Tag Archives: 2nd place

Lethbridge Regional Police Services Half Marathon 2014

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September 13th, 2014, marked the 2nd annual Lethbridge Regional Police Services half marathon. I had ran in the inaugural race the year prior, loved the downhill course, and set a new personal best of 1:46:42. Signing up again was a no brainer!

The night before, I decided to partake in my standard pre-race beers. Now, I don’t write about this often, because I know it is not scientifically proven to be helpful, but for me, having beer the night before a race that is a half marathon or less works wonders. I went for some happy hour beers with my friend Jaclyn after work (2 brews) and then later that night after showering, eating plain pasta, and taking a nap, I went for some drinks with co-workers after the football game (4 brews). I went to bed by 1am, woke up at 6:45 am, and was ready to go.

It was just above freezing at the start of the race, so I ditched my layers the last possible second. The half, 10km, and 5km were all starting together at 8 am, and would be on the same route for about the first mile. Then the 5km and 10km would turn down Lynx Trail into the river bottom as the rest of us continued south in Scenic Drive. When the 5&10km runners split off, I had positioned myself pretty well, and I thought to be around the 6th female runner. I was going for broke, and had nothing to lose, so my first three miles were 7:25, 7:33 and 7:19.

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After mile three, we ascended out of the Sugar Bowl and onto the 20th Ave greenstrip. I had moved my way up to 4th female, and closed in on securing the 3rd position shortly after. I was still feeling really strong, and new I could keep pushing. I wanted to keep third and possibly moved up, since this meant prize money. Miles 4-6, which took me to about hallways around Henderson Lake, clocked in at 7:28, 7:19, and 7:27.

Because of the openness of huge route, the visibility of the runners ahead of you was very open. I had my eye on the woman in 2nd for quite some time, and could also clearly see the first place female with her friend biking next to her. There was a long straightway coming up down 7th Ave South and I knew I needed to make a move if I wanted a chance at 2nd position. This road also had a slight downhill to it, so I kept rolling as fast as I could. Miles 7-9, which went from Henderson down 7th Ave, all the way to the top of Scenic Drive, were 7:31, 7:33, and 7:28. I had locked down 2nd position in the process too!

The steep downhill of Lynx Trail was next. I have done this downhill before in other races (10 Mile Road Race, Bare Bones Run), but usually you have to run back up it. Not today, as you just had to barrel on down to the river bottom. This is about 3/4 mile of steep paved trail, so I lengthened my stride and started actually closing in on the first place runner. She was starting to look tired, and her legs weren’t going as fast as mine down the hill. Mile 10, which took me down the trail to the Water Treatment Plant, was my fastest at 7:13.

You know that openness I spoke of from earlier in the race? Well, since everyone was pretty spaced out by now, except for female #1 and another male runner between us, you couldn’t see much in the winding trails. And there were no spectators along this part of the route. So while the trails are familiar to me, the strain I had been putting on my body for the first 10 miles was catching up, and my mental game was cracking. I kept focusing on female number 1, but anytime I sped up, she did too. When she slowed, I couldn’t overcome the numbness in my quads to get up next to her. Miles 11-12 were really slow at 7:44 and 8:10. My time was 1:30.10, and I could still make a personal best, even with my legs starting to give out. I pretty much had added an extra minute to my previous pace from when we were on flat straight-aways. And while I was still in 2nd position, I was nervous my body would crash and burn.

At mile 12, though, something happened. To east of the trail, I heard a voice yell “ANDREA!!!” On the metal stairs going down from the coulee was Haley, one of my cross country runners from WCHS. She had been doing hill training with her dad that morning. I yelled back to her “COME RUN WITH ME!” and about 30 seconds later I had an eager 16 year old by my side. I told her I was in 2nd place with less than a mile to go, but was wearing down. I needed her to push me to the finish, and make sure no one passed me.

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Haley saved me at the end of that race, as I not only held my 2nd place female position, but I finished in 1:37:51—-a new personal best by 3 seconds! First place clocked in at 1:37:00-If I hadn’t slowed down so much after the downhill, it could have been mine! But, honestly, I was giving it as hard as I could leading up to those last 5km, and the mix of sharp turns, no straightaways, and no crowd to cheer you on, made it tough. Finding my own personal pacer the last mile was key for me finishing as strong as I did!

