Nothing like a little bit of fear to motivate you over the winter!
In the fall of 2008 March seemed like a long time away – so it was time to try my first 30km run. Around the Bay always sounded like a fun race to participate in. It also seemed like the perfect bridge from my half marathons to my musings of one day doing a full marathon.
In December my husband and I kicked things off by making it a goal to run every day of that month. We had heard it was a good time to build our legs for the season. Now, let me be clear, we weren’t on a masochistic bent. Running each day meant sometimes going long, and sometimes taking the dogs out for a 20 minute trot on at the Conservation area. The goal was to do a bit each day.
January and February I focused more on cross training and spent my 4 runs a week switching up the goals from speed to hills, to distance. January was cold so I probably did too many runs inside on the treadmill instead of toughing it out with the snow banks! February the fear grew and I threw on my woolies for my long runs to get the legs used to the impact.
When race day came I was feeling reasonably confident, my goal was just to finish and feel like I left it all out there on the road when I was done. I hoped to be under 3:30. But didn’t know how that would hold up.
As we stood huddled together in the rain at the start line it was hard to get inspired. I get cold really easily so before the race is always hard for me. When we started off though there was a great energy to the crowd and I coached myself to just do a gentle job until the gams warmed up again.
Soon enough I breezed through the first 10km and was really enjoying the race. The rain was still coming down but the body was warm.
By the time the 20km relay runners were tapping out, I found myself wondering why I had decided to do the full 30km. I was getting more tired, but I sucked back and Orange Gu Gel and waited for the kick from it. My hands were soggy and cold but the rest of me was feeling okay. I had heard a lot about the last 10km being hilly so I just kept telling myself to keep shuffling along.
The last 10 km was hard, but not as bad as my imagination had thought. The noise of the crowds grew louder and I found the scenery more interesting. My the time I knew I had completed the ‘hilly’ part – I had already finished it! (thank you hilly country road training!)
As I picked it up to speed into the stadium my legs still had enough kick to really pick it up. I finished 3:21 – better than I thought. But I knew for next year I could have left more out there.
It definitely wet my appetite for a marathon. All in all it was a great day. It’s just too bad March can still be a chilly word in Canada!