Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Melissa’s road race {race report}

Well, my second half marathon has come and gone by already! As I’ve said before, this training cycle went by really fast.

This half marathon taught me two things:

1) now matter how your training goes, your body can have a totally different idea come race day
2) running is a huge mental game

Before the race

I think my biggest issue for this race was the fact that my stomach was acting up for three days before the race and especially the night before the race. Let’s just say that the toilet and I made close friends on Friday night, which lead to an emergency run to the store for some imodium. It lead to me being a little dehydrated and feeling really nervous about the next day.

The race didn’t start until 10:40am, so we were able to get up at 7am and still make the hour drive to the race start. We car pooled with Nicole and her husband J, so they came to our house at 7:45am and we were off shortly after there. We arrived in Banff just after 9am, and had no trouble finding parking, which was one of my worries. We walked over to the race site, and picked up our t-shirts. It was weird as we picked up our numbers the day before, but had to get the shirts the morning of. We had some waiting around to do, and before I knew it, it was time to line up!

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Pictures thanks to Nicole!

The race

The course was an out and back with a loop in the middle that we had to circle twice. The course itself was gorgeous as we were running along the golf course and were surrounded by mountains. There was ~1200 people running the half, so I was constantly around people, which was nice.

The first 10k of the race I was feeling great and running between 5:20-5:35 kilometers.  Shortly after there, things started to go downhill for me. I think it was a combination of the heat (it was an unseasonal 29C that day), not enough water stations (there was three throughout the whole course), last night’s stomach issues and crappy roads with lots of pots holes and gravel. The next 10k were focused on not thinking about having no more water,  being too hot and the cramp that developed in my side around 16k. That cramp was so painful that I could barely run, which meant I basically walked the last 3k of the race. I was so frustrated with my body and the cramp, that I did all I could to hold the tears in. I would try to run and my body quickly shut that idea down!

Finish line/after the race

Coming around the last corner, I told myself to run it in and it took all of my strength to do so. I ended up with a finishing time of 2:06, which was well off my last half, but not surprising considering how much I walked. I came 72/138 in my age group and 615/1133 overall. I crossed the finish line, met up with Mr.D and proceeded to cry. Not my finest moment, but I was so frustrated at that point.

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If you can zoom in on this picture, I look so focused/ mad

Mr.D later told me that from the look on my face coming into the finish line, he could tell that I was frustrated, mad and about to cry. He knows me so well Smile

The race didn’t have any medals, but rather gave out free beer. Since I’m not a beer drinker, and Nicole & J had to be back in Calgary for a wedding, we left about 15 minutes after I finished.

Final thoughts

  • making friends with the toilet the night before the race is never a good thing
  • if that happens, make sure to drink a lot of water!
  • running is a huge mental game. I let things get to me this race, and it beat me down.
  • the course was gorgeous, but the road we were running on SUCKED at points. Dodging pot holes and gravel is never fun
  • not enough water stations! Granted, no one expected 29C weather in the mountains in late September, but they could have used at least two more water stations
  • more cheering sections were needed. They had two bands on the course, which was definitely not enough
  • I’ll be back to redeem myself Melissa’s race Smile

15 comments :

  1. Ouch. 3 water stops? I had 5 in my 15k and THAT wasn't enough.
    Eat bananas when your tummy isn't right if you don't already.
    And 2:06 is still a great time, IMO.

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  2. You did great! I agree the heat and lack of water was a huge issue. I also expected more cheering stations on the course, that was one thing I loved about Disney - you had the constant motivation!

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  3. and that's 29C in the shade!
    way to push through Leigh- I had to stop myself from crying during my race due to feeling so crappy...but then I realized I couldn't afford to lose that water and those electrolytes in my tears. :)

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  4. Seriously so awesome that you finished so strong anyway!! I would have quit! You are so tough!

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  5. I think you did great. Way to push through. I am so the same way with crying and getting frustrated! :) It was so hot, I can't believe they didn't add water stations! :(

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  6. I'm sorry it didn't go as well as you think but I know you did an amazing job!!! :D

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  7. I feel the same way about training and race day. You never know what to expect. 2:06 is an amazing time!!! Good job for sticking through it and finishing! :)

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  8. A bad run can teach us a lot about our training. So sorry you had so many circumstances working against you but that is still a really great time!

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  9. Way to push through it! Some courses just aren't conducive to PR's and it sounds like that was one of them. The forecast for Victoria (yes I already checked it, what?!) is a lot cooler so hopefully you'll have a lot better race!

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  10. That's tough! But I'm proud of you, and you did a great job, Leigh! It's crazy how come race day we'll feel like crap and run like crap, or feel great and run great...You never know what race day will bring! But congrats on completing another half!!!

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  11. I know it wasn't the race you wanted or expected, but you did it!! Even through some crappy conditions you pushed through and made it to the finish line with a respectable time.

    I definitely think you can redeem yourself on that course!!

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  12. Aww, don't be frustrated. I'm super impressed that you can even attempt something like that. You should be proud of yourself for even getting out there and finishing under those circumstances! I don't think I could have done it...

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  13. Awww so sorry that you didn't have a great race :( But everybody has bad days, and there's no where to go but up :) Good luck in your next race!

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  14. Way to push through when you weren't feeling 100%! Not every race is a great race. The next one will be better! :)

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  15. Sorry to hear this race was a tough one - it's hard when you train and then are disappointed. :( But thanks for the race recap and well done all the same - you finished and I hope as you look back on it the positive memories stand out. :)

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