Centaur Subaru Calgary Half Marathon - Run

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Calgary, Alberta
Calgary Marathon
45F / 7C
Total Time = 2h 10m 13s
Overall Rank = 1855/3056
Age Group = M3539
Age Group Rank = 186/227
Pre-race routine:

First half-marathon!

I finished off 2012 with my first 10K. I spent most of the winter focusing on the run, making good use of our treadmill at home -- ran 4x a week for most of the winter, then backed off as I started to reintroduce bike and swim. Gradually worked my way up to 90 minutes of consecutive running, which felt like a good jumping off point for a half-marathon. At least it did to my wife, who signed me up for this without telling me. :-)

In the week prior to the race, I ran once, swam once, and otherwise took it easy. Spent Friday and Saturday hydrating myself as best as possible, and had a good pasta dinner the night before

Event warmup:

Day of race -- woke up at 5am, got dressed and had the typical pre-race breakfast of peanut butter toast, banana and orange juice. Waited until my wife's parents arrived to watch the kids -- then my wife and I hopped in the car and took the LRT down to the race.

Arrived with ~25 minutes to spare -- not much extra time other than a bathroom break. Ditched the warm clothes and left with my wife (who was running the 10K and had an extra 30 minutes before her start)

2:15 was the goal time -- I tried to seed myself with the 2:15 pace bunnies but the start corral was pretty packed. Ah well... off we go!
  • 2h 10m 13s
  • 21.1 kms
  • 06m 10s  min/km

Overall -- I was incredibly happy with the race. Came in nearly 5 minutes better than my goal time!

First 5K: This was a loop northeast, crossing the Bow and heading toward the zoo. No problems. Mainly focused on not getting caught up in the crowds, getting into the groove. Most of my splits here were sub-6:00/km which was faster than planned -- but I didn't feel out of control so I kept with it. Seemed like I was passing more people than vice versa -- which is a change!

Second 5K: Ditto. This was a more downtown section -- lots of straightaways. Kind of cool as I'm very familiar with that part of downtown -- "hey, I parked there once, I had dinner there once, I always run into traffic there, etc." I stopped at a couple of aid stations for Gatorade, Biggest shocker was finishing 10K under an hour, which is a first for me. I was still a bit worried about going too fast, but with the flat course it felt OK. Halfway done, and still going strong...

Third 5K: This took me back across the Bow, running through Kensington and along and back down Memorial Drive. Very pretty area -- though had to run into the sun for the first time. I definitely felt my pace slowing a bit (though still faster than my 2:15 pace). This segment had a turnaround, so I could judge where the 2:00 and 2:15 pace bunnies were. I was probably 2 minutes ahead of the 2:15 pace bunny.

Final 6K: Still along Memorial, then back down to Stampede Park for the big finish. This is where it got interesting.... I'd never gone past 15K in training, so I was in uncharted territory. And I felt it! This was the only section where I dipped below a 2:15 pace. I had to breathe more heavily, legs felt heavy, and my brain totally wanted to stop. "Shut up brain!!" My aid station breaks got a bit longer, and I walked up a hill. The 2:15 pace bunnies caught up to me with about 1 km to go, which fired me up! Though I did hear them say that they were on track to finish in 2:10...

In the last 500 metres, I tried to turn on the jets -- did manage to pass a dozen or so people. And man, was I tired when I crossed the finish line!
What would you do differently?:

Very little. All in all, this was a great success for me. At one point, I thought 2:15 was a really aggressive goal. Definitely expected to be walking more than I did -- I don't think I walked for more than 500m the entire race. Could I do better with more training? Sure. But let's not look a gift horse in the mouth -- I finished, and finished well -- I cannot complain one bit.
Post race
Warm down:

My wife was waiting for me and led me through the Gatorade and snacks -- though all I wanted to do was sit... I was pretty winded. I ate an apple, banana and some cookies. I did manage to change into clean clothes and then we headed off home to relieve Grandma and Grandpa.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

More training at long distances (>15 km). Once I hit the 15k marker, my performance took a hit.

Event comments:

Really great -- I would do this again. Everything was quite clear, volunteers were fantastic. Despite the potential confusion from having marathon / half marathon / 10k / 5K sharing the course, I never felt confused about where to go. Finishers medal was really hefty -- a bit heavy around the neck, but I earned it :-)

Great job organizers! Looking forward to the 50th running next year.

Last updated: 2013-03-08 12:00 AM
02:10:13 | 21.1 kms | 06m 10s  min/km
Age Group: 186/227
Overall: 1855/3056
Performance: Good
Course: Complicated loop through downtown Calgary. Crossed the Bow River 4 times, ran out by the zoo, down 11th Avenue, up 14th Street, and much of the back half was down and back on Memorial. Very flat -- most of my outdoor training was on rolling hills.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4