It's 2013 (not really but let's pretend for the sack of this blog), a new year and new goals. I wasn't happy with my time for the C2C, but I showed myself that I could do the distance. I decided to sign up for my first half marathon in May. I started to get a little more consistent with my running, and kept myself accountable and put in my weekly long runs on Sunday. In February I came up with an injury, IT band. I wasn't running enough distance during the week for my 20k long runs, and threw my left knee alignment all out of whack. After 10 days of taking it easy I had a few physio appointments which made a world of difference, I was able to strengthen up my knees and the pain was gone, I cut back the distance of my long runs to roughly 15-18k, as I caught on that I wasn't putting in enough work during the week. In April I ran a 5k race for the first time in a long time, and wasn't sure how to pace myself. I was doing a 3:20 pace for the first km and freaked myself out, so I slowed down to 3:40, which is slower than I wanted (was looking to do 3:30). I finished on 17:34 which was 20 seconds faster than my personal best in recent times, so I was happy. My training and rehab were going well and I felt that I would be able to tackle the Bluenose half in Halifax at the end of May.
I didn't push myself too hard over the next number of weeks, and really did well with my taper. My family and I (wife and 2 year old son) travelled to Halifax early, so I could get a couple of runs in to finalize my taper, and more importantly get a visit in with family. I did a short run (roughly 6km) the Wednesday before the race to get my pacing down, and took it easy after that. I felt I didn't need a shake out run, as we planned a couple of park visits/hikes so I would use those for getting my legs loose. Morning of the race, I awoke at 5 am to have a quick breakfast of a bagel with cream cheese and water, then jumped back into bed for another 90 minutes. My brother in law then drove me down town to the start line, where I dropped off my bag, and completed my warm up. I had my whole race planned out; I was to take my first gel 30 minutes before the start (successful) and then around the 10 km mark I would take my second gel (unsuccessful). I ended up not taking it till around the 13-14 km, since there was no water station where I needed it (bad planning on my part). I paced myself just under the pace I was aiming for up till the 16 km mark, where I was hoping to pick it up for the final stretch, however as I passed the 16 km marker my shoelace came undone. I was livid, I quickly tied it and got back to running, but this killed my pacing. I dropped from 3:47-3:52 per km right to 4:00/km for the next 4 km. As I finished the long slow (and low incline) up Younge Ave, I kicked when my watch registered that I had just completed my 20th km. I covered the final 1.1 km of the race at 3:33/km pace to finish eighth overall in a time of 1:20:42 in my first half marathon. I was proud, and happy with how everything went; though my goal was to break 80 minutes, considering it was my first half marathon, I was happy.
When I decided to start this blog, I thought I would catch myself up on my running through these first few posts, and that I would be able to cover a year a post, but it's hard to condense a year of running/racing into a single readable post without glossing over too much detail. This post has taken longer than I thought it would, so I'm cutting this one short, and will try and churn them out shorter and quicker.