Saturday, 27 September 2014

Harvest Half week in Calgary

This is the running station, I only get on a train here twice a year. Once after the Calgary Marathon, and at package pick-up the week before the Harvest Half Marathon. 
It's the time of year at the end of summer that work and life in general gets busier and there's more stress going around. So in one sense, this race comes at the right time. A fitting finale to the end of the main running season, I've done it every year I've been a runner since 2009. 
Training has brought on the feeling of burnout. I'm on the Hansons' half training schedule, very similar to that of their full marathon programme. It seems that two training cycles of 6 runs and 70-95k a week are too much in a year. Feeling close to injury, it's been quite a balancing act. I'm doing less in the final 2 weeks than the plan specifies. 
Once more then, I have no idea how race day will go. Will I be feeling too flat to put in a great performance, or will I match the dizzying heights of 2012 - 1:26:48 and 7th place? 
The Harvest Half has the best views of any race in Calgary. It's like running through 2 countries - the middle 12.5 k in Fish Creek Park starts in pine forest and ends up in wide open scrub dotted with birch trees in a valley between ancient buffalo jumps. Towards the end of Fish Creek, the route passes Ranche House, probably Calgary's oldest original building and a key part of the city's history. Add to that neighbourhoods either side of the park of 2 distinct eras. 
It's challenging with continuous elevation gain from 1.5 to 5 k and a 500 metre hill at 17k, Sikome Hill. The moment of truth comes after that hill - finishing kick, or all matches burned getting to and up the hill? I've had both. Last year I had the latter, being too far ahead just before Sikome. This time around, I'll try to go a little slower in order to have some warp drive left for the finish. 
Overall though, this local event with 1,000 runners is a beautiful day that helps me remember what running and life is all about. Who wouldn't want to run it? 


  1. I am rooting for you. Let's reach for 6th place :) I've enjoyed reading your blog over the last year! Enjoy the experience!

  2. woo hoo! kick some butt :-) it will my 30th half since 2011. Not sure I have a PB in me, but the scenic route is glorious. Going to enjoy THAT!!

  3. All the best Peter. I will now be able to picture you running through Fish Creek and will be thinking of you. I am now on my program for the Marlow Half on 2 November.