This is my first race in over a year (last year I did the marathon). I had a lot of mixed feelings about the whole event.
Saturday (Race Kit Pick Up)
Going to the Direct Energy Centre, I was really pumped for a huge venue full of vendors and booths, but to my surprise, there was even less than last year! I was pretty disappointed because seeing a small expo tones down my excitement for the race. I think I might be used to the Waterfront marathon expo where it blows my mind.
I managed to grab some Moving Comfort bras from The Runners Shop for 30% off. They felt wonderful and I will definitely do a review of them later.
Chris, Mark and I grabbed lunch at Kinton Ramen for the carb loading meal. I got the Shoyu Ramen bowl:
(I had to mention it because I have pictures of it :)–isn’t your mouth watering?)
I met up with Kirsten, Jon, and Mike to chill out for the rest of the day and it really helped to calm my nerves (I was really stressed out the previous week about anything race related I could think of, so having familiar faces to talk to really helped.)
Sunday (Race day)
I woke up at 4:30am feeling really calm and not stressed at all. Chris and I ate breakfast, got dressed and cabbed to the shuttle buses. Still calm. The long bus ride to the start was still calming for me and I was fine up until maybe 15 minutes before the gun went off. I don’t know if it was the combination of my body just releasing all my fluids at once (from all the salt yesterday???) or my nerves, but I kinda felt like I needed to use the washroom. I didn’t think much of it because I often feel like I had to pee when I start getting nervous–WRONG. I really needed to go pee.
Hong passed by me within the first km and he seems to do this to me every race–not sure how he always recognizes me from behind lol.
This length was probably the worst past of my race. It was really hot. There was no shade at all. I was already dehydrated because every single fluid just rushed to my bladder. My legs were not working properly. They maintained a 5:20min/km pace but my legs were not feeling fresh at all, they were really weighted down, struggling to pull through. After passing many porta potties, I decided it was time to use it, I really couldn’t hold it any longer….and I became dehydrated. I also lost my salt sticks so any form of electrolytes were gone.
I saw the 2:00 run/walk and 2:00 continuous bunnies next to me and I HAD to make sure they stayed behind. I got a boost from my Vega Sport gels and picked up the pace a little, but it was still too hot. I couldn’t do continuous anymore so back to 10:1 (even though I never trained with them this time). My shoe laces also came undone–not having a good day because everything that happened never happened before.
I got a really good boost at 10km and was able to push for 5min/km.
I was VERY scared at this point. My body was suffering from heat exhaustion, I could barely move, I had to do more walk breaks and my pace went down to 7min/km. I was really struggling and tried to keep my hopes up. The 2:00 hour pacers passed me around 14km.
It finally got cooler and I was able to pick up my pace back to 5min/km to try to make up for lost time. The heat was still getting to me, so I had to take unscheduled walk breaks. The shade really helped and boosted my morale a bit, but I lost my salt sticks and my CamelBak was dangerously low. I sweated out everything and the pace band that I wore was completely soaked in my sweat that I took it off and tossed it aside around 16-17km. By 20km, my CamelBak was completely empty, nothing left on me and the last station was at the finish line. My asthma started to creep up on me too so while I was digging in my Camelbak for my puffer, I found an unopened e-load pack *BIGGEST FACE PALM EVER* At this point it was no use to me, so I tried to go as quickly as I could, but I could only maintain around 5:20min/km.
Turning onto Lakeshore, I heard the crowd get much louder and I began sprinting towards the end (my legs had so much energy left–why didn’t they work earlier!?).
I made it in 2:05:41. I’m not really upset, but I am glad I made it out ok.
A shot of everyone at the end with all big smiles :)
Everyone definitely came out a superstar! I was proud of Chris because he finished in 2:23:00 (how often do you finish with an even number?) and he managed well even though his furthest distance was 12km!
Overall, the race was ok. The race organization is not consistent. Last year I had a blast, this year not so much. I still recommend that everyone do this race (if you’re closeby). It’s definitely something to do!