Monday, May 20, 2013

Complete Bluenose Half Marathon – Check!

So, I have officially completed my first Half Marathon! I'm extremely proud that I can finally say that :)

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{Me the night before trying on my Bluenose running shirt! The years slogan was "Run Like Your'e 10 Years Old" since they were celebrating 10 years running}

What an amazing experience – the crowds of people, the huge number of volunteers, the people all along the way cheering us all on and my family and friends all made yesterday so incredible. I honestly couldn't have done it without all of your support and am extremely grateful! Interested in a recap of the run yesterday? Here it is :) (Sorry for the lack of pictures, I haven't got pics yet from my family and I didn't have my phone with me but I will add some in later on).

So I got up around 7am and having laid out everything the night before I was well prepared and able to head out at 8:15am to the START line. I was so glad to see that the weather wasn't as bad as I imagined (I was prepared to step outside into freezing weather), but it was actually great running weather – cool but still sunny. Matt and I met up with my Mom, Dad, Katie and Alex and were able to watch the end of the 5k as they ran along the citadel as I was waiting in the start line. Goodlife fitness did a little warm up before we went which was great cause I was so nervous I almost forgot!

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{Just before moving to the START line}

The thousands of people were a little intimidating and, as this was my first ever race, it was a bit overwhelming. But once the countdown began and the gun went off it was a lot of fun. I started off with a bunch of people around my goal pace (I started out near the 2h:20m pace bunny) and when we made our way around by Citadel High there was the first water station. It was really neat to see all these people waiting with water and gatorade to hand right to us as we ran by. I thought about stopping at the portapotties there since I had drank a lot of water before the race to stay hydrated but thought it would be better to wait until the next one. Well, I guess that was everyone's idea because at the next water station there was only two portapotties and about 10 of us lined up. I knew it was either wait now or risk feeling uncomfortable and not knowing where the next stop would be. So, I was sad to give up about 5 mins waiting in line but it was definitely worth it. Note for next time though to go RIGHT BEFORE the race starts. (I have a lot of these notes to self for next time lol). After that I was good to go and the next 6 or 7 kilometres were awesome. Around kilometre 10 or 11 things got a bit hard. There were a surprising number of hills in this course (another note to self, run at least part of course before hand to see what it's like) so my legs definitely got a work out.

Kilometers 13 through 18 were through Point Pleasant Park and I have to say those were the hardest. There were a lot of hills and I find the gravel tougher to run on. I could really feel myself slow down at this point too. I still ran most of it but took a lot more very short walking breaks. And as I don't have too much practice running past 14 or 15k my legs were starting to get pretty sore (Note: do more 15k+ long runs before hand). The funny part was it hurt more to walk than to run so I think that was what kept me going for the last couple of kilometres. The last stretch was downhill on Cogswell street to Brunswick which was great and as soon as I could see the finish line I pushed it to the end. I finished very close to my goal time (2 and a half hours) with a finish time of 2h:34m:32s. Since my original goal was basically just to finish, I am pretty happy with this time. The winner only beat me by, oh and hour and a half lol But I know each time I do a run, I can shave off more and more time and yesterdays time was a great start for my very first race.

It was so cool to see all of the people waiting at the finish line to cheer people as they passed the end and I felt such a sense of accomplishment when I was finished. After you were done, volunteers gave everyone a Bluenose 10th Anniversary Medal which was a nice bonus :)

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One of the things I loved the most was the whole spirit of the event. All the way through the course people were cheering me on whether I knew them or not and, because many of us had our names on our bibs, I heard many people shout "Go, Shannon, Go!" which was so motivating to hear. It was nice when I did take a walk break people would yell out "keep going!" which helped a lot with keeping the breaks short if I was having a hard time. I must say I ran the majority of the race and kept my walking breaks to max 1 or 2 minutes which I am super proud to say :D

The major downside is the soreness that is running through my whole body lol Right after the race, it was as if I had aged 50 years. I could barely walk and my entire body was stiff. It was like that for the rest of the day with the worst being after sitting down for a while or when I woke up after my much need afternoon nap yesterday. Although I am still a bit sore today, it's actually a lot better than yesterday. I used my foam roller on my legs which seemed to help a lot.

All in all, I had such a great time yesterday and running the half marathon was a fun and rewarding experience. I had trained enough that although it wasn't easy, I didn't feel like dying by the end! :) I can't wait to run another race and hope to find another Half Marathon to run again soon (and by soon, I mean maybe after a couple more months of training so I can get a a better time and have lots of time to recover from this one). 

Thanks again to everyone that supported me through out my journey training for the run and to everyone that sponsored me to help raise money for HSHC. I'm not sure of the exact total but the ten of us that participated in the Bluenose Marathon for HSHC collectively raised over $3,500 to build the new exam room at the clinic! :D

To all my family and friends – thanks for coming on this journey with me. Keep checking the blog as I plan to still make updates as I continue to run and train for whatever is to come next!




  1. Yay, Shannon! I'm so proud of you for accomplishing such an amazing goal. :) You rock!!!

    We need to go on a run together at some point! :)

  2. What cool thing will you think up next to astonish us?
    Thank you for introducing us to the "running world". It was such fun being part of the cheering crowd. Next time we are bringing noise makers and/or large wooden hand clappers. We need to get with the program as our daughter is a STAR!
    I agree with Ali, YOU ROCK!

  3. As always, I'm very proud of you. It was a lot of fun being with you along the route. lud