I do believe that I've experienced 48 of the best hours of my recent history this past weekend.
Saturday I woke up at quarter to six to get ready for my 10th half marathon. The forecast called for partly cloudy and a high of 15. At that moment, however, it was about 2 degrees Celsius. I decided on my base layer and a t-shirt with capris. I gathered all the things I had meticulously set out the evening before and headed out to my car. Then I went back in to get my gatorade, water and post race snack. I wonder how far I would have gotten with an empty water belt. I was NOT nervous. LOL. I arrived at the park with more than a half hour to spare before the start time. A couple minutes later, I found my group. Everyone was beaming. By the time the gun went off I was in full glow.
We started off (late) running all together. Our fastest and our slowest, all in a group and ready for the warm-up. I have to say, I love this HM group for their solidarity. They really rock.
At about 3-5 k in, someone turned up the heat. I had (HAD) to get the base layer off. A few maneuvers, a little contortionism later, I had the long-sleeve shirt off and tied around my waist. Another kilometre and I was throwing it to my friend Mike, our paparazzi for the day. From then on, my goal was to settle into this run. It was fantastic. The route took us through parts of the city that made you forget that you were actually in the city. Bowness Park, Shouldice Park, almost into Edworthy .... a little turn around and we were heading back towards Bowness. Now, here's the kicker. I've walked from Bowness to Edworthy and I've biked from Edworthy to Bowness. IF you take the path that I'd taken, you were about to take on some fairly crazy-assed hills.... Guess what? We took the route that I'd taken. All I could think at that moment was "CRAP!" So at 15(?) or 17(?) kilometres, we started to make the climb through Bowmont Park.
It is at this point that I realize that I'm glad I train in the "Hills" of Calgary and that I didn't miss to many hill training nights.
Ok, so we take the first hill and it levels off. I tell the two girls that I'm running with the I think that the top of the hill is "just around this corner". After that, I tell them that same thing another two more times. Being wrong for the third time, I decide that perhaps I should just be quiet so as not to anger them.... it was a long drop off the top of the hill and they MAY not have been above shoving my lying butt off the pathway LOL. So I refocused. There was this girl running behind/beside/in front of us. It was like driving the highway behind a semi. She could pass us on the downhill but she could not keep the pace on the hill and each time we'd blow past her like she was standing still. I told Shannon that, if she did nothing else, she was to stay ahead and finish this race before her. It became MY only goal, too. It even replaced my time goal of 2:15. Once I climbed the third hill.... I decided that finishing was a good enough goal. When we FINALLY finished climbing up and up and up.... oh yes... an UP... we finally got our down reward. Three more kilometres to go! I can see the finish line. Unfortunately, our beautiful Bow River is between me an it. ARGH!!! Ok... I can see the foot bridge that leads us back to Bowness and I know I'm close. Chickie from the hills is behind us, there's a mom jogging with her daughter ON A BICYCLE standing between me and he end of the foot bridge. Little girl on bike almost took me out but I managed to smile and say "no worries".... meanwhile, my inner self was taking apart her bicycle and throwing it into the river. Refocus again and I'm back in the race. My remaining running buddy, Shannon, and I start the final stretch. Now my brain is chanting, "finish for the food, focus on the medal", "I hope we get a medal".
I finished somewhere between 2:14 and 2:16. I don't actually know the exact time. I got a great medal:
That's not my chest :~) but it's the best pic I have of the medal we received.
This is me... they goaded us into sprinting to the finish line so I did.
After the race, we all headed back to Richard's place for some food and "refreshments". It was a lot of fun. I'm not going to recap everything but sufficed to say, a good time was had by all, including the host and the team mascot.
This morning I woke up feeling just awesome. I headed over the the RR for a training session with the LTR's. They were doing 7 sets of 2:1's and, when we were done, we had run a little less than 3.5 kilometres. I would say that's a great recovery run.
The best part of this weekend was spending the time with Richard. You know how much I love seeing my clinic members "graduate" but this weekend was just fantastic from start to finish. I really, really like where things are going between us. I can't wait for next weekend. He's going to help the boys buy me flowers and cook me dinner. That's never been done before. It should be a blast.
I did the video but I'm not going to post pictures or measurements or even a weight. I will do that tomorrow. I didn't have time today to do any of it and it's too late at night now for them to be accurate. Besides, I've probably written more tonight than I have in the last three months. And it's time for bed.
FTR: when I started this blog it was still Sunday. :~)