September, 2012 browsing by month


Melissa’s Road Race 2012 – My first half marathon – Run Report

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

I did it!!!  er, I diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid it!  I. ran. 22k (-ish).

I’m thrilled that I did it, and actually pretty thrilled with the result and, most of all: the experience (one that ended up being kind of profound).

First of all, Melissa’s Road Race, being in Banff is a pretty beautiful run.  The fact that there are so many people there, is also pretty inspiring.

My goal was to run most and try to get right around the 2:00h mark.  I was running pretty often and well for the Spring, but August ended up with some great travels (and one run in Europe at the Luxembourg Gardens), and then September ended up with me pretty busy working and living (and those Fall sunsets cutting out some prime running time).

I was able to get a 10k in two weekends before this one.  It was cool and I was both more and less concerned about the 22k after this.  My pace actually ended up being SLOWER than my 22k.  :S  I’d still never ran more than 10k (ever!).  I thought I would maybe try to push that distance a bit, but only ended up doing 8 (and some change) the Monday prior.  Both Sunday’s 10k and the Monday (8.6) had me getting some blisters under my left foot pad.

So here were the preparations leading up:

Thursday: Got my race bib and stomach was in knots.  Picked up some non-cotton socks (with blister guarantee), 2 packs of Gu (chocolate and espresso), some Sharkies (name?) electrolyte gummies, some no-rub stick for feet, blister packs and ibuprofen.  Started a bit of a Vitamin C ritual (trying to get it in where possible next few mornings/days).

Friday: Hydrating tons, a bit of pasta, and some continual food throughout the day (trying not to go overboard on fat or protein).  A quiet evening downloading an iTunes soundtrack for Saturday (I should do a whole post on that, because the music ended-up being very energizing).  Super distracted day; luckily a teacher-only one.

Saturday: Slept okay, but definitely had run in my subconscious.  Got up and had some grapefruit, got a coffee for the road (but forgot to drink it until the Park Toll booths, again: race in subconscious??), got to the race met the girls, got some shoe tying advice and did all the no-blister rituals.  Something must of worked, because it was my most blister free run.  A bit of a banana, some water, and took two 200mg ibuprofen liquigels.

The run (remembering I’m by NO MEANS any expert and had never done more than 10k EVER):

  • I started off trying to be reasonable.  I knew my pace was a bit faster than my usual, but decided to go with it.  Going down hills (a big downhill at the beginning, I tried to just take advantage and go with it……knowing the ups would be coming too).
  • Water stations were timed perfectly.  There were 3, each hit twice.  The last two I took two cups at, haha.
  • Banana before.  Gu at 3rd water station, and 5th.  The calories were nice, not sure about taste during a run though.  Might have to explore other flavours.  Gummies, before water (thank goodness because these things stick to your teeth).  Again, the sugar and thinking of each as a bit of a “treat” kind of worked….have never had gu/gummies/anything other than water during a run before.
  • The pothole section was a bit crazy.  My first 10k in Vancouver taught me I have awful ankles, but they must be getting better.
  • Was able to run throughout.  Walked through 2 water stations (last two) but starting back up was almost harder than maintaining a jog.  A giant hill at the end slowed me down tons, but walk-time was minimal (the hill up from Bow Falls back to town).
  • Prepared for a wall at 17k, but the hill made it more of a 18/19k wall.  The people/signs/support and Lee and Denver were awesome at the end.  Surreal/emotional moment!
  • Music was everything. Some Nights by Fun. and Night of my Life by DJ Pauly D (I would’t have guessed) ended up being super motivating.  The views were everything too.  And the fresh mountain air.  And the being surrounded by people so motivated/fit/steady.  And the volunteers.  And friends.
  • Ran with iPhone for music and kept Run Keeper on with 10 minute audio updates.  Would totally do that again.
  • Feet were fine.  Felt hips, outside of calves a bit, feet pads, and hamstrings in and out.  Stayed pretty good as far as respio/cardio.  Any hills or tiredness just had me slowing down a bit to compensate.
  • Tried not to think about anything too much.  Would catch myself counting kilometers/calculating and would just let myself finish and try to let go.  Took in the trees and mountains and people when it made sense.  I didn’t have to play too many headgames.  If I caught myself just wanting to stop or be done I thought about all the good parts (feeling accomplishment, and feeling so active and thought about wanting to be present for and appreciate all that.  Didn’t get too caught up in anyone else’s run or passing/placing.  I really celebrated 10 and getting to uncharted territory.  I then caught myself grateful for 15.  I enjoyed new songs for music.  I focused on breath and heart (the yogi in me, the same yogi that would remind myself that I’m the observer of any feelings of tired/doubt and not the tired/doubt and the observer of any story/narrative that might pop-up and did usually briefly).
  • The whole run actually went pretty smoothly and I’m grateful.  I was never too discouraged and didn’t have many variables working against me (discomfort/etc.).
  • Another half?  Definitely!  Melissa’s next year for sure.  Just have to make sure I register quickly…..fills up fast.  A full ever?  Hmmmmm…. not soon……………but who knows really?



