MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Last Chance

Today was officially (till I find something else) my last race of the year.  It's called the Last Chance Half, and since it's in November, in western Canada, it can really be the last chance any of us have to run without wearing mukluks and the like.

However, today's weather was perfection, albeit a tad gusty.  It's Calgary...we get wind.  A lot.  On Friday, there was a winter weather warning, and dire predictions of wind and blowing snow and white out conditions.  Still hasn't snowed.  Maybe we got so much last year, God is smiling upon this year.  A girl can dream, can't she?

Anyway, after a healthy, slightly abstract dinner of salmon, pickled asparagus, artichoke hearts and red pepper strips, I hydrated and hit the sack nice and early at 10:30.  Not sure why so early, since the race didn't start till 10am, but I wanted a certain time today, and I thought the proper amount of sleep should help.  Up at 8am, and after eating a breakfast of steel cut oats, a banana and the last of yesterday's latte (I kept it in the fridge, so it was an "iced" latte this morning), I analysed the weather and decided on an outfit of capris, long-sleeved tech shirt and short-sleeved over top.  Doesn't sound like a lot, but trust me, I was fine.

Met up with my peeps and after some last minute chatter and plans, we queued up outside to start the race.  There were many of us aiming for PB's today, given the fact that this was the last Half in the area till February, so we lined up with our respective pacers.  M, MS, E & J stuck with me, while S ran ahead with D and DC, DO, EdC and many others I knew today all paced themselves.

We were off at 10am exactly, and after running west a bit, we crossed the river at 10th St, and then ran east until we reached the zoo and St. Patrick's island.  Crossed the river once again, and continued east until we ran past the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.  I was feeling really good and strong, although I will admit I was scared I would let my pacers down if I felt I couldn't keep up.  MS was awesome with the pace, knowing to pull me back a bit if she saw me dragging faster behind someone else, and more or less keeping our pace consistent.  We knew we'd have a heck of wind to run into on the way back, so she wanted to give us a bit of a "head start" on the time, to meet my 2:30 goal.

I fueled when I needed it (Honey Zinger chews every 40 minutes or so) and had my usual OJ/water/sea salt mix in the water bottle.  I felt strong and nothing hurt.  Amazing!

We turned back, and this is where I really like runs where I know the route well.  I can already see the markers in my head, and know it's just to that bridge, or to that street, and I know roughly how long it takes me.  We were returning the same way we came out, but knew we'd turn back sooner at Prince's Island, as the turnaround was past the 12km mark.  Overall, I still felt strong on the course, but the wind was doing a bit of a number on my breathing.  I get gaspy when the wind "sucks the air" out of my mouth (there is no nasal breathing in my world!) so MS and M tried to draft me, and provide a bit of a wind break.  Sadly, my head is about a head above them both, but God love em, they tried.  We hit the 19km mark, and knew this was time to push.  MS apologized for any bitching that may drop out of her mouth (I hope I did too...ladies?!) and we pushed on.  DC (1st in his age group, BTW) came back out to run the last km in with us, and we took off.  I knew we were really booking it, and then with a couple of hundred meters left, the ladies dropped back and screamed at me to go, and go I did.  Head up, chest out, shoulders back, I booked it to that finish line, and made it across in...

wait for it....

I'm pretty damn proud...

almost there...

Can you believe it?!  AND official race time, and Mr. Garmin are almost dead on this time.  That almost never happens.
404 2:25:31.27  1726 Carol WHYTE                50/60   226/266  F4049  Calgary AB         2:24:47.78  6:54
Holy moly, Guacamole!!!!!  A personal best of 2:24:47!  Considering my last Half in Canmore was 2:45 and my previous personal best was 2:42, this was HUGE!!!!

 My Running crew...hugs and huge thanks to them all for keeping me going right to the finish to convince them all to run Vancouver in May next year!  I'd love a sub-5 marathon under my belt!

It has been a long year of races (some great, some okay and some just downright nasty!) and boot camp, but it has finally started to come together.  I have never felt this outstanding after a race, and I know I've got many more "fast" ones in me.

Thanks again ladies,


1 comment:

H-woman said...

Whoo hoo!! Way to go!