Wow. I am still not sure I have the words to describe the race this past weekend…still kind of in shock by it all, I guess? That, and in addition to racing the Mississauga half marathon on Sunday, I drove almost 1000km (600mi) in 2 days. So I’m kinda dazed.
I left first thing Saturday morning, dropped Abby off at the
kennel Spa and got on my way. It was a beautiful day and traffic wasn’t too bad…made it to Mississauga (just south west of Toronto) by early afternoon and went straight to the Expo to pick up my bib.
I remember when I first start racing almost 15 years ago that the goody bag you’d get at the Expo would be FILLED with yummy treats and cool swag. But the last few years, they seem to be filled with nothing but paper junk that gets tossed immediately – it bugs me because it’s such a waste. BUT, the Mississauga race surprised me with a great loot bag!
After the expo I checked in at the host hotel – the Novotel Mississauga which turned out to be one of those hotels where you stumble around wondering where the pretty rooms that you saw featured on their website are because the room you have is NOT that.
Then I did a shake-out run of 5k while using these tall distinct buildings across from the hotel to not get lost (I have a TERRIBLE sense of direction).
Then I headed over to a nearby shopping centre to get some dinner. It’s always important to eat something that is higher in carbs and, most importantly, won’t upset your stomach with spicy/strong ingredients which is why I got this:
Then it was back to the hotel to lay out my race gear…
Then I was in bed before 9pm which meant that it was still light outside…
Next morning up at 5:30, eating breakfast (always cereal that I bring from home, plus milk that I kept cold overnight in the ice bucket!) and dealing with nerves and excitement. Walked over to the start line (500m from hotel) at 6:45 and waited around nervously for the 7:30 start time.
I can be a bit, um, irritable right before a race. And this girl in orange was driving me crazy. There was music being played to amp people up and she would NOT. STOP. DANCING. And for some reason, I just needed her to stop…and I willed her to, but she wouldn’t. The other thing to note is the guy standing behind her with the skipping rope. His name is Chris Baron and he runs marathons…while jumping rope. And has owned the Guinness Book of World Records title for this. On Sunday he was trying to re-establish his place as King of this “sport”, but from what I can gather, he fell short of this goal…finished in a time of 4:57…WHILE JUMPING ROPE. Crazy.
At 7:30 the gun went off and we slowly started to move forward…I took this pic from the Mississauga Half’s twitter page…I can actually see myself…apparently most people don’t dress like a ninja. lol
Here were my goals for the race,
- I would be ok if I finished under 1:40
- I would be happy if I finished under 1:39
- I would be quite happy if I finished under 1:38
- I would be ecstatic if I beat my long standing PB (or PR for my American friends) of 1:36:15…set in 2007 when I was 29 and 2 months later ran a 3:28 marathon in Detroit. This would mean a pace of 4:34 min/km (7:21 min/mi)
To be honest, I really only thought #3 was possible.
I swore to myself that I wouldn’t go out fast. That I would run the first 2km’s at a relatively slow pace as this is how I had been doing my tempo runs that had gone really well during training. Yeahhhhh…first 2km’s were 4:15 min/km (6:50min/mi)…right on track…for totally derailing my goals.
The rest of the race is a blur. I contemplated many things, including
- I need to beat that dancing girl in the orange shirt
- I despise people who use their Nike app and have the volume up so everyone around them can hear their updates
- The weather is beautiful this morning…but who ordered these horrible flies?? (everyone had flies stuck to their salt encrusted faces when they crossed the finish line)
- Go to your happy place…pretend you’re watching GOT right now…
- I’m badass strong and can do anything I want (this thought alternated numerous times with the next one)
- I’m never running again, I hate this, who pays money to go through this kind of pain? I’m hanging up my running shoes once I’m done this race and retiring from this stupid sport.
- I need to beat the dancing girl in orange.
In the end, I crossed the line in a time of 1:36:14. Whaaaaat??!! Yup, achieved my top goal by ONE second. I came in 132 out of 2063 overall and 19th female out of 1087. So awesome!!
So now for a little rest and recovery. I’ll do an easy 5k run tonight, field hockey starts Thursday night and I’ll do an easy 10k on Saturday with the team.