This was most definitely a last minute race for me this year. I had not ran all winter and was only a couple weeks into SeaWheeze training but was offered a bib for the race and figured I would use it as a long run. I definitely lucked out finding friends to hang out with Liam and being treated to a beautiful morning to run.
I had all my gear and breakfast laid out the night before. I was a little bit anxious about getting myself ready in the morning and getting Liam up and out of the house in the morning but we managed to get out the door in perfect time. I wasn’t sure how to dress because this weekend has always been notoriously cold, rainy or snowy. With nothing but sunshine in the forecast, I went with crops and a tank top.
Tights: Adidas (similar) | Tank: Lululemon | Bra: Brooks Moving Comfort (similar) | Shoes: Brooks Glycerin (similar) | Sunglasses: Rayban | Watch: TomTom Spark + Music | Headphones: Jabra | Wrap: Momentum Wraps
Liam and I found parking easily, close to the start and finished line and waited a few minutes for Scott, Mary and Emerson to arrive. I made a quick trip to the bathroom before the lineups started and hung out for a few more minutes until it was time to line up. Liam wanted no part of a pre-race photo.
It was weird lining up without any friends with me this time. I think this was the first race I’ve ran without friends. I have to say, the best part of races is the people so this one felt a little lonely. For some reason we were a couple minutes late starting but before long we were off and I waved goodbye to Liam as I ran by. The start of the race came with some problems. My pants didn’t want to stay up which was the most annoying. Luckily they finally stuck once I got warmed up but then I realized my newly curated running playlist only had two songs on it. Turns out the ‘recently added’ playlist trumped my carefully picked playlist which meant I ran without music for the rest of the race.
It really was a beautiful morning to be out on the trails and we are particularly lucky to have such an amazing trail system along the river. One of my favourite parts is running through Bower Ponds since it’s so beautiful there, but they also have the best cheer section with cheeky signs. The geese felt like a whole other cheer section with all of their honking which made me giggle thinking about Ange and her love of goslings. Shortly after that, close to the halfway mark is a band playing which I look forward to running by.
Once I got into my groove I felt pretty comfortable. My aim was just to run at a comfortable, slow pace, and not push too hard since I hadn’t ran much yet this season. I definitely felt slow and tried not to get into my own head about it. I didn’t look at my watch to see my pace the entire race.
It wasn’t until the last couple kilometers that I started to feel hot and tired. I stopped at the final two water stations for a drink and quick walk break before trucking on again. I texted Mary at the 8k mark and asked if she thought Liam would want to run in with me. I knew all I had was Heartbreak Hill and I was basically done. This year they had a DJ blasting some beats on the hill which gave me something to focus on other than the feeling like I wanted to barf.
I finally made it to the final stretch and Liam was waiting for me! We ran the last few feet together which was definitely the best part of the whole race. After I got my medal he asked where his was, so I gave him mine and he was so proud. I wish I could finish every race like that.
We didn’t stick around after the race since we were all headed off to the zoo that afternoon. Liam and I made the slow trek back to the car (he was walking like he’d just ran a marathon) and headed home to shower and eat.
My finish time was 1:23. Woof. Two minutes faster than the worst race ever at last year’s Calgary Marathon 10k. Seven minutes slower than last year in the pouring rain. It’s a huge internal struggle not to be disappointed with the time even though time was not what I was going for. This was not a race, this was just a long run to spend time on my feet and get the distance in in order to get to my half marathon this summer.