Monday, November 10, 2008

Race Report - Last Chance Half Marathon

Saturday I was still feeling pretty blah from this cold I've been fighting. I was still getting pretty winded just walking up the stairs in my townhouse. Run a half marathon the next day? Ha ha! I slept in, downed plenty of vitamin C and had a nice carbo-loading dinner on Saturday night. And wine. Something about the anti-oxidants in red wine... I thought they might help.
I woke up at 6 am on Sunday and was feeling infinitely better than I had felt the last few days. Still not 100%, but definitely better. I chowed down on some 10 grain hot cereal with a banana, had a bit of cantaloupe and some hot tea. I hummed and hawed on what to wear for quite a while. The high was supposed to be 10°C (50°F) and sunny, but it was still fairly cool as I was getting ready to leave the house. I decided to not bundle up and go with capris, a long sleeve top, and a mid-weight top over it. As I drove downtown and saw all the runners fully bundled up on the pathway I was hoping that I made the right decision. I parked my car and made my way over to our team meeting location and chit chatted with people as they showed up. I was ready to run this thing. I ditched my sweats back at my car, hit the bathroom, then lined up for the start.
The Race:
Instantly I was glad that I didn't wear a ton of gear. As soon as we started running we were in the sun and it was pretty warm. I wanted to hold myself back on the first three miles to something in the low 10 minute mile range. I thought I was holding back, and I saw all kinds of people zoom past me, but when I looked down at the Garmin I was running around a 9:30 mile. Oops. Perhaps not the smartest choice, but I figured I'd try to back off a touch, but otherwise just hold on and see if I could keep this up. One thing that I did differently on this race was I carried my own water bottle with me. I looked at where the water stops were going to be and it didn't really match up with my gel intake strategy so I figured I'd stick to my plan and just bring my own water. I then grabbed a cup of Gatorade at each of the four water stops. When I hit the 5 mile mark I stopped to walk long enough to down an Espresso Hammer Gel and some water, then got right back on to running. I was still feeling pretty strong. By this point in time the pathways had kind of thinned out and I kept leapfrogging with the same people all the time. One was a girl with the noisiest jacket ever, and another was a man that was breathing so loudly that it was incentive to try and speed up a bit. After this I started to see the leaders heading back towards me and they were booking it! We hit some rolling hills as we continued east along the river and in towards the Calgary zoo which zapped some energy from my legs a bit. At 10 miles I downed my second gel. I tried to keep going strong, but somehow or other mile 11 got away from me. It was my slowest mile clocked at 10:11. I'm not sure what happened here. Somewhere along this point we crossed under the bridge at Edmonton Trail. This isn't really the best part of town and there were a bunch of people all hanging out by the bridge getting high. The cloud of noxious fumes was massive...blech... I really was hoping to pick it up for the last couple of miles but my hip flexors were starting to feel pretty tight by this point in time and I was pretty well just able to hold on. I knew I was in for a PR by this point in time, the question was just going to be by how much.
Chip Time: 2:07:41.7
Gun Time: 2:08:17.7
Overall: 295 out of 488
Females 30 - 39: 53 out of 107

That's a PR by 7:15 folks! We even got a medal to boot:
After the race all the participants headed over towards The Garage inside Eau Claire Market for brunch and the awards ceremonies. We had the whole place to ourselves and we were treated to fruit salad, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and pancakes. While it wasn't included, the brunch was all washed down with some yummy Grasshopper wheat beer. Delicious.
In the evening I refueled at Bolero, a fantastic Brazilian churrascaria in town here. I showed my medal off to my niece and she thought it was pretty cool - she wanted to wear it herself!


Brooke said...

YOU ROCK!!!! 7 minutes? You must be so pleased. Congrats!

Scott said...

Awesome job!! Congrats on a huge PR!

Road Warrior said...

Congratulations! I think my favorite part is that you washed down breakfast with beer. That's a girl after my own heart!

ShirleyPerly said...


I know that I rest a whole lot more when sick than not and that often leads to a better than expected performance, even if still sick on race day. Then once I get going, I more often than not "forget" I'm sick and the adrenaline just carries me through. Whatever you did, it seems to have worked.

CONGRATS on your PR!!

Viv said...

You ran that cold thing outta you, girl! LOL! Congratulations, what a chunk of time of that last PR! Yee Haw! And, why am I suddenly hungry?!

audgepodge said...

That's awesome, Leana! You've been so dedicated with your training - you earned this!

My fave part: 10:11 was your slowest mile.... WOOHOO!

Wes said...

Oh hellz yea!! Way to rock that one!! You PR'ed big time fo sho!!! I'm the worst about figuring out what to wear, and I HATE to ditch clothing during a race. LOL...

Your niece is a cutie. I hope she was kind enough to return your medal!!

RoadBunner said...

Congratulations! Awesome job and coming off a being sick, too! All of your dedicated training must be paying off. You deserve this!

Alexandra said...

WOW! What a great race you had! That's wonderful to see how all your hard work is paying off! And to get your PR when you are under the weather!


Danielle said...

Awesome job...and good reward. We have one of those Brazilian places here too that's pretty good!

Run Mommy said...

That is excellent! I really loved your picture coming across the line - that's a favourite moment for me.

Well done!

Anonymous said...

Awesome race - great job with the PR!! Nice pictures too :-)

Run For Life said...

Awesome job!!! Imagine what you can do without a cold. :)

Laurel said...

Woo-hoo! Great job the PR! Awesome job!

teacherwoman said...

Nice job on the half marathon! YOU rocked it!

Marathon Maritza said...

Congratulations on the HUGE PR!!!! You are awesome!!!!

Speed Racer said...

Holy guacamole! A 7:15 PR, that's great!!! You have really been making some pretty amazing progress this year. Those splits are so consistent, even at the end when *according to you* you were fading (yeah right!). Congratulations.

And I continue to love that there are more pictures of food than of running in your race reports. Have you ever thought of being a food critic rather than an engineer?

Sonia said...

WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy for you! The day was perfect and the race went well. You got a kick ass PB!!!!!!!! This is a great way to finish (or not finish) the season! So happy for you =)

Rainmaker said...

(slightly belated)

Awesome job! You kicked ass. And 7 minutes is a ton of time to shave off.

Oh...and the food looks great too. :)