Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Scotiabank Half-Marathon 2013

You never really know what you're going to get on race day. Train all winter in the cold for an early-season race, and you'll probably end up with race day hitting record high. You can end up with races in extreme heat, pouring rain, bitter wind, and everything in between. Fortunately, as I toed the starting line at last weekend's Scotiabank Montreal 1/2 Marathon, I didn't have to worry about the weather. Though the weeks before had been strangely cold  with a full-blown snowstorm hitting Montreal 2 weeks earlier, race day was perfect. It was about 20c, but with a gentle cool wind. Not enough to make it harder to run, just enough to take the edge off of the sun.

The Scotiabank Half is an annual race held in Montreal that includes a 1k, 5k, 10k, and half marathon distances. The start and ending point for all distances are about the same, with everyone running in/out of Parc Jean Drapeau. Near the start are sponsors tents, washrooms, and lockers available for rent. While it was nice to have everything in one place, I found it also created some confusion. This is because there were different start times for different race distances. By the time I got to the general preperation area for my 10AM (I got to sleep in) race start, other runners were already finished or finishing. I was thoroughly confuse about where the race begin and end were. As a past Team in Training participant and coach, I found my way to their tent, met up with some friends, and we all found our way to the race start.

This summer, I'm doing a few of my races as part of "Team Dozer", a small split-off of Team in Training alumni who keep racing and raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada. So at 10AM, we Dozers were lined up in our respective corrals, wearing bright yellow team jerseys. My goal time as prescribed by my coach was to run a 1:40. The thing that scared me the most is that i was really just barely recovered from a nasty cold that had been troubling me for a few days. That Friday night, I went to sleep early and logged an impressive 11 hours of sleep. I was hoping that getting enough rest would help me hit my target time. For the first 10k or so, I was actually keeping close to on pace to hit this goal, but I was realizing that I was working too hard to maintain that pace and soon had to slow down. I ran a few kilometers with my past coach Sacha, but  ended up telling him to run ahead since it was clear that he could hold the faster pace better than I could.

The course did a couple long loops over Ile St. Helene and the Circuits Gilles Villeneuve, also passing by the olympic basic. It was at this point, around the 15 or 16 km marker that I began to really fade, and even had to resort to walking a bit. The last few kilometers were becoming painfully exhausting, but I tried to run as much as I could. Ultimately,  despite some walking and slowdowns, I finished with a new PR of 1:47:42 , beating my Lake Placid Half marathon record by about 2 minutes! I know I could have paced better, but I still know that the methodology of my training helped me hit a PR, and am happy to see solid results, despite recovering from a cold!

Thanks for reading, and keep tri-ing!


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