Saturday, May 19, 2012

2012 Oak Bay Half Marathon Race Report

A somewhat last minute decision saw me line up on the start line of the Oak Bay Half Marathon this morning (Sunday May 13th). After the disappointment in Montréal I wanted another half; however, I knew Oak Bay wouldn't be that fast half I was looking for due to the rolling nature of the course and many hills. At the same time, I didn't expect my end result to be as slow for me personally as it ended up being. 

I was up shortly after 5 after my usual night of waking up multiple times. I was out the door and on my way to Victoria by 5:30 and made great time arriving in Victoria at the race site in Oak Bay by 6:40. I found a driving partner on the way down who I followed all the way to Victoria. It was a gorgeous morning and it definitely made the drive nicer considering it was light out and the sun was rising over the trees. 

I found a place to park and picked up my race number. Eventually I found Care Nelson and we did our warm up together. Before I knew it we were on the start line. 

Photo Credit Jeremy and Julia Phillips

Top women for the race would be Care, Claire Morgan and myself (we finished in that order). The race went out quick due to the initial  downhill start. Soon Care and I settled in; however, by 3 I think I started to fall off. 

Care and I shortly into the race
Photo credit Jeremy and Julia Phillips

By 5km I knew I was in trouble but hoped that the awful feelings in my legs would pass. Unfortunately that is not the case and I entered survival mode. 

Myself with unknown runner. This guy was funny. Around this point he said "F*cking hills" At least I think it was this guy.
Photo credit Jeremy and Julia Phillips

I can't remember exactly as I tend to zone out during races (I am amazed by those who can remember km by km what happens), but I think Claire caught me around 8km? Anyways, I gave her a quick shout out and tried to follow along, but it clearly was not my day. 

Claire and myself shortly before she passed me and never looked back!
Photo credit Walter Cantwell

I went through 10km in upper 39 I believe and thought (wow... nearly 2 minutes slower than Montréal, wonderful!) and hit the half way mark in 41:36.

Things got worse from there. I slowed so much in the last half of the course. My legs had nothing in them. I couldn't make them go faster, my form went to sh!t and I was doing all I could just to hang in there. My km's slowed, especially on the hills and I even yelled at coach Matt on the way back that I was in survival mode. His response "you are almost there." I believe that was at like 16-17km and unfortunately my thought at that point was "not close enough." 

On my way home. 
Photo credit Kirsty Sheldon

In the end I hung on (just barely) for 3rd place female and first in my age group in a finishing time of 1:26:28. Honestly, I think if the race was any longer, I wouldn't have hung on. 

So unbelievably glad to be finished
Photo credit Jeremy and Julia Phillips

Top women myself in 3rd, Claire in 2nd and the awards presenter (missing Care in 1st)
 Photo credit Jeremy and Julia Phillips

Simply it was not my day, but other than being embarrassed by my time (no offense to anyone as I know 1:26:28 is considered awesome, but when you run 1:20:53 it isn't as awesome anymore) I am okay with the result. While I thought my body was ready to race again, apparently it wasn't. Matt doesn't think I am fully recovered yet from Montréal only 2 weeks ago. This is the first time I have raced another half so soon after the first. 

It was a hard lesson to learn, but I will take that lesson and move on, hopefully never having another experience like today again. Saucony has a slogan "Find your Strong." I love this slogan and today my strong was simply finishing. I could have dropped out and trust me when I say those thoughts definitely crossed my mind, but instead I fought until the end and finished. Now I ask you, what is your strong?

Big thanks to Dave Milne at Peninsula Runners Victoria for the late entry into his race and to Mark Nelson at Race Day Timing/Frontrunners Westshore for also taking part in that entry. Congrats to Care and also Claire (new PB yay).

Full results found here.  

No comments: