13 hours and 53 minutes after I crossed the finish line of the EndurRace 8k in Elmira, the starting gun went off for the Waterloo Half Marathon. Originally I had planned to race this and test my fitness a bit, but my early season legs weren’t having any of it after a lot of running mileage this week. So, I ran the half this morning mostly for fun and also to work on running with tired legs.
A few of the Koala’s were running this race, which is always a lot more fun than racing on my own: Koach Rob, Jakob, and Simon all came out and had great runs today (shoutout also to Steve, who raced the Paris to Ancaster 70k, and also to Jill for the cheering and photography!). We met around 7:45 to pick up race packets, get ready and warm up together. Since this race had a relatively “normal” start time of 8:30 am, I went back to my usual nutrition gameplan – oatmeal with honey at 6ish, then a banana and half a black coffee from Starbucks at 8. Have caffeine, will run :).
The race started on a bit of a narrow path and I pulled ahead a bit just to get out of the traffic. I found the 1:45 pace bunny and hung out by him for a bit when the other guys caught up. Jakob and I were at a pretty matched pace, so we started running together and let the pace bunny pull ahead and Rob and Simon fall back a bit. At this point, I wasn’t fully warmed up, so I let Jakob pace me and we chatted. I was a bit worried about how my legs were feeling but really settled down by mile 5.
Mile 1: 8:11
Mile 2: 8:35
Mile 3: 8:29
Mile 4: 8:30
Mile 5: 8:35
Miles 6-10 are a bit of a blur. We held a really comfortable pace, and I don’t really remember anything remarkable about them – the half wasn’t a big race and so there weren’t tons of other runners around us. We tackled a few hills, but nothing crazy. Every once in a while Jakob or I would look back to see Rob and Simon about a minute or two behind us, and our conversation kept things from getting too monotonous. At the end of mile 10 there’s a little section of the course that’s a blind out and back, which I wasn’t really a fan of – obviously it was just added to get the distance right, but whenever I do that I find it makes my body remember I’m not just running for fun and it feels more like work. No biggie, though.
Mile 6: 7:58
Mile 7: 8:36
Mile 8: 8:36
Mile 9: 8:13
Mile 10: 8:31
mile 10-ish. Thanks Jill!
Around Mile 11 Jakob pulled ahead towards the finish, and I thought about going with him but I decided that I would just keep an even pace. Simon passed by not too long after, and again I considered a little more effort but held back. I was feeling good and with the first half ironman of the season only three weeks away, I didn’t really want to push. I came towards the finish with a lot of energy left to open up a bit and I felt SO strong at the end – I’ll take it as a good sign.
Mile 11: 8:21
Mile 12: 8:07
Mile 13: 7:59
Last 0.1: 6:15
Final: 1:49:42 (6th AG, 12th female overall)
I negative split the race, but I would have liked to see top 10! whomp whomp. Overall, it was a great day for running. I took gatorade at every aid station (definitely not my usual but I think it worked well) and ate a salted caramel GU over about half a mile (6.5-7). That was definitely helpful, and I think it’s something I’ll start to do more often, even though I don’t normally like gels.
When I think about my take-homes from this race, I think I realize how even though I love running longer training runs, I’m pretty inexperienced racing half marathons. This was my third ever, including the one I did as part of the Barrelman half ironman last year. I probably need to practice pacing and the mental side of racing a longer distance.
My hips and ankles are a bit sore this afternoon, but I’m sure I’ll be back to normal by tomorrow. Time to hit the foam roller and then the books! #medicineproblems
standard car selfie on the way home