Okanagan Half Marathon 2015

My First Half Marathon

Well it happened! This past weekend I ran my first half marathon! It is one of my most favourite accomplishments!
My weekend began a day early! I took Friday to go for a quick trip to Lethbridge for a little pampering prior to race weekend! My best friend came with me and we got all pretty then had a sushi date and I headed back to Calgary! She also logo’d my shirt for me! (She is much more crafty then me!)
My boyfriend and I packed up and headed toward BC once he was done work we headed out of the city! I was so excited that I am pretty sure I talked about it the whole way.  Thank goodness he is patient!

When we arrived in Kelowna we went and picked up my race pack and got all settled in our hotel. I got all my stuff organized and carbed up!  I don’t think I have ate more carbs in my life.  My week consisted of brown rice, chicken, fish, vegetables and whole grain pasta.  I found it tough finding things to eat on menus at restaurants.  Does anyone have any suggestions in that area?

I set up all my race gear on the bed, called my mom, and then I made sure to get a good night’s sleep.

Before I knew it it was RACE DAY!!!

I woke up to a great inspirational message from my mom and dad!  In running my mom has always been an inspiration to me and I don’t think she even knows how much her and my dads support means to me!  She wrote” You got this! Love Mom and Dad with this picture.  How perfect it that!

I woke up at 5:15am and did my usual routine.  Blasted my race playlist, made coffee, drank half a litre of water, ate a banana, had a smoothie, showered, ate some oatmeal, drank a cup of coffee, drank the other half litre of water, pee, vaseline where needed and then got my gear on! (Note to self pack a spoon for oatmeal, its really hard to eat without it.) I also like to arrive to the venue at least an hour early to calm my nerves, venture around, stretch and I always pee twice.  That may be to much information but you are getting the play by play anyways!

We stopped and got my very dedicated boyfriend some coffee because well it was Sunday morning at 6:30 am and headed to the venue!

When I get nervous I get quiet so I spend the next hour walking around and taking in the day. I was so nervous I don’t think I said a word. I can only imagine what a treat I was to be around.  I am pretty lucky to have a great boyfriend who just supports me and ttys to understands me.  I am pretty pumped he actually started to run. 5k in 27 minutes!  (He’s actually pretty quick).  Anyways back to RACE DAY!

I placed my self in between the 1:50 and 2:00 pace bunnies.  I figured that was a safe bet since my goal was 02:00:00. I set up Charity Miles, Runtastic (so people who weren’t there with me could check me out as I ran) and my half marathon playlist!

Right before I started I even got a call from my running buddy to wish me luck!! Awesome right!

The countdown began and I focused on the goal of 02:00:00.  I remember trying to calm my nerves while going over my race plan in my head.

Yellow(13)-Red(7)-White(1.1)  Yellow-Red-White   Yellow-Red-White

Just to clarify here is what that means to me:

Yellow:  Can sing Taylor Swift without difficulty (5:45 minute kilometres)
Red:  Can hear my breath but not pushing it to hard, making sure to smile every minute and enjoy the scenery. (5 minute and under but still leaving some energy to sprint the end of my race)
White:  Push it!  (Under 5 minute km, 4:07 was my target)

I didn’t exactly stick to this but I had the right idea. All I really wanted was a negative split! Thank you Taylor Swift for helping me get through those first six km.  I don’t know what it is about the first 6 but I don’t love them.  After that I can run forever.  I even found myself getting frustrated with people stopping mid stride and bunching together.  Any tips on how to get around that? Next run I will definitely place myself a little closer to the front and give my self a little more distance rather then playing it safe.

Once I got past the six km I went into my little running zone where I focused on the scenery and breathing.  Every once in awhile I would get a live cheer from my amazing friends!  I even got person voice ones from my best friend and her family! They made me laugh and brought back the fun into the run when it was starting to get hard.  To top it off one the 13 km water station they gave out my favourite gel!  Its the Sea Salt Chocolate one and well this just made my km for sure! Its truly the little things.

After that I picked up my speed and it felt good! I gave myself a little surge to perk up and shut up the “I cant’s”.  Surprisingly I didn’t have a lot of trouble doing so which I am so so proud of myself for.  I also had a big help in that area from my great cheerleaders! My best friend, her step daughter and husband would send me love every few km which really really helped!

I started fading at km 20.. I knew I had it in me but I could feel my legs and was running out of energy and a little ambition.  As I came around the corner my boyfriend was starring there smiling and taking photos of course! Just what I needed to push to the end!  To top it off my best friends husband who runs half marathons sent me a personalized cheer saying “DIG DEEP.” And I did!

As I came to the final stretch I dug deep and picked up my stride hitting my max speed on 19.9 kph!

I finished strong with a chip time of 1:49:36! I even did a negative split! I put my hands in the air and just took it all in!

I had my running buddy and boyfriend waiting at the finish line and honestly I have never been so proud of myself!

So thats it folks! That was my run! I am so proud of myself and even though it was a tough journey I loved every minute of it!

My quote for that run definitely is sent from my momma “Work hard, do your best, live the truth, trust yourself, have some fun!”

Next stop Marathon Training! Any tips, trick or insight is greatly appreciated!  Here I come Calgary Scotiabank Marathon 2016!!!!

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