I find it amazing how each time I set out to run at an event, it is a completely different experience than the last one. Each time is fresh and new, with lessons to learn and insights to digest along with my recovery protein. I enjoy this aspect. I hope it never stops. If I do find myself feeling maudlin about doing an event, or gain no new knowledge about myself afterwards… It is a sign I need to shake it up, or take a break.
Always run happy. Take joy in the ability to run and participate.
That said, there is something about the absolute magnitude surrounding Ottawa Race Weekend that can energize even the most jaded of road race participant. The massive hordes of people, the mind-boggling number of triumphs and personal accomplishments, the sheer athleticism and grit, the encouragement from spectators… The celebration of running in this city, and seeing it in a new way as you cover the distance down streets and pathways.
Quite a number of my running friends, sweat sisters, and, well, my support network PRed this past weekend. Some of them completed first races, or ran a race distance for the first time. The excitement and celebration of all these achievements is infectious and I am so very proud of all of them. I have made a lot of friends because of this whole running thing… I love how we can bring it, own it, and shout it out together!
So, y’all who ran and are reading this: Way to go. I hope you wore your medal to work/school/playgroup today!
I ran the 10k (see that medal hung over my cubicle wall? Yep!), and my husband ran the 1/2 marathon, his first. I did not meet my time goal of 70 minutes, but did improve my time from the Manotick Road Race 10k by around a minute. Hubs met his time goal of sub 2 hr, which I was surprised at, given he’s never run as big a race as this, nor this distance. I was positive for him going in, but was not going to be surprised if he was a bit slower. This was totally new for him. He had under-trained. I crossed my fingers.
He did just fine. He can barely walk today, and I am sure he will feel this for a few days. But I am proud of him. He says he now understands why people run the big 42.2. He casually mentioned he would consider it and I cringed. That is a lot of training, dedication to diet, and time away for long, long runs. We have wee kids and work full time. I don’t even want to think about the severe negotiations for workout time away from the family if he does do one. But you know I will support him if he wants to do it. *sigh*
That aside, we had a great weekend, pizza with some of hub’s friends from his box (Crossfit, yo) on Sunday, and naps all around on both days. We are both feeling accomplished and happy.
So, onto my race recap, right?
This run felt stronger than the last one, and I felt much more energetic during the run. Only had to gel once, at 6.5k (roughly), which was great. No PR on the 5k split, but I was pleased with that, as it indicated I went out slower, listened to myself instead of getting swept up in the flow, and was able to sustain a faster pace for the second half, for periods. I forgot my Garmin at home, so I could not keep track of my average pace, and I ended up picking folks to draft, then moving from them to others as their pace changed. It worked, but I was still a little all over the map.
Note to self: Never forget Garmin again.
This race, I never zoned out. There were too many people, both participants and spectators. From the start to the finish line, I was constantly thinking, looking, dodging, speeding up, passing, or trying to find a place to just run. So my head got busy as I ran, and when I wasn’t singing along to the lyrics from my music (in my head, not out loud), this was what my internal monologue was like (give or take a few swear words):
- Everyone around me looks like a much more seasoned runner than I am. I feel roly-poly. I can barely see the start line…
- This corral is packed. Why did I forget my Garmin? Where is my earbud thingy? Oh crap, no Road ID! I. Am. Disorganized. I. Hate. That.
- I like having someone to chat with at the start. I hope she doesn’t think I am nuts.
- Run your own race. Run your own race. runyourownrace. Refrain, Sustain, Freight Train! Go easy… Go easy…
- Step on the chip mat. Don’t trip. Ok, now we can run, right?
- Get. Out. Of. My. Way! Walkers on the right, people! Did no one explain race etiquette to you? if I have to dodge one more person, or get cut-off one more time…
- Ooh hey! Elgin St. Diner. haven’t been there in awhile. Mmmm… poutine.
- Is that Tracey? She wasn’t supposed to be running… No, but that girl’s got slippy pants! I miss my Run Club peoples. Ok, do like at Run Club, you ninny. Relax, breathe, settle down.
- Of course there is a Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” cheering sign. *sigh*
- I hope all these little kids I am high-fiving don’t have colds.
- If I can keep those pink-shirt ladies in my sights, I am doing ok. *blink* Damn, where’d they go?
- I have to pee. We’ve only gone a couple kilometres. Great.
- If you added the total cost of all the running clothing, shoes and gear on everyone running here, right now… Wow. That’s a lot of money. Why do I care? I still have to pee.
- Hey I want her arm warmers. Rainbows!
- Why do people insist on running six abreast very slowly, chatting? Get. Out. Of. My. Way.
- Dude with the walking poles, you are tripping people flailing about like that! I get you are being active, props for doing the race, but why are you in the middle of the road?
- That is the third person I have seen with a head injury. WTF? Are that many people falling? Did they all get tripped by walking-pole-guy?
- Wow. That is a lot of green water cups.
- None of the police men are smiling. Its such an nice evening, everyone is doing amazing things… SMILE DAMN YOU!
- Why am I doing this again? I’m getting tired. This sucks. Shut up Inner Critic. I hate you.
- The turnaround! YES! A hill? *^&%. I eat hills. This is nothing. Rarrr!
- OK, that hill took my lungs away but I passed a billion people who walked up it. Hahahaha! *cough*
- Whee! Downhill and a corner! Oh no… Another head injury? Wow. Hope they are ok. That is a lot of blood. Just heard someone gag right behind me. They’d better be choking on a Gu, and not squeamish and about to puke on me.
- Back along the canal, on our way home! This feels like Resolution Run, only a lot warmer, and with less costumes.
- I am getting very tired. My legs hurt. I am not allowed to stop. I paid a lot of money to do this. I cannot embarrass myself by stopping now.
- I LOVE THIS. I AM DOING THIS. I am going to finish and be awesome! I AM ALIVE! Also? I love my Honey Stinger gels.
- The water station people look tired. And wet.
- Passing you… now passing YOU. Oh, here I come Miss Sparkly purple running skirt. YES! I’m coming for you, yellow run jacket. Look at me go! WHEEE!
- This part of the canal is very long and boring. Oh! Hey! A shoe in a picture frame for people to touch as they pass. Strange.
- Why yes, I AM wearing underwear, thanks. I’ll smile anyways.
- 1.5k to go. 1.5k! 1 measly little k and a half! You. Can. Do. This.
- The signs every 250 metres near the finish are evil. Evil.
- My FAMILY! OhmyGodIneededtoseethem. My kids look bored, tired, and cold. My husband looks frazzled. He’s going to be grumpy. The fence is too high to get a hug! That sucks. Keep moving, wave and yell happily at them!
- Wait, what? That isn’t the finish line? It’s just a footbridge? Awww &^*%!
- I don’t want to raise my arms up. Remember to smile though… I just want to be done. Where is the ^&*%ing finish line?
- I did it. I FINISHED! I AM AWESOME!
- I need to pee.