aka – a training race wherein I decided to attempt a PR because I’m crazy.
This was my fourth time (third year in a row) running the BMO Okanagan race. After last year I had some mixed feelings about the race, probably because while my marathon went well, it didn’t go great. I wasn’t even going to run this half this year until I managed to convince my sister to run the 10k (her first race ever!!).
I’m damn glad I ended up running it.
I’ve said multiple times, my goal for October was to run four half marathons as training for Ragnar, so I wasn’t planning on pushing myself for any of them.
Obviously, I changed my mind at some point 🙂
My sister and I got to the race start around 7:10 on Sunday morning. The half doesn’t start until 8am, but I love watching the marathoners start. We lined up along the fence to cheer them on and then I scurried over to the porta-potties to take care of business before dropping my gear and bag check and heading over to the chute.
At some point while watching the marathoners take off, I had a brief thought of, “I wonder if I can run a PR” then I quickly pushed that away because I ran a half last weekend and still had two more to go after this. Pushing myself might be bad news bears.
Somehow I ended up lining up with the 2 hour pace group, even at the time, thinking “this is a bad idea” because my plan was to run a 2:10 or so half as a training run, not a race.
Obviously that all changed.
I started off quickly and kept trying to tell myself to slow down, but, the pace felt comfortable. I told myself so long as I felt comfortable, I’d keep up the pace.
And so I did.
I peeked at my watch at the 5k mark and messaged Ann my split. Then again at the 10k mark. For the first half I was playing leap-frog with the 2-hour pace bunny and then somehow managed to pull ahead.
I was only stopping briefly at the water stations to grab a sip, catch my breath and then I was running again.
I hit 10k in 56 minutes and knew I was on pace for a pretty freaking good race – so long as I didn’t fall apart in the last half.
I was keeping my eye out for Terry as I knew I’d likely see her once I moved on to the second part of the course as the marathoners would be passing us as they went on for their second loop. Right at the 12k water station I heard Lindsay yell Terry’s name as she passed us looking great with the 3:45 pace bunny.
I jogged up to Lindsay and we chatted for a bit before she went off ahead because she’s a speedy little thing!
I could tell the pace was starting to catch up to me a bit at this point, but I also knew I was over half way there and told myself to just keep going. It wasn’t a struggle, but it definitely hurt a bit. I knew I’d be really disappointed if I dropped the pace too much because I was sure I had a sub-2 in me.
The last time I ran sub-2 was in August 2013 at SeaWheeze and my fastest race of 2013 was a 2:07 at the Calgary Police Half, so I really wanted at minimum a seasonal PR and that became my C-goal. A-goal was an overall PR, B-goal was a sub-2 and C-goal was a seasonal best.
Right before the 14km water station I took my second gel because I could feel like I was struggling a bit and I took a longer break at this station to drink a cup and dump a cup because it was starting to get warm.
I struggled with the middle section of the second loop in my marathon and I wanted to run it strong for the half. I flipped my watch over so I’d stop checking my pace and doing race math, and focused on feeling strong and keeping a consistent pace. At this point, I just wanted to go, so I skipped the last two water stations.
More than once I wanted to stop for a walk break, but I forced myself to keep going. I felt my left IT band rubbing (the same thing happened in the 50k) and stopped to give it a quick massage before starting back up. I had 2ish km left at that point and kept telling myself that was 12 minutes. I could do anything for just 12 minutes.
I was also checking behind me to see where the pace bunny was. I knew if I kept ahead then I’d definitely be sub-2 for the race. Well, damnit if the stupid bunny didn’t pass me with 500m left.
I tried to push as much as I could, but there wasn’t much left in the tank to push. My legs were tight and I just wasn’t able to get them to turnover enough to pick up the pace. I pushed as much as I could and I knew it was going to be tight if I made it sub-2 or not.
Crossed the finish.
1:59.42 Garmin time.
Seasonal best and a course PR for me.
I’m thrilled with how this race went for me. In the past I’ve really struggled come the 15k mark and that didn’t happen, even though I was pushing really hard the whole race. I also haven’t done speedwork in who knows how long.
I’m pretty confident if I have a good training cycle for 2015 I’ll be able to PR in both the half and the full, which would be amazing.
Now it’s time to log some more miles (I have a 10 miler on Saturday and a half on Sunday) in preparation for Ragnar.
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