Archive for June, 2013

The Biggar Boogie

A few weeks ago a friend sent me a simple text: “Are you running the Biggar Boogie?” I had heard about it, but honestly hadn’t given it much thought. My baby-sitters live in the opposite direction and I was fixated on the upcoming River Run Classic half marathon for my next race. That text nagged at me for a couple days though, so I decided to investigate further.

Biggar is a town just west of our town, and fundraising is taking place for some new playground equipment. The friend who originally texted me about the Boogie backed out, so I texted a few other friends and we got a group together to walk/run.

After a week of rain and more in the forecast, race day wasn’t looking good. I was beyond relieved when I woke up Saturday morning and saw clear blue skies! Our other friends backed out anyway, so it ended up being just Annaleigh and I headed to Biggar that morning.

I knew this was a very low-key, relaxed race. As a result I was feeling rather low-key about it too, and had done everything wrong leading up to race morning. I was still targeting that half marathon in mid-July, and my training plan really didn’t have room to allow a week of taper for a 10K, so I didn’t. Instead of my usual carb-laden pre-race supper I ate leftover stir fry. I got busy the day before race day and ended up drinking only a third the water I usually drink in a day. I also got to the gas station where I was meeting Annaleigh before she did, so went in and got us coffees – oops! I knew as I was pouring that coffee that it was a bad idea, but I did it anyway. I also decided the coffee could be my pre-race energy, so skipped my Honey Stinger Chews.

When we arrived at the start line, about forty minutes before the start time, we wondered if we had the wrong day or something… there were two people sitting there and that was it. The town’s facebook page had said they had over 100 people registered, so we really thought we’d missed something. We hung out in the car for ten minutes or so and then more people started showing up. Annaleigh got out her stroller for her two month old baby (his first race!) and I set off to find myself a bathroom. Again, I knew better than to have that coffee, but here we are.

Drawback to a casual race: no bathrooms. Thankfully there is a hotel just around the corner from the start/finish, so it was easy enough to use theirs. When I got back one of the organizers was telling everyone where to run. The course was basically a big square around the outside of town, and the 10K runners were to do two loops. I don’t know my way around Biggar very well, but the organizers assured us there would be people telling us where to go.

My half marathon plan called for an 8K run at race pace on Saturday, so at least I was sticking with that… kind of. I started out intending to run this 10K at my half marathon pace (about 5:27-5:30/km, compared to my 5:15-5:18/km 10K pace), but that’s easier said than done. A low key race is still a race and I just can’t hold back!

We lined up and set off for our first loop. Volunteers told us where to turn and we made our way back to the start. We had been told there would be a water station along the way, but either I missed it or those volunteers slept in because I didn’t see any water! Not a big deal in a 10K though.

At the end of my first loop my GPS said 4.6km. Hmmmm. I know GPS can be a little off sometimes, but that seemed like a lot. I set off on my second loop and the runners I had been following stopped as they were just doing 5K. When I turned the first corner I couldn’t see anyone ahead of me and by the time I turned again I couldn’t see anyone behind me either. The volunteers were gone from the turns and I started to wonder if I was the only one running the 10K! I crossed my fingers that I was turning at the right block to go back (I was), and when I got to the last kilometer I started to catch some 5K walkers. That was kind of nice since I hadn’t seen a single other runner in four kilometers! As I crossed the finish line a crew wrote down my time and name (I hadn’t realized they were timing the race at all actually!) and handed me my swag bag.

The bags were great! They’d had reusable shopping bags printed with the leading sponsors’ names (New U Fitness and Total Solution) and filled them with a bottle of water, an apple, a bag of popcorn, Kleenex, a water bottle, and a couple pens from local businesses. In future years I’d love to see a t-shirt included in the bag to help promote the race throughout the year. A friend is going to make me a quilt from race shirts once I have enough, so I do love getting a t-shirt to help build my quilt collection.

