Saskatchewan Marathon

Sunday was the Saskatchewan Marathon in which I was running the half marathon. Having only gotten out of a boot cast for a bad sprain two months prior, I started the day with my only goal to get close to my old PR.

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My HEART was a different story. I wanted to break 2:30 for the first time. One of my best friends was pacing the group, and I knew with her encouragement I could do it.

The first 5 km of the race was through residential area. At first I was dreading this as I find residential BORING. However the first 5 km everyone was still close together, it doubled back on itself and there were tons of people cheering. By the time we got to the river trail I thought, oh wow! Its just like starting a regular run, I just have to go a shorter distance now!

Running a 7min/km pace felt hard, but do-able. Around 12km I realized I had to use the washroom and use my inhaler, but didn’t want to stop and risk loosing my pacer. I ate two gels-pretty much forcing them down on Becky’s advice knowing I would need the energy later. By 14km, I NEEDED to stop [I was majorly regretting cutting my digestion time pre-race by half an hour]. I picked up my pace to PAST comfortably hard, hard as I could go to get to the washroom for…

SOME SPECTATOR KID TO SWIPE THE ONLY BATHROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I couldn’t wait. I knew if my pacer passed me, I would have a really hard time getting back to her.

I slowed for a mini-tantrum. HA! My eyes were watering, I had rage inside me [yes, I know, kids can’t hold their bladders…rationally, I’m not mad….irrationally in my “IM GOING TO KILL A 6 YEAR DREAM” head I was RAGING. It was all I could do not to scream at the mother as I ran by. There were literally public bathrooms 300 meters away.] Becky caught up to me and I am sure she could tell I was defeated. She pointed out the bathrooms up ahead and I went for the sprint. I knew if she got more than 30 seconds ahead of me I wouldn’t be able to catch her.

I sprinted along the course to the public bathrooms. I went faster than ever in my life, one minute.  I sprinted back out. I saw Becky in the distance. I ran as hard as I possibly could. Possibly harder than I ever had to try to get back with her and the group. I could see her in the distance for a full 2-2.5km. She was SO close, but I was burning every ounce of extra energy I had to try and catch her. TMI alert: I was running so hard, I vomited in my mouth, and swallowed again in an attempt to KEEP GOING.

I approached the south bridge which has a slow incline. She was at the end of the bridge [thanks to a bright orange tank I could find her]. I tried as hard as I have ever tried for anything. The incline started, and I just knew, I couldn’t keep this pace any longer. I would have to push myself to try my best, and PR as close to 2:30 as I could.

I slowed my pace back to my goal pace and kept going. Within another 2-3 km my pace slowed dramatically. I was 1 minute slower per KM. I downed almost an entire pack of gel dummies desperate for energy. All of that sprinting wore me out early.

I knew that if I didn’t PR at least, I would never forgive myself for giving up.
I pressed on at 90% effort. The hardest I have ever worked in a race, EVER.
In my head I kept calculating how many minutes behind I was. FINALLY I was on the final stretch. I could see the finish line.
400 meters left, I had plenty of time to PR. Becky  ran back for me. All I could say was “I tried so hard to catch you” through tears. I was so emotional I could barely breath. I had to beg her, and a few seconds later, my husband, not to talk to me so I could at least breath and finish strong. Becky took my camel back to lighten the zone and I ran the last 300 meters at a pace around 5:28 according to my watch. If you saw me dragging it in, you probably would have thought I was a robot. I wasn’t smiling. My eyes were on the prize.

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I finished in 2:34:59. 11 whole minutes off my previous personal best. Almost 5 minutes off of the dream I had been chasing for 6 years….and while I didn’t believe I could achieve until mid race, had my heart set on.

Now, I am selfishly bummed. Im trying to be so happy with my accomplishment. I PR’d by such a large amount. I ran the hardest emotional and physical race I have ever run. I all out sprinted 2.5km…..and I can’t stop thinking about 2:30.

