Ok, long post, y’all. Sorry. I’m really happy and excited and that means you get lots. *boing*
Just so you know, I am walking funny today. My right calf and shin are swearing nasty things at me, and my left hip has decided it does not want to work. I may begin dragging one foot behind me, making under my breath angry pain noises, and wearing sunglasses. Just call me ZombieMom. Screw Calgon, send coffee, chocolate, Advil, a Hintonburger, and Voltaren gel.
However, despite the Tin Man creakiness and slight sunburn-glow, you cannot wipe the smile off my face today. I can’t even begin to explain how awesome I feel, or how much I wish I could jump up and go run today at lunch (not happenin’, I am resting today, ow &$%^). I am so freakin’ motivated it is insane (In the membrane. Seriously, make my brain come off warp speed, please!).
Yesterday, I ran the 2013 Manotick Road Race 10k. I had signed up on a whim, as quite a number of my Run Club sistas were running the 18k and 5k. I was feeling left out, and wanting to be included, so I signed up. Nutty? Maybe. I have covered the distance, wanted to play, and the timing was right since I start taper for Mudder this week, and needed one more longish run beforehand.
Oh my God… Did you realize Tough Mudder Toronto is 2 weeks away? *cue flailing* So excited, and feeling not prepared. It is happening, people. I sent the money off for the cottage, and bought my gloves, gels, and stroopwaffels (http://shop.honeystinger.com/categories/Organic-Stinger-Waffles/) since banana and I during exercise do not mix well, and that is the solid fuel of choice at the stations at Mudder.
Anywho, back to the subject at hand…
Sunday was a freaking gorgeous day, and I swear Mother Nature decided we finally needed some warm weather to break the last of the icicles off our noses. It has been a long, cold winter. I met up with everyone, and we got a group shot done, which I am excited to see. Just to be clear, these women, who I was standing with in the photo booth, are all kick-ASS, and have been my somewhat regular running companions since last Fall. A few were missing (Robin, Allyson and Sue Ann weren’t racing, and Josée wasn’t there yet) but to stand with these women, and be able to celebrate their runs with them, was really amazing. I held it in, but I was getting a little bit emotional. These are my friends. We sweat together. I value this connection.
Yeah.. suck it up, buttercup. Time to run, *$#^. Heh.
No matter, I was able to run in a T-shirt, and I was a tad too warm in my full CW-X and rainbow socks. I did use music, since I was running solo for most of the race, but I ended up taking my buds out for the last two k, needing the concentration to get up the freaking HILL they put AT THE END of the course.
I felt good going out. I used my 10:1’s, and stuck to plan. I gave myself the permission to run through my 1 minute walk break if I felt good, but also reminded myself it was warm, and to use them. I was feeling my best and trucking along the straight stretch, which I had worried would drain me, since I hate running straight and long. Perhaps it was the massive gaggle of people ahead of me, or the sign that said “OK, who Fartlek’ed?” that made me laugh and sing-song “KATIE DID!” (Yes, Katie, I did) that distracted me, and made me move. It was also being out in the country, no sidewalks, no buildings, no massive amounts of cars… Ahhh. So I was moving, but I figured I was keeping to target pace of 7:30 to 8:00 per km.
At 5k, right near the CHEO Dream Homes, I felt my legs getting heavy, my form going, my breath starting to creep into the gaspy range, so I looked down at my Garmin.
I PRed my 5k. 34:54. No wonder I was feeling tired, Sparky… I was pushing! I had 3 splits under 7 in my first 5! Holy &%*$, Batman! I understand now that I am having trouble gauging my speed at the beginning of a run, especially when others are running around me. Also, when I get my footwork in sync, my lungs acclimatize and I settle in, I am faster than I realize.
I also realized then my idea of negative splits on the second half was likely not wise, and to truck on steady to finish with a smile and non-rubber legs. This was supposed to be a training run, right? HAHA, yeah… So I gelled, took a moment to walk and do a wee celebration dance about my 5k time, and then carried on. I stopped to talk to a girl who was limping very badly. She had hurt her IT band and downhills were sucking for her (which we were on). I offered her my unused water bottle and a shoulder to lean on to walk, but she said she was ok. I continued on once she assured me she was fine. She ended up coming in just ahead of me, and we high-fived at the finish. I hope she is ok, and gets her IT all figured out. She was super-strong to finish in such pain. Kudos, stranger girl. Wish I’d got your name!
