Thursday, May 20, 2010

Race Report! With Picture!

Woke up at 5:30 am. As I was leaving the bedroom, I managed to step on the single loudest floorboard on the path to the bathroom. Woke up C, who was out of bed in an instant terribly disappointed to find that it was not time to get up yet. He started crying. Good start. Continued on to the bathroom and fell into G's door like a university student on her way home from a pub crawl. At least I didn't wake him up.

We were out the door at 6:15am. Based on the predicted weather, I decided to wear a t-shirt and bicycle shorts eventhough it was freezing out. I wore one of T's sweaters that he deemed trashable to stay warm. Google said it would take us a half hour to get to the start line, but we made every single light and got there in 15 minutes. So, they boys dropped me off and I had an hour to kill. In the freezing cold. By myself.

I spent the time running around a bit to stay warm and visiting the porta-potties. I didn't really have to go after the first time, but what else was there to do? Oh, well, I guess I pinned my bib on. That took all of 2 minutes.

Finally, it was time to get in place. I chose the starting area for a 2 hour finish. At 7:30am, the gun went off and scared the heck out of me. We started walking (there were a lot of people there) and then stopped. How anti-climatic. Then we started walking again, and I managed to cross the start line about 4 or 5 minutes later.

About a couple of kilometers in, I had to pee. Well, I thought I had to pee, and that's all that really counts. Rather annoying, as I'd just spent the last hour going pee. My pace was feeling really good, though, and I didn't want to stop. Especially if, after I stopped, I found that I didn't really have to pee all that much and it was just nerves. I refuse to stop at porta-potties along the race route after a debacle with my 30K Around The Bay race years ago (a story for another day). There were some forest-y type areas where some were going for a 'Bush Run', but if I'm going to potentially bare my a$$ to hundreds of runners, it'd better be for a very pressing reason. S'all I'm sayin'. So I kept going.

The route was nice, actually - there are a lot of really fancy houses in Mississauga! I kept thinking that I was much further than I actually was. [Inner Monologue: "Well, the 15K marker must be coming up soon." I see the 12 K marker. "Hot damn! 12K?? Crap. REALLY?? Did someone switch signs? I feel like I've run 15K. Obviously, they're wrong." I see the 13K marker. "Damn, 13K??" And so on...]

I picked up the pace after 10K, and picked it up even more after 15K. (Possibly why I was getting so tired.) I even managed to save some energy for the last kilometer. I was breathing rather loudly, but I shot past a bunch of people. Unfortunately, as you got closer and closer to the finish line, the route got narrower and narrower. REALLY, bad planning on the part of marathon planners. I saved a little sumthin'-sumthin' for a final sprint to the finish, but couldn't really do it, because it got so crowded that I was going to crash into people if I sped up too much. Disappointing and annoying.

I had spent the last kilometer scanning the crowds for the boys, because they didn't see me at last year's 10K race. Miraculously, I found them and I actually shouted out loud for joy. (Usually, it's the spectators who do that, but apparently I march to my own drummer.)

Gun Time 1:59:44.6
Chip Time 1:55:39.5
Gender Place 602/2822
Age Category Place 83/433

Things I Could Have Improved:
  • Run or drive the route the week before, so I know exactly how much distance is left.
  • Could have run faster, but wanted to make sure I didn't kak out (see point #1)
  • Get up earlier to drink glass of water - 2 hours wasn't long enough
  • Lost killer instinct at the end - I usually 'pick people off' in order to spur me on to finish faster - I started to do that, but in the end just wanted to finish.
  • Have boys hold sign or wear brighter clothes, so it's easier to find them
  • Speed more at end (this wasn't my fault, though, I had the ability but not the venue)

Things I Did Well:
  • Didn't start out too fast
  • Managed to increase pace as race went on (Slight Negative Split)
  • Saved energy for final burst at end
  • Didn't stop for walk breaks at all (I am used to walking when I drink water, this time I ran)
  • Found the boys and waved at them (v. important)
  • Finished not only under 2 hrs, but under the predicted pace of my pace band: 1Hr 58min)

Increased my long runs! No longer stuck at the 12K mark
Added hill workouts! Haven't done that for years.
Ran a Half Marathon! Instead of saying I don't have time/I'm too tired/I have small kids.

Finished the Race.

And started a whole new one.

To be continued...

(Yup, totally got suckered into buying a race photo. I'm a sentimental gal at heart.)

Monday, May 10, 2010


Half Marathon is this Sunday, and I'm actually quite nervous about it. I think the problem is that it's my only "project" on the go these days. I need projects. Lots of projects. Things to keep my mind busy so that I don't obsess about every minor detail. That's what I'm doing now.

Thing is, when I only have one project on the go, then I'd damn well better do it spectacularly. Doncha think? So my project these days? Run better. Run further. Stop whining and making excuses about not having time, not having energy, not having whatever.

I tried doing a slight negative split on my last run (ie. run the second half of the run slightly faster than the first half), and what happened? Well, I finished the run in exactly the same time as I finished it last week. When I didn't do the slight negative split. WOW. This getting better thing is really going well.

I was really hoping that I would finish this Half in under two hours, and now it looks like unless I have a cracking good day, I'm going to go OVER two hours. Not good. Not good, at all.

I know that nobody cares about this but me. But I have to obsess about something, and after all this work on running lately, I'd kind of like to do a decent run. Otherwise why am I (or rather, my husband) paying to run a race? For the privilege of running with a bunch of smelly people who spray sweat on me as they gallop past?

I was also really excited about the boys coming to watch me complete a Half, but there's nowhere to park anywhere near the finish, so T is going to have to lug two little people over hell's half acre for the fun of standing around listening to whining while hoping to catch me cross the finish line. It won't be fun for him at all, and I feel guilty. And C told me that he would now rather go to swimming class than come watch the race. So he's going to be extra fun.

Complain, whine, obsess. I am nervous. This is what I do when I'm nervous. Ain't I fun to be around??