So. Where were we? Right, the race itself…
When I signed up for this race, I essentially considered it an at-home race. Bellingham is about an hour away, without the border lineup, and over the years I’ve been there countless times. But mostly only for Costco runs or other such cross-border shopping. No exploring. And so, when we arrived at the start in downtown Bellingham, I was immediately taken in by the cuteness of this town; its history, unique eateries, gathering spaces, beauty.
And the course itself, while it had all the beauties of B.C., there was still an element of mystery for me to feel like I was exploring new territory. We ran past Little House on the Prairie style houses, along romantic, tree-canopied trails, around the bay jostling for position against the forceful breeze coming up off the water, past clusters of enthusiastic cheerleaders; one a girl about four-years-old vigorously shaking a cow bell as she high-fived me with her free hand. I imagined Little Ring doing the same a couple years from now
The first 10 km of my race was pretty awesome, so awesome, in fact, I didn’t look at my mileage for the first nine of those 10 km and had no clue how far I’d run because my math conversation skills from miles to km are non-existent. I was having fun out there. I was enjoying the scenery, the people around me, the movement of my legs. And my time showed it. When my Garmin alerted me I’d run 10 km, I was on pace for a 1:55:00 finish. Holy freaking awesome!!!
Sigh. If only the race could have finished there, I would have had my perfect rainbow race, but no, that’s not how the running gods would have it. My run started to fall apart in probably the last 5-7 km. I got a side stitch in which I struggled to get rid of. My stomach and throat started to feel a little pukey. I got stopped by a train – A TRAIN!!! – seriously, stuck standing there for a minute and a half and then trying to weave through the huge throng of social runners once the train had passed. Are you freaking kidding me??? And the last three km, they were tough as hell.
Hills. Pukey belly. Brain.
I wanted to stop, oh man, did I ever. Doubts creeped up into my head, and it took everything I had not to cave in, to keep telling myself I had made it this far, why the hell would I stop now, the distance was nothing, I could do that distance in my sleep, easy peasy, don’t you dare stop, no way you can stop, just about there, keep going.
With just about 500 metres to go, I spotted my Rings in the finishing chute, which was all I needed to amp up my speed. I ran so hard I could barely stand at the finish. I ran so hard, I thought I would puke at the mere smell of the food lining the finishers’ corral. I ran so hard I had to be held up by the kid wrapping the heat blanket around my shoulders. I ran so hard, I finished with a smile
BELLINGHAM BAY HALF MARATHON
- 9:15 a.m. BG before: 9.2
- Temp. basal: none
- Carbs: none
- Time: 1:59:10 NEW PB!!!
- Distance: 21.1 km
- Average pace: 5:36 min/km
- Average cadence: 86 spm
- Fuel: @30 minutes: 2 Clif Shot Blocks @ 60 minutes: 2 Clif Shot Blocks @ 90 minutes: 1 Clif Shot Block
- 11:45 p.m. BG after: 10.1
- Temp. basal: +50 per cent
NOTE: Garmin is the time I’m going with. I may be criticized for this as Garmin is not Chip, but because there was no one at the train to document the train stoppage, I don’t feel Chip’s accuracy can be trusted. Whereas Garmin was stopped and started the second I stopped and started, so, for me, that’s the accuracy I need.