The course definitely was short, my watch said 9.17 when I finished in 48:36. My average pace was the same as it was when I ran my personal best of 53:25 this spring, so I’m confident that I would have bested that had I kept going. I’d like to run one more 10K this summer/fall, so I’ll get my PB then. πŸ™‚ I know there were at least two people ahead of me in the 10K (one guy and one gal), but have no idea where I placed officially. Honestly, it really doesn’t matter!

Annaleigh had finished her 5K a couple minutes before I did, and we were able to get a picture together.

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For a small town, inaugural race, this was a good one. It was fun, relaxed, and the hand timing did add something for the runners. It was fun to go with a friend and the weather was perfect too! Well done, Biggar!

40 Before 40

A month ago I turned thirty. It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. My husband is a couple years older than I am, and every time he has a birthday I think “wow, he’s really old!” Then by the time that same birthday arrives for me I’m used to it and it doesn’t seem that bad. (Thanks honey!) πŸ˜‰

In Las Vegas this past March we met up with another couple we knew from home. She told me about her version of a bucket list. She pointed out that bucket list items are easy to put off because you don’t have a definitive deadline. I think that’s a really good point, I love checking things off a list (slightly Type-A), but a deadline helps make sure things get done. For this reason this friend has a “40 Things To Do Before I Turn 40” list. I love this idea, so totally stole it when I turned 30 and made my own list of goals for the next ten years.

Some are simple, some will take more planning, effort and yes, money. I couldn’t make them all huge because, as my husband pointed out, I have to average four list items per year! Some are running goals, some are riding goals, some are family goals, some are career goals, and some are just personal growth things. I can’t wait to do each and every one.

(Note that this list is a work in progress and was added to for quite a while. Therefore it’s rather jumbled and unorganized, but too bad.)

Forty Things To Do Before I Turn Forty

1. Run a marathon. I really want to do this, but I know the training time required just isn’t realistic for me right now. When my kids are old enough to stay by themselves for a couple of hours while I do my long runs I will absolutely run a marathon.

2. Run a total of twenty half marathons. This should be fairly attainable, as I’m at four already and have one more planned for this summer.

3. Run a sub-25 minute 5K. I haven’t run a 5K since 2011. I wanted a 24 minute time SO BAD and then did everything wrong in my target race. It was awful, and I haven’t run a 5K since. This goal has been nagging at me ever since, and I have vowed to try again in 2013.

4. Barrel race in a rodeo. I’ve been a jackpot-level barrel racer for twenty-two years. I love barrel racing, but rodeoing properly requires a TON of travel, expense and time away from home and family. I don’t care to rodeo properly, I just want to enter one and be drawn in the performance, not the slack. Those who know me know I have a young mare who should be my best shot so far at this goal within the next couple of years.

5. Barrel race in a futurity or derby. Futurities are for horses five and under, and derbies are for horses seven and under. I’d love to have my mare running well enough to be able to take her to one or two of these events in the next couple of years (she’s three now, so I have lots of time!)

6. Run 1D at the SBRA Finals. I’m not going to bore non-barrel racers with the details of the 3D/4D system, but running 1D basically means running in the fastest category, within one second of the fastest horse.

7. Take the kids to Disneyland or Disney World

8. Run half marathons in three more provinces. My big goal is to run a half in every Canadian province, so I think checking three more off my list this decade is reasonable. (I’ve done Saskatchewan and British Columbia so far.)

9. Run with Team In Training. I would like to be a part of this organization and help raise money for leukemia and lymphoma while running a target race at the same time!

TNT

10. Go to San Francisco.

11. Ride a horse to Perdue and back. This is the closest town to our farm and the round trip would be about 30 km.

12. Teach 100 families infant massage. I’m at 35 so far!

13. Swim with dolphins.

14. Go to every Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas. I’ve been to Ka and O so far. I know Le Reve isn’t Cirque, but it’s included in this list too. It’s my list, I can do what I want with it.

15. Go to the NFR. The National Finals Rodeo is held in Las Vegas every December and I would love to be in the audience some day!

16. Go to the CFR. The Canadian Finals Rodeo is held in Edmonton each year, and I can’t really believe I’ve never gone before, but here we are.