Rank Clock Time Pace/km Chip Time Bib First Name Last Name City Province Gender Division Gender Rank Division Rank
348 1:52:45 5:08 1:52:14 6102 Travis Robertson Calgary AB M M3039 217/428 69/131

Strategy, Story, State.

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Well.  Tomorrow is showtime.  The big mountain run.

June and July saw me in some pools, and on some steps.  Treadmills and training; tracks and trails.  TRX straps even.  Many kilometers walked in Europe, and some even run.  I have the shoes, and the no-blister socks, and the Gu, and the ibuprofen.

Can I do this?  I think I can.  I can certainly go see what this is all about.  With a jog most of the way maybe even close to the 2 hour mark.  I can maybe even enjoy some of this… and explore (rather than expect).  So ….. what is this 17km wall all about?

Playlist made.  Mountain adventure ahead.  More excited than nervous.  Joanne alongside.  1sts are always exciting, non?

The big mountain run.


Sunday, September 9th, 2012

I just ran 10 kilometers! My second 10k ever.  My time was pretty similar to my run with 57:37 in 2011 in Vancouver and 56:34 here in Calgary today.  [If I mention that my iPhone RunKeeper App tells me I went 10.35 km though, would that make me like the person whose blames their Nintendo controller everytime they aren’t rocking the Wii?].

Admittedly I would have liked to have gone a little bit faster, but I have to be real with myself.  I ran ONCE in Europe and barely once since.  … I’m now at an age where I understand what you get out is what you put in.  Some of my July preparations must have meant something though……because I can walk!  In 2011 I was a hurtin’ complainin’ mess!!

So this is all fine and wonderful; in fact, I feel pretty good and glad about it all.  But with TravisJohnRobertson, there’s always a fun little twist.

In two weeks, I’m doing a half-marathon (approx. 22 k.m.) at the Melissa’s Run in Banff (thanks IN FULL to Joanne who got us all up and registering before it filled up).  Have I ran any further AT ALL past the 10k.m. mark today or last summer?  Nope.

Is part of me tempted to switch to the 10k there?  YUP!

So. This continues to be the furthest I’ve run, with not much time [and a busy school year start-up here] to prepare.   Instead, I think I’m going to see what this Half Marathon stuff is all about.  I wasn’t too, too out of breath and my legs seem to be taking the continual thuds reasonably well.  If I have to do a bit of walking (I didn’t today!) or things don’t go exactly as planned; let’s be real: so what!

So we’ll see.  Here we are on a running adventure… and today’s adventure has me feeling pretty good.  Sure the yogi in me was screaming “Where exactly is this heart centre right now??!” at kilometers 4 and 7.

With a pretty great play list to thank, and more-so some pretty great peeps!  Let’s see where all this leads.  So far….. to some pretty fun benchmarking.

P.S. I also won a hat and a $50 gift card today, at a local running store.  Going to have to invest that in the upcoming insanity!  😀