Tuesday, February 28, 2012

From the Archives

Given that I'm going to be running my 10th half marathon this Sunday, I thought I'd celebrate by sharing my race report from the first half marathon I ever ran.  It was the Ottawa Half in May of 2000.  I'll never forget how I nervous I was at the start and how amazing I felt when I crossed the finish line.  It was long before I started blogging so this report was delivered via email (thus the intro!).  That year I ran the Ottawa Half in May,  The Marathon de Deux Rives Half in August and then the Toronto Half in October.  It was my first ever half marathon hat trick.  So from the archives, here is the first of 3 race reports from that year.

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Hey Everybody!

I think most of you may now by now that I am a little on the crazy side. Most of you may also know that I am a pretty dedicated runner. Some of you may know that I have been training pretty religiously for the last 14 weeks to run in my first "really big" race. Well ladies and gentlemen, yesterday I did it. I ran my first half-marathon. For those of you that do not know how far that is, it is 21.1K (13.1 miles for you Americans).

I went all the way to our Nation's Capital to run it. We had a beautiful day. The running gods were smiling on us yesterday morning. The sun was shining, there was a light wind and a huge crowd of spectators. There was a field of 2100+ runners for the half marathon. The full marathon was also being run at the same time as the half and there was probably about 2500 people running the full marathon. Imagine the sea of humanity at the start line. It was incredible.

The gun went off. I ran with one of the people I had trained with. We took it easy for the first half of the race, running about a 5:30 per kilometer pace. By the 12K mark, we decided to pick it up a bit. By the 16K mark we were moving at about a 5:10 per kilometer pace. At about 19K I thought i was going to die. My legs were killing me. All my muscles were working overtime and I still had 2.1K to go. I turned to my partner and said "I'm hurting".....He said, "don't worry, there we're almost there". The last kilometer seemed like an eternity and I didn't know where I would find the energy to finish. As I rounded the last bend, heard the crowd cheering and saw the finish line, I dug WAY down for that fire and I found just enough to turn on the afterburners and run like the wind down the last straight to the finish line. My partner turned to me gave me a high five and said "Congrats, Phae, you did it". My legs felt like jello and my lungs felt like they were going to burst but I was happy.

Not only did I finish, but I finished well. My goal was to run it in an hour and 45 minutes. I ran it in 1 hour and 48 minutes and 2 seconds. I was 558th out of a field of 2128 runners. I was 110th out of 1028 females and I was 21st out of 121 women in my age group. I placed in the top quarter. So needless to say, I'm really happy.

Not bad for a first half marathon.

I think next year, I'll take on the full.....

But for now, I need a massage and a few days off.
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