Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Run for L'Arche Half Marathon 2013: Race Report

Half marathon #7 is done!

To say that my training for this race was less than perfect would be an understatement. The week leading up to the race I only ended up doing 5K on the treadmill and a 20 minute Jillian Michael's workout. I know you are supposed to taper but that was probably a little bit on the light side.

Training aside, one of my biggest concerns was that a nasty winter storm would blow in and we would be trudging 21.1K in the snow. Luckily, the weather pulled through and we had a sunny, snow-free day. It was still a bit chilly at the start, -8C and a touch of wind but overall favourable conditions for a March half marathon.

The race started at 10am which allowed me to sleep in a bit. I headed downtown and met up with a few of my running friends that were also racing the half. The night before, we managed to convince our running instructor, Penny to sign up last minute for her 30th half marathon!

As I headed to the starting area, Leslie found me. It's always nice to run into people at races. Takes your mind off what you are about to do! Right before the race started, Leigh found me. We wished each other luck while she headed to the front of the pack and I headed to the back!

The mayor came out to start the race which was pretty neat! We did a countdown, he sounded the horn and we were off!

The four of us stuck together for the first little bit. We had all decided we were going to take it easy-  no real time goals other than to finish upright. Slowly, Penny and I started to pull away from the other two around 4K. We just kept a pretty steady pace. I barely even paid attention to my Garmin other than stopping for walk breaks. It was a nice and relaxing way to run. The sun was beating down on us and I took my gloves off which I haven't done for an outdoor run in a long time.

The race is on a popular pathway that runs along the Bow River. It is not a closed course so there are lots of other runners, cyclists and walkers that are not part of the race sharing the pathway. Around 5k, one of my co-workers ran past me while on a training run. I shouted out her name, we said 'hi' and carried on with our respective runs. Totally wasn't expecting to run into her!

Let me talk about the volunteers at this race- they were amazing! They were so cheerful and energetic despite how cold it must have been for them standing there. They had lots of great creative and funny signs that made you feel better instantly. They were high-five-ing everyone and just making a lot of noise. My absolute favourite was the group of male cheerleaders dressed in blue skirts, tights, shirts, wigs and waving pom-poms while doing high kicks and all sorts of cheerleader antics. I laughed so hard as I ran past them. I so wish I had taken a picture of these guys.

Penny's other half, Paul, surprised us around 7K. We weren't expecting him so it was nice to see a friendly face (and camera).

"Is that Paul in the distance?"
We were a bit happy to see Paul!

My IT band held up pretty well for most of this race; until around 14K it let it's presence be known. Ouch! I'm so glad I had Penny's company to keep my mind off the pain.

Proof that the weather held up? Penny took her coat off for the last half of the race.

We like to wave to our fans!
When we hit 16K we were so excited since we only had 5K to go. Does everyone else break down a half (or full) into shorter distances? It makes it so much easier to deal with mentally I find. I looked at my watch for probably the first time the entire race and it said 1:47. Not bad considering I wasn't pushing myself. We would definitely be finishing under 2:30.

The kilometers kept ticking by and whenever we passed a kilometer marker I was shocked at how far we had gone and how fast it seemed to go. Once or twice I checked my Garmin just to make sure they weren't off but every time they were right on. The last 3K were definitely tough. My IT band was just aching and my calves were started to tighten- probably from running differently to compensate for the knee pain. I had to take a short unscheduled walk break about 2K from the finish just to relieve some of the pain.

Finally the finish line was in sight!

Oh look- I'm waving again!

I finished in 2:22:21. 

My #1 Cheerleader!
She also likes the bling!
My legs were just in agony once I was done. I had to get hubby to massage my calves since they hurt so much. I really could have used a massage at the finish line! I limped for the next 2 days which is not normal for me.

Overall I am happy with how the race went and my time. The volunteers were great, the course is one of my favourite (fast and flat), the weather was as nice as we could have hoped for, a medal at the end and a hot pancake breakfast at the finish line!

Great race shirt!
Love my new medal!

I'm so honoured that I was asked to be a Community Ambassador for the Run for L'Arche. I enjoyed blogging weekly about my training progress and I'm glad that I was able to contribute to this great organization.

I will be signing up for this race again next year!


  1. Good work mama!!! awesome job, glad the weather held up!!

  2. umm yup, i defnitely just WALKED part of that course with the dog the other day and am sore from it. Congrats on finishing!

  3. Congratulations again! So glad that I was able to find you before and after the race too. I forgot to mention the shirts...they are actually really nice for race shirts!

  4. YAY HOORAY!!!

    Great job!!!


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