Ah, the good old Mississauga Half. If you'll remember I had originally signed up for the full marathon here but my husband's cousin decided to have a wedding in Ottawa this same weekend so I had planned on scrapping it. Then it turned out that our kids weren't invited to the wedding so we were no longer going and I changed my registration to the half where I could then tack on some extra km's for Ottawa marathon training and get a medal out of the deal. Win win. Well we all know how this plan turned out thanks to my friend plantar fasciitis. Dun dun duuuuuuun.
Fast forward through the terrible terrible winter and here we are on race day. I had no idea how things were going to go after the horrible experience I had at the Chilly Half, but my foot was feeling WAY better, like almost 100% and I was cautiously optimistic. My plan was to run with Mari (who was going for a sub 1:50) for as long as I could and see what happened. The farthest that I'd run since ATB was 16k and I've done absolutely no speed work other than on the elliptical so who knew what would happen out there. If my foot started to bother me I would pull back. I was honestly terrified that just as things were feeling good I was going to put myself back to where I was a few months ago, and that is not somewhere that I ever want to be again. Plantar Fasciitis is the worst, especially when you work on your feet! So I taped up my foot with some KT Tape and hoped for the best.
I picked up Patty and Amy at a plaza near my house and drove us all into Mississauga where we hooked up with Daily Mile friends. Everyone made their way to the starting line and then we were off. It was really cold and windy at the start and I toyed with the idea of keeping on my throw away jacket. Just as the race began I ripped it off and skillfully tossed it to the side without hitting a single person! We did the usual bob and weave and waved to friends. The cold wind didn't seem to be too bad until all of a sudden a huge gust came up and blew the hat right off of my head! Thankfully a man behind me grabbed it for me because with that wind my hair would be in my face the whole time. Plus I like my Sulphur Springs hat and would be sad to not have it. We chatted and ran and dodged and weaved some more and laughed when a guy running beside me decided that 2k into the race would be a good time to do some stretching (?!?!) and almost punched me in the head. "Woah. Sorry. I guess I'd have to carry you to the finish line if I hit ya huh?" He joked. Um, yeah! And at Mari's pace too! As we turned onto Mississauga Rd I started to feel really hot and ripped off my gloves and ditched them at the water station. Then off came the arm warmers and I looked around and noticed that a lot of other people were stripping down too. The sun was really warm and the wind was actually quite pleasant. Now I know that my friends who ran the full will wholeheartedly disagree with me there, but on the half course the wind wasn't too bad and I found it nice and cooling. I was still feeling pretty good as we passed UofT and my foot was behaving. Was I actually going to pull this race off?! I got a little winded at the uphill out of the campus but felt strong again once we crested it. Things were going well and we were soon approaching the dreaded hill at 10k. "I don't want to run up that hill". I said to Mari. "Well, you don't really have a choice" was the response from a random man running beside us. "Just keep your head up and you'll be at the top before you know it!" were his words of encouragement. "Yeah. I like to keep my head down and be surprised!" I told him. We all laughed at this and then Mari and I left him in our dust. At the top of the hill I took my one and only gel and wondered if maybe I shouldn't have brought another. Up ahead we could see a pace bunny. "What's his sign say?" I asked Mari. (I can't be bothered to get my eyes checked but I clearly need glasses. Shhhhh.) "3:45" she said. "What's half of 3:45?" I asked her. Um, "1:47?" Mari answered. *silence* "I don't think it's "1:47." I said after a minute. "I don't know. I can't do math right now!!" she responded. Haha. Glad I'm not the only one who gets stupid while running. We chugged along a little more and Mari asked me if I minded that the conversation had dropped off. "I'm tired. I don't want to talk right now any way" I told her. My IT bands were getting a little achy and my quads were reminding me that I hadn't run at a fast pace in 6 months and they were not liking this. Just before the split for the half and full I waved Mari on. She had a goal to make and I was going to have to slow down soon. Aaaaand probably walk a little. Shhhhh. I kept Mari in my sights for quite a while but once we hit the park lands I took a quick walk break and she was gone. Then I ran again. Then I walked a little again. Oops. Photographer! Better run. I brushed all of bugs that were stuck to my shirt and sweaty face away and smiled for the camera. Then I said to a girl who was walking and taking a gel "Stop walking, there's a photographer!!" so she started running with her gel hanging out of her mouth. Looking at the photos here, I see none of me so total false alarm. I could have still been walking!! I ran through the parks with one goal in mind. Get to the finish. My legs were tired! My main goal was to finish sub 1:55 but also to have a better race than I had at Chilly. My foot was still feeling fine so at least I wouldn't be limping over the finish line this day. WIN!! I finally made it through the final clearing and the finish area came into my sights. As I went to pass a man along that final stretch he saw someone he knew and threw his arm out to wave once again almost hitting me in the head. This time I wasn't laughing and pushed his arm away. I ran as fast as my tired legs would carry me and crossed the finish line with a 1:52 showing on my watch. Woohoo. I'm back baby!
(Sorry, Blogger is being a huge pain in my ass at the moment and so there are no pictures and God knows if there are even paragraphs!)