I was nervous about Mississauga. I had no idea how I’d do. I knew that my PR was 1:50:31, which I ran during a very solid marathon training cycle. I knew that I ran a watch-less 2:01 half-marathon last spring, but my overall fitness was way better than it was a year ago. I knew that my 10-week training program was not what I wanted it to be: I spent too many weeks not running at all, then two weeks running too much to make up for it, then a week not running at all as my taper because going from 20k weeks to 50k weeks is a terrible idea.
I decided to hang with the 1:50 bunny as long as I could. I figured if I had an amazing day, sub 1:50 was possible. A dream, but possible. If I had a pretty good day, I’d end up somewhere between 1:50 and 1:55. And if I had a not great day, I’d be between 1:55 and 2:00.
So that’s what I did. And it, for the most part, it worked.
I hung with the bunny without any problems until 10k.
Then we hit a hill, I lost momentum and fell behind. I felt my race falling apart here. I didn’t think I had it in me to keep pushing.
Then a friend drove by and honked. I decided to say “fuck it” and try to catch up. I took some sports beans (basically crack for runners) and focused on passing people one at a time. It worked. I caught up with the bunny and hung with him again until 18k.
I saw this number and freaked out. I thought the bunny was going too fast, I couldn’t maintain it so I slowed down. Too much.
17 – 5:10
Then I hit a water station and felt totally gassed.
I figured the bunny was 30-45 seconds ahead of me. They had a timing mat at 20 and I saw I had 5 minutes to break 1:50. I wasn’t entirely sure how big a difference there was between the clock and my start time, so I took more beans, dropped my pace and went for it.
I sprinted like hell to the finish. I knew it was close, but probably not done.
I am both proud and annoyed at this time.
I am annoyed because *13* seconds. I am annoyed because it’s my third half marathon in a year that ended with 1:50:XX on the clock.
But I am proud because it means I am in better shape than I thought. I am proud because my running has come a long way. I am proud because there was a clear moment in the race I thought about giving up and I didn’t. I fought back.
I’ll get my sub 1:50. And soon.
I also need to get better at the post-race photo thing. It didn’t happen if it’s not on Instagram, after all.