I have taken a few days to process the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon that took place on Sunday, March 21 so that is why my race recap is late being posted.
Initially I wasn’t happy with my finish time of 1:35:32 because I had set a goal of 1:34 for this race. Some of you may read that and think that I am strange for being upset. You may also think that I am not far from my goal time so I should be happy. You are right and after taking time to process my race I am.
Why did I set a finish time of 1:34? The first time I ran this course in 2012 I set a personal best of 1:34:48 and since I have been getting faster the last few races I thought I could make that goal. But what I should have done instead of looking SO far back was look at last years’ time which was 1:37:55. So, comparing those times with one another I was successful.
I started off feeling good and my first 5k were right on track for pace and then I started to falter. I didn’t know what was going on and I started to think too much to try and figure things out to fix. I did decide to try two new things for this race so I think they were part of the problems.
The first was that I carried a soft water bottle that had a GU mixed with water in it. Carrying something in my hand isn’t something I normally do when I run but I wanted to see what it would be like to run with it for my marathon. I decided not long into the race that it doesn’t work for me and I focus too much on the bottle. I like to have my hands free of things so I can pretend I am ‘pinching roses’ with my fingers. My friend Sharon told me a few years ago that it would be beneficial to me because I used to run with my hands in fists. I was then taking the energy from my legs and putting it in my hands. That isn’t where the energy is needed for running so, now I think about roses when I run and pass that tip along to fellow runners.
The other thing was that I wore brand new pair of Asics sneakers for my run. I have worn new sneakers for races in the past but they have always been a style that I have worn before. This was a new sneaker to my foot so there was some adjustment there I am certain. Overall though I was happy with the sneaker but did have some burning in my toes by the time I was done. I am not sure though that I can blame that on new shoes because I typically have that after running a half marathon. So, I will be getting some more long runs under my belt with them and I should be good to go by May when I run in Ottawa.
I played cat and mouse with a few people on the way back and eventually one lady stayed ahead. I just couldn’t catch her and I wasn’t sure if she was in my age group but I was thinking she could be. It ended up that she wasn’t but there was another lady who crossed the finish line roughly six minutes before I did who was. She took first and I took second in our age group.
After I crossed the finish line I still had 5k left to do for my training run of 26k that was scheduled for that day. I headed over the bridge and was moving slowly. I really struggled with the run and my legs were not happy to be moving. It was harder to go from running fast to running at a slower pace but I couldn’t get my legs going faster after I had stopped for a few minutes to chat with Warren about his race.
Overall my race on Sunday was a learning curve and something I am happy for now. My goal race is Ottawa on May 24 and the races that I am taking part in from now until then are training. I need to remember that and keep running my run.
What have you learned from races in the past? Are you able to run with a bottle in your hand?