>Look What I Can Do!>St. Andrews 1/2M brief report - and I PR'd every race this year!
Interesting end to the race season yesterday - I ran the St. Andrew's half-marathon in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. This was the race's 33rd year, but for some reason only ever has a small field - yesterday was particularly small with just 30-some runners. The course is a point-to-point with runners bussed out from Middleton to a dot on the map named Clarence - then we run back to Middleton. It's a beautiful rural setting and the weather was perfect, including a stiff tailwind! One runner on the bus out, told us how one year he ran NYC and this race a week apart - you couldn't get two races more diametrically opposed.
Ok, so there only 3 water stations at fairly random distances apart, and I only saw 2 distance markers, 1 mile and 10km! I don't think there were any awards or suchlike, but there was minestrone soup and focaccia bread at the end, plus coffee and timbits, and it was a fundraiser for a small independant theatre, the Evergreen Theatre in Margaretsville. For those reasons alone it was worth making the trip.
My recent years PB was 1:39:42 at the Bluenose this year, but I hadn't run another half since. I wanted to run faster than that, as I have PR'd every other race I've run this year...
After a short warmup off the bus we got going and I found myself in a group of 3 in the lead (small field, remember). Felt good, but then we passed the one mile marker in 6:40, uh-oh - that's a bit too fast really. Shortly after, my right calf blew and I hobbled to a stop. After walking, stretching and debating about pulling out, I tentatively got going again and decided to do or die..
I found that by running on my toes, it wasn't too sore and I started reeling folk back in. The first 8 miles are fairly flat, followed by 3.5 miles of rolling hills, then flat to the finish. I was running fairly strongly, but was having to be careful with my stride, especially between hills when your gait changes - it was painful, but didn't seem to be getting any worse - carefully does it.
I eventually got to a point around 12 miles where I knew I wasn't going to catch the next person ahead, but was fairly sure that the person behind wasn't going to catch me either. That meant it was now down to time - only problem being, I didn't actually know how far I had left! I had to just block out the leg pain and keep going...
Around a corner and there was the finish! I ran 1:36:23, but could hardly then drive home from the pain! Encouraging though. I reckon I could have run 3-4 minutes faster. That means I PR'd every race I ran this year - and I'm looking forward to next year already. My all time PB for half was 1:28 set somewhere around 1998 - it's amazing to think that next year I might be running fast enough to challenge that, all these years later.
Long Drawfs Fast
Congrats.Get some rest.
Run until the trail runs out.
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