Saturday Evening, 7:11pm
It just so happens that I started writing this blog post at exactly 7:11pm last night. My oldest daughter N was born at 7:11am, and ever since she was born, I see 7:11 on the clock at least once a day, and often twice.
Tony and I are sitting on the porch having just finished the Family 2K race with N and B, and also having just finished our pre half-marathon dinner of chicken stir fry with loads of vegetables and rice. A small glass of wine accompanied the dinner, and I’m hoping that is OK before a race. I’ll have to drink extra water later to make up for it.
The Family 2K was fun and the girls did really well. I’m going to try to get them to describe their experience in a separate blog post. We shall see how that goes.
The weather has cooled down dramatically from the days before today. The humidity is gone and there is a cool breeze. Tomorrow is forecast to be cool with possibly some rain. I won’t worry about the weather because that is one thing that is completely out of my control.
I feel relaxed. The girls are at their grandparents for the night. All I have to do this evening is get my clothes ready, attach my timing chip to my shoes, pin my bib number to my shirt, and pack a small bag for tomorrow.
Here we go. No turning back now.
I wake up coughing and stay awake for an hour with my throat aching. I’m still getting over this nasty cold, but luckily it only seems to bother me at night. I don’t think it will affect my race, other than keeping me awake for an hour and taking away some much needed sleep.
Alarm goes off. Snooze once for 10 minutes, but my stomach is churning so up we get. The coffee pot is prepared, and all I have to do is push the button. Only one cup for me this morning rather than my usual three. I eat some rye crackers with soy nut butter. We don’t have peanut butter in the house since N is allergic, but soy is an OK alternative. I still miss the peanuts though.
Tony asks what time it is as I am attaching my timing chip to my shoe. I look at my watch. It’s 7:11. It really is freaky. Our plan is to leave at 7:30 and we have been getting ready at a leisurely pace, looking at the newspaper and catching up on Twitter and Facebook. Hey, my neighbour is in the pictures in the paper of the Family 2K!
Out the door and I want a banana, so we stop at the 24 hour Metro and buy two of them. We head downtown and there is still a lot of parking even though it’s a bit of a walk away. Cars are starting to swarm the area, so we quickly grab a spot on Bank St. and start heading towards Confederation Park. I am feeling really nervous now. I’m not sure that I have enough training runs under my belt to enjoy this race. Nothing to do about it now though. And wow is the weather ever perfect for a long run. Cool and overcast. I won’t be overheating today.
The line-ups for the port-a-potties are terrible. Time is ticking but I really need to stop before the race starts. At least I am hydrated. I have eaten my banana and a raspberry gel and a 5 hour energy drink. I make it through the line with a couple of minutes to spare. Dash off to Elgin St. to try to worm myself into the start. It is crowded, but we get in with a minute or two to spare. The horn sounds, and we just stand there. It takes several minutes before we are moving and actually cross the start line. Off we go.
Thoughts During the Race
I didn’t turn on my music right at the start of the race because I love the energy of the start. The crowds cheering and the people setting on their way.
The first song that came on my iPod once I did turn it on was Green Day’s (Good Riddance) Time of Your Life.
I really tried to acknowledge all of the people who were so encouraging on the sidelines. Every outstretched hand I could reach I gave a high five. I clapped for all of the musicians and bands who were on the sidelines. I smiled at the people cheering. Each time I felt a surge in my feet. Honestly the people who come out to cheer us on make this race. Thank you All.
It was nice to see friendly faces Nat, Ashley, Jeff out there!
I saw two people passed out on the sidelines with medics attending to them. One was at about the 14K mark, but one was at about the 19.5K mark….so close to the finish I could have cried for him.
During my training, my long runs consisted of 15 minutes of running with a 1 minute walk. For my two 20+ K runs in training however, by the end I was adding in 2 minute walks and longer breaks, but today I felt so much energy I was able to keep to my program the whole way. I even had a surge at the end and felt as good as I ever have after finishing a 10K.
I had fun! Real fun. I wasn’t sure before today if I would want to do another half, but now I know that I definitely do. Maybe one in the fall?
I look really bad in caps.
And now that this race is out of the way, now I have to tell you that Tony and I are going to compete together in the Riverkeeper canoe relay triathlon in June. Now you will get to hear about my boring training to strengthen my canoeing muscles, and also how I will be switching gears to run a short and fast 5K!