Things were looking bad when I found myself at work on Thursday Googling “tips for surviving a half marathon you didn’t train for.” But the funny thing is, I rarely prepare myself for this event. The other weird thing is that even though it was painful, it has somehow become normal to just throw myself into random things like this and get ‘er done. It’s amazing what the human body is capable of if you just ask it. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think this is a good way to race and it’s not like I did something impressive. The whole thing was also really quite painful: I rubbed blisters on the toes of both my feet and my left knee still hurts. I just find it interesting that we, as humans, can often do so much more than we think we can.
This past weekend was the annual Klondike Road Relay – a road running race that goes from Skagway to Whitehorse through the middle of the night. It was my 8th year participating and my third as part of the Whitehorse Hash team. Thank gawd those wankers will have me. I appreciate having a team to participate with where it is more important to drink beer than it is to run quickly. I ran leg 5 this year which leaves me with only legs 6 and 10 to go and then I will have run them all. It’s funny how running the whole thing has become a goal of mine by accident. I didn’t start out thinking I cared but, now that I am so close, I really want to complete it. Funny, but it is somehow the Yukon way: participate in a race that takes place in the middle of the night for which you haven’t entirely prepared and then do it again every September. It’s just something that people do here, which is both hilarious and awesome. I love where I live.
3:30am at the end of my 22.2km leg, where I look better than I felt.
That’s how long it took me to run 17.6km.
It means that I ran a 5:58/kilometre (or 9:35/mile) pace. This was my goal; I should be pleased. I feel kind of mediocre about it though. Given the amount of effort that it took me, I am unlikely to run a sub 2 hour half in Victoria. I’d need to knock 20 seconds off each kilometer for that to happen and unless Victoria is all downhill (which it isn’t) I have to be realistic and not expect it to happen “just because I’d like it to.” Running isn’t easy for me. And I suppose I shouldn’t expect it to be, given the amount of time I put into it. While I have made a more concerted effort this summer, 3x/week isn’t really enough to progress. But it is enough to be able to run the distance and still be able to dance at the after-party. And that is good.
Otherwise, it’s full-on fall here. We’ve had a couple of frosts overnight already and I have abandoned hope of our tomatoes ever ripening. Pop choir starts next week and I feel so damn lucky that I fell in with that group since it brought me so much genuine and unexpected joy last fall and spring. I’m feeling like it might be time to do something new with my hairs again – whether that’s colour or growing this cropped ‘do out, I don’t know yet. I love it short but I also seem to like constant change. Ummmmmmmmmmmmm what else….. I’m heading off on a bikecation next week to the Chilcotens in BC (going to be amazing!!); I am taking some courses towards a social work degree (but aren’t you an archivist? yes, but I’m thinking about change, even as it distresses me); we are renovating the shit out of our kitchen (slowly); and I am, as always, dreaming about hot sunny vacations for the winter that will soon be upon us.
So this whole post has kind of turned into me providing an update to my handful of friends in the computer but whatever. I felt like typing tonight.
Well hello. It’s September. Must be time for my annual post about the Klondike Road Relay.
It’s 9:30pm and I really should get to bed and try to sleep before I get up in the dark to drive out to Carcross and meet half of my team. But I’m a night owl and I just can’t do it yet. Maybe by 10pm I’ll be able to tuck myself into bed and at least “rest my eyes” as my grandpa used to say.
I just finished putting together a running playlist. I’ve done this the last couple of times I’ve run in the KRR and I enjoy the process of trying to figure out what song I want to hear at what point during the sufferfest. I don’t usually run and listen to music so it’s like a special treat to have tunes for the race. In classic Jenn-fashion, the list doesn’t really hang together all that well (as in, it wouldn’t be featured on any dance floor I can think of) but I’m hoping that my own special combination of Hawksley Workman, Robyn, the Bee Gees and Joy Division gets me through all 17.6km of leg 9.
This year’s goal: run at a 6:00/kilometer pace. I’ve never been a speedster and I’m not about to make the Olympic track team but I have been running a little bit more this summer than in recent years and I am hoping to set my self up for a sub 2 hour half-marathon in Victoria in October. We shall see. For now, goodnight!