Give Me Back My Five Bucks

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. :)

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a 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, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. Jody says:

    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. Rick Oudyk says:

    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. Martin says:

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

  7. Tara Zee says:

    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. Martin says:

    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. Fehmeen says:

    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. Kathy says:

    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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