Monday, August 17, 2015

Race Review! The Navy 10k

Well, the first race that gave me a good case of heat stroke didn't disappoint with the steamy 27 degrees Celsius temps yesterday! Lol. Thankfully this time I learned my lesson and hydrated often, spilled water over my head at every water station and ran in the shade of trees when possible. Overall it was a fun, exciting race and I was SO happy to have my husband right beside me the whole way. The morning started off great. We arrived in plenty of time, milled around saying hello to fellow runners and grabbing a quick banana and nervous bladder-porta-potty run before the race start. Richard and I decided to head to the back of the group since I had no plans at an all-time 10k PB and was simply hoping to finish without needing a pair of crutches. The route was the reverse of what it had been for 29 years, so this apparently caused some confusion for the leaders (as I learned afterwards), but for the mid to back of the packers I think it was nice to switch it up and see which way was more difficult. Personally I think the reverse way was much more difficult, but that's debatable. We started off in front of the Stadacona military base, running a few hundred meters before heading up a short but hilly street then turning right onto a well shaded side street before turning again, then again onto Agricola street, where we would run for the next 2k. Agricola took us up a long climb then flattened out and dipped downwards again. Then it was more side-street zig-zagging before heading straight down Gottingen street to the end of the first lap. By the end of the first 5k Richard was feeling pretty good and was keeping a strong pace. I wanted to die I was so hot and every limb felt heavy. But the cheer of the crowds as we passed by, including a very cheerful motorcycle gang, gave me the pep I needed to keep going. I focused on my pace and back up the side-streets we went. By the 6k mark Richard was having a hard time with his legs and a blister that was forming on one of his big toes. He pushed through it though. As for me, my knee would sting whenever we went downhill, but otherwise everything held up very well, which I give credit to my Chiropractor for! As Richard and I came up to the 7k mark we started looking behind us and suddenly there was no one. Now, I knew we had passed other 10k runners and walkers earlier and that we had held it together well enough that I didn't see them all pass us, so we started to wonder..did everyone else drop out? Were we the last ones on the course?! It was HOT but it wasn't as hot as it had been in previous years....Then a police officer drove up beside us on his motorcycle. "Hey guys, he said, have you seen anyone else on the course?" he asked, kind of embarrassed. "No, we both said, are we the end, the last ones?" "Well, there was this other lady but I can't find her now so yeah you are probably it. Thanks!" he said as he drove off. "Frig." we both said. Then I spotted a couple walking ahead of us, who were just far enough ahead they were probably out of earshot for our exchange with the officer. "I don't want to finish last." Richard said. I agreed, neither of us wanted that, so we started running again, keeping the pace we'd had the whole race but which felt a lot harder now. We passed the couple then eyed four more runners ahead. We kept going, and going for another 2k before the heat and a hill got Richard and we had to walk. It wasn't too long before I saw the couple we had passed though, now running! I started running again, agreeing to walk again when we got to the next water station. It was there that Richard saw the other couple and it was enough to give him a push to run it out to the finish. We came within 30 seconds of the person ahead of us, but simply not finishing last was good enough for us. As we stood cheering the couple behind us into the finish line the announcers said the couple was, in fact, the last people on the course. Whew! We had done it. We finished the 10k in one piece, felt satisfied with the time and managed to not come in dead last. Mission accomplished.

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