17. Go to the Calgary Stampede. Again, I can’t believe I’ve never been to the Stampede. Slightly ashamed of that actually!

18. Take the kids to the Calgary Zoo. Item check-off alert! My mother-in-law and I are planning a trip there for next month! Woot!

19. Go to West Edmonton Mall’s Galaxyland and Fantasyland. This is a huge indoor water park and amusement park. This is something I’m waiting for until the kids are big enough to go on the big water slides without drowning!

20. Ride at Red Rock Canyon. I ran a half at Red Rock Canyon, Nevada this March and while I was running I kept thinking “this is great, but I really should ride a horse here!” Someone’s trailer was parked near the finish line, so I know it’s a possibility!

21. Run a Rock n Roll event. These races always sound like such a great time. There aren’t many in Canada, so this will be a travelling goal.

22. Take a trip with my girlfriends. I have a great group of childhood friends. We’ve stuck together since elementary school and are planning a trip to Banff this winter to celebrate our 30th birthdays.

23. Run 10,000 kilometers from 2013 to 2023. Again, this should be attainable. I ran 1000 in 2011 and just over 1300 in 2012, so averaging 1000 per year is realistic I think.

24. Finish the yard. Oh, the yard. It’s coming along nicely, but is a work in progress. Farm yards are enormous, but I find myself actually enjoying yard work for the first time this year.

25. Ride the ferris wheel at the Quad in Las Vegas. This March when we were in Vegas we kept wondering what that huge thing was behind the Quad (formerly the Imperial Palace). We finally saw a billboard and realized that it’s the support arms for what will be a HUGE ferris wheel. At 550 feet tall, one full rotation on the High Roller will take about thirty minutes.

The construction of the High Roller ferris wheel.

The construction of the High Roller ferris wheel.

26. Take the kids to the mountains.

27. Run to Perdue and back. Again, 30 km. This will be a long run on the way to that marathon goal.

28. Volunteer at a race. Right now I have to find a baby-sitter every time I want to run a race. Usually it involves staying over night at my parents’ place so that no one has to get up as early as I have to leave to be at a race. Call me selfish (I’ll be the first to admit it), but if I’m going to that effort I want to run the darn race! Someday soon I promise I will volunteer at a race, and maybe the kids will too!

29. Run a 5K with my Dad. Sorry Dad, but you need to start doing something. When I told my Dad about this goal, I suggested the Bridge City Boogie 2014. That gives him a year to get ready! He grumbled, but did sound vaguely interested, so my fingers are crossed.

30. Learn to shoot a gun. When I was about twelve my Dad bought me a gun. I shot it about twice and really had no interest, so he sold it. Well, now I’d at least like to know how to load a gun and shoot something. Our dog has been sprayed by a skunk three or four times this spring, and I would like to have the option of taking care of that rather than being a damsel in distress.

31. Learn to make Christmas dinner. I’ve made some big progress in the kitchen in the last ten years I think (though sometimes my husband still eats supper quietly then says, as politely as he can, “please don’t make that again.”), but Christmas still scares the bejeesus out of me. I can handle the rest of it, but that darn turkey just seems so risky. This is ridiculous, I need to learn how to cook a flipping turkey!

32-40. IΒ don’t know yet. The possibilities for the last nine options are endless! My list will fill in, and I’m excited to see where it will take me! Β 

Beads of Courage Colour Run

Colour runs are all the rage this summer. A multitude of charities are hopping on the colour run fundraising bandwagon – and why not? Colour runs attract all levels of runners and non-runners alike looking to have a good time.

This past weekend my kids and I participated in our first colour run, the Beads of Courage Colour Run in Saskatoon. That I know of, this was the first colour run in Saskatoon, and there are three more coming up later this summer (The Fireworks Festival, Color Me Rad and Run or Dye). I had heard about Beads of Courage through the Saskatoon Road Runners weekly emails and facebook page and loved the concept. After chatting with a couple of the organizers at the Saskatchewan Marathon expo last weekend I went home and signed up!

