Monday, October 10, 2016

Race Recap: 2016 Victoria Half Marathon

Good morning, party people!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving Sunday yesterday. I ate a lot, drank a bit, and had a merry ol' time with family. Yep, an extra serving of stuffing happened because it is what I look forward to the most when it comes to the Thanksgiving dinner spread.

Let's back up and chat about yesterday's half marathon. It is actually my fifth year running this race (not that I counted the medals when I got home or anything..) and the course did not disappoint.

My alarm went off shortly after 5am on Sunday morning. Ew, right? That is an awful time to wake up anyway, especially on a Sunday. I went to bed around 9:30pm the night before after a simple spaghetti dinner, and was carbed up and ready to run.

Pre-race my breakfast was some instant oatmeal. I find this sits better in my stomach than slow cooking oats and peanut butter toast with banana. PB toast used to be my go-to, but I find that it is harder on my digestive system and kind of sits like a rock as I run, you know? Anyway, I felt fueled up and ready on our drive to Victoria. Bless Ryan's kind heart for always driving me so early at the ass crack of dawn to these events. I'm kinda psycho in that way, I suppose.

Runners heading towards the start line.

The Parliament buildings looking pretty! It was about 7:20am at this point and just starting to get lighter outside.

The start line! The half marathon was sold out, and the street was bustling with that race day excitement. It always helps pump me up when there is a good vibe on race day! How can it not be good, though? You're about to kill 21.1km! When 7:30am hit, the race began, and the crowd moved up until we were over the start line and runnin'.

I experimented a little bit during this run not only with a new running belt that holds a water bottle, but with a new running method too. Generally I just RUN and hope I don't die or fall or smash face first into the ground (note: this has never happened, well, aside from tripping and falling during the Oak Bay half in 2013 I think it was. Oops), BUT. This time I tested out the "run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute method." Doing this gave me time to drink my own water (bypassing water stations is a beautiful thing) and get ready for the next 10 minute segment of running. Eventually I will be in better shape to just run the whole thing as I have done in the past, but this was a great way to mentally break it up. The water belt was a game changer too. Definitely worth the $43.

The Victoria Half has some rolling hills, but nothing that I haven't come up against before. Compared to Kelowna, it was smooth sailing! I carried one gel in my water belt (I am a big fan of the Honey Stinger gels in fruit smoothie flavour, as they are all natural and don't make my tummy feel weird) and took half at about the 13km mark and then the rest around the 15km mark. One thing I thought to myself as I was running along Dallas Rd is how much I truly enjoy this course. While the expo is meh, the race itself is WOW! Nothing better than running along the ocean and in beautiful Victoria!

What worked well for me: having my own water and being able to have a drink anytime I wanted to. Ever since the Kelowna half I thought about purchasing a water belt, but I just never got around to it. Bless the Running Room for having a 20% off coupon on Saturday! I also wore a new pair of pants that I had never worn in a half marathon before that were FANTASTIC. I will post about my favourite running gear later on this month, but just know that they are life changing. And Lululemon. Shocking, right? : )

Was I waving? Or pretending to high five Ryan through the fence? Or just posing like a cheese ball? One will never know. Oh yeah, this shirt was the jam too as I never felt too hot or too cold during the whole race. Win, win.

Ooh paparazzi. Enough with the glamour shots. 

Another one done and dusted! We headed to White Spot after the race for some breakfast, and then home to shower and RELAX! Oh, and I foam rolled too. I'm so good at this post-race recovery thing! Hint hint, post about that coming soon too ; )

All in all it was a great run and a wonderful Thanksgiving Sunday. See ya again next year, Victoria half! 

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