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Bluenose Half Marathon 2014

Well, I’m going to start off by saying that this week’s vlog is super short. As in less than two minutes short. Why? Well I spent most of the week power working in order to catch up from taking so many days off sick the prior week, which means I didn’t do  anything interesting or video worthy until this weekend’s race. And I had hoped to get some footage during the race, but my phone case screen got all sweaty and I couldn’t get it to work so no dice. Ah well!

But before we get to the video, let’s back up a little. Saturday afternoon we headed into Halifax so I could pick up my race kit. We were staying at the Atlantica so we checked in and then walked over to the WTCC to pick it up and drop off some shoes for shoe mountain (runners were donating used running sneakers for charity).

This year, instead of having the full, half, 10K and 5K races all on Sunday morning, they opted to have the 5K on Saturday afternoon. So when we walked over the finish line was still set up with the clock running (the clock was just over 2 hours at this point). We went in and I got my kit, activated my chip and tossed my shoes in the shoe mountain and we headed back out and started towards our hotel which took us back across the finish line.

As we got closer we heard someone talking over the speakers but I wasn’t really paying attention until we got right up to it, that’s when I heard the girl on the microphone say something to the effect of, “I met my hero today, and his name is Garth.” I looked and saw Garth coming up that terrible hill, on two crutches, with one or two people (I was too busy crying to count) coming up to finish his 5k. I don’t know how old he is but in looking at the race results I see he was in the 60-69 category, and he did that whole 5K on TWO crutches! Everyone who was there started clapping and cheering for him and I just kept on crying.

From that moment on, this race took on a whole new meaning for me. I knew I was going into the half unprepared. In the past 3 months I’d run 6k, 12K and 16k and that was it. The 16K was 4 full weeks prior to this race, and prior to that my last run was the Lucky 7 Relay. I had no business even attempting this race, never mind hoping for a 2:15 finish. I thought of all of the people who had run the 5K, many of them I’m sure their very first race, and many of them probably worrying about being last to finish. And then there is Garth, who obviously went into it knowing he was going to be slower than almost everyone since he was on crutches, but he didn’t let that stop him, he frigging did it anyway.

So here I am, extremely undertrained, but with a good aerobic capacity thanks to being a fitness instructor, getting ready to tackle 21K. I have fibromyalgia and a soft spot on the top of my left lung. Most people with wither of those conditions wouldn’t even consider running a half marathon, never mind running a half marathon with very little training.

I knew I could do it, and I knew that during the race when I got tired and frustrated I had to think of Garth who undoubtably was in pain covering those 5 kilometers, and know that I am so blessed to even be out there that I had no right to complain – even to myself.

We got back to the hotel, dropped off my kit then went out and ate our faces off before coming back to chill out in our hotel room for the evening. I may have had a pre-bed nap ;) Once flat Suzi was laid out and ready to go I went to bed, and sleep pretty darn well all considered.

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I wasn’t super excited when my alarm went off, but once i was up and dressed and had breakfast I was ready to go! I walked over to the start line, had my pre-workout and a bottle of water about 10 minute before the race started and then got lined up.

It was go time.

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I didn’t have much of a plan go into it other than try to chase the 2:15 pace bunny as long as possible. That didn’t last long since I guess that was a lot of other peoples plan to so I lost him well before the 3K mark. So I depended on my GPS to keep me on track as far as pacing went. I tried to stay at a comfortable pace which was around 9:15-10:15/mile for the first 6 or 7 miles, and then walk anytime I noticed my heart rate go above 170bpm. I don’t have my running time displayed on my watch (I think it’s better for me not to know) but I looked at my phone when I passed the 10K marker and it was 9:15 so I’d been going for 1:05 – still on track for my hopeful 2:15 finish. At mile 6 (I think) I had a gel which I really didn’t enjoy but knew I needed and I was wise enough to stop for every water stop.

