Emilie’s Half Marathon – race recap (Gremlin included)

On Saturday morning I ran Emilie’s half marathon. I finished 3rd overall and 1st in my age category. My time was FAR from a PB and I wanted to walk from mile 5 and on. What stopped me? 

3rd IN A HALF AGAIN!!?? 

Ok, let me back up a little. After work on Friday, I drove over to the Canadian Aviation Museum to pick up my race kit – this is where the race started and finished. Kinda cool, there’s a plane as soon as you enter the museum (not surprising, I guess!).

And because it’s a women only race, they have super cute race shirts!! It’s tech material too!

Then I went home, ate dinner (spaghetti), relaxed a little bit, and got my race “outfit” together…including my new headband!! So cute, right??

The weather forecast for Saturday was for full sunshine and temps in the low 60s by race time. I wasn’t too worried because I don’t MIND the heat…now I don’t need blazing heat for a race, but am not too scared of it. Woke up to total overcast and high 50s. Good for me!

Race time was 9:45am but I left my house at 8:15am because I wanted to see the start of the 5k (9:00am) as many of my teammates were running it AND because my twitter friend, Alana, was going to be there (she lives in Montreal) so I wanted to wish her luck before her race – we found each other!!

The 5k race was super exciting because a new course record was set of 15:57…that girl was FAST!!  Saw my teammates and Alana come in – so she got to meet some of them! 

Then it was time for my race – Alana saw me off at the start which was great!! This was the first year Emile’s Run had a half marathon and it was a SMALL race. This was the first (and likely only) time that I lined up on the start line ’cause I felt like I was one of the fastest and was justified in standing there – lol! 

Gun went off and right away there were 5 of us running together. One of the women took the lead and just consistently widened it. Another 2 were just in front of me and for the first 1.5k I ran next to a woman who I nicknamed “The Little Gremlin”. Why? Well, first off, she was MUCH shorter than me (no, I don’t call all shorter people gremlins!!) and every few breaths she made a sound that I think is what gremlins must sound like when they growl. It was SO annoying but so funny at the same time. I kept thinking, “Doesn’t she know she’s doing that??”. Normally things like that REALLY bother me and get in my head, but I could tell that those sounds were because she was working really hard – too hard – and so I would likely drop her soon (ha – funny how you get so callous in a race!). And sure enough, at around 2.5k I dropped her as well as one of the women who had been in front…meaning that I was now in third place – WHAT??!!

But at about 5 miles, I started to feel REALLY, REALLY bad. Nothing in the tank AND some GI issues making themselves known. In retrospect, I didn’t do my nutrition well for such a late start. I had brought a granola bar with me to the race to eat during the 5k, but I was so nervous for this race (much more than usual) that I couldn’t eat it. But that meant that I started the race on an empty stomach…and when I do that, I swear, my stomach starts to eat itself. And that’s not pleasant. Funny how it doesn’t matter how many times you race or how hard you train, you can still make massive mistakes on race day.

The other thing I should mention is the course. It was beautiful – all along what’s called the Aviation Parkway. I took this on my way home from the race kit pick-up on Friday.

But while beautiful, it was an out and back…and out and back again. So VERY mentally challenging. Also, because it was such a small race, after 2.5k I was running by myself…for the rest of the race. There were no spectators and I wasn’t listening to music. It was very lonely. And I really was miserable. I watched my pace go from what should be my race pace of 7:26 to 8:26 for the last 5k. I think for the others, the heat was getting to them – there was ABSOLUTELY NO SHADE and the sun came out for our race – so I think that’s the only reason I was able to stay in 3rd place – well, that and just pure stubbornness!!

With 500m to go, my teammate Lisa, who had run the 5k earlier, met me on the course and ran me in. I’m not sure I could have done it without her. She just kept yelling at me and when I told her I thought I was going to die (yes, dramatic) she turned to me and she said sternly, “If you were me, you’d be telling me to DIG DEEP, so I’m telling you to DIG DEEP AND GET MOVING!!”. She also told me that the woman in 4th place was 100m behind me and gaining on me. I don’t know from where, but I managed to speed up for the last 250m and crossed the line just under 1:43…FAR off any PR, but I was just so happy to be done that I didn’t care!!! And that woman was NOT 100m behind me, Lisa just wanted me to get my ass moving! LOL! THAT is why teammates are awesome.

So I ended up with some good loot: finishers medal, 3rd place overall lanyard + gift card, 1st place in age category lanyard.  And they were all presented to me by Emilie’s parents which was AWESOME!!

This was my first all women race and it was a really neat experience. I like racing against men…’cause it feels GREAT to beat them (hehe), but today’s race allowed me to come in 3rd overall AND there was a certain camaraderie that’s not always there. Because of the looped course, I saw the other participants 3 times and we all smiled, waved and cheered each other on. It was really nice.

I spent the rest of Saturday just surviving (aka moving slowly around the house). Sunday I organized our annual street bbq – just went on autopilot for it and was EXHAUSTED by the time I got into bed last night.

Am feeling sluggish today – I might have pressed snooze 6 times (SIX TIMES!!) this morning before even opening my eyes. 🙂

I’ll take a few days off from running and then I’ll get back at it! 🙂

Happy Monday!!

4 thoughts on “Emilie’s Half Marathon – race recap (Gremlin included)

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