Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Half Marathon, An Olympian, and A Reality TV Show

Today was possibly one of the craziest days of my life

You know, just PRing a half marathon with Helen Upperton, an Olympic silver medalist, all while shooting a reality TV show. Just another day in the life of this Darwinian Fail. Just your average Sunday.

Needless to say, Sunday was completely bananas! So let's start at the beginning shall we?

Sunday started early - very early. I was up at 6am eating protein pancakes and sporting my Team Oiselle attire, and topped with some necessary sparkle from the girls at Sparkly Soul. An Olympian and a camera crew, from Shaw TV's Make It Happen, knocked on my door at 7 am. And they found a very nervous, bumbly, slightly nauseous Krysten. After some quick pre-race preperations and introductions, we were off to the Ajax Half Marathon.

This was going to be my second half marathon, and I was definitely hoping for PR. I was also rolling with a silver medalist and a camera crew, for a little added pressure. I am not going to lie, the idea of running with Helen was nerve racking. I am typically a lone runner - especially during distance - so I was nervous to have someone tag along. And I was especially nervous to run with a real legit olympic athlete! I mean a darwinian fail and olympian - what a pair?

So this odd couple lined up at the start and got ready to tackle 21.1km (13.1 miles) together. Even though I was hesitant about our pairing initially, Helen and I quickly fell into a good rhythem together. I really wanted to finish in 2:05 so we started out next to the 2 hour Pace Bunny. We were off. We were feeling good. And we were rocking a great pace.

I felt like the first 15km flew by. Running with someone really helped keep my mind off the distance. And our banter back and forth made the time pass quickly. Everything felt great until about kilometer 17. The course was down by the lake front, and there was some serious head winds on our way back. There were also some rolling hills, which we all know, does not bode well for the old ticker. So I found myself falling off the pace.

Kilometer 19 was hard. I saw 2:05 pass on my watch, and I still had 2km to go. I was feeling low, but Helen kept me up beat. I pushed hard during the final stretch, and crossed the finish line at 2:12:31.

I finished strong and that's still a PR. Not quite the the PR I wanted, but you can't frown at a PR, right? That was 5 minute improvement on my last half. And I think that puts me on track to for my upcoming marathon. This is it too, my last race before Marathon Glory. And I think with this new PR, that my marathon goal time of 4:30 is definitely in my sights.

Today was beyond AMAZING. I found myself regularly asking how this was my life. I mean really? Someone pinch me! 6 months ago I ran my first half marathon, toasted the ta-tas, and got myself a brand new shiny robot heart. And today here I am running half marathon #2, with an Olympian, shooting a TV show, and 3 weeks away from my first Full Marathon.

Pretty Crazy Right?!
What a day! What a race! What a life!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,