What an amazing day for a run! With the Canadian prairies in the middle of the fall season, temperatures are unpredictable. But what a wonderful day it was on Saturday. Temperature highs of 20 C and the morning temp at start time was 11 C. It was sunny with a warm wind, leaves falling gently and a wonderful course.
Everything didn't go exactly as planned, though when does it ever. I helped finish our final field of combining on Friday (YAHOO) and due to big tractor breakdown issues, my partner in endurance crime couldn't make the trip. So a solo drive at 5:30 a:m to make the start time of 9:30. Don't worry, it's ok if you think I am crazy. I was telling myself the same thing for the whole drive. Especially the 2 hours through fog and then the 1/2 hour delay with road construction.
Flatlanders Half Marathon is put on by the Regina Road Runners Club and is held annually in Regina, Saskatchewan. It offers the half marathon distance as well as 10 km and 5 km events. Start times were staggered. I arrived just by the nick of my teeth to pick up my bib and tshirt, make a quick trip to the bathroom and get myself ready. Shorts, tank, arm warmers (which I didn't need), visor, sunglasses, and my small hand held fuel bottle. I filled a bottle with chocolate UCAN, my usual endurance fuel and mixed it up just after arriving, drinking 1/2 and filling my hand held with the other half. 1/2 the bottle is about 3 swigs for me and gives me consistent fuel for usually 1 hour sometimes longer. Planned to take the fuel from the hand held at mile 6-7 at an aid station. I like to have a mouthful of water if possible after the fuel.
My warm up was running to the bathroom and I got into line just 2 min before the horn. The pace always starts off fast and I went with it for a mile or so before settling into what I wanted to stay at. I haven't been training with any fast running so I thought a 9 min mile pace would be pretty practical. I also know that the stress level in my life has been through the roof and my heart rate is very reflective of this so I did want to take that into consideration.
The race course was a breathtaking run around a couple small lakes right in the heart of the city, past the legislature building, across bridges on a very nice paved path.
It was reported that 359 people were registered in all 3 running events and 104 participants in the half marathon. Water was the only thing offered on course until about 3 km from the finish and the volunteers were offering gels. It was very well marked and the volunteers were fantastic.
I really seemed to find my groove after mile 3 and kept it up until about mile 9. Faded a bit but pushed on. Every runner talks about the self talk that goes on in their heads, some of it negative. I don't usually have a lot of trouble with the negative self talk, surprisingly. I work really hard to stay in the moment, enjoy my surroundings and usually spend a lot of time thinking about my family.
It is a blessing to be able to run. I feel free. I don't take that for granted.
A lady who had been running ahead of me for the whole run(great pacing for me) started to walk about 2 km from the finish. I have a heart for encouraging, some would shake their heads at this but an encouraging word takes little from me and may make a lot of difference to her. Through the entire run, I had plans to pass her but not this way. I want to pick people off because of my increased effort not the lack of theirs. I did look back in a minute or so and she was running again. That carried me to the finish with a smile. The last bit before crossing the line was around a track. There were spectators cheering and the announcer brought in each runner by name. A great way to finish.
I got a personal thank you for attending this event and a medal put around my neck. I was directed to the food tent which had oranges, bananas, juice boxes, water, chips and wagon wheels. I took a couple oranges and bananas. I felt a tap on my back and the walking lady thanked me for the encouragement. Said it was what she needed. Running isn't about just me. I like that.
It was a 1 min walk to my vehicle. I called my son, told him I was on my way to his place and I was starving. There is a 1 hour time change so it was like 12:30 for me, a burger was sounding good.
Official results timed me at 1:56:20 which is a pace of 8:53. I was 2nd in my age group and 12th female out of 46. It was a great day for a run on a very scenic course on a warm fall day.
Hats off to the Regina Runners Club for a great event. I will be back next year with my partner along this time. I missed you roaringrunner!