Thursday, April 18, 2013

Race Report: Minto Run for Reach Half Marathon

I struggle with writing race reports at the best of times, but after the Boston Marathon tragedy on Monday I really don't have the heart to say much about my half marathon the day before. I'll take the easy way out and copy what I wrote in my training log right after my race (see below).

I will add that it was a fun event, and it was interesting to return to the roads after being on trails and on snowshoes for so many years. I'd like to take around five minutes off this time to put me back to the sorts of times when I was running marathons, but am very happy with it as a first crack. Not to mention it is ten years later - but I feel that just means 'out of practice' (specificity), not 'old'. In other words I don't feel limited by that. Looking at my fellow masters runners I don't see any reason why I should be.

Another thing is the La Sportiva Helios are a great road shoe as well as trail shoe. I think the pink and green version rocks, I totally love them. Very lightweight-yet-supportive, and comfy. They have a 4 mm heel drop, so as with all low-drop shoes, be sure to ease in gradually if you're not used to it.
Women's Helios - they look like a spring flower

Run race (Run for Reach Half Mar) 1:42:48
shoes: Helios 40
Ottawa. First road race in a looooong time. Felt pretty solid and hit my B goal, which I was very happy with. Executed it well I think. Structurally felt really good. Had a recurring side stitch which got pretty uncomfortable a couple of times, but didn't really slow me down I don't think. Took a Vitargo gel I made (about 20g carbs) at around 45 minutes. It was great, and doing it again I would have made another one for a bit later.

Nice seeing Derrick on the course and then Christa and Shae at the finish too.

Good weather, cool, overcast and not overly windy. Mostly flat course, just a few grades with one being a bit steeper. Breezy around Dow's Lake.

Gun 1:42:48 Chip 1:42:34.
11th female.
Suunto Ambit was great (borrowed Derrick's). Had the distance at 21.18 and feedback on pace was helpful.

Suunto data:
Split time Lap time (5km splits)
1 0:04'56.3 0:04'53
2 0:09'53.3 0:04'57
3 0:14'44.3 0:04'51
4 0:19'39.4 0:04'55
5 0:24'28.3 0:04'49 (24:28)
6 0:29'24.3 0:04'56
7 0:34'09.3 0:04'45
8 0:38'58.4 0:04'49
9 0:43'51.3 0:04'53
10 0:48'45.3 0:04'54 (24:17)
11 0:53'25.4 0:04'40
12 0:58'12.4 0:04'47
13 1:02'54.4 0:04'42
14 1:07'52.3 0:04'58
15 1:12'45.3 0:04'53 (24:00)
16 1:17'47.3 0:05'02
17 1:22'39.3 0:04'52
18 1:27'27.3 0:04'48
19 1:32'18.3 0:04'51
20 1:37'03.3 0:04'45 (24:18)
21 1:41'57.3 0:04'54 (24:10)
21.18 1:42'48.9 0:00'51.6 (4:51 min/km)

Spring Storm

I missed the Ice Storm of 1998, as I was living in Toronto at the time. I heard stories of hardship the storm was causing in this area, but I also heard stories of community as people shared their homes with those without a heat source, as well as food, water and generators. And they also got together with neighbours simply for companionship on the long, dark, winter nights.

We had a much smaller scale spring ice storm recently - complete with power outage - as hours and hours (as opposed to days and days in '98) of icy rain fell and stuck to every surface. Trees take a big hit as Mother Nature does her thorough pruning this way. It was a pretty, ice-covered world, everything turned to fragile and potentially dangerous crystal.

Fragile like life itself can be, but just like the trees, we too are mightily resilient. My mother was at emerg the day of the storm, with some complications from her treatments. As I waited nervously for an update, my mind drifted back to those darkest days of winter solstice when she was in the hospital. I walked around surveying the damage that the freak storm caused but knew it was just a small setback on our way to spring.  Every day has been a step forward, with healing and renewal, new life and returning joy.