I PB’d during the 10k of the Jasper Canadian Rockies Half Marathon! End of post, that is all. It always feels good to shave off time from a previous race but to shave off 8:35 is pretty insane!
The Jasper races started later than most with the half marathon beginning at 1 pm, the 10k at 1:45 pm, and the 5k at 2:00 pm. At first I thought that was crazy because of the nerves getting to ya in the morning but the weather was much nicer in the afternoon and it gave me the chance to have a leisurely morning where I had a big breakfast, went for a walk, and did some yoga all before taking the shuttle to Jasper for the race.
It was fun because the energy was palpable in the park leading up to the race. I wasn’t eavesdropping but I did hear a lot of people telling each other it was their first race of the year.
This was the inaugural Jasper Canadian Rockies Half Marathon and they had 750 runners! That’s a lot for a first year in a remote location. But I think that most people, like me, were stoked to have the opportunity to run in such a beautiful location. And did I mention that the weather was insanely beautiful? It was +15C and sunny! Amazingly warm for the Rockies in April.
When they started to line folks up at the start a long line of people with cameras lined up along the sidewalk to capture the runners as they took off, myself included. You can always tell who the hard core runners are. They don’t wear the race t-shirts, they are usually wearing compressions arm and calf sleeves and they are lean.
After they took off, fellow blogger Tara and I had 45 minutes to kill. We chatted with Teresa, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s awesome PR gal who was in the 5k herself and danced to the 90s hits they were playing to keep people pumped up. FINALLY the 10k line up began.
I was excited and nervous. I kept saying if I did poorly I was going to blame the elevation. Secretly I was really worried because my foot had been hurting from my morning walk and I popped into a drugstore and took several ibprofuen. When the race started I clicked go on my TomTom, got the music going and went at a fast pace since I knew there were so many people watching.
I will break down my run based on the splits given by my TomTom and how I felt while running.
MILE 1- 9:20
This was my fastest split because I was excited and the adrenaline had me givin’ ‘er. It also helps that it was slightly downhill the first mile.
MILE 2- 10:05
At this point I settled in and selected a ‘rabbit’. This was a cross country trick where you chose someone ahead of you going at the pace you wanted to push yourself to go and you never let them out of your sight. Mile 2.5 is when we ran over the bridge and I spotted Old Fort Point and thought “I have to hike up that later!”
MILE 3- 10:57
My lungs felt good but my legs started to feel heavy and my rabbit got away from me! So I selected a new rabbit and focused on keeping my stride relaxed. I was also excited because this was the fastest 5k I have run since high school. 🙂 We ran along a rocky asphalt road and came back to Lac Beauvert by the Fairmont before turning around around mile 3.5.
Another runner by the lake. Photo credit: Multisports Canada
MILE 4- 11:52
This is when I started having to take walking breaks and it slowed my split down considerably. When I ran I always made sure I was running at a 10:30 pace but because I walked it slowed my time right down.
MILE 5- 12:42
Ugh that hill!! The last mile was a slow and steady incline back up to the town and I wasn’t having any of it. My legs were dead (though my lungs felt fine) and I had to just walk up that damn hill as fast as my sore and tight legs would take me.
MILE 6- 13:47 (Only .86)
So I don’t know if my TomTom was off or if the race organizers miscalculated because my TomTom says I ran 5.86 miles and not 6.2. Either way- my pace was ABYSMAL! I know I ran this last little bit because there were so many spectators but I must have been just doing the sprinter shuffle which is when you walk with a bounce for the appearance of running!
Either way, it felt so good to cross that finish line. I also knew I gave my all because I was unable to sprint in to the finish unlike most of my past distance races.
I’m still very happy with my PB and I feel good knowing that I’m finally able to maintain a pace quicker than that 12 minute mile my body naturally wants to do.
Feeling good because I’m done and I PB’d!Anyway, while it was a triumph for me personally my placement wasn’t all that great- I came in 148/195 runners but I plan to come back next year with more training and some HILL training under my belt to smash my PB even more.