After sleepless nights, training doubts, and racing remorse, I am thrilled to have completed my second half marathon this Sunday – and even more excited to have finished in under two hours! If you read my running remorse post last week, you’ll likely be surprised to hear that I have been bit by the racing bug again. While I am not signing up for another half marathon in the near future, I am looking into a couple 10 km races in the winter (just checking out my options – I want to come down from my running high before I make any commitments).
All hesitations aside, I knew I had given my best effort effort training for this race. Preparing for a Spring half is much different than a Fall one – I have learned that I prefer running in cool temperatures (and even snowstorms) as opposed to warm scorching weather. Most distance runners will use Sundays as long run days; take a moment to think about what that means. Fun Saturdays are always cut a little short to make sure you feel ready to get a 16, 17, 18 k (or even longer) run in before peak heat hours. Depending on your pace, these distances can take over two hours to complete meaning you’ll need to be out pounding the pavement before 9:00 AM. Another sacrifice you’ll have to make is running on vacation. If you let your training slip, it is very hard to pick up where you left off – summer is a very popular time to take weekend trips, be prepared to pack your running gear and map out a couple routes to run while everyone else is sleeping in. This being said, running on vacation is one of my favourite ways to explore a new city, it makes me feel like a local and I almost always come across neat areas I would have never found otherwise.
Winter is easier. Long runs aren’t scheduled around the sun, Saturday partying is less frequent since patios are closed, and buy new cold weather running gear is a lot of fun. Sure the footing is slippery and you might run into a snow storm (literally), but as long as you are careful and alert, these added elements of difficulty make the time fly by. Maybe this is personal preference though!
I had planned to do a race recap, but as the kilometers ticked by, they all merged together. I can tell you that the Canada Army Run is much less flat than the Ottawa Race Weekend route. If you are looking for a PB, consider that. Although I did not beat my first half marathon time, I felt much stronger and in control throughout the entire race – extra hills and all. I am confident that if the courses were the same I would have snagged a PB this time around. Either way, I was elated crossing the finish line knowing I had secured another sub two hour time!
I cannot even begin to express how thankful and honoured I am to have such great friends and family that pushed me every step of the way. From my dad you ran by my side, to my amazing boyfriend and friends who cheered me on along the course and at the finish line, I know I couldn’t have made it through the race without you guys. Knowing that I have such kind and thoughtful people in my life makes me feel so lucky. It truly meant the world to see your smiling faces cheering me on.
Will I run another half marathon? The answer is most likely yes. Crossing the finish line on Sunday reminded me of why I make the sacrifices I do to be a runner, it also confirmed that I truly do love running.
Despite a little muscle soreness, I am eager to lace up my sneakers this week and do what I love.
Congratulations to everyone who ran this weekend, you did it!