I did it! This weekend I finished my first half-marathon, the Wild Roses Women’s Race in Edmonton. It was an experience, and I’m already thinking about my next half-marathons, so that’s a good sign, right?!!
Let’s start this race report off with some discussion of the weather. I had an outfit planned to wear, but had to add a few items when I realized that June or not, the weather wasn’t going to be all that pleasant. It rained most of the weekend actually, and was windy to boot. I actually had to go buy a rain jacket and everything (from local store, Runner’s Attic)! So here is what my end outfit was:
I wore my current favorite running skirt, the Happy Hour style from Skirt Sports. I love how long it is and the hidden pockets are the right size for my iPhone (although I had to put in my own hole to fit the headphones through – they have them included a proper hole in some of their skirt styles). I wore a short sleeved pink top, instead of the tank I’d been hoping to wear. I decided the weather called for sleeves, but actually probably I would have been fine with the tank! I wore my compression socks from Running Skirts (so awesome!) and then because of the weather I added my new Sugoi Versa jacket (that converts to vest) and my wool arm sleeves. The arm sleeves were too much at first, but I was super grateful for them in the last 6km when the freezing rain came pouring down.
I woke up nice and early, forced down some toast with my usual morning coffee. Was dressed and out the door with a green smoothie for extra fuel in short order. Arrived at the race site with no problem (too bad I managed to get myself turned around on the way home, adding 20 minutes to the trip!) and even met up with a runner from my smaller suburb before the start. Before I knew it it was time to hit the starting line and go. It wasn’t long before I knew it was going to be a challenging race. My town is mostly flat. I knew the race was not flat, but I just put it out of my head and that bit of denial cost me a bit in terms of finish time. Oh well, gives me a good place to improve from.
Other than the ups and downs of running in the river valley, the race wasn’t bad at all. The weather actually seemed good for a while, despite the dark clouds. I pulled my wool sleeves off pretty quickly and by 5km my coat sleeves were off too and tied around my waist. I was so glad I bought the jacket style that easily converted to a vest via magnets, because I had my race number pinned to the front and didn’t have to worry about adjusting that, just pulled off the sleeves and was comfortably cooled off immediately.
I only used one gu gel at 7km, in retrospect I should have taken a second at 14km or so. I definitely lost some energy the last part of the race. I drank plenty of water and just kept on going. The rain came at the 15 km mark. I pulled my wool sleeves back on and slogged through some lovely puddles. Finally at 2:28 I hit the finish line with a nice sprint the last few hundred metres. I was proud to be done and graciously accepted my rose and chocolate from the lovely volunteers. I was disappointed there was no medal though. Is that dumb? I know it’s a simple thing and some people don’t know what to do with their collections of medals, but I think a half should provide a finisher’s medal (or at least the option of a finisher’s medal). I did get a t-shirt, which has a pretty design on the back, and a boring solid white front.
Overall, the race was a good experience. There were wonderful volunteers who stood in the cool wind and rain for many hours and I liked the atmosphere of the women only event. I’m planning my next half-marathon to be on a flatter course, which should give me a nicer finishing time, and I’ll make sure to do plenty of speed work this summer to help me improve on my time even further!