Good race, bad run: MEC Race #5 Halloween run!

I usually really like this one, if the weather is good there’s nothing better! But that was before I got injured 😦 I immediately knew I’d have to scrap the half-marathon, I was way too hurt to run that. Realistically, I was too hurt to race much of anything at this point and still today…But I got stubborn, my friends were racing too and dammit I wanted to! (Ok so now I’ve been injured for a solid month. It sucks, friends, it sucks).

So it poured rain all night, we went to a Halloween party and played it safe due to the race, enduring SOME razzing from friends, “It’s only a 5k!” What are you going home early for!” Ha.

I met up with my friends at the start of the race- in the bathroom lineup- of course. It was nice weather, the sun was starting to peek out and the clouds were blown away. I was even wearing shorts! Yes!!

We did a brief warm-up and the results were not promising. Shooting pain through my pelvis and back. Lovely. I correctly figured that this was gonna hurt. And it did. And it hurt even more to run fast, go figure haha.

Then we were off and I tried valiantly to cling to some sort of pace, but yeeeahhh…It didn’t happen. My km’s were slow, I felt like I was gasping for breath and had just shooting pain through my pelvis and lower back. It was slippery with the recent mud/rain and dead leaves, and just kind of up-down-all-around race. In other days I would have really enjoyed the variety haha. More of a true trail race than the half is, actually.

I did miss doing the half though.

I was kind of chugging along, feeling annoyed that I was so injured and it felt really hard. I was glad to see the finish line, and I wound up in 2nd place? Wha? Let’s put it this way- my time was not competitive. Ah well!

Best of all? My buddies were there to run with me, and one of them even placed 3rd! Whoo hoo! I just liked having friends there with me 🙂

And I am still injured and getting therapies on my abdomen to hopefully figure out wtf is going on. A month down…Hopefully that’s all it is going to be. My fingers are crossed!!

The Grand Banana: MEC race #5 recap~

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Halloween Half- Marathon! Photo courtesy of MEC Victoria.

Finally, a race I can be proud of!! After a slew of really uninspiring races, races that blew up in my face, races that left me feeling pretty lacklustre about racing and my athletic running ability…I pulled this one out and it felt GREAT!

I wasn’t too enthused about it- to be honest, I was very anxious. My last  half marathon (MEC in June at Royal Roads) was just horrible. I felt like dying, was unsure about why I couldn’t breathe while I was running, and was just feeling concerned and a bit worried about how this was going to go. Was I going to have to walk, gasping for breath? Feeling like I was going to collapse?

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The day was PHENOMENAL! Photo courtesy of MEC Victoria.

I did take the entire week off running, and started toning it down quite early last week- shorter runs, taking more days off, making it easier. Not gonna lie, taking the week off from running last week was TOUGH. I felt antsy, anxious, sluggy and like…What if this didn’t pay off? What then? I took a week off, for nothing? (I know a week off in the grand scheme of things is A-Ok! and I needed the rest for my legs, but try telling your brain that).

Anyways, I took time off running, took it easy, went to the corn maze on Saturday with my husband and friend, and didn’t drink. All nice things, and it was incredibly beautiful on the weekend. A kind of beauty that makes me want to live outside haha.

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Gatorade break for me. Photo courtesy of MEC Victoria.

The morning was cold and I was kind of second-guessing my long-sleeves and shorts combo but I didn’t want to get too hot running, as I was going to be out there for awhile and it was supposed to be 17 degrees as the high for the day. Incredible!

And we’re off! I set out with a goal- try for under 5 min/km. Too ambitious? Maybe but I was just grasping at straws here. My first km felt kind of hard, but not really? 4:48/km. Hm…

But the beauty of it was…It just kept flowing. I felt light as a feather, light as air. I ran and ran, and thought about how I could do it forever.

My legs felt good, so good they wanted to be challenged.

I got caught up a bit in the gravel sections (so slow and sloggy) but counseled myself to run carefully here and pick it up when I could. Don’t try to push it too much on the ‘no grip’ sections, it isn’t worth the energy. Same for the running across the grass sections.

At 8km I had to take my shoe off to shake gravel out of it. GReeeeat….This would typically derail me bigtime, but I shook it off (literally) and kept running.

I felt happy, it was getting tough but I could do it. I was doing it. I could meet the challenge! I felt like I could do this, and then I could do even more. It was a fabulous feeling and one that has been missing from my races for a year or more. I was smiling, I felt good and I was happy.

At the finish, I was running with a young guy (who totally beat me at the end, ha) and we finished, turned to each other, and gave each other a high-five. 🙂 That’s what racing is for me- what I had been missing for so long. That purity, that feeling of fun, and freedom.

Thanks again to the excellent team at MEC, and the well organized (if a little insane) race. Good snacks, safe course and a great cheering section. I was even lucky enough to be able to go out for brunch with my husband (who ran an AMAZING race) and our friend who also battled it out to complete a solid 10k.  A great day.