Monday, September 6, 2010

Oakville Half Marathon Race Report

Just as I was hoping, the weather this morning was perfect for a race.  Cool but calm.  Such a nice break after the heat we have had all summer.  I am glad that I chose to spend my last day of summer at the race.  It was a great way to wrap up all of the fun we had this summer before heading in to school tomorrow.  I haven't really accepted the fact that school is starting, but I know that seeing all of those bright young teenagers in the morning will make it all very real!

I woke up this morning (not to the alarm I set incorrectly--oops, 5:30pm won't work, will it? Can you tell I am out of practice?) and slowly got moving.  With my brother Scott here, I had granola on-hand.  I think he has had granola for breakfast every day since the beginning of time, so I wanted to be sure his pre-race breakfast was just right.  I decided to go ahead and have some too, which is perhaps not a good idea on race day, but sometimes I just like to live on the edge!  It was tasty, and it worked out just fine.

My garmin (read all about my surprise Garmin here) had charged nicely overnight, so I was excited to try it out!  It was a bonus, as I assumed Scott would run faster than me, so I didn't have to forfeit the Garmin info when I lost him after the first water station :)  My husband arrived home, gave us some quick directions to the race (no minute like the last minute for details!) and we headed out the door.
It was still dark out, so my Garmin tutorial in the car on the way ate up some battery power because I had to keep the back light on.  It was fully charged, so no problems!  I wish I had more time to program splits into it, as I didn't get a break down per mile, but I am just so psyched at seeing totals in general of my race pace, etc!

We got to the starting area with just the right amount of time to wait.  We cheered the 10k racers on as they zoomed past, then it was our turn.  I just love smallish races.  No real crowding, lots of friendly faces, a starting line that doesn't take 10 minutes to cross. ahhhhh, so relaxing.

Before long, the race began and we were on our way!  I pushed my start button, and plugged along (faster than my target pace, of course).  I was just so excited.  A beautiful day, a new gadget, people cheering!  It was so easy to look down at my current pace.  I don't think the Garmin made me a better runner today (no, I didn't PB) but it certainly made me more aware of my running/pace, especially near the end of the race, when I have a tendency to slow down.  I also love love loved being able to see the distance travelled at any given time.  I know most races have km markers, but I liked sneaking a peek whenever I felt like it!

I didn't spend the entire race staring at my watch, though.  The Oakville Half route wanders through some very fancy neighbourhoods, which is an awesome distraction for those first few miles.  The landscaping alone is something to stare at!  There were the usual cheering sections on each corner, but my favourite cheering squad was a woman and with her two little girls, who were in matching jammies and rubber boots.  Too cute!!  I wish I had a camera to snap photos of all of these things along the way, but I am not really into carrying lots with me in races, especially after the ipod incident of last week :((

I did lose my brother very early in the race, so the whole time I was hoping he was smashing a PB way up ahead of me.  He was, so yay!  By the 17km mark, I was pumped to get to that finish line.  I tried to speed it up a bit, but I feel like that energy surge (and Garmin will concur) was just a boost to keep me *on* pace, rather than ahead.  Fine by me.

Near the end, with less than a km to go, a woman on the sideline shouted, "your number 10 female!"  Wow, that was cool.  I felt like it was a good race, but only 9 other woman were ahead of me, so that makes for an even better race!!  I felt like I finished strong, and it started to rain lightly as I came across the mats.  Scott was there to meet me, and tell me about his PB.  Way to go, Scotty!

The numbers...
time:  1:40:30
dist.:   13.1 miles
avg. pace: 7:35/m

overall place: 95/535
gender place: 10/241
age group:   3/32

I will post some official race photos when they are available, but for now, I will include a photo of my littlest boy and myself, post-race.  He was in the mood for some serious cuddles, and I didn't want to argue with sitting on the couch relaxing!!

who doesn't enjoy a tim's after a run?

Happy "Back to School" tomorrow, for those that have to return!

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