So here’s the part where I tell you about my last race on in Drumheller and how I got THIRD in my age group!
Drumheller is a little town located in the badlands of Southeastern Alberta and it is a renowned archeological area complete with a fantastic dinosaur fossil museum, the World’s Largest Dinosaur, and lots of hoodoos.
The whole town is dinosaur themed and they’re hiding out everywhere.
So if you’re like me and really a nerdy child living in an adult body, Drumheller is an ideal weekend destination for you!
It is also the location of this cute little run that is gaining some popularity as of late. It’s incredibly well organized and enthusiastic. I ran it last year and enjoyed (most of) it, so this year I brought three friends along who were planning to run the 10k.
We drove out Saturday afternoon and checked into the Super 8 (complete with continental breakfast and waterslides). We missed race packet pick up that afternoon but were able to get it in the morning before the race so we had an early dinner and spent the remainder of the evening in the pool and bed.
I brought pie for all, obviously.
Sunday morning we drove (the whole three minutes) down to the start line at the Recreation Centre (also the location of the World’s Largest Dinosaur, FYI). We picked up our race packages, ate some honey stingers, accidentally turned on a water feature/spray park thing, and waited for the race to start.
The 10k and Half Marathon started after together, but I lost my pals soon after the start as we all found our respective places in the pack. The race went through some residential areas, then along a road that lead towards the Tyrell Museum before turning towards the river and along a foresty and winding but paved path.
Everything was fairly flat for the first 40% of the race, then we turned towards the museum, went across the highway and up into the hoodoo area. The path changed from road to gravel, with small rolling hills. I lost some speed in this area due to the hills. The downhills were too steep to gain much speed on them, and sometimes ended in sharp turns. It was reminiscent of trail running, and contained some awesome views (see hoodoo picture above).
After the hoodoo loop was done, we ended back at the river path and ran same direction back to the start with the addition of a switchback in a residential area. The last km (or less) we went under a bridge, and ran along the back of the rec centre to the finish line. I saw my gals (who had already finished their races), pushed hard and attacked Chelsea (who was standing right behind the finish) with a big hug.
I finished in 1:53:26 (avg pace 8:35/m or 5:22/km). Not bad, definitely a PR but not the sub 1:50 I was hoping for. In my defense, due to my bum hip I didn’t push as hard as I would have if this had been a goal race, and I feel like I lost some time running through the hoodoo area because I had been running steadily between 8:00-8:30/m along the rest of the course. Still, a PR is a PR, and it is even faster than my first split in the Vancouver Marathon (1:55), which I was unofficially counting as my best half marathon time (in my head).
The other girls did great too! Amber finished in 1:03 (11 minute PR), Chelsea finished in 1:04 (9 minute PR), and Jamie finished in 1:14 (3 minute PR and met her goal of a sub 1:15!). Everyone was happy with how they ran, and I’m so proud of my girls for how far they’ve come in their running.
BUT THEN. When they posted the official results, I discovered that I was 3rd in my age division (out of 23), and 9th overall female (out of 70)! Which meant….
I got a medal! I was obviously pretty pumped. This is my first medal for an event that has “marathon” in the title.
Then we all celebrated how goats do, with burgers and beer.
All in all, it was a great race. Beautiful route, a good mix of challenging and flat, well organized. And I’d like to do a big shout out to the ever-cheerful volunteers who handed us water and passed on words of encouragement along the way. See you guys next year!
It’s been a pretty good week, my hip is finally making some progress. It’s not a tight mess anymore, and I’m keeping up with my exercises (I should share those sometime) and rolling on a tennis ball.
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Speedwork Pyramid + Strength
Jog to the gym + 400m warm up then 200m (0:45), 400m (1:43), 800m (3:32), 1600m (7:40), 800m (3:49), 400m (1:47), 200m (0:46) then jog home. I did 200-400m recovery between each rep.
My goal times (from McMillan):
200m – 0:43-0:48
400m – 1:43-1:48
800m – 3:34-3:44
1600m – 7:41-7:53
So no negative split, but still pretty happy with it.
Wednesday – Yoga
Thursday – Mile Repeats + Strength
1 mile jog, 2 x 1 mile @ 7:52, 7:33 (Goal = 7:41-7:53)
Would’ve liked to do one more repeat, but had some Garmin drama so I had to run home to get my old one.
Friday – Easy 3m/5k + Strength
After my last post my mental outlook has only gotten better. Meeting/beating my goal paces has given me some confidence, and since my glute is behaving I think I could actually push hard in this race. I’m getting really excited! I can’t wait to put everything together and fly, and see the result of my hard work. It’ll be interesting to see exactly how I can pace myself without having to worry about hills, and if I do manage to have a big PR, then it will be great retribution for the silliness of the past few months.
I am going to complete my last big speed and tempo workouts, then guess what time it is…. TAPER TIME. That’s right. The bittersweet taper when I ride the fine line between feeling relieved that I am done my training for this race, and freaking out about every little ache and pain and going stir crazy. I apologize in advance to my mom/dad/boyfriend/friends/coworkers/anyone I come in contact with for those two weeks. But I plan on getting out and doing a little bit of hiking, so that will help keep my mind in check.