We were out the door at 6:15am. Based on the predicted weather, I decided to wear a t-shirt and bicycle shorts eventhough it was freezing out. I wore one of T's sweaters that he deemed trashable to stay warm. Google said it would take us a half hour to get to the start line, but we made every single light and got there in 15 minutes. So, they boys dropped me off and I had an hour to kill. In the freezing cold. By myself.
I spent the time running around a bit to stay warm and visiting the porta-potties. I didn't really have to go after the first time, but what else was there to do? Oh, well, I guess I pinned my bib on. That took all of 2 minutes.
Finally, it was time to get in place. I chose the starting area for a 2 hour finish. At 7:30am, the gun went off and scared the heck out of me. We started walking (there were a lot of people there) and then stopped. How anti-climatic. Then we started walking again, and I managed to cross the start line about 4 or 5 minutes later.
About a couple of kilometers in, I had to pee. Well, I thought I had to pee, and that's all that really counts. Rather annoying, as I'd just spent the last hour going pee. My pace was feeling really good, though, and I didn't want to stop. Especially if, after I stopped, I found that I didn't really have to pee all that much and it was just nerves. I refuse to stop at porta-potties along the race route after a debacle with my 30K Around The Bay race years ago (a story for another day). There were some forest-y type areas where some were going for a 'Bush Run', but if I'm going to potentially bare my a$$ to hundreds of runners, it'd better be for a very pressing reason. S'all I'm sayin'. So I kept going.
The route was nice, actually - there are a lot of really fancy houses in Mississauga! I kept thinking that I was much further than I actually was. [Inner Monologue: "Well, the 15K marker must be coming up soon." I see the 12 K marker. "Hot damn! 12K?? Crap. REALLY?? Did someone switch signs? I feel like I've run 15K. Obviously, they're wrong." I see the 13K marker. "Damn, 13K??" And so on...]
I picked up the pace after 10K, and picked it up even more after 15K. (Possibly why I was getting so tired.) I even managed to save some energy for the last kilometer. I was breathing rather loudly, but I shot past a bunch of people. Unfortunately, as you got closer and closer to the finish line, the route got narrower and narrower. REALLY, bad planning on the part of marathon planners. I saved a little sumthin'-sumthin' for a final sprint to the finish, but couldn't really do it, because it got so crowded that I was going to crash into people if I sped up too much. Disappointing and annoying.
I had spent the last kilometer scanning the crowds for the boys, because they didn't see me at last year's 10K race. Miraculously, I found them and I actually shouted out loud for joy. (Usually, it's the spectators who do that, but apparently I march to my own drummer.)
Gun Time 1:59:44.6
Chip Time 1:55:39.5
Gender Place 602/2822
Age Category Place 83/433
Things I Could Have Improved:
- Run or drive the route the week before, so I know exactly how much distance is left.
- Could have run faster, but wanted to make sure I didn't kak out (see point #1)
- Get up earlier to drink glass of water - 2 hours wasn't long enough
- Lost killer instinct at the end - I usually 'pick people off' in order to spur me on to finish faster - I started to do that, but in the end just wanted to finish.
- Have boys hold sign or wear brighter clothes, so it's easier to find them
- Speed more at end (this wasn't my fault, though, I had the ability but not the venue)
Things I Did Well:
- Didn't start out too fast
- Managed to increase pace as race went on (Slight Negative Split)
- Saved energy for final burst at end
- Didn't stop for walk breaks at all (I am used to walking when I drink water, this time I ran)
- Found the boys and waved at them (v. important)
- Finished not only under 2 hrs, but under the predicted pace of my pace band: 1Hr 58min)
Increased my long runs! No longer stuck at the 12K mark
Added hill workouts! Haven't done that for years.
Ran a Half Marathon! Instead of saying I don't have time/I'm too tired/I have small kids.
Finished the Race.
And started a whole new one.
To be continued...
(Yup, totally got suckered into buying a race photo. I'm a sentimental gal at heart.)