The second half of the course was winding through some of the massive Manotick McMansions and footpaths back to the downtown area. I loved this part of the course, and was a rubbernecker as I looked at gorgeous homes, gardens and landscaping. I felt slower though, and had to take some walk breaks to drink. I was starting to get tired, but kept pushing. It is amazing how much hills can take out of you, and I am glad I have trained hills over the winter. We also did hills with Run Club last week, and it sure did prepare us for the race!
Let’s not think about the Black Diamond slope I have to climb in two weeks right now while my legs are hurting, shall we?
I gelled again at 8k, that heavy feeling coming back, that all-too-familiar quiver in my midsection. Yup, glycogen stores were gone. So thankful I brought extra gels on course, just in case I did hit that (Diabetic) wall. Then, as I crested the last massive, evil hill, I saw Josée on the corner, and she was running up to cheer me! YAY! I was so happy to see a familiar face, and I ran over, high-fived her, and it gave me such energy. I ran in that last k so strong! It is true what they say. having someone just give you a “WOOO!” can be the fuel you need.
I also PRed my 10k time. 1:13. I cannot be happier about that. I felt capable, I felt accomplished. I felt empowered. I did it! I &^%*ing did it! You bet your bippy I raised my arms right up as I crossed the finish and let out a few happy yahoos!
I am sure my finish photos will be dorky and awkward. And perfect.
Unfortunately, my husband and kids didn’t get to see me finish. They were at the park right beside the Start/Finish, and husband said he couldn’t get them corralled in time to run up to watch me go. Its ok, there will be other races. I was a bit disappointed for a few minutes. He was managing a 2 year old and a 4 year old who were so happy to be outside in warm weather, I am sure it was nutty.
I found my family after getting my bling, spent a few minutes with them, scarfed my Builder’s Bar (they had bananas and oranges at the finish, argh, recipe for pukey Sabby) and watched Katie steam in to a 7th place finish for the women in the 18k, my daughter in my arms clapping her silly little head off and yelling Go Katie! (I may have prompted her). I then found a fellow Run Clubber winding through the crowd, and we all stood at the finish and cheered the rest of the girls in. To see them come in, one at a time, tired from their 18k run, but all with smiles was absolutely the highlight of the day. We all rocked our runs, were happy with times and efforts. We all had bling around our neck, grit on our faces…
And it was awesome.
We stayed to watch Josée run her 5k, that apparently was a 5.5k when she looked at her GPS later on. Oops? Her son ran the last few metres with her, and they gave him a medal which was adorable. Josée looked strong coming in, and I know she will be doing some great things this summer with her running. So excited!
I also got to congratulate Matt Triemstra and his sister as they came in from their 5k. My husband attended church with Matt for some time, and I knew the family through Matt’s father, Terry, who passed away recently. Matt and his sister were running to remember their Dad, as he had a heart defect, and this run’s charity is the Ottawa Heart Institute. Read Matt’s motivation for running here: http://manotickroadrace.com/stories/read-other-stories/ and smile like I did when I saw them steaming in to the finish, jumping and yelling for them, remembering Terry right at that moment.
As we drove home, the kids cranky, me exhausted, my husband hungry, I realized that there were so many reasons for me to be there yesterday. Not just to run. I got to share in the joy of so many friends and their families, I got to show my kids that I am active. They got exposed to a sport I hope they want to take part in when they’re older. I got to spend time with women I really do care about, and celebrate with them. I got to go out, in the sunshine, and participate, and feel good about where I am going. And the best part was I covered 10k on the anniversary of when I signed up for my first race, and just starting to think I could run again after so many years.
So, now for the emotional part of today’s post… There were 10 kilometres, and for each one of them, I validated my journey, and struck the spark for more.
*ahem* Ok then. Also? Every single race marshal, and a ton of volunteers and folks in their driveways on course told me they liked my socks. *fistpump* Yessss….