The woman who beat me actually turned out to be a friend of a friend! She knew who I was from talking with my friend and co-worker Amie, and Amie had told her I was pretty intense and to look out for me! Marissa, the woman who took first place, is not only a few inches taller than me, but a few years younger than me. So, since this was my last race in the 20-29 category I felt pretty proud as I enter my 30s! This race also gave me the confidence that it is possible for me to keep ticking time off my personal best. I have the goal set in my mind to be in the 1:36’s by next year. Considering last year I was running 1:46, and the year before that I was doing 1:56, I am very proud of my progress.

Awards came at 10:00 am, and I was the recipient of a $100 cheque from the police. It is funny to me because the day prior I had went to the courthouse to pay an $89 speeding ticket. Irony. Marissa and I chatted some more, then I went and had a free 20 minute massage from students at the Lethbridge College. The race day started and ended perfectly! I was so excited to share with everyone how I did, so I spread the word on social media. In doing so, I also found out from Amie later that day that Marissa and I share more in common than just running—she also loves herself some craft beer. Maybe she will partake in my pre-race tradition next time? Or at least go have some celebratory beers after? Your move Marissa!

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Race Recap-Lethbridge 10 Mile Road Race!

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The 40th annual Lethbridge 10 Mile Road Race was Saturday, April 13th. I signed up for it when registration opened and opted to participate in the 10 mile distance—There was also a 4 mile distance to participate in. I had never participated in this event before, but knew it would be a well-put-together race, as Runners Soul was sponsoring it.

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I honestly hadn’t really done much preparation for this race as far as being aware of the course and start times. I was so busy this week after coming back from Milwaukee that package pickup kind of snuck up on me Friday! The course this year was apparently different than years past, as it was an out and back situation. The race would start and finish at the college. The first part of the course on Scenic Drive is relatively flat, with a few small “bumps”. For those participating in the 10 miler, we had something special in store for us—after winding on Scenic Drive for 3 miles, we would descend into the river bottom down quite a steep hill, approximately 3/4 of a mile long. This would be a nice descent, but after winding through the pathways and turning around and coming back, we would have to head up this wretched monster! I spoke about this hill in a previous blog about hill training…it is still as ridiculous as I said initially!

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The race day itself couldn’t have been any more perfect of a day for Lethbridge. There was hardly any wind, there was sun peaking out of the clouds all morning, and the temperature was somewhere around 45 degrees. The 9:00 am start time for the 10 mile was awesome also! I had this 9:00 am start time last week for the Trailbreaker Half and while I know many races, especially in the summer, start earlier, I love having this almost “late start” time. I was able to get up at 7:00, have coffee and oatmeal, get ready slowly and be set for the race. I had it set in my head I would go out at a decent pace, but my goal was to be around 8:20-8:30 minute miles. I was nervous for that hill climb back from the river valley, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t collapse.

But of course, like always, I got wrapped up in the excitement of the race and completely ignored my pacing plans.
Pacing Breakdown Map from Nike+

So, my first mile of 7:33 was one of the fastest miles I have ran in a longtime. For real. I decided to just keep my legs moving for mile two. And three. And four. I figured if I felt this good there was no reason to slow down. If I had slowed down to what my planned pace was suppose to be, I would have been frustrated at the finish line if I had energy still left.. Running through the river bottom was probably the toughest part mentally. The trail curves quite a bit and I don’t know how to say it, but the visibility is only about 100 feet in parts. For the whole race I always had at least one guy (it was always a guy) close enough to chase. In this area of the river bottom, all of a sudden those people who I was chasing disappeared. It was like I was racing alone again. Once you got spit out by Whoop-Up, the path opened up a bit and you could see people ahead of you again. I started concentrating on paying attention to the number of people turning around and heading back.. This kept my mind off any pain I may have felt or the possibility of slowing down. I started counting any ladies who had turned around and headed back, and also started figuring out what age group they fit in. I realized at the five mile I was in 8th place for the ladies so far, with what I assume to be probably two people ahead of me in my age group. This was enough to keep me moving after the turn around and now I had it set in my head I was going to place in my age group

