Well for someone who swore they would never run a race, I popped that cherry today and then some!
It was a beautiful winter day, one of the warmest I’ve run in fact, a balmy -6°C (-10°C with wind chill). I met up with L and her friends at the designated area inside the performing arts center. Honestly I felt a bit weird being among all those runners. They looked all way more qualified than me to be running a race.
After a few quick bathroom visits (only one for me!), it was time to walk to the start line. There were several of the half-ers doing some warming up and I saw one with something like a tube coming out of their shirt and asked L what the heck that was – apparently it was a camelback! Brilliant!
We got to the start line and there were a few hundred ahead of us. Next to where we were standing was a mom and her son. I asked the boy how old he was as he looked like my daughter’s age. He said he was six and this wasn’t his first race. Um … okay. Mom said he would finish under 45 minutes, maybe 40 minutes. Finally, we heard the countdown and started walking up towards the start and off we went. Before the race, L and her friend said I was going to set the pace and by the end of the first kilometer we were under well under 7:00/km which was just fine with me though it was a bit faster than I wanted so I deliberately slowed my pace a bit and ran most of the time just a few strides behind them. There was a bit of chatting but by 2 km I stopped talking and just focused on the road and my breathing. L asked if I wanted to walk and I said no. And then we saw the leader of the 5 km race running towards us on the other side of the road. I looked up his time – he finished the run in 15 minutes.
Suddenly we reached that the halfway point, made our turn and headed back. Already I was sensing this was going to feel like the fastest 5 km I’d ever run even if my time didn’t reflect it. At 3 km I was asked again if I was walking and I said no. I did slow down a bit as the girls got ahead of me a little but they slowed for me so we were still running together. Then we saw the 6-year-old running just ahead of us as the 4 km marker approached and he stopped to walk with his mom. As we made our turn, about 200 meters from the finish L said “We are gonna beat that 6-year-old. Let’s go!!!!” And we hauled ass to the finish. I tried to look for my husband and kids but realized I needed to focus on not falling over my feet. I crossed the finish line just a second or two after my friend. A minute later, I heard my daughter calling for me and turned towards the sidewalk and found her. I ran over to her and hugged her across the barriers and then she gave me the medal she made for me. It was a special moment I will never forget. A few minutes later we picked up our real medals.
The official time of 33:33.9. A personal best for sure (especially since there weren’t any walk breaks!)
Seeing my daughter at the end.
The two medals.
My yummy post-run dinner. Baked chicken with pesto and grilled veggies.
I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve run 5km, but suddenly I feel like “Oh my God, what if I can’t finish?”
I never ran track or took part in any group/team sports. I did some dance and ballet as a kid and played the piano, that’s about it. I remember getting really nervous before a piano recital or exam (I made it to grade 11 Royal Conservatory). Before most exams in university and medical school I would need a bathroom visit at least once or twice before walking into the examination room. My running friends say they have “tummy” issues all the time before a race and I’ve suggested they take an Immodium the night before a race to calm the nervous bowel. I have no idea if that’s going to happen to me. Should I take one just in case?
I’ve been getting emails daily, sometimes twice a day, from the race coordinators and every time I see it in my inbox, my heart skips a beat. Why am I doing this?! I’ve got nothing to prove. Is it going to be fun or am I going to be a ball of nerves? I have no idea what to expect!
My friend posted a picture of a race medal that was quite pretty. I foolishly commented on the picture and a day later I found myself registering for a 5km race.
What the heck?
For 2 years I said I was never going to run a race. I don’t need to race. I don’t need the medals. I just love running for the fitness and the rush I get when I finish. I never felt the need to train for a race to keep me motivated, I just run because I want to run.
Yet, here I am, registered for a 5k race in 10 days.
My friend Jedi-mind-tricked me into doing it. She really did. “It’ll be fun.” “No pressure!” “Don’t make me do it alone!”
Husband says I had better win it. Ha ha! As if! (He’s joking.)
I knew it would hurt to get out of bed the moment I stretched out my legs.
My left knee at the fibula where the IT band inserts.
Both calf muscles and the Achilles’ tendons.
The right lateral thigh along the entire length of the IT band.
My deep, deep core muscles.
They were all mad at me for what I put them through yesterday.
After a self-imposed rest of 3 days due to inclement weather and a broken furnace, I set out for a long run. I’ve been increasing my distance by 1 km every 2 weeks, so this week had me facing 13 km. With all the snow that fell I knew that only the major streets’ sidewalks would be clear enough to run on so I headed out and ran to the office. I tried to take it easy as this was supposed to be a LSD but after each kilometer clicked by it became clear that I was running at my 5km pace. (I can hardly believe I can even say that!). I reached the office and kept going for another 1.5 km. By the time I had to turn back I was getting pretty tired. I briefly considered hopping on transit but remembered I didn’t bring my wallet or any loose change. I allowed myself a few extra 100 meter walk breaks and thank goodness for traffic lights. I was able to catch my breath and stretch out the legs.
I made it home and felt like collapsing. My legs were jello and I was dripping in sweat. I drank a lot of water and made a cheese omelet even before I got all my gear off. I was starving. I stretched afterwards but obviously not enough considering how my legs felt this morning. A few hours later the dreaded migraine came on with a vengeance; a sign that I will need a water belt and gels for my next long run. I think I am going to wait another week before increasing my distance again. My legs definitely need a break. For the next few weeks I will stick to 5-10 km and work on getting my 5 km pace even faster.
Oh and just for fun here’s a shot of me as I ran by a storefront window. I’m pretty sure this was around 9 km. I’m surprised I’m not completely hunched forward!
With Valentine’s Day coming up, the older two kids have been working on their cards for their classmates. Daughter got it in her head that I have to make heart-shaped cookies for her entire class. She has reminded me every day this week. This morning I received another reminder in the form of a note. She wrote it so I wouldn’t forget to go to the local Bulk Barn and look for a cookie cutter in the shape of a heart.
Her brother then decided he had to write me a note as well (keep in mind this all went down while I was struggling to get their coats and boots on as we were running late, again!). He will be 4 years old in April and has only been drawing consistently for a few months.
This is only the second smiley face he’s drawn and I am completely in love with it.
So now I must do my duty and get everything I need to make vanilla cookies tonight.