The Beads of Courage program was piloted in Phoenix in 2004 and is now run in over 150 hospitals in Canada, the US, Japan, the UK and New Zealand. The program provides arts in medicine support for children coping with serious illnesses. Each participant in a Beads of Courage Run is given two matching beads to pin or string on a necklace and wear throughout the run in honour of a child. Afterwards, we were asked to fill out a card of enCOURAGEment and attach one of our beads to it. The beads are then given to children in the program, who collect beads on a necklace of their own as they reach treatment milestones. The runners’ second bead is theirs to keep as a reminder of the event. The symbolism of these beads chokes me up and I love the thought of my matching bead being given to a sick child as they undergo treatment. All the money raised at this event will be used to fund the Saskatchewan program, which is so nice to hear. I also like that everyone who works with Beads of Courage is a volunteer, so 100% of the proceeds go to the kids – nothing has to be spent on anyone’s salary.

My team beads pinned on my fresh white t-shirt!

My team beads pinned on my fresh white t-shirt!

I met my friend Janay when she was very pregnant with her first baby. I remember her excitement and anticipation at this late stage in her pregnancy clearly. Janay had a very complicated and long delivery, which left her son Aedan with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. Janay and her family are currently raising money to help Aedan go to China for stem cell treatments that will give him a better quality of life. Last summer Janay gave me a silver necklace with a support ribbon pendant on it as a thank-you for my help with their fundraising efforts. Aedan isn’t in the Beads of Courage program, but he and his Mom mean a lot to me, so I decided to wear this necklace for the run as well.

I knew I wanted to run Beads of Courage with my kids. What better way to teach them that the world is bigger than themselves and to remind them to be thinking of others? I hesitated a bit though – $45 times four of us is a bit hefty! The ladies I chatted with at the Expo were quick to tell me that kids age ten and under run free! Wow!

Unregistered kids wouldn’t receive a t-shirt or team beads of course, so we made our own. I got plain white t-shirts and puffy paint at Michaels, as well as some colored beads and funky sunglasses. They loved making their bead necklaces, and I made their team shirts. We also picked up some neon striped socks and hair bands (which the boys insisted on wearing as well!).

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This run started at the respectable hour of 9:00. I hoped to arrive by 8 so we would have time to find a parking spot, get ourselves organized and take a bathroom break before the run began. This meant we had to leave the farm by 7:00, and kids had to get up EARLY! I really talked up how exciting it would be to eat breakfast in the truck on the way, and that saved us a lot of time. I packed everything and put it in the truck the night before (except the refrigerated stuff of course), and that also helped a lot. I woke the kids up at 6:30, and they were so excited! “Is it the rainbow race today?” Riley asked as he opened his eyes. “Hooray!”

I was fairly confident that Alyssa (5) would be able to run the entire 5 km, especially after the 3 km Mother’s Day run we had done together. I thought Riley (3) would likely make it most of the way, but knew Evan (also 3) wouldn’t. Evan has always been our sensitive guy, and new things bother him sometimes. I told him I would pull our wagon so if anyone got tired they could hop in. The always considerate Alyssa wondered what would happen if I got tired. I told them they’d have to pull me in the wagon then! “Oh Mommy!” Haha.

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After singing the national anthem (thank you, I love runs that do that, and not all of them do!), and a few words from one of the organizers (including the fundraising total – $13,000!!!! WOW!), we set off along the paved path that runs through Lakeview Park. Riley and Alyssa ran ahead of Evan and I, who jumped in the wagon after 100m or so. He wasn’t sure what to think of the first two colour stations, but he started to come around when he saw how everyone was smiling and laughing. The third colour station was green, Evan’s favorite color, and he jumped out of the wagon to run through the green colour. (The colour used was dyed corn starch). After that he was sold on the idea and ran most of the rest of it.

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At the finish line one of the organizers asked the kids if it was as fun as they thought it would be. Alyssa enthusiastically responded, “it was even BETTER than we thought it would be!”

