A couple of weeks late, but better late than never.
This is my second year for running this race and I think it will become an annual event for me. For the first time ever I trained for a race WITH someone. Previously I always trained by myself, occasionally incorporating weekly Group Runs into my training schedule.
When I registered for this race months ago, I expected that I would have to train and run this race alone. Then my friend Michelle decided to register too, and I was pleased to have someone along for company. Our conflicting work schedules prevented us from doing all of our training runs together, but we managed to get together regularly. A few of our long runs were on freezing cold days, but the warmth of good company kept us going.
Race day was thankfully not cold. Road conditions were questionable and we considered whether we should wear our ice grips or not. We finally decided to play it safe and wear them. We were glad to have them for the first lap. Ice and slush was predominant with just bits of bare pavement showing through. By the second lap the temperatures had warmed up enough to melt the snow and the street was bare. We kept them on though because we knew the final stretch was bad, but to our surprise it was bare too by the time we got to it. Oh well.. no harm done.
One of my favorite parts of the race was a cheer squad from my Running Group. They were on a corner that we would be passing four times during the course of the race. What a boost to see them. Their encouragement gave us a burst of adrenaline every time we passed them. Thank you, Riverview Running Idiots!
The race went well. We were prepared for it and we knew when to fuel and when to stop for walk breaks. We didn’t have a goal time, we just wanted to finish uninjured. That proved to be a good goal as we later learned of a few people who suffered injury during the run.
The final 5k proved to be the hardest, not because we were unprepared but because the wind came up and we were running directly into it. Giving up was never an option so we kept going. At around 17k we met up with Fast Eddy who is running across Canada and back for Breast Cancer and Alzheimers awareness. He ran with us for a few minutes and provided a nice little boost.
With the Finish Line less than 500 meters we pushed hard going up the final slight incline. Imagine our surprise when we saw.. no Finish Line..? The route marshals directed us to simply run through the gates in the parking lot and that would be our finish line. We found out afterwards that the gantry had been blowing around, threatening the safety of the runners so the organizers decided to take it down. The time clock even blew over but kept on ticking. It was a bit of a disappointment to not cross that big red inflatable Finish Line but it couldn’t be helped. The organizers must always have the safety of the runners a top priority. The picture below was taken at the finish line.. at this point we are slightly confused about where to go or what to do..
Our finish time was 2:32: something? I am ok with that.
After race recovery was a brisk walk followed by intense stretching. It worked well as I was only slightly sore the next day. I think I might finally be getting the hang of this Half Marathon thing. The hardest part of my recovery was going to work that week. I unexpectedly had to work 7 consecutive days because a coworker had a death in her family. The first couple of days wasn’t too bad, but by day 7 I was dragging my ass. My body was weary and I was glad to finally get a day off.
The after run brunch was incredible. I love to eat after a run, and the buffet included all of my favorite things. I think I ate my body weight in bacon and cheesecake.
Once again, hats off to the organizers and volunteers who made this happen. Running in winter is crazy, but it takes a special kind of crazy to volunteer at a winter race.