Surprising myself at the PRR First Half Marathon
  Kurt Ellingson 12:00 AM

I signed up for this race a few months ago because my mom was running it as well as goof friend who is living in Victoria. My lack of speed work or flat road running has pretty much been non-existent and thus, I went in without any expectations whatsoever.

This seems to be a good strategy for me. I seem to do best when I don't put any pressure on myself to achieve a certain time or obtain a certain placing in the event. I suspect it allows me to be very calm and relaxed both before and during the race. One thing I did differently that day that may have played a big influence was that I listened to music during my run. I found it really helped me focus and my thoughts remained very positive.

I have done this race 3 times before with my best time being a 1:27:30. The pace and perceived effort felt no different than any of the other times I have done this event. I only checked my watch once, which was at the 10km marker, where my watch read 39 minutes on the dot. That is a pretty decent time for me considering my best 10km was on a track a few years ago and I ran it in 38:37. However, there was still a lot of race to be ran and I didn't bother doing the math to figure out what I was on pace for.

This race is never easy. Because the course is flat, you are pretty much guaranteed to be in a world of hurt. My legs were getting pretty sore by the last few kilometres but I just tried to push as hard as I knew I could because soon it would all be over! I honestly thought for sure I was going to be slower than my last time at this race but when I rounded the corner just seconds away from the finish line, the timing clock read 1:25:38. I WAS ECSTATIC! I couldn't believe I had beaten my last time that much considering I have not been doing a whole lot of specific training. The body truly is an amazing thing and I love it when it surprises me like that.

This year my goal and mentality is all about "KEEPING IT FUN". As you can see from the above result, this is a strategy that works for me and allows me to be at my best- not just physically but mentally as well as emotionally.

If you find that you are struggling to stay motivated or are constantly beating yourself up about your race results or how you compare to others…STOP. It will not serve you or anyone else around you any good. Take a look at what you love about the sport or activity you do. Ask yourself why you do it and what pleasure you get from it. In the end, if it's not making you happy, try something new!

Nicola Gildersleeve
Athlete Ambassador

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