I’ve been meaning to get this blog out for a while now. Time just flies when one is off doing other things. So without further ado, here is my half marathon recap of the Niagara Falls Half Marathon.
We arrived in Niagara Falls on Saturday to allow time for us to pick up our race kits, check into our hotel and have a decent dinner at a local restaurant. We were very skeptical as to the weather conditions of that weekend, as Saturday was a dreadful day. Here we are making our way to our hotel. There was no turning back, but we definitely were worried.
The rain continued on and off that afternoon. We spent a couple of hours at the race expo where I purchased some Bondi Bands, KT Tape, Cytomax, and signed up for the VR PRO Hamilton Santa 5K.
Picking up our race kit was pretty easy. We had already gotten our number prior to arriving, so we were able to bypass the first line, and immediately go to the tables which had our race bibs and information. Once we were through browsing the various vendor tables, the shirt pickup was at the end. We showed them our info, and received our shirts. Easy peasy.
After the expo, we spent some time wandering the main strip of Niagara. I haven’t been there in eons. I enjoyed it, despite the rain. We ended up snapping some pics of our little adventure in the various tourist locations that begged the invitation……
Our day ended with a dinner at The Keg. As I Run on Water would say, “Powered by STEAK”. Oh yeah, that’s me! Protein is my friend.
The morning of the half marathon was optimistic. No rain! The only question I had was my wardrobe. You’d think with all the races I’ve done, I’d know better by now, but alas, I’m still a wimp when it comes to cold temperatures. I really despise the cold and even though I knew I should have parked my jacket in baggage check and just ran with my shirt, I didn’t listen to that inner voice that said “Suck it up honey!”. Nope, I’m a gutless wimp, who needed her jacket. So it remained with me until I had to take it off. *cough, cough*, ummm, about halfway into the race. (it was unbearable at that point)
In any case, the race started off without a hitch. I was full of energy, and was raring to go! My spouse took off ahead of me as we had discussed. He was looking for a PR, so I wasn’t about to hold him back. I kept at my planned pace. It has been a long time since I’ve raced or trained for a half marathon aside from a Disney race, so I really wanted to push myself to see what I could do. The last time I ran a half marathon in a non-Disney Race was over two years ago. I think my time was upwards of 2:45 give or take a few, so I knew I could definitely push for 2:30…maybe even better.
Along the course, I saw the 2:20 pace bunny and I kept up with them for quite a while, however there comes a time when I had to question whether I should push that hard, and I decided against it. They were running just a tad faster than I liked, and I had to look at the bigger picture. I’m training for Dopey at WDW in January and I still have my aches and pains I have to deal along the way. I didn’t feel like risking an injury. So I trailed back a bit and settled into a more comfortable pace.
As promised, the course was flat and scenic along the parkway. I enjoyed the atmosphere, being periodically cheered by the crowd. I always appreciate a good ol’ cheering squad. They definitely motivate me along.
I struggled a bit in the last few kilometres. My left pimiforis/glute area starts to nag at me during my long runs, and this was no different. I’ve been working hard to allieviate this pain through numerous approaches. It’s getting better, but there’s still work to do. I changed up my gait a few times, and continued on. The end was near.
I remember taking an orange slice from someone. And then wondering, “hmmm, should I be doing that?” I tried to listen to my parent’s when they said, “Never take candy from a stranger”, but do oranges count too? 😉
Finally, I reached the finish. I felt accomplished! I walked into the runner’s line where I thought I’d be receiving my medal, and was delighted to receive a light jacket in place of the standard space blanket. A good piece I can reuse at a future race. After the jacket I stood in line for a while as the runners were corralled for the bananas and bagels and then once we were through, we got our medal. Mission accomplished!
As the norm with my running career, I seem to have a bad habit I just can’t seem to break. TURNING OFF MY GARMIN at the finish line! Yep, I get 100 metres from the finish line and tell myself, “Remember to turn off that darn Garmin”, but when I actually cross the line, I forget! I had to rely on Sport Stats online. Well bravo to me, I finished the race in 2:25:41. Yay me! A new PR!
I enjoyed the race very much, and was glad I was able to test my self in the midst of my Dopey training. I still have a long way to go. This past weekend, I got up to 25km for my weekly lsd. There’s still more work to do, but I’m excited as January approaches.
And before I forget, a big shout out to Princess Jodi from 2 Princesses on the Run and her friend Laural. I saw them wearing an URG shrug on the race course. Well, thanks girls!