Good evening all!
Good news- I survived my second half marathon of the fall. Spoiler, it went WAY better than the Army run. I’m very thankful that it was just an off day.
As I mentioned before, the race is in Stittsville so I went to my parents’ house the night before. The race was scheduled to start at 9:15. It was nice to get ready and not feel rushed. I woke up just after 7 and had my usual breakfast of oatmeal and a small cup of coffee.When I woke up, it was only 1 degree out. I was worried it was going to be cold but I was happy to see it wouldn’t be 20. I got ready and just sat around until we were ready to go. Here I am waiting!
We drove over to the race start and parked about 100 feet from it. If you are ever planning to do this race, they put the race head quarters at the high school in town. That is easily 1.5 km from the start line. You can just park on side streets instead and be much closer.
I warmed up a bit and we headed over to the start. I wasn’t feeling nervous at all and was just looking forward to getting it over with. Here we are!
There were supposed to be pace bunnies, but I only say a 1:40 and a 1:50 bunny so I was out of luck. I looked behind me but I didn’t see any back there. I wasn’t disappointed because to be honest, I wasn’t sure how fast I would run. I told my dad I would take off at the start and just see what happened. And that’s what I did. With a horn blow, we were off.
The route is pretty nice, it goes down Main Street in Stittsville and then turns onto some country roads and goes up the trans-Canada trail back to the start. One thing I forgot was how many hills there are. They aren’t big but it does add up to a decent elevation, then it’s downhill to the finish.
I decided to just go for it and was trying to keep almost the same pace that I ran in my PR race. It didn’t feel labored at all but I could feel it on the hills. I wore my new fuel belt. Unfortunately, I didn’t have it tightened enough so it was annoying me a bit throughout the race. It bounced around a lot and I regret not checking it before starting. It just meant readjusting it a bit when it slipped out of place.
I was through the first 5 k in 29 minutes and felt pretty good. I could feel that I played soccer the day before and I kind of regret going. I tried to just lightly jog around but I guess I did more than I thought.
I ate some chews at 8 k and then stopped at the water station at 9 k to drink. Still pretty uneventful at this point in the race. It felt good to know it was going better than the Army run. No stomach issues either which was great.
I was through 10 k in 59:00. I slowed down because of the walking at the water station. At this point, everyone had kind of settled into their spots within the race. Only about 400 or 500 people did the half so it’s pretty small. There was a group of three or four of us who kept playing leap frog with each other. We made the turn onto the next side road and we were directly in the sun with no wind. I regretted not wearing shorts!
One guy kept passing me and slowing down right in front of me which was super annoying. I’d have to keep swinging out to pass him once he slowed down and it was a waste of energy. This continued until the 15 km mark. At this point, I decided that I still felt good and it was time to go all or nothing. My legs felt heavy but I wanted to go as fast as I could.
I sped up and dropped the three people who were around me. I think the guy who kept cutting me off tried to stay with me but I dropped him ;). I’m not usually too competitive with people in a race because it’s an individual thing but this was different.
It seemed that most people had settled into a pace that was slower than my sped up pace. I passed more people than the number of people who passed me at the end. That was pretty cool. I kept trying to keep up the quicker pace but I just didn’t have it in my legs. I think I went for it too early. I slowed down with about two kilometers left. A few people passed me at this point and I made sure to say “good job” to them! Not many people had much kick left in them. Everyone was so nice back too, the running community is always so great.
On the last stretch to the finish, I gave it my all. Some guy was sprinting passed me and it made me not want to get passed by anyone else! I finished in 2:06:02; this is my second best half marathon time. It was nice to know that I was actually in shape and I just had a bad run at the Army run. I’m sure if I had not played soccer the day before, I would have been a bit quicker. Also, this course was harder than the one I PR’d on, which was basically flat. Here’s the elevation profiles beside each other.
I had a pretty great race and I’m happy with my time. As with every other year, I had a mediocre Army run followed by a better 9runrun. I think it’s a combination of cooler weather, and just a less stressful race. I didn’t hype it up at all and I even managed to get a great sleep the night before. Here are my splits.
My dad’s knee was still bothering him so I went to go check out the race head quarters after the finish. They have a huge Canada flag that everyone runs under at the start so I got a picture with it!
They always have a chili cook-off between the paramedics, police and the firefighters. I didn’t get any but it looked good! They also had free coffee from McDonald’s which was great. I grabbed a coffee and checked out the band that was playing for a few minutes.
I walked back to the finish just in time to find my dad! He did better than at the Army run too! Here we are with our medals.
They gave out really great shirts at this race too, they are so soft. This race always has great medals too. They have given some of the nicest ones that I have in my collection I think.
I spent the rest of the day eating and relaxing. I’m sore today but not too bad. I spent the morning watching the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I always watch this race and it was great! They had awesome coverage of the Canadians, and they let the broadcast go long enough to see this guy run by.
Congratulations to everyone who ran this weekend!