Sunday, April 26, 2009

Calgary Police Half Marathon – Race Report

I picked up my race packet for the Calgary Police Half on Thursday. Here is a shot of the race shirt. I am quite fond of it!CIMG5344
And the back...CIMG5345This is a really popular race - it sells out quickly. There is also a 5K race (that I ran last year), that the shirts aren't nearly as nice for and it isn't chip timed. I had signed up for this race as a way to keep up some fitness over the late winter/early spring. I've had a bit of a tough time getting some of the long runs in though lately. This morning I woke up feeling pretty nervous. I felt like this was a test in high school that I hadn't studied for. I just really had no clue what to expect of this race. I headed off to the race start at Mount Royal College. I was running a bit late and missed the warm up with the team, but as soon as I got inside the college I ran into my friend Tara. I had enough time to hit the bathrooms, then we went and hung out at the start. Tara's goal was a bit more ambitious than mine so as soon as we started I wished her good luck and we split up.

Initially I really wanted to aim for a negative split on this run. When I checked out the elevation profile of the race I realized that may be a tough goal. The first half is somewhat downhill, but the second half is a whole lot of uphill! I decided to run the downhills at a pace that felt good and see what happened on the uphills.

About half a mile in I ran into my teammate Pam. We ran together for about a mile and then I pulled ahead. I was enjoying the downhill! We alternated with running the pathway around the Glenmore Reservoir and running on streets. I was a bit worried that we would bunch up anytime we were on the pathways, but we were all spread out quite nicely actually. After running the eastern part of the reservoir we turned and ran directly went on 90 Ave SW. This was where the fun started as there was a steady uphill grade all the way along. We turned and got back on to the pathway around the res near Weaslehead Flats. Anytime I run this part of the rest I find it is one of the most difficult parts of the run. For some reason I always manage to really slow down in this part and today was no exception. I was slowing down and it was feeling like the energy was seaping out of my legs. I needed to get past the people nearby as it felt like we were all slowing down together and I wanted to get past that. I hit the halfway mark around 1:01. If I could keep things up I would make a fantastic time but I was pretty sure that would be tough.

There is a huge climb out of Weaselhead. I've run this hill quite a bit, so I knew what to expect. I also knew that my friends Dawn and Karen would be there cheering runners on. As I got to the hill and climbed up I kept repeating in my head, "Karen and Dawn....Karen and Dawn..." since I knew I would get a huge boost seeing them! Dawn managed to grab a shot of me halfway up the hill.Leana Up the HillAfter the climb my legs were pretty tired. I was sort of in a "hold on" space of mind from here on out. Without about 2 miles left to go the wheels started to fall off. I had just finished thinking that I could do anything for 2 miles...no need to walk... And seeing the continuous uphill just got to me and I had to take a break to walk. I was disappointed that I had let the hills get to me... Time to start running again and just keep going. Uphill... Uphill...

As I neared the finish line at Mount Royal there was someone lying on the side of the road getting some help from the police. So close to the finish. I hope they are okay.

Just past there I saw Angie and the rest of the Team Tri Life athletes cheering the finishers on. Time to kick it in for a sprint to the finish! I blew past a few people and crossed the finish line! Done! My previous PR from the Last Chance Half was 2:07:41. Results for today?
2:05:22
Overall: 1055 out of 1833
Females 30-39: 145 out of 311
This course is a tough one, so I'm really happy that I managed a PR today...and after feeling somewhat unprepared for the race as well! Afterwards I cheered a few people in, but as I started to cool off I went inside and ran into Andra. We caught up on each other's races and she grabbed a shot of me.LeanaI met up with a few more friends, we grabbed some of the post race snacks and hung out for a bit. Then it was time to head home and get on with recovering... Stay tuned!CIMG5354

21 comments:

Run Sarah said...

Great race report -- looks like a tough course with all the hills in the 2nd half. I heard the weather has been crazy in Alberta too! Congrats on the PR.

Keith said...

Hey, great race for you. Nice report! And yeah, the shirt is kind of classy.

Marci said...

Congratulations on your PR, love that medal!

Molly said...

Great job! Congratulations on the PR!!!

Badgergirl said...

Nice job on the race, and the report. And I love the shirt.

rocketpants said...

Awesome job on the PR!!! That is great! Love the shirt.

Alexandra said...

Great race report and great job on the PR especially with all that uphill on the second half!

I like your recovery plan that came afterwards!

Carlee said...

way to go!!! So nice to get a PR when you aren't expecting it!

TNTcoach Ken said...

A PR with a walk break, fantastic!

ShirleyPerly said...

CONGRATS on your PR and a great race overall!!! My legs were cringing on those hills a bit just from reading ;-)

Wes said...

Congrats on the PR!!!

Marlene said...

Congratulations on the PR! Awesome time. I can't imagine the second half being uphill - that must have been TOUGH!

k said...

Congrats on the PR! I probably saw you three times without realizing it since you were less than a minute ahead of my sister. (I was at Glenmore Landing, right near the water station after the Weaselhead, and at the end) That last stretch with the ramps on 50th was just cruel...I was standing right at the end of that stretch figuring that people would be dying at that point. Very few people looked happy...

Enjoy the bask of the PR glow :)

Missy said...

Yay a PR on a tough course. You can't take that away. Great report. Congratulations. I'll be right there with you...getting my running legs back in tip top shape.

lindsay said...

congrats on the pr! especially on a tough course and considering you said you hadn't been as faithful to your long runs lately. the shirt looks cool and love when they put names on the bibs!

Road Warrior said...

Congrats on the PR. 2 minutes is a huge step!

joyRuN said...

Woot! Congrats on the PR!!

aron said...

you are just PRing all over the place arent you :) CONGRATS!!!!

RoadBunner said...

Awesome job! Congratulations on the PR!! I feel a sub-2 coming on...

scarlet said...

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natalie said...

I like the shirt! so cool! ~ vibram ~