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.

8 comments:

Jessica said...

Wow! Congrats and what a great time. It makes my measly 2:18 seem really slow.

Allyson said...

Well done! That first picture of you is just plain awesome!

Lynne said...

Way to go !! That is impressive. I agree with Allyson--I love that first picture!

Lisa said...

Meet us in Kentucky the weekend before the Derby. You finish the race in Churchill Downs! How fun is that?! Come on!

Grandma Walters said...

Ken can sympathize, he got leg cramps the last three races - therefore missed qualifying for the Boston, but will still take his son who did qualify. I'm proud of you doing all this exercise. And to have such a cheering section at the end makes it all worth it, didn't it???

margo said...

Way to go big D!!

Kage said...

Woot!

Jamie Wride said...

Impressive! And great time.