Hello, long-lost readers! I trust you’re all keeping well.
As you can tell by the title of my last post, I didn’t exactly complete the 30 Day Photo Challenge. Life got crazy, the camera on my phone crapped out for a few days, and then I just lost momentum. I did love the concept though. Will probably give it a whirl again in the future.
But enough about my failed personal blog projects. On to the real reason for today’s post…
It’s the return of the race recap!!!
The race had its fair share of memorable moments.
Why don’t we start with the fact that I overslept? No, that is an understatement. I awoke 30 minutes before the gun went off. And I STILL made it. How, you ask?
Because I have straight-up awesome, rock star running friends.
Usually, my race morning routine looks something like this: Wake up 2+ hours before the race. Eat a bowl of rolled oats. Check the weather forecast. Drink lots of water. Go to the bathroom (several times). Get dressed according to forecast. Pack my bag. Double-check that I have everything I need. Head out to meet my race buddies at baggage check.
Yesterday, it looked like this: Wake up almost 2 hours late. Let out a frustrated groan. Text my friend Lynne that I slept in and wouldn’t be able to make it in time. Curse. Answer Lynne’s phone call saying she was 5 minutes away with Elaine and their friend Steve and they were picking me up. Hang up. Run around like a crazy person getting dressed and packing my gear. Throw two pieces of bread with almond butter together to eat in the car. Run out the door.
Not exactly ideal.
I have no idea how I slept so late. I did everything as per usual the previous night – no alcohol, early dinner, in bed at the stroke of 10:30 p.m. I never oversleep on race day. In fact, I usually wake up a few minutes before my alarm because I’m so paranoid about sleeping through it. But I digress…
Somehow, we parked, went to the washroom, and snuck into the line at 8:08 a.m., with two minutes to spare before our corral was released.
I got a stitch in my side almost immediately – surely due to wolfing down my breakfast 20 minutes earlier. Curses!
Luckily, it subsided pretty quickly. Or maybe I was too distracted by thirst. I knew the first water station was at the 4km mark, but I was ready for it by 2 km. More curses for not having time to drink much water before the race…
The weather was overcast and cool, with a sprinkling of rain as we crossed the start line. I wasn’t planning on rain, but it turned out to be kind of nice as it kept me cool through the race.
The route was awesome – straight down Yonge St. from just north of Eglinton down to Richmond, where we headed west to end up at Fort York. That meant it was mostly downhill, with a few small climbs, until the 7k point.
[Sidenote: Before yesterday, I had run this route just once before – back in 2010 when I was preparing to run Sporting Life for the first time. But mere days before the race, my chiropractor, who had been treating my persistent knee pain, forbade me from running. With my 2010 drop-out and now my 2012 sleep-in, I was starting to think I just wasn’t meant to ever run this race…]
The race crowds were great, but even more fun to focus on were these:
When we picked up our race kits last week, we received these stickers and were asked to fill them out and stick them on the back of our shirts as we ran – then stick them on a wall at the finish. Each sticker equaled $1 in donations to the race charity, Camp Ooch, which is a camp for kids with cancer. Wonderful cause.
I enjoyed reading other runners’ stickers throughout the race – they kept me motivated when I was feeling tired. A few I can remember: “Never Stop Finishing,” “Never Stop Dreaming,” and “Never Stop, Never Quit.”
The side stitch started coming back around the 9km mark, but I toughed it out, knowing the pain would be over soon.
I crossed the finish with some confusion about the clocks. One read 1:07 – the time since the 8 a.m. gun went off with the first corral group. The other read 47 minutes and change… but I knew that couldn’t be right. My iPhone app told me I had finished in 54:25. Which I was super happy with, as it was over 3 minutes better than my previous 10k PB. According to my chip time online, I finished the race in 47:30, but seriously, this is just ridiculous. Not sure what happened there, Sporting Life.
Anyway, after a looong walk through the finisher’s corral, I bumped into Elaine and we walked around the gigantic finish area, trying to locate water, food, and friends. With 20,000 or so runners, you can imagine how insane this process was.
Eventually, we found Lynne and took a few celebratory photos, amidst a much needed stretching session….
Then slowly made our way back up to the starting line where we had parked. I headed home, grabbed a quick bite to eat, changed into my yellow race shirt, and headed out for another 10k run (I’m running a half marathon in two weeks and the schedule for today called for 20k).
Running “doubles,” or running twice in one day, is not something I would suggest doing all the time. But I find that once in a while, it can be helpful when you need to squeeze in a distance that just isn’t doable all at once.
I was surprisingly energized throughout my 2nd 10k, which I’m attributing to leftover endorphins from the race. However, when I got home I was absolutely ravenous. My body is used to gorging on brunch food after a race, not nibbling a banana and an energy bar and then going out to burn more calories.
Though my legs didn’t feel too sore last night, I feel the need to stay as close as possible to my foam roller today. My quads and IT band are SUPER tight. The downhills feel great in the moment, but they can really put your legs through the ringer.
Anyway, despite all the mishaps, I ran a great race and am proud of myself. But that truly wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my friends Lynne and Elaine – thank you SO much ladies! I am dedicating yesterday’s PB to you!