Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Half Marathon Recap

So it has been a pretty big couple of weeks for me! Dday has come and went and I finally ran my very first Half Marathon - which is obviously what today's post is all about! I am feeling a bit better and I have been dying to tell you guys all about Race Day - what I learned and how it all went.

Race Day was obviously super exciting! I mean, I was doing this! I was running a half marathon. It was no longer a dream, a goal, a thing I just talked about doing - I was doing it. Which was exciting, but terrifying all in a strange way. I am not going to lie I was nervous and I had mixed emotions going into everything because as much as it was Race Day I also knew that Dday was next... So I wouldn't exactly say I went into everything feeling cool and confident, but I was excited.

I had a good breakfast, making sure to incorporate the trifecta - Carbs, Protein, and Vitamin C. My playlist was updated with 2 hours and 30 min worth of songs. And I was dressed in all my brand new Lululemon running gear. My local Lululemon (located at Yonge and Briar Hill) totally hooked me for my race offering to dress me for the big day. EEK! I was stunned and super excited, because I mean come on who doesn't love Lululemon!?! So thanks ladies! I definitely looked the part when we set out on Sunday. 

The race itself was set up in a loop starting from Burlington's city hall and all along the Lakeshore. The route was really nice, but it meant that the downtown was completely packed. I heard there were 5000 runners at the event plus spectators, so you can imagine the sea of people crowding Brant Street. As always bathrooms were a hot commodity, so I was happy we got there an hour before hand. I heard that a lot of runners had to go without the necessary prerequisite bathroom break before start time, and am thankful that I was not one of them. The sea of people made it difficult to get the starting line and I must confess I felt more than a little crowded as we set out. As always these things do eventually sort themselves out.

I felt amazing for the first 2/3 of the race. I was plugging along at a happy pace. I was smiling. I was rocking out to my tunes. I was just generally enjoying the moment, probably until about kilometer 16. I knew I had just 5 more kilometers to go, but honestly those were longest 5km of my life. My body was tired. My legs had gotten stiff and heavy. The wind was effecting me more, and I definitely started to slow down.
The last kilometer made up for all the struggle though, because the streets were lined with my friends and family! I had a serious entourage going on. Their cheers and signs and smiles carried me all the way to end of race, where I felt completely overwhelmed by love and support. I crossed the finish line at 2:17:07 making me 2459 out of the 5000 participants. I was right smack in the middle of pack, and so freakin' happy!

This race was always about more than time or finishing with a certain status though - which is likely why I was so reluctant to put a time on any of it. This race was for me. It was about saying that despite everything that had happened this year, and everything that was about to happen - I wasn't going to allow anything to interfere with my life and my goals. It was about saying that I am stronger than all of this, and that I was a fighter. I was running to say that I could beat heart disease, breast cancer, and genetics. And more than anything else I was running this race to say I could!

So when I crossed the finish line and saw everyone standing there I was so touched. Seeing everyone who had given up their Sunday to stand out in the cold and support me was truly amazing. There were 20 of them in total! All of my amazing friends and family were standing on the sidelines ready to celebrate my triumph and to say that they were going to be right there with me during Dday too. They were saying that they believed in me, that they supported me, and I cannot express how much that meant to me.

That is just a small snap shot of my Race Day. It was the perfect day! And the perfect race!
It is truly a day I will never forget!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

PS can you tell those girls are my friends. BEST SIGN EVER! I died laughing!