Half marathon – Done and Done!
It was a great morning for a run – sunny and cool. Perfect for a long run with almost no chance of becoming over-heated. It was a tad bit chilly, but I will take chilly over humid ANY day, no questions asked.
So, I have completed my very first half-marathon race! I set a goal of 2:30, and I went under (over?) the finish line at 2:29:09. Yay Yay!
Most of Ottawa’s big races happen downtown with the starting point around City Hall. The set-up was the same ol’ set-up. Rows upon rows of porta-potties, bag check tents and lots and lots of people. Also, because this is the Army Run and most run in support of our Troops, the race shirt is proudly worn by many. So what does that mean – it is so hard to find people! Luckily my friend Julie found us pretty quickly, which is what happens when you are strolling up with a large running stroller. I absent-mind-idly left my water bottle at home, so I was very thankful to see a water fountain!
As usual the race corrals were jam packed. We actually didn’t even get in them until the cannon started the race. But again, this is very very typical of the larger Ottawa Races. Also, somehow I put myself in the third fastest corral – ummm, yeah no! I went two corrals back to where I belonged!
So we were aiming for 2:30. All three of us had not gone beyond 17K in our training, so we knew that the last part of the race would be the toughest. However, because the corrals were so crowded we couldn’t get to the 2:30 pace bunny and ended up close to the 2:45 one. At the beginning of the race we couldn’t find J’s friend Nancy, so we just headed off on our way. Again, typical of the larger races, we did not really get running until we turned the first corner. Running on Wellington we found Nancy! Yay! At this point we also passed the 2:45 pace bunny, woohoo! The first 3-4 Km’s were running down Wellington. We decided to forget 10 and 1′s for the short time and keep running. It wasn’t until we got past Tunney’s Pasture and around the bend that we took our first break. Right after that break was our first hill – we ran up and down like champs. When we finished the hill, there was the 2:30 pace bunny! Following that hill we all had to go to the bathroom, so we did that for about a minute or so. Then we lost the 2:30 pace bunny again! Boo…
After the bathroom and the water station near the War Museum, we headed across the Ottawa River to Gatineau. When we turned a corner, there was P and Max! Max was clapping and having a grand old time. We took a slightly longer walking break afterwards and then continued past the Museum of Civilization and then across the next bridge. This bridge had a bit of a hill – SO MUCH FUN (sarcasm). Then it was up another incline to Sussex Drive. We went past 24 Sussex Drive (the Prime Ministers Residence) and Rideau Hall (the Governor General’s residence) and then into Rockcliffe. At this point in the race we were at 13K, which is when the hurt started. Basically it was my knees that were giving me the most grief, and a bit of the ankles as well. Luckily there was a nice little downhill section before turning around again on to Sussex Drive to go the opposite way.
Julie and I got a bit behind at the point – but we were still making great time. There was another water station which we took a bit of a walking break. We caught up to Nancy at this point and continued on. This is when I started to creep from the 6:40 KM’s to the 7:00 KM’s. Somewhere near the Art Museum, I let Julie and Nancy keep their pace, while I started to hover in my ‘safe zone’ of 7:10. I always had them within sight though
We went past all the buildings downtown and headed down Colonel By Drive for the last 3.5 or so Km’s. This is when I pretty much hit the wall. I put on some music and continued on. One last water station and all that was left was the turn over Pretoria Bridge and then the dash to the finish! I took a few quick walking breaks from this point on as I was in some pain at this point. But since I know this route rather well, I was happy that I was almost done! At last I could see the finish line, and I sprinted to the end. I caught up with Julie and Nancy and we collected our medals and recovery jacket-things.
So pacing – My slowest KM was 7:38 (not really counting the washroom break – which was a 9 minute KM), my fastest was 6:22. My average pace was 7:02, but my moving average was 6:50. I did take some walking breaks – most were under a minute. My Gun time was 2:35, and my chip time was 2:29:04.
I had a great race and look forward to my fourth Army Run next year. I am undecided on whether I will do another half again – or just stick to 5 and 10K’s. Hopefully everyone who ran had a great time!