Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Harvest Half Marathon 2012
I ran the Harvest Half Marathon in Fish Creek Park this weekend, and now my legs really hurt. This race is the latest in a series of challenges that I have participated in with my work colleagues. First we did 3 months of the P90X workout program. Then 6 of us signed up for this half marathon, giving us about 4 months to train. Prior to this challenge, I had run a 5km race in university (2001-ish) and barely survived the 10km run as part of my 2010 triathlon. Otherwise, I considered running a useful means of transportation for short distances, but not an end in itself.
By incorporating training runs into my work commute, I worked my way up from a 5km run once a week to as long as 15km and as frequent as 3 times a week. However, I did 15km only once, and at the end I came up a bit lame because of a sore calf.
To keep things interesting, we had 2 preliminary 10km races that we ran against each other around the Bow River pathway downtown, to set benchmarks for ourselves in the final race. I set personal best times in both those races, but came up with a really sore calf in the second one -- which started at the 1km mark and just got worse. Apparently, I was suffering from Achilles Tendinitis from running too much and too fast, too soon. I took 3 weeks off before the big race to recover.
Race day was a lot of fun, but there were some dark moments along the way. I came out too fast at the beginning and there were more hills than I'm used to, so I had to cut back a bit in the middle section to preserve stamina for the final stretch. However, despite the challenges, I never slowed to a walk (which did happen to me in the triathlon in 2010) and I came within 1 minute of my 1h 45min target time (final time was 1:46:07).
I tried to pick it up with about 3km to go and found I hit an invisible wall with just 1km to go and fought a desperate urge to walk all the way to the finish. Fortunately, I had some miniature fans near the end cheering me on, and I claimed the coveted "finisher" medal.
R joked that I am settling into the middle-aged stereotype very nicely, with all my running, biking and golfing that I've done this year.
Next stop, Full marathon.