Back in September I was quietly licking my wounds of disappointment over the Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon. Yes I was happy with my race execution but at the heart of it I was still disappointed in my result. I started thinking about maybe getting in one last half marathon this year at the Last Chance Half here in Calgary. Angie was supportive knowing I had the fitness to run the race. The course is nice and flat, the only question is what the weather is like on November 10th around here. Last year the course was quite icy so that can temper a lot of race expectations!
So I signed up for Last Chance but then I didn’t count on what would happen next. After Tower of Terror Neil and still had a week of vacation at Disney World. Enjoying our vacation seemed more important than going for a run. We were getting up early to go to the parks and staying out late…there was just no time to run.
That’s okay…I’d take a few days off and I’d get right back at it as soon as we got home to Calgary, right? Except on the flight home all of those late nights and early mornings caught up with me and my throat was getting sore. I had not planned on getting sick!
Needless to say I didn’t get in those long runs I should have between Tower of Terror and Last Chance Half. Since I was finally feeling better last week I asked Angie how far I should run on Saturday and her response was to go for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Hmm, okay…would I really be up for that long of a run?It felt a little cool out to start so I bundled up in my Lux long sleeve and Rundelicious top. I mentally gave myself permission to run for 2 hours because 2:15 seemed a little long. As I ran along the Bow River in the sun I realized I was maybe a little too bundled up. I was 20 minutes away from my car so I thought I’d turn around, drop off my Rundelicious top, maybe hit the bathroom and head back out again. When I turned around I was running smack into a cool, strong headwind. I abandoned my plan to drop my extra top off because I thought I might need it later.
It sure was a beautiful fall day out there. The tail wind was pushing me and I was having a speedier run than I anticipated.My pace was a good 45 to 60 seconds faster than when I was training for Kelowna, so that was nice to see, especially after some time off! Unfortunately I’d have to tackle that headwind on the way back though! After an hour I really started to feel the run. My legs were feeling tired, reminding me that we haven’t run that long in a few weeks. It started to become a struggle and I really mentally focused on getting to that 2 hour mark. With the tiredness creeping in I took a couple of GU’s closer together than I usually would in the hopes that would help to give my legs some life.
At 1:50 I texted some friends that my run was hard and I really felt like I’d lost some endurance in the last few weeks. Tara texted me back words of encouragement and asked how long I had left to go. That was when I understood why Angie wanted me to still run 2:15 on this day. I’m guessing she wanted me to know what it felt like to be on my feet, running for 2:15 if I was going to still hope for running ~2:15 at the Last Chance Half. Yes, my run was hard, my legs were tired but despite it all my pace was still hanging in there. I stuck with it and went the full 2:15 my coach asked me to. It wasn’t a pretty run but there were a lot of a-ha moments out there for me.Sure, I didn’t have the ideal final build for Last Chance Half but this run gives me confidence that I can have a good race out there in a few weeks. I’m glad I went the full time out there as I know my legs needed it…and so did my brain!I grabbed a chocolate milk on my way home and enjoyed a little relaxing on the couch with my snuggly pup Peat.
And Sunday? Our beautiful fall turned into winter. 20 dec C on Saturday to a heavy snowfall warning on Sunday!
That’s Calgary for you!