In April (I think), myself and a bunch of girlfriends registered for the Melissa's Road Race - Half Marathon. Melissa's has been around for 38 years but they eliminated the half marathon in 2010 and brought it back this year. Unfortunately, a few days before the race they announced that this would be the final year of the race (all distances) because it was becoming harder to get permits and businesses were not happy with the road closures (rumours). It's really too bad that this was the final one because it was a really great race!!
We rented a condo at the Lodges at Canmore and it was fantastic and really reasonably priced. I think we paid just over $600 for 6 of us for 2 nights and that included 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, pull out couch, dining room, fully furnished kitchen with all appliances, a deck and a barbecue. Plus it had a swimming pool and 3 hot tubs. It was fantastic. Our first night, we had salad and pasta and it was delicious. I made the Caesar Salad (Minus the chicken) that I take everywhere and Shauna made some really tasty spaghetti sauce. I am super picky when it comes to most food but especially spaghetti sauce but this was so delicious! We also partook in a beverage or two considering the start time for the race was not until 1040am. We were all super lame or making wise choices depending on how you look at it and we were all in bed around 1030pm.
We had a pretty decent view and you could see a mountain between the trees and there were so many trees. Compared to how the week coming into the race had been, the morning was pretty perfect. Normally I run half marathons and all of my training runs are done on either an empty stomach or a banana. Now, with a race starting at 1040 this wasn't going to be possible because there was no way I could go until the race was over without eating. I would die. I ended up eating 2 poached eggs around 730 and a sea salt caramel chip cookie just before we headed to Banff. I also had a bag of honey stingers in cherry blossom flavour in my running belt just in case. And it was a good thing I did since I ate 3 of them before I even started haha.
Shortly afte 9am, we loaded into Shauna's vehicle and made the drive to banff to find a place to park and make our way to the start line. My favourite thing about this photo was Shannon in the front seat with a vest on and gloves. I have no idea why I find this so funny.
The weather couldn't have been more perfect for a race. The sun was shining and the sky was as clear as could be (until the end) and it was relatively warm out. We parked behind where the Maple Leaf hotel was/is (are the closed or renovating??) and made our way to Starbucks to use the washrooms before walking to the park. While in there, I noticed that they had Banff mugs for the You Are Here series and I was pumped. I declared that this would be my reward for running my worst race ever but was quickly reminded by Shannon that it would never be as bad as San Francisco hahahahah.
Finally we made our way to the park where the race was to begin. I didn't like that the 5km started and then the 10km started and then the half marathon started. I think it should be the other way but that is just me (and the people I ran with haha). I started at the very back of the pack so that I wasn't in anybody's way because I truly had no idea what kind of race I was going to have. Right after you cross the start line there was a huge crack in the middle of the pavement and of course my left food (the one with the bad achilles) got caught in it. The pain was intense and I nearly cried but I pushed through it and it soon went away. Thank goodness!!
Since I wasn't sure how long my achilles would hold out, I decided my best course of action was to run as fast as I could at the beginning so that if I had to walk it at anytime I would be far enough ahead that I would still finish ahead of the 2:50 cut off time. The first 10km I ran ahead of the 2:30 pace bunny and behind the 2:15 one and I felt pretty good. I started to deteriorate between 10 + 17km and I thought I was going to die between 17- 21 with 20 to the finish line being the longest 1.1km of my ENTIRE life. Seriously, I thought I was never going to see the green inflatable finish line and then when I finally did, I thought i was never going to get there. My pace at km 20 was 7:59 haha thats how done i was. The final km was a bit faster at 6:46.
I crossed the line at 2:28:45 and was so freaking pumped that I did I finished so well. I honestly had no idea that I would do as good as I did and fully accepted that. At times the pain was so bad it brought me to tears but it didn't seem to be consistent. In the photo I posted on Instagram, I said that this was tied with my second fastest half marathon time at 2:29 but it turns out I was wrong about the time because it only had the gun time and not the chip time. This race was my third fastest only missing Calgary Marathon 2017 time by 24 seconds which is crazy!!
I was so nervous about this race that I made myself not sleep on Thursday night and I thought I was going to vomit on Saturday morning before we left for the race. Not only did I have to worry about my achilles tendon on my left leg that had been plaguing me since mid July, I was also worried because Seawheeze was such a horrible race for me because I was sick for most of it. I was worried I had lost it even though I am still not sure what "it" even was or is. I had only ran 16.22km in September thus far and only 66.04km since the Seawheeze on August 12th so that also had me concerned but Shari, my physiotherapist I had been going to weekly since Seawheeze, told me I would be fine because my base was so good coming into this month and she was right. Had I not been a pillar of consistency this year with my running, there was no way I would have done as well as I had. I am now on running hiatus which sucks but necessary for my running future. I will take the next month off and test it on my treadmill or at bootcamp from time to time to see where I am at. What will I do to pass the time?
I am so grateful to have run this race with these amazing ladies. I have been fortunate to run several runs with a few of them and that makes me so happy. We all ran great races with so much to prove to ourselves and we were successful at it. I can't wait for our next race together! And to think that this is all because I randomly answered a kijiji ad for a bootcamp class 6 years ago.
After we finished the race, we picked up our race shirts and grabbed some fruit and the best donut EVER. Seriously it was the best thing ever. We had a drink coupon and somehow I ended up with a beer that I didn't like. We were so freaking cold at that point since the sun had disappeared and the wind picked up so we decided to head back to the car but not before detouring to starbucks so we could all grab our banff starbucks mugs and get a drink to warm up and well, because I deserved it haha. Plus, aren't these cups the cutest?
Once we were driving, we decided to get McDonald's at Canmore before we headed back to our condo. We were hungry and didn't want to go out so this was a good option. Or so we thought. Unfortunately my hamburger and fries did not taste that good. Thankfully we had a suite full of food to make up for it haha.
We quickly changed into our bathing suits and headed to the hot tub closest to us. We spent nearly an hour in there before I finally had to get out since the heat was starting to get to me. And being the responsible person that I am, I only drank gatorade around the hot tub hahaha.
After I showered and put on comfy clothes for an evening of cider, food and movies and was happy that I was able to wear this shirt that I spoke about on Friday Favourites earlier this month!!
We spent the rest of the day/evening in our comfiest clothes eating spinach dip, cheese dip, multiple kinds of chips, and an asian party pack plus an occasional beverage. We watched How To Be Single which is one of my favourite movies to watch when I can't decide on anything else. Watch it if you haven't yet, you can find it on netflix. It was such a great time but again we were in bed by 11pm since we were pretty tired from the day's events!
On Sunday morning, we vegged around and drank our morning drinks from our new starbucks mugs before packing up and heading back to Calgary and real life. As you can see, between the 6 of us, we brought a lot of stuff with me bringing the most hahahahah. This doesn't even include all the food we managed to eat hahahaha.
It was a beautiful day to say goodbye to the mountains and enjoy the pretty fall colors along the way. It was a fantastic weekend on all levels and I look forward to another great weekend with these ladies in the future. I promise to bring less stuff.....haha not gonna happen!!