Saturdays before a Sunday race are always weird. It just feels wrong to sit around instead of going for a long run or ride. Trying to laze around but being so full of nervous energy the 'lazy' part is always a fail. I ended up doing laundry and cleaning the kitchen. I really know how to party.
Midmorning I headed over to Oakville to pick up my kit at the expo.
|No need for my high fashion Hello Kitty umbrella this year! At least not at the expo...|
Oakville always seems to have pretty solid race kits. Lots of random free stuff (a full roll of KT tape? nice!). And the shirt this year is one I'll actually use!
After the expo, I aimlessly wiled away the time, got my shit organized for the race, hydrated, etc. Tried not to worry about the windy/rainy/humid weather forecast, because really there's nothing you can do about that.
|Flat Emma, which I do before races just to try and make sure I don't forget anything important.|
Got up, had a cup of tea, toast with peanut butter, the requisite bathroom visits, etc. Patty picked me up at 6:15 and we collected the rest of the skirt brigade and headed over to the race, where we met up with Zindine and Irina and Kim. It rained while we were in the car, but stopped when we got to Oakville so I felt optimistic about the weather.
HA HA HA.
|Skirt brigade/carpool group. Wearing a lot less pink than usual. Even Sam is barely pink at all! Photo via Irina.|
Did some pre-race chatting, and pre-race porta potty lining up. Bless Landmark sports group for their commitment to having a million porta potties at their races - both this race and Mississauga always have plenty and the lines move really quickly. Unlike some races, *cough* Around the Bay *cough*.
|Me, Amy, Patty, Sam, Kim, Zindine. Thanks to Irina for the pic! Can you believe we let Zindine in this one? He's not wearing a skirt! Way to let down the team, Zindine.|
|Waiting for the start.|
The first 5k went well. I had my watch set to only show my pace at each km, and I didn't always hear it beep, but I felt good and it seemed about right. A touch slow but better to be a few seconds slow at this point and negative split the back half. (I would insert a 'hysterical laughter' gif here but I'm too lazy to find one)
|Shark! pic via Irina|
I got passed early on by the Connor's Runners mascot - a guy in a shark costume. That was somewhat demoralizing. Although I can't decide if that's better or worse than being passed by a joggler. Random aside, but I really admire the jogglers, because I know how to juggle (really, I do! I have hidden and weird talents) and I can't even imagine running fast while juggling. Like it doesn't even seem like it should be possible.
At some point it started to rain. Light rain, so not too terrible. It was also pretty humid out, but not oppressively so. YET.
I'm not entirely sure what the hell happened here. I was still feeling good at this point, but my legs just wouldn't go. The 5:33 is the bit with the one 'hill' on the course (it's not very big) but for whatever reason I couldn't get my legs back under me after the hill (but even before that things weren't great, obviously).
It might have had something to do with the SUDDEN TORRENTIAL RAIN that hit while I was on the uphill.
|I half expected to see these guys. Image source.|
|Water water everywhere.|
So, hey, this race was just going great.
And more rain. My basic thought process through this section:
"I hate racing. Why do I sign up for these things? At least my feet are somehow still dry. And there's another massive downpour and I'm not sure I can get any wetter at this point. Oh except I just stepped in a deep puddle and got a soaker, So I guess I can get wetter! YAY. When this is done I'm never racing again. I may never run again. Oh there's the shark up ahead. I bet his costume must weigh like 20 pounds more than when he started what with all this RAIN. I wonder if his support crew would like to trade positions for a bit? She could run, I could ride her bike. It would be way nicer to ride a bike right now. Hey, there's Irina! Pretend to be having a great time when you clearly are not!"
|This thumbs up is a LIE. pic via Irina|
|No thumbs up for you, photographer, because this fucking sucks. You're lucky to get a smile.|
I walked the aid station at 18k, which proved to be a huge mistake, because as soon as I started again my left inner thigh started to hurt in the same way it did last year at Scotia. No, really, am I a hockey player? How do I keep straining groin muscles in races? WTF?
The other reason walking that aid station was a mistake? The 1:55 pacer passed me as I walked . Fucking hell, I thought, this race is turning into a titanic disaster.
But I did pass the shark at some point! So I had that going for me! And a lady on a bike told me I looked strong (LIE) and my outfit was cute (true). This is why I wear the skirts, for the unsolicited compliments. I'll take any positive feedback I can, really.
Just before 19k I spotted my tweep* Prasheel cheering, which did provide a nice boost. It's amazing how a friendly face provides a pick me up during late race suckitude. Give him a follow and cheer him through his first marathon next month!
*that's what the cool kids call someone you know largely through twitter, although I did meet him at a MEC Burlington race first. I am not a cool kid and should probably stop trying.
The last kilometer took forever, as per usual. And for the second time this fall a dude came roaring past me in the finish chute at a million miles an hour (also happened during the duathlon). What is up with that? Like maybe you guys should have used some of that energy during the rest of the race!
|Just a few more steps until I can quit running forever...|
5:18/5:08 pace for the last bit
Gender place: 80/331
Age group place (F30-39): 23/105 (what's with the 10 year age groups??)
So I dunno what was going on with that 1:55 pacer passing me, but I did get under that mark at least. And now I know: humid day + pouring rain = gonna have a bad time.
|Post race with (most of) the Daily Mile crew, and Richard's son Nick who did his first half! Congrats, Nick! Photo via Richard.|
|The acorn on the medal is cute.|
I've registered for Road to Hope the first Sunday of November. My husband wants to run it, and we do love our 'run dates'.
However, I'm not sure I really want to take another shot at a PB at this point. I might decide to just do R2H for fun and hang out with my various awesome running friends. I dunno. I'm taking a few days - heck, maybe even a full week - off running to let my legs recover, because the DOMS after this race has been ridiculous.
Depending on how I feel when I do start running again, I'm leaning towards going for it at Road to Hope. My tentative plans for next year don't include another stand-alone half until next fall at the earliest (read between the lines on that one!). So I likely won't get another shot for a while. But it also wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to shut it down for the rest of the year and just bike and run easy and enjoy the fall weather.
Next blog post will likely be a Run for the Toad race report, since I'm bored of writing training recaps. I don't know if I'll have decided what to do by then, but at least there will be pretty trail pictures!