Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chilly Half 2012

It was race day! I awoke before my alarm, when I looked out the kitchen window I saw a beautiful sunrise.  I had some breakfast, and got myself ready.  While I was packing my gels and gatorade I had some serious butterflies fluttering around in my stomach and my hrt monitor had my heart rate around 90-100 from race day nerves.  The weather had changed from my view out the window, as we drove down Brant Street the snow was flying through the air and it was about -8 i think.  With March having unpredictable weather I guess that's why it's the Chilly Half.   A few of us met up before heading and had some nerve-calming convos.  I was relieved to hear that I wasn't the only one with some race day jitters. 

It was about 9:50 when we headed to the starting line. We had a quick high-five and wished each other a great run.  I headed to the back of the pack finding the the 2:45 pace bunny.  It was about 10 am when I started runtastic I figured better to have that going then trying to get that and the music going right out of the gate.  I had my hrt monitor ready to go and hit start just as I crossed the starting line and got my playlist going. 

The race course took us south down Brant to Lakeshore, we turned by the beach path and went past the hospital.  The crowd was starting to thin a little nearing the turn-around point as the faster runners were really starting to move by.  The was the first time the really fast guys passed us and it's always incredible to see the "really fast" runners showing what they can do.   I still find it exciting and fun to run (or rollerblade) down major city streets, it's something special and you don't get to do that every day!

The crowd  at the starting line
(from the back of the pack)

After the first km I was still pretty close the 2:45 pace bunny, I slowed down for my first walk.  I started off with the fruit chews I packed for nutrition, these were something I used during training runs but I noticed something I never experience during any of my training runs.  After about 2 minutes of having just three or so chews my stomach just started to ache and cramp, not a stitch type of cramp, this was a different type of pain.  I quickly realized that every time I took any kind of nutrition my stomach was not happy about it.  The pain lasted for a minute or so at a time so I was lucky I could push through it and continued running.

I made the turn around and came back up towards lakeshore making my way through the downtown core.  I had already passed the 4 km marker and was on my way to passing my husband who was helping out at guelph line water station with my coach.  I think I heard Nancy before I saw her, she had her bullhorn...she wasn't kidding...and I called out to her as I was approaching the station.  My husband was helping out and gave me a cheer as I passed along with the rest of the people at the station and it totally perked me up.

When I was passing the 6 and 7km markers and the "really fast" guys were already making their return and us slower folks cheered them on as they passed.  It was incredible to see these guys already heading back!  I can't imagine how they must have felt...I know I how I felt and I was running my faster race ever.  I saw a few fellow iron canucks on the course and they were pushing hard and moving fast!  I hope one day I'll be able to keep up with them.

I was pushing myself harder than my last half race, I had a personal goal to finish in under 3hrs and I had a plan to do it.  I was running a faster run, I was pushing harder than I did in October at the Scotia race and by the half way point I was well on my way to making my goal time!  I was pretty happy to pass the half-way point knowing my goal was a real possibility and I knew at the very least I was half way done.

At appleby line I had another mini cheering section, Dad had come to cheer me on and it was great to see him there.  I was pushing hard and told him I would see him in 4 km.  My hips were getting pretty tight now and my stomach was still not happy with me. I was alternating with water and gels and gatorade but the cramping wasn't letting up.  I made the last turn-around at burloak and was happy to know I just had to get back to brant street now.  I passed dad again and we had a brief chat as I ran by, he told me to keep pushing and I said I only have 6 more to go! He was going to let my husband know I was on my way back. 

By this time my stomach was in complete knots and I gave up on nutrition and was just taking the smallest  sips of  gatorade.  I could see my husband at the station already had my fuel belt unclasped and handing it to him  before I could even pass him.  I had to get that thing off me.  He kept up with me for a moment as I passed and gave me some encouragement and Nancy was there pushing me on too.  I was about 2.5 km from the finish line by now.

My stomach was in complete knots and my calves were getting tighter and tighter.  I knew I was close and just kept pushing, I just wanted to finish and be done.   The second half was slower than my way out but when I saw the last couple of markers I knew I had come too far to give up (the thought of  having my husband drive me to the finish line crossed my mind before I passed by him at guelph line).  I saw the final marker and just kept pushing, my music had ended as it happen to have 2:59:00 minutes of play time.  I checked my watch and I had passed the three hour point, I wasn't disappointed because I knew I was pushing as hard as I could and when I turned the corner from lakeshore to go back up Brant I just pushed that last little bit, I needed to be done.  I saw my husband at the finish line, he made there just in time!

I ended up finishing with a chip time of 3:04:34.  I worked my way through the finish chute, got a bottle of water and they hung my medal around my neck.  I just wanted to find my husband, I couldn't think of anything else.  I saw him and pretty much dropped everything and stretched out my calves.  I have NEVER felt like I felt after that race. I felt like I was going to throw up and burst into tears at the same time. Thankfully neither happened but it felt like minutes went by but it probably wasn't very long before I calmed down, caught my breath.

I did it!!!

Even though I didn't make my goal time finishing under 3 hours as I had set out to do, and the race itself was hard and hurt like hell, I am extremely proud of my time and just doing it in the first place. I also beat my time from the Oct 2011 Scotia half by 15m 24s!!!

The only thing I can figure that caused all the cramping was not having enough water the day before and morning of as nothing I ate was out of the ordinary. I do wonder though what time I would have had if my stomach didn't give me so much trouble...I guess I will have to find out in May!

No comments:

Post a Comment