Two Years Later ….. I Ran a Half Marathon
Let Me Start at The Beginning…
Two years ago, I started the plan to run the 2020 Valley Harvest Marathon.
In 2020, COVID hit and I was stranded in British Columbia over March Break as a result of airlines shutting down.
I stayed in British Columbia for eight months, deciding not to run the virtual Valley Harvest Marathon because I wanted my first half marathon to with people.
2021, I needed a COVID vaccination to run in the marathon and didn’t want to run in it because of that mandatory condition. I am only vaccinated because I needed it for my job.
2022, everything COVID related relaxed and I was ready to run the Valley Harvest Marathon’s half marathon!
In 2020, I blogged about my preparation for this marathon.
This morning, where needed, I reviewed and updated each of those blog.
I found myself inspired, seeing how far I have come since then!
And how much I truly didn’t know about how to prepare for a half-marathon.
But what I had was spirit, dedication and a willingness.
Half Marathon Training – 2020
Half Marathon Training – 2022
I visited the Running Room, a store for runners and where I buy my sneakers to get advice on how to prepare for the upcoming Valley Harvest half-marathon.
I was told to maintain my usual Monday – Friday morning runs of 6-7kms.
Sunday long runs would increase by two kilometers to bring me to an 18km run the Sunday before the race.
The week before the race, run my usual 6-7kms morning runs but on Friday only run 5km. Do not run Saturday. Race on Sunday.
The week before drink lots of water and eat lots of carbs the two days before the race.
As well, I bought packages of runner’s gummies to eat during the race that give my body energy. I was told to do a “flat Stephanie” the night before the race. This is laying everything out I would wear to make sure I pack everything, including Camelback, headphones, sunglasses, and Fitbit.
The employee at Runner’s Room calculated that if my pace is around 7.5 minutes a kilometer – I should run the race in about 3 hours, therefore the importance of eating runner’s gummies – to keep my body fueled during these 3 hours.
Added nutritional support was from my step-daughter Patricia who is a competitive body builder. The morning of the race I added one scoop of amino acid powder she has, to the water in my Camelback.
The week before the race I started having issues with the outside of my left knee.
Up until this moment, stretching was of minimal importance for me; 8 minutes after a run and I did not really have an awareness of the IT band and its impact on running.
It wouldn’t be until after the race that I would discover the pain on the outside of my left knee is a result of the IT band.
My entire outlook on the importance of yoga and stretching is now cemented into reality.
So is, after every run, using a foam roller on my IT bands.
Start time was 7:40am.
With my supportive husband Michael at my side, I stood at the back of the half marathon crowd waiting for the starting gun to go off. I was nervous (hoping my left knee would not give me an issue) and sorta compartmentalized at the reality of running 21.1kms.
I also wanted to run the race under three hours. I set this goal based on the Running Room’s employee who projected my time of completing the race in three hours.
And We Are Off…
I felt a bit dazed and confused within the crowd, overwhelmed.
I tried to pace myself and found myself struggling with so many runners around me.
The outside of my left knee started to hurt.
I was devastated, thinking I might not finish the race.
Then, runners of great speed started zooming past me.
I didn’t understand this, as I was at the end of the half marathon crowd yet surrounded by runners, now crowded around me along a rather narrowed path. It wouldn’t be until later that I clued in that those runners were 10km and 5km participants speeding past me.
Overwhelmed and feeling out of sorts as the outside of my left knee ached, I then felt an ache in my foot that once had plantar fasciitis.
Not to be left out, the outside of my right knee started to hurt.
I slowed down.
Then purposely breathed space into the these aching parts.
As I settled into my slow pace, this seemed to reduce the pain while using another meditation technique of accepting the parts that were hurting while breathing space into them.
But, not for my left knee. Good news was that it wasn’t getting worse.
At 10km my body, with only my left knee in pain, seemed to have a mind of its own and kicked into gear as I read a sign that said Pain is temporary, results are on the Internet.
From that moment on I was determined to meet my goal!
As I made the turn onto the final stretch, my husband jumped a barricade and ran with me and took this picture! I was shocked and so pleased, then worried if he would get into trouble! He’s the rule breaker, I’m the rule follower!
Giving Everything I’ve Got
I passed signs saying 400m, then 300m…. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.
The outside of my left knee was throbbing, but I would not stop!
I was so focused, I do not see Michael taking this picture!
Approaching the Finish Line
As I neared the finish line, again Michael jumped in beside me to run with me while I pushed on. He stopped to take this photo!
Suddenly, the announcer (we are members of the MVR Facebook running group) recognized me and said as much, pumping me up as I crossed the finish line!
Gun Time: 2:42:54
Chip Time: 2:41:54
Place: 513th of 548 half marathoners!
I will run this half marathon again next year!
I’m also considering running other races, as well!
With this run I’ve learned many important lessons about nutrition, training, stretching and foam rolling the IT bands.
I will strive to better my time next year with the year ahead of better preparation including consistent yoga, stretching and foam rolling my IT bands after every run.