Monday, February 28, 2011

Peterborough Half Marathon - race report

Yesterday was the day that I would redeem myself. Flashback to four years ago: Candice and I both signed up to run the Peterborough half marathon. I was living in Cobden at the time, and had a leg that tended to act up every once in a while during training runs. Long story short: 13 km in the Peterborough half, I was forced to step out. But yesterday was my chance to make up for it! Fun fact: I've started this race three times now, and all three times the course was different... All of them were hilly.
I drove up to Tweed on Saturday to be able to spend some time with Candice before the race. This included some wine, but that might have helped keeping our nerves under control...
After a good night sleep we headed to Peterborough. We had lots of time since the race did not start until 12.30. It has snowed a bit the night before, but the roads were not bad. Our biggest worry was that the roads would be wet and soggy. It turned out they were in pretty good shape. There were definitely a number of puddles, but they were all avoidable.
Since we got to Peterborough fairly early we had some time to kill, and just sat around for a bit. We got approached by two Fleming massage therapist students, offering us a pre-race massage! Well of course we are interested! It probably helped us relax and calm our nerves a bit as well. It felt good, but it was hard to get up afterwards. All we wanted was a nap!
There were about 500 people starting in the half, and at first I was planning on sticking close to the 2.20 pace bunny, but at the start I was right in between the 2.10 and 2.20 pace bunny. I just ran my own race; Candice had taken off at the start (as usual :) ). I forced myself to take it easy, and ran a comfortable steady pace until 5km. Just after 5km a huge hill appeared around the corner. Knowing that I had not done a lot of hill training, I decided to walk up for the most part. Experience has taught me that hills can kill your race. After the hill I picked up my pace again and ran a steady pace along fairly hilly roads, but nothing too crazy. I grabbed some water and a gel at the half-way mark and turn-around point (it was an in-and-out race), and continue my journey. However, at that point it had started snowing a bit, and the wind had picked up as well, but it did not stop me from going strong! The hill I mentioned earlier showed up again (for people that know Peterborough a bit, it's the hill you go up after you go under the Lift Locks), and I walked it up again, now from the other end. It was the same hill down again, but even going downhill didn't feel too comfortable. We were around 16km at that point, and I was getting a bit tired... I crashed slightly at 17km, but a 30 second walk break fixed that, and especially the last 2km I felt strong, and I was even able to pick up my pace a bit at the home stretch and passed a couple of people just before the finish.
My final chip time was 2.15.00. Not bad, considering it was hilly, snowy and I didn't really start training until about 1 month ago. I was actually very happy with my time!
After the race, we drove back to Havelock to drop Sarah, grab a coffee, and go back to Tweed. After collecting my stuff etc., I hit the road to go back to Ottawa. In short I spent the majority of the four and a half hours after the race sitting still in a car. Not sure if that was a very smart thing to do, since my legs are slightly sore right now. However, I'm sure that will pass as well.

When I came home last night, Nolan had just finished painted our guest bedroom, vacuumed the whole house, and even made lunches for today. I have an amazing husband!

The original weather forecast called for snow on Sunday, and then up to 13 degrees on Monday. Sunday was not too bad, not even a couple of centimetres of snow. However, Monday turned out slightly different than they had expected. We woke up to freezing rain, which quickly turned to snow, and we have about 15 cm of fresh white fluffy stuff on the ground right now! Just when I thought the trails would be accessible again... Oh well, now we might be able to go skiing!

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