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We had SO MUCH fun! I’m so glad we made the effort to get up early and go to the city for a fun day. We took some finish line pictures, had a snack, and went to the bead dedication tent. My daughter had made an extra bead necklace and wanted to leave it for a sick kid “to make them happy.” A volunteer very carefully placed her necklace in the box with all the team beads and thanked her. The whole rest of the day she talked about this and wondered if the kid would like her necklace.

Team beads on their way to kids around the world. At the bottom right you can see Alyssa's necklace. :)

Team beads on their way to kids around the world. At the bottom right you can see Alyssa’s necklace. πŸ™‚

Banner filled with notes of enCOURAGEment signed by runners.

Banner filled with notes of enCOURAGEment signed by runners.

Our next stop was the River Landing spray park. I honestly thought the colour would just rinse off the kids, and an hour at a spray park would be perfect. It was perfect, but it did nothing to take the colour off! We got some weird looks and I’m sure people wondered why we were orange, but we really didn’t care. We ate our picnic lunch and had ice cream, then headed home. It was such a fun day, and my daughter announced as she was eating her ice cream, “this is the best day EVER!” πŸ™‚ Happy Mommy.

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Our run package had included a great list of tips for a colour run, and since this is a new trend I thought I would share some. I’ve added some of my own as well. I hope they will help you prepare for your first colour run!

1. Be prepared to get colour on EVERYTHING. Wear socks and shoes you don’t care about, and yes, even your underwear will somehow manage to get colour on it.

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2. Wear sunglasses. The colour will get in your eyes. My kids’ sunglasses were something I bought because I thought they were cute (and they were cheap!), but I was really glad they had them.

3. Put your keys, phone, camera, and anything else you’re bringing along in a ziploc bag. I was so glad I had done this, the bag was red at the end of the run, but my phone was clean!

4. It’s not a race. There will be kids, walkers, wagons, strollers, and maybe a couple runners in there somewhere. Leave your iPod and Garmin at home.

5. Bring a camera, but leave your DSLR at home. There were at few photographers at this run, and they all had their fancy cameras wrapped in plastic, but I’m sure they still got some colour on them. This is a time to break out the point and shoot you never use anymore, or just use your phone’s camera.

6. Bring towels or blankets to protect your vehicle seats when you drive home. This was my big fail. I’d brought a change of clothes for everyone, but hadn’t thought about us having colour on our skin and in our hair. I didn’t realize that a handful of yellow colour had been tossed at my hair until I got out of the truck at River Landing and my headrest was yellow. Oops.

7. Don’t lift your arms up when you pass through a colour station! I saw a woman afterwards who had cut the sleeves off her t-shirt and had colour in her arm pits. Coloured corn starch plus sweat = not pretty at all!

8. Don’t go alone. I think the main reason I had so much fun at this event was the simple fact that I did it with my kids. Grab some kids or a group of girlfriends and get them to register too. A group of women we chatted with afterwards were on their way out for brunch – I’m sure they got some stares!

This run was such a wonderful experience in every way. I love how whenever you set out to do something like this that will ultimately help others, it ends up helping you too. Raising money for a program like this put a smile on every face that morning, and left us all with some pretty great memories. I will string my team bead and pewter pendant on a necklace and wear it in every race I run. I will always wonder about the kid who will get my other bead, and hope that some of the strength I feel when I run will somehow be felt by him or her through that bead.

Click here to find out how to get a Beads of Courage program started at a hospital near you.

The Saskatchewan Marathon

After my fantastic pre-race experience I was really psyched for Sunday’s race! My training for this half (my fourth) had been going very well and I was confident I could run faster than my 1:58:24 PB, set in Vancouver last summer.

After being told no less than three times at the Expo to plan to arrive by 6:30, I planned for just that. There are only two main entrances to Prairieland Park, and the two other back entrances were closed for the marathon. That meant that several thousand vehicles would be accessing the start/finish area through just two gates. It’s only logical to plan to arrive early! (Apparently several hundred runners missed the gun and had a very late start because they were stuck in traffic. They still had an accurate chip time, but of course placing is done by gun time, so the results were a bit off in that regard.)

