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Sunday, May 30, 2010

The difference a year makes

Vancouver Marathon - May 1, 2009:
time: 6:28:32 - quite literally the last person to cross the finish line.
feeling: triumphant but spent and hobbled for DAYS!

Calgary Marathon - May 30, 2010
time: 5:41:32 (8:06/km) - passed people on my way to the finish line! This works out to a 12% improvement in my time - almost an hour off. If I continue training at this level, and achieve another 12% in Toronto, I will have a sub-5 race! Boo-yah!!
feeling: TRIUMPHANT! Okay, some things hurt, but I basically walked like a normal person to and from the train afterwards, and even made it up the 3 flights of stairs in my building with relative ease.
The day dawned cold (+1C or about 33F) and cloudy and humid (93%). It's usually not that humid in Calgary when it is raining, for crying out loud. And yes, some of my gear was still wet, so I hope my neighbours didn't mind me doing some blow-drying at 5am on a Sunday!! Breakfast was my usual pre-race fare of milk, whole wheat bagel with PB & banana, and some oatmeal (oats, coconut yogurt, sunflower seeds). I walked over to the train, and caught the next one rather quickly...there were an awful lot of people dressed in running gear this morning on the train! Found everyone at the park quickly, checked our bags and queued up for the start. D. (H-woman's friend from Hamilton) found me in the crowd, so we managed to run together for a bit, which was awesome. Hope she did well in her Half! As well, I ran into the VP of HR for my company, also out for the Half. He looked fantastic when we passed on his way back in. Thinking he got a good time out of the day. K. and I looking ready for action, pre-run. And yes, I run without a coat and hat and gloves...I over-heat way too easy.

The pistols went off, and we were under way...K. and I trying our best not to get sucked into the vortex of over-eager runners, and therefore burn out too early. The route wasn't too bad, although it is rather sad that the City won't actually close the roads for a run, just half, so we end up choking on exhaust fumes for most of the race. They did close down one road all the way, and it was lovely to run on, without worrying about getting run over (a city bus got awfully close to me, and I was in "my" lane!) or not breathing due to fumes. We lost D. after about 3km, and then K. and I split up at about the 14k, or the bottom of Shaganappi. I just ran till I felt like I needed a break, and made sure I only walked for a minute before running again. It tried to snow a bit up in Varsity (higher elevation) but the weather thankfully held out till the end, which was nice. Again, I don't mind the cold, I just didn't want to be wet.
After the many, many, many hills of the University/Varsity loop (about 10km in total), we started back down the hill. H-woman and her man S. were there to greet me, and K. caught up, so we could run together to the end, the final 10km. I was doing great, but K. had some serious juice and I had troubles keeping up to her, so I finally let her go on ahead. My hips and ankles were calling me not so nice names by this point, but I only had 5 to go, so push on. It helps knowing the route, because as boring as Memorial Dr is (long and straight), I could tick off my markers...Crowchild, now just to 14th St. 14th St, now just to 10th St, and on and on. There was one last little hill (are you kidding me?!) leading up to the finish line, and then there it was!! Victory!!! The medal is a belt buckle, keeping with the tradition of the Stampede Marathon, from where this started, oh so many years ago. In fact, I'm pretty sure Calgary is the oldest marathon in Canada, despite it's many transformations and changed in dates.

After some stretching, trying to get some food before the eager-beaver crew packed everything up, I met up with B. for a Starbucks (oh, how I needed it). She is very kindly donating to the Underwear Affair next week, and wanted to make sure I got the cheque. And she lives in the area. After that, I made my way to the train (about 2 blocks, and a lot of stairs) and then home from the downtown station (8 block walk and more stairs!). I'm currently enjoying some chocolate milk, and an Oreo before a lay-down with the kids. Haven't decided on supper yet, but dang it, I just burned 3037 calories, so I really don't care!!

I'll let you all know how I'm doing later, and feeling tomorrow! That will be the real test of all this training and Boot Camp stuff I do. How I recover from these distances.


H-woman said...

Whoo hoo! Congratulations, my determined friend. If you think you can, you will. You obviously thought right. I'm so proud of you.


Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Congratulations! Amazing job! You trained so hard for this and it totally showed in your race results!! Very happy for you :)

Cathy said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! Way to go, you deserve it with all of your hard work. Looking forward to seeing you in October!

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