Friday, November 23, 2012

Race Report: New Balance Fall Classic - November 18th, 2012

Sorry for the delay in getting this report written. It's been quite an exciting week since the race and I've not prioritized my time to make this post happen. I wanted to ensure to have the time to write thoughtfully about this race. It was such a great race experience. I'm so proud of how I did!

It was quite a chilly Sunday morning, not quite as chilly as 2011's Fall Classic Run, but windy, rainy, and still rather cool. There were massive puddles all over the course, and lots of really great cheerful people excited to take on the last great race of the year. It was also my last race of the year, totaling my tally to 6 races: 4 half marathons and 2 full marathons. By far, 2012 was my most active year, and the year I got to the point of confident declaration that I am an athlete and running is indeed my sport.

So it was fantastic to be able to finish the year on a high, achieving a personal best finish time for a half marathon race. I was aiming for a sub-2-hour half marathon, knowing I'm capable of that, but also knowing that it wasn't for certain I'd get it. I only spent about 3 weeks prior to this race focused on training for it after recovering from my October marathon. So little work was done on speed or at my target race pace. I'm just 3 minutes away from my goal now. I finished this race in 2:03:11 (my chip time) and I couldn't be prouder!

 Sure, the 32 seconds I shaved off my previous best isn't a lot of time. But I felt so strong this race - probably the strongest I've ever felt at a race. Regardless of the cold, the wet, the big crowds out there on at times a narrow course, I never felt the urge to stop. I pushed myself, but yet felt like it was never too much to handle. The speed was comfortable and right. I kept my pace consistent. Looking at my Garmin after and examining what took place at each km, I did notice 2km I took a little too fast and another 2km I took too slow. But otherwise, pretty consistent, and something I can be confident I can do again and build on that success further for next time. Between now and my February race, I'll have plenty of time to work on speed and practice my pacing. I'm excited!

The race was fantastic. I had tons of fun! And the race organizers at TOIT Events were a blast to work with. They helped Team In Training with a ton of publicity at this race in exchange for me helping staff the race with volunteers. As a result, I knew a whole lot of people on the course cheering, as well as having several TNT friends on the course running the race for themselves. I had lots of people to say hi to and to cheer me on to a strong finish.

I'm definitely going to run this one again. Not sure if I will in 2013 but I'll definitely be back. It's a fun race with a nice community vibe. And there's a great energy with this group of runners, enjoying their last chance to race a half in Vancouver for the year.

And then there's the 10K race too, which is the race I did last year at the Fall Classic. So that adds to the numbers out there on the course and the excitement. I remember last year running my 10K in about 57 minutes, and I knew if I could do that pace again, I could be on target for a sub-2-hour half marathon. I was pleased to hear my watch ding 10K with me clocking just barely 57 min. I was doing the same pace as a year ago, but going more than twice the distance. That was a moment of proud realization on how far I've come.

With my friend and fellow TNTer, Nancy after getting our bling.


What's next? A few shorter races and then my next big marathon! This one in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada. If you'd like to support me, please follow the "sponsor me" tab at the top of the page, or click here. Thank you!

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