Saturday, 13 October 2018

2018 Valley Harvest 5k

Another gorgeous weekend in Wolfville, NS.  The leaves are changing from green to vibrant red, orange, and yellow and it marks the perfect time to head to the valley.  The Valley Harvest run is always on the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend.  For most, that means you run your heart out in the morning, and then savour yummy dinner later in the day.  This year, I chose to have my dinner the day before the race.  Turns out that may have not been the best choice.
Anyways...I woke bright and early Sunday morning (5:15am) to get dressed and on the road.  You know you are a runner when you wake earlier on the weekend than you do during the week for work, right???  Right away, I knew I was having tummy issues.  I had originally planned to run the 10k but knew that was probably not in the cards today...so much for eating thanksgiving dinner the day before.

I was a little paranoid driving the hour away, as the previous weekend, we had unfortunately hit a deer...not seeing it until it was too late. :-(  So I kept looking everywhere to make sure it didn't happen again.  We arrived at the race, gathered our race kit, and then did a small warm up.
Obviously taken after the race
The warm up music was less than motivating to say the least...I wish you could hear the video I took of it but it's just taking way too long to upload.

I was all smiles before the race started, seeing some familiar faces and wishing everyone luck.

We lined up and were off right on time....have I said how much I like that in a race???  I wasn't really sure how this race was going to go.  A...my tummy and B...I had literally run nothing in two weeks...I mean...I don't think I had even put my sneakers on.  I lined up by the 30 minute pace bunny, just hoping to keep them behind of me.  My first kilometer came in at 5.22...I was like...whoa...that is faster than my others in prior races.  I knew the course was fairly flat so I might be able to push it a bit.  Around the 2km mark, I looked at my watch and it said 5:15...and that's when I felt a bit of unease...and then I kind of had an epiphany...I was putting my own fear in my head of 'I can't keep this pace'.  Until I had looked at my watch, I had felt pretty good while running...no shortness of breath...just about right.  The minute I looked at my watch and saw my pace, I thought "I can't maintain this" and the unease started.   At that moment I said "No!!!   Stop convincing yourself you can't do this pace...you can!  Don't look at your watch the rest of the race...just push yourself...be comfortable with being uncomfortable for the next 2.5k...you can do this."  And you know what??  It worked...as I came into the finish line, I could see the clock and was pretty sure that I had set a seasons best.  I stopped my watch at exactly 5k and it read 26.04!!   I am inching oh so close to that 25.59 mark!!! 
Anyone else just want to collapse after a race?
It wasn't until I got home and checked the race stats on line, that I saw that I had placed 2nd in my age category...out of 105.  I was shocked and excited.
That's right...age class 40-49!!

photo credit:  Bob MacEachern
When I first saw this photo, I was like 'oh god'...but then others quickly pointed out that I look focused.  Yup...that is me, looking at the finish clock trying to do mental math to determine my finish time. 

This race ends the 'planned' race season for me.  Now time to maintain and build over the winter months.  I say planned as you never know what last minute decisions I'll make.  LOL

Monday, 17 September 2018

2018 MRW Recap

I love this race weekend!  So many fun costumes and so many people I know run it!  The 5k route is one of the prettiest, running right next to the ocean, hearing the waves crash on the shoreline!

Friday night's Sunset 5k started at 7pm so I headed over to my friend Paul's for 6pm.   He doesn't live far from the start line and offered me his driveway...he also said "You may want to avoid Shore Drive...take this route."  Sure Paul.....well I got lost and ended up back on Shore Drive anyways.  LOL

Paul takes pictures of some of his runner friends, and I warned him...you better get one of me. :-) 

