Sunday, 24 March 2013

Post Race Reflections

What an awesome day to run 30 K! (Not many times I wake up thinking that insane thought). But truly, the weather today was perfect for Around the Bay. As I write this, at 6:30 p.m., I am already in my jammies, have had the epsom salt bath and have downed one Corona Light. The family has ordered pizza. Perfect way to wrap up a long, challenging race.

Post-run Pride (AKA Thank GOD it's over!)
Portrait of Determination:
Our friend Janette, 30K DONE one year after breaking her leg.

Here are some  highlights and reflections from the last 24 hours, in no particular order since I still have post-run brain:
On taking the "scenic route" in order to avoid passing transport trucks on the 401, etc.: Holy $#i! Girl! Get over your fear of passing trucks! Then maybe it wouldn't take 3 hours to get to Hamilton (including U-Turn moments when the roads on the zig-zag route I mapped out refused to co-operate and forced us to take other back roads and use various GPS gadgets to get back on track. Yeah, we took the 400 series home today.)

Serenity Ranch Bed & Breakfast, where we stayed in Jerseyville, just 15 minutes outside of Hamilton, is A1 amazing. Superb service. Highly recommend it for a girls' weekend away.
On Parking: We lucked out big time. A handful of us runners found a parking lot super close to Copps Coliseum where the ticket machine charged the usual Sunday $2.00 rate. My other friends parked farther away and paid $20. Suckaaaaahsss!!
On Bathroom Lineups: Never ran into huge lineups before the race at Copps Coliseum. They moved along pretty quickly. Lineups during the race were longer...see next note.
On Holding it In: I knew I had to pee yet again very early on in the race. Damn! Tried very hard to ignore the call of nature but as one fellow runner said in the small (thank god) lineup at a porta potty at the 11K mark, you know you gotta stop "When it's the only thing you think about." What fun is running a race when all you're thinking about is peeing, right?
On beating the 3:15 pace bunny even after stopping to pee: YEAHHHH!
On being in a big crowd of runners for the whole 30 kilometres: I actually didn't mind it. Enough space to move, and it keeps you moving and motivated.
On runners' fashion - Wow, what fun variety! Saw one guy running in a kilt. Another in shorts and t-shirt even though we could see our breath (temp was about 5C). Some zany leggings and socks. At least one runner with those minimalist toe "shoes" (slippers? I don't know how they do it.). Someone running with a huge sign advertising their missing beagle, with a picture and everything.

On the motivational signs throughout the race: They were great. I wish I could have photographed them.

On the mountains of water station volunteers: AWESOME JOB!
On the "big hill" - I ran it! Sort of, if you can call it a run. It wasn't a walk. And it certainly was challenging. If they could just move the hill to the beginning instead of at km 26 that would be great...
On the people who played music to keep us pushing through at the 20K mark: LOVED the young family with the little girl who was dancing up a storm to the music. So cute!

On the family who served up stacks of bananas and orange slices at the end of their driveway around the 24K mark: So generous. Thank you.
Loved the church group at around the 26K mark (not long after we peaked the hill) that cheered us on in their matching robes.

Feelings at 27K mark: "So close, yet so far!" You see the big orange "C" on the Copps Coliseum building and think "Wow! I'll be done in 5 minutes!" when really it's another 20 minutes (for me, anyway).

I saw the guy who was offering free beer around the 29K mark but forgot to find him after the race. Another generous spectator!

Loved what our coach did to speed up her pace during the last few kms. She found a strong looking "gorgeous specimen" (her words) with a great pace and, unbeknownst to him, made him her personal "pace bunny" to the finish. (The result: A PB! Way to go Ann!)

Ang & Ann: Post run cuteness!

On arriving at Copps Coliseum finish line: Loved hearing my name over the loud speaker. "Booked  it" for the last 100 metres (as opposed to Coach Ann who "booked it" for the last 4 kilometres. I would vomit.) and then walked my wobbly legs over to get food and medal. Saw people lying on the floor stretching, but thought better of it. I knew if I layed down on the floor, I would most definitely NOT be able to get back up without assistance. (I could barely peel my banana for god's sake!)

Now I can officially say: "Around the Bay? Been there, done that, GOT THE T-SHIRT!" (Might to it legs are too sore to think about another long run at the moment. Give 'em a week or two.)

Congratulations to my fellow run mates and everyone who ran today. YOU DID IT! And you should be proud.

OK this took me an hour to write. 4 slices of pizza and one beer DONE! All catered to me by my doting family. Thank you! Time for wine and dessert. (Where's that little service bell? Hellooo...)

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