Monday, October 27, 2014

No DNF today! Half Marathon Race Report

Everything hurts! But it's a good hurt, really. This morning as I woke up and felt all of my achy muscles protesting it erased any doubts I had yesterday about not giving the half marathon my all. I did. I didn't get the awesome, super PB time I was hoping for, but I had gone into the race knowing that a sub 2:10 would be out of the picture given my recent training times. So, hoping to come closer to 2:30 than 3:00 I had achieved my goal with a 2:38. And wow, can I feel every minute of it today! Yesterday was overcast with a chance of rain. Bah! I said, even if it does rain I knew I'd be covered most of the way by trees so I wasn't too concerned. I did choose to wear my husband's red running coat, you know, just in case. I filled my handheld, grabbed the energy bar I was pretty sure I wouldn't need and a wad of paper towel and was good to go. My husband and daughter drove me to the start and milled around with me in the 5 degree weather as I debated another porta potty break. Then it was time to line up and I managed to get both my watch and my music started before crossing the mat (a minor miracle for me). We took a different route than the last time I had run this trail half marathon but I enjoyed the change. This course took us through a whole other section of the park before having us all double back to the start to begin the second loop. In all we did three loops, doing the first one twice, making a bow tie with the start/finish in the center. I started off with the main pack-dangerous with this crew-and noted I was running a 5:30 per km pace. Whoa! I slowed myself down to a manageable 6:30 and tried to hold on as long as I could until I got to the first turn around. The way back took us all through a section I've run in the Bluenose marathon a couple of times so I knew what to expect there. I checked my watch again and I'd covered 3 miles in 34 minutes-pretty quick for me running a half marathon. Happy with that I focused on my music (podrunner) and kept plugging along until the next turn around. While I was making my way there I came upon an older runner who was clearly having trouble. He was hobbling badly so I stopped and offered my help. After a few minutes he was sitting, assured me he'd be ok and I headed back out on the trail. Not even before I hit the second turn around did someone come up beside me and declare his cramped calf muscle had popped and he felt great-was the older runner I had just helped. Ugh I said to myself as he trotted past, clearly feeling much better. I think karma rewarded me though because when I hit the second turn around they had a huge stock of salted caramel GUs. Yum! I grabbed some and started back, trying to stay focused and determined. Then, panic took over as I suddenly needed a porta potty. In the middle of the woods there was only one thing to do, go bushwhacking to some privacy off trail. Thank goodness I had brought the wad of paper towel! Embarrassing situation over, I tried to pick up the pace but realized how much harder that is to do after 14 or so kilometers. But, I pushed on, focusing even more on the podrunner 180bpm to keep my pace on track. At 16kms in I saw that I could realistically come in before the 3 hour mark and that was all I needed to push me through the final kilometers to the finish where my husband and daughter were there taking pictures and video taping me as I made the last turn and went across the mat (with a smile). There. Goal achieved. No DNF here today!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Is it taper time already?!

Alrighty, it's supposed to be taper time. Bah! I say. I've been steadily logging weeks of 60+kms with the odd scale-back week of between 40-50kms since September. The Shubie trail HM is in a week and although I don't have any plans to cut down on my running between now and..say Thursday next week I think things will work out ok. My best long runs have come after taking a day or two off and I know I can go the distance. And I've already let my husband know this will NOT be a PB at this distance, so he might as well wait 3 hours before coming back to get me. There. I think I've got it covered. Oh, and I've already got my caffeine for the race so now all I have to do is pick up a bar of some kind in case I get hungry. Remember the goal here is to finish, not PB or drop out after half (of the half) because of whatever reason. I'm getting a bit hyper focused on finishing one of these races this year, since the last one I completed the full distance was (shockingly) back in MAY! How did this happen? One DNF turned into a DNS and another DNF! Ack! This just had to stop. There's no timing chip, no bling, not even a silly t-shirt at this race, but it doesn't matter. The point is to get out there, enjoy the racing atmosphere on a course I know well and get'r done! Now that I've got my head around the race I'm already looking into next year's season. I know a wee bit crazy. Of course I'll be back for the Waskally Wrabbit 50k in May. I think my daughter's plans to run the Bluenose 10k might get squished though since I think she has a big dance competition that weekend, so I'm thinking as a family we might run the Johnny Miles races in my old hometown of New Glasgow the month following. We'll see. The race organizers around here don't tend to set their race schedule until December and January so I'll have lots of time to think about the races between now and then! But for now, I'll try and focus on not over training before this HM!

Monday, October 6, 2014

They're all gone. Sorry.

There I sat, for probably the tenth time, scanning the website hoping to find some sign of recognition. All out rush? No, the pattern on the side was similar but not the same. Mix Master Move Glide? No, the tread pattern used diamond shapes, not circles. Grr. I cursed myself half-heartedly again for buying a pair of running shoes at a discount place in the states and promptly tossing the box and forgetting to note the bloody name of these shoes! I think a lot of us have been there. We buy a pair of shoes, forget to remember the name of the model and by the time it comes to replace them the model is either A. Changed. Because it is six months later and that's about as long as the life expectancy of a shoe model these days, or B. Is out there..somewhere..on some website's clearance/discount page..just waiting..and so there I sat on my laptop scanning ebay, outdoor discount retailers and to track down MY shoe. It took about a half hour on before I hit the jackpot. (Why I hadn't found it in my previous three dozen attempts I. Do. Not. Know.)...but now is not the time to ask questions(!), now was the time to pray that this shoe was in my size and not going to cost regular price PLUS shipping to Canada. Now I am not a huge miracle person. I do believe they can happen, yes, but overall I think we make our own luck. I tend to think many other ultra runners would agree since we are the type of people who spend countless hours training ourselves to accomplish feats most people would rather watch from the couch with a bag of chips. There's no miracle in finishing a 50k, if you've put in the hard training, have some personal resilience and determination, you can get'r done. But yesterday wasn't a day for the pay off of hard work (well, maybe a bit since it was a lot of hard Internet searching!). No, somehow I had found the shoe, in my size, and not for a million dollars. The Mix Master Glide. Yup. I had managed to find a two year old shoe to love. No wonder it took forever to track down on a website. And to top it all off, it was the Last Pair. Period. In my size or any other. It took me a few seconds of debating but in the end they're on their way to me now. Sorry, if you're looking for a pair of Merrell's Mix Master Glides in a size 7, they'll be coming north to ride the trails of Nova Scotia in the next 5-10 business days.