Monday, September 20, 2004

Race Report


I'm a little sore today. I can only assume it's cause we pushed ourselves yesterday cause it was a seriously easy route. Our routes here in town are much hillier.

Anyway, let's start at the beginning....

I woke up before my alarm went off (I mistyped in my post of that morning) and was immediatley WIDE awake.

I went through my normal pre long run morning ritual. A bagel (which caught on fire and couldn't be eaten) and black tea (so I won't have to poop on the all know what I mean.)

My ride was coming to get me at 5:40 am. I was ready at about 5:15am. Yeah that was brilliant. So I drank some water. Peed. Paced. Check the forecast (I have a slight weather obsession). Peed.Paced somemore.

Anyway, we finally got to St Catherines with about an hour to pick up race kits and get ready to run.
We found our numbers, found our club and had a group picture (I don't have a copy yet).

We made our way to the start line with the marathoners SKIPPING and jumping up and down in excitement. I mean seriously! Asking us over and over if we have gels etc.

We started SLOW....which was our mission. However, before the first km mark there was NO ONE behind us...a little TOO slow I would say.

I was worried we would be dead last for the whole race (how humiliating). But after the first few KM people started to fall behind us like crazy. At one point I made my little group turn around and LOOK at the people behind us.

Anyway I couldn't believe the number of water stations, having only done 10k races before this (and only 2 of those) I was used to only having one or two. But there were EIGHT on this course. I was so happy that I had not brought my water belt (forgot it) cause it was not needed. We did walk when we had a drink (not every aid station but we did stop at many) but it was quick cause we knew another one was only 2.5k away.

Still with the fingers in the water cups...kind of yucky...oh well.

By about km12 we turned out of town and ran past the vineyards, that was interesting. Especially since in the morning the shoot of some sort of canon to scare the birds off the grapes.
I scared the grapes out of me let me tell you. And when one of my running buddies went into a corn feild to pee I was slightly afraid for his life. These farmers mean business. Hillbillies in Canada? Who knew!

I felt great during this entire race.

At one point in the race the road comes to a T, you turn down to the end, turn around and come back up. That's where the hills are. They truly are smaller than the hills we are used to training on. So coming back up them was really not that big of deal, our pace literally did not change.
We passed at least 12 people on those hills. I mean really. The were stopped and walking.
One person as we passed him, said (after reading the back of our team shirts)"Oh yeah i ran your half last year! You guys are used to hills!"
So that was interesting. Passing people on hills. Us.

After that, I though, oh my god. I'm going to finish!
I couldn't believe it was km15.
AND we had 1 hour to finish in the time we thought we would. Clearly we were going to do better than that.

Around km18 one of my running mates had some foot issues, mostly that the tops of her feet were killing her. She adjusted her shoes a few times, but really I think she only cost us about 1 minute or two. So I stopped with her when she needed to. Who wants to run the rest alone and in pain.
But she ran great and totally sucked it up. She's pretty bruised today. Weird eh?

What I did find weird was the traffic! Cars weaving in and out of runners!
Totally coming into our lane. The only road that was even remotely closed was the one with the finish line on it.
That was VERY annoying. I didn't think I would have to worry about cars really.

When we ran Around the Bay (I did the relay) the course was completely closed to cars the entire way.

Anyway, on the corner before the final turn to the finish line, there were at least 20 people from our group standing there, making the most noise I have ever heard a group of people make. It was SO amazing. It really gave us the kick we needed. And we finished feeling strong.

And then we had ice cream.

Next up, is a half marathon hosted by the store I run out of in November. I've run the course as a training run and it's freaking hilly and hard.

thanks for all the encouragement. I kept thinking yesterday that I just wanted to come home and blog. I wanted to email an entry from my phone, but with my post-race labotomy I couldn't figure it out.