I apologize for how long this recap got, it was really hard to shorten all the awesomeness!
Hello and welcome to part two of my Calgary marathon recap. If you missed out part one about all the events of the weekend check it out first.
After I decided to drop from the full to the half-marathon I decided to also tack on the 5km race afterwards. After all, all the cool kids IE my fellow forerunners were doing it (except Peter, he was super amazing and ran the 50km).
My training cycle for the Calgary Marathon didn’t go as planned. I suppose that’s obvious considering I dropped from the full to the half. But the long & the short of it is I was battling some injuries & illness. After deciding on the half I wasn’t even sure if I should set a goal. I didn’t feel super prepared to race so I decided to just go and have a good time.
I woke up the morning of the race at 4:45 a.m. I got myself dressed & ate breakfast and was out the door by 5:30. I didn’t have too much trouble finding parking and I got to the stampede grounds around 6 a.m. I went to the porta potty then immediately spotted Kaella by the start line. Pretty soon a bunch of fellow bloggers joined us and we grabbed a pre-race photo.
Then it was time to split up from these speedsters and take my place more towards the back.
Before I knew it the anthem was being sung and we were counting down. I settled into my pace right away. This is a pretty big race There were over 4000 people starting the full or half marathon so I had to do a lot of weaving.
When I started out my legs felt pretty heavy and I thought okay this isn’t going to be a very fast race. But after a mile or so I felt warmed up and my legs came alive. Around mile 2 I saw the 2:15 pace bunny. Although I didn’t technically have a goal I ideally wanted to beat 2:15 so I made it my mission to pass the bunny. A couple of times they passed me again when I was on my walk break but by about the third cycle of walk/run they were eating my dust! 😉
For the first couple of miles I was really just enjoying the race. I was looking around and taking pictures. Then I realized, hey I’m feeling pretty good and I’m keeping a good pace. Maybe if I keep this up I could actually PR. At that point I put my phone away and decided to go for it.
That is until I saw Superman and a banana running ahead of me and I just had to get a picture of them.
As I was heading up 11 ave we passed over Macleod Trail and I realized something bad. I had given my Mom directions of where to drive & park and had messed up the road closures. My Mom is a very nervous driver particularly in big cities and I started panicking. I grabbed out my phone and started frantically texting her different directions and hoped she would be able to figure it out (she did).
As we turned onto 17th ave I was feeling really good and then Wannabe by the Spice Girls came onto my playlist. Score! I started making a spoof of it and lip sycing it to myself. It went something like this…
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really really wanna get a PR
If you want my future forget my past,
If you wanna get the PR better make it fast,
Now don’t go wasting my precious time,
Get your run together and you’ll cross the finish line
I’m not saying it was brilliant but I was just loving it and chuckling to myself. However due to my suburb lip-syncing I ended up taking too many short breaths that caused me to get a cramp. I started running with my hand on my side trying to massage it out. I saw Leana’s husband, Neil, and I think he could tell I was hurting. Luckily after about half a mile of massaging it out I was able to get it to go away and I continued on strong.
The worst part of the race was the turnaround point. The course kind of snaked and it seemed like that portion took forever. The only good part was I could distract myself by looking for other friends running on the other side of the road. I saw Sam and hollered at her but she was solidly in the zone and didn’t see me. Next I saw Kaella and could tell she was hurting but she still managed a wave. Then I saw Tina who looked like she was having a great time.
I loved that the final miles were along the Bow River which is an area I often run. It helped me mentally knowing exactly how much further I had to go.
The last two miles of the race I started to struggle. My legs just didn’t want to turn over and I was hurting. I looked at my watch and thought I wasn’t going to PR. So I gave myself an unscheduled walk break. I ran a bit and took another walk break and then a third. Finally for the last half mile I picked it up and drove it home into the Grandstand. Which I can’t even explain how awesome of a finish that is!
I shut off my watch and it said 2:14 something. I was happy I still beat 2:15. Although later I found out my official result was 2:11:31. I forgot that before the race started I turned my watch to warmup mode and that time was included in the total. My current PR is 2:11:02, so I was just 29 seconds off. That was super disappointing because I totally would have pushed through those last 2 miles had I known I was actually going to PR. Just goes to show you should never give up on yourself!
After the race I again met up with a group of bloggers and we hashed out how each of our races had went.
5 Km Recap
I was feeling pretty sore after the half but luckily I was able to sneak in for a quick free massage! I met up with Kaella again. She was planning on pushing her son in the stroller for the 5km and pacing her friend. We also met up with Laura, although I didn’t know it at the time (embarrassing fail on my part).
When the 5km started I split off from the ladies. I didn’t have any expectations of myself but I wanted to push myself a bit. I surprisingly felt pretty good. My legs felt great, only my heels were hurting. #HeelStrikerProblems
I loved the energy of the 5km. Most people were just out there for fun. There was lots of kids, dogs & people pushing strollers. It was gorgeous and sunny and I felt so happy running the whole time.
I ended up finishing in 31:30 which considering it was my second race of the day I was pretty happy with. And I’ve actually never been in a 5km race before so technically it’s a PR for me!
Double the races means double the bling which makes me doubly happy!
I have to give a huge shoutout to my Mom for making it to Calgary to cheer me on. She was such a champ getting up early and staying with me all day to watch me complete both races. It absolutely meant the world to me to have her there.
Overall the day was fantastic. The weather was amazing and the race was well organized. The only complaint I would have would be the post race food. A green banana, chips & oreos. Not impressed at all but luckily I was VIP and had access to the VIP lounge with fresh squeezed orange juice, breakfast wraps & yogurt parfaits.