On Sunday I’ll run in my first half-marathon race when I travel up to Calgary for the Centaur Subaru 21.1KM at the Calgary Marathon. Race day is exciting for two reasons:
1.) I get to run alongside my wife Lindsay as for the first time we’ll compete in the same distance/event. This is her third half-marathon and I couldn’t be more proud of how far she’s come (literally) to get here. I owe her a huge debt of gratitude for motivating me to get into running in the first place. Frankly, I’m just happy to have finally ‘caught up’ with her so that we can enjoy this sport together.
2.) All the blood (I had my own Curt Schilling sock moment), sweat, and early mornings spent pushing myself through this gruelling training plan will finally pay off this Sunday.
While I didn’t complete every single training session in the 16-week period I did manage to run a total of 567.4KM through 51 activities. It’s an average of 3.2 sessions and 35.5KM per week.
My average pace for the entire training period was 6:02/KM. My longest run was 25.11KM, along the beautiful Mission Creek trail in Kelowna, B.C. Throughout the training I ran the equivalent of a half-marathon (21.1KM or more) six times!
My fastest half-marathon was completed in 1:56:16. That was three weeks ago, and while I immediately regretted running it that hard during training, the pace felt good at the time. Now I know I can push myself beyond a 5:30/KM pace during the race and be okay.
The race is on Sunday and it’s a 7:00AM start. There’s no way around it; we’ve got to stay overnight in Calgary on Saturday. Our plan is to drop the kids off and grandma and grandpa’s house after lunch Saturday and then drive up to Calgary to pick up our race packages.
From there we’ll check into our hotel, grab a bite to eat, and then find a park and pathway downtown to do our 5KM shake-out run. Then it’s early to bed so we can get up at the crack of dawn and head down to the starting line. We’ll likely walk there, since parking is a nightmare and most of the roads will be closed.
Goals – How fast can we run this thing?
When I listed my running goals for 2018 I stopped short of setting any race-specific times for myself. I hadn’t run the distance before so that seemed like a major accomplishment in and of itself. But now that I’ve got six half-marathon long runs under my belt I know what to expect and what my body is capable of.
My initial ‘in-my-head’ goal was to complete the race in under 2:00:00. That’s why I went with a sub-2 hour training plan. But I surprised myself when I comfortably beat that time in training earlier this month. Now I’ve got my sights set a bit higher – 1:50:00.
Lindsay and I are going to run this together and attempt to follow the 1:50:00 pace bunny. I’m a math guy and so I like to break that down into my per kilometre or per mile pace. I used this pace calculator online and determined that we’d need to run at a 5:13/KM pace – or a 8:24 per mile pace – to achieve a 1:50:00 finish time.
Can we do it? Hey, with the adrenaline flowing and a dynamic husband and wife duo pushing each other to run our best race, anything is possible.
Wish us luck!