I know, it's been awhile since my last post, but it's summer in the beautiful Okanagan Valley so I've been spending a lot more time out playing in the sunshine than I have sitting in front of a computer. Rest assured, though, I have kept up my run training and I'm still on track for the Winthrop Marathon in September. In fact, after this weekend's Willis Greenaway Half Marathon, I'm feeling pretty good about where I'm at with my running.
Here's a re-cap of the race:
For once, I did a proper 15 minute warm-up and I definitely think it helped get my legs going. (I tend to be a bit sluggish at the beginning of a run.) I went out harder than I usually do but still within my HR zone (170-175). There was one girl ahead of me right from the start and she created a big enough gap that I never did see her again. I was comfortable as the second woman and settled in with a group of runners that kept a similar pace to mine. Around the 5k mark, I was passed by two women, one of whom I recognized from other races and know to be an amazing runner with lots of Canadian age-group records, which made me think: “shit, I went out too fast!” We chatted for a bit and then she and the other girl sped up. I held my pace with a 175-180 HR, but kept them in sight. Around the 10k mark, two men flew by me on a long downhill. (Note to self: Must practice practice downhill running because that’s often where I get passed.) This would be our order for the next 8k: 2nd place girl, boy, 3rd place girl, boy and then me and there was no one behind me as far as I could see.
I was still feeling pretty good at 18k, but wasn’t really motivated to kick it…until I simultaneously caught third place girl and she told me to “go for it” and then saw the 2nd place girl walk through an aid station. So, I decided to see what my legs had left in them and picked up the pace to close the gap with 2nd place girl. The final 2k of the course are flat or downhill and shaded, which gave me a mental boost and I passed the other guy with about 1k to go and didn’t let up until I crossed the line.
Overall, I'm very happy with how the race went. I finished in 1:35:14 — over two minutes faster than last year — and placed second amongst the women and tenth overall. I’m still a ways off of my half marathon PB (1:30:02), but this is a tough course so I think it’s a satisfactory result.