Monday, May 7, 2012

2 hours, 23 minutes, 47 seconds...

Good Morning Beautiful,
Well, yesterday I completed my very first half-marathon. I ran in the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Half-Marathon and ran it in 2 hours, 23 minutes and 47 seconds. I wanted to finish in under 2.5 hours so I accomplished my goal! It was an amazing experience, although I’m already figuring things out that I will be doing differently for my second race.

Here I am crossing the finish line

First off, I can’t walk well, not even a little bit. I really didn’t think I was going to be this sore, but it makes sense. Originally the plan had been to run for 10 minutes, walk for 1 minute through the whole thing. This was to help conserve my energy, pace myself, and not do too much in the beginning and be completely exhausted by the end. Well, as soon as we started running, that plan completely flew out the door, for a couple of reasons:
-          I felt like I would look pathetic walking in the first 20 minutes to other people around me.
-          For whatever reason (probably adrenaline) I felt like I could totally run the whole thing because I felt great, I had so many motivating people around me and it was a perfect day for a race.
-          For some reason in my head I thought that I’d finish faster if I walked less.
Going into this race, I knew that I was going to think this way even before I got there. I was convinced that I had trained myself to ignore my head and do what I had trained for. Nope, didn’t do it. So I ran basically for the first 10km at a slower pace that I should have been (because of no breaks I’m sure), and then I got to my first hill. By this time I knew that if I ran up this hill it would be a disaster and I’d be totally tired, so I opted for walking up the hill, why not right?
Well I got to the top of the hill and started running again. A few more km in and I could feel low blood sugar coming on. For those of you who know me personally know that I’m also diabetic (type 1) so instantly I though “no no no, not noooow!!”. So I busted out my glucose tablets, and ate them and ran until I came to the next water station, thank god there were 11 of them in a 21km distance, so it wasn’t very far! I downed a couple glasses of Gatorade and felt so much better, and off I went again.
At this point I can tell that I’m starting to get tired and sore but my goal of completing this under 2.5 hours was etched in the back of my head and there was no stopping. At this point my legs were so heavy that if I started to walk I knew I wouldn’t start running again. The last quarter of the race was by far the hardest. I remember thinking “AWESOME – only 3 km left!” and then realizing that I was only at Bay & Wellington and thinking “holy $%@&... I’m still VERY far from Ontario Place; this has got to end before Ontario Place.”. I remember reaching the 19km mark and thinking the same thing, “Impossible, this has got to me so much farther away from Ontario Place than 2km.”. Then I got to the 20km sign, and was absolutely convinced that Ontario Place was further than 1km away since I had ran past Ontario Place many times in my training.

C and I once I found him!

It felt like forever, but eventually I hit the starting of the huge crowds, the screaming, the cheering, and it was kind of surreal. I mean, how often do you have thousands of people just screaming your name and cheering you on? It was almost overwhelming and ALMOST (key word here) made me cry. I had my earphones in to keep me “in the zone”, but C told me he was calling out my name but I couldn’t hear him (sorry hunny!) and it was everything I could do to not start crying to myself in the middle of thousands of people. Aww, I know, silly, but if you’ve already ran your first half-marathon, or if you’ve accomplished something huge that you set out to do, you can understand where I’m coming from.
It took me a good 45 minutes to finally find C and the rest of my family that came out to support me. Where I was located was for runners only, and there were a TON (6000 people ran the half-marathon with me, let alone the marathon runners and the 5km runners). Once I finally found him, we got some solid photos and I got some awesome hugs. J

My Medal!

The walk home was extremely slow; my legs were kind of like jelly and kind of like cement all in one, which isn’t an amazing feeling by any means. I wore my medal all day, and I was/am so proud of it!
It’s been less than 36 hours since I did the half-marathon, and I’ve already mentally committed to doing a few more races! There is a 10km race through the Toronto Zoo in September, and the next half-marathon will be October 14th, the Scotiabank Waterfront Half-Marathon. I want to get a couple more races in before September though. There was one perfect 15km race in August, but I have an awards gala to attend that night, so unfortunately I can’t do that one. What a bummer!
I think I’ve come down with some sort of running bug. J
Stay sweet.

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