I had no real expectations going into this race, so I slept like a baby the night before. I would be lying if I said I didn't want to run well. Secretly I always want to PR. But I knew that running this race at all was a bit of a long shot. After 2 full months off, I gradually started running again in late March. But my focus had been on rebuilding, and very little distance running had been done. I did manage to get about 3 longs runs in before the race, but nothing longer than 16km. I decided I would just go out and see how I felt. If I felt strong I would push it in the second half. If not, well it just wasn't my day.
I woke up at 6am and fueled up with my favourite long run fuel - Oat Pancakes. I grabbed a water bottle and my favourite CLIF Bar fuel and head out the door I have never been great at fueling on the run, but I was determined to get that part of my race right. I took the CLIF Shot 20 minutes before the start and planned to eat one CLIF Block every 3-4km to keep my blood sugar levels even on the run.
The race kicked of at exactly 8:30 and off we went. There were 2041 runners running the Half Marathon. I saw lots of people I knew from the Running Room during the first half of course. They were out cheering along the course, and several Running Room friends were also running. I had accidently set my Polar to miles so I was slightly confused by my pace for a little while, but eventually settled in to a comfortable rhythm.
My friend Stefano had offered to run the second half of the race with me. So we met up at kilometer 10 and set out together. I was feeling good, but not amazing. The heat was throwing me for a loop, and I was kicking myself for choosing not to run with my Camelbak. The water stations were busier than usual so my water stops definitely slowed me down. I knew a PR was not gonna happen. So we agreed we would just have fun with it.
At 16.5km mark I felt myself fading...this was actually the longest I had run since November. I was starting to feel tired. Stefano kept me upbeat and cheered me on. And we just kept plugging along. I tried not to get frustrated with my slower pace, and just enjoy the run.
We crossed the finish line at 2:19:30. Nothing spectacular, but under the circumstances I am okay with that. I ran an average 6:23 km and I felt good when I finished. I know with hard work and proper training I can reach my goal this year. I will be pushing hard to get my half time down to sub-2 and my full time to 4:30. This is just the beginning!
I stretched. Drank lots of water. And then met up with my family and Fitfluential Buddies. Lots of them were running the 5km. So I spent the rest of the morning cheering and just enjoying being back!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
PS Congrats to my Hubby on his 5km PR 20:52. I think he officially has the running bug now!