Monday, January 14, 2013

The Race that wasn't really about the race....San Antonio Rock and Roll Half, Nov 11, 2012

I am not quite sure when we decided to do this race but at some point along the way I felt pretty sure I wanted to do another full marathon.  We had all signed up to do Melissa's Road Race in September and in my infite wisdom decided to the half marathon.  My coach, who is often (always) my senate ( you know, the sober second thought ) told me that I should do a zone build for the half mary and not "race" the race.  And, in my brilliance told her, "uh, that's not within my range of capabilities"...."I'm gonna race it".   Well, mistake #1.  The race was fine, but I promised I would be carefull with my recovery the week after so I would be ready for my next long run a week after the race.  Mistake #2 was running the Terry Fox Run 5km 4 days later with my pretty darn speedy 12 year old son.  Mistake #3 came later that day when deciding that my cross country running team had ran enough at the Terry Fox Run that we should play grounders and tag instead practicing.  Did you know when you play tag that you have sprint?  Yeah, not so smart.  Did something to my hip that day, and because of it made the decision to do the half marathon instead of the full.  I ended up running with pain up to and including the race in San Antonio (well, that was a long build up, wasn't it?).

So back to San Antonio....  I wasn't the only one in our group having troubles.  There were a couple other injury issues in our group and there was a definite feeling of uncertainty.  Wondering if we could finish the race, wondering if the whole race would be in pain.....  There was definitely alot of mixed feelings about this race.  But who can worry about racing when you are staying in town down San Antonio with your best friends and eat every meal on the riverwalk and walk past the Alamo 4 times a day??  We had the best times enjoying the city of San Antonio and especially the downtown area.  Absolute beautiful and it was so could tell who the Canadians were, wearing shorts in the 70's!

Despite all the fun, race morning came eventually.  I will sum this race up quite quickly, because, as the title suggests, the trip and time with the girls was (for me) the best part about this race.  My hip started to hurt 2 miles in, right after I realized the humidity was super high (it was low 20's but I was soaked by the first mile).   I held my goal pace for 5 miles then slowly, mile by mile, started slowing down.   I checked and rechecked my HR to see what was going on, and it was right up there.  I was definitely going as fast as I was able to on that day.  I finished the race more than 5 minutes slower than my personal best and 4 minutes slower than my goal time.  I'm not going to lie, I was disappointed at first.  It took me some time to take my own advice on races like this....I did the best I could do on this day.....

As it turns out,  the rest of the crew struggled in the hummidity.  In various turns there were deydration problems, pain from injuries, technical issues, bathroom issues, and an overall "slowness" due to the high humidity (even the locals were slower than normal).  But, there was also a couple negative splits, brilliant execution and mental toughness, and some amazing team work and support out there.  Lara and Marnie were there for Mel and Jen in more ways than one!  And despite being in pain from start to finish I think Lara was the only one that was "happy" with her race.   

Now after the race (after we dealt with two dehydrated teammates)????  Let's just say that there are a couple establishements on the riverwalk, Fogo de Chao and Dicks, that will never be the same after 5 post race crazy Canadian gals were done with them.  But that's not a story for this blog....   you will have to ask me :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Another loooong overdue update! Calgary Women's Run August 2012

Was casually visting my own blog and realized I hadn't even written a race report for Calgary Women's Run at the end of here goes!

I had some decent early 10kms and some good 10kms in tri's this year, so though I would take a shot at my 10km PR that I set waaaay back in my 20's, and that sub 40 minute 10km that eluded me all through my 20's (back before I was a triathlete when I was pounding the pavement 6x a week).

After recovering from Calgary 70.3 ( I was sick for a week after) I had a wicked 2 week run focus, a short taper and it was go time.  There was something special about this race...  in my 20's my husband Marty and my young kids accompanied me to all those 10km races and I came so close to sub 40 so many times, but never did get there (40:11 was my best).  When I told Marty was going for sub 40 at the Women's Run he told me that he and the kids would be there (keep in mind they are now 12 and 15 and an 8am 10km race is not all cool).  I felt so wonderfully supported but also so much pressure!!  I know it sounds strange, but in so many ways I wanted to do this for Marty and the kids, so knowing they would be there at the finish meant there was no wimping out in the last km!

I rode into the race with some girlfriends (which is amazing for calming my race nerves - thanks girls!) and Marty and the kids showed up right before the start.  Marty sent me a text during my warmup telling me to basically get it done and my time would be 39:41.
I never did see that text...  but they were there at the starting line and there for me 1km out from the finish.

I went out fast off the gun and had a really good first 5km ( a nice tailwind for sure ).  I hit the halfway mark at 19:17 so I was off to a good start (this is also a 5km pb!).  Usually in a 10km race I hit the "pain cave" around the 7km mark.  In this race as soon as I hit the 5km turnaround (it was an out and back) I was in the pain cave!  5 tough kms for sure.  I definitely slowed down after the turnaround around, but knew if I could hold the slightly slower pace I would be able to do it.  At 9km I was at 35:50.  I had 4 mins and 10 sec to get it done.  Marty and the kids were there and hollered and yelled and it was just the push I needed.  I dug deeper into that pain cave and pulled off a sub 4 min last km to cross the finish line in....  yeah you guessed...39:41.  Marty predicted to the second!

Firmly in the pain cave at 9km!

I turned around and started making my way back to where Marty and the kids were and they met me half way.  I was so excited to celebrate this personal victory.  I accomplished something that I had laid to bed years ago as being untouchable.  To do this, and have Marty and the kids there to cheer me was a pretty big moment for me.

This was my reaction when I came around the corner and saw my family (followed by very sweaty hugs!)
The story gets even better....  I had three of my Team Tri Life Athletes there with me, and all three of them also had personal best days!  Jen and Lara entered their own pain cave and set new 10km PB's and Cherra-Lynne who is a new runner, finished her 2nd ever 5km in a personal best time.  There was a lot of smiles followed up by a celebration lunch together.  Most definitely a day to remember :)

Just a little goofy over there on the left....nice work ladies!