Posted by: kimmeroo | July 28, 2012

Spanish River Half Marathon

On July 15 I ran the Spanish River Half Marathon in Massey, although I use the term ‘ran’ loosely. It’s more accurate to say that I survived, and barely.
Training was a bit iffy from the get-go. We went on a few longish canoe trips in the spring, which I don’t regret one bit, but I missed a few runs, including some key long ones. For a little while I toyed with the idea of dropping down to the 10k, but then I had a good long run and figured that although I’d be at the bare minimum of training, I’d be able to do it.
Then I stepped off a curb, sprained my ankle, and sat on my butt for a week. And decided I could still do it. Because, you know, running my fastest 5k ever in June would clearly translate to a decent half marathon.
Um, yeah…
The race started at 6am. Woke up at 4:45am, and had a peanut butter bagel and banana for breakfast. This seemed reasonable at the time because that was similar to what I had been eating before long runs in training, but in retrospect I had more than an hour between eating and running in training, so this ended up being too much food in my belly for the race. Oh, I also had some orange juice, which I don’t usually have, because the water in the motel smelled like sewage, so it’s possible that wasn’t sitting well either.
Fast forward to 6am, and the gun goes off. I start off feeling strong, weaving through the slower runners in front of me, and catching up with my Dad who went out a bit faster than me (he ran the 10k).
Feeling strong didn’t last long, unfortunately. I was on pace for a sub 2h run for the first few km, but it wasn’t too long before I felt like puking and was dragging myself along. By km 8 or so I had slowed down and was no longer on track for a sub 2h race. Still feeling somewhat positive, I thought that maybe a sub 2:05 was possible, and harboured the hope that once the food digested a bit I would start to feel better and be able to pick up the pace.
Instead, it just got worse. It was humid and I was hot at the beginning, so I poured some water on myself and ran through a sprinkler set up on the course. Not long after though I got chilled and goosebumpy, and not in a refreshing way –  more in a feverish chills I’m-going-to-pass-out sort of way.
My thought process through the race went something like this:
I’m going to walk through the water stations.
I’m going to walk through the water stations, and every 10 minutes for 1 minute (how I train).
I’m going to walk through the water stations and at every km marking.
I’m going to walk when I get to the base of that hill.
Screw it, I’m walking now.
Suffice to say I was walking a whole lot in the second half of the race. I don’t know that I truly hit the wall, but I’d say I was nuzzling right up to it. I was awfully tempted to tackle the police officers patrolling the course on bikes and snag one of their bicycles.
Anyhow, I finished (without stealing a bike), and here are the stats:
Chip time: 2:11:10.7
Official time: 2:11:17.0
5/10 F20-29
22/43 Women
55/91 Overall
I guess the good news is that with half decent training I should be able to a PR without too much difficulty in my next race, whenever. Especially considering that I ran a 22km trail race almost 20 minutes faster in 2010 (1:52:32).
Fortunately my Dad’s blackberry didn’t work as a ran across the finish line, because I’m quite sure it wouldn’t have been a pretty sight! We did get one photo after I had recovered a bit.
Ah well, I survived, and not every race can be a great one. I’m just glad I wasn’t doing the marathon – some of the runners heading out on their second loop as I was finishing looked just as exhausted as I felt, and they were only half done!
Here’s to a better race next time.


  1. […] year I ran (if can call what I did ‘running’) the Spanish River half marathon, and almost died. This year I would like to run it again, and actually have a decent […]

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