As I approached the hill to head back up from the river bottom, I yelled to the volunteers at the bottom HERE GOES NOTHING!. I knew I could not stop and walk, because it would be that much harder to get going again. I kept on my toes and kept moving up that hill, even though the pace felt so slow. I happened to catch up to a middle aged man who was breathing hard on his way up. I don’t know why, but I just started talking to him. I started talking about the stupid hill, my race last week, my pace, etc. I told him how I had ran since I was in high school, but I had only started now taking these road races somewhat seriously. He had started running at age 36 and hadn’t been running that long, and hadn’t done any crazy long distances yet. We kept together up that hill, never stopped to walk, and powered past a few people on the way up. I had a new found energy, as we kept each other going. I passed a girl who seemed to be around my age who had walked. I had this competitive spirit in me that I hadn’t had since high school. I had to keep moving!

The hill made my mile 7 come in at a time of 10:19. I had three more miles to run, and I felt positive I could get the time of 1 hour 25 minutes that I was aiming for. On the trek back to the college, I hugged the curves of Scenic Drive, treating it like running on an outdoor track. My short legs take that many more extra steps than a normal person, so any less distance I managed to run than the other races was helpful for me. Since I was familiar with the road we were running on, I set landmarks in my head for when I would start to pick up the pace. I didn’t want to go crazy too early. I find that this planning and analyzing during a race helps me stay focused, makes the miles pass faster, and keeps me moving.. This is why I don’t listen to music-my mind is filled with a playlist and plan of its own! At the Park Royal neighborhood, I planned to start using whatever energy I had left.. This would be about 1.5 miles from the finish, and there would be a short hill from the Sugar Bowl to climb before I would be at flat road. I got that kick going and kept with it until the finish, improving each mile after that 10:19! My finish time would be 1 hour 23 minutes 14 seconds.

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I called my mom and my husband to let them know how I did. My mom obviously was home in Wisconsin, and my husband was working in the new Garry Station subdivision in West Lethbridge. At this point I hadn’t seen an unofficial result sheet, so I had to let them know what my time was and that I felt pretty good about placing in my category. They both seemed surprised at how good my time was, and frankly, I was too. I had ran the half marathon in Waukesha last weekend, broke my long standing personal record, came back to work this week after a great Spring Break, and hadn’t had much recovery time. I stand by my statement from earlier this year that running is almost sometimes more of a mental competition, than a skill.. Yes, I need to have the mileage and the training in order to compete and race at the level I want to be at. But if I had gone in to this race with a negative attitude, assuming I would not be able to do well since I had just raced the previous weekend, I would not have done well. There is something to be said out there in regards to the power of positive thinking

Awards started in the gymnasium at the Lethbridge College at 11:00 am.

20130414-110551.jpg. They went through the 4 mile categories first before moving onto the 10 mile categories. I was like a little kid when they called me up for 2nd place in the 20-29 female category. After awards, I had to have Sean from Runners Soul take a photo for me, as I didn’t want to try to do a lame self-shot with my medal. So thank you Sean for taking this photo!

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I really enjoyed this race and would recommend the 10 Mile Road Race to anyone in Southern Alberta. It is a well-organized event and a beautiful course. That being said, us runners lucked out the race was Saturday, as if it had been today, it would have been a survival of the fittest sort of event. I am not making this up, but please refer to the photo below to see what my back yard looks like 24 hours after the awards ceremony:

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Real glad Dan and I got the pond pump running…..NOT! Anyways, that’s it for today. For some upcoming posts, I plan on doing an entry on my dad’s middle years while he lived in Switzerland and also reflecting back on some past Walt Disney World vacations. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment. Also, share and like my page if you like what you are reading! And the best compliment would be to head to the charitiespage up at top and read about the American Heart Association and Heart & Stroke Foundation and how I am running in memory of my late father, Andrew Lammers. Have a great week everybody!

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