Firstly—Happy Father’s Day! I hope everyone who had the chance to see their father today gave him a huge hug and told him how much they love him. I thought about my dad all day long, and celebrated him by going golfing with my husband. My dad would have loved to be out there with us golfing on a day like today. I also found this gem, which was hand crafted by myself in 1992 (I clearly remember bringing it home from school and realizing after it was laminated, that I forgot my dad’s beard….Oops! Love you Dad!)
Now onto my race recap! Yesterday, I ran my fifth half marathon since the beginning of March-the Millarville Run to the Farmers’ Market. It was my first experience with a true “rural” route, and it was fantastic. Below are two shots of the landscape right near where the race route was! The way the day before was going, though, I wasn’t so sure how it would be. Note the hail that was smashing my car windshield as I was traveling up to Millarville:
I made it to the package pickup, which was at the Millarville race track. This is where the largest outdoor market in Southern Alberta would be kicking off the 2013 season the following day, and where the half marathon would be finishing.
I then took off towards Black Diamond, Alberta, which was where the start if the race would be and where I would be staying for the night. I booked a room at the Black Diamond Hotel & Bar. The check-in being at the bar didn’t turn me off, but when I went outside to find the access to the hotel rooms, I admit being a little hesitant:
Have no fear, though, as the rooms were actually very nice! They were huge too, and had a fridge, microwave and Keurig, with K-cups! That made me very happy because I knew I wanted a cup of coffee in the morning and wasn’t sure where I would get one! I went through a walk down Centre Avenue, where there were your typical small-town coffee shops, barber, thrift store. There was a perfect little gem across the street from the hotel—Blue Rock Gallery. I was in this store for about 30 minutes. They bring in work from close to 200 regional artists and craftspeople. You would not have expected a store like this in a town like Black Diamond—it was incredible. If you want to check it out, go to Bluerock Gallery
Alarm went off at 6 am, and I was psyched and ready to go. I had seen a portion of the course as I made my way from Millarville—a rolling country highway. The hills weren’t anything I hadn’t experienced before, so I felt confident as I walked to the start. I got to the start with a little over ten minutes until the 7:30 am gun time. This is where I made my first mistake—I went in line for the porta potty. Now, anyone who does any type of race knows if you need to go, you have to make sure you do this well enough before race start. I didn’t really have to go, but I thought I may, so I wasted 8 minutes in line,and didn’t even get close to the front. The announcer over the loudspeaker was announcing “2 minutes till start time!” when I decided to forget about it and get ready to race. I think this mental block threw me off as I began running!
My first mile was ridiculously fast. But it didn’t feel great, something was wrong, and I slowed myself down for mile two. We had already found ourselves on some long straight aways with some slight inclines, and the weather was a bit warm and sticky. I felt off. For miles 3-5, I kept talking to myself, trying to convince myself that going slow would be ok—that maybe I should just take this one as a jog. But then I started getting mad at myself, slightly disappointed. I had felt ready to go at 6 am, and now that I wasn’t mentally into the race, I was letting my mind play tricks with me, trying to convince myself to take the easy way out.
It was at 6 miles that I got my shit together. All of a sudden, I was able to dig out that energy and gusto I had thought I lost. As I approached the turn onto the country highway, Racetrack Road, I honestly told myself out loud that I could beat my Calgary time from three weeks ago, of 1:54:22. This was the first big straight away on rural road, and I had guessed it to be around 2 miles of visibility in front of me. I let myself focus on the last visible point, the top of a hill, and kept checking the mileage on my watch, it kept me distracted, as I wanted to see how close I was to my guess. Turned out to be approximately 2.5 miles of straight visible road! By then, I had started counting down my miles….only 5 to go…4….3. When I got to the final 3 miles, I started to race and push myself. I gave myself the challenge to do a better 5k time in this final stretch than I did out of the gate. I pushed through and finished the race in a time of 1:52:10!
I didn’t let the fact that I didn’t get a personal record this race bother me. I was proud of my time, as it was the second fastest half marathon time I have ever run. My 1:47:22 from Red Deer is going to be tough to beat, so I need to just be happy when I know I finished a race strong. I was even more happy with that I was able to push through and make the last half of the half count! My final 5km was what I needed to feel confident, and the race ended on a huge high note. Plus, knowing that I would be receiving an incredible handmade finisher’s medal really did keep me moving even when I was feeling a bit off! It was overall a fantastic race—a beautiful course, great swag, excellent volunteers. I would recommend this race to any runners next year, and I would also recommend checking out the market in Millarville—-I wandered through it after finishing, and it was superb! Dare I say it would be worth driving two hours on a nice Saturday in the summer to spend a morning at…it runs from 9:00-2:00 every Saturday this season!
I have not mentioned this on here yet, but I am now taking about three weeks off from any running, and do not have a race until August 18th. Tomorrow, I go in for a Septoplasty turbinate diathermy. This is basically an “inside nose job” as I have a slightly deviated septum. The major issue is a scab that has housed on my septum for approximately 7 years. It is difficult to breathe out of my right nostril, and if I attempt to leave the scab alone, my nose hurts, is dry, and I am overall miserable. I will be posting more about my surgery, the aftermath, and if it makes any changes in my physical activity abilities. Until later—-thank you for reading and supporting me in my endeavors!