I do like to get to a race about an hour before the gun anyway, so my friend Morgan and I met at 6:30. Almost immediately I saw two women from my Zumba class, the instructor’s mother and sister. They are both really friendly, fantastic people, so it was a boost to see them there. Faye was walking her second half marathon, and Audra was walking her first.

The start/finish had moved to the other end of the city this year from the previous two years when I had run it. It was farther from my parents’ place, but had great parking and all the support tents were spread out around an actual park as opposed to a parking lot. This made it very scenic, but also meant there were tons of MOSQUITOES! Bug spray was the one thing I forgot. 😦

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After getting the lay of the land, I got out my stretching strap and did my Active Isolated Stretching while Morgan changed into her shorts in the bushes (haha, sorry Morgan, that was too funny to leave out!). By now the staging area was filling up and the lines for the bathrooms were getting longer. We checked our bags and met up with our friend Glenda and her friend Blair at the gear check tent, then went to find our seeding spot at the start line.

The Saskatchewan Marathon is small enough that it doesn’t have official corrals, but rather volunteers with big signs showing a time. You stand in the appropriate area and seed yourself using your own judgement. This was when I saw my sister-in-law’s friend Chelsea, who was running her first half marathon. Chelsea finished right behind me in the Saskatoon Police Run 10K, and had a big time goal of 1:56 for this race. My goal was 1:57, so we were able to chat a bit at the start. I also saw Cathy (a physiotherapist I used to work with) and Iso (my physiotherapist from The Knee Injury Of 2011) at the start line. They had gotten up bright and early to volunteer – thanks ladies!

I love the start of this race. The national anthem is always played, which never fails to make me teary (I am so my mother’s daughter!). This year they also played Sweet Caroline and asked everyone to sing along as a tribute to the Boston Marathon attacks. I loved that idea, it really made me realize once again that the running community is a tight bunch. Running is an individual thing, technically, but everyone is really there for each other. Even though a lot of us didn’t know most of the words we could all join in for “Sweet Caroline, Ba, Ba, Ba,” ha ha!

With that, the gun went and we were off. I hadn’t run the new race route before, but had a general idea of where we would go. The first 8 km or so wove around through residential areas, and a lot of people had gotten up early to cheer on the runners as we passed their houses. My cousin/best friend/maid of honor lives a block off the race route and I had given her an estimated time of when I would pass by. I assured her there was no obligation to get up so early on a Sunday, but there she was. Grinning ear to ear holding a sign that said “I’m so proud of you!” Again, my Mom’s genetics kicked in and I started bawling. I managed to wave and smile through my tears and kept going. What a boost it is to see someone you know on the sidelines!

Soon after this the course met up with the picturesque Saskatoon river bank and we continued north through the city. Northbound we were to run on the road and southbound on the way back we were to stay on the paved Meewasin trail. The trail follows fairly close to the road, so we got to see the leaders on their way back to the start/finish. I love seeing those fast runners, and I always try to applaud as many as I can. The leading female smiled appreciatively when I did, she looked like she was having so much fun! Oh, to run that fast and enjoy every step of it.

Throughout this race I kept looking at my watch and scolding myself for going too fast. I was often down around 10K pace, and several times even at 5K pace when I checked. I decided early on to use my watch as information only, and to run my race based completely on feel. Obviously I knew my 5K pace wasn’t sustainable for a half, but I quit beating myself up for going too fast. By the halfway point I was looking only at mileage and not at pace at all anymore.

