Tuesday, 12 May 2015

My 1st Race Back and My Mississauga Half Recap

So admittedly, I have been a Bad Blogger lately... Sorry guys! I have been struggling to find my motivation to share again following my Catfish experience. And I have needed a bit of a Social Media breather to regroup.

Sometimes you just need to unplug and evaluate where you are and what is truly important to you. And after some quiet reflecting I ultimately decided that the good out weighs the bad, and I want to keep sharing. So thanks for being patient with me.

While I was away lots of things have happened. One of the biggest being that I ran my first half marathon post-op! And Burnbrae Farms graciously offered to sponsor my first race back.

I have been pretty candid about the struggle to keep running and racing while experiencing setbacks. Like most runners, we evaluate our success on our time and race results. We are always striving for that personal best, racing against the clock, and pushing hard to get stronger and faster. I chose to start running seriously at the peak of a fairly tumultuous time in my life. And while I still long for all of things mentioned above, I have also realized that I have to evaluate my success differently.

My goal for Mississauga was to run hard. I had hopes for a personal best. But ultimately, this race was meant to be check-in.

Last summer, I started to experience some symptoms and setbacks while training for my Half Ironman. So I chose to put my training on hold and simply do my best to maintain my fitness. I had Surgery #7 in November. And I have been working on slowly rehabbing ever since. I had about 10 weeks of proper half marathon under my belt. The Mississauga Half was going to be my first opportunity to put my training and my fitness to the test.

I panicked slightly as we pulled up to the start line, because I had forgotten the timing chip for my shoe. Luckily with just a quick stop at the SportStats tent I was able to swap my number and get a new timing chip. I calmed my nerves, did a quick warm-up, and got myself situated at the start line.

My goal was to strive for a 5:40-5:45/km pace (9:07-9:15/mile pace) for the duration of the race. I started out strong, and my 8km split - 45:46 - was right on pace.  And I felt great until about kilometer 13. My legs started to get tight. I was struggling to clear the lactic acid in my quads, and despite my best efforts my pace started to slow down.

My goal was to maintain my effort, continue to run hard, and do the best I could.
I glanced at my watch at kilometer 18 and with a bit of mental math I knew a Personal Best wasn't going to happen. My left side was starting to swell (which you can see in the picture above), but I also knew I wasn't too far off my goal. So I wanted to dig deep for the final stretch. I crossed the finish line with a Final chip time of 2:06:58. And I was happy.

Last year on the exact same weekend I ran the Goodlife Half in 2:05:41 after more than a full year of rehab and consistent training. With just 10 weeks of training I was only a 1:17 off the pace. Showing that despite my tight timeline I was able to regain the fitness I had lost, and that I am hopefully on my way to getting stronger and faster.

It was definitely a great way to get back out there! I happy to be back running and racing. But mostly I am just happy to be feeling strong and healthy again!

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,