The good thing about this being an evening race was that I got a good night's sleep because I wasn't waking up every 5 minutes in a panic about sleeping through my alarm and missing the race start.
The bad thing was I spent the whole morning wandering around on edge with nerves, which is dumb because I'm a mid pack runner who runs for fun (and t shirts) and what the heck do I have to be nervous about, really? Sheesh. And the nerves just got worse as the day went on.
|Prepared for anything.|
I got my stuff packed up, did some nervous house cleaning, choked down a bagel/cheese/tomato sandwich for lunch, forced myself to drink a bunch of water to ensure I'd be well hydrated, and watched the clock obsessively until it was time to go meet Nicole and Sam.
|Sam, where are you? In retrospect her difficulty finding the meeting place was possibly a sign...|
We encountered our first line of the day waiting for the ferry across to the Toronto Islands (seriously, how is there no pedestrian bridge or tunnel or something?), but things moved quickly and it wasn't long before we were on the boat.
|Maybe if everyone starts pushing it will go faster!|
|The islands are quite pretty. I wouldn't mind spending some time over there, if it weren't for the hordes of people everywhere. People are the worst.|
|Bag check line. I'm really not entirely sure why this took so long, they were just tossing the bags indiscriminately into trucks.|
|30k runners waiting to start. With no defined start corral? More mass confusion!|
|This guy was wearing two different shoes. Fashion choice or mistake? You decide!|
My glute felt OK so I focused on just running, and catching up to (and then passing ) the 1:25 pacer. The crowd thinned out after the first km and I was able to settle into a relatively comfortable pace, although I quickly had three major problems: I was hungry, I had a side stitch, and it was really f'in hot. In retrospect I should have taken a gel immediately because the energy would have been helpful later in the race, but at the time I wasn't sure if that would help or hurt the side stitch.
The course was confusing (an aid station 500m in? what? and we looped back around through the start again? ok...), and at one point was over sand (WORST). I did spot Nicole on one of the loopy switchback things and she looked good. I also yelled 'GO SAM!' at a girl who was most definitely not Sam. Hope she enjoyed the encouragement. There were some great views of the CN tower, but mostly it was hot and there were a lot of random people walking and biking getting in the way. The perils of races on paths. I was grateful when we turned around and the sun was at our backs, but still, too damn hot. And my glute was threatening to cramp with every step (seriously, I have no idea what was up with that). It was clear within the first couple of km that a 5:20 pace was not happening, but my watch wasn't set to display pace and I was avoiding looking at it, so I really had no idea how fast I was going, except I was ahead of the 1:25 pacer.
|I look like I'm practicing 'smell the fart' acting. Totally didn't see this photographer until it was too late to flash my traditional thumbs up.|
With 2k or so left the 1:25 pacer passed me. Crap. But I couldn't work up the gumption to keep up with him, so I let him go. Over a stupid bridge, across more stupid grass, WHERE THE FUCK IS THE FINISH, oh there's Patty and Sam! I yelled at them that my ass hurt (I'm sure they cared) and sprinted to the finish.
|The expression on that guy's face in the background is cracking me up. Maybe he could tell my glute was KILLING ME.|
I crossed the finish with a final chip time of 1:25.01. FUCK. If I'd realized I was that close to 1:25, augh. I assumed I was way off because the pacer had passed me, but he did cross the start line well before I did.
Gun time: 1:25:42
Chip time: 1:25.01
Overall place: 354/1314
Gender place: 141/860
Age group place: 54/279
One thing I did really like about this race was the reusable water bottle they hand out at the finish. I can always use more of those, since my kids take them to camp and lose them.
|This race also has awesome shirts. Can't wait for cooler weather so I can try this one out! Top pic is the front of the shirt (plus the water bottle) and bottom pic is the back.|
|Thank god that's over.|
|Yum. I heard that later on they ran out of sides and veggie burgers, though, which really sucks for the 30k people who were probably way hungrier than the 15kers.|
We cheered Nicole in to the finish (she did awesome), then she got her bags and her beer and stretched out a bit. By this point I was sweaty, sticky, thirsty, and cold.
|Patty, Sam, me, Nicole the pace fairy. My running friends make me feel tall.|
And then it was time for the worst line of the day. The ferry line. Judging by the time stamps on the increasingly irrational texts I sent my husband ("Maybe we can just swim across, it doesn't look THAT far..."), we had to wait well over an hour for the stupid ferry.
|Small part of the ferry line. A very small part.|
|Nice view of the CN tower and skydome. And then back to waiting. I was sore and tired after 15k, I can't imagine how the 30k runners felt about this lineup and wait!|
|I look way too cheerful in this picture. Nicole's expression captures it so much better.|
Would I do the Midsummer Night's Run again? Not if it's on the islands, that's for sure. 11 hour day for a 15k race? Jesus. I didn't get home until midnight!! And I think that evening racing really doesn't agree with me; I'd much rather run in the morning. I'm OK with my time (would definitely have liked to be faster) and I think I may need to revise my Scotia half goals, but I'm not going to worry about that right now. I've got some serious training planned over the next few weeks and will hold off setting any Scotia goals until after I run the Oakville 10k.
Now if I could just get my damn glute to loosen up! Some self myofascial release is helping, but I think I might need a trip to the physio this week if it stays sore.
Sam's race experience: http://breakingmyrunnersin.blogspot.ca/2013/08/midsummer-nights-run-15k.html
Nicole's race experience: http://ivealwaysbeenajoiner.blogspot.ca/2013/08/midsummer-nights-run-30k-3-hour-pacer.html