Two race recaps in one week? Why not! If I thought my time at Woody’s was bad, then I had another thing coming at this race. Let’s just say some poor nutrition choices the day before and a sleepless night made for the worst run I’ve ever had. I think I’d have preferred to run a race in the pouring rain and wind and cold again then repeat this race ever again.
We Run Social Calgary Meetup
The day before the race, we may have a little too much fun sampling beer and eating terrible(ly good) food at some Calgary craft breweries. However, we shut it down early enough to be able to drink a ton of water and go to bed early. I was staying with Ange, who was off to a birthday celebration, leaving me to turn in early and snuggle with her adorable cat Merlin. I called it a night around 9, ready for my alarm to go off at 5:45. Sometime after midnight I woke up and could not get back to sleep. All the poor food choices (and beer) was sitting in my stomach like a lump which was not comfortable. I tossed and turned and got anxious for a couple hours, getting just a couple hours of sleep on and off before the alarm went off. Yikes.
I was exhausted and not feeling great to say the least. But it wasn’t going to stop me from getting out there. I got dressed, chugged some water and dragged my feet leaving Ange’s, wanting nothing more than a few more hours of sleep. The nice thing was that Ange lives right across the street from the Stampede Grounds which meant I could walk to the start line in just a couple minutes. I ended up missing the group photo with the other Calgary Marathon Forerunners but met up with Kaella near the start. We watched the half, full and ultra marathoners head out before we went inside to drop my bag off in the VIP lounge.
Sarah (a fellow Forerunner), Kaella and me
Eventually, I found Mary as well and before we knew it we were making our way into the corral. I was trying my best to find the 10k pace bunnies but couldn’t see them anywhere. I’m not sure if they ended up not having them this year or what happened there but I was pretty disappointed that I wasn’t able to find them.
I felt sluggish right from the get go and I knew that I was going to be riding the struggle bus the entire way. I just kept reminding myself that as long as I finished, it didn’t matter, I was there to have fun. And that’s really what Calgary is all about. It was an absolutely beautiful morning and I really do love getting to run the streets of Calgary, checking out all the cool neighbourhoods, high-fiving volunteers and spectators and jamming to the music along the way.
I definitely wasn’t my best at @CalgaryMarathon today. But at least I did better than the flat squirrel I passed. Pretty sure he DNF’d.
— Becky @ TheBexFactor (@beckyainsley) May 29, 2016
At the 3k mark I sent out a text to a couple friends that I was struggling hard. I began thinking about how lonely I felt out there, despite tons of other runners, and remember feeling the same way last year. I think that for me, since I’m really not out there to get the best time, that I’d have such a better experience if I was running this race alongside friends.
I did my best to keep trucking through and ended up taking a ton of walking breaks and stopping at every water station. It didn’t help that it ended up being way hotter than expected out either. Around the 7km mark I was just trying to get through one kilometer at a time. Thank goodness for the encouragement of friends texting me to keep moving. At one point I thought I’d maybe just walk the rest of the way and maybe Laura and her dad (who were walking the whole distance) would catch up to me and I’d have some company.
Shortly after East Village, my favourite cheer section towards the end, Leigh passed me and told me to keep moving. It was all I could do to make it to the stampede grounds and cross the finish line. It took me 1:25 to get there, which was absolutely brutal but at least I finished.
With my tail between my legs, I got my medal and made my way through the very, very long finishers shoot collecting a bottle of water and bag full of snacks (no green bananas this year!!). Mary absolutely crushed her race and I couldn’t be more proud of her. I was glad she was able to experience the energy of the Calgary Marathon.
One of the perks of being a Calgary Marathon Forerunner was having access to the VIP lounge that was full of food and beverages. I headed back there after the race to catch up with a few people and drink a smoothie. I love that there are so many people I know at this race so I was able to spend quite a bit of time afterwards chatting with different people before heading back to Ange’s. I spilled onto her couch for a much needed nap before even peeling off my sticky running clothes. Oops.
So, it wasn’t my proudest race and I hate to admit that I really didn’t make the best life choices by drinking beer and eating loads of pub food the night before a race. However, I’m not a quitter and I still crossed that finish line and had I got a decent night sleep, I think I would have done just a bit better. Plus I ended up being one of the top fundraisers for KidSport Calgary as part of the Charity Challenge, raising almost $650 (huge thanks to everyone who donated!). That to me, is still a win.
Will I do this race again next year? Depends. I’d like to continue trying new-to-me races but I’d really just prefer to run for fun with my friends at whichever race that might be.
What was your worst race ever? What made it so bad?