I didn't want to write my race recap right after the race. I wanted to be able to wait and reflect and gather my thoughts. So I did. Then I wrote about it.
Check out The Meta Picture for more awesome pics.Yesterday after I finished, I was disappointed with my time. I finished the 1/2 marathon in 2 hours and 16 minutes. Which is about 10 minutes slower than the last half I ran. I felt so good for the first 15 km and then I started to slow down. I just didn't have the endurance to finish as strong as I wanted to.
However, once I had a chance to step away, I realized that my time was quite good and I am very satisfied. Proud even. I didn't train and prepare the same way that I did for my first half marathon. I had been running regularly, but smaller runs, sprints and more strength training as opposed to an actual 1/2 marathon training program. So I guess I wasn't really sure what to expect of myself heading into race day. I have had a really busy month at work, so I really didn't even have a chance to be nervous or jittery until the night before the race.
The race itself was simply perfect. Great day, awesome weather, fabulous course and lot's 'n lot's of soldiers! If you haven't heard of the Army Run you must check it out and make plans to participate. I am currently obsessed with created a fitness bucket list and I really believe that this race (either the 5km or the 1/2 deserves to be on everyone's list). Why do I make this bold claim? From the cannon used as a starter's pistol to the "dog-tag" medals that soldiers place around participants' necks when they cross the finish line, this event is unlike any other in Canada.
The course is a unique one. We ran through downtown Ottawa and passed by all sorts of scenic sights in our nations capital and we also ran into Quebec and back into Ontario. Canada Army Run also recognizes and celebrates the achievements of ill and injured soldiers and athletes with disabilities, who demonstrate the true meaning of “soldiering on”. These inspiring individuals started 15 minutes prior to the mass start of both the 5K and half marathon events and it was truly inspiring to see and cheer for them even though I was running as well. Cool huh?
The night before the race, I carbed up and drank tons of water. I got a great nights sleep. I had some plain oatmeal, some dates and more water for breaky. We got downtown Ottawa early and I was able to squeeze in my classic pre-race "nervous pee".
As I mentioned earlier, I felt so good for the first 15 km. In fact we didn't even stop once. I was running with my co-worker and friend...and my twinny (poor Amanda always gets mistaken for me at work. For real, people will walk up to her and call her Tara and then proceed to have a conversation with her lol). We got our regular little cups of gatorade along the way. I chew gum when I run. I am not sure why or if that is even recommended. There were so many people along the entire route cheering and clapping. Many had signs, some were funny and some were inspirational. There were even a some high fives from soldiers!
So many people out there were carrying signs like this! HA! Good advice. I love stealing.At around 17km I started to slow down. I could feel my legs getting heavy and my pace started to slow. I took about 1/2 a km to regroup, change my playlist (yes, I just put DMX Party UP on repeat on my ipod) and chugged the rest of the way home. The last km was easy because there were so many people lining the streets to cheer you on. So I finished in 2 hours and 16 minutes. Amanda finished at 2 hours and 12 minutes. We met up at he finish line after we got out dog tag "medals" which are waaaaay cooler than any regular race medals I have ever gotten. We did it (along with almost 10,000 other 1/2 marathoners)!
Guess where we went next? Starbucks for Americano's (of course) and then for mani/pedi's. Perfect. Then I headed back to my parents house where I absolutely GORGED on a yummy turkey dinner. My parents will be heading down south and my schedule won't have allow me to be back in Ottawa before Thanksgiving so we celebrated early. Yum. I am sure everyone says this, but my mom really is the best cook ever. I am not sure if my kids will ever be able to say that if I plan on making them paleo meals lol. Just kidding. All in all, I had a fabulous weekend full of family friends, pampering oh and of course a 21km run.
Phewf! Isn't it funny how blogging or writing in general can be so cathartic? I am writing this post knowing that hundreds of people will read it, but yet I don't feel comfortable even saying some of these words to one person. It seems writing and publishing words feels safer than saying them out loud. Hmmmm.
I know there were ton's of races and runs this past weekend. Did anyone else accomplish running greatness this past weekend??
This is for all my non running friends.P.S. I almost forgot. I wore compression socks for the first time ever. They were awesome. I went to the Running Room and they sized our calves and recommended a sock for us. Amanda and I ended up actually buying the same socks. We bought CEP Compression socks. They rock (and no they don't pay me to say that!). I am not exactly sure how compression socks work except that they are supposed to improve circulation and blood flow. I definitely felt as though the socks helped and we got tons of compliments on them, so it was win-win! I wore them for the first time on race day, so I wasn't exactly sure what would happen. If you are going to try compression socks I would recommend trying them out before race day!