As we neared the north turn-around I started to look for my kids. I knew they were with my parents (my husband was busy putting his crop in the ground and working 18 hour days, seven days a week), but wasn’t sure if they would be able to get everyone organized and out the door in time to see me pass by. I needn’t have worried, there they were. They were the loudest fans on the entire course and had placed themselves about 100m from the turn around water station. Waving pom poms and scarves (I could imagine the careful deliberation that surely had gone on at Mom’s about what to bring to wave since they hadn’t made a sign this year) and yelling “GO MOMMY GO!” over and over, they were the highlight of the entire race for me. After I passed through the water station and turned around I found they had run across to the trail to see me again. More enthusiastic cheering and yelling and scarf waving ensued. The guy in front of me was appreciative too, and said “that’s pretty good motivation!” πŸ™‚

We headed back and I ran with a guy for a while who apologized for his inconsistent pace. I assured him I was no better at pacing and was able to stay with him for a few kilometers. My fast early pace started to affect me at this point and he pulled away after a while. I snuck a peek at my pace and found I was now on the slower end of my goal pace. My average was still faster than the fast end of my goal pace, so I was still confident I would achieve my 1:57 goal.

As we neared my cousin’s corner again I thought there was no way I’d see her again – but I did! She was back, with another sign! This one said “Sky above, earth below, fire within.” I was thinking “wow, that’s great, I need to remember that,” when she yelled “I stole this from your Pinterest!” Ha ha, I guess I’ve thought that before!

I was feeling great until about 18 km. I’ve said so many times “the last 3 km of any run, any distance, are the hardest,” and that proved true for me once again. The origin tendon of my Rectus Femoris (one of the middle quadriceps) suddenly seized up in both legs. I suddenly realized that although I had stretched my quads before the start, I had forgoteen the oh-so-critical hip flexors (psoas and iliacus). Wow. Pain. I walked for about 100m which did help ease the spasm some, but then another favorite running quote came to mind: “Run the first third with your legs, the second third with your head and the last third with your heart.” In other words, suck it up and get going. πŸ™‚

So I did. I finished strong in a big personal best of 1:56:26. My goal pace was 5:30-5:35/km, and my watch said 5:29 average. I had been laughing about how my PB’s always end in :24, so those extra two seconds ticked me off! This was still very nearly two minutes off my previous best race, so I was pretty thrilled. I got my medal (same as last year but with a different ribbon) and took a plastic sheet off the fence. I looked up and there was my Dad! I hadn’t expected anyone to be at the finish line so it was great to see him.

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Bling!

Bling!

I went to pick up my bag and got some food then was getting out my phone to text Glenda. She had been battling a back injury that was irritated by running and was expecting to have to walk a significant portion of the race. When I had seen her on my way back she was keeping a good pace but was feeling so-so. We had agreed before the start that I would text her when I finished to see where she was and walk back to finish with her if she was having trouble. Now I was the one having trouble – walking was becoming agony as my quad tendon spasmed more and more. I was just starting to text Glenda when I saw her finish. I was so relieved – both for her and myself! She had finished strong and overcome a big hurdle. Morgan had missed a few big training runs leading up to this race and was feeling a little undertrained. She still finished in a very respectable time for her first half marathon and is already planning her second – and third! Chelsea finished eight minutes off her goal, but once again a very good time for a first half marathon!

Glenda and I at the finish

Glenda and I at the finish

Morgan and I

Morgan and I

Dylan Wykes, our Olympian speaker from the previous night, had run the half marathon as well. When I saw him on the double back, he was running with an accomplished local runner and the two were having quite a good conversation. The results show their times as the very same, but with Dylan finishing second. I’ll say it again, what a class act that guy is. He could have so easily kicked it up to his normal race pace and taken the win, but chose instead to pull back a half a stride so a local runner could win his hometown race. There is decent prize money at the Saskatchewan Marathon, so it did cost him some dollars to do that, but he still did. Once again, that just shows what amazing people runners are, and how the running community is so supportive of each other.

Audra’s facebook status that day was “Just finished my first half marathon. I may have finished last, but I’m ahead of everyone on the couch.” I love that, it’s so true. Congrats Audra on your first half!

All in all it was a great day for all of us. This is my favorite race of the year, and my only regret is that it’s over so early in the race season. I have several other races coming up in 2013, and already have the Saskatchewan (half) Marathon on my calendar for next year.

Next up: The Beads of Courage Colour Run with my kids on June 2!