I met up with some other BLT Runners for a group shot. 
There were more BLTers running...we just missed them
in this pic
We promptly lined up and were off at 7pm.  Troy of Atlantic Chip is a stickler for being on time....I love that!  The plan was not to race Friday night, and give it a good go on Saturday.  For that reason, I didn't look at my garmin the entire run.  I could feel it buzz at each kilometer, but that's it.  The run felt comfortable, no stress...just running for the joy of it.  At about the 4km mark, I saw a fellow runner that I knew was a bit faster than me...she was just ahead...and I kept on her heels. :-)  Unfortunately she pulled ahead with about 500m left and I couldn't keep her in my grasp.  As I rounded the finish corner I was really surprised to see the clock at about 26.20...which meant my run was a bit faster than that (due to the bottleneck at the beginning).  I kicked it into high gear for the final 100m and crossed the finishline in 26.12....a seasons best!  YAHOO. 
See the guy in the blue BEHIND me...well he started
in front of me at the start.  hehe
There were close to 2,000 people running the evening 5k.  I came 213 overall, and 17/467 in my age class.  I'll take that!   And yes....that picture above is from Paul....he did his job. Hehe .  I grabbed my medal and went to find Jillian who was volunteering at the after race food. 
I got so many compliments on my pirate outfit.  One photographer waved me down as I headed back to my car for pictures....but do you think I can find them...NOPE!  LOL 

Sunrise 5k
The sunrise 5k comes so quickly after running the night before.  5:40am on a Saturday morning...I don't even get out of bed that early on a weekday.  LOL  I quickly text Heather (Girl Goes Running) to make sure she was awake as she has been known to sleep past her alarm.  LOL  I picked her up and we headed over to Paul's again. (the best valet EVER). 
A quick pre-race pic.  Notice the fog....it didn't last!
Again, the race started promptly at 8am.  There is quite the turn at the beginning of the race that causes a big bottleneck among runners.  I told myself to just go with the pace and I'd see how I felt.  My legs were H-E-A-V-Y.  I guess I had pushed them more than I thought the night before.  With the 5, 10, 1/2, and full marathon runners all leaving at the same time, there were so many folks trying to navigate the first 2.5k.  At that point, the non-5k runners kept going, and we turned around.  It was much different than the night before on the way back...at one point I was by myself and wanted to just stop and breathe.  The sun had broke through the fog and the humidity was 200% I bet, making it so hot and hard to breath.  But I kept pushing onward...in my mind I kept saying, it's only 27-28 minutes at the most that you are out here....you can do it!!!

I have to stop here for a second and thank the many volunteers.  On my way out, there was a driver that was giving one of the volunteers a VERY hard time (cussing and swearing at him) to move as she had to get her car out.  I'm sorry lady....but there are over 3200 runners coming through, there is no way you are getting out.  The small town had seen plenty of notice and flyers about the race.  She threatened to call the police, and all the while, this volunteer remained calm and polite.  Without these volunteers...the event would not happen.  so THANK YOU!!!!

Okay...back to my race....rounding the final corner, as I had done the night before, I saw the clock passing 26.30...so much for racing this morning.  I did manage to pull out a smile for Bruce as he snapped my pic...or my pain maybe.
I was so glad I was NOT in costume for the morning 5k
I grabbed my medals....that's right medals...1 for finishing the sunrise 5k...one for doing 2 races at MRW, and 1 for doing the Tidal Race back in June.    And then I went and found the freezies...the absolute BEST after race treat...especially when it is wicked hot!  Thank you freezie passer outers!
a total of 4 medals for one weekend.  WOWZERS!
So much swag...a sweatshirt & race shirt too!
I waited for Heather to come in.  She was aiming for under 44 minutes in her 10k.  I saw her come flying through the finish shoot, just seconds over her goal.  She did amazing (ps...her husband won the 5k....yup....a speedy couple)!  We grabbed some pictures and were on our way...rehashing the morning runs our entire drive home!
After race photo.  Heather could barely stay upright
after her race for a while...luckily she bounced back quickly.
And that completes Maritime race weekend for 2018!  Can't wait to see what next year brings.  Michelle starts teasing us pretty early with medal and swag designs!

Up next?  Valley Harvest 10k.  See everyone there!