So there you have it, my 2015 racing season is over! This was by far both the hardest season to date and the most rewarding. I accomplished things that I never knew I could. I achieved PR’s that not too long ago seemed impossible and I continued to share my passion for running and fitness with others.
Race day at Oka started out early with a 5am wake up call and an hour drive to the race site. Totally worth it though as I was one of the first people to arrive and got literally the BEST parking spot available. Nothing makes me happier than arriving early with no stress and amazing parking I was able to watch the sun come up as I relaxed and had a pre race breakfast on site.
Unfortunately the weather was not cooperating which was a little sad because the Oka park is so beautiful and I had been looking forward to enjoying it. It rained hard all through the race, which took away from the beautiful forest and fall colors but seemed to enhance the delicious smell of the pine trees!
I’ve run in the rain many times before but never during a race, so it made for a few unexpected slippery moments! It was a quite muddy in places and I was super chilled by the end of the race but other than that it wasn’t too much of an issue.
Before my race started I met up with my friend Wendy who was there to run her very first 10km. I actually entered her in this race for her birthday so she kind of had no choice but to run that day 😉 She had previously done a 5km a few months back and had been training really hard over the summer to prep for this next step. It has been amazing to watch her journey and I am so proud of all her success. It was wonderful to be part of her big achievement that day!
Before I knew it, it was race time. As I stood with the crowd of runners, it dawned on me that this run would continue a pattern of 3 long distance races in 3 months. Not too shabby!
- End of August: Lachine Bonneville -my very first half marathon
- End of September: Montreal Rock n’Roll -my very first full marathon
- End of October: Oka -my 2nd half marathon
In that moment I made a conscious plan to have 3 possible outcomes to this race.
- Attain a PR of 2:15
- Attain a PR with a time that was better than my first half marathon back in August
- Finish this race with a time no later than what I had achieved at my first half (2:32)
So with this in mind, I scouted out the 2:15 interval pace bunny and I focused. The race began and I was on that bunny’s tail. I managed to stay with him until the 14th km….then we hit the HILLS. MAJOR HILLS. Needless to say the bunny was gone in a flash and I was not happy. Once I caught my breath, I stopped running intervals and tried to catch up with him. I sucked down my GU and zoomed along searching for my rabbit. A well meaning runner, ran up beside me and scolded me for running too fast….well…this only made me run faster. I really wanted that 2:15 time. Eventually I caught sight of the pace bunny in the distance but he was too far and I was too tired by that point to get any closer…and there were still hills to contend with. A lot of hills….
So despite not attaining goal #1 of a 2:15 race time, I did finish the race at 2:21 which was pretty darn close! This meant I achieved goal #2 of getting a PR. That’s an 11 minute difference between my first half marathon and my second in over a 3 month period! I can totally live with that
Although I am sad to say goodbye to the 2015 racing season, I am thrilled that I accomplished some huge goals this year. I now have 2 half’s and 1 full marathon under my belt which is way more than I ever anticipated just 2 years ago when I went out for that first run. Now to plan the 2016 season 😉