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Thursday, January 14, 2010

The other half…

… Most of you read my ‘hard race’ at the Calgary Half Marathon last May, so i figured I would share my wonderful experience at the Harvest Half Marathon in October…


Harvest Half Marathon, Oct 3-2009

I had fun… can you believe it? After the tough experience in the first one.. who’d know that I would actually have fun at this one?

It’s all about the attitude. I will never be an elite runner, and my personal records will come and go with time I am sure. So now that I have a few races under my belt, I felt like I could go out there and take it all in, watch the race from the race itself, so to speak. I did that and had a hoot! Don’t get me wrong, it is still a struggle to run 21.1kms, it’s just that I knew I could do the distance, have trained for it, and just knew what to expect I guess.

I got up at 5:30 made myself my normal pre-race meal of Toasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, a glass of water, 1/2 cup of coffee and 2 Motrin's.


Mary Jo asked me yesterday ‘do you take them ahead of time?’… yep. And I take 2 just before the race 2- 1/2 hours later.

…Don’t look at me that way…. I can’t mess with routine now can I?

I also packed my ‘During’ race meal of 32oz of GU2O electrolyte replacement drink and 2 packets of GU Carbo Gels. IMG_7476

CIMG0026In the fuel belt also goes my Drivers License, so if I pass out on course they know who I am, also is my Debit card for a post race coffee or Double Quarter Pounder, whichever tickles my fancy at the time, and a $20 bill that is tucked right next to my cell phone, so that I can call a cab back to my car if I don’t feel like finishing the race. (that hasn’t happened, but you never know. I can be fickle…hehe). Oh, yeah. Chapstick… a really good tube of chapstick.

The post race meal is typically laid out for us by the race itself, consisting this time of water, bananas, oranges, muffins, cookies and coffee.

At 6:45 I was dressed and off to the race. I found a parking spot right next to the start line, so that was nice as I hadn’t decided what to wear for jackets or vests or gloves yet. It is +2c at this point. Pretty chilly if you are standing around, but pretty much perfect if you are running a half.

From the left is Cheryl, Tony, Donna, Mark, Carla, Lonny and Rawleigh… I am in the little picture below, Rawleigh took that photo.


CIMG0037I met my running buddies shortly after arriving, and it’s pretty much just a gab session until the start at 7:45 with a steady stream of bathroom breaks by everyone. Even if you don’t think you have to go, GO. it’s a long race. We lined up for the start and with a fairly anticlimactic ‘GO’ from a guy with a bullhorn, me and 700 of my closest friends were off an running. The Harvest Half is a fairly hilly race, where the first 5k is a steady uphill on city streets, with a steep drop into Fish Creek park then a gradual downhill until the 17k mark where you have to ascend the Sikome Lake hill before finishing back at the start in Midnapore. The portion in the park is amazing. Net loss of elevation over 10k in amazing fall scenery with a nicely spread out pack of runners. It was my happy place in this race for sure.


I actually stopped to take this photo. I needed to adjust my Fuel belt as it was riding me a bit. I dropped the camera phone, dropped my fuel belt, bottles were all over the place and it seemed like I just couldn’t get coordinated enough to pull it all back together. There went 1.5 minutes of my time. yeesh.


I walked up Sikome Hill. I know I know, it’s a running race… However, I do have experience now. And I used it. I walked up the hill because I know that is the point that would have sucked ALL my energy out and I would have to walk even more in the last 4k if I didn’t. So I did and I felt really good in the homestretch. All the people that had passed me going up the hill, I passed again. so there! I was able to finish strong. Or at least I was able to tolerate the suffering better this way. I did suffer greatly during the last 1.5k, but I had a girl running next to me, and it’s sort of an unspoken thing that you don’t get passed in the last 1k, so we went stride for stride and I could tell she was hurting as much as me, and by the time we crossed the finish line we were sprinting. I won’t say who crossed first (me) because that’s not the point. The point is we both busted our ass to get across the line.

Mark had already finished so I didn’t see him come across, I missed Tony as I was at the truck putting on some warmer clothes, but I did see Carla, Rawleigh, Donna, Lonny, and Cheryl come across. It was great to see everyone finish strong. Nice work TEAM! We all went inside the community center for some tasty snacks, then it was over to the Second Cup for a Tazo Chai and a butterscotch treat(for me anyways).

Mark, the speedster today!




Donna, on the left,


Rawleigh sprinting! A guy stepped out in front of him at the finish line, Rawleigh CRUSHED him and two other innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire…LOL


Lonny, finishing her PB!


Tony, finishing his Banana


Tasty post race snacks… Marks wife and 2 girls actually came to help celebrate. I don’t blame spouses for not coming to post race festivities. We stink!CIMG0056

I feel ok, after this race, I finished 10 minutes slower than the first one I ran, but still 7 minutes faster than my goal, so that's good. Lonny set her personal best at a half marathon! Great job on a tough and hilly course Lonny! The entire team that I ran with are training for the Las Vegas Marathon in Dec, so next week it is up to 27km for them. Good Luck to ya’ll. See you in the spring probably. I haven’t decided if I have the ambition to attempt a marathon yet, so for now, I will live vicariously through you guys!

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