Finished my first half marathon! - Give Me Back My Five Bucks
Finished my first half marathon!

Finished my first half marathon!

Over the weekend I ran in the GoodLife Fitness Half Marathon in Victoria. A few people have been asking how it went, so I thought I should write a short recap of the race! If you’re not into running, well, then… just skip this post I guess. :)

Most of you know that I have been training for this run since April (aside from the month of July, which I had to take off for medical reasons). About 6 weeks ago, I injured my foot during field hockey practice. It was quite uncomfortable to run distances or play field hockey with so many quick side-to-side movements, so I had been taking it easy. And that made me preeeeeetty nervous for this race.

Publicly, my goal was to run the 21.1km in less than 2 hours, but secretly my goal (before injuring my foot) was around 1:52 or 1:53.

2013 Victoria Goodlife The morning of the race, I was out the door by 6:30am and in my corral by 7am for the 7:30am start time. It was cold, and I was even more nervous than before. My parents came to watch the beginning of the race. It was nice to have them there, since I was running solo – and my dad seemed really happy. It has been a long time since he’s been able to run (due to health issues), but he used to be a marathoner… and he’s one of the main reasons why I decided to start running this year. :)

I strategically positioned myself in the middle of the 2:00 and 2:15 corrals, thinking that 1) I would get more motivation by passing a ton of people during the first 20-30 minutes of the race, and 2) I wasn’t even sure how fast I could run. This was a dumb move. It was so crowded that it was really hard to pass people during the first few kilometers, and as a result my first few kilometres were a slog – running 25-30 seconds slower per km than my race pace.

Once I got going though, I clipped through the first hour and felt great. I was running at a pretty fast pace compared to my long training runs (the first 10km clocked in at 54:02), but I wasn’t tired so I kept going.

2013-10-13 09.48.27Then I died at the 17km mark. In my head, I was cursing myself for not training more (and not running faster during the times I did train). The next 2 km were really difficult, and I ran them close to 20 seconds slower than my previous pace. But once I hit the 19km mark, I knew I had to go for it. I would hate myself if I didn’t give it all that I had. So I pushed for the finish.

The next two kilometres were slightly slower than my earlier race pace, but still faster than the last difficult ones – and my final kilometre was my fastest of the race – proving that I either have a really good finishing kick, or I have no idea how to pace myself. :| Something to work on, for sure.

Overall, I was pleased with my final time of 1:54:31 (5’26″ km pace), but I know I could have run faster. There were four very clear kilometres where I faltered (1, 2, 17, 18). Had I run those at race pace, I would have hit my secret goal time. This gives me a solid goal to work towards.

2013-10-13 09.56.17Running has always been a secondary activity for me; something to help me get better at field hockey, or something I randomly did on a treadmill at the gym. But now? I can’t believe that I actually enjoy it – the long runs, especially. It’s calming and competitive at the same time.

This race cost me $65, plus $31 in ferry costs and countless hours of my time over the past 4 months. But it was worth every penny, and I can’t wait for my next half marathon in 5 weeks. And as for next year’s GoodLife race? Bring on the marathon. :)

About Krystal Yee

I'm a writer, personal finance blogger, and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I'm a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner's Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I'm not working, you can usually find me running, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.

15 comments

  1. Krystal, Congratulations on finishing your first half and that is an AWESOME time! I am completing my first half this weekend and cannot wait! I know I have experienced such a sense of accomplishment in just training for this race so I can only imagine the feeling at the end!

  2. “Bring on the marathon.” Love it. Proud of you, Krystal!

  3. Congratulations! You’ve had a lot standing in the way of your training this year, so you should be really proud of your accomplishment!

  4. Great job and excellent time. I ran my first half in April and am going to do a full next spring. The feeling of accomplishment at the end is amazing! The best part of it is the INVESTMENT into your health that running brings. Now that is worth a lot more than five bucks!

  5. That is an astounding time (I’m more in the 6.5 – 7 minute km… slow, but I finish). I’ve only run a 10k so far, but my next goal is to run a half.

  6. Hopefully I live to write my own recap on Monday! If not, I want you to know, that I died a champ lol!

  7. Congrats on finishing a half marathon! Keep it up. :)

  8. Congratulations! I’m so proud of you. You did wonderfully. Bravo!

  9. Wow! Congratulations. I’m training for my first 1/2 marathon and am freaking out.

  10. Congratulations on achieving the half marathon. I have always wanted to do something like this however I am currently no where near active enough.

  11. I’m not into running, but enjoyed reading your post, especially when you note down the drop in speed in terms of a few seconds!

  12. Congratulations on your first half marathon! I just did my first half in Toronto Oct. 20/13. it was absolutely amazing – I can fully appreciate how proud you feel on achieving such an accomplishment! My time was 2 hr 14 min. which I was extremely happy with, considering I am 51 and had only done 5km runs until a year ago. I am really impressed with your time – would love to get down to a 2hr finish.

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