Sunday, 29 April 2012

Half marathon race report

Today was the day I ran a half-marathon. I also said I would write my first official race report about it, so here we go.

Yesterday, I ate as I should have and I had a good night sleep. This morning I woke up ready to run and took a very light breakfast. I sort of forgot what I was supposed to eat. For some reason, yesterday I threw away the banana I was planning to eat this morning (although coach did say no fruits, so I figured it wasn’t such a bad thing, except for the fact that I wasn’t sure what to eat anymore). I ended up having some yogurt with maple syrup and a clif bar a little closer to the race (oh, and a gel cause I was worried I would get hungry!). I just really didn’t want to eat too much because I have the habit of stopping 2 or 3 times to go to the bathroom when I do my long runs. So, moving on...I got dressed and took the bus and got to the race location.

Last race I did was a 10k, I was way overdressed and it got very uncomfortable towards the end so I didn’t want to do the same mistake. I ended up wearing short pants and I was really cold until the race started, I saw a few people shiver even. But then it started and again, I had to take one of my tops off so I was happy with my decision. Taking off my top was a little complicated...kinda funny, I took the sweater off and then proceeded to tie around my waist, but the t-shirt got stuck somewhere in the fuel belt and it took my at least 2minutes to figure out how to make things comfortable. Eventually,I just had to give up! There were spots in the race when the wind was really cold though and I figured maybe I should the sweater back on, but concluded that it might get too complicated so I just decided to be cold. I was glad I at least had my gloves.

Like I said, I tend to go to the bathrooms a lot on my long runs, so I didn’t want to take any chances and I went a couple times on location before the race began. About half an hour before it began, I went out to the start line and what do you know, 5minutes before it starts, I need to pee real bad. No time to go now, so I just wait for the start. There is a toilet 1,5 kms after the start, but there’s no way I’m going there this early or I’ll have to go 2 other times. So I wait until we come back to this spot at 5,5 kms. And then I go! I was very surprised that I didn’t need to go even once after that J

It was a really nice race. Throughout it, there were people cheering and this is very helpful. If you ever volunteer at a race like this, make sure you don’t forget the people who finish later. They need the support!!! I even came across the tri club coach between kilometres 6 and 7. I didn’t expect this and it was really nice! I especially liked the cars honking and people in them cheering after kilometer 20, when the roads were reopened to cars. The nice thing is the sun was there and the view was great so close to the water! I really appreciated the fact that between kilometres 7 and14, you could see the people in front of you and the people behind you (yes, there were some!).

Three ladies were especially helpful for me in this race. I will call them the blue, the yellow and the grey ladies. I came upon the blue lady around kilometre 4 or 5. She was in front of me and I eventually passed her, but then I went to the toilet and had to work a little to pass her again. We passed each other a few times as I was trying to keep up with her (without running too hard) and then I lost her behind somewhere.

The yellow lady was quite interesting. She kept stopping running to walk and whenever I got passed her, she would run passed me, got a little in front, and then started to walk again. Around kilometre 11, I ran past her and told her we were almost on the other side where the wind would be on our backs. She grunted and started running to pass me. I told myself then: ”I’ll pass you lady”. We did the little dance for a while and then around kilometre 13, I could hear her footsteps behind me and decided then that she would not pass me again so I increased the speed a bit. This is pretty much when coach had told me to increase my speed anyways J. I lost her behind and never saw her again! My legs started to hurt at that point.

The grey lady came next. As I was getting away from the yellow lady and closer to the grey lady, the latter kept looking back to see if anyone was close to her, she walked, and whenever I got closer to her, she would run a bit, pass me, and start walking again. My thought was, girl if you stopped looking behind you and kept running instead of walking you would be way ahead of me. Little did she know that my game plan was to increase my speed again towards the end of the race. I lost her behind me around km 18. Then I passed a few other people, some who were walking, and nobody passed me again, because I still had energy, I still had juice!

The last kilometer was long. I passed a volunteer, smiled at her and told her it was windy. She said yeah, I’ve been freezing here for the last three hours! Really, lady? What do you think I’ve been doing for the last 3 hours? Towards the end, I was greeted by my mom, my two sisters and my nine year old nephew. I ran the last few meters with him which was really nice. He told me that he could run faster than me J. He gave me a nice little gold medal that he and his mom had made for me. I finished within my goal of 3hours. My watch said 2h56. Their clock said 2h59. Whatever, I’m still under 3 hoursJ

Post-race : my legs hurt, I have a hard time sitting down and walking down the stairs. I told my mom and my sisters that I’m not going for the marathon or even another half-marathon quite yet. I had myself a huge poutine and I’m happy! Nextgoal : triathlon!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

From 300 lbs to 21k

A few years ago, back in 2005 or so, I stepped on a scale one night and it showed me that I weighed 300 lbs. I had been avoiding the scale for a while deciding after a few yoyo attempts at weight loss that I would start trying to lose weight again only if I was really serious at making the efforts it required. That night, I decided it was time. The next day was my birthday and I decided to give myself a gift. I went to the gym and got myself a private coach. It was a program that was meant to last only a few weeks and I managed to lose 15 lbs that I never gained back. Since then, I have tried many things to figure out what would work for me in terms of exercise and eating right. And I have slowly lost some weight without gaining it back.

Then back in December 2010, I started working with my current coach. A month later I was running and swimming and eventually biking. In 2011, I ran five 5ks and one 10k and lost 70 lbs. One of my goals this year was to run a half-marathon (21k). This is happening TOMORROW!!! I have trained for it and I’m ready, but I have had a hard time this week getting myself in the right mind for it. Work has been busy, I’m also back in school to finish a class that was put on hold because of the student strike. I have been exhausted all week and the fact that I will be running it alone, that I will probably finish last and that I gained some weight back is making hard to see it as a success, BUT IT IS!!! I know that I can run it and that I can finish it. I know that there will be people waiting for me at the end. Also, the fact that this is something I wasn’t even dreaming of 2 years ago and that not that many people do makes it a success. So I will do this with my head high tomorrow and be proud of myself no matter what. Stay tuned for my first official race  report...