Despite it being my third half marathon, I felt totally unprepared for the Fort Langley Historic Half on Sunday, February 16. It wasn’t until the night before that I looked up directions to where the race began, the starting time, and glanced at the route. I also paid little or no attention to what I was eating the night before the race.
The race was replacing a 23 km long run in my marathon training schedule. I did little to accommodate this race other than skip my Saturday 6 km steady run – that was my “taper.” I had run a 19 km the Sunday prior and a total of 24 km during the week (6, 9.5, 8.5). My body was not feeling refreshed and energized as it had prior to my previous half marathons where my training plans had included a substantial taper. However, I was confident that my training would pay off and I was determined to finish under 2 hours.
I wasn’t sure what to expect for weather the morning of the race. Rain? Wind? Both? When I arrived at the Fort, the weather seemed to be holding out but as the start time grew near I felt a few rain drops and feared the worst … but it didn’t last long. I wore my usual Lululemon pants with a long sleeve shirt and my Nike jacket over top. I opted for a toque and mittens as well – I hate being cold! During the race I alternatingly loved and hated my choice of attire as the sun would poke out from behind the clouds and then a cold blast of wind would blow off the river.
It wasn’t far into the run that I regretted not clicking the elevation profile link on the event’s website. Hills hadn’t even crossed my mind leading up to the race (I don’t know why). There were some long gradual ones and some short incredibly steep ones.
At the 18 km mark I was having some serious doubts about my upcoming marathon and how the hell I am supposed to do run 42 km! Marathon training has been a complete leap of faith for me. Even though it is still incomprehensible right now, I have to just trust that the training will pay off – It seems to have worked for other people!
I finished the race strong, propelled only by the thought of bagels and coffee. My time was clocked at just over 1 hour and 57 minutes – success!
My last half, the Vancouver Historic Half, I had felt relaxed and comfortable until the end when I decided to book it. I finished in 2 hours and 30 seconds.
This half I was constantly checking my pace to make sure I was on track for a sub 2 hour finish. It felt way more difficult and although I did achieve my goal, I only shaved about 3 minutes off my previous time. Still, I was happy with that! My friend also finished sub 2 hours and beat her previous time by about 18 minutes!