I could have done it. I COULD HAVE DONE IT.
The fire is inside me. Now to find a race….

PS. Don’t ask me about aid stations or any of that jazz- the only ones I really remember were at 4km and 14km[with the dang kid], but I was so zoned in and focused I can’t remember. I DO know 14km only had ONE porta potty. I know they were often, I was just trying to run my hardest and zone them out. I wore a camel back with my energy and water.

Wheeze

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This week has been full of highs and lows. Above…I tried to get a picture of the icesicles on our eyelashes at the end of the run today, but it didn’t exactly capture them. It is back to -20ish C….and I could cry. I was on fire with running, and with the weather and going back to my old job this week I didn’t end up getting out for even ONE run until today.

Instead of dwelling on the past…Im just skipping the missed week and carrying on with the half marathon plan. Week 6! 

In other exciting news, I got a spot at the Vancouver Sea Wheeze Half Marathon hosted by lululemon. I am beyond excited as this is supposed to be one of the best races in canada (that says a lot seeing as it is only 3 years old this year!) Unfortunately I don’t have a run buddy going, but my husband will join me as my cheer squad and MAYBE my parents. If they can. The race sold out in 26 minutes this year….all TEN THOUSAND spots. Crazy right? I know I won’t be running alone….I can’t wait! I LOVE Vancouver.

Pray for Grey Robin as she battles though a crappy foot injury this week! She is so far in her full marathon training-this is heart breaking! Reminds me to be extra diligent with foam rolling/stretching….and to get started on some strength training. I know all too well how heart-breaking these injuries can be mid-training. 

Less than 3 months until the Gopher Attack Half Marathon!! (and spring!)

Faux-Spring

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This week has been incredible run-wise. The weather has been A-MA-ZING. As in….it is no longer in the -40C’s. As in… today was +4C. Hallelujah. I am not naiive enough to believe this will last, but I am taking full advantage as long as I possibly can!=) I wore capri’s and Tom’s today to suck in the warmth. I even got a frapp at starbucks rather than a hot beverage! Needless to say, I am quite enjoying my mid-winter weather vacation. 

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Here is what I have to accomplish this week:

35-45 min. easy run

10 min. warm up + 2 x 1km @ half marathon goal pace with 2 min. jog + 10 min. cool down

45 min. easy run

9 km long slow run

Ps. The sunset today was amazing. We really do live in ‘the land of the living skies

Grey Skies

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Last week, I used the ‘Its my Birthday’ excuse and barely ran. After my fab 7.2 on monday, I only went for one walk and did some stretching. I have been feeling pretty unmotivated this week. I missed the only BEAUTIFUL (-1C) day working….so Ive been stuck with dreary, grey, cold days.

This week I MUST get back on track. I need to be fit a fab to start marathon training on new years day, that will give me a couple extra weeks to allow for any set-backs that may occur before the race in April.

Yesterday I had my car in the shop to have a new window put in (some jerk smashed it in while I worked). Being without transportation for the day ended up being a really good thing as I had to go on foot to do my errands. I walked somewhere around 5km and did some stretching at home.

For runs this week, here is what I have to accomplish by Sunday:

7.2km @ a comfortable pace

4.8km @ race pace (7 minute kilometers)

8km @ a comfortable pace

40-45 easy run (I am going to call my walking day my easy run due to lack of days left in the week)

I will be proud to have these runs accomplished by the end of the week. Its going to be busy: My best friend is in town, my parents/brother are coming to town, and sunday morning we leave to visit the in-laws. Busy busy.

I am BEYOND excited to share that my husband has signed up for his FIRST half marathon!!! YAYYYY!!! I think he was inspired by doing so well at the Santa Shuffle, and his ‘tuxedo’ sweats he recently bought (he tells me they are so nice he could wear them to tuxedo events).

Off to juice, and see my BEST FRIEND for the first time in a month!!!! YAHOOOOOOOO!!! [Did I mention I am off for 11 days? On the up and up!]