After a raucous night of partying (and WAYYYYYY too much wine on my part), we headed down to the Race Expo first thing Saturday morning. We quickly found a parking spot and headed into the EXPO. We were promised a much larger expo than last year, but I have to say, I was disappointed. The SPACE was larger, but the expo was about the same size. I also didn’t see a lot of familiar faces, even at The Running Room booth.
We headed home and I slept off the night before for a few hours. Then I made a yummy pasta bake for hubby, since he would be running the Half Marathon. Then we got our gear organized and off to bed we went!
We woke up several times during the night with little Cam Man, so our wakeup call was not necessary. We rolled out of bed, hoped in the car and made it to our parking spot by 6am. After checking our bags in what seemed like the world’s longest lines (1-7000 and 7001+) we roamed around Nathan Phillips until hubby went to his starting corral. I snagged a spot and watched the start. I love watching the beginning of races. It is so cool. Once I spotted hubby, I ran to the shuttle bus that would take the 5ker’s to Exhibition Place, where our race would be starting from.
I quickly ran off the bus and ran out to the race course to see if I could see my BFF Marlene, and of course, hubby. I did see hubby, but not M L I guess she was just too fast for me! I ran to the OTHERSIDE of the course and managed to see M’s hubby, who was so in the zone (he finished the half in 1:33). I saw my hubby and gave him a high five before heading to the start corrals.
As much as I appreciate that they wanted to give the 5ker’s their own race experience, I did not like the start of this race. There were 4252 participants. Of those, I am sure half we walkers. And I am going to use the term WALKERS loosely here. It took me 7 minutes to cross the finish line. The Elites had finished the first kilometre before I even began to MOVE down the chute. And once I did cross, it took me until at least 2k to get into my groove. Most people were strolling, not walking. Everyone races their own race. I understand that of course. But a lot of these walkers weren’t racing. Some seemed to be strolling, almost leisurely. It was frustrating to get out of that type of crowd. But I managed!
I had a goal in mind of 45:00 minutes, but the congestion at the beginning really hindered that goal. So, I changed it to 48:00 minutes and pushed as hard as I could. I did find the race difficult, especially the last 500 metres. Coming in with the marathoners was a real rush. I pushed and managed to finish upright and smiling:
Gun Time: 55:38.9
Chip Time: 48:11.6
Category Place: 380/473
Gender Place: 1898/2771
A HUGE IMPROVEMENT over my 5k time in August and a new PR! I felt good after, but was sore all day Monday. But some stretching did a body good.
Today I actually went out and did eight sets of walking 2 minutes and running 1 minute! And it felt great. I am not going to push myself too hard, but I have to say. It feels great to be getting back to my old self!
I also wanted to mention my new personal hero (who am I kidding, she has always been a hero of mine!) Marlene. She worked her ass off this summer and shaved over 16 MINUTES off her Marathon finish last year. It was so rewarding for me, as her friend, to see her cross the finish line. She looked great and I could tell she felt better. I am so incredibly proud of her accomplishment and cannot wait to see what she has planned next. She will continue to inspire me, I am sure of it!
I would also be remiss in not mentioning hubby, who also finished his third half a strong 2:03. While it was not a PR for him, he was happy to finish well and will be running one more half this fall to see about a new PR before he begins his Half Marathon clinic in November in Aurora (at The Running Room, so come on down and register people!)