Sunday, November 3, 2013

Niagara Falls Half Marathon report

I realize this is a week late, but here it is!

Last Sunday, I completed my very first half marathon!

I'm so incredibly proud of myself. I never thought I'd be running a half marathon a little over 10 months from the day I started taking running fairly seriously and a little over a year from the time I had Andrew.

I had initially expected to run the 10K at the Niagara Falls International Marathon. I kept reading about how the Niagara Falls course was nice and flat so I decided to change my registration to the half marathon. I honestly flipped and flopped over this decision a whole bunch of times between July and race day.

The Husband and I headed out to Niagara Falls on the Saturday night so that we wouldn't have any big problems on race day getting there and finding where to go. We headed to the Expo, got my number, checked out some of the displays, picked up my t-shirt and headed back to the hotel.

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Our hotel room was amazing! We had gotten an upgrade to a junior presidential suite (it didn't face the Falls though). It even had a gas fireplace! We headed out to a restaurant called the "Four Brothers" to eat some pasta and carb up a bit. They gave me so much food.

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I got into bed early (8:30ish) and watched CNN's Blackfish and then fell asleep around 10. I slept really well until about 3ish, then I kept waking up every 45 minutes or so. I guess I didn't want to sleep through my alarm (although that has never happened).
I got up at 7, changed and headed down to the breakfast buffet that cost me $12.95 (next time I'll find a hotel with breakfast included). I had some milk, fruit and two waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. I headed back upstairs, changed into my running outfit, had The Husband take a picture and we headed out to the buses.
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The line for the buses was long!! I managed to squeeze on one that was ready to leave because I was by myself and they needed three people so I promptly volunteered. The bus ride took forever!! I started to panic about how far we were driving out. The ladies behind me were awesome and very reassuring. They asked what my goal time was and I said there wasn't one, just to finish in an upright position.

We got off the buses and I started pacing back and forth to try to keep warm. I had a throw away jacket that I tossed into a Salvation Army bin just before lining up and the next thing I knew, the gun went off and everyone was running.

I completely amazed myself. I set a plan of running the entire way, except through water stations, where I'd run to the first person, grab a cup and then walk, drink, grab another cup, drink and then start running again. It worked really well, except when I had to stop to use the port-a-potty. I managed to find one without a lock too and had to fight some woman who kept trying to open the door while I was busy!

I managed to keep my time at around 7:45 min/km which was my other goal. I had a couple kms and some were under, which balanced everything out.

I finally managed to find The Husband wandering along side the course right near the end. He took a few pictures of me and then had to run to get ahead to take a few more. I think I actually beat him to the finish line! As I approached the line, I was by myself and I heard the announcer say "Here comes Victoria, all the way from Mississauga!" I threw my hands up and run through!

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My official time was 2:39 (that's hours:minutes). I'm so proud of myself!!

Here's my newest medal!

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Oh and here's the 'pose in front of the Falls'!

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I had just come from the port-a-potties (again!) and had almost lost the ability to walk!

Up next, the Santa Shuffle 5K at the beginning of December and then back into training mode for the Chilly Half Marathon in March! I've definitely gotten the half marathon bug!
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