To start, a question: Is it possible to run your best half marathon ever and NOT PR?
…think about it…
My race did not get off to the start I’d planned. First I spent most of Friday flitting about and on my feet. Realizing I’d left my orthotics at home did not bode well for Saturday. Given I had the choice to run with no orthotics, or not run, I obviously picked no orthotics. I’m quite thankful my brain finally kicked in and I realized there was a Shoppers Drug Mart about a kilometer away and just before 10pm, Lexie and I set off to log some more steps and make sure my feet would be happy for Saturday.
According to my FitBit we made it to bed around 11pm and I was up at 5:45 to get ready for the race.
I made coffee in the bathroom (our hotel room only had three power outlets) and grabbed a waffle to go. I was running late but was hoping to be able to meet the other members of Oiselle for a quick picture before heading to the corrals with Kaella.
Kaella and I had talked about running together for a portion of the race, but knowing Kaella is quite a bit quicker than I am, and I didn’t have the best start to the race, I wasn’t quite sure what I was planning on doing. We lined up together and I decided I’d see how I felt as the race went on.
We thought we had found the sub-2 hour corral, but it turns out we were in wave 3 instead of wave 2, so pushed our way up to the front of the group as much as we could. Ten minutes after the elites started, it was our time to run!
The route kicks off with an uphill about 200m into the race. I was working on passing people and maintaining a consistent effort on the uphill as not to burn out my legs too quickly.
We hit the first mile in 8:32. Ummm, that’s pretty darn quick for me.
Right as we ran by Roger’s Arena (Go Canucks!) I lost Kaella, but ran by an amazing cheer station from Method Cycle on the Viaduct as we ran down to Main Street. It was pretty amazing to be cheered on by people getting their butts kicked in a spin class!
Note, I didn’t pull my phone out once while I was running, so you’ll just have to be really good at imagining, things, ‘kay?
Right as I hit the second mile we came upon the first water stop and my watch beeped – 8:55. Nice.
I grabbed some water and decided to see if I could manage to keep somewhat consistent splits (under 10min/mile) for the race.
From here we hit the Seawall and it was nice and flat, but somewhat twisty and turny.
Mile 3 – 9:13
5k split: 28:04
I knew the evil hill and the Burrard Street bridge was coming soon, so I decided to slightly pick up the pace a bit, since I knew I’d slow once I hit the second water station and the hill.
Mile 4 – 9:31
Here it was, the evil hill, the incline along Beach Ave to Burrard and up and over the bridge. I focused on maintaining an even effort and was on the lookout for anyone I might know who had already turned. As soon as we hit the downhill at the bridge, I let my legs fly.
Mile 5 – 9:10
Then it was past the Lululemon head office and into Kitsilano where we run down, and then turn around and run up. There was another water station here so I grabbed a water and took my first gel. And nearly died as I coughed on water. Whoops.
Time to run again.
Before I hit the turn around I saw Kaella and she looked amazing and strong heading back the other way.
I hit the turn around, waved at the RISE (best kombucha, ever!) Big Bird and went make into consistent effort mode as it was time to run up, up and up.
Right before we hit the Burrard Street bridge for a second time I crossed the 10k timing mat.
Mile 6 – 9:03
10k – 55:30 (27:26 5k split)
Then it was time to run up some more. Thankfully what comes up, must come down and it was time to run down the bridge, turn left on Beach and continue running down, down, down until we hit the seawall for a second time.
Mile 7 – 9:43
I told myself it was smooth sailing once I hit the seawall and focused on my form and trying to use my butt when I run 🙂
Mile 8 – 9:14
It was time for another gel and here I started cruising. I put on my music, cranked it, and did my best to keep myself in the zone, knowing I had 5 miles left to power through. I knew the seawall was going to be flat and I wanted to keep up my pace before I came across the evil hill at the 12.5 mile mark. Awful.
Mile 9 – 8:55
Again, I moved my focus to keeping my pace even and trying to power through my legs. I was only looking at my watch for mile splits so was running based upon feel. Knowing the last part of the race is tricky, I was conservative as I was trying to keep something in the tank.
15km – 1:25.42 (31:12 5k split)
Mile 10 – 9:35
Three miles left. That’s a 5k. I can run 5k. I can do anything for 30 minutes.
We all have tricks to keep us going when we start to hurt and are close to the end.
Mile 11 – 9:07
No. No, you are not allowed to start doing race math. You know it never works. Just keep your pace.
Oh look, mermaids. Oh right, that means a hill. Ew.
Yup. There it is. Bugger.
Okay, I’ll try to run it. Oof. Okay, water, quick walk and then you’re back to it, you have less than two miles to go, you’ve got this.
Mile 12 – 9:43
Okay, run down. Run along the seawall. Hit the road. Keep pushing. You have 10 minutes left. I promise you can do anything for 10 minutes.
Fine, you can switch your watch to elapsed time if you want, but don’t you dare slow your pace.
Mile 13 – 8:53
Almost there. Keep going. They’re calling names. Take your headphones out. There’s your name. Raise your hands.
0.2 mile – 1:30
13.1 – 2:01.14 (34:31 6.1km split)
After I crossed the finish line I grabbed my bag from the back check (quick and easy, as always) and lined up for the brunch (the line moved extremely fast) and ran into Angela and Christina on my way to find Kaella, so we obviously needed a picture!
After meeting up with Kaella and London, I spent some time chatting with Gregg from NYC Sweat who is awesome! Did you know he ran 2 back-to-back marathons?! I say it’s crazy, but watch me end up doing it one year (shhhhhhh)
Note to self: be better at getting pictures with people. I thought I learned this at BlogFest…
My PR is from SeaWheeze 2013 and is 1:58:20, so this was about 3 minutes off my PR, but you know what? It felt amazing. It’s honestly the best I’ve ever felt after a race. I felt like my splits were consistent (and that 10k split is a race PR for me) and I didn’t die at 15k like I have in other races.
It almost feels weird to be so excited about a race that wasn’t a PR, but I am. I went in with absolutely no strategy (note to self: talk to my coach about this) but whatever I did worked!
I feel extremely confident that the work I’m doing with my coach is paying off and I’m certain I have a 1:55 half marathon in me. Possibly soon, definitely next year.
Speaking of next year…
….I’ll be there will bells on. (Okay, maybe not literally bells, but I’ll be there!)
[Tweet “Recapping @SeaWheeze half marathon. The best races aren’t necessarily PRs! #seawheeze #runchat #sweatpink”]
What’s the best race you’ve run? What is a PR? Do you think it needs to be a PR?
Linking up Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced, Sarah from Creating Better Tomorrow, and Michelle at Fruition Fitness for Wild Workout Wednesday.
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