Some of you may remember that on January 1st, 2011 I woke up with a very bad case of resolutionitis – I resolved that THIS would be THE year that I returned to running. Not just the casual “I feel like going for a jog”, kind of running – but the all out, put one foot out in front of the other as often as I can kind of running. The kind of running I did back in 2003. I needed some extra motivation to get my post-baby self active to help prevent the post-partum depression that plagued me with my last two maternity leaves, so I dug out my credit card and registered for 4 races: an 8k, 10k, and TWO half marathons. Yesterday I ran the first of the two half marathons….
The Toronto Womens Half Marathon
On Sunday I woke up at 5:15 am to nurse Amber – 30 min before I had set my alarm. I was very happy to feed her because I was REALLY worried about leaving her with my husband. While he’s an extremely capable and loving father, Amber doesn’t take a bottle, and is only minimally interested in drinking from a cup. She is thankfully very interested in baby food. This worry that she’d be sad, and he’d have a hard time caring for her remained in my head throughout the whole race, but I was somewhat comforted knowing I had given her a really good feed before I left the house. After feeding Amber I laid in bed slowly waking up. At 5:45 I got up and began to get dressed – thankfully I had laid out all of my gear before I went to bed because I was not the least bit coherent at that time.
At 6:15 I left the house and drove myself straight to Tim Horton’s so I could purchase my traditional pre-race meal: An extra large coffee, a cream cheese bagel and a Boston Cream donut. Ok – not exactly the breakfast of champions, but it works for me
At 7:15 I arrived at Sunnybrook Park – early enough to get a decent parking spot, take care of nature and to get some nervous tweeting taken care of. It was lonely arriving and racing by myself, but less so knowing that all of you were cheering for me virtually. Thank you so much!!
I then lined up in my corral and began talking to a nice fellow runner whose awesome Vibrams and amazing outfit (a green kilt and matching shirt) caught my attention – I later learned that she’s Vanessa of the blog: Vanessa Runs and she runs barefoot! I would LOVE to try barefoot running. Chatting with her really helped to ease my nervousness.
Then the inevitable happened… The gun went off! Time to race!
The start wasn’t as bunched up and as competitive as I’ve experienced in past races – perhaps this was because this was my first women only race? It didn’t take me long to get settled into a comfortable pace: 6:28/km. I ran along at that race until about the 4k mark – then I sped up to a 6:15/km pace.
I then came upon the first water stop:
Oh My Goodness!!! It was so hard not to stop running and just hang out with those guys But I knew that the race passed this stop THREE TIMES!!!! So I continued on. I carried along steadily at the 6:15/km pace for the rest of the race, only stopping to walk and drink some e-Load at the aid stations. I felt good and strong. I could also hear the “trill” of the support tweets from you on my phone – I didn’t stop to read any of them because I was determined to keep a steady pace, but know that I counted all of the “trills” as I went along (15).
And then it finally happened… I saw the FINISH LINE!!! I was so excited! I ran as hard as my tired legs could carry me. I crossed it and received the COOLEST finisher’s medal I’ve ever gotten:
I DID IT!!! Even though my training wasn’t as focussed as I had originally wanted it to be, and the longest run I did before it was 10k, I FINISHED!!! You see somewhere over the past 5 months I decided that being HAPPY was more important to me than training religiously. So I’ve been exercising consistently – Mommy/baby Bootcamp, BodyPump Classes, lifting weights, doing the Nike Training Club iPhone app, and of course, doing a little running, so I’m extremely happy with my race results considering the effort I put into my running training…. Only 6 mos post-partum, I finished a half marathon upright and smiling in 2 hrs and 8 mins (2:08:05) – With consistent training YOU CAN DO IT TOO!!