After shopping ‘til I dropped yesterday, I met up again with Lexie and we walked to sunset yoga on the beach. I’m truly at a loss for words for how amazing this yoga on the beach was. It’s been FAR too long since I went to a yoga class, so being able to look out at the sun setting over the water was unreal.
Isn’t that sunset just amazing? It was so awesome.
After finishing up yoga, I headed to my hotel and fell into bed. I was able to sleep well from 10:30 until 6am, so felt awesome rested when I woke up.
It was a 15 minute walk to the start line and the bag drop was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Truly. I’d heard the bag drop was a bit of a mess last year, but this year was flawless. Our bags were all tagged for us, so we just walked to the appropriate booth, dropped and off I went. I decided to skip the sunrise stretch and went to locate my corral so I could start to focus. While I’m normally pretty chatty, I do not like to talk before a race. Back when I was swimming I was the same. I’d pretty much blow off anyone who tried to talk to me because my brain didn’t like it.
I was able to line up near the 1:55 pace group and spotted this guy
With over 10,000 runners it took a loooong time to get to the start line. I never looked at the clock, just started my watch and of we went!
I have a problem starting too quickly in races, so I wanted to make sure I felt good and comfortable starting off. Well, my first km was done in 5:15. So much for starting easy! I kept my focus on keeping my run comfortable, as I knew I could speed up near the finish – I didn’t want to do what happened last October and burn myself out too quickly.
The first 6km were flat-ish. There was a hill off the bat, but then the course leveled off until the 6km mark. That’s were it got messy. There was a BIG hill to a steady incline and then an over and back of the Burrard St Bridge. Now, if you drive it, you probably don’t think it’s that bad. Running over at the 7km mark and back at the 11km mark hurts. Lots. Thankfully once that was done the course was flat. Well, flat until the 18km mark where there was a short but steep hill. I did not like that one bit.
Throughout the race I kept telling myself not to worry about speeding up too early – but I was calculating my finish time constantly. From about the 7km mark I was sitting at just over a 5:30/km average – I knew that pace would give a PR; it might not be the 1:55 I was hoping for, but knew it would be a PR regardless.
The cheers stations were amazing.
Fact: high-fives make you run faster. True story.
Although I was going for a PR, I made sure to high-five the volunteers, and even made sure to high five a truly adorable girl around 4, just because she was cute.
I felt my race was going really, really well until around the 18km mark. I wouldn’t say I hit a wall, but I was tired. Hills and humidity are tough to run in. I’m sure the altitude of Calgary helped, but Calgary is neither hilly, nor humid, so I did have that working against me.
I wanted to push hard from 19km on knowing it was only 2km and after that I’d be done, but I just didn’t have anything left. My right glute (okay, arse) was cramping and I did my best to punch it while running to try and work the knot out, but I was fatigued. I’m glad we weren’t wearing traditional bibs as the look on my face crossing the finish line was likely one of pure pain; I was truly gutting it out.
And, to think in October I’m going to run double the distance. Ouch.
My actual time was 1:58.20, so not far off my RunKeeper. I finished 979/8422 people, so I’m SUPER happy about that, too!
Please note the 598m in elevation change. My average run in Calgary is about a 50m elevation change and the incline run I did with my dad in Kelowna was a 115m elevation change. So. 598m?! HURTS. Seriously, those spikes are freaking nutso.
lululemon did an amazing job of treating the runners well. Our medals this year are a wooden picture frame, and photobooths were set up for pictures. I was bagged, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to get my picture at the Sunset Festival tonight.
I did manage to get a free (FREE!) massage after the race. Yes, people actually touched my gross, sweaty runners body. Woo!
This was then followed by watermelon.
WHY have I not thought of watermelon after a race before now?! It was so glorious and amazing and I loved it so, so much.
While I appreciate bananas after a race, this was fantastic. Such a great idea.
I was too busy stuffing food into my face to take a picture for you. Sorry I’m not sorry.
Now that I’ve showered I feel pretty amazing and plan on relaxing for the next 3 or so hours until going to the yoga, food and concert festival. They also have beer. And pad thai.
Amazeballs. I’ll be back next year for sure!