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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Canmore Half

Race # 13.  This one I signed up for last minute, as I was still feeling runner's remorse for missing the Stampede Half in July. 

The Canmore Half.  I've run a half before in Canmore, in May.  The Rocky Mountain Soap Co hosted a women's only run, and it was hard, as you started and finished at the Nordic Centre.  Doesn't sound that bad, till you realize the Nordic Centre is where the 1988 Olympic cross-country skiing took place, and is up the side of a freaking mountain!  The last 5k were all up hill.  Today's race started and finished in town.  Far more civilized.

I got up bright and early (6am is too early for a Sunday), showered, dressed, made a green monster for the road, packed up and drove to Starbucks.  There, I picked up a vente non-fat latte, and their low fat turkey egg thingy sandwich (I never remember what it's called!) and hit the highway.  I was on the road by 7:30 and arrive safely in Canmore at 8:30.  Parked James, and walked the two blocks to the high school (race central) after stopping and using a real bathroom...I don't do the green portables!  Blech!

After hanging around (race started at 9:15) in the crisp mountain morning air, we were off.  The course had us weaving through the townsite, which was all right, except their sides roads were in rather deplorable condition...pot holes, ruts, bad repair jobs, loads of lose gravel and other hazards abound.  And cars...loved the cars!  For a race that really wanted to be green (recycling, car pooling from Calgary, buses to the race site, composting...they had it all), they could have done more to actually close the roads to traffic.  I actually got stuck behind a good old diesel truck for probably a good 2-3 blocks, breathing in the fumes the whole way.  Good times.  We darted into the forest for some trail running (again, not in the best condition...I was concerned about rolling an ankle), back out onto the roads, more pathways, some back alleys (odd...) and then after a final stint through town, we hit the Three Sisters pathway (that's what I call it) that follows the river out to the Three Sisters area, outside of Canmore.  This part is lovely, paved pathway, with quite a few hills and switchbacks.  What goes up must go down, right??  I did walk a lot of the hills (okay, ALL of the hills!) with the condition that I could run down the other side. 

Was feeling was bright and sunny, so the path into the trees was most welcome and cool.  However, I really must remember antihistamines when I go running in the woods!  It was dry and dusty and the trees are starting to lose leaves.  I was pretty stuffed up.

I kept plodding along, feeling like I was walking more than running, and my hamstring was acting up, but left, right repeat.  Managed to pass quite a few people, and let a few pass me (including one annoying chick who started celebrating at 19k that "there was only one more to go now"...don't know where she went to school!), before reaching the final water station, and the last kilometre (officially!).  I even allowed the one volunteer to say "it's just around the corner" because it was...turned left and there was finish line!  I managed a reasonable, and I think my fastest this year, time of 2:45:56.  Felt good, and even found people I knew (MF & A.  - A. ran today, while MF did the Banff Tri yesterday...they are a sporty couple!), hung out and enjoyed some fresh fruit (nectarines, plums, apples) and home baked cookies for race treats.  Listened the bank, and hung out for the awards, which is a treat as that's usually over with by the time I ever cross the finish line.

However, and here's my beef about this race: there was no race shirt or medal.  And it wasn't a cheap race ($75, plus I donated to the Cause)...granted, we did get a cloth shoulder bag (of which I now have about 10) and a water bottle (add to the pile of 50 or so!) for our efforts.  But no bling.  That`s the only reason why I do these things....I will never win one, unless there`s a horrible accident that befalls all of the lead pack (okay, ALL of the runners, save myself) so I rely on the bling to make it worthwhile.  Can`t hang a water bottle on a medal display rack very easily.  Not sure if I`ll sign up again next year...guess I`ll wait to see what happens then.

Met up with H-woman (after a quick chocolate run to Mom`s) and had dinner at Original Joe`s.  I ended up with the fish tacos (soft shells...yes, I ate carbs at 6pm!) and green salad.  I asked for the dressing on the side, and when the waitress asked what kind of dressing, I said a vinaigrette, like a Balsamic.  That`s exactly what I ended up with...balsamic vinegar.  Sigh...  Also enjoyed a pint of Guinness.  I am a rebel, after all.

I am majorly beat, so I am about to hit the sack.  Hope everyone had an awesome weekend, regardless of what they did or where they were.


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