Holy moly, you guys. Words cannot describe how sore my thighs are at this moment. Sitting down is a challenge. Sitting up is a challenge. Walking, is a nightmare. I have never been so proud and sore sore in my life.
I was not looking forward to this morning. For the last few days, all I did was stress out about the weather and complain that I signed up for it at all. I did not feel wholly prepared. I was not looking forward to being cold, and worse yet, if it rained. Allin all, the last few days have been difficult to get myself in the right mindset.
But this morning I woke up at 6am as planned – well, 5:50AM anyways. I kept waking up through the night (nerves, surely) and eventually had enough tossing and turning. I took Dakota outside for his morning bathroom break, fed him, showered (to help wake myself up) and got ready to go. I was nervous about eating too much and feeling bloated or worse, getting a cramp while running, so I stuck to a Clif Bar (Chocolate filed with Peanut Butter) and an apple for breakfast. I had a single cup of coffee, worried about having to use the restroom while running. Nothing, to me, is worse than having to kill your stride for a bathroom break on the course.
By about 7:35AM, Matt and I were on our way. Thankfully, he was willing to drive me to the starting line at Mel Lastman Square, because taking transit at that time would’ve been brutal!
After some confusion we found a spot to pull over semi-near the start line (I had to walk about 10 minutes to get there. Felt further in the frigid morning!)
I spotted some portyapoddy’s and got in line. One thing ever runner was recommending was to use the restroom as close to the beginning of the race as you can. Even if you feel like you don’t have to now, try. You’ll be thankful later.
Chatted with some other runners waiting – one of them was hoping to beat their personalbest of 1:27:00 – I wished them good luck, did my business, and hopped into our corral which, rather conveniently was right beside the portyapoddy’s we were using.
Race started just after 8:30AM. By the time we got down Yonge street to Davisville, we had run about 8km and I was feeling pretty quite about my pacing. At the time I think RunKeeper was telling me I was running at about 6min27sec/km. Anything under 7km, I thought, was doing alright so early early on.
By 13km my thighs began to hurt. I hadn’t run a distance over 14km through my entire training, so I wasn’t nearly as conditioned to the distance as I would have liked to be. But my breathing otherwise was great, so I was feeling alright. Decided not to let it get to me, and pressed on.
By 15km I had to use the bathroom again, but I knew I had barely had anything more than a couple sips of water from the water-cup volunteers since we began so I didn’t think it was worth it to stop. By this time my average pace had improved to 6min 15seconds, quite quick considering the distance – for me, at least.
By 18km my thigh’s were absolutely dying. But I really didn’t want to stop during this, it was important for me to continue on even if I had to slow down a little, but I decided not to slow down. Towards the end, my pace was increasing to 6 min 13 seconds/km.
It was a rough one, and the last km seriously felt like it went on forever. But, I did it. After I finished I immediately called Matt to tell him my finishing time; my chip read 2 hours, 14 minutes, and 51 seconds. I was originally hoping for 2:30, so I’m feeling pretty good about my effort. I placed 2162/2842, which isn’t awesome but I’m still happy with it.
Tips for running your first half-marathon? Have your fiance wait for you at the exit, seriously, you really might need a hand getting back to the car.