit mountainside, it shows how unprepared I was for this.
The best moment of the race was the pipe band starting up just after the centre street bridge. I love me a good pipe band. Thanks guys!
The really worst moment of the day? Going through the Earlton LRT station on the way home. It was hot and stuffy and smelled gross. I had to swallow a few times. By the time I got to Southland I was so happy to get out of the LRT, and just sit on a bench for a few minutes. I've been shuffling ever since, except for a very nice nap early this afternoon.
I'm happy I finished, happy that it wasn't any worse, (and I expected worse) but I've got to start preparing for these properly. First thing is to recover from this.
Second is to start working on core strength. There were some exercises in the latest Impact magazine that I think I'll start doing.
Third is to figure out what's going on in my back and legs that causes this chronic tightness.
There is lots of other news, mainly around the back yard. That's another blog post. Linda is planting lots of flowers.