I was still on track for a 2:15-2:20 finish until about km 17. That’s when I started dying. I wasn’t hurt, just tired. I thought of Garth, and said to myself, “Suzanne Fevens. You are just tired, don’t be a baby – keep going!” and though I kept going my pace slowed considerably. By the end I was averaging an 11 minute mile with a lot more walking breaks. That’s what happens when you don’t train people! Mile 12 came and went. During my walking breaks I was still covering a 15 minute mile or less, I kept telling myself – you’ll be done in 15 minutes or less! You’ll be done in 10 minutes or less! You only have a couple minutes left! That last mile always goes on FOREVER! P.S. whoever set up the gummy bear station and gave me those 3 gummy bears – I love you! They pepped me up for a few minutes anyway!

Then I could see the home stretch, I knew I was well past my 2:15 or 2:20 dreams, but I might still make it under 2:30 (I had never seen the 2:30 pace bunny pass me) I kicked it into high gear and finished in 2:29:53. Maybe not the race I wanted, but certainly faster than the race I deserved all considered!

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I got my post race chocolate milk, a banana (which was so underripe I couldn’t even peel it -_- ) and a juice box then headed back towards the hotel so I could clean up before check out time. I was so excited when I walked out of the Metro Centre and heard someone call my name and saw Meagan!

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Meagan had run (and killed!) the 10k, we were sure we wouldn’t get to see each other so it was a wonderful surprise to randomly meet up!

Then I hiked my nearly 2k back to the hotel, had a quick rinse and we headed home and I spent most of the rest of the day like this.

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So 2:29:53 – not bad for a half I really wasn’t prepared for, that works out to just under 11:30/mile and I can live with that! Besides, what fun would it be if I kicked the race season off with my best time of the year? No fun at all I say!

And here is this week’s super short vlog! :)


 

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2013 {Mostly} In Pictures & {Mostly} About Running

2013 was the year of running.  I consciously made an effort to run more this year because I knew my body needed the cross-training (my regular cardio = Zumba which = mostly lateral movement), and the only way I can make sure I run?  Sign up for lot and lot o’ races.  

Race #1 of the season: The bluenose 10K!  I’m not going to recap all of my races, just throwing in pictures from some of the more memorable ones!

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The wettest race goes to the Epic Canadian 10K.  I can’t remember ever being so wet in all my life!

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and then I got muddy,

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Dressed like a pirate in a tutu,

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and got wet again,

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then dressed up in another pirate tutu and collected more GOLD! Arrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

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I got covered in colour,

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met Jeanne Beker,

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and Bob Blumer,

 

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ran in the sun!! (That happens sometimes.  But usually only if Cathy is there ;) )

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Then went to California one weekend…

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hung outside in the dark early one morning,

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with over 30,000 other people,

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then froze to death,

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but collected one of these!

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and still managed to see some sights!

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And then I ran once more, in the cold, with two of my fav buddies!!

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2013 was an interesting year.  I raised over $4000 for cancer research with Team in Training, I went to Toronto and San Francisco.  I got a new (and adorable) nephew, and became a certified Yoga instructor.  But no year is all good without bad, and we certainly had our share of bad again this year, mostly all health related between both myself and J, but overall I will look back at 2013 with good memories.  

This year has been a big year of transition for me in my work, going from teaching almost all cardio/Zumba classes, to now only teaching Zumba 2x/week in an effort to bring my body back into a happy place where I’m not dealing with overtraining issues.  That change was needed, but financially has been difficult.  To go from 17 classes/week to 12/week alone caused a big shift in my income, but to then have to cut back on the most popular type of class I teach has made even more of a change to the negative.  But on a positive, it’s very rare that I need to take a mid-day nap anymore (I use to need to do that 2-3x/week!), and I feel better physically and that’s the important thing.

What was your most memorable moment of 2013?  

One that sticks out for me (and maybe that’s because I just looked through all the pictures preparing for this post) is when I came to the top of the mega hill in San Fran and saw Amanda there screaming and cheering me on.  That was exactly what I needed in that moment!

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