To say I didn't feel like running today would be an understatement. I have spent the last 3 days battling horrible nasty allergy symptoms and the neighbours firepit has had me having asthma attacks every evening (after years of being asthma-free). I haven't been sleeping well and I ate horribly yesterday.
But marathon training stops for no wussie so I hauled my arse out of bed, downed a bagel and headed to the city to run this half marathon.
I parked at Central Memorial High School and walked the 3 blocks to the start line. A quick pitstop at the porta-john nearly made me late for the start, but I squeaked in just in time...and then we were off.
One of the appeals of this race was that it is a route I have done a zillion times (and likely would have run today anyway) It felt comfortable and familiar. I had set myself a goal of around 2:45 to finish - much slower than I would normally do this. Of course - that only meant that I started out way too fast and was not going to take that long in the end.
I ran this one alone and it is the first race I have ever done with an iPod. Loved my playlist. The music kept me going and, as a result, I didn't have any moments of wanting to quit like I had at Footstock. Coming around the reservoir and down into the Weaselhead was the same as always. In the flat stretch before the bridge, the mosquitoes were pretty bad. Oh - a thing of beauty - seeing the swallows flying in formation over the bridge in the Weaselhead. Nothing like swooping blackbirds...these guys are so pretty in the air and they don't care to terrorize humans!
It was right around here that my hip started to give me issues...with my foot hot on its tail. My shoes were shot. Instead of wearing my brand new, not broken in yet Nikes, I took my old Vomeros out one last time (and for their third half marathon). I knew it was taking a chance, but I thought it was better to run in broken in shoes than to try to break in a new pair on a half. It is the right shoe that is really bad and that was the side I had the pain in.
By the time I was at the bottom of the hill leaving the Weaselhead, I had already started to take some lengthy walk breaks. Seeing me limping, a medic even pulled up alongside me to make sure I was ok. I shooed him away and kept on going. I stopped a few times to stretch out my hip.
Finally, I was coming across Glenmore and knew the end was near. 18K, 19K, 20K...I could see the track and the finish line...into Glenmore Athletic Park and up the grassy hill tot he track.
The kids races were in full swing by the time I got there and I ran in on the track amongst all of the little ones (I think it was the 4-6 year olds). They looked so proud as the high fived their parents and crossed the line to get their hard earned medals. I crossed the line in 2:36 and was handed my bolo tie medal.
Rather anti-climactic. Just another long run for me on the long road to marathon!
I admit it - as lame as I expected the bolo tie medal to be...it is actually pretty cool. Solid pewter. A star with the running shoe logo of the race and the year on it. Classy. If I dressed western, ever, I might even pull it off the medal rack to wear out and about during the stampede.
Official chip time: 2:36:35
Time to break in new shoes now...I have a 10K next weekend that I plan to wear them in. I won't be running in my old shoes again.