Wow wow wow! I did it! My first marathon is officially in the books and I have to say, it was incredible.
Two questions everyone have been asking me since finishing the marathon:
The answer to question 1 is surprisingly well! My legs were/are sore, as is to be expected but 3 days post race I am feeling incredibly good. I’ve been militant about rest and recovery and reaping the benefits. I’m feeling good enough to start asking that dreadful question "Could I have run it faster??"
The answer to question 2 is abso-fucking-lutely. There is no question in my mind. Now that I’ve gotten a taste at the marathon distance there is no going back. I'm hooked and already scheming my next attempt at the distance.
The race was incredible and I had the absolute best time. As usual, most of the race is a blur in my mind of one foot in front of the other, with a few intermittent breaks of water, gel, high fives and a lot of counting in the final few km’s. I’ll do my best to recount the experience.
This past weekend, I participated in the Haliburton Forest Trail race located in the beautiful and majestic Haliburton Forest. This was my second year running this event, last year completing the 12km race. Haliburton Forest has a special place in my heart. We’ve spent the last few summers camping there, and we have done some pretty spectacular hikes in the Forest as well. Located 40 minutes from our family cottage, it’s an easy race to manage logistically and has a warm and inviting vibe.
The race has a number of distances to choose from including a 12km, 26km, 50km, 50 mile and the big 100 mile. Last year, I made a last minute decision to run the 12km race and had an incredible racing experience. The people were friendly, the race was wonderfully organized and I knew I wanted to come back again this year and managed to convince my brother in law to accompany me on the trail. New into running, Brian is an absolute natural. So far he has found joy in running through the High Park trails, so I knew his heart would explode when he experienced running through the actual forest. When his birthday came around this year, I asked him if he would like entry into this trail race; he was in! We both decided on the 26km distance and before we knew it, we were all heading up to the cottage for a fun siblings weekend away.
It’s hard to believe the race has come, and gone … and I’ve woken up the next morning to tell the tale.
Even though moments from the race are etched into my mind, other parts are fading away already feeling like a hazy memory. I’ll try my best to remember what I was feeling during the race; what was going through my mind and what my thoughts are now, 24 hours later having slept 12 hours, well fed and sitting with my feet up staring out at the beautiful Walker’s pond.
Overall, I can honestly say that this was the hardest thing I have ever done. In my life. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and I am not sure if I could have prepared better for it but it was a test of mental and physical stamina beyond what I’ve ever experienced.
So let’s start from the beginning …
Well that was … hard. Fucking hard. A few hours have passed since I crossed the finish line, and my thoughts of the day are starting to sink in. My legs feel like jelly and I'm finding it hard to get off the coach, but I’m soaking it all up and relishing in this feeling of fatigue; the proof that I gave this race all I had to give.
The Mississauga half marathon was my big goal spring race! I chose this race for a few reasons - firstly, the timing worked out with my travel plans, secondly I had heard great things about the course (and I wasn't disappointed) and thirdly I wanted to get really comfortable running the half marathon distance so when I race my half ironman this summer the run will feel like a familiar distance.