As I shuffle around in pain in my condo today, I will think about the do’s and don’ts of running half marathons. The first being, don’t run races two weeks apart until you become a running machine; you will hit the wall a lot sooner than you expect. The second is, you know not to start out too fast, so don’t do it. I could blame that on the fact I saw a friend at about kilometre three and I wanted to run with her, so I kept up with her pace of about 5:05 for 13kms. We ended up running to the halfway point at about 54 minutes, four minutes faster than my last race in Vancouver. I told her I was going to hit the wall, probably to excuse myself if she left me in the dust, which was another mistake. By running too fast and getting myself in that mindset, I got a cramp, my legs got heavy, and I watched her fade into the distance. The rest of the race after that was a slog; I got cramp after cramp, and my legs didn’t want to move. It was interesting reading Tori’s post about her Oak Bay Half experience, because I read a similar article in iRun magazine about your brain telling your body to quit before it’s ready as a mechanism of preservation. I kept trying to tell myself my legs are fine, but the nasty hills in the last few kilometres told me otherwise.
I actually ran a decent time of 1:56:18, which I would have been elated about two weeks ago. But when you run a faster time two weeks prior, running a slower time is disappointing, but at least it made me learn a lesson: listen to the advice from training programs and